I could say, that its now the hardwork begins. But thats not really the case, because recovery and gaining weight is a challenge. Physical and mental. But when you are weight restored, its a different type of challenge.
Suddenly you weigh more than what your ED wants you to. And you something which you have struggled with (gaining weight) for a certain amount of time (whether it be weeks, months or even years) you no longer need to do.
Hopefully you have come to a somewhat healthy way of thinking. About seeing food as fuel, and something your body needs. And learning to accept your body. But its now when you really need to focus on accepting and loving your body the way you look, because if you dont. It can easily lead to a relapse.
Now when you are weight restored its important to start challenging yourself with fear foods. Because you cant live your life being scared of certain foods. Though its also important to test your fear foods while you are recovering.
For me, i personally found it easier to test my fear foods while i was gaining weight, because i knew ineeded to gain weight. So trying chocolate covered nuts, i knew wouldnt do me any damage, but infact help me. And i admit, i thought that when i was weight restored i wouldnt be able to eat my fear foods, because i would no longer need to gain weight....? (That was still ED thoughts)
A common fear when you are recovering is that you think that you will continue going up in weight. That you will never stop. That is not the case.
The closer you come to your goal weight, the harder it will be to gain weight. Your body also has ahealthy weight, a healthy BMI where it wants to stay. And you have to let yourself reach that weight... you cant decide that your going to weigh X kilo and then do everything you can to keep yourself at that weight. Because you will go up and down 2kg... due to water weight/bloating/hormones etc.
So dont focus on the scale. If you are in treatment, or go to a doctor and get weighed, then let your doctor take care of that. Your doctor will tell you if you do keep going up in weight.... which will only really happen if you develop binge eating, but that is another ED, so will need help for that.
When you are weight restored, it now also means learning to eat normally... follow your bodies signals. If you havent already been doing that. But you need to start learning to listen to your body.
No longer following a meal plan. To not measure food, or weigh food if that is what you are doing.
It is now about learning to live your life again. To be healthy. Your focus is no longer to gain weight, but to start living again. To do fun things. To do things you enjoy.
Recovery is different for everyone. For me when i was recovering, my life was put on hold. I was toldmy health is more important. Which it is.
I wasnt allowed to do things which i wanted to do. I had to eat at certain times, i had to follow my meal plan. I wasnt allowed to go to school. I wasnt allowed to exercise.
So when i was nearing my goal weight, it was like i had to pick my life back up again.... (though i didnt have much of a life in Sweden. So it was like i had to begin again... a new me.) A new school. New friends. Find things which i liked doing etc etc
I was also allowed to start exercising again.
When you are allowed to start exercising again, take it easy. Find the exercise form which you enjoy. And exercise to feel good.... feel how it feels. Dont put pressure on yourself to be best. (I.e say if you were really good at running before you became sick, and then wasnt allowd to run for more than a year, you have to accept the fact that you might not be as good as you were before you became sick. But you can work on your endurance and speed and become even better. But dont put pressure on yourself to beat a record when you begin exercising again).
Or maybe you dont like exercise... and thats ok. You dont have to exercise. Not everyone enjoys it. Do things which you like.
As i mentioned above, you need to learn to eat normally again and follow your bodies signals. Eating when you're hungry, stopping when you're full. Eating something just because you're craving it, or because you like it or want to. Or knowing that its ok to say no to a biscuit because you dont want it.
When you are weight restored you can start focusing on your life. Doing things you love and enjoy. Going back to school or work. Being social. Eating food you like.
And not to forget the mental bit.... you need to focus on your thoughts. Change them from negative to positive. Seeing the good things in yourself. Seeing your good traits. And not just focusing on your body and the way you look. But learning to love life. And realise that in the end, you can spend years of your life destroying and hating yourself, but that is not much of a life. And the body you have is the only one you will have. So take care of it.
Here is a link about some information and how to handle the stress of gaining weight:http://www.liberonetwork.com/weight-restoration-stress