I’m Leaving….Well, Sort of

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Lovely Followers,

I have found that I have outgrown this site. I am sad to leave behind a part of my life that has changed me so much but in the end, I know this is the right decision.

I feel free from my past struggles and ready to move on with my life. I cannot do that if I am constantly reminded of the past and surrounded with painful memories. For that reason, I have decided to quit posting here.

I will still continue to check it from time-to-time but for the most part, I will continue writing solely for my main blog. I hope you all will join me and my day-to-day musings over there.

Love,

Rachel

Update Time!

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Hello Lovely Followers,

I apologize profusely for not attempting to update this sooner but I honestly have been extremely busy. Extremely busy living life, that is. It is for this reason that I have decided to stop devoting so much time wallowing in the past (i.e. updating this blog.) However, I have decided I want to keep this up to help everyone who is struggling as best I can.

Recovery is undoubtedly the best decision I ever made. That sort of quasi–recovery / maintaining a low weight thing was ridiculous and life unbridled and free is worth every single stomach-ache, bloated feeling, mini-freak out, acne mark, etc.

From start to finish I have gained 28 pounds and you know what, I still fit in the same jeans I always wore. How’s that for unexpected? Never did I ever think I could maintain on so much, do so much, or love my body so much with an extra 28 pounds. When I tell people the amount I’ve gained they simply don’t believe me.

Sure, I don’t love the way my thighs look but you know what, those thighs allowed me to climb up the rocky mountains with my brother this weekend despite a bum ankle and carrying a heavy pack. My 82 pound frame never could have done that!

I’m happier with a body that may not be the epitome of perfection so long as it allows me to do what I love. There’s a reason marathoners actually gain weight, weight means muscle and muscle means strength to make it through life and complete fun activities.

Anyway, for those who are just coming to my blog I figured I would do a short recap of what my journey has been like so far.

Beginning few months: Start weight, 82 pounds. I upped from my lowest of 800 a day to 2,000 (exactly, every single day!) and gained up to about 90 and maintained this for more than a year.

Jan 1, 2012 – February: After an emotional trip home from college, I decided to try an incorporate weight training into my day and up the calories to 2200-2500 range. I gained up to about 95 and once more plateaued.

March: I game across gwenythowlyn.com and decided I needed to up to 3,000 at least. Well this lasted a few days before I gave in and started what she refers to as ‘reactive eating.’ I consumed ~7,000 a day (sometimes up to 10,000) for about 3 weeks and gained up to 108. (This is an estimate as my weight would fluctuate by upwards of 15 pounds a day!)

April: Continued eating around 4,000 a day and went up to about 110 where I have stayed ever since…

May: I now maintain around 110 on about 3,000 a day. Again, this is an estimate as several days I still go over this quite a bit. Take this past week for example. I think my lowest day was 4,000 and highest around 7,000. I got on the scale again today and guess what, still 109. It just doesn’t want to budge and I still feel hungry all the time. I just go with it and have learned not to sweat it too much.

What to Expect
• Severe fluctuations in weight (just 2 weeks ago I ballooned up to 125 for 3 days from eating so much but after a few days I dropped back to 108)
• Hunger ALL THE TIME. Here’s my advice: Just Eat It! Eat a lot, your body will thank you.
• Stomach aches, bowel problems, gas, etc.
• Weight Stabilization (If your body trusts you it will stop gaining. The worst thing you can do it try and go about it with half-ass motivation)

Alright everyone, finals are coming up next week so I will not be able to update very often but I would like to make this blog more into a Q&A type thing. If you have any questions or anything like that, do not hesitate. However, just know that for a little while I may be unavailable.

I send my love to all those who are struggling and I truly urge you, Just Do It!

A Promise

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Hey Lovely Followers!

I apologize for my absence from the blogging world. I’ve been busy with school and such but after this week (midterms :/ ) I promise to write a full-length post about how I’ve been doing. Until then, feel free to leave any questions you may have and I promise to get back to them as soon as possible.

Love,
R

A Quick Update

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Hello Lovelies,

I apologize for my absence but I have been busy catching up with family over Spring Break and this week back at college adjusting to my new class schedule. This will have to be a rather brief update but it will be a joyous one.

