Seeking Healthy Weight Loss After Eating Disorder Recovery

By June 29, 2012

In the process of recovering from anorexia, I began binge eating in response to pressure from family, friends, and doctors. I knew that I needed to gain weight, but it all happened so quickly and I felt out of control. My eating patterns are now normal. However, I am about 30 pounds over my normal, healthy, pre-anorexia weight. In order to live a long and healthy life, I need to lose this extra weight, but I am concerned about finding a balanced way to do this so that I don’t fall into the trap of an eating disorder once again. Most of the weight loss advice that is so abundant in our society targets “normal” people, but I need something sensitive to all of the issues that I have worked so hard to overcome. I eat sensibly and exercise, but my weight is just not budging and none of my clothes fit me well. I can’t afford to buy bigger sizes, and being a bigger size wouldn’t be healthy for my mind or body anyway. I need advice on how to lose weight, and I would appreciate any suggestions that you may have. I am 5’4″ and I weigh 150 pounds. Please help me. – M.

Dear M.,

First, congratulations on success with normalizing your eating patterns after your past struggles. It sounds like you are in a good place in terms of your attitude and relationship with food. Considering your history, you are also wise be cautious regarding your desire to lose weight.

At this point in time, I really think you would benefit from personalized nutrition counseling. Have you seen a registered dietitian (RD) in the past? You need someone who can fully assess your current nutritional status, activity level and dietary practices, in order to work out a plan that is just right for you. She can help you set realistic goals and guide you towards reaching them. Depending on your body type, your healthiest weight may be higher than the number you have in your head. It would be best for you to work with an RD who has had experience counseling people with eating disorders. Ask you health practitioner for a referral, or check out “Finding a Nutritionist.”

For more general information, you may find it helpful to read some of the articles under “Eat Well, Live Well” section of this site.

You have made such wonderful progress; keep pressing on.