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I Refuse to Start Slipping!

April 26, 2011

Yo! Wassup guys?

K, so most of the time I try to keep things positive around here. I really do. I complain and can be extremely sarcastic, but in the end I like to think on the bright side. Even if the topic is negative/sad I try to keep it light and positive. But tonight, I really don’t want to doll this up. Here it is, plain and simple:

ED dropped in for an unwelcome hello a few days ago and has not shut up since. I’ve had 3 “fat days” in a row, and at this point the urge to restrict is extremely strong. I even (briefly) contemplated skipping dinner tonight. Thankfully, some sense started seeping back to my brain and I realized skipping meals would be insane, stupid, senseless, and pointless!!! Restricting would open the door wide for the ED voice and everything that came with it to flood back in. And what I really want to do is barricade that door and run in the other direction! But I can’t. For whatever fricken’ reason, I can’t! And I am pissed.

Super delish brekkie today. It was oatmeal with pear and banana cooked in. I mixed 1 spoonful of soynut butter in and melted one spoonful on top! So divine!!

 

I’ve been doing well I think, in terms of recovery and all. In just 3 months I went from 20 pounds underweight with amenorrhea and severe food obsession/restriction to weight restored, menstruating, and intuitive eating. I’d say that’s great progress, no? So that makes it all the more difficult to understand why this is happening. I’ve relapsed once  already, and never again in my life will I diet/restrict/obsess about food. I absolutely refuse to do that. But then why is this happening?

I had a yummy salmon salad sandwich for lunch. I mixed 1/2 can of salmon with a large spoonful of Chobani, a blob of mustard, some diced jalapeño, purple onion, and a bit of pickle. I had another pickle on the side!

 

Actually, I think I know. Up until I got my period, I accepted what my body was because I knew it had to be that way for me to be healthy. I never thought of restricting because I knew I had to eat as much as I physically could for my period to come back. Now that I am physically 100% recovered and I have my period back, I don’t actually know how much to eat. I went from consciously eating as little as possible to forcing down as much as possible. There was no middle ground. Even just 2 weeks ago I ate like a mad woman. Now that I have my period, I just see no reason to have to eat a lot.

Wow, that sounds moronic, huh? But still. Because there hasn’t been a middle ground with eating for 2 years, I don’t know what is enough for my body. Sure, I get hunger cues, but these days I am just so full all the time and my stomach protrudes like ca-ra-zeeeee!!! Could it be that I am still eating too much? Since my period, I cut back on the snacking specifically because I was so stuffed 24/7. These days I eat so little, but I am still constantly full. And that makes it so easy to justify restriction.

 Nanner + Nutter!!! Half was spread with Biscoff, the other with soynut butter!!!

 

Before a meal I ED tells me “Well you’re full and your stomach is bloated, so you don’t have to eat much.” But I cannot figure out if he is actually right for once. If I am hungry, even if it is between meals, I must honor my body and eat something right? So could it work in reverse? If I am full and it is mealtime, do I have to eat? My hunger cues so far have been pretty spot-on. I mean, I was starving and craving fats all the time starting 2 weeks before my period came back, and now, all I want to eat are cucumbers, raisins, and pretzels. Is this my body telling me to go easy on the food for a bit? I’m about 80% sure it is, but that means there’s a 20% chance it is not my body, but in fact ED telling me to stop eating. And since I can’t be 100% sure, I get very uneasy about what and how much of it to eat.

Body, what are ya’ doin’ to me? Aaaaah!

Yeah, well I’m gonna go make myself eat dinner now. I hope your Tuesday was wonderful! 🙂

Qs~

Suggestions anyone? Has this or something similar happened to you where you get hunger cues, but they’re mild, you get full easily, and stay full for a loooooong time? If so, could you share how you dealt?

