Weight restoration, complete restoration: not optional!

Parents, if you are not hearing this from your treatment providers, get a second opinion:


Does it cure eating disorder predisposition? No.

Is it a "any more is better" situation?" NO. (until you find the individual's sweet spot, it can be WORSE than being lower)

Does it work the same way for everyone? No.

Does this include bulimia and binge eating? Bulimia, yes, any weight suppression stops the clock. BED, we don't know.

Can you normalize by putting people in a hospital? No, unless they're going to live there indefinitely, and then you are causing a whole new set of problems.

Can hospitalization be necessary. Yes: for emergencies. Best idea: avoid emergencies with early intervention and have everyone on the same page on the non-negotiability of restoration: providers and family.

Can patients do this of their own volition? Rarely. And it's pretty unfair to ask them to. They need our support.

Cure pre-existing co-morbid conditions? No.

Can you use charts to figure out what normalization is? No.

Is there a single number we can find and focus on? No. Sorry.

Is it absolutely necessary to individualize the process of finding normalization? YES.

Fix society's obsession with weight loss? No.

Can families pursue this without specialized eating disorder professionals? Some do. We did at first, but it was harrowing. The risks are enormous, including making an already very dangerous illness worse, a much harder recovery, burnout, losing custody of your child, and alienating people in your life who could be supporting you. Professionals should be there to assist you, and there are incredibly skilled and effective clinicians out there. Find them. Listen to them. If your health system or insurance don't pay for it, you are in the majority.

Do the thoughts magically disappear at the moment of weight normalization? Sometimes, but don't expect it.

Does it still take months or more to repair the body and brain? Yes. Especially in a developing child or adolescent.

Do we still need psychotherapy? Usually.

Will the patient's insight after weight normalization last? Not unless it is maintained.

Do patients like weight restoration? Um. No.

Can patient choose their normalization level?  See above.

Do mental symptoms get worse right before normalization? YES.

Does it matter how long someone has been marinating in malnourishment? Yes.

Can you recover without it? No. Period.


  1. Hear, hear!
    And if you don't get an on-board clinician on the second try, keep looking!


  2. I had to laugh at the statement:

    "Do patients like weight restoration? Um. No."

    Thanks, Laura :)

  3. Your blog changed! Ack! (Still working on that coping with change trait...)

    Great post :) I might have to tell everyone I know to read it, because it answers just about every question on weight restoration I can think of. Awesome.

  4. Can this just be permanently posted everywhere? It would prevent so many problems. Laura for President . . . of everything!

  5. Great post. I do love the last one. I really think I'm reaching that 'sweet spot' level so I finally get what you have been talking about all this time.

    Oh and I am with Katie!! The shock of the new format!! Had to come back 3 times before I could read the post (PJ doesn't 'do' change!!) :)

  6. Thank you Laura. I'm in recovery and this has helped quieten that ED voice for a minute.. thank you x

  7. I love this post, Laura. So many in recovery are so set on maintaining THE very lowest "healthy" weight they possibly can, without taking into consideration where their bodies really should be at. We need to hear more people talking about the health and beauty that comes with one's natural body!


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