The Truth About Eating Disorder Recovery

Morgan Blair
5 min readMar 24, 2022

I’m years into my recovery from my eating disorder. I went from someone suffering in silence to a patient checking herself into multiple treatment centers, to a human in the beginning stages of recovery. Now, years later, I am an eating disorder counselor who owns her own outpatient practice. My counseling practice works primarily with individuals recovering from all types of eating disorders. I share this to say that, yes, I have seen a lot of people go through this healing process. I have seen people at their worst, I have seen people thriving in recovery, and I have seen everything in between. Through my own recovery and work as a counselor, the main thing I have learned is this: no matter the person’s situation, recovery is a messy process.

Here are some of the not-so-fun realities that make this process a messy one:

  1. You can’t abstain from food. You need it to survive.
Stack of pancakes with syrup dripping on top.
Photo downloaded via Pexels

First off, food is the one thing that we need to survive. Recovering from an eating disorder doesn’t require abstinence, it requires balance, which I have come to believe is far more complicated. You have to eat, but every day of eating is slightly different. Sometimes we have dessert, sometimes we are on a road trip and eat snacks all day, sometimes we are so busy at work everything has to be premade and planned the day before. Food is constantly shifting and, many times, for individuals with eating disorders this can feel extremely distressing. There is no perfect way to eat. No exact road map. No formula to follow. There are guidelines — such as meal plans and sample plates — to go off of at the beginning. But no one will ever be able to tell you exactly how to eat. Feeding ourselves becomes an act of self-trust — knowing how much to eat, when to eat, what to eat. Rebuilding the trust that our bodies know how to do this is a feat in recovery that takes time and patience to figure out.

2. Body image gets worse before it gets better.

Another messy part of eating disorder recovery is body image. Social media is full of trends right now of individuals promoting body positivity. This is great. This movement is beginning to give more exposure to all types of bodies — an important and necessary step for our society. However, in eating disorder recovery you will be changing your patterns…

Morgan Blair

Writing about the messy parts of life that make us human. Follow me on Twitter:


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