The Aftermath of a Nutrition Appointment

Wednesday was my first nutrition appointment in 3 weeks! 3 whole weeks.

That may not seem like a big deal but I was actually excited to have a professional help rationalize my insane thoughts, food guilt and confirm the fact that my weight gain is not skyrocketing out of control.

Well I was excited until about 15 minutes into our session.

At first we were laughing, talking, celebrating some of my recent “accomplishments,” and then I told her about the wicked edema I was getting in my legs nearly every night, the belly bloat I was feeling pretty much non-stop, and the ginormous cravings I was having for the nuts I just purchased. When I got to the part where I was questioning the amount of nuts I was consuming (truth be told I ate nearly ½ cup yesterday morning!) when she assured me it was not too much, but that I was making great “progress.”

Whoa. Back up. What exactly does that mean?

Progress=Weight Gain in the recovery world and even though I know that is my ultimate goal I just broke down.

I must have stared out the window for a good thirty seconds, trying to hold back the flood gates that were about to emerge.

“CJ, you are doing great. What’s behind the tears?”

Poor dietician, now playing the role of a therapist too.

“I don’t want this anymore. I don’t want to gain anymore weight. I’m not getting fat for me. I am doing it for Ryan.”

Here is the weird thing. There is truth in my statement. I really don’t want to gain anymore weight. I no longer look “sick,” am tired, excessively hungry, etc. I feel much better, aside from the water retention that causes more mental discomfort than anything, and I no longer restrict my calories when my body says its time to eat. In theory, I am out of the “danger” zone and have eliminated a lot of anorexic tendencies.

Before you go jumping all over me saying how long of a journey I still have, I am simply telling you what I AM FEELING.

Wednesday marked a very significant day in recovery for me, and at the risk of triggering anyone I will be pretty vague in this, but I reached my number; the biggest fear I face when I step on a scale.

Ryan knew this number would be extremely difficult for me to handle and when I got home from my appointment, quiet and solemn, he knew what it meant.

“Do you want to talk about it?”

“Not really.” I continued to furiously scrub a dish that was still in the sink from earlier that day.

“Can I have a hug?”

I let him put his arms around me but at first my body didn’t respond. I felt paralyzed because my mind was working in overdrive.

As my nutritionist pointed out, there was no need for me to focus on the integers when I should be celebrating that I went out to brunch with friends, I am saying yes to social engagements, making new friends, being allowed to do more physical activity, muscle is starting to show up in places that once looked like gaunt limbs. There are so many positives in my life right now that simply are not possible when one is entrenched so deeply with destructive thoughts and behaviors.

It took me a very long time to actually receive the information that both dietician and my husband were giving me; their pride for my achievements and how far I have come, the incentives to not being so unhealthy, the hope they have for my future, and how although I am probably feeling that everything in my entire body is probably saying “STOP EATING SO MUCH/EXERCISE MORE,” I cannot possibly give up now.

I am not going to lie to you today and tell you how I feel so much better, or that I can’t wait to keep eating and gaining and recovering galore, but I will tell you my thoughts are much less negative.

Initially when I heard of my “progress,” all I wanted to do was resort back to more safe foods, throw out every single container of those stupid nuts I bought the other day, stop trying to increase my fats, and essentially cut corners wherever I could, but I won’t. Six months ago I would have but today I will just be sad, miserable about my body-image, and go through the motions to “fake it ‘till I make it.”

I wish I had a more inspirational tale for you, but not every day is a rainbow. Recovery is not all smiles and woo hoos! It’s a lot of hard work, reframing and sucking it up until your brain finally starts working in a healthier manner. There are really ugly times, and the last two days has just been a period like that for me.

The pivotal number messed with my head; the discomfort I have pretty much non-stop is really triggering. But I will keep reminding myself the million reasons why I need to push forward and stop dwelling on the bulge over my pants so I can at least do what I have to in order to stay on track.

