Restriction is punishment, deprivation, denial, fear, a whole bunch of negative thought patterns that without a doubt produce negative behaviors and outcomes. An eating disorder will tell you that restriction is the only way to lose or maintain weight, that it's the only way to be "acceptable" to yourself and others. It's all lies. On some level we know it, but the lie feels familiar at least, when everything around us in recovery feels like uncharted territory. There are a couple of important things to consider. The way you look and the way you feel about your body right now, it's not a permanent state. It will always continue to evolve. Also, the solution to pretty much everything, but especially food/body/health, is kindness, curiosity, and respect. Eat (and think, and live) to feel your very best mentally and physically. You can't go wrong with taking great care of yourself, honoring hunger and satisfaction, and meeting your emotional needs. All of that takes practice, but the more we practice, the better things get. My own all-or-nothing thinking would tell me that my choices were either painful restriction or a punishing form of ”not caring” about my body. I couldn’t not care, so I felt that my only option was to maintain a state of chronic semi-starvation, even if that was creating obsession, guilt, and all kinds of weird reactive eating. Restriction or ”giving up” are never your only options. There is a vast spectrum of kind choices in between the two extremes. Something that helped me tremendously was thinking about how I want to feel before, during, and after I eat. It was considering how I would treat someone else in my position. If I wouldn’t abuse or shame a child, a pet, or a best friend into starving or overexercising, why is it ok to do that to myself? How is it helpful? If I found it difficult to treat myself well, give myself a break, let myself rest, I would behave as though I were taking care of any other person deserving of such things. With practice, kindness and self-care became the norm, even though they’re practically a foreign language in ”no pain, no gain” diet and fitness culture.