At my appointment this last week, my dietitian asked if I was familiar with the app “Recovery Record”. I told her that I had it downloaded onto my iPod but hadn’t really used it yet. She mentioned that she thought if I had time, I should check it out. A few days in, I have a little bit of an idea of how it works, and what kind of benefits it has to offer.
First, I want to mention that this app is very customizable to the user. When I first began using it I noticed it asked at every meal if I had binged, or if I was having the urge to binge. Since I’ve not struggled much with binging, this part of the app wasn’t very applicable to me. In the settings it was very easy to turn those questions off, and instead have the question be if I had restricted, or had the urge to. I was also able to change the reminders throughout the day (or turn them off) for a more suitable time that corresponds to each of my meals and snacks. The reminders are very nice and gentle with a simple push notification popping up onto my screen and an optional ringtone.
“It’s time to log your breakfast entry”. I open the app and hit “log meal”. I am immediately asked if I skipped this meal. Then it moves on to my feelings and emotions. I am then asked which meal I am logging (a nice feature, as sometimes I don’t log my meals until later in the day when I have more time), who I ate with, where I ate, how long ago I ate, and what I ate. Following questions include if I thought my meal was inadequate, adequate, or excessive. I am then encouraged to indicate how mindful my meal was, if I restricted or counted calories (customizable) and if I used, or plan to use a coping skill. The last portion is an area for a thought diary.
This logging process may seem a little time consuming, but it is kind of what you make it. I usually don’t write down thoughts right now, as I am doing more journaling in a notebook. A very cool feature I came across today (I haven’t logged meals for a few days) was a push notification that came across my screen saying that Recovery Road hopes I am ok, and to resume logging meals as soon as I can. Obviously this isn’t a personalized message, but it still seemed thoughtful. And one other encouraging feature is the little inspirational notes or quotes that pop up once you have logged a meal. I just received the affirmation “Meal by meal, snack by snack…you can do this” for example.
If it isn’t time for a meal, there is still the option of logging behaviors and thoughts. Which would be a wonderful thing to use if this app is more of a personal tool, or (and this brings me to the best feature in my opinion) when linked with a clinician. I have not used the option to connect with a clinician yet, as I am still testing out the app, but when or if you do, your clinician (s) then have access to anything you log within the app. What a great way to keep yourself accountable!
Once you log a certain amount of meals, you get a reward which I believe is always a song. I’m not super thrilled about this feature, but I can see how it gives the person using the app a sense of working towards a goal.
All in all, this app is really amazing. There is another app for recovery from eating disorders called Rise Up and Recover, which is a part of Recovery Warriors (a website and podcast). If anyone has used either of these apps and has anything to share, feel free to do so in the comments!