They'll Probably Write a DSM-V Entry About Me

I just realized, you guys:  I have become a Bizarro Toddler.

By which I mean that during this weight gain kick I am going to have to hold over my own head, as culinary rewards, fresh fruits and vegetables.

I was just* sitting here with some shrimp, zucchini, and wagon wheel pasta (yes, wagon wheel, a.k.a. best pasta ever), and I am literally thinking to myself, "You eat your pasta, missy!  Yes, all of it!  Nooo, you can't have any zucchini until after you eat that pasta!"

At breakfast it's, "No you may not have peanut butter on an apple.  You will have it on toast.  Then you can have some fruit."

I guess this means I should now hate cookies?  Yeah, no.

*last night (sched'd this post due to out of town trip)


The Appeal of Pro-Ana

Late last week the NY Times blog Well profiled a website, Proud2BeMe, the aim of which is to provide an alternative of pro-ana and thinspo sites.

This is the key passage for me:
For a recent study, she and Nicole Martins, an assistant professor at the university, talked to 33 pro-ana bloggers, women ages 15 to 33 who were willing to be interviewed. The study, published in August in the journal Health Communication, showed that participants were motivated to blog as a way to cope with a stigmatized illness and a means of self-expression and social support.
Pro-ana has always been a seeking for peer support.  I haven't been on a pro-ana/pro-mia site in a long time (yes, the latter exists, but as with so many things bulimic in the eating disorder world, it tends to get brushed under the media rug in favor of the sanitized view of anorexia).  But when I did frequent them (mostly in high school) (yes, they existed then) I can say to the best of my recollection that the participants were never anything but kind, warm, and open-minded.  

I don't know if my experience was typical, but when girls went into treatment or gained weight, or started LiveJournals (they weren't called "blogs" then, not quite yet) talking about their recovery?  The response I remember was always very supportive.  I don't know about now, but then, these weren't sites about keeping each other sick (at least not deliberately).  

And to be totally honest, they were a space without men.  Actually, scratch that.  There were some boys and young men on the LJ pages where I participated or followed.  But they were very... how to describe it... funhouse-mirror feminist.  Feminist except in that eating disorders are an angry, proud symptom of everything anti-feminist in our culture, much in the way that hysteria can be seen as a symptom within that earlier culture.

They were sites about not judging one another.  Yes, in a very disordered way, but there it is.

And that's more than I can say for the commenters on this piece.  >_<

  • Eliot W. Collins
  • Raritan Borough, NJ
I rarely see anyone who is obviously anorexic. I do see many people who are obviously obese. They are everywhere.



Running and Weight Gain

A Quick Word:  Beginning with this post, you may start to see Content Notes here on a semi-frequent basis.  These will most often appear when I am going to talk about calories, pounds, miles, or other measurable, competitive things.  I'll note the specific sections, not the entire post.

I enjoy running, now that I'm into it, and I really don't want to have to stop so that I can gain weight.  But I can't afford a nutritionist right now, to sit down and do meal plans with me.  So I've got to figure out on my own (with the help of my therapist, but she isn't a nutritionist) what I can eat safely (in the symptom-use sense) that will allow me to gain weight.

[Content Note: Calories and pounds ahoy]

In order to gain one pound per week, you have to consume about 500 calories per day more than you are burning, for a total of about 3,500 calories a week.  (This is assuming a normally functioning metabolism and etc.)  

The less you weigh the fewer calories you expend during physical activity (again, assuming everything else is functioning with chart-like precision).  So if I'm only burning, according to the Mayo Clinic, about 153 calories every two miles I run, I only need to be adding 500 calories a day, consistently, to what I'm eating, and about 153 on the days when I run.  I mean, I'm not exactly training for a marathon here.  Or a half-marathon.  Or a 10K.  I could probably handle a 5K.  Maybe.  Sorta. 

(Now you can backwards-math it if you want to know how much I weigh right now, but I'm not spelling it out for all eternity on the Internet, because it is such an embarrassing number.)

[End Content Note]

We're really only talking about padding on some extra calories to meals or foods I would already eat.  But add in the emotions and fears and crap that comes with weight gain, or with the idea of weight gain... and suddenly things are complex.  There's only a certain amount of "just do it" I really have in me.

But anyway.  That wasn't the point of this post.  My point is:


Really, I feel like I broke Google.

You can find, quite literally, bite-by-bite plans for weight LOSS while running.  The best you can (easily) find for weight GAIN is on* and I'm just so gratified to see it exist at all that I won't really get into my disappointment over not finding meals there easily planned out for me, like I can REALLY EASILY FIND on all kinds of WEIGHT LOSS WHILE RUNNING sites.  (I mean, entire weeks of meals you can find.  I found one with TWO weeks' worth.)

There actually is a page on that spells out a sample day for gaining weight with nutritionally sound foods, but a) I won't link to it here because in the context of an eating disorder blog I don't want to go, "Here! I'm eating way less than this right now! That's how you lose weight!" and b) the foods listed are things that elicit the following first thought from me:  "But once I gain weight I can't eat those foods anymore because they cause weight gain.  So obviously I can't eat them now, because I'll never be able to stop eating them, and then I'll never stop gaining weight."  Do you see what it is like inside my head?

So.  Tuesday's plan: Eat something with peanut butter for breakfast.  Don't panic.  Take it from there...

* I've actually become a fair fan of the whole Livestrong site, since it does have an overall easy-to-find weight gain category, something that absolutely can't be said of, say, Runner's World.  Not surprising, I guess, since Livestrong's origins are in cancer treatment and recovery support, where weight gain can be a significant concern.