The Feats I Never Believed Would Happen in My Anorexia Recovery

My anorexia has been front in center in my life for as long as I can remember… until now.

Recently multiple people have told me I need to “own my recovery.” I have been stable for months, I am not currently in therapy, have been officially discharged from meeting with my dietician, and have never been more stable. Things have been stressful and difficult, but relying on my anorexia has not been the fall back.

Recovery is one of those things that is so individualized to each and every person. It is something I never thought would get any better than following a meal plan, maintaining my weight, and showing up to appointments. But there is so much more to live after an eating disorder, and that is what I have discovered in the last few months.

I can eat Twizzlers for breakfast and not feel guilty about it.

I can eat pizza for three meals in a row and not consider it to be odd.

I can have a tough or busy day and still decide to eat the food.

I can see my weight fluctuate and be OK with it.

I can lose a bit of weight for no solidified reason and know what I need to do to get it back up, and do it.

I can be accountable to myself and my own progress versus doing it for someone else.

I can ask for help when I’m struggling, to prevent things from going downhill, instead of relapsing.

I can choose to eat because it’s what my body needs to function.

I can feel hungry and eat because that’s normal, and stop when I’m full.

I can drink endless milkshakes because it’s hot out and they taste good, and I can enjoy each and every single one of them.

I can eat a salad because I want one, not because it’s lower in calories.

I can go out with friends and have fun, not obsess over the food and whether or not to eat.

I can exercise because the weather is nice and I want to.

I can choose not to exercise because I’m tired or sick, and that’s OK.

If you or someone you know has an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorders Association helpline: 800-931-2237.

I can lay in bed all day and be lazy because I feel like it. I don’t have to be going nonstop.

All of these things may seem like minor feats in the grand scheme of the world, but to me, these are things I never believed would happen. I have been through hell and back over the years, countless hospitalizations, gallons of Ensure, tube feeds, medical complications, come close to losing my life more than once, the list goes on and on but I am no longer there.

While I still may not believe in recovered, I am truly starting to believe in and “own” my recovery. There is always room for continued growth, but for once in my life, I feel like I am well on my way.

Image via Thinkstock.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Anorexia Nervosa

high school student raising her hand to ask a question in class

What It Meant to Say, 'I Have an Eating Disorder'

I could say it all started with an email from my mother letting me know my appointment time for my admission to treatment on a cold December morning. Yet in truth, it wasn’t as free-flowing as an email through cyberspace. The beginning of my treatment was preceded by hours of fighting, crying and screaming. It started the day [...]
hands in the shape of a heart in front of the setting sun

The Most Difficult Part of My Anorexia Recovery

My eating disorder was a dark and severely self-destructive journey — one that I am, even now, uncomfortable sharing about in detail. It’s hard to find the words, to be eloquent enough to do it justice. But it is a story worth telling, as are all battles against mental illness. They help spread the awareness our world is [...]
woman holds hand straight in front of face

A Final Farewell to My Anorexia

Ana, I’m writing this to be real with you — with me. I sat with my counselor as we planned my next session for nine weeks out. Nine weeks. We joked about me doing the “best” out of all her clients. It seems I’ve almost completely beaten you, which seemed impossible only months ago. You don’t control me anymore. I [...]
woman with her legs crossed

The 3 Phases of My Anorexia Recovery

I wasn’t always this way. I didn’t always have to tell myself to stop counting calories, to put fats back in my diet or to stop running. I didn’t always ignore the scale every day, or have to force myself not to go to the gym. But, that’s how I am today — I’m recovering from anorexia. The [...]