How I Overcame and Continue to Overcome my Eating Disorder

how I overcame my eating disorder
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Eating disorders are awful. Seriously, there is no way to sugar coat it. Mine snuck up and hit me in the butt. My fiancé (now husband) sat me down and shared his concerns about the different diets, supplements, and exercise programs I had and was continuing to try. I thought living like this was normal because I had been doing it for so long. But seeing as he was genuinely concerned, I tried to take him seriously.

I knew something was wrong, but I thought it was just me not losing weight. My primary care physician wasn’t concerned, so why should I be? It couldn’t be an eating disorder, right? Wrong.

After we got married, I did a lot of research and realized I had disordered eating. Disordered eating is when you have a range of irregular eating patterns, but not a full-blown eating disorder. Anyway, I found an eating disorder doctor and set up my first visit.

Since that first appointment, my life has completely changed.

I entered a treatment program where I went from Monday to Friday, 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM. After over five months, I was weaned down and eventually went outpatient.

But how did I overcome my eating disorder? A treatment program may be great, but it won’t “cure” you. I overcame my eating disorder with blood, sweat, and lots of tears. Also, finding a great treatment team and plan, a support system, setting boundaries, and re-prioritizing what I wanted my life to look like is how I really overcame and still overcome my eating disorder.

Treatment Team and Plan

A treatment team for me was comprised of a dietician, therapist, and physician. I was lucky because, during treatment, they all were in the same building and collaborated well together. They would come up with the best treatment plan for me.

I still see a dietician, therapist, and physician but not at the same facility. I am my own advocate now until I backslide so much that they need to step in. Eating disorders are sneaky and you may think you’re doing okay but really are slowly going downhill, so I really rely on the advice and opinions of my team. My voice is heard and during each separate appointment, and we make small goals to help me continue on my road to recovery.

Support System

In my recovery, support is what has been a driving force. I believe there are all different types of support. For instance, family, friends, animals, support groups, etc. These are some types of support that help me on a daily basis.

I know first-hand that having a good group of people you can count on helps you keep going and pulls you out of your head when your eating disorder thoughts are raging.

In the last few years, I’ve doubted myself numerous times in recovery. I’ll wonder if I’m doing enough or back-sliding. Having a good support system is wonderful because these people are the ones who keep you in check. This is what I’ve needed to keep myself on track.

Setting Boundaries

For me, setting boundaries has been my biggest obstacle. I’ve learned It’s okay to say no when I need to. What’s harder is setting boundaries with myself, making myself a priority, and realizing I am worth not just setting boundaries, but also sticking to them.

It’s easy for me to get caught up with work or family. But, I’ve learned that if I want to stay in recovery, I have to prioritize taking care of myself. Lately, I’ve done this by setting small daily goals on my own.

Re-prioritizing Life

This one is hard and I’ve really struggled with it since coming to terms with having an eating disorder. My life is completely different than I imagined it would be since being diagnosed/

I’ve re-prioritized my health and well-being, because if I don’t, then I’m at great risk of ending up back where I began. Sounds dramatic right? Well, sadly it is true. Many of my friends have ended up back in eating disorder treatment and I choose not to be one of them.

Instead, I have looked at every aspect of my life and changed it. For instance, I quit being an intensive care nurse and switched to home health nursing so I could have a more flexible schedule and be home more.

I make sure to dedicate time to my family and friends and be a mental health advocate outside of work. I choose these things because they bring me joy and life is too short not to be happy.

So how have I overcome my eating disorder? Well, each day is a battle, but I go on and give it my best shot. What I have is a life-long disease that has taken the lives of some of my friends. Despite all my struggles, I choose to keep fighting and take small steps daily on my road to recovery.

Mariah Harris is a wife, dog momma, nurse, and mental health advocate from Oklahoma. She has struggled with mental health issues—including an eating disorder—since a young age. She understands the struggle and thinks it’s time for her voice be heard! Learn and grow with her at

2 thoughts on “How I Overcame and Continue to Overcome my Eating Disorder”

  1. I couldn’t agree more, Shilpa. It feels great to know Mariah was able to overcome her disorder, doesn’t it?
    Thanks for reading :)

  2. Any disorder can take control of our life if we don’t manage to take control of the disorder in time.
    It’s heartening to read such success stories, about disorders we know nothing about, or take lightly.
    Thanks for sharing Mariah’s story, Mahevash! :)

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