Normal eating is counter-cultural: Embodied experiences of eating disorder recovery

LaMarre, A., & Rice, C. (2015). Normal eating is counter-cultural: Embodied experiences of eating disorder recovery. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 26(2): 136-149. 



Standards for eating disorder recovery, although they originate in life‐saving methods, may be unattainable for certain individuals. We used narrative thematic analysis to explore the stories of 10 young women in eating disorder recovery. Participants' narratives highlight the complexity and counter‐cultural nature of navigating prescriptions for recovery in a sociocultural context that privileges some bodies and food‐related behaviours over others. Our main themes were materiality of eating disorders recovery, beyond biometrics, embodying counter‐culture, embodying recovery and authenticity/invisibility. Our analysis reveals a biopedagogy of eating disorder recovery, which offers individuals in recovery sets of instructions for how to be healthy that run in opposition to dominant prescriptions for health. These findings help us better understand the lived experience of eating disorder recovery, highlighting difficulties of recovering in a culture that moralizes food and bodies. Further investigating how standards for recovery intersect with dominant discourses for healthy living could help to support individuals in recovery.