24 Reasons To Recover From An Eating Disorder
Recovering from any sort of illness will likely be a slow process. Along the way there is going to be bumps in the road and stressors that could cause you to take two steps back. Becoming angry at yourself is not going to help either during this time. Finding ways to stay motivated and confident in yourself will help to create a strong mental pathway for you to stick too. Really focus deep on what you really want, how you see yourself, and where you wish to get too. Just like anything, set mini goals for yourself. Each time a goal is accomplished or you break a mental barrier, treat yourself with something small.
During an eating disorder recovery, your goals vs. rewards could be quite different and they could also both involve overcoming a struggle. Such as, completing your midterm and then treating yourself to a cupcake and tea (who doesn’t love cupcakes after a stressful time?) or your favourite treat that you have not indulged in since you started disordered eating behaviours. Sometimes, ‘treating’ yourself to a cupcake, ice cream date, etc., could be a goal you set for yourself – and your reward is building that stronger mentality to recover.
It all comes down to finding reasons why you want to recover, and why you should.
My recovery first began when I slowly started to realize that I really, really did not want to live like that anymore. I would lay in bed each night thinking to myself;
Was it really worth it?
What was I going to get from being anorexic my whole life?
Is something good eventually going to happen because I looked and act this way?
Why am I afraid of what people would think of me?
A few things that would and still are taking time to realize are that people really do not care what size you are. Sure there are some who are very shallow, but the ones who are supposed to love you, care for you, or be a friend to you are the ONLY important ones. Find individuals who can accept you for you, and are there to encourage you along the way. These are people who bring out the confidence you have hidden deep down.
I have put together a list of reasons that motivated me to recover. I understood how long of a path I would be going down, how tough and emotional it would be, and honestly it is a continuous process to this day. But, I have learned so much along the way, grown so strong mentally and physically, that I never see myself falling back into an anorexic mindset.
Reasons Why I Chose Recovery & Why You Should Too…
- family relationships – constant arguments over food, behaviours, etc.
- friendships – lost friends, never wanted to contact them to get together
- isolated myself from the world – staying at home all the time
- relationships – affects your future (i.e. having kids), hormones (drive – not interested in finding someone as significant other), lack of emotions towards others, etc
- beginning to appreciate the small things life has to offer
- no longer monitored by family anymore when making your own food, or during meal times
- freedom from hospitals, doctors, therapists (especially if your not into speaking about your emotions)
- risk of being pulled out of school or current job to be hospitalized or more closely kept an eye on
- Overall health – skin, hair, nails, under eye bags, etc; tired of looking gaunt and wishing to have a full, glowing complexion
- I have always loved the gym and I fell in love with weight lifting – so recovering with the goal and being able to get back into the gym was a HUGE motivator – FINDING YOUR NICHE to stay active (whether that be yoga, dancing, boxing, horseback riding, running marathons, etc.)
- having an extreme low bone density – having to avoid snowboarding, and sports that involve contact
- to have confidence in all aspects of life that I once had:
- applying to jobs becomes easier
- easily connecting with those sharing the same interests
- the real world hitting you suddenly:
- I don’t want to limit myself to things I used to love (Cake, spontaneous ice cream and dinner dates, etc.)
- I don’t want to be depressed all the time, it makes others around me not want to be around me
- to not be tired 24/7
- to not be cold all the time! (Seriously though, I wore LAYERS year round)
- to no longer be the elephant in the room at family events, outings with friends, etc.
- having trust from family, etc. so I can travel alone, and go out on my own for a bit
- along the way, recovery made me realize my goals in my future and helped me develop my career path that I wish to take (from business to nutrition)
- to finally go shopping and not have to worry about not being able to purchase anything, because you still have some weight to gain
- to not feel guilty about eating two slices of bread instead of one
What I Got Out of Realizing All This:
I started to smile more, my sense of humour came back, I began to laugh more, and my old outgoing, silly side finally was able to surpass my ‘second self’ and shine through. My hair began to grow and thicken, my nail beds are now softer, the dark purple and yellow circles under my eyes no longer exist and my skin got its colour back. My overall complexion is now glowing once again.
I am, and you are, so much more than your eating disorder. I have lost seven years of my life, and I refuse to listen to my anorexia for more. Keep choosing recovery over and over again. The stronger you become, the weaker it gets.