So I've made it to Charlottesville and have been mostly raw since coming here. I say mostly raw because I eat a little something cooked every single day. I've already lost about ~7 pounds in 2 weeks. Given my background in eating disorders, I am not used to losing this much weight in so little time without intensive calorie restriction. However, I've been eating as much as as I care for, even occasionally force-feeding myself to make sure I get an adequate amount of calories and don't waste food. I've realized that the reason that the reason I wasn't able to lose weight before while eating like this stemmed from 2 inherent mistakes:
1) First time: I was not exercising. At all. I was eating 4k calories (mostly dates) and the most exercise I got was walking 0.25 miles a day. This combined with a previous eating disorder led to a very noticeable and vicious weight gain.
2) Second time: I was doing the wrong exercise, and when I wasn't seeing results as quickly as I wanted, I immediately fell of the wagon back into my anorexic ways.
What I didn't realize the second time was that I was always doing the exact same exercise again and again. When I lost a massive amount of weight the first time on my first anorexic wave, I was always on the elliptical. When I went raw the second time, I didn't realize that my muscles had already been conditioned to those movements, and that I was not getting the same results from the exercise as I originally did. If I had mixed my workout up with other exercise machines and/or lifted weights I would have definitely seen the results I was looking for.
So, for now, here, in Charlottesville, I have had full control of my food. I have the time to go to the gym for as long as I please, and I have decided to give my workout much more variation. I am running on the treadmill, running on a e-machine, lifting weights, doing lunges, squats, and finishing with a little bit of the elliptical. I am eating as much as I care for, easily 4x as many calories as I did when I was anorexic (600), and I am still losing weight at the same rate as if I was still struggling with an ED.
Of course I have noticed other things: I have SO much more energy than before. My skin is clearer. My sleep is better. My mood is generally more positive (no more suicidal thoughts). I have no more period cramps.
And the people around me take notice. People are genuinely more interested in talking to me, find me more attractive, and always comment on my endless energy.
Recovery can be done, but you have to do it right. Find what works for you, don't quit when you just don't get results immediately. Your body is a puzzle, and sometimes you have to try something new and rearrange the pieces in order to achieve the your ultimate ideal.