How Rachel Overcame Anorexia

When I was twenty years old I developed anorexia for the second time in my life. I suffered in silence for nearly five years before I decided I couldn’t continue to live that way any longer. I wanted a life I could be proud of. I wanted to accomplish great things and I knew I couldn’t do that half-starved and exhausted. I dipped my toes into recovery over and over but always came back to the safety of my disorder. What finally pushed me into recovery was finding out I had developed osteoporosis in my hips due to lack of nutrition. Things needed to change. I knew it was time I needed to get healthy. I needed to beat this disorder once and for all. Here are some of the steps I took to recover from anorexia:

1) I came out of the closet so to speak. I went to my fiancé, friends, and family and told them what was going on. If I was going to get better I needed all the support I could get. This also made it much harder for me to continue with my eating disorder (ED) habits because I had loved ones watching me.

2) I started therapy. Being able to talk to someone about my feelings and the obsessive thoughts I was experiencing helped me to work through them and to see how disordered my thoughts truly were.

3) I started immersing myself in ED recovery media. I read memoirs of other men and women who were able to beat their disorders. This gave me the courage to do it myself. I spent hours every day listening to ED recovery podcasts. This was like having a coach in my ear reminding me of my goal, reminding me that the thoughts in my mind were false. They were thoughts created by my ED, not my own.

4) I started an ED recovery and body positive focused Instagram account. Finding a community that I could relate with was so incredibly important. For someone who has never had an ED it’s very hard to understand, so finding people that DO understand is very important

5) I began meditating every day. This has been one of the most powerful tools I’ve used in my recovery. Through meditation, I’ve learned to control my thoughts. Now I’m able to catch myself when I’m thinking a disordered thought. I’m able to stop myself and redirect my thoughts to something pleasant. By changing my thoughts I was able to stop myself from acting out ED behaviors.

6) I started living! I forced myself to get out of the house and do fun activities. I’d meet up with an old friend, go hiking, antiquing, ice skating, etc. This helped me to remember that life isn’t about aesthetics, macros, or how often you go to the gym. Life is for living, loving, learning, and experiencing joy!

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