You have committed to recovering, decided you are going to eat and rest more, ‘try’ to accept weight gain (sigh!) and you have set out on making brave changes.
You are muddling through how to make yourself eat not just more but ‘enough’…. yet there is also still an intense fear of eating ‘too much’. Perhaps you have a meal plan that you have made for yourself or that was given to you…. or you might be using a calorie goal – possibly using conservative recovery ‘minimums’ that are often cited.
Each day you are desperate to follow your plan, hit your minimums but the eating disorder brain puts up a mental barrier at the thought of eating more.
I was at this stage of recovery for weeks at the start.. and it was AGONY!!! This was the period of recovery that my anxiety, frustration and distress levels were highest.
Because I had this plan for more food and my eating disorder was latching onto this as the absolute maximum I had permission to eat, yet my mental hunger was for much more and that is the worse place to be – when you are starving but only letting yourself have a bit more and recovering / gaining weight on the eating disorder’s terms.
This results in still holding back on meals and snacks so as not to eat ‘too much’ and a terror of running out of food ‘allowance’ before bedtime and then what?!?
The periods between times you will let yourself eat remain agonising as you are so hungry and consumed with food thoughts but not ‘allowed’ to respond.
And the need to fill non-eating time to distract from hunger means that the lower level movement stuff is even harder to stop!
You know in your heart you are not really being true to what you need to do for recovery causing more anxiety, confusion and distress.
I realised I was slowly restoring weight but I wasn’t letting myself eat what I needed and my body was screaming at me.
I knew I needed to allow my body much more, so two months ago I did.
Since that decision, the anxiety, distress and confusion has been so much better. The relief to allow myself to go against the eating disorder’s rules is greater than the anxiety it throws up.
We are all different but if you are trying to play by recovery rules but not listening to your hunger… you probably are in the worse place right now and if you do let go – well, why not be brave & see!