Recovery Reality Pictures (Instagram)

In my new workbook, I talk about the concept of your recovery reality: what your real, authentic life is like after recovery. This is not necessarily what you may have envisioned when you pictured yourself as a recovered person.  There will certainly be major positive benefits of recovery, but you won’t suddenly–or ever–be perfect.

Some people I’ve talked to have the idea that their recovery eating should be perfect (ie: organic, gluten-free, grass-fed, balanced portions, no sugar, no bread). Eating healthy is a wonderful goal, but this idea can often hold people back from letting go of binge eating. They think thoughts like, “I’ll stop binge eating when I can eat completely gluten-free, or after I detox.”  For these people, I believe it’s helpful to have examples of real recovered women and men who are eating normally and living authentic lives, but could never create a paleo or vegan recipe blog.

To this end, I had an idea. I decided that I’d use my new Instagram account to post pictures of my recovery reality–and primarily of my not-always-ideal eating.  Many of you know I’m an extremely busy mom, and I’m not always the best at maintaining my blog or website; but this idea is something I think I can act upon frequently.

In no way do I think people should copy my eating habits. I only want to give one visible example of what it’s like to be recovered and living and eating imperfectly. If looking at pictures of food bothers you, then don’t follow me; but if you are someone who struggles with black and white thinking (ie: “I need to eat perfectly, or I might as well binge“), you might find it helpful.

My Instagram username is brain_over_binge (Kathryn Hansen)


*UPDATE 4/9/15:  I posted some of my meals/snacks for a while, but then ended up feeling like it was a better idea in theory than in reality. While I still think that visual examples of meals are very useful when trying to determine portion sizes, I decided that showing binge eaters pictures of the junk food I was eating didn’t feel right. We are all bombarded with pictures of junk food all of the time, and I decided not to be another source of that for recovering binge eaters, even if my goal was to help by showing that recovery doesn’t mean perfect eating. Without the pictures of junk food, my Instagram account would have turned into another just another “healthy eating” blog, so I decided to stop posting my meals/snacks altogether. I will still post inspirational things from time to time, and maybe a very general food picture from time to time.  I will keep my pictures up because I think I gave a good snapshot of my eating.  




7 thoughts on “Recovery Reality Pictures (Instagram)

  1. It’s an interesting idea, showing a recovered diet. I am getting better, but I still struggle with perfectionism in my eating. Part of it comes from having Hashimotos, IBS, and food intolerances. When I eat properly I feel pretty amazing. When I don’t my body suffers (inflammation, bloating, constipation or diarrhea). It’s very frustrating. Sometimes I look at my diet when I am feeling great and notice how clean it is then I freak out, feel like its a diet, and binge. I think it makes me feel restricted even though I am eating what makes me feel good. I know bingeing is my choice too. I’m getting better at resisting the urges.

    I am not sure if I will follow your food Instagram. I’m not sure if it would be triggering or not. I also know it should not matter I need to resist the binge urges even if they should arise. I do like the idea of what you are doing. Thanks for all your help. I appreciate all the new posts. It keeps me alert to resisting the urge. I tend to become too relaxed at about the two month point. So lately bingeing has been about every two months for me which is still an improvement over every other day. I really want to rid myself of them completely. I need to think about that in the moment. 🙂 Thanks again!

  2. Hi Kathryn, you are such an inspiration, thank you so so much.
    I read your book and now getting more support regularly by following your blog.
    I opened an Instagram account to follow you and I feel I want to do the same. Your words really resonate with me, in general and on this particular topic.
    I keep a diary where I record what I eat and it’s such a victory when I write ‘cookies’ and I don’t consider it bad or label it ‘a binge’ even when it was clearly a lot of them. I love that I can see them as a normal, if not ideal, thing to eat.

    Actually I have no time to start posting pictures right now but I still feel compelled to, at least, set an account. (And this is a good thing too because it goes against my perfectionist side that wants me to have everything absolutely ready, perfect, to start anything – as a result I usually freeze and do nothing, of course)
    Today I even reopened an old blog I’d started….. ouch, 6 years ago. Wrote 2 posts. Gave up. I feel stronger today. I still have a long way to go but I when I read what I’d written then I can see things have evolved.

    So I’m planning to start this new (to me ! – haha I don’t even have a Facebook, that’s how late I am) Instagram thing and my blog again. There’s a million things I want to say. It’s frustrating I can’t do it all at once. But that’s how it is.
    Thank you again so much.
    Good luck to everyone who is reading those words.

  3. Hi!

    I love this idea! I would love to see the pictures, but I don’t have an account on instagram. Would you consider unlocking your account so that people like me could see the pictures anyway?

    Thank you so much! <3

  4. Great idea. I believe it would be really helpful as so many people suffering from EDs have no idea how normal imperfect eating looks.
    And something a little offtopic – my animal brain quoted Oscar Wilde to convince me to binge. I laughed a lot / really, I did, thank God there was no one else around or they would have questioned my mental health 😀 / but I was impressed. Well played, animal brain, well played. Didn’t work though….

  5. Loved what Allie said about the Oscar Wilde excuse. Sounds like something my animal brain would suggest. It’s been 2 weeks since I read your book and had that “aha” moment. Day before I had just come home from 1st session of another therapy and was probably the most depressed I’d ever been. Next day, I picked up your book, thankfully. Funny thing is that I have a dual diagnosis, with alcohol being my other stronghold. Works for both! Never read Rational Recovery, but now it’s on my list.
    Thank you so much Kathryn!

  6. I absolutely believe you have solved the issued of bulimia and binge eating….I am a superfan of your book! I also found your post on “my diet…Paleo-fudge” to be a great example of structured, flexible, normal eating…. The Instagram pics… Ehh- no bagels? Not for me:). I wish a third book on incorporating Intuitive Eating would someday surface from you (maybe when the kids are older). Inner guidance led you to create this masterpiece of Brain Over Binge, I would like to see how to incorporate intuitive eating with BOB,
    THANK YOU!!!!

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