Quasi-recovery is a point in recovery where weight has been restored, but your body and mind have not been fully healed.  It is a halfway point to real recovery.  While you may be at a “healthy” weight, you may not be at the right weight for your body.  You might be in quasi-recovery if you are still fixated on calories and are still restricting (even if your restricting to higher amounts like 2000-2500 a day), if you’re exercising for the purposes of maintaining your weight, if you have not given into extreme hunger or mental hunger, if you still have a fear of gaining weight, or if the ED voices have not stopped.

Top picture – Summer 2014, Deeply in quasi recovery, exercising to maintain my weight, counting and restricting calories, still feeling trapped by food Bottom picture – Summer 2017 in full recovery for almost 2 years, little to no exercise, unlimited calories, free of all eating disorder behavior/thoughts

I was stuck in quasi-recovery for over a year.  I was convinced I was recovered because I had gained a few pounds, could eat more calories, and wasn’t starving myself anymore.  But the truth is I was just as sick as ever, still obsessed with numbers and worried about maintaining my weight. The obsessive thoughts hadn’t stopped and that was because I had not truly let myself recover.  The most dangerous thing about being in this state is that it is very very easy to relapse because you are on the edge of letting yourself truly recover, and falling back into old habits.  I relapsed several times during my quasi-recovery. When you’re here your body still hasn’t found its homeostasis that it can happily maintain because the truth is, when you’re in quasi recovery your metabolism hasn’t healed.  Even though you’re eating more, you’re still restricting your body from what it needs to find it’s set point which is why you will gain weight on lower numbers.  The only way to stop this is to truly recover.

To truly recover means to give into the mental hunger, to stop restricting any calories by eating at least 3500 a day, to stop working out, and to let your body gain more weight than you may be initially comfortable with.  As you know if you are familiar with me, my blog, or my youtube channel I recovered this way using the minniemaud method.  The information that this approach derived its methodology from was the Minnesota starvation experiment.  This experiment was the only in-depth study on calorie restriction’s effects and how re-feeding works.  Following the logic of minniemaud is what allowed me to finally decide to truly recover and it is through my own personal experience and the experience of many other girls I met through my journey that I can confidently say it is the only way you will ever truly free yourself because if you are stuck in quasi, you are not truly free.

Will you gain weight in real recovery? Yes.
Will you overshoot your set point? You might.
Will you experience extreme hunger? Definitely, although how intense and for how long depends on how intensely and for how long you were restricting yourself.
Will you finally be set free of the control numbers and food has over your life? Yes.
Will you claim your life, soul, and energy back? 100%
Will your body eventually naturally settle at its set point? Absolutely.

Quasi recovery is a dangerous place to be.  If you are there then it is time to take your life back and take the dive into a full and honest recovery now.  The longer you stay in quasi, the longer and harder a real recovery will be.



Posted by

Rachel, 24, Badass feminist, Kitchen mess maker, Spanish speaking television buff, Bikram yoga junkie, Buffy Summers wannabe, ED Recovery warrior.

2 thoughts on “Quasi-Recovery

  1. Hi Rachel! I kind of arbitrarily chose this post to comment on — I was looking for an email address to contact you at but couldn’t find one so I’m reaching out here.

    Firstly, your blog and YouTube channel have been a couple of the most encouraging resources for me in my self-directed recovery so far — thank you so much for the work you do!

    I’m about 6 weeks into recovery and have restored to maybe 1 or 2 pounds lower than my pre-ED weight (I did this really quickly by going all in on extreme hunger and eating a shit ton of fear foods without any restraint for 4-5 weeks). In the last couple weeks, I’ve felt my personality, clarity, sense of being alive, etc. come back and I’ve actually almost immediately felt intense love for my body (that I never felt for my ‘thin’, sick body). Extreme hunger is gone, but I am still finding myself thinking a LOT about my eating disorder and about food (not in the ‘I’m starving’ way I was used to thinking constantly for a couple years) but just generally about when and what I eat, when the food thoughts will go away, etc. — it’s like a meta-thinking about food because I’m so used to thinking about food. I keep telling myself this will go away in time, but it’s hard to cope with the mind-chatter right now sometimes (I’m really enjoying being myself and I want to be able to feel myself and focus on my life ALL the time) and I’m finding it’s not as simple as ‘just tell the thoughts to go away and think about something else’.

