It Is Not Always About The Final Destination

I love to set goals. I think that is obvious through past posts, and even yesterday when I mentioned my daily routine featuring PTG, but I have found I need to be pretty careful when focusing on my ambitions.

Gaining weight in general is a large chunk of my recovery process right now, and as I have told you all, the only real barometer my medical team has to assess my progress is by the scale and a few other numerical tests.

I can remember every time I was admitted to the hospital, in my initial meeting with the doctors, one of the first questions that always came out of my mouth was “what is my discharge weight?!”

It would then be followed by other inquiries like;

“How many pounds am I expected to gain per week?”

“How many calories or exchanges do I have to eat a day?”

Etc., etc., etc.

You can see where my mind was…very much fixated on the physical and tangible aspects of my stay rather than actually fully healing and beating the ED monster.

I am sad to admit that my nutrition appointments are sometimes reminiscent of the days sitting in the chair next to the clinical heads of re-feeding programs.

I try to negotiate the terms of my weight restoration and become consumed by the final destination, when really, there is no pre-determined final destination, and it is a pretty long ways away, anyway.

Of course there is a minimum weight for my statistics that place me in a “healthy” range according to medical studies, but who is to say that is the set-point, or God-given “stable” weight for me?

I could reach the number my dietician gives me as our “goal,” and surpass it but still be perfectly healthy, and then what? Am I going to be completely destroyed and angry because I didn’t agree to anything higher than the number the poor professionals gave me?

Probably.

If I am being honest I would probably say, since I am absolutely obsessed with integers, that if my team gave me a specific number or target, I would be PISSED if I went over.

Under would certainly be fine in my ED warped brain, but if my body determined it wasn’t done and kept on gaining, WHOA, watch out because something would most likely be cut out of the plan.

I am hoping when I get a bit higher on the BMI chart, and my brain starts working in a less malnourished state, I won’t always think that way; believing that I need to earn or deserve food in order to have it, or that any one body shape or weight is the only thing that is acceptable, but right now, what I need to do, is process that a long-term goal like my “discharge weight” or “final destination,” is not what I should worry about.

Instead, I think I need to focus on the present, near future, and a time frame that does not seem so morbid and impossible.

The amount I need to gain in the long run is overwhelming, causes me to panic, get discouraged, and have negative thoughts about my journey, ultimately leading to minimal progress, or a complete shut down.

BUT if I look at things in the capacity of a week…even better by day and by meal, I sometimes sigh in relief that the process is “manageable,” and won’t be so bad.

Half a pound isn’t THAT noticeable, which is essentially my weekly objective, but trying to picture my body X pounds larger than I am now (a number that I will refrain from giving as I would never want to trigger anyone) is terrifying and I don’t even want to go there.

I do believe everyone is different, scenarios can vary, and there are some circumstances where you really do need to consider a more far away future to make a plan and establish goals, but if you are like me, I think it is imperative to do a little cost-benefit analysis and see which method is more lucrative.

We have a definitive plan for our finances that stretches way longer than next week, but when it comes to calories, meals, and my health, I need to go through every day as if my life depends on it…meaning being overwhelmed and avoiding the “right thing” because I have too much anxiety, is simply not an option.

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6 thoughts on “It Is Not Always About The Final Destination

  1. Honey, your life does depend on it…no “as if” about it!
    “I think it is imperative to do a little cost-benefit analysis and see which method is more lucrative.” Your feelings are so disconnected from this whole process that it truly scares me! Your focus on “integers” sounds more like you are discussing a business plan than your precious life.
    I have refrained from commenting for several days because I don’t believe your malnourished brain can process it in the way it is intended.
    I love you girl, you know I do!

  2. Be strong – I think posting about your fears and journey is so brave. You are making progress, and I think your post showed that – it’s not what other people say that matters, it’s how you feel. Numbers are hard, BIG numbers are even harder – so taking it one day and one meal at a time is a way to do it. My thoughts are with you lady!

    • Thank you so much for your support! Honestly, kind words like that can totally brighten a day! So thank you for getting me through my mid afternoon slump 🙂

  3. While I understand where you’re coming from because you’re clearly very much trepid about recovery and have been going into it with such caution, I think there comes a point where you can no longer ignore the obvious. If it helps you for now to think of it as gaining only half a pound each week (which yes, really is nothing), then that’s good for your current state of mind of course. But my feelings on recovery are that you can’t honestly be serious about truly recovering and leaving this ED lifestyle behind if you aren’t completely honest to yourself about what it entails and what needs to be done and something quicker than a snail’s pace because the more you prolong it, the more you’ll get creative with your ED ways and habits. And we all know, it’s a slippery slope.

    Just from my experience, I must say that I noticed a stark difference between myself/my determination and those in various support groups I attended at the beginning of my recovery. Women in these groups would always talk about miserable they were with their stressful ED lifestyles but simply “can’t” do it differently even though they supposedly want to… and then there I was saying, “Yeah, I’m sick of my ED too, and I’m also grossed out by the amount of food I’m now eating, not exercising, but you know what? I’ve accepted that I NEED to reach a certain weight, and by golly, I’m gonna get there asap so I can get my LIFE back asap.” Gaining weight for the sake of gaining weight is not fun. But gaining weight knowing you’ll reach a point where you can function normally and with less stress? Now that’s motivation.

  4. I once read a retelling of another woman’s ambivalence towards recovery and how she motivated herself. She had a list of goals/aspirations with a finite timeline including planning a trip for herself as a “reward” after mainitaining her gain for three months. And as she put it decided to “rip off the bandaid” because sometimes slowly is just that much more painful. Maybe this helps you in a way- i think its time for you to rip off your baindaid, and see that each benchmark of progress, no matter how small is gets you that much closer to your goals- like living life to the fullest

    • thats actually a reall good idea. sometimes i do much better with finite goals. i am just kind of looking for anything to help right now 🙂 thank you so much for the suggestion! who doesnt love a good reward!?!?

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