Anyone can develop an eating disorder, no matter their age or lifestyle. If you’re an active adult with an eating disorder, you might be wondering how you can still stay active and participate in the sports and activities you love while also recovering from your illness. Here’s a plan for how you can do just that.
Step One: Talk to Your Doctor
The first step in any recovery plan is to talk to your doctor. They can help you diagnose your condition and educate you about the different treatment options available.
If you’re an active adult, be sure to let your doctor know about your lifestyle and how important it is to you to stay active. You can also assess the risks of different treatment options with them to see if there are any that might not be compatible with an active lifestyle.
Regardless of what treatment plan you eventually choose, your doctor will be a crucial part of your support system and can help you navigate your eating disorder and recovery.
Step Two: Choose a Treatment Program
There are a variety of different treatment programs available for eating disorders, so it’s essential to choose one that will be a good fit for you. If you’re an active adult, you might want to look into outpatient treatment programs that will allow you to still participate in your regular activities while receiving treatment.
Inpatient treatment programs can also be an option, but it’s important to make sure that the program you choose has experience treating active adults and understands the unique challenges you might face. For example, there are binge eating disorder treatment options that you can consider if you have that particular condition.
Regardless of what type of program you choose, be sure to ask about their success rates and what kind of support they offer after treatment. This is important because treatment for an eating disorder is often not a one-time event but rather something you might need to continue working on throughout your life.
Step Three: Find a Supportive Community
It can be helpful to find others who are going through similar experiences. There are many online communities for people with eating disorders and in-person support groups. These can be great places to share your experiences and find advice and support from others who know what you’re going through.
For example, the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) has various resources available, including a helpline you can call for support. There are also many online forums where you can connect with others who are going through similar experiences.
If you’re an active adult, you might also want to look for support groups or communities specifically for active adults with eating disorders. These can be great places to find others who understand your unique challenges and can offer advice and support.
Step Four: Develop a Healthy Relationship with Exercise
For many people with eating disorders, exercise becomes compulsive and excessive. It’s important to find a balance between staying active and healthy and allowing your body the rest it needs to recover. Talk to your doctor or therapist about what kind of exercise is right for you during recovery.
They can help you develop an appropriate workout plan that won’t trigger your disordered eating habits. It’s also important to find an exercise routine that you enjoy that isn’t too strenuous. This can help you stay motivated to stick with it.
You might also want to consider joining a sports team or participating in other activities that are enjoyable and social. This can help you stay active while also providing a supportive community.
Step Five: Prioritize Nutrition
Nutrition is an integral part of any recovery plan, but it can be especially difficult for active adults with eating disorders. You need to make sure you’re getting enough calories and nutrients to fuel your body, but you also might be avoiding certain foods due to your disorder.
Work with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) to develop a nutrition plan that meets your needs. They can help you figure out how to get the nutrients your body needs without triggering disordered eating behaviors.
They can also help you develop a healthy relationship with food and learn to listen to your body’s hunger cues. This is an important part of recovery because it can help you avoid relapsing into unhealthy eating habits.
Recovering from an eating disorder is possible for anyone, even those who lead active lifestyles. If you’re an active adult with an eating disorder, talk to your doctor about developing a recovery plan that works for you. Find community and support, learn how to create a healthy relationship with exercise, and prioritize nutrition to live a happy and healthy life in recovery!