Julien Smith, from the ebook, “The Flinch”
When you’re recovering from a restrictive eating disorder, it can be one of the hardest things in the world to realise that you are no longer the thinnest person in the room, that your body doesn’t represent the horrible emotions you were (any quite possibly still are) feeling, and it doesn’t physically translate being sick anymore.
The first thing to be aware of is that everyone in recovery has moments, even whole days, when they feel disgusted by their new, bigger body and long for their former smaller one, when however often they recite all the good reasons for regaining weight, and all the things that this process is and represents besides gaining weight none of it has any force against the sheer overwhelming feeling of being uncomfortable and in the wrong body.
One of the only things to do is cling on to those mantras you should have developed for yourself—all the reasons why anorexia made life intolerable, and all the physical and thereby psychological restoration that the higher numbers on the scales or the tape measure represent—and to wait for the awfulness to pass, which it will, as everything does.
1. Acknowledge that weight changes come as part of recovery and are actually a sign that you are getting better. If you prepare yourself for the weight change to come, you won’t suddenly be thrown into shock when it does happen.
Never done anything better for my body image and recovery!
You are a human being of value, regardless of your body. It is JUST a body. It’s time to stop measuring our worth based on our body! You’re okay just as you are. You are a unique person, capable and loveable, with special talents and strengths, with inner wisdom, passions, strength, intelligence and creativity – a human being of value. So accept and respect yourself now.Get comfortable with the real you. The you that matters. The you that matters has nothing to do with your body.
Your body is okay. Your size is okay. The good news is that you can change how you feel about your body by changing your self-talk. If you are especially concerned about your weight and body shape, understand that your body has an opinion of what it should weigh at this time in your life. It regulates weight around a setpoint that may be nearly impossible to change. Recognize how destructive the obsession to be thin is. Your weight is not a measure of your self-worth. Accepting this can give you new freedom.
Let go of constant comparison and competition. You don’t need to be or “do” better than anyone else to be a worthwhile person. Just because you are not skinny, does not mean you are worthless.
Keep a gratitude journal. Have you inventoried the richness of your life assets? Try it. Add to that inventory and each day write down three things you are grateful for in your gratitude journal. It can be humbling to realize the abundance of riches we have, and how much we take it for granted. The everyday joys of family, friends, home, community, country, health, work and the wonder of nature are all around us. Contemplating this can bring you deep serenity.
Put weight in its proper perspective and focus on what’s really important in life. Do you want people to remember you for the shape of your body or the shape of your character and soul?