National Eating Disorders Association

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Fear of weight gain

I feel afraid of the statistics that say that those who go on restrictive diets (or having an eating disorder) only end up gaining back all the weight they lost, and then some. After losing all this weight, I'm ready to accept my body. But I'm afraid if I treat it normally by eating regularly, I'll gain all the weight back again and will either relapse or just feel disgusting about the way my body looks when it's not skinny anymore. I don't think this is a healthy attitude to have when I'm trying to recover, and it's preventing me from wanting to recover. I'm afraid of gaining weight. Does anyone know any everyday steps I can take to accept my body for how it is and to decrease the amount of anxiety I feel around weight gain? Are there any habits I can get into to change this mindset?

Hi Doofenshmirtz

Hi Doofenshmirtz (love your username btw haha), first of all, I’m sending you so much compassion, I know how big of a step moving toward recovery is and to even acknowledge that this mindset isn’t good for you means a lot. The fear of gaining weight is so ingrained in ED (most of the time) and society in general, so you are definitely not alone in this. I don’t really have specific advice as this is something I’m still working on and accepting, but I’d really recommend working with a HAES-informed therapist or dietician on recovery if you have the means. Mine have literally changed my life and I think getting that individualized, professional advice on this is so so important. That’s just my opinion though, and I don’t know what kind of resources or support you have access to. I also found this page on NEDA’s website with some general tips on improving body image, I know it’s nowhere near a substitute for professional advice, but I hope it provides some things that can help you: Wishing you the best in your recovery, here for you any time :)

Support <3

Hi doofenshmirtz,

Just wanted to comment some support! I think everything said above is wonderful advice, and I hope some of it was helpful. You are so valid to be nervous and fearful about gaining and accepting your body it is such a scary thing to face. Just remember, you have made huge strides, and this is just a new challenge. It won’t be easy, but you have all of us in your corner. Sending love and hugs.

Same Boat

I feel exactly as you described. It is so hard for me to try and convince myself to keep eating and try to get healthy when I constantly hear diet talk. I am very underweight at the moment and even though I know that it is causing me to be unhealthy and weak, I am so scared of weight gain and of having fat on my body. Thankfully, my family is supportive of my mental health and trying to be helpful, but even at work or from stranger's in public, the body and diet talk can be unavoidable.