Thursday, March 03, 2011
Somehow, in this moment, I have found peace.
HOWEVER, had you been around me a mere two hours ago, you would've observed a very different Kalyn.
I am not an emotional person. I pride myself on being able to keep my cool and usually perceive situations from a somewhat objective standpoint. Today was quite different.
As yesterday's blog revealed, I had an appointment with a counselor for my eating disorder. Today I planned on seeing a nutritionist. However, this morning, I got a call revealing that the dietitian needed to reschedule my appointment until tomorrow. I was disappointed, but she offered me another option: a counselor was available today during my schedule nutrition consultation time, and if I was willing, she would be able to see me for another counseling session. After my successful session yesterday, I eagerly agreed to see another counselor again today.
The session started off really well. We dove head-first into my eating disorder issues. I thought things were progressing fabulously- until I revealed my weight. Once the new counselor heard my current weight, all progress stopped. She refused to counsel me any further until I rushed myself to urgent care to get a physical. I tried to politely tell her that I had just had a physical examination performed within the last month, but she would not relent. I reluctantly agreed to see an on-campus physician (despite the fact that I had loads of homework that desperately needed my attention back home). THEN, she proceeded to tell me that I was basically a hopeless case- she wanted to call my father and enroll me in an out-patient residential eating disorder treatment facility (initially she was pursuing inpatient), and threatened other serious actions if I did not follow her every advice.
I left the appointment (& headed to the on campus urgent-care) with this statement from her, "If you fail to show up for your following counseling session Friday or any of your doctors appointments (the one today and another that is scheduled for Monday), we will have to call your father to take further action."
Needless to say, I've been shaken up ever since the appointment. I am the one who took the initiative to make a counseling appointment in the first place. I am the one who sought help. I do not want this disorder, so why should I be treated as if I do not understand the gravity of the situation? Furthermore, I am a twenty-one year old; why should my father be notified (and for that matter, my father and I are very close, and he happens to know all details of my disorder).
Have you ever been treated disrespectfully because of your weight? This was really the first time I've encountered something like this, and I hope I am never discriminated against in such a manner ever again; I hope the same for all of you. Being looked at as nothing more than a number really hurts.
PS, look what my lovely roommate bought for me (after I came home crying!):
My favorite red velvet cupcake!
I ate every bite.
So I have just one thing to say to that mean ol' counselor:
DON'T tell me I'm not trying!
Wednesday, March 02, 2011
Well, happy March 1st, Spark Friends!
I'm kind of torn on how "successful" I'd call my first day of this new month.
I had an 8:00 am doctor's appointment today... Since doctors are notoriously known for keeping people waiting, I figured I would be there a long time; thus, I planned ahead last night and prepped myself a protein-filled breakfast:
Breakfast Pizza Version #1 (Savory)
1 Trader Joe's Middle Eastern 100% Whole Wheat Flatbread
1/3 cup Egg Beaters, Southwestern Style
1/4 cup Trader Joe's Light Mozzarella shredded cheese
1/8 veggie and mushroom marinara sauce
3 slices Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh brown sugar baked ham
1/2 cup spinach
1 Tbsp. chopped onions
This pizza is super delicious, but I found myself really, really full after eating it. (It comes out to be around 270 calories, which isn't any bigger/smaller than my normal breakfast-- must've been all the protein)
Of course, I sat in the waiting room at the doctor's office for 2 hours; he saw me for exactly twelve minutes. Twelve minutes. Great... All I got was an increased dosage for my acid reflux, and I was late for my 10:30 class.
However, something positive did come out of my doctor's visit. The last several times I've visited him, my doctor has expressed great concern about my low weight. I keep promising him that I'll start seeing a counselor again. Well, today, he finally insisted, and today, I finally made the appointment. Not only did I make the appointment, but to my surprise, they had an opening today, during my break from class (I saw a counselor at Student Health on campus), so I followed through and went to my first counseling session since being discharged from my residential eating disorder treatment facility!
Much to my surprise, the counseling session went great! My counselor actually had a lot of knowledge about eating disorders, and we made a personal plan for me to start following through with. In fact, I have an appointment with an on-campus dietitian tomorrow! I'm scared but ready-- I have promised myself that I will do WHATEVER it takes to gain this weight back.
