A “fun” dietitian appt

Oh man was I fun for L to deal with on Thursday. I am stubborn, resistant to change, doubtful, and and in denial when it comes to nutrition and my meal plan. I would say that my largest pitfall is believing every word she says is a lie.

I was pretty grumpy going into our session which didn’t help the situation. Most of it was the same things I’ve heard again on repeat for months: you need to eat more of fats/carbs/protein, eat enough if you want to exercise, keep completing your food log, follow your meal plan.

I look in the mirror and judge the excess food I’m consuming. All I can think about is the fat and weight I must be gaining. I voiced my concerns and how I’m convinced my treatment team is trying to make me fat. She attempted to reassure me by sharing I haven’t gained anything since starting out there. I so don’t buy that. It just doesn’t make sense with the amount of food I have been eating, etc.

L fought Ed with logic, which is the only way to actually convince me of anything. When I claimed she was trying to make me fat, her response was pretty shocking: “if my goal was to make all of my clients continue to gain weight forever I would be out of a job.” I haven’t heard that before. Usually it’s questioning why they would want to make me fat, which can be answered and explained in a disordered way. This has proof. She’s right, there is no way anyone would stick with her if they ballooned out forever on their meal plan. This was the one point in our conversation where I was able to combat the ED.

How do you feel about my meal plan? 8 words that I could have refrained from saying. I hate her answer. L doesn’t believe that my meal plan is enough. It’s currently ~2/3 of what I came out of CFD with, exchange wise. Her exact words were “You are on the lowest amount that I am ever okay with.” Obviously, she needs to increase it, probably to what it was before restriction happened. The problem is that I’m not meeting my meal plan as it is. I’m coming off pretty serious restriction for the last few months, but apparently not fast enough. She is not allowing me to do next semester unless I am able to increase my meal plan back to an acceptable amount. To be honest, that really pissed me off. I don’t think she has a right to keep me from my future when my physical health is fine and I’m going in a better direction in general. Deep down I know that this isn’t a normal or healthy amount I’ve been eating. More than anything, I’m terrified I won’t be able to do this.

L has her work cut out for her. I can talk back and give some nasty “Ed” looks while fighting every word she says, which she has already seen many times. The healthy part of me hates that I’m ignoring and defying the help that she is offering. I really do need to work towards building trust with her and my entire treatment team. Until then, we’ll be stuck with the wrath of my ED shining through. Sorry, L.

My Thanksgiving plan & how things went.

No, this doesn’t have anything to do with where I will be physically, what I’m wearing, etc. Having an eating disorder means lots of worry over holidays.

I am going to do my best to take care of myself which requires plans and back-up plans. I will get through tomorrow.

Have set food/exchanges for the meal. L and I worked together yesterday to figure out exactly how much and what I will have at dinner. One of the biggest stressors for me is going into any food situation without any ideas. Realistically I know this isn’t something I can always do; however, this is where I am today. Meal planning is what kept my anxieties down the most in residential and it’s exactly what I need to get through Thanksgiving. I will already have all I need on my plate before I have time to worry about portion sizes.

DBT skills. This is another residential trick I’m pulling out. I need distraction and a way to get through the ED thoughts. Because we have family around, it’s important for these skills I use to be discreet. My go-to use anywhere currently is my makeshift stress ball from CFD. It’s simple, basically rice inside of 2 balloon layers. That thing works magic! The consistency allows me to change the shape and squeeze it in my palm. We made our own during residential, but I actually took this one from the house as well because it’s perfect for me. There’s a very good chance this will be the skill I use at the dinner table. If not, I have travel size thinking putty. I can play with it in one hand while having the other free to eat. Outside of mealtime I have a few options to choose from. I absolutely love using my kinetic sand. There’s something incredibly peaceful about making shapes, writing words, or just feeling the texture. My lentils are another tactile one that instantly brings calm. I doubt I’ll use my large thinking putty but it’s another option. My biggest struggle will be actually pulling out my skills instead of wallowing.

Escape route. I am so thankful we have family over instead of going to a relative’s house. For one, this means I’m more comfortable. More importantly though, it gives me escape routes and places to hide it out. First and foremost is my room. The second I become too overwhelmed, I can head in and breathe a little. My mom will call this “antisocial” but given the circumstances I’m hoping she’ll get it. I most likely won’t close my door or anything, but just getting away from everyone else will be much needed. I can come in and play sims, blog, homework, love on Milo, etc.

