I just finished listening to the podcast on weight restoration after anorexia. Wow! There was so much thought-provoking information in there, especially toward the end. The things that really jumped out at me were:
- The idea of an "anorexia operating system." When we're in a prolonged energy deficit, it affects our brain. The restriction feels incredibly rewarding and the idea of an energy surplus or weight gain feels that much more terrifying. But once we're out of the deficit and weight restored, it flips. Being in a deficit loses its thrill and the idea of an energy surplus and weight gain isn't so scary anymore.
- Your BMI doesn't determine whether you’re underweight or not. Only your body and genetics know where you need to be. It's the weight you settle at when you eat without restriction. Anyone giving you a "goal weight" or "goal BMI" is guessing at best.
- Underweight does not mean thin. Underweight means under your natural body weight. You can have a "normal" or "high" BMI and still be experiencing all the mental and physical fallout of restriction if you're under where your body needs to be in order to function well.
- I liked where she confronted the idea of "I can't still be in a deficit, I ate _____ calories today."
- For the purpose of anorexia recovery, the higher the BMI you achieve during the recovery, often the better in terms of mental state restoration.
- If your natural bodyweight is lower than this initial recovery weight, unrestrained eating will take you back there over time.
It was a lot to process! Most of it rang very true to me and mirrors my own experience.