home.

I am home. I think that the sea was quite good really, but I guess it always is. We went bird watching, and to Norwich, and around the beautiful town in the lovely cold weather. I ate lots of scary things and other people cooked for me. I painted some plates and mugs and had a nice, relaxing time. I might do a proper blog on the whole thing, but right now I really need to vent. This is a self-indulgent post so don’t read it if you think it’ll really annoy you. I guess it might also be kinda triggering, so again, don’t read if it’s likely to do that for you. Sorry.

I’m unsure of how I came out of the whole thing really. I did challenge myself a lot and shake up my routines a lot but right now I feel really disheartened. I tried so hard to believe all the things the treatment team have been telling me about food and eating and weight gain and have been trusting them and my body to do the same thing as other people’s bodies. I don’t think I ate obscenely or anything. I had a few treats, but mostly stuck to my normal eating and I walked a lot more than usual so I didn’t think that would be an issue. It was really hard but I challenged myself and stuck to my goals and I thought I did ok.

This is going to be a massively moan post from here on in so sorry about that.

What I have learnt from this trip is that if I don’t count calories, eat fish and chips once, have more meat than usual, stop weighing myself and don’t prepare my own meals, I gain three pound in four days. I’ve done rough calculations for the days I was there and realistically, I don’t actually think I over ate from my meal plan. I think I ate probably the exact right amount. I had a range of calories, some days more, some less, but it should even out at about right. The only difference was that I was less controlling and ate foods that I’m scared of. Gaining more than three pound in a week is cause for concern (says the dietician) and I managed it in four days. Anymore weight in the next three days and what I’m doing is unhealthy and I actually have to eat less. I don’t even know how that is possible mathematically. I know weight fluctuates, but my weight has a tendency to not fluctuate back down unless I restrict. It know I need to gain weight, but slow and steady is the aim really, not all in three weeks, which at this rate it really looks like it will be. I actually cannot cope with this at all. I feel incredibly large. Very very large. I look noticeably bigger. I feel hideous. I don’t want anyone to see me because I’m so embarrassed. I don’t know why I always gain weight so quickly when I actually follow what is asked of me. Why is my body different from everyone elses? I know I can’t really, but I do feel the extra tissue under my skin crawling. I feel so completely disgusting and keep bursting into tears. Why do I gain weight so easily? Why can’t I do what other people do and just gain a normal amount? How comes people find it so hard to gain anything yet I seem to do it excessively? I’m so angry at myself for believing in my treatment team. I was right all along. My body cannot be trusted to do what is expected, my brain cannot be trusted to work out the right food without the use of numbers, the foods I fear will make me gain a ridiculous amount of weight over night do actually do that. And the thing is, if it was right for everyone, my team wouldn’t tell me these things weren’t true. It’s my body that doesn’t work; I don’t know why I trusted them over what I already knew was true about my body – it is mine after all and I know it pretty well.  The psychologist said I had to gain evidence of the legitimacy of my fears. Well I have and I was right.

And the thing that gets me is that I wasted so much time on my trip trying to deal with the anxiety and panic of the change from my comfort zone. I told myself that this would be good for me and was worth the anxiety. I didn’t have to do anything to challenge myself. I could have gone and relaxed and cooked all my own meals, weighing every mouthful and counting every calorie. Except I thought it’d be worth it because then I’d learn to trust myself a little. I had panic attacks over food, couldn’t sleep at all and spent a not small proportion of my time there crying and desperately trying to get some comfort from my coping mechanisms because I had to learn to trust my body and myself and my team. I made myself have a worse time than I needed to because I thought it’d be healthy for me. I could have had a better time. All I have learnt is that I can’t trust any of it.

I’ve come home from the trip hating myself and plagued by the need to lose weight. I really really want to and I know I can. Apparently my body really isn’t one of those bodies that can just eat and behave in an expected way. I shouldn’t have gone and I shouldn’t have eaten that much food and I cannot live with my mistake right now. I’m too angry at myself. I’m obviously one of those unheard of people who need to monitor every fucking mouthful in order to be healthy. Why did I think I could eat fish and chips and be fine? That was obviously completely wrong – there’s a reason I haven’t had it in way over a year. And other people cannot be trusted to make meals which are appropriate for me. I already knew that – it didn’t need testing.

