What’s “normal” in recovery?

I have hit a major milestone in recovery. I can’t call it good or bad. It just is.

I have gained 25 pounds since March.

I don’t really know how I feel about it.

I am in no way “recovered”, even though my BMI is supposedly smack in the middle of the normal range.

I have a lot of issues with that sentence I just wrote.

First: What is “normal” and why? Who gets to say what “normal” is?

normal meme

Second: I’ve learned this year that research actually says the BMI is NOT a good indicator of health. WEIGHT isn’t even a good indicator of health. Interested in learning more about that? Read this NPR story.

BMI truth

Third: I still don’t know what “recovered” looks like, or if I ever will be. That’s not being pessimistic at all. There is a major debate in the eating disorder community if we should say we are “in recovery” for the rest of our lives (a la Alcoholics Anonymous) or if we can really say we are “recovered”. The Recovery Warriors blog has an interesting post on this idea, and here is a great article in Psychology Today about the topic.

I don’t know the answer to that debate, but I know this:

beach body

Here’s where I am:

I’m 25 pounds heavier, and supposedly exactly normal.

I do not weigh myself very often, even though I have a scale at home.

I eat literally whatever I want right now (I had two doughnuts for breakfast this morning).

I’m not exercising much because Garbage season is upon us in Seattle.

All that sounds like “recovery” right?


I also tell myself it’s okay to eat what I want because I can always undo it.

I think the bottom half of my body looks disgusting.

I don’t fit into my pants anymore, and refuse to go buy new ones.

Once I get to Texas, I can lose it all again. (BTW, I’m finally getting out of Seattle and moving to Texas on November 3rd.)

Does that sound like “recovery”?

But then I also think…

My daughter needs me.

I feel better.

My marriage is the best it’s ever been.


I’m eating too much.

I’m getting carried away.

I need to do better.

Can you see I’m still riding on the Recovery Roller Coaster? Am I the only one going up and down, up and down? What’s your Roller Coaster? Mine is anorexia recovery, but I think most people are on their own…

Marriage Roller Coaster?

Career Roller Coaster?

Family Roller Coaster?

One Comment Add yours

  1. Kimber Herber says:

    Roller coaster ARE the normal!! just different ones for different people. I have met VERY few people, mostly women, that don’t have body image issues of one kind or another. And you haven’t even hit the “aging roller coaster”… that is one where you think you look one way ,then you pass by a mirror and go,.. WHO WAS THAT IN MY HOUSE???? and then it dawns on you that it is YOU. yup… life IS hills and valleys. those on the flat course,.. well, I really wonder what meds they are taking!! love you!! CAN NOT wait to meet Laura Kate and to have you so close AND HERE IN TEXAS!!! TEXAS IS READY FOR YOU!!!!!

Leave a Reply