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Fueling Life - Printable Version

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Fueling Life - Jules - 03-28-2017 02:29 AM

Hi everyone, I’m Jules and I’m glad to be here!

Kiki’s videos and they many articles on this site resonate with me. I started a metabolism reset/reverse diet 5-6 weeks ago.

Some background info (though my history is probably similar to many of your stories), sorry it’s long!:

I’ve always been at a normal weight, but never slender and always wishing I could get rid of some squishiness. When I began my veterinary medicine degree at 19 years old, like many university students, I was suddenly under a lot of pressure and didn’t really know how to deal with it. I restricted to a low bmi for the first time, at 1200 calories. I had never dieted before, so the weight just fell off. At first the weight loss was innocent and I received a lot of compliments, but as time grew and I couldn’t (wouldn’t?) stick to a higher calorie diet despite knowing I needed to, I slipped down the slippery slope into a full blown eating disorder. I constantly thought about food, exercised religiously, was a pain to be around and too thin.

After multiple months of lowish calories(I never dipped lower than 1200 kcal), I decided to recover. I recovered ‘properly’ on a high calorie diet and got to a normal, albeit still low bmi while eating 2000-2500 kcals. I was still struggling with body image, dealing with stress, perfectionism etc, so it wasn’t long lasting. I lost weight again, recovered again…

The last time I began recovery after getting to a bmi of 16, I lost the careful control I had had during anorexia. My body decided to fight back and wanted to eat EVERYTHING. Instead of recovering on a high calorie diet, I fell into a binge / restrict cycle, consuming food in a frenzy, the next day trying to compensate, which of course turned into a vicious cycle. I’ve discovered the binge / restrict cycle is quite devastating for your metabolism. I couldn’t deal with the weight gain that accompanied my loss of control and tried to diet on 1500ish kcals a few times, lost a few kgs and then regained them, bingeing all the way. This binge / restrict cycle lasted up to now, so for about…2-3 years?

Writing all this down makes me realize how much time I’ve spent in this horrible relationship with food. When you’re in your own head, you sometimes don’t realize how crazy your thinking is, you know?
Currently, I want to heal my mental state and my relationship with food. I’m so tired of this weighing down on me and diets, bingeing and restricting consuming me. I’ve read (actually, listened, as an audiobook) Brain over Binge by Katharyn Hansen. For those unfamiliar with it, it proposes that bingeing is a habit that can become ingrained, but that can also be corrected. I’ve also incorporated Lydia Wente’s Beat the Binge ‘chatter strategies’. Both underline the fact that binge habit recovery should happen when you’re eating at maintenance, and not when in a deficit.

TL;DR: After anorexia and bingeing/restricting, I really need to heal my metabolism and I want eliminate my bingeing habits. I really believe this path with help heal the damage I’ve inflicted on myself, both physically and mentally.

I’ve been resetting for 5 weeks or so. The reset it going fairly well, I would say, actually!

Some stats: Female, 24 years old, 160 cm/5’3, started 13.2.2017 at 55.9 kg, 1500 kcal;
I jumped to 1800 kcal and then added 100 kcals every 1-2 weeks.
I’m currently 56.9 kg/123 lbs at 2000 kcal. I’ve had fluctuations from 56.1-57.2 kg.
I really don’t enjoy stepping on the scale, so I weigh in only every couple of days. Calculators have spit out a TDEE of 1800-2200 kcals, depending on physical activity, so I think I’m pretty much at TDEE.

Most importantly, bingeing tendencies have lessened. This has actually been my main goal, with the metabolism reset a close second hope. I want to heal my relationship with food by doing this reset and working on my bingeing habit. This is a priority over any weight loss or physique goal. I still feel binge-y sometimes (this morning…), but I’m working on it.
My plans:
- I’m sticking to 2000 kcal for at least another week, as it is currently my TOM and I prefer to not weigh in too much during this time. I’m fairly certain my TDEE (average) is not higher than 2000 kcal (I’m short and at a normal BMI).
- I’m hoping to stick to TDEE until July (15-20 weeks at TDEE) at least. I don’t think my history allows for a shorter metabolism reset, and I need the mental break.
- After that, if I feel confident and bingeing habits are nonexistent, I’ll begin a slow cut as laid out in the guide (1700 kcal). If at any time I feel binge-y, I’m going back to TDEE.

