Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May 1, Ruminating

It's May 1 and today I weighed in at 208 pounds. That's two pounds gone in April.

Looking back, I've been losing slowly but haven't had any gains since October:

221 October
219 November (-2)
218 December (-1)
218 January 2013 (0)
216 February (-2)
213 March (-3)
210 April (-3)
208 May (-2)

Yep, 13 pounds in 7 months. Ten pounds so far this year.

I sort of accepted the slow losses, or at least I thought I had. I figured eventually my body will catch up and show me a bigger loss. And if not, hey, at least I am losing weight again. My body is changing and I look better and feel better. I weigh less now than I have in about 14 months. But somehow, today, when I wrote down "2 pounds" for April in my planner, I got mad.

I got very irritated that I ate an average of 900-1000 calories a day all month and still lost just 2 pounds. I got annoyed that I worked *very hard* to stay closer to my goal of eating perfection than I have in months... with only one off plan (but low carb) meal all month... and still only lost 2 pounds. In fact, this afternoon I became exceptionally grumpy and just wanted to go to the bakery and have a bagel sandwich and a cupcake. But I didn't. Instead I looked at the calendar, realized I am mid-cycle and my hormones are whacked, thought about my very stressful month with a death in the family and dealing with a serious, long-standing medical issue with one of my children, remembered that I have been dealing with quite a bit of pain from my feet, and gave myself a pass. What I mean by a pass is, I decided not to be so hard on myself and my body. I need to stop thinking negatively about it and embrace the healthy changes and the weight loss I *did* get. I made some big adjustments to my eating... lowering the sodium and fat percentage... sticking to Medifast quite well. And I did increase my activity a bit despite the pain, walking a bit more and biking some. I did okay. I did a good job. There's no need to shoot myself in the foot by going off and eating junk for a day.

I admit I am still annoyed but in a more accepting kind of way. I will keep on working at it, and maybe May will be the month I lose more than 2 or 3 pounds. But if not, I will just be glad for my healthier, healing body.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Have you ever had your metabolism professionally tested? You breathe into a machine for about thirty minutes, and it's supposed to tell you your resting metabolic rate. It would be interesting to see if yours was abnormally low. (And if it was--if there was a possible medical reason) Because, while I congratulate you on your weight loss, I can also understand your frustration.

Anonymous said...

2 lbs beats no pounds. I'm struggling too, and frustrated that I'm being good and not being rewarded to the degree that I feel I should. Life ain't fair, and the scale goddess is a capricious one. But what is the alterative? Getting bigger? I'm TRYING to be happy with feeling decent and having a teeny drop every week. I manage to be happy sometimes, but other times not so much so. Dieting (in what ever guise it takes) sucks. Being fat (when you don't want to be) sucks too. Hang in there.
Barb

Lyn said...

Anon 1~

no I have not. It would be interesting. I wonder what it would cost? I am pretty sure insurance wouldn't cover it. Where did you go to have it done?

Anon 2 (Barb)~

Yep, agreed with all!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn. This is Anon 1. I got mine done at a state university exercise physiology lab for under $50 without insurance. You might see if your closest university has something similar. Otherwise, other health centers might offer it.

LHA said...

Slow or stalled weight loss is so frustrating! The only way I have felt to deal with it psychologically is to weigh less often (I know you have tried that already) and to think of the way I am eating as my "new and always" way of eating. If I don't think of it as a diet, I don't feel quite as entitled to lose weight. I don't know if you feel that way about Medifast, as though it is the way you will always eat, but it seems that with your slow rate of loss maintenance wouldn't be too much different. I don't mean that to be distressing to you, but instead to point to the obvious health benefits and improved energy that you have found through this way of eating. Good luck on the rest of your journey! I think you have shown a lot of fortitude and determination and are sure to succeed.

Anonymous said...

I feel like the best way to look at it is to say, "Okay, I'm going to be eating more or less this way regardless of whether I've reached my goal weight or not --" (I know you're going to be transitioning off Medifast but you're still going to be eating low carb and keeping an eye on fat, salt, etc.) "-- so it doesn't matter how slow the losses are because I'm going to be eating this way in a year regardless of whether I've reached my goal weight or not. As long as I keep this up I'll get and stay there." You're doing everything you can and maybe the bigger losses will come and maybe they won't, but imo you're doing fantastically and a 2lb. loss for April is nothing to sniff at.

