David, thank you for being so polite and open.
The amount of weight gain and the current weight of an individual in recovery (or active in an ED) is in NO way a sole indicator of how that individual is doing. More important is (1) consistency (i.e. a sustained period of time in which the person is doing well) and (2) healthy, non-obsessive, non-rigid thought patterns-in other words, the person’s wellness and readiness to move on with things depends on if they are living their life without the fear and compulsion of the ED. In general the research suggests that someone who is trying to get out of a restrictive ED needs to rest (utterly) and eat without any restrictions for a period of at least a year to 18 months before they can even conceivable start to approach normalcy again. Because of the stops and starts in recovery, the period of time is frequently longer.
I think this is one of the biggest misconceptions about EDs and it is a constant battle still with my own family. They will be oozing concern when I weigh 85 pounds but will assume I’m fine if I’m 110 and will even support me if I start running or exercising again at that weight. Yet its the higher weight, 110, the one that appears more ‘normal’ to them, at which I am in a mental hell. Both because I’m having to deal with a much larger body than I like, and because everyone around me is assuming I’m fine and even ‘siding’ with my ED by suggesting that it might not be so bad if I go for a run.
You say you’ve seen folks deteriorate when they stop exercising. I can tell you I’ve seen heaps of folks on a decent path to recovery TOTALLY derailed by introducing modest scheduled exercise. Because recovery from restrictive anorexia is a breeding ground for a new form of the original disease, anorexia athletica. But I don’t want this thread to turn into one about me, because it isn’t. So I will leave it at that.
to wipegreaser, if what I’m saying resonates with you, please do check out the forums at youreatopia as well. Just do a google search. You’ll have to register to get into most of the forums but it’s easy and there’s lots of info there about this all. There are also others your age who might offer some wisdom on how to deal with your neurotic parents. And if I’m totally off track here, then feel free to disregard.