It’s been three months since I was discharged from a treatment center for eating disorders. I am so glad to be home with my family and I’m moving forward in my recovery with the help of a therapist and dietitian.
I still have a lot of work ahead of me. It’s not like you go away to treatment and come home all better. Treatment just kind of jump-starts your recovery so you can hopefully stay on track upon discharge.
Battle of my weight or mind?
When I was at treatment, I was certain I would lose weight. I would fantasize about going home and everyone would congratulate me on my weight loss. I was going to buy all these cute dresses and show off.
Isn’t that ridiculous? Eating disorders can really poison your mind.
About halfway through my stay at the treatment center, I was freaking out because I thought I had gained weight. There were no full-length mirrors but when I would take a shower I would do my version of “body checking”– I would poke and pinch certain parts of my belly. I was sure it was getting bigger.
Turns out I was wrong on both accounts. I lost a little weight when I first got to treatment, but nothing really that noticeable. However, I didn’t gain weight either. When I started eating regular meals, my weight stabilized.
My therapist here in Toledo takes my weight every week and it continues to be stable.
Fantasizing about losing weight is nothing new for me. I’m often embarrassed by my size and say when I lose weight I’ll do this or that – (enter social event here).
A Turning Point
The thing is, I was probably never meant to be thin. No one in my family is thin. With the psych meds I take, thin may even be impossible.
I’m learning that I don’t have to be thin to buy cute dresses. They actually make cute clothes in my current size. I recently bought a green knee-length dress and I actually like the way I look in it. That’s a new feeling for me. I usually don’t like the way I look in my clothes. I’m always pinching and pulling at them.
My dietitian recommended the book Body Kindness by Rebecca Scritchfield and I’ve made it through the first three chapters so far. I look forward to reading more of it. The book really stresses the importance of accepting yourself as you are right now.
That’s definitely easier said than done but I’m working on it. I know I don’t have to be thin or change anything about my appearance to do the things I want to do. I’m trying to put that into practice.
As summer approaches, I’ll be put to the test.
Finding Neutral Ground
In treatment, we worked on making more neutral statements about our bodies. For example, “my body carried a baby”, “my legs get me where I need to go”, and “my arms hug my daughter”.
I hope in time I’ll even have positive things to say about my body.
How do you feel about self-acceptance? Is there anything you are working on? Do you have any tips or words of advice?