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Gaining weight but look normal weight!


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Hi everyone.  Cutting to the chase, I'm at 94lbs and 5'4 and gaining weight atm (was 78lbs).  Problem is I don't look underweight, I look a nice, normal weight with glowing skin too.  My torso is naturally very small so the weight I've gained there just looks like a normal healthy body and my arms have got quite a bit bigger and look in proportion, as do my thighs.  All my friends and my family keep saying how much better I look now I've recovered and if I try to tell them that I want to (because I know it's the best place to be at) gain another stone they look shocked and ask why as I look so healthy now. 

What I'm asking is should I bother making a concious effort to gain extra weight if I look ok now?  I know a higher weight will be beneficial to my health but I have friends who are at the same weight as me and are not trying to gain more.

Sorry sorry if i sound like I'm being selfish or anything like that it's just that when family and friends keep saying how great you look, you wonder why the hell you'd want to change you know?  Thanks xx jennie

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your health is the most important thing, not how you look compared to your friends. how they look and how much they weigh is irrelevant because you have an eating disorder. it's really upsetting actually that your family is telling you not to gain any more with your bmi that low. your health won't be completely restored until you gain enough weight.

Hey, jennie!  I'm in/was in a really similar position: I was about 123 at 5'7", not an unhealthy weight, technically, but it wasn't healthy for me.  My period's been awol for over a year, my hair was falling out, and just a whole host of internal things.  So even if I looked healthy on the outside, on the inside, I wasn't.  I'm now gaining to a bmi of 20.5, and, yes, it's hard sometimes when I compare myself to other girls at a lower weight than me. 

But you just have to accept that you're not "that other girl", you are under different circumstances, and you do need to be at a higher weight for your health.  And right now you need to focus on your health, and your body, not someone else's.  Like you said, you know that gaining more weight is what you need to do.  It could be that the people around you just see your weight now compared to your low weight, and see that you look better, comparatively, on the outside, but they don't see what's going on inside. 

are you serious??

you are extremely underweight? youre NOT seeing yourself accurately, you are sick.

You and I have the exact same height and probably weight as well (I haven't measured for a month, but last time I did it was around 90lbs), and I can tell you, WE CANNOT LOOK NORMAL WITH THIS WEIGHT.

You shouldn't believe your own eyes when it comes to determining whether you look healthy or not. (and I'm saying this based on my own experience!) Your friends and families are saying that probably because you are looking a lot better than you used to, not because you look 100% healthy and normal. (They are trying to encourage & keep you up in recovery, so you won't think you are fat and get into the habit of anorexia again)

I haven't been in recovery for that long, but already I got tempted so much by ED telling me I look good as I am now. So I know exactly how you feel!

Original Post by agruskin:

are you serious??

you are extremely underweight? youre NOT seeing yourself accurately, you are sick.

 ^ This.

Eating disorders alter the perception of how you see yourself. I'd say over a good chunk of ED patients have BDD (I'm not a doctor so I don't have the EXACT statistics)

So you may think you 'look good' but everyone on the street might still think you look like a cancer patient.

Continue on with doctors orders- not what your friends think or your family thinks-, at this point- they know what is best for you since ED patients do not. The point of gaining past 'what you want to be at' is so that if you DO relapse you will have a sort of 'cushion weight' so you aren't knocking on death's door again.  

to add on to aboce so youre not confused, youre not gaining past a normal weight for that extra cushion of health, you are UNDERWEIGHT, gaining 20lbs or so would put u finally at a healthy weight, not "extra".

Original Post by agruskin:

are you serious??

you are extremely underweight? youre NOT seeing yourself accurately, you are sick.

 actually, I am seeing myself accurately.  Even at 78lbs I could see how ridiculously scrawny I looked, the illness never altered my perception of myself. 

Thanks everyone, this advice has been so so helpful!

 I'm just a bit frightened that I will look more on the chubby side or whatever if I gain more. (yes, it is vanity I'm ashamed to admit but I was teased for being chubby and having a 'podgy face' when my bmi was at 19!!!).  Despite this I'll definitely carry on to pursue a BMI of at least 18 despite what people are telling me, after all most of my family doesn't understand BMIs anyway .   :)

Could it be because i'm very small boned that people say I look ok at a low weight?  Hate to be playing the whole 'oh its fine i'm small boned' card but is a lower bmi more natural for someone like this? (i mean in the 18/19 range?)  To give you an idea of bone structure, my feet are a size 2!

Ok this is not just about vanity and is about your health. When one has an underweight bmi it can lead to health problems that will be with you for the rest of your life. I will agree with everyone though you are not seeing yourself accurate probably because you were at such a deadly weight before.  The small bone frame is taken into account with the low # of a bmi. You have to remind yourself the facts and a bmi of 19 could not create pudge. Yes some women carry weight in certain area more then others. It is just like you can't make yoursef grow taller some body parts you can't change to make bigger or smaller. It is about acceptance. I am not sure what you meant about your family not understanding bmi but this is about your health and what you need to do to be the healthiest you can.

just because you and your friends/family think you look fine, doesn't mean you are. You might look perfectly healthy, you might not show any visible signs of malnutrition, but the truth is you do need to gain the weight. Trust me, once you gain weight to a healthy BMI (I mean 20+ not 18), and once you get over your fear of getting fat, you'll see that you still look thin and not that much bigger (remember, some of the weight gain goes to organs and all that)

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