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Letizia’s journal
In Mindset
Letizia
Jun 18, 2024
Thanks a lot Sarah for the concept of outcome goals / process goals. I like that!! I think the small tweaks I am making to my diet could be considered as process goals. What I have been doing so far is: • Add more oil when cooking • Add seeds to salads • Systematically having a mid-morning and an afternoon snack • Adding a slice of bread when I have soup or salad   Last Saturday I went out to dinner with my husband and I had a whole pizza (here in Europe it’s not uncommon for one person to eat an entire pizza as a meal) + a nice Aperol spritz and we shared tiramisu for dessert. I usually don’t eat dessert after a pizza because it’s already a lot of food, but I checked in and I realized I still had some room so I had a bit of tiramisu and ended up comfortably full (and very happy).   I also did something which I was really afraid of for the longest time: I booked an appointment with a nutritionist doctor. She has a practice focused on endocrine health and fertility for women, so I think she will really help me. I had my first session today. She took several measurements and it turns out that I am not doing as bad as I thought! My BMI is 18.7, which she said is on the low end of what is considered a “normal” range. My body fat is 19%, which she said is also low but not excessively low if that makes sense. However, as I am currently experiencing irregular periods and possibly ovulatory issues, she thinks my own personal “happy” weight could potentially be slightly higher. I am reassured though that I am not severely underweight or anything like that. Prior to this I had no idea where I stand.   She also analyzed my food journal and said that it seems balanced to her (already taking into account the above mentioned small changes I have been making), but she think I am not eating enough protein. I guess this is because my son does not like meet / fish so we only eat legumes at home. However, she said it’s perfectly fine to keep eating vegetarian dinners, but she suggested that I add an extra portion of protein to my lunches. Essentially I do not need to change much, but just add an extra portion of protein to my lunches and also try to increase the protein content of my breakfasts. Sounds totally doable! And protein is probably the food group that I am less “scared” of, so adding a bit of protein will be less triggering for me than adding more calories from another food group. I will also be taking photos of my meals for the next month and upload them into an app which will send them directly to her so that she can actually see quantities/ portion sizes.   In terms of supplements, she suggested omega-3 as the most important thing. Additionally, she said I could have some collagen in my morning coffee for an extra dose of protein. I am a bit skeptical re. collagen but maybe I will try it. Has anyone here ever take collagen supplements?   Anyway, I am very happy about all this and having to send the pictures of what I eat I think is going to help me stay accountable/ keep going even when it feels uncomfortable to be increasing my intake or when I would be tempted to eat less.
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Letizia’s journal
In Mindset
Letizia
Jun 13, 2024
Very interesting concept of "goal life" rather than goal weight. What is my goal life? When I close my eyes, my goal life involves: having a second child, feeling confident in my body, finding a form of exercise that I enjoy…. There are a few minor things that I would like to improve from my current life, namely, thinking less about food, having more regular bowel movements, learning to listen to my body - I am so used to ignoring or controlling it that I don't even know what it tries to tell me. I have so much tension in my upper back and neck, I don't even realize it. I went to an acupuncturist and as soon as he saw me he said I had very low energy (which has also been confirmed by low iron in blood test) but I don't really feel that I have low energy because I am on auto pilot all the time and I just get stuff done without even taking a moment to ask myself how I'm doing. How do I reconnect with my body after so long? Maybe I should try some yoga, I used to enjoy it. That's the other thing: I am skinny but I am out of shape. I don't do any cardio (haven't done any in years) and I do some very light weight workouts once or twice a week but I don't enjoy them. I keep them short but I am so un-motivated. Maybe this lack of motivation to work out is actually my body's way of telling me that I am tired? In terms of body image, I am all over the place. I regularly "feel fat" (when I'm bloated, or when I eat a big meal), but at the same time I find myself too skinny when I look in the mirror. Yesterday I was trying on bikinis for summer and I had a meltdown - too body, too pale, too many moles, saggy boobs, cellulite…I literally tore myself apart. I want this to change. Tearing myself apart every summer when trying on swimwear is definitely not part of my "goal life". Maybe I should try to find a professional to help me. I always think I can do it on my own because I have so much knowledge of food and Eds but maybe an external source could be really helpful. Some small "wins" from yesterday: I ate a croissant at work (even though I was not hungry) because my co-worker brought some pastries; I had an afternoon snack even though dinner was coming up shortly. For today, I made pea soup for dinner and for once I am going to have bread with my soup. I usually don't have any because I always tell myself "it's ok, I don't need it, this is filling enough" which is true, but I think I would love to have some bread with my soup even though it might not be a necessity. It's like when I don't need a new dress, sometimes I still want the new dress so I get it sometimes. The same could be applied to food I guess; food is not only a necessity, it can also be a source of pleasure.
