At which stage in your recovery are you currently in? What does recovering from an eating disorder look like? Why should you make the stand and commit to yourself? In this podcast episode, Dr. Cristina Castagnini speaks about recovery.


  • What are you recovering from?
  • The eating disorder is not (the whole) problem
  • It’s not short-term – but the journey is worth it
  • What classifies as recovery?

What are you recovering from?

It may sound like a simple question, but with eating disorders, it isn’t, which is why I’m bringing this up today. (Dr. Castagnini)
Like most illnesses, you might assume that you are recovered once the symptoms have gone away, like when your nose clears and your fever goes away after the flu. It’s different with eating disorders. Eating a consistent meal plan or no longer restricting does not mean that the eating disorder has healed entirely.
You simply just can’t look at someone based on their weight and know if they’re recovered or not. (Dr. Castagnini)
While these are big milestones in the progress of treatment and recovery, it’s a piece of the greater picture.

The eating disorder is not (the whole) problem

The greater picture is this: understanding that the eating disorder is a symptom of a greater issue at hand.
[Eating disorder behaviors] serve as a way to cope with individual problems, struggles, and concerns. (Dr. Castagnini)
Perhaps there’s an emotional trauma that needs to be looked at or a harsh truth or reality that needs to be faced, and the eating disorder behaviors are maladaptive habits that were formed as protective methods – even though they don’t seem like it.

It’s not short-term – but the journey is worth it

All that being said, treatment can [and] does work, and full recovery is possible. (Dr. Castagnini)
Recovering from an eating disorder is not a quick fix, not if you want to do it well and properly. It will take time, bravery, self-love, and compassion. Even though it will be difficult, it will be worth every ounce of energy you put into your recovery.

What classifies as recovery?

  • No longer engaging in eating disorder behavior
  • No longer being at imminent risk for physical complications
  • Identifying and working through deeper and underlying struggles and causes of the eating-disordered behaviors
Having some self-compassion to move beyond these negative thoughts and emotions that could come up once all this starts to come to the realization, and getting to a place of acceptance, is really key to recovery. (Dr. Castagnini)



  I am a licensed Psychologist and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. While I may have over 20 years of clinical experience, what I also have is the experience of having been a patient who had an eating disorder as well. One thing that I never had during all of my treatment was someone who could look me in the eye and honestly say to me "hey, I've been there. I understand". Going through treatment for an eating disorder is one of the hardest and scariest things to do. I remember being asked to do things that scared me. Things I now know ultimately helped me to get better. But, at the time, I had serious doubts and fears about it. If even one of my providers had been able to tell me "I know it's scary, but I had to go through that part too. Here's what will probably happen...." then perhaps I would not have gone in and out of treatment so many times. My own experience ultimately led me to specialize in treating eating disorders. I wanted to be the therapist I never had; the one who "got it". I will be giving you my perspective and information as an expert and clinician who has been treating patients for over 2 decades. But don't just take my word for it...keep listening to hear the truly informative insights and knowledge guest experts have to share. I am so happy you are here!


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