And I know this is irrational but I really think people will judge me and think I’m fat and disgusting and obviously gross. People will see me and think “fucking hell – how did she get fat so quick? That’s obscene”.  Friends, family, the boy, my team, everyone. Everyone will know that my body is horrible on the inside and needs to be controlled and judge me for not controlling it and being so idealistic about everything. My body feels physically offensive.

I did what I was supposed to do and got results that just back up everything I feel about myself and my body. And what really gets me is that I’m actually surprised by this. I actually thought that maybe I was wrong. I thought that maybe I could do these things and get the expected results of around a pounds worth of weight gain. I’m really disappointed. I didn’t want to be right.

So now I can honestly say I have no idea what I’m going to do from here. I weighed out all my food today. I bought fat-free yogurt so that I can feel better. I walked a lot. I’m pushing back meals and I’ve missed parts out. I’ve designated a shelf in my food cupboard for foods I know I’m not going to eat anymore. So far, none of this is damaging to my recovery. I haven’t committed myself to eating less, but I’m making steps too. I have tried today to keep up my calories, but I’m not sure how the day will end up. Tomorrow is anyone’s guess.

I don’t know what I want. I don’t want to be ill but I don’t want to be this either and I don’t know what I’m most scared of anymore.

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6 Comments

Filed under recovery

6 responses to “home.

  1. Ellie! Your body isnt different than anyone elses. Mine does the same. I can gain ridiculous amounts all of a sudden (actually, it mostly happens when Im not actively trying to gain!) but then it just…. stabilizes? It stops gaining. It can be like 5kilo in 1 or 2 weeks, like BHAM! it’s there. And then? It’ll stay on (or drop 1k but nothing big) but I won’t gain (or, at least not a lot) for ages after. Don’t let this freak you out. Don’t, I repeat, DON’T let this become a reason to restrict. It’s on now, it’ll even out, find it’s spot, maybe even disappear again, it’s okay. Just continue on the freeer path of freeer eating. You’ve proved you can do it without letting AN/EDvoices take over, thats a big ass victory girl! You’ve only JUST started this freeer eating, it still needs to find it’s fit on you, just like you had to get used to the caloriecounting to gain at first as well. The two of you will get used to each other. Please, don’t give up on it just yet. Stick to it for a bit and give it another shot. If you push things back now, your intake and such, you’ll just screw up your metabolism again. You really don’t want to do that. I’m pretty sure you don’t need reminding about the gass, the bloating, the nausea, etc? And fish and chips means gaining? First: GIRL! YOU ATE CHIPS!! Go YOU damnit!! Second: Did you eat this stuff before you got sick? Did you eat it more than once? Did you eat fish&chips &other random sausagerolls/burgers/donner/etc in a week sometimes? Did you explode after that back then? No? Exactly.
    Have your nightsnack (have a safe one today, and a bad-ass one tomorrow just to kick ED to the curb!), have a good night’s rest, wake up and have a decent breakkie (and not postpone it until end midday) and playdough your frustrations into some new creations. I know you can do this. I even think you know so too. Sleep tight xx

  2. You had a bumpy, uncomfortable weekend out of your comfort zone and you gained more than you expected. In your world, that’s a bad thing. It’s not. It’s really really not.

    Think about it, you ate fish & chips, other people cooked for you, you let go of the tight grip on calorie counting – that’s what people do Scrunchy. That’s life. People do that all the time and they DON’T balloon overnight. Whatever you gained could just be your body adjusting to having an intake of ‘different’ foods, remember, it’s used to grains & veg! It won’t be actual “fat” no matter how much you convince yourself it is.

    I know how you feel, when you can pinch and hold flesh which didn’t used to wobble and I know it’s uncomfortable & I hate it too, but to say you look ‘huge’ is irrational and false.

