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  • Weight loss help

    Hi! I'm new here, and I mostly joined because I feel so alone and frustrated with food, my weight, my body... I would VERY much appreciate some help, because I just really don't know what to do and I'm in a really mentally low place. I feel broken. Not trying to be melodramatic, but it is how I feel.

    A bit of history: I"m 29 years old. I am a student. I have struggled with an eating disorder since the age of 12. Mostly it has been anorexia. There have been points, two in particular, where it has been severe. One of those two points occurred when I was 26. When I was 19, and during this past year I have struggled with binge eating. On crap food. And I know it.

    My 'healthy' weight, where my body seems to like to sit is about 125-130lbs. That is the only spot where I haven't had to do anything to maintain my weight, and where my body just sort of naturally sat during my healthy periods. Over the past year, I went from 130 up to 161 lbs. This was caused by very poor medical advice (I was told I needed a double hip replacement and to cease all forms of exercise immediately! - advice which I have been ignoring (as it was WRONG) since Februrary), and poor coping mechanisms (food: ice cream, chocolate covered almonds, even McDonalds at my worst points, as ashamed as I am to admit that).

    I have been continuously struggling to lose the weight. I've been strictly gluten free since 2010, and spent a period paleo where I felt great and things went swimmingly. I've tried to return back to that place, but I get so frustrated when I eat healthily and exercise but just don't seem to see results. I should clarify more, I don't eat grains, and I don't eat nuts. I've also been eschewing dairy for the past month, and very rarely eat fruit. When I do, it tends to be berries, or an apple or two a week. For exercise I "lift heavy things" - meaning my body weight. I do squats, tricep dips, etc. I've also started throwing in some sprinting work. I don't do chronic cardio anymore. I also don't IF. For me, IF leads to very negative mental spaces and activates urges in my brain... not good ones either.

    Right now I"m on summer vacation (I'm a student). One of my goals for the summer was to lose 15 lbs, which seemed very reasonable given that I had 3 months to do so in. I go back to school on the 26th of August, and I'm not at 15 pounds. I've lost ten pounds, and about 7 of those pounds were water that came off rapidly in the first couple of weeks of cutting carbs. I do keep carbs below 100g/ day. There was even a time when I kept carbs below 20 g/ day, not that it seemed to help. I aim to keep my calories around 1300/ day, although I feel hungry when I do so. I do this based on what I read in Mark's book about needing to create about 700 calories of a deficit to burn weight. I'm a bit confused though because I thought that being primal meant losing weight effortlessly while not feeling hungry. This doesn't feel effortless at all. I know that I should focus on being 'healthy', but for me, my weight is a HUGE part of it. I'm starting to feel so depressed and hopeless over this again that all I can think about is ice cream.

    I don't want to medicate with food anymore. I'm just so frustrated with the lack of results I"m achieving. Please help!

  • #2
    Eat more; 1300 cal is very very little for a 160lb person.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Mr. Anthony View Post
      Eat more; 1300 cal is very very little for a 160lb person.
      That's not helpful at all. Particularly for someone recovering from anorexia.

      Some people will have more trouble with their appetite than others. Primal is not perfect and you'll need to tweak it to see wgat kind of macros work for you and what will satiate you. What's your daily food intake like?
      F 28/5'4/100 lbs

      "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."

      Comment


      • #4
        Lyss- I think you are my twin. I have the same exact problem. history of anorexia and now stuck at a higher weight. it's so frustrating and really brings you down. Have you checked your thyroid? My doctor discovered mine was low due to my ED history.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Damiana View Post
          That's not helpful at all. Particularly for someone recovering from anorexia.

          Some people will have more trouble with their appetite than others. Primal is not perfect and you'll need to tweak it to see wgat kind of macros work for you and what will satiate you. What's your daily food intake like?
          I absolutely agree. I'd try a few weeks of higher carb/lower fat since you've already tried lower carb. Especially since you've been recovering from an ED, don't try to count calories. Use your weight loss and honest appetite as a guide. Try to eat without any distractions, chewing your food well. If you feel like a snack or binge, have a glass of water and wait 10 mins. Still hungry, choose a good snack and never let yourself get too hungry, it can trigger a binge.

