Control Freak

Thank you, thank you, thank you, everyone for the kind well-wishes in my new job! I really appreciate that you guys took the time to say congratulations! Just one of the million reasons why you all are fabulous!

Unfortunately, for the next few days, weeks, until I figure out what the heck I am doing in this position, I may not get to write as often, or as much as I would like. Please be patient and if there is anything you need do not hesitate to contact me directly!

Anyway, today I wanted to address the concept of control.

I am having some difficulty accepting that I am not like, instantaneously good at all the differently duties I have now inherited, but one things I have to understand is many aspects of my job/life that are beyond my realm of authority,such as how much we spend one certain things, or the actions of other people, or…my body sometimes.

I know, I know. It always seems to come back to recovery, but as Tessa points it well in many of her posts, a life trying to get healthy, is sometimes all encompassing.

That being said, I have had disordered eating thoughts since I was a little girl; when I was 7 I went on my first diet. I had very healthy periods through my teen years when I ate pretty normally and was active in sports, but never restricted or starved to lose weight, or obsessed on Sundays when I didn’t have practice. But my family also always ate very healthily, opting for stir fry and shellfish rather than fast food and thought it was fun to be physically active.

Being fit, being thin, and appearance were always always always a priority in my family. I am not proud to tell you all that, but maybe that can give you a little insight into why I am the way I am.

Anyway, pretty much every dietician that I have had has tried to reason with my irrational thoughts by using the set-point theory.

The set-point theory was proposed in the early 1980’s by two Doctor’s who were trying to explain why some people were very unsuccessful in their attempts to lose weight, but others could literally eat anything they wanted and never gained a pound.

The basic idea was there is a control system built into every person that determined what their weight, shape and size would be.

Some individuals were meant to be bigger than others, and that outside factors, such as fairly normal food intake or exercise, would allow a person to fluctuate too far from where, genetically, they are “supposed” to be.

Typically most doctor’s suggest, without a ton of manipulation a person will stay within 10 pounds of their set-point range, for their entire adult lives.

I understand why some professionals think this might make me feel better; Because they are trying to tell me my body will go where it wants to be naturally and stay there with minimal effort, but I am nervous to know what my set-point is. So I asked.

How does one determine their set-point? Is there a way to estimate?

Well the first answer is typically, think of a time in your adult life where you were at a healthy weight and didn’t think about it as much, or didn’t work as hard to maintain your physique.

That would probably be college for me. I did cheer, exercise and eat healthy, but there were days at lunch, or dinners after practice where I could easily devour a salad with chicken, a big bowl of fruit and two huge bowls of granola with milk and then eat again a few hours later. I also enjoyed an occasional drink back then which I haven’t done since my twenty-first birthday.

Then they tell you to think of your genetics because that can also factor in; natural metabolism and all that good stuff.

This idea is still really hard for me to wrap my head around because I will admit, I am a bit of a control freak (or maybe a lot of a control freak!)

Sunday i had a melt- down brought on by an immense hunger that just would NOT go away, so Ryan and I had a talk, and I started to buy into the set-point theory just a little biit more.

Hear me out.

We all know that when you restrict your calories your metabolism adjusts to the lack of energy and slows down to adapt, which is why weight loss will diminish the less you eat and a whole other slew of health problems can occur because your body isn’t working to maximum efficiency.

Our bodies are pretty intelligent and work so hard to correct the undernourishment by sending 409583583 signals to say, FEED me (you know those pesky obsessions about food, insane bouts of hunger, lack of concentration, etc!) because it wants to keep you right where, biologically, you are “supposed” to be.

Whether or not you chose to listen to these cues is up to you, but since some days my stomach is literally growling at me, perhaps that’s a sign that I am still semi-starved even though my body no longer blatantly reflects that.

The one thing that might inspire me to follow my own body cues is the fact that my T3 levels were somewhat low a month ago, meaning my metabolism was not yet working at full speed. I really do not want to live with a suppressed metabolism forever so the best chance I have at repair is to listen to my body and listen right now.

The longer I wait the more damage I could potentially do and that is just not ok with me. I already am unhappy with my body so what do I have to lose by gaining a bit more? Maybe my mind will actually catch up in this process and I will start to like more of what I am eating, believe in rest days and be ok with the “curves” that are starting to appear.

As I have told you in the last few weeks, since I know my posts are a little less up-beat; there are sometimes in your process where you just have to fake it. You just have to forge ahead regardless of the negative voice that is trying to drown out any rational thoughts you are starting to have.

As my friend once told me, “put your gloves on, girl, and keep fighting.” And that is just what I plan to do.

How about you? How do you get through low points in your life?

I apologize if I seem like a downer lately. I am totally not like that all the time, I promise!!!

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4 thoughts on “Control Freak

  1. No apologies girl…no apologies for being real!!! And thanks for still looking at what is best for recovery, as hard as it is and along with the stress of a new, challenging position. Thanks for putting those gloves on….I love ya girl, you know I do!

  2. I needed this post today. Last night after dinner I was still hungry. Of course ED said no more food for dinner because it’s not on your meal plan. I hate that it is so hard to listen to your body. I remember a time when I ate when I was hungry, stopped when I was full. I remeber going to bed not thinking about food. We will get there again, I think sometimes this is the hardest part because our bodies look healthy again, but our minds haven’t caught up.

  3. Keep fighting! I really think your mind WILL catch up, that’s a good way to put it.

    I gained ten pounds this year after losing weight due to developing a chronic medical illness and my fiance’s deployment to Afghanistan and the stress from those two things. Part of it was anxiety and part of it was a relapse of my eating disorder I had considered myself pretty recovered from for many years. At first gaining back those then pounds that I needed to felt really weird. I felt fat because I wasn’t used to see myself like that. But after a few months it just feels normal now and I am used to it. I actually feel a lot more attractive. Sometimes even if I think to think about what guys think is more attractive it helps! I have always been thin so losing that ten pounds I looked horrible and now I know my fiance thinks I am much more attractive and that is motivating to me.

  4. I have to commend you on listening to your husband (who is NOT trying to make you “fat” as ED would have you believe, but is trying to help you reach a point where you’re not longer obsessed about food or exercise and can live a normal, happy life). And I wholeheartedly believe in listening to your hunger cues, ESPECIALLY during recovery. They don’t just “seem” to be off the charts and irregular, they ARE off the charts and irregular because you’re finally awakening your metabolism… and what’s more, is that your body is beginning to work through the food you’re providing your body, but since it’s doing it faster than it did before when it was slower, you’re also not gaining all the weight you may think you are… it truly takes a lot to rebuild muscle and other tissue. I had this interesting scan done on my body to compare myself now to January when I was at a very low weight, and I even gained some BONE MASS and I still haven’t menstruated for the past 2 years! So… the weight gain is not all bad… and besides, no matter what your past may be with what looks good or sexy, OVERLY thin is just gross.

    Also, another point to add that not every professional will tell you is that your body will gain weight in odd spots… you may still have stick arms but a “larger” belly. I for one used to always have the natural curve at my waist, but after gaining some weight, it looks like it all pretty much went there for me! But… everyone also keeps saying that given some time and my body getting used to this normalcy, it will feel more comfortable and “let go” of that weight in those certain places and redistribute…

    So recovery is VERY grueling and uncomfortable… but it’s worth it. Aside from the guilty thoughts you may have about food, think about the positive things you feel from eating… eventually, you’ll only feel the positive things! 🙂

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