June 2022 Recovery Story Spotlight

Stephanie Albers

Before we dive in, can you tell us when you were first introduced to EDF?

“April 2021”

How long ago did you start pursuing your recovery?

“I started pursuing recovery pretty quickly after my eating disorder started at the urging of a friend. This was about 23 years ago.”

Can you summarize a bit on how your recovery journey has looked?

“My recovery journey hasn’t been exactly linear, as most people’s is not. I felt like it started gained steam in the first couple of years as I started working on a major mental illness that was fueling my eating disorder. However, the Health at Every Size and Intuitive Eating movements were in their infancy and were not on the radar of any of my treatment providers. I considered myself recovered in my 20s, but the diet mindset hung around and I didn’t understand how that prevented me from truly achieving peace that recovery can bring. I finally discovered these concepts on my own shortly before turning 30, and then sought out providers with that training. I’m heading into my 40s this year feeling stronger and more positive than ever.”

What is one thing you wish someone contemplating recovery knew?

“It is so worth it. Sure it is hard. Most things worth having are hard. Life will continue on, whether you seek recovery or not. However, recovery allows you to truly be present and live your life, no matter the circumstances.”

What are things that you, personally, have found most helpful in maintaining recovery?

“For me, being in recovery means living in a somewhat larger body. It has been important to me to seek out people in larger bodies (whether it is friends, celebrities, plus size athletes, social media influencers) just living their lives. Working on my own internalized fat phobia prevents that eating disorder voice from trying to use potential weight gain as a weapon against me.”

What are your favorite things that have come out of you choosing recovery?

“Peace. Just so much peace and so much joy. I can go on hikes or exercise without the purpose being body modification. I can order what I really want at a restaurant. I can find a swim suit I like and enjoy the pool with my kids. My spouse can tell me I look nice and I believe him. Things that might seem like little things to someone without an eating disorder history, but are big things to those of us in recovery.”