As you may know, today is also National Pancake Day. I have always LOVED, LOVED, LOVED pancakes, but my disorder has me a little scared of all the carbs, sugar, and calories in them. However, earlier this week I vowed I would go enjoy a free short stack of pancakes at IHOP, so I asked my roommate to go with me, and she said yes. Unfortunately, today she decided she wasn't in the mood for pancakes so we didn't go. Is it bad that I was kind of relieved? I know it is... I wish I could just enjoy food for what it is... fuel for my body... instead of looking at it in such a negative light all the time.
On the other hand...
Yesterday morning I tried to prepare myself for the planned IHOP meal that was supposed to happen today, so I tried to make a calorie-packed breakfast. Hence, breakfast pizza #2.
Breakfast Pizza #2 (Sweet)
Trader Joe's Middle Eastern 100% Whole Wheat Flat Bread
2 Tbsp. Skippy Natural Extra Chunky Peanut Butter
1/2 frozen banana, sliced
1/4 cup sugar free pancake syrup
LOTS & LOTS of ground cinnamon
This pizza was also delicious, but be warned: SUPER sweet! I'm not used to eating such sweet, sugary things in the morning, so this had me on a bit of a "sugar high" for a few hours. However, the sticky, ooey, gooey pizza was TO DIE FOR! Warm bananas, melted peanut butter, chewy bread, sweet syrup. Hungry yet? Haha :)
Well that's all for now, Spark Friends.
Hope you started your March out on the right foot!
Let's all keep in mind: New month, New Motivation!
PS, wish me luck with the new dietitian tomorrow! I wonder what she'd think of all this breakfast pizza madness?
Monday, February 28, 2011
Tonight's the Oscar's, and I'm probably one of the very few people not watching it. I'm not a big Academy Award's fan (Red Carpet, yes... Award Show, ehhh, kinda lame in my opinion), and I could DESPERATELY use a break from my school work, so I thought I'd catch you up on some recent happenings in my life & a few recipes I've tried.
We can start with my simple version of Chicken Cordon Bleu:
2 4-oz. boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 slices Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh Brown Sugar Ham
1 Laughing Cow Light Swiss Cheese Wedge
4 Nilla Wafer cookies
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Butterfly each chicken breasts and pound until about 1/4" thick.
Spread 1/2 of Laughing Cow Cheese wedge on one side of each breast.
Cover cheese with 2 slices of ham. Roll up chicken into a pinwheel.
In a ziploc bag, crush up the Nilla Wafers until they have a breadcrumb-like consistency. Pour into bowl or plate. Spray chicken with non-stick spray and roll in cookies to coat.
Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray. Place chicken on sheet and bake for 35 minutes. Pretty easy, and each breast ends up clocking in at about 230 calories.
The swiss cheese, brown sugar ham, and Nilla cookies make the chicken pretty sweet-tasting. I was surprised at how moist and flavorful this recipe came out to be! I definitely suggest pairing it with some red grapes; the flavor combination was perfect!
**Note, some of the Nilla Wafers on the bottom of the chicken did get a little black during cooking, but they easily came off and didn't ruin the meal at all!
I also have had a few good meals outside the home lately; Eating out is always challenging for me because I find myself compulsively NEEDING to know the EXACT amount of calories in everything I eat (I'm sure many of you can relate to this). However, I realize that eating out is a vital part of "normal" eating, so I must challenge myself to do so. This week, my roommate and I went out for sushi. YUM! I ordered two California Rolls (typically I am more adventurous with my sushi rolls, but I was really just CRAVING a good ol' classic this time). Get a gander at all FIVE of the California Rolls that Mandy & I ordered:
I planned on eating both of the 8-piece rolls at the restaurant but found myself too full to finish the last six pieces of my second one. HOWEVER, I had counted both sushi rolls in my meal-plan for the day and new I needed the calories, so I boxed up the remaining sushi and took it home for a midnight snack... Drizzled with a little low-sodium soy sauce, the left-over sushi was just as good as it had been at the restaurant!
I also tried another new recipe for dinner today (with all of the extra time I had NOT watching the Oscars, I figured I had nothing better to do than play in the kitchen!)
On the menu: Cheeseburger Pie!
