reaching targets.

I was weighed today. Guess what? I reached my target weight. The target weight set at my very first appointment. It’s taken 10 months, but I actually reached my target. Well 100g short, but I mean, that’s nothing.

I don’t really know what to do with this information. I’m still without a period, which is an issue. It might come back at any point, and the dietician kept saying how she’d expected it already and if it doesn’t turn up soon, we’ll need to start getting tests for other problems. This concerns me. I’m allowed to maintain here and see though. Some of the guidelines for recovery I’ve read say to keep gaining until you have a period, others say you sometimes just need to wait because it could take a few months. I don’t know what to do with any of this information really. All I know is that I hate it because it is the proof I needed that I’m not small anymore and I want to be small. As far as I can tell, I’m now the largest of all my friends again and I hate it. Back to being the fat one. I’ve always been the fat one. I liked the few years I got when that wasn’t my label.

So I don’t know what to eat now. I guess I’ve not been doing very well recently in a lot of ways and feel entirely shitty. I’d been stressing so much about my weight that I entirely dissociated from my dietetics session so I’m actually struggling to remember what I’m supposed to be doing now. Literally, she weighed me then my mind essentially left the building. I think we decided I had to let other people cook for me twice a week and eat substantially less food and not count calories anymore. Again. I’ve tried to stop counting a few times, but just to go back on it. Not good. But she wants me to try follow my hunger a little bit more so I guess I’ll try. It really throws me though. I’m not very good at knowing what or when to eat. Like right now, I’m actually hungry, but I’m not eating because I don’t know how much is enough and whether what I want is too much. Basically I’m scared shitless about gaining anymore weight and don’t know what to do. I should have asked questions. Instead I mubbled one word answers and didn’t pay attention.

I was going to try to have fish and chips tonight. Now I don’t think I can. I’m supposed to be maintaining after all. Can you maintain your weight and still eat takeaways? I should have asked that.

Seriously, how the fuck do normal people eat? How do they do it and not gain or lose weight? I haven’t maintained a stable weight in almost five years. That’s a lie. I maintained a kinda stable weight range in that time for about a year, but only through periods of restriction then periods of normal eating, back and forth, to stop my weight getting too high and I don’t really want to do that again. I’ve never maintained this weight though. I know how to be on a diet – weight gain or weigh loss, they’re both pretty easy to understand. But maintaining? Fuck. It’s an alien concept. Honestly – how do you ever eat a chocolate bar or a cake or anything? I don’t understand.

What scares me the most is that I’ve still got so many difficulties with food and eating. I’m rubbish at responding to my hunger cues. I’m scared of so many foods. I have real difficulties eating in front of people (I’ve done it a few times, but mostly I eat alone). I won’t let anyone else cook for me incase it’s too much. I really struggle drinking calories. I under eat in order to allow room for getting drunk. I really cannot deal with butter at all. I have real difficulties eating meat. I won’t eat unless it’s time. The list goes on. Yet now I still haven’t got over so many of these things and I’m supposed to maintain?

The dietitian said I could gain a little more and it wouldn’t be bad because my body might want it, but when all I see is fucking disgusting, I’m not sure how much more weight I could stand.

And on the other side of this all, I don’t want to lose. If I under eat, I could fuck up my metabolism and that would just mean having to gain more weight, probably more than I’d lose in the first place. That’d suck. But if I’m not counting calories, how will I know I’ve eaten enough? I have a bad tendency to over-estimate what I’m eating and playing it “safe” through scaling things back. I don’t do it on purpose. I do it because I genuinely think that it’s enough food or that I’ve eaten more than I actually have. It’s a fucking mine field.

I don’t even know if I should be maintaining. Lots of contradicting advice leaves me confused. What do you lot reckon?

So instead of listening to her whilst she was telling me which bits of my meal plan to change to scale back or around how many calories or whatever to cut back on, I was an idiot. Firstly, I told her a lot of times how disgusting I am and how much I don’t want to gain anymore weight (even before she’d weighed me). That could possibly be why she agreed to let me maintain. Secondly, I cried. Thirdly, I let my body do what it liked whilst I thought of all the ways I hate myself till I cried some more. I’m supposed to be happy I’ve got to this point right? I really fucking wish I was.

