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3 Ways I Fully Recovered From My Eating Disorder

How many times have you heard “full recovery is possible for you”?  I can’t even count the number of times someone has told me that, and I never believed them. I reached a place where I was consistently following my meal plan but was still obsessed with counting calories, exchanges and anything that went into my mouth. I still felt that debilitating fear when someone asked me to go out to dinner or get dessert. I wasn’t acting on my eating disorder behaviors but I was preoccupied with following my meal plan perfectly and only eating “safe” foods. I like to call this place almost recovered. I was providing my body with proper nutrition and could function in my daily life. However, I was not living a fulfilling life or necessarily making choices that aligned with my values.

I am here to encourage you to push past the point of almost recovered because as cliche as it sounds, full recovery is possible for you. This is how I moved from an almost recovered mindset to a fully recovered mindset:

1. Explore Your Food Preferences

Your meal plan is a tool to help you relearn how to properly fuel your body. It is important to understand that all foods fit in your meal plan. Take time to experiment with all types of food to see what you truly like and dislike rather than what your eating disorder likes and dislikes.

2. Work on Flexibility

This is such a hard one for me. I like to know exactly what I am going to be eating ahead of time, which was very helpful at the beginning of my recovery journey. But sometimes I realized life just happens, and I may not be able to plan everything ahead of time. Saying yes to last minute invitations that may involve food or even saying yes to an unplanned ice cream outing has helped me gain flexibility around food. My anxiety around food has greatly decreased by becoming more flexible with my food schedule and what I eat.

3. Make Choices That Align With Your Values

This has been one of the most helpful tips in my recovery. Rather than making choices that align with my eating disorder, I like to check in with what I value and then make my decision. If someone asks me to come over for a pizza night I would say yes because I value connection. It has been helpful for me to make a list of my values so that when a difficult food situation comes up, I can decide based on my values rather than my eating disorder.

I like to think of this as climbing a mountain. When you are living a life almost recovered you have worked diligently to climb a huge mountain and have finally reached the top but often decide to stay there. When you commit to full recovery you decide you can’t just stay at the top of the mountain, you have to jump. You will then learn just how you can soar and live the life you have always imagined. Full recovery is possible for you. Yes, you.

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Getty image via bilalcinar