Life after an eating disorder

Trigger warning: eating disorders

I think if you’ve read my blog even once or twice you’ll know by now that I’ve had an ED (I promise in real life I literally never mention it!) but it’s a good thing to write about on this platform, as it’s the kind of things I would have liked to read during my recovery.

So if you’re on the journey, just getting started, or not even close… here’s a few bits of wisdom I’ve learned about eating, weight, diet and recovery!

Weight will fluctuate week on week

I can honestly be 10 pounds heavier if I weigh myself after a day of eating, I need a wee or I’m just on my period. Seriously.

Weight is such a bizarre and nothing number- and I’ve stopped bothering weighing myself at all these days. Your body is not defined by a random number on a scale.

If you’re weighing yourself to see healthy changes then do it month on month- and remember that glorious thing that muscle weighs more than fat.

There is no “look” for people with EDs

Yeah the media will say that very skinny people are the only type of eating disorder sufferer- but it doesn’t work like that at all. I was always a fairly normal weight and never appeared unhealthy to anyone from the outside.

A doctor would say my BMI was healthy?

Well, eating and throwing up everything doesn’t sound particularly healthy in my book eh?

Eating disorders are so vast that you can look and be in ANY shape and be a sufferer.

One fatty meal will not make you fat

The same way that eating veggies for a day won’t make you slim overnight. Sure you might feel stodgy and a bit shite- but it’s not going to do any damage.

Enjoy that tasty burger and chips, embrace pizza with open arms and accept the facts… you will not wake up looking like Mr.Blobby.

The people who love you don’t care how you look

It took me a long time to dissociate my body shape from how I thought partners or friends would perceive me.

But honestly? How many times have you looked at someone you love and decided you didn’t- just because they’re a lil bit curvy round the edges? Never?

Told ya.

If you binge- don’t restrict the next day

Look- we all do it and particularly if you’re in recovery, your poor body will be crying out for some calories to help mend itself. Binging is a human instinct and response to starvation, but by trying to “undo” a binge will only start the cycle.

It’s so so hard (believe me) to wake up the day after, with a food coma and that awful pounding guilt… but be kind to yourself.

Have some water, whip up some avocado on toast and put it in the past.

“Normal” people overeat too

I used to think I was such a greedy useless person who had no willpower when I ate too much… now I’m recovered I can see that overeating is a pretty normal thing to do.

It’s nice to eat and overindulge sometimes! It does not make you a bad person, it makes you human.

Food is not good or bad

Food is food. It’s all fuel. Yeah there are things that are better for helping your body tick by and nutrients that keep you healthy, but there shouldn’t be limits on things. Cupcakes? Celery? Bread? Biscuits? They’re all FOOD.

Food is enjoyable

It’s social, it’s for cosy family meals, couples to cook together and for giving you that warm feeling. It shouldn’t be the enemy – it should be something that brings you together with the people you love.

You are not your mental illness

It is not your fault that this has happened to you. You are not to blame. Nobody wants to suffer with an ED and nobody should, but this has happened and you have the power to seek the help you need to get better.

You might get worse before you improve

After my food restriction stopped I swung into binge eating- followed by bulimia and laxative abuse.

It’s hard when you’re in recovery, but:

You will get there

Believe me – five years of this and I was convinced it would never ever leave my side.

Now? 23 years old, I love my life and I eat like a happy healthy young adult. There is some light at the end of the tunnel!

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to message me 🙂

Rach

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