16 oz. 93% lean ground beef
1/2 cup Almond Breeze Original Almond Milk
1/2 cup Egg Beaters Southwestern Style
1/2 cup Trader Joe's Light Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 cup Bisquick Heart Balance Mix (dry mix only)
1/3 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup water
1 glove garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp taco seasoning
4 medium-size tomato slices
Spray a skillet with non-stick spray. Over medium heat, brown beef, onions, and garlic. Sprinkle on taco seasoning and parmesan. Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer while doing the next steps:
In a bowl, add milk, water, and Egg Beaters to the Bisquick mix. Whisk well.
Spray a pan (pie pan, casserole dish, whatever-- I used a 9 inch pie pan, I believe) with non-stick spray. Remove beef from heat and drain any excess grease. Spread meat into pan and cover with shredded cheese. Pour liquid mixture over the top and spread evenly (I was worried that I had not made enough of this, but it all worked out during the cooking process). Place tomato slices on top and cook for about thirty minutes.
**It was kind of hard for me to tell when the "crust" was done, since the large amount of egg in it kept it pretty yellow, rather than browning. Once an inserted knife comes out clean, though, it's done! Keep in mind that this is actually not going to be a flaky crust, since using a Bisquick mix (I was expecting more of a pie-crust like texture for some reason).
Cut into six slices and serve. (Each slice is approximately 200 calories)
My thoughts on the Cheeseburger Pie? Ehh, not too shabby- definitely will try it again but make a few changes: The meat was kind of bland, so I ended up dipping it in ketchup (to give it more of a "cheeseburger" feel. Next time, I will definitely add more spices when browning the meat- maybe some green pepper or chiles, as well. I think I'll also add some reduced sugar ketchup to the skillet when cooking, and maybe use a little more shredded cheese and omit the Parmesan all-together, since I couldn't really detect it in the food. I also have a strange loooooove for bread & butter pickles and think it may be cool to add some of those, along with the tomatoes, to the top of the crust. Speaking of the crust, it was light and fluffy and yummy- not what I was expecting. If you want a pie crust, I suggest maybe using crescent rolls or even just a store-bought pie crust, but the calorie count would go up-- nothing wrong with the "crust" on this dish, though. It worked well for me!
On another note, I also made "Cheesecake Sandwiches" tonight! They're currently chilling in the fridge (of course, I had just one as a "taste test" earlier). Totally yummy! I'll save that recipe for another day though :)
Saturday, February 26, 2011
I have a new obsession.
After a grocery run the other day, I realized my kitchen cabinets needed an overhaul. I was removing everything, reordering, organizing, when suddenly something caught my eye. Shoved (& obviously forgotten) in the small cabinet over my refrigerator was a brand new personal size George Foreman grill- never even opened or out of the box. Curiosity peaked, I pulled the box down and cracked the bad boy open. My life will never be the same again :)
Are you aware of how versatile a George Foreman grill is? Well I wasn't (& I obviously still haven't had enough time to begin to unravel all of George's mysteries), but one thing I have had the time to master: the panini. Oh yes, just a simple sandwich-- but throw her on good ol' George, and POOF! Simple sandwich becomes delicious panini (I love a warm meal, and c'mon-- how much more legit does turkey panini sound rather than turkey sandwich?)
So, here are just a few of my endeavors in my love affair with Mr. Foreman's machinery:
Cracked Black Pepper & Chipotle Turkey Panini
Spread 1 Tbsp of Kraft Chipotle Mayo on one slice of whole wheat bread. Layer on 6 slices cracked black pepper turkey breast (I used Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh) and 1 slice sharp cheddar cheese. Throw on some greens and top with another slice of bread. Spray George Foreman with some non stick spray, place sandwich, close lid. Three minutes later a perfectly toasted, spicy turkey panini.
Easiest lunch ever- just serve with some baby carrots & fruit!
Roast Beef Mushroom Marinara Panini
Spread 1/4 cup of marinara pasta sauce on 1 slice of whole wheat bread. On other slice, spread 1/2 of a Laughing Cow Garlic & Herb cheese wedge. Sandwich spinach, a few mushroom slices, and 2 oz. roast beef (I used Hillshire Farms reduced sodium) between the bread slices. Spray down George, press the sandwich for a few minues, and voila!
A good substitute for pizza, I think. I served mine alongside a bed of spring mix topped with 1/3 cup cottage cheese and fresh ground black pepper.
