I finally got in to see my nutritionist on Thursday. She was none to happy. She took my body fat %. For the first time I really didn’t want her to and because of that she insisted. For a woman of my age, she said the minimum acceptable body fat is 20%. I haven’t been at 20% most of my life because I’ve always been athletic. I’m sure it was high when I gained weight back during my HCV treatment, 2006-2010. I couldn’t get the weight off no matter what I did and then after a traumatic even in 2012, I plummeted to my lowest weight ever and went into IOP in Spring of 2013. My body fat % was unreadable it was so low.
Having said all that, recently it had gotten up to about 21%, after 3 years, which was pretty horrifying. It was because my ability to exercise had been significantly diminished due to physical reasons. The thing is, I was bothered but not overly upset. It was normal right? I hate being normal but it was what it was. However, my last surgery solved my limitation issues. I hadn’t realized that the “only” reason I wasn’t over exercise was due to my limitations, wow. I started going for long walks outside again. The snow doesn’t bother me since I have very good cold weather gear, and it’s motivating. My pain has been minimal so I’ve been doing weights, just some, but getting out of control with stuff like leg lifts, crunches, pushups and so forth. As a result my body fat % dropped from 21 to 17% in 3 weeks. My weight hasn’t really decreased too much but she said that I lost 8-9 lbs of body fat but gained muscle so it wouldn’t show too much on the scale. The minimum body fat for a young athletic woman is 18% just to give some reference.
I asked her why this happens all the time. She said I have the genetic makeup and hormones that allows for fast muscle build which results in rapid decreases in body fat. She also said that (normal, athletic) people would kill to have my genetics.
Thus far the only thing I eat is protein & fat, nothing else. She explained that this causes a build up of nitrogen in the body which will effect the liver and kidneys. I’ve also dabbled a little with laxatives which shocked me because I used to use them severely and swore them off forever. She explained that use of them causes the intestinal walls to weaken and finally collapse. That then requires a lot of surgery and gut surgery is extraordinarily painful. I don’t want to live with a colostomy bag! That’s fine, I stopped. They don’t do anything for me anyway so what’s the point.
She said I have to eat carbs, period. We agreed with 1 portion, split in two halves a day to start. I refused to increase my calories though. She also said absolutely no exercise, none. That’s usually how it goes. Same thing different day. I apologized and she said that was not needed since this is how it is. She gets it. She understands that at a certain point, my behavior is ruled by anorexia and not by my good sense; she knows how to work with that.
I’ve been with her on and off since 2001. I met her when I was in Avalon ED Center which has since closed. She’s one of the best so despite the cost, I’m glad she’s on my team. Compassion oozes from her but she’s also stern when needed. She finally created a website: here.
How have I done so far?
Awful. It’s hard to acknowledge anything good thus far. In EDA (next update) that is a challenge but it is nearly impossible. More on that in my next post, update #3.
Yesterday I did a ½ portion of rice. I couldn’t psychologically face doing a second serving. It took forever to eat the first! I was kind of triggered by one of the ED movies I watched. Well, not really, I was already off my rocker with my thinking. I ended up exercising but at least not walking. I didn’t realize I actually have no control! It was both scary and exhilarating. I know that sounds weird but that’s what the ED does, doesn’t it? It really is like a drug. I was okay the rest of the evening. If I don’t stop, she’ll threaten a higher level of care. I mean, it’s not really a threat since I can’t pay for it, doubt the VA will and besides, due to my GI issues I’m fairly certain no one would take me on. My therapist said they’d just tube feed me, even though I’m normal size! That would be pretty awful. Plus, it’s not my stomach or eating that’s the issue. It’s my gastric system so if the liquid nutrients is anything but soy, I’m screwed anyway. The best scenario is to get it together and avoid it altogether. A better threat would be their deciding not to work with me anymore. That always scares me no matter how much they assure me that won’t happen. They actually care. They actually want me to be better. That is what keeps me going. When I have no faith in myself, I have faith in their faith of me.