What is The Full Bowl Challenge and Can it Help Your Recovery?

full bowl challenge: image of a bowl full of ice cream with a spoon in it, on an orange table

If you have anorexia, it’s not uncommon to consistently think “I’m eating too much.” Anytime I think of having a little more, the eating disorder voice becomes loud. So loud that I can’t ignore it. So loud, that I believe it. I know I’m not alone. And that this way of thinking does nothing to help your recovery.

There are so many times where I have had to fight that voice. The only way to defy that voice is to do the opposite of what the eating disorder is demanding. This can be anything from breaking a food rule to giving myself a little extra. I’ve been able to do these things. Only, I really wanted to anger the eating disorder one day.

I was tired of all the rules. The rigid planning. The obsession of food.

I just wanted the eating disorder to leave me alone.

So I knew what I needed to do to show the eating disorder who was in charge. At this point, the eating disorder was ruling my life. I wanted to regain some of my power back. And the only way to do that was to fight the eating disorder voice. 

Thus, was the birth of the Full Bowl Challenge. 

The Full Bowl Challenge Can Help Your Recovery

I knew that day I was going to have a chicken burger with some cheddar lightning bolts. (Which are basically just Cheetos.) The plan was to have a certain amount of these lightning bolts. This required the use of my food scale. Which made it safe to have these lightning bolts. Then I thought to myself, ‘What if I just fill a bowl?’

Immediately, the eating disorder had something to say about this. 

How dare you!
You can’t just fill a bowl!
You’ll have too much!
You have to know the exact amount!
Why would you even dare think that?

These thoughts were on repeat.

I was giving in to listening to them. Then I stopped myself. I remembered my initial thought. ‘What if I just fill a bowl?’ To stop the eating disorder thoughts, I repeated my thought to myself. I even said it out loud to give myself courage!

Then I got out a pink bowl and my bag of cheddar lightning bolts. But I refused to go and get my food scale. To royally anger my eating disorder, I poured my lightning bolts into the bowl. Only, I took it to the next level. I filled the entire bowl! And I enjoyed every last one of those cheddar lightning bolts. 

The Freedom

From how freeing it felt, I knew I had to do this again. While there was discomfort and fear surrounding the full bowl challenge of lightning bolts, I knew with practice it would become easier. Then one day it wouldn’t be scary.

So I started implementing a Full Bowl Challenge on a weekly basis. 

I’d take a bowl and just fill it and eat everything in the bowl. I did this with a variety of foods. Chips, cereals, crackers. I just tried doing it with as many things as I could. And it did become easier. To this day, I’m still doing my Full Bowl Challenges. Only, I find myself looking forward to these Full Bowls rather than as a challenge. And you can too!

So my fellow warrior, are you up for the Full Bowl Challenge? Grab yourself a bowl and one of your favorite foods. Then just fill it all the way up!

You can do this. 

I believe in you. 

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  1. says: Hannah Fjeld

    I am mind blown reading this, and almost in tears. This is KEY. This is the way. There is no cutting corners in recovery, that’s the hard truth.. and I am so so so happy that I found this site that will help me and other people through recovery in the most honest and in the RIGHT way. Thank you so so much.

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