So, I have in recent years fairly frequently made the decision to gain more weight without actually following through on this. I am not sure whether this is because I am not motivated – maybe I don’t want it badly enough – or whether other things are in the way. Maybe I just need a bit more help, although I’m not really sure how to get that. I think over the years, a lot of things have held me back from taking the plunge and really going for (what I know is really) recovery. One of those things is the confusion about which part of my mind to actually believe. I really struggle to know what is accurate. Do I need to gain weight, or am I actually ok? My GP has said things to suggest I’m ok and things to suggest I’m not. I know the numbers, so I know I’m underweight. I know what my old dietitian would say if she were still seeing me. I know I’m quite far away from the weight she wanted me at. I also know how I feel, which is that most of the time is huge, and I wish my weight were lower.
Here’s an edited snapshot:
9:00am This is it. I am going to eat normally, accept my weight wherever it naturally falls, and live my life.
11:15am I should be ashamed of myself for eating so much.
11:30am People probably despise me for being so focused on my weight. I despise myself. I should be over this now, it’s ridiculous, selfish.
4pm: I need to change. I have to change this if I want to have a family. I’ll be ok in a normal weight range. This fear can’t keep controlling my life.
4:30pm: But what if I’m kidding myself? I don’t really need to gain more weight. I look different (fatter) to others at a normal weight. I am already heavier than I used to be.
10:30am: I don’t really need lunch. I’ve functioned fine without it for years.
11:30am: If I can just eat under x number of calories for the next couple of weeks, I’ll feel in control again. That’s reasonable.
2:00pm: I know I get a drive to control food/weight/external things when feelings of anxiety or uncertainty are more intense. Those are the real feelings I need to tolerate. My weight is not the real problem. My friends tell me I look too thin.
6:15pm: What kind of partner or friend do I really want to be? Is it really ok to not be able to go out for lunch with a friend because I’m panicking about calories?
6:30pm: But what if I gain too much weight and can’t stop. What if I am kidding myself, maybe I’m actually fine as I am. Maybe I’m just letting myself off the hook.
4:30pm: I’ve already eaten too much today. That (planned snack) has too many calories. I cannot, cannot do this.
9:30pm: I’ve felt like this before and got through it. I can do it again. Tolerate it.
11:30pm: My body feels huge.
So, it’s tricky. Maybe this is why people need support, and why some people end up stuck without even realising they are.