Sorry for the long post and thanks for reading if you did! I need a place to write all this down and get out of my head. I’ve found that writing in journals spirals into very negative thinking for me, so I’m grateful for the platform that allows me to express myself but remain positive!

RE: Fueling Life - Jules - 03-28-2017 08:07 AM

Oh, exercise: I enjoy exercise so much. It's an outlet and gives me 'me' time. I love running outside, and lifting heavy.
- 3 x 30-90 min running a week, I aim for 20-30 km weekly (1 long, 1 easy, 1 with intervals or hills)
- 3 x 30-60 min full body strength training: I rotate squats and deadlifts as my main lift for the training day (usually I'm too pooped to max out on deadlifts if I've been doing heavy sets of squats first, and vice versa), then pull ups, OHP, db rows, pushups, handstands, lying/hanging leg lifts. usually 3-4 sets of 6-12 reps, depending on the lift.

To be honest I should be doing more for my upper body strength. At the moment I'm just emphasizing the moves that I love and kind of ignoring chest. I should really work on that...

I also ride my retired gelding 2 x a week and walk about an hour a day to commute.
I do realize I could trade out some running for lifting so that I could spread out the lifting onto a lower body day and an upper body day, but I enjoy running a lot, and I have some races I'm committed to coming up.

What do you guys think? Am I on the right path?

RE: Fueling Life - Tereza Toledo - 03-28-2017 10:03 AM

First of all, welcome and kudos for writing and sharing your story. I know how hard it can be! Journaling is always an excellent tool that helps us see what's truly going on and move forward. You are in the right place!

Your story sounds so much like mine 20 years ago. Our stats were similar, we tried similar diets that lead to binges, self-doubt, bad body image and all that comes with ED. But back then no one talked about ED, at least not openly. And I didn't know about lifting heavy and how much it could change my life. If I only knew that it was ok to eat and be myself, things would have been different. but that's another story. You can have a glimpse of my journey summary in the link below.

After reading about your workout routine, I would definitely say that your TDEE IS higher than 2000, as hard as it may seem for you to believe. 2000 would be if you didn't run or didn't lift. For some reason we tend to neglect our upper body, thinking that all we need is to "slim down" our legs or "grow" our butt (hey, no one ever made a song about a small butt afterall, right?). Squats and deadlifts are amazing, but make sure to add some benching, landmines and rows. You want rounder shoulders to balance your figure and give you an hourglass figure. Besides the fact that building muscle all over in your 20's will make your life easier in your 40's and later on. Trust me on this one!

Dump the scale, it is like the bad boyfriend who keeps telling you that you are fine, that you don't need to grow, study more, invest on yourself, get a haircut or anything that makes you feel and look better for yourself. Ditch it. The metabolism reset guide tells you to use the scale, but that's only for data purposes and because we want it to be a way to wean you off the weight ins. Use it in the beginning and get rid of it later.

You will not see weight loss during a reset, and that is ok. Reset is for healing, your mind, your body, your relationship with food, your relationship with yourself. It is about self love. Keep inching those calories up. You will see strength gains, stamina improvement and many other things.

This is not a quick fix as you may know, but you are not alone. This is a journey for life. Keep writing, keep posting and feel free to vent and ask questions. We are here for you. You are many of us years ago and we "get" you.

RE: Fueling Life - Jules - 03-29-2017 02:13 AM

Thank you for the warm welcome Tereza. Thank you for being here and for listening. You're giving very solid advice, and I feel like I'm finally at the mindset to recognize it as the path to follow.

