It’s been nearly 5 weeks now since I came into treatment and the reality of my weight gain is beginning to get to me more and more each day. It is the hardest thing to look at or feel and not be able to shy away from the swells and rises that weren’t as pronounced before treatment began. Logically I know that I am not obese from what my BMI tells me but for me my reality tells me something different, it always has done. When I came in one of the main things I was struggling with was how my weight would be too high to be here and that I also felt like I genuinely didn’t look like I need to be. Now take all those initial thoughts and multiply them about a-couple-of-a-thousand times and you can probably imagine how things are after weeks of being re-fed on a substantial meal plan.
I can’t even distinguish between what is fat, or bloating or water retention and if it continues at this rate for the rest of my admission then I may have a hard time coping. Last night I locked myself in my room away from everyone because I felt too self conscious. Most of the time I want to undo what the refeeding’s done and get myself down to a size that somehow seems to be more acceptable but then with that I lose all the better things that have come from not living in a starved body.
I mean, I’m not as dizzy as I used to. I can handle dashing about without losing my breath entirely and when I do it’s just because I’ve been inactive for a while; It’s not because I don’t have the energy to breathe anymore. My digestive system seems to be repairing itself. I can go to the bathroom now which if you’ve been through recovery, you will appreciate how much joy having a bowel movement can produce. The heart palpitations have gone away and with that the fear that I could have a heart attack at any given moment has become less. My body is doing everything that it can to undo the damage that I have done but I know that if I want it to heal properly then I need to give it more time. Before I came in, the one thing that I wanted other than to have this Eating Disorder out of my mind was to simply feel healthy. I wanted to not feel like I was a 75-year-old woman who is riddled with health complaints. Now that that is happening it is freaking me out slightly. I can see the direct link between the development of a stronger body and my intake. If I was to stop then I know that the aches and pains that were often at times hard to pinpoint or name will once again be something that becomes an inescapable presence. I am realising that to sustain these energy levels etc than I can never go back to restriction. Starving the body will never produce any other results other than diminishing the body into a state that makes living on a daily basis excruciating. That’s the bit the hurt. The never being able to go back and avoid the consequences. I am not an indestructible person and after 15 years of both restricting and purging to begin with then restricting and over-exercising, I can start to grasp that at some point my body will fail in a way that I won’t be able to undo. How can it not? You can’t abuse something for that long and think that you can carry on. There will come a point where you will find that if you don’t chose recovery, you may as well just start digging your own grave.
Despite knowing all this though it doesn’t make it any easier to be able to sit in your own skin when all you see is fat. It doesn’t make that self hate go away. One of my concerns is that I will get to my target range and find that I cannot accept my body for what it will become and if I can’t do that then I won’t ever be able to move forward. Recently I’ve started some body image workbooks and although they are horrible uncomfortable and awkward to fill in, I know that it’s going to be an essential part of my treatment. I need to do the things that I have never done before and actually talking out loud about how I feel about my body is something that I’ve always shyed away from. Thankfully I have a good primary nursing team and maybe in time they can instil a little confidence in me. For now though I just have to keep continuing to get through my meals, figure out a way to stay in my meals mentally and see where I go from there.
I hope your day is good to you.