What happens when you fall out of a pant size and move up?
Well… many things can happen. There is no doubt that it hurts! It’s a sad, sad day when you can’t button your pants. When you know that things are changing and there is not much you can do about it because you have chosen the path of recovery and health. Are you allowed to be upset by these changes? Hell yes! Yes, you chose to move in this direction, but you didn’t choose how you would feel as it happens.
The movement to a new size of pants sucks. There’s no getting around it. Especially when you’re trying to figure out what the heck your body is doing. I’m in a crappy stage of recovery that feels impossible to pass through (because every stage seemed that way… haha). I’ve hit goal weight… woo hoo!!!!….. but the number didn’t stop climbing….. booooooo!!!!…. So, what do you do when this happens? My fast answer is throw a damn fit! Truthfully, that’s what I did, because I forgot there are coping skills… haha… 🙂 I truly feel bad for my treatment team as they have had to deal with a lot from me! I want recovery, and work for it, but I can’t say that I do it gracefully. 🙂
So, we come to a cross-road when this “size fail” happens. These are the true tests of recovery. I could bet that most people have the same reaction that I had. When it happens I immediately think, “Oh my gosh… I have gained so much, I’m now fat and disgusting and I have to fix this. I can just eat less/workout more to bring my weight down a little, and once they fit again I’ll stop.” Obviously, this is not the ideal reaction – nor is any of that statement true. It’s hard to not think that, and I am finding that it is okay to think that. It’s all about what happens after those thoughts come through your head.
Once those thoughts come, we have a choice to make…. act on them, or let them pass and try to reframe our thinking. I’ll be honest — this feels like it is the hardest part of recovery. It is so easy to say, “I need to gain weight to become healthy” but there comes a point where you are healthy and your body is still not adjusted and trusting you. Guess where I am?? (sarcasm is needed in recovery, by the way).
So, as I’m past goal weight and trying to allow my body to adjust, I’m in the ever-so-tough internal struggle of deciding daily, every meal, and moment-by-moment if I want recovery or trying to justify going back to the eating disorder for “just a little because their [treatment team] process is not working.” I KNOW that it is not possible to go back to the ED because the smallest change in eating (restricting) slows my metabolism and my body says, “see, I told you so… she’s going to stop eating so I have to keep holding onto EVERYTHING she puts in her body.” It has taken me many, many, many times to realize this is true! [sometimes I feel like pigeons learn faster than me]
I have learned that I have to ground myself, as I think we all do. It’s nothing new to know that humans are emotional and sometimes we make decisions based on emotions. Because we know this happens, we have to find a way to ground ourselves during those moments. [I’m speaking as if I have this perfected —- I do NOT have it perfected in any way]. So, as I’m running on emotions and the eating disorder thoughts are so convincing, there has to be a break in the process. Rationality and truth has to come to the front. The rationality and truth of allowing your body to be healthy doesn’t work because I feel like my body isn’t reacting correctly. I’m not going to find truth there…. so, what does one do?
I am compiling a list of scriptures to ground me. My faith is what is grounding me. I must have faith in God, myself and other people. For too long, I have believed that nothing can be trusted, but I am finding that is not true. If I increase my faith, I can know that things will work out.
Choose what you want to believe, but I am a firm believer that there is a higher power [for me, I have my faith in God]. Finding a spiritual connection is a component of recovery for me. There comes a point where you feel like you can’t keep doing it anymore – like it’s too much. That is the point when you almost have to be superhuman to get through recovery. We are able to do it, with help. I am finding that we are able to have peace if we can trust in God <insert your own belief here>.
New International Version (NIV)
18 No longer will violence be heard in your land,
nor ruin or destruction within your borders,
but you will call your walls Salvation
and your gates Praise.
19 The sun will no more be your light by day,
nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you,
for the Lord will be your everlasting light,
and your God will be your glory.
20 Your sun will never set again,
and your moon will wane no more;
the Lord will be your everlasting light,
and your days of sorrow will end.
It is possible to feel peace and to do the impossible. I have been told many times that this (recovery) is the hardest thing I will ever have to do. They were right! It is impossible to recover when you isolate yourself. The process hurts. The only thing that has helped make this easier is knowing that I am learning something from this process and that I won’t be let down by my Provider. If I find a way to trust in my God and not the eating disorder, He will provide me with the tools and moments that I need to do this. Will it be spelled-out and graceful?? No… not at all… but there will be moments when it is easy and I know right away that it is a favor from Him.
We aren’t here by mistake, and people do not come in and out of our lives by mistake. There is a greater plan for all of us, and the struggle is accepting that great things WILL happen, as long as we wait for them.
So, how do you ground yourself? I wish I knew the easy way, but I am finding it’s tough for everyone. Reframing the thoughts as they pass through my mind, is the start. Searching for answers through the Word is the next step. Trusting the process, and that I will eventually be healed, comes as well. The only way out of this is through it – that means that you have to trudge through the difficult part in order to come out on top. Sadly, some people do not recover and come out on top because this is THAT hard – I won’t be one of those people. Recovery can be just as miserable as being stuck in the eating disorder, but at least I know that after all of this work in recovery, I will have a positive outcome.
Circling back – So, when I fall out of a size…. I have to ground myself and know that my body is trying to trust me again, heal and reset. I have to find scriptures to remind me of the peace we can feel and reframe the fear that builds in me. Prayer and trust is what will carry me through this difficult process.