How to cope with losing the "gap" - Anorexia Bulimia ...

Anorexia Bulimia Care

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How to cope with losing the "gap"


So it's been almost a month since I started recovery, and I've obviously noticed changes in my body and whatnot. Some I'm happy with, such as signs of my period maybe and hopefully :) approaching, a surplus of strength, and my face becoming bigger and brighter, and my cheeks coming back. Yet the thing that has still bothered me but that I'm struggling so hard with is my legs. Though I can't remember ever having or not having a thigh gap, I have a feeling that I never did before having Anorexia for a year. Everyday I must check in the bathroom to see that it's still there yet everyday it grows smaller, yet my legs are generally still staying thin. I'm really really bothered by it and even had a total breakdown over it 2 days ago. I tried confiding in others but they won't understand this irrational obsession I have to not lose if. I can't bear to break my family's hearts again by relapsing and deteriorating before their eyes. Yet still the voice is in the my head and I just don't know what to do anymore. The mirror is like my anorexias slave which has jailed me to look at it countless times to this day. What should I do to cope with eventually not having a gap, and how can I try to not compare myself to other who do?

14 Replies

For me it was checking that I still can circle my arm with my fingers, it was my obsession...

That's very very very hard to cope with weight gain... the only thing is that you have to choose between recovery or your thigh gap. But you can't imagine how well i know your feelings as I struggle right now with this too...

Artsygal4life in reply to Audash

I know, it's really hard, but at least we're not alone in this. Thanks so much for the advice though, and now that I see it, honestly recovery is worth it, even though it seems just like a waste of time. I hope you're doing well and just remember that there's always a light at the end, despite both our struggles ❤️😊

I find it's so difficult not to compare or think of our body shape all the time. Even during the times I feel my best I still struggle with my thights and arms, it's like I can never get passed it.

Try not to look in the mirror if you can, it's something I'm finding really useful. I just get dressed and, if I pass in front of the mirror, I force myself not to look. I try not to weight myself as well, as I know I will feel bad about the number. In the tube I read a book, so I don't watch skinny people and compare to them. It's so hard but I would just say avoid all the triggers at all cost!

Good luck and be proud of yourself for being in recovery, takes strength and courage just to get there <3 I realate to not wanting to break yours parents heart, I feel so bad just thinking of it and it's so sad

Artsygal4life in reply to Kessa

Thanks so much kessa, I'll try harder to avoid any triggers, even though sometimes I feel like I just need a wake up call telling me I'm doing this for my own health and not to look a certain way ❤️

Kessa in reply to Artsygal4life

Yep, know what u mean<3 I read something in a self help leaflet that it said to write down all the positive changes that happen in your body during recovery on one side and on the other one write down all the reasons why you want to get better.

As positive and negative changes I would write 'lose the gap' as a cons but add something in the pros as well. For me a pro is that I feel less weak when I eat and I hope I'll start my fav sport again:)

Artsygal4life in reply to Kessa

Oh wow, honestly I love this idea, I of course am gonna try it (all in the hopes that it switches my negative thinking on my body) ❤️😊 thank you so much!

m7-cola in reply to Kessa

Good for you!

I hope you are getting some counselling support - if you are this is an issue for discussion. The issue re the gap is perhaps your anorexic head telling you that you need to keep a gap - and it is also probably giving you a distorted image in the mirror. May be its something to even talk to your family about - talk about your fears and anxieties - we all have them about something - you could also ring the anorexia and bulimia care helpline - talk about getting a befriender - I found it really helpful to talk to someone who understood but was outside my close friends - and they helped me separate anorexic thoughts from normal thoughts and see myself as I was - rather than how the anorexia was telling me I looked. Good luck - and don't let the anorexia win.

Thanks so much for the advice, and yes I did have counseling for a few months, but for some reason it only held back myself from making any progress, so we stopped going. I don't really talk to any of my family or friends about it, though a few days ago I broke down inf3ont of my dad about not feeling worth it anymore but didn't give 5he reason why (mainly the "gap" and people on the media who influenced me to try and have one). What he said at the end is that the mirror is your enemy, and any person you see online showing that perfect body is a lie. Most importantly however, I know I must resist any thought that I know isn't mine, and I'm actually progressing well in separating the anorexic thoughts. I've never been in hospital or gone to some therapist, they didn't give me "permission" to recover. I gave myself that permission. What I'm just focusing on right now is at all costs avoid any little thing that triggers me to despise my thighs or my body, including mirrors. And thankfully, I'm much better both terms of health and mind, though I know I still have a while to go 😊

What you’ve written here reminds me of Tabitha Farrar’s work. I have been tremendously moved by her honesty and courage in successfully tackling ED. Both in her books and podcasts she writes with so much clarity and sense. Just so you know, I am not personally a sufferer but our lovely grand daughter is.

Yes, I've read some of her books, she's honestly been a great help to me in mentally recovering, far better than any doctors have tried to for me. Also, I pray that you and her parents are able to help her overcome this illness and help her win her life and happiness back ❤️😊

I am so glad to hear Tabitha’s work’s been helpful to you. I am not at all surprised that you’ve found her more effective than any doctors!

Thank you for your good wishes for our grand daughter. We are very sad and fear she is still ‘far back’ in her journey. She is an in patient in an adolescent hospital. Her treatment is not truly ‘reaching’ her and her parents are struggling.

I know I'm no specialist or expert in having someone cope with recovery, but all I know is that the one thing that will truly allow your granddaughter to recover Is for her to rediscover what it is to live, and not just survive. Because truly, with an eating disorder, in my case anorexia, you can't feel what it is to have fun or go out with friends or just enjoy what life has to offer at such a young age. You become so unconditionally obsessed with food to the point where you just barely exist. It's not my wish for anyone, not your granddaughter or anyone else, not even my most hated enemy, to suffer from such a monstrous and deadly illness to take over their minds and lives. My advice to you granddaughter is for her to make a list of the pros of staying in inpatient, regardless of how miserable it is, I actually wrote a list myself when a had low body positivity and wanted to relapse (example: doing the things, hobbies, or activities she used to enjoy out of inpatient) help her to recall life without an eating disorder, and remind of your love for her and her parents' love for her that's so strong, stronger than this eating disorder, and it's this love you share that will fight the disorder. Remember, she must first accept one of the two: life, or just survival (again I'm not an expert or anything on this topic, I just hope it helps you both to overcome this 😊😊)

Thank you for expressing these helpful thoughts. I have read and re-read them many times. I hope to be able to pass them on to our granddaughter, someday. Her parents say that she ‘can’t yet receive’ such ideas.But I believe that only when she’s found and asserted her real self will she be on the road to true and lasting recovery.

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