Happiness, Lifestyle

I Gained More Than Just Weight Through My Eating Disorder Recovery…

This is not my eating disorder story. I do have one, of course, and one I will eventually share with you, but for right now I like to focus on the positives of life and concentrate on how my eating disorder has ultimately affected me a positive way.

With that being said though, after this past weekend I have been out of recovery for three years. THREE YEARS. I honestly was never sure I would be able to get recovered but now looking at myself on the other side, I cannot imagine how I let myself be so trapped inside my own head and hidden from the world for so long.

What I got out of recovery FAR exceeded what I had ever expected it could do. I never thought that I would be able to eat normally again, or look at a piece of food and see it as just that, food, and not the number of carbs, fat, and calories that it had. I didn’t think that I would ever be able to listen to my cravings and order whatever I wanted off of a menu instead of one of the “safe” options like grilled chicken or a salad (without dressing, of course.)

The beautiful thing about recovery though is that I have done all of these things and so many more.

I gained weight, yes, but I also gained a sense of passion and joy for life that I didn’t have in the few years leading up to my eating disorder. I have gained a feeling of independence and self-worth and respect for myself that I probably wouldn’t have gotten had I not overcome this illness. I have also found a motivation to educate people about Eating Disorders and explain that they’re not just something people do to try and get attention (which is a common perception).

I have had multiple opportunities to speak to young (well, younger than me) people about eating disorders and to tell my story. I used to be embarrassed and didn’t want anyone to know what went on for those 3 long years. Once it was no longer a secret though, and people started to find out, I got an overwhelming amount of support from all of those around me.

Yes, I did gain weight during my recovery. I am no longer stick thin and a size whatever, but I am unbelievably happy: happier than I ever thought possible. I gained confidence and a sense of self-worth and the knowledge that I can truly overcome anything.

My eating disorder was rough. It told me I was useless and dirty and that I didn’t deserve love. It told me that I needed to lose weight in order to be more valuable and that with it by my side, forever and ever, I would be perfect.

Recovery shattered every piece of that demon and taught me I don’t need to change in any way in order to be perfect. Recovery taught me that I didn’t need to be terrified of food and that no matter what size I was, my soul was still the same. It taught me that I am not more valuable if I take up less space and I deserve all the love in the world.

So cheers to you recovery. Thank you for standing by me the last 3 years and for never letting that horrible ED back in. Thank you for giving me my life back and for making if 300000x what it was before you came around. Thank you for making me feel loved, and happy, and most importantly, for making me feel beautiful again.

Xoxo. C.

5 thoughts on “I Gained More Than Just Weight Through My Eating Disorder Recovery…

  1. Congratulations on three years of recovery!

    I am only a few months into recovery, but this resonates so strongly with me.

    My favorite thing about recovery has been proving my ED-self wrong – isn’t it great to realize that your life will not in fact fall apart if you challenge your ED thoughts, but it actually gets better than you could ever imagine!?!

    Thank you for spreading awareness about eating disorders, because I think the biggest shame about eating disorders comes from the misconceptions of them – no, they’re not about getting attention at all, they’re coping mechanisms and masking much deeper issues. Continuing to educate people will hopefully remove the stigma and encourage those suffering to get help!!

    Love your blog!

  2. Congratulations on three years! Wow. Such an amazing accomplishment and testament to your strength.

    I think the best part about recovery is proving your ED “voice” wrong. All of my fears about recovery have been proven wrong, and yes in fact I am much happier than I ever could have imagined, because my ED didn’t want to let me believe that I could be happy without it.

    Thank you for continuing to spread awareness about eating disorders. Much of my shame in having an eating disorder stems from the misconceptions around the illness – no, I’m not trying to get attention, it’s a coping mechanism for things that are much much deeper than my physical appearance. Eating disorders are so tricky, but by continuing to educate I know you will help people everywhere seek help.

    You are such an inspiration!

    1. Maddie,

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I seriously cannot believe that it’s already been 3 years and how far I’ve come. I totally agree with the “proving your ED voice wrong.” It feels so good now to eat what I want and say “Take that ED!” I completely understand where you’re coming from deeming it as a “coping mechanism.” Mine stemmed from a lot of rejection when I was younger among my peers and some very mean things that were said…like I said though, I don’t want to go too deep into that yet. I am so glad that you read my post and they resonate with you. Keep up the fight, and thank you for making my day!! <3

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