Side Note: New Realization

Side Note: New Realization

(FYI I have been keeping this post for a while as I’ve been terrified for posting it and being insensitive…I hope no one feels this way!)

I just wanted to let you guys all in on how I’m doing these days, recovery and all. I know I have a lot of readers out there who like to hear about how everything is going to help them with their recovery.

Things have been going great as of late! The move to my new home up near Santa Cruz has been great and I am really loving my job. I have been here almost a month and I can’t believe how fast time is flying by! Eating here has been an adjustment of course, working all sorts of different hours with different types of work (sometimes we sit all day, sometimes we hike all day). I have been able to eat everything that I want and have been enjoying everything for the most part (and when I say most part, I mean that I’m loving eating everything, unfortunately my insides are not so happy. Boo).

There isn’t much to say about my eating really other than there has been absolutely no restricting. Don’t get me wrong though, there has been some emotional eating. But the only difference now is that when I eat emotionally, I don’t kick myself over it. I just make myself realize that it’s happened, make note of it, and move on as quickly as possible. It means there has been no restricting because of it, no over-exercising or guilty thoughts. I have been able to see how my body is reacting to various stimulus and working on providing it with what it needs (which now a days is mostly sleep. It takes me forever to get used to new places to sleep. Ugh).

I have been thinking about something a lot lately though, and aren’t quite sure what to think of it, because not for a second have I thought this in…well, never.

I went about two weeks without seeing Whit, adjusting to my new home and taking in some exciting runs throughout the forest, all the while watching my body change. I have noticed that without really having a regimented workout schedule or diet that I have been losing weight. I have no idea how much I weigh now compared to when I left my parents a month ago, but I’m sure it’s less.

Back in the day I would have jumped for joy over this realization. Losing weight without really working to do it?! Score! Nope, not today my friends. Now, I am worried.

Am I getting too skinny? Am I losing too much weight? I feel like it’s a stupid question to even ask…?  I feel like I am providing my body with what it needs to succeed with my everyday activities, but is it enough?

Years ago I would have told you that attracting a guy was all about being skinny. And my definition of skinny was just a bit skinnier than those Victoria’s Secret models. I worked endlessly with diet and exercise to try and achieve that kind of physique and of course never got there (I simply don’t have the genes for it!).  I thought back years ago when I was 100lbs at 5’6″ that I was still too fat and ugly to be loved by a guy (Thank goodness I don’t think like that anymore).

Now, I am worried about losing my butt. My hips. My boobs. I am worried about looking like a stick, having too many bones sticking out and dealing with that nagging pain in my butt where there isn’t enough fat to sit on. I am worried that if I am too up and down and not curved that my appeal will be lost. I don’t want to be this skinny again! I am now aware of how much Whit likes a lady, well, me, with some padding!

Am I crazy? I am surprised that I have turned to these thoughts because well, I never thought I would have them? This might seem like a juvenile or insensitive thing to think about, believing that I’m too skinny and wondering why when so many are trying so hard to lose weight. Believe me, I am thinking about all of you and hoping you all the best. I am sincerely sorry if I have offended anyone, obviously! But I’m just wondering…I thought I had met a happy medium with myself about how I looked only to be worried about how I look again, in the opposite direction as I have for the past ten years.

This probably seems totally scrambled and lame, but…idk. It’s just been sitting and kicking me in the back of my head for the past week…

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16 Responses to Side Note: New Realization

  1. clarebrady says:

    Wow! I mean what an amazing place to be, considering the past. I think it’s a wonderful sign of your place in recovery and health! I say keep eating intuitively like you are, but if you feel you’re getting thinner than you like, for sure eat a little extra to keep those lovely curves!
    But i totally get your confusion. Interested to hear what everyone else says.

    • Melissa says:

      Thanks for you comment Clare! I really appreciate your support, seeing as we have and are both going through the same things. I too am so happy to read about the leaps and bounds you have been making in your recovery and with your therapist lately! Same things happened to me a few years ago! It only gets better from here! <3

  2. sarah says:

    I’ve noticed that you were getting thinner, but didn’t want to say anything because I don’t like to comment on people’s bodies at all. I can’t say I have ever experienced losing weight without even trying, so I can’t really empathise and have very little good advice to offer. I do wonder if there’s a stressor in your life that is messing with your appetite signals. Moving and new job things could be it. I often realise I am very stressed not because I FEEL stressed, but because my stomach or other signal from my body (e.g. hair falling out, breakouts, headaches) tells me that I am stressed. I am rarely fully conscious of it because of years of a lifetime of trying to appear calm and collected. If your digestion hasn’t been strong for a while now, I’d also be careful to make sure you aren’t struggling with a deficiency.

