Enigma: a person or thing that is mysterious, puzzling, or difficult to understand and the word my dietician used to describe my body’s weight gain.
17 months ago I started some much needed weight restoration and ever since then I have gained anywhere from 1-5lbs per week. Even after passing through the entire healthy BMI range for my height and entering the “Obese range” no one knew why my body was continuing to gain weight. After travelling from a BMI of 17.5 to 29 by body should have been slowing down and stabilizing it’s own weight. I was eating normally and exercising regularly, my team expected my body’s setpoint to be around a BMI of 24 and for my body to overshoot that by about 10-15% but I had overshot by almost 20% and there was no sign of the never ending gain slowing down.
All throughout recovery doctors had always said that the weight gain would stop when my body was happy, but it wasn’t stopping. They thought that because I spent almost 13 years trying to control and suppress my weight the recovery was taking longer. No one knew why, I was a medical mystery, an enigma. They checked y thyroid, blood sugar, hormone levels and everything was normal, my body shouldn’t be continuing to gain.
I had found my wall and hit it with the force of a speeding train, I was ready to give it all away and let myself relapse (read about my crisis of faith here). Thankfully after some careful consideration I decided that I had to do everything I could to stay in recovery, including bringing a dietician onto my treatment team.
I have been seeing her for a few months, she understood how discouraging this whole process was and how difficult it was for me to continue in recovery when my body seemed to have a mind of it’s own. When I first saw her she apologized that she also didn’t have an answer. I presented her with 2 weeks worth of food, activity and fluid log hoping she could find something buried in between the lines. I was disappointed that she didn’t have a solution but was comforted by her willingness to help me and presented me with a few theories.
The first theory was that even though I was eating normally I wasn’t eating quite enough for my body to be confident that I would continue to feed it. For the first 5 weeks I increased my intake, it did nothing and I continued to gain weight at the same rate. Theory number 2 was that I was back-loading my days, eating a bulk of my intake at the end of the day and not spreading them out, even though I was eating every 4 -5 hours. 3 weeks later, nothing changed. Theory number 3 was that I was still leaving gaps that were too big in between meals – I vowed to not only eat my prescribed calorie intake but to eat every 2-3 hours. Three weeks later, it worked!
Finally, at a BMI of 31 my body is finally starting to trust me and MAY have started stabilizing it’s own weight. This is the most relieving and most terrifying thing that has happened in a long time. It will take another 3 weeks to know for sure but I finally feel like there is hope – we have an answer! The mystery may have been solved! I’ll definitely check in a few weeks from now to report back on how it’s going – there’s so much to talk about, so much that this MEANS!! For now, wish me luck!