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  • Writer's pictureAnne-Claire

7 hard truths in eating disorder recovery

Updated: Apr 20

This article has been written in parallel to filming our latest YouTube video with Meg. If you want to hear us talk about some of these, click here.

Below, you will find some of the same hard truths, and a few more 👀

Happy reading!

Hard truth #1 – eating disorder recovery is not linear

Slip ups, lapses and even relapses are, to an extent, a normal and expected part of recovery. This isn’t to say that everyone will go through a “full blown” relapse in their recovery or that you should not intentionally try to “stick to the work.”

Rather, this is an invitation to look at the broader picture and the fact that these harder times in recovery are moments where we all learn more about ourselves, where we get to know our triggers and patterns better, and that will contribute to a very solid recovery in the long run.

This is also a gentle nudge to the people pleasers amongst us who may be tempted to perform for their team and maybe not honestly bring up the parts of their journey that are genuinely difficult to navigate.

Hard truth #2 – eating disorder recovery takes time and effort

There is a good chance it took a while for you to develop an eating disorder. It is also going to take a while to heal. There is no such thing as a recovery timeline, but we know that it is unrealistic to expect to put in the work for a couple of months and then be done. That’s simply not enough time to do all the neural rewiring, emotional unpacking and soul exploration needed.

It is important to keep in mind that research indicates that early intervention reduces symptoms and improves the likelihood of long-term recovery. This isn’t to say that if you have been suffering for a long-time recovery won’t be possible (we also have research showing recovery remains possible even after years of suffering). Rather, I am writing this to remind you how important patience and practice will be if that is the case for you.

Hard truth #3 – eating disorder recovery is highly uncomfortable

The source of the discomfort experienced in recovery can vary greatly from person to person. But it is an unavoidable part of healing.

Some reasons why recovery is challenging and uncomfortable are:

  • It requires facing your fears

  • It requires challenging your thoughts and beliefs about food, weight, health, etc.

  • You may experience physical discomfort

  • You may experience emotional discomfort

  • Some of your relationships might change (see below)

Unfortunately, the benefits of recovery often only are experienced later on. Please know that this is one of the reasons why reaching out to others and have a strong support system (whether that’s family and friends; and/or your treatment team) makes a big difference!

Hard truth #4 – it is hard to stay motivated in eating disorder recovery

Motivation is something we often say will ebb and flow. Which makes so much sense in the context of mental health and letting go of functional behaviours. Indeed, ambivalence is part of the recovery equation, and that can impact how willing you feel on a day to day basis.

That being said, motivation is not a condition to doing hard things. That is true in recovery and life! So as much as it is ok to name the frustration and impatience and lack of motivation you might experience, it is also important to continuously show up responsibly for yourself. Aka: act in alignment with your recovery.

At the end of the day, recovery is an action verb that requires your regular commitment. (Not your perfect every day motivation.)

Some ways to help nurture your willingness to show up and your commitment are:

  • Collecting your wins

  • Building a strong “why”

  • Connecting to your core values

  • Making rest and self-care an integral part of your goals

Hard truth #5 – you may not have the support of others

…and you may even have to put some distance from some humans.

Eating disorders are often misunderstood and you may not even want to share about your experience. Which means that you may not receive as much support as you deserve from your immediate social circles, and that can be difficult.

If you have been resisting sharing about your struggles, make sure that you know why that is and to explore this with your team, as it remains important to make sure this isn’t a barrier that has been set by your eating disorder.

If you don’t have other people’s support for any other reason: please give yourself a chance to expand your social circles and maybe seek support online. The Recovery Collective, for example, is a safe and highly supportive community of humans in eating disorder recovery and professionals, where one can find inspiration, education and friendships – all of which can transform your recovery.

Hard truth #6 –eating disorder recovery can be lonely

Eating disorder symptoms (behaviours and consequences) can make us feel like we must isolate or make us unable to join in with others. We may have lost relationships because of our beliefs and behaviours. Or we may be threatening current relationships as we realize their negative impact on our recovery (lack of support, negative comments on food choices or body size, etc).

If you are finding that your recovery experience has been lonely so far: consider finding more of those social circles that we mentioned above. Online spaces like the Recovery Collective can definitely help with this! (read more about that here.)

Hard truth #7 –eating disorder recovery can be expensive

The final hard truth for today is one that breaks my heart on the regular. Accessing quality healthcare can be horrendously expensive depending on where you live. And that only becomes more true if you unfortunately also face other mental or physical health challenges. If cost is barrier to you: please reach out to local foundations, charities and organisations doing work in this field as most have various forms of support available at low or no cost, or a list of providers who may be able to help at a lower price point as well.

To end on a hopeful note

Please do not let the above hard truths be transformed into barriers in your eating disorder recovery.

Yes, these make recovery harder.

Yes, it is unfair.

Yes, yes, yes.

But even though recovery is hard (and possibly in many more ways than what I chose to write about here!), it is absolutely worth it.

You deserve to live a fuller, more authentic life.

AC x


Eating Disorder Recovery Coach Tells Truth


My name is Anne-Claire Jedrzejczak (MS, CCIEDC, RYT-500) and I am a certified eating disorder recovery coach, mental health advocate and recovery survivor.

I guide others every day through their disordered thought and behavioural patterns in order to help them build a fuller more authentic life - aligned with what they value and dream of.

If you are looking for a weight-neutral practitioner with practical tools to complete your existing team or build one with you, please do reach out through the contact form on this website!

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