I’m currently typing this in my bed because my energy has been so low and my body just wants to sleep! But I will take this time to get something done and answer those questions you all had for me 😉 The only ones I am not going to answer are the ones that I don’t find relevant or helpful for my own or anyone else’s recovery. If you have more personal questions, you can always email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org ❤
Here we go:
What motivated/pushed me to recover?
I got this question by several people and to be flat out honest: I’m tired. So damn tired of being tired. Drained. Constantly worried about food and my body. I just want to be fully happy again. I want late night ice cream runs and to go a week without working out and still look at myself as beautiful. I have put my body through so much damage too many times and my parents told me they wouldn’t send me to treatment. They wanted me to want recovery badly enough that I would ACTUALLY choose it. So I did, and decided to recover at home this last time around. No dietitian, no therapist, just me and facing my fears. I wouldn’t call myself 100% recovered but that’s because I am far from perfect and recovery is an ongoing process for some people. Sorry for the novel.
How did you deal with weight gain and eating even though you knew each week you were gaining?
Gaining is the GOAL. I know that is the hardest thing for people with an eating disorder to accept but gaining weight is what is saving your life. You are not only gaining weight but you are gaining your life back. You know that little sparkle you had as a kid? That is taken away with every pound you lose. Fight all you can for it back. I kept that in the back of my head.
If you could travel one place in the world for a week, where would it be and why?
I have always wanted to travel to Italy. Something about trying real Italian food and they have some of the most beautiful sights! It really seems like an easier way of life over there and I just love to explore. Also, I like my men tall, dark, and Italian 😉
What is your favorite quality of yourself?
I like my wittiness. I find that I am mostly an introvert but when I am around others, a completely sarcastic and random side of me illuminates and I can get people to laugh or smile very easily 🙂
Do you recommend residential treatment?
Depends on your motivation level. Some need to go to treatment to be away from outside stressors that may prevent them from reaching a healthy recovery. Some people can recover at home but having a VERY strong support team is crucial. Whether that be close relatives that you can talk to and work on things you struggle with or a therapist and dietitian to give you the tools you need to be successful and to prevent relapse. I personally found residential very helpful, but at the time I don’t think my motivation was as high as it is now.
What are some of your favorite ways to cope with anxiety?
Anxiety runs in my family, like hard-core. So dealing with it has been interesting…. What really helps me more than anything is talking/venting to my mother. She is my best friend and I am so happy to have her in my life. Other things that help are blogging, journaling, going for a small walk, laying in the warm weather, taking a hot shower, and listening to music fo sho.
What’s your favorite college experience thus far and what experience do you wish you could do over?
Oh boy, my favorite experience was probably being around a whole new group of people. I really needed to start over and have no one know anything about me. I wish I would have been a little more social but hey, I still have next semester and that is my plan 🙂
What do you do to spend the Christmas and New Year without worrying about all the food?
Food is not the focus. It has taken me years to finally realize this. Food is just what brings people together and should be seen as an enjoyable thing- especially if that’s the one day of the year you get that kind of food. The less you stress about the food, the more you will smile, be present, and focus on the loved ones that truly matter. Enjoy your holiday 🙂
What are some of your favorite ways to get healthy fats in?
For starters, I don’t like to think too much about if it is “healthy” or “unhealthy”. Fats are fats. I’m not saying eating a stick of butter is the best thing for you, but choosing butter over olive oil is OKAY. I actually love to butter my bread or spread some coconut oil on it. Delicious! Obviously I am a nut butter addict so I get a lot of fats in by adding a huge gob to my oatmeal. Not no little teaspoon shmear. That is so unsatisfying! I also LOVE LOVE LOVE avocado! YAS. Don’t throw away the yolk of eggs. No.
How do you know when to stop increasing?
Well it depends on your goals. If you are trying to regain weight, keep increasing until you gain consistently or just listen to your body. Nothing wrong with extra when recovering from an eating disorder. In other words, there is NO extra in recovery. It’s all important. You should probably be within a healthy weight range and getting your period before you can consider maintaining. But just because you are at a healthy weight doesn’t mean cut your intake again. If you are just wanting to increase your metabolism then add a little each week and see how you feel with your hunger cues.
What was the hardest thing about recovery for you?
Wow, this one is a toughy. It’s all hard. Nothing ever worth it comes easy. But I will never forget all the times I had to leave my family. I still can remember the tears on my mom’s face as she left me in treatment. Every damn time. I am so close to my family that it kills me to be away for so long. Oh, and can’t forget about the constipation….
What in your life has changed for the better since recovering?
EVERYTHING. Nothing ever good came from my ED. Nothing. I have my family and friends back. I can eat REAL food and actually enjoy it. I can sleep in my own bed. I have energy to walk up the stairs and my motivation to live back. I can exercise now (within reason) and feel strong. Recovery is more than great, it’s phenomenal ❤
If you could have any profession, what would it be?
I am going to college to become a dietitian. I feel as though God has put me through my struggle to overcome it and use it to help others. I feel as though I am far enough along to where I will never ever go back. Being a dietitian may even help me maintain a healthy relationship with food my whole life. I cannot wait to reach out to others and help them find their own balance.
What keeps you happy and wanting to wake up every morning?
Life. It is fascinating. Every breathing moment there is something to look forward to. Whether it’s nomming on your favorite breakfast or spending time with loved ones, life is constantly changing and you never know where the day will lead you.
Should someone jump to the recommended recovery intake or take it slowly?
For people that are severely restricting under 2000 calories a day, I would say take it slow at first. Start with about 2000, then the next week shot for 2200-2400. Increase in increments every 5-7 days until you reach the 3000 MINIMUM. Some people go over because again, there is no limit in recovery!
How can someone deal with bloating? I feel like I can’t enough food in because I am always so full.
Think about what you are filling yourself up with every day. People with an ED tend to want to eat foods with a lot of volume such as fruit, veggies, popcorn, protein bars, etc. Eating DENSER foods and cutting down some of the fiber and protein will help SO MUCH. Switch out the fresh fruit for dried fruit and see how you feel. Cut down the vegetable consumption because your body does not need that right now. (Read more about that here) Also, adding liquid calories helps incredibly when added to meals and snacks!
Have you ever been in love?
No. I had a serious boyfriend but I honestly won’t call it love. The time will come 😉
Do you want kids someday? How many?
Yes ma’am! It would be awesome to have a boy and a girl.
What is the best way to stop counting macros/ only eating “clean foods”?
Food is not numbers. Your body takes in what you give it and uses it. Nothing just sits there. Realizing that if you eat protein, carbs, and fats throughout the day at meals, you are getting enough of what you need. No need to get so specific about it. Also, what you think is “healthy” and what another thinks is “healthy” could be completely different things. This link was somewhat helpful:
When did the weight finally distribute?
It just happens. Not overnight or in one week. The less you body check in the mirror and pick out every little detail on your body, the less it will even cross your mind. I would say for me it happened as I was gaining, I just didn’t even notice it. Give it time and don’t be hard on your body. It’s doing what it is for a good reason.
I hope this helped! 😉