Is Recovery from Anorexia Nervosa Possible?

This is a topic of current controversy in the field of eating disorder treatment.  We don’t have  a universally accepted definition of recovery.  There is no evidence-based set of criteria for what we expect during and post ‘recovery’.  Those limitations don’t stop me from knowing that full recovery and full health is possible.  I know this from speaking with former clients who are recovered.  It allows me to hold hope for full recovery for all my clients, even if they have a chronic condition.

This week one of my clients suggested I read  this wonderful article about how and why not to stop halfway .  The author, Emily Troscianko has recovered from Anorexia Nervosa and she urges anyone in recovery to work through any resistance to FULLY recovering.  (Even if professionals don’t yet have a set of criteria for what recovery IS!)

A former client, now recovered, returned for a session with me this week after a four year hiatus.  She’d had some recent digestive issues which were triggered by stressors from a  job she’d held for the past year.  As is typical of someone with good self-care she resigned the job to find one less stressful and more in alignment with her values.  What brought her back in to see me was the request from her gastroenterologist to modify her diet significantly by restricting certain foods.  It rang alarm bells for her and she came in for a chat.  Rather than restricting foods we discussed what she could add to help her digestion.  She decided on prune juice, and a natural bulking agent (Benefiber) and extra water.  Your solution to a similar problem may have been quite different – it all depends on the problem, your values and your response to your appetite.  (You can find more help about digestive issues on pages 121-127 in Find Your Happetite).  Importantly,  she could admit that things were already improving since she’d resigned her job and reduced her stress.  During the session we decided to weigh her.  She hadn’t weighed in four years.  Not because she was afraid to weigh but because it wasn’t an issue and because her family no longer had scales in the house.  Her weight had stayed exactly the same over the four years.  (Well, if you want to be a nit-picker it was down 200 grams but in my world that is weight maintenance!)

Here’s hoping you can find your happetite and fully recover!

Happy eating and lots of love,