What's your motivation?

Writing the post "The Myth of Motivation" got me wondering:

What is your motivation for recovery?

If you're not currently motivated for recovery, what is standing in your way?

This will help me with a writing project I'm working on, so please share any and all of your thoughts!

You can also share in the "Discussion" section of the ED Bites Facebook page.

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mishacamp said...

Right now I'm motivated by the idea that I'm not going to be given an infinite number of chances. I've been through the treatment program I'm in a half dozen times and I've ruined a lot of relationships with doctors, nurses and staff. Right now, I would give anything to go back to my first time in the program and have the opportunity to start fresh without messing anything up. To have that first chance.
I think that people going into treatment for the first time can be motivated by the idea that they can do it right RIGHT AWAY, not become institutionalized, not be made worse by the atmosphere of treatment.
I'm going back into the program here this week, and I'm promising myself I will have the mindset of giving myself "another first chance." It's my only hope to get through this.

Kim said...

Right now, my biggest motivation is my marriage/relationships. I know that anorexia pulls me into a void. I shut out everything else and just exist in this world of numbers and anxieties and secret fears. I want to really be present with my husband and other people in my life and I see that I'm most able to do that when I can let go of anorexia, bit by bit. I want to live a long, happy life with my little husband-and-cats family and anorexia just does not figure into that.

Sarah said...

Right now my biggest motivation is to regain my physical and emotional health that I had last spring and summer when I wasn't bingeing and purging. I was so much happier and healthier then. I so wish I could get back there. I feel so stuck in this cycle right now, the only thing that is keeping me going is the memory of where I was. Surely if I got there once, I can get there again.

Mimi said...

My main motivation has probably always been that I want to truly present the person that I feel that I am on the inside to people around me. I feel that I am a pretty strong, quite stubborn, kind, fun-loving and independent young woman. And then I consider the anorexic girl I know others might see me as, who sits quietly, rigidly controlled, afraid of social situations because of food, always cold... That's not the girl I want to be. Freedom motivates me.

Ana G. said...

When I first started to recover for real, my motivation was that I was allowed to go back to wrestling if my weight stayed healthy and I wasn't engaging in any ED'd behaviour. It's stil my motivation. No one is really keeping tabs to make sure my weight is good or whatever (though it is), but I physically cannot wrestle well if I'm binging or purging or starving.

My goal is the Olympics. I've been told that that is a pretty lofty goal and maybe, "shouldn't you scale down your expectation" lol but I figure I want to give myself the best possible chance to be the best wrestler I can. I know that if I start binging and purging and losing weight again, I'll be selling myself short. I won't give myself the chance to see how good I really can be.

It's weird because my family thought going back to wrestling would trigger relapse since I first got really sick cutting weight. (I dieted to move down a weight class and then WHOOPS triggered a full-blown eating disorder) But in reality, it's been the best thing to help me along in recovery.

Cathy (UK) said...

My response somewhat repeats what I wrote on your previous post on 'motivation':

I was motivated to eat more (and gain weight) because I had already had so many 'near misses' with death and I felt so physically ill. I was sick and tired of feeling 'crap' - and scared of dying.

In terms of what recovery actually is... I think it's difficult to define. Weight gain and maintenance is essential, and for many people that eventually (after a time lag...) coincides with mental recovery and a return to the type of person they were before they got sick.

For me, personally... I was a very anxious, obsessional, perfectionistic, detail-oriented individual before I ever developed anorexia nervosa. Anorexia felt to 'work' because it numbed my anxiety. That's why I stuck in it. Without anorexia I have had to work hard to develop non-dangerous behavioural strategies to control my anxiety. Thus, if recvovery were to equate to 'normal'... that ain't gonna happen.

Ana said...

... having said that, I wanted to note that having that motivation probably wouldn't have been enough to motivate me to get recovered from my lowest point physically and mentally. I was only able to grasp that kind of motivation once I had been weight restored for a few months. If someone had told me at my lowest weight, when I was binging and purging all the time, that I could wrestle if I just got better, I probably wouldn't have been able to use that as motivation to recover. My brain didn't understand that kind of motivation when I was so sick.

