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Regaining Weight In the Abdominal Region

By February 1, 2013

Before I left inpatient treatment, I asked the doctor about why I felt like I was regaining weight in my abdominal region. She suggested that the body wants to “protect” this region and is providing a layer of fat. Ever since then I’ve been wondering if losing so much weight and then regaining it has doomed me to a thicker middle. I’m afraid to gain more weight because I’m afraid that it will all go to the same place. Is this possible? – KB

Dear KB,

What a great question. Your physician was correct; the body naturally responds to weight restoration by protecting the most vital organs first because those, of course, are essential to survival. Once weight restoration is back to your body’s usual weight/setpoint weight (weight at which one eats with balance, variety, moderation and exercises moderately without ED behaviors) or close to it, then the body can distribute adipose (body fat) throughout the body as it normally would for your genetic makeup.

Keep in mind that having a completely flat or even concave stomach is not the way a woman’s body was designed to be. One of the most essential keys to long-term recovery is truly embracing the genetic code that designed your body. Working hard to constantly change what we believe is wrong with our God-given design is often what leads to angst and possible relapse into ED behaviors. Keep working hard in recovery and moving forward, as scary as it is…it’s worth it. You can do this!

Juliet N. Zuercher, RD