response to triggers (part two of the inner dialogue of triggers)

It surprises me sometimes that reminents of my eating disorder are left over. I think that I am so used to living with them that they often go unnoticed. Lately, though I have been trying to be aware of them. These leads me back to my first post on triggers which was several weeks ago. In it I showed what went through my mind when I was ‘triggered’. In this post I want to show what I do (or should do) when I am triggered. So now in response to “The Inner Dialogue of Triggers” I am going to introduce you to the “Inner Response to Triggers”.

I am going to use a few real life examples for this post.

Trigger: I decide I am going to have a McFlurry for snack.

Inner Dialogue: You can’t do that Kate. You have already gained some weight besides you’ve never had a McFlurry why would you want one now? Don’t ruin your track record. 

Rational/Healthy Response: It doesn’t matter if I’ve never had a McFlurry before. In fact it’s about damn time. And one McFlurry is not going to affect my weight. I am hungry. I am craving something sweet. Besides the fact that I’m afraid makes it more important that I do this. Remember if I eat when I am hungry and stop when I’m full I will not gain weight.

Trigger: I haven’t exercised or moved very much during the day

Inner Dialogue: You fat, lazy pig. You are going to get fat, fat, fat.

Rational Dialogue: I am tired. Really, really tired. This means my body needs a rest. I didn’t overeat so there is no need to worry. There are many days where I am very active so it is a good thing to give my body a rest. Besides I know from experience if I exercise when I am tired I don’t enjoy it and then it becomes something I dread instead of enjoy.

Trigger: My pants are tight.

Inner Dialogue: You must have gained ten pounds over night. oh My God I have to exercise. I have to get out of my skin. 

Rational Diaglogue/Action: Change clothes Kate. It’s 9:00 at night of course your pants are uncomfotable. You always wear pj’s this time of night because it’s your time to relax. This doesn’t mean you are fat. It simply means you pants feel tight not that they are tight. Tomorrow you know from experience that your pants will fit like you are used to.

Trigger: I am not the smallest person in the room.

Inner Dialogue: They are thinking you are all fat. Look at fat you are. You must weigh at least 20 pounds more than them. I used to be that size. I am meant to be that small size.

Rational Dialogue: First, you aren’t fat. You are a normal size. That person is a normal size for their body (and if they aren’t then they need help). Second, you have been the smallest one in the room and that only lead to Laureate, a tube up your nose and stuck in a wheelchair for two months. Third, eat your damn food.


So, there is a little glimpse into what happens when triggers pop up in my head. And this happens every single day. I must admit that the response doesn’t always happen. Or at least happen in a way that helps me get through the moment. It’s a lot of work to constantly try and block these thoughts. It’s a part of recovery and one of the most important parts at that. It has gotten easier over the past year but I still have days when it is really hard to thought-block or counteract my thoughts. BUT once again it’s necessary to learn and then practice these skills. Without them I have no doubt that I would still be in the depths of my disorder.



Filed under body image, coping skills, eating disorder, eating disorders, New Life, Recovery, survivor

12 responses to “response to triggers (part two of the inner dialogue of triggers)

  1. pscalise

    I laughed a little at that last rational dialogue “eat your damn food”. You have no idea how many times I have to tell myself that. Sometimes it just takes that kick in the butt from your healthy voice (or someone close to you). Love you so much.

    I was actually just about to call you but then realized my phoney phone was dead. So its charging and I shall call you soonish


    • hahaha You know therapists are always saying be gentle to yourself and all that stuff. Well Wendy was the one who taught me that sometimes you just have to say shut-up and eat the damn food anyways. LOVED talking to you today miss.

  2. lauren Ricks

    so true. you nailed it. keep fighting love!

  3. I’m really proud of you. I frequently have to tell my inner dialogue “SHUT UP.” And then I usually feel a bit crazy but also a bit better. Love you sweet girl

  4. I absolutely love this post. Everyone has these struggles but not too many people are willing to discuss them. Thanks 🙂

  5. Mary

    so fascinating to get to hear a part of your inner dialogue…thanks for sharing! also helpful for someone currently reading up on intuitive eating to hear some responses to counter the body talk. love you!

  6. Rachel

    yay for DBT! these are all really great challenges, and it’s so hard to do them in the moment but it makes all the difference. hang in there!

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