A Simple Mantra for Eating Disorder Recovery

March 9, 2016 Z Zoccolante

Have you considered a simple mantra for eating disorder recovery? Eating disorder recovery can feel like a battle -- because it is. We choose to go against the destructive voice that was once our friend. We choose to sit with uncomfortable feelings and emotions, and not reach for our easy coping tool. We choose to live in our bodies as they shift and change and as they learn to regulate and be without the disorder. Some days it’s tough, but we have to keep in mind what we’re fighting for. We have to keep in mind our end goal. Having an eating disorder recovery mantra can help (Mantras and Recovery: Mind Over What’s The Matter).

An Eating Disorder Recovery Mantra for Freedom and Happiness

My recovery was fought for freedom and happiness, the two things I wanted that kept eluding me during my disorder. I recovered a step at a time, sticking a toe into recovery and then retracting my commitment. Then, one day, when I finally knew too much, the seesaw tipped and had to recover. I’d tried every angle, path, loop, and underground tunnel. The end result of every fractaled variation of the eating disordered behavior ended in sadness.

This was when I knew I had to try something different. What I wanted wasn’t found in whittling down my body fat, sticking my head over the toilet, watching all my food, or exercising till the eating disorder let me stop. All current roads led to sadness, but I wanted to be free. So I had to try recovery.

During that time, I had a little mantra. I wrote it on my mirror and repeated it three times:

“Kindness Matters.”

Eating disorder recovery may require a mantra to get you through tough times. ED recovery can feel like a battle and having a mantra can help. This is mine.It’s a simple phrase, but it’s one we forget. Often, we’re warm, loving, and compassionate with others, but then forget to include ourselves in that bubble of kindness.

This simple eating disorder recovery mantra is a powerful tool to help us through tough days, when we’re down about our bodies or feel blah about the whole process of getting, and staying, healthy.

An Eating Disorder Recovery Mantra for Negative Body Days

Every woman I’ve talked with seems to shift from having happy days to suddenly being down on their bodies, which includes awful body image (The Physical Aspects of Anorexia Disorder Recovery), self-hate, cruel self-talk, and nitpicking at themselves.

This shift has been triggered (Navigating Triggers During Eating Disorder Recovery), but a lot of people aren’t aware of that trigger so the shift seems to take place out of the blue.

I recall a time I was backpacking through Europe for a month and eating ice cream every day. Then, when I got to my study abroad destination, I couldn’t fit into one of my pairs of jeans. A meltdown ensued with me crying on the floor, telling myself horrible things about what a worthless failure I’d become and vowing to lose weight immediately.

An Eating Disorder Recovery Mantra for Encouragement

What I needed most was kindness (5 Ways to Approach Triggering Emotions). I needed to be able to talk to myself as though I would encourage a friend. I needed to hear something like,

Hey self, you’re doing a great job. You’ve been living. You haven’t been throwing up. You’ve collected memories, smiles, and belly laughs. You’ve eaten pear ice cream, walked down cobblestone streets, and had a cinnamon cone by the river. You’re much more than the circumference of your thighs. And yes, I know you’re sad and it’s okay to cry. But we’re not going to be cruel to ourselves. We’re going to treat ourselves as someone we love. This body is your home and you want to live in a happy home.

If we can invite kindness back to the conversation, we can face recovery with confidence. Whatever happens, even if it feels like we take two steps forward and one step back, we can hold our own hand through the process. We can remind ourselves that we’re doing a great job.

"Kindness Matters."
"Kindness Matters."
"Kindness Matters."

Watch This Video About Kindness For Eating Disorder Recovery

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APA Reference
Zoccolante, Z. (2016, March 9). A Simple Mantra for Eating Disorder Recovery, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from

Author: Z Zoccolante

April, 2 2016 at 7:11 am

This post was truly inspiring! Thank you for sharing your experience with the disorder and how you have faced it. As someone who does not suffer from anorexia, the post was still eye-opening about how I should be kinder to myself and the way I look at my own body. I am writing to tell you that I support the recovery of you and anyone else who suffers from this. Best of wishes to you all, and I pray for your recoveries.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Z Zoccolante
April, 2 2016 at 10:56 am

Thank you Brenna. I appreciate that. So many people, without eating disorders, can face negative body image, feeling as though we're not enough, or dealing with life's stress by changing of bodies or with food. We all have down days with our body, AND being kind will never go out of style. It's through this kindness with ourselves that we also come to be kinder to everyone around us. Thank you so much for the recovery support for all of us and the note that being kind to ourselves, and our bodies, is a gentle reminder for us all.

March, 29 2016 at 5:08 pm

This is truly amazing. Kindness does matter.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Z Zoccolante
March, 29 2016 at 7:11 pm

Yes, it truly does. :)

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