Angel said...

Lyn, I read a post on another blog where the lady did get her metabolism checked, her ins DID pay, she paid only $150 I think.

http://www.coffeecakeandcardio.com/2013/02/22/metabolic-testing/

Wouldn't hurt to check into it. I have considered it as well.

BTW I don't know if I've ever commented before! But have been reading a long time. :)

emmaw1 said...

Oh, Lyn, it's because you're eating way to few calories. :( I hope you'll reconsider increasing how much you're eating.

Sunnydaze said...

Hi, I just found your blog and you look fabulous! Congratulations on your success, so far. Weird that I came across this post today becuase I just posted that I was getting aggrivated for a small gain 3 days in a row for no apparent reason. You are doing awesome!

I'm at:http://www.3fatchicks.com/diet-blogs/sunnydayz/

Lyn said...

LHA~

thanks! Yes, I think maintenance will look similar... low cal low carb, but without the Medifast meals. I do think if I am able to become more active again (lifestyle-wise) after this foot pain eventually goes away (I hope??) that my metabolism should speed back up a little. At least that's what I am counting on.

Anonymous~

that's the kind of mindset I try to keep. The time is going to pass anyway so I may as well just keep doing this and be lighter in a year. Thanks.

Anon 1~

thanks, I will check into it.

Angel~

good to 'hear' from you! I will read that link. It will be good to read someone else's experience with it. If I find a place reasonable I may consider doing that.

emmaw1~

well, I thought the same thing a year ago. If you read back over my blog, you'll see that last summer I switched to Paleo/Primal/whole foods over the summer and then in the fall to low carb calorie counting. Eating an average of 1357 calories/day maintained my weight at 221 pounds. Eating 1421 resulted in my weight slowly going up. Prior to Medifast I was biking 30 minutes a day, 6 days a week, lifting weights 3x a week and walking a couple miles a day and would gain on 1800/day, lose on 1500.

So it seems to me that a decade of binge eating, where the worst binges were in excess of 5,000-10,000 calories, interspersed with spurts of ineffective dieting, did a number on my metabolism.

Sunnydaze~

thanks for posting! We will get through it, we just have to stay the course.

EmmaW said...

Exactly, Lyn! Your body is doing that because of your years of dieting. Here, read this and you'll see exactly what I'm talking about. There's no way I can condense the information into one paragraph.

http://eattoliveabundantly.wordpress.com/

Em said...

EmmaW is right. Lyn, a history of binge eating doesn't cause metabolic slowing; a history of caloric restriction does—it's documented, but it's also just logical. Your metabolism wouldn't downregulate to adapt to excessive input, it would downregulate to adapt to insufficient input. Your inactivity compounds the problem, but the problem now is and is going to remain that extreme dieting has all but killed your metabolism. You are going to have to work on healing it at some point if you hope to maintain a weight at your current level or lower. That healing process might involve an initial weight gain, and you might have to weather that for a long-term benefit.

There are a lot of resources out there about this stuff. Paleo For Women, Go Kaleo, and Your Eatopia all come to mind for me. One of the many things I like about paleo thinking is its focus on metabolic health, and hopefully that stuff can be helpful to you.

Anonymous said...

Recent, reputable studies have shown this metabolic damage theory to be a myth. In addition to the studies, look at it from a common sense point of view. How do anorexics continue to lose weight? How did concentration camp victims starve to death? If you could "kill your metabolism" these things wouldn't happen.

There are RARE exceptions in the case of medical conditions that slow metabolism or certain medications that cause the same. Again, these do not apply to the vast majority of people trying to lose weight.

Em said...

Links, please?

(Not everyone being starved in the camps did starve to death, and not all anorectics do continue to lose weight, incidentally.)

Colleen said...