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. April 26, 2011 11:03 pm

    Bryana,

    I’m sorry that the last few days have been rough! I can definitely relate- you’re not alone! ❤ I really commend you on your honesty about it here, though- keeping a positive attitude doesn't mean recovery is smooth sailing all the time. I'm so proud of you for refusing to skip dinner like ED wanted you to! Your determination always inspires me so much. 🙂

    You're right that you have done AMAZINGLY well in 3 months! Absolutely spectacular! And you'll continue to do well. If there's anything I've learned about recovery, though, it is that it's never always linear. We all have our ups and downs and that's normal in recovery and doesn't mean a relapse will happen, as long as we stay self-aware and pick ourselves up when we start to slip a little. So it's awesome that you're aware of what's going on and are determined to get past it.

    Yes, I have definitely gone through periods where I get mild hunger cues and get full easily and stay full for a long time. For me, it helps to have a meal plan from my dietician of the types and amounts of foods I should be eating throughout the day- it isn't something I follow strictly, but it is a point of reference. If I'm roughly eating the amount of food that is on my meal plan but still feel uncomfortably full, I know that I still have to continue to eat throughout the day, because I have not eaten too much and know I need the energy no matter how my body feels. It's the same with hunger- if I'm not hungry but I know I still have more food to eat, I know I have to do it anyway, or else it will just start a cycle of restriction. And even after not restricting for a long time, hunger and fullness cues are still a little funky.

    I think this is definitely something you should talk about with your doctor, or nutritionist if you see one- he/she could probably give you a point of reference about how much you should be eating, so you don't have to feel so anxious about it. It's awesome that you've had success with intuitive eating so early in recovery (teach me? haha), but don't be shy about asking for advice from your doctor if you feel like your hunger/fullness cues might be leading you astray.

    Keep up the great work, girly! And hang in there- this is tough stuff, but you will get through it!!!


    Jess

  2. time for happiness permalink
    April 27, 2011 10:29 am

    hey there lovely I didnt get a chance to comment on the last post so thank you for tagging me 🙂 And about this, I kinda am dealing with it in different forms. half the time I am starvinnggg all the time and the other half I am just eh kinda hungry. For me the easiest thing to do is just to no deviate from the meal plan-whatssoever… but it also scares me too so I know what you’re saying. Maybe it also has to do with whattt your’re eating, if they have more fiber or if they are just filling kinda of foods? I am not sure, but you have my sympathy love because I know hunger cues are kinda frustrating 😦
    Love ya!
    -kimi

  3. April 27, 2011 12:32 pm

    I know hunger cues can be super scary and feel totally out of whack sometimes. I guess you just have to find the middle ground between listening to your body, and also feeding it what you know it needs. I think having a lighter meal once in a while if you’re really not hungry won’t kill you, as long as you’re sure to eat till your fill when you ARE hungry. There’s a balance and I’m sure you’ll find it too, as long as you refuse to listen to ED and his lies.

    Your body is also probably still trying to adjust to a normal eating routine. A long time ago you were hardly feeding it anything, then you switched to giving it what it needs to get you back to a healthy place. So now everything is probably just stabilizing with your hunger cues and all.

    Keep ignoring ED and his lies! You’ve done an AWESOME job so far! Keep it up!

  4. April 27, 2011 9:01 pm

    hey! sorry that youve been having some bad days, but it sounds like youve made soo much progress! im def not an expert but i would say to go with the intuitive eating but be VERY mindful of restricting, ED thoughts, etc. i think your gut instinct will tell you when you are eating too little! but whenever youre hungry, eat! whatever youre craving, eat it!

  5. April 28, 2011 6:51 am

    Hey 🙂 I don’t think I’ve commented before, I followed a link to your blog from another blog. I just wanted to tell you that what you’re going through is really common in recovery. A lot of people aren’t fully weight restored when they get their periods back – I wasn’t, I was 12lbs shy of my target weight when mine returned, and several of my friends get them back at pretty low weights. Anorexia isn’t just a psychological illness: restricting and being malnourished changes the way your brain works, to make you more obsessive and anxious, so you find that you can’t stop thinking about food (even if you’re not hungry) and you’re terrified of anything changing, including your body and weight. In recovery, physical health has to come first: you need to get to a really healthy weight for your body, maintain it until your hunger cues come back, and then move to intuitive eating – otherwise it will just end in restriction. It’s only when you are fully physically healthy that your mind recovers enough for you to be able to deal with the psychological triggers for the eating disorder. Otherwise you just get tangled up in concerns about numbers and food that will melt away once you are healthy.

