I am a relapsed anorexic. I began struggling at age 14 and was an in-patient at Remuda Ranch twice – once at age 16 and again at 18. Both times, weight was the final straw. I have honestly without intention, reverted to anorexic behaviors during some particularly stressful and lonely circumstances. I am working with sincere diligence with a dietitian to regain the weight. I am doing the “right” thing everyday, but I’m really scared. How can I be sure that I will stop gaining weight at the right set-point? What if I’ve become so used to eating extra calories that I can’t adjust to a more normal diet? Thanks. – Abby
First, I want to commend you for recognizing the connection between stress and reverting back to past restrictive eating behaviors. You also made the wise decision to seek help to regain lost weight. As you are well aware, recovery from eating disorders is a long process during which slips and even relapses can occur. Choosing to grow and move forward despite your setback is very positive!
Continue working with your registered dietitian and remind yourself that she is monitoring you, guiding you, and will help you make adjustments to your food intake at the right time. Ultimately, as you continue to nourish your body, you will become more in tune to eating intuitively based on hunger and fullness. And as you approach your healthy weight, your appetite will also adjust accordingly. Express your concerns to your registered dietitian about gaining too much weight and she can reassure you—she wants you to be strong and healthy and doesn’t want you to gain too much weight either.
You don’t mention in your letter if you are also currently seeing a therapist or counselor; if not, I would strongly encourage you to do so. He or she can help review and reinforce more positive coping mechanisms for handling stress and emotions, so you don’t revert back to restrictive eating again. All of us can start to drift off course at times and need some help and encouragement to get back on track.
Normal, healthy eating is possible so be patient with yourself and the recovery process. Keep moving towards a freer, brighter future!
Ann Capper, RD, CDN