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The road to recovery from binge eating disorder can be painful and challenging. To celebrate your recovery means committing to recovery and working through issues that may have been buried for years or challenging food-related behaviors that may have been ingrained in your life for a long period of time.
Living with binge eating disorder can also become a way to survive and face life difficulties, and relearning healthy coping skills can feel as though you are unraveling your sense of reality.
Embrace and Experience Life
The truth is that recovery allows you to embrace and fully experience life. Eating disorders are effective at numbing emotions, detaching you from reality, and truncating your potential of what you are capable of experiencing. As you put forth the effort, time, and dedication in recovery, how do you know that you are making the strides and progress so you can celebrate your recovery?
Recovery is, in fact, a journey, and not a destination, so it can be difficult to recognize the steps forward you have made and the growth apart from your eating disorder that you are accomplishing. Celebrating your journey and the steps of your progress are important to recognize and acknowledge how your work is paying off.
It is important to stay focused on your own journey and not compare yourself to others or where other people may be on their journey. Eating disorder recovery is an individual process, and your progress may look completely different from what others are doing – and that is perfectly okay.
Ways to Show You’re Moving in the Right Direction
What are ways to identify that you are recovering from binge eating disorder? Look for growth and progress in the following areas:
Binge eating disorder is marked by recurrent binge-eating episodes without purging. Have your bingeing episodes decreased in frequency? Have you been able to apply healthy coping skills to binge urges?
Do you find yourself able to go through longer period of time between binges or urges to binge? Are you able to challenge food related behaviors, such as eating in isolation?
Have you seen improvement in any physical symptoms that may have resulted from binge eating? Maybe you have more energy or stamina or are better able to focus on tasks throughout the day?Take the time to acknowledge these steps of victory in your recovery, no matter how small they may seem!
Countless emotions can trigger binge eating episodes, with emotional distress often characterizing binge eating. Perhaps you regularly felt shame, embarrassment, disgust, anger, or guilt over a binge or with yourself.
Recovery from binge eating involves emotional growth and the ability to work through these kinds of feelings. You will likely learn different techniques with your counselor or therapist that can help you effectively face these emotions without engaging in binge eating behaviors.
As you progress in your binge eating disorder recovery, you will also notice that you are more in tune with your emotions and better able to recognize how you are feeling, as well as how certain feelings may trigger binge eating urges.
Binge eating disorder can co-occur with other psychological disorders or mental illnesses, such as depression, anxiety, drug addiction and more. If you are simultaneously addressing and treating a co-occurring disorder in addition to binge eating, know that you are taking the most effective steps towards lasting recovery.
While this can make your journey seem more arduous, this will help ensure that you do not relapse as you recover from binge eating. Progress in your recovery may be reflected in more effective management of co-occurring disorders and overall psychological stabilization.
Suffering with binge eating disorder is an isolating experience, one that has likely severed many relationships with loved ones, family, and friends. You may have also found it difficult to function in a job, professional setting, school, and more.
Social events, family functions, or friends gathering together are likely scenarios that you have missed out on. As you grow in your recovery from binge eating disorder, you will slowly find yourself able to function in normal social activities.
The shame and despair that you once felt will begin to ease as you heal from your disorder and become integrated in your social life once again.
Recovering from binge eating disorder can also be reflective in the healing of relationships that may have been broken or strained as a result of this mental illness. Healing and restoration comes gradually and is often parallel to eating disorder recovery.
A Lifelong Journey to Celebrate Your Recovery
Recovery from binge eating is often a lifelong journey that requires commitment, dedication, and endurance. Be encouraged by your recovery and celebrate your progress in any or all of these above areas, no matter how trivial something might seem.
Whether you have been in recovery for years or only a matter of days, the fact that you are choosing to reclaim your life over your eating disorder is enough cause to celebrate!
If you are ever feeling discouraged or set-back in your recovery journey, reach out to a trusted friend, mentor, or counselor to discuss these feelings. Sometimes, having someone else’s perspective can be the encouragement and support you need to keep going.
Fighting an eating disorder can be a weary battle, but realize that YOU have everything you need within yourself to overcome binge eating disorder. Step by step, day by day. Your life and recovery journey are reason to celebrate.
About the Author: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC is a Contributing Writer for Eating Disorder Hope.
Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing. As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH and nutrition private practice.
The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer a discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.
We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.
Page Last Reviewed and Updated By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on August 31, 2017
Published on EatingDisorderHope.com, Eating Disorder Information Help & Resources