• Gabrielle Morreale

#What I Gained When I Lost My ED

We are coming up on the end of National Eating Disorder Week. As a celebration to this week, us girls at Gabrielle MorrealeLPC started a hashtag of #whatigained specifically when I lost my eating disorder. This hashtag is a play on words because often when we think of gaining something in the eating disorder world, it's triggering because many think that gaining means weight. BUT- there is so much more in your life that you gain when you break up with your eating disorder, and we are not talking about weight.

This hashtag is meant to highlight the many things that are taken away from us when we develop eating disorders, and what we gain back in our lives as a result of recovering from them. The list below is just a couple that are highlighted this week:

  • Eating out with family or friends and not needing to check the menu beforehand

  • Exercising when your body wants to, not when your eating disorder wants to

  • Celebrating moments in life and looking back only remembering the memory, not calories you ate or the behaviors you engaged in

  • Getting a menstrual cycle back

  • Gaining appreciation for ourselves and our bodies

  • Having enough energy to spoil and play with our dogs

There are SO many more than this, but these are examples of some that many people, regardless of what kind of eating disorder, can relate to. If you're struggling with understanding this right now, we want to help. When you are deep in your eating disorder, you are probably believing everything it tells you. Which may look like, “I am getting you closer to being happy,” or, “You haven't lost anything important from this, you're only going to be happier with me.” Very similar to what an abusive partner would tell you when they want to be in control. This my friends, is where I want to challenge you to think a little deeper. Think of the days before your ED took over and what some different moments looked like. Think of a birthday party, or a family dinner. Think of movie night with your friends or shopping for clothes with mom. Think of those moments that we all share similarly, and then think of what those moments look like now with ED. What is different? What is the same? There may be some similarities but also many differences. The main differences being the intrusive thoughts and obsessions around food, the inability to truly be present and experience joy in the moment. Stop letting your eating disorder steal these precious moments from you. If you make a solid list comparing these two moments, before ED and after, and you see the differences in what you are experiencing now, think of how it would feel to gain all of that back? Think of how nice it would feel to let go of the guilt. The shame. The compulsion of purging after dinner, or the fights with mom because she’s scared you didn’t eat enough. The hiding food in your room and feeling like you have to eat alone. Think of everything you could GAIN in place of these if ED wasn’t running the show anymore…

We know recovery is hard. Here are some resources on others that have recovered that may help with your own journey:

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