Eating Disorder Recovery

This is the original page on PrettyThin regarding recovery – it has not been edited since the original.



Thoughts and Resources – a PT Member Approach
When researching recovery on eating disorders one might find a combination of suggestions such as psychotherapy, family therapy, and medication. Of course, anyone with an eating disorder themselves or fair knowledge and understanding on the subject knows it is not that easy. Recovery most importantly includes taking that first step. The first step is trusting yourself personally to trust someone else. Talking about it can help the situation a lot, especially if no one knows about the disorder or the ones that do are in denial. Not all disorders are easy to spot. They manifest themselves in dangerous, invisible ways, preying upon the victim unknown to any witness. Therefore, it is a personal responsibility to know when help is needed and seeking it. However, if a person is a parent, friend, or witness, they are also responsible – especially if the one struggling is not strong enough to seek help themselves.

Either way, the path to finding that balance remains the same. You must realize you need help, be ready to receive it, and take the first step toward it.

Establishing a healthy diet and regular eating habits is extremely important, requiring hard work and dedication in sticking with your goal to take control and lead a different life. Nicole Johns, the author of Purge: Rehab Diaries, states, “Every day I had to choose to eat according to my meal plan, not purge or otherwise engage in eating disorder behaviors. This was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I firmly believe that I was mentally and physically addicted to my eating disorder, and breaking the addiction cycle was painful. Gradually, the choice to remain in recovery became easier.” Far from easy, the journey towards recovery is difficult, painful, and completely worth it. Life is absolutely worth it.

I know what it is like to be lost and to want to get better….and that’s just it. You really have to want it, and if not for yourself, for a boyfriend or girlfriend, a mother, a brother, anyone.

There are so many people that care for you and your health, and though it may not seem like it, that is the flat-out truth. There is a reason each of us log in to PrettyThin, whether it is seeking that care or giving it. That care DOES exist. Developing a support system comes next, like the kind that we have here. We are all here for each other.

Having an online support system is great, but bringing it into your living, breathing, personal life is harder and very important if you wish to escape the cycle of an eating disorder. Talking to some one will help. Find someone you feel you can trust, and let them know how difficult it is for you to be talking to them about this; how you need them to understand, and how you want them to help. That step allows you opportunities and alternatives, and most of all, support.

Now after that obstacle has been tackled, there are several different directions you and your support can go with recovery. The main thing about recovery is that it is very individualistic, and every one is different. There are eating disorder clinics, therapists, counselors, nutritionists, and support from 12-step groups. From Women of Substance Recovery stories, recovery from a woman named Nina meant giving up diets, eating out with people, getting rid of the scales, eating food she liked, not reading online dieting or weight-loss sites, not counting calories, getting rid of laxatives and food scales, and removing herself from people who were diet-obsessed. The process of recovery itself for her was gradual and terrifying, but she found the 12-step groups very helpful in learning to open up, connect with other people, and deal with the emotions under-lying her E.D.

Her greatest advice included the words of Winston Churchill. “Never, never, never give up.”

Carolyn Costin struggled with Anorexia Nervosa, but believed in her recovery and refused to believe it was a life-long sentence. This optimism led to her opening Monte Nido and the Eating Disorder Center of California. These facilities are in a home-like setting surrounded by nature, which in my researches, I found to be the most productive environment. A hospital-setting, though sometimes necessary, is oftentimes uncomfortable for everyone.

Monte Nido
Contact: 310-457-9958
Email Address:
Mailing Address: 1863 Pioneer Parkway East, Suite 304
Springfield, Oregon 97477-3907

Eating Disorder Center of California
Contact: 310-457-9958 (Associated with Monte Nido)
Email Address:
Mailing Address: 27162 Sea Vista Dr.,
Malibu, CA, 90265

Now, of course, there are several facilities one can contact. There are people from all over, and because of this it may be necessary to research facilities in an area near you. Melanie Aldis is another survivor recovered from her E.D. She is now a clinical outreach representative with Center for Change in Orem, Utah.

Center for Change
Contact: 1-888-224-8250

To read the full recovery stories of these women and many others, visit Many of their stories are very inspiring, as each of them had to stay strong and follow through with recovery so that they could open their own facilities to help others. There are so many people out there showing us that it can be done – that they did it themselves.

