You're More Than a Number | ED Recovery, My Clothes Don't Fit & Gaining Weight

10:29



Evening lil chickpeas. I hope you're having a fabulous week. Lets get straight into this one.

 Recently I've been opening up and talking a bit more about my Eating Disorder and recovery. I've talked about the things I've achieved but also the struggles I'm currently facing. I'm trying to show you all my bad days along with the good. Then hopefully you can see the reality in that these feelings are okay and perfectly normal. To my surprise the response I've had has been remarkable, it seems to have helped so may of you, which is bloody amazing! 

Meaning tonight, I wanted to talk about a part of Eating Disorders that many of us find extremely hard. Something not a lot of people actually talk about. The nitty gritty bit. The bit you don't really want to accept however one of the most important aspects.... Weight gain. 

For most people with a Eating Disorder, when being extremely underweight or underweight for a long period of time, weight gain can be one of the biggest fears. It especially has been and still is for me. It's hard as I've seen myself go from over weight to under weight so drastically. Although I know so many of us feel obliged to suddenly 'accept' it. 

I obviously have gained weight. It's hard, I wont lie. Certainly for the 'Ana' part of my head. Body changes, mind changes, tiny clothes suddenly too small. too tight, oh, Holli, you failure!

From the outside looking in, imagine this... 

You're recovering, you're feeling more energised, happier, more alert, enjoying life, conscious of decisions, and have so much support from those around you. From everyone's eyes, things are great, you're looking healthy, eating, smiling and laughing. Then in your eyes, it's torture. No matter how hard or how much you try to convince yourself that weight gain is a positive, all your head can scream back is that it's wrong. Everyone claims, even yourself from time to time, that you're 'stronger, 'healthier' 'inspiration' etc. which is all good. But your clothes no longer fit. Your jeans are too tight. You can see your thighs expand. The mirror lies to you. Is it weird this can be draining? You're suddenly reminded... You're not the 'skinniest' in the room. Oh. The anxiety and stress within you suddenly rises. 

With a fear so strong, It's hard to believe through this fear that recovery will be possible. But trust me it is. I'm not saying it ever goes away but with the right support and coping mechanisms, you can push yourself through each battle. Especially when it comes to weight gain. I wanted to just give you a few of the things I use to try and over come them and strategies you may able to use to deal with weight gain yourself...

Find your reasons. One thing that helps me push through my bad days, is surrounding myself with little reminders as to why I began recovery in the first place. Whether that be people, goals, your pets etc. I keep in mind the things that I'd once again loose if I were to go back to the place I was really ill. I place pictures of times and people I love around my bedroom or certain little saying/quotes which help me push through each day. They help me to remember how much happier I am generally, than what I was in the depths of my eating disorder.

Change your perspective.  I like this change of thought and way of looking at recovery. Okay, so yes we know you're going to have to gain weight but do you know what you also gain?

 Life. Good health. You gain an ability to feel, laugh, love. These are all positives. so yes, as scary as gaining weight may be, we know what also comes along with it. And, the more we begin to see this, comes more freedom we feel.

Rediscover yourself. Finding things to distract you when you know you're having a blip or a bad day are so important. They're a brilliant way in helping us cope. This could be anything that you can focus on and enjoy that isn't to do with your eating disorder. Sadly, Anorexia makes us become disconnected from the world and ourselves. Meaning we lose most interest in ourselves and the things we enjoy. Use recovery as a way to rediscover yourself and what's unique to you! Because it's still in there. There is so much more to life than weight, numbers, calories and food. That's why it's brilliant to find the little things you love again. You can use them as a way to begin to love life in recovery. Whether it be dancing, singing, writing, reading, painting, swimming, cleaning, etc. whatever it is you enjoy, find it. Do it. It will really help!

