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.
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!)
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:
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.
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)
- 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.
- Place chicken tenders in a ziploc bag, pour in pineapple marinade, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- 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)
- Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill chicken tenders 5 minutes per side, or until juices run clear. They cook quickly, so watch them closely.