Episode 51: Staying Motivated in Recovery with Abby Anderson

Abby Anderson

Episode description:

Abby Anderson is a business school graduate who works a corporate job and is passionate about mental health, yoga, and personal development. Diagnosed with anorexia in the summer of 2018, she has experienced a series of ups and downs worth noting to anyone with an eating disorder or disordered eating.

In this episode of Peace Meal, Abby tells us about the process of her eating disorder recovery, including the shifts in motivation she has experienced during it. She begins with the rock-bottom moment she first sought help. Exhausted and physically depleted, she recalls being highly motivated to make a change at the start of treatment.

As is typical in recovery, her motivation ebbed and flowed as time went on, and she learned why healing is often described as a nonlinear process. “Your body catches up a lot before your mind does,” she says.

In the process of recovering both physically and psychologically, disordered behaviors crept back into Abby’s life. Her “unhealthy voice” got louder the more she engaged in these behaviors, and the pressures of the college environment didn’t help.

Returning to treatment allowed Abby to recommit to and strengthen her recovery, a process that continues today. She has insight into the common barriers to healing, as well as tools to maintain motivation.

Abby shares several strategies that have been helpful to her healing, emphasizing the power of supportive environments and people. Reflecting on her own experience, she concludes with words of advice for those currently feeling unmotivated or ambivalent about recovery: “The best thing I ever did—and the hardest thing I ever did—was take my hands off the steering wheel and give it to someone else. . . give it to a professional.”

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About the podcast:

Peace Meal is an Emily Program podcast that discusses topics related to eating disorders, body image issues, and how society may contribute to distorted thinking.

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