Recovery from your eating disorder in the New Year

Written By


Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

Choose Freedom 819X1024 819X675 1 | Recovery From Your Eating Disorder In The New Year



New Year’s is sort of anti-climactic.


Wouldn’t you agree?


Each and every year, on December 31st, we gather together to watch a clock tick down 3…2…1…for the strike of midnight, when we launch into the NEW YEAR and…nothing much more happens (maybe a kiss).


So here we are—2016.


And while nothing necessarily earth-shaking or life-changing happened at 12:00 a.m. on January 1st, 2016, the real life-changing experiences can happen NOW.


Like little kids waiting on Christmas to arrive, we adults have been waiting for these days to arrive—post-holiday—when we vowed “everything will start anew in the new year.”




We can finally put the craziness and stress of the holidays, followed by our apathetic and laid-back attitudes during the ‘vacation’ week following Christmas (seriously, was anyone productive last week?), and gain some mental clarity and gusto for the NEW YEAR amongst us:


  • A new commitment to following a new plan
  • Buying all the books we can on eating clean
  • Following a new workout routine
  • Investing a little bit of money in a new program or health professional
  • Organizing our chaotic planners
  • Purging our closets of clothes weighing them down (liberation!) and vowing to be a ‘minimalist’
  • Declaring determination to lose or gain some healthy weight; take our health ‘more seriously’; stick to a plan; or reach some lingering goal we’ve had for some time…


And, as you well know, many of us start off STRONG (the first couple weeks—maybe even make it a month) of what I like to call the “honeymoon phase” of our goals —but, in the back of our minds, we are ALREADY preparing to fail (sometime) in the near future (70% of people drop off the resolution and goal bandwagon)…knowing, all too well, we soon will be right back at square one.


Old habits die hard.


I say this because I, too, can only relate on many fronts.


One goal, in particular, that comes mind was my goal for “recovery” for a countless number of years.


Every New Year, I found myself promising that this year would be my year to “get over it,” to “do better” and “to do things differently”, only to find myself completely overwhelmed by what those lucrative words meant.


Every New Year, I’d retreat to some quiet space (my bedroom or coffee shop), whip out a planner, journal and pen, and write down my ‘plans’ for success—promising myself ‘if only’ I could eat XYZ every day, and workout this much, and keep accountability in these areas, then recovery would seamlessly fall into place.


I spent hours creating sample meal templates for myself to follow, workout routines to incorporate and planning out my daily schedule (therapy here, friend time there, meal-prep time over there)…only to find myself feeling suffocated by mounting papers and plans scripting my each and every move in order to “stay on the road” to recovery.



Putting those plans into action is a whole other story in and of itself.


Like the ‘resolutioners’ trickling into the gym now (after being on a hiatus the past 9 or 10 months), or Whole30 or Juice Cleanse 30-day challengers, putting a tighter reign on their food choices, I’d start off strong…


But each and every day was a grind—like pulling teeth—to try to keep ‘focused’ on my goals, to ‘try harder’, to ‘not give up’, to ‘keep pushing.


And, eventually…


I’d fail.


I’d resolve, “Well, life wasn’t that bad doing what I was doing.”


Or, I’d get tired of overthinking and stressing about trying to change my habits of wanting to just eat chicken, broccoli and Crystal Light for every meal.


Or, I’d just want to workout a lot and go back to my old 6-7 hour routine.


And so I would…


The goals I had determinedly set for myself on January 1 were pushed to the wayside with an attitude of apathy [meh (shoulder shrug)]—only to become next year’s goals after I was REALLY sick and tired of being stuck in my eating disorder’s perpetuating cycle once more.




The beat went on…for YEARS.


(It exhausts me to even think about it now).


So the question to YOU is what do YOU want this year?


Rather, what do YOU really want in your life right now?


Be it recovery from an eating disorder, or some other dangling carrot “goal” you’ve had for quite some time now (improving your health, body composition changes, gaining strength, pursuing a new career, getting into an educational program, etc.)—what is that thing (or two) on your mind (most days) that you believe:


If only I could _____, then I’d feel _____ (more amazing, healthier, stronger, happier, etc.).


While it is important to note that the grass IS often greener on the other side, in your heart of hearts, you know what areas of your life are holding you back from fully THRIVING.


The good news?




The “secret sauce” to achieving or seeing that change come to fruition?




It is NOT found in setting goals, or ‘trying harder’, or making plans and schedules for yourself, or Tony Robbins’ 1-weekend seminars, or Passion Planners.


(Even though all these things can be GREAT THINGS)


The “secret sauce” really comes down to ASSERTING and AFFIRMING what it is you WANT, and daily living a life of INTENTION in seeing that ‘want’ unfold.


Intention is defined as “an aim.”


Like a game of darts, you keep your eyes FOCUSED on the target DAILY.


Instead of getting caught up in the overwhelming ‘to-dos’, ‘must-dos’ and ‘action steps’ accompanied with goal setting; you instead keep your eyes focused on what it is you really WANT in your life right now, and daily embody that person living out that want today.


In other words: See yourself as already having achieved that lucrative thing (lie recovery) and embody the decisions, actions and thoughts that ‘future’, dream you would make if you were ‘already there.’


For those in recovery…want to make the process seem less daunting?


Ask yourself:


What would healthy recovered me do?


(in each and every situation: from your social life, to the foods you choose or don’t choose, the ‘behaviors’ you act upon or don’t act upon), and simply CHOOSE to be that healthy, recovered you TODAY.


The term ‘goals’ is way over-used, don’t you think?


So much so that we are jaded by what it even really means nowadays.


Live out of intention today—and tomorrow, and the next day…then the next…


Stay present, while keeping those mind aware and eyes focused on your one thing…and embody that ‘future’ you today.


Be Present

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