National Eating Disorders Association

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Hoping for tips/encouragment

Hi there--just hoping for some tips/encouragement from folks who have struggled with anorexia as well.

I had full blown anorexia in high school, and am in my mid twenties now, doing a lot better. But, I've been struggling lately with (A LOT) of fear of gaining weight. Whenever I'm stressed out, it gets exponentially worse--I just want to control SOMETHING. It also doesn't help that I'm a terrible cook, and have a hard time feeding myself healthfully while not having to prepare anything complex!

I've always been a competitive runner, and that, ironically helps me not restrict because I can't run a good race if I'm depleted of food. I am diagnosed with/medicated for OCD too, which also helps a lot, but again, the stressful times still get to me!

Any help for not reverting back to bad, restrictive habits when times get stressful?

Thank you!!


Hi Anon86. I have been a recovered anorexic for 20 years. I still have a few issues with my body (who doesn't), but I no longer deprive myself of food and beat myself up with exercise. I think the best thing I can tell you is that it gets better with time. The hardest part (at least it was for me) is learning to love yourself just the way you are. You will gain confidence in yourself and soon realize that there are other things in life that need your undivided attention. If you are a runner, this is a great way to relese your stress. Focus on the positive things you are doing for your body and eat smart along the way (protein bars, nuts, fruits, lean meats). I hate cooking!!! I'm also a vegetarian which is challenging. Try the morning star farm meat substitues....they taste great and just have to be heated up in microwave. I particularly like the chicken patties cut up in my salad! Hope this helps!

You CAN do this

Hi Anon86 -

The most important thing here is to know that having old feelings and temptations of your ED is not unusual. This can actually be a normal part of the recovery process, if you can believe it. Try to remember what really helped you recover. For example, I repeat my mantras to myself whenever thoughts start to creep in (couple of my favs: Treat yourself like you would your best friend; feel the fear and do it anyway). I also remind myself of the strength of my relationships when I am well compared to when I was sick. And since you enjoy running, it may help to tune in to what your body can do when it's treated well. Don't let your stress control you - you control the stress!

Here are some really good tips:

To prevent relapsing do not forget to ask for help, communicate your thoughts and feelings, address and resolve problems as they arise, live a healthful and balanced life, and remember that you would not have made it this far if it were not for your strong determination and dedication toward recovery.


Thank you very much!

Thank you very much!