Why This Week Will Be Terrifying
This is it. This is goodbye.
Goodbye to maintaining my low weight. Goodbye to small portions. Goodbye to my "skin and bones" look and anorexic body.
Starting on Monday, my food intake will increase by 400 calories every second day until I reach the maximum calories allotted. Food and Ensure Plus supplement drinks will be added in an alternating fashion for the next 1.5 weeks, at which moment I will enter the "weight gain" phase of treatment.
I'm not going to put it lightly - this whole process is terrifying. My body is used to digesting and handling minimal amounts of food and I am about to put it through something that I literally call "a shock to the system". Of course, all of this is done in a way that is medically safe and dietitian-approved, and I know that this specific way of handling calorie increases is based on "best practice" research. But that knowledge doesn't make it any easier.
Not only will I feel physically full; I will feel UNCOMFORTABLY full. Every day. After every meal. Sometimes I compare the feeling to being hit by a train; out of breath and winded. In addition to feeling physically uncomfortable, I will be dealing with all sorts of emotions. Anger. Anxiety. Frustration. Sadness. Because when you have to force yourself to continuously choose to act AGAINST the eating disorder voice that is screaming in your head, life gets a little bit more complicated.
I know I will be eating to not only get my life back but also to SAVE my life. My doctor always tells me: "No one dies from eating food. People die from NOT eating food". I like to apply this to my irrational thoughts when they creep in, but sometimes eating does feel like the end of the world.
And then there are the body changes. Every week, every weigh in, you see that number creep up and up. Okay, sometimes it JUMPS up. And along with the number getting bigger, your body gets bigger too. Arms. Legs. Stomach. Thighs. Face. Sometimes I stare at myself in disbelief. "Who is this looking at me in the mirror? Who's body is this?".
The eating disorder is our harshest critic and fills our heads with nasty thoughts about ourselves. Whether these thoughts are related to what we weigh, or what we look like, the negativity surrounds us constantly. And then someone yells: "BREAKFAST!" and the thirty minute countdown to finish our meal starts, and we have to do the exact thing we DO NOT want to do.
So, this week will be a tough one. I'm sure I will cry and scream (and no, I'm not being dramatic). But what will I get out of all of these menu increases? Privileges. Energy. Laughter. LIFE. I guess the trade-off is worth it.
(So if I call you this week in a panic, please remind me of what I have written here).