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Letizia’s journal
In Mindset
Letizia
Jun 10, 2024
I have been doing well for the past few days, making small tweaks that I can barely notice (full fat milk instead of semi-skimmed, more oil, nut/ seeds on salads)… and adding an afternoon snack even when I’m not hungry because I still feel like eating, ha! I also went out to dinner with a friend and I ordered what I truly wanted (first default choice was « I should get the fish » and then I told myself no, I want the burrata). So that’s good. I just got my period today though and I am incredibily bloated, which makes me feel « fat »/ causing me to freak out a bit, like « see your pants are already tight, stop doing what you’ve been doing ». This whole thing of eating more on purpose is so counter intuitive for me. And my brain is also making all sorts of arguments like “you don’t know for sure that you need to gain weight”… But I do know that 1) I eat super healthy by “default”, 2) I never let myself over indulge and 3) I still think about food a lot/ can’t wait to eat even when I’m not hungry per se. I am pretty sure that these are all signs that I should be eating and weighing more. The other scary thing is that I have no idea what my adult body is supposed to look like. I have had eating disorders/ restrictive eating since I was 15 and I am 34 now. I don’t know what my “happy weight” is. Maybe it’s not much bigger than my current weight, or maybe it’s way heavier. No clue, and I am a bit scared to find out.
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Letizia’s journal
In Mindset
Letizia
Jun 06, 2024
I need to write in my journal a bit to gather my thoughts We have been “struggling” to get pregnant- I don’t know if I am allowed to call it a struggle because it hasn’t been that long but to me it feels like forever. Started trying in August, got pregnant in October then had a miscarriage in November. We have since been trying every month December to June and so far it hasn’t worked. It’s taking a toll on my mental health and on our marriage - our sex life basically revolves around ovulation and is super regimented during the “sex week” Why am I writing this? well because I have a nagging feeling that my weight might have something to do with it. I don’t have proof or anything but it’s just a feeling. I don’t weigh myself but based on my clothes I can tell I have lost weight in the past year and I was already slim. Partly it’s because I have a toddler and my life is very hectic right now, but I know I also have some habits that are not necessarily healthy. It’s not that I am restricting per se, and I am soooo much freer than I used to be. I don’t binge, I am not scared of eating out, I eat all food groups etc. BUT - and its a big but - most of the time my eating habits are still dictated by what is low calorie. Except when Im out with friends, I don’t eat anything extravagant. I eat lots of veggies, lots of whole grains, fruit, lean proteins…. The only sweets I eat on a daily basis are a few squares of  chocolate (but never EVER more than 4 squares, even though sometimes I would like more). It doesn’t feel restrictive to me because I genuinely enjoy eating like that and I know that if I didn’t eat this “clean” I would feel bad (as in guilty/ fat etc.). When I put it in writing its so much easier to see it: I still dont have a normal eating behavior. And to be honest I don’t even like the way I look when Im this thin. My clothes don’t look good; everything is baggy and I can’t even find my size in most stores because XS is too small. If anyone is reading this I hope it’s not triggering (and if it is I do apologize). But the truth is: I don’t know how to change. I have been this way for sooo long. And I used to be so much worse. First anorexia, then on and off bulimia for years. Now I’m so happy I have not binged/ purged in years (I don’t even remember the last time I did it). But I have plateaued. I got a bit restrictive when I was pregnant with my son (who is now 2 years old) and since then I haven’t been feeling great in my body. I was very underweight after my traumatic birth, then I got better and built a bit of muscle. But since he started walking I have lost weight again without even trying (not much, maybe 2kg but I was already slim) and now I am stuck at a low weight that I dont like and that might be detrimental to my reproductive health… and I don’t know how to change it. In the past I have never been able to consciously gain weight without losing it and bingeing. The only times I have successfully gained weight progressively was unintentionally when the weight simply added up without me doing anything special. But now I think I need to actually do something about it, but it feels so counterintuitive to me. My default mode is trying to limit extra calories as much as possible, never eating past fullness, never overeating, never eating when not hungry… I would like to find a way to eat more without it being so triggering that I would end up bingeing. And also, when Im at a low weight it kinda becomes my new normal so it feels “wrong” to see the weight go up (even though my rational side wants to gain).
