Wreck This Eating Disorder


A self-help journal for eating disorders based on elements of mindfulness, cognitive behavioural therapy and other general activities designed to promote a healthy lifestyle.

Wreck This



Created by Thomas Oakley

Wreck This Eating Disorder

(Draft Edition)

Thomas Oakley (2016) All Rights Reserved

Contact: toakley@outlook.com or


This book is intended as a self-help journal for

people with eating disorders and incorporates

elements of mindfulness, cognitive behavioural

therapy and other general activities designed to

promote a healthy lifestyle.

Wreck This



Created by Thomas Oakley


This is your journal.

That means you keep it, you choose what

you write, and when you’re done with it, you’ll

be the proud owner of a one-of-a-kind work

of art.

There are about 30 activities in it, so should

last you about a month if you do one a day,

but you can do them at whatever pace you


The title is about eating disorders, but really

it’s so much more: anxiety, mood, health and

some things are just there because they’re


If you want to, personalise your journal: stick

things on it, colour it in and make it unique!

Note: Some activities require supplies, so

maybe have a flick through in advance so

you’re not caught off-guard!

Hello World!

This journal is going to be your friend for the next month

- so tell it a bit about yourself. (Also useful in case it gets lost!)

Your name:


About you:

(Hair colour,

Eye colour,


everything that

makes you, you)

Favourite things:

(Colours, films,

Music, whatever!)

What do you want

to do in the


If you were an

animal, which one

would you be, and


What is your

secret talent?

Plan Your Day

Often, when people are stressed they lose any sense of routine.

You find you lose your sense of purpose and direction and getting

a proper routine can help you get back on track.

Write a schedule for tomorrow. Make sure you include things like

personal hygiene, eating, socialising, and a good amount of sleep.

Time Activity



















Take a deep breath

Deep breathing is a good way to relax when you’re anxious. Even

better, you can do it anywhere and people won’t even notice!

Breathing techniques are even a key part of Yoga known as

“Pranayama” - “prana” in Sanskrit means both "breath" and "spirit


Try to step out of the situation, and focus on your breathing.

Listen to the sound of your breathing and take slow deep breaths.

Here are three great techniques you can try in different


Before something stressful - Abdominal Breathing

Place one hand on your tummy and the other on your chest bone

and feel the movement of your body as you breathe in and out. If

you can, breathe from your abdomen rather than your chest and

take some slow deep breaths.

For an energy boost - Alternate Nostril Breathing

Some say this one gets both sides of your brain going. Start by

pinching your nose, block off your right nostril, and inhale through

your left nostril, now block off your left nostril and exhale through

your right nostril. Carry on the pattern, switching it by breathing in

with your right and out with your left nostril,

Before Bedtime - Equal Breathing

This one is as simple as breathing in, counting to four, then

exhaling and counting to four again. Breath through your nose as

this will slow down your breath and let you relax. You don't just

have to do it at bedtime either, this one can be done any time, any


Reasons to recover

Sometimes, you need a little reminder of the things that are

important to you. Before you get better, you need a reason to

recover. Maybe it’s so that you can spend more time with your

family, so that you feel healthier or so that you can go out with

your friends and manage to sit at a café with them. Try and list 10

reasons that make you want to recover.











Bombs away!

Looking after yourself starts with the basics, so let’s get you

spick and span and smelling good. Now it doesn't matter if you’re a

bath person or a shower person as we’ve got ideas for both, with

a luscious bath bomb and a super shower scrub. So pick your

favourite or even give both a go! These make great gifts, or even

a fun thing to do with a friend.

Bath Bomb


• 1 cup Baking Soda

• 1/2 cup Epsom Salts

• 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil

• 1/2 cup Citric Acid

• A mould for your bath bombs

e.g. a muffin tray

• Some vegetable oil

• 4-5 drops Essential Oils

e.g. Lavender (Optional)

• Food colouring (Optional)

Shower Scrub


• 1 cup of brown sugar

• 1/2 cup of coconut oil

• 2 tablespoons of

cocoa powder

• 4-5 drops of coconut

extract/ essential oils


1. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl

2. Mix all wet ingredients in a

separate bowl

3. Slowly at the wet ingredients to

the dry ones, it may fizz a little but

keep stirring.

4. Add a few drops of oil to each

mould and fill it with the mixture.

(Don’t fill to the top as the mix will

expand slightly)

5. Leave at room temperature for

at least 3 hours and until hardened.

6. Enjoy your bath bomb in a nice

relaxing bath!


