Today I'm addressing an issue that many people experience when recovering from an eating disorder, a restrictive eating disorder - eating more.
This is extremely difficult and not for the reasons you may think.
I was obsessed with eating very little. Because I felt in control of eating very little. In my mind, it felt like this control made my life better, even though my body was fighting it. I felt good when I was hungry. I felt satisfaction when my stomach would growl and I would ignore it. I felt like I had so much willpower. It's so sad, but it's true.
At the time I thought it was about the food. Controlling food. Yes, it is. But it's so much deeper than that. It's about something negative that you're feeling. An emotion. Something that you're trying to hide or suppress and you're dealing with it by compulsive behaviours - for me, those behaviours were restricting and obsessing over food.
The negative emotions? Those were feelings of loneliness, feelings of not being good enough, not being perfect and being misunderstood, and feeling out of control of my life.
So, now that I KNOW it's not about the food. I STILL have a hard time eating more (even though I have increased my calories A LOT during recovery). In my mind, adding more food, even when my body wants it, is like giving up. It's like the "I'll get fat" thoughts pop back into my head.
I know the thoughts are wrong. But I fight back and forth with them. And that's the hardest part. Being indecisive. Not being able to be in tune with my body. With my body and my mind not being connected. It's so frustrating because all I want so bad is to feel free again. Freedom is what I want. But this ED has so much control. Will it ever go away?
Why does this all happen? Because it's not easy. The mental struggle, the mental fight is harder than the physical one sometimes. I know eating X amount of calories won't make me "fat" or gain weight. But wrapping my head around it and accepting myself when I eat X food makes me so anxious.
So how do you work towards fixing it? You try hard. You listen to your body. If it's telling you it's hungry then you need to feed it. It may be uncomfortable. It may feel wrong. It's going to suck. But the more you do it, the better you get. Practice.
You'll soon be able to be connected to your body and your mind. You'll make your way back to intuitive eating.
This is what I am working towards accomplishing. I'm fighting for it.
Have you experienced this?