I must be honest with you, first of all - no truly recovered person seeks weight loss. Ever. A recovered person lives life day by day, leaves the world’s disordered societal expectations behind, and actually deals with any insecurity they may experience (as opposed to just running away from it by deciding to lose weight).
What has led you to decide to change your shape? Fear of others’ view of your body? Stress? Feeling like you aren’t good enough? Something else? Remember that weight loss never solves emotional troubles - in fact, it only makes them worse, as diets can never heal the heart. Weight loss does not make you happier, prettier, stronger, better - our sick society would have you believe that, sure, but in your right mind you know none of these things are true, right? Weight loss makes you thinner. That’s it. Thinner does not mean better. Thinner is just… thinner - that really is all. Likewise, dyeing your hair makes it darker, and wearing heeled shoes makes you taller - that’s all. Remove the sick, hidden meaning the words “thin” and “fat” have in your mind, and recognise that “thinner” is not inherently better, just like “fatter” is not inherently worse. Changing your appearance will not fix your life. Not now, not ever.
What are you seeking from weight loss? Acceptance, confidence, happiness? These things can and should be found in ways that have nothing to do with restricting your food - finding them that way will not only make it last, but it will also heal your soul along the way.
Before I forget, here is a quote from this article by Gwyneth Olwyn - the seven signs of true remission from an eating disorder are:
1) You look forward to gatherings and celebrations that center on food. Like all those without an eating disorder, you indulge happily and do not compensate either before or after the event.
2) You have no forbidden foods, unless of course they could actually kill you (think peanut allergy).
3) You are a force for moral absolution. Your relationship with food is a morality-free zone and it has far reaching influence on those around you, not to mention yourself.
4) You experience your body, and every body, as a miracle every day. You marvel at the healing of a bruise. You stop to watch your fingers flying over a keyboard and are amazed. You see form and function and the innate power of the body.
5) You understand on a cellular level that “savoring” is a state of transcendence and transubstantiation. Transforming food into life-giving energy is freaking phenomenal!
6) You feel connected. While many with eating disorders can feel strangely energized and alive in a state of extreme energy depletion, they rarely feel connected in that state. In fact, they feel a high in the disconnection. Connection is actually an ambivalent state and you are able to hold the ambivalence with appreciation. It is not always joyous, supportive or healing to be connected to others. But you are ok with that.
7) You are fluid. [You are flexible.]
Do not focus on weight loss. Do not focus on “healthy” weight loss (such a thing is impossible, as food restriction with thinness as the goal will never end well). Do not focus on weight loss, full stop. Let your body be, and fill your life with things you truly love. Like I said - leave the world’s disordered societal expectations behind, leave numbers behind, leave fear of “fatness” behind, and watch yourself grow. It won’t be easy, and running away from your troubles will be tempting sometimes - weight loss will often seem like the solution, when in reality it never is - but don’t give in. Life without all of this is so much better, I promise you. Best of luck, my dear - I hope you figure it out.
- Kate / kelixir