You shudder as an old friend you haven’t seen in a while looks at you and says, “You look so healthy!” You know that you should interpret this as a positive thing, as something that means you are making progress with your eating disorder. However, all you can think of is how they did not comment on how thin or skinny you look. That word, “healthy,” means that you are not the weight that you want to be, the weight that you are killing yourself to be.
How do you shut out the inner voice that tells you healthy is wrong? How do you ignore this critical voice that could trigger you to stop eating or start bingeing and purging? It is so difficult to channel a healthy inner voice instead of the overbearing critical voice. Focusing on your own inner voice will be instrumental in getting better and accepting your body. Changing your thoughts is just one part of the process that can help change the critical voice to a healthy, encouraging voice.
Being able to identify, differentiate between healthy and critical and strengthen the health voice will be crucial steps that one must take in this process. Gail Hall discusses these in great detail in her writing. For further information feel free to read, “Winning the War Within: Dealing with Negative Self-Talk” by Gail Hall, LMSW, DCSW.