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….
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.
Tentative change. Small initial steps. Small goals.
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…)
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.
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,