          Including exercise like walking and yoga on top of your sprinting/lifting.

          I agree, it would be helpful to see what your daily intake is like...only if you feel comfortable sharing.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by lyss View Post
            I should clarify more, I don't eat grains, and I don't eat nuts. I've also been eschewing dairy for the past month, and very rarely eat fruit. When I do, it tends to be berries, or an apple or two a week
            So what do you eat? And how much?
            Breakfast , Lunch, Dinner.

            Comment


            • #7
              It sounds like you are setting up a healthy lifestyle, and bummed that the weightloss is slower than you would like.

              Just a few thoughts:
              1. You added in some weight training (bodyweight)... maybe you have lost more fat while you are gaining muscle.
              2. Sometimes weightloss is slow, particularly when you have a past of extreme dieting/calorie restriction.

              For me, the best thing I ever did was sign up for CrossFit! Not because it has helped me lose weight or lean up, but because it has given me something other than my body's weight to think about. It can be easy to get bogged down in numbers, cellulite, big thighs and really start to hate your body. I was depressed as I lost weight because of excess skin- something I can't do anything about.

              Now, I worry about adding weight to a snatch, squat form and how to get better pull ups. I eat in a manner that allows me to be ready for a WOD. By asking a lot of my body, I must fuel it correctly. So now, I eat and exercise to make my body stronger and fitter versus eating and working out as punishment, emotional reaction, to "get skinny" or any other number of reasons that lead to an unhealthy way of life.

              So... the other day, I climbed on the scale. 178. I had gotten down to 172 at one point. And for like 26 seconds I was bummed until I realized I need new jeans, my one skirt was now too big and the snug T-Shirt I bought in May was now kind of sloppy/loose. Those 6 lbs were muscle and probably some water weight from the extra carbs. And well, damn it.... those 6 lbs clearly just meant a stronger, healthier body. One that since May added a bunch of weight to a max squat and deadlift. One that recovers quickly enough from 30 snatches to go work on more snatches. One that powers through workouts that in May I would not have dreamed of completing without a rest.

              So take a breath. You are eating healthy. You are working out right. Your body will improve and the least important improvement is some random number on a scale.

              http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
              Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by AMC View Post
                Lyss- I think you are my twin. I have the same exact problem. history of anorexia and now stuck at a higher weight. it's so frustrating and really brings you down. Have you checked your thyroid? My doctor discovered mine was low due to my ED history.
                Thyroid is a-ok. Had it checked back in June just to be safe.
                I do have PCOS, but I"m not insulin resistant. For me that means that my LH and FSH profiles are often reversed and that progestin is quite low, even while I'm in the luteal phase of the cycle. I've been taking a supplement which seems to have been helping a bit, at least with the physical symptoms caused by such hormonal imbalances. I'm not on birth control. I've never tolerated the pill well at all.

                Comment


                • #9
                  My food intake on an average day:

                  Breakfast: 3 egg omelette (no cheese) OR some generic leftovers from supper the night before. Examples would be a hamburg patty, a couple of sausages, or a bowl of home made vegetable chicken soup. Or just a plain avocado.

                  Lunch - usually I'd skip this to keep within the constraints of 1300 calories. I also find that I'm not hungry until later on in the afternoon, say around 3ish p.m. By that point, it feels too close to supper to have an actual meal anyway.

                  Supper - Some combination of meat and veggie. This could take the form of a salad with meat and some avocado oil dressing, or a stiryfry cooked in coconut oil...

                  It doesn't bother me to disclose what I eat. Quite honestly, the only reason I'm eating 1300 calories is because in Mark's book he advocated a 700ish calorie deficit. Based on my caloric needs calculations, that puts me into the 1300 calorie range.

                  Over the summer I have been including alot of walking into my routine - some days going for two hour walks, other days just kind of lounging and vegging. On average I'd say that it works out to about 30 mins of walking per day.

