Morning Sickness, We Meet Again Old Friend… (Recovery Progress Check)

Morning sickness…. oh how I loathe you.  You sure know how to ruin an appetite.  You even know how to ruin the sight or smell of food.  You can render me completely useless at all but the most menial of tasks.

So you can blame morning sickness for my lack of a WIAW post.  Because today it would be more like “What I didn’t eat Wednesday.”

Since I’d rather not think about food, I think it’s a good idea to reevaluate my recovery progress given the fact that the game has changed a great deal.  It’s been roughly 2 months since I made the decision to completely rid myself of restrictive and disordered eating and finally heal the damage it has caused to my body.  One of the major components of this was for my fertility to return, and that has happened far quicker than I could possibly imagined (and for that I am so so thankful!)

Tomorrow I will be 6 weeks pregnant, and so much has changed for me in the 2 short weeks that I have known about it.  My good old friend morning sickness decided to hit me like a freight train the day after Easter.  I have had perpetual nausea since then, though the severity seems to go up and down throughout the day.  But in general, mornings are awful and late in the evening is pretty bad too.  I had it pretty bad with my last pregnancy too, all the way up until 20 weeks.  It seems to have hit me earlier this time around, so hopefully it will end sooner as well?? (Please?!)

Another thing that MS is capable of is effectively ridding me of any desire to restrict food whatsoever.  It is so hard to get even a small meal down.  My mindset has completely switched over to “you need to eat as much as you can to nourish this baby!”  Of course, easier said than done.  Lucky for me, this isn’t my first rodeo, so I have a few tricks up my sleeve to help.

  • Eating in bed before waking up.  A few crackers and sips of juice.  Take about 20 minutes to digest the little snack before even attempting to get up.  Unfortunately this means getting up before the toddler does, but it’s worth it.
  • Not letting my stomach ever be completely empty.  Sips of juice or even soda (grape soda and ginger ale are best for me) throughout the day can be helpful.
  • Eating what sounds good in the moment or what I think I can tolerate.  Sometimes that means going out of my way to get what I want.  Sometimes that means going to get food elsewhere despite the fact that you had a homemade meal planned for the evening.  Sometimes that means making flippin biscuits from scratch because you literally don’t think you can choke down any other breakfast foods in the house <– helloo, that was my Monday morning!
  • Doing what you can to avoid smells or foods that may trigger MS.  Sometimes that means cooking food that has a less pronounced smell or flavor.  Sometimes that means buying already cooked food.  Sometimes that means asking your husband to cook (gasp!) while you lay in bed upstairs with your toddler doing kamikaze jumps off the bed frame.

So right now, my goal is to do what I can to maintain my weight or gain a few pounds if I can.  Since the day I felt myself ovulate, my weight was stable at 148 for several weeks.  My weight seemed to redistribute during that time from my tummy to my legs and butt and even my arms.  My arms are so much thicker!  They look like they did when I was in high school (pre-ED). But there’s a fair amount of muscle under there so it’s cool.  I definitely don’t have defined ab muscles, but my stomach has flattened out considerably.  (That ain’t gonna last long!)  And my butt has outgrown the vast majority of my pants.  I even have a pair of maternity shorts that are too small!  Crazy.

The thing I’m starting to worry about now is that I might actually lose weight instead of gain during the first trimester.  It is normal in singleton pregnancies to gain 0-5 pounds in the first trimester.  I have done my best to eat what I can when I can over the past 3 days, but I have already lost 1 lb.  I am hoping that this is just due to being less hydrated than usual rather than true fat loss.  I know that it is usually harmless to lose weight in the beginning as long as you make up for it later, but I’m really worried given the fact that I just managed to hit my healthy weight before becoming pregnant.  Is it possible to ever NOT worry about the baby?  Sheesh.  Fortunately, MS is a good sign of a healthy, thriving fetus so at least there’s that.  I also have my first appointment on Tuesday with my midwife, so she will be able to answer all my questions.  She is wonderful.