    The mentality you have around it certainly seems good (and different for you!). And maybe it really is what your body wants to do, but often weight loss when you are already at a healthy weight is a sign that something’s a bit off. However, if you’ve been feeling great, then it may not be anything to worry about at all.

    • Melissa says:

      Sarah, thanks for the words of encouragement and reason! I would never taken back or anything if you mentioned that i might be looking thinner, to the point of maybe something was going on. But I can see your hesitation with someone with my past. I do agree that stress plays a huge part in how our bodies comprehend things, and I have too noticed that I have been having some serious break outs on my face (as in I had to start using face wash, which I haven’t used in almost 10 years!)…but it could also be the copious amounts of sugar I’m eating with the attitude of “I’m going to eat whatever I want…which includes lots of chocolate and cookies.” Heh! I’m trying hard to listen to my body and thinking about what’s best for it so I think I’ll stick to that and see where it takes me as I adjust. If things don’t get better, then I’ll probably go see a doctor. Again, thanks for your comment! I can always depend on you to put my mind at ease with these things!

  3. G says:

    I think you should accept your body as it is. You will probably shift back and forth over time. I always lose weight at the start of the field season- my body just needs less in the summer than it does in the winter. Worrying about being too skinny is like exactly like worrying about being too fat- not worth the brain space. Whit will love your body because it is YOU not because of a slight change in size.
    I had a similar thing happen when I got on my anxiety meds- I stopped stress eating and lost some weight. Even though it had been the weight I was always trying to lose, once it was gone AND my mind was in the right place, I missed it.
    I think that as long as you are feeling strong and not overly tired you are probably just adjusting to a new place. If you are not feeling as energetic as you usually do, I would check in with a doctor. You could have something physical going on, especially with your crazy digestive history.
    I am happy that you are doing so well. This is such a positive place on the webs.

    • Melissa says:

      Thanks G! I believe you are right that with every field season, especially going into summer, out eating habits change and so do our bodies. I have also started a new birth control that could be having these types of side effects too…so it’s something to consider, and I have. I have been feeling a bit run down lately and have had some blood work done in the past with nothing to be concerned about, but if things don’t change (as I’ve added in some much needed minerals and vitamins like B12) I’ll probably end up going to the doctor. And you’re right, the worry is not worth my brain space. I should be thinking about all the pretty and fun birds I get to play with. Thanks again for your comment! I hope your field season is going well with whatever you’re doing!

  4. Amy Lauren says:

    So glad things are going well for you Melissa :). I read about your 5K PR and that is amazing too- with recovery you actually run faster than you did, that’s really neat.

    It’s interesting how you look at the weight loss now. I guess just keep an eye on it, our bodies change constantly and go through ups and downs with stress and what we’ve eaten, activity, etc. I’ve read about set points, and that generally once we’re grown, aside from pregnancy our bodies stay within 5-10 pounds of that set point, so I guess unless you lose more than a couple pounds it’s probably not something to see a doc over, but that’s really your decision.

    Good luck with the digestive issues as well.

    • Melissa says:

      Thanks Amy, the race was great and I’m super stoked with my time that I got considering my lack of training! I hope to get a bit faster now that I’ve got some time to sit down and really think about how to build up my running strength! I guess too that I don’t quite know my “set point” but I believe I am at a weight that is close to where I was at the end of high school and was never worried about food/weight/exercise routines. I will keep an eye on things and if they get worse, I’ll definitely go see a doctor! Thanks again for your comment!

  5. Nadine says:

    Wow, glad your doing so well now Melissa it’s great to hear. I totally understand where your coming from though with regards to your weight. I’m sure your not getting too thin, I had the same problem as I just wasn’t used to it. If you do feel like you are really too thin then simply up your food intake :)

  6. Maggie says:

    Hi Melissa,

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the weight loss. 1. you ran an awesome 5k PR recently, and if your body was not comfortable where it was, I don’t think that 5k would have happened. 2. Probably between the start of field season, moving, new bc meds, and summer coming on, your eating habits have changed without you realizing it, and your body is adjusting. Also, as some others have pointed out, our bodies cycle through each year, and it’s natural to gain a bit in the winter and lose it again in the spring/summer.

    My first summer of grad school I slimmed down quite a bit (like you I don’t own a scale, but my clothes definitely fit differently), because I was eating so many delicious veggies and fruits from the farmer’s market, and not as much bread and meat. It wasn’t a conscious decision, the veggies were just there and delicious. My point is, it happens. Our bodies naturally shift. All the same, since you’ve been tired, and since you’ve stared a new bc, it might be worth it to have some bloodwork done just to rule out general deficiencies.

