I have suffered with anorexia for years now, and am just starting to recover. I’m really scared. I just know that I am going to gain weight. I’ve been trying to eat, but feel like I am overdoing it. Honestly, I feel very fat and upset with myself; but at least I am trying. I already have a counselor and a nutritionist, and this person has been truly a gift from God. But I also wanted your opinion as to how much I should really weigh. I am 18 years old and 5’4″ tall with a petite build. I will not disclose my weight so as not to fuel someone else’s eating disorder; but I will say that I have lost a tremendous amount of weight. I know that I need to recover because my body has already betrayed me in many ways, to numerous to mention. What would be a healthy weight for me? Also, what would be the correct caloric, fat, carbohydrate, and protein intake necessary for me? Why is protein so important? (Sidenote: I am not very active due mostly to the eating disorder. In fact, I really have no energy at all.) Thank you for taking the time to consider my request. By the way, could you please keep me in your prayers? I know that recovery is not going to be easy; but because of God’s love and mercy, I know that I will get through this and be made whole. Thank you again. – J.J.
Thank you for your questions. It sounds as though you have so much going for you! You realize that a strong spiritual perspective can and will help you through this unbelievable battle. I tell the recovering anorexics I work with that no one has faced a more difficult foe or addiction than anorexia. I couldn’t possibly have more respect for anyone. Your battle is as though someone told you to march ahead in the dark to the scariest place anyone can imagine. And all you have is faith that it will get easier! Your instincts (actually your disordered eating voices) are screaming, “No, don’t go there!” But you walk ahead with courage. Of course, you will be in all our prayers.
As far as your weight, my only answer to this question when it’s asked of me is that your ideal weight is wherever you can function best – intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and physically…where you have energy and clarity and you’re not preoccupied by thoughts of calories, fat grams and food. No chart can tell you that. You have to let your body tell you.
Your nutritionist can tell you how important protein is to functioning at your best. It’s critical. I have horses and have learned they’re meant to eat grain all day with lots of protein. Nature made those rules. We are so lucky to have lots choices of protein available. We wish you the best in your journey, J.J. You will make it.
Sending you lots of prayers,