August 27, 2013 at 3:43 pm #12136
I’m really hoping to get some advice on how to go about getting by body into a more tolerable shape.
To give some background I had an ED for 8 years (bulimia) and stopped all purging behaviours back in April per the your eatopia guidelines. Who knew that adequately feeding myself while keeping it down would pretty much solve the riddle of my food obsession. When I started recovery I was 82 lbs (I’m only 5’0) and have since gained at the very least 40 lbs. Now I swear that wouldn’t be an issue had the weight gain been all over but every single one of those pounds has gone to my butt and thighs. I have saddlebags from hell I look cartoonish. I was called thunder thighs in highschool so I have always had this problem but man nothing like it is now. I just cant accept this. To make it even worse I am flat chested so my body is ridiculously disproportionate.
My question is this: WTF do I do??
I stopped all exercise back in May and I’ll be damned if I go on like this any longer. My husband has started to ask if I am going to start working out again and I feel so lost as to how to start since this website and YE have made me so damn afraid of exercise, especially cardio. I can see telling someone not to exercise for the fear that they will relapse into their ED but I don’t think I will have this problem. I believe that my bulimia was mainly habitual. I had an alcohol problem in the past and once I was able to break the habit I never touched the stuff again and still have no desire to.
Sorry I’m rambling but I would like to know if starting to run again would be a bad thing?? Like cause more weight gain or something? And I was pretty low carb before and I eat them now so could this be causing all the fat storage?
Any advice would be so much appreciated1August 27, 2013 at 8:46 pm #12137saisriceParticipant
Hi Monkeysmommy, I know how you feel about the weight gain. I was bulimic too and recovered 12 years ago. Then I fell back into restrictive eating and am recovered again now. This time I gained 25 lbs and I too fell very uncomfortable. I started eating more in May.
I am no expert so I’m not sure if my advice is correct and if you do have a treatment team than I’d consult them to make sure that it’s safe for you to exercise or check with your doctor. That said I think you could begin gentle exercise if you are feeling good and you’ve had 3 periods in a row (if you had lost your cycles previously). For me, running is not the best and I think running (especially long distances) isn’t the best thing for some women. Some things you could do include walking, hiking, yoga, pilates, and any fun sport that you like. I’d take it easy and make sure you’re able to breathe through your nose when exercising. I’ve been doing t-tapp, which is an exercise video. It seems a bit cheesy but is really simple and the workout is just 15 minutes. You can google it and try it before you buy it (there’s links to youtube videos). There are longer workouts too if you’d like that. It’s a very gentle but effective form of exercise. It’s great for your hormones too.
As far as being comfortable in your body, some things that I do are to remind myself that I am much more than my physical body. Our bodies are just a shell and what matters is what’s inside:) I do tapping (emotional freedom technique) and practice mindfulness daily. I know that I’m not going to change my body by thinking bad thoughts about it. I try to remind myself of how my body has healed and that I need to nourish it with good food. If you do exercise, make sure you eat enough to support it and make sure you let your body rest and recover. For me exercise can be addictive and can make me want to eat healthy so I just need to be aware of that and I’m not doing cardio right now which I love but which is addictive. I love that running high and just want to run and run.
Anyway, sorry for that long ramble!August 27, 2013 at 9:51 pm #12138AshleyParticipant
First of all, good job getting your health in a better place! I know the weight gain feels awful, but don’t focus on the lbs because you are still in the normal BMI range (which tends to run low as it is). So it’s not about the scales, it’s about your body composition, which is a result of the past stress on your body. Your body has gone through hell, give it some slack, it’s worried about what might be around the next corner. It is normal and healthy to gain extra fat after restriction and then refeeding. However, it is also normal for your body to let go of it after time goes by. Mine was on my belly. It then dissipated over my body and is now coming off very slowly. I started back in March but I was not in as bad a place as you were to start with (however, I was overweight from a child and have a family history of morbid obesity, so I have the genes to make me fat, so if this works for me it means something).
Did you read the Minnesota starvation study? Notice the fat gain and loss pattern with the men. They all overshot their previous weights and had more fat on their bodies and less muscle after refeeding. Their bodies then preceded to slowly let go of that fat and go back to their healthy starting weight and composition. You can’t rush it, you have to give your body the time to heal and do what it needs to do.
