confused about how to build muscle
This probably will sound like a silly problem.. and partly I just want to rant.
Im a very tall lady, and super skinny (about 122 lbs currently). LONG story short - I lost about 15 pounds over the last year and a half experimenting with paleo/primal/whole30. Didnt plan on losing weight but I was 'skinnyfat' and that was just the result of the drastic diet change. I am unable to work right now because I have constant pain in neck and shoulders and arms and hands. I have arthritis-like symptoms in my hands at night. and to top it off I have some lower back pain, and just to add spice to life, bunions on both feet from years ago walking when I didnt have a car (college). I am exhaused all of the time and trying to work out with all of these body pain problems is no picnic.
Basically a number of my drs are telling me to build muscle any way i can, because being super weak is the beginning of what started the neck shoulder issues. my one dr is telling me to eat 2500 calories. =/ This feels ridiculous, as I will normally eat around 1500 or 1800 left to my own devices. (not that i ever calorie count willingly).
1. I have not even been able to eat that much food. That the closest I got was 2200 and that was like non stop eating all day and night.
2. I have IBSD Im drying to resolve and Im concerned adding tons of dairy to try to get my calories up will sabotage my efforts to normalize my digestion issues.
3. I come from super skinny people and I am the skinniest. I know I have gained slight addition of tone in my legs, from going to the gym for at least 3 months now. But that is just a SMALL gain. Is it possible my genetics just wont let me build muscle?
4. I have to be very careful not to do anything to strain my neck and shoulders which has left me clueless for how to strengthen my upper body (the muscles are extremely sensitive in the current state). I am thinking of swimming, but I need to learn how.. and also swimming is a lot of shoulder movements. I feel like no one is giving me anywhere near the specific plan I need =/ Exercises from physical therapists got me nowhere and frequently aggravated my problems and sometimes made the issue even worse.
5. Im really frustrated with the calories. how do athletes consume thousands of calories a day? Im trying to eat naturally, but now im thinking I might really have to do some kidn of hardcore consumption of protein or meal replacement shakes (in addition to regular food) to get my calories up. Even Marks meal replacement is only about 180 calories. If I did that a couple times a day, it would get me closer to my goal, but I dont know if its ok to drink that much. PLUS thats a lot of friggin money.
suggestions welcome. I just feel like my goals are kind of impossible at the moment and frustrated cause the drs dont understand.