So yes, the game has changed quite a bit.  But in a way it is still the same.  I’m still trying to gain weight.  It’s just that before, I had mental roadblocks to weight gain.  Now the obstacles are all purely physical.  The stakes have changed too, though.  Before it was just my own health I was concerned with.  Now, I have to do what’s healthy for both baby and me.

For now, I can be at ease with the fact that I probably won’t have to deal with ED related thoughts until after the baby is born.  Hopefully this time around, I can do things better.  I have learned a lot!

Oh!  Almost forgot!  Happiest of happy birthdays to my wonderful husband, who is already doing an awesome job of helping with the things I’m unable to do.  I am so grateful and so lucky!

Weekend Musings + A Mini Progress Check

HOW BOUT THEM CATS?!?!?!

This weekend was full of basketball, good friends, and good times!  Kentucky is headed to the Final Four and Lexington is getting crazier by the minute.

On Friday we went to a friends house and grilled out burgers (with the free ground beef I scored!).  We topped them with cream cheese and sweet chili sauce… ok I know, sounds like the weirdest burger topping EVER but it was SOOOO GOOOOD!  We then put the baby to bed upstairs and sat around the fire pit talking about randomness until the game started at 9:45.  Somehow in the conversation, I opened up to my friends about my hormonal problems/infertility and my need to gain weight.  I’ve always been a very private person about things like this, but I can’t tell you how good it feels to actually talk about that stuff to real people!  Their reactions were much more positive than I was expecting and I feel kinda stupid for trying to hide stuff all the time.  I once heard at church that we intimidate others with our strength and connect to others with our weaknesses.  What a great example of how true this is!

Saturday was supposed to be the day of my big half marathon race.  I was registered and everything.  This was definitely one of my biggest obstacles to committing to full recovery… I just really didn’t want to let this race go.  But I did.  And the world is still turning.  On the bright side, I still got to go to the race as a volunteer.  The swim team I coach used it as a fundraising opportunity, so we were there cleaning up around the finish area.  But goodness, the weather was AWFUL.  It started out fine but the temperature plummeted and the rain and wind just kept picking up.  By the end, I was honestly glad I didn’t run it!

We spent that afternoon doing some major house cleaning and we started working on the master bathroom (which is currently not in use… our house was a disaster when we bought it last year!)  We went to another friend’s house for dinner that night.  The host is from California and her parents send her fresh produce all the time.  That girl can cook!  I am always so impressed with her dishes!

We went to the early church service on Sunday and then I worked in the nursery for the later service.  In the afternoon we went to yet another friends house to pick up some plants they are trying to get rid of since they are moving. We came home with several strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, arctic kiwi, and blueberry plants.  I think we are all set for berries this summer, y’all.  So excited about this!!!

After that, the cats played in the Elite 8 against Michigan and WE DID IT AGAIN!  So it’s on to the Final Four!

As of today, I have been through 5 weeks of ED recovery.  I thought I’d do a little “mini progress check” rather than a whole post.  There will be some numbers posted here, just FYI.

  • I am still gaining weight – it does not seem to be slowing down.
  • I have gained an additional 3 lbs since my last progress check.  My BMI is now 21.5.
  • Extreme hunger is gone.  What I’ve noticed is that my amount of weight gain does not seem to correlate with my actual intake.  For example, I’ve had weeks where extreme hunger has caused me to eat waaaayyy above my minimums, and weeks where I seem to be right on my minimums.  Yet I still seem to gain about 2.5 or 3 lbs a week.  I am really starting to see evidence that what I’ve been reading on Your Eatopia is true!  There is no need to fear extreme hunger!

How do you feel about running or any other aerobic exercise for those who are recovering from an ED?  Can it be done in a healthful manner?

Any ideas or recipes with berries?  I am probably going to end up with tons all at once!

Also, follow me @sydwitz on Instagram!  My account is set to private but I will approve all my lovely blog readers!  My pics are mostly babies and food!

