Then and Now…And Hopefully Where I Am Going

I have a lot of questions about progress, changing a meal plan, exercise, etc. as my recovery advances. And I have had several comments about my personal appearance from photos I posted this weekend when I was at a bowling outing with my family.

In these pictures I was bundled up as usual, with my favorite North Face fleece, which I have on for 2 reasons; first, because I am still always freezing despite my weight gain, and second, because I am very uncomfortable with my body.

And since I have a lot of issues with body image, it was very difficult to read, “it looks like you are making great progress!…look how healthy you are becoming….” because in my mind that just confirmed every fear I have that my physique has expanded at an exponential rate since the end of the summer.

So to answer a few of these questions, and update you on the “progress” I have made, I wanted to open up a little bit about my journey since August.

August 2011

Healthy Living Summit

My inbox was flooded with a bunch of really negative feedback after these pictures showed up online because I was being “hypocritical” in my recovery.

I was only 3 or four pounds heavier than my lowest weight ever and I was still giving tips on how to overcome eating disorder thoughts; obviously while I was still very stuck in my destructive ways.

After a little kick in the rear, and a bunch of major changes, I did start seeing some physical improvements.

In an “agreement” with my dietician and my husband, we all came up with a .5 pound a week weight gain plan, equating to about 2300-2500 (minimum) calories a day, with one hour of walking on the treadmill.

So I am one hundred percent honest, I am not going to tell you I walk on a flat surface at a slow pace. I don’t.

I do what they call a “brisk” walk, ranging from 4.0 mph-4.5 mph (the recent speed increase occurred only after I reached triple digits!) and I vary my incline depending on the speed.

I never go above a 7.5% hill, but I am trying to gain back muscle that I lost from restriction, and so far it has worked; my body fat is still pretty low regardless of the higher numbers on the scale.

It is imperative to gain some fat during recovery but I have always been an athlete and muscle is very important to me.

Also, when I started making consistent gains Ryan let me incorporate Zumba once or twice a week, and on those days I do not walk, or walk minimally. I still follow a meal plan similar to every other day, but if I am a little more hungry, I can understand why.

Between Zumba, incline walking and 3 times a week of a few upper body exercises with 5 lb. weights, my muscle tone has increased immensely and I enjoy seeing that.

I don’t like the my weight gets higher and higher as we speak, but I do like that I feel strong, I get sore again after a good work out, and I am able to do more than when I wasn’t eating enough to nourish my body.

All that being said, this is me now.

I am a little over 5’6 inches tall and have about 10-12 lbs. to go to reach a “healthy” bmi of 18.5, which is what my nutritionist, family and I decided was appropriate for now.

Does that mean it will always be ok for me to be at that number? Maybe not, but it is the goal we are working toward today and I am making strides at getting there, because that is where my body was comfortable here:

In college I was in a very healthy weight range, ate healthily and was active but did not have the same disordered eating behaviors I have/had in the past year.

I participated in life, enjoyed exercise other than solitary sessions on a treadmill, and was proud of my curves and muscle.

I was also social, and had fun in public, on vacation and with family! I was me, and with every pound, every day, every step, I am getting back to that girl.

So thank you for the questions, and minorly uncomfortable comments. It made me evaluate when I was in a good place, the dark period in between, the bumps, the triumphs and where I am going.

It was a nice Tuesday motivation! 🙂

I DO WANT TO MAKE MENTION THAT THIS IS A PLAN THAT WORKS FOR ME….I AM NOT IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM GIVING YOU ADVICE ON WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IN YOUR RECOVERY. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE CONSULT A PROFESSIONAL IF YOU NEED GUIDANCE AS TO HOW TO START, OR CONTINUE YOUR PROCESS.

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16 thoughts on “Then and Now…And Hopefully Where I Am Going

  1. So I remember going through recovery and thinking, “I can do this.” but then when I would actually see the difference for myself, it was never easy. Even though I knew I looked and felt so much better, it was still hard to accept a “new” me. There is no way in HELL you will ever reach that point of “overweight” but it’s almost as though its so difficult to let go of underweight. I had a major realization of this just this past year when all of my doctors didn’t make a comment about my weight being too low. It was like, “oh my gosh, I’m finally normal.” That is all I ever wanted and now that I have it, I can honestly tell you with a full heart that it feels amazing. I promise you’ll feel the same. 🙂 Stick with me girl, we’ll do this together. ❤ you.

    • I love you! Lauren you have been a fabulous friend to me. I dunno what I would do without you. Thank you for all the encouragement. I am here if you need anything as well! I can never repay you for all you have done 🙂

  2. I’ve been following your blog for awhile now, and think you’re doing awesome. You’re seriously a motivator for me…as I think we’re very similar! I’ve always been active and an athlete, so the hardest part of recovery for me has been giving up running and exercise. I can still do yoga, which I love, but I miss that runner’s high! I’m hopeful that, like you, I can get moderate exercise back in my life. I look to you for inspiration, so keep it up! (I know those “healthy” comments are so hard to hear, but you seriously look great. So pat yourself on the back and feel PROUD!)

  3. I know we’ve never openly chatted about your recovery or anything, but I am happy that you are making huge strides and getting back to where you want to be in your life. I think you are ROCKING that cheerleading skirt like a champ (I was a cheerleader in high school btw) and would love to go indoor rock climbing with you some day. Keep at it, chicky. Life is hard enough and I cannot put myself in your shoes, but you’ve got support, you’ve got love, and you WILL do this. ❤

    PS – I sent you an email. XOXO

    • i didnt know you cheered in high school!!! we have so much to do…yoga, rock climb, just get together in general!!! i am looking at my schedule and I will e-mail you back asap with a date!!! my new job has a different schedule than normal school so im still getting adjusted to no winter break 😦 i do need to christmas shop and KOP is the perfect place 😉

  4. Very open and honest post:) As someone who has come out on the other side of this, it feels so much better to be healthy. In the moment you just want to give up, but baby steps, it’s a marathon not a sprint and your well on your way:)

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