Eating disorder recovery is a challenging process for everyone, emotionally, physically and mentally. There will be relapses and will be times where you feel like you are a failure however learning to set good intentions followed by positive affirmations is a positive coping strategy that can help any individual overcome the patterns of negative thinking associated with eating disorders. Intentions and affirmations are commonly used in meditation classes and yoga and have been known to calm the mind and increase self-awareness and self-esteem. Whenever you begin to fixate on the curves of your stomach, cellulite of your arms, creases of your skin and other perceived “flaws” that need to be tucked, tightened or toned, remember that you are not just a physical being. Instead, you’re a sum of the experiences, character traits, relationships and idiosyncrasies that make you different from anyone else. A body is something you have—it can never define who you are. An intention is a mental state that represents a commitment to carrying out a future action. Intention involves mental activities such as planning and forethought. An affirmation is a declaration that something is true. For an affirmation to be effective, it needs to be present tense, positive, personal and specific. Many individuals will set their intentions for the day or will have an intention before starting a certain project or even a workout such as yoga. Affirmations can be said throughout the day or throughout an activity. For example, before you begin an eating disorder support group, it may be helpful to set your intention. What do you want to learn and gain from this support group? Positive affirmation can be said throughout each support group meeting or each therapy session while in eating disorder recovery.
Intention: To love your body regardless of your size or weight
Affirmation: My happiness does not depend on my weight or size, but on who I am and what I do.
Intention: To practice self-care
Affirmation: Today I will abandon my destructive behaviors and start using behaviors that are good for me.
Intention: To seek inner strength
Affirmation: I am a survivor and I am a warrior. I don’t need my eating disorder to be good enough.
Intention: To be brave
Affirmation: I am courageous and from today I will stand up for myself.
Intention: To start a healthy beginning
Affirmation: My life is just beginning, not ending.
Intention: Accepting your past but making a better future
Affirmation: I will not define myself by my past.
Intention: To be more confident
Affirmation: How I feel about myself has nothing to do with what I eat or don’t eat.
Intention: To enter eating disorder recovery
Affirmation: The process of recovery may be challenging, but it’s worth it and I know it.
Intention: To seek happiness
Affirmation: I deserve to be happy and I deserve to fulfill my dreams.
Intention: To be kind to your body
Affirmation: I deserve to treat my body with respect.
Intention: To practice self-care
Affirmation: I will love and appreciate myself.
Intention: To exercise because it feels good
Affirmation: I don’t need to do excessive exercising to deserve food
Intention: To adopt strength
Affirmation: Everyday I become stronger and healthier.