Or: What to Expect When You Are Expecting to Heal Your Eating Real Fast And Become Skinny
(If you're curious why I am editing the F word, it's because of itunes' new rules. SMGDH)
Your personal journey will be different from mine, or your friend’s, or the people you connect with on the internet. That being said, there will mostly likely be overlap and similar experiences as well, so I am going to list some things many people experience, just so you’re prepared.
Expect to be very hungry in the beginning.
You will be hungry. Think of the rehabilitation of Minnesota Starvation Experiment.
Hunger is the body’s way of repairing the body and metabolism. Lots of hunger is the natural healing response to the famine survival state. You will need to honor this hunger by eating.
Expect to be afraid of this hunger
You will be scared that you are never going to stop eating. You are going to be afraid that you will be this hungry forever. You are going to be afraid that without tight control, your eating will just keep going and going and going until you pop.
These fears are understandable but untrue, and ultimately, unhelpful. The more you can trust that eating is the only path to food normalcy, and a normalized appetite and metabolism, the quicker and easier it’ll be.
Whenever you’re panicking and doubting this whole process, just remember the famine. What would happen after a famine (or even a decade long semi-famine)? You’d be starving, you’d need to eat a lot more for a little bit, and then, naturally, things would go back to normal. And even if you have never experienced what normal appetite is, you will get there naturally, and eating is the only way. And fighting it is futile.
Expect to gain weight.
Trying to control your weight is the reason why you are now so messed up with food, and the reason weight becomes erratic and harder and harder to “control”. To heal the damaging starvation mode, you must gain weight. It is the only way to stop the cycle. This applies to you whether you are on the lower or higher end of the weight spectrum.
I know you want me to tell you that you are going to be ‘fighting the man’ and ‘rebelling against beauty ideals’ and eating a shit-ton and repairing your metabolism all while looking like an adorable, hairless, lithe fairy, but that’s not how this goes.
You are almost certainly going to gain weight. And it is actually an essential rite of passage on this journey.
It is also pretty much the only way to heal your metabolism. Remember the famine. What would happen after a famine? You’d gain weight. And then, only then, would the body be able to calm down and stabilize again and not hold onto every pound for dear life. No matter where you are, you can count on gaining some weight, and the more you resist it, the longer this whole process will take.
Expect to resist gaining weight
Your fear of gaining weight is one of the big root causes of your messed-up-eating, and always will be. So you need to face that fear — gaining some weight and learning to like yourself anyway is arguably the big rite of passage here, and will be a huge shift in your quality of life. If you attempt to skip this part, there is a part of this journey that will remain incomplete. You will remain petrified of what your life would be, and who you would be, at a higher weight.
Facing the fear of gaining weight will make all the difference ongoing, and make you able to continue eating normally as you go forward, understanding that your “worst fear has happened” and your life is still continuing to get better than before.
Expect to slowly stop fixating on food
This will take months, but the more you eat, and the more you allow the things that you used to be petrified of, the less you will find yourself fixating on food. This is both biological - as the body becomes more and more fed, but also just mental, you take away the power a food when you truly let yourself eat it.