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  • Jan Taylor Schultz

Alternatives to Behaviors

Having an eating disorder is not easy. Resisting the urge to purge, restrict food, over-exercise, and emotionally eat, can be very difficult. Sometimes it is helpful to have a list of alternatives on hand, just in case. It does not mean that you always will be able to choose an alternative listed below instead of a behavior, but having a plan/list on hand can help. The following suggestions might be helpful for you:


  1. Call or text a friend/family member on the phone

  2. Go to a friend’s house

  3. Write in a journal

  4. Take a walk

  5. Go run an errand,  to the mall, or your favorite store

  6. Read a magazine or book

  7. E-mail a friend

  8. Write all of the positive things you can think of

  9. Wash your car

  10. Make a collage

  11. Watch a good video

  12. Hit a pillow

  13. Crochet or knit

  14. Chew gum

  15. Search the Web

  16. Draw or color with crayons

  17. Have a cup of coffee or tea 

  18. Take a drive in the country

  19. Buy something under $5.00 for yourself

  20. Paint

  21. Color in a coloring book or use crayons

  22. Go to a healthy eating disorder website like “Something Fishy.”

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