Medical Complications and Goal Weight

Weight restoration is NOT:
  • a single number
  • actually measuring anything real: it is an indicator of but not a measure of nutritional status
  • getting above 17.5 BMI
  • an acceptable minimum
  • only apply to anorexia
  • the weight at which you are released from the hospital
  • the weight when you get your period or nocturnal emissions back (yes, I did say that out loud)
  • a magic date when your ED thinking evaporates
  • a day that changes anything 
Weight restoration is a process, highly individual, an indicator of rejoining the trajectory of one's normal functioning, a beginning of very hard work.

"the difference between resolving medical complications and reaching goal weight"


  1. I couldn't agree more! I would add that the same thinking should apply to those overweight or high BMI individuals. Targeting weight change should not be the endpoint. Rather, health markers, physical and behavioral are essential to change, and these may or may not be shifted with one's weight.

  2. I literally laughed out loud when I read "the weight at which you were released from the hospital." I laugh because when I fall below my target range, my treatment team takes it seriously and increases my food and I always tell them, "It's not that big of a deal. I was this weight at the end of my hospital stay." And they're like "oh, so we're aiming for a weight you had when you were in hospital?" haha.... point taken.

  3. Agreed! Thanks Laura :)

  4. More agreement from me! Weight restoration was, for me, a weight range which a) was medically healthy, b) I got my periods at, c) my body seemed to naturally settle at once I started eating intuitively, d) I did not have to use eating disordered behaviours to maintain, e) the maintaining of led to a massive decrease in the frequency/intensity of eating disordered thoughts and f) was similar to the normal weight range of my sister closest in age to myself. She's not in any way eating disordered and we're quite similarly built. And for me, weight restoration was ALL of these things, because any one on its own would have been meaningless.

  5. in fact, it could be argued that the ED thinking can get worse after weight restoration - not wanting to be negative, just throwing the thought out there for thought.

  6. PJ, yes, absolutely! MUCH worse, actually. Like an injured limb that gets back its blood supply!

    In fact, distress is probably a great way to know that one is nearing or at one's actual nutritional needs again.

    "the only way out is through"
    "if you're going through hell, keep going"

  7. I think everyone is individual on the intensity of ED thinking near/at target weight. I had an absolutely horrific first week when I reached my target - but after that, virtually no eating disordered thoughts at all. However, a month or so later my anxiety increased massively until I thought I was losing my mind completely. This is probably the point at which most people in recovery would find a huge increase in eating disordered thoughts - but because I had managed to divorce myself so completely from the ED "voice" by that point I recognised that it was purely anxiety.

  8. All weight actually is is a measure of gravitational force, more specifically, the force with which a body is attracted to the earth. So weight seems pretty arbitrary to me. And weight restoration equally arbitrary. Gaining weight is just a side effect of eating, and whether that is good or bad is pretty individual.

  9. Now if only I could convince my husband of this... He's hellbent right now on the "just gain weight" train, as if that will just solve everything. I know he's just tired of the slow process of recovery, and I have empathy for what this disease has put him through, but still... *sigh*


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