Eating disorders exist because they feed your brain with enormous amounts of false beliefs, contradictions and flat-out lies. I have uncovered a few of those.

“You are fat.”

No matter how skinny you are, no matter the size of jeans you wear, your eating disorder will always tell you how fat you are. It doesn’t matter if you can see all your ribs and bones, if the veins on your arms stick out, if your cheeks are hollow, you are fat.

It doesn’t make sense, does it? Well, your eating disorder hardly ever makes sense.

So, NO, you are not fat.

Maybe you cannot see it yet, but listen to your loved ones, the doctors or friends who tell you that you are underweight. They don’t want to harm you, but they want to help you.

And if you are a bit further down on the acceptance path, you know deep inside that you are not fat, but that the opposite is the case. Try to filter these thoughts and compare them with what is real.

“You are worthless.”

Everything that is going wrong in your life has to do with the fact that you are simply worthless. Something about you is not right and this will never change. Only your eating disorder can rescue you from this place of inferiority.

First of all, you are not worthless. Nobody is worthless. We are all born the same and we are all worthy of love, affection, health, fulfillment, joy, happiness and so much more.

 “You are ugly.”

Your face will always be too round, your butt is not formed the way you want it, your nose is too big, your hair not thick enough, you ears too small and even your toes too long.

NO you are NOT. You are beautiful, you are unique, you are exactly the way you are supposed to be. Your eating disorder will always come up with new body parts to hate.

However, if you focus on those parts that you like (or used to like), you will begin to think positive again and you will be able to accept and embrace your body entirely.

“You are nothing but your eating disorder.”

Now, that you are in a relationship with your eating disorder, you finally found something that defines you and gives you a reason to wake up every morning and live your life.

This could not be further from the truth. I would even go so far as to say: You are everything but your eating disorder.

You are wonderful because you are you. You have so many gifts, so many talents and by letting go off your eating disorder, you will be able to engage in them.

“You cannot live without me.”

I occupy your mind 24/7, I give you commands you have to follow, I am the power behind every action you take, you would never be able to function without me.

At first it might seem that way. And I certainly was lost at the beginning of my recovery, but the more I let go off my eating disorder the more I was able to find myself and I discovered hundreds of things I didn’t know before.

The same is true for you, you can live without this vicious illness, you will live a life that is beyond anything you could have dreamt of. You will be free.

“You don’t deserve to be like everybody else.”

You don’t deserve to be happy, you don’t deserve to have lunch with your friends, you don’t deserve to eat a slice of Nutella bread just because you want to, you don’t deserve to eat dinner with your family like everybody else.

Yes, you do. You deserve to live a happy and fulfilled life, enjoying each and every moment. You deserve to eat like your friends and family.

You deserve to enjoy a slice of pizza or ice-cream or even just an apple. You deserve to be part of this world.

 “You show great strength and power by refusing to nourish your body.”

Let’s be honest, who else has such unbreakable willpower? Who else can withhold so many important nutrients to their bodies?

Who else can work out ridiculous amounts of hours without eating? Who else is smart enough to purge after binging? Who else can live like that?

Unfortunately, way too many people can and do. But we can change that. It is not a sign of your strength to engage in these activities that damage your body, it is a sign of your eating disorder’s power over you.

Would you really consciously try to ruin your health, even risking death, if it weren’t for that other person occupying your mind? I don’t think you would.

I think you would treat your body like a temple and give it what it needs on a daily basis to be able to have energy, bear children, grow old or simply have fun.

“You are unworthy of love.”

And who would love you anyway?

This is so wrong, but I believed this lie the most.

Why? We have already said that every person is worthy and so are you. You too, are lovable, compassionate, have a lot to give and are allowed to receive bundles of love.

“You can only hide your flaws by holding on to your eating disorder.”

We have already defined that you are unworthy, so it only makes sense that you need your eating disorder to hide your many flaws.

Every person has flaws. Nobody is perfect and, quite frankly, who wants to be? Flaws and imperfections make you special, they make you unique and interesting. Flaws shape your character. You don’t need to hide them, you need to embrace them.

Otherwise, life would be quite boring, don’t you think?

“Others judge you only by your weight.”

When a person sees you for the very first time, they look at your figure, assume how much you must weigh and then define your worth as a person.

They don’t care about your wittiness, your smile, your character, your brilliance, your sympathy, your emotions, your empathy or your humor. People are super superficial, after all.

I think I said enough.

“If you give in now and eat, you will forever lose control.”

If you give in today and eat at least a tiny bit of something, you will lose control and then you won’t ever be able to stop eating, right?

