In recovery from restrictive eating our body signals are beyond messy & plain unreliable!
We are recovering from restrictive eating that has left the body depleted and struggling to stay alive.
The only way to recover from a restrictive mindset and allow the body to fully repair is to eat and eat like a person recovering from starvation and someone who needs to gain weight!
When the body has been starved & the brain believes food is either scarce in its entirety or scarce at certain times of day, it will not waste precious energy sending hunger signals as it tried this when we entered restriction, without results!
Anxiety also masks hunger.
We are terrified of food and the thought of weight gain, we get anxious at the thought of eating more or outside our routines…. That anxiety blunts any hunger signals the body is trying to send.
If we are under where our natural body weight should be, like it or not, we need to gain which means eating past physical satiety.
Hunger can be mental or physical… just because the belly feels full – if mentally obsessing over food, then that too is hunger!
And… when the brain wakes up to the thought that food is no longer scarce, then that mental hunger can become even louder, despite a painfully full stomach and despite the fact you feel 9 months pregnant (in my experience!!).
We need to teach our body the famine is over and that it can send reliable hunger signals, but until we hit full recovery we can’t trust our hunger.. we have to eat anyway.
The stomach also has to learn to cope with higher volumes of food again but it does do so with time if we are consistent in feeding it!
I do think that hunger… no, not even hunger, but not feeling stuffed full & bloated in recovery, is a luxury – make the most of those times but eat anyway!
One way or another we have to eat unrestrictedly… waiting for hunger or thinking we can eat ‘intuitively’ – in my eyes could all result in a ticket back to the miserable life of the eating disorder.
Eat with the intention of someone wanting to be free of starvation AND of someone who doesn’t care about weight gain… (although you do!)…
Fake it to make it!