*disclaimer: I am not a healthcare professional yet. Therefore, anything that is stated in this blog is from personal experience and research that I’ve done. If you or someone you know is seeking out a recovery method, converse with your healthcare professional first. I am not your doctor.*
Hey y’all! I’m back again! Upon a couple of requests from Instagram and what not I am posting a WIAW (What I ate Wednesday)! As many of you know by now I have chosen to go with the Minnie Maud method for anorexia-athletica recovery. I gave a link to the guidelines for this recovery method in my last post. And this post I’m going to get a little more detailed about what I went through and what I’m currently going through in using the method.
Now, my journey through the Minnie Maud method started when I realized that I wasn’t all that serious about my recovery. I wanted to gain weight. I was gaining weight. However, I wasn’t free. I was still only eating between 1500 and 2000 cal a day. I was still very limited as to what I included my diet as well. My chiropractor kept reminding me of how small I was. It just kept grading on my nerves. Finally, I came across a picture on Instagram from @dropsifjules about her experience in using this method and why she would do it again. I quickly went to her post, read over it and read over the other materials that she had included in her blog relating to that topic. I then went on to do further research in regards to this method. I even continue to do so today! And really it all makes sense!
You see, in the Minnie Maud method, one who is recovering looks at their age range and where they are as far as their eating disorder is concerned. The MINIMUM intake requirement for someone in recovery is 2500 cal. For my age bracket between 2500 and 3000+. Say whatttt????? Yes, that’s right! 3000+ calories a day! PLUS, no working out! I know it sounds crazy and it’ll freak anyone with an eating disorder out! First off I will say that you need to gradually increase. Just jumping to 2500 cal after depriving yourself for years is not safe. It’s in fact, irresponsible. Gradually increase by 100 to 200 cal every few days.
So, I’m sure the question has arisen as to why one would need so many calories. So, I’m going to answer that. While taking physiology last fall, I learned that the body is a live organism that functions primarily on the nutrients that it is given. Each cell exchanges a certain amount of sodium and potassium which creates an imbalance inside the cell so that other nutrients can be exchanged and brought into the bloodstream for proper functioning of the body. When someone deprives them selves of nutrients those exchanges are not being done properly within the cell. This can cause damage not only to the cells, but to the muscles, and many organs of the body. In order to compensate your heart rate drops, hair falls out, you get cold, menstruation stops, etc. in order for your body to reserve what little energy it has to keep you alive. At one point your body will begin to eat itself and that’s when death begins to creep in. A good article to read it in relation to this is a life without anorexia. Your body needs all those calories in order to heal and restore everything that has been destroyed by the eating disorder. So, in order to properly recover one has to eat like an athlete in the peak of their performance! FYI for those of you who think they have to eat limited calories while in athletics… think again! The average Olympian intakes 3000+ calories a day in their peak. Why? Because they understand that they are constantly tearing muscles while training and they need those calories to help them repair and perform better! The same goes in and eating disorder! All that muscle, all those organs that have been destroyed due to lack of a proper nutrition, need every bit of nutrient that they can possibly get in! This means eating whole fat products like milk, olive oil, real ice cream, etc. refraining from taking any diuretics, using lemon water to purge, or even drinking vinegar as a purging option. This only prolongs the recovery period. The body will begin to react by swelling and holding onto things. This is one of the most uncomfortable pieces of recovery, however it’s necessary and worth it. Purpose for refraining from fitness is so that your body can heal without having to deal with the repairing of muscles that you’re tearing while working out. Once the body can finally trust you to continue to nourish it, it Will distribute the weight appropriately and settle into a weight that is proper for your body.That’s when fitness can begin.
