There must be something in our DNA that makes us think we can take short cuts to reach our goals because we all skip down that road once in a while. But if you think you can sneak a short cut to resolve your eating problems, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Ironically, the less often you try to take the easy way out, the faster you’ll progress.

Be honest, do you hear what experts say about making progress and think, “Well, that may work for other people, but I’ve got my own plans and ideas,” read a book on recovery and believe you can get around the author’s advice? Or maybe you know folks who’ve resolved eating problems like yours, and view their path to wholeness and health as too long and arduous, so you follow your impatience down a short cut that turns out to be a dead end. There’s no shame in admitting that you want recovery to be quick and easy. Our culture peddles quick and easy. Hard work, persistence, patience, toughing things out, and grinding away toward a goal are often scoffed at. Instant win is in and nose-to-the-grindstone is out. A sad recipe for failure and disappointment.

So before you charge down the wrong road to recovery, make sure your head is on straight about what the journey is going to entail. Here are some things you’re going to feel along the way: frustrated, impatient, fatigued, doubtful, stuck, joyous, encouraged, dismayed, angry, elated, curious, stymied, uncertain, doubtful, and proud. Gee, that sounds a lot like the regular old feelings we experience going through life, doesn’t it? My point is that recovering from an eating disorder is no different than striving for other goals. If you do what you have to do, you get there—but that doesn’t mean you’re going to love every minute of every twist and turn. You soldier on because you know there’s no other way to have the life you want. Repeat: no other way.

A major however—you don’t want to be telling yourself constantly how hard the work is, what a grind, how tedious and boring and frustrating the whole recovery thing is. That will only bring you down. The idea is to recognize in advance that you have arduous work ahead and that the road will be bumpy. That way when you hit a bump, you won’t be surprised or dismayed—nor will you mistake the bump for a brick wall that you can’t climb over. Get your beliefs in order about how success happens and you have half the battle won. Recognize that there’s hard work ahead that you’re fully capable of doing and, that if you do it, you’ll succeed. Make sure all of your beliefs reflect this understanding, then decide whether you want fast-and-easy failure or permanent success and continue to move forward with enthusiasm and confidence.