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Self Help

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By Angie Best-Boss, Contributing Writer

It may sound trite, but the biggest barrier to recovering from an eating disorder is usually the person with the eating disorder. If he or she is not ready to make a change to be healthy, then there is very little that can be done. Once he or she has decided to make a change, then there are many steps a person can take to begin the road to recovery.

Research has proved that self help books can be enormously effective. Gurze Books produces an annual Eating Disorders Resource Catalogue is the most widely-used publication in the eating disorders field. With more than 200 carefully selected eating disorder resources including books, DVDs, newsletters, free articles, facts about eating disorders, and a thorough list of treatment facilities. You can order online, or ask your library to order them through inter-library loan.

People with eating disorders often feel isolated. One of the most important things you can do help yourself, is to reach out and get support. Most colleges have health centers with professionals trained to provide resources and information. Reach out to family and friends who will be supportive of your journey. Some online communities may be helpful, but only those who are supportive of recovery, and not pro-anorexia (pro-ANA) sites.

Begin to be in touch with the feelings and thoughts around the binges. Begin to understand your underlying emotional issues. Ask yourself what is it that you really want instead of food - is it a response to the worry of work? Do you really want a hug, a chat with a friend?

What may be one of the hardest things to do – sounds simple: accept the way you are. Your eating disorder has enabled you to cope with difficult circumstances. See if you can come up with other coping strategies which are less harmful.