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April 21, 2017

Sizeless Clothing for Eating Disorder Recovery

Clothing store

One of the most challenging aspects of eating disorder recovery involves body image and coming to a place of acceptance and comfortability with one’s own body.

Many individuals who are in recovery from an eating disorder, such as anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder, will struggle with body image issues long into their recovery.

Research has demonstrated that negative body image is one of the last eating disorder behaviors to resolve in long-term recovery [1].

While this can be discouraging for those in recovery, there are many proactive steps that can be taken to continually build a more positive body image.

Embracing Clothing Sizes and a Changing Body

Perhaps one of the more triggering aspects in eating disorder recovery includes facing a body that may be changing in size and the resulting need for a new wardrobe.

Fixating on a particular clothing size is a common behavior associated with eating disorders, and letting go of an identity that has come to be defined by a certain size is a difficult and complex thing to do.

Because engaging in various eating disorder behaviors may lead to weight fluctuations, a person’s weight may settle at a place that they feel uncomfortable with while in recovery.

Clothes hangingLetting go of clothes that no longer fit or that were once used for eating disorder purposes is an important aspect of recovery and healing, yet this does not come without challenges.

Connecting to Resources and Support

In recognition of the challenges that come with this aspect of recovery, more individuals are rising to the occasion and supporting others through this difficult facet of healing.

The Garment Project is championing body positivity and helping women overcome the struggle that is commonly faced when recovering from an eating disorder by offering support in building a new wardrobe.

This new non-profit organization provides women in recovery with brand new, sizeless clothing for free, giving clients a starter wardrobe to support them through the first six months of their recovery process.

Co-founder Erin Drischler started this organization after facing these challenges firsthand in her own recovery from an eating disorder. Drischler wanted to support women in their recovery by helping them focus on their health rather than hyperfocusing on their changing body or clothing sizes.

The Garment Project also helps women financially in recovery who are needing to replace their clothes but may not have the means to do so.

Clothing for saleThe Garment Project partners with treatment centers across the US to provide wardrobe basics for women who are nearing the end of their inpatient treatment, providing curated garments according to measurements from their treatment team, alleviating the stress a woman might face when trying to shop for new clothes.

As the first of its kind, The Garment Project hopes to expand its network and partnerships with treatment centers, as well as offer clothes for men in recovery. “Recovery is possible for everyone,” Drischler noted, and her story is living proof that there is indeed hope to finding freedom from an eating disorder.

Community Discussion – Share Your Voice!

What resources have been helpful in your journey of building a more positive body image? Connect with others to discuss further on Eating Disorder Hope’s online forum today!


Crystal Headshot 2About the Author: 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, Crystal serves as the Director of Content and Social Media for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

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/AH and nutrition private practice.


References:

[1]  Zanetti, T., et al., Clinical and Temperamental Correlates of Body Image Disturbance in Eating Disorders. European Eating Disorders Review, 2013. 21(1): p. 32-37.


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 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.

Published on April 21, 2017.
Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on April 21, 2017.
Published on EatingDisorderHope.com

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