Last night I went to see my therapist. It was the first time I'd visited her in ages which meant it was the first time I'd been weighed in ages (I moved my scales into the attick a while back). Since June to be precise. In that time, it turns out, I've put on 4 pounds. Bearing in mind that my weight in June was the heaviest I've been in my adult life (a weight which for ages I saw as the 'scary' weight that 'must not be reached), this was a pretty confusing thing for me to discover. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't upset and disturbed. Before I knew it, I'd reverted to ED-style thinking. At first I was angry: 'This isn't fair' I thought, 'I've been going to the gym and haven't even been eating that much. How can I have put on weight??'. Then I became paranoid - 'My clothes must all be too small and I hadn't even noticed! People must've been laughing at me!'. Then I panicked - 'If that's what happens when I haven't even completely stopped restricting my food intake, imagine what would happen if I really let go and ate what I wanted'. At last I felt stuck. 'If I stop restricting my food entirely then I'll put on even more weight' I thought 'but if I don't, then I'll never achieve a full recovery'.
When I got home I told my mum about it. In her typical matter of fact fashion, she simply shrugged and said - 'Well, you were severely underweight before and you were hardly eating. Now, you've been taking steps to be healthier and look after yourself - you can't expect to be healthy and maintain an unhealthy weight'. What she said was so obvious and so simple, yet I'd failed to realise it. The reason why I felt so confused was because for years I'd been lying to myself - telling myself that, even though my BMI was well below the 'healthy' range for my height, even though I was hungry, tired and emaciated, I was okay, I wasn't unhealthy. I'd convinced myself that I was the only person in the world who's actually meant to have a BMI of under 18. Now, I was having to face up to the fact that that was a lie: my body isn't meant to be super skinny and when I look after it and nourish it this is refelected in an increase in weight. I need to learn to embrace the new, higher number that I saw when I stepped on the scale yesterday - its a testament to how far I've come and how much I've achieved. Its proof that I've been looking after my body and that I'm healthy. And surely that must be a good thing.