The road to eating disorder recovery is not always linear. Navigating how to safely and appropriately interact with food can require guidance and direction. While eating disorders are rarely all about food, the first step towards healing is often with food. During this time, meal support can help you stay on the path to recovery and connect learned skills by applying them in real time.
Ways in which a meal support can support recovery:
Meal supports provide accountability. If we view food as fuel, then the most surface level benefit of a meal support is nourishing the mind and body as well as following through with meal times.
Meal supports provide controlled exposure and in-the-moment support through challenges by processing and reframing thoughts and feelings associated with specific foods, meal time, and related body image beliefs. Knowing that all foods fit in recovery, this is an excellent opportunity to experiment with fear foods in order to increase flexibility in choice.
Meal supports teach how to unlearn and let go of life-limiting thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors that no longer serve you. After living with an eating disorder these thought patterns and rituals that are seemingly normal can become difficult to recognize as deeply rooted in diet culture. A recovery coach or dietician can help in both challenging these behaviors as well as replacing them with compassion.
Meal supports are a social experience. We know that eating disorders can thrive in isolation and eating with a recovery coach can decrease social anxiety around meals. This provides opportunities to engage in meal time in order to strengthen social bonds.
Finally , meal support is a supportive way to cultivate body trust as you learn to tap into your inner wisdom and honor your hunger and fullness in a nurturing way.