    I know it’s hard because I did it myself two years ago, after having an eating disorder for 12 years. Before that recovery attempt I had set my target weight too low (just after I got my period back) and needed to restrict to maintain it. I relapsed almost immediately. When I went through weight restoration two years ago I forced myself to gain to a BMI of at least 20, continued to count calories while I learned how to maintain that, then started teaching myself intuitive eating. That has saved me from relapsing again. It wasn’t easy, but it was a choice between having an eating disorder for the rest of my much-shortened life, or full recovery. I am far happier with my body now I’m healthy and my brain is working properly than I ever was when I was ill.

    Katie 🙂

    • April 28, 2011 7:49 am

      Hey Katie! thank you so much for reading and for taking the time to leave me such a long and thoughtful comment. I do want to assure you that I did not get my period at too low of a weight. I lost my period at my set point and didn’t/couldn’t get it back until I was 2-3 pounds above that. My body was (unfortunately) very careful with it. Now I have it back and I am ever so slightly above my set point. I feel that may be the reason why I haven’t been as hungry; my body (not ED. I don’t listen to that idiot anymore) might possibly just be more comfortable a pound or two less.
      Anyhow, thank you for such sweet suggestions! I look forward to hearing more from you!!! 🙂

      • April 29, 2011 4:53 am

        Aw no, it’s good that your body was careful with it. Just make sure you don’t take your pre-anorexia natural weight as some kind of concrete marker that you always have to aim for. People are supposed to gain weight through their late teens and early 20s until they are about 25. You’re only 16 according to your about page, so your body probably hasn’t reached it’s final set point yet. I made the mistake all throughout my ED to think that my healthy pre-ED weight would be a healthy recovery weight – but I was 13 when I got sick and 24 when I finally recovered! That was some good wishful thinking 😉

        Basically I’m just saying listen to your body. If you lose your period below this weight then you need to stay here, and eat enough to maintain. It’s not just being underweight that can increase the ED thoughts, restricting does it too. It’s like an alcoholic thinking they can calm their cravings down by drinking. Might work for five seconds, but then they will just want more, and in the long run the only way to get rid of those cravings is to quit drinking entirely. Random analogy for you there 😉

  6. April 28, 2011 11:31 am

    Hey Bry,
    I know exactly what you mean about it being hard to find a middle ground. Obviously I have gone from one extreme to the other, but now I hear the restricting voice too. It was gone for so long, but now it’s back since I am above ‘goal weight’. It’s a battle to silence that voice, but it is getting easier every day.
    As for your hunger cues, I would still eat at breakfast/lunch/dinner times even if you’re not necessarily feeling the hunger cuz I know for me I don’t always know that I am hungry but when i start eating my body really appreciates it. Maybe you could have just a small dinner or whatever once you realize that you really don’t need too much. But don’t let ED voices trick you into eating less. You do ballet and you definitely do not live a sedentary lifestyle. With as active as you are, you do need the calories! So keep on with the nanners + pb 🙂
    You are so awesome Bryana! Keep appreciating your body. it is beautiful, and you are still SO tiny!

  7. April 29, 2011 7:13 am

    Bryana, I’m sorry that you’ve been having a couple rough days!
    I know it is tough to eat when you’re not hungry, I’ve been there. But your body still needs fuel, especially now that you’ve gotten your period. Think about it, it’s an entire system that your body has to run!
    You are strong and I KNOW you can make it through these “fat” days. Remember that no matter what ED says you are BEAUTIFUL and deserve to be happy and healthy.
    As others have suggested, try to opt for denser and less filling options that are still high in calories. (Clif bars, flavored yogurt etc.)
    Keep on going girl! Sending love your way<3

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