Travelling while in recovery from an eating disorder can be exceptionally difficult. Being exposed to new foods, eating more calories, and having less control over your diet can be a serious challenge. Spending time at the beach or pool can also make people with an eating disorder more anxious and body-conscious. Sadly, it is not uncommon for people recovering from an eating disorder to relapse while on holiday. It is natural to feel nervous about travelling with an eating disorder, but there are lots of steps you can take to prepare for the trip. On that note, here are four tips for travelling with an eating disorder.
1. Confide in a travel partner
If you are travelling as a group, you shouldn’t be afraid to reach out and ask for support. There is no need to tell everyone that you are going away that you have an eating disorder. However, it’s a good idea to confide in a trusted person and make them aware of your concerns about the upcoming trip. This person can offer you valuable support while you’re away and keep you accountable. Try to be as honest as possible and make the person aware of possible signs of your eating disorder while travelling. For example, you may tell everyone that you feel full to avoid eating unhealthy holiday treats like ice cream. Give this person tips on how to help you overcome your food anxieties.
2. Avoid all-inclusive resorts
All-inclusive resorts are popular with holidaymakers, but they can be a nightmare for someone with an eating disorder. Experts at seedeatingdisorders.co.uk explain how: “Fixed mealtimes and eating in front of others may be difficult and being faced with huge choices of food can be overwhelming.” For that reason, it is usually best to choose self-catering accommodation. That way, you will feel more in control of your eating patterns and food choices. Plus, you will have more flexibility over when you eat and can prepare meals yourself using groceries from a local supermarket. Research nearby food choices and menus before you travel and find restaurants where you will feel comfortable eating.
3. Seek specialist treatment
Recovering from an eating disorder is a long and difficult journey. In most cases, people are unable to overcome an eating disorder without professional treatment. If you are planning a trip abroad, then it may be a good idea to seek specialist advice before you travel. There are many different places where you turn for support with an eating disorder. For instance, Eden Treatment offers tailored eating disorder treatment plans for conditions like bulimia, anorexia, and binge eating disorders. An eating disorder specialist can give you expert advice on how to stay healthy and avoid relapse while travelling.
4. Don’t let an eating disorder ruin your trip!
Finally, try not to let your eating disorder ruin your travel experience or stop you from having fun. Travelling with an eating disorder is difficult, but you should focus on enjoying your trip to the fullest and making great memories.