The sticky science stuff of calories 

Yes I’m sorry, I’m afraid there’s always a lot of science when it comes to health. So I’ve composed a blog all about the sticky side of weight gain, that can be helpful to know.

 

1: Calories and the brain 

 

Calories. I used to obsess over that word, then I used to despise the word and now it means nothing to me. However.... calories are important while gaining weight, but you as the recoverer don't need to worry about the c word. If you have a good support team of a therapist, doctor and nutritionist, they will handle all the numbers for you. 

 

Remember to always bear in mind what I am about to tell you though, especially if you feel stuck and that you aren't moving forward. Hopefully this will change your mind and help your progress:

 

Simply because you are eating enough to sustain your body, sustain your activities, energy and number on the scale does not mean that you are consuming enough to heal your mind. Feeding the brain is what silences the internal urges for a more irrational anorexia/eating disorder/mental health mode to appear. 

 

This is incredibly true, when I was more hungry, more starved and a lower weight my anorexia was louder, much louder. The more your feed your brain, the more your brain heals, and the easier it becomes to let go of the eating disorder. However, this does not, in no way mean only focusing on the weight, food and feeding side of things. What I am trying to explain is that with a healthier mind you encourage a healthier body and with a healthier body you encourage a healthier mind. The two work in balance, and it's giving equal focus to both that is the key to recovery. You can't attend hundreds of therapy lessons without attempting to gain weight, and you can't gain weight without attending therapy. You must do both. 

 

Especially as when you consume food, the body priorities the vital organs over the mind, this is a human instinct which occurs when the person consuming food is underweight, malnourished, unhealthy and damaged from restriction. This means that you may even gain a substantial amount of weight before your mind begins to heal and receive the nutrients to repair, probably because it's all been going directly to your vital organs like your heart and kidneys. 

 

My heart and kidneys possibly took the most impact in my anorexia, I struggled to climb stairs without crawling on my hands and knees because of my heart feeling like it was about to give in. The same with my kidneys, as kidney failure would always be on the cards, coming and going like I was rolling a dice. They were the first things I felt repairing. Each day I would be less and less out of breathe, my stomach stopped becoming patchy, my back stopped to ache and my toilet time was much more enjoyable and normal! Then I finally felt the impact on my mind, but this was a while into my weight gain, which is why you must keep on going! Recovery takes time, patience and unconditional love, but it is possible and the further your swim down the river of recovery the better you and your mind feel. 

 Photography by: Ansa Gohar

Photography by: Ansa Gohar