I Prefer the Version of Me Without an Eating Disorder

October 20, 2022 Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer

I prefer the version of me without an eating disorder—honestly, I do. Just a few short years ago, I never thought I would be able to utter those words from a sincere, authentic place. But so much about a human can change and transform in recovery. I used to fear that I would not recognize myself in a healed state, that I would lose my sense of personhood in the absence of those compulsions and behaviors I identified with so strongly. This fear still creeps in sometimes, but now I can spot the distortion beneath it. These days, when I look in the mirror, it's deeper than recognition. I see the real me, not the masked, hollow pretense I once believed was me. It feels exposed and vulnerable, but it also feels right. 

Why I Prefer the Version of Me Without an Eating Disorder

The short answer is this: I am actually interesting now. When I reflect on who I became under the influence of my eating disorder, I envision this shell of a girl consumed by an illness. At the time, I felt tough and invincible, but in reality, I was engulfed in emptiness and apathy. I had no concern for my own existence, and I barely noticed the intersecting lives of those around me. All I cared about was an ever-present anorexic voice in my head—the one shaping my beliefs, dictating my choices, and mobilizing my actions.

I feel compassion for that young, oblivious iteration of myself, but I have so much more to offer as the person I am right now. I have a passion for justice, equity, and inclusion. I have a fierce love for humanity. I have a talent for writing and the arts. I have an appreciation for nature. I have a taste for the quirky and eclectic. I have an insatiable spirit for adventure. I have a loyal devotion to my relationships. I have a firm obligation to the truth. I have a desire to learn from other stories, worldviews, or experiences. I have a genuine interest in those I cross paths with. I have a commitment to my own personal growth, even when it's uncomfortable.

None of those traits were remotely evident or accessible when I lived in the constant shadow of anorexia. But that is the beauty of healing—it peels back those defensive layers of hurt, fear, brokenness, and self-preservation to make room for the vibrant, multi-faceted human being underneath. I prefer the version of me without an eating disorder because, for the first time, I feel unapologetically alive. I am present. I am awake. I am grateful. I am connected to myself. I am attuned to others. I am transforming into someone I have always wanted to be. I still have so much growth in front of me, but the results make it all worthwhile.

What Do You Love About Yourself Without an Eating Disorder?

Do you prefer the version of yourself without an eating disorder? What specific qualities do you love, affirm, and celebrate about who you are at this stage in recovery? What are you learning about the values, attributes, passions, talents, and quirks you have to offer? What personal revelations and self-discoveries are you excited to make as you continue this healing process? Let me know in the comment section below.

APA Reference
Schurrer, M. (2022, October 20). I Prefer the Version of Me Without an Eating Disorder, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 22 from

Author: Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer

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