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Eating Disorder Recovery Does Not Mean 'Eating Clean'


When I was in treatment for an eating disorder I was surrounded by amazing therapists, dietitians, patients and staff who were constantly promoting the true values of recovery. “No food is bad food. Food is fuel. You need every single food group to function properly. You need to eat food to function as a human being.” But since I left the safe space of treatment only a few weeks ago, I have come to realize the greater world does not have the same understanding of what eating in eating disorder recovery actually looks like.

Recovery is not “eating clean” or “eating healthy.” Recovery is eating for survival and for life. Recovery is eating because food is not your oppressor, food is not bad for you, food does not cause or solve your problems. Recovery is trying new things and letting your true self form an opinion because there is no room for your eating disorder in any decisions about your food.

Recovery is eating food.

Recovery is finding yourself.

Recovery is finding a life outside of food obsession, stress and thoughts.

A society full of diet culture has tried to teach us that dieting and food avoidance is normal… it’s not. This mindset is making us sick and miserable and needs to be eradicated.

Food is food is food.

Food is good.

You need all food.

“Eating clean” is not recovery.

Recovery is eating for the life I lost to my disorder.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, you can call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237.

Follow this journey on Recovery Is Worth More.

Thinkstock photo by lolostock

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