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Serenity now
09-16-2015, 03:28 AM
Post: #1
Serenity now
Hi everyone,
First time in my life joining a forum, so maybe that is indicative of how serious I am about this... I have a bit of a history of disordered eating but no eating disorders. Late teens/ early 20s I was very stressed, not eating and dropped a heap of weight, bottoming out around 48kg. Loved being that small but knew I wasn't well. Started eating again and ballooned, no idea what I weighed at that point. Started doing les mills weight training, cardio at the gym and got myself back to a pretty fit 72kg. I know this because I then went to Nepal to trek Everest base camp and came home 7kg lighter for the trouble.
This was great! I was super fit, still doing the body pump classes, walking about 1.5 a 2hrs a day and eating (and drinking) whatever I wanted. I was about 26 by this stage.
I have a history of insomnia. Around this time, a heap of life stressors piled up on me which resulted in me drinking a lot to try and knock myself out to sleep (didn't work). I started getting fatter so I restricted my diet and amped up my workouts. My weight got back up into the 70s and I bounced around there for years, losing a bit and toning up when I added weights but stupidly stopping this a few years back. Restricting food and poor sleep landed me with adrenal fatigue and a depressed thyroid, which I have only just resolved in the past couple of years. I'm now 35.

I started em2lw a couple of months ago after spending a period doing Venus (less than 1000cal a day and weight training) followed by super low carb and fasting. I'm really writing this down to get my head around how effed up my eating habits have been. I'm a vegetarian and eat healthily, albeit with a massive focus on raw veg and less on protein until now. I started em2wl at 75-76kg and now after increasing calls I have jumped in weight to around 82kg. Currently eating around 2000-2100 per day, lifting 3 times per week, hiit or walking other days.

After an initial energy boost for a few weeks I now feel sluggish, fat and puffy and tired. I have put on so much weight its grotesque, my ass and thighs are huge but more worrying my arms look like bingo wings which I have never had before!! Worst of all I started this in spring, so summer is going to be fun....

I'm determined but frightened. I have been sitting at this calorie level for a couple of weeks to see if the weight will settle a bit but no dice. I just bought a fit bit and the past two days with weights and 11000 steps I burn around 2400 so will take that as tdee and keep moving towards it. Really hope I am not that special snowflake that has gained a metric crap tonne of weight and can't shake it...nail biting
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09-16-2015, 10:41 AM
Post: #2
RE: Serenity now
I promise you are not a special snowflake (at least not in THAT way). ;-)

Welcome and best of luck. You will get tons of support here. Tons!
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09-16-2015, 03:52 PM
Post: #3
RE: Serenity now
First of all, welcome! So glad you have decided to join us here!

So, are you in the process of trying to do a reset? When you increased calories, did you do it slowly or jump up to your current intake all at once? Also, let us know what your intake was when you started (looks like you are at 2000 - 2100 now with a goal of 2400+/-)... Give us a little bit more history and we will be happy to try to help you out, but in the meantime, please know that what you are feeling is entirely normal and part of the process as the body adapts to the increased intake. Also, remember that if you are now consuming more protein than you were previously that that can be hard on the body too... With time, these feelings you have subside.

Again, welcome, and just give us a few more details and we will be happy to help you

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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09-16-2015, 05:46 PM
Post: #4
RE: Serenity now
Hi Anita,
Thanks for your welcome and reply!
To answer your questions: pre em2wl I was eating around 1000 to 1200 and exercising some of that away. I also fasted and binged sometimes.
With em2wl I immediately jumped up to about 1700 and have increased from there to 2000, holding at the 1900 to 2000 level for a few weeks. The weight gain was pretty immediate and has now stayed at that level just bouncing between 81 and 82 kg. within that weight range however I have some days where I look pregnant, and some days where I'm doing ok. My clothes are definitely snugger and I'm looking noticeable bigger but I'm still in the same clothes (for now....)

I'm trying to get up to 2400 which is what Fitbit tells me is my tdee, this also lines up ok with my Scooby value for moderate exercise (2448). Last night I hit 2300 and this morning the scale held steady. For a while the volume of food was no problem but this week I have struggled with eating, and had low energy and drive. This could be related to work stress however. Still managing to do my beginners lift program and some hiit, I run only once per week now and I ensure I get 10000 steps a day (thanks Fitbit!)

As a vegetarian the protein issue is a big one but I'm generally managing about 130g per day at present. This includes Greek yoghurt with protein powder at least once per day, and eggs. I have added more beans and nuts as well, and did buy some quest bars but I have trouble making myself eat them. I ate tofu for the first time in ages a couple of days ago and I felt like a balloon for two days after so suspect I'm a little sensitive to it. I also ran out of my biotrust protein powder so used a pea protein for breakfast yesterday and seriously looked six months pregnant for a several hours afterwards. I already know if I eat too much dairy or wheat I feel crappy so I'm trying to get the macros (40c, 30f,30p) without reacting like that. Sadly now I noticed that if I eat boiled eggs too much I feel bloated and sick, but scrambled are ok. What's up with that?