    Don’t be angry with yourself, don’t be angry with your team, don’t be angry with your body either. You need to put it in to perspective, your team DO know what they’re talking about, you have an appointment today don’t you? Good luck, I hope it goes ok x x x

  3. First off, a big hug to you, and well done for pushing your boundaries! I’m sure it’s not possible for all the weight increase to be fat- remember, 1 pound of fat=3,500 calories. And it doesn’t sound like you ate an extra 10,500 calories in those four days! I’m no expert, but I expect that most of it is water retention or something.

    Secondly, you definitely won’t look fat! You might think you’re visibly bigger after the weekend, but I bet no-one else would have noticed even if you *had* gained three pounds. It sounds like a lot, but spread over a whole body it’s not really.

    Please, please don’t give up on recovery! There are loads of people rooting for you, both online and in real life. Obviously you dont’ want to feel the way you do now forever, but you won’t- this part of recovery sucks, but there are plenty of people out there who’ve come through it and now live free of worries about food. And no, they’re not fat. You can do it too.

  4. Aw Ellie! Do you know, I remember the exact same thing happening to me. The first time I went on a road trip in recovery I used it as an excuse to increase my flexibility, eat according to other people rather than according to my schedule, eat things I didn’t know the calorie content of and etc. I also gained 3lbs over a long weekend despite the maths not adding up that way. I was FREAKED. My head was all like “intuitive eating is a crock of shit, my body is a crock of shit, I hate myself, I’m going to turn into a whale, everyone who has ever advised me just wanted me to get fat, aaaaaaaargh!!!” (with extra !!!s, in all likelihood). I didn’t automatically start restricting because I still didn’t have my period back and I knew exactly where that would end anyway, but I was so upset for the next 24 hours. Then I got my period for the first time in two years. It was just water retention.

    It could be the same thing. Or it could be some other water retention issue – eating more salty food than usual, something along those lines. It could be the initial side effects of the olanzepine. It could be that your body just decided it wanted to gain three pounds because you’re ramping up again after restricting a month or so ago – but that really does not mean you’ll carry on gaining like that every week. It’s just a one off until it’s not a one off, you know?

  5. nomoregremlins

    I think the previous posts have pretty well said what I had hoped to say to you but I feel I’ll reinforce it nonetheless :P

    You’ve done so so well to go away, eat things made by others, embrace fish and chips etc. I applaud you for doing that as that is such a great achievement although I know that in your mind now that is all completely tainted by the fact you put on more than you had anticipated. I have to admit that recently I’ve been getting really down about the fact I’ve been putting on weight and at times find myself moving away from my plan or just skipping the odd bit to try and make myself feel better. I equally at times feel myself expanding and resent every wobble that my thighs make. This said though I knew that the temporary lift from skipping something ultimately isn’t going to lead me to a happier place. I reminded myself of your post ‘all good things come.’. I was so moved by that post and so glad it was written in text somewhere so I could refer back to it on my bad days. Remind yourself of all those really crappy draw backs about our ED’s. I know I’ve become a real hermit these days and I hate that. I really hate that!

    Someone commented further up that they suddenly put weight on for no reason and then it doesn’t continue but actually stays the same if not drops. I think as women with our hormonal changes we’re never going to have a constant weight even if we ate the exact calories everyday because of fluid retention due to our digestive systems or salt in diet that day etc. If I’m completely honest the Dr was singing my praises a few weeks ago exclaiming I’d finally put on a bit (I hadn’t stuck to my meal plan at all and had carried on eating exactly what I used to). At this point I went into meltdown – how could I put on weight if I had under-eaten??! I thought that I was doomed! If I couldn’t eat even near the GDA of calories and I was putting on weight, I panicked about if I ate what would happen if I ate what they were trying to get me to. At the next weigh in though I’d actually lost weight and I’d been sticking harder to the plan than previously. I think it’s really hard to know what is what with weight loss/gain but I think all in all it is so important to remember our long term goals.

    Big hug because I know there are real dark times and it all seems impossible but you’ve made some great achievements.

    All good things come. :)

  6. Pingback: the eats report #10. | the words the rapture left.

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