How to manage other peoples expectations of you in Eating Disorder recovery.

You won’t eat that type of food. You won’t be able to cope with a normal weight. You will loose weight when you get out of hospital. You will always be underweight. You won’t want to come out for a meal. You don’t enjoy eating.

The list is endless.

The people around you are trying to be understanding but they are understanding your Eating Disorder and not you.

The answer? You need to tell them again and again and again that you are doing things differently now.  The problem? Recovery is exhausting and telling people again and again and again is just too much sometimes, especially when your illness is going to try and make you feel ashamed of just living normal life.

So what do you do? You hold onto the fact that your recovery is yours.

You don’t need to justify the decisions that you are making. It doesn’t matter how other people think you should act in recovery, it doesn’t matter how other people do recovery and it definitely doesn’t matter what your Eating Disorder thinks you should or shouldn’t do.

I like chocolate brownies A LOT. I’m going to continue to gain weight although I’ve reached a place that is safe- because that is normal for MY BODY and that is what is right FOR ME. I get excited about going out to eat and trying new foods. The illness is what makes me feel guilty and ashamed of these things but these things are awesome and these things are ME and MY DECISIONS.

It takes an incredible amount of strength to defy your Eating Disorder and it’s even harder when sometimes it seems even the professionals are expecting a ‘half recovered’ life for you.

Go for your version of recovery whatever that means for you and however much you have to defy expectations. The Eating Disorder and it’s frankly CR*P expectations for you, can go do one! Nobody wants you to be ill and more importantly YOU are allowed to not want you to be ill.

Give yourself the permission to live the life you deserve,

It’s about time don’t you think?

Madasanegg

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How to manage other peoples expectations of you in Eating Disorder recovery.

BMI targets and stages of Anorexia recovery

Is it important to have a target weight in recovery?

Some people, professionals included, would say that the answer is yes. Those people argue that having a safe BMI is paramount to being physically safe (it’s all in the name) being able to think straight (should we say emotionally safer)  and having a healthy goal to aim for.

I can see the benefits of this but for me, the most important part of Eating Disorder recovery is recognising that Eating Disorder recovery is not about the numbers (or in fact about food) and if we adopt that strategy we are running the risk of feeding into the illness (Pardon the pun!)

How I see it, Eating Disorder recovery in which weight restoration is a factor is a staged process. This is how it was for me, obviously it might be different for others….

Stage 1

Committing to the idea of recovery and that weight restoration is a part of this picture. If you aren’t committed or open to the possibility, then you aren’t going to restore your weight or recover. Fact.

Stage 2

Tentative change. Small initial steps. Small goals.

Stage 3

Shifting your focus onto what a healthier body will give you. Reaching life and weight goals and hanging out there for a bit (or realising there will never be a time when it feels right and moving to…)

Stage 4

Re-committing to new goals; weight or otherwise.  Start building a different life for yourself. Start recognising that holding your weight at a particular place (healthy or otherwise) means that you have less flexibility to do the muddy, beautiful mess that is life.

Stage 5

Accepting the idea that weight is fluid, changeable and irrelevant to the person you are or are becoming. Reaching a healthy weight. Living, living and more living. Ups, downs and all the in-betweens.

 

It isn’t a linear process. I have to commit, re-commit and re-commit again and again. I move backwards and forwards between the stages. I get scared. I find courage from somewhere. I get scared all over again.

I am going for full recovery from this illness. It’s going to be a fight but one which I am committed (and have re-committed to on multiple occasions so far and expect to have to do so again!) to. My weight is irrelevant in this battle; but I am going to maintain a healthy BMI (There is no escaping this one) but I would also like to point out that I’ve been unwell at a healthy BMI so in short….

Recovery is so much more than BMI but you need for your body to be healthy. If having BMI goals helps you to take those first steps than go for it but at some point, if you feel brave enough and stable enough to let your body lead the way then take the leap. Life is better when you are free.

Love and hope,

Madasanegg

 

 

 

BMI targets and stages of Anorexia recovery