Recovery is Possible!

Amplifying Change: Challenging Eating Disorder Thoughts

Feeling stuck happens when your “mind megaphone” tells you one thing while you do another. You try to do things differently, but end up back in the same place. It can be so helpful to understand a certain chain reaction that occurs within us as humans, especially if you’re someone trying to tackle eating disorder thoughts:


Thoughts > Emotions > Urge > Action


You see, doing something differently addresses the tail end of the chain, for it is an “action.” Yes, it may help you temporarily, but perhaps not long-term. If you start at the front of the chain, you make real lasting changes – a meaningful shift! This means being aware of your thoughts, becoming curious about why you have specific eating disorder thoughts, not believing every single one as truth or your identity, and challenging them.

Let me give you an example of how this can play out with FOOD and BODY.

Start with: Thoughts

  • I am fat
  • I am ugly
  • I need to lose weight to have the life I want
  • Others are way more attractive and happier than me
  • I never stick to diets and am a failure
  • I “should” not eat ____

Creates: Emotions

  • Frustration
  • Disappointment
  • Anger
  • Sadness
  • Hopelessness
  • Unworthiness

Leads to: Urge

  • Self-soothe
  • Numb out
  • Control feelings
  • Lash out
  • Isolate

Results in: Actions

  • Overeat
  • Binge eat
  • Restrict
  • Purge
  • Excessive exercise
  • Abuse of a substance


What happens so many times is we try to change just the actions, instead of targeting the root of eating disorder thoughts. We are hyper-focused on the result. We see that actions are the real problem. When in actuality, actions respond to the start of the chain – thoughts and then emotions. So, think about how you talk to yourself. Why do you tell yourself these things? Do they help you in any way? How can you change the narrative of your mind?

One powerful way is to simply ask yourself what positive advice would you give someone you love, if they told you, they have those very thoughts about themselves. Now, practice being aware of your critical thinking, which is likely on repeat auto-pilot, and provide yourself the same advice. This creates new thoughts.


Transforming your eating disorder thoughts could look like this:


  • I would like to take better care of myself.
  • I am not where I want to be, but I am progressing.
  • It is hard to love my body right now, but I appreciate all she allows me to do.
  • I will listen to what will make my body feel her best today.
  • So what if someone “looks” better than me.
  • I can always find someone better at something. How can I shine in my way today?
  • God created me to be unique and special.


The more you practice this, the easier it will become. Your megaphone will change its tune. Then it becomes so much easier to change the rest of your chain!

Try it…prove me wrong! =)


With Love & Light,

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