This leads me into why I chose so late in my recovery to go with this method and stick with it. I was fed up. My muscles were hurting all the time. My body just wasn’t healing. My life was taken away and I wasn’t able to go for walks and do the things that I love without ending up in pain. I couldn’t figure out why until I started doing all this research. Here I was, not only healing from an injury, but healing from an eating disorder that nearly took my life. Restricting was only leading to further damage and prolonging my healing process. Once I begin to nourish myself I began to feel a difference in how my body felt! My energy levels went back up, my muscles began to feel better, and best of all… I was no longer isolated from the people I loved. There was a point where I had increased too quickly and suffered a bit. The side effects included exhaustion, depression, headaches. However, pushing through it was still worth it. What I learned from this is that there are still some foods that my body does and does not like and it’s OK to try to work around that so long as I’m not restricting and depleting myself. I now stick to a primarily gluten-free regime which has helped a lot of my headaches go away, I only stick to the exercises at my physical therapist has given me plus or minus a few walks here and there, and I’m learning to really enjoy food again. While my health care advisors have advised that I get into the pool and get ready to rebalance so I can run again, AND I feel that my body is ready to exercise… at this point, I’m choosing to go about gently re-introducing it.
I’ll be honest at the beginning of this program I’d gotten sick of food! It didn’t even taste good anymore! With the amount of calories I had to intake it was exhausting, tedious, and got to a point where it just wasn’t enjoyable. However, I’ve learned to balance it out and learn to live outside of focusing on what I’ve got to intake for the day. I learned to listen to my body and what I’m craving and that usually helps me enjoy what I eat. That all being said I’m going to include two days of eating. One is from when I was including pretty much everything whether or not it contain gluten. And one is from yesterday so you all can get an idea of what it takes to get those calories in. Remember that recovery is different for everyone, so this is just an example. You and a healthcare professional need to come to an agreement on what is best for you.
***A day of eating 3000+ cal while including gluten:
May 10, 2017
blueberry bagel loaded with cream cheese, jelly, glass of milk, apple =700 cal
Snack (9am and 12pm):
1 mango and 1 pineapple Chobani 2% yogurt =330 cal
2 Trader Joe’s rice crispy treats and a Trader Joe’s turkey and spinach Swiss cheese wrap
= 630 cal
Snack Salad 4:30: salad with 2 serve kidney beans, one serving walnuts a box of raisins, mixture of veggies, double serving of mango chipotle bolthouse farms dressing= 630 cal
Dinner 6:45pm: 1 Tony’s Pizza = 500 cal
Dessert 8 pm: 4 squares of Lindt dark chocolate with pecan butter =375 cal
Total: 3,165 cal
***A day of eating 3000+ cal while limiting gluten
Gluten free pancakes, low-fat cream cheese, 2 tablespoons of honey glass of milk, apple ~ 520 cal
Chobani simply 100, 2.5cups of mixed fruit ~302 cal
Two red bell peppers, 5 tablespoons of Trader Joe’s hummus, and a sunflower butter sandwich (extra sunflower butter) on Ezekiel bread ~655
One head of Romain lettuce, two servings of baby carrots roasted, One cup of roasted broccoli, Red onion, x-large serving of Colby Jack cheese, two servings kidney beans, and two servings of cilantro avocado dressing. ~ 555cal
1 & 1/8 cup sunny select beef-aroni (imitation Rice-A-Roni) One egg plus one egg white fried ~440
2 cups breyers salted Carmel ice cream =600
NOTE: I do count vegetables as calories! However, lettuce I only count as half of its nutritional value . For example, two large red bell peppers is equivalent to 80 cal. Two servings of carrots is equivalent to 75 cal, etc, one head of romaine I count as only 50 cal when and actuality it’s approximately 105 cal
now, before I leave you all I will say that to those of you who have been on this journey with me and have been of support, thank you! You will have no idea how much that means to me! Y’all have been part of why am alive today! To those of you who are viewing and are critical of my journey nothing personal but keep your criticism to yourself. You have no idea what someone goes through when they’re battling and eating disorder. Therefore, comments like “here take some of my fat” or shoving things in my face and acting like if I don’t eat them then I’m not recovering are not funny gestures. They are honestly rude and potentially triggering despite how the person doing those things might view them. I’m not in anyway trying to offend anybody, just speaking my heart and mind. Recovery is a sensitive thing. When you’re insensitive to someone who is recovering, you’re just adding to the pressure.
In closing, I just want to let everyone know that June 2 is the worldwide eating disorder awareness day! It’s also my birthday !!! So, I’m praying about composing a special post for that day and possibly doing something to spread awareness! If anyone has any suggestions, please leave them in the comments below!