It’s a common misconception – if one is weight restored, they must be better. They must be feeling better about themselves. They’re looking better, so they must be, right?
No. Whilst this may be true for some, it is rather uncommon for those who are weight restored to be thinking clearly. In fact, when one reaches a restored weight, that is probably when they need the MOST support of all – the thoughts, the urges, the struggle against relapse – these things will become all the more stronger and difficult to manage.
You see, as one begins to restore their weight, they may feel increasingly uncomfortable within their skin and the urge to restrict their intake, binge, purge, or overexercise may be all the more prominent.
I can’t tell you exactly why it is, but in my own experience, it is taking a whole heap longer for my brain to catch up to my body. I still continue to think anorexic thoughts, despite my own weight restoration. This is why relapse is all the more common, and why I myself have relapsed numerous amounts of times within these last 2 years.
It’s not as simple as just “getting over it”. It’s not as simple as just restoring weight. If only it was that easy! The thing is, eating disorders are not a physical illness – they are a mental illness. It is nothing to do with ones weight, but rather the behaviours that they are exhibiting. It is called a mental illness for a reason – it is about how the individual perceives themselves, not how much they weigh.
This is such a struggle for me right now – hovering between relapse and wellness, deciding which path to take. This is the point in my recovery where I need all the support I can gather. This is the point where I need the drive to push on, where I need to utilise all the skills and tools I have obtained along my recovery path, the time in which I need to sit with the distress of being my healthiest weight, as opposed to my unwell weight.
If this blog post rings true for you, I really would like to encourage you to push on with your recovery, to continue moving forward despite the distress you’re currently sitting with. I promise you that your mind will catch up, that eventually the thoughts will dissipate and you will, at last, be free from your eating disorder and all that that entails.