Stem4

4 steps to change

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Accept it
  • Accept you might have an eating disorder.
  • Well done, you have achieved the first and for some people the hardest step.
Action it

Ways to help support yourself

  • Stop trying to diet – eat a healthy meal without feeling the need to calorie count.
  • Eat regularly – aim to have 3 full meals a day.
  • Exercise in moderation – exercise a few times a week to help calm you down, but don’t overdo it.
  • Stop taking laxatives and diuretics straight away – these are bad for your body and are only making it harder for you to kick your eating problems.
  • Don’t make yourself be sick – don’t give yourself the option of throwing up after meals, it only gives you an excuse to binge.
  • Improve your self- esteem- every day set yourself a target of thinking about one aspect of yourself you are happy with (see image for examples). Or do one thing a day that makes you happy.

Seeking support from someone else

  • Tell someone you trust – tell them your concerns and ask them to work with you to get help.
  • See your G.P. – try to be honest about your concerns. Don’t worry, they will just check your general health including blood pressure, maybe some blood tests and measure your Body Mass Index (BMI). If they feel a bit concerned they may also refer you on to more specialist professionals such as psychiatrists, psychologists, counsellors etc.
  • Contact BEAT – the National Eating Disorders Association. They have a useful website with links to Helpfinder for local help and Youthline  0845 6347 650. See also our section on links.
  • Ask your school – they may be able help, for example with a school nurse or a school counsellor who can offer more leads.
Maintain it
  • Challenge your weight management behaviours – learn the benefits of a regular healthy food routine.
  • Get to the core of what causes you to over focus on your weight and shape – everyone has problems but sometimes these may help maintain our bad eating habits, so identifying them may prove useful.
  • Try to start understanding yourself – knowing what causes you to feel bad about yourself may enable you to prevent things in the future.
  • Work on building your self-esteem.
  • Practice maintaining good health
  • Remind yourself you’re not alone there are people who want to help you.
Get back on track when you relapse

Some people may relapse. This is when you stop your eating problems for a period of time and then for whatever reasons go back to them. Try and stay strong and avoid this, but if it happens:

  • Don’t give up – changing behaviour isn’t easy, and it may help you to learn from your mistakes.
  • Get back on track – you will gradually feel stronger.
  • Seek help – not everyone can fight eating problems on their own, and that is nothing to be ashamed of.