Recovery Progress Check – 1 Month!!!

I’ve made it through one solid month of legit ED Recovery and life is good!  Since I’ve made it this far, I think I’m going to cut back to doing these posts once a month from now on until I feel like I’m 110% recovered.  And then it’s probably still a good idea for me to sit down and reevaluate myself occasionally to make sure old habits aren’t slipping back in unnoticed.  P.S. If I do ever start to do that – please, by all means, call me out on it!  I need some accountability here, peeps!

Body

** I have posted any numbers or potentially triggering info in white.  Just highlight it with your cursor if you’re interested. If not, then just read through!**

My weight is still going up, but it seems to be slowing down.  So far I have gained 12 lbs.  It seems like such a large amount of weight to gain in a short period of time, but I am surprisingly okay with it.  I have gone from a BMI of 19.4 to 21.1.  I know there’s a possibility that some of it could be water weight, but I’m not counting on it.  I still have some trouble with bloating, but it has gotten much, much better (i.e. it is no longer painful, just merely unpleasant).  I don’t have any soreness or fatigue anymore, but I have been really sleepy lately – yet having trouble sleeping at night.  Another weird thing is that I have seen some minor breakouts, which I haven’t had since college.  Could this be a sign that my hormones are going back to normal?? Hope so!!

Hunger/Satiety

I really felt like my hunger was starting to stabilize for a while.  I was comfortable eating my calorie minimums and seemed to feel the sensation of hunger at appropriate times (which I did my very best to respond to at all times!)  However, just last night, extreme hunger decided to visit me again in the wee hours of the morning.  I had to get up and eat at 5 AM, which sucked because I was soooo tired!  But I started feeling nauseous, which for me is a sign that I need food, stat.  (Does this happen to anyone else?)  I was finally able to squeeze in an hour of sleep after that.  The extreme hunger is still lingering today – I will most likely eat well above minimums, and I’m cool with that.

Emotional

Never better!  I think spending some time at home with my family in TN was just what I needed.  I’ve been able to draw my mind away from food and body image and focus on more important things.  I honestly can’t remember my last drama-filled “I’m so fat and I hate my life” emotional breakdown, so things are clearly moving in the right direction.  Spending some time outdoors this weekend has also lifted my spirits; there’s definitely something to be said about the powerful spiritual connection with nature and it’s positive effects on mood.  It also doesn’t hurt that I have a few sets of new clothes that actually fit me now.  It’s hard to be happy when your size 2 jeans are squashing your internal organs and you can’t breathe, and your muffin tops have gone to like professional bakery level.  Okay that was an exaggeration, but you catch my drift.

So yes, I’d say that my progress so far is pretty much awesome!  Have a wonderful week everyone 🙂

It's a good day to have a good day

Do you think face breakouts have something to do with hormonal change?  Or completely unrelated?

What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten in the middle of the night?

 

 

 

Recovery Progress Check – 2 Weeks

Well… it has officially been 2 weeks since the start of my recovery!  I think it is important to take time to reflect on my progress in the process.  It’s helpful in that it helps me identify problems and obstacles and gives me time to think of solutions.  It is also motivating and empowering to see how far I’ve come and how my life is changing for the better.

If you’re struggling, that means you’re progressing.

My theme for the past 2 weeks – pretty much just struggle-bussing my way through it.

How I’m Feeling Physically

A lot of the soreness and exhaustion has started to dwindle.  Last week I had some truly epic upper back pain (which is weird because all my back injuries in the past have been lower back!).  Like it was bad enough to keep me awake at night.  Thankfully I have recovered.  It is still amazing how sore and tired I’ve been after zero exercise.  I really hope that this is a sign of healing!  I am still having some trouble with digestion… some cramping and bloating.  I had a few episodes of extreme painful bloating again – so miserable!  When will this end??  I’m sick of wearing baggy clothes to hide the belly!!

