You guys know I’m all about answering your questions! I have made it my mission to be nothing more than completely & entirely open with you guys about just about everything & I wouldn’t have it any other way! But sometimes, I have to choose to be selective in how I respond because I know, from personal experience, that certain things can be triggering for those suffering from an eating disorder or in recovery. Let me explain.
Something I get asked a lot is:
“What was your lowest weight when you were suffering from anorexia?”.
I never really know how to answer because I know that numbers can be a HUGE trigger for someone with an eating disorder or who is pursuing recovery. They were for me, anyway.
So here I am today, answering that question at large, in hopes that my answer will encourage you to LOSE the preoccupation with numbers & instead, to focus on your THOUGHTS.
Truth is, the number doesn’t really matter much anyway. Contrary to popular perception or belief, eating disorders aren’t always about being severely underweight. Two people can suffer from the same eating disorder & while one might look skeletal & sick & the other may be at a normal weight, their appearance isn’t representative of their degree of suffering.
Moreover, my definition of “low” & yours might be substantially different. And that’s NORMAL; we’re all different & that’s part of what makes us human.
While the number in & of itself (whether “normal”, “high” or “low”) has little significance, it’s a direct reflection of the horrible things going on in the mind of an ED victim. Anyone who dealt with an eating disorder (or who is currently battling one) will tell you that you can’t put a price on suffering. Suffering can’t be quantified: we all feel, experience & cope differently.
The number on the scale might be alarming, scary & be your turning point in finally admitting you’re sick. But if you want to truly recover, you must move away from the number & shift your focus to your THOUGHTS & EMOTIONS.
What are you thinking?
How are you feeling?
What can you do to change your thoughts & cope with those feelings?
It’s ultimately in being able to make that shift that you can wholeheartedly pursue recovery, not because you want to change the number but rather because you want to play an active role in changing your life.
My answer to the question: At my lowest low, my thoughts WEIGHED me down so much that I could barely function, let alone have the courage to make it through another day. That’s what an eating disorder will do to you.
Sure, it’ll make your weight fluctuate too. Sometimes, it’ll make you look & feel sick or frail. But eating disorders begin & end in the mind. Low weight is sometimes one of the many by-products of the unbearable thoughts weighing on the victim’s mind. But not always. That’s why the CRUX of recovery is to alter your thoughts & reach a point where they no longer weigh you down so much that you settle to live at your rock bottom.