1. Mix all the ingredients

together in a bowl until

they are smooth.

2. Put it in a jar. (you

could decorate it with

ribbon if it’s a gift)

Once a week rub the

mixture on your skin

then wash it off!

Demolition Derby

Write down all the bad things your illness tells you on this page then

rip it up and destroy it! Flush it down the loo, scrunch it up, tear it

to shreds.

Your eating disorder has such a destructive impact on you, it’s

time to get your own back!

I double dare you!

It’s good to set goals, it gives you something to aim for and you

generally feel pretty good when you do something that you set out

to do. Dare yourself to do something and here’s some tips on how

to make it happen.

We quite often bite off more than we can chew or don’t know

how to go from dream to reality. Today, we're going to set some

goals to achieve by the end of the month but try to follow these


Be reasonable

If you plan to go to the moon, unless you’re already an astronaut

it’s probably not going to happen! That’s not to say it’s bad to have

dreams or long term goals as long as they’re not all like this.

Choose something specific

Instead of something like trying to "sleep better", a more useful

way to goal set is to say "I want to go to sleep at 10pm tonight".

That way, you can say for sure that you’ve achieved your goal.

Remember to celebrate your achievements!

If you've done something really tough, then treat yourself! Now

everyone has different ways of doing that, but try and make sure

it’s something positive and healthy.

List your goal below, and when you want to do it by:

One step forward,

two steps back...

It's really good to make positive changes and try to recover but it

doesn't all happen straight way. Sometimes you can have hiccups

or things can even get worse!

Recognize when things haven't gone to plan

It’s okay to say to yourself “this isn’t working”. If you find yourself

in this position STOP, and take a moment to look at the situation.

Don't play the blame game

It doesn’t matter who’s fault it is, blaming people won’t make things


Make a plan and keep pushing yourself

Don’t give up, think about what set you back and come up with a

solution. Even better – come up with multiple solutions so if Plan A

doesn’t work, you have a Plan B and even a Plan C!

Try writing a problem down and see how many different solutions

you can think of:

Photo Fabulous

Stick in a photo of yourself. Find 10 things you like about your

body and label them. Refer to this whenever you are lacking body

confidence. If you are struggling to do this alone, ask a friend what

they like about your body.





Why is body image important?

Our body image is how we feel about our bodies, including

your appearance and how you think other people see you.

Having a good body image doesn't mean you have to think

you're attractive or perfect, but it's being comfortable with

who you are. Society has some ridiculous expectations of

beauty which are often impossible especially in a world of

Photoshop and make-up.

Listing things that you (or others) like about yourself reminds

you that it is possible to be happy and healthy, and not to be

too tough on yourself.

Body image has a real effect on people, and can really knock

your confidence! Isn't it crazy that 1 in 6 people taking their

GCSEs have avoided going to school because they felt bad

about their appearance? Poor body image is also linked to

lower confidence, lower aspirations and people not joining in.

Believe in yourself and don't be afraid to dream! Also

remember to share the love, and tell other people if they look

good, that little compliment can make someone's day.


Did you know doodling is good for you?

It can focus your mind and relieve stress. Finish off this page and

colour it in!

Box of tricks

Think of all the things which help you to feel good. These should be

healthy things which can deal with stress. Think about music,

meditation or other activities you do. Write them down here, and

you'll have a little toolkit next time you're anxious, like if one of

your triggers sets you off.

Also, maybe specific people are good at helping you calm down,

you could always write their names down here and keep this page

with you so that people know what help to get in the future.


Close your eyes.

For a few minutes, sit and focus on everything going on around

you. Pick out all the sounds and sensations you usually miss. Be

aware of your body.

Why do I feel how I do?

People can feel down for several reasons: some of these include

• Having a negative view of yourself

• Interpreting things in a negative and biased way

• Having a negative view of the future

People don’t choose to think like this, often it’s out of habit. Also

there are other reasons people feel sad, but learning to think

differently and recognize bad thoughts can give you a boost.

Here's an example:


You fail an exam


Good: It’s okay, I’ll work hard and pass next time.

Bad: I’m useless, I can’t do anything


Good: You revise for the exam and pass!

Bad: You don’t feel like doing anything and struggle


Good: Positive, as I know next time I’ll be prepared.

Bad: Sad, unsure about the future.

Alternatives to self-harm

Sometimes when people feel down and don’t know how else to

cope they can self-harm. Obviously it’s not healthy, but people can

feel pretty desperate. If you ever feel like this, then these are

some safe alternatives to try instead.

