Pineapple Chicken and “What Really Happens to Your Body After Weight Restoration”

Not beating around the bush. Today, I’m talking about how your body changes during after recovery.

There are millions of blogs about people’s “weight loss transformation”. Only a handful of “weight gain” stories. Why? Because society makes us believe gaining weight is an awful, disgusting thing to be avoided at all costs. This only makes the whole “recovery” thing even harder.

And when you do start to re-feed your body after years of malnourishment, it can do some pretty weird things. I thought I’d tell you a little bit about them:

You might loose weight, at first: When I first went into treatment, I was put on a basic meal plan of three meals and three snacks with meals being roughly 500-700 calories each, and snacks being around 200-300 calories each. This was not a “weight gain” meal plan. After a week on this “basic” meal plan, they noticed my weight was dropping. This is not uncommon. When you start nourishing your body properly, it can get hyper-metabolic. I know, its very unfair that super skinny girls HAVE to eat so much just to not loose weight, but they won’t always be like this (I sure as hell am not!). My meal plan was bumped up and a few weeks later, I was on a slow but steady healthy weight gain slope.

Eww, I hate the photos of me when I'm on the thinner side. And to be honest, I dont have many and there are zero of me at my worst. I avoided cameras at all costs.

You may look pregnant: I thought my body was simply being an asshole and distributing all my gained weight to my midsection. But its actually very common after a long period of under-consumption. Why does this happen? A couple of reasons: 1) there is an imbalance of hormones, like cortisol, which is produced when eating cycles are disturbed or in response to stress and the “re-feeding” process,. And 2) As you eat, you tend to produce insulin that helps re-balance minerals inside your body cells in order to make energy. Water shifts in this process too, thus leading to a water-retaining bloating. Sometimes, the fastest way to a “beer belly” is not eating! (PS, I cant believe I’m about to post this picture!)

See?! And I'm totally not preggers!

You won’t get a visit from “Aunt Flow” right away: I think it took about six months at a stable and healthier weight for me to see signs of aunt flow again. You body won’t gain or loose weight overnight, and you wont have those hormones balanced right away. You need a good chunk of time of healthy food consumption and minimal exercise if you want to get your period back. In fact, the exercise is pretty important here. I know women NOT overweight at all that exercise I ton and don’t get their period. And don’t think a day off a week will bring it back. Severe reductions in your activity level need to be made.

You’ll get lots of cow-licks in your hair: I lost a lot of hair when I was sick. Once you re-feed your body it starts growing from scratch thus leading to lots of hair that ends up being at odd lengths. It’ll look really weird at first and the best remedy is to go to hairdresser (a good one! I found mine on yelp!), be honest and explain your situation, and they’ll probably find a style that can mask it. I decided to cut my hair super short during recovery. Case in point:

yep, this was about three weeks into my residential treatment. I got a pass to go out to dinner with my dad by the beach and this is where this picture was taken. Look how flat my boobs are!

Remember, your body isn’t everything: I know! So many people say “It not about the ‘weight’ ” or even “the food”. But deep down, it is. It may not be that you want to be a supermodel or anything, but there is an attachment deep down to maintain whatever image you have in your head. Does that attachment go away? Maybe. Its not gone for me, maybe it never will. But I don’t think the way my body looks is all that important anymore. And I hope the friends I choose don’t think it matters either. Seriously, at the end of the day, its a bit like high school. It seems so important at the time, but no one really gives a fuck about how much you weigh, how toned you are, etc. And guess what, neither should you.

Yay! A full head of hair!

Ok, I’m off to eat some pancakes (and I’m totally not kidding).


But if you want to put some meat on your bones……ummmm…..I mean skewers…..these are pretty darn nifty!

  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup light soy sauce
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 yellow or orange bell pepper
  • chicken breast tenderloins or strips (I used about eight small ones)
  • skewers
  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, mix pineapple juice, brown sugar, and soy sauce. Remove from heat just before the mixture comes to a boil.
  2. Place chicken tenders in a ziploc bag, pour in pineapple marinade, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat grill for medium heat. Thread chicken lengthwise onto wooden skewers. ( You can also place it on a baking sheet and put it in the oven at 400 degrees F for about 25-30 minuets)
  4. Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill chicken tenders 5 minutes per side, or until juices run clear. They cook quickly, so watch them closely.


39 thoughts on “Pineapple Chicken and “What Really Happens to Your Body After Weight Restoration”

  1. The human body can sure be weird! Interesting post. You look gorgeous :)
    I’m thinking I don’t eat chicken but this mightbe good with shrimp instead for me? Hmm, or maybe potatoes? Can’t think of a good vegetarian option for the chicken!

  2. First of all, I have to say. You look like sex in that last picture. Not in a bad way. In a good way. And in a platonic way. I’m digging myself further into a hole. But yes. Great picture.

    I love all of these weight gain recovery truths. All of them are just so true! Although it can take WAY longer to get flo back…like try…a year and a half and a stress fracture later…yikes.

  3. You’re so pretty, Eden, especially now! :D And thank you for the honest weight gain protocol. Fortunately, I’ve never lost hair, but I went through “pregnant” phases for sure!

    I’ll make your pineapple chicken for my mom when I visit my parents next time. She’ll love it!