After leaving that appointment, I kept myself together enough to have Weetabix and banana at the hospital cafeteria then headed off to therapy. I had really hoped I’d work through some of my problems and difficulties with the psychologist today. Instead, I choked entirely. I couldn’t find the words and completely disconnected from that situation. I really don’t remember that either. All I really remember was telling him I constantly feel sick in my heart and that I really wanted to be able to talk because it hurts and want it to hurt less. I remember he told me that even though it’s the last thing I want to do and I’ll hate the idea, to try to be around people as much as possible, not be alone and keep myself safe. I don’t think I mentioned my weight or my worries about maintaining. Or any of the other stuff I’ve been waiting to try to work through with someone. That’s all I got from the hour. I really needed to actually do therapy today and I didn’t, plus he’s away next week so I don’t have a chance to talk through any of this stuff for another two weeks. I almost cried in front of him too, then left and actually just cried in the street till I ended up having a panic attack and finding a corner to hide in for a while. Only to cry some more till I ended up at home.

I also managed to cry at my G.P. today. I went in for advice on scaring and acne. I came out crying with her telling me that if I ever need support, to go see her right away.

Thank fuck I’m seeing psychiatrist number 2 on Thursday. I’m really hoping to get somewhere with some of this. I cannot keep existing like this. I really need something to change and I don’t know what but I’m really hoping she’ll know. If not, I can ask the original psychiatrist on Monday. That doesn’t change the fact that today, I’ve been given information and I couldn’t get my shit together for long enough to learn how to deal with. As far as I can tell, I have at least two weeks of trying to muddle through this with no way of knowing whether it’s right or wrong.

Basically, I’m scared. I’m so scared I won’t be able to manage my intake and I’ll end up getting drastically bigger or smaller. I’m so scared that this is just one thing to have to deal with too many because I’m struggling as it is. I’m so scared that a mixture of switching to maintenance and the current state I’ve got myself in will end up with me restricting by accident and who know’s where that could lead. I’m just really really scared.

Lesson of the story – listen and engage with people when they’re talking to you. You’ll probably get more out of it.

My B.M.I.s now 20.8. I’ve gained 38lb in 10 months. Fucking hell. I feel like a planet. Standardly though.

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7 Comments

Filed under life, recovery

7 responses to “reaching targets.

  1. Like for the BMI! Well done!

    How do normal people maintain their weight? Well.
    It’s that thing called the “set point”, mine isn’t bmi 20, if I tried to maintain there my weight would swing and to eat takeaway id have to restrict afterwards for my weight to remain stable.
    At my set point, I could eat about 2,000 calories every day, and about 3 days a week I would eat more than that (going out for meals, take aways, drinking) and absolutely nothing would change on the scale, except for hormone problems. My set point was about 8lbs more than my target weight when I was 21 (and its likely to be higher now, because it gets higher when you’re older :(), and it was when I stopped thinking about food all the time, and when I stopped getting edgy or shaky if I was a few hours late eating.
    Ideally your dietitian should have worked out how many cals you now have to eat every day to maintain, then, you keep to meal plan for a few weeks, check the maintenance level is right, then after that you work on “eating when hungry, and stop when you are full”. This is the plan my dietitian has for me, however, I know I will need to carry on gaining past the target he has set for me, as much as that freaks the crap out of me otherwise I know I will relapse, or do the whole, eat what I want, restrict to make up for it, and I really wish I did not know what my set point was! :(
    Seriously though, you’ve come a really long way, and you should be proud of yourself. I however, think you’ve been given too much pressure to be eating when hungry, it seems too soon for that to me. xxx

    • I know I maintain on higher than 2000 already, so that’s in my favour. Right now, I’m thinking scale back to 2500 meal plan for a little, see what gain happens there (if any) and go from that point maybe? I duno. Or should I try and get to around 2200. I DON’T KNOW. I have absolutely no idea what my set point is. Like none whatsoever. My weight history involves a long time in which I had no idea what my weight was and wore clothes that were too big for me and was shorter than I am now. I only know my weight from a time I had gained above my set point due to meds. I literally don’t know. I don’t think about food all the time and my hunger is definitely different to what it was a few months ago. I really don’t know what normal hunger is anymore but I do get hungry, can cope with it, and can keep going if I’m hungry, but just get super moody and feel a bit sick. I know some people have to wait it out for their periods, other people don’t. I don’t know. Argh.

      Right now, it’s stick to the meal plan with some revisions down. That’s what my dietician says anyway. She thinks my maintanence is about 2200 and I reckon that’s about right too so we’ll see. Hmm.

      Still. For the next two weeks, I have weekly weigh-ins. Any weight lost/gained and I’ll know asap and catch it quick.

      Eek. This is hard.

