The most wise piece of advice you’ve gotten during disordered eating recovery.

The best part of this post will be the comments section! So many people influence our recovery from disordered eating and body hate. So, what one piece of advice have you found most helpful on your intuitive eating journey?

My favorite advice was from Isabel Foxen Duke, on the Food Psych Podcast, when she said, “you are not less valuable if you take up more space in this world.” It felt so simple and I realized I deeply agreed even though at the time I didn’t believe it for myself because I was still pursing thinness. It was just one of those “right time, right phrase” kinda moments. That phrase solidified my motivation to step away from diet culture, that is, the belief that thinness leads to health and moral superiority, and played a huge role (along with, going to therapy, a structured meal plan at first, bringing Andrew along on this journey, the Intuitive Eating book, the Body Respect book, gaining weight, and stopping exercise) in me being where I am today. 

How about you? What’s the greatest piece of advice you’ve been given regarding disordered eating recovery?


  1. I love the phrase “Your body is the least interesting thing about you” as it helps put things into perspective.

  2. “You don’t drown by falling into the water, you drown by staying there”

    Slip ups happen. Its up to you whether you want to stay there or get out.

  3. Your eating disorder does not make you special.

  4. For AN recovery: “feel sh*t & do it anyway” lol, & challenge repeat a million time
    For body image stuff: “Life positive, body neutral” & “you don’t have to love your body, but you can love the life it allows you to live” <3

  5. “Your body is your only home on this earth.”

    This beautiful quote made me realize how much I would miss my body once my human journey has ended. It helped my mindset pivot from anorexia to body respect.

    It’s amazing how the simplest phrases (can) have a profound impact in changing our disordered eating behaviors. :)

  6. “Unless you did something illegal to get the food, you’re not ‘bad’ for eating it.” For years, I viewed all foods through a lens of “good” vs. “bad,” and removing morality from my eating decisions has been a game changer.

  7. I really loved when you said something like, “If you gained 10 pounds, what else would you gain?” I can’t remember exactly how you worded it, but that was revolutionary for me. It helped me to stay on track as I actually cared for my body and gained weight. When I got frustrated by pants no longer fitting or noticing new, flabby arms I was able to always reframe it by focusing all the other things I gained—freedom from this earthly idol, time with friends that I could enjoy rather than freaking out over the food I was eating, new hobbies… I basically gained a whole life.Thank you 💜

    • “My body is not an ornament, it’s an instrument. An instrument that I get to experience life with and be there for other people with.” 

  8. I don’t know if this will resonate with everyone but something I’ve thought about a lot over the last few years is: “Maybe your body didn’t change that much (i.e. it’s still yours) — but the way you’ve come to think about it did.”

    Sometimes bodies change a lot in disordered eating recovery and sometimes it’s more subtle — but our body is still ours and the way we’ve come to value/think of it (e.g. less) is what’s really changed, which has allowed us to live a much fuller life.

  9. “It’s not bad or hard. Just new.”

    I heard this in a podcast once and immediately connected with it because it perfectly sums up the feelings you experience during recovery and in struggles you may face after recovery. For me, a big part of my recovery life has been getting comfortable with uncertainty and newness. I lost my coping method for change when I got rid of my eating disorder. Now, when things happen, I’m better at taking a step back, processing this situation, and then stepping back into the situation. Nothing is either good or bad…’s just something new. 

  10. Our society, as a whole, has an eating disorder–it’s not your fault.

  11. Simi Botic shared this body image philosophy that I have now adopted as my own: “Look at it less, live in it more.” I rely on this mantra whenever negative body image thoughts come up because it helps me tune back into my values and my desire to show up fully for this one, beautifully imperfect life of mine rather than allowing my body size, food, or exercise to keep me from doing so like it did in the past when I was stuck in diet culture beliefs and practices.

    Another related mantra of hers that I love is choosing “connection over control” – connection with myself in my here-and-now body and with my loved ones and the present moment.

