National Eating Disorders Association

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Fiancee is in recovery but wants to lose weight

Fiancee has been in recovery for years. She's steadily gained weight during that time. Can't diet or know her weight-- she's very afraid of being triggered and relapsing.

She hates all her clothes, all pictures of her. She wants to lose weight, but she's naturally unmotivated so getting her to add something new to her life (more exercise) is hard, and she's afraid of starting an exercise regimen and getting obsessive about it (which she does do -- gets hyperfocused on something specific).

I don't know what to do.

Welcome to the forums!


Welcome to the community!

Is your girlfriend seeing a therapist or nutritionist regularly? After such a hard fought recovery I can understand why she would be concerned about rocking the boat. If she does want to make some changes building a support system would be an important first step.

Back at you.

Dear Impatient,

This stuff can be confusing alright, and as you said, it can be hard to know what path to take, when it seems like our partner is in trouble again.

And yes : Even when someone has been in recovery for a while, those old urges can often come back.

One way to look at situations like this is from the standpoint of what EDs are often "about" in the first place. And most people would say they're about control. So that's an emotional theme that's worth keeping in mind as you find yourself trying to figure out what's going on.

Because people often find those old urges returning when the control thing starts being an issue. Some event in their lives which stirs up the idea of not being in control, if you follow what I'm getting at ?

They can feel that it's simply the idea that they've gained that's the thing that's out of control, but often there's some sort of issue in other areas of their life that's stirred up the control thing to begin with.

That, or some issue that involves the "good enough" theme. People with EDs can often begin to worry that they are somehow not good enough in some area or event in their life, and that can trigger relapses as well.

Keep writing ?