Wednesday, June 13, 2012


When I came back to College City about three weeks ago, R suggested we write up a contract to make therapy more productive. Basically, the contract states that I must gain each week or the meal plan will get boosted; and that if I ever fall below XXX lbs, I will get admitted to an IP program. Seems harsh, maybe, but I've honestly been willing to cooperate anyway. What I like about the contract is that it lays out clearly defined goals - in addition to those two major overarching stipulations, we also set weekly goals in each appointment, like "add X to lunch" or "drink Y supplements on Z days" or stuff like that.

So far, I've met every goal - including gainage. Today, though, R pointed out that despite me following the meal plan and drinking Boost, I gained a whopping total of a tenth of a pound since my last appointment. And apparently that doesn't exactly cut it. Although I satisfied the official goal of "gain each week," that doesn't necessarily mean I'm a robust picture of health. And while I genuinely want recovery and don't want to be sick anymore, that's a lot easier to say when I'm not actually gaining any real weight. Part of me is incredibly relieved, thinking: I want recovery just as long as I can stay underweight.

The next step, according to R, will be to set more concrete, substantial weight-gain goals. We didn't talk specific numbers yet, but he was pretty clear on the fact that gaining a tenth of a pound a week is not okay anymore. Probably starting next week, we will include a minimum weekly rate of gain. I'm not exactly sure what a reasonable rate is...maybe around a pound a week - does that sound right? I think that's approximately how fast I gained last year, although it seemed to happen in fits and starts rather than in a linear pattern. I'm a little hesitant to commit to that again, but I know it needs to happen. At the rate I'm going, I won't reach a minimum healthy BMI for, like, three years. So that needs to change. And for now, I'm okay with that. Ask me again in a few months when I'm feeling fat and horrendous...but for now, that seems reasonable.

The idea of a contract scared me at first. I didn't want to commit to something I might not do. I didn't want consequences - that made it feel too much like I was getting in trouble. But now, well, I've undergone such a mental shift that I think I would be eating to gain regardless, but I really like having it laid out in black and white. It's also making me realize that I don't want to just scrape by. Yes, I am doing what is required of me by gaining 0.1 lb a week, but I'm not getting healthier. I'm not conquering the hard, yucky stuff that keeps me mired in the eating disorder. I'm not breaking down any walls. And if I'm not doing any of that, then what's the point?


  1. It's always good to assess like this. You're highly intelligent, so understanding what's best isn't the hard's being honest with yourself about things. I like this post because I think it really embodies the title of your blog: "New Voice. New Life." You're not saying it's easy, but you're willing to make the commitment and figure things out along the way. It takes a strong person to do that. So applaud yourself. Okay? :-) I used to definitely be of the "I want recovery as long as I can stay underweight" I can attest that it's a hard one to break. But what's important is that you're putting trust in the therapy process, in the therapist, and in yourself. The rest will come. And recognizing things like "at this rate I won't be at a minimum healthy BMI for 3 years" is VITAL. You said it. And you also said it here in a blog that people read. So you really put yourself out there to be honest with yourself. It's huge. Weight gain blows, but checking in with yourself and healing the inside as you nourish the outside is the way to it really sounds like you're doing this.

  2. What an awesome update, you have so much to be proud of in terms of compliance and commitment to recovery. Specific weight gain mandates can be tricky, because your body doesn't always respond in a linear way, BUT having goals is what keeps people accountable, and accountability is the absolute key to pushing forward with this. Like Arielle said, trust your professionals. They've seen numerous and diverse cases, I'm sure, and have a good idea of what is necessary and effective to get you back to your best healthy state.

    By the way, the "wanting recovery as long as I can stay underweight" mindset is a HUGE hurdle to cross, and I would venture to guess that's where a lot of people get stuck....and end up spending years and years of extra time not really free of the ED. You deserve better than that . . . you have so, so much going for you and your future.

    Very motivating post, Kaylee, way to go you!

  3. What a great post! I think it's great that you're so honest, especially about the hard stuff. I, too, get stuck in the "wanting recovery only if I can stay underweight" mindset, and it's hard to break free from. But it sounds like you're logically assessing the fact that it's unhealthy and that it's going to take tackling the hard stuff that will ultimately lead to solid recovery/health. It's so great to hear that you're really committed to moving forward, even if it feels unpleasant. So happy for you!