Sunday 20 February 2011

Update following weigh-in on Friday...

As you may have gathered, last week was a tricky week following the 1.9kg weight gain the week before. Ben had found it difficult to come to terms with this and it sparked off all manner of anxiety-related issues throughout the week. However the Good News was that, despite this, he continued to cooperate and eat in the way he should. He admits the 'anorexia voice' was telling him to cut back most of the time, but he refused to listen to it, insisting on ploughing on. I am so proud of him...

He was really tetchy by Friday, worrying that the scales would show a similar 'massive' weight gain. However he'd actually lost by 0.2kg, despite the week's eating. Almost immediately he relaxed and his mood improved. In the past this would have been because he was relieved at LOSING weight rather than gaining it. Now, the relief was because he'd proved to himself that he COULD eat, as required, without putting on a 'massive amount' of weight in one go. Also, that the 1.9kg gain could just be an anomoly which, hopefully, he can live with.

This week we have agreed to increase intake slightly to see what happens on Friday. So far, he seems to be managing this and is already challenging himself to eat things that would have freaked him out in the past. But it remains to be seen what his weight will be at the end of the week. The aim is to maintain a gradual weight increase of the recommended 0.5kg average per week. At the moment, he's only managing an average of half of this and that includes the 1.9kg increase the other week.

So we're at the tricky stage of winning him over to the idea that increasing 'massively' some weeks and less on others (or not at all) can average out at LESS than the recommended / desired average. At the moment he is finding it hard to see the bigger picture, although he is trying and I believe, given time, he will do. It is a slow process but we are moving in the right direction.

Is this the same for all recovering anorexia sufferers? Not necessarily. What works for some people may not work for others. Ben is the kind of person who needs to 'prove things' to himself before he believes them - like seeing the results of a scientific experiment, and this is the kind of approach which seems to work for him and may, indeed, work for others.

Before the anorexia, our logic would have seemed obvious and he wouldn't have needed 'proof' that we are right. But anorexia is a notoriously irrational condition when the sufferer loses much of the logic they had when they were 'normal' and it's as if the brain has to be reprogrammed to get it back to a normal way of thinking.

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