  4. Thank you so much Eden for sharing this!
    I am experiencing the “pregnant belly” syndrome and had no idea this was normal!My doctor has retired (loved him) and the new one, well…when I first met him warned me not to over do it on the food so as not to end up at Weight Watchers later. Needless to say, I am hesitant to ask him these types of questions.
    Anyways, all that rambling to say that I’m glad you’re discussing these issues!!
    Most of all, how long did it take for your belly to go back to normal? Did anything help in the meantime?

  5. “Seriously, at the end of the day, its a bit like high school. It seems so important at the time, but no one really gives a fuck about how much you weigh, how toned you are, etc. And guess what, neither should you.” — So true!!!

    I think I am finally learning this. Unless you are one extreme or the other people barely notice and even if they do they still really don’t care! Honestly, I know when I look at others it doesn’t matter what they weigh.

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. “no one really gives a fuck about how much you weigh, how toned you are, etc. And guess what, neither should you.”

    Women (and men) need to hear that more often, including me! It’s fun to be fit, and to see (positive) changes taking place in your body. But really, whether or not I have good upper body definition doesn’t make any difference to who I actually am. It’s good for me to be reminded that a fairly harmless hobby (working out) could so easily turn gremlin-y (sic).

    And yeah, that last photo, wow! You are so photogenic — you practically jump out of the screen!

  7. Love your pretty brown hair. I’m partial to brunette’s, obviously. ;)

    I’m glad you posted about weight restoration. I haven’t had to go through anything like that, but I did gain weight over the past year…not much, but enough for me to look better, so I can somewhat relate.

    Every day I work on liking myself a little more and try not to be so focused on my looks…as shallow as that sounds. I’m not vain, and as you know firsthand, it isn’t about that. I just try to imagine myself when I’m old. Nobody gives a shit what you look like once you reach a certain age, even now really. I don’t want to be hung up on that and look back and kick myself in the ass about it. We all don’t have that long on this little round ball to worry about shit like how we look on the outside. I say it like it’s easy, it’s not. But its still something I try to remember all the time.

  8. oh thank goodness. Your posts always seem to come at the right time. I’m always wondering about these things. I went residential and definitely went through the pregnant thing as well as the losing hair thing. Recovery is a process, so I’m still working through the weight restoration part of it which is surely quite difficult. The “aunt flow” part made me laugh; I’ve been waiting for it FOREVER. Do you really suggest stopping exercise? Won’t that just make weight gain come faster and not healthfully?
    Hannah

  9. I haven’t commented before, but love your blog. Compared to other blogs, I always look forward to reading yours, it is so refreshing and real so thank you!

    So brave of you to post those pictures, you’ve got some guts! I agree with other comments that you look beautiful, but most importantly, you look like you have more energy and, for lack of a better word, like your ‘soul’ has returned (that word is applicable to Jews, right? ;) ). Congratulations on all of the progress you have made and for sharing your story with all of us.

    Also, love the recipes!!!

  10. You have no idea how many clients I have had whose Dr.s told them nothing of the weight restoration effects! They come to me freaked out, and only once they learn it is normal and will subside, are they able to truly focus on their recovery! Great post!

  11. This is a really great post! I read your blog and I think this one of the best ones yet – informative and really just plain honest! I had no idea about the midsection weight gain!

    • its not really a weight gain though (in the midsection) its just water or gas.It sucks that it happens because it can make people feel like they need to loose weight when what they really need to do is eat more frequently.

  12. Great post spoken from someone truly happy with herself. I completely agree with you that as a culture we view weight gain as a negative, no matter the circumstance. I’ve sadly even heard people wishing they had mono or some other sickness so they could lose weight.

  13. I am so glad you posted this. Its GENUINELY important to read. I’ve been at a too weight before, I looked like a poor ethopian kid with a malnourished belly sticking out. Is that not PC? Anyway, I love how you glow now. Such a good sign of nourishment. Your gorgeous! Oh and how’s your dad? I’ve been thinking about him.
    LC

  14. I completely agree with everything in this post. I think one of the hardest things for me when I first entered treatment were the body issues that no one warns you about. I mean you know you’re going to gain weight but you don’t hear about how it happens or all of the trends that are so commen in treatment. Thank you for such an honest blog and like others, I look forward to reading!!

  15. I love how honest you are- and luckily for you, you still looked gorgeous even when on the thinner side.

    I was never anorexic (though my dear mother in heaven would disagree with that statement), but I lost my period despite being ‘normal’ weight, but exercising like a maniac.

    I’m so glad that you are recovered. That photo on the beach with your dad’s shadow reminds me of when my Dad was in treatment for leukemia in florida and we took a trip to the beach- we both felt like he’d been let out of jail and it was such an amazing day.

    Hugs!

  16. OMG this is such an informative post!! Thank you so much for being so honest with everything you said, and I am actually quite shocked at some of them! (the whole belly swelling thing…I didn’t realize that actually happened!) I’m still trying to gain weight (story of my lifffe) but it seems like no matter WHAT I do I just can’t. :( any tips?! But anyway, thanks again for posting this! It kind of re-encouraged me:)

  17. oh thank god – i’ve taken three pregnancy tests this week because i was SURE my aunt would have come back to town by now. guess i can calm it. thanks for this post; you’re great.

  18. You’re an inspirational young woman. Thank you so much for this post (and all your posts). I hope that if there are young girls out there struggling, they can read yours words and feel that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes it’s a long tunnel, but the light is there….

    A xx

  19. I continue to be amazed by your honesty. And I absolutely love your writing voice–I hope you are this up-front in real life, too. We need more people like you :)

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