Saturday, February 9, 2013

Weight Redistribution

Initially, during the beginning of weight restoration, all of the extra pounds settle in the midsection and show up in the face. This causes a horrifying pregnant belly look and a very noticeable uneven distribution of weight. It's quite unpleasant. Many people actually have a really difficult time with this phase of recovery and end up giving up because they don't believe they will ever look "normal" again.

While I was still in treatment, my therapist had to remind me every single day that redistribution would happen if I gave it time; meaning the weight from my stomach would spread out more evenly among the rest of my body. Honestly, I thought that was a bunch of bologna and continued to be annoyed with my weight gain situation. As if gaining weight wasn't mortifying enough, having it all go to my stomach made it that much worse.

It has been proven that weight redistribution, hunger cues, and general eating habits can take anywhere from 6 months to a year (or more) to normalize. My treatment team put a ton of time and effort into tweaking my metabolism; so it became extremely important to me not to mess that up.

As hard as it is to believe, it has officially been six months since I hit my goal weight. Most days I do not think my weight has even begun the redistribution process; but because I see my body every single day, it's hard to see the changes that have taken place over time. 

 So, after a week of atrocious body image, I needed to do something about it.


The first picture is on my graduation day at the end of last summer and the second picture is one I took this morning. Same dress, same belt, same Kelsi- much different distribution of weight. Actually, my set point weight went up about 7-10 pounds after leaving treatment, which means my weight is that much higher in the second picture. 

There isn't much else for me to say in this post except- redistribution DOES happen and I am living proof of it. Once again, this just goes to show that the number on the scale means absolutely nothing. Suddenly, my bad body image day is gone. 

Progress.

25 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you wrote this post..I know a lot of girls coming out of treatment places thinking the weight is permanent when in reality it will all even out. I struggled with the same thing and it really DOES happen like you said. It's just about patience!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Tayla! You're right, it's almost like torture in the beginning, but it does get better! And I never believed it until today. YAY! <3

      Delete
  2. thank you so much for posting this! it was really helpful for me to read, as I just got out of treatment a few weeks ago and have been struggling a lot with my new weight.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are very welcome! I think the most important thing is doing your best to maintain your weight. The redistribution process seems to work a little faster that way. ;-) Keep up the good work!

      Delete
  3. So happy that you wrote this as this is something I am currently struggling with. <3 You are so gorgeous, you know. Your smile is priceless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you SO much for your kind words!! I'm glad this post helped you a little bit. It was definitely reassuring to me, as I'm sure it was to you, to know that redistribution is real. Keep up the good work, it does get better! Sending you lots of love <3

      Delete
  4. Wow this is great! I am just about a month into recovery and my body image is all over the place because it feels as if all the weight is going to my stomach! But after seeing those photos I am feeling much better about weight gain! If I recover looking as lovely, fit and healthy as you I will be very pleased.

    If you don't mind me saying you also look beautifully slender - I mean in a healthy way of course. Nothing like I initially thought recovery would make me look.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're not alone in your concern, but trust me, your treatment team is not is not out to make you overweight in anyway whatsoever! Also, I should mention that I have done zero exercise since leaving treatment, I have only focused on sticking to my meal plan the very best that I could- I think that helps regulate the metabolism a little faster. Thanks so much for the comment and your kind words! Hang in there! It does get soooo much better! <3

      Delete
    2. Thank u so much honey,i am an older woman who has suffered most of my life with ana.I so needed to hear this.I am trying to do this on my own due to insurance.I hope this runs true to older women also.thank u so much.c.chapman

      Delete
    3. Cathy- there is NO WAY I could have done this one my own. You are such an inspiration to me! I'm sure redistribution is true for all ages, just give it time. Thanks for the comment! <3

      Delete
  5. Thank you so much for posting this. My dietitian also told me that it would take at least 6 months for the redistribution, but somewhere in my mind... I am not believing it. I need to gain weight about 10 lbs, and that will bring my weight back to the time when I was healthy. I am 45 years old. Does the age matter...? My dietitian says, "NO"... but it just really triggers me... REALLY REALLY TRIGGERS ME... *struggling*

    I really do love reading your blogs. Thank you, xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome! I don't think age should matter at all. The biggest thing with redistribution is TIME. It's frustrating for awhile, but just remember that your body needs that time to relearn how to function properly. Also, because you live with yourself everyday it is hard to see the progress. If it helps, I had to gain about 50lbs and redistribution still happened! Trust your body, it will take care of the rest.
      Keep fighting! <3

