As I have stepped up my game in terms of recovery over the past three weeks, I have had many, “OMAHGOSH I THINK I AM DYING MY BODY IS FOREVER BROKEN” moments. In these moments of panic, I have learned to seek out answers on the good ‘ole internet! Google search has become my best friend. Over the past three weeks I have learned a lot and thought it would be very informative to share some of the wonderful articles I have found! The blogging world is full of gems! Plus, eating disorder recovery basically breaks every diet and “how to stay slim” rule out there. It’s terrifying, counter intuitive, and often feels uncomfortable; however knowledge is power. So, below are some of the articles that I am basing my recovery guidelines on and some articles that have helped explain some of what occurs during the very uncomfortable and painful recovery process!
Bloating (so much pain but not permanent…and my least favorite phase of recovery):
Personally, I experienced very painful bloating and edema my first week into eating a consistent amount of calories. It made wanting to continue eating very difficult because physically I was in so much pain. My face and ankles would swell, and my stomach felt as if it was stretching my skin. Ouch. What I found to help me was continuing to nourish even when I didn’t want to so my metabolism and body could continue to heal, drinking lots and lots and lots of tea and water, exercising lightly, and doing yoga that aids digestion. I still suffer from bloating; however, after about a week and a half everything seemed to become less painful and severe. The important thing is not to restrict fluid or food despite what appears to be fast weight gain. Your body will normalize!
Calories and Meal Plans:
I have been aiming to eat between 2500-3000 calories a day. I was SHOCKED to see how little my weight was affected when I increased. Yes, I gained weight (because it was needed), but it wasn’t nearly as fast or dramatic as I expected. I have learn more and more each day that maybe I am not the exception after all.
Parents Point of View:
I found this video very enlightening and enjoyed hearing the parents point of view. It’s a little lengthy to watch but very informative!
Weight Gain and Natural Set Point:
These articles have become reassurance and some what reminders that recovery is not about weight. I have found myself aiming to hit that magical BMI of 20 so that I can call myself recovered. When I was inpatient three years ago I was told that the minimum weight I could maintain was a BMI of 20. My disordered brain interpreted this minimum as a maximum and ever since I have found myself measuring my health based on this number. The thought of weighing more than a BMI of 20 is terrifying but necessary to achieve full recovery! It is more important to discover your bodies natural set point which will likely take a year for me to figure out as my body still has lots of healing to endure!
HUNGER WITH A CAPITAL H!!!
Feeling hungry after a year of suppressing this feeling was very scary. What was scarier was feeling hungry even after eating 2000 calories. Extreme hunger is a part of the process and should be honored…not ignored.
All of these articles I found very helpful and informative! One of the best tools in recovery is just knowing what to expect so you can prepare for each and every stage!