Eating disorder recovery is confusing as all hell. And that's mostly because no one ever talks about it. I think we're all running around like chickens with our heads cut off, afraid that we're somehow doing it all wrong, that no one's thought to make a blueprint to, well, stop that nonsense before it starts.
Eating disorders are not a choice. Eating disorders are a mental illness like Obsessive Compulsive Disorders, and they are treatable. I get a lot of flak for emphasizing the biological predisposition for eating disorders, for de-emphasizing the personal narrative, for banging on about "not your fault, not your parents' fault, not society's fault."
Surprising and sometimes shocking to me, people often tell me they want a life exactly like mine or that they even want to be me. The most curious is when people comment on how I have more energy than anyone they know because the past few years have been very difficult and I feel pretty exhausted a lot of the time.
I know that if my "before" and "after" photos were placed on social media without the back story, the judgement would be something like "she really let herself go." Gaining weight in our culture, especially for women is synonymous with being lazy, unmotivated, unsuccessful, and unlovable. Yet in my case, nothing could be farther from the truth.
I found myself facing demons I thought I had long overcome, and suddenly found myself terrified of the weight gain that comes with pregnancy. I was still carrying some weight from my first, and the idea of it all piling on left me with intense, overbearing panic attacks that left me hospitalized at least three times.