Saturday, 6 February 2016

Coping with Recovery: Weight Gain




Okay. So before I begin:
No. I don't have the answers or the 'magic mechanism' that makes coping with weight gain in recovery a piece of cake.
(Pun completely intended...)
However,
in this post I intend to explore some coping strategies that might be helpful to people struggling. Everyone's different...peoples EDs are all different too...so what works for someone else, may not work for you, and vice-versa. It's about giving everything a go, several times if necessary, until (or if) you find something that helps!
I guess the harsh reality is, if you never find something that helps, then tough.
It's got to be done. This is literally a matter of life & death.
So suck it up & have some cake...!

1. Get Inspired!
When you feel inspired, you have this positive boost...you believe that actually fulfilling your goals is possible...
For me, this is kind of hit-and-miss, but the reason I'm mentioning it is because I had a message from a girl who was in a (scarily) similar position to me in recovery, but had actually be successful & is living a much happier& recovery-focused life now! It was so nice to read because it reassured me that maybe my slightly ambitious plans aren't actually crazy unrealistic after all, despite all the (completely understandable) doubt & unease displayed by some of the people around me.

2. Remind yourself that...

...RECOVERY IS WOTH IT!

Make sure you have constant reminders around your 'space' (room/house/whatever) of what you're recovering for.
Have photos/posters on your walls, notes on your bathroom mirror, quotes on flash cards...whatever works for you! Just make it visual & easy-access! There's no point in having a photo album under your bed, gathering dust that you never look at...have the things that make you smile accessible with as little effort as possible!

3. Use your 'Support Network'!
If you're lucky enough to have people around you who love & support you, then USE THEM!!!
Use them as a reminder to yourself of why you're recovering. They love you& they only want the best for you so listen to them!
I remember the moment I told my boyfriend that I was gaining weight & his reaction blew me away. I think I got so caught up in my own head thinking weight gain was like the devil, that I didn't actually realise just how important it was to the people around me. It just blew my mind that someone really cared THAT much about me to have such an emotional reaction.
He's my absolute hero...I'm so lucky.

4. Get Writing!

If you haven't tried writing yet, I definitely recommend you try it!

Free-writing (basically just start writing whatever comes into your head...it can be structured or completely random, neat or messy, words or noodles...just whatever 'comes out!') is brilliant for almost any "mood."

It's a place just for you to write down whatever comes into your head.

It's for your eyes only so you can't be "judged" for anything you put down...you can even throw it away after if you want!

I find it really helpful to just vent emotions...but also, sometimes when I'm just feeling completely numb, or I just can't work out what I'm feeling, free-writing helps me figure out what's actually going on in my head.

You can discover some really interesting things about yourself from free-writing...!!

5. Treat Yourself!

I think it's really important to reward yourself when you reach your goals.

Set yourself manageable (but still challenging!!!) "bite-size" goals, & when you achieve them, treat yourself as a reward for all your hard work!

This could little rewards like going to the cinema with a friend, a spa treatment or a shopping trip...

...or, if you're like me, who pre-ED was super active & loved my sport, set yourslef a goal of reaching that healthy weight so you can start your sport again!

For this to work, though, you have got to BE STRICT WITH YOURSELF! If you're trying to gain weight, exercise really isn't going to help you. Be diciplined & stop exercising until you're healthy enough. It's such a postive insentive. Have a class/sport in mind you've always wanted to do & work towards that.

I changed my phone background to a pair of ballet pointe shoes, to remind me every time I see it of what I'm working towards!

 

These are just 5 ideas of tips to get you started! Just remember, as painful as gaining weight can be, it really will be worth it in the end.

 

Find your motivation & hold onto it.

 

Stay strong fighters & good luck!

x

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