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This is my story
07-18-2014, 09:46 PM
Post: #1
This is my story
Hi everyone,

I found EM2WL from MFP, and I have to say it's like a LIGHT BULB went off in my head. I am so glad to have found this community. I had no idea how evil the diet industry truly was, until I found this community.

This past April, like any young woman I wanted to shape up for summertime knowing it meant shorter shorts and dresses and bathing suits. Yes, I was already slim and active (I was working out using online videos) but I wanted to lose a bit of vanity weight, the extra "fluff" around the stomach area.

I found a website called Tone It Up which seemed to be the answer. It had a few weekly workout schedule with printable routines and videos to follow along with, and a nutrition plan. The trainers who run the site are absolutely gorgeous and slim with light definition, so I thought that I was on the right track. I started doing the routines and the weekly schedules but still didn't quite have the results I wanted. I saw they offered a nutrition plan however, and jumped at it. The plan promises no calorie counting so I was sold. I can get fixated on numbers so I didn't want that -- I didn't even know my starting weight.

I started with the plan even though some elements I found irritating -- they encouraged no fruit past 3:00pm, no starch past 3:00pm, no dairy past 10:00am. In fact, they avoided starch and dairy generally speaking, so I did too even though I have no known intolerances. The plan also encouraged waking up to workout in the morning and also doing a PM workout some nights. No rest days either, only "active" rest days. All of this seemed a bit excessive to me and I take full responsibility for only skimming the plan and not reading thoroughly, and also not dieting properly.

At first, things were great. I felt good and I definitely dropped weight. Not sure how much but all the clothes that were once too tight now fit! People kept telling me how great I looked. And initially I felt pretty great. But slowly, things were falling apart. I was so tired all the time. The plan was so cardio heavy and I found my knee was aching all the time but I pushed through. The mornings I didn't want to run before work I would do a HIIT routine or a toning routine and still work out in the evening. The plan is promoted as an active, healthy lifestyle but it started to feel like so much. I hardly had time for anything outside of work and so I crammed so much into my weekends. I got used to eating the same foods over and over again because they were easy to make and required little effort -- I was in a major food rut but I would have cheat days on the weekends or cheat meals, but even there I never really relaxed. The plan would always say things like for every weekend you take off, that's half the month. So I felt like a true indulgence would undo all my hard work.

I had a wakeup call when it hit me that my period hadn't come in three months and I was showering and suddenly it felt like way more hair was coming out than usual. I also realized that I didn't WANT to lose anymore weight and I should be moving into maintenance mode -- but I didn't have any idea what calories I was consuming. It also hit me how absolutely fatigued I was -- yet I was forcing myself through workouts. This all hit me like a ton of bricks and I felt so overwhelmed and scared and anxious. I thought I was being so healthy and leading and active lifestyle. How did this happen to me?

Since then I have gone to my Doctor and gotten bloodwork done and an ultrasound done. Everything has come back normal. When I told her my period was missing and I had lost some weight recently, she didn't seem concerned. I don't look unhealthy at all. I look pretty slim and trim but not unhealthy. I would estimate I weigh somewhere between 132 - 138 lbs and I am 5'7 and wear a size 6 or so. But I was literally running myself into the ground and I had no idea. I downloaded a calorie counting app and I realized that my calories were between 1400 - 1700 or so on a day, before exercise. I wasn't eating back my exercise calories either, because I didn't even know that was a thing. I was so uneducated as a dieter and I have to assume full responsibility for that. It's really scary when I think about the large amount of stress I was putting my body under, all under the premise of healthy living.

I took a week off dieting completely and off exercise. I live in a city so I did do some walking but I ate whatever I wanted - all the things I had deprived myself of. Thai food, burritos, skittles, whatever else. At first, it was so hard and my stomach was so bloated and I felt gassy and nauseous all the time. 2 weeks later, I am tracking calories again but this time to make sure I am getting ENOUGH. My portions are so much bigger and I can't believe how much better it feels. The plan would have a portion of quinoa at 1/4 of a cup and I got used to that and thought that was fine! Now I am eating 1 cup of quinoa at a time!

I am still off cardio completely besides my walking and I've done two very short HIIT sessions this week - whereas before I was doing 4-5 per week and LENGTHY ones -- of at least 20 - 30 min whereas this is 5 min max. I am now focused on strength training and weights only. I have a limited home "gym" aka a few sets of dumb bells and a stability ball so I look forward to any tips I can get from this forum about beginning a strength training regime to lose inches. I don't want to lose anymore weight. In fact, if I need to put on a few lbs to make my body happier, I will.

