eating disorder, eating disorder recovery, ed recovery, recovery, role model

role models, set point weight, and my mama

Just out of curiosity, I asked my mom “about how much” she eats a day, calorie-wise.  She had absolutely no idea – couldn’t even ballpark it.

That blows my mind.  I know what’s in just about everything I eat, and it’s always something I’m much too aware of.  To be so unaware of calories and fat and rules sounds like the most amazing (and impossible) kind of freedom.

In terms of role models, my mom is honestly the best I could ask for – in most areas of life, but especially in having a good relationship with her body and with food.  I don’t think my mother has ever in her life been on a diet.  She looooooves food, and she’s definitely not afraid to go for seconds of a meal, or have an extra cookie just because they’re fresh and yummy.  She listens to her body, and gives it whatever it’s craving.  And she’s been the same, healthy weight all my life.

Even that is amazing to me.  I’m the one in recovery, who should be gaining weight, and she eats more than me.  And just stays the same.  I can’t even imagine going through a day eating the same as her, bite for bite.  Ed’s still in my head, telling me that my body doesn’t work like hers – I’ll pile on the pounds, instantly.

I KNOW that’s not true.  I’ve seen enough dietitians and learned enough about how bodies work to know the difference.  But my deep deep subconscious brain still chooses to believe Ed, and I hate it.

My doctors talk about a “set point weight”, and I feel like that’s exactly what my mom’s tried to explain to me over and over, without the official term.  She’s living proof of the set point weight theory – that there’s a weight, or range of weights that you’re meant to be, and when your body is healthy and being treated properly it’ll just stick around there.  It means that if I were at my set point weight, I could eat just as much as mom, and stay there.  Basically, it involves a whole lotta trust in your body.

Right now though, I’ve still gotta work to get to that weight.  And that’s the hard, scary part.  I still don’t know how to trust my body like that – somehow I’m afraid that the weight gain will be sudden, in big increments instead of bit by bit.

It’s terrifying, but I really, really want to get to that healthy, set point weight.  Maybe so much for the actual weight gain, but for the mindset that I’m sure will come with it.  I know I’ll be happier, more relaxed, more comfortable when I’m okay with eating whatever I want, and when my body size isn’t so important.  I can’t wait to someday be as comfortable and relaxed about life as my mama is.

In every part of my recovery, my mom has been more supportive than I could have ever expected.  Especially after hearing stories of how un-understanding some of my friends’ families have been, I know I’m incredibly lucky to have her (and my dad, who’s also been amazing).  Even if she were just as supportive and ready-to-listen as she is now, if I had the kind of mother who was always on a diet and hating her own body, recovery would be an infinitely harder battle to win.

I feel like a little girl – looking up to my mommy and wishing I could be just like her.  But guess what?  I’m twenty-two, and the best thing I could hope to be as I get older is like my mama, healthy and happy and strong. ❤


7 thoughts on “role models, set point weight, and my mama

  1. I have some fears about set point weight, mostly that I’m afraid my set point is higher than I want it to be. This could be a “false evidence appearing real” case of fear. It sure seems like my eating disorder thinking doesn’t like me to be serene in my thinking for took long and wants to give me something else to stress over. All i can do is keep working on recovery one day at a time.

    I admire the courage you show in this post. Even though you have some fear about the process, you’re working toward it anyway. Good for you and a good example for me. Thank you.


  2. M.J.Neely says:

    I’m so happy to read this. I remember being in this place but looking up to wifey instead, but you’re right: it helps a lot to have good realistic and healthy role models. It can get better though, I’m close to being where your mum is and I used to know everything I’d eaten for the last 2 weeks in my head, and automatically count the calories. Now when I look at food labels, it is to check health content and types of fat and sugar but I still indulge and I can stop when I feel like I’ve had enough, even if it is one or two more scoops of ice cream than the recommended serving. It gets better, and the fact that you’re aiming for that mind set shows just how prepared for recovery you are.

    I hope it stays with you. Good luck. It’s not easy, and a long journeys but it’s definitely possible. X


  3. I loved this post! The how idea of having a “set point weight” always terrified me. And at times it still does (particularly when I have a triggering meal or some other moment that causes the ED voice to resurface to some degree). Now that I’ve restore my weight 100%, I can definitely say that the set point weight theory is true! I’m still amazed that despite the fluctuation in my eating habits (especially around this time of the year, filled with holiday parties and the good food that goes along with them), I stay within the same 2-3 lbs range. It’s amazing!! It’s truly the most liberating feeling…and the biggest punch in the face to the ED. Which rocks.

    In any case, I love that there is a community of bloggers promoting recovery from eating disorders. It’s so easy to find the opposite influence, online and in our daily lives. It’s just refreshing to feel so supported and understood. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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