Eating Disorders

Taking Hunger Back from my Eating Disorder

Taking Hunger Back from my Eating Disorder | Libero Magazine
For someone recovering from an eating disorder every choice matters, and these small victories are essential for a strong recovery.

Before you start reading, please consider supporting our magazine. We are a nonprofit and depend on donations to continue advocating mental health and offering support.

Article Donation

Personal Info


Donation Total: $5

I’m sitting in a cubicle-like desk in the library poring over boring textbooks; the clock lazily clicks 3 pm and hunger strikes. I ignore it for a few minutes and sip from my water bottle, hoping fruitlessly my belly full of water will tell my brain I am not hungry. Hear me, I am full! I return to studying for a few minutes. My eating disorder tells me if I just concentrate hard enough, my hunger will go away.

Hunger taunts me.

“You know there is food at the café downstairs…that Caprese sandwich you love.” I tell Hunger to shut its mouth. “Be patient. When we get home in a couple hours, we will make a nice salad.” Hunger doesn’t give up.

“Don’t you smell the scent of bread wafting upstairs? Mmmm…” I try a logical approach. “We have food at home. No need to spend extra money eating out.”

This debate goes on until finally, I decide to get the sandwich. I’m tired of fighting. I surrender.

Are you enjoying this article?
We are a nonprofit magazine. This means we depend on the generosity of others to keep our magazine running. If you are enjoying this article, would you consider making a donation?

Article Donation

Personal Info


Donation Total: $5

This is victory–this is a win.

During my five years recovering from anorexia, every day, multiple times a day, I had to make choices just like this.


These choices are what determined whether my recovery took a step forward or a step back.

There is no neutral ground. For me, it was either a move toward freedom with food and partnership with my body, or it was a move toward restriction, fear, and rigidity with food and a war against my body. Every action is an opportunity to forward what I am committed to or succumb to destructive habits from my past.

By itself, each choice may seem insignificant. Does it really matter whether I order a skinny latte or a regular latte? Or whether I put Splenda or regular sugar in it? Yes, it does matter.

I want to be someone who has the freedom to enjoy food.

In the face of the fear of it making me fat, the choice will be obvious. Does it mean I will never have a skinny latte again? No. It just means right now I am training myself to create habits to challenge my disordered way of thinking and support my recovery.

For someone recovering from an eating disorder every choice matters, and these small victories are essential. Together, they create the habits of a vital, recovered human being. They are the foundation for a full, strong recovery.

Victory can look many different ways. It can look like choosing to buy a sandwich when I’m hungry.

But it can also look like this:

“Would you like a slice of cake?” someone asks me.

I see the warm, molten chocolate cake with a puddle of melting vanilla ice cream dripping into its crevices. My mouth waters. I pause and put my hand on my belly.

“No thank you, I am full,” I say.

Now, here is the interesting thing: Whether denying the piece of cake is a small victory or not all depends on the individual and where they are at in their recovery. If I always refuse desserts and I am fearful of sugar, then accepting the cake would be a victory. If I always eat dessert even when I am full, then it might be a stretch to say no and be satisfied without the cake.

However they look, small victories build confidence because they create habitual decision-making patterns.

The next time I am sitting in the library and I feel hungry, I will be a bit quicker to choose to go buy some food.

I will put less thought into the decision. I will learn to trust my body. I will feed myself naturally and easily without too much thought. I will spend less and less time worrying about food choices and more and more time building relationships, creating ideas, and exploring the wide-open world of possibilities outside of the sandwich or no-sandwich conversation I’ve been swimming in.

Over and over, I choose recovery until one day I emerge a courageous, triumphant woman full of love, hope, and zest for life itself.


Before you go...If you found this article helpful, please support our our magazine. We are a nonprofit and depend on donations in order to continue providing resources and support for mental health. You can donate using this form: 

Donate to Libero Magazine

Personal Info


Donation Total: $25

Want to share your story or submit an article to our site?

We would love to have you share your story or your mental health experiences or tips with the Libero community! For more information on submitting, please visit:

Are you a blogger?
Join our Bloggers Network and have your content shared on our site for the Libero community! Find out more at
Disclaimer:The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official views, beliefs, or opinions of Libero Network Society. In addition, any advice, tips, or recommendations made within this article should only be followed after consultation with a medical professional and/or your recovery team. Libero Network Society holds no liability for any potential harm, danger, or otherwise damage that may be caused by choosing to follow content from this article.

Laura: Free from Boundaries | Libero Magazine
Laura MacKinnon

Laura writes about her experiences with anorexia in high school and college with the intention of empowering young people who struggle with body and food issues. She hopes to spread the message that nothing is un-recoverable and there are an infinite number of possibilities in life outside of what we currently know. Laura has a Bachelor's of Science degree in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania and is currently pursuing a career in eating disorder recovery support. She loves writing, meditation, and cooking delicious vegan meals.


Click here to post a comment

About Libero

We are an incorporated nonprofit magazine sharing stories and offering support for mental health. In addition to our own articles, we partner with bloggers, republishing their work and increasing their exposure, which, in turn, provides our readers with even more great content. learn more

Do you blog about mental health?

Support Libero Magazine!

We are a nonprofit magazine. Help us continue fighting stigma & spreading the message of freedom through our site by donating!

Receive our articles & news via email!