                  As per the line of thinking that watching my weight is a poor proxy of true health, I would have to agree. But it's more than just weight for me - I also take bodily measurements and I watch how my clothes fit. I so desperately want to fit into my 'normal' jeans again. Magnolia1973, the way that you feel about crossfit is exactly how I used to feel about ballet. Sadly dancing ballet isn't something that works for my lifestyle anymore. I think that if I had seen some kind of real result that I wouldn't mind the number being as high as it is. I just feel like somehow I must be doing this wrong. Because I read those success stories Mark publishes every week, and none of them entail being hungry. Most of them sound like the weight pretty much just fell off. I hate how I look and it's really hard to move past that. During the year I avoided all things family related, or friend related because I didn't want ANYONE to see me like this. Now I'm scared that this will be the way that I stay. I'm just so frustrated. Part of me just wants to say screw all this, and go back to starving, because I know that my old anorexic methods work. But I also know that they lead to such a dark destructive place, a place that has nearly killed me twice.

                  Thank you everyone for your responses and help.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Sadly dancing ballet isn't something that works for my lifestyle anymore.
                    Why not? Is there a reason you can't take a class, work from a DVD or just go do it? I know that to be a professional ballerina.... yeah, not for most people. Would you maybe enjoy Zumba?

                    During the year I avoided all things family related, or friend related because I didn't want ANYONE to see me like this.
                    Nobody that matters gives a shit about how fat or not fat you think you look or feel. Anyone that does is a bitch or an asshole with their own insecurities. So waiting to be a good friend and family member until you feel thin is kind of selfish when you think about it. I used to be F A T. Not oooo, 30 lbs overweight. But morbidly obese gonna die 300lbs fat. Really, unless you wander around naked, no one really notices or judges you for carrying 30 extra lbs. So go do shit.

                    It is NOT WORTH WRECKING YOUR HEALTH over 30 lbs no one else cares about. You are eating healthy and exercising and caring for your body. Change will come, and well, it may come slowly for you. Go buy some clothes and live your life healthily and be happy and love yourself and I can almost guarantee that come next summer you will be bitching because all the clothes you bought this summer are 2 sizes too large and had to go to Good Will.

                    Or you can starve yourself, get those 30lbs off in couple of weeks, fail to instill a healthy lifestyle, gain it back the next time your body convinces you to feed it and be at a miserable place yet again.

                    http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
                    Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by lyss View Post
                      It doesn't bother me to disclose what I eat. Quite honestly, the only reason I'm eating 1300 calories is because in Mark's book he advocated a 700ish calorie deficit. Based on my caloric needs calculations, that puts me into the 1300 calorie range. .
                      I only skimmed Mark's book (I know!) but regardless, if you don't have a lot to lose I think you can get by with a smaller deficit. I do MFP, and they start you at what they think you burn, take off 500-1000 a day and then add back for exercise. If you have less to lose (which you do!) you don't want a high deficit. So I would eat more, until you are not hungry so long as that works with your history. Maybe try 1600 cals for a while and see if that helps?

                      Also, listen to Magnolia. Seriously.
                      Last edited by lea; 08-08-2013, 08:52 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ok. My husband and I are going camping (like canoeing, portaging, bring freeze-dried food sort of camping) until Monday, so I'll see how that goes... it will be a higher carb, and quite likely, higher calorie version of eating, and there will be no scale around to influence my 'hunger'. I feel pretty stressed over it, but I love to camp, so I'll treat it as an experiment and we'll see...

                        Dancing... the reason it's not really an option for me anymore is that I am in medical school (chiropractic), which has VASTLY changed my lifestyle. My tuition is 23K per year, which I pay for using a line of credit. Between rent, food, tuition, books, med equipment, I max out my yearly line of credit allowance. So financially, dance does not fit. I also live in a crumby basement apartment where there is literally no room to dance, which nixes the possibility of a home DVD. I think it's probably just as well, because I had reached such a high level in dance that a dvd wouldn't cut it for me. I left dance on the highest note I possibly could. To lessen the yearning, I take what I learn in school and apply it to dance, so that I can hopefully provide better treatment for dancers than that which is the norm. But that's digressing from my point. Leaving dance has forced me to try and learn new ways of moving - thinks like squats, pushups, etc that I would never have otherwise bothered with. And I do quite enjoy my new way of moving. Dance gave me something to live for when I needed it, and a reason to eat. Dance was my escape in a way that nothing else has ever been. I will always love and miss it.
                        As a random aside, I almost enrolled in crossfit over the past year. My chiropractor forbade it. I have very little upper body strength (more than in December, but still not enough to do a full pullup) and my joints are so excessively bendy that he told me I was asking to ruin my career before even beginning it. Not really relevent to anything, but I am a bit jealous of your CF-ing

