Is FULL RECOVERY from an eating disorder even possible?

is full recovery possible

This post is for people who need some encouragement to keep on recovering and to NEVER give up!

I think one of the cruelest things would be to tell a person with an eating disorder who is trying to recover that full recovery is not possible. Or that “yes, you may get better but you will forever live with this underlying condition and you will just learn to “manage it” (whatever the heck that means!).

I want to say that I believe full recovery is 100% possible for you!

I do not care how long you have had it, how many doctors or “professionals” have told you that you will never recover – You CAN recover! Radically refuse to believe otherwise.

I am fully recovered from bulimia and orthorexia and I am completely FREE from it. I do not “manage it” or “cope with it” – I am fully FREE from it, period. 

Plus, I will even say that I will NEVER have it back. I am so confident in my full recovery because I learned all the things that took me to have an eating disorder and I also learned how to fully recover myself from it. 

I have been fully recovered now over 5+ years and have not had any relapses or even a hint of it. For 3,5 years I have now been an eating disorder recovery coach, talking to people with various levels of eating disorders and never even felt triggered by it. I just want to help them get out of it. It’s now my mission!

I have countless examples of clients who have reached full recovery after doctors and professionals have told them they will never recover.

You can listen to an interview I did with my former client Becky who fully recovered from nearly 20 years of anorexia, overexercising and orthorexia in 1 year.

Plus, she got her period back after almost 20 years of not having one!

 

Or you can listen to an interview I did with one other client of mine, Paji, who fully recovered from 17 years of bulimia in 6 months!

She struggled for so long to recover because she just did not have the right information. She didn’t even know it was possible to fully recover from it!

She was bingeing and purging multiple times per day, feeling lost and out of control in her body.

She hated her body and thought there is something wrong with her. But now as she is fully recovered she doesn’t only accept herself but she loves herself unconditionally! Recovery truly transformed her mindset and her relationship with herself.

 

But if full recovery is possible for everybody then why there are people who have not recovered and continue to struggle?

I do believe various factors can influence whether a person reaches full recovery or not.

Through recovery coaching, I have seen some common patterns in people who reach full recovery. These are just my observations.

1. They believe that full recovery is possible.

Our belief has a strong effect on what we achieve. 

Maybe you have heard of a saying of…

“Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.”? (Henry Ford)

This quote illustrates the power of our minds. If you believe something, then you can achieve it.

Having a belief, trust, and faith in full recovery are all things I believe made me able to fully recover, as well as my clients who reach full recovery.

If you feel you lack belief in full recovery it is something you can train and develop. Good ways are limiting belief exercises or hypnosis. These are also the things I do with my coaching clients.

Also, just starting your recovery path and taking action starts to build your belief in full recover as you will start to see the positive effect recovery has on you over time and the changes you will see!

Many of my clients have shared horror stories about how a “professional” has told them that full recovery is not possible for them. This just ingrained their limiting belief that they can’t achieve full recovery (not knowing it’s BS).

So it is crucial to tell someone with an eating disorder or to tell yourself if you are in recovery over and over again “Full recovery IS 100% possible!” Because it is.

2. They are 100% willing to commit and take action

Commitment and being willing to take consistent action are huge key factors whether a person recovers or not.

A person can know all about recovery but if they are not committed to taking consistent action then no results will come.

You can talk about your wish of reaching full recovery all day but if you don’t fully commit to it and don’t take action, you won’t recover.

You must be willing to go through the hardest parts of recovery and keep going.

You must be so committed to it like your life depends on it (which it does!).

You must be willing to do whatever it takes…and then more!

3. They know and trust the recovery process

A huge key factor why many people don’t fully recover is that they lack knowledge about recovery. Or they have been misled by outdated information about recovery.

I never went through a traditional route of recovery. For example, doing any in-patient or out-patient programs or going to recovery centers or clinics, or even seeing a “recovery specialist” (doctors, therapists, nutritionists).

I am sure some programs or professionals do help people fully recover and are invaluable! Plus, having a specialist monitor your physical recovery is sometimes crucial to avoid any complications.

BUT, I have talked to so many of my clients who have gone that route and they say this is why they never fully recovered.

Because the treatment they got was outdated and it simply didn’t work. Many of them report getting worse!

For example, they were never informed about extreme hunger, let alone allowed to eat to their true full hunger. 

Instead, many of them were prescribed (restrictive) meal plans that they had to follow, sometimes indefinitely. And they continued to be afraid of their hunger and never reached true freedom with eating.

And they were never even taught about the set point weight theory, let alone allowed to reach their unique set point weight. Instead, their weight was still monitored by the scale and BMI charts and scared with comments like “you don’t wanna gain too much!” or “we don’t want you to be overweight as well, do we?”

