Deciding you’re ready to start recovery and wave goodbye to your anorexia is such a big step and a difficult one to make. Holding onto your illness is pretty normal as, after living with it for so long, you convince yourself its part of you and your identity and therefore struggle to realise what life will be like without it.
It’s a difficult decision to make and it requires commitment but we promise you, it will be worth it. A decision to start appreciating, nourishing and caring for your body again, a decision to start loving yourself again, a decision to start enjoying life and the people around you again and a decision to wave goodbye to the anorexic thinking that has taken over your brain for so long.
We’re not going to lie and say it’s all plain sailing and that once you’ve decided to recover, you’ll never look back. There will be days when you think that it’s not worth it and its easier to just give in and listen to the voice in your head, there will be days when you feel uncomfortable with the amount you’ve eaten and there will be days when you feel scared BUT you WILL get through these days and come out stronger than ever!
So here’s a list of the not so pleasant things that come with recovery. Not to scare you, but so you’re prepared and ready to deal with them when they do come along.
- You might feel bloated and experience indigestion
This is very common one. Your body has been starved for so long and isn’t used to having food so once you start feeding yourself again, a little bit of discomfort is normal. Indigestion and bloating are both very common side effects of increasing your food intake. This can be scary as you immediately associate your bloat with weight gain. It’s not! It’s just your body reacting to receiving food, something its not experienced in a long time. Being consistent meals and snacks will help stop both of these issues, as your body will begin to get used to food again and therefore be able to digest it properly and efficiently. Something that can help is eating smaller meals more regularly. Leaving it too long in between meals can often lead to a very sore tummy as the intake of food after such a long time is a shock to my body. Indigestion tablets and peppermint tablets can also help with indigestion and bloating.
- You’re periods will make a return
This one’s for the girls! That’s right. The horrible mother nature will be back to be a pain in the arse each month once again. As much as every girl hates their time of the month, (we become crazy, moody, crying bitches!) it’s a good thing! It’s a sign that things in your body are starting to function correctly again! I (Laura) remember crying so much when my periods came back and it did scare me and make me take a little step backwards. But once I realised that it’s my body’s way of saying “thank you for feeding me, i’ll start working properly for you again”, it made me realise that I was doing the right thing and was a step closer to being healthy and fit again.
- People will start to make comments
After a few weeks of being consistent with eating, the results will start to show and you’ll slowly start to gain some weight. Be ready for people saying “how well you look” and “how you look different”. Take it as a compliment! Honestly! People will be saying this as they’ll see you’ve got colour in your face again, your hair will have a glow to it and you’ll just be looking healthier overall. People don’t understand that maybe this is a scary thing for a recovering anorexic to hear as your first thought is “oh s**t, I got fat”. We PROMISE this isn’t true. You’ll be looking great and all people are trying to do is give you some encouragement and support.
- Your clothes will feel a bit tighter
It’s going to happen so be ready! Your favourite pair of jeans will start to feel a bit tighter around the bum, you’ll start to fill out a t-shirt that was once really baggy for you and your boobs might start escaping from your bra. Try not to be scared, it’s all part of the recovery process. And let’s be honest, should you really be fitting into those size zero clothes? Think of this as a positive..it’s time to go SHOPPING!! Shopping will be a much easier task and will be much more enjoyable as you’ll be able to find things that actually fit you and will look amazing on that new booty of yours. Throwing the old clothes out that don’t fit you anymore might feel like a difficult task but do it in your own time. We really do recommend trying to get rid of those smaller clothes though so there’s no temptation to try and fit into them again.
- You’ll start to feel hungry again
Feeling hungry again will be a weird feeling. This isn’t you being greedy, it’s your metabolism having a kick start again! When you starve yourself, your metabolism slows down so much in order to adapt to the low intake of food. Once you start eating again, your metabolism will start working again, in order to use the food your eating as energy. Listen to your body and don’t fear these hunger pangs. Embrace them and make yourself an extra snack or a dessert if you’re feeling more peckish than usual. Your body and metabolism will thank you for it!
- Your emotions and hormones
Recovery can be a really emotional time and as we said before, it will be a bumpy ride. With the return of your periods and the changes in your body in general, hormones will be all over the place so your psycho side might make an appearance! You might feel like screaming at someone or having a big cry. Let it out! If you’re feeling a bit lost or scared, try talking to someone close to you about how you’re feeling. You’ll feel much better for having a bit of a cry or a scream. Once it’s all out, get back to focusing on nourishing your body and learning to love yourself again. Try not to let one episode get in the way of your recovery.
REMEMBER! Recovery isn’t just about nourishing your body and improving your relationships with food, but also about gaining confidence within yourself again, learning to love yourself and getting your mojo back! With all the energy your mind and body will have from eating, you’ll begin to think more rationally and kick anorexia in the ASS for the final time!
And finally, if you do find that you have a bit of a relapse or lose sight of why you’re on the road to recovery, have a think of those reasons why you want to recover. Check out our blog post ‘reasons to recover’ for some tips and to see why we wanted to gain weight and say a final SEE YA to anorexia!