I am always a little reluctant to answer questions as a post because I’m afraid this portrays this image that I think I’m some sort of expert.
I’m totally not.
But I really feel like I owe it to my readers that feel a little lost and helpless and unsure about this whole recovery thing. I’m no recovery fairy godmother, I’m not “recovered” myself, and I’m not on a mission to convert every non-eater to an eater. I’ve just “been there” and all I can offer is my experience. And maybe a recipe.
So without further ado….
A reader, Katie, wrote:
“Were you ever afraid that once you started the weight gaining process, you wouldn’t be able to stop? I’m just so scared that I won’t have enough control to stay at a healthy weight, that I’m going to have to be at either extreme end.”
Let’s look at it this way. Are most overweight people that go on a weight loss plan afraid of not being able to stop the weight loss? Generally, no. Our bodies are incredible machines that rival iPads and iPhones. The formula is simple for weight gain: eat more than you burn. However, our bodies have a natural state they like to be in. In most cases, this is a healthy weight (and if you think you “natural state” is some very low weight, don’t bullshit yourself). My point is, even if you eat a lot more calories than you are burning, there will be a weight where your body’s metabolism will work overtime to preserve that healthy natural weight. Just like if you get too thin, your body’s metabolism will shut down and hold on to every calorie it gets. Yes, I had this fear, but as I got fed more and worked out WAY less, I realized that I wasn’t resembling a Hippo. Your body adapts, trust it.
A reader, J, wrote:
“I have a question to add…what was it like to buy new clothes for a restored weight body? When/how did you know when would be a good time to buy? Sometimes I’m reluctant to spend money on new clothes because I think that I won’t be able to wear it soon, because I’ll have gained weight, but at the same time, all of my current clothes are too baggy.”
I was very lucky that my treatment center was kick ass. My therapist took me shopping. It was awsome because she was “stylish” and budget savy! I think she thought I’d have a nervous breakdown but I totally didn’t. Heres the truth, my size didn’t drastically change. Instead of extra small, I bought small. I actually fit the extra smalls but my therapist reminded me that I SHOULDN’T fit the extra smalls or the children’s department. I bought leggings, sweater dresses, oversized blouses (that look really cute with a chunky belt), and of course, yoga pants! By clothes that are “forgiving”. I don’t even like wearing jeans all that often because I find them too constricting. Don’t get too hung up on sizes. You’ll probably still fit the clothes you buy, in fact, they might look better on you!
J also wrote:
“I feel like when I start feeling that my clothes are tight, I’ll feel bad and uncomfortable…even though I need/want to gain. I know that is contradictory, but it’s what I would anticipate I’d feel. A lot of this restoration business seems contradictory actually. Many of us seem to want it, but to not. Want it in theory but not when/as its actually happening? Thoughts?”
Ha! Oh yes, we all want to “gain” weight but not really! Indeed this whole “restoration business” is VERY cotradictory. I’m not some “recovery saint” so let me tell you this. I’m still freaked out of gaining weight. Not that I want to lose it either, but I’m not going to lie to you and say, “Oh yea, bring on the cake! I don’t give a shit about my weight!”. I totally care! I drink diet sodas for crying out loud! We are all so picky; we want to be “healthy” and not be too thin, but we don’t want to go “overboard”. Look, if you’ve been having trouble gaining weight in the first place, I doubt you’ll ever get to that “overboard” stage. I had to buck up and say to myself, “Get serious about recovery! Are you in, or out?!”. And I’m in. Its still ok to be scared of weight gain, but don’t let that fear interfere with your eating/exercising habit. I created goals for myself. Behavioral and weight goals and try to figure out what you want out of recovery. Maybe do a pro/con list of your eating disorder. Than, maybe try to evaluate if you want it or not. Chose wisely.
A reader named Erin wrote:
“How long have you been ‘recovered’?”
Well, I like to refer myself as “clean” of my eating disordered weight and behaviors. As in, I’m not underweight, overexercise, or restrict my eating. But I still “care” about my weight. I still have days where I swear I consider liposuction. But I’m also a poor judge of my body. I’ve been “clean” for about two and a half years. I went into my first inpatient treatment program in July of 2008. I did inpatient for about three and a half months and outpatient for six months. Honestly, I could have used more time in both, but my insurance didn’t cover much. I don’t know if I answered your question because I don’t think I’ll ever be fully “recovered”.
Ok, I think thats enough for today. Never hesitate to ask me anything or even just to bitch. I like hearing people bitch 😉
And on an unrelated note I invented this vegan and gluten free cracker recipe that happens to not taste like tree bark!
- 1 1/2 cup corn flour (aka masa harina)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3 tbs olive oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup milk of choice (I used almond)
- 3 tbs flax meal
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Stir together the corn flour, salt, baking soda, and flax. Pour in the oil, milk, and water and mix until just blended. Knead for about a minuet. It won’t feel like ordinary dough but dont worry.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough as thin as possible. Use a cookie cutter (I used my favorite, “star” cutter) or just slice rectangular crackers. Place on an lightly greased baking sheet. You can sprinkle with a little extra salt if you’d like.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until crisp and light brown. Baking time may be different depending on how thin your crackers are.