    Sounds like your new job is going super well for you! I love hearing your zest for life in this post…makes me happy. :)

  7. Krista says:

    Although I’ve never really had body issues, there have been times where I’ve lost weight due to stress, life getting busy, whatever and have been worried about it….similar to you. I know what my “comfortable” weight is and anytime I go below that by too much I worry that I’ll look like a rack or that maybe I’m sick. It’s a strange feeling, yes?! However, I do not think you are “strange” or “weird” for thinking this way at all. I would imagine it’s fairly normal….:)

  8. biz319 says:

    I am so happy that you are happy, let’s start with that first! I am not sure about the weight loss, and what could be causing it, other than maybe on the hiking days you aren’t getting enough intake? Maybe just adding some nuts, avocado to sandwiches would bulk up your meals?

    I am proud of how open and honest you are – I hope someone better than me has some answers for you!

    Oh, and I was on my friend Lori’s blog and she’s vacationing in Vermont – I thought you would love the bird pictures in this post!

  9. Megan says:

    That’s a great place to be. I mean, you are eating right and working out normally. I guess if you got too thin, you could add more calories. But it really could just be an effect of stress of moving + not seeing White + new job that will equalize itself in a few days. You never know.

  10. Suzan says:

    Melissa, you seem like such a sweet person to me and I am truly happy for you. The changes you went through must have been hard, but it seems you are doing well- I know I can’t judge a person only by looking on photos, but your eyes have been smiling ;). I know the struggle concerning curves. Once, they are too big, then they are about to disappear. It’s a bummer. I find that especially running comes down to flattening our girs’ chests…hehe. But well, you probably know what to do, the bodies are the teachers themselves, we only need to let them lead.

  11. g. says:

    Thank you for posting this. I’ve been reading your blog on and off for years, watching my struggles mirrored in your posts year ago, then lamenting my inability to make the strides you were (i.e. “Throw away a scale? I could never do that, I do not have the fortitude this girl does”). But these lamentations carried less force than the softer spoken but more deeply embedded message beneath your posts: change is possible, recovery happens. The power of sharing your personal growth as support for anonymous readers cannot be emphasized enough. You, unknowingly, have helped me gain weight, gain hope, gain momentum, end up in graduate school, etc. etc. You’ve helped me have faith (in myself, in the aggregate of minute positive and intentional choices).

    Lately, stuck both in a life-transition and fluctuating between a handful of pounds and fixated on the weight, on fighting the obsession, on being angry at myself for being angry at myself, afraid of being active and losing weight as equally as afraid of remaining stagnant– you know, I’m sure, this not-so-merry-go-round –that faith has been hiding out. I developed anorexia between 2006 and 2007 and was hospitalized for near heart failure, but 25 pounds (and osteoporosis, and serious damage to my teeth, and still no period) later, mental dregs of disordered behavior I no longer indulge hound and exhaust me nearly as severely as actions once accompanying and inciting them, and retrospectively downplaying the disorder’s severity. I don’t trust myself, I don’t love myself, I haven’t accepted anything. And, internally, as I type this, I’m berating myself for harboring those last three thoughts, being too weak to move past them, and for posting it! It’s an absurd cycle!

    Posts like this one, however, bring that faith right back under my wings, charging toward the possible. Insisting on it. Thank you again. And, of course, congratulations.

    • Melissa says:

      Thank you so much for this response. I can’t tell you how much this means to me, since I almost thought about giving up blogging, figuring no one was even looking at the blog anymore (granted I don’t blog often, but yeah).

      I am soooo happy to hear that my entries have been helping you through the years; it makes me feel so much happiness knowing that I could make a difference in someone else’s struggle with an ED, and for the better.

      I do hope that one day you are able to get out of that round robin that you speak of and I know oh-so-well. It sucks, point blank. It can make or break your day. But one day, it won’t. It has not broken my day in many many months. Throwing out the scale has been one of the best things for me. And I haven’t blogged about it, but now might, but at my current residence I do not have a mirror where I can see anything below my neck. Kind of strange, but in a sense SO GREAT for my body image. I’m able to go more with how I feel and how things fit, instead of how things “look”. Because in all honesty, I can still look at my body sometimes in a full length mirror and absolutely HATE it. But then there are moments where I don’t beat myself up over what I see and move on. It’s all you really can do when you know you’re treating your body as best you can, right?

      I wish you ALL THE LUCK and HAPPINESS in your recovery and your life. If you would ever like to talk to me via email PLEASE do not hesitate to send one my way! I am more than willing to send you any words of encouragement as I know that those words were my lifelines when I was struggling with myself the most!


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