Those of you who think Lynn eats too little - what do you propose she do differently that she hasn't already done? Whenever she ups her calories even by a small amount she maintains or gains. This is over months, not week (due to water weight or other random fluctuations). On her current plan she is steadily losing. The losses are necessary for her foot issues and general health.

Lynn, I think it's time for a FAQ about yourself! You could just link people to it every time they ask "Have you tried XYZ plan?" or the other common ones.

EmmaW said...

I'm sorry, Anon, but that is incorrect. Did you read any of the links I provide on my blog? First, I would like the see the specific study you are speaking of. Next, people who lose weight as a result of anorexia or concentration camp are losing weight, not because their metabolism is still roaring, but because the body starts to consume itself in order to survive because enough calories are not being consumed. The body necessarily down-regulates its metabolism in order to burn fewer calories when enough calories are not being consumed. Even with a down-regulated metabolism, the body still needs nourishment in order for basic bodily functions to continue in order to survive, which is why the body turns to itself in order to obtain what it needs, which is the weight loss you're talking about. This is not good. Yes, weight loss still happens, but at great cost to the overall health of the body. Here's a wonderful article on the devastating effects of starvation.

http://junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/2008/02/how-weve-came-to-believe-that.html

EmmaW said...

Colleen,

Please read the links I've provided. That will answer your question.

Lyn said...

Interesting discussion!

While I agree that people *can* harm their bodies with too few calories and/or poor nutrition, I also think the body is much more highly adaptable than we give it credit for. I personally don't think my metabolism is ruined/destroyed, but is extremely efficient. My doctors agree, and there's been no evidence of any type of nutritional deficiency, damage, or 'starvation' in any of my blood tests. The amount of protein I eat spares the muscle tissue, and I never was on any terribly restrictive, low calorie diets for any length of time prior to Medifast, yet I had to stay under 1500 calories while exercising regularly pre-Medifast in order to lose.

It's a puzzle, for sure.

EmmaW said...

Lyn,

No, your metabolism isn't "ruined/destroyed", and I'm not suggesting that. But it will be suppressed from eating too few calories, which means that it is doing its job, not that it's ruined. This is why you are not losing tons of calories on so few calories. If your metabolism was functioning at its optimum level, while eating such a small amount of calories, you would be losing a bunch of weight, not just a couple of pounds in a month (no, this is not a plateau). But, this cannot happen because you can't eat such few calories without it causing the body to suppress its metabolism. It's a biological law of nature.

BTW, thank you for allowing this conversation to continue. I was rescued from dieting, and am about 9 months into recovery. My gratefulness in finally being told the truth about dieting and the inevitable prison it keeps you in (having to continuously cut back calories in order to continue losing, and gaining ridiculous amounts of weight on only the slightest increase of calories) has led me to put all the information I've learned into one place in order to effectively share with others what I've learned. I remember being in that place you're speaking about, and the constant frustration of that reality that I couldn't escape no matter what I did. I remember telling my husband "millions" of times, "This shouldn't be this hard!" Now I know why it was so hard.

Doctors don't know better simply because they don't have the time to stay on top of the current science on this issue. They are susceptible to simply believe what everyone else is saying just like the rest of us, unless they take the time out from their busy lives to dig deeper than the junk science that is out there, but most of them don't have the time to do so because there are so many diseases and other health related issues that they need to stay on top of that unavoidably take priority over weight loss; it's a matter of priority for them, and it's easier for them to allow the diet industry to deal with weight loss.

The diet/health/weight loss industry is for sure never going to tell us any differently because their entire industry would simply disappear if we all stopped dieting, and their not about to just allow that to happen and lose the billions of dollars a year income they get from all of us being on a perpetual diet. Mind you, I do not think that all doctors, or those in the health field, are trying to deceive us. I think most of them are sincere in their efforts, but don't realize that they are offering incorrect and out of date information - the blind leading the blind.

This is where the small niche of eating disorder recovery information comes into play. It is dedicated to helping save someone's life that has an eating disorder. The information for recovery is science based (not junk science, real science). And the basis of recovery is re-feeding based on the amount of food that people eat who do not suffer from an eating disorder and/or who have never dieted, which is why it applies to everyone no matter what form of restriction you engage in, and will continue to be how much you eat once recovery is complete. Here's a really good article on this, if you have not already read it on my blog.

http://www.youreatopia.com/blog/2011/9/14/i-need-how-many-calories.html


EmmaW said...

