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Most of my clients with dysregulated eating weren’t raised with a set of effective life skills that support eating disorder recovery. Worse, when they falter on the way to achieving their goals, they behave in exactly the wrong ways to help them assess why, correct course, and move forward. If you weren’t taught how to pursue goals, yet want to become a “normal” eater, you’ll need to change how you think about success.
Here are some examples from my practice over the decades of the ways that parents fail to model and teach children how to successfully reach their goals. Parents:
Eating disorder recovery requires the following abilities and traits: frustration tolerance, delaying gratification, curiosity, persistence, patience, self-compassion, understanding the change process, being your best cheerleader, perseverance, asking for help when necessary, learning from but not focusing on mistakes, stick-to-it-iveness and stoking self-empowerment. You will never recover if you’re hard on yourself and employ negative self-talk. Instead, you’ll want to screen every thought you have and every word you say to yourself and others about your progress. You’ll want to be optimistic that with time and effort you will reach your goal and refuse to entertain thoughts of failure, though you may have relapses and make mistakes that make success seem far away.
If you didn’t learn success skills growing up, now is the time to read books, listen to podcasts, and watch TED talks about them. Or find a therapist to help you.
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