National Eating Disorders Association

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A Victory! And also a question...

Hi everyone! It's been a while since I've been on, but these past few weeks I've been discovering more and more about myself. I began running in July 2012, but a few months after that my eating disorder began to manifest. I had immense difficulty running because I wasn't fueling my body properly. It took some time and a few interventions, but I was able to get my life back on track and use running (but never overexercising) in order to keep the stress that fueled my disorder at bay.

I recently ran a 26.2 mile training run (yup, that's a marathon's distance) and during rough times over the course of those seven hours, I thought about all of you that have had struggles similar to mine. I never would have been able to run long distances if I had remained a slave to my disorder. By accomplishing this I felt such a tremendous victory that I can achieve more now than I ever could when I was sick. I did it for me, but I also did it for all of you. Through healthy living, we can achieve more than we ever thought possible.

Today I've been cleaning out my closet and found a skirt I got when I was beginning to develop healthy habits. I'm now a little big for it so my question is: should I keep the skirt or not? I'm at a healthy weight and if I lost a little bit I would still be at an okay weight, but I should never weigh any less than that. I'm petite so what seems like a little bit makes a big difference on my frame. Of course I would do this in a healthy way and ensure I was not reverting to bad habits, but part of me feels like doing this could trigger unhealthy behaviors. What should I do- ditch the skirt or keep it?

Love to you all,


You are amazing!

Seriously! Congratulations! It's really amazing what you can do when you're well taken care of. You are so inspiring to me! Keep on being awesome!
On the other note, I'd ditch it. Focus on things that fit you now when you are healthy and strong! If something doesn't work, there's no use in keeping it. I actually had a friend who had an awesome idea about that. She didn't want to be triggered by old thing either, so she donated her old clothes that no longer fit! You can keep doing even more good while getting better!
Again, congrats. You have done amazing things, and will continue to do so! Stay fantastic, and thank you so much for the upbeat post. It always helps to hear such awesome stories
<3 Julia

Great Job!!!

Hi Hannah!!

You. are. AMAZING!!!! Great job on fighting the ED and using positive aspects in your life to reinforce and continue your recovery!! It is so good to have encouraging stories like yours on these forums!!

As far as your question I think it is a matter of how best you perceive what that skirt means for you. You mentioned that you got it when you were first starting recovery. I can see that since it doesn't fit well anymore that it could be triggering. So I think the question at this point is more: is that skirt a symbol of your recovery or your ED? I think asking yourself that question would be important. I know for me I have kept a lot of things from my recovery just to remind me of certain points in time I was at. Although they aren't clothes I pay more attention to the memory attached to the item more than the item itself. But that is just me!!

Hope this helps!! I'd be really interested to hear what you decide!

Stay strong!!

Hi Hannah,

Hi Hannah,
Like the above posts have mentioned, you are SUCH an inspiration to anyone reading your posts on the forums! I'm so happy to hear how well you are doing and how much you have been able to accomplish!

In terms of the skirt, I think you should do whatever you are most comfortable with. If you think it could be triggering, then I would think about whether or not you want to take that risk. However, if you think you can handle keeping the skirt and feel strong enough, then that is also another possibility! Do whatever you think will keep you on that recovery road! You know yourself better than anyone else and I trust that you'll make the best decision for you!

If you do need any additional support though, feel free to call the NEDA NEDA Information and Referral Helpline at (800) 931 2237. The NEDA Helpline is available Monday-Thursday from 9AM to 9PM Eastern Time and Friday 9AM to 5PM.

Wishing you the best of luck, Hannah! Keep staying strong!


You are Incredible!

Wow Hannah, what an inspirational story!

My biggest problem with my eating disorder was compulsive exercising and, although I am recovered now, it is still something that I struggle with, not nearly as much as I did in the past, but my eating disorder will tend to creep in every once in a while, and that is why I must be diligent. This is why I am so impressed with people who are able to exercise for enjoyment, and even use it as a coping skill to fight against their eating disorder, so I applaud you.

I know that those of us who have recovered from eating disorders are very powerful, strong, and enlightened people; really, if we turn this obsession with the eating disorder towards our passions and dreams, anything is possible. I know that, deep down, I love to exercise because it gets all of my built up stress and anxiety out, but I am still working on finding the balance between when it is me wanting to work out and when it is my eating disorder; as I have learned, it is all about my intentions.

Anyway, to get to your question about the skirt, honestly, I would just throw it out. From personal experience, I believe that the fact that you are thinking about it so much is a sign that the eating disorder is trying to creep back in. I threw out (donated) any old clothes that did not fit right. Be happy with the size that your body is at now because, as you probably know, the goal of losing weight does not seem to work well for those of us who suffer from an eating disorder, even for those of us who are recovered, although the intentions may seem healthy at first, it always gives ED an opportunity to creep back in and he will not hesitate to take it.

Keep up the good work, and never fall for ED's sneaky tricks, you are beautiful just the way you are.

First of all congrats on the

First of all congrats on the marathon run!! I only run half-marathons myself because that's about all my knees can take.

Second of all, I would suggest getting rid of the skirt. It may not seem triggering now but trust me that can change very quickly. If you lose weight just to fit in that skirt you run the risk of wanting to keep going and eventually relapsing. In my opinion it isn't worth the risk.

Go out and buy yourself a pretty new skirt or outfit instead in the size that you are now :)

Thank you all!!!

Thank you all so much for your help. The day I posted this was extremely emotional and kstrangis3, you were totally right that my eating disorder was trying to creep back in. I stopped going through everything for a few days, just so I would stop thinking about it. After I resumed I donated a lot of my old clothes (that were many different sizes) but ultimately I decided to keep the skirt. It's tucked away, where I won't see it all the time. I decided to keep it to remind myself how far I have come, and bought myself a pretty new dress :)