BTW, Lyn, in regards to the blood tests, it's often a very inaccurate indicator of the actual state of your health. The reason being that during sub-optimal calorie intake, the body is borrowing from the muscles, organs, and bones to stay alive, which will result in "normal" blood tests. When problems finally show up in blood tests, damage is much more severe at that point. By the time blood tests showed that I had any deficiencies (they were always normal), I had already developed bone weakness that resulted in the development of a C curvature in my upper spine. I hope it will reverse itself with recovery, but I'm not sure if it's possible. Also, the damage I did to my body was from dieting on 1200 calories for 3 consecutive years (that was the worst phase of my years of dieting). So, as you can see, blood tests do not always tell you what’s actually happening inside the body.

EmmaW said...

Part 2

Apart from the spine damage and severe vitamin D and B12 deficiencies, here is a list of my other symptoms from dieting:

Low energy, ranging from mild to severe fatigue - getting better all the time (you actually have increased fatigue when you begin the healing process and it diminishes as you recover).

Hair loss/thinning - I no longer have this problem. At its worst, I could see nearly to the middle of my scalp from the front, and you could begin to see my scalp at the back/top of my head. My hair has stopped falling out and is filling in again. I can only see about a finger tip’s length into my scalp now, and the back is completely filled in.

Low body temperature - our temperature should be near 98.6 upon waking up. If it's below 98, it will increase with recovery.

Blue nails (from low body temperature) - gone

Disrupted sleep - waking up several times a night to go to the bathroom and/or waking up around 3 or 4 and not being able to get back to sleep - gone. I now sleep through the night. A healthy body can hold urine throughout the night until you wake up, barring any medical issues of the bladder, of course.

Loss of appetite/hunger cues - not everyone's body responds this way, but for some, like me, it does. One of the reasons this happens to some, I've discovered, is that the stomach will hold food in it as long as possible in order to extract as many calories and nutrients from the limited amount of food you are eating. I would go from meal to meal, eating because I knew I needed to, not because I was hungry as the food from my previous meals would still be in my stomach. It's a condition called gastro paresis. I'm sure there are other reasons why someone may have gastro paresis, but under eating is one reason.

Weak teeth and nails - getting better with time.

Brain fog/forgetfulness - much better. I think it will get even better once I'm through recovery and I'm not regularly tired.

Acne on the chin - almost completely gone. For some reason, nuts still trigger a break out. I hope that will go away with time as well.

Muscle cramps/aches and bone aches - like fatigue, this can actually feel worse during recovery while the muscles and bones heal. Before recovery, I got to the point that I was afraid to get out of bed in the morning because as soon as my foot touch the floor it would start cramping. I'm so glad that stopped. Almost all of my cramps/aches are gone now.

Normal, daily BMs now - sorry, had to go there as this is a huge issue for a lot of dieters.

Post nasal drip - there were several times at night when the mucus would gather, and be sooo thick, in the back of my throat that it woke me up because I felt like I was choking and couldn't breathe; very scary. This has greatly improved. My PND has diminished to just light PND at this point and I haven't been woken up with that choking sensation since I began recovery.

EmmaW said...

Part 3

That's all I can think of off the top of my head. Actually I need to save this for myself. This is the most detailed I've been with sharing my symptoms. It would be much easier to simply copy and paste it the next time I share my recovery with someone else.

As an aside, I had always thought that my problems stemmed from my thyroid disease, and my endocrinologist had no reason to believe otherwise, either. I recently had my yearly check-up with her and she obviously noticed my weight gain since my last visit and asked me what was going on. I told her what I was doing, not going into specifics as I didn’t have time to do so, and about all my symptom improvements since I stopped dieting. Her reply? She was happy that I stopped dieting and said that I had not been getting enough calories and nutrients, which was causing the symptoms I was having. The poor thyroid. How many of us blame our thyroids for symptoms that stem from under eating? It’s easy to do though because they can be similar. My endo did not even consider questioning my diet because I was not underweight, and assumed I was eating enough, which was why she initially thought the symptoms were related to my thyroid as well. We both learned a good lesson.

