Day 3 re-feeding recovery

I am now day 3 into a re-feeding stage and feel more empowered and motivated than ever.
I think it has been a long time building up to this and I have been reflecting a lot over the past few days (since the re-feeding and recovery process requires me to be super sedentary) hence…a lot of time and a lot of energy from all the food to pour my thoughts out haha.
I have now built up to around 2300Kcals per day, although want to try and get this to 2500 in the next few days and proceed with this. 2500-3000Kcals per day is the minimum requirement when in recovery since there has been 1000’s worth of calorie deprivation done which needs to be repaired. Restoring fat which is a hormone producing organ (not simply something ugly we all try to avoid). It is needed to produce hormones! No hormones, no bodily functions, thoughts, brain activity, insulation, reproductive activity…nada, nothing, nil!
Working up to this and always thinking, 1800-2000 kcals and being a little less sporty would be all the work needed..along with the long and more challenging phsycological battle that I know needs most energy and determination. However, I never actually re-thought the years that lead me to this.
I remember in my first appartment 2 years ago (when I first decided I wanted to cheange…yes this can be a long process), I had been living on around 400Kcals per day for around 4 months. In these early stages my weight plummited (not surprisingly). I didn’t realise the concequences at this stage and felt so proud of myself and in control that I had lost weight and adapted what I believed to be the figure and lifestyle I had always wanted.
On top of this scarily low calorie restirction, I was also walking around 2 hours a day. It would take me 30minutes to walk to work, although I would do extra walks in the morning to make me feel those 400Kcals were well deserved.
However, after around 5 months of continuously dropping and dropping weight, I started to notice the once flooding amount of compliments about my new slimmer figure turn to comments of concern. Concern that my family and friends think I should stop now…maybe even gain a little they said. A phrase I had until this point never heard in my life. Gain weight?? I have worked so hard to loose this, why would I ever want to gain weight!?
As the months went on I did gradually start increasing the calories since I noticed my energy levels dropping and the side effects of malnutrition were starting to hit me. Immense headaches and brain fog. It was although all the words I was hearing were like un comprehendable slurs that my brain couldn’t function. People would ask me questions. I had to work so hard to focus to process the words, often getting frustrated and anxious in the meantime to respond with an answer. I got angry and so aggitated. I knew it was because I needed to eat, but I simply couldn’t do it. All I would think is, no Sally just wait. You have a banana for your dinner waiting at home, just think of any excuse to get out of here, get home, get the banana and go to sleep.
My first challenge to myself seems a lifetime ago now. It was to eat outside of the house since I started to realise the negative and seriously anti social impact my rule of only eating what was on ”the plan”, calorie counted, miniscule amounts of food at the exact times within ”the rules”. I knew it would be a long day, I had a lot to do. I did something I never do, I took an apple, a snack with me outside of the house. I started to feel the oh so common head fog as I started to get weak and hungry after hours of walking, running my erans on a busy hot saturday and remembered I had an apple in my bag. I was sat on the metro. The perfect time to just eat. I toyed with the idea in my head for around 5 minutes, put my hand in my bag to get it, then said no, what are you doing, you can’t eat. Then something came over me, clicked in my head to think, what are you doing, your body is crying out for energy, you have it….just eat it. So I didn”t think anymore and reached for the apple ate it and suddenly felt a rush of energy as the sugar rushed to my brain. I couldn’t suddenly think again.
Ever since this day and the realisation of what I have been doing to myself living this way, I have been testing myself and working myself up through challenges which has taken around 2.5 years to get to a point where I feel I am around 70% recovered.
Test with small foods such as fruit built up to cereal bars, cereal bar worked to chocolate bars and then came meals outside of the house. All the time though I ensured the calories were calculated and burnt. This was my next step to change, the obsessive walking and excersize to ensure every calorie consumed was burnt someway or another.
When I finally reached 850Kcals around the start of 2017 I felt wow, how far I’ve come, what large meals I am having. This seems so silly now. So it went on gradually increasing every month until I reached 1000, 1200, 1400 and for the last few years I have been consuming around 1700Kcals on average a day. Which seems more normal right? Not for the amount of excersize I was doing which until now I didn’t realise. Weight training twice a week. Riding my bike, still with the excessive walking. Unless I felt dizzy, weak and the head fog returned…I wouldn’t. I needed to be 100% sure my body was genuinely sooo hungry before I would say…ok you can eat now.
Only within the last few months has the excessive walking stopped and any changes in weight…no! All I was doing over the years is burning away my body, not just the calories eaten. I was remaining at around 1700 Kcals being completely sedantry and no weight gain. So I upped it again to around 2000Kcals. Being completely sedentary. Only to be confronted by the scales again…no weight gain, slight water retention on the days I slammed down lots of potatoes, pasta and oats but the weight wasn’t sticking.
The motivation and help I have had from blogs similar to this has been so motivational and helpful which on top of having a lot of new time on my hands this is also otivating me to write throughout my experience to help others also. So with 2300 we go and even work up from there :).
I have not been thinking as much, worrying or been as anxious the last few days since starting on this new amount and am also not counting calories strategically. It is a huge habbit and obsession so the instinct in my everytime I make a meal or pack my lunch for work is always to count calories. Although the last few days I have found its simply an estimation as apose to ok, that cougette is 20 kcals etc etc as it used to be. I am a million miles away from that now
I also did something I never thought I would do the other day. I accidently bought full fat milk. The intention to buy semi skimmed (worked up from of course skimmed milk as always). Although in previous years I actually would have ebarrased yself and returned it to the shop or simply threw it away. I am sticking with it.
I am also slipping in calories when I can, when cooking meals, in the kitchen taking a scoop of avocado or a big gulp of milk. No calculations, no add ons just don’t think!
If I had of eaten 1000 Kcals a day for 2 years (I ate much less than this for around 8 months and this problem has been for over 3 years!) not excersized as much I would have undereaten around 1,095,000 Kcals. Thats a LOT of damage. We don’t realise the longer this goes on, the amount we actually need to eat to repair all this damage and get us back to health.
Eat, let your body rest, Focus your thoughts on things you love and use this time productively. I am focusing on facing more of my fears, living the experiences I have dreamt up in my mind and realizing like the apple challenge these can be done and will eventually be a simple common thing in my life, finally being able to focus thoughts properly and genuinely enjoying the moments with my friends, no acts just enjoying.
Also, I am not weighing myself more than once every 1-2 weeks this is simply to check I am gaining not because I care of the number. My health is my focus now. However, as previously mentioned, 2300 may still not be enough the make me gain and a good rate (around 1-2llb per week) and if i’ve not gained atleast that amount, it will need to be increased.
I will be writing more on progress over the next week and am excited to keep going!

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