Does counting help? Numbers and recovery

Today’s guest post is written by an amazing friend of mine, a fellow disordered eater in recovery. 🙂


I’ve been seeing a lot of numbers lately. Numbers of days binge free, numbers of days trigger food free, numbers on a scale, numbers of calories consumed. Don’t get me wrong—I love numbers just as much as the next person. They can be very useful and informative in the right context.

I’m just not sure what these numbers are telling you when it comes to caring for yourself or whether they are useful at all for recovery. The numbers come from the diet mindset. We are so programmed to count—everything!

These numbers seem to be a trap of sorts. After a number of days of being binge free, once you “fall,” the counting is halted—as is your confidence in yourself and your belief that you can recover. “Oh well, now I have to start over. Day 1 all over again.” That is the same as Day 1 of dieting. Again and again and again.

But it’s not so! You aren’t starting over! Those days, the days you met your needs, cared for yourself, and felt good about yourself, are not lost! Nothing happened to those days. That experience of self-care is now firmly under your belt and is worthy of celebration! This is about a journey. One with peaks and many, many bumps along the road.Blog-bumpyrecovery

Every time you use those new muscles to get to the other side of the bump, you’ve gained. You’ve gained wisdom, gained confidence, gained strength. It takes a tremendous amount of strength to get over those bumps. That effort shouldn’t be discounted with something as arbitrary as a number. Numbers can’t tell you how strong, amazing, deserving, or worthy you are. So please, put the numbers back where they belong—in a math book!

Now, go celebrate yourself! 🙂

2 thoughts on “Does counting help? Numbers and recovery

  1. Thank you so much. I have fallen off the wagon a bit and was feeling badly about my days of “abstinence” lost. I really appreciate your perspective and am working to get back on track.

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