You're definitely right about the upper body haha! tbh, I've very happy with my butt and love squats and deadlifts really because of the full body strain and the feeling of putting your whole self behind the lift. I don't get that with a lot of chest movements. Back movements are much better and I really like rows and pull ups. I will make an effort to bench again today.

2000 already seems like so much! It almost feels scandalous going higher, even by 100 kcals. Co-workers are already amused by how I'm always eating tongue

Tereza, did you ever bother cutting after your reset? Or did you enjoy eating to maintenance too much to dip below it? Do you go through bulk cycles, or are you seeing progress strength- and physique-wise while sticking to maintenance?

RE: Fueling Life - Tereza Toledo - 03-29-2017 09:13 AM

Bench presses are compound moves and will also work other areas of your body, not just the chest, try to add them in. And they will fuel the beast mode, badass feeling that can not be beaten! Go for them! Pull-ups are excellent, Just so so easy to perform. Keep doing them!

I have the eating too much guilt sometimes, but it definitely goes away quickly laughing , specially when I see people talking about the restrictive diets they are putting themselves through for an event or a trip... and I know for a fact that even if they lose weight they won't maintain the loss, no one can live on meal replacements or eating like birds for life.

Cutting after a reset is tricky ( Sad ), giving up the lovely calories after a reset sure hurts! I did bulk before, but got pregnant right in the end of it, so I did not cut right away. I have been adding short cut phases, basically cutting 5 to 10% from TDEE and honing in my macros, making sure I hit 30% + on my protein. But cutting isn't mandatory, I didn't do any cuts for two years and saw progress in strength and on body fat composition. It's pretty much what we call body recomposition, when you eat at TDEE while lifting. It's a slower process than doing cut/bulk cycles, but it does work. Here is an article on mini cycles: http://eatmore2weighless.com/mini-fitness-cycles/

RE: Fueling Life - Tereza Toledo - 03-29-2017 09:34 AM

Jules, I also want to share the journey of this amazing lady: http://eatmore2weighless.com/eating-disorder-recovery-a-reflection/

RE: Fueling Life - Jules - 03-30-2017 03:09 AM

Thanks for your reply Tereza! A friend of mine actually just recently started one of her first diet plans (Kayla's I think) and it is hard to watch. This is my friend's first time dabbling in low carb, and I just hope she ends up where she wants to be in the long term. I know that I probably wouldn't have listened and thought I knew what I was doing if someone had told me that low kcal was determinal in the long run. I had to make my mistakes to learn from them I guess.

Thats great to hear that you were successful in recomp Tereza! It seems like the most moderate approach. It is probably easy to spin your wheels and bulking would allow for faster gains...thanks for the links.

Well, I did bench press yesterday and it was great. sigh, why was I being stubborn before? You're so right about beast mode Tereza happy

RE: Fueling Life - Tereza Toledo - 03-30-2017 06:46 PM

Beast mode rules, that's for sure. Lifting does empower us in a very unexpected way. Keep benching! Isn't it sad when we see our friends going into diets that we know for a fact will end up doing more harm then good. Summer is approaching, people want to fit in previous clothes and all that ASAP. There is no miracle or quick fix. But just like we wouldn't have listened if we weren't ready, the won't listen either.

RE: Fueling Life - Jules - 04-03-2017 02:20 AM

exactly...I think we sometimes all just learn the hard way.

Alright, I'm weighing in at 56.2 kgs @ 2000 kcals for the past 2 weeks, so I haven't gained. I will bump up to 2100 kcals this week. Wish me courage ;-)

RE: Fueling Life - Sunshine44 - 04-03-2017 07:35 PM

(04-03-2017 02:20 AM)Jules Wrote:  exactly...I think we sometimes all just learn the hard way.

Alright, I'm weighing in at 56.2 kgs @ 2000 kcals for the past 2 weeks, so I haven't gained. I will bump up to 2100 kcals this week. Wish me courage ;-)

GOOOOOO Jules!! You can do it happy Wishing you tons and tons of courage