Also, very often they were told how they will never fully recover or even if they do, it will take years, and years, and years…

In short – the very people who should help you believe in you, encourage you, offer a safe and secure environment from an eating disorder are the ones who often reinforce it!

So my mission is to let people know how and why full recovery is possible! This is also why I wrote my book “BrainwashED” – it’s a step by step book about everything I had to learn to reach full recovery and what I want to teach others.

You have to become the advocate and boss of your recovery. You have to lead your recovery. Waiting for others to recover for you won’t work. It can even make you get worse.

Your BODY can recover.

Looking back at the years of an eating disorder and then recovery I am truly AMAZED at the intelligence and resilience of my body!

Knowing what I know now about recovery it makes total sense how my body reacted when I had an eating disorder – the bingeing, food obsession, bloating, digestion issues, weight fluctuations, hormonal symptoms – my body was in a survival mode and trying its best to keep me alive given the circumstances.

Your body is designed to protect you and keep you alive.

When you have an eating disorder then all the changes and “scary things” you see are there for a REASON. Yes, to you it might not seem optimal, but the conditions are also not optimal for your body. But it is the best that it can do in the eating disorder context.

And biologically your body can recover. With recovery you can speed up your metabolism, you can get back your period, you can reach to your optimal set point weight, you can overcome bloating and digestion issues

With recovery your body is programmed to not only “gain fat”, but to restore any lost muscle tissue, bone mass, organ tissue, brain tissue, nervous system and so much more!

You can also forever become free of binge eating and food obsession. You can overcome fear foods and anxiety with eating. You can restore your strength and energy levels.

Your MIND can recover.

Today we know that your brain is neuroplastic. This means that the circuits and connections in your brain are not stagnant or set in stone. Your brain can change throughout your life.

Your brain can rewire.

And you are not a victim to your brain – you can rewire your brain by self-directed neuroplasticity. This means that with your conscious awareness and self-directed focus and by the action you choose to take you can be the director of your brain rewiring project!

Your brain is a very efficient machine – it learns by the information you give it. It wants to create habits and patterns so it can serve you most effectively. 

But your brain is also very “stupid” in the sense that you can teach your brain almost anything you want. Also the bad stuff. 

Your brain doesn’t know the difference if something is good or bad for you, healthy or unhealthy – you teach your brain by the daily actions and your emotional reactions and by what you are exposed to daily and what information you let in as the truth.

But with your conscious awareness, the part of you that CAN tell a difference from good and bad, healthy and unhealthy – can teach your brain to overcome bad habits, destructive behaviors, negative thoughts and to rewire your brain to reach full mental recovery from an eating disorder!

You can use your brain for your advantage, not a disadvantage.

But now to continue with my key points to what helps a person to fully recover…

4. They take full responsibility for their recovery

While it is important to have support in your recovery (will talk about it next!) it is equally important to take full responsibility for your recovery.

Here what I mean is that you cannot wait for others to do it for you, or convince you to recover.

You must want to recover and take full responsibility for achieving it!

Other people can help you and support you, offer accountability, advice, and guidance. But you have to be proactive in your recovery and take action. Nobody can do it for you!

Nobody is saying that recovery is easy or that you won’t struggle but it is important to not fall into a victim mindset. Many people refuse to take responsibility for their actions and continue to find excuses outside of themselves why they cannot recover. They either blame others, society, or their circumstances.

Sometimes the circumstances you are in are not the best but you can choose what you will do about it.

Also, this is not to blame you or make you feel like “it is all your fault” (even this is a victim mindset) but instead to empower you! To make you realize that it is all up to you. It is in your power to fully recover!

Other people or circumstances do not control your recovery if you don’t let them, YOU are the one that controls your recovery!

5. They have support

Don’t get me wrong, you CAN do so much for your recovery yourself and see amazing results. If you lack the support it does not mean you can’t recover.

But having support can be an important aspect of recovery. One that keeps you going even on the hardest days as consistency is the key to reaching full recovery.

Support can mean either your family or loved ones. Or your closest friend or spouse.

Support can also mean having a treatment team, a doctor, therapist or other recovery specialists who you can trust.

Support can also mean online support. Like a recovery support group or even connecting with people through blogs and videos.

Support can also mean having an eating disorder recovery coach who can support you along the way, keep you accountable and on track. 

I am an eating disorder recovery coach and work with clients around the world thanks to the amazing internet connection.

There are various possibilities!

My point with this post is that you CAN fully recover from an eating disorder.

What makes the most difference I would say is YOUR MINDSET and your willingness to recover.

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Angela Merkel

I hope this post encouraged you to keep on going with your recovery and never give up!

My motto in my recovery was: “Full recovery is the only option!” 

I simply refused to stop until I reached full recovery! And I finally did!

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