5 Reasons Why Eating Disorder Recovery Is So Worth It

December 24, 2020 Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer

I know firsthand just how much of a challenge it can be to prioritize eating disorder recovery this time of year—or even in general, for that matter. So if your commitment to healing is wavering at the moment, I want to share with you five reasons why I believe that eating disorder recovery is worth it. This is not to minimize the pain or turmoil you might feel, but I do hope the list below inspires and encourages you to continue on the path to reclaiming a healthy, empowered life. Eating disorder recovery is no simple feat, but I can tell you from experience, the outcome is so worth it.

Here's Why I Think Eating Disorder Recovery Is Worth It

  1. You will have the mental space for thoughts beyond just food or body image. When under the influence of an eating disorder, your brain is consumed with the number of calories you have eaten, the size of your clothes, the number of pounds you weigh, or how you look in the mirror. These anxious, obsessive thoughts will keep you cemented in a pattern of unhealthy behaviors such as food restriction, over-exercise, or binge-purge cycles. However, when you start to free your mind from the eating disorder's control, you will have more headspace to focus on what is actually important and meaningful in life.
  2. You will become more present and emotionally invested in your relationships. That eating disorder voice in your head can make it seem nearly impossible to tune into the needs of your loved ones. So rather than interacting with them in real-time, you're listening to a relentless inner monologue that distracts you from the relationship and urges you to numb out or withdraw from human connection. But as you learn how to silence that voice in eating disorder recovery, this enables you to be authentically present to those around you—to offer them your full, undisturbed time, attention, energy, and relational investment.    
  3. You will be able to exercise for pleasure and health instead of punishment. How long has it been since you chose to be active for enjoyment, not as a form of punishment? When was the last time you noticed the fresh intake of breath in your lungs, marveled at the rhythmic contraction of your muscles, and took in the scenic views around you on a morning run outside? Chances are, it's been a while. Your eating disorder has turned exercise into a requirement for burning calories, but recovery will teach you how to move in a different way that feels gentle, balanced, restorative, and pleasurable. 
  4. You will feel a newfound appreciation for all that your own body is capable of. The human body is quite miraculous in its design and precision. Each organ, bone, joint, muscle, nerve, and tissue has its own distinct function and exists for one purpose—to keep you alive. While the eating disorder wants to undermine this goal, the body is resolute in its mission to protect your wellbeing at all costs. When you make this connection, it's hard not to feel immense gratitude for what the body is capable of. So the healthier you become in eating disorder recovery, the more body-centric appreciation you will have.  
  5. You will discover that your sense of personal identity is not tied to the illness. If you are like me, then you struggle at times to envision yourself without an eating disorder. You might wonder if the person on the other side of this healing process will even resemble you in the slightest. But with eating disorder recovery comes the realization that your sense of identity is based on so much more than a life-threatening illness. You are not just a number on the scale—you are a human being with unique passions, talents, dreams, quirks, values, and idiosyncrasies. That is an identity worth healing for, in my opinion.         

An Uplifting Reminder that Eating Disorder Recovery Is Worth It

The next time you feel a lack of commitment or motivation to stay the course of your own healing process, I hope these words of encouragement will remind you of all the reasons why eating disorder recovery is so worth it. 

APA Reference
Schurrer, M. (2020, December 24). 5 Reasons Why Eating Disorder Recovery Is So Worth It, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 25 from

Author: Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer

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