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Letizia’s journal
In Mindset
Letizia
Jan 20, 2024
I have been extremely busy with work unfortunately so I haven’t had time to journal. However, I wanted to write about a huge win that I had last week:) On Thursday I had my team’s Christmas lunch (we always do it in Jan because Dec is way too busy). We went to an amazing Peruvian restaurant and all had a tasting menu with several courses. I had so much delicious food (including 5 types of desserts! so yummy) and finished eating around 4pm. I was very very full, so when dinnertime rolled around I wasn’t hungry at all (like still almost uncomfortably full) so I made dinner for my husband and son and I saved my portion for later or the next day. Around 10pm while my husband and I were watching TV I started feeling a little bit hungry. It wasn’t real hunger yet but rather a sense of emptiness which I knew meant I would be hungry during the night (and potentially wake up super early due to being hungry). Initially I thought “it’s too late now, just go to bed and you will be able to wait until morning” and “you ate so much, you really should skip dinner”. But then, I realized it was the old me talking and I decided not to listen. I decided to eat so that I would get a good night sleep. I deserve to eat dinner even when I eat a big lunch. So I ate my dinner (a delicious chickpea curry with a side of basmati rice) at 10pm and went to bed shortly after. I slept great and the next day I resumed my normal eating pattern. I felt like it was a step in the right direction:)
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Letizia’s journal
In Mindset
Letizia
Jan 10, 2024
Hayley, you have articulated it perfectly. “I had to practice being hyper-conscious of the unconscious thoughts my brain was telling me, recognize that those thoughts were irrational/unhelpful, and make a different choice” --> that’s exactly it! Oh and thank you for suggesting Dr. Becky At Good Inside on IG! I have started following her and since yesterday I have already binge-watched all her Reels. There is so much helpful advice! I also need to work on myself and try not to react too much to my kid’s big feelings. When I am rested and fine, I manage to handle them calmly, but when I am tired and stressed it’s an entirely different story. I guess practice makes perfect, and he gives me plenty of opportunities to practice, LOL😅 Skwigg, what you wrote about weighing the same but basically never being hungry blew my mind! I don’t know why I have this idea that if I am not hungry it means I don’t *need” the food so it will be stored as excess (aka fat). Also, I want 2024 to be the year I beat my addiction to sugar-free gum! Ever since I stopped smoking (13 years ago!) I have been addicted to sugar-free gum. I chew gum all day; if I’m not eating (or sleeping) I am chewing gum. I am pretty sure it hides my hunger signals and messes with my digestive system/ dives me GI issues. I used to help me fight the urge to smoke, but I am now ready to recognize that this habit is not serving me anymore. Today I went out to lunch with a friend and usually I try to pick the restaurant so I know there will be something not too too heavy for me to eat. But today I let my friend pick the restaurant and she suggested this place that makes really delicious but really fatty ramen. I was like, you know what, let’s go for it. I was afraid having such a heavy dish for lunch would make me sleepy and burpy all afternoon, but it didn’t!! I felt great and when I got home I was craving something sweet so I even had dessert (dark chocolate with hazelnuts, my fav!)