EmmaW said...

Sorry, I forgot to mention, that yes, the body is highly adaptable, but not in the way you're thinking or referring to. It adapts by slowing the metabolism, and there's no other way it can adapt to not getting enough calories and nutrients except to take it from the muslces, organs, and bones. It's an adaptation that it's forced into, not one that is healthy.

Nmmumaw said...

Lyn, I have wondered myself whether your incessant foot pain is exacerbated by your extremely low energy intake. It reminds me of me, last year. I was running and managed to damage both my big toes, which swelled up awfully. After the swelling went away, the nails, which had become disconnected, didn't fall off, and new ones didn't grow in.

It wasn't until I raised my calories by a LOT that I saw a difference. New nails almost instantly began growing in. After 7-8 months of no improvement, in only 4 months my nails had regrown completely and were back to normal.

The point being, it might be really really difficult for your body to devote energy to healing your feet when you're taking in so little.

Just a thought ^_^ I wish you the best of luck.

Lyn said...

EmmaW~

you've given me a lot to consider. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story and the links. I had a super busy day but will have some time this evening to read the articles. I appreciate it!

EmmaW said...

You're so welcome! I really appreciate that you allowed me to share what I've learned.

I make a concerted effort not to share what I've learned with someone who is dieting unless, like in your case, they are essentially saying "What the heck!?" and are open to/asking for their readers ideas and suggestions. This gives me the proper opportunity to share. I would love to visit every dieting blog and share what I know, but I know it wouldn't be appropriate to do so. Sometimes, I'll just leave a general comment, "Nice outfit!", or something like that, and hope that maybe a reader or two will click on my name to check out who I am and look at my blog. You're the first blogger, though, that has interacted this much with me and allowed me to share so much. Thank you for that.

You're welcome to e-mail me at any time, if you would like.

Lyn said...

EmmaW~

I appreciate your spirit of sharing without pushing. I am sure lots of people will benefit from what you've written here. After I get a chance to do some reading I may take you up on that offer to email you :) Sounds like you have been through a lot, and have a lot of wisdom to share.

EmmaW said...

For those who are interested, I remembered a couple more symptoms. The first being quite a biggie. I'm surprised that one slipped my mind.

Irregular heart beat – this began happening just before I began full recovery. It only happened a couple of times and has not happened since. The irregular beat would be accompanied with the feeling of my breathe being caught in my throat for a couple of seconds and then it would stop. I realize now that I should have gone to the doctor, but in my illogical thinking, I decided not to do anything about it because it only lasted a couple of seconds and didn’t happen regularly. I do remember thinking though that if it continued to happen that I might need to see a doctor about it.

Dry skin on my lower legs - for the longest time now, I wondered why my lower legs were always dry, even with the use of lotion. I learned at Your Eatopia that this is one of the symptoms of calorie restriction – dry lower extremities. I only have this problem with my lower legs, not my lower arms.

Lanugo - still waiting for this to go away. I only have it on my face. I remember the first time I noticed it, it freaked me out. My immediate thought was to get laser treatment for it, but decided against that, thank goodness, because it would have been wasted money. I thought it had to do with aging (ha ha), but have since learned that it develops with under eating and goes away on its own once the body has sufficiently healed.

EmmaW said...

Sorry, one more thing. The symptom that started it all.

