Recovery Toolbox

Welcome to the RecoveryToolbox. This space is for those who are recovering from eating disorders and contains information on the recovery process, insider's stories and frequently asked questions about recovery.

Recovery basics

Recovery from an eating disorder is a slow process, and not something that happens overnight. Unfortunately, eating disorders don't just disappear by themselves. As those who've "been there" can testify, getting help in the form of therapy, or treatment at an ED centre followed by ongoing therapy, is essential for lasting change. Check out the getting help section of this site for a list of therapists and treatment centres in South Africa. Recovery is about more than just gaining weight or breaking the binge/purge cycle. It's about discovering why those behaviours are there and understanding where they come from. Overcoming eating disorders takes time (often over years) and involves hard work.

Recovery stories

Looking for some inspiration or wondering if it can be done? Read the stories below.

  • Measuring Up: Why the scale is a no-go zone (August 2011)
  • Learning to eat again (May 2011)
  • Why seeking treatment changed my life (March 2011)
  • Overcoming challenges on the road to recovery
  • My journey back to life

    Recovery focus: Exercise

    Is exercise healthy or unhealthy? Read more on healthy exercise during recovery from an eating disorder.

    Coping with relapses

    Relapses, which involve an increase in symptoms that have improved, often occur during recovery from an eating disorder. While these relapses are unpleasant, and often a bit scary, it can be comforting to know that it is very much a part of recovery.

    Relapses can be triggered by a number of things and events, and it may be a good idea to work out what is going on for you.

    • Have you recently read about, seen or heard anything about eating disorders, weight or body shape? These situations are common triggers for eating disordered thoughts and feelings. If so, think about how you can avoid these. For example, turn off the TV when a diet advert is on, or walk away from a conversation about weight and eating.
    • What is going on in your life at the moment? Relapses are often triggered by stressful situations in your personal or work life. Try to work out what might be upsetting you at the moment. Are you feeling upset or hurt by someone in your life? Maybe there has been a fight, or a major event like moving, changing job, illness or bereavement. Eating disorders are often a way to cope with difficult feelings, so working out what's causing your relapse is a helpful part of recovery.
    • What can you do right now? Journalling or thinking about your feelings can help with what's going on behind your eating disorder at the moment. You can also try to break the cycle of thoughts by doing something like going for a bath or taking a walk.

    Commonly asked questions

    Some commonly asked questions about the process of recovery from eating disorders.

    What's it like?

    Get an insider's perspective on what different types of treatment are like.

    Want to contribute?

    If you would like to share your experiences of recovery, please fill in the general contact form mentioning that you would like to contribute. will e-mail you back with further information.