      Delete
  6. This is such a great and helpful post! I get asked by my clients all of the time if the weight gain in their stomach and face is a normal part of refeeding and if they will always look like that. I always discuss with them that weight gain there is a normal part of refeeding, but that some of it should redistribute within 6 months to a year (and that they have to be patient). I am glad I came across this post. It's one thing for someone to hear from their dietitian (or another treatment team member) that redistribution of weight will eventually happen, but quite another to hear from someone who actually went through it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome- I'm am thrilled to hear it helped! I didn't believe it would actually happen either, until I did this post. My therapist had to constantly remind me. Thanks for the comment! :)

      Delete
  7. do you have any tips on how to make the redistribution come along quicker? i have been adding candies to my 3500kcals every day in hopes to speed the process (lol as counterproductive as it feels), but any words of advice from a seasoned vet would be much appreciated. You look amazing, by the way; you looked amazing in the left photo too, though. just saying :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gosh I wish I knew of a way to make the weight distribution process go faster - I'd be a millionaire! Hahha. Everyone is different, but I do think consistent eating and sticking to your meal plan is really important. The more stable you can keep your weight during those first 6-12 months (and forever) the faster it seemed to go for me. Best of luck to you!! xx

      Delete
  8. Hi,
    Thank you for posting this! I am turning 19 in a month and was anorexic for about 2 years. I have been a normal weight for over a year now and my weight has not redistributed! I have not had my period for 6 months (I've had it two-three times extremely lightly every since I've reached my goal weight). My doctor has now put me on birth control to hopefully get it back.
    Another issue is that I am a varsity athlete in college and so I have to train pretty intensively to keep in shape, but I'm worried that the training is blocking my period from returning? Is there a link between menstruation and weight redistribution? I've been fine with gaining the weight back and have been doing really well, but lately the fact that I've been recovered for over a year and there are still not signs of period/weight redistribution is starting to get to me.
    Any advice? Do you know anything about this?

    And your photo is inspiring, so THANK YOU!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I have heard that many serious athletes lose their periods due to lack of body fat. You can be at a healthy weight, but still have a small amount of body fat. And everyone takes different amounts of time to regulate. There are so many factors that go determine this. Also, if you are under a lot of stress, it can effect the regulation of your period. Congrats on gaining the weight back! That's a huge step. Keep being patient and kind with yourself. Good things will happen! <3

      Delete
  9. Kelsi, I can't tell you how much this has helped me mentally. I'm 5'2" and have been working with a nutritionist to go from 95 pounds to 110. I've pretty much reached my goal weight, but I'm feeling so gross and fat. I know you said that it takes a whole for the weight to properly redistribute, but I am so frustrated and feel like it never will. I still don't have a chest and that's bugging the heck out of me because I feel like I'm gaining weight everywhere else. Do you have any insight on this? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi, I finally decided to confront my eating disorder at the end of July, it is now the start of February. I find that my body shape has completly changed. Puffy face and flabby belly. I get anxiety from time to time as I miss being the 'thin' one, however I am determoned to stick with the regualr eating and not restricting myself as I had some really low point. My weight at one point being 7 stone 6 lbs and 5 goot 6 that was considerably thin. I am worried that my body will never return to my post eating disorder days when I was naturally thin because of the famine fast it has endured over a period of about five years. Is this normal? Xxxx

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you so much for sharing something so personal and yet so inspiring. I am currently 7 months in to recovery and am now in maintenance. Feelings are really raw and heightened for me right now but seeing your honest and inspirational post makes more sense than my therapist!
    I cannot thank you enough Kelsi, keep on keeping on :-) x

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi, thanks for writing this post, it is really helpful. I'm 17 years old and haven't had my period in two years because I was overexercising and not eating enough. But I've been in recovery for over a year and reached my goal weight about 7 months ago. But the weight still has not redistributed! I have been weight training and working out, and see definition, but my stomach is still huge from bloating and fat accumulation there. I still don't have my period but started birth control pills two weeks ago so we'll see if that will help. I guess my question is if anyone knows whether the birth control pills and their effect on my hormone levels will help to kind of "kick start" redistribution? I'm just so tired of this and am ready to move on with life... Thanks for your help:)

    ReplyDelete