Fact: People bloat.
Fact: It is normal for our stomatch to stretch after a full day of eating.
Fact: You’re going to bloat.
Even though it is absolutely one hundred percent normal and temporary, it doesn’t make bloating any less 1) Painful 2) Easy 3) Triggering.
When you start increasing your calorie intake, you won’t bloat straight away. Your stomach is desperate for food and nutrients and for the first amount of time, you won’t notice a lot of difference, except in your mood. But, I have realised that the number one in difficulty, is the fact you feel full and bloated after a few days, even one, of beginning to increase your food intake. You might not actually bloat, but the unavoidable fullness and often to the point of not being hungry at all, is extremely triggering. The anorexic thoughts are straight there, telling me how huge and disgusting I am, that I clearly didn’t need the food if I have a stomach that is about to explode. What makes the situation ten times worse is how simple it is to believe them. Everything they’re saying is twisted, but in a twisted and disordered way, adds up.
Realising that bloating and the horrible full stomach are a part of recovery is a step that is taking me a fifth attempt to get over. It is probably the part where I usually fall, and can’t get back up.
The thing I’m realising is that the only way to get past this hurdle is to keep eating. It is basic, but your stomach will have shrunk, and I have to stretch it out again. Horrible way of putting it, but it’s true. That’s why I, and everyone else fighting their way to recovery, have to ignore everything but the meal plan on the fridge and the food on our plate. If you want to live, you have to accept bloating in the evenings every now and then, eating on a seemingly full stomach. I say seemingly, because your hunger signals will probably be damaged, and you have to ‘re-train’ them. Eating regularly and following your meal plan is the best way to do this.
Dealing with bloating in Anorexia recovery
- Eat regularly, follow your meal plan. It is the best way to re-train your hunger signals.
- Drink fluids – it is crucial to stay hydrated, especially when increasing calorie intake.
- Accept the bloating if it happens – Easier said than done, but accept the bloating, and see it as a step towards a full recovery.
- Know the bloating is temporary- It doesn’t last forever, and happens to everyone, especially after a full day of eating delicious food. It is the body’s way of digesting the food slowly and effectively.
- Keep going – Don’t give up, even thought it can be so difficult, it isn’t as difficult as living with your eating disorder.
Nourish your soul, and always stay safe and strong.