***EVERYONE MUST TRY THIS NEXT RECIPE---SERIOUSLY***
(Haha just kidding, but really, you should--- it's super yummy!)
Creamy Raspberry-Almond Turkey Wrap
Spread 1 Tbsp reduced fat cream cheese on a tortilla shell (I used Mission Carb Balance Fajita shell). Place 5 whole raspberries on the shell. Cover with 4 slices oven roasted turkey breast and some mixed greens. Chop 4 whole almonds and sprinkle over tortilla. Fold. Spray Foreman with non-stick spray and grill tortilla for a good 3-5 minutes. While waiting on wrap to warm, peel and slice a kiwi. Plate kiwi, along with 5 more raspberries on a plate. Remove sandwich from grill, cut in half, and enjoy the richest, creamiest, most decadent little light lunch you've ever had :)
*This next one is really good, too!!
Grilled Greek Turkey Panini
Spread one slice of whole wheat bread with 1 Tbsp Athenos Roasted Red Pepper Hummus. Sprinkle on 1 Tbsp chopped onion. Slice three thin slices from a tomato and add to sandwich. Sprinkle 1/8 cup of Athenos Garlic & Herb Crumbled Feta Cheese and top with 3 slices of low sodium deli turkey. Top with spinach and another slice of whole wheat bread. Spray George down and make your panini!
I served mine along with 4 "naked" pita chips, some baby carrots, and 1 Tbsp black bean hummus.
These may not be the most complex recipes, but they taste good! Plus, I think everyone could use a break from the monotony of an everyday deli lunchmeat sandwich. Try one & let me know what you think!
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Ahhh, February: For being the shortest month, it's crammed full of occassions: Valentine's Day, President's Day, Black History Month... and of course, National Eating Disorder Awareness Week-- which just so happens to be this week.
Coincidentally, an eating disorder is how I began my SparkPeople journey, hence I can think of no better time to write this blog... "THE BLOG". Yep, it's time to share the story of how I ended up at SparkPeople. It's a long one, so let's get started.
My troubles with eating started in the typical manner: high school was rough, girls were mean, and I was in a really unhealthy relationship. I lost all of my self confidence and tied my self-worth completely to my looks. I started experimenting with restricting calories and skipping meals. I found this method worked well with weight loss, but when my weight dipped "too low" my senior year, my parents got involved and put an end to my first round of disordered eating.
After I graduated high school, I was lucky enough to travel to Spain, Portugal, and a few other parts of Europe. I had an amazing time, but in that short amount of time, I packed on the pounds and reached my highest weight yet- slightly over 120 pounds (I am 5'4''). I hated the way I looked; I had always been the "skinny" girl, never over 105-110 pounds, and on my small frame, that extra 10-15 lbs made a HUGE difference in my mind.
Once back from Europe, people around my small town of 5,000 started commenting on my weight gain. It's not that their comments were mean- some mostly saying, "You're starting to look more curvy/womanly/etc", but all I heard was "huge and ugly". I was relieved to start school at a university in the fall, where hopefully I wouldn't get comments on my weight anymore; however, financial troubles played out and my dream of moving away was shattered. Instead, I was forced to attend a community college a mere hour away from home. I got my own apartment, and this is when the real trouble began. I was lonely. I had no friends at this school. I completely focused on my weight- I assumed I was making no friends because I was the "fat girl". "Luckily", I had an old friend to turn to for consolidation: we'll call him "ED", aka my eating disorder. It came back quickly and on a more intense level than before. I started eating one meal a day and running obsessively. I cut my one meal to one snack, and eventually I wasn't eating at all, only drinking coffee and exercising (even skipping class to exercise). I dropped 40 pounds in a mere month and a half. My family panicked. They canceled my lease and immediately moved me home.