So the tl;dr version is I'm working to reset, will get there soon and hoping that I don't balloon any more. I'm running out of weights at home and need more to continue with the training. Week 3 of the program and I'm doing 12.5kg kettle bell for step ups, squatting 35kg with no problem (other than getting it on my shoulders-no squat rack) and 8kg Dumbbells for shoulder work. Not great but a start coming back from injury
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09-16-2015, 06:16 PM
Post: #5
RE: Serenity now
Just a weird observation, having not been very hungry this week (but still forcing the calories to get to my level) I have woken up two mornings about 2am or 3am and felt starving! Hungry to the point of "do I actually feel sick or is it hunger?". At that time of morning I'm not getting up to eat so I chill out till I can get back to sleep. When I wake up normally (6am or so) I have no hunger feeling at all. In fact I could not eat until lunchtime (but I make myself eat brekkie).
Back when I was suffering acutely from adrenal fatigue I would wake up at 2am every morning and couldn't sleep again but that didn't have a under with it. Strange...
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09-16-2015, 10:13 PM
Post: #6
RE: Serenity now
A lot of your discomfort most likely comes from two things: upping your intake fairly quickly, and trying to increase your protein intake. Your body is working hard to digest and process that extra volume, and protein takes longer and is harder for the body to process than carbs. You are coming from eating 1,000 calories and have now doubled your intake ... it is going to take some time for your body to adjust. Also. like you said. some of those foods can really make you gas distended ... as much as I love Quest bars, they are killer on my stomach (don't know if it's the high fiber or the sweeteners they use...). Almonds are another thing I love, but too many can leave me feeling uncomfortable. I am now able to eat them without difficulty, but had to work up to it over time.

Also, that initial weight gain is most likely a combination of two things:

1) Several pounds was water weight associated with glycogen stores being refilled (especially coming from a low carb history...)

2) The additional pounds may have in fact been fat as your body had most likely adapted to the lower intake and down-regulated your metabolism to match the low intake. So, even though you were still eating below your *calculated* TDEE, you were most likely eating above your *actual*, suppressed TDEE, which can result in some weight gain. As bad as that may make you feel, it's not irreversible. Once you are through with the reset process, your body will be digesting your food better, you will be more comfortable, and a small cut should result in losing any fat stores that may have snuck on during this process.

To minimize any further discomfort and weight gain, I would recommend keeping your intake where it is right now until you are comfortable and your weight stabilizes. You will know when you are ready to push it higher. Give your body some time to adapt and adjust ... it will make it easier both physically and mentally.

You are doing great ... keep up the good work and just know that it is a "process"...

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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09-17-2015, 12:57 AM
Post: #7
RE: Serenity now
Putting this here to get my head straight. One pound is 453g. My increase of 6kg is 13 pounds. To gain a pound of fat I would need to eat 3500 above my tdee, which is suppressed but assuming it was only 1200 then it would take me just under a month to put on that much fat. Considering it happened in the first week (and I have stayed steady since then) I can assume I haven't done that much damage yet... And who knows what my current tdee is.

Anyways... I will take Anita's excellent advice to hold steady at the moment and give my body a moment to gather its thoughts. I will stay at 2000, focus on the weights and on healing my neck and shoulder. Maybe I can manage some muscle building during this time although given that my butt seems to be growing at an exponential rate I think the squats are already doing that...
Just bought a new raw protein powder which went down fine and has probiotics so that might help with the digestion.
I can see a summer of muumuus and caftans in my future...
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09-17-2015, 05:32 AM
Post: #8
RE: Serenity now
Exactly ^^^ Those first few pounds were simply water weight that came on as your glycogen stores were refilled (that gain is unavoidable). Anything above that water weight *may* have been fat due to eating over your potentially *suppressed* TDEE, but. like you said, you haven't done much damage. In fact, I don't think you have done any damage. The damage was all done before, and this is all a part of the healing process.

And muu muus and caftans are probably not necessary, but certainly DO go out and buy yourself some clothes that make you feel good *right now*. This process is not a quick one, and you definitely want to feel good about what you are doing for your body. Treat yourself to some clothes that fit you well right now and just settle in knowing that you are doing something great for your body.

On a side note --- just want to make sure that you have gotten a chance to read our Metabolism Reset Guide. If not, definitely required reading, and you can find it on our Home Page under the Start Here tab.

You are doing great!

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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09-18-2015, 03:58 PM
Post: #9
RE: Serenity now
(09-17-2015 05:32 AM)AnitraSoto Wrote:  On a side note --- just want to make sure that you have gotten a chance to read our Metabolism Reset Guide. If not, definitely required reading, and you can find it on our Home Page under the Start Here tab.

You are doing great!

Hi Anitra (and apologies for auto correct to Anita, grr iPad), thanks for being such a good support and advisor! I have read the reset guide a couple of times, and am now reading nrolfw when I need a break from my textbook. Following the 12 week lifting plan from em2lw for now until I run out of weights, probably will have to join a gym for phase 3...
My weights routine is pretty hilarious. My partner is pretty much my squat rack at the moment, I load up the bar and he lifts and holds it so I can get under it. For hamstrings I obvs don't have a hamstring curl machine so I use a dumbbell loaded heavy on one end and grip it between my feet, doing the movement lying prone on the floor. Using a chair for my step up so at least I'm going above knee height! It's my Macgyver gym... I live in an apartment so my office is my weights room and if I buy any more weights I will have to lug them up six flights which could be a good workout. Also a good incentive not to drop weights, poor neighbours...
Anyway it's 5.50am and I had four hours of sleep so time for a coffee before my run. Have a great weekend!
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09-18-2015, 09:55 PM
Post: #10
RE: Serenity now
LOL at your MacGyver gym laughing Just be careful you don't hurt yourself, and yea it sounds like you will need a gym soon in order to get maximum results.

Keep us updated and enjoy that coffee!!

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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