Hunger & Satiety

I’d say my “extreme hunger” is starting to go away.  The first week it was rather persistent, and now it seems to come and go.  For instance I’ll have a normal appetite all day, but then I’m just never full after dinner… I just keep eating until I go to bed and then will have to get back up out of bed to eat more!  Maybe I should try eating more during the day, even when I’m not hungry.  I’ve been craving rich foods, but not particularly sweet foods.  Weird… I’ve always had a sweet tooth!

I haven’t ever felt “out of control” as many people do when they first start following the MinnieMaud guidelines, but deep down I sometimes feel like I’m eating more than I should or more than I need.  I haven’t been counting calories but I am definitely in the ballpark of what is recommended.

I also have to admit that I sometime miss that feeling of emptiness.  I don’t understand it, but there has been a few times where I don’t want to eat and I want to feel that hunger.  These are probably feelings that I need to fight!

How I’m Feeling Emotionally

Ugh emotional basketcase would be an understatement you guys.  I feel so bad for my husband – he’s put up with some major crap this week!  I’m not even kidding when I say I was up all night on Tuesday crying my eyes out because I thought my husband hated me.  Completely false.  I blew something he said way out of proportion and then assumed he was angry at me when really he was just stressed at work.

I also hung out with an old friend who I used to swim with.  She is so tiny – she’s lost a ton of weight since she quit swimming.  It was hard not to stare at her thigh gap the whole time (ugh embarrassing but true!).  I couldn’t help but wonder if she is struggling with disordered eating too?  I felt these confusing mixed emotions… I was jealous of her body but at the same time was concerned that something might be up.

Body

I have not weighed myself in two weeks!!  I therefore do not know my weight or BMI, but I do know that I have gained weight.  A good guess would be 6-8 pounds.  I can’t wear my pants anymore.  I’m pretty much confined to yoga pants at this point.  Incidentally, the idea of dressing nice has been more appealing to me lately; perhaps I am just looking for a confidence booster – a way to make myself feel beautiful.

I set aside a small amount of money in the budget this month for new clothes.  I bought a pair of crops and a shirt.  I went up one size in the crops and debated going up another size for more potential weight gain.  But I am secretly hoping that I don’t gain *that* much.  Plus, the pants are uber stretchy and are meant to fit tight.  The most difficult part of the whole experience was the fact that I had to accept that I can no longer wear the styles that I used to… it just doesn’t suit my body anymore.  I feel much more comfortable in more “mature” and modest clothes now.

I have also noticed the development of cellulite in various places.  I know I’ve always had a tendency to get it around by butt and outer thighs, but I have it in my stomach!  Yeah I’ve gained weight, but I’m still technically considered the low end of normal… how is it possible that I have cellulite on my stomach??  Will this go away once I am fully recovered? I am super nervous about wearing a bikini in May…

Social/Hobbies

I still feel kind of socially withdrawn.  I still want lots of alone time (and by alone time I mean mommy & toddler time!).  Social situations still create a lot of anxiety for me – even when food isn’t involved.  I guess I’m just not comfortable in my own skin and this is something I need to work on.  However, I don’t think there is anything wrong with this social isolation.  According to Stephen Covey in 7 Habits, private victories precede public victories – we must first become independent before we can become effectively interdependent.  Right now I am still in the “dependent” stage… I am a work in progress, and that is okay!

As my ED began to consume my life, I began to lose interest in things I once loved.  Right now the only thing that has caught my interest is fashion – mostly due to the fact that my body is changing and I am in need of new clothes!  As much as I want to embrace and love my new body with clothes that flatter me, I don’t want to use fashion as a coping mechanism for weight gain.  I don’t want to feel dependent on it.  I want to feel just as beautiful naked as I do when I’m dressed my best!

So that’s all I’ve got to report for now.  Couple questions for anyone who’s been through this before… Did you get cellulite and did it go away?
Also, using fashion as a way to make yourself feel good about your looks – healthy confidence booster?  Or unhealthy coping mechanism?