Ever had a bad day? Of course, we all have them. It might have been a rude comment, or getting stuck in traffic. Something that puts you in a bad mood. For those with eating disorders, the temptation is often to "fix" a bad mood with ED behaviors. It might be treating yourself to a "treat" (in quotes because I don't find it helpful to label foods this way) or being rigid and restrictive with food to "fix" your appearance.
The tricky thing is that the ED behaviors often do produce favorable effects on mood. What this means is that these behaviors legitimately do make you feel better, at least in the moment. That cupcake tastes really good and increases the serotonin in your brain, which is soothing. Or being really controlled with food and only eating vegetables for dinner might make you feel superior for a while. But these behaviors can also be destructive, and they don't address the underlying emotion.
The reason we want to get rid of negative feelings is obvious – they don't feel good. How about next time instead of trying to fix or change the emotion you shake it off, like a dog shaking off water. It's amazing how the literal act of shaking it off your body can allow you to defuse from the emotion.
Sometimes when I have a particularly uncomfortable confrontation with a client's eating disorder I use this technique before my next client arrives as a way of letting go of the negative energy and opening myself to the present moment. Try it yourself and see how it feels!