4 months…. how do you feel? Energetic? Do you have drive? Sleep good? Digestion good? Good temps?
I’m not going to guess at whether you are ready to start exercising.. but when you do (and exercise is healthy- indeed necessary for good health- as long as it is well fueled and built up to over time from wherever you are-not where you wish you were) you should do something you enjoy and probably work on muscle building to slowly shift your weight away from fat to muscle over several months- think like next year, not like next month. I like to run and I started running again a few weeks ago. And I have made great strides (ha!) since my body is much healthier now. Running feels so much better now. I’m following a schedule to run a 10k so I don’t overdo it like I tend to. Running is making me feel good and strong, not beating me up like it did when I was undereating. It is something I enjoy and have a natural ability towards. And of course, I also gave my body time to come out of all the crap I put it through *first*.
I’ve been overweight my whole stinking life (ok, since 9 or 10). I don’t know if anyone hates extra fat more than me. I just had to deal with it. Wear clothes that feel and look as good as possible and give your body a pass for a while :/ Focus on other things. Be mentally strong when the doubts creep up. Remind yourself that undereating (or purging) and overexercising are what gets you in this state. You are slowly climbing out of that hole and every day is closer to where you want to be… Patience.. yuck.. :)
Explain to your husband that your body needs time to recover before it will allow itself to change much. Maybe show him the starvation study as well.. and the responses on here?August 28, 2013 at 1:21 am #12144
Thank you for the replies!
saisrice- thank you for responding! I have been lurking around here for a couple weeks and am always impressed wifh how thoughtcul and thorough your advice is. So yes i did lose my cycle and have since had 2 periods (I have a 50-60 day cycle. always been that way) and should be expecting another in a couple of weeks. It was amazing how quickly my cycle returned after I started gaining weight. I truly thought I didnt have one because I was still breaatfeeding a 2 yr old. So with the return of my periods does that mean i have the vreen light to exercise?? I have never heard of t-tapp but will definitley be lookong into it. Have you started any cardio? If not do you think you ever will or is it too triggering??August 28, 2013 at 1:25 am #12145mighty mParticipant
Just 2nd-ing what Saisrice & Ashley have said! I am in the process of all this as well and found their answers very encouraging to me, as well. To reiterate — start slowly with exercise — you want to gradually build a foundation of strength. If you give it enough time — a year like Ashley said — I don’t see how you couldn’t look infinitely better at about 125 pounds than you did at lower weights.August 28, 2013 at 1:35 am #12147
Ashley- thank you cor your detailed response! I know what you are saying is true about needing to give time for healing but this is just so hard! Im very uncomcortable in my boxy and just dont know how i can just sit back and wait for things to even out. I swear you are lucky to have carried the extra weight in your belly. Flowy shirts anx sweaterz will cover it up very nicely. However you can NOT hide saddlebags. Its like i have two beach balls glued to the sides of my legs at all times its awful! k enough of my pity party. In terms of how i feel i guess i do feel better than i usex to. im tired a lot but i have a rowdy two year old who i stay home with. My sex drive is annoyingly high right now (i didnt have one at my lowest weight) but the thought of my husband seeing me naked right now makes me want to go hide in the closet. I dont know how my temps are cause im not great about checking them but my digestion is good and my hair seems to be falling out a little less. Ic you dont mind can you elaborate a little bit on the muscle building? I have no idea how to do that. I always focused on just cardio. Is that something i would need a trainer for? thanks for your help!August 28, 2013 at 1:36 am #12148
sorry about all the typos i have a teeny keyboard on my phone!August 28, 2013 at 2:55 pm #12161AshleyParticipant
I hear you on being uncomfortable in your body. It sucks, that’s all I can say. So just count your blessings.. your legs may not look like you want them to, but they work right? Some people’s don’t. Some people don’t even have legs and would probably jump at the chance to have a pair far uglier than yours. Ok, ok guilt trip over… :)
Have you checked out Go Kaleo’s website? She has workouts available there. To build muscle you have to eat at least at maintenance for your current weight or over. This will give your body the fuel to build muscle. Obviously, you also have to eat sufficient protein for building. But protein alone isn’t enough. That’s the material, high enough calories supplies the laborers so to speak.
Also, check out this article regarding your cardio question: http://gokaleo.com/2013/06/11/women-and-running/
She also hits on this in her latest post:
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