On gaining weight in eating disorder recovery
Sometimes, recovery from an eating disorder means gaining weight. This can be hard for anyone, but especially for someone with an eating disorder. When you have an eating disorder, it is easy to become attached to the idea of being as thin as possible, regardless of the cost. Getting attached to striving to be the skinniest person in the room. Constantly fighting our natural set point weight.
Letting go of controlling your weight is so crucial to recovering from an eating disorder. And it is also a very hard thing to do in recovery. To let go of controlling your body weight, of diets, and instead allowing your body to decide what weight it gets to be at. To shift from focusing on the size of your body, being skinny, and losing weight, to instead focusing on health and taking care of your body.
And while gaining weight, you also get to gain so much more. Some things that my patients have told me they have appreciated in recovery are that not focusing on maintaining a low weight allowed them to have:
- Low key evenings of relaxation (without a side of guilt)
- Going out to get spontaneous meals and treats with family and friends
- Cooking and trying new foods
- Being able to go to the beach without body checking
- Being more present in life and noticing the small things rather than being stuck in ED thoughts.