It is a bit intimidating to think about right now as I have a beach vacation and a wedding so soon so I obviously want to look my best, but I don't want to gamble with my health. I should have switched to maintenance calories some time ago, but I had no idea how little I truly was consuming and like I said, truly my fault. When I came to all of these realizations it was like the wind was knocked out of me, and all week I've been so frightened and googling things to see how much damage I may have done to my body. I really hope my organs aren't suffering Sad I plan to follow up with my Doctor Monday and bring up the weight loss again and let her know the calories vs activity I was doing and see if I should get more labs done. I don't think my body fat is too low and that's why my period stopped - I think it was because of excessive calorie deficit but I guess only time will tell. I notice my hands and forearms are very vascular too which worries me a little bit but I am taking this one day at a time as I tend to be a very anxious person and I have been stressing about the potential repercussions everyday and I don't want to have more cortisol in my bloodstream Sad

I am currently eating between 2,000 - 2,500 calories daily and I can't believe how much more energy I have and how hungry I get now. When I first started eating more, I was in so much pain. I don't seem to have any symptoms of edema or anything else along those lines, but my stomach still does feel puffy and bloated to a degree. I'm hoping I don't have to throw out any clothes/they don't get too small but like I said, my focus is health. I am so glad a place like this exists and I hope more and more people find their way here and learn about the dangerous of low calorie dieting with exercise.

Thanks for reading if you made it this far!
Age: 26
Height: 5'7
Weight: Between 132 - 138 (estimate)
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07-19-2014, 08:15 AM
Post: #2
RE: This is my story
First of all, welcome! So happy you have found us, especially after reading your story. Yours is like that of so many others ... people who think they are doing the right thing for their body, only to find out that over time they are either unable to maintain any weight loss they may have experienced, or find themselves with no energy and suffering the ill effects of under-eating and over-exercising...

Sounds like you have done your research and are off on the right path! Hopefully your doctor is supportive of your new nutrition and fitness goals. It seems like so many of them continue to recommend the low calorie diets and are stuck in that "eat less, exercise more" mentality. Hopefully yours will support you on this journey towards a healthier and happier you!

Please keep us updated with your progress and feel free to start a journal of your own in the Personal Journals section of the forums. This is a great place to record your progress as well as being able to interact with others going through the same thing!

Please know that we are here to help and support you along the way...

Anitra Soto
Team EM2WL
ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer
ISSA Certified Specialist in Senior Fitness

My EM2WL Journey: http://eatmore2weighless.com/never-too-old-anitra/
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07-21-2014, 04:18 AM
Post: #3
RE: This is my story
welcome!!!! agree don't stress overly much some of us have been doing these crazy diets for years! yours was a pretty short time so believe the tests/labs - nothing wrong and now that you are eating right you are on the right track. I don't believe anything cannot be undone! Stress is more of a killer than anything else - so stop stressing over the past - you cannot change that - concentrate on eating more and listening to your body

you are doing great and welcome again happy
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07-21-2014, 09:51 PM
Post: #4
RE: This is my story
Im so happy you found us!! Welcome to the family! Isn't it amazing when we start feeding our bodies, they start feeling and moving better!!
Just it Take it one day at a time! You are already doing awesome!

Joan
Be yourself. Everyone else is taken! kiss

http://www.myfitnesspal.com/jaeone
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07-31-2014, 11:18 AM
Post: #5
RE: This is my story
(07-21-2014 09:51 PM)jaeone Wrote:  Im so happy you found us!! Welcome to the family! Isn't it amazing when we start feeding our bodies, they start feeling and moving better!!
Just it Take it one day at a time! You are already doing awesome!


Thank you everyone! I was only extreme dieting for about 3-4 months yes, but this site along with some others like Go Kaleo made me realize I have been disordered in my eating habits for years now ever since I lost some weight about 3 years ago, again thinking I was being "healthy" but I was really probably not consuming enough calories to maintain the weight I had lost. Sigh. So I really have NO idea how much damage I have actually done but I was menstruating up until this winter so at least my body hormones were stable enough to do that.

Still resetting -- netting somewhere around 2K - 2.4K calories per day. Surprised at how hungry I feel with so much more food! It really is all mental though because I keep thinking of myself as being puffy or swollen but all my clothes still fit -- they might just be a bit tighter in the waist band but nothing extreme.

I think part of this is accepting my body for what it is too. I have a strong, athletic figure. Even when I was unintentionally starving myself and working out in excess, I was still not the "waif" body type that I wanted to be so badly. I am now looking at female celebrities with the same body type as me for inspiration on how you can look fit and healthy without compromising your health! Ladies like Jennifer Lopez (too bad I don't have the booty... YET lol), Lauren Conrad, Jennifer Anniston... ladies who are lean but have a similar frame to me.

