Friday, 7 October 2016
Accepting weight gain in recovery
I think that one of the most difficult and triggering things about recovery from anorexia can be seeing your weight increase, both on the scale and as your body gets bigger too. I guess the reson it is so hard is that anorexics practically dedicate their lives to preventing weight gain and just because they make a committment to recovery, does not mean this fear or pattern of thinking that is so deeply instilled in them instantly goes away.
There is no way of avoiding it, the fact of the matter is if you want to make a full recovery from anorexia, you will need to get to a healthy weight. Telling yourself anything different will mean you are only setting yourself up for failure and more pain in the future. Your body and mind simply wont work properly whilst you are underweight and you will therefore never be able to get rid of your anorexic thoughts all together or make a full physical recovery either.
Whilst I was gaining weight, I remember feeling a mixture of emotions everytime I stood on the scale. If I had failed to gain any weight, the part of me that wanted to recover woukd be dissapointed but at the same time, the anorexic part of me would be overjoyed. Getting these types of anorexic thoughts at stsges throughout your recovery are completely normal and nothing you should be ashaimed of. Alk that matters is that you do not change your behaviors based on these thoughts. Accept that they are there but chose to ignore them.
Similarily, everytime I stepped on the scale and saw that I had gained weight the part of me that was dedicated to recovery was glad but the anorexic part of me was furious. I believe thst in order to stay on track in recovery as you experience weight gain, is that you need to want recovery, more than anything else in the world. Before I began my 'true' recovery, I reached a point whereby I was completely fed up and miserable with my anorexic life. I started wanting a recovered life, more than anything wlse in the world. It was only then that I was able to find the strength I needed to fight my anorexia and make actual recovery progress.
An important thing lto remember is that as you continue gaining weight, it does get easier. So dont think that the anxiety and pain you experience the first time you realise you have gained weight will persist through your entire weight restoration phase of recovery. I think a big part of the reason that it gets easier is because as your weight increases, your brain chemistry normalises too. This means that your thinking becomes more rational and some of your biggest fears like gaining will therefore lose some of their significsnce.
I am a huge believer that the only way to overcome a fear is to face it, so by gaining weight and doing the exact thing you fear, it will slowly become less scary. No matter how hard it may seem you just need to remind yourself of how much you want recovery and the fact that you will not recover if you dont gain weight. The reason I was able to push through the fear and anxiety if weight gain is that I wanted recovery so badly, more than anything else in the world.