Getting REAL about Eating Disorder Recovery

Getting Real about Eating Disorder Recovery

Recovery from an eating disorder means lots of different things to lots of different people. But, what most of us can agree on, is that our own form of recovery allows us to live life more freely, fully, happy and able to reach our full potential.

In other words, we could ask ourselves:

  • Is our relationship with food and our body enabling us to become our best and more compassionate selves?

  • Am I still tied down with preplanning meals, counting calories and not feeling free to make my own liberated choices around food

  • Do I still feel the urge to compensate the food that I eat, such as by walking more, going to the gym, counting steps, monitoring Calories burned or becoming obsessed with a certain type of physical activity

  • Are my food choices still centred around eating pure, clean, plant-based foods for reasons other than ethical values (e.g. animal and environmental welfare)?

  • Do I cut out food groups or ingredients (e.g. gluten, carbohydrates, dairy) with the intention of feeling better about myself in relation to others or certain expectations and dietary regimes rather than for genuine health or welfare reasons?

  • Can I eat spontaneously or out of sync with my usual meal times due to work, social occasions or sudden changes in circumstances?

  • Do I still consciously or subconsciously skimp on certain types of food, or even avoid completing meals or hiding food so it doesn’t have to be eaten?

  • Am I still obsessed with reading/following trends related to health, nutrition-centred or fitness goals (e.g. clean eating, dieting or fit-spiration accounts on social media and food-related programmes)?

To answer these question, we need to become REAL and honest with ourselves. Are we really as well on the road to recovery as we think we are just because our weight seems restored, or because we are no longer at deaths door? We also need to ask ourselves whether our feelings and behaviours are more of a prison and an illusionary comfort zone rather than truly being able to live our best lives … The beautiful and fulfilled lives that each of us are entitled to.

I know lots of individuals, myself included, who used to feel that their level of recovery was satisfactory because their physical wellbeing or getting to a healthier weight pleased health professionals and family members. In many ways, I didn’t feel worthy of pushing myself beyond the recovery boundaries I had set for myself. I also wasn’t being fully honest with how my mind was still somewhat plagued with nasty thoughts and urges to deceive myself into ‘eating healthier’, exercising beyond what was necessary and slowly (but very surly) skimping on the vitality of life.

Despite looking a better ‘picture of health’, I was sti