Looking for eating disorder support in your area? Visit HelpFinder

"Restricting food is restricting life" - Lisa's story

When you find yourself in the grips of Anorexia, everything is restricted. The idea that food is the only thing ‘taken away’ is completely wrong, for everything from emotions to relationships are effected. Eating disorders are therefore about so much more than we are led to believe, for when we restrict food, what we are in fact doing, is restricting our whole life.

Food restriction might provide a short-term ‘high’, a feeling of accomplishment and safety, perhaps, but it is just an illusion. It is never the answer to anything. All it does is limit your life. It takes away who you really are, leaving a shell of a human behind. You become barely recognisable to your loved ones, not just in terms of physical appearance, but more so in terms of your personality.

You are no longer living, not really, you are merely surviving.

Gone are all the qualities that make you, you. You feel tired and fatigued all the time, with your mind constantly pre-occupied with food, because you are that hungry, a consequence of food restriction.

You lose interest in everything you once enjoyed, lacking the energy to engage in the things that used to make you smile. All that you have the energy and motivation for, is thinking about food, reading about food, buying food… just being around food in any way you can. You are no longer living, not really, you are merely surviving.

You know what you need to do to get out of this ‘living hell’, you need to recover. You need to make a promise to yourself that you will not spend a day longer trapped in the cruel illness that is Anorexia.

Recovery is amazing. It will be the best thing you ever decide to embark on. So, what are you waiting for?

Why should you recover? Because, unlike restriction, recovery will not provide you with a watered down version of life, it will allow you to experience your precious life in all of its full, beautiful colours.

Now, I want you to take a moment to consider how amazing it will feel to be able to experience life like this. To be able to go on holiday and wear shorts on the beach without obsessing over how you look. And, to be able to eat an ice cream by the pool with your family, followed by a buffet breakfast the next morning without feeling guilty for it.

Feels amazing, right? That’s because recovery is amazing. It will be the best thing you ever decide to embark on. So, what are you waiting for?

You owe it to yourself to go there, to start your recovery journey. Just take the first step. It will get easier after that, I promise you.

It’s time for you to stop restricting,

It’s time for you to start living.

You’ve got this!

-Contributed by Lisa

If you've been affected by any of the issues raised in this story, or are concerned for yourself or a loved one, you can find support and guidance on the help pages of our website.

Help us change more lives

Our Helplines are open 365 days a year to help support people like Lisa. Now we need your help to keep them open.

Will you support us?

Better Times Are Ahead - Charlotte's story

21 March 2024

Charlotte shares her experience of recovery and how it's enabled her to live more healthily, authentically & happily

Read more

"Mind, Body & Soul" – Laura’s story

4 January 2024

Beat supporter Laura shares her inspirational story, and reflects on the links between mental and physical recovery

Read more

"The best things in life don't come easy" - Lauren's story

28 December 2023

While back in her family home for the holidays, Lauren reflects on how far she's come in her eating disorder recovery journey...

Read more