    Also, I’ve been kind of triggered lately by ‘what I eat in a day’ videos from women recovered from EDs because it’s clear they eat less than I do, even with my normal, non-extreme hunger cues. I’ve never been ‘overweight’ or anywhere close to it, so I don’t think I have an overeating habit, but I can’t help but feel really self-conscious about it. I know you’ve addressed your caloric intake in a video before and I understand that your actual daily intake may be different from what you record in your videos, but it’s clear the 2 or 3 meals you record in these videos probably total much closer to 2000 calories than 3000. If I eat to my natural hunger I’d estimate I’m probably around 3000-3500, and I can’t help but be skeptical that this is what I actually need. I’ve promised myself I won’t compare what my body needs to anyone else’s needs anymore, but I can’t help but notice other people don’t seem to eat very much. This has led me to a kind of slight restriction where I seem to be portioning out meals in just slightly lower quantities than I really want to be eating, and I think this is why my weight is stuck just a couple pounds lower than it was before my ED.

    I guess I have two questions for you —

    1 — in your recovery process, how long did it take for the nagging (sometimes often, sometimes not so often) thoughts of food/ED bullshit (right now it’s mostly thoughts about recovery itself) to go away after you restored your weight, or did your mental healing perfectly align with your weight restoration?

    2 — does your body genuinely maintain the same weight on 3000+ calories a day (give or take) and do you find that you don’t have any desire whatsoever to eat more than what you eat in your videos? Did you find during the first few months of your (proper) recovery that you wanted to eat more than you do now, despite weight restoration?

    I am trying to stick to what’s true for me as much as possible and tune out what works for everyone else, but I’m sure you know how reassuring.. reassurance can be in recovery.

    I am so sorry this is so long! I was planning to write like, a paragraph. Thank you for reading! 🙂


    1. Hi Shannon! You can always email me at ladlebyladle@gmail.com – I’ll put that up somewhere for future use, thanks for bringing that to my attention!

      In the meantime HI! I love this so much, I am so proud of you – it sounds like you are so on top of your recovery and almost completely free and that is awesome and I’m so proud because I know how rough a road it is that you’ve traveled.

      Okay, to address the constant nagging about food, in my experience that comes and goes. I was pretty conscious of my food (not restricting, just conscious) for many months after recovery but then I started working a really demanding job and food had to be pushed to the back of my head because work had me focused on a million other things. I find that it has kind of ebbed and flowed since then. When I’m busy I don’t really think about food and when I’m bored I sometimes think about it more. So, I know it’s hard to “just not think about it” and that’s not what I’m advising, but I think a good way to handle it is to get yourself really involved in something else so that your brain can prioritize something other than food like a job, or a hobby, or volunteering etc.

      I hate that the What I Eat videos are triggering for you, but completely understand it. The good thing about recognizing triggers is that you know what to avoid so my number one piece of advice is to STOP watching those videos!! haha simple as that really. My eating now is totally different than it was the first few months or even the first year or two after recovery. First of all, I’m vegan now which I wasn’t then, second of all I’ve been fully recovered for almost three years so I’ve had a lot of time between extreme hunger and now. To directly answer your question, yes I can only assume that my body maintains on 3000+ calories but I don’t know because I don’t count them or weigh myself. I can say that since restoring myself to my set point I have not fluctuated for almost 3 years (going by clothes fitting me) and I have not interfered with my natural hunger at all. I eat what I want, when I want, however much I want 🙂 That is the freedom that eating 3500+ for so long gave to me. I wish you weren’t calculating the calories on my videos, the truth is you don’t know how many bottles of oil I go through to make my food or the side snacks I eat and forget to film (bc making those videos is harder than it looks lol) and also I drink a lot of alcohol and don’t usually put that up either haha.

      It seems like you are at a tipping point, you are so so far along in recovery and you are just scared to push that extra mile. It is scary, girl I know it. I hope that my answers help you and you continue forward instead of sliding back. You don’t want to relapse back to quasi-recovery because then you’re only keeping yourself trapped. Eat all of the food! You are only a few months in – of course you are still super hungry and want more food, you’re body is pushing you to the finish line of healing. I wish I could show you what I ate when I was where you are but I can’t – I can only promise you that giving into your body’s true and intuitive hunger and sticking to the minimums is the only way up and out. Good luck ❤


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