Eating disorder recovery can be a long, hard, bumpy road. For a lot of people it is hard to fully recover from an eating disorder. For others it is easy to relapse into old behaviors when big changes or stressful events take place. And unfortunately, for some, it is a struggle to ever fully recover.
Some facts when it comes to eating disorders and eating disorder recovery:
- An estimated 1.1 to 4.2 % of women have bulimia nervosa in their lifetime.
- Between 0.1% to 0.5% of males will develop bulimia.
- In the United States, 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life.
- Between 0.3 and 1% of young women have anorexia nervosa.
- Beginning as early as 12 years of age, gay, lesbian, and bisexual teens may be at higher risk of binge-eating and purging than their heterosexual peers.
- People get eating disorders at all ages.
- You CAN recover from an eating disorder.
There are so many other statistics and facts on eating disorders and people who struggle, but I wanted to share a few in order to remind you that you are not alone. People of all ages, genders, and ethnicities struggle with eating disorders, and there IS hope for recovery. That does not mean that healing and recovery will be easy, but please remember that it IS possible. When you are struggling it can feel impossible and unattainable, but I am living proof that it IS possible to recover.
If you are struggling with an eating disorder or in the middle of recovery, please know that it is OKAY and normal to not heal right away. When I struggled with an eating disorder, I probably struggled with the harmful behaviors of my eating disorder on a daily/weekly basis for about 4-5 years until I asked for and started getting help. Then, after getting help, it was probably 3-4 years before I was completely healed and not struggling anymore. Now, in those 3-4 years of recovery I did make a lot of progress and have a lot of better days, but I still had moments where I would relapse into those old, harmful, eating disorder thought patterns and behaviors. It is important to remember that healing and progress is not linear. It is not a smooth, straight line to recovery – it is a lot of ups and downs, forwards and backwards, and that is normal. It can feel really hard and really lonely when you are in the middle of that healing journey, so have grace and compassion for yourself. And please remember that you are NOT alone. You are never alone – even when you feel like it. When you are healing it can feel like you are the only one who is struggling, but I promise you there are others who understand what you are going through. In order to love yourself well, surround yourself with the people who love you, care for you, and support you the best.
No matter what, remember that you are loved, you are beautiful, you are worthy of a joyful and healthy life, and you CAN recover. Please don’t give up!
A podcaster, wife, health/wellness coach, beach lover, and musician. She specialises in nutrition education, meal planning, and developing sustainable habits. She passionately works with her patients to help them build healthier and happier relationships with food, exercise, and themselves.
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