Thursday, February 10, 2011

Is Maintaining Harder than Gaining?!?!?!

Hey! I’m so glad to hear you like the new name and thanks for the comments on my picture—they really made my day :D
So my question of the day is…do you think it’s harder to maintain than to gain? I certainly think that it can be. When you first start out gaining weight, it can be so tough to put yourself in the mindset of “I’m gaining so I can be healthier.” That’s the hard part of gaining. Also, after starving yourself for so long (with anorexia, of course), your metabolism actually slows down during the starvation process. When you start eating normally again, it revs back up again and it can be hard to make any gains. This is why most people, in the early refeeding process, have to eat SO much—if they just ate a normal amount, it wouldn’t be enough.
At some point, you’ll probably reach your “goal” weight. Personally, I don’t think this should be a specific number, but a range of numbers that you can fall between and still be healthy. Your range may be high or low, small or large, depending on your body frame and other aspects. When you reach this area, you’ll probably be at a safe place where you can maintain this weight.
This is where it gets really hard. You might not know how much you actually have to eat to maintain, instead of gaining or losing. Not that it’s bad to keep gaining, but if you’re at a healthy weight, you may not want to gain any more. You might have to eat a little less than you were when you were gaining to stay at a stable weight. You may be allowed to exercise again, and this can throw things out of whack. If you exercise more, you generally should eat more to compensate.
Or maybe you keep eating your normal amount and you maintain for a while, but then all of a sudden, you slip back. This has happened to me so many times during my journey so far and each time, it’s kinda scary. I know I don’t want to go back to my ED, but I’m scared to eat more and gain “too much” weight. Usually, the changes are very, very small, like a pound. But it’s still a sticky situation to be in.
It really is hard to maintain at one specific weight. This is why I think it’s helpful to have a range to fall into. If you slip a little, but it’s still within the range, be more careful with eating but don’t freak out and beat yourself up about it. Everyone has fluctuations all the time, so I think it’s best to weigh yourself once a week at most at the same time of day, so there’s fewer errors. Keep in mind that clothes add a pound or two, so don’t worry if you’re up a couple of pounds.
Most of all remember: You are more than just a number on a scale. Don’t let that number, whatever it may be, define you, or what kind of day you might have. If you’re up or down, don’t let it ruin your whole day. And definitely don’t let it screw up your recovery journey. Because you are worth so much more than that!

I love snow when I'm stuck at home (like this!) but I don't like it so much when I have to walk to classes in it, plus my dorm is soooooooo cold :(


  1. I think that mantaining is definatley hard than gaining. Like you said, its a thin line between losing and gaining and its hard to find a balence. Its important for me to remind myself that your weight will naturally vary day by day and thats okay.
    Because you're right, I do want to veiw myself as more than just a number on a scale.
    Thanks for the daily reflection!

  2. This is a great post! Thanks for it, and also for your comment. Your support and prayers mean a lot. I'm praying for you too!

    I think that maintaining is more difficult. Honestly, when I was so, so sick it wasn't too hard to get back to a weight that was out of the danger zone. Once I knew I was no longer bad enough for hospitalization, I lost my motivation. I think everyone hits a point where they just can't see themselves gaining anymore. I have a certain number that I can't maintain. Every time I do, I end up slipping.

    Thanks for the reminder - we are worth so much more than a number. Take care. =]

  3. Wow Ash, the picture with the snow looks beautiful. And I love the rays of sunlight shining through!
    I agree that maintaining is harder. To be honest, I'm glad I'm still gaining, because then I know I can't possibly eat too much. This last paragraph made me smile. It is so true: getting upset or anxious over your weight really isn't worth anything!

  4. Maintaining! Especially in this world where everyone turns to a diet to make themselves feel better...etc. It's hard to admit we have lost the priveledge to diet.

  5. This is a really great post. I agree that maintaining is harder than gaining. It's like I spent so much time thinking about how much I needed to gain and then "suddenly" I got to that weight and had to adapt all over again. It's something that I still sruggle with, but I absolutely agree that a weight range is better than one particular number. It's natural for our weight to go slightly up and down over the course of the month or even the day.
    I hope you are doing well!

  6. Hi Ashley!
    I just wanted to comment and say that I just found your blog, and I've been reading through quite a bit of your posts, but I found this one particularly inspiring. I'm at the stage now where I need to maintain my weight. I am a runner at Mississippi State, and I see a dietician here who wants me to weigh at least 115. I was 135 before anorexia, and I've been as low as 105. I'm 5'6". Random trivia, but I thought I'd give you some stats. Bet 100 doesn't seem so scary now, huh? ;) haha jk
    Anyway, I've been between 113 and 117 for quite some time now, and I hate stepping on the scale every week knowing that I'm either up or down. For some reason even the smallest changes scare me. If I'm 113 then I need to gain. And I'm seriously upset with myself! I don't want to be underweight. i want to kick ED butt.
    But if I'm 117 that just seems like too much. Ok, so this week I'll cut back a bit. It shouldn't be too bad. Wrong. Then I'm underweight again. I don't know why but I always think that if I gain I'm going to CONTINUE this weight gain, and the balancing act seems so hard.
    Anyway, just thought I'd let you know that your comments about weight just being a number and the fact that it shouldn't have any influence over our lives or our opinions of ourselves is so true and a great thing for me to read this morning. Thank you :)
    Looking forward to more posts!
    <3 Haley


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