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  • Kelly Neilson, MDA, RD, LD

4 ways to use technology in your eating disorder recovery

In many ways, technology can be detrimental to eating disorder recovery; from websites that encourage eating disorders to toxic social media accounts—not to mention diet culture constantly bombarding us with messages in the media about losing weight, getting fit, and changing our bodies. What a time to be alive.

Instead of focusing on ALL the negative, I want to talk about all of the POSITIVE things technology can do for you on your road to eating disorder recovery.

1) First and foremost, you can choose to use social media to inspire you and lift you up instead of drag you down. Unfollow any accounts that post before and after weight loss photos, promote dieting, or have any triggering content. Choose to follow accounts that are PRO-recovery and have the perspective of positive body image. Don’t forget to follow @nutritionforhope by Yours Truly on Instagram or @bringingyouhope on Facebook! The main key—if an account leaves you feeling WORSE about yourself, time to unfollow!

2) We live in 2019 and have the luxury of videoconferencing! Nearly 30 million Americans have eating disorders, but only 1 in 10 get the treatment they need. My practice is exclusively for videoconferencing because I want to be able to reach as many people as I can, especially people who do not have access to an intuitive eating dietitian in their area. Even my local clients meet with me via telehealth because—it’s just easier! The best thing about telehealth: Convenience! We’re ALL busy with school, work, family responsibilities, and church and community involvement. Meeting with me from your computer at home, or through the app on your phone at work or parked in your car, makes life so much simpler when you take the commute out of our meeting time.

3) Forget the traditional tracking apps—use a photo food journal to show your dietitian. Different from tracking food by calories or macronutrients, a photo food journal showcases portion size and allows you to reflect and leave comments. It allows you to focus LESS on the food, and more on your BEHAVIORS around food. Photo food logging is more of a mindful option that allows for a neutral relationship with food. Another added bonus: you can record your hunger and fullness levels right on the photo food journal.

4) Messaging. Messaging. Messaging. When you sign up to work with me, you have 24-hour access to unlimited messaging with me on the Healthie app or website. YES! You can ask me any question you have at any time. This is such a great resource because this is how I can “be in your back pocket” (#notcreepy) when you need some extra help or support.

There are positives and negatives all around us. You can choose to allow the negative influences of technology overtake you, or you can choose to rise above and seek the positives of technology in eating disorder recovery. Rise above!

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