Grit and Growth Mindset for Anorexia Recovery

As a higher education professional for 15 years, I have learned a thing or two about two concepts that are HUGE in the world of student success: grit and growth mindset. I’ve been working hard to develop a workshop for my students on Resilience, Grit, and Growth Mindset and realized, “Oh…I should probably practice what I preach.” Alas, those who can’t do…teach. And there it was: the enemy of the growth mindset – the word “can’t.” A couple of quick definitions so we’re on the same page: Grit – passion and perseverance for long-term goals, a concept by Angela Duckworth;…

The real deal on recovery.

What’s tricky about this blog is that most people who go public consider themselves “recovered” or at least beyond the throes of their eating disorder. In contrast, I am quite deep in it. So my goal with this site is to be authentic and honest about what recovery looks like…without being super negative. So, what does recovery really look like? That. I like to be really good at things or I tend to not keep doing them. I played this game called “futsal” that was a combination of basketball and soccer. I hate basketball and soccer so I don’t know…

These are a few of my favorite things.

In my last post on holistic recovery, I mentioned that I’ve spent some time thinking about my favorite people and why they are my favorites, and that NONE of them are my favorites because of their appearance. To elaborate on this, I did an exercise early in treatment about sources of self-worth and value. If featured in a pie chart, the “normal eater” tends to find their self-worth and value from many sources, such as family, friends, spiritual beliefs, career, hobbies, etc. For a person with an eating disorder, the pie chart has one very large slice that takes up…

Pass Fail.

I had a weekend pass on Sunday for a few hours. The plan was to go home and play with LK and the dogs while JJ took a well-deserved break. I took the freedom of not having another adult around, particularly a support person, to fail big time. I did not eat the AM snack I was supposed to. I took LK and the dogs for a walk around the nearby lake (approximately 3 miles at a decent pace). So, no food and unapproved exercise. Pass fail. One success was that I got to do some chores. This helped me…

Introducing Ana.

I’ve decided to call my eating disorder Ana instead of Ed. For a few reasons: I’m more connected to my eating disorder as a female than male. It’s more specific (Ana for anorexia rather than Ed for eating disorder). Ana is still extremely present in my life, maybe more now than ever, but she has taken on a new form in treatment than pre-treatment. New form, new name. Some of Ana’s rules in treatment that I didn’t have before: I can eat breakfast and AM snack. I cannot finish lunch or dinner. I should only eat half at the most….

I knit now.

One of my roommates, who discharged last Friday and was totally awesome, started teaching me how to knit. As part of my recovery, I have a goal to pick up some new hobbies and interests. It’s a way of getting to know myself again and developing other things I can value about myself than my body. She helped me start knitting a scarf, and I’m proud that I have continued working on it since she left. I plan to have the knitting as a new distraction for the evenings when I watch TV by myself after LK goes to bed…

Meal Mantras.

We discussed meal mantras in a session that we can use to help us get through meals. These were some of my favorites: Full does not equal fat. Food helps me focus. Eat like a child. Choose the functionality path and don’t look back. Identify parts of me that want recovery for myself (not others).