Dana said...

My motivation for recovery is to get healthier and live ED free. Read my most recent post for an extended reason.


Anonymous said...

My children. That simple. They need a healthy mother. They deserve that much. Doing it for me has never motivated me. Doing it for them - well, I'd do anything for them.

Crimson Wife said...

Because I've got 2 daughters and I don't want them to suffer the way I've suffered. I can't do anything about any genetic predisposition I may have passed down to them, but at least I can try to be a good role model when it comes to my behavior & attitude.

Jo said...

I'm not currently motivated for recovery.. I still sometimes have problems believing that I actually have an eating disorder - or seeing it as a problem. Part of me realizes it is (with my therapist/"team"'s pushing anyways). They have been pushing me towards a residential recently, but I refused. I don't feel ready and I honestly do not want to give up my behaviors. I realize this is disordered thinking but a lot of me just does not care. I really think that I have just no motivation to 'recover'... I have other mental issues and I feel that if I recovered from the eating issues then I would become an alcoholic/something.. [I am somewhat intoxicated now so I apologize for the probably nonsensical comment..]. I think about food/weight/etc constantly - but I can't imagine what else I would think about if I didn't have that. I can't imagine who else I would be without this in my life.

I personally believe that I am making a choice in not recovering. I realize that's a somewhat controversial stance.. But it is my choice to not atleast be trying - I could be in a treatment center right now. But I have no desire to get further help and I am stubbornly staying at home and continuing with whatever I want to do.. I don't think that all of the depression, anxiety, other mental traits are my fault/choice... But the decision to stay with this is.. However, I just do not have any motivation whatsoever to change that right now.

/end ramble (my apologies).

Kushika said...

Originally I was motivated towards recovery for the following reasons:

a) I want to have a future career which I need good grades for, and I was unable to concentrate through the mental fuzziness which is bundled with anorexia

b) I wanted to stop hurting my family members and seeing them cry in desperation as I sat there starving myself to death

c) what other choice did I have? I knew that a life with a full blown ED was not one worth living

A:) said...

I 100% believe recovery is a chocie and whether it is done via Maudsley or traditional treatment, eventually the patient themselves needs to take on this responsibility.

My motivation was school. I had already taken a year off for treatment and was facing another inpatient admission in which I would be taking a SECOND year. This was a bit demoralizing and I knew if I didn't go to university that year, it would be MUCH harder the next year to resist the temptation of relapse.

So I went -- emaciated, but I went.

My first goal was simply to stop the weight loss. Initially at least, I don't believe one has to want to recover/gain all the weight/give everything up NOW!!!

I took a bit of a different path in that my weight restoration has taken about two years and I still have a bit to go. And yet, I slowly found my way out working with a dietican, psychologist and psychiatrist.

I could have gained 30+lbs in 16 weeks inpatient, but I don't know if that would have been sustainable. I have been able to be independant and slowly refeeding myself.

I know my path has been different and I HAVE had traditiaonl inpatient/day patient treatment, but I think regardless choice and motivation plays a role. At SOME point the person needs to "want" recovery.


Silly Girl said...

My two biggest motivators are my son and my mom. My son because I want to see him grow up. My mom is fighting a courageous battle against cancer. I want her to see me not giving up or giving in to my ED. In order to be there for her, I have to be healthy both physically and mentally.

Anonymous said...

Ok - let's see what is getting in my way:

1)Fear about so many things -

*fear about gaining weight (this terrifies me)
*fear that once I hit a normal weight range, that it will go higher than I am comfortable with and I'll end up being fat
*Who will I be without the ED?
*fear of the unknown, of life in general - even though having an ED is no fun, I guess being stuck in the whole, 'well, at least I know how life is the way things are right now' type of thinking

2)I suffer from depression and anxiety and even have these problems with a higher weight - so then my thinking goes into 'why bother recovering if I'm going to feel miserable anyway? Then I'll be fat (yes, I know, ED talking) AND depressed/anxious.

