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Navigating life post weight restoration

Hello lovely people,

it’s been a long while since I wrote anything, and there are a couple of reasons. The biggest is that I feel that post weight restoration has probably been the most frustrating part of recovery of all – especially due to overshooting my pre eating disorder weight. Overshoot if something I have wanted to write about, but I didn’t feel like I had anything to say other than “WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING?!” about 2 months ago.

This summer was really hard, because I had nothing to really distract me from overshoot, or the fact that I was super hungry all of the time, despite said overshoot of weight.

Yup, that’s right. Extreme hunger can still continue. I really thought that weight restoration meant that that was it. I was done. I was free. And I really felt like a lie when this wasn’t the case. I was comparing myself to other recovery stories, and feeling frustrated about how my body still seemed to be freaking out. But speaking to more people made me realise that actually, all of this stuff is super common. However, no one talks about it, which is why I am going to.

Immediately after reaching my pre-ED weight, I went through an incredibly painful breakup (which, I have to be honest, is still causing me a lot of hurt and frustration months later). I lost my appetite due to the stress of it (it wasn’t my eating disorder), and really struggled to eat enough, or anything that wasn’t cereal. Not getting enough food for a couple of weeks clearly threw my body through a loop. Then, I went home, and the hunger kicked in. And my weight started going up. Eventually, it stabilised about 10 pounds above my pre-ED weight. I felt uncomfortable and afraid, and there were definitely a few moments where I really tried to control my food because of it.

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Pizza in Naples. A difficult trip due to cheese, carbs, and more cheese…

Moving to Vienna has really helped with letting go of my control of food. I’m doing a very physical course of study (musical theatre). I began working with a dietitian, and found out that I have hypermetabolism, PLUS low leptin levels, which would make anyone ravenous without all of the dancing I am doing. Because I am so hungry, I will really take whatever is available, not every day has to be a perfect day of eating… which is really freeing!

But I have to be honest, my body being in the state it is in is incredibly frustrating, and sometimes I can’t help but beat myself up because I know that I wouldn’t be experiencing this if I never had anorexia. It’s even more difficult when people are constantly making comments about how hungry you are and how much you are eating… “are you sure you’re not going to balloon up?” “Are you not stuffed?” “You’re always hungry, are you sure you’re hungry?” No, I won’t balloon up, I’m actually losing weight (which, surprisingly, terrifies me. No way in hell do I want to become underweight again). No, I’m not stuffed. I already explained to you that I’m hypermetabolic. Yes, I am sure I am hungry. Please don’t make me question this, because it has taken me months of hard work to finally trust my body again.

In terms of my physical appearance, I finally feel happy with where my body is at. I truly believe that my body needed to overshoot. And I trust that my body needs all of this food! I actually came to prefer my overshoot body. For months I wanted my weight to come down to my pre-ED weight, and now it is, and I’m actually scared! A bit silly how these things work, really.

There isn’t really any point to this post other than to talk about an issue which I believe is a lot more common than people expect. Please don’t set yourself up for the ‘once I am weight restored, everything will rainbows and butterflies’ expectation. Hey, maybe it will! Awesome! But there is also a big chance that it won’t be. Post weight restoration has probably been the hardest part of my recovery, and I wish that I had expected that more.

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