January 5, 2014 at 3:04 am #14508wipergreaserParticipant
@David I am a cross country athlete at my high school and I dicided to quit cross country and focus more on normalizing my metabolism.I was one of the best runners in my division but too late now, all is lost with the weight gain! I am all out of shape and it is very hard to run with the extra fifty plus pounds.January 5, 2014 at 10:54 am #14510
Yeah, no doubt it’s harder to run with the extra pounds, but I imagine you can still run on your own, and if you look at the bright side, your calves will get a better work-out (like running with a weighted vest). And you could definitely lift weights. You’re going to get into worse shape if you don’t do anything about it.January 5, 2014 at 12:24 pm #14512
oh dear, David, I think you may be off here. As a recovering anorexic I highly suspect that our friend here was headed down the path towards a serious restrictive eating disorder combined with anorexia athletica. I could be totally wrong but my ED intuition is screaming here. And if I’m right, wipegreaser, all you need to be doing right now is eating and resting. Exercise is the last thing you need to worry about. Let your body heal. Then think about what types of sport you might like to do-whether that be running or soccer or bowling, whatever you like. As far as your parents, that is really, really tough. But again I suggest seeing if you can get in with an eating disorder counselor. That might be an avenue to discuss what’s going on with your parents, because they sounds seriously disordered themselves. Eating McDonalds is not a banishable offense! Anyway I state again that I might be off here so I think step one is to get a real person who knows about eating disorders (counselor? Therapist? running coach you trust?) to listen to you so you can figure out if that’s what’s going on, and if it is, get yourself some support. I think that David’s advice is well-meaning and fine for a typical teen who is trying to balance health with living a normal carefree teenage boy life. But I suspect something more intense is happening with you.January 5, 2014 at 12:51 pm #14513
@tennosea- I also believe that your advice is well-meaning, but I don’t think either of the teenage guys in this thread are in danger of getting too skinny. Unless they are both very tall and muscular, 188 and 215 are pretty heavy weights for guys just out of high school. Note that I didn’t say they should give up the McDonald’s and pizza, but exercise is important, for many reasons including nutrient partitioning. If you don’t exercise, excess calories are going to turn into fat, and that’s only useful if your body fat is too low.
I know from experience that it’s a lot harder to get into shape if you’ve been sedentary for a long time. After a certain point, extended rest just makes you weaker.January 5, 2014 at 2:04 pm #14516mmmfoodParticipant
Thanks for the advice y’all. David, I actually have started to do some exercise lately. Nothing serious, just some biking around town and I’m working on fixing a rowing machine we have at my house.
Will lifting weights help with body composition?
But I think Tennosea is right too. When I first started eating to support my metabolism again, I think exercising would have been a mistake.January 5, 2014 at 3:54 pm #14520
Yes, lifting weights will help with body composition. At your age, you should be able to build muscle very quickly if you put in a little effort. If you can keep it up for six months, people will start making comments about your improved physique. If you can keep it up for a year, and work hard the whole time, you will be a beast.
Get a gym membership and keep it simple. Learn a few compound lifts–for example, bench press, overhead press, squats, dead lifts, and pull-ups (or lat pull-downs)–and that will be enough to start. You might try a 3×5 or 5×5 program first.January 5, 2014 at 7:54 pm #14522
OP says he started at 138 just 2 months ago. IF this is in fact a case of anorexia or anorexia athletica he is in the VERY early stages of recovery and not at all ready to start exercising again. Starting too early will just lead him straight back down the rabbit hole.
If your position is that regimented, scheduled exercise is right for everyone then I fundamentally disagree with you. I don’t think it is necessary for everyone to schedule formal exercise in order to be healthy. And I certainly don’t think its appropriate for someone in early recovery. I’m not trying to start an argument at all because I respect the members of this forum including you. But I think the OP should also know that what he is getting from us is based on our own perspectives. Mine is from someone who got sucked into the rabbit hole of an eating disorder and has been desperately trying to climb out for 10+ years. I wish someone had recognized these behaviors in my for what they were in the early stages to save me the wasted years and pain. I had lots of well meaning folks telling me to eat x% protein/carbs/fat and to try xyz workout as a solution to what was, in actuality, various permutations of anorexia/anorexia athletica/orthorexia. And coming from this perspective, continuing with ANY exercise feeds the fires of the disease and it has kept me stuck. Your perspective is based on a different history entirely and is of course equally valid. I just think our young friend needs to realize that IF he’s dealing with an emotional/psychological problem with his relationship with food and his body, then the answer will not lie in yet another workout schedule.January 5, 2014 at 8:24 pm #14523
I understand your disagreement, and I appreciate the respectful way you expressed it. You’re absolutely right that we tend to approach problems from our own backgrounds. I admit completely that I’m something of a bright-eyed evangelist for exercise because of how well it’s worked for me, and in my own experience, I’ve also seen people deteriorate quickly when they become sedentary. This could be because they stopped exercising, lost a job that kept them active, or no longer had time for a sport or activity they enjoyed, but whatever the situation, sitting around wasn’t good for them.