In my last post I talked about the payoff of taking the plunge, listening to hunger and eating an unbalanced diet (Oh, the horror!) I’m here to tell you that you will not die, you will not get fat and you will be much much happier once you do.

I have come so far in just a few days. It really is like awakening to a different life. I am full of life, full of hope and most importantly, happier than I have been in years. My concentration has improved immensely and I can finally concentrate on my University work as I properly should.

I have gained approximetely ten pounds or so in two weeks and look ten times better than before. The weight has not been disproportionate (hello boobs & butt) and every one around me is complimenting me as never before.

It is freeing to be able to go out to eat, grab an ice cream cone or whatever without a care in the world. And best of all, I am currently maintaing on ~4,000. I know this won’t last for long but I know that even when the internal damage is fixed I still believe I will maintain around 3,000. How’s that for a badass metabolism I never thought I had!

Well, I truly must retrn to homework and such for now. U just want to let all my readers know that recovery is not only possible, but that it is totally worth every stomach ache, bloatied feeling and smelly gas-filled day. I can enjoy life & exercise once again without feeling guilty. I have discovered the truly restorative power of yoga and am currently giving my body the love it deserves.

I hope you can all do the same.

Love & Support
R

The Payoff of Taking the Plunge :)

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Hello Lovely Followers,

I apologize for neglecting to update you lately but with the stress of finals and seeing my family again I have been quite busy and distracted.

Anyway, you all know I decided to take the plunge about a week and a half ago to just say f**k it and go all in. Every day since then I haven’t gone below 4000, usually upwards of 5000, and I have gained about 10 pounds in as many days.

Oh the horror you say! Not at all. I could not be happier with the results. I have finally reached my pre-ED weight and I look lovelier than ever. I can wear shorts and swimsuits on my Spring Break and my parents can’t stop commenting on my wonderful appearance.

As for the weight distribution.  You’d think such a quick weight gain would mean I gained ALL the weight in my tummy. Wrong. Even gaining a pound a day, I only have a slight tummy (One that all women have)

And yes, my booty has returned as well. I am no longer subjected to jeggings. Once more I can fit in my old Citizens and Sevens! Oh thank you Fashion Gods :)

However, I have to warn you that the weight gain is not all pretty. At the beginning you will gain enormous amounts in pure water weight. Your entire body will puff up and feel ginormous. I know you will want to push back and start to restrict again but DO NOT. The one day I tried to cut back I puffed up even larger. In fact, the day it finally all went away was the day I ate over 5000.

Now, let me tell you I did not gain this weight eating salmon and brown rice. I ate boxes (yep that’s multiple) of Cap’n Crunch, Froot Loops and Apple Jacks. I ate loaves of bread at a time and lots of bagels, ice cream and grilled cheese. Ultimately, I ate everything I had previously cut back on and surprise, I didn’t gain loads of fat.

So for all you on the border of jumping full on into recovery, here is proof it does work. I gained a pound a day (although the initial jump in water weight read 20 but 10 went away overnight) and I did not get fat. In fact, I would stand to say that most of what I gained was muscle.

I feel more comfortable in my body than I have in two years and the majority of it happened in less than two weeks. You do have control over your body and you can change it NOW not in two months or whatever your goal.

Stay Strong and feel free to leave any comments or questions about the specifics. I’d love to answer them.

Rachel

P.S. These pictures are taken after I ate 6,450 calories yesterday and doing nothing but sleeping or lounging around the house.

I’ve Reached 4,000

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Hey Lovelies!

I just wanted to keep everyone updated with how I’m doing. I must say I am rather proud, I have broken past the 3,000 limit and have been at about 4,000 for the past five days. I feel great! Well, I have some intense bloating and such but besides that and the initial jump in water weight I feel like I have so much energy.

The strange thing is I eat and eat and eat without feeling hungry, yet I never seem to feel full either. I eat because I’m bored, not because I’m hungry and once I start, I literally cannot stop, no matter how large my tummy grows.

Mostly, I just want for the gaining part to be over with (and a faster metabolism) so I’m trying at least a week on 4000 to see how this goes. I’ll be sure to keep you updated :)

R

P.S. For once in two years I feel my boobs starting to grow! It’s like puberty all over again. I only hope it isn’t just water weight.

