Hey everyone! Today, I wanted to talk a bit about one of the reasons why I believe I am so far along in my recovery.
My Body During “Forced Recovery”
I just want to highlight two things real quick that were happening to my body before I chose MM.
If you have been following me for a while on Instagram, it is evident that when I began to follow the Minnie Maud guidelines, I was severely underweight. While I will not disclose my exact weight, as that is not conducive to anyone’s mental health and will only lead to comparison, it was enough to cause grave concern for others around me. My body had been deprived of its essential nutrients for quite some time, and I knew that it was going to respond immediately to the increased caloric intake.
Before beginning Minnie Maud, my parents were in control of every meal placed in front of me, and while it was a step up from the amount I was previously eating, I was only getting about 1,500-1,800 calories in each day. During this period of time, my body went completely out of whack. I was miserable when my parents were feeding me for a multitude of reasons, but one of the main reasons was how my body reacted to the food.
TMI coming up-just as a warning.
When my parents were in control of my food, I could not go to the bathroom without being in there for upwards of ten minutes. (note: this is NOT their fault at all) I was constantly having bowel movements, and it led to me feeling disgusting practically every moment of the day. I was in the bathroom more than I was in my bedroom; it was truly horrendous. Not exaggerating one bit, I probably went to the bathroom 20-30 times a day.
As if that was not bad enough, I could not sleep for longer than an hour. I would constantly be waking up drenched in my own sweat. I could never rid myself of smelling like perspiration no matter how long I showered.
Sweating at night is actually a really good sign of a metabolism starting to rev up again, however it affected me more negatively than positively. My body was expending so many calories through sweating that I ended up losing more weight during this, which made my parents even more frustrated (and they were well within their right to be mad). I just could not win!
My Body During Minnie Maud
Once beginning MM, a bunch of symptoms began to change for my body. Some were harder than others to accept, but they were all for the better in the end.
In regards to my bowel movements, after about a week and a half of eating 3,000+ calories, I became very regular. I still am regular to this day, only with the occasional constipation every once in a while when I eat something a little too greasy. My digestive tract is now exactly the way it was before my eating disorder, and I am so pleased with that! It is nice to not have to spend hours upon hours in the restroom miserably in pain because my body was not working properly.
Even now, after months and months of recovery, I poop and pee regularly! Sorry if this is gross for you, but I feel as though it is a vital piece of recovery that should be acknowledged. Recovery is not all about the beauty, and I really think these issues should be acknowledged more often. It pains me to see recovery painted as this elegant, picturesque time of one’s life. Sorry, but that’s not the truth. It does get better though.
After two weeks of MM, ALL of the sweating at night stopped! I really could feel my body begin to function again! I do not know the science behind this, but for whatever reason, increasing to 3,000 calories is what worked for me! My mood increased dramatically because I was finally getting decent sleep every night.
The fatigue that I had experienced for months was dissipating, and I could actually participate in life again. More on this later though.
I do not know about anyone else, but one of the worst things about being at such a low weight was feeling cold. All. The. Time. It could have been 80 degrees out, and without fail, I would be wearing leggings and a sweatshirt. Oh, you should have seen the layers of blankets I wore to bed. I remember being in class, wearing two sweatshirts, Uggs, leggings, and sweatpants, while sitting next to a girl in a tank top and workout shorts. I would throw fits in classrooms if someone wanted to turn the air conditioning on! (I was not a fun person to be around, as you can tell.)
However, after starting to follow Minnie Maud (and subsequently gaining some weight), I began to produce my own body heat. My body could actually take care of itself! It’s exciting to have a body that functions, isn’t it?
My nails also began to improve as well Nowadays, I am probably trimming my nails once a week. They used to be so brittle and damaged- they would never grow. I cannot get them to stop now, so much so, that I have even accidentally scratched myself a few times because they get out of control so quickly!
So, lets talk about hair. I was born with thin hair. It has always been a part of my life, and I try to make do with what I have. During the depths of my disorder, I was losing hair like crazy. I would pull not just a few strands, but clumps of destroyed hair.
This is definitely one of the symptoms that took the longest to fix, but after about three months of fully committing to eating 3,000 calories while remaining sedentary, my hair actually began to grow again. It became long once more, and I could actually straighten my hair without having thousands of follicles falling out. I allowed people to play with my hair again because I did not have to worry about them being disgusted with my awful hair. It has taken a lot of nurturing, but I feel as though my hair is back to normal.
Now, lets discuss something that is not as fun. Bloating.
It is real. It is bad. It will suck.
I had to live with it. Every night, I had to go to bed feeling like I looked like I was six months pregnant. In reality, my mind had probably distorted the reflection I viewed in the mirror to be far worse than in actuality, but it is a very harsh thing to deal with. At first, no matter what I ate, it made me bloat. But after spending a lot of time on the forums of YourEatopia, it became clear to me that I just needed to fight through this because it would eventually stop.
I spent many days crying in the arms of my mother as she confirmed that I was doing the right thing, but I ultimately learned to get over it. I always tell myself this: everyone bloats. I do not care if you are Heidi Klum or a man who wrestles professionally- you will bloat. That really helped me overcome being so frustrated with my “food baby.”
To this day, I still bloat, and that is okay. It is no big deal. Other people probably do not even notice it! No one is that critical of other people’s bodies, and if they are, they have no business staying in your life.
Also, I trained myself to not body check in the mirror during the times when I knew that I would really bloated. I knew if I looked at my stomach, I would just put myself in a terrible mood, therefore I ignored it. It took a lot of work to train myself to not look, but it eventually became a habit I am really grateful for.
There is so much to be said about my experience with Minnie Maud, and to avoid one singular post dragging on, I have split this up into a series. Stay tuned for my next installment of my experience with the Minnie Maud guidelines.
No questions today, but I would love to hear your thoughts.
Disclaimer: Please remember that everyone’s body and everyone’s recovery are wonderfully unique. Thank you for reading my blog and allowing me to share my personal experience with you. I am not a doctor, and I never intend to be a substitute for a medical professional, whether it be a doctor, a therapist, a nutrition, or anyone else that should be sought to for treatment. This is my personal experience only.
As always, thank you Amanda!