  12. I also forget the exact quote, but something along the lines of “Hating your body did not make you thin or happy….what would happen if you chose to love yourself instead?” (it was more eloquent than that, but that was the general essence). It seems so obvious but made me realize the behaviors I was engaging in (ie the hate/guilt/punishment of my body), were not getting me closer to what I wanted (joy, acceptance, peace, abundance).

    • “You can’t hate yourself into a version you can love.” 

      A sweet friend put this on my bathroom mirror while I was really struggling with behaviors. 

  13. I don’t remmeber the exact wording, but I’ll never forget when I read something along the lines of “…and I looked down at my body and heard it whisper “same team” ”

    Such a great reminder that despite the fact that I may sometimes think my body is against me and won’t let me look the way I want it to look… we are still on the same team. It is of no use for me to keep fighting it.

    I love reading through all these comments!

  14. “My body is an instrument, not an ornament.” I’ve never had children, so I can’t use it in the sense that my body gave life, but my body is just the instrument that gets me through life. It’s what lets me go for a walk, cook a new recipe, give someone a huge, etc.

  15. Love this! Mine was when I heard someone question “If you died today, what would people remember you for?” The individual on the podcast was talking about their own journey, and how they realized they didn’t want to be remembered for their obsession with their body. I realized I didn’t want to just be known as the “healthy one,” and would rather be known for my connection to others, contribution to the world, kindness, and the like.

    I have also been heavily influenced by your blog post on body size/diet culture being a false idol. I now try to notice when I am idolizing things that do not serve me.

  16. Also you mentioned bringing your partner along on your journey as being important to getting where you are today, and I deeply resonate with that. I’m in the midst of doing so now and would welcome any advice you might have on how to do so, especially if they haven’t experienced the negative effects of diet culture in their own life (even if they have still been subconsciously influenced by those beliefs).

  17. “We can’t hate ourselves into a version we can love.”
    There’s been a lot of good advice I’ve read over years of recovery, but that line has stuck with me.

  18. “Sometimes the fear won’t go away so you will have to do it afraid.” I know when I was in the thick of panic and anxiety while doing food challenges around fear foods this quote was my motto and it helped me so much. The more challenges with less scary each one became! I am so grateful to YOU for all of your support and love along my journey! 
    Also my husband one day when I was upset that I wasn’t getting anywhere in my recovery as fast as I had hoped it was while my daughter was learning to crawl and he said “Think of it like baby learning to crawl, she doesn’t quite have it figured out but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t try like he**. Its okay to scream and shed tears along the one. One day she and you will be unstoppable. 

  19. One of my favorite dietitians used to tell me to “sit with it.” Usually she was referring to the discomfort, uncertainty, and anxiety of eating certain foods. I don’t know why, but that phrase stuck with me. As I began moving towards intuitive eating, honoring my hunger, and eating what sounded best, I sometimes noticed those same feelings of discomfort bubble up. I’d let myself sit with the discomfort, take a deep breathe, and move on with my day. It was helpful to acknowledge it, call it out, and move past it. <3

  20. There are several big ideas that stand out to me as instrumental in my recovery.One is the idea that you don’t need to “earn” your food (with movement or otherwise). I don’t remember where I first heard this but Haley Goodrich talks about it a lot on her Instagram. Another piece of advice that helped me is to concentrate on what I’m missing out on when I am overly focused on food or exercise. What else could I be spending this time/brainspace/energy on that might be more in line with my values, goals, and well being? Last but not least the advice to meet yourself with compassion after a (perceived or “actual”) binge rather than trying to compensate, which just keeps you stuck in the cycle and reinforces negative self-talk. I’ve seen this advice from multiple sources; Jamie Mendell’s work in this area really helped me when I was struggling deeply.

  21. Why put off the inevitable


  22. I think the first biggest thing was realizing that ¨none of this was my fault¨ Shame can be a really strong voice, especially further down the road in recovery, and it´s been so important for me to remember that I was a victim to a combination of stress, societal influences, genetics and a wide array of other factors that mixed to cause me to fall into the place I was. I do take responsibility now on being an advocate for myself and doing what it takes to keep me far away from that edge. The saying ¨Good for them, not for me¨¨ has really helped me because it emphasizes that my needs are different from those around me and the way I take care of myself looks different from those around me.

