Two years ago today I was discharged from ERC Denver, my first treatment center. The picture on the left is me a week after I was discharged, and the picture on the right is me 9 months after I was discharged. No exercise, eating disorder behaviors, or anything else had taken place in between these pictures, just patience. This is my take on weight redistribution and learning to love the new body that you have.
**Disclaimer: Not everyone has to weight restore when they start recovery and that is okay. Your illness is just as valid as everyone else’s and you still deserve recovery if you don’t/haven’t needed to weight restore. However, if you have had to weight restore or are right now, this post may help you**
Weight restoration is tough. It’s tough as heck, especially with the eating disorder screaming at you. Most people can’t weight restore on their own, so they go to treatment centers for help. When they walk out of that treatment center, their body is not the same and doesn’t look the same. This most likely causes panic and the eating disorder to scream more, but understanding how and why your body is the way it is can help you cope better.
When you act on eating disorder behaviors for an extended period of time, your body loses complete trust in you. You manipulate and abuse it and it lives in fear and doesn’t know what else you’re going to do to it. This key factor plays a huge role when you’re weight restoring.
When you start weight restoring, your body still doesn’t trust you. It has no idea if this is a trick and it doesn’t know if you’re going to keep feeding it or not. However, your body is smart. It’s scared that you’re going to starve it again so it’s going to put a lot of the weight in your midsection. Your body knows that other parts of your body need the weight too, and they still gets some, but most of it goes to the midsection because that’s what keeps you alive. That’s where all your vital organs are and if you were to decide to turn your back and abandon it again, it would have some protection against the torture.
~continued in comments~