OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to analyze qualitatively how women, who have recovered from anorexia nervosa, perceive and describe their current eating practices, as well as the ones developed during the eating disorder period. METHODS: Seven women were interviewed individually with the objective of investigating their eating practices, transition phases and all relevant aspects that somewhat contributed to the habit-forming; experiences, feelings and perceptions related to mealtime and the influence that food has had over the present subjects' life. The interviews were analyzed by the discourse of the collective subject method. RESULTS: The results brought up the following topics: a) control; b) concerns and feelings; c) deprivation d) beauty dictatorship; e) eating competence; f) importance of food; g) food cacophony. CONCLUSIONS: What stands out is a multiplicity of eating practices, which during the eating disorder were similar to and characterized by restriction; however, after recovery, part of the subjects seem to have developed a higher eating competence, whereas others show a practice similar to the one acquired during the anorexia nervosa, such as the difficulty in realizing when they are satisfied and a feeling of discomfort when facing social interactions.
Eating; eating practices; eating disorders; anorexia nervosa; qualitative inquiry