A Little More Positivity (What Recovery Looks Like)

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Lovely Readers,

I realize now that my last post could be taken as a set-back but I want to reassure you that it was not. Yes, my body reacted very badly to the junk-food binge but I will say a few good things have come out of it.

First of all, it has helped me reach my goal weight for the month of March, although somewhat early, but it is in no way a set-back. I look in the mirror and for once I have started too like what I see. I want to take the time to tell you a bit about the physical aspects of my recovery thus far.

For the first time in two years, I cannot count the ribs between my breast bones. I know this may not sound like much, but when I first started to lose weight this was the first physical aspect I began to hate. It meant I had to wear high-collared shirts and the idea of a low-cut top was out of the question.

The second thing I’ve noticed is that I have the beginning of a booty. It is no where near the size it used to be but as a self-described ‘butt girl’ (I’ve never had much of a chest) I am just excited to be getting anything back at all. My tailbone no longer sticks out and I can sit in a chair for long periods of time without any discomfort!

Now, as I tend to gain weight in my legs quicker than my upper body, I am proud to say that my legs no longer look twig-like and my knees no longer look like oranges shoved onto a stick. My calves are still smaller than I’d like but my thighs have shaped up quite nicely thanks, in part, to my strength moves.

My arms, oh how many lovely things can I say about you. Before you were quite literally so sickly looking that I was forced to cover you with long sleeves even in summer. You were pale, veiny and had elbows that stuck out at weird angles. I was ashamed by your puny appearance the most. However, since incorporating free weights into my life you have taken on a life of your own. You have grown muscles I never even knew existed. I used to think there was only biceps and triceps, boy was I wrong.

And lastly, my poor tummy. i have put you through quit a lot throughout the years and yet even at the height of my illness you would never quite lay flat. You always had a way of indenting in the middle and prodrouding at the bottom. Oh how I despised this, yet only now that I have begun gaining have you also begun to fill out in the middle to create a linear platform. Yes, you read that right, gaining weight has been the only thing to give me a flat stomach.

I hope this post can inspire those who are currently contemplating recovery or are worried that they will ‘get fat.’ Trust me, you will not get fat nor do you have to gain tons and tons of fat super quick. I am living proof of that.

Feel free to message me if you have any questions.

Much Love,

R

 

When Life Makes You Stressed

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Lovely Readers,

First, I would like to apologize for my absence from the blogosphere lately but, you see, it is finals week and I have about a million things on my mind right now. I don’t do very well in times of stress (last quarter finals week caused me to undereat and overexercise) but it seems this time around is entirely different.

Rather than devoting all my time to avoiding food and furiously working away, this time I have been avoiding work and furiously cramming as much food into my small frame as possible. After a particularly bad session of high-sugar cereal I noticed that my entire body decided to puff up to Michelin Man proportions. Worse than that, however, was the fact that my entire body has become tender. Like the sort of tenderness you feel after an intense training session but this time it is my entire body.

I think I have finally deduced that the reaction was only partly due to the enormous quantity of food I ate. The main part, at least from my perspective, was about what I ate not how much. I have eaten more than this quite a few times during recovery but it was usually on healthier substances. So for now, I have gotten rid of the sugary cereals and decided to focus instead on my healthier indulgences (peanut butter and banana toast anyone?) I never want to feel like I do now ever again.

On a more hopeful note, I now weigh 100 pounds and look and (prior to the cereal binge) feel better than I have in ages.

Sincerely,

Your Lovely Blogger

Just Know That Recovery is Not What You Expect

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Lovely Readers,

Today has been an absolutely amazing day. The sky was warm and sunny, the perfect match to my attitude as of late. I feel like recovery is not only possible in some far-off time but that it is actually quite easily attainable.

As of today I weigh the most I have in nearly two years. Not bloated, water weight – thank goodness that has abated – but actually real weight. I weigh 98 pounds, still far from my goal, but also a good 10 pounds closer than I was three months ago.

And you know what, unlike what I expected pre-recovery, the weight has been almost entirely muscle. My stomach has not ballooned whilst the rest of my body remained emaciated. QUite the contrary actually, my biggest gains have been in my thighs, butt and arms. And not fat, I might add.

I feel happier and healthier than I have in a while and I thoroughly intend to continue on this road. I continue with my strength training ( I got in an awesome ab routine today) and I continue with my 2,300 – 2,500 meal plan. My attempt to up it resulted in intense water retention so I decided it was better to keep it in the highest possible safe zone.

