Week 62: a 4 hour ‘breakthrough session’ with an eating disorder specialist

Hey guys

This weekend didn’t involve ticking off another activity from my weight loss bucket list like zip wiring or going on a Segway! No, apart from a couple of walks, it’s been a very quiet and reflective weekend after spending 4 hours on Friday talking to an eating disorder specialist but let’s check out this week’s news first:

What’s happened this week?

  • I did get my daily calorie limit over 900 calories last Monday and whilst the physical shock of doing that lead to a psychological wobble and my calorie intake dipping again, I’m currently back up to 650 calories a day
  • I’ve continued to stay off the scales for the past week

What could Erika improve on / next targets?

  • My next calorie target is to maintain over 900 a day. By last Monday evening having eaten more, I was in so much physical discomfort which is probably no surprise with my stomach needing to stretch and my instant response was to then cut back quite severely. But I’m back up a bit and I have to hold onto the fact that increasing is going to feel uncomfortable initially but I need to lean into that discomfort.

— ❤ —

When I booked this 4 hour session, a HUGE part of me wondered how it’d be possible to find things to talk about for 4 hours! I mean, was there enough to talk about for longer than a traditional 60-90 minute therapy session? Well, yes, it turns out there was lots to cover and doing this over Zoom from the comfort of my own home was perfect. I’m going to hold off sharing one of the main headlines about eating and stress as I’ll cover that in more detail either Wednesday or Thursday but here’re the other salient points from Friday:

  • I may well be scared to abandon the anorexic behaviour because the eating disorder is serving a purpose to help me cope with being a carer and Covid is preventing me from accessing my usual coping strategies of trips away. So, I need to think about alternative ways to cope with the stress that are far healthier than restricting my food to this level.
  • One thing I haven’t mentioned on my blog is that I have bipolar though I spend the vast majority of the time in the middle ground and my high and low episodes don’t shift very quickly. But the therapist said that people with bipolar are more likely to have eating disorders as a way of coping with changes in mood. And he wondered whether I’ve actually been experiencing a prolonged high as there’s overlap between the feeling of invincibility, sharpness in thinking, etc. He said that social rhythm therapy might be worth looking into where regulating food, sleep, movement and social situations can help mood.
  • I can change my vocabulary. So, I can aim for words like balance rather than control, guidelines/principles rather than rules. Although I’ve done intermittent fasting for over a year now, he said that this is becoming unhealthy for me because it comes with lots of shoulds and rules.
  • I may be holding onto a lot of shame around my body which is why I’m secretive (except with you lot!) about my weight. I don’t disclose it to anyone including doctors which I thought is quite normal. Perhaps it’s not????! But I’ve also been advised to look at ways to address my excess skin after losing half my body weight because it’s important that I stop hiding from my weight and size.
  • I’ve a special event coming up next month. I identified this one myself but wouldn’t it be good if I could look back later on this year about how I managed to go out for a meal to celebrate this event rather than look back with regret about how a meal felt beyond my capabilities.

There’s been a lot to think about and I’ve already been challenging my language so that it creates more flexibility in my mind. I’ve my second meeting with the specialist eating disorder dietitian later on today and I’m lucky that she works alongside Friday’s specialist so she will have seen the notes on the organisation’s IT system and hopefully help me address my next steps. Really… I do know what I need to be doing but I think it’s okay to admit that sometimes we need a helping hand so that we’re not doing it alone.

I’ll be back later in the week to talk about why we may turn to food in times of stress (can’t wait to share what Friday’s expert said about this as it makes complete sense in my head!). And I’ll soon be talking about excess skin in more detail along with some brave photos because, yes, I’m still hiding behind clothes despite my BMI now being in the healthy range. As ever, please feel free to share your diet / eating disorder / weight-related successes, frustrations or anything else on your mind.

Take care

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss including 21 lbs lost before bloggingStill to lose:Current weight:BMI:
164 lbs (last recordable weight)7 lbs165 lbs24.9
Not currently doing weekly weigh-ins as I’m trying to not be a slave to the scales!

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