                        As per living my life... I am aware that I'm being a bit of an idiot. But everyone's lives are different, and we all come from different places. If any of my friends/ family were having a problem, I would be there in a heartbeat. That didn't happen over the past year, and I don't feel guilty about saying no to the invites to go out drinking and dancing (I enjoy sleep more than booze and weird creepy men, lol). My husband and I actually did go to England for a couple of weeks in June, as he has an aunt about to pass. I was glad to see everyone, but also extremely uncomfortable when one of his uncles did in fact call me out on my weight gain in front of his entire extended family. It was mortifying. So I do take your point that hiding can be pretty selfish, but if it comes out to it, I will be present, even if it means discomfort for me. Most of the time it's not the sort of situation that absolutely necessitates my physically being present though.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The most useful thing Ancel Keys ever did was institute a "starvation study" in which he took healthy, psychologically balanced young men and starved them to about 50% of their daily caloric requirements.

                          As a result of the starvation, the men all developed symptoms that are normally attributed to anorexics as precursors of the illness - they began to obsess about body image, food, developed weird eating behaviours, and even self-harmed as a result of the caloric deficit.

                          I mention this to say to you, be VERY careful when you swipe a whopping 35% of your estimated daily calories, that your actions won't create the same behaviours that are known to be present in clinically diagnosed anorexia - one thing a lot of ED treatments centres fail to realise is that these behaviours are caused by caloric deficit over long periods, even in women who have a normal or overweight BMI.

                          I would especially add that getting caught up in numbers is a bad idea, because while 1300cals as a reduction from 2000cals looks perfectly sound on paper, the reality of it for your body is completely different. Numbers can replace the lived experience, day in day out, of your own need for food, if you let them, and then you probably know how it goes from there.

                          Sources:

                          Minnesota Starvation Experiment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

                          The Minnesota Starvation Experiment

                          An Argument for Recovery—The Minnesota Starvation Experiment

                          EffectsOfSemiStarvation - Epowiki

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                          • #14
                            My husband and I actually did go to England for a couple of weeks in June, as he has an aunt about to pass. I was glad to see everyone, but also extremely uncomfortable when one of his uncles did in fact call me out on my weight gain in front of his entire extended family. It was mortifying.
                            I would be happy to fly to England and kick him in the balls for you. He's a jackass and should be mortified of his behavior.

                            http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
                            Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Firstly, don't be so hard on yourself. You have PCOS. This is hard to heal from and makes it harder for you to lose weight. Give yourself a chance to heal from PCOS. It will heal on a diet of natural primal foods. Lots of people with PCOS find some help going low carb for a while, but you might find the carb range that Mark recommends (I think it's 75-150g per day) is plenty to allow you to have potatoes and fruit every day and heal your PCOS. Just maintain your weight for now.

                              Keep working on building up your strength. By building more muscle you will help cure the PCOS because your body will be forced to create tissue that is more sensitive to insulin and more metabolically active in a positive way.

                              And then once you are feeling pretty strong and healthy, consider adding 2x sprints per week (you can use an exercise bike or rowing machine or something if you don't want to run). The sprints also help your body's metabolic processes attain a healthier level.

                              Go slow on all this so you don't hurt yourself or burn yourself out. I have worked over 2 years on getting all the pieces to fit for me. I feel and look better than I ever have in my whole life.

                              Also, throw out your scale. I did not weigh myself for an entire year. Last year I weighed 130. The other day I weighed myself I was 137. My clothes are looser, my arms less flappy and more shapely, my waist is the same size, I'm way way stronger, my stomach has almost visible muscle (in the right lighting) and you can nearly see my ribs. 7 pounds gained and I'm "skinnier". All thanks to working on strength instead of weight loss.
                              Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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