National Eating Disorders Association

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Accidentally learning post-recovery weight

After spending a few months in treatment and gaining X weight, I discharged the treatment program within my healthy weight range the doctor set for me, as painful as it was to get there. When I left, I knew I was in the healthy weight range but did not even know the numbers or how much I had gained, and needed it to stay that way because the numbers always mess with my head and make recovery near impossible. Skip forward about a month and a half out of treatment, I have lost a little bit but mostly maintained my weight and have been working tirelessly at recovery. I had another kind of appointment, a physical for a job I was applying to, where they weighed me, and of course it causes me great anxiety to be around a scale and anyone who doesn't know about ED because there's so much risk for the number to be read aloud or somehow revealed to me and that would break me. So I requested they not say it, nor have it on the paperwork when I left. Of course, it was on the paperwork. I looked at it by accident, not expecting to see it there. And long story short, ED has been very loud ever since and I feel like I'm dying inside everytime I think about it. I know it sounds dramatic but I feel like almost physical pain when I think about the number, like I finally know just HOW much I betrayed my eating disorder, and how far apart we really are, how much I allowed the "professionals" to get in my head, and all these other wild thoughts that I can definitely identify as the eating disorder voice but all of a sudden it is so much louder than before and it feels hopeless to try to fight against. The negative thoughts are overwhelming and I haven't had more than a few moments of quiet in my head for the past week. It has been miserable, most of all because I feel like I am so connected with the ED-mindset right now but without any of the physical attributes I am used to, after having been moderately successful at keeping ED-thoughts at bay recently. This is just the worst place to be and I know I need to get back on track but my question is how? Has anyone had to come to terms with the number before they were ready? I just haven't had this weight on long and feel like I wasn't even starting to get used to it before it was revealed just how much I had to get used to. I know the number shouldn't be important, and I am trying to let these thoughts go, but am looking for tips about how others may have approached this because it violates the patterns I am so used to thinking in that it is very hard to find anyway to make it convincing to me. I really am trying so hard to stay in recovery but what do you do when you just feel awful about the whole thing?

Perhaps you should NOT WORK and just apply for Disability

If it's this upsetting and there may be other job sites in the near future which repeat these requirements, perhaps you ought Not be GAINFULLY EMPLOYED at this time.

Just immerse yourself in a RECOVERY COMMUNITY like a Partial Patient Treatment post hospitalization program.

Apply For Disability as you are recovering and obviously could benefit from health insurance, and Mental health Therapy coverage by Qualified Disability Physicians and therapists....What do you think of this idea?

Did you get the job already and is it FT or PT? Do you think you can handle employment at this time, already???


Hi. I am sorry you saw your weight. And the difficulty you had gaining the weight. It is indeed difficult. You said you feel you "betrayed" your eating disorder, but I think the eating disorder is betraying you by making you feel you need it and that it will take care of you and protect you from feelings you don't want to feel. The eating disorder lies. It will try to keep you in its clutches forever. But it doesn't have to be that way.

I wonder if you are feeling better physically since the weight gain? I am challenged by my therapist that my face looked differently when I was underweight. She asked me if it is more important to feel better physically or to have a fuller face. I am actually in a place where I am accepting my needed weight gain. I always NEEDED to know what I weighed. But recently smashed my scale, as I see it as giving power to the eating disorder.

One thing that might work is to talk back to the eating disorder. Every time it speaks to you. Can you find some positive things to say to counter what the eating disorder is saying to you. Speak out loud to it. Tell it it doesn't have power over you. That you want to be well. I congratulate you on working on your recovery. Every step taken is to be celebrated. Don't discount the positive steps you've already taken. Pat yourself on the back for the forward movement you have made.

I understand how difficult seeing a number can be. It can lead to a setback. But, can you say NO I will not let this take me. The eating disorder has taken so much from you already. When you speak out loud it gives what you are saying or thinking more power. Do you think you can try that?

Remember, you are not betraying the eating disorder. The eating disorder is lying to you and betraying you. You are special and God loves you. No it isn't easy. It took me a long time for me to get where I am at today. Eight months into recovery after over thirty years of struggling. The other day someone I haven't seen in a long time said wow, you look good, you gained weight. Before, that would have devastated me. Now I am able to handle these comments because first of all it is true. Secondly, I want to be living a healthy life, so I can help others who are going through what I went through.

I hope some of what I am saying helps you. I do not discount what you are going through. I am just trying to help you see another perspective about the eating disorder. Please let us know how you are doing.

Because I care, iwanttolive