Eating Disorder Recovery Quotes for Strength and Inspiration

By Lisa Marlin

On those days or moments when you may feel tempted to give in to the struggle of an eating disorder—or perhaps you are feeling alone, as if no one understands what you are going through—pause and listen to those who have been exactly where you are but are moving forward in their recovery journeys today.

The following inspirational quotes are contributed by Eating Recovery Center (ERC) alumni, recovery advocates, eating disorder treatment specialists and even celebrities who have struggled with similar issues. Draw inspiration from their words and know that you are not alone; find strength in their stories to help you be successful in this moment.

Quotes from Eating Recovery Center Patients and Alums

No two patients are alike, but many discover similar truths while in treatment, including the value of asking for help and how recovery is their choice to make each day.

“Recovery to me means that I am free.”

Savannah Kerr, ERC Recovery Ambassador Council Member

“To me, recovery means I’ve dealt with my shame and embrace the power of choice every single day…choosing to be open, have acceptance, ask for help, and choosing to do even the hard stuff of recovery because that’s what leads to real living…abundant living!”

Kelli, ERC Recovery Ambassador Council member

“I feel like I've been given a second chance at life. I'll always be grateful for the kind and caring staff who saw me at my lowest and never gave up hope. No one can do it for you, and at the same time, I couldn't have saved myself without them.”

Sarah F., ERC Alum

“There is a great amount of unknown in this world. And while this is inevitable and true, I know choosing my recovery each morning, afternoon and evening is a constant I can rely on. Sure, the fearful thoughts and doubts make their way into my mind, but I know I have the tools, resources and community to keep me moving through them.”

Lydia R., ERC Alum from Graduating with Mixed Emotions During Recovery

Inspirational Quotes to Help You Through Recovery

There will be challenging days in recovery. Some of our ERC Recovery Advocates share how they manage during those times.

“Recovery is not about getting it right. Yes, we say do the next right thing, but recovery is so much more forgiving than that. For me, recovery is about loving myself and being on my own team even when I am struggling. It is not about freedom from struggle.”

Eric Dorsa, Recovery Advocate

“Recover for everything you don’t know you want yet. For the adventures you don’t know you can have without an eating disorder. For all the anxious moments you’ll be able to witness and cope with without an eating disorder. For the 1-year plan, which will probably change. And the 5-year plan, which will certainly change. And the 10-year plan, which will have to change because a lot of what you think you want at the beginning of recovery is still tied into the eating disorder mindset. Recover for all the sunrises and sunsets and change of plans and life trip-ups and mistakes and the moment where you can pick your head up from what you’re doing and think to yourself: This is it. This is my life in recovery—playing out.”

Lindsey Hall, Recovery Advocate

“What recovery has stopped is our defeat. The ocean; the eating disorder will not overcome us. Instead, we've learned to swim. For some of us, maybe we are just treading water. Does it ever stop? Well, my urges to binge have quelled, but I still have the same brain. I am the same being. It's just that, after recovery, I have a whole new set of skills.”

Kara Richardson Whitely, Recovery Advocate

Clinicians Share How to Find Strength in Recovery

Our frontline workers—the clinicians who work directly with patients during treatment and throughout their recovery—make an enormous impact with their expertise and insight. A few discussed the advice they would give to inspire and strengthen the early stages of the recovery journey.

“’Sometimes it’s okay not to be okay.’ This quote encapsulates the eating disorder treatment process for me as a clinician because once a patient realizes that it is okay to not always be okay—that it is okay to not be perfect—that is when a lot of the work starts. At this point, I have seen patients allow themselves to be vulnerable in the recovery process, to feel pain and discomfort—which only propels them closer to recovery. It is when this happens that hope shines through and patients are able to see how pain and discomfort can transform them in positive ways.”

Leslee Marcom, PhD, CEDS, Clinical Director at Eating Recovery Center, Dallas

“I would first and foremost let them know just how impressed I am with their strength in even starting the journey. I would validate that I know it wasn’t easy to take that first step toward recovery by engaging in treatment and validate that they are probably challenged every day to keep going and for that reason, they need to recognize how impressive their inner strength is.

I would remind them that recovery can feel like a marathon as opposed to a sprint and it is okay to have to walk not run for parts of it and stop at as many water stations are necessary to hydrate and fuel up. There are going to be challenges and struggles and continuing to keep pushing, even if it means making modifications or seeking further support, is still moving towards recovery and they need to hold on to their hope and belief in themselves.”

Dr. Allison Chase, clinical psychologist and Regional Clinical Director at Eating Recovery Center, Texas

“To be successful in recovery and realize how important it is to ask for help, I often suggest to our emerging adults and adults that they think of themselves as the CEO. What kind of boss are they; what kind of company are they? Even people who are super motivated and have these amazing ideas don't succeed if they are micromanagers and have to do everything themselves. Those companies often fail. However, if you are a boss that can bring in a leadership team [such as ERC providers and staff] that you really trust, then you really stand a chance of succeeding. You can't do it on your own.”

Kathryn Johnson MA, RD/LD, CEDRD-S, Nutrition Director, Eating Recovery Center, East Region

Quotes From Celebrities About Eating Disorder Recovery

Bright lights and bestsellers often don’t reveal the reality of famous performers, writers and artists. But when celebrities speak publicly about their experiences in recovery, they can inspire countless followers.

“I'm proud of my body and you should be proud of yours too…No matter who you are or what you do. I could give you a million reasons why you don't need to cater to anyone or anything to succeed. Be you, and be relentlessly you.”

Lady Gaga, singer and actor

“Recovery is full of ups and downs. There is no such thing as a linear life. But you can always turn your setbacks into setups to come back stronger.”

Brittany Burgunder, author

“Was it you or I who stumbled first? It does not matter. The one of us who finds the strength to get up first, must help the other.”

Vera Nazarian, author

"When I was younger, I thought I had to look like everyone else, but I learned that beauty comes from how you feel about yourself. Once I started taking care of my mind, body, and soul, I realized that I didn't need to conform to what's 'normal' and started to love myself."

Demi Lovato, singer and actress

“I pick and choose now, for the most part, what I care deeply about. And I think that’s made a huge difference.”

Taylor Swift, singer

Written by

Lisa Marlin

After receiving her degree in Journalism, Lisa began her professional writing career as a television and newspaper reporter where she was often assigned the human interest beat to cover education,…

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