Hey everyone, I thought I should maybe send out an update. I know people have been asking me what I”m learning and what I do everyday. Well, you asked an English teacher who loves to write so here you go. Life in an eating disorder facility . . . .
I thought in the beginning I just wanted to keep this under wraps. Now I’m beginning to realize the need for all the support. You know when people say they can feel prayers. Yeah, Rhonda feels them tangibly. There is no other explanation why I’m in such a good mood here. Why I”m so excited about learning how to eat and exercise again.
So here’s how the day goes, up at 6 for weigh in and vitals, then shower, breakfast at 7:15, then they give us each a schedule for the day, different hours are different group meetings for learning strategies for coping with feelings/behaviors/etc or meetings for life skills, meetings with doctors, psychologist, physical therapist. Morning snack is at 10, lunch is at 12:15, afternoon snack is at 3 supper is at 5:15, and night snack is at 8:15. Someone joked today that what we do here is eat and wait to eat. 🙂 Since I”m in phase 2 I started menu planning. So instead of eating what the dietician plans for me, I get some say in it. It made my brain hurt the first time but I’m told it gets easier. So there are 3 options for each main meal and a menu for snacks. They are categorized into proteins, milks, fruits, fats, breads, etc. So during each day has to have a certain number of each thing. As I meal plan I have to pick choices but tally them up so that I have the correct amount of each category. Calories have nothing to do with it. In fact all the labels on things are blocked by a sticker so we can’t see. For me it actually scares me a bit to meal plan. When I”m just given my food I enjoy it and accept it for what it is. Today while I was meal planning I still caught myself thinking, what has the most calories, but than I stopped myself and just focused on the food groups instead. It will take some training of my mind to get past that. But that is what the training is for. Friday I think I start getting to eat lunch in the cafeteria downstairs with a group. Then with the dietician’s help we order from there. Then I get to start having cafeteria experiences where I can eat a meal in the cafeteria with just a visitor which I’m not sure how I’ll do that without a visitor. I’m sure there’s something they do.
Meeting with the psychologist was very good. She just went through my history, figured out where all this started, where it’s progressed, the now, etc. We kind of talked about leaving time. She said she didn’t see why before Thanksgiving wouldn’t happen. I said I’d like next weekend. She said she doesn’t want me to leave without all the tools but tomorrow my care team meets to decide those things more. So I think I’ll find out then more clearly. I also met with the physical therapist. She explained very clearly what calories are and where they go in the body. Hard to explain but basically I’ve been stealing the calories from my body organs and their functions just to stay alive so to speak because I expend way way more in exercise than is needed without replenishing. So very interesting but all the food I’ve been eating and without any form of exercise and I haven’t gained a pound int these three days. She said my body is using all those extra calories to fix what’s broken, to put the fat around my organs that its been feeding off of to get energy. So interesting how this body works. And scary how I’ve been hurting it without realizing it. So I can start doing yoga and stretching things and when my heart rate gets to around 55 I can start strength training. Cardio won’t come until well after I’m home. She said it’s not the amount of exercise I do. She said, I could continue two hours a day for all they care as long as I know and consume enough calories to make that work. She said its up to me to decide what my goals are, what I want my body to do so that I know where I want my planning to go. They will give me the tools to do it right.
So yeah, a lot of learning today. It does scare me to go back home at this point because I don’t know if I could maintain the eating habits with the right amount of exercise at this point. But that obviously is why they aren’t discharging me yet. So maybe staying up until Thanksgiving is what I need as much as I don’t want to stay that long yet. But like I said, I’ll know more tomorrow. I need to have the support system back home as far as a counselor who specializes in this. Need to start looking to Sioux Falls to find that person. I don’t know if the doctors here do that or what. So how is that for an explanation of life. I am really actually loving learning all of this. I want to get back to “normal” and I’m pretty damn motivated to do just that. (Sorry for swearing but I needed the emphasis right now.)
– pray to understand the meal planning and learn to not focus on calories but healthy eating habits
– pray to understand, accept, and internalize what exercise needs to look like in my life and what it’s for
– pray that my care team and I can agree on the timeline for my time here although there is nothing wrong with praying for an early out as long as I’m ready (right? 🙂
– pray for Benj and the boys – they are being well cared for but its still stress for my Benj and I’m sure the boys are still having fun with the fun new schedule but maybe they will start wondering what’s up
– you can pray for all the people here. There are so many forms of this awful disease and I praise God that I”m not hooked up to an IV that I have to wheel around with me or that I gag trying to get my supper done. So many walks of life, ages, issues represented and they all need prayer.