My father actually said that to me last night. I tried to act as if I had no reaction, but of course, my brain was screaming.
Are you insane, man?! Have you seen me lately? I am in NO WAY “too thin’. My weight is maintaining!
I feel gross. All I can think about these past few weeks is losing these “extraneous” pounds. I know it’s not an option, of course. I am right on the border of being “too thin” for me. In all honesty, my weight is probably maintaining because I’ve gained some muscle and my percent body fat has dropped ever so slightly.
Much to my distress, my body operates best at a BMI of 21. (Okay, more like 21.5 or 22, but I am terrified to allow myself to gain those last few pounds.) A loss of even three measly pounds would likely send my anorexic brain into full swing and it would just about be over, with a relapse in full swing before I even came to my senses.
So from a recovery stand point, no matter how much I hate it, no matter how desperate I am to just lose “a few pounds”, I can’t. Not if I have any hope of doing what I dream of in life — which, I can assure you, does not involve bouncing in and out of treatment centers for the next 10 years.
I’m hunkering down this week and working on my graduate school applications: 3 Ph.D. programs, 1 Psy.D. program, 2 Master’s programs. That’s a lot of essays. I am continually reminding myself that if there is any hope of my writing a decent entrance essay, I really need to eat.
I need carbs, because those are the only macronutrient the brain can use for fuel.
I need fat, because it creates the myelin sheath that transmits all those ground-breaking ideas I’ll state in my essays.
I need protein, because my heart is going to be working overtime, anxiety wise, and we need to make sure that little muscle is still okay at the end of this process.
And those are enough reasons (I think) to get me through the next 4 weeks, when all this application mess will be over. I can’t promise that I’ll be able to put it entirely on the back burner, as much as I wish I could, because I know that in the back of my head is always going to be the refrain, “Okay, so you can’t lose weight right now, but you’d better not gain any!”
So maybe in 4 weeks I throw myself headlong into a relapse. My therapist actually told me to do so on Monday. She said that I needed to really hit rock bottom – in real life, not just in treatment – and then decide if I want to recover. So hey, in 4 weeks, when my entire future isn’t on the line, maybe I’ll do that.
The better, more favorable option is that with 4 weeks of solid nutrition and urge surfing, I won’t even care to engage in behaviours when I get the time.
I really hope that’s the case.