National Eating Disorders Association

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Full recovery is out of sight

Some days it really feels like I will forever be stuck in quasi recovery with a suppressed metabolism and constantly counting calories. Or like I’ll will never be able to eat what I want without being worried about my set point. I really am uncomfortable with my body at my set point, so I have very little motivation to leave quasi recovery.

Hang in there

I understand. I get it. Just take each day as it comes. Each meal as it comes. Do what you can. Celebrate every tiny little victory.

I can do that but that doesn

I can do that but that doesn’t mean I will be able to get myself from semi recovery

“Full Recovery is inevitable”

Have you seen Tabitha Farrars stuff? I’ve found all her resources incredibly helpful, but she’s also really helpful simply because she’s completely, inarguably recovered. “Full recovery is inevitable” is a quote of hers, can’t remember where it’s from (!), but it basically means if you keep doing the work (by consistently acting as if you do want to leave quasi-recovery) you will get there. « What Mia Did Next » YouTube channel is also really helpful, because she’s undeniably recovered, as well as Christy Harrison from food psych podcast. These are my favourite recovery role models, just because it’s helpful to see full recovery.
Also, when it seems totally overwhelming and impossible like you describe, I do just take it day-by-day or even meal by meal. Focus on one habit you can change and think of the possibilities that opens eg getting rid of a certain ritual leads to freedom to do this; being able to eat this food means; if I go to this restaurant with my family and join in then...
I’m struggling a lot with my body at the moment too...I try to a) ignore it as much as possible b) if I need to, think about the cool things I can do with it- travel etc.- once I’m fully recovered, or even now, and practice some gratitude in a way that doesn’t seem too sunsets and kittens c) remind myself it’s out of my control and predominantly genetic, unless I want to be sick forever d) think about how I’d think of a friend with this body- I certainly wouldn’t hate it, and I’d feel really mean for thinking badly of it.
Maybe write a list of why you chose recovery in the first place too? Well done- you sound like you’ve put a ton of work in, if you can just sit with the discomfort a little longer, without restricting, compensating or engaging in any disordered behaviours it will start to get better.
Hope some of this was helpful xx

Thanks so much for the advice

Thanks so much for the advice. It’s great to talk to someone who has similar struggles. I know that I really need to someone to help me push me to recovery because I’m not strong enough to really challenge myself. The problem lies within completely letting go of control. As long as I’m in control I’m not starving but I’m also not uncomfortably gaining weight. I don’t know if I’m strong enough to ask for help.

I bet you’re stronger than you realise...

I think we’re all in the same boat! Don’t forget: it doesn’t matter how sick you are, it still took some willpower to carry on with life and restrict/carry out eating disorder behaviours. I’m betting you have a ton of willpower, and I’m certain everyone on the forum wants to support you! Do try and ask someone for help: even if it’s just saying to a friend or family member you trust who has some idea what’s going on “can I just say, I’m finding it really difficult to eat this, but I know I need to if I’m going to recover, so I’d appreciate some cheerleading!”. I find just recognising the emotions really helpful.
Someone else on the forum wrote “but you’re not in control, your eating disorder is” which I think is a really helpful mantra. At the end, only you can decide whether or not to push yourself. I find a good trick in really tough mornings, is to have a bit of whatever a fear food is for you, and then have whatever you want for breakfast, to get yourself in the recovery mindset...
You are absolutely tough enough to do this, and I bet that, if you do it properly, it’ll get easier really fast! I freaked out as well on my first 2 attempts at recovery, and handed over all control to someone else. That was a big mistake because a) it stopped me learning to listen to and trust my own body b) it caused a lot of resentment and arguments in that relationship- with my mum- which is still healing c) it let me forfeit some sense of responsibility, and so I didn’t bother to motivate myself or rewire my thought processes.
It’s terrifying and confusing, but also quite empowering, and not nearly as lonely- I can ask for a lot more emotional support, when I’m not arguing about whether or not I have to eat something! I really hope you have someone there for you, preferably whose prepared to educate themselves a bit...
Sorry I blab on so much, and good luck!


<p>”whatever you want for breakfast“- well that was thick! Obviously eat whatever’s on your meal plan or more; basing the decision in your healthy brain, not your eating disorder! Sorry about that!</p>

Thanks for the advice.

Thanks for the advice. I really appreciate it. I’m trying to take one meal at a time, but to be totally honest I’m really sinking back into disordered thoughts. Also I feel like my family, who are my main motivators, don’t want to deal with it anymore or don’t care as much as they used to. It’s up to me to ask for help from them and from and a professional, but it’s so much easier and more comfortable to just stay in this position.

Tough love time...

