WARNING: THIS POST MAY BE TRIGGERING FOR SOME SO PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE READ WITH CAUTION. I HAD A STRUGGLING DAY AND I WROTE THIS POST TO SHARE THAT RECOVERY IS NOT ALL SUNSHINE AND RAINBOWS. PLEASE FORGIVE ME FOR MY NEGATIVITY AT SOME POINTS BUT HONESTLY, NOT ONE HOUR LATER I REFRAMED MY THOUGHTS AND DID THE RIGHT THING…THANK YOU.
Today is not my day.
I am ashamed to admit this but after two weeks, I counted my calories. I have been feeling rather “large” lately (totally typical for someone in recovery…distorted body image is the WORST) and so it was NOT a good thing that while I was running errands today, I went to use the bathroom and there was a SCALE right near the women’s stalls. Oh my gosh. It was like calling my name from the second I walked through the door.
Ryan hid our scale a few weeks ago as per my request and I honestly have not seen my weight since. Its been two weeks since my last nutrition appointment and all I knew from that was that I gained slightly which Delores said was insignificant because of potential fluctuation that everyone has on a daily basis.
So today when I got on that damn scale (excuse my language), and it said a number that was essentially four pounds higher than the last number I was aware of, I had a mini panic attack. Of course since I was in a public place I swallowed my anxiety and kept on walking through the store, but man, why the heck would I do that to myself?!?!?!
I was surprised that lunch went so well, due to my minor freak out! Maybe it was because it was too good to pass up? I made a beautiful flat bread pizza loaded with veggies from my grandfather in-laws garden (recipe will be up tomorrow 🙂 ) and devoured every delicious bite, along with a very large protein smoothie on the side. The problems started after lunch when Ryan and I were chit-chatting and somehow my weight and recovery process came up.
I told him I had a bit of a struggle this morning and how I could not avoid the temptation of the scale, then revealing the number I was so horrified about until I realized he completely shut down.
“What’s wrong Goose. Im sorry I know I shouldn’t have weighed myself.”
“Its not that, it’s the fact that you are upset that you weigh ten pounds less than you did when you came home from inpatient 9 months ago.”
I forgot about my returning weight from Brandywine, and that he tends to compare everything to when he picked me up there at Christmas last year.
I was fortunate to be released the day before the holiday, because I technically wasn’t at my hospital goal weight, but after promising to continue partial hospitalization until I was more stable the doctor agreed to let me return home.
At that point Ryan was very aware of my discharge weight and was not comfortable with me leaving the constant medical and nutritional supervision, but since I was being so compliant he picked me up and we went shopping for something to wear that wasn’t so gosh darn tight!
I was doing well, until I unexpectadly left Hershey’s PHP (I left because I got a job!!!). From that point on my weight slowly dropped until it almost went down to my pre-Brandywine admission. If I started to gain again, Ryan told me we could go on a cruise, so to keep me accountable he weighed me pretty much every week. It did steadily go up (hello, obviously vacation is a serious incentive to me!) but then of course when everything was all booked and paid for (non-refundably paid for) I fell off the good-old recovery wagon and in June was back to exactly where I started when I went to Brandywine.
On our cruise Ryan knew I had lost weight. He tells me all the time he can usually tell right away since he “gets paid to assess people medically every day!” but because I wasn’t exercising excessively or engaging in all my other ED behaviors, he lightened up and we got along great! Today, however, I could tell he was on the brink of breaking down.
Do I blame him? NO! We have been married for almost 2.5 years, and more than two of them have been spent in a hospital program. He’s frustrated and scared and I feel horrible because I can only see things from my perspective; the viewpoint of “Oh my gosh, I am expanding at an exponential rate so I need to be more rigid with my meal plan, and not eat more!!!”
You see a few weeks ago my nutritionist and I agreed to do away with the structure of a full-blown meal plan. I was eating what was prescribed but would never deviate from the amount of lines she had written at each meal and snack, because that was how I gauged my caloric intake. The number of lines was the number of calories she recommended. If I had more items then there were lines that meant I was over-eating and mentally I just couldn’t handle that. But physically, I was sometimes more hungry than the stupid lines allowed, so I came to an appointment with the suggestion that we throw away the papers and follow my hunger cues.
I DO NOT SUGGEST PEOPLE RECOVERING FROM ANOREXIA TO DO THIS…YOUR HUNGER FULLNESS IS VERY OFF AT THE INITIAL STAGES OF RECOVERY AND OFTEN WHEN YOU ARE THINKING YOU ATE TOO MUCH, IT IS STILL NOT ENOUGH SO PLEASE, DO NOT DO THIS UNLESS YOU CONSULT A PROFFESSIONAL!!!!
The next week when I went to see her, was when my weight only went up a little so she said we could stick with my idea as long as I continued to challenge myself and eat more than “normal” if I was still hungry. I don’t know if my “healthy” mind decided to take this and run with it, but ever since then I feel like my appetite has been raging. And since my ultimate goal is to gain weight I just listened.
But today, after seeing that stupid number on the scale, I decided that my body did not know what it needed and counted up every single thing I ate, making me really want to skip dinner.
Ed came in loud and clear and said, “Perfect. You work at the pool tonight so all you have to do is “forget” to pack your dinner…you had a big afternoon snack so its not like you need a full dinner…just make a shake and have a Mojo when you get home and it can serve as both dinner AND snack.”
And here I am, typing in my office at the pool, with no dinner in the fridge. The right thing to do would be to eat an actual meal when I get home, and just have a later snack…I am praying I have the healthy strength to do that because right now, I honestly couldn’t tell you definitively what’s going to win, ED or Recovery.
All I know is every time ED wins, it opens a space for him to crawl back into my brain and infiltrate every other area life. So please, if you are in recovery, do not go near a scale, do not count calories, and listen to your healthy heart. Do not be like me today and give in to the negative self-talk because it makes the struggle so much more difficult.
Sorry for being such a downer, but as many of you know, regaining yourself is not always a pretty process…and unfortunately, although I have many more good days than bad, today just happens to be one of those seriously dark ones.
I hope you all have a good weekend!