in the meantime, i'm still open to responses to these questions if anyone else was IP and would like to share their experiences.
oh, and although my handmade book 'swallow' is still 50% off, i will be raising the price soon. just wanted to give those who'd expressed an interest in purchasing it fair warning. again, the sale items are in very limited quantities and will not be restocked when they are sold out.
in case you're confused or didn't catch my previous post, here's the skinny: i've written a book about eating disordered individuals (drawing from, but not writing directly about, my own personal experiences). a year ago i added this book to my catalogue of handmade books and CDs. since then i have been writing additional scenes and working towards a conventionally publishable-length work. currently the book sits at 61 single-spaced pages (20,000 words). i have a long way to go! eventually i will add the completed version to my catalogue (and hopefully publish it!) but for now it is available for purchase as a 42-page chapbook. click to read excerpts. may be triggering.
i also wanted to let everyone know that i did go to a dietician (thanks to everyone who helped clear up my confusion about nutritionists & dieticians) and it was *amazing,* i recommend it to everyone. behind the cut you'll find my journal entry about the experience.
yesterday i went to the dietitian for the first time. it was WONDERFUL. first we spent a long time talking about my history with food--the ED, primarily, and all its various symptoms & manifestations. she was so nonjudgmental i wanted to hug her! not once did she say something like 'you shouldn't do that' or 'you know that is bad for you because.' i felt very comfortable being open with her and up front about things like the fact that i still binge and still purge sometimes.
she made some quick observations about my eating based on a few days' food journal that i kept before our appointment. it turns out i don't eat nearly enough protein and i should be eating a lot more earlier in the day. she pointed out that eating more in the morning will help speed up my metabolism and keep it regulated throughout the day, as well as help stabilize my mood. not to mention the fact that not eating enough early on is a set up for bingeing. she thinks that if i am able to eat a balanced diet, the bingeing might subside a little. she was also quick to point out that i need to be in therapy too--and that she'd like to work with my therapist as a treatment team. [sidenote: yesterday i had a therapy assessment too--but i'll be referred to an ED specialist because they think i need that, not just a general therapist... so i'm waiting to hear back with the results of my referral.]
since i'm vegetarian, she wants me to take omega 3 fatty acid tablets at night, which makes me uncomfortable because they are fish-derived. i didn't realize when i was there that they are, so i'm going to try to find the veg alternative and run those by her. i have the end of a bottle of omega3 which i will finish up--i can't believe i took them all without knowing it was fish oil! shit. anyway, for a while i was having fishy burps, so she said to put them in the refrigerator and take them at bedtime so i won't have those burps. pretty cool trick i think. (i did know i was taking fish oil tablets at one point, i took them reluctantly; i did not know the EPA/DHA or whatever they are were fish oil as well.)
she gave me a book of 'exchange lists' for the various types of foods, so i can pick and choose which things i eat and work them into my food plan. the plan itself is very nonspecific--including starches, fruit, vegetables, proteins, dairy, and fat. it lists out breakfast, AM snack, lunch, PM snack, dinner, bedtime snack, and then she wrote on it where i'm supposed to have a starch, a fruit, a vegetable, etc. she suggested i have a smoothie made of yogurt, protein powder, and fruit for breakfast--and then have some kashi go lean with soymilk or slivered almonds as a midmorning snack. i had complained that i'm not hungry in the morning and i have GERD (acid reflux) so i don't like to eat a lot when i first get up. so the smoothie seems like the perfect solution. i'm going to look for some prepackaged ones for days when i'm running late or the blender is dirty!
she also pointed out that having a little fat with my lunch would keep me satisfied longer. so she suggested a slice of avocado on my sandwich. and i'm supposed to build my dinner around protein. she said someone with my particular body and at my age and gender needs about 71g of protein per day. i wasn't getting enough. with the new plan, i should be able to.
the other thing that is a little scary for me is that she said something like, 'you eat the food, let me worry about the calories.' so i'm not even sure how many calories i'm eating. i'm sure i could figure it out if i wanted to but maybe it'll be better for me not to. on one hand that is scary, on the other hand it is absolutely eye-opening to me--let somebody else worry about MY calories? what a weird concept. but she is a dietitian and she agrees that i need to lose weight--about 20-35 pounds actually. so since she knows i need to lose weight, i'm only a little scared about letting her deal with the calories. my fear is that she will want me to lose weight more gradually than i want to--which is probably true, but that's ye olde eating disorder talking (lose weight fast! anyone who thinks you should lose weight gradually is an idiot!) and i'm doing my best to fight that fucker dead to the ground.
she did weigh me on her extraordinarily fancy scale--that also calculates body fat. i told her i didn't want to see. i had weighed myself that morning, and knew what i was on my scale bare naked right after waking and although i wasn't comfortable with that number, i was used to it already (as much as i can be used to the fact that i weigh what i weigh). i couldn't deal with getting used to a probably higher number. that i COULD NOT handle. so she was cool about that and said she appreciated me telling her i didn't want to see.
oh and i'm supposed to exercise more. on the weekends, i'm supposed to keep up my long hikes. then during the week i'm supposed to do 30 to 60 minutes of walking or elliptical machine three times a week.
i'm worried about it all... that i won't be able to do it; that it will be a shock, that it will be insanely difficult. i think i'll be ok during the day, but i'm having to measure out portion sizes etc and i've been eating WAY too much at dinner, so like last night my dinner was smaller and that will take some getting used to. also i'm not supposed to have a snack between dinner and when i have my bedtime yogurt (for taking my pills). i'm just supposed to have dinner, wait, and then have yogurt.
anyway it's a work-in-progress. i'm supposed to live with it for about three weeks and then i'm going back to work with her again...she said to bring in food containers (boxes or whatever with nutritional info on them) to run them by her if i want. so i plan to do that. she gave me the rundown on nutrition bars--she said clif bars are good for when hiking but not for breakfast. they have too much sugar or fat or something. luna bars are good and so are pria. they should have about 180 calories and 10-12 grams of protein. i thought that was interesting.