3)The ED gives me a sense of control (even though I know intellectually it gives me anything BUT control) and is a coping mechanism - how can I cope without the ED?

4)Feeling hopeless - feeling like things will never get better

5)I don't get the feeling from my treatment centre that they know what to do with me

Well, at least there's a start to some of the things in my way...

Briony said...

I guess the most important three for me are:

1)I'm studying for a degree in Biology and my ED started to impact that. I /love/ my subject and I want a career in it- something which isn't going to happen if my entire mind is focused on food the whole time.

2)My mum and my boyfriend- both have done loads to support me and I don't want to hurt or lose them.

3) All the things I'm missing out on because of my ED: for example, the family holidays where I'd eat a huge pub meal, polish off everyone's leftovers and then have dessert. Then there are smaller things like being warm, going round the supermarket without reading the calories on every single item, being able to show my shoulders and chest without looking emaciated, and actually having the energy to do things. I want my old self back.

Tara said...

My motivation...

Well, I am a little scared about flipping to the opposite extreme as I do this but I am in training for a charity run which is helping my binge eating. I want to be fit and healthy and because this isn't focussed on looks and rather how my body works it is helping me to take focus off food.
BUT I do feel incredibly guilty is I miss a run for whatever reason.

I start an intensive therapy programme soon so hopefully that will help me get past my thoughts on food and exercise so I can be healthy.

Coco said...

i just turned 22, and i am realizing that there is so much more to life than obsessing over weight/food/exercise, etc. i want to have children, and considering i haven't had a regular period in a year, i know this won't be possible if ED is standing in my way.

sherrizim said...

I have maintained a healthy weight for 8 years now, but during that time and especially in the last year, I have continued to obsess about my weight and eating and would prefer to weigh a few pounds less than I do. In fact, I have lost and regained those few pounds numerous times. My motivation: I want some relief from my obsessions and self-criticism. More generally, as I told my therapist when I started seeing him five years ago, I want to be happier. But as I told him today, today I am not willing to give up the obsessions if it means being f*t. I've just found this blog and look forward to the much needed help it's going to provide. Thanks Carrie. I'm an old friend.

Castlewood TC (USA) said...

Motivation is essential to be eating disorder free..Good luck to everyone!

K-pedia said...

My motivation in recovery has been my vision of what my future would be like if I continued with the ED.

I realized one day, just kind of out of the blue, that bulimia was dominating everything about my life. It was ruining my relationships with my boyfriend, friends, and family members, and it was causing my work performance to suffer. Every minute of my waking life seemed to be dedicated to this ED. I realized that I would never be able to sustain any kind of emotional connection to another person as long as the ED stood in the way.

I also realized that this ED was probably going to kill me if I didn't stop; the first sign of serious physical problems from bulimia really served as a wake-up call for me. I was terrified that I would be remembered only for being bulimic, not for making any kind of impact on the world.

Largely, I chose to enter a treatment program because realized I was being consumed (no pun intended) by this disorder and had no other identity. That scared the hell out of me.

Anonymous said...

my biggest motivator is my 6 month old son! I'm 99.9% recovered - working on that last 0.1%... when my brain makes the annoying "noise", I ask myself what the real problem is - then I try to deal with it by asking myself, "what would you tell your child if they were faced with this problem?". So far so good!!

Anonymous said...

The fact that it is getting in the way of everything- school,my relationship,family, friends. I can no longer live with it

Anonymous said...

I don't want to die, wondering what my life might have been if I'd recovered.

Anonymous said...


Unknown said...

I'm at my ideal weight pretty much and i hate that
i dont hate my body or anything
it's just that when you have to gain you have health-related motivation and you don't think about every calorie you're eating because it doesn't matter
but now that i'm at ideal i might be mantaining but it feels like ed has taken over my life again
and i hate it, but a part of me wants to drop below ideal and gain, doing a weight relapse forever, just so that i can stay in that state that ed designates as ok to eat what i what and be happy
recovery isn't just about physical, it's about mental
and that's the hard part

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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Have any questions or comments about this blog? Feel free to email me at carrie@edbites.com

nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote


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