So please take away this:

  • You will not ALWAYS be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
  • You may not ALWAYS be able to effectively reframe the negative self-talk that occurs on a pretty regular basis.
  • Despite what you think, you do not necessarily have control over your body.
  • But you do have control over how you handle these things.
  • You can continue on the right path even if you don’t want to.
  • You can achieve health even when it seems so far away.
  • Just follow what you KNOW in your heart to be the RIGHT thing to do and EVENTUALLY it will get better.

Sorry to be so morbid on a Friday.

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

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16 thoughts on “The Aftermath of a Nutrition Appointment

  1. i am so glad you shared your story with us.you should feel proud because you are recovering by making your OWN choices.me-idont know how much pain i could possibly handle and im giving up.i am dry of crying so much.

  2. This is a great post. You are brave for sharing that recovery is not easy. Just like life – there are ups and downs and lots of other stuff as well 🙂

    I am learning to be thankful for the bad days, because they teach me so much about myself and what needs to happen for me.

    Thinking of you! Keep your chin up!

  3. I remember thinking the same thing. “you look great” = you look fat (in my mind). But then I started to realize that progress was so much more than my physical gains, it was my emotional gain, pulling myself out of depression, and becoming a stronger, better person because of it. CJ when I am with you, I only think about how amazing you are as a person. You have such an inspiring, kind, soul that I don’t really think you realize has such an effect on others. If over the past few months, you have allowed others to see more of you in that way, than absolutely, you have definitely made progress. I also wanted to share a story with you….yesterday, I was at the gym super early because I wanted to get some things done before my class. I walked back into the woman’s part of the gym and saw an EXTREMELY anorexic older woman walking at the highest incline on the treadmill. I remember seeing her there before but she always tucks herself away in the back room where no one can see her. She walks mindlessly for 3 hours every singe day! My heart broke for this woman as I realized she didn’t wear a wedding band and she looked so alone. This was her life. I then went and taught an amazing spin class, surrounded by people that support and love me. After I was done and on such a high from a great class, I walked back into that part of the gym and saw the same woman still walking. I started to cry because I realized that this could have been me. If I would have felt that I have nothing else to live for than myself, this would be me. You and I have SOOOO much to live for. Always remember that hun. 🙂 ❤ you!!!

    • awe, lauren, thank you for sharing that story. i do not want to be that woman! i hope some day i can be standing side by side with friends and people i love, engaging in fun activities like hiking, taking walks, dancing, etc. rather than all alone in a corner.
      you are so sweet for always encouraging me. god truly blessed me by sending you into my life when he did. i absolutely cannot wait to see you again. its nice to know you will still like me, even at my recovery weight 😉

  4. Wow: Those things you said about experiencing edema, nuts (i binged on 1/2 cup plus…plus other nut buttters per day too…lately i’m also binging on chocolate and rice cakes…weird), and the belly bloat…that is me to a tee. But my cals aren’t insanely high AT all…I’m super duper short and much older than you, so I worry about where I’m headed with this.

    I just want to gain so that I can exercise again. Im so ashamed of myself 😦

    And this is probably not right for me to say (please don’t take offence) but in your previous, recent photos, you looked so fragile and slight…so just to play devil’s advocate let me just say you could gain a ton more (like a ton) and still not even be near near near slightly bigger. Don’t sell yourself short or “hover” …just saying…anyway, sorry.

    • did u check out the website i posted the other day? maybe you are bloating because your calories arent super high? your metabolism may not have jump started yet. check http://www.gwynetholwyn.com/eating-behaviors/ there is some great stuff on there!
      i have gained about 10 pounds since my HLS photos if that gives you a frame of where i am right now…but thank you for reassuring me. i ould like to think people will like me even 10 more pounds from me. one can only hope, right. thanks for the feedback!

