“Recovery is about life growth and not just body growth…”
I was feeling honoured to have been quoted by my very good friend Hadley on this in her Instagram posts last week.
These little words popped out of my brain and into my messaging app when Hadley and I were having a conversation about the greater volume of people today in recovery focusing in minute detail on their body size growth and changes.
Of course in eating disorder recovery, we do have to tolerate not insignificant changes to our body size and shape (well we do if we are doing recovery right anyway).
Becoming comfortable with our growing body, accepting it and appreciating it for all it gives us is also very definitely an important part of the recovery process and very likely also helpful in relapse prevention.
Being body proud and body positive, no matter our size and shape and recognising and celebrating body diversity- well bring it on I say!
And I definitely had to embrace and radically accept the weight gain to get this far into recovery.
However, is there a fine line between accepting and learning to love and appreciate our new curves and not replacing an obsession over making our body smaller to an obsession over scrutinising every new belly roll, lump and bump that our new found fat stores are giving us to flaunt (if we so wish)?
We do have to let our body grow in eating disorder recovery but should we be careful not to give the world the impression that recovery is about weight gain alone?
We know all too well that it is possible to gain weight and still have a very active eating disorder and it is now more widely recognised that a restrictive eating disorder can happen in a person at any size.
In focusing in on and obsessing over the body growth alone, let us not give the dangerous impression that bigger body = recovered…. Because I know and I know you know that that is far from the case.
And… for me, recovery is not so much about the size my body becomes. Recovery is about so much more than body fat, belly rolls and cellulite.
For me, recovery is about developing not just a rounded body, but a rounded life!
So, while I remain positive and loving of my developing body curves and stay body proud, I am not forgetting to focus too on all the ways my life is growing and expanding, which my bigger body is helping make possible.
As I slowly release from the mental prison of the eating disorder, I take time to recognise the other ways in which my life is growing.
It would be great to see others also really recognise and share what they had not been able to do when still sick but can now, with the belly rolls and cellulite!
Whether it is a growing social life, work life, better relationships, an ability to travel and pursue hobbies and passions…
Let’s not forget to focus in on all that recovery gives us and remember that our body, in whatever shape or size it becomes, is only ever the wonderful vessel that makes these aspects of our lives much more possible.
Ultimately, the body growth is great but it is the life growth we really need for our ultimate happiness.