SELF – Troian Bellisario Explains Why Her Eating Disorder Recovery Is Ongoing

Eating disorder recovery isn’t easy, and is often something people live with their whole lives. Troian Bellisario explains why her eating disorder recovery is ongoing.

I was very pleased to help out with this informative piece for SELF on the importance of ongoing mindfulness when healing from an eating disorder.


Licensed clinical psychologist Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D., tells SELF that eating disorder recovery can be particularly challenging because, unlike other addictions such as drugs or alcohol, a person needs food to survive. “Abstinence is never possible when it comes to food,” she says. “Food will always be part of the picture, so will the temptations to revert to unhealthy patterns even after recovery is well underway. It is often when people stop paying attention that old patterns can creep up.”


Recognizing that healthy eating is important to recovery—and making it a priority, like Bellisario does—is crucial. “Never fool yourself into thinking you don’t have to pay attention to yourself,” Clark says. “Food is simply a stand in for self-care, and learning how to balance your needs against the demands of life is a key way to keep yourself, and your eating, in healthy check.”

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Alicia H. Clark, PsyD