Adolescent Eating Disorder Treatment
Not to stay stuck on a Lindsay Lohan kick, but experts are reporting that Lohan has reached a dangerous weight, dipping below 100 pounds and entering a hazardous Body Mass Index (BMI) of 16. A healthy BMI for Lindsay would be 18-25. It makes me think of how vigilant I have to be in order to keep my own weight at a healthy level. Eating disorders have an insidious way of creeping up on you without immediate notice. A while back, I had to recommit myself to my own eating disorder recovery as I had slowly begun to eat less and was becoming less aware of making healthy food choices. In Adolescent treatment, where I dealt with not only my substance abuse, but also my eating disorder, I learned how to make healthy food choices and to see the warning signs of when I begin to slip back into old habits. I don’t consciously go back to my old ways, but under emotional and physical stress, I lose my appetite. It wasn’t long before I recognized that I was slipping into unhealthy eating patterns and that “losing my appetite” was no excuse for not eating dinner .
In treatment I learned to pay special attention to the stresses that trigger my eating disordered behavior, and when I’m under stress now, I make an extra effort to eat when and what I’m supposed to, and I check in with my support group. Sometimes I make goals for the week and let someone in my support system know what they are and check in with them on my progress. Recovery from my eating disorder is not as black and white as not using drugs. It is a very strange process…you have to eat to live! As I stay clean and continue to use the tools I first learned in treatment, like writing and using my support system, the process gets easier. I used to feel badly that I still struggled with my eating disordered feelings and reactions, but I have realized today that it is a process, and my continued vigilance and effort in that area is great. I feel good about the enormous amount of progress I have made, and positive about the work I will continue to do. In treatment, I learned not to give up on myself just because there is a bump in the road. I have come a long way and I look forward to the road ahead.