One of the things that scared me the most about entering recovery was the weight gain. My eating disorder had revolved around losing weight. I ate to lose weight. I worked out to lose weight. And in many ways, I was living to lose weight. My life revolved around the number that I saw on the scale. It’s the thing that I feared the most. But at the same time, I knew that it was something that I had to do.
It terrified me that I was gonna lose all the “hard work” I’d put in. As foolish as it sounds, it was something that I was proud of. I was finally proud of myself for something. Despite knowing that what I was doing to myself was slowly killing me, everything inside of me told me that it was okay to keep going. It was okay that I was damaging my body? No.
Even today, over a year into my recovery, this still something that I struggle with. Gaining weight will never be an easy thing. I don’t think that it will ever be something that I will be okay with but it had become something that I know is necessary for me to become healthy.
It’s been a journey getting to where I am today. It hasn’t been easy. And if I am being honest here, it never has been. But there are a few things that I’ve done that have made the process better.
1 ) Lose the scale.
This was a major thing for me. I used to weigh myself multiple times a day and would freak out at the slightest change. The number on the scale dictated my life. It dictated how much I ate, how long I exercised for, and how I felt.
You really do have to take this day by day. Just stopping for a day won’t break the habit. Take the batteries out or throw out the scale. Do what works for you! You will ll have to talk yourself out of it and resist the urge to step on the scale for a little while before it will seem normal to not step on.
And if you slip up along the way, it’s okay! Remember that it’s just one day out of your whole journey. Forget it and pick up where you left off! Believe that you can do it! I may sound like a broken record when I say this but, you aren’t defined by the number of the scale.
2 ) Get rid of your old clothes and go shopping for new ones!
Buy yourself new clothes that you feel good in. Choose something that makes you truly happy.
I remember feeling so uncomfortable in my old clothes but still being afraid to go out to get new ones. A part of me felt like I was giving up, surrendering, and putting all my “hard work” to waste by getting rid of my old clothes. But when I finally did do so, it was the best thing ever. What I didn’t realize till after was that my old clothes were holding me back. I tricked myself into thinking that I would one day fit them again. Whether or not I do, holding onto the clothes was like holding onto my past. It was me holding onto my eating disorder. This was not something I wanted to do. As odd as it may sound to some, letting go of my old clothes was a pivotal step in my recovery.
Go shopping with someone you trust and make it a fun day! This shouldn’t be something that you dread doing. Don’t be afraid to try on the clothes that you like. Don’t be afraid to try on different sizes. What’s important is to come out of this with something that you feel beautiful and happy in. I know that this is easier said than done, but this is something that will get better with time. Be kind to yourself in this time of change.
3 ) Stop body checking.
I know how hard it is to not critique every inch of your body whenever you walk by a mirror. Mirrors are everywhere. Just like losing the scale, you have to take it day by day. It’s not easy to stop doing something that you are so used to doing. This is something I did obsessively and is still something I catch myself doing at times.
While you shouldn’t fear mirrors, learn to not act upon them. You see yourself in a mirror? Well, tell yourself that you look like a badass! Instead of critiquing what you see, learn to compliment what you see. Don’t determine your happiness with what you see in the mirrors. The truth is that, you aren’t defined by what’s reflected off a piece of silver glass. You are more than what you see in a mirror.