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Letizia’s journal
In Mindset
Letizia
Jan 09, 2024
Thank you so much both Hayley and Skwigg :) Hayley, good to know that your experience with the second pregnancy / nursing went better. I hope it will be the same for me, as I now realize just how unnecessary it was to stress and restrict myself thinking I would never lose the weight. I am now "back in shape" and I fully realize that, as you wrote, nothing is permanent. Pregnancy feels like forever but in retrospect it goes by fast. Skwigg, thank you so much for sharing what works for you. I have never been good at meditating/ staying still (I even tried acupuncture and I could not stand waiting the full 30 min with needles all over my body unable to do anything, LOL). However, it is the same for me in that when I step back and analyze on my own thoughts, I can see that my mind is causing the drama (e.g. "if I eat this I will get fat”). The whole stepping back and choosing how I would rather react to the situation is so useful; I also try to do it with my toddler who is now starting to throw so big tantrums. I instinctively get angry, so I am trying really hard to remind myself that he behavior is (usually) not an emergency, so I can take a step back and breathe before I react. It can be applied to so many areas of my life! Also, I love the idea of saying “Thank you for the nourishment.” Being grateful for the food we get to eat, for the body we have, our health… Yesterday at work we got free croissants. We always get free croissants from a bakery on Mondays. I never eat them because I am usually not hungry when they are brought to us. And that’s the thing now, I am not restricting specific foods (I eat, candy, junk food etc.) but I am very much still on the “eat-only-when-hungry diet”. I NEVER EVER eat if I am not hungry and I don’t overeat. But yesterday I really wanted a pain au chocolat because it looked so good. So I had one with my coworkers even though I wasn’t hungry. I am not going to lie, I felt a bit guilty afterwards but I tried to shake it off and I did not let it affect my later food choices. I really want to start accepting that sometimes it’s ok to eat something simply because it sounds good, even though I might not be hungry.
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Letizia’s journal
In Mindset
Letizia
Jan 05, 2024
I hope it’s ok for me to randomly come back here after being absent for so long. Last time I posted was when I was pregnant with my son/ had just given birth. He is now 19 months old so it’s been a while. After having a sort of ED relapse during pregnancy, I feel like I have gone back to “normal”. After I gave birth, I had so many complications and my weight dropped drastically and I went below my “happy weight” (aka my pre pregnancy weight). I was skin and bones, felt so ugly and uncomfortable in my own skin. I looked sick and it also made breastfeeding so hard because my supply was too low. I eventually managed to get my weight back up and build some strength back (I had lost all my muscle), though pilates and strength training. I am now at my usual weight, and doing some light strength training twice a week. I would say I am in a good place: I eat when i’m hungry, I eat what I like, I am not afraid to go out to restaurants etc. However, I am starting to worry about possible relapse because we are currently trying for a second child. I got pregnant last October and had a miscarriage at around 7weeks unfortunately, but that beginning of pregnancy showed me how delicate my balance is: I was already having a hard time with eating, I was already worried about how much weight I would gain, if I would be bigger than I was during my first pregnancy etc. When I lost the pregnancy it put everything back into perspective for me : pregnancy if a gift and everything else (looks, weight etc) is so unimportant. Now I am ready to try again but I am so afraid of messing it up with my ED thoughts. I want to be worthy of my future baby and nourish it properly without letting my ED thoughts get in the way. I am fully aware of the relapse signs I had during my first pregnancy so I can be vigilant if they creep up again : * Increased concern about body image * Fear around food * Restricting sweets and carbs * Preoccupation with weight gain * Avoidance of social events/ eating out However, it can be so hard to catch myself doing these when I am in the moment. During my first pregnancy I really wasn’t honest with myself, telling myself lies like “I am not eating dessert because I am trying to be healthy”… but in fact I clearly had a problem, I was going to bed hungry and waking up starving at 4/5am every day and I was forcing myself to wait until 7-8am to eat breakfast because I refused to eat more. So this time around I want to be prepared. I want to start collecting ED recovery resources to refer back to when I need them. And I know there is a lot of knowledge in this forum so I will be doing some reading:)