No, surprisingly not. The more regular you eat, the more nutrients you give your body, the more control you will gain over your eating disorder and over your health and life.

Don’t believe everything your eating disorder tells you. In fact, don’t believe anything it tells you.

Which lies does your eating disorder tell you?

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Social media makes it fairly easy to get to know knew people. Even for someone as shy as I am, it is no problem to reach out to make new acquaintances.
However, every once in a while, there is this one person that just stands out to you. Something clicks and you are drawn to him or her.

Rachel W. Cole is one of those people. I have come across her blog a few days ago and I have been in awe of her messages, her positive outlook on life and the way she is helping women all across the US – and probably even beyond that. Rachel writes that she too struggled with an eating disorder, but she recovered.
Her question for us, her readers: “what are you truly hungry for?”

I couldn’t stop thinking about this question. I was contemplating it over and over again in the last few days.

What is it that lies so deep within you and wants to be expressed? What does your soul thirst? Which emotions does your heart long for?

Are you hungry for change? Hungry for wisdom? Hungry for love? Hungry for life? Hungry for relationships?
There are so many possibilities, so many options to consider.

However, I would argue that there is always one answer in every chapter of one’s life that stands out and meets all the above mentioned criteria.

Maybe you are at a stage in your life where your deepest instincts (and yes, I believe we still have them, no matter how sick we are) beg for something, anything, nutritious. Somewhere deep inside you, there is a voice that tells you to eat, listen to it. This is the healthy part of yourself that is still left and has not given up hope. This is the part of yourself that will help you survive and come back to the miracle that your life is.

A year ago, that was definitely the case for me. Even though I couldn’t let my mind realize it yet, my body screamed for food.
However, now, I am well-fed, full of energy and food is just a part of my day, something I don’t have to remind myself of. The urgency, the true hunger for food is gone.

Maybe you are like me and are a bit further down (or should I say ‘up’) the recovery path.

This is where the bigger questions of life come into play.

What is it that you want your life to be about? What do you want to achieve in your professional and, more importantly, in your private life? In which direction does your heart want to go?

I believe that asking yourself these questions and answering them honestly will help you tremendously in how you move forward. Life after recovery can be overwhleming. However, by listening to your deepest desires, you can find out what you are meant to be and do.

I tried to really dig deep in the last few days in order to answer this question for myself and one message that just comes to mind over and over again is the hunger for freedom.

Being freed from the strings of self-doubt, body image issues, past issues and traumata, lost time and, of course, my eating disorder is my ultimate goal, my ultimate challenge.

I long for freedom in order to be able to love myself, be my best friend and my greates ally.
Freedom means being able to travel without being terrified of the eating situations that present themselves so differently when away from home.
Freedom signifies forgetting about calories, meal plans and all the rules that I still carry around with me on a daily basis.
Freedom means completely loving my body, as short as it is, with all the curves that it has.
I want to achieve the freedom to love my husband in ways that are still unreachable for me because of the attachment to my eating disorder.
I want to be free to be intimate with my husband without the paralyzing fear of him disliking parts of my body just as much as I do.
I am striving for the freedom to lose control and just let go.

Freedom means being able to talk to everybody I please to without agonizing hours upon hours before because of being scared of not knowing what to say or how to reply.
Being free will give me the chance to develop my strengths and to embrace my weaknesses.

Living without chains includes having the prerogative to play with my creativeness and to have the confidence to stand behind my work.
The more I listen to myself, the more I start to realize that freedom for me involves financial freedom and standing on my own feet.
This pursuit will present opportunities to connect with my deepest desires in ways that are far from my imagination at this point.
Freedom will give me the mindset of success and the confidence to achieve it.
I want to have the freedom to dream unspeakable dreams and being crazy enough to believe that they will come true.
Being free is having the peace of mind to do more basic activities like going to the movies, reading books or taking a walk without this nagging voice that is still there from time to time.

And ultimately, this freedom promises living life with purpose.

What is it that your heart, mind and soul is truly hungry for?


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024 Fighting Anorexia – Overcoming Obstacles To Recovery

January 2, 2012

Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadIn this episode of Fighting Anorexia, I talk about some of the many obstacles that we face in our recovery. I share with you how I have dealt with many challenges along the way and what I have learned from these occurrences. Some of my fears included: – Simply […]

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023 Fighting Anorexia – My Year 2011

December 30, 2011

Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadThis will be a more personal podcast episode. So, if you don’t want to hear more about my year, please come back on Monday, when I will release a regular episode of Fighting Anorexia. In this episode of Fighting Anorexia, I talk about my year 2011. I talk about […]

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