The biggest difference I notice at this point is I am WAY more tired in the mornings -- guess that's my body working to repair all the damage and my skin is breaking out SO much more than before -- it sucks but I'm taking it as a positive sign that my body more hormones running through it and enough hormones to produce acne again LOL. I've had some cramping that makes me think MAYBE my period could be back on it's way? Fingers are crossed and I never thought I'd see the day that I would be waiting for my period to come back LOL.

Also - all labs came back good! My bloodwork was good, my ultrasound was good! So I am thinking that I was just exercising too much on too little calories and that now that I've given up running and HIIT numerous times a week and I'm just doing 2 days of legs, 2 days of arms with 2 SHORT HIIT sessions (like.. a 2 minute circuit, completed 2x) that I will be seeing Aunt Flo again sooner than later.

Thanks for all the support in this awesome place! Very glad I found you all happy Not stepping on the scale yet because I don't want to discourage myself if I have gone up in weight. It's just a number anyway! Even at my "leanest" I still wasn't happy with my body entirely so here's to building muscle and feeling good!
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07-31-2014, 02:07 PM (This post was last modified: 07-31-2014 02:08 PM by Jennbecca33.)
Post: #6
RE: This is my story
Hi Dazed! Good to see you on here! happy I think your attitude is great. I have to agree with you about accepting our bodies for what they are! I'm going through that right now too. I still have about 25 more lbs (I think) that I want to lose. I am short and stalky. Before em2wl, I never actually dreamed I could reach a goal weight as I just thought I had too much to lose. But I always wanted the tall thin body like my sister, which if course I will never have bc I'm not tall! LOL But also because I think I'm just naturally muscular and I'm starting to see that now as the fat is leaving my body. I would rather have a somewhat muscular look now rather than skinny anyway...so much healthier....but I didn't see it that way before em2wl. But yes, it's about learning to love our bodies for what they are and our job is to get them as healthy as possible.

Also, when I severely restricted calories, my period didn't completely go away, but for about the last 2 years (before em2wl) I was skipping a lot of cycles and lost massive amounts of hair several different times. I went to the dr and they thought my thyroid was messed up - of course it was completely normal. After I started eating more, my periods started getting closer together and finally now after about 6 months, they are almost back to clockwork - but for me, it's taken 6 months of eating a lot of calories. My hair has grown back in about 4 inches and it's staying in this time. happy I just needed nutrition! I'm sure yours will come back too.

MFP~ http://www.myfitnesspal.com/user/jennbecca33/status

~My EM2WL journey~
http://eatmore2weighless.com/jennys-insp...ess-story/
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08-01-2014, 11:14 AM
Post: #7
RE: This is my story
(07-31-2014 02:07 PM)Jennbecca33 Wrote:  Hi Dazed! Good to see you on here! happy I think your attitude is great. I have to agree with you about accepting our bodies for what they are! I'm going through that right now too. I still have about 25 more lbs (I think) that I want to lose. I am short and stalky. Before em2wl, I never actually dreamed I could reach a goal weight as I just thought I had too much to lose. But I always wanted the tall thin body like my sister, which if course I will never have bc I'm not tall! LOL But also because I think I'm just naturally muscular and I'm starting to see that now as the fat is leaving my body. I would rather have a somewhat muscular look now rather than skinny anyway...so much healthier....but I didn't see it that way before em2wl. But yes, it's about learning to love our bodies for what they are and our job is to get them as healthy as possible.

Also, when I severely restricted calories, my period didn't completely go away, but for about the last 2 years (before em2wl) I was skipping a lot of cycles and lost massive amounts of hair several different times. I went to the dr and they thought my thyroid was messed up - of course it was completely normal. After I started eating more, my periods started getting closer together and finally now after about 6 months, they are almost back to clockwork - but for me, it's taken 6 months of eating a lot of calories. My hair has grown back in about 4 inches and it's staying in this time. happy I just needed nutrition! I'm sure yours will come back too.

Thanks for the kind words Jenny! You look wonderful and I wish you all the best as your journey continues. You look amazing and you should be proud of yourself for taking care of your body. That's such a great thing.

I have my moments where I doubt this process because I have been the happiest with my figure in the past few months than for awhile, but either way I had decided I was done losing, so I would have to be increasing to maintenance calories anyway. So if my body thinks it is ok to stay at this weight that's great but if it isn't nothing to do but deal with it. Sometimes I feel a bit worried about eating certain foods but then I remember the science behind weight gain and how much in excess you actually have to consume.

It's so silly but also sad the fear of food and eating our culture instills in us along with the alternate -- the cheap fast food, massive portions, improper education about health and nutrition and fitness. It is no wonder there are such extremes -- with people who are severely overweight and people who are not nourishing themselves adequately either.
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