Dine Monte Nido

I've been thinking about how I wanted to post this, or if I wanted to post it, but I feel like if you're following my life, this is kind of an important detail that may be relevant for future posts. Basically I'm starting Monte Nido's Dine program on Wednesday, October 7. I feel kind of weird posting it because I've been in and out of IOP/PHP/Res/IP/etc. for a while, and it's like, again?

Only this is different. Monte Nido is a treatment program that I believe started in California by Carolyn Costin (author of 8 keys to recovery from an eating disorder), and Dine is an affiliate of her program. It's only a one day program, and it's 3 hours long and includes dinner. The program is meant for people who want to recover and want to be there, as opposed to other programs I've been in where a lot of people are there because they're forced to be there.

I have a lot of apprehensions about starting the program. One of them is the leader, Alex Raymond, a new nutritionist that works for Rebecca Bitzer. Background info - Rebecca Bitzer is my old dietician, who also used to lead a group that Alex would sometimes run with her. Alex was also a student at UMD my first semester (when I was pretty bad in my ED). I was a nutrition major at the time (lol), and I think it was Alex's last semester there as a nutrition major. I went to their nutrition club one time, realized that I felt so awkward there because talking about food used to freak me out (why was I a nutrition major??), and didn't go back. Alex was also the leader of the nutrition club. I don't know if she remembers me, but it's just weird going to a program lead by a prior peer. And it's also going to be weird going to a program lead by a nutritionist rather than a therapist, because I feel like a lot of the group topics will be therapy issues?

Another apprehension is that the meals don't go by exchanges, they go by what is a "normal meal." I can't even remember eating a meal without either counting the calorie content, or counting exchanges (while still counting calories, because I can't eat something without calculating the calories in my head). So like, how am I supposed to know if I'm eating what fits into my meal plan (not like I follow my meal plan anyways, but I most certainly don't want to go over)?

And going along with the whole meal situation, it is required that everyone have a caloric drink with their meal. I know I shouldn't be as scared of caloric beverages as I am, but ahhhh. Like I can drink caloric beverages in certain situations. For instance, sometimes I drink soy milk with breakfast, but that's only if it fits into my allowed calories. Or I'll drink alcoholic beverages occasionally, but again, only if I underrate that day, because again, calories. I mean, why drink my calories if I can get just as many calories from food? I know it's possible for me to do the whole liquid calorie thing, because in past treatments I've done them. But it's always somehow fit into my meal plan (e.g. if I need a dairy, I'll have soy milk, if I need a fruit, I'll have coconut juice, etc.). I talked with the intake director about it, who said it was a common concern for people (which I knew), and that most people get used to it after a few weeks. But I still can't even wrap my mind around drinking COW'S milk, or non-diet soda. I hope we can at least choose something that's not so "scary."

I'm also nervous because the intake director said the program is for people who want to be there. I want to be there, but I want not to be there. I'm so conflicted in terms of recovery. I feel really stuck. Like I might have a good week, but then I have a bad week. I'm making no progress, and am constantly going back and forth. I don't know what I want. I'm exhausted. But I don't want to live with an eating disorder, because it's not living. I just feel really hopeless in terms of recovery and motivation. But the intake director thinks this might be a good fit for me, because I'll be surrounded by people who want to recover, and I can gain strength and motivation from them. I hope he's right.

I want to give the program a shot, but I've been kicked out of programs before due to non-compliance, and I've faked my way through programs before, and there have been times where I felt like I was really taking it in but still relapsed. I need this time to be different. I don't have time in my life to waste on an eating disorder. I feel like I need more support than I have now, but I don't have time for IOP/DAY/PHP/etc., so this needs to work. I have my future all planned out. Graduate in December, work in the spring and summer while accumulating volunteer hours, practicum over the summer, start grad school in the Fall. I don't have time in my life to backtrack and end up in a higher level of care.

Sorry this was a long post. I think I could use some encouragement, because I feel discouraged and unmotivated, and really ashamed of doing a program again when I've done them so many times. I'm scared this isn't going to work, or that I'm not going to be able to persevere.

Also, if you do the whole prayer thing, pray that I would really dive into this program and give it everything. And that I can be honest with my team about things, because I've been struggling with that too. And pray that I'll be motivated and encouraged by the other ladies in treatment.


  1. It is for people who want to be there, and you definitely want to be there, and recognize you need to be there. The best thing you can do is give this your all, not trying it is a sure way to fail. Trying gives you the chance at success. I wish I could give you some strength. I am entering my 5th year since I first whole hardheartedly started recovery and the first year was hell. The second year was better but I still had so many fears. Year three I was determined to get rid of lingering fears (such as the caloric drink fear). The only thing I've found consistent in my recovery that the more I exposed myself to my fears the less they scared me and now I can look back and see how far I have come. I still have more food preferences than the average person and if I am extremely stressed I will feel the urge to start counting calories and do ED behaviors, but the difference is at 5 years I don't act on the urges and I am strong enough to relapse. Recovery isn't a short process, it takes years, millions of small steps. Don't forget to celebrate every small step, because after a million small steps you may just realize that you are the happiest you've ever been in your life. <3

    1. Thank you for this. It is always encouraging to hear about other's successes. You're right, I do need to remember my victories. I may not be where I want to be, but I'm in a much greater place than I was 2 years ago. And even though the last year has been a constant 2 steps forward, 3 steps back, I'm still managing to do things I haven't done before. Example: today I ate a huge ice cream sandwich at the veg fest. Last year when I went, no way I would have done that. I need to stop clinging to everything I'm doing wrong, and try to focus on the positives.

  2. You can do it! Didn't you go to ERC a while ago? Ive heard that is a very strict program. And that you have to eat everything or get tubed. And they make you get to your full ideal body weight. Didn't you stay there a while and go thru all their programs? That is so great that you did that! So if you could do that, this should be easy!

  3. What are you REALLY afraid of with this program? Is it the loss of control? Is it fear of recovery? Is it fear of gaining weight? Is it fear of other people? Fear to feel your feelings?