Welcome back beautiful humans, today I want to talk about something that I am currently experiencing at the moment, and have struggled with repeatedly in the past.
For a great deal of people who suffer from an eating disorder, the process of recovery can involve a significant amount of weight gain, this is especially true for Anorexia Nervosa sufferers. For me personally, this is one of the hardest parts of recovery. When I am unwell, or in relapse, I will reduce my weight signficantly, pushing myself into the underweight category. This can be very dangerous for my health, in terms of my hormones, menstrual cycle, as well as making me more susceptible to sickness, and injury. As a consequence of this side effect of my eating disorder, recovery usually involves weight restoration.
Gaining weight can be truly challenging and scary, when you suffer from mental health issues, such as body dysmorphia, or an eating disorder. Your body changes shape very quickly, and the anxiety associated with this, can be very difficult to manage. When I am in the process of trying to restore myself to a healthy weight, I can experience physical side effects, such as night sweats, and bloating. This can be one of the main reasons that I fall backwards, and end up maintaining a weight, that is slightly below my bodies healthy set point range.
This year has been very transformational for me in this aspect, as I have gone through a severe relapse, involving weight loss, and am now well into into recovery. For the last 8 years, I have maintained my weight under a certain number, which I became fixated on at the age of 12. Over these past few months, I have passed this weight for the first time, which I am extremely proud of. I have noticed that my body is softer, and squishier, and that I have rolls in places I am not used to, but I am finally able to love myself in this form.
One aspect of being slighter curvier, that has always deterred me from a full recovery, is how this body shape is sexualised. As a young girl, the attention that came with breasts, or round rips, intimidated and scared me. I was not ready to accept myself as a sexual, or feminine being, and so I made sure that my body did not reflect these attributes. As a 21 year old woman, I now finally feel secure in my sexuality. I am proud to be a woman, and I want to embrace my body, and all of its lumps and bumps.
The process of gaining some weight, has come about naturally this time around. I have been listening to my body, and have not denied myself anything. I have pushed aside my usual set of rules (as best I possibly can), and have learned how to be intuitive with my nutrition. As a result some of my clothes no longer fit, but instead of letting this deter me, I have decided to throw them out, and make room for the new.
Sometimes I do have negative thoughts, even earlier today I was thinking about how I missed being extremely thin, but I have developed the resilience to ignore these thoughts. I truly believe this is the key to recovery, and accepting changes in your weight, or shape. You are allowed to have these thoughts, and it is allowed to be hard, but that doesn’t mean that you should give up. Recovery is ongoing, and ever evolving, as you grow as a person. I really want to stress, the importance of not comparing yourself to others. Your recovery is your journey, and if that involves weight gain, or a change in lifestyle, then it is no-one else’s concern.
The next step for me, in my process of recovery, is to allow myself to maintain this new weight. I am not promising that I will not have setbacks, or that I won’t become even stronger (positive thinking remember guys), but I do promise that I will be open, and honest, about my journey. I hope that this wee rant has helped some of you to feel less alone, in the struggle of weight restoration. It is not easy, in fact, it is one of the scariest things that I have ever done for myself, but it is most definitely worth it. We all deserve to be in good health, and this is not possible, when we are constantly restricting, in order to maintain a certain figure.
Sending all my love and encouragement to you all xox