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Letizia’s journal
In Mindset
Letizia
May 19, 2022
Just a little update! I am no longer pregnant. I had an emergency c-section on May 10 because of pre-eclampsia. Our son is perfectly healthy thank goodness! Then I had a second surgery on May 11 because of internal bleeding, and a third operation on May 12 it was still bleeding (because of the anti-coagulants I take since a carotid problem I had in 2020). The 3 surgeries in 36 hours (2 of which under general anesthesia) have really taken a toll on my body. I was in so much pain, couldn’t walk/ sit up/ stand… My whole body was falling apart: low hemoglobin, anemia, not holding on to fluids, horrible stomach pain and gas, pressure sore at my coccyx from laying on my back… Nothing worked anymore basically. Also, my breast milk didn’t come (or at least not in sufficient quantities to feed my baby). It’s now been a week since my third surgery and I am finally feeling a bit better. This whole experience has reminded me of how important health is above looks. I love to look slim, but it’s really nothing if I am unhealthy. I lost all of my pregnancy weight and even more (went from 56kg to 47kg in 9 days!). I look and feel like a ghost. So for the past few days I have been eating everything they give me at the clinic, including carbs and dessert. I eat everything that is on my tray, period. I really think I can use the extra food right now so I don’t even let myself question it with thoughts of “am I still hungry?” or “do I really want this?” Before I got pregnant I thought I had found food freedom and that I didn’t have any fear foods anymore. This is true, but I now realize that I still have one big fear : eating “too much”. I would allow myself to have whatever I wanted but always smallish quantities. Also, I was *never* allowing myself to eat if I wasn’t hungry, just because something sounded good. So now I really want to focus on 1) healing my body 2) letting myself eat more and 3) allowing myself to eat because of the experience sometimes. Like on my birthday (May 14 - I was still at the clinic) my mom brought me cake. I didn’t eat it in front of her - even though I knew she would have loved to see me eat it - because I wasn’t hungry. I kept it for after dinner because I was hungry then. I want to be able to eat birthday cake when I’m not hungry. I think it’s something that most people do so why can’t I? I think I might start a new journal on here so that I can continue on this journey and hold myself accountable not to go back to my old ways.
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Letizia’s journal
In Mindset
Letizia
Apr 20, 2022
Thank you @Joyce ! we are super excited to welcome our little boy in just a few weeks! @Sheena thank you for sharing your experience! I hope I will also manage to leverage my intuitive eating background so that I will be able to lose the pregnancy weight in a healthy way without falling back into old disordered eating patterns. @skwigg seeing Rihanna owning her new body does make me feel a bit better! It’s funny because on some days (like today) I feel amazing and I think I look like a fertility goddess lol! But on other days/ weeks, I feel like complete crap. I guess it’s the hormones and also I am very sensitive to my digestive health: when my digestion is good and I feel normal hunger cues I feel a lot better. On the other hand, on the days that I am constipated/ have heartburn/ have zero appetite I generally feel a lot worse about my body and I struggle with disordered eating thoughts a lot more. I noticed that it also depends on how tired I am. I was working full-time until last Friday and I now realize I was exhausted. This week has been so great because I am now on maternity leave and I can actually rest and do what feels good. I have been walking a lot more, which helps with swollen ankles. Today I met up with a (pregnant) friend for cappuccino and chocolate croissant, then I had an amazing lunch in the sun, and in the afternoon I finally had a massage for my lower back which had been killing me for the past few weeks. Tonight I had a delicious dinner with my husband and we polished off quite a bit of our Easter chocolate. I ate a lot of yummy non-diet things and yet I had zero disordered thoughts. Prioritizing self care in general is really helpful.