1. Stomp around as loud as you can.

2. Draw funny faces on the photos in a magazine.

3. Hit a pillow against the wall as hard as you can.

4. Pop some bubble wrap. (Most people love this so you can

even do it with a friend!)

5. Jump on some drinks cans and crush them (with shoes on).

6. Hold ice against your skin/ run cold water on your hands.

7. Find somewhere you can shout as loud as you like.

8. Draw on your skin with a marker

Try the Butterfly Project: draw a butterfly where you want

to self-harm, and if the butterfly stays until the marker

fades then it lived and flown away!

9. Cut up some fruit instead (and make a fruit salad!)

10. Kiss the place you want to harm or have a wound to remind

yourself that you care about your body

Remember, if you do self-harm – you should tell

someone so that you can get any injuries sorted

out properly.


When you're feeling down you often don't feel like doing anything.

Have you thought about it the other way round though?

Maybe you're down, because you’re not doing

anything. Exercise is a great way to help your mood

and prevent anxiety - there's a load of science behind

it and aerobic exercise is the best for this. Here

are some fun suggestions to get you up and



This is awesome to do with friends and really creative. Put on your

favourite music and make up some routines or just shake your

body and jump! Games like Just Dance are also quite good to

show you what to do and can add some competition into the mix.


This is the easiest exercise you can do, take your feet, put one in

front of the other and then choose where to go. Make sure

someone knows where you're going, go in a group. If there’s a

park nearby you can even get a bit closer to nature.


This doesn’t seem like exercise, but gardening can get you really

active! Digging, weeding and pruning can make you stretch, and if

you’re a fan of flowers there’s nothing better. If you're

adventurous you could try growing your own fruit and vegetables.

Remember, exercise is something to keep you fit and healthy.

Make sure not to over-exercise; if you’re doing more, you need to

make sure you give your body more energy. If you are currently

seeing a clinician, it’s always a good idea to seek their advice on

the right amount. If exercising becomes a duty and not something

you enjoy, or it gets in the way of your every-day life, then you’re

probably doing too much!

Rose-tinted glasses

You may have heard of people "looking through rose-tinted

glasses" when people always see things in a positive way. Well

sometimes the opposite can happen!

Your brain doesn’t always see things how they actually are, it

distorts what you see and it’s tricky to know what the truth is.

Maybe you have some glasses that make you see the worst in

things. Below are some ways of thinking that people sometimes fall

into. Tick the ones that you sometimes think, if you find yourself

ticking quite a few, then trying to change how you think might

really help you.

Things always go wrong for me.

I’ll never be able to do anything right.

I should be a better person.

I’m useless and no good.

I’m un-loveable.

I always mess things up.

I’m a fraud.

Things need to be perfect.

I’m a failure.

He/she didn’t say hello; I must be boring.

Nobody likes me.

If it’s not right, there’s no point doing it at all. □

Beautiful Breakfasts

It’s a common saying that breakfast is the most important meal of

the day, but why? Does it really matter if you skip breakfast, I

mean sometimes we’re all busy, right?

Apart from just giving you the fuel you need to kick ass

throughout the day, a healthy breakfast gives you nutrients the

body needs. People who make time for breakfast often have a

healthier diet overall! Here are some recipes to make breakfast a

bit more fun.

Breakfast Bars


• 1 x 397 grams can condensed milk

• 250 grams rolled oats (not instant)

• 75 grams shredded coconut

• 100 grams dried cranberries

• 125 grams mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame)

• 125 grams natural unsalted peanuts


1. Preheat the oven to 130°C/gas mark ½/250ºF, and oil a

23 x 33 x 4cm / 9 x 13 inch baking tin, or use a

throwaway foil one.

2. Warm the condensed milk in a large pan.

3. Meanwhile, mix together all the other ingredients and then

add the warmed condensed milk, using a rubber or

wooden spatula to fold and distribute.

4. Spread the mixture into the tin and press down with the

spatula or, better still, your hands (wearing disposable

vinyl gloves to stop you sticking), to even the surface.

5. Bake for 1 hour, then remove from the oven and, after

about 15 minutes, cut into four across, and four down to

make 16 chunky bars. Let cool completely.

Avocado Toasts


• Ripe Avocado

• 1/2 lemon juice

• Salt

• 2 slices of bread

• Olive Oil

• Seasoning

• Egg (Optional)


1. Cut avocado, remove pip and scoop flesh into bowl

2. Add lemon juice and salt to taste

3. Mash with fork to the texture you want

4. Spread onto toast, drizzle with oil and season

(Add one or two eggs to your toast for an extra bit of protein!)

