I’m always relieved and a bit surprised when I eat adequate amounts of food and I don’t gain a load of weight. In hospital when I began refeeding, I gained 4 kg in a week. Even the nurse was surprised at how much weight I gained in such a short time- “How is that even possible? You must really want to get out of here,” she said. And because it’s happened before, there’s a part of me that’s afraid that’s going to happen every time I start eating more. But it hasn’t.
These past three days I’ve been eating well and my weight has remained at what I think is possibly my body’s set point. On Friday when I saw my psychologist we talked about weight and the fact that while I’ve managed to maintain the weight I was discharged from hospital with, I’ve also been controlling it so that it hasn’t gone above that number. Technically my current BMI is just under the “healthy weight range,” but I am naturally petite anyway. I said that I may be okay with it if I gained a couple of kilos from eating what a person is supposed to eat in a day- regular meals and snacks that are balanced and nutritious. What I can’t justify is gaining weight for the sake of gaining weight or if I gain weight from overeating, eating lots of unhealthy foods and/or bingeing and purging. My psychologist is fine with that, which makes me so glad I’m getting outpatient treatment for my eating disorder instead of inpatient treatment. Instead of inflexible and ridiculous rules being imposed on me, I get to have a say in my own treatment and recovery. Which means for me eating regular and balanced meals and snacks throughout the day, and if I gain weight that’s okay, but if I don’t gain weight that’s okay too. What recovery and good treatment doesn’t mean to me is being forced to eat to the point of almost vomiting, and being forced to gain a certain amount of weight and punished if I don’t.
Though being in hospital was such an awful experience, it’s almost a good thing it was so bad, because it serves as an additional motivator to be well and stay out.