While in eating disorder recovery, it is often helpful to obtain a meal plan. Some with eating disorders suffer serious health consequences that sometimes even become life threatening. Meal plans can help to restore their health, and in some cases, even play a part in saving their lives. Even so, some eating disorder sufferers resist obtaining them. If you feel hesitant yourself, please know that obtaining a meal plan can help you get back in control. Also, please know that a meal plan can be made to fit you as an individual.
If you are afraid to obtain a meal plan because you don’t want to give up control over what you eat, please understand that a meal plan actually gives you back the control instead of taking it away. Why do we call it being in control when we are so afraid to eat that we deny ourselves of needed nourishment or make ourselves sick? Why do we call it being in control when fear of gaining needed weight prevents us from making healthy choices? A meal plan represents a healthy choice, a choice that you can make instead of allowing fear to make your choices for you.
It may seem like seeing a dietitian to obtain a meal plan puts the dietitian in control, but that isn’t the case, either. A dietitian or nutritionist is there to educate, give direction, and in some cases, also provide a listening ear, encouragement and support. So if you are afraid to obtain a meal plan because you don’t want someone else telling you what you can and cannot eat, please realize that it doesn’t have to be that way. A dietitian or nutritionist can tailor a meal plan that will fit you while still giving you the nourishment that you need.
Meal plans do not have to be set up with specific foods. They can be that way, and you might even find it helpful to have a meal plan structured in that fashion, but it does not have to be like that. A meal plan can be a basic guideline of how many servings of which food group to eat each day, leaving the specific food choices up to you. Whether the goal is to gain weight or to lose weight, a meal plan can help you to balance your food intake and help you to give your body the nourishment it needs.
You can make obtaining a meal plan a matter of prayer. It’s okay to ask God to lead you to the right dietitian or nutritionist. He understands any misgivings you may have, what your body needs and what will work for you. Why not let Him be involved in your eating disorder recovery in this way?
You can take back some control by making healthy choices. Obtaining a meal plan can help you to do just that. Although meal plans may work better for some people than for others, they are often very helpful. Also, if what you’re doing isn’t working, what does it hurt to try? You might be surprised at how much it helps you in your recovery. And if you make this a matter of prayer, not only can you gain some guidance, but this is also a way to invite God further into your recovery.