To the Person Who Wants to Quit Eating Disorder Recovery

August 25, 2021 Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer

This letter is to you, the person who wants to quit eating disorder recovery. 

I first embarked on the path to eating disorder recovery when I was 19 years old. I am now 30 and no longer ruled by constant, relentless obsessions with food, weight, exercise, or body image. But no matter how much progress I have made in these last 10 years, there are still occasional moments when I'm forced to acknowledge how much easier it would be to quit this healing journey and return to familiar, comfortable—albeit destructive—habits.

Can you relate to this experience too? Do you know just how alluring the temptation to quit can be? Are you running out of willpower to resist it? If so, this message is for you: an open letter to the person who wants to quit eating disorder recovery. 

When You Want to Quit Eating Disorder Recovery

Dear Recovery Warrior,

I have been where you stand right now. You are worn out from the battle and unsure if you can muster even one more ounce of resolve to continue. You fantasize about the past and how strong and powerful you felt to be in control of the calories you ate or the number you weighed. You're anxious about the future, how daunting it feels to separate your true, authentic self from the eating disorder that has become your source of identity.

Those around you express concern, and you have to admit their fears are valid. You know what it will take to ease their worries. You know the decision to heal is within your own grasp. But that choice is hard to make when the critical voice in your head whispers, "You cannot win this fight. So quit before you fail."  

Warrior, let me remind you, that voice is a liar. An eating disorder wants you to think the obstacles in your path are unsurmountable, and a life of freedom is impossible. Don't allow this deception to crystalize into a belief that turns you into a hollow, vacant shadow of the passionate, unique, radiant person you still are inside.

I know the journey to recover seems unpredictable and treacherous. I know the fears can be overwhelming, and the uncertainties can immobilize you at times. I also know that, for all the pain it causes, an eating disorder often resembles an inviting security blanket rather than a life-threatening addiction. It's easy to burrow in the folds of this blanket, instead of facing the physical, mental, and emotional labor built into the healing process.  

But I promise, you have the strength not to quit—no matter how weak or tired you feel. You can listen to your hunger cues. You can finish the meal on your plate. You can rest without calling it "laziness." You can exercise without using it as a punishment. You can replace negative self-talk with affirmations of your worth. You can stop measuring your value in pounds on a scale. You can nourish this body that fights so hard just to keep you alive. You can breathe through the fear and march through the fire. This journey is not without its scrapes and stumbles, but you can emerge victorious on the other side.

So to the person who wants to quit eating disorder recovery, I'll leave you with these final words: I see your depletion, but I see your courage to persevere as well. Your exhaustion is real, but so is your determination. If you retain nothing else from this open letter, I hope you will begin to view yourself as someone who deserves health, wholeness, and a life of abundance. Healing is always within reach—even in the moments when you're tempted to quit. I know this because I have experienced it for myself.


A Fellow Warrior on the Path to Recovery 

Are you in a season right now where you want to quit eating disorder recovery? I hope you feel encouraged by this open letter. Could someone else in your life use a reminder to stay the course or re-commit to their healing journey? Share this letter with them. Eating disorder recovery is an uncomfortable process, but I am grateful that I chose not to quit.

APA Reference
Schurrer, M. (2021, August 25). To the Person Who Wants to Quit Eating Disorder Recovery, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 20 from

Author: Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer

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