It's been a long, rocky road to where I am now. But, I have found a place where my body and mind are healthy. Where I don't feel like restricting, and I can look in the mirror and be satisfied with what I see.
I gained weight on 2000-2500 calories a day with light exercise(not much I realise) and now maintain on 2000-2200 with daily walks and cycling 5 times a week. I'm thinking about increasing to 2500, but for now I am satisfied with the amount I maintain on. I know with my level of activity I can afford to have 2500 on occasion, which I do! =)
I weigh 130lb, at 5'7(I've grown a couple of inches!), but initially got to 135ish through being sedentary. I can honestly say that I have never looked this good before, even better than when I was maintaining 120lb at 5'5 and worked out like a maniac. I have hips, B-cups, and a tiny waist(the same size as it was at 110lb!). At a BMI of 18-20, my proportions were a bit skew-wif, but now it's redistributed.
20lbs gained, I never thought I could get this far. I would urge anyone who's recovering to shoot for BMI 21, which is slim but healthy. I even had someone say I could afford to gain a little! The only thing I would do differently is ensure that I got 3000 cals daily, as opposed to only 2250 on most days. My metabolism isn't quite as fast as I'd hope it'd be, as I had wanted to maintain on 2500.
I just wanted to put this out there so those in recovery know that it is possible to see yourself as you truly are, it just takes time and a bit of self-assurance. You're beautiful, tell yourself that aloud until it sinks in!! =)
You have given me the courage and reassurance to WANT to recover now!! Your post is so positive and so full of hope. You should be so proud of yourself for all that you achieved!! Xx
Reinewen, I have read many of your posts on here about your struggles. I know you've fought so hard. You truly deserve happiness and recovery. Congrats on all your progress, and thanks for this positive, encouraging post. :)
Yaaay! So happy to hear this! I'm currently in active recovery. How long did it take you to recover, just wondering?
I know it's been a long, hard road and I'm so happy for you This is just what I needed to hear today too.
Edit: And I just saw your profile pic - you look fantastic!
Hey Congratulations!!! And yes you do look fantastic in your picture. I think that's great. I guess I am concerned about my metabolism. Wondering and scared if it will boost up like it used to be. I find the whole concept of eating more and maintaining to be very much of a road block and confusing to me. So here is my question. You said in your post that you wished you would have eaten the 3000 calories. Do you think you would have been able to maintain on more if you would have? Did you find in your recovery that the body does have a natural set point? I guess I just figure the more a person recovers on the higher the natural set point is. Do you think the natural set point of a person is the same if you recover on 3000 as opposed to the 2500 calories and you just recover faster if you eat the 3000 calories?
Sorry if I asked to many questions but I just need a kick in the pants to really get going on recovering. I've been in this fear mode of actually eating more and cutting out the exercise for the past 6-7 months and can't get going on it. Anyway congratulations again and keep it up!!! Thanks!!
Aww, thanks guys! xx
It took me around 4 months to recover.
Murphy- I think your setpoint would be higher were you to eat 3000 consistently, but it really depends on how your body responds to that intake. Some people have super fast metabolisms and only gain a small amount of weight each week, while others gain to a BMI of 24 before they stop gaining. I'm guessing that you would recover more quickly were you to have 3000.
But yes, I think I would have been able to maintain on more were I to have had that amount. I personally think setpoints really depend on what you eat/how active you are, rather than being weights which are kind of magnetized.
If you're interested in learning more about why 3000 is ideal, I suggest heading over to Gwyn's(hedgren) website, www.gwynetholwyn.com.
You are a true inspiration to many people suffering from an ED. You have let people, including myself, know, that THERE IS "light at the end of the tunnel". It wont be easy but it will be worth it?!
Lets hope that I and many others get to your point and that none of us ever look back! Congratulations again. XX
Reinewen, what a fantastic, positive message! Posts like this make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside! :) They also really encourage me to keep going in this recovery journey. Can I ask if you noticed a pattern to the way your body image worsened/improved? I've heard that it perhaps gets a little worse when you gain, but then when you push past a BMI of 18-ish (and then obviously into higher, healthier weights/BMIs) it actually gets better again and you end up feeling slimmer than you did at a much lower weight... Was this the case for you? I had a friend who got to on the border of BMI 18 and she said she felt slimmer than when her BMI was 16.
You are an inspiration! I really, genuinely wish you the biggest bundles of happiness for the rest of your life! :) xxxxxx
P.s. forgot to say, you look absolutely amazing, gorgeous, slim, healthy, happy and beautiful in your picture!
Aww, thanks guys!! =)
I have to say, between a BMI of 18-20, I still looked in the mirror and thought I had a huge stomach, no boobs, no shape.. It's only been recently that something switched and I can look in the mirror and think 'wow' rather than 'eww'. I would definitely recommend hitting at least BMI 21 in order for your mind to readjust, and also your weight to redistribute evenly. I did have a bit of a belly for a while, up until a BMI of 20, but now the weight has spread quite evenly.
Wish there's a "like" button here!! :)
This is amazing news, well done! You look so radiant and slim, it's awesome!
Thank you for posting this! I really needed a push <3
Thanks for this!
When i meet new poeple these days i often say i 'had' anorexia and talk about it as a past thing, when actually it is still a major issue in my life and what takes up most of my thought in the day!
I am 21 and currently 5'7.5 (i shrunk i swear before e.d. i was 5.8 lol) and been mainitnaing between 106-110 for about 10 months. Although i know this is still underweight and bmi 16/17 i hate what i see, i my mind tells me i am already chubby !
However lots of people tell me, that the parts of my body i dont like (wobbly thighs and bum) are only that way because they need to be filled out and that i would look better if i gain more weight!
Did you find this was a similar case to u?
Also i am still soo scared to up my calories and still only eat an avaerage of 1500 a day, striclty recording and counting calories in everything and getting very stresssed and agitated if i eat more than i think i should! (even though my recommended is way higher i just dont believe that i can possibly eat that much and not get fat!) and really dont wan to mess up my metabloism!!
Any help with how u had the confidence to up your calories and the changes u saw in your body would be really helpful!
P.s. i excercise about 5 times a week, spinning, cycling, gym pilates etc!
Congratulations! I hit my goal - BMI 20 and I feel really good. I don't even care If I go higher, I actually see myself as pretty thin now. It's amazing how your mind gets healthier as well.
It has been tough - a lot of bloating and physical pain, a lot of crying, self loathing and so on ... but it's so worth it, just to get to this point.
There are hard times ahead of me still (I just lost my job, some other personal stuff) but I feel so much stronger, sure of my abilities and healthier.
Just want to encorouge all of you to stick to your recovery - it really gets better!