The Power of Choice in Eating Disorder Recovery

February 24, 2021 Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer

Over the past few months, my therapist and I have been talking about the power of choice in eating disorder recovery. I often think about this concept outside of therapy sessions too because it is so instrumental in my road to healing.

I want to be clear that an eating disorder is not a choice—it's a maladaptive response to circumstances that feel overwhelming and out of control. If you suffer from an eating disorder, I believe that you did not make a conscious decision to arbitrarily spiral into such a harmful illness. However, with that being said, the power of choice is accessible to you in eating disorder recovery.   

Why the Power of Choice Is Integral to Eating Disorder Recovery

In my own experience, no matter how dark life seemed in the depths of anorexia, the power of choice was never out of my reach. I could choose at any time to pivot in a healthier direction and take those first incremental steps toward new patterns of behavior. I will not pretend this choice is easy, or the path is smooth and linear, but I know firsthand how empowering it can be to reclaim a sense of personal agency.     

If your eating disorder makes you feel powerless or unable to see the healthier options available, then I encourage you not to believe this deception. The truth is, as a human with intrinsic free-will, the power of choice is yours for the taking. You can choose to eat the next meal. You can choose to exercise in moderation. You can choose to be present in your relationships. You can choose to acknowledge uncomfortable emotions. You can choose to seek out helpful resources. You can choose to be honest with yourself and others. You can choose to invest in self-care. You can choose to dismantle the thoughts or actions that no longer serve you rather than continuing to justify them.    

I know this is possible because I live it each day. I am committed to flexing my own power of choice in eating disorder recovery. I wasted so much time under the assumption that I could do nothing to overcome this illness and alter the course of my life circumstances, but I see differently now. The barriers to my healing existed because I created them, but I could also deconstruct them whenever I chose to. So these days, I am smashing down those barriers and embracing the power of choice, as I will discuss more in the video below:

How I Harness the Power of Choice in Eating Disorder Recovery 

Is embracing the power of choice beneficial in your eating disorder recovery? If so, how does this manifest for you? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below.   

APA Reference
Schurrer, M. (2021, February 24). The Power of Choice in Eating Disorder Recovery, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 22 from

Author: Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer

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