There are three stages of eating recovery, as far as I’m concerned.
Stage 1: Learn to Eat Again
Stage 2: Learn to Love Your Body
Stage 3: Enjoy & Learn to Live
Stage 1 begins when you realize you never want to diet again, and scared as you are, you know it is the right decision, so you begin.
Stage 1 is where you start to eat food you were afraid of, and even though it may continue to scare you, you keep going.
Stage 1 is when you can’t get enough food, and feel like you are eating more than “you should”.
Stage 1 is where you try to accept your body as it is. You try. You still find it hard, you still wonder if you ever will, but you try.
You are starting out bravely, but filled with anxiety over letting go of control.
Stage 1 is where you worry you will gain “too much weight.”
Stage 1 is where you worry you are a bottomless pit and will never stop eating.
Stage 1 is anxiety ridden. It is terrifying. It is completely exciting, liberating, cathartic, and can be horribly paralyzing at times, too.
Stage 1 takes experimentation, patience, bravery, conviction, and support. Stage 1 takes constant reminding, and reading up on, and talking one’s self out of turning around.
Stage 1 can last a really long time. Approximately anywhere from 3 months to 2 years.
Stage 1 is the period when you gain weight and have to keep eating anyway.
Stage 1 is the period when you still have fears related to the foods you are eating, and are still continually calming yourself down.
Stage 1 is where you have anxiety over having anxiety over food. Anxiety causing anxiety (“shouldn’t I be normal yet?!” No. It takes time.)
Stage 1 is where, through good old-fashioned eating, you start to slowly learn that none of the things you were scared of can ruin you. Stage 1 is where anxiety lingers, and then eventually drops off.
Stage 1 is over when anxiety around eating is over.
But it is not the end of the journey…