Support. I love my mom and she is wonderful, but right now I can’t really go to her for support. For one, I’ve been lying and keeping my real status away from her. She thinks I am doing well and I really can’t hurt her. Given thi, I am turning to texting as a way of reaching out. I have my people (including my person <3) who will always be there. Heck, I am their text support too.

Prayer/asking the Lord for help. I cannot get through tomorrow alone and I shouldn’t have to. He wants to carry me as one of the hardest days of the year goes on. This is a valley for sure, but I’ve got to stay strong in Him.


I had these hopes going into the day that simply didn’t happen. My day brought restricting, tears, isolating, and being the worst person as I let my mom down. I feel like a failure, I really do. What I’m trying to learn, though, is that I cannot fail if I really tried. Eating anything is better than not eating. L is drilling this into my brain.

While I could sit and list off all of the things I couldn’t do, I will instead focus on the parts of my plan that did work out.

My biggest victory was in taking care of my needs via my escape routes. I was having a really hard time being with all of my family. It’s overwhelming even if I’m just sitting in the room where they’re all talking. I stuck it out for the half hour before dinner by distracting myself with my computer and TV in the background. After we ate I went straight to my room. I got some much needed chinchilla therapy and calmed down some. That wasn’t enough because my grandma and others would come in, so I left for my parents’ bedroom. I was able to close the door and just sit on my phone. I watched a few videos and drowned out the noise outside. I know that sticking it out with everyone would have made it all 10x more miserable. I am glad I could recognize that.

I used my skills! My stress rice balloon didn’t really leave my hand the whole night. I was constantly playing with it to get my focus on anything other than the disordered thoughts running through my head.

I may not have come close to completing my set meal plan, but it did help simply to use it as a starting point. I put all of the exchanges on my plate so that I could see exactly what I needed. There was little chance that I would finish it all to begin with, so I didn’t feel quite as bad when I didn’t. Regardless of the percentage I did eat, planning ahead of time helped. I ate more than I would have otherwise.

I am not very proud of Thanksgiving. I wish things would have gone better. My emotional state was terrible and consisted of many crying spells over not being at CFD. ED thoughts were on loudspeaker. As much as I really don’t want to, I am giving myself some grace. I did what I could. The day is over and now it’s time to keep going.

Dietitian

I have never had a dietitian who has worked with me and pushed me more than L (and also N at CFD <3). I’ve met with her only twice so far but I can just tell that this is exactly what I need. I admit, I was extremely skeptical and just assumed it would be terrible and I would have to pay hundreds to see someone else. Thank God I was very wrong about that.

The first moment we sat down was kinda terrifying. I’m not sure what all was going on but I do know how nervous I was. Would she make me go on a huge meal plan? Could I use my CFD meal plan still? Did she believe in the FV mealplan? Was it going to be once a month or something and not even be often enough to help at all? Did she really even know EDs that well?

All of that anxiety and worry was for nothing. We clicked right away. I’ve only had the experience of going into some form of treatment and being so comfortable/optimistic/certain it would help a few times. J, basically everything about CFD, and now L.

When we first met, she confirmed that it would be best to continue the meal plan I had been used to. Insert HUGE sigh of relief by me. How I had been eating wasn’t great. I skipped meals and restricted. The first goal was have 3 meals per day. That was scary but felt attainable at the same time. I didn’t quite make it there that first week. I felt pretty guilty as I headed into her office. She wasn’t pessimistic like I thought. She was happy that I accomplished 3 meals nearly every day. There wasn’t any expectation for me to be perfect from the beginning. This week’s goal is eat 3 meals again and hit slightly more than half of the mealplan I left CFD with. Again, she made this in a way that wasn’t too large a step from where I was but also not stagnate.

The two sessions I’ve had with her go very much like a therapy session. I never thought I needed or wanted this but it is a game changer. She really wants to know my thought processes. It isn’t just “how much did you eat? what did you eat? behaviors?”etc. Last week she instead presented a deeper conversation. L isn’t just concerned about the food. I shared my fears, what has triggered ED thoughts, significant events that happened, my treatment experiences, what helps/doesn’t help me, and anything else relevent to the struggles I am having with food. I can tell how much she values getting to know me and my eating disorder inside and out.

