In a previous post I spoke about the confusion that weight gain in recovery was causing…
In this post I want to address the need for radical acceptance of weight gain and body changes in recovery, if we want to recover.
In my years of illness I always hated being underweight… the healthy me wanted to gain weight, wanted desperately to eat much more, rest and give up all the eating disordered behaviours that were controlling and manipulating my weight, keeping it artificially low.
For years I said I was going to recover, I’d eat, I’d gain weight, I’d rest… and deep down I really wanted this BUT something always stopped me.
Despite the knowledge and understanding, the attempts to put more food on my fork or to cut out the compulsive activity, something always prevented my being able to walk the walk (recovery wise) and not just talk the talk!
Now I appreciate that the harsh fact stopping me recovering before was an irrational but real fear at the prospect of weight gain.
And when the fear was greater than or even equal to the desire to gain weight and recover, nothing happened.
Only now, in this recovery attempt, have I really come to appreciate that the only way I’d ever truly recover was in not just acceptance but RADICAL acceptance of weight gain.
Gaining weight in a very controlled way or to a ‘goal weight’ would not be sufficient to rewire my brain or to allow my body to hit its genetic set point weight.
To let go of the eating disorder means eating as if I am in recovery and eating as if my body has been starved (which it has) without compensating & without continuing to manipulate the bodily changes that result.
This might mean rapid gain, rapid changes but if that’s what my body needs to be healthy, I’m accepting that and if that’s what giving up this shitty illness means then finally I’ll do it.
Finally, having radically accepted weight changes & sitting with the fear, I’m progressing although it’s still HARD!
But I am gaining weight & I am learning there is no need to fear this gain.
I now approach my changing body with curiosity and I practise appreciating it for all it has done for me despite the years of neglect I put it through.