A strategy that works?

I've realized that I have not been taking this as seriously as I should. I realized that I continue to cave into my ED and make excuses for myself such as I'll handle this later, or I have this under control. When in reality now is the time to handle it, and I have no control over this at all. I no longer want to be associated with this ED. It makes me and my life miserable, like I have a ball and chain keeping me from being my best. I need to focus and give it a 100% ALL of the time. Slip ups are not acceptable in my book, because if I am trying my hardest, then they won't happen.

I was laying in bed and I thought of something that just might work for me, and I thought I would share. I created a jar and sat it on my desk. For everyday I do not cave into my bulimia (mostly the purging) I will put a penny in the jar. And if I do purge or cave into other symptoms I will empty the jar. I feel that this visual will really help me see my progress, and once I get several pennies in the jar, I won't want to ruin all the hard work.

Yesterday after dinner I had some cookies and icecream, which I wasn't planning on, but I realized maybe my body needed it (since I was going for a 7 mile run later) and I didn't even let myself consider purging as an option. Food is fuel, and it is good for my body. It shouldn't be the enemy.

I am not sure if this jar thing will work, but I am optimistic. I am a very visual person and I feel that this just might be the break I needed. This morning I put my first penny in the jar, and honestly I felt that this was the beginning to something great! :)

what a great idea. it can be used for folks with ed as well as poeple with any type of addiction. thansk for sharing your brilliant idea..have a good day hun

I think that this is a great idea! Having a visual cue to show how hard you're working is really helpful I find! I put little sad sticker faces on the calendar when I have a 'bad' day (ie. indulging the eating disorder) and happy faces when I follow my plan and move closer to recovery. Then at the end of the month, it feels so good to have a bunch of smiles looking back at me! If I have less than 5 'bad' days in the month, I treat myself (give myself a manicure, go get a new book, see a movie, etc...)

I did want to mention that you should also be forgiving with yourself! You said,
"I need to focus and give it a 100% ALL of the time. Slip ups are not acceptable in my book, because if I am trying my hardest, then they won't happen."
But, remember that absolutist thinking like that can be part of the disorder, and work against you. No one is perfect all the time (people without ED's included), and no one is capable of perfection (no matter how hard we try). By demanding perfection you could set yourself up for failure (100% or nothing means that one bad day would negate all your progress?).
Don't forget to give yourself the credit you deserve for how far you've come!! Each day is a struggle, and you should be proud of yourself for EVERY action that you take against your ED, whether or not it's to the extent you first intended.

I have struggled with my ED for over ten years and just this year decided to 'get better'. "Black and white" thinking and the desire to be perfect has been my biggest enemy in overcoming anorexia and bulimia, and I still struggle against those thoughts every day. I just want to ensure that you understand just how amazing it is that you are taking steps to get better (and how strong it shows you are!).

Thank you both for the support! I know slip ups are going to happen, but I feel that before when I had that mindset, if I started to cave into my smyptoms I would tell myself "oh i'm expected to have slip-ups it's okay!" But I feel if I tell myself No! It's not allowed, then maybe I will take it more seriously? If I do have a slip up I will not get discouraged, but I am done making excuses for myself. I want to beat this and I am going to have to give it my all to do it. Today I ate a little too many cookies and ice cream (I didn't eat a big enough breakfast and was starving by lunchtime) but instead of running to the bathroom to purge it all, I told myself no! it's okay and I did my normal workout (for the sake of working out, not burning calories) and then I drank a giant glass of water to replenish what I just sweat out (which normally after a binge I workout just to sweat, then refuse to drink any water since it will just cause me to gain weight).

I can't wait to put another penny in the jar tomorrow! Even though today wasn't completely normal (cookies and icecream...) I felt I dealt with it in a postive and less obsessive way and most importantly I didn't purge! I feel that definetely earns a penny in the jar!

support is the name of the game here hun…at the rate your going you could be rich and in full recovery yeah!!!

Great job! It feels so empowering to resist unhealthy compulsions, and if you do it long enough (or up the ante to silver change, lol), you can buy yourself a congratulatory treat when it's full!

Taking this seriously is going to be your strongest weapon! Recovery does take dedication and commitment, but it will be more than worth it in the end! :)

That is what I was thinking! Maybe making little tick marks on the side of the can and once I reach the mark maybe rewarding myself with a nice treat, like a massage or a pedicure :)

I will be putting another penny in the jar tomorrow morning :)

I love your idea! A reward to yourself when you don't let ED win. I want to try this too. Hope you are in a good place today with things.

S.

I can honestly say that I feel this idea is working :)

I now I FOUR pennies in the jar, and I told my mom and boyfriend about it and they think it's a great idea. Now since they know it's even more of a motivation to keep trying to fill it, day by day, penny by penny. Once agian yesterday I had an urge to purge and all I could think about was how I'd have to start over with the pennies and thankfully I didn't purge :)

I am thinking though that I am going to change it to marbles, pennies are just so small and it is a little depressing that four pennies doesn't even cover the bottom lol