      • Gosh. What a minefield.
        Can totally understand that. The whole mensies/set point thing is stupid. I usually get my mensies back at this weight I am now (this weight I was maintaining for years using binge/purge/restrict), it does take a while sometimes, but they weren’t “right” until I got to my set point (irregular, more PMT symptoms, feeling murderous, lol, etc).
        Totally not obsessed with set points, honest, I know that some people, my mum being one of them, do well staying below their set points and living a normal life. I really dont want to see mine but, I know I probably will and hopefully at that stage I will be getting some sort of therapy anyway.
        Plus, it’s not like your maintenance calories are anywhere near restriction, It’s when people say, “I’m at my ideal weight now, my maintenance calories are 1,600-1,800” thats just setting yourself up for a fall.
        Good luck with it scrunchy, youve done so well. Commendable. And thanks, for being awesome. xx

  2. Well done lady! I know you’ve been building yourself up to this point, but in all honesty – nothing has changed. So what the number has flicked to a different number? It doesn’t mean anything, it doesn’t mean this is your set point and honestly, try not to let yourself worry about what to eat/what not to eat.

    I can’t advise on how to maintain, because I’m exactly the same as you – I am a pro at gaining and losing weight but anything in between is a minefield. You do struggle with knowing what you would like to eat though, so I’d probably suggest not straying too far from what you’re eating now. Stick to your meal plan for a bit so you’re not skipping snacks just because you don’t know what you want to eat. If she’s asking you to follow your hunger, and you’re not hungry, or confused about whether you’re ‘a little hungry’ or ‘massively hungry’ – there’s a risk of under eating so I don’t think you should throw the meal plan just yet.

    I’m not surprised your mind went all over the place after your appointment, don’t stress about that now. You have another appt on Thursday so work towards getting yourself together for that and try not to put so much pressure on yourself to get all this 100% right, it’s HARD! Don’t beat yourself up for your mind wandering, it’s normal, and don’t hesitate to call your team if you think you may have missed some important info.

    Lastly, big congrats! You have worked SO hard for this. I hope things start to fall into place for you Scrunchy, you defo deserve it xxx

    • My dietitian wants me to stick to the meal plan, with some tweaks. So like maybe not having toast with my cereal for breakfast and having soy milk instead of full fat. And not eating a massive amount of chocolate before bed. Basically, she wants to keep my meals the same though. And keep the structure. But because I have issues with eating in front of other people and eating food my family make (my portions are much smaller than my mums), she wants to allow room for me to think “I’m full from dinner. I do not need a pudding/snack” if that makes sense. Definitely not intuitive eating yet. Just getting away from counting, sticking to the structure and making a few tweaks. Do you think that sounds ok?

      Unfortunately. my Thursday appointment is not at my EDU though. Which sucks because I don’t see my dietitian or therapist for two weeks. No advice on what to do with all this info till then and that makes me feel a little lost.

      I know that nothing has changed really. Except I don’t have to try to gain. I’m thinking of scaling back to 2,500 meal plan for a bit and seeing what happens. Which considering a lot of things, kinda makes sense. I feel like I must be really close to my healthy weight range now, if not there already. This is around the weight that literally dropped off me when I came off the medication that caused gain. Granted I was exercising and trying to eat healthy (both of which were not healthy at all), but it was around here where it got actually harder to lose weight. I also have definite hormone signs. And I’ve been gaining around a pound a week on 3000, so it’d seem like my metabolism isn’t messed. I figure if I go for 2500 for a bit, if I gain some, yes I’ll hate it, but it’ll be because I’m too small still and then once I get there, I’ll be eating much closer to my maintenanc amounts. Plus that way I can not count calories as well.

      ARGH. I don’t know. I’m confused. I really don’t know what to do :( x.

      • Mmm my comment once again disappeared…. But it was something along the lines of:

        You DO know what to do, because your plan of going back to your old 2500MP sounds incredible sensible. I suppose you should keep it there for a few months? Since our bodies supposedly are three months behind, you should keep it at at least that (maybe even your current 3000?? Not sure) for that time to see if in those three months your mensies start again? What’s ‘the signs’ you see though? (Like: What do I need to look for?).

        I am INCREDIBLY proud you’ve gotten this far. My oh my! My mom’d say; Buy a cake and celebrate! ;). Stop worrying about ‘normal’ness. Just try and eat with the rest for dinner, and then see if you feel like having some more. I think that, when your mind calms down a little, you know what normal sorta looks like, since your were also able to decide what ‘more’ or ‘less’ looked like.

        And I love the fact I have no idea what your gain is, cuz your in lbs. I’m not gonna look it up, cuz it doesn’t change a thing. We’re not there yet (since we’re not menstruating AND we’re not fully back to normal, fearless, social eating yet) so on we plough. But wonderfully done Ellie, seriously.

  3. you have no idea hpw immensly proud of you i am. i am in pretty much the saem posistion- bigger than friends, still no period, no idea how normal people eat, scared because either eat too much or too little, how to maintain muscle mass, ect. i am SO temp[ted to write another letter to you replying to this..i think i might haha :P watch out for your post again.xxx

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