Becoming conscious of triggers. If you haven't suffered with and Eating Disorder, or any other obsession/mental health issue then you might not quite understand the concept of triggers. however it's so important as an individual, especially during recovery, to be aware of your triggers because we all have them. This could be a whole variety of things and completely different for each and every one of us but each one could make gaining weight and recovery a little harder. For me I know if I'm having a bad day spending too much time on my own or in front of mirrors really messes with my head, I over think and then body dysmorphia sets in. To avoid this I try to keep myself as busy as possible, as the feeling of productivity gives me a sense of achievement that is other than my Eating Disorder. It also means I have no spare time on my hands to over analyse my body, weight or my flaws. I mean really who has time for that? What does it matter?

Surround yourself with support. One thing I've found during recovery, is accepting support and love is so so so important. Whether it be your mum, nan, dad, sister, best friend, boy friend, girlfriend, don't shut them out! Despite what your head may be telling you, the people around you are trying to help you not bring you down. Talking about your feelings and actually admitting to these people that you're scared, that you're having a bad day, that you're scared of the change could be the biggest help of all. For me I have to trust these people, trust what they tell you is true. What your ED tells you is not. Listen to them and most importantly let them love you.

 i.e. my nana, when she tells me that I'm looking great and healthy, when she tell me that it's okay to talk about my feelings, she reminds me of the horrible place Ana can take me too, she reminds me that a size doesn't define me,  she reminds me of the fight I have in me and it's okay to struggle. As long as I push out from it at the end.

You're allowed to change, change is good. So the whole idea of changing during recovery is seen as a negative to many. You may feel like you're body is changing on a complete hourly basis. I have. Believe me.

 But again this all comes from mindset, lets switch it around. Try not to fight against the way your body is changing, instead try to embrace them changes. For example... try not to keep wearing all the old clothes that once fitted you when you were ill, they're more than likely not going to fit or suit you any more which is simply going to make accepting change harder. Instead find some new clothes, that actually fit you and make you feel bloody amazing. You'd be surprised at just how great you actually feel. I mean fitting into a size 12 girls clothes at the age of 17 clearly meant I wasn't healthy. I'm not going to fit in them now, that's not a bad thing.

You're going to see changes, and we all will in different ways. More specifically aimed at women but you'll see your body flourish into a womanly figure. When I started eating again, I was so consumed by worries of my thighs or tummy getting bigger I didn't realise how wonderful it was to suddenly have thick, silky hair again, glowing skin or some breasts reappearing. I also have gained some curves and hips and my body is beginning to fill out into it's natural shape. I'll admit that's been a lil harder but hey, I'm seeing myself come back into her being and I keep telling myself that it's okay. She is rediscovering her growth and development. you have to allow for this. You have to allow healing and trust the process. I'm no longer skin and bone, and part of me actually really loves that.

Lastly.... I can now give amazing cuddles! Yup, to lighten and finish this post, this surprisingly helps me get through. I can remember when I was at my lowest weight. I'd have cuddles with my mum but it wasn't the same. People didn't hug me the same, I think they thought they would break me. I then became very dismissive of any human contact. I didn't actually want people to touch me, I felt way too disgusted with myself. Whereas, NOW? Oh god. I love cuddles! That's something I'm never scared to admit. I love the fact people can now give me a big old squeeze without feeling like they're going to break me in two or be incredibly uncomfortable. It's one of the biggest comforts, I'm so happy I can hold onto.

All in all, it's okay to fear weight gain and changes in recovery. It's so so normal and you're not alone. But it doesn't mean you shouldn't give it a chance. You have to trust and have faith. And if you find yourself for a moment thinking you want to be 'thinner' or 'lose all the weight again', then just stop for a second, remember all the pain, struggles and misery that gave you. Something you don't need again.

You deserve a life of freedom. You're allowed to live.

All my love,

Holli xxx



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2 comments

  1. thank you so much for this holly, im really struggling with recovery lately and just cant seem to embrace it. letting go seems so scary and overwhelming but you inspire me every day and i think you're wonderful!! xx

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    Replies
    1. You're very welcome my lovely. I;m so glad this post has helped you a little. Keep going and never give up. I think you're extremely wonderful also xx

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