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Spirituality and Eating Disorders

Faith in the Recovery Journey from an Eating Disorder

Eating Disorder Hope is a Christian organization dedicated to promoting eating disorder recovery for individuals of all faiths.

Here’s a question worthy of consideration: can you recover from an eating disorder without faith in God? The answer is simple. Absolutely.  And consider this: You can walk from California to New York, instead of driving a car; or clean your home each week with a toothbrush, instead of using modern conveniences such as a vacuum. But why would you?

Spirituality plays a key role in eating disorder recovery and the stats are there to back it up. As posted by: FINDINGbalance

Breaking free from an addiction is tremendously difficult; recovering from an eating disorder is no different.  It will undoubtedly be the hardest thing you will ever do. Then why do it alone? Especially when God the creator of the universe is right there just waiting to help you.  All you must do is ask. He will take your hand and walk alongside you through this time. Will it be easy? Once again…no. God never promised any of His children that their lives would unfold without struggle or pain. What He did promise was that He would never, ever leave us or forsake us.

And you know what? That’s enough. Remember … you can travel the recovery road the hard way, or the far easier way … by making God your partner in the journey.

You can find faith-based eating disorder centers in our directory.

Young Woman Praying

Ways to find Spiritual Fulfillment While in Recovery

In the journey of healing and recovery, you will be able to re-discover and salvage a sense of purpose in your life that comes from giving and receiving, completeness through fellowship and compassion in relationships, counting ones self.

Here are some suggestions that may help you or your loved one have spiritual fulfillment when recovering from an eating disorder:

  • Recollect times in your life that you felt a greater sense of wholeness and solidity.  Delve into what might be keeping these things at a distance from you now.
  • Discover ways to introduce a pursuit that allows you to feel more purpose in life.  This can include religious affiliations, participation in the arts-such as dancing, singing, or painting, or anything that has a positive influence on promoting your wholeness as a person.
  • Consistently choose and uphold those activities that promote your greater purpose and fulfillment in life.
  • Keep in mind the spiritual nature of our existence as human beings and find ways that nurture your soul!

Hands Presenting Cross

Articles on Faith & Spirituality in Eating Disorders Recovery

  • Spirituality in the treatment of eating disorders (ED) has become a widely-discussed topic among clinics and centers that specialize in helping ED sufferers.  One major reason seems to be a growing number of clients asking for individualized treatment that keeps their belief systems in mind; after all, people cannot simply leave their spiritual selves at the door when they seek relief from eating problems. Spiritual life is innate to many individuals’ self-understanding and identity, and to leave it unaddressed in treatment would leave these clients feeling as if their deepest convictions were pushed to the side. But how does a person’s spiritual world interact with her ED?
  • Perhaps one of the most challenging yet equally beautiful aspects about the recovery journey is the way we progress, develop and mature throughout the process.  Recovery does not just speak to one feature of us as human beings, but to our complete entity: Mind, Body, and Spirit.  Perchance one of the most apparent marks of progression in recovery from an eating disorder is the physical aspect.  This is seen as dangerous eating habits are ceased and as one allows the healing of their body while establishing a peaceful relationship with food.  There is a deep interconnection between physical and emotional/mental healing as one cannot exist or occur without the other. Read more about the role of spirituality in eating disorder recovery.
  • Are you in recovery from an eating disorder but feel as though you are stagnant in life?  Do you ever feel empty or that something in your life is missing?  Jenni Schaefer discusses the spiritual aspect of her own journey in recovery and how her search for God changed her healing process.  In acknowledging a higher power in your own recovery, you have the potential to embrace and behold a future you may have never known existed before.  Read this article to learn more eating disorders recovery with spirituality.
  • As human beings, we are composed of body, mind, and spirit.  If you or someone you love is seeking treatment for an eating disorder, it is helpful to address each of these components in the recovery process and healing journey.  In treating a man or woman in this whole person approach, the best possible chances for recovery will emerge.  Read this article to learn more about how Timberline Knolls, a treatment center, approaches eating disorder treatment with a faith-based component.
  • If you are a clinician seeking how to better address your clients individual needs, relating to the body, mind, and spirit, it is important to understand the spiritual component of psychological healing and care.  With a positive correlation between spirituality and psychotherapy, it is vital to make spiritual a significant part of the healing journey.  Read this article to learn more about how to provide comprehensive care by considering the whole mind-body-spirit in the recovery process.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on
April 20, 2014
Published on EatingDisorderHope.com, Online Resource Help for An Eating Disorder

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