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1. Books

Reading recovery-related books has helped me immensely in my journey. The books themselves can give you a new perspective on how to go about healing your relationship with food and your body, while the author can serve as a kind of personal therapist against diet culture. 

One of my favorites is Just Eat it by Laura A. Thomas (PhD). She is British author and intuitive eating coach, as well as registered dietician. (Side note: ALWAYS get your information from registered dieticians, not fitness influencers or nutritionists!) This book is full of facts and statistics that support the movement towards intuitive eating, and it also includes journal prompts to get you thinking about new habits to incorporate into your life. 

Next is Nourish by Heidi Schauster, another helpful book that helps you reframe the toxic diet culture mindset that many of us in recovery fall victim to. It’s also a pretty short read, so you can definitely get through it while balancing the homework load of the semester. 

The last book I have to share is 8 Keys to Eating Disorder Recovery by Carolyn Costin and Gwen Schubert Grabb. This is a step-by-step guide on how to overcome your ED, with personal anecdotes from those who have recovered after reading the book. This is a great option if you are a structured, Type A person that likes to take things step-by-step and can easily follow guidelines.

 

2. Aaron’s Magic Putty

This resource is a fun additive to my desk drawer full of random things. I love using it as a fidget because it helps to reduce my anxiety in high stress situations and can ground me in the present moment. A lot of people in my treatment program had their own case of this putty to serve a similar purpose. I constantly use mine in therapy sessions, or even when I need to focus in class! I would also recommend other kinds of fidgets like slime (there are some that smell DELICIOUS from this website), fidget spinners or fidget cubes!

 

3. Body Image Handbook

Another great book to help in recovery is the Body Image Handbook. Unlike the other books I have listed, this one is a guided self-help workbook rather than a passive read. This book actively guides you through the process of building a positive body image. I went through each chapter with my therapist in my weekly sessions and I definitely saw improvement. However, disclaimer; some parts of the process can be intense and lead to a lot of emotions, so just be wary of your boundaries and remember to reach out for support if you plan to work through it on your own. You can purchase the book on Amazon here.

 

4. Instagram accounts

My next recovery resource includes all of my favorite Instagram accounts. I feel that it is absolutely crucial to curate your feed with positive messages that support your recovery goals. I often need to cleanse my social media by unfollowing people who post triggering or harmful content. Unfollowing people, by the way, is totally okay to do. I promise no one will be offended, and if they are, let them know your reasoning behind the unfollow! You are the only one that sees your Instagram feed, and with the amount of time that we all spend on social media, it needs to be a safe and healthy space for you mentally. Many of the accounts I follow are ED therapists or registered dieticians, so you know that you are getting only the good stuff!

 

@jennifer_rollin

@healing_in_parallel

@drcolleenreichmann

@nourishandeat

@I_weigh

@theintuitive_ RD

 

5. Distressed based tolerance exercises

One very helpful tool I learned in therapy is distressed based tolerance (DBT) skills. These skills are used in multiple kinds of therapy to help one manage their reaction to a crisis. Oftentimes when you are in recovery, you can feel overwhelmed with emotions and things that occur as a result of your lifestyle changing. In these scenarios, distress based tolerance skills help to survive the situation without making it worse. 

Some of these skills include distractions; my favorites are going for walks, coloring pictures and making friendship bracelets. Another is self-soothing, or using the five senses to make yourself more comfortable while grounding yourself in the present moment. There are a few other great DBT skills to learn, so check out this book for more information!

 

To put it plain and simple, going through ED recovery is hard. It is challenging, frustrating and exhausting, but most of all, it is the most rewarding thing you could ever do for yourself. If you are someone who struggles with disordered thoughts or finds trouble making peace with food or your body, I encourage you to head to the NEDA website for more information. Remember that you are deserving of a full life, free from diet culture bullsh*t, and most importantly, you are ENOUGH! Even on your worst days. My heart goes out to all of you that are struggling, and if you are looking for a place to start recovery, I hope this article gave you just that. 

 

Ellie is an Assistant Social Media Editor for Her Campus, College Fashionista and Spoon University. An avid coffee drinker and TikTok enthusiast, she is passionate about all things social justice and exploring the city of Chicago.
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