Tips for Buying Clothes and Food
I used to find clothes shopping agonizing, especially in a changing body. It was helpful to shop with understanding friends. They helped to ground me, and remind me that actually, shopping for new outfits can be fun! I would try on clothes facing away from the mirror, and step outside the changing room to look in the mirror, so that I didn’t get trapped in there scrutinizing and criticizing my body. I’d also recommend cutting the sizing tags out of your clothes if its something you fixate on!
Because I struggled with bingeing, I found it helpful to write a list of everything I needed before going to the supermarket, and trying not to deviate too much from that list. I don’t recommend challenging yourself by buying lots of binge food to keep in the house – this can just be a sneaky way for your eating disorder to get access to food! If you are working on incorporating binge foods into your meal plan, do not buy in bulk, and once you are home, divide the food up into single portions. When you serve it to yourself, put it on a plate, instead of eating out of a packet. All these steps will help decrease the likelihood of bingeing.
Also, don’t shop at the supermarket when you’re overly hungry, and set a time limit for yourself so that you don’t spend ages just looking at food. That’s not helpful; it will just increase your obsession with food and mean you don’t have time for thinking about things that are actually important! I can remember how exciting it was to find a new safe food; however, looking back, I can’t believe how tasteless and unappetizing that food was which I tried (unsuccessfully) to convince myself I liked.
As well as writing a shopping list, I found it helpful to have some flexibility in what food I chose. I learned to tune in to the flavours and textures I was attracted to, which in turn helped me to get more in touch with my body. Try not to focus on nutritional information; this won’t help you to recognize your taste preferences and cravings.