I think that mental and/or written exercises can be extremely helpful in breaking through barriers.
And as much as disordered eating is physical thing, it is even more a mental thing.
If you find yourself very attached the the idea of being _______________ “perfect”, “thin”, “skinny”, “beautiful”, “healthy”, “powerful”, “glowing”, etc. If giving over to normal eating is too hard because you feel like in the process you are losing control of whatever word you insert above, this exercise is GREAT:
Take your word from above, whatever the thing is that you are petrified to lose or lose control over, that thing that you ACHE for. The thing that you feel would make everything RIGHT if you could just have it. Then ask yourself, Why do I want to be ________________. Imagine your life that way. Imagine how you would look, how you would dress, what you would do, how you would feel, how you would BE. Imagine it in great detail and write down at least 10 specific ways YOU would feel different.
Take your time with this, and don’t edit. There are no right or wrong or petty answers. Some may be brilliant and insightful and some may be silly. Write as much as you want. Fantasize. Imagine. Have fun.
When you have your list, look at it and go over the items. These are the things that you really want, more than the word in your fill in the blank.
Then decide if any of those things you can go for now and be now, without worrying about getting to that ached for perfection first.
Then make a list of the ways you could make those feelings and new ways you would be happen now: today, tomorrow.
What we really want is to be vibrant and awesome and authentic and happy. We want great friends, we want to laugh, we want to speak our truths, we want to give our gifts, we want to be heard and special and alive. Being pretty or skinny or buff or “in perfect health” or “powerful” are all just things we imagine will get us what we want: happiness. But I swear to baby jesus and abraham and a rubber urban outfitters statue of buddha: it will not.
You can “become gorgeous” and be more miserable than ever. In fact, that happens more often than not, because what you were going after doesn’t come with anything real except more self-criticism. Perfectionism has no stopping point.
Find ways to BE the way you said you would be when you were ___________________ NOW. Do it NOW. Make plans for tomorrow to do all the things you say you’ll do once you become _____________________. I promise you that is the only way to really live.