Monday, 19 October 2015

Coping with weight gain in recovery

I recieved this wonderful question from a reader and decided to answer it in a post. In fact I may even make a few posts out of this 'question' as It contains many incredibely important points that I would like to write about.

Can I ask something? You don't have to answer if you don't want to..but how did you cope with the weight gain during recovery? I mean..I have gained quite a bit of weight since I started recovery, but still lower than the weight the doctors set for me. It's just that, I'm happy with the way I look now, and I'm afraid to gain anymore because I don't wanna loose the self confidence that I'm only starting to get now.. (sorry it sounds silly). Sigh, my whole problem with eating started due to stress from school - I guess you could say it was a coping mechanism. 

I've seen your before & after photos, and you look really good! A lot more happy too. What was the target weight the doctors set for you during your recovery (if you don't mind me asking.)?

Accepting my weight gain in recovery was incredibly hard but it did get easier as I got stronger and my mind started to recover. There were stages in my illness when I simply would not have been able to deal with weight gain. I would have rathered die then gain weight and it seemed as though gaining weight wasn't even a possibility. Once I truly started wanting to recover though, gaining weight became possible and barable. Of course the thought of gaining weight still terrified me and made me incredibly anxious but I knew that it was necessary for me to reach a healthy weight in order for me to recover, which is what I wanted more then anything else.

I think in order to cope with weight gain, you need to accept the fact that it is going to happen and that it is necessary. Also, although I know it is tempting to gain weight slowly, as it seems less scary then doing it fast however in my opinion, it doesnt work. I tried to gain weight 'slowly' for years but did not make any progress at all because my heart really wasnt in it. If you have truly accepted the fact you need to gain weight, you will be willing to just get in and do it.

The hardest thing about gaining weight early on in your recovery is that your mind is still extremely unhealthy and you therefore get lots of anorexic thoughts in regards of weight gain. It would be so much easier if your mind could start to recover before you start to gain weight but unfortunatly this is not the case. Your mind si ply wont start torecover u til aftr you start togain weight which is why it feels so impossible.

But you just need to trust me when I say that it IS possible, and that you CAN do it! You just have to believe that recovery is possible and that you are strong enough to do it because you are! Just remember that even if you are finding gaining weight hard, when your mind eventually starts to repair and catch up with your physical recovery, it is possible for you to accept your body at a healthy weight.

I remember sitting with my GP when I was about 10 kilograms underweight and having her tell me that I needed to get to a weight of 50kg. I remember telling her I would try to do it but actually thinking to myself that I would never let myself weight that much. Now however I weigh more then that amount and I like my body more now then I ever have in my life. I know that I am no longer super skinny but I am fit and healthy and that is even better! There is nothing wrong with having some fat on your body, in fact it is healthy to be this way!

I gained weight really fast (about 100g per day) so eventually I wasnt even that shocked each time I stepped on the scale and could see I had gained weight, it just became the norm. Eventually the fear of gaining weight diminished a little and every day it seemed to get easier. To be honest, my blog and my readers helped me an enormous amount in my recovery and with gaining weight.

Even though gaining weight was painful, I would still feel strangely excited when I saw I had gained weight as i knew I would be able to share my progress on my blog and hopefully inspire others trying to do the same. When I was tempted to stop gaining weight before my bmi was classified as healthy, it is my readers who motivated me to keep going and keep gaining weight until I believed I was a healthy weight.

I realise there are still lots of wonderful questions I have not yet answered in this post but I promise I will answer those in the next few days. I hope that this has been helpful in some way...


  1. This is super helpful Karly! Super proud of your progress so far! Keep up the good work :)

    1. I am so glad! And thank you for all of your support and encouragement <3 xx