There are three main stages of eating recovery:
Stage 1: Working Through Food Fears
Stage 2: Working Old Body Doubt
Stage 3: Embracing Beautiful, Scary Life
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 may feel like you can’t get enough food, and feel like you are eating more than “you should”.
Stage 1 is where you commit to accepting your body as it is. You try. You have moments of breakthrough and joy, and moments of doubt. You may find it hard, you still wonder if you ever will, but you try.
You are starting out bravely, you know where you want to go, but you’re 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 constant pep talks.
Stage 1 can last a really long time. Approximately anywhere from 3 months to 2 years.
This is when you gain weight and you have to keep eating anyway. This is part of the process.
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 gradually and surely will begin to get less and less intense.
Stage 1 is over when anxiety around eating is over.
But it is not the end of the journey…