I’ve gotten some good suggestions and challenges so far. A huge surprise was her giving other options for supplementation than Ensure. She wasn’t saying Boost or one of the many other nasty, chemical tasting options used in the ED treatment world. Her goal is to find something I can use if I need that doesn’t taste like liquid punishment. I am a little weirded out by the freedom, actually. I’m not sure what exactly I’ll go with (or whether I’ll switch at all). I do only have 6 Ensure left, so the time to switch can be now. Two challenges came hand-in-hand: doing a comprehensive thought-tracking with my meal plan tracking and writing letters to “Ed.” I was 100% on board with the first part the second she said it. Letters to Ed, on the other hand, was a little flashback to FV (sidenote: she actually worked there as lunch support on Saturdays AND I met her during my inpatient stay!). I sat there not buying into it at first. I convinced myself she was wrong and this was a stupid idea, but decided to give it a try to prove how little it would help. As of now I really enjoy my thought logs and actually think the letters to Ed are helpful too.

Overall, I am very hopeful that this will bring growth and change. L is already becoming a vital support in my recovery. I am thankful that I made the decision to push past fear and see a dietitian again.

Planning for success at college.

I thought I would take some time to explain all of the resources/plans I have at college to keep me on track in recovery. By no means do I feel it will easily, but I feel very confident that I have the most care and best care available. My opinion on that may change after meeting my new therapist and dietitian. Even if they aren’t the right fit I will work to find someone who is. Anyways, here’s my list:

Therapy 1x per week. This is so essential for me. I honestly wouldn’t have gotten through last year without talking with J each week. Individual therapy is important and allows me to talk through whatever thoughts I have, whether it be ED, depression, anxiety, or even a random SH urge. I also get to check in and if my therapist sees a downward trend she can help me get out of it. I’m also a huge fan of therapy homework. S is my new therapist here on campus and she seems wonderful. I’m hoping she will be a great fit and I love that I get the perks of academic assistance (ie taking a test in a room with less people because 90 kids in a class makes me anxious or even if I need a break from class one day)

Dietitian with weight tracking. Yes, I am seeing a dietitian. I was the girl a year ago who claimed I was above having a meal plan, hated the dietitian I met with, made excuses to never go again, etc. Forest View this time around convinced me to change my thinking. That was actually a big part of why VH let me go so soon. He wanted me on a meal plan and being weighed often so that a relapse could be detected early. It makes sense. I’m open to it and glad to be going. I think since she’s also at the school I’ll have more help with meal planning. Plus I can hopefully resolve my lactose issue or confirm that I am intolerant and plan accordingly. I hope to see her weekly or at the very least be weighed weekly. I’m not sure how that will go but I see her this week.

Following my meal plan (yes for real this time!). I could technically say I folowed my meal plan for about a week last time, but even that’s a streth. Obviously, that needs to change this time around. I’ve had success for the most part so ar. I know it’s not going to be easy, espeically with my lactose resttriction, but I am willing to make it work. I’m hoping that with my dietitian I will hit 90% each week. That’s the goal for now because I know I will screw up sometimes or the dining hall might not have something. I’m going to try my best regardless.

Daily recovery devotional/work in recovery books. Faith and ED recovery go hand in hand. I really can’t tell you all the ways being in God’s word fights the ED thoughts and puts me in better spirits period. It’s wonderful. My goal is to start each mornign in the ED devo book J gave me and work in my recovery workbook daily as well. If I focus on that it will give less time for the ED to take over.

Coping skills. I have so many coping skills this time around. I bought lots of markers and pens and coloring books. I find that to be so helpful. I love listening to oworship music while doing so. Yoga will be a regular part of my day as soon as I pick up my mat from home. Crosswords and other logic puzzles are always engaging. Anything on my computer from netflix to playing sims to just browsing. I have made sure there never will be a time I don’t have something to distract me. This means distraction when I have meals alone as well.

Accountability. I will fill out my meal plan record every week and show my mom, therapist, dietitian. My mom texts me a few times daily to see if I’m on track/having a  hard time, which is wonderful. I’ll have my dietitian and therapist to be honest with. I would love to have someone at Calvin know what’s going on. I’m waiting on that for now but hope to tell someone part of this soon.

Outside support. For now, at least, I’m going to be relying the most on outside support in my mom, Livvy, Lily. It’s hard, but I want to do my best to stay on track and reach out if need be, even though they can’t be physically here.

I have infinitely more resources and options for treatment her. My hope for this year is tgat I get unto a good, healthy groove and use all the help I’m given. As J said at our last session, God put me here at Calvin for a reason. He knew I needed more help and the fact that everything is so close and there are therapists and a dietitian here is amazing. I don’t want to follow the ED’s plan of slipping below the radar into relapse anymore. I have hope that however hard, recovery is still worth it. Here’s to a fresh start and an amazing, healthy, reviving year!