Eating disorders make people feel extreme hunger at times and mealtimes can feel more like force-feeding experiences than joyous events.
I want to reassure those trying to recover that post-recovery, eating food will bring more pleasure than before.
One of my clients is a volume eater who loves being able to eat big portions. She fears that if she recovers her weight, she'll no longer be able to eat big volumes and derive as much pleasure from eating. Here's what I've said to her:
The joy you get from eating now is like a trap. On a happiness scale of 1-10, let’s say you feel a happiness of 5 right now when you eat and you have for years. That happiness of 5 tricks you into wanting to stay underweight, never reaching your goal weight. You worry your happiness will slip to maybe 3 or 4 when you do regain weight.
But you’ll be able to have a happiness of WAY higher when you eat. Like 7 or 8 or more. Because you won’t have the intense negative hunger, won’t have as many health symptoms, and will be more clear-minded in general when eating.
But that greater happiness won’t be possible for you to experience if you continue being underweight. Eating more will bring you closer to enjoying food more, not less.
The faster you gain, the faster your body’s biochemical signals will work better, and your brain will work better. Your whole body will have more energy and you’ll feel more happy in general
Don’t let the happiness of eating you feel now (~ a 5), which is less than the happiness you could experience at a higher weight, hold you back 😊
At your goal weight you will be able to continue eating high volumes, maybe you’d just tweak down caloric density a little. But still the high volume eating can continue. I have many bowls of oatmeal for breakfast! Plus I add in lots of nuts and fats. I add potatoes too. I eat volumes and enjoy food VERY much.
I enjoy food much more than I did when I was anorexic and eating out of desperation and fear.
Written to a client asking if I enjoy eating more now than I did when I was in recovery:
yes!!! yes I am!!! in GREATER food paradise than when I was an anorexic trying to recover, cause honestly I ended up overstuffing myself more often in recovery. And feeling uncomfortable physical changes, hormonal changes.
I’m not dealing with the anorexic symptoms basically. All which you are currently dealing with and will continue to deal with until you finally recover.
more comfort in your body, less anxiety, more ACTUAL superiority because you will be a strong and healthy person who is SMART and not denying their hunger.. You will be able to ALWAYS eat whenever you think of food, as you should be doing now.
Good articles to read, for motivation to keep eating:
"The longer dietary intake is restricted, the longer it will take for the metabolism as well as bodyweight to return to normal levels"
"if you keep restricting your intake, all you’re doing is holding your body in a starvation state in which it needs less energy to maintain a given weight, by reducing ‘nonessential’ functions in a way that significantly impairs everyday quality of life. In plain English, eating less means you need less to keep your weight at a given level. Eating more means your body will use more energy for other important things."