Over the years I had treatment attempts for my eating disorder using the traditional low and slow approach – always leaving me at partial weight restoration and in a quasi recovery but never getting me recoverED!
In treatment it was ingrained that we gain 0.5-1kg a week on meal plans that were restrictive and the healthy me knew that most normal non-eating disordered adults ate more than!
We were discouraged from eating above the plans, despite hunger.
We were set ridiculously low ‘goal weights’.
We weighed & measured foods.
We only ate at set times and never in between.
This ‘treatment’ takes one form of insanity to a new level – and that is something I intend to campaign to change when I am recovered but that is another story.
When I started this recovery journey, these treatment beliefs were still deeply ingrained and I muddled through what I knew I would be doing in traditional treatment (which the eating disorder was happier with) versus what deep down I knew I needed to do to get well.
This was a time of mental torment, high anxiety, hunger, misery and distress levels that were so intense I was not sure I could continue.
But…. finally, healthy me won… I went against what treatment taught me and adopted a faster recovery approach.
After just a few weeks of this the outcomes are much better than the go slow method ever achieved.
This time I feel like I will recover… and treatment never got me to that point!
When eating at recovery amounts used in treatment, I was ignoring deep hunger and eating more but with the illness maintaining control.
To recover I knew I needed to let go of all restriction and eat a LOT more food.
Eating a lot more has made changing routines, times & rules a little easier as they become arbitrary. I face more fears on a daily basis.
The movement compulsions also became weaker – the urge to keep standing and moving dissipated massively as my brain came out of feeling it is in a famine and exhaustion sets in now, which is all alien to me!!
Moving also seemed futile as a means of compensation as if eating so much more, what’s the point!!
Will a walk make a difference to weight… unlikely but it will keep disordered thoughts stronger!
This faster approach has led to a new mindset – I committed to a fast approach and a lot of the earlier distressing mind games quickly eased.
A lot of mental fog and eating disordered thoughts are starvation generated. With eating more, they are weakening and until I get my weight to where it is healthiest I’ll never know what of the brain mess is starvation and what still needs rewiring!
Rapid gain also means I cannot get too used to my body at weights that it wouldn’t be healthy to stop gaining at.
I regularly get feelings of exhilaration at committing and relief at finally doing what the healthy me within has been desperate to do for so so long.
Faster means more thorough neural rewiring and completely blotting out old pathways.
Life also instantly feels a bit more possible as I face more fears head on!
Going slow felt like the eating disorder stayed in control (probably because it was!).
Both rapid & slow approaches are shit but I’d say rapid is a bit less so as the weight gain feels justified & when on a slow approach it is harder to accept gaining weight when you know deep down it is with the eating disorder maintaining its grip.
Pulling the band aid off fast rather than slow does seem to have a lot of benefits for me and I want a recovered life soon – not in another 2-3 years of still dealing with recovery torment.
Life waits and I wasted too much of it already to this illness.
But these are my thoughts about what is working for me.
You are You!