I do agree that scheduled exercise isn’t necessary for health, but I do believe that physical activity is necessary. Many people (including myself) just aren’t that active unless they schedule it, because modern life doesn’t really require much movement.
I am no expert on eating disorders, and so I’m asking this honestly: Is 50 pounds of weight gain really not enough to be ready for exercise, if a high calorie intake is maintained? I could understand enforced inactivity if a person was still very thin, but 188 isn’t thin, and even 138 isn’t that low for a teenage boy of average height. I probably weighed about that much in high school, and I worked at a pizza restaurant and never would have dreamed of restricting calories.
Again, I appreciate your respectful disagreement. I’m glad you posted your alternate view for anyone who feels they are at risk of falling back into a disorder, because I certainly wouldn’t want my advice to lead to anyone hurting himself or herself.January 5, 2014 at 8:58 pm #14524
David, thank you for being so polite and open.
The amount of weight gain and the current weight of an individual in recovery (or active in an ED) is in NO way a sole indicator of how that individual is doing. More important is (1) consistency (i.e. a sustained period of time in which the person is doing well) and (2) healthy, non-obsessive, non-rigid thought patterns-in other words, the person’s wellness and readiness to move on with things depends on if they are living their life without the fear and compulsion of the ED. In general the research suggests that someone who is trying to get out of a restrictive ED needs to rest (utterly) and eat without any restrictions for a period of at least a year to 18 months before they can even conceivable start to approach normalcy again. Because of the stops and starts in recovery, the period of time is frequently longer.
I think this is one of the biggest misconceptions about EDs and it is a constant battle still with my own family. They will be oozing concern when I weigh 85 pounds but will assume I’m fine if I’m 110 and will even support me if I start running or exercising again at that weight. Yet its the higher weight, 110, the one that appears more ‘normal’ to them, at which I am in a mental hell. Both because I’m having to deal with a much larger body than I like, and because everyone around me is assuming I’m fine and even ‘siding’ with my ED by suggesting that it might not be so bad if I go for a run.
You say you’ve seen folks deteriorate when they stop exercising. I can tell you I’ve seen heaps of folks on a decent path to recovery TOTALLY derailed by introducing modest scheduled exercise. Because recovery from restrictive anorexia is a breeding ground for a new form of the original disease, anorexia athletica. But I don’t want this thread to turn into one about me, because it isn’t. So I will leave it at that.
to wipegreaser, if what I’m saying resonates with you, please do check out the forums at youreatopia as well. Just do a google search. You’ll have to register to get into most of the forums but it’s easy and there’s lots of info there about this all. There are also others your age who might offer some wisdom on how to deal with your neurotic parents. And if I’m totally off track here, then feel free to disregard.January 5, 2014 at 9:10 pm #14525
Thank you for your detailed explanation of the recovery process, and I concede you are more knowledgeable than me on this subject. My advice anywhere in this forum is definitely not intended for people recovering from eating disorders.
As you said, it’s really up to @wipegreaser to decide what his situation is. If he feels at risk of ED-related behavior, he should probably follow your advice. If he doesn’t feel that fits him, then he should hit the gym. Honestly, when I was 18, I think that’s about the best advice anyone could have given me, because carrying a little muscle really does help out the social life.January 6, 2014 at 12:13 pm #14537pattyapoianParticipant
Wipegreaser, the thing I read just now that bothers me most is that your parents are really willing to kick out over your eating at McDonalds??? This is of concern to me. Thinking back (a loonnng time ago) when I was a kid, if my parents had issued a threat like that it would immediately set up a huge inner drive to do that very thing. For give me but, you need some independence and there is more of an issue than just food here quite obviously! Are your parents vegans? There are far worse things you as a teenager you could be getting into. Goodness.January 9, 2014 at 3:28 pm #14596AshleyParticipant
What activity are you getting? We were made to work to eat. Can’t have one without the other. :)
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