Three Pointers for Pushing Back Perfectionism in Eating Disorder Recovery

Three Pointers for Pushing Back Perfectionism in Eating Disorder Recovery

Feel like you aren’t good enough? Always comparing yourself to others? Constantly cataloguing your faults and feeling like a failure? It sounds like you are struggling with perfectionism. It can be so challenging to fall into the “compare and despair” pit when you are in San Diego and there is such an emphasis on perfect looks and perfect achievement, materialistically or otherwise. Even elsewhere in the U.S. and around the world, perfectionism is a trait that can be common in people suffering from eating disorders.

As most eating disorder researchers and experts will say, eating disorders are brain disorders. When compared to brains of people without eating disorders, people with eating disorders have areas of their brains that don’t function as efficiently or effectively. What that means is that if you have an eating disorder, it’s not your fault. It’s not about willpower or about sucking it up to “just eat” or “just stop eating.” It’s about needing to get help to change how your brain works. Struggling with perfectionism AND an eating disorder can lead to (a) feeling like you have to be perfect, so you engage in eating disorder behaviors to try to be perfect, or (b) feeling disappointed or ashamed that you’re not perfect, so you you engage in eating disorder behaviors to counteract these emotions. Either way, perfectionism can be a challenge to recovery.

Read More

Six Ways to Stare Down Shame in Eating Disorder Recovery

Six Ways to Stare Down Shame in Eating Disorder Recovery

Feel like shame sometimes hijacks your brain and leaves you wounded and broken, laying bleeding on the sidewalk? You’re not alone. Most people grapple with shame in eating disorder recovery. Whether it’s shame about your body, shame about your eating disorder behaviors, shame about your thoughts, or even deep, dark shame that you even exist—shame can be so pervasive and paralyzing. It can be especially hard in San Diego, where the “beautiful life” exists all around you and you feel even more shame because you feel as though you’re not a part of it. Whether you live in San Diego or elsewhere, I want to let you know that it IS possible to overcome shame in your eating disorder recovery. I’ve outlined six strategies to stare down shame, borrowing some from Dr. Brené Brown, who is a shame, courage, and vulnerability researcher.

Read More