Recovery is hard. Anyone looking into it can not do so expecting it to be easy, but it a choice between being controlled by an eating disorder or truly taking the control for yourself and living a full life. Being such an individualistic process, it starts the same for everyone, but the path for you may be different than someone else’s. However, the goal is the same, and to reach that goal is possible. I admire anyone with the strength to take the first step and to follow through with it. You have the tools. You have the means and ability. And now it is your choice.


Recovery – Eating Disorders
Warning and Disclaimer: This section is not intended to replace any kind of professional help. The information you find here is not certified or accredited in any way, and is not intended to be a form of professional treatment or therapy. You must determine for yourself if you are ready for professional advice of any kind, and if you feel that you are, you should seek it first. This section is a supplement to any other help you may seek, and more so for those who do not feel that they can seek professional assistance at this time. It is always advised that if you are looking for “recovery” of any kind to seek it professionally first.

PrettyThin is a website for those who suffer from anorexia, but it is more properly a site for those with an eating disorder. This section, starting on May 21, 2010 is a product of many members having requested it over time. I am not sure what form it will take yet, and welcome suggestions as well as resources.

Recovery is a decision made to change a set of actions and a way of thought that you have come to find harmful, unhealthy, or destructive. This is a decision; this is not something anyone can force you into; not something you should be convinced into. This is something that must be your choice, based on your personal identification of something in your life that you want to change because that thing is not what will make you a better person, in exchange for habits that will.

If you are an athlete and training to the point of exhaustion that is harmful to your body, then you must realize at what point your training has gone from physical fitness to physical harm. If you are someone who enjoys work and is motivated by the accomplishments that come with it, it is up to you to determine where it is fulfilling your life and how, and where it may be preventing you from living or appreciating the other aspects of your life.

Others can tell you what they think; they can state opinions, and possibly even state facts, but no recovery is complete, and no recovery can truly exist unless it is one that you choose.

Because this is a personal realization, and a personal choice, this section will start with it.


The Road to Recovery – A Step
What One Member Recommends – getting it out.

The approach to “recovery” on PrettyThin is not one seeking to “cure” you. The goal is not to rid you of an eating disorder. Recovery on PrettyThin means ridding yourself of habits that are not enhancing your life, and bringing into your routine the habits that will bring you greater happiness, contentment, and harmony into your life.

Feeling. We all have them, but we don’t always harness them. How many people have sat crying and thought “this is perfect! I’m going to use this.” Most of us don’t. Most of us, including me, try to find ways to hide in the shadows so they don’t have to cry any more. We try to mask the things that hurt us, or try to pretend the things that haunt us don’t exist so that we don’t have to face how we feel about them.

Here, we are going to do the opposite. We are going to confront our fears, our hurts, our wants, our desires, our hates; we will confront all the things that consume us, face them, and see them for what they are so that we can react to them.

Start with a writing exercise…

What is it that you are doing in your life that is harmful to it? In what way is it harmful? In what ways are your actions destructive to your mind, to your body, and to your spirit?

You must ask yourself these questions first. For you to seek help from something, you must first be able to identify it, and willing to try.

Your first task is this identification. Sit down with some paper (or at our computer) and start writing. Don’t edit; don’t proof read; don’t try to correct your spelling or grammar. This is not a test – it is an exercise.

Be blunt. Be honest. Be as open as you can be. It may take time, and may take you several sittings to open up. Do not expect to be honest with yourself, or to be comfortable bringing to works the things that are the root of the issue. As you write, you will find yourself peeling away at layers, and in between sittings as you go about your daily routine, you will find yourself thinking about it and peeling way at it even more.

Write about when you started the habits, and what led you to them. Write about how it has brought you happiness, and in what way it has, and then write about how it has brought you hurt or how it is harming you and in what way.

Ask yourself what’s next? If you continue with your current habits (or old ones), what is the end result? Where do you think it will lead you, and will that fulfill you and how. And if you change your habits, what is it you are hoping to gain, and what is it that you hope to leave behind.

Do not try to find a cure for yourself. Do not try to find a solution. The point of this is not to find the “how” but to find the “what” and the “why.” If you need help with this, I am asking you to take the step and reach me personally. How do you do that? Find me on Facebook, and send me a message. It may take me a couple days to reply, but I will reply.

This is the first step for now. This step may change over time as more discussions take place with members, and the following steps will be formulated as such.

Been Through Recover Before?
If you have gone through treatment in the past, please share your story with others. We will be creating a section called “Stories of Recovery” to be populated with your stories and experiences.

Please submit your stories to PrettyThin

Don’t worry about telling a long story, or too short a story. Tell your story…

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