advice, anxiety & mental health posts, eating disorder, eating disorder posts, myself, Q&A, self love, Uncategorized

Recovery questions – functional sufferer? “Is this it?”, fully recovered?

Min fråga är – går det att bli helt fri? Eller ska jag bara nöja mig där jag är nu, inse att det är såhär det kommer att vara resten av livet? Jag har i princip nått lägre gränsen för normalt BMI. Jag kan socialisera vid mat. Men jag överslagsräknar alla måltider, och kompenserar om det går åt “för mycket”. Steker inte i smör/olja och väljer inte saker på en meny jag inte kan förutse hur mycket kalorier det är. Men ändå. Jag äter, jag har inga fearfoods, jag kan bete mig normalt bland folk. Is this it, så bra som det kan bli?

Hello,

Because you read my blog i guess you understand English, so i hope that it is ok that i answer in English.

When it comes to recovery it is not just about gaining weight and being able to eat… but about letting go of control around food. The stage you are in sounds alot like the stage/mindset i was in during 2012-2013. I had been declared healthy from Mando, i was able to go to school, meet friends, go out for coffee and somewhat live life… but i also had alot of control issues. I planned my food, i had to check the restaurant menu before we went out to eat, i was focused on high protein and lower carb and even if i thought i was fine and healthy, when i look back i realise i wasn’t. I still controlled my food too much.

The first thing is to realise what habits/behaviours you have and change them.

Getting rid of calorie counting isn’t easy… it takes alot of distraction and learning to not care…. I still know the calories in food and i cant estimate how much my food weighs and how many calories are in it rather accurately from the years i was sick. But i have learnt to not care… to not care if my meal is 350kcal or 650kcal.It is just food that will nourish me and i listen to my body. So somedays i can eat a huge meal for lunch and other days a smaller meal, all depending on hunger and i don’t have to count calories or control my food to maintain my weight – instead my hunger and fullness signals help me.

The best is to try to face those “fears” such as frying in oil or butter. You said you don’t have fear foods, but not using oil or butter when frying does sound like a fear. You don’t have to use oil all the time when cooking, but it does add taste and crispness to certain foods and it can be a good idea to use it just to show that you can and that it isn’t a fear… When you are sick with an eating disorder you often convince yourself you are fine and don’t have a problem until you are faced with the problem and realise just how much anxiety it gives you.

But also i would recommend maybe you go out to eat with your family and they pick the restaurant and you don’t know where you are going. It might give you anxiety, but it is the only way to overcome the fear… to face it. And then also to NOT compensate for it. Don’t eat less, don’t exercise more or any other compensation methods. Instead, eat and don’t worry about not knowing the calories in your meal.

One meal won’t make you gain weight and one meal won’t make you lose weight. It is about your intake over a longer period of time.

My answer is that yes, you can overcome these fears and that the stage you are in isn’t full recovery. The problem is many get stuck in that phase/stage and think “this is it….?”. But you need to be honest to yourself about your struggles and what is holding you back, because only YOU know. And if you want to be free it is up to YOU to change things.

Don’t just accept where you are, instead try to make a change.

Things such as:

Letting others cook food for you.

Letting others prepare food for you.

Not planning your food, but instead eating what you are craving/when you are hungry (this is of course if you can actually manage to eat enough without structure. If you forget to eat then this isn’t a good idea)

Next time you go out to eat or “fika” order something new and something you wouldn’t normally order.

If you measure/weigh food – stop with that and instead just portion food according to hunger.

Don’t compensate if you eat more…. by doing this it can lead to things such as a binging/restrict cycle.

When it comes to calorie counting i have some posts HERE from my previous blog which might help 🙂

Image result for anorexia half recovery full recovery

This stage in recovery is tough because you are able to live life, eat and you have a normal weight but you may still struggle internally. But don’t give up or accept that “this is it” because it isn’t…. you can have more balance around food, you can reach a stage where you don’t have to control food or always think about calories or feel the need to compensate. It takes time and it requires YOU to change your mindset and thoughts and behaviours… to do the things that scare you, it is the only way to break the habits and overcome them.

Keep trying to make a change and in a years time you may look back and realise just how far you have come.

Also, don’t be scared to talk to friends, family or even get professional help to support you. It can sometimes be good if family or friends know what you are struggling with so that they can help you 🙂

I also have some posts from my old blog about being half recovered i.e physically a normal weight, able to live life but still struggling and not fully healthy mentally or still have food-exercise-control issues.

Post: half recovered

10 phases of recovery

Post: Can i be healthy and underweight?

Never be fully recovered from an eating disorder?

The dangers of half recovered

Recovery is about fully letting go

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1 thought on “Recovery questions – functional sufferer? “Is this it?”, fully recovered?”

  1. This was interesting. Here if you manage to get into treatment for an ED there is no “follow up” to deal with the other effects your ED brings – you become weight restored and that is it. Learning how to eat again and gaining the necessary weight is important, but so is dealing with the associated behaviours. I can see how easy it is to remain “stuck” in half recovery. You can get through this but it takes time and perserverance, and of course having an awareness of what the remaining problems are. When I reached this phase I had no idea that I still had a long way to go but its so important that you keep working on it and don`t give up. There is so much more life to be lived than when you are half recovered, and believe me it is worth over coming this phase to reach it, however difficult it may be 🙂

    Like

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