Eating Disorder Recovery: Body Over Mind

It's been an up and down time, literally.  My weight was really quite down for a while there.  I broke below the three-digit mark for a couple of months, which hadn't happened since 2003.

And now it's back up.  Just... boom, like that, all of a sudden.  Back up above BMI-chart-underweight.  Back up to something near BMI-chart-healthy-weight (which is lower than my historical set point weight, but whatev).

And I hate it.  I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.

There is only so much reasoning, only so much logicking, only so much Pro And Con Listing I can do.  I hate it.

The husband loves it.  He's been more helpful than not, though he does suffer from Heteronormative Man Syndrome, which means trying to solve problems before just listening.  (For that matter, I also suffer from Heteronormative Man Syndrome with him sometimes.)

But there's only so much he can help.  This one's on me.  And I hate it.

I wish I could better describe the internal experience:  That I've been tricked and betrayed by my body... that I know (without believing) that my body's just doing its thing, and that it's not tricking or betraying me at all... that I also know (without believing) it's my mind that's tricking and betraying.  I can know, and know, and know... and still not believe.

And that, of course, is the disorder.  That's how having anorexia or bulimia or ED-NOS is different from... well, shit, from normal modern life for a horrendous percentage of the Westernized world.

In recovery (from an eating disorder, from OCD, from addiction, from depression, from anything) you hear the refrain from those who went before you:  It'll get easier, it'll get easier.  So while my mind is still rebelling at that promise, I'll try to follow my body in the meantime.

But, oh, do I hate it.


  1. I understand what you mean; it's its own hell. I am your height and have been fearing getting above the three-digit mark for a couple of months now while recently having made the decision to try not to starve myself and eat "more normally". The mind/body needs do not reconcile.

  2. "its own hell" is apt, for sure.

    My therapist actually recommended an OCD book to me yesterday (I do not have OCD) called Mindsight. I'm thinking of checking it out after we discussed a concept in it of "making friends with" your OCD/bulimia/anorexia/whatever. She brought this up in the context of a dialogue with your eating disordered voice, not so much in the pro/con way or even the anti-magical-thinking CBT way, but more of a "trying to get to know you to see what you're really driving at here" way. I think your "mind... needs" statement called this to mind just now, since my immediate thought was, "What does your mind really need, though? What's it *actually* telling you it needs?" Of course I can translate that for *you*, if not so much for *me*, lulz.

  3. That sounds like it would be an interesting perspective on the whole experience. I, not atypically, am better at focusing on the "needs" of others and losing my own voice in that balance.
    Thank you for your blog, by the way, it has helped in the uphill battle of trying to get my husband to actually understand the complexities of an ED beyond his basic (and minimal) research into the matter.

  4. Sorry that you are having a rough battle with your mind. I was on the verge of an ED in college and remnants of it still hound me. Right now I'm still squishy from having a baby and I totally hate my body even thought ppl compliment me all the time on my post-baby figure. It truly is a mind game. I hope you continue to get the support you need from your husband and I hope it really does "get easier" for you!

  5. I'm so glad to hear your voice again, sad to hear you're fighting something so difficult (and likely more difficult because you can't just blame it on the asshole starting the fight, since the asshole is an eating disorder and doesn't take insults well). Just wanted to let you know I'm still hear, still reading, and always looking forward to whatever you want to share with us :).

  6. CP, the social sense of ownership over pregnant or recently pregnant bodies is just staggering, isn't it? (In fact, I imagine LL can chat about that one with you...)

    LL, so good to hear from you! Been reading along chez toi as well - your posts always bring a smile to my face :D


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