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Letizia’s journal
In Mindset
Letizia
Apr 14, 2022
Thank you for your messages @juliebookasia and @skwigg ! @juliebookasia that’s exactly how I feel: I am super grateful (and excited!!) to be creating this tiny human, but at the same time I am struggling with my body image and old ED thoughts creeping back in. I trust that the weight will probably come off easily (although I am still dreading the first weeks postpartum with the squishy belly) and I have to keep reminding myself that it’s all temporary. And @skwigg , you are 100% correct in that my logical brain understands that it's normal to gain weight during pregnancy but my ED brain has woken up due to the changes in my body. How did I shut it down before? If I remember correctly, I just couldn’t take it anymore - I was hungry all the time and I knew I wasn’t living my life the way I wanted. So I started saying yes to social occasions, breaking my food rules one by one and challenging my negative body image thoughts. It took a long time and yet I now realize that it was probably still easier than now because overall I (kind of) liked my body back then. I had abs and - even though I was not at my skinniest - I was still slim. I try to apply the same strategies now, but the difference is that I don’t love my body now. My belly is huge and everything is jiggly. Even my boobs are huge (and I have never had big boobs before)! I kind of wish we could lay eggs :) Oh and the hormones - they are crazy yes! First trimester I was really irritable and now I cry my eyes out for no reason!! Thank you for reminding me that they also probably play a role on the days I feel like crap. In that respect, I find that pregnancy is like PMS on steroids. For the past couple weeks, I have been really trying to let go a bit and start eating “less clean” again. We have a lot of Easter candy in the house at the moment, which I am enjoying a lot. I also stopped doing kettlebells and I am now doing prenatal yoga. I bought myself a pair of maternity jeans that actually fit me nicely and that’s also been helpful for my confidence. This weekend we are going out to eat 3 times and I will try my best to order what actually sounds good (within the safety guidelines for pregnancy of course so no raw meat etc.) instead of the lightest thing I can find on the menu.
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Letizia’s journal
In Mindset
Letizia
Mar 26, 2022
Thank you for the congratulations and great advice/ insights!! @skwigg , what you wrote about telling another pregnant woman that she shouldn’t gain weight/ have such a big stomach really struck a chord! What an awful thing to say and also I know that pregnant women are objectively supposed to gain weight/ grow a belly, so my thoughts are ridiculous! However, I do find it hard to love my body if it’s not thin and I don’t have a flat stomach. @Hayley , thank you for sharing your experience! I can relate to wanting to gain as little weight as possible during pregnancy and being eager to return to exercising and “bouncing back”. It’s too early for me to say that I “missed out” but I definitely haven’t been enjoy being pregnant and I know it’s purely due to my difficulties in accepting the changes in my body. But you are right that this is all temporary; I have to keep reminding myself of that. Of course this also opens the door to other thoughts like “what is my body going to look like after the baby is born? will I have loose skin? stretch marks? cellulite?” But I will try to take it one step at a time. The crazy thing is that I was so sure that I was “100% recovered” from my eating issues, but I guess it’s actually a lifelong battle. It's easy not to obsess about food when you effortlessly maintain a body thin enough for your taste. I had not yet been in a position where I wanted to lose weight or didn’t like my body since finding my “happy eating place” so now comes the real challenge. @Tonya you are exactly right regarding the “out of body” experiences! My body feels foreign and actually when someone asks me what it’s like to be pregnant my answer is: “everything feels weird” (your belly changes, you grow hair in weird places, your boobs change, your emotions are all over the place, your libido is different, your taste is different, you smell different…) But maybe this could actually help me take a step back and talk to myself as I would talk to another person! It sounds kind of weird but maybe I can use the fact that “pregnant me” doesn’t feel like “me” to talk to it as if it were another person. I am not sure it makes sense but I will try it!
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