Eating Disorder Recovery Milestones

One major milestone in ED recovery is when time passes and you don’t think about your eating disorder. What I mean is that you don’t wonder about or entertain the thoughts of purging after a meal, or restricting until dinner. You don’t have to exercise to burn calories. You can wear clothes even if they might make you look heavier than you are. More importantly, you can go out in public on a “fat” day. Most importantly, your “fat” days are fewer and farther in between.

While I have been in recovery for a long time, my eating disorder was a treacherous battle that lasted for nearly half of my life. The eating disorder voice, though much quieter, can still be present. When this happens, it is an indication that something else is going on.

Given that it is a holiday weekend, I have an extra day off. In the past, I would cherish a day off to rest, only to ruin it with a weekend of bingeing and purging—which would make me needing a vacation by the time I returned to work.

I woke up today, however, and realized that I haven’t been obsessing or thinking about food at all, really. One early in recovery or a person without having an eating disorder might think that it is odd that after all of these years I can still think of food. Given our culture, it is nearly impossible NOT to think of food, weight, body image, etc. What can I say? When you come from a place of purging 20-30 times a day for half of your life, you are bound to hear ED thoughts, even years later. That is just a reality. It isn’t everyone’s—especially when EDs come in all forms, with different levels of severity and chronicity—but it is mine.

Does that mean I am imprisoned by it still? NO. For many years in my recovery, I still had a notion of “getting back” to that “perfect” weight again, or thinking that I could use the ED to fall back on if I needed to from time to time. But then, I got to a place where I JUST DON’T CARE. While the ED voice sometimes try to entice me, trying to engage me and reminisce about days when I was thinner (and miserable), I don’t care about it enough to do anything about it.

The message…. LIFE is so much more than the ED—REALLY. Yes, it serves as a nice distraction and gives one a false sense of security and protection. But that is just a cruel ruse. EDs waste time and waste lives. For those struggling and reading this—YOU can recover!!!!