Yes, I still occasionally binge like crazy on cereal but I’ve been better about spreading my calories more throughout the day and attempting to avoid my favorite (Cinnamon Toast Crunch) until I am able to indulge without downing the entire box.

I just wanted to tell anyone who is on the verge, contemplating full recovery, just do it. You will not gain like crazy, you will not get fat overnight and the pluses far outweigh the costs.

Yes, you will experience uncontrollable urges to eat at times but let me tell you, a few days of overeating does nothing but make you feel puffy for some time. Once that goes away, you realize you didn’t actually gain any weight at all. Shocker: your body can absorb a range of calories, not a set amount. Ditch the exacts and embrace the variance of life.

Love,
R

Day # 6

What was your favorite meal pre-ED and what is your favorite meal now?

Hmm, this is a hard one because I simply had so many foods I indulged in pre-ED. Perhaps my favorite though, was a good lamb chop with homemade mashed potatoes (skin-on) and flaky layer biscuits. With homemade raspberry cobbler and a scoop of homemade ice cream for dessert.

I will admit that my ED actually helped push me out of my comfort zone to try new foods. Yes, this was in pursuit of lower-calorie options, but I actually did manage to find a few new favorites. My new favorite meal would still feature the juicy lamb-chop but I would now top it with sautéed mushrooms and caramelized onions. My side would be roasted brussel sprouts with balsamic viinegar and my dessert would be butternut squash fries with cinnamon-sugar and maple syrup dip. Yumm Yumm. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

A Good Day in Recovery: Yes, They Do Exist

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Lovely Readers,

Just to reiterate what I have already said, it is impossible to gain weight overnight and any perceived weight gain is most likely water weight and it will go away. I managed not to binge so badly on sugary carbs last night, instead managing to eat more throughout the day, and I was rewarded with a nice flat stomach again this morning.

Unfortunately, along with that unexpected gift I was also blessed once more with uncontrollable need to eat. Even after a breakfast three times the size of my normal one I was still ready to consume more even though I wasn’t necessarily hungry. It is an odd sensation that I cannot quite describe accurately but for now I’m listening to the inner voice and allowing myself to eat more than what my plan calls for.

I hope everyone else is doing well because right now recovery is treating me quite well.

R

Day #5

What actions do you believe could be taken in the future to prevent your child(ren) or close friends from ever developing an eating disorder?

This is a tough one for me because I’m not sure if there is ever going to be a magical action that would prevent an eating disorder. It is an extremely complex illness with quite a broad list of triggers and perceived causes and it is for this reason that I believe each case to be personal without a single cause or treatment.

Personally, I think the most friends or family can do is to catch the behaviors early and get them the emotional and mental help they need. My illness was not caused by the stick-thin models on runways or an abusive boyfriend telling me to I could only be loved if I was thin. No, what I was seeking was a sense of control in a life that no longer was doing what I wished it to do.

I wanted my boyfriend and brother to stay home. I wanted to get into the best colleges without actually having to put the effort in to get there. I wanted a perfect life and although I couldn’t control the actions of others, I quickly realized I could control mine. I would show the world just how in control and self-disciplined I was.

This pressure started to break me down both mentally and physically. As I began wasting away physically, I also started deteriorating mentally and emotionally. More than anything I began to desperately want out of the little bubble I had subconsciously made for myself and although I reacted defensively to the confrontations about my weight, I truly believe I would have welcomed those about my lack of social activity and apparent mental anxiety.

I was in a bad place mentally and I believe my eating disorder was but an aspect of this depression. However, all people saw was the outwardly deterioration and thus, that is what they focused on. Instead of asking how I was feeling my mother would ask what I had eaten. It was a never ending cycle of her worrying more and me getting more defensive.

So here is my advice for preventing eating disorders: stop, they cannot be avoided completely. What can happen is that you can lessen their detrimental effects both by catching them early and concentrating on fixing the suffer’s mental and emotional issues. The fact of the matter is, recovery cannot happen until the person suffering is ready to commit to getting well. Talk them into this place of mental clarity before you begin to focus solely on their weight and you will make it much further in your quest for ‘curing’ the disease.

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