Suppressed metabolism – greatly improved. I used to gain on anything above 1200 calories, and now maintain on 3000 calories. When I stopped dieting and increased my food intake, my weight just kept going up and up during the first 6 months of my recovery, which I finally learned was the result of being in quasi recovery (eating below 2500). I was not intentionally eating below 2500, but going from 1200 calories, and dealing with gastro paresis, to eating approximately 1800 calories felt like a big jump and I really felt full! Since I’ve begun following the MINIMUM calorie intake (and pushing through the feeling of fullness – this resolves as you continue to eat the required amounts) as outlined at Your Eatopia, I’ve gained around 10 lbs., and a few of those pounds came from playing around with my calorie amount some trying to find the highest number of calories that my body is comfortable with. But, since I’ve been consistent, once I found that number (3000 calories), my weight has been stable. So, since I began following the minimum calorie guideline, my gain has been approximately 5%, while during my first 6 months of re-feeding and being in quasi recovery my gain was approximately 30% – quite the overshoot! But I don’t technically count that as part of the FULL recovery gain. Yes, I do count it as part of my overall gain, but not as a result of full recovery. It was the result of quasi-recovery. I’ve bemoaned the fact that I wish I had known about the minimum requirement from the beginning because I’m SURE I would not have overshot my overall gain by this much if I had known better. As scary as it sounds eating that much, you actually gain less (recovery gain, it’s not permanent) eating higher calorie amounts, above 2500, than eating less than that. Here’s a good conversation about calorie intake and quasi-recovery vs. full recovery.

http://www.youreatopia.com/first-hand/post/1758111#post1758161

If any of you decide to recover, save yourself the frustration of gaining unneeded excess weight from quasi-recovery and, despite your fear that you are somehow going to be an exception (we all think that, but it’s not true), jump into full recovery and don’t look back. The initially weight gain is inevitable, so try not to let it frighten you.

Anonymous said...

Well count me as one who does not believe dieting does much at all to your metabolism. I have had mine tested and saw very very little difference. However, something does happen to many people on a diet. So what if it isn't "metabolism" what if it is something else like gut flora. Recent studies have come out showing that after gastric bypass the gut bacteria changes - weather it stays that way or not is still unanswered. What if our bodies need bacteria and lots of different kinds. Dieting could disrupt that. Because we don't get that much food, we don't get shots at different kinds of bacteria. Perhaps we need 1500 calories per day not because of the calories but because that amount of food is likely to keep the gut in good shape with many different strains of good and bad bacteria.

EmmaW said...

You're right, Anon, not eating enough food does distrupt the gut flora as well. No matter how we slice it, or what reason any of us believe is the root cause of not being able to lose weight, not eating enough is the source of that problem, barring a medical issue, of course.

Thanks for pointing that out.

Heather said...

emmaw- you are right on with everything that you are saying. i think i left a link to gwyneth's site here a long time ago, but i'm not sure if it got any attention or not. but binge eating does not harm metabolism, and i have believed for a long time lyn, that it is the extremely low calorie intake that is leading to a lot of your problems. it is hard to take the jump and believe that you need to eat more when you are already significantly overweight, but in the end, do you want to live the rest of your life counting calories, eating so little, and going up and down with your weight, or do you want to be able to eat and stay the same? it takes a leap of faith, but is proven to work.

as someone who is a recovering anorexic, i also had my bloodwork done when i was underweight and eating less then 1000 calories a day. all was perfect. no doctor said anything to me. but my body was not working correctly and it was so very obvious.

i guess in the long run, the way i think about it, is why is it considered starvation and anorexic behavior when i "skinny" person eats below 1200 calories, but when an "overweight" person eats that much it is considered a diet and fine? there really is no difference.

you can heal lyn, but you have to have faith and go for it. it will be difficult at first, but in the end it will be oh so worth it.

hope this all made sense, i feel as if i am blabbering.

Lyn said...

Heather~

thank you for your thoughts too. You're right, it is very hard... terrifying... for someone who is already over 200 pounds to eat, say, 1800 calories or more a day and see the scale go up, up, up. At some point every time I have done this I screeched to a halt and lowered the calories again. The problem is, how much more weight do I (or you or anyone) 'let myself' gain eating that way before I say "this is not working"? It took me half a year to get anywhere close to 200 again; upping my calories could result in me hitting 240 again in short order. I have a hard time thinking of that as positive in any way, or healing to any part of me. So how do you reconcile that... eating more calories and becoming more obese... with healing? I am not discounting what you are saying, but trying to understand how I personally can apply it.

