Surviving ED

The lies your eating disorder tells you will prevent your recovery. The eating disorder masquerades as your closest friend and trusted confidant, but it is a fraud, and the lies your eating disorder tells you saturate your brain and hold you back from eating disorder recovery. The more entrenched those lies become, the more fearful you are of envisioning a future that doesn’t revolve around the eating disorder. You’re trapped in a vortex of wanting to escape its death-grip but wondering if you’ll have a sense of purpose or an identity without the eating disorder. The eating disorder is a persuasive storyteller—I believed it for decades, and am often still tempted to again. But those lies that your eating disorder tells you to hold you back from eating disorder recovery aren't worth pursuing once you know the truth.
The language society uses when talking about eating disorders is weird. But as survivors—or allies of survivors—with firsthand experience of the illness, we have the power to change this dialogue. Within the context of mainstream culture, eating disorders and those of us impacted by them, are often branded with limiting quantifiers and descriptors. These labels seem like barriers in direct opposition to eating disorder recovery, but we can either accept the status quo or initiate another conversation—one that advocates for the potential of courage, strength and healing.
Why can the loss of control cause an eating disorder? When you lose control in certain areas of your life, this can spiral into the "perfect storm" for an eating disorder to emerge. From unhealthy relationships to unstable environments to unforeseen circumstances, feeling out of control is a turbulent emotion that can provoke you to engage in frantic and reckless behaviors. In the effort to regain a sense of equilibrium, it's common to fixate on the one aspect of yourself which seems controllable—your body. But while this coping mechanism provides a fleeting distraction from all the chaos around you, the truth remains that as you plunge deeper into the eating disorder, you're not in control anymore—it's now controlling you.
Creating a gratitude practice to enhance eating disorder recovery is important because an eating disorder cheapens your mindset on life and convinces you that suffering is permanent. But learning to practice gratitude can weaken the eating disorder's influence. Gratitude can cut through all that negativity and redirect your focus onto glimmers of hope, beauty, purpose and love. These feelings are often subdued beneath layers of torment and abuse from the eating disorder critic, but finding reasons to appreciate yourself, the people around you and the experiences you're given will cause that voice to fade—then, ultimately, disappear.
Talking about your eating disorder recovery story and your struggles with an eating disorder can feel intimidating, exposing, or overwhelming. But when you reach a stable, consistent place in eating disorder recovery, that inner nudge to share your eating disorder recovery story is often disarming, healing and empowering—both for yourself and others.
Feeling your emotions in eating disorder recovery can be unsettling at first. Eating disorders strive to brush uncomfortable emotions aside—to ignore the tension and medicate the suffering—but deep-rooted anger, insecurity, fear, grief, loneliness, rejection or similar emotions must be named and felt in order to achieve sustainable eating disorder recovery. Instead of masking the pain with harmful behaviors, it's crucial to acknowledge, identify, express and feel your emotions. This practice of tuning into your own emotionality creates space for self-awareness, compassion, acceptance and, ultimately, healing.
Positive affirmations in eating disorder recovery can be life-savers. "I am more than a body," is one of the most crucial eating disorder mantras to adopt because one of the harmful myths an eating disorder will urge you to believe is that physical appearance is all you can offer this world. But the truth is you are more than a body. Adopting positive affirmations in eating disorder recovery helps you heal, and here's what makes this one affirmation crucial.
We need eating disorder recovery tips for the holidays because, despite its festive spirit and upbeat mood, this can be a stressful time of year. The tension becomes even more palpable for those in recovery from an eating disorder. Between complex family dynamics, hectic scheduling demands and increased financial commitments, this season often feels more nerve-racking than relaxing. But with the added pressure of an eating disorder, one facet tends to cause more anxiety than all the others combined—food. Since the holidays center around cooking, baking and sharing meals, this can present a serious obstacle for those healing their relationship with food. Therefore, it's crucial to prioritize eating disorder recovery tips for the holidays over these next two months.
Sexism contributes to the prevalence of eating disorders in women, but on the flip side, approaching eating disorders from a feminist outlook can be an important tool for recovery. Our social constructs view gender through a binary lens in which men are the objectifiers and women are the objectified, causing female bodies to be sexualized. This idea makes women feel pressured to meet the conventional standards of beauty, often resorting to extreme behaviors if their physical features are outside the “norm.” But dismantling these restrictive and harmful stereotypes could promote more body acceptance in our culture. Because sexism and eating disorders are connected, a feminist perspective can help to reverse this issue.
Eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS) are frequently stigmatized and misunderstood in mainstream culture, like most forms of mental illness. Many who lack firsthand experience tend to label eating disorders as a rich and thin white woman’s issue, but the reality is that eating disorders affect people of all backgrounds and demographics. They transcend racial, gender, and socioeconomic barriers. They are diverse and non-discriminating. In other words, anyone can be an eating disorder sufferer, even those who don’t “fit the mold.” And that’s one reason eating disorders, especially EDNOS, are so dangerous—they're often a challenge to detect.