Before starting the intensive outpatient program for eating disorders, I had to get clearance from a doctor. Basically a physical. Unsurprisingly, due to my weight, my bill of health was not exactly clean.
I explained that I had been learning about eating disorders and was getting the physical, so I could start a program. I told him how I was starting to understand why no diet I’ve been on (and trust me, there have been MANY) has ever worked long term and that I need to get through the feelings piece before I will be able to lose weight without failing at another diet. The doctor seemed to understand and support my decision and reasoning, but when the blood-work paper showed up in the mail, his instructions still said “lose 10 pounds by next appointment.”
When I first started the program, I figured all I needed to do was to deal with a couple of feelings, deep-seated though they may be, and the eating will normalize and the weight will fall off. Just like that. Easy peasy. Well not totally easy, because feeling the feelings is hard, but since it wasn’t really about the food, I didn’t have to worry about the food. Of course it turned out pretty quickly that the ED did not want to just vacate years and years of running my life, just because I got in touch with some feelings. And sometimes, depending on how raw the reopened wounds were, the eating got worse. I’m trying to think of an appropriate comparison… maybe just go back and read the story about the log. Basically starting treatment is like jumping into the rapids. You cling to the log even more than you ever have before, but as you work on it you are more and more able to let go.
Anyway, the appointment date rolled around and despite my tremendous emotional advances, I had not made any progress physically. So, I rescheduled. I gave myself enough time to seriously work on my food and easily lose the 10 pounds. But like every other time that I set some time/weight goal for myself, time passed, but the pounds stood still (if I was lucky… sometimes the pounds moved in the opposite direction).
My rescheduled appointment is tomorrow. I started freaking out 2 weeks ago, because even on an extreme fad diet, which I never actually dismissed as an option, 2 weeks is not quite enough time to drop 10 pounds. Nevermind the fact that even considering this flies in the face of all the work I have done to get over unhealthy, ineffective dieting (more about that later this week, that’s one of the unfinished posts that were leading to multitasking the other day).
I’ve considered cancelling/rescheduling the appointment AGAIN, but that would just create another self imposed deadline to get to a weight related goal, that would cause more anxiety as that date moves closer, so I have decided to stop avoiding the doctor. I have been working on my assertive communication skills for months and if I feel like he is shaming or lecturing me, I will tell him that I HAVE made progress, even if it is not showing up on the scale right now. And I will tell him that:
When he pressures and shames me about my weight
I feel like he does not understand eating disorders and is not allowing me to give this approach a fair chance
And what I need from him is to do the follow up physical, record the progress or lack thereof and schedule another appointment.