People sometimes avoid eating disorder recovery because they are scared of being “fat” – this is such a bi-product of all the fat shaming shit we listen to in our culture, or the advertising that “fat” means unhealthy. You can’t tell when someone has an eating disorder – You also can’t tell when they have recovered. Sure, when someone has struggled with Anorexia, if they have restored their weight, they will appear healthier, but don’t assume that this means they are recovered.
The assumption is that when you are recovered from an eating disorder you are a “healthy weight”.
At the same time, don’t assume that someone who you deem or society deems to be “overweight” is unhealthy and not recovered. It is a very frequent occurrence that when I meet someone with an eating disorder for the first time, they wonder if I have “Honestly/Really Recovered”. They ask this because I am a fuller figure woman (well, for the moment any way). I’m fine with people questioning this, because it tells me a lot about where they are in their perceptions of someone with an eating disorder & recovery, but also where we are as a society.
The assumption is that when you are recovered you are a “healthy weight”. Well, it’s what’s going on inside emotionally that is a way better indicator
of recovery than what size jeans someone is wearing. I don’t flinch when someone asks me about if I am truly recovered because I’m “BIG”, I don’t take it personally, I don’t feel like I need to go on a diet when I hear that question. Thank God I have recovered because who I am and my mood throughout the day is not altered by other people’s view of me, nor is it changed by difficult situations in life. This is what it means to be recovered- permanently.
Sure if you had told me in the Eating disorder years that I would be the size I am now and be happy and living the life I want, I would have thought you were crazy and delusional. But I know now that recovery doesn’t mean you are a certain size. It doesn’t mean you look a certain way. It means, that mean, fucked up voice in your head is no longer there, it means you speak gently and kindly to yourself, no matter what happens, it means that your feelings are welcomed into your life and that you utilise them for the brilliant information providers that they are. Recovery means that your body is not a source of hatred.
Work on the inside, because it will mean that the outside doesn’t need to fit into society’s Bullshit idea of beauty. Working on the inside means being able to have relationships that are authentic and provide connection beyond aesthetics. Go within, because you deserve a life where you realise WHO YOU TRULY are and that this means way more than looking a certain way.
Evonne is a Co-founder of EATFED. She has recovered from a 14 year battle with Bulimia. To learn more about women, food and weight click here to like Evonne’s Facebook page. Her book, “To Eat or Not to Eat” is available from our website, just click here to purchase.
Hear Evonne speak and MC this event with the awesome Nick Bowditch on Saturday April 25, 2016 in Sydney at the Belvoir Street Theatre. I am joining him on his ‘Think Different Be Better” Tour. Nick is famous for being the only person in the world to have worked in marketing at both Facebook and Twitter and now touring the world delivering presentations on storytelling, resilience and kindness. He is embarking on his latest tour, the Think Different Be Better tour around Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. There are still some tickets available. Click here to purchase last minute tickets.