I wrote this post more than six months ago about the mental/emotional improvements I had noticed from weight restoration, and I thought it was time to take stock of how things have been going since then. First off, I suppose I wasn't totally weight-restored at the time of that post, because I have gained another X (more than 3, less than 10) pounds since then without really trying—aka without increasing calories. My weight definitely started to level off after a period of steady gain sometime last winter/spring, but has sort of drifted up to where it is now—definitely a lifetime high, but not massively so. I am solidly in the "healthy" category according to any BMI or ideal body weight chart/calculator. No idea what my body fat percentage is (my old dietician used to measure it), but I would imagine that it is healthy as well.
For the most part, I am still pretty relaxed about food. Well, relatively relaxed. I'm probably more uptight and rigid than most normal people, but still more relaxed than I've been for several years. I eat a healthy but not huge amount of calories a day (yes, I still count calories) and eat a pretty limited range of foods; but again, for me, it's a huge improvement. I eat bread, vegetables, eggs, meat, dairy, nuts, granola bars, cookies, juice, etc. I'm not really opposed to eating any specific foods, but am more just conscious of how things will fit into my self-imposed schedule and calorie limit. I have no real problem eating in restaurants, and am getting better at being spontaneous about it.
My body image is, oddly enough, not a huge source of angst for me. I honestly don't even think about it that much. Maybe because I'm just finally getting used to being this size. It helps a lot for my weight to have finally settled somewhere rather than seeming to climb indefinitely. Even if I'm not super happy or comfortable with the higher number, it's so much easier to cope with a static weight than a constantly moving target.
As I'm writing this, it occurs to me that my eating disorder is, and for the most part always has been, primarily numbers-focused. I have always counted calories and tracked my weight obsessively; I realized years ago that my own perceptions of my body size were skewed, so it was better to rely on the scale than on the mirror. Even now, being at my highest weight ever, a number that once would have sent me into a tailspin just thinking about, I'm okay with how I look. Not thrilled, but okay. And it isn't really on my mind that much. The only thing that really still scares me is the number on the scale going up; even if you told me I'd look HOT with another X lbs, I'd still freak out about the number. No idea why, just the way my brain has been programmed.
I think the best/most significant change I noticed over the past year was ironically a subtle and gradual one: just a general loosening of the reins. I still think about food and weight probably more than the average person, but it doesn't dominate my thoughts by any means. The other health stuff has sort of drowned it out in some ways, but I also feel like gaining weight has let my brain off the hook a bit. Just knowing that they will get fed sufficiently and consistently seems to have made my brain and body settle into less of the fight-or-flight-mode and more of a roll-with-the-punches mode. And it may sound insignificant and lame, but that small shift has totally altered my perspective on almost everything.