We thought that by living at home my problems would stop, since my father could more accurately monitor me; instead, I became sneakier. I started lying to hide my disorder. I was terrified of calories, and tracked every bit of what I ate on pencil and paper... until my father found my notepad and freaked out: WELCOME TO SPARKPEOPLE. I started counting online; using SparkPeople as my "eating disorder help tool". I was crazy and consumed, and within a few more months I was officially diagnosed with anorexia and exercise bulimia. Once diagnosed, I realized I had a problem and wanted to get better, but by then, the "ED" had too strong of a hold on me and I was no longer in control; I needed professional help. I checked into a residential eating disorder clinic in Chicago. Unfortunately, my insurance would not cover treatment for an eating disorder (a "disease" that I "brought on myself"), and my family could not afford treatment for more than a month-- over $1,000 a day. Fortunately, I found a scholarship fund that sponsored girls with eating disorders. In my desperation to recover, I applied for the scholarship, and to my amazement, I was chosen out of sixty applications for the year to receive treatment. I was shipped from my residential center straight to Birmingham, Alabama. This is where my life was saved.
I'll save all the details, but over the course of five months, I began to love myself again. I went through the recovery steps, put the weight back on, and graduated from the center on July 3rd, 2009. I did well for the first six months out of treatment; I was committed, and my weight remained relatively stable; however, once I started school again and fell into a comfortable routine, I found myself cutting corners, eating less, exercising more. Slowly, I fell back into my disorder. The pounds fell off just as easily as they did before. However, this time it was different... I didn't want to be sick. I didn't want to go back to being the "miserable anorexic". I did various things to try to gain weight- drank Ensure, saw a dietitian, sought counseling but yet I couldn't gain the weight.
Unfortunately, I had made the decision to move across the country to attend a university in the west- Arizona State. I knew it would be hard to keep my disorder under control on my own, but I thought it was too late to change my decision, and in August 2010, I moved 23 hours from home in Illinois to attend ASU. As expected, the weight continued to fall off. School was stressful, and though I didn't want to, I fell into the comfortable trap of being the "anorexic girl" again. And that's where I am now- at my current weight of 84 pounds.
Here's what is different this time though: I no longer think I look good. Before in my disordered state of mind, I loved being skinny. Now I despise it. I want desperately to receive those comments about being "curvy and womanly" that made me feel fat and ugly before. I am twenty-one; I want to be a woman; I want curves, dammit. I am fighting so hard to gain weight, but it is so hard for me to do. I am irrationally scared that all of my weight will land in my stomach, and that I will look like a big apple; however, I know that my health is more important than anything, so I AM going to put on the weight I need. I am using SparkPeople as a positive tool this time, rather than a negative one. I am counting calories, but not to restrict them- in fact the opposite; I am trying daily to push my caloric intake up, past my recommendations for weight gain on SparkPeople. Other than walking to class, I do no cardio exercise. I do, however, do yoga and strength training a few times a week because people with eating disorders are more prone to osteoporosis, and I want my muscles and bones to be strong. I am incorporating new foods and recipes- which I love sharing with my SparkFriends- into my diet to eliminate "fear foods" and routines, which lead to minimum caloric intakes each day. I'm fighting hard, and I know I can beat this this time.
So, in honor of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, I have made a list of goals/rules which will help me conquer my eating disorder:
1) Goal Weight: 100 pounds by May 01, 2011. I would love to start bikini season off with some "meat on my bones" and at least a little curvier. I will buy myself a new swim suit as a reward when I reach my goal weight.
2) I will have dessert at least three times a week. There is no such thing as a "bad food".
3) I will eat when I am hungry, no matter if it is "meal time" or not. Listening to my body is the only way to intuitively eat, as normal people do.
4) I will be in constant contact with God. God created me; He loves me; I am beautiful to Him. When I destroy myself, I destroy his creation. He is my strength, my rock. I can beat this with His help.
5) When I do exercise, it will be because exercise is GOOD for me. I will practice yoga, pilates, or fun fitness classes only when I am at a healthy enough level to do so, and I will do it as a means of a healthy lifestyle- not as a means to burn calories.
6) I will not base my self-worth on how flat my abs are.
7) I will realize that I will never be perfect; there is no such thing- no perfect body, no perfect personality, no reason to need to score perfect on every exam. I am human, and I have flaws- it's ok!
So there it is :) Kinda therapeutic to just get it all out there (with the exception of a lot of the gory ED details, which I will spare you all from). Thanks for listening, SparkFriends!
Oh, and one last thing...
Remember that cupcake that sent me into a craze last week?
Well guess what? I just ate a big ol' Sprinkles Red Velvet Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting...and enjoyed every-single-one of the 500-calories with (seriously!) NO guilt!
TAKE THAT, ED!
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