In this post I’m going to talk a bit about weight changes in eating disorder recovery, so although I don’t mention numbers, if weight issues trigger you then don’t read!
Weight & this eating disorder is an issue I find confusing.
Having first developed an eating disorder as an adult, I was in a body that was at my genetic set point weight range for most of my teens & twenties. I was never a naturally skinny thing but neither was I in a big body & although there were days I would prefer a smaller butt or thighs, I accepted it & enjoyed the life it gave me.
When anorexia struck I lost a lot of my natural body weight.
I never had massive body dysmorphia. I could see I was underweight & I never enjoyed being thin.
Rationally, I did & always have wanted to gain weight & be a ‘normal size’ for my body again.
I was happier in that bigger body.
But, this illness causes a fear of weight gain so strong that it drives the eating disorder behaviours – the restriction & the movement compulsions I had for so many years, keeping my weight artificially low.
I don’t think I’m alone in this illogical phenomenon… that others too dislike being underweight but find it so hard to make the necessary changes to gain weight.
It is certainly another way in which eating disorders are far from rational & also poorly understood by Joe Public.
Being underweight left me looking sick, feeling physically cold most of the time, uncomfortable, hollow & weak.
I knew that gaining weight would help me feel physically & mentally better.
Currently in recovery, I’m gaining weight and despite the ED telling me that I wouldn’t tolerate weight gain, so far I am. I am liking my bigger body, despite the fact it feels a little alien at times
However, I’m also aware that although I’m happy with my weight changes so far, I’ve still more to gain before I settle at my body’s natural set point weight.
So, the fear remains – can I cope with & accept that?
Well, I have no choice but to find out.
I have no choice but to accept the weight my body decides to stop gaining at without my attempt to manipulate it, if I want to really recover & enjoy the benefits of being free mentally & physically of this disabling illness.