But it’s not easier in the long run is it? Sure doesn’t sound easy, sounds blooming difficult actually! Taking one meal at a time- well done you! That’s the right thing to do. And the fact that you describe “disordered thoughts” is actually fabulous, because you’re identifying them. If you struggle with that in the moment, write them down. Have you tried talking to your Ed, out loud if you can? When it says “oh just have this” or “you don’t need that” tell it exactly where to go, and do the opposite. You’re gonna have thoughts for a while longer. If you make every pro-recovery decision you can though, they’re gonna go away eventually. If it’s terrifying, you’re doing it right. Make every single terrifying choice you can if you’re not already. Every single one!
Your family probably are less motivated because they think you’re less motivated. It’s exhausting for them too! My mum and sister had completely given up. And I mean completely. My mum would repeatedly say “it’s in your hands” and she was completely right. It is in your hands now and you get to choose. You get to strut into the kitchen one morning, announce “I need more professional help”. You can tell them it’s terrifying; you can’t make them support you immediately, but you can put your foot down and say “this is what I need”.
And don’t for a second think they care less. They might act that way, they might even say so, but that’s them protecting themselves in the exact same way that you are when you say “it’s more comfortable here.” I guarantee you, you will see how much they care when you start to get better and move forward, just as in six months time, you can either look back and go “what was I thinking? This is so much better!” or just think “another 6 months lost to my ED.”
I really want this for you dear stranger, can you tell?! I was stuck for so long thinking it was fine, and it was a time bomb. And a waste of life. It’s only 5 months later now actually, and I feel sooo much better! And that just comes down to decision making, ignoring those thoughts or talking back to them, every day. It sounds like you’re doing a lot of that now, you just need to keep going, focusing on what recovery will bring and why you want it. Basically, find motivation somewhere, anywhere, and hold onto it!
It’s actually helpful for me to read that back too..! Tricky stuff this...

You have no ideas how much I

You have no ideas how much I needed to hear that. I think it’s about time that I put my foot down and ask for professional help so I can really get better without putting a stain on my family.

Whoopee!!! Go you!!!!

But it will NOT be a permanent stain on your family- they’ll know, if they don’t already, that it’s the eating disorder talking, as soon as you really start recovering! Even though I’m not fully recovered at all, there’s been a dramatic shift. My sister told a doctor just three months in “I feel like I’m getting my sister back...”
Let us know how it all goes! Proud of you!

So I had another conversation

So I had another conversation about seeing a therapist again. She told me I have to decide wether I really want to/will give it my all on my own to recover. Or if I want to get help from a therapist. I feel like to get to full recovery it might be best to see a therapist, but I’m really scared of being uncomfortable so it might be easier for me to recover on my own so I don’t have to push myself so much that I freak out. I don’t know how willing a therapist is to go at my pace.

The therapist debate...

Great to hear you’ve made a start! I know there’s some skepticism over whether therapy’s helpful for eating disorders in themselves: some people find it useful, for some people it’s just a waste of time...

It’s totally understandable to be scared of being uncomfortable’re gonna be! You have to be, or you’re not actually doing anything. But it gets better. You know how when you pull a plaster off you can either do it agonisingly slowly trying to minimise discomfort, or rip it off really quickly and be in pain for two seconds? Well, you need to choose the second option...not feeling uncomfortable at all is a great way of ensuring nothing ever heals...
That said, a good therapist will know what pace to take it at. I found talk therapy useless for the anorexia because the therapy was unrelated to the anorexia! But I’ve had a councillor that let me ruminate and repeat myself until I was a complete mess, and I’ve had a brilliant therapist that helped me cover the deep stuff, then end on a constructive and positive note. You’re going to be doing the majority of the hard work- a therapist can’t eat for you; they can’t rest for you, and they can’t make decisions for you. In the end it’s on you, but by choosing the right support you can make it a hell of a lot easier.
So it comes down to that- what’s best for you. And I know that’s irritating as hell because how do you work it out?! Trial and error I guess...tracking your thoughts and behaviours and emotions to work out “is this helping?”. With therapy, that takes a little longer than just “should I be watching this YouTube video?” Or “should I be following this Instagram account?”, but it won’t do any harm, as long as you’re putting in the hard food-and-body-based work. The only danger is it will distract you from that...oh, and stock up on loo roll when you’re getting started ;)

Dear Lizuli26, we would like

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I know to recover I have to

I know to recover I have to be uncomfortable, but it’s at the pace I’m willing to go that I’m worried about. I’m worried that if I go to a therapist I’ll be pushed too much and I’m worried that if I really try by myself I won’t push enough. I totally understand that it’s trial and error when it comes to finding a therapists. I’m just trying to figure out what is best for me


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Sure- got that now!

Thanks!- I thought it was just marketing ones...I’ll avoid them!

Sorry xx

I’m really sorry if that came across as patronising- i guess it’s just helpful to remind yourself it’s supposed to be really hard, it doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong, but that you’re doing it right. You’re absolutely right you need to find the pace that’s right for you: I hope you can find a therapist to help you with that, and I’m sure you will! You have the right to refuse to do anything; in that sense it could be helpful to have someone to push you harder than you would, as long as you still feel in charge of your own recovery. Good luck xx

I always appreciate help.

I always appreciate help. Thanks for all the support and I wish you the best in your recovery as well.

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