Breakfast Fruit Parfait


• 2 cups plain yogurt

• 2 cups your favorite granola

• 2 cups fresh berries (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries

(hulled and sliced), and/or other fruit such as bananas or

mangos, peeled and sliced

• 4 tablespoons honey


1. Line up 4 parfait, white wine, or other tall glasses.

2. Spoon 2 tablespoons of yogurt into each glass and

smooth surface.

3. Spoon 2 tablespoons of granola overtop and smooth


4. Spoon 2 tablespoons of fruit overtop and smooth


Repeat the process, adding a bit of honey here and there, to


Pet Peeves

So maybe you've already touched on what you’re like when

already in a bad mood or feeling down, but have you thought of

what makes you feel that way? Maybe it's people talking about a

certain topic or if you have an argument with someone.

It's time to think about triggers, things that set you off. Write them

down here, and if you've done other pages, you can make a little

kit which says what triggers you, signs that you're stressed, and

coping strategies to help you deal with it before it becomes a



Things that trigger me:





Every cloud

has a silver lining

Take a few things that have happened that seem negative and try

and find a positive way to think about it. If you're having trouble,

then ask a friend!

Of course, you can't turn everything into a positive, and it’s

definitely important to recognize the sadness when something bad

has happened.

Example: My day was awful, I was late to meet my friends and we

missed the film we were going to see.

Seeing the positive: I'm glad my friends waited for me, even though

we didn't see the film, we went to the park instead and had a great


What happened:

Seeing the positive:

What happened:

Seeing the positive:

What happened:

Seeing the positive:

Jekyll and Hyde

Have you ever noticed that sometimes it’s as if there’s two

versions of yourself? The good-you, who’s great to be around

and generally in a good mood, then the evil twin where everything

goes a bit pear-shaped.

Draw and write about two copies of you, one when you're feeling

well and one when you're grumpy and need some support, what's

different between the two? Maybe the other-you doesn't join in

activities or might get snappy at people.

Of course there aren’t really two versions of you, but maybe by

drawing it out, you'll notice signs that things aren't quite right so

that you can talk to someone about how you're feeling before you

turn into a bit of a monster!

When I’m happy

When I feel down

Beauty sleep

A good night’s sleep can make the world a much better place.

Sometimes though, no matter what you just can’t get to sleep.

There are some things you can do, known as ‘sleep hygiene’ which

can get you ready for a proper sleep and have you feeling shipshape.

1. Avoid things that stimulate you.

The main one is caffeine, so avoid coffee and cola for at

least four hours before bed time. The same thing applies

for smokers.

2. Don’t work in your bedroom!

If you have to study, don’t do it in your room. That way your

body know your bedroom is a place for relaxing.

3. Have a routine.

Routines were mentioned earlier in this journal, but a set

routine like, having a shower and reading a book for half an

hour can give your body the signs that it’s almost bed-time.

Similarly, be consistent and try to go to bed at the same


4. Avoid artificial light

Try not to look at your phone, or computers in the hour

before bed-time. The light can affect your brain and stop

you getting to sleep.

5. Have a bath and a hot drink

If you can, have a bath – the hot water is so relaxing. See

the bath bomb recipes to make it extra special. A hot drink

like warm milk or hot chocolate will also help you to nod off.

Do or dye

Have you got an old white top somewhere at the back of your

closet? Of course you have! Time to give it a new lease of life with

some tie-dye. It’s different every time, and you can get some great

results. You can even dye clothes and give them to your friends.

What you need:

• Several types of fabric dye

• Rubber bands

• Rubber gloves

• Marbles

• A Bucket

• Water

• Some clothes to dye!


1. Get the dye ready in the bucket, according to the

instructions on the packet. Make sure you wear gloves as

the dye can irritate your skin.

2. Tie your clothes using the rubber bands and marbles:

different techniques give different effects.

sunburst stripes circles

rubber bands

with several






with a

single band

3. Place in the dye for at least 15-20 minutes (the longer you

leave it, the stronger the colour)

4. Rinse out the clothes according to the instructions on the

dye and dry them out.

This is a time machine...

Imagine you find a time machine and it takes you 10 years into the

future. What’s changed? What do you think you’ll be doing? Write

here what you think it’ll be like: describe the sights and sensations

then maybe look back in the future and see if it’s like you imagined!

Thought detectives

Core beliefs are really important, often lots of other thoughts

stem from them and if they’re negative then it can affect how you

think about everything.

