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?
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.