National Eating Disorders Association

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I've recently started eating again, still not like I should but a lot better, but I was wondering if you can still recover if you still have the negative thoughts every time you eat or even think about eating. I've been eating more and more lately but the thoughts about weight is still there. The thoughts of "Well if I just stop eating I'll get small again" are there.

Yes! Recovery can still happen


You bring up an excellent question that I'm sure many people in recovery think about. The answer is yes! Most people still have negative thoughts and feelings when in the recovery process. But they eventually dissipate. In recovery, the actions often change before our thoughts and heads catch up. If you continue with recovery, your head and heart will eventually come around. Keep fighting and you will be amazed at how your thoughts eventually become less and less negative! I'm proud of you for getting to the recovery stage. You deserve to live a life free of your ED!!!

Recovery is always possible

Hi melbell52,

Recovery is definitely still possible, even if you have lingering negative thoughts about food. This is a normal issue for many people recovering from EDs. Recovery is a many step process that is different for each person. After recognizing these negative thoughts, it's important not to dwell on them, and instead stay positive and think about your reaction to them - both emotionally and physically. I know - easier said than done - but I believe in you! Keep your head up!

Since you mentioned these thoughts are sometimes focused on "getting small again" here are some tips on how to keep a healthy and positive body image: Focusing on your happiness and all-around wellbeing rather than a size can help. Talking to friends and family (and to us here at NEDA!) can also be a positive outlet. Help is always available and recovery often requires a support system.

Don't give up!

NEDA is here to support you during the evolving COVID-19 outbreak. The health of our community, especially those who are most vulnerable to the virus' serious complications, remains paramount. To access resources that can provide free and low-cost support, please click here.