Hey ladies, happy Sunday! It’s pretty happy for me because it’s my spring break! I’ve already been pretty busy, and I’ve only been home for two days. I’ll share some of what I’ve been up to in a later post, but for today, I want to touch on a serious subject. It’s one that’s pretty hard for me to write about, but I think it needs to happen.
You may or may not have noticed that over the past couple of months, my WIAW posts have been kinda…lacking. I’ve actually recently gotten a few comments about it that really opened my eyes to the issue–thank you to those of you who commented, because I really appreciate the honesty and concern. But anyway, I want to say that while I don’t post everything I eat in a day, I know that I’m still not eating enough. And it’s not a good thing.
It all started at the beginning of this school year. Over the summer, I was eating a decent amount and maintaining my weight. Now, I’m a small girl and don’t have a huge appetite but if I had to guesstimate how much I was eating then, it would probably be around 1400 to 1500 calories. However, once I got back to school, I was on my own, had a whole dorm to myself and I decided to take advantage of the fact that I could ‘get away with’ eating less. Despite the fact that I’ve been recovering from anorexia for almost 3 years, I still have a lot of body image issues and at that time, I was determined to lose 5 pounds, to get back to my pre-ED weight. Of course, I knew (and know) that this isn’t healthy–the weight I was at was deemed healthy by my doctor, but it wasn’t in the medically healthy weight range. I know BMI is a load of sh*t, but I was technically underweight. However, I didn’t see myself this way (and still don’t) and was desperate to lose some weight. So I started cutting back, to about 1000 calories a day, which quickly became less and less as the months went on. During this time, I didn’t weigh myself so I honestly thought I wasn’t losing weight, but instead of doing the smart thing and eating more, I was scared to eat more so I continued to eat less and less…and work out more and more.
I wouldn’t say in any way that my exercising became extreme–besides walking from my dorm to classes (for 30-60 minutes, depending on the day) I would do cardio workouts in my room for 30-45 minutes per day. So nothing big…but the problem is, I never gave myself a rest day. I was determined to burn at least 200 calories a day through working out, so I had to do something active every single day. I told myself I didn’t deserve a rest day because I barely worked out compared to some people. I have not completely rested for a whole day since at least October…not a good thing! Of course, I had some days where I just didn’t want to work out, because I was exhausted from being out all day or I had a headache but I pushed through anyway. While I like to be active in some way everyday, there were definitely some times where I should have just taken a break, because I know my body was screaming for one. But I didn’t listen.
The bigger issue is the food, though. When I came home for the weekend right before finals last semester, I hopped on the scale, curious to see what it would say. I had dropped 3 pounds from the last time I was weighed by my mom in mid-October. Now, definitely not a huge amount, but considering I already was underweight, it wasn’t good. Needless to say, I was ecstatic (or should I say, ED was) so I decided to continue my restrictive eating. Over Christmas break, I somehow got away with eating less and by the time my break ended, I weighed myself again and I had dropped another 1 or 2 pounds. By this point, I was hovering right around my ‘goal’ weight–so was I happy? Heck no! Just like in my worst days three years ago, I wanted to see an even smaller number on the scale. Never mind that my BMI was now 16–I needed to make it lower.
Second semester so far has been stressful, to say the least. My classes are all upper-level courses, which means they are pretty demanding. I have spent way more time studying and reading this semester than I have so far in my year and a half in college, so I think that’s caused me to eat even less. It’s scary, because I’ve become obsessed with the numbers–I track my calories religiously on a tracking app, and seeing the numbers just fuels the fire. At this point, I would actually love to eat more, but I feel stuck in this rut. It’s become routine for me, which isn’t good. Whenever I eat an extra handful of anything besides a fruit or veggie, I freak out. Obviously, all these signs point to something really bad.
So here’s where I ask for advice. I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow, and it’s the first time I’m meeting with this specific doctor, so she doesn’t really know my ED history, but I’m scared to death to see what the scale reads, because my mom will be there. I honestly don’t want her to make me go back to eating dairy and meat–it’s not because of veganism that I lost weight, but because I’ve been eating less. I know it’s possible to eat enough on a vegan diet, I just haven’t been doing it. And I want to eat more, but I just need the encouragement to do it. I feel like unless someone tells me that I really should eat more, that I can’t make myself do it because it’s become such a habit. I’m also scared that I’m going to have to gain the weight back, and I remember all too well how horrible that process was in the first place.
The thing is, I feel good eating the way I do now. Not the amount, of course, but I have opened my mind up to so many foods I used to fear, even just a few months ago. Now I’m okay with eating a square of dark chocolate every day, or other nuts besides almonds or higher calorie vegan things like tempeh and tofu. It’s just that I need to eat more of it. I’m just stuck on how to do that, and feel okay with doing that.
Well, thanks for sticking with me through that monster of a post. I really hope it wasn’t triggering or anything, I tried to use as few specific numbers as possible while still being honest. I promise I’ll be back on Wednesday with a happier post, filled with tons of new foods I’ve tried and some recipes. For now, I just needed to get that out there, and be honest with y’all, since everyone is so supportive and since a lot of you have struggled with similar issues, I thought I’d reach out for a little advice.
Have you ever struggled with not eating enough? What’s the most fun thing you’ve done this weekend?