The surface

I am so tired of hearing "at a better weight" "no longer skeletal" "maintaining a low but acceptable weight" and this sort of thing.

To me this is like swimming. You are either above the water line or not. It isn't a matter of how close you are to the surface it is about whether you get out enough to breathe.

We have too high a tolerance for low weights. Or, too low a measurement for high weights. Or something. In any case improvement isn't enough: full weight restoration is necessary and since no science has come up with a foolproof method we need to do a better job of getting people all the way out of the pool, dried off, and rested before we even talk about the kiddie pool!


  1. As a medical student, I saw a hospitalized teen with AN. Her pre-illness BMI had been at the upper end of the "overweight" range, yet they were setting her goal weight at the low end of the "normal" range -- a huge difference. Our overwhelming fear of fat as a medical profession may well prevent this young woman from recovering.

  2. Like you Laura, I very much agree that improvement of weight (but still underweight) is not enough to reverse all the psychological symptoms of AN; however, even small improvements of weight can improve physiology (i.e. function) - which allows the person to be more receptive to therapy and their body to achieve a level of stability.

    Therefore, every bit of weight gain is important and recovery is a gradual process that can start at lower weights. The body gradually heals itself; it's not an all-or-nothing event that suddenly starts once a person has reached some 'target' weight.

    Also, there's that question of establishing an 'ideal' or 'target' weight. Precisely how much a person 'should' weigh is difficult to determine. It is probably more accurate to speak of a weight range in which the body and brain are functioning optimally.

  3. Laura, this is EXACTLY RIGHT.
    I sometimes feel, at 38 years of age, and 20 years of Anorexia, that if I had not been continuously discharged, deemed recovered, at weights equal to an 18.5 BMI, that perhaps I may have had a better chance of holding onto recovery.
    Thankyou for all you do, Laura.
    Jennifer (close friend of June Alexander) xxoo

  4. very much agreed Laura. Thank you for mentioning this


Post a Comment

Popular Posts