Heather said...

lyn - here is the thing. you stop gaining. i promise. it might mean gaining more then you are comfortable with at first, but eventually, as your body heals, it will eventually lose a lot of that weight. it is definitely harder when you are already overweight/obese, but if you have faith in your body, it will work out. and you would honestly need to eat 2500+ calories a day to get your body in working order.

180degreehealth has a lot of success stories of people who were already very overweight who eventually started losing a significant amount of weight by eating so much more.

i really hope you will consider the information that has been presented, scary as it is.

EmmaW said...

Heather and Lyn,

Oh, yes, you can read my comments at 180degreehealth - most recently in the anxiety thread (please join the conversation if you wish). I dieted down to a size 8, found Matt's site at that point, and am now a size 16. I've gained back all the weight I had lost. You can hear my frustration with Matt in the comments several times (in various threads) for not being more explicit with the calorie factor. Several of us were very frustrated because we were gaining and gaining. Then we found Gwyneth's blog and learned about the calorie MINIMUM, and why it's crucial(I provided a link for that). It was only at that point that I stopped gaining so much, as I mentioned above. Matt did give a nod to the 2500 calorie minimum in a post, after my resquest that he say something about it, but that's not helpful to someone new to the blog who may never see that. Anyhow, because of that, I now mostly direct people to Gwyneth's blog. What Matt says is good in general, but he needs to give better guidance to people in regards to calories. For some it may work, if they have a good appetite, but it doesn't help a bit for those, like me, whose appetite has crashed with dieting. Like I said, I was consuming around 1800 from 1200, which felt like a lot. But eating under 2500 causes a lot of weight gain, which I learned too late.

EmmaW said...

Lyn,

I know that 3000 calories a day sounds like an enormous amount, Lyn, it did to me as well at first. I remember commenting on Matt's blog at one point that I couldn't even imagine eating 2000 calories a day. I now eat 3000 a day. Yes, you may very well gain back the weight you've lost. You're more likely to gain more back if you don't stay above the 2500 minimum (my weight stabilized at 3000 not 2500). I have gained all the weight back that I lost, but it's not a loss to me because I know what I'll be gaining in the end. A life of eating what I want without having to diet or obsess about food and calories. Even though I gained more than I would have if I had known about quasi recovery before I started on this journey, I'm still ultimately much happier because I feel so much better overall, and I know my weight will settle down. A two year period of your life to heal (the average is 18 months) is worth a lifetime of freedom. It's difficult while you're in it, but it will also be over before you or I know it. I'm nine months in, half way there, and before I know it, it will be over for me. It helps to have support through it. The reason I keep commenting on Matt's blog, even though he frustrates me on the calorie issue and I don't directly refer others to him because of that, is the support I get from others there.

Despite all that I've said, you have to be ready to do it. I just want you to understand that the fear you feel is understood, and felt by everyone that goes through the process. Weight gain is necessarily a part of the healing process though, and once you decide to view the gain as a sign of healing, and not something unhealthy, it makes it easier to deal with. The pain, and feeling like crap, like you mentioned in your current post, are normal. The body necessarily goes through a period of adjustment from eating so little to eating so much more. You can liken it to a vegan who can't properly digest meat after so many years abstaining from it. They can digest meat again after consistently eating it, but they go through a period of feeling horrible doing so until their body adjusts to it as a food source again.

EmmaW said...

"i guess in the long run, the way i think about it, is why is it considered starvation and anorexic behavior when i "skinny" person eats below 1200 calories, but when an "overweight" person eats that much it is considered a diet and fine? there really is no difference."

DITTO!!!

The reality is, only 1/3 of those with an eating disorder are underweight.

EmmaW said...

I should have mentioned that on Matt's blog, 180degreehealth, he says that his readers should not take stock in what he said in the past (he recommends not reading more than a year out from his current posts) because his blog has evolved from beginning out with information and recommendations based on junk science. As he learned, and grew in knowledge about junk science vs. real science, his blog evolved to reflect that. Much of his information is in line with what Gwyneth teaches at youreatopia. Be warned though, he can be crass in his humor, which I don't care for personally, but if you can ignore that and extract the information that is useful, you can learn a good bit there.

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