Letting go – weight

I had been hoping for the white dove letting go elation. The release of a balloon. A ceremonial burning.

I was expecting the worst. A painful wrenching. A terrifying step in the dark.

It has been like a tick that I have been trying to shrug off.

A recurring theme.

It has been a whole mishmash of emotions. A turbulent and unpredictable journey. A snail’s pace edging towards recovery.


It’s ridiculous, even to me, that something so insignificant, so irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, should have such power. Should feel so important.

At least I can recognise the importance now. At least I can see the absurdity in the whole situation.

I’d laugh if it wasn’t so painful.

Getting back to something that resembles a normal weight has been an uphill struggle. It has been the hardest part of my recovery.

My weight – the first thing to break and the last thing to fix.

It’s developed a certain resilience over the years. A stubborn staying power. A parasitical familiarity -that’s now outstayed its welcome.

I have tried to say goodbye. At each new point, after each crucial warning sign, I have said to myself: remember this moment because you can’t go back. Remember these numbers. Remember these feelings. Remember how scared you are. Because you can’t come here again. There’s no going back.

There was, a few times. The boomerang effect. But a cat only has nine lives.

So, I kept trying. Slowly letting go. Step by step, stage by stage. I don’t know if a short sharp jerk would have been less painful – but the slow approach was the best I could manage. And I kept on going.

Until I couldn’t put my fingers round my arm.

Until I couldn’t hold my ankle in my hand.

Until the sharp bits softened and the hollows filled out.

Until size 8 stayed up and clothes started to fit.

And people stopped staring and started smiling.

And I stopped hiding in a haze of sickness, behind a wall of concern.

It’s a strange process, this letting go. A bizarre mixture of guilt and relief. Of sorrow and hope. Of loss and gain.

Not what I expected.

But not the end of the world either.


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2 Responses to “Letting go – weight”

  1. Anon says:

    As I have had a slightly different issue with food (though with lots of the same background thoughts, actions and behaviours), this resonates with me but in a different way. I have had anorexia, but, with depression’s “helping hand” for want of a better term, this tipped into binge eating and for me, it’s a similar battle but on different terms and from a different end of the scale.

    I thought I’d comment so anyone else reading from this end can see they’re not alone either.

    Things I find difficult and am trying to learn to accept, like:

    Accepting that I can’t stick my hand under my ribcage anymore. And that this is okay.

    Accepting that I’m bigger than I feel comfortable with.

    Accepting that whilst I’m not yet at a healthy weight for my height and size (and what is natural for me), doesn’t mean I will be trapped in my body as it is. But that I need to learn to love it irrespective of size, and the rest will follow. (The other way around clearly doesn’t work).

    Comparing myself with others happens when I feel down, upset or anxious. Often about something unrelated to weight. And it’s important to keep noticing this and hopefully, focus in on what really matters as opposed to my body.

    I’m hoping that all those with eating issues, whatever they are, and whatever their severity, and size of their body, can deem from your article what I have: Your body is just how you are expressing your emotions and feelings right now and it doesn’t have to be this way.

    Thank you for another thought-provoking post (and a good way to spend my time bored at work!)

  2. melissa says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I totally agree that the emotions underlying eating issues are similar – and that self confidence and self acceptance feature central in general recovery.