Recovered Vs Weight Restored

As you may know, one of the myths I try so very hard to challenge is that you need to be thin to have an eating disorder.

I have been diagnosed with anorexia or purging disorder at various stages of my life, with anorexia overshadowing most of it. In an earlier post I discussed how actually, I have perhaps struggled more mentally when I’ve not been underweight because I’ve felt like I’m not ‘sick enough’, which is something we hear time and time again from people with eating disorders existing outside of anorexia (which most of them do). 

I’ve also been honest before about how I don’t consider myself to be completely recovered. I am a work in progress. Am I as recovered as I will ever be? Quite possibly. But to look at me now, as a healthy weight, it probably wouldn’t occur to anybody that I am not entirely, 100% recovered.

What I am, is weight restored. And they are not the same thing. It is possible to be weight restored and recovered of course, but often it takes people months and years for their mind to finally catch up with their body.

Yes, it is true that I am heavier. Do I still calorie count? Yes, but I allow myself many more than I used to and I don’t set myself strict limits. That doesn’t mean I’m not aware each day of how much I have consumed. Am I guilty of restricting my eating? Sometimes yes, I have fallen back into old habits, but I can recognise and challenge them much easier. Do I still purge or compulsively exercise? Not for a long time. Going out for meals still makes me anxious, but I challenge myself and do it anyway. Some may consider this to be disordered or that I am accommodating anorexia in some way, but I do what I have to do to survive. 

Weight restored can equal recovered, but it’s so important that we differentiate the two. There are thousands and thousands of people who are either weight restored or who have never been underweight in the first place that are battling their minds and body image every minute of every day, and their size is not indicative of the level of emotional distress.

I want more people to realise that being a healthy weight (or being ‘overweight’ according to a bullshit BMI chart) is not always an indicator of health or recovery. As I said, it absolutely can be, but it is my hope that people will think twice before making assumptions. 

Weight restored does not always equal recovery.

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