{spaghetti arms & bloated bellies}


I’m trying to rely on the set point theory but it scares me so much! I don’t know why, because I was underweight without even trying all throughout high school. My set point is obviously not going to make me obese, or even overweight, or even close to overweight. Also, I haven’t gained like any weight (maybe a pound or 1.5) since beginning recovery and I’m starting to wonder if I’m going to have to eat like 6,000 calories a day?!? I know this is the case for like 5% of those recovering but dang it why do I have to be in that 5% stupid fast metabolism thx mom. Most people gain the weight back super fast on as little as 1500.

Trying to rationalize my current feelings on bloating with this amazing website. Because while I haven’t necessarily gained weight, I still experience the bloating like no other which is just really awful. For me having  an 8-pack has been the center of my being for the past couple years. Seeing it go away is like, super stressful.

Currently very anxious with the bloating in recovery. It’s literally such a barrier, and such a call for relapse. I’m not relapsing again. Nope. Nope. Nope. I can do this.

”The stomach is also likely to become bigger disproportionately to other body parts, which also taps into typical anorexic fears, but this is to be expected given the slowing of digestion (food can take four or five hours to pass through the stomach in a starved person, as opposed to about 1.5 in a healthy person) and the wastage of abdominal muscles during starvation. Bloating and wind, abdominal discomfort, and stomach cramps are likely as the digestive system adapts to larger amounts of food and the muscles involved stretch and strengthen. Avoiding too much insoluble fibre may help at this stage. It’s important to remember that all of these things will pass, and are not reliable indicators of what the recovered state will be.”

“Water retention. Massive water retention. Water retention that hurts. Water retention that aches. Water retention that makes you look pregnant. Water retention that looks like it might be real weight. Water retention that scares you. Water retention that sends you scurrying back into full-blown relapse.”

“The rapid weight gain on the stomach should be appreciated as it is the most important place to gain weight – it is life-saving isolation around your damaged organs (..yes, damaged. You dont only lose body fat when you starve yourself, you also slim down organs, muscle tissue – even your brain shrinks). ”

“Your body thinks you will starve it again soon, and gain weight to the most important places first. Water retention is a sign of healing. Be grateful for the amazing job your body does to save you!”

“I started recovery in August last year, and in the first months I gained weight fast, but it was very uneven. I had spaghetti arms, bloated middle body, bony back and a lot of fat on my upper thighs. It was extremely uncomfortable, and I felt completely lost with my body. I was determined to get rid of anorexia for good, so I had no choice but to keep eating – and gaining.

The thought that carried me through this phase was “Try not to evaluate unfinished work”. I knew my body was going to change a lot, and in the end it would be healthy and normal again. In the meantime I tried to make myself as comfortable as possible: I put away my full body mirror to avoid body checking. I wore only elastic leggings, loose tops and sweatpants for months. Not pretty? Just think about it – it’s only few months of your life. Keep your mind on your goal! The faster you get to a healthy weight, the faster the weight will distribute.

For me it took about 5 months to start looking like I used to before my eating disorder. In that time I gained about 15kg. Now my weight is stabilizing, slightly more than my pre-ed weight, but I look proportional and feel healthy and alive. I’ve even gained some muscle and I most of the time I feel good about my body! 🙂 Your body has been through a lot. Keep up the good work and be patient, I promise it will pay off!”

And a funny example of the set point theory: Example: My cat is a natural bmi of (unknown). He maintains it by eating without counting calories. I think.

I’m just super anxious and I can’t focus on studying right now, so that’s what I’m doing. Looking at recovery blogs. Because in a couple days I’ll be away from the stress of school and I will have only recovery–I need all the motivation I can get. I got this.



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