Tag Archives: weight gain

when your weight does the opposite of what they say it will

It’s been a little hard lately. I discovered that I’d gained quite a bit of weight. I say discovered although I knew this was happening but I’d deliberately avoided stepping on the scale and bringing it up in therapy to have it confirmed. At first I thought it was my very warped view of myself but then my pants started to not fit and picture after picture seemed to be more unpleasant looking than it used to and well I knew it was bad. I languished in my misery but also the knowledge that knowing my weight wouldn’t help nor would restricting or using other behaviors until I couldn’t take it anymore and asked my therapist to weigh me. She confirmed my weight (which ironically was to the pound the number I anticipated and one I was NOT happy about) but knowing your weight and then knowing it are two very different things.

Where the hell had this weight come from? I was pissed, panicked, terrified, furious, ashamed, embarrassed and a thousand other emotions all at once. I had been doing what I had been SUPPOSED to do. I was following the rules. I was eating when I was hungry, stopping when I was full, eating what I wanted when I wanted in moderate quanities. No restricting. No overeating. Simple intuitive eating. And I still gained weight. WTF was going? This was not what they had told me was going to happen. When I left treatment the team had led me to believe that as long as I did all those things my weight would still in this nice little weight range. And I had learned to accept that weight range. Even like my body there. And now? Well, I had gained xxxxxx pounds. How could I ever trust any of my treatment professionals again? Again, why the hell had this happened?

Well as my therapist and I discussed (okay that’s probably too nice of a word) a lot of it probably came from a medication I have been on for quite awhile and the increases to my weight were probably related directly to increases in that medication (it increased my body’s tendency to retain water and also my hunger cues). Also, some of that weight gain was probably normal. I’m 25. I first developed an eating disorder most likely in my early teens, gained a ‘healthy’ weight for the first time at 21′, promptly lost that weight at 22, and then regained it at 23. So my body really did need some time to figure out where it’s new normal was.

But that didn’t really reassure me (besides tell me that I was getting off my medication pronto – I didn’t care what anyone thought) in fact it just made me madder. Why hadn’t anyone told me these things? Why hadn’t someone thought to mention to me that this five pound weight range might not stay there? Why hadn’t they told me I could gain? Why hadn’t they told me my pants size might not be a perfect size ____? No one had that I could remember. All I was told was that eat intuitively and your weight will take care of yourself. Well, yeah it had and it had f’ed me over. And in the process in my mind so had the treatment professionals.

So where to go from there? Well the place not to go is straight back into behaviors. That doesn’t really help with metabolism and loosing weight. Not really. In the short run – maybe but in the long term it really just teaches my body to hold onto fat and food while it can. It’s hard to believe that and yeah I struggled a bit with restricting my food intake at first but I’m back on track now. I’m off of the weight gain medication. I just couldn’t continue taking it. Maybe not the best or most rational choice but for me right now I just couldn’t do it. And I’ve seen the effects. My thinking is “looser” as my therapist likes to say, I’m having trouble sleeping and my anxiety is higher but I’m not retaining the water and I feel better physically. That’s nice. I’ve added more exercise into my routine. Both to make myself feel better and I suppose somewhat disorderedly as well. Not the amount – but the rigidity is probably a little too much. My hunger cues are a little different I think. I don’t know. I struggle with that right now because I’m struggling to “do the right thing”.

But mostly, I’m struggling with my anger towards my team. How I feel like they’ve betrayed me by “letting” me get fat, by not telling me that my weight will change and by making me believe that if I only followed intuitive eating I would stay at the same weight. Maybe they messed up, maybe I didn’t hear. I don’t know but whatever happened I didn’t understand the  fact that weight is not static and I thought for some bizarre reason that my not using behaviors I would be “rewarded” by having my weight stay the same. But recovery is not so linear and weight is not predictable. My challenge now is working through this period of time without resorting to behaviors and managing my anger at my treatment team. I’m doing okay but it’s a struggle but I’ll get there. How can I not? I have this girl taking care of me.

PS I still advocate intuitive eating, listening to your treatment team and following their advice. This is just a “bump”. A natural bump that in my phase of recovery it’s natural that I could experience. 

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Filed under body image, coping skills, eating disorder, eating disorders, Identity, Recovery, survivor

weight blah blah blah

Well after saying I was going to get back to posting I missed my normal Sunday song post. Oh well.

Today I had my usual Monday afternoon therapy session. Since I have an hour session on Monday and an hour an a half session on Wednesday, Monday sessions are reserved for coping skills or ‘light’ content while Wednesday is heavy processing stuff(i.e. trauma – yuck). This Monday we went over the usual checklist. Are you using behaviors? No. Are you sure? Yes. Let’s go through the list to make sure? Self-harm? No. None? Restricting? No. None. Overexercising? No. None. Blah..blah…blah

Can you tell I was really not enthusiastic about therapy today?

One of the things that we began to discuss in earnest was my weight. One of the side effect of the one of the (many) meds I take is weight gain. Now a normal person would find this uncomfortable, discouraging or annoying but to an eating disordered individual it can be a downright catastrophe. It’s already hard to tell when my thoughts about body image stop becoming based in reality and become entrenched  in the illogical world that is  an eating disorder. I suppose now is the time to mention that just because I am in recovery from my eating disorder I am not recovered. I do not act on symptoms but the thoughts have no left nor has my desire to be thinner and at times the near panic I feel at what I perceive as being fat disappeared completely. 

Lately, there have been more of these panic episodes than normal. Part it is yes my eating disorder leading me to believe I am much larger than I am but part of it is true. I do weigh more than I did when I left treatment. And that was the discussion I had with Beth. I want to know why! And Beth wouldn’t give me an answer. Well I take that back she couldn’t give me an answer because she doesn’t know. As much as I want it to be my weight is not an exact science. Even when I tried to make it that back when I was actively engaging in symptom or eating ‘by the book’ and following all my exchanges I was never in complete control of my weight. Because, weight just isn’t like that. Our bodies aren’t like that. And as much as I wish and complain or count carbs, calories, fat or whatever (don’t worry I’m not counting anything) I still won’t have complete control over my weight. And this drives me crazy.

So my weight gain could be for several reasons or a combination of several reasons. Beth’s point is that I don’t know and that I have to be ok with not knowing. As long as I am healthy I have to learn to accept my weight. If I am eating and exercising moderately and normally then my weight is going to do what it needs to do. I’m not quite sure I believe her. Okay I’m extremely skeptical and I want to figure out what is going on with my meds but for now I’ve agreed to leave my weight where it is at. Starting up using symptoms won’t help so for once in my life I’m going to do the responsible thing and start with my health care providers and ask them to run some labs and for some more education about my medication. It won’t be the quick fix I’m looking for and as Beth loves to remind me it also might not change anything but it’s something.

So here goes nothing.

 

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Filed under body image, eating disorder, eating disorders, Identity, Recovery