  23. “It’s none of my business what people think or say about me!”

  24. I think the sentence that really resonated for me was from your blog:
    “The only problem food can solve is hunger”.

  25. So what if you eat when you’re not really hungry?! (I was spending a ridiculous amount of time & energy trying to determine if I was hungry or not.)

  26. “Your recovery will go as far as you choose to take it.”

    My older sister said this to me years ago and it has stayed with me throughout each stage of recovery. Only I have the power to decide how my recovery looks – sticking to a meal plan forever? saying no to invitations from friends because I’m too scared what food might be involved? structuring life around my workouts? HELL no. I want to live freely, fully, and fiercely!

  27. Two things:

    The voice in your head telling you that certain foods are “good” or “bad,” is not YOUR voice. So talk back to it and remember that it is not your voice. 

    Whenever you feel the eating disorder voice being to creep in, go back to your values and remember that the ED was not in line with those values. For me, that was as simple as reminding myself that I value fully living my life and being present with my friends and family. 

  28. The last line of the Mary Oliver poem, “The Summer Day”:

    “Tell me, what is it you plan to do
    with your one wild and precious life?”

  29. Something you have said that I now use as a tool for myself all the time is: if you’re spending time debating whether or not you should eat something, just eat it.

    That idea has really simplified a lot of my interactions with food. If I am dedicating brain power and emotional energy to that question, I eat it and move on. It has helped a lot with eliminating guilt and living according to my values.

    Reading some of your reflections on past vacations and special occasions really reinforced this for me, since when I look back, I likewise remember being preoccupied with food choices, exercise, and my body above all else. But recent memories don’t feel like that anymore; I remember experiences far above food, and it feels so liberating.

    Thank you for this space you’ve created. Working to embrace intuitive eating and a non-diet mindset has honestly changed my life.

  30. ‘your body is your home, stop trying to burn it down’ 

  31. “Weight is not an accurate indicator of health” really helps me. Also not sure how to word this the right way, but “how much more brain space can we free up if we stop giving in to diet culture”. One that I think about when I see new fad diets come up and my friends getting into them I think, “who is really profiting from our insecurity?”

  32. I was once told that vegetables are micronutrients. I was struck by this because I was eating very veggie heavy meals and considering the vegetables as my carbohydrates. Switching up my view of carbohydrates to be mainly bread, whole grains and pasta has helped me find the appropriate satisfaction at meals.

  33. Adore this post and the comments. I once read ‘what would you eat if calories didn’t exist?’ I can’t remember if it was from your blog or from Robyn’s but it really stuck with me!
    A big turning point was when I was talking about weight I had gained with my husband and wasn’t too happy. In my head I thought it devalued me and that he would like me less (thanks diet culture!) He turned to me and said your know what’s not attractive? Hearing someone constantly talk about their weight.’ We both laughed as he said it to point out how ridiculous I was being, but that really stayed. When I think about food or weight I often go back to that and remind myself that it’s a really boring topic. It doesn’t matter what I look like, what matters is that I’m a fun, kind, loving person.

  34. My first therapist in ED recovery talked to me alot about Psalm 23. I was addicted to exercise as a way to cope with anxiousness and depression. She talked about how the Lord is going to “restore my soul beside the still waters….”. When I look back on it now, being still and trusting the Lord with my body was the foundation of my recovery.

  35. “This is going to be hard, but what we are doing is already hard. We don’t get to choose hard versus easy; we get to choose freedom vs. fear.” Geneen Roth

    I was in the diet world for 25 years and I didn’t realize that there was another way to live. I have felt so much freedom in intuitive eating and I am very grateful to Geneen and to you Kylie for showing me the way.

  36. It’s ok not to be perfect. It’s ok to make mistakes. Sounds simple, but gosh so hard to sit with sometimes!

  37. The Wu Wei philosophy can help us when we go through situations that we cannot change, since this implies a way of life and is, at the same time, a call to non-action.

  38. Pingback: Gaining ‘the covid-19’ – Yeah…Immaeatthat

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