  5. I agree having the uncomfortable feeling all the time is draining. I’m exhausted from just all of the emotions I have throughout the day. I constantly think I should start seeing a nutritionist but I really don’t have the time right now or the money. I think it would make my “bingeing” not so binge-y. I really think I just need to suck it up but with an ED, it’s that constant battle with yourself. “JUST EAT” Then you do. . And all hell breaks loose. I think I have anxiety attacks than anyone I know. UGH. This stinks. I bought cinnamon m&ms, dark chocolate covered pretzel crisps with peppermint pieces, and soymilk egg-nog from target the other day (while looking for the panera soup they DONT have yet – BOO). I figured I need to just buy it and just eat when I want so binge-ing doesn’t occur. PLUS, I made healthier choices when getting junky food. (Pretzel crisps instead of huge pretzels and soymilk instead of whole). So I mean, it’s just about balance I guess. alkdlfjaslfdj Haha. I hope you feel better soon. I know gaining weight is what we want but… when does it stop? :-/

    • it is abot balance my darling!!! i try to think about this…i see the kids in my class, every day come back from the caf with their trays of a 2 slices of pizza, a cookie, chocolate milk, maybe some pretzels, and they are normal sized, completely beautiful and happy young people. and then i think….why the heck cant i do that? but i believe that if i would eat that my thighs would expand while i was eating. currently i am trying to give myself a littl treat at every meal…or sometimes 2 treats a meal! look for some seriously awesome cookies this week on WIAW! they are delish!

  6. Thank you for posting such a “real” and honest post. I know you have a tendancy to want to be a people pleaser and be more upbeat than you probably feel. By being honest with your feeling and expressing that you aren’t happy with weight gain and “progress”, it just makes you more real and makes me able to believe in what you day on your posts.

    • awe thanks hun. you know how this whole thing goes. i feel like i am on a rollercoaster. one day i am all smiles and thinking, “oh my gosh, life is slowly coming back to me.” and the next day i am thinking “I HATE THIS f*CKING MEAL PLAN, MY BODY, WHY AM I HUNGRY, I AM A LOSER…etc” its like I wake up never knowing what to expect! haha please tell me i am not alone in this!

  7. I just wish I had more control though CJ.
    Like after a huge huge meal, I’ll sit down and eat 10 rice cakes. Don’t want it, just do it. I never used to be like this (was orthorexic) and I just feel so different. Sure a young girl who runs all day needs 3000 cals…but I’m old, my body has been through a lot…and I haven’t exercised for over 3 years…so…i just don’t know sometimes, you know?

  8. I just noticed a reply you wrote to someone about how you’ve gained 10 pounds since the pics from HLS you posted… and I just want to say that although I’m not your doctor so I can’t know for sure, but I assume you still have a little more weight to gain. That being said, I just want to let you know where I’m at with the whole weight gain thing.

    I think 10 pounds was like the bare minimum for me to gain to reach my lowest healthy weight. Since my recovery effort, I’ve gained about 15 pounds. I think I may need to increase my calories a bit more considering I STILL don’t have my period, but anyways… pretty bad body image issues still. I don’t wear jeans because I hate how every pair clings so tightly to me, so I stick to yoga pants. BUT… and here’s the thing that has helped me go forward and not look back, and hopefully will help you too: I’m getting so much more attention from people and have in turn become more outgoing, actually wanting to be with people, and more lively.

    Gaining weight is a mental challenge, but I can promise you that it is all for the better. I still have “bad” days where I see myself as huge, but it doesn’t stay with me throughout the day like it would have in the past because I’m actually enjoying myself and not torturing myself with starvation or exercise.

    You may see yourself as “gross” or “fat” right now, but you’re so far from it. What’s really going on, is that your body is filling the crevices between your bones, putting on some much needed muscle mass, and giving you a loving layer of your own self that protects you and gives you the energy to enjoy brunches and zumba, among other things 🙂

    • girlfriend i totally hate jeans too! i bought my first pair in a long time the other day so I could have something nice to go out in and i still bought them with room because i hated the way the band felt on my stomach.
      but as always you are right. people do tell me i look better (which is both a good and bad thing in my mind!) but at least they arent trying to be mean!
      thank you for the encouragement my dear. you are such a special friend!

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