Getting Healthy: One Year

As of yesterday, it’s been exactly one year since I’ve gone off birth control. And — surprise, surprise — I still don’t have my period back.

It’s bittersweet, for sure. A big part of me has loved not having to deal with all that girl stuff for a year, and while it’s weird, it’s still a relief. But at the same time, I know it’s not healthy. And I really never thought it would be gone this long.

For the past two months I’ve been pretty busy and haven’t really paid much attention to the nagging fact that my body isn’t at it’s healthiest. But now that it’s been a year, it’s hard to ignore. Only my mom, sister and a close friend know about my missing period, and my mom is the only one who really knows the extent of it.

I tried. I went to the doctor, and got all kinds of tests and was asked many questions about my overall health. The test results all came back normal. I was supposed to be referred to an endocrinologist, but then the whole job/moving thing took over and it fell by the wayside. I have health insurance through my new employer, but I’m still settling in and haven’t taken advantage of it. It’s just all so overwhelming.

But I know it’s doing me no good to keep waiting. To keep hoping it’ll just come back on it’s own. I’m sure it’s possible, but probably not likely. And let’s face it, part of me is secretly pleased that I don’t get it. It proves that I still struggle with an eating disorder.

In my last post, I admitted that getting healthy wasn’t my biggest priority at the moment. I don’t regret that at all, because I had a lot on my plate then and I was in no position to get a doctor’s appointment only to move hundreds of miles away a week later. But I don’t have the luxury of blowing this off anymore. I have to be brave, and take the initiative to get my health back. I have to find a doctor, make an appointment, possibly go through dozens of tests again, and wait for the results. It might not seem as life-threatening as cancer, but it’s still a health concern that could affect me down the road. And if I spend all this money on healthy food and time working out to be my healthiest on the outside, then I need to put the same effort into making sure my body is healthy on the inside too.

No questions, just any advice would be much appreciated! 

Just a Number

Time for another honest post over here. I usually like to keep things light and fun, talking about food and fitness and outfits and daily life, but I feel like honesty is really needed in the blog world and since I know a lot of you out there can relate to these posts in some way, I like to keep myself accountable and also ask y’all for some advice from time to time.

Remember this post from about a year ago? That was one of the hardest posts I’d ever had to write but the responses I got were incredible. I promised that I was going to start eating more, stop tracking calories, etc. Well, it took me quite awhile–at least half a year–to get to the point where I felt almost okay doing those things. I stopped tracking my calories earlier this year, and it’s been so freeing. I’ve been eating more than I was a year ago–I don’t know if it’s ‘enough’ but I feel a lot better, more energized.

However, one little thing is still playing with my mind…the scale. My mom bought a scale for the first time during my ED recovery so she could monitor my weight. She hasn’t weighed me in over a year and a half…but that doesn’t mean the scale’s gone unused. Oh no! Every opportunity I get (aka being home alone when I’m on school breaks or weekends I come home), I hop on that scale…and I’m always disappointed with the number. It doesn’t help that just a year ago, my BMI was fairly underweight–I was restricting (though I was eating some things that I wouldn’t touch now, because now I’ve focused my ‘restrictions’ on eating clean) and actually working out less than I am now. So now that I’ve regained to my post-ED goal weight (which, admittedly, is also slightly underweight), I feel like shit. I keep thinking, “How could I have gained that much weight in a year, when I’ve only been eating a little more and working out way more, including weight training?” It makes me mad to think that a year ago, or a few years ago when I was really struggling, I weighed less but was eating less cleanly. People talk about how easy it was for them to drop pounds once they cleaned up their diet, but for me, the opposite has happened. Don’t get me wrong, I really like eating clean, but it annoys me that I’m not seeing the results I want. It’s hard for me to look in the mirror most days, and not see a body that’s bigger than I’d like it to be.

Just to be clear, my goal now is not weight loss, but lean muscle gain. But it’s hard to see the number on the scale go up, when I have no real idea what my body composition is. Silly me for assuming I’d be ultra-lean after just a month or so of strength training. I know real results take time, but I just feel so huge some days.

I know some of you have mentioned that you didn’t start seeing results until you upped your intake by a lot…but doing that still scares me. I have no clue what amount my body needs to thrive on and it scares me to increase. I’m definitely on the petite side so I feel like I really don’t need ‘that much’, but maybe my body is crying out for more fuel, and I’m just ignoring it. I would love to be able to eat more, but it’s just so far out of my comfort zone.

I need to remind myself that the number I see on the scale is just that…a number. It doesn’t tell me how much progress I’ve made, what my body composition is, what my real worth as a person is. I know I’m more fit than I was a year ago, but my brain hasn’t quite caught up and I’m sick of feeling bad about myself because I weigh more now than I did. Some days, I know I’m far from fat and I can actually appreciate my new-found muscle, but for the days that are harder, I just need that reminder that I’m more than the number.

I need to remind myself that there's not even that much of a difference between my body a year ago and today (March 2012 on left, March 2013 on right)

I need to remind myself that there’s not even that much of a difference between my body a year ago and today (March 2012 on left, March 2013 on right)

Any advice on how to get out of this numbers mindset? 

Happy 1st Birthday

I can’t believe I almost forgot about this, but AlmostVegGirlie turned one year old on May 24th! When I first started this blog, I didn’t really think it would make it this far and I definitely didn’t anticipate having so many amazing followers and commenters. You guys have really made this blog what it is today and I’m so glad you keep coming back to see what kinds of shenanigans I’m up to 😉

My blog one year ago was kinda completely different. It had a different design, way too many emoticons and not as good of photos. A year ago, I was a flexitarian–eating vegetarian a lot of the time, with maybe some chicken or seafood a couple times per week. Now I’m almost totally vegan, and have discovered all kinds of new food that I didn’t know existed last year, like tempeh and almond milk ice cream and kale. I’ve gone from eating overnight oats almost every day for breakfast to switching it up with homemade pancakes, banana softserve and smoothies-in-a-bowl. I’ve kept my passion for experimenting in the kitchen but trying new things like raw desserts and veggie burgers. I’ve tried out new ways to exercise and fallen even more in love with yoga and tennis. I’ve slipped in my ED recovery but am working my way back up to being completely happy and healthy. I’ve made many ‘virtual’ blogger friends (you guys!) and I am so glad to know you guys and your blogs.

The first recipe I ever posted–strawberry melon gazpacho.

Thanks for sticking with me, and here’s to (at least) another year!