They’re hard to identify and harder to challenge but here's a way

to try and work it all out. You just have to be a bit of a detective

and find the clues.

Take a negative thought you often have, and trace it back to get

to the core belief. To trace it back, ask yourself "If this were true,

what does this mean about me?"


Negative Thought

“My friend didn’t want to

meet up”

(What does this mean?)

Your thought

Negative Thought

(What does this mean?)

“I’m boring”

(What does this mean?)

(What does this mean?)

“Nobody likes me”

(What does this mean?)

(What does this mean?)

“I’m worthless”


(What does this mean?)


To the core

Hopefully you managed to track your thoughts back

to the negative core beliefs behind them. It’s difficult to challenge

these thoughts especially when you've spent most of your time

focusing on things that makes you believe them.

Write down the core belief, and then try and find evidence that

proves it wrong. So the example in the last page was that the

person thinks they are worthless. Asking a friend for evidence, or

keeping a diary of things helps stop you forgetting them, otherwise

you’ll only remember the negatives.

Core Belief:

(e.g. ‘I’m worthless’)

Evidence it’s not true: (e.g. ‘Sophie said she wants to meet up’)

Face your fears!

The best way to get over what scares you is to deal with it head

on - otherwise you just try to avoid it and you find it ruins your life.

Remember your fears are often much worse than things really

are – often build up to something scary feels much worse than

actually doing it.

Start off slow, with something that you can manage, then do it

again but this time push yourself a little bit further. Before you do

it, try to calm yourself down – look at the breathing exercises

earlier in the journal. Accept things may not go perfectly (there’s a

section on setbacks as well in the journal.)

Make a list of what you are scared of, then make a fear ladder

here. Put the least scary thing at the bottom, and the most scary

thing at the top. An example here is eating in around other people.

Eating a meal in a


Having a snack in a café

Having a drink in a café

Eating in front of a


Having a drink with a


Talking to someone while

they are eating

House of mirrors

Have you ever been into a room full of mirrors where everything

is distorted? Your body looks out of proportion and it can be quite

scary! Body Dysmorphic Disorder, or BDD, creates a similar

effect when you look in and ordinary mirror. Typically, you can

appear to be a lot bigger when you see yourself in the mirror than

you actually are.

Do you find yourself constantly checking your appearance in the

mirror? Or do you avoid them completely? Try to count the

number of times you look at your reflection as an experimentinclude

looking in window reflections and any other reflective


If you check your appearance more than 15-20 times, challenge

yourself to do this less as preoccupation with body image can fuel

BDD. On the other hand, if you find you are actively avoiding

looking in the mirror, this could be down to feelings of shame

towards your appearance. Instead, challenge yourself to look in

the mirror and pick out things about yourself that you do like.

It is very important to remember that while how we look may feel

very important, despite being cliché it really is who you are inside

that matters. Not only that, but if you compare what you see in the

mirror to the bodies of celebrities in magazines, you’re aiming for

something completely impossible! If you have access to the

internet, just take a look at before and after pictures of celebrities

who have been photo shopped!

Oh crumbs...

When people talk about baking, most people think of cakes.

Not this time though – you’re going to learn how to make bread.

This can be pretty satisfying as you need to really put some effort

into kneading it all together. Perfect if you want to de-stress!


• 500g white bread flour

• 2 teaspoons salt

• 7g yeast (1 sachet)

• 300ml lukewarm water

• 3 tablespoons vegetable oil


1. Mix the flour, salt and yeast in a bowl.

2. Add the oil and water and mix everything together

3. Put some flour on a work surface, and tip the mixture on it

4. Knead the dough, stretching it between both hands until it is

really smooth and springy, then place it in an oiled bowl with

some cling film on top and leave for at least an hour until it

has doubled in size.

5. Line a tray with some baking parchment

6. Heat the oven to 220ºC (200ºC for a fan oven)/ gas mark 7

7. Take your dough and knock the air out of it, form it into a

ball and place it on the tray

8. Slash the top of the bread and bake in the oven for 25-30

minutes until golden brown

9. Allow to cool on a wire rack

Maybe you could toast it and try the avocado breakfast recipe!

A letter to...

You’re at the end of this journal, and it’s time to say goodbye.... to

your eating disorder.

It’s something very personal, so here’s your chance to say

farewell. Hopefully you’ve learnt things along the way to get you

ready for this big step. Think about how it has made you feel, the

ways in which it’s affected your life. You can do it in this book, or

find a piece of paper. Try and get it all down, this is your chance to

let go.

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