March 2, 2014 at 9:01 am #15604
Again, nicely said.
I wanted to point out one more thing about my experience with exercise. Even though I’ve been successful progressively building stamina, there are times I’ve had to back off for a little while. Just two weeks ago, I took five full days off from the gym and just ate like a maniac, because I felt severely over-trained. When I got better and knew I could exercise again, I went right back to my old routine, with a little more energy than before. Amazingly, I hadn’t gained a single pound.
My point is that I do see the value of occasional periods of rest and overeating. This has happened to me a few times since last fall. Usually I’ll just take a couple days off rather than a week, but you have to do what you have to do. I can understand that, for people who are already worn down with eating disorders and over-training, a longer period of rest and overfeeding is probably necessary before they can become active again.
Also, I believe in very gradual progress. Last summer when I started, I couldn’t even run a quarter mile without losing my breath. If I had tried to start running a mile every day immediately, I couldn’t have done it, and I would have given up. I think it’s important to start easy and just get better a little bit at a time. Then, over the course of several months or a year, amazing changes are possible.March 2, 2014 at 9:45 am #15610
I think that’s a very important aspect of success when choosing to work out, David. I will keep that in mind!March 2, 2014 at 1:38 pm #15621LindaParticipant
Hey Piranha, I’ve been struggling through this thing for a year. I need to adopt your attitude. My problem is when I lost a whole bunch of weight a few years ago I was amazed to be so small. I never thought it was possible and I loved how I looked & felt, not realizing I messed up my metab in the process. So now the weight is back, I am heavier than I ever was before, none of my clothes fit. I’ve been wearing my hubby’s shirts all winter.
I’ve been trying to do some exercise but something knocks me down (back goes out or my hip). By the time I’m ready to start again I have to start all over. I can never build momentum. Anyway, I don’t know where my weight it because I don’t want to know. I don’t like what I see in the mirror, but i do have an hour glass figure. The weight is in my belly and my bust. Hate the belly but the bust freaks me out! I went from wearing XS to XL. Maybe this summer it will be XXL! All I know is I want some clothes that make me feel pretty, stop wearing hubby’s, & just feel better about myself.March 2, 2014 at 7:59 pm #15632TinaTParticipant
Linda – there are shops with cute stuff for “full figured” gals. It seems like more and more are showcasing ads in the Sunday paper these days, too.
Definitely splurge on something that makes you feed good about yourself.
Around our house, we don’t call it being “fat”, we call it “prosperous”.
“My, you’re looking prosperous today” sounds much better than the alternative. :)March 2, 2014 at 10:19 pm #15635OldMateParticipant
I believe everyone will have their own way, their own goals, their own results, their own cravings etc.
I used to consistently compare myself to others, want perfect answers and proof, want results over night, want to know what everyone else did etc but all it was doing was adding to the stress that was down regulating my metabolism in the first place.
It is fantastic to have the internet as a resource to take on board other peoples experiences, but that doesn’t mean I will have the same experience. I’m sure Matt has one of the greatest awareness of other peoples experiences with metabolic recovery, but it doesn’t mean he’s going to have the same experience. Who cares how much weight he has lost?
By the sounds of it there are many 180 degree testimonials that do include weight loss, Matt might not be one of them, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be?
I’ve packed on at least 40kgs to bring up my temps. I’ve tried different ways and trusting my cravings is what has worked best so far. I figure if I keep being kind to myself, honouring my cravings, loving and approving of myself just maybe I might lose some weight further down the track. And if I don’t… There are plenty of greater life lessons I have learnt from packing on some extra weight.
All the best finding ‘your way’ and nice to hear from you @David
RobMarch 2, 2014 at 10:29 pm #15637
You too, Rob. I appreciated your comment about how we can learn greater life lessons from our experiences, whether or not they work out how we want them to. It’s great to learn from others, but sometimes self-experimentation really is more valuable.March 2, 2014 at 10:49 pm #15639piranhaParticipant
hey, linda — i hear ya. your story is similar to that of many people i know, who’ve gone through that cycle over and over again. i think it’s important that you learn to appreciate yourself and your body, even in its fat state. that’s difficult in a society that disdains fat, but now that i am there, i am finding it much easier than what i did before, trying to fit myself to people’s expectations. life is short, and there are so many more important things than what we look like. and if you learn to love your body no matter what, you will remove so much stress from your life; it’ll make fixing your metabolism easier, and for all you know, the weight will come off. but even if it doesn’t, you’ll have broken the cycle that makes you miserable, and you’ll be miles ahead of where you are now.
the good news is that appreciating your body regardless of its size (and other issues you might have with it) is a skill, and all skills can be learned and practiced and improved. and these days there is actually a lot of help out there through the growing size acceptance network. i really enjoy ragen chastain’s blog “dances with fat” (https://danceswithfat.wordpress.com/) which has a lot of practical advice about appreciating yourself, as well as dealing with other people trying to shame you, and the nonsense they tell you about weight loss. in regard to exercise, i hang out on the “fit fatties” forum (http://fitfatties.ning.com/) because i find it is a more positive experience to talk with like-minded people instead of battling the crappy attitude most of the fitness industry has towards us. the forum is run by a fat dancer and a fat fitness instructor, and they’re both amazing. i used to have a very acrimonious relationship with exercise, but after we broke up for good, i’ve found some very different ways to move my body — there are so many ways, i feel certain you’ll be able to find something too; just go slow at the start because your body needs to get used to it. even simply walking around the block every day, breathing the fresh air and enjoying spring (soon!) can be a good start.
i myself am likely to be arrested by the fashion police, but there are more and more options for fat people now, and they’re no longer dowdy tents. try the http://www.plussizeyellowpages.com/ which has tons of links, neatly sorted.
as to the word “fat”: tina is right, you don’t have to use it (“prosperous” is cute ;). but other people still will, because too many are mean and cruel, and that can be disheartening. i use it because i believe in reclaiming insults; it takes the sting out of them over time. i am fat like i am short, brunet (ok, salt-and-peppery), queer, middle-aged, strong, intelligent, impatient, handy… it’s just a descriptive term; it does not define me, and i won’t let it insult me anymore.
you’re not alone — your husband loves you, and many other people understand where you’re coming from. finding them and becoming part of a support network will make any change easier.March 3, 2014 at 11:24 am #15650LindaParticipant
Wow, thanks so much for the positive replies. “Prosperous” lol, Tina, good one. That is exactly it. I know I need to accept myself and am trying very hard. It’s just thinking about summer clothes that does me in. When I grew out of my teeny tiny clothes I couldn’t afford to buy much. We were under sequester last spring so I had to make do. That’s why I’ve been wearing hubby’s shirts. I intend to find something to wear that makes me feel good this summer. Can’t wait to check out those links Piranha. I am working to let go of the thinness I was never meant to be. When that happens I think I’ll be happier.
As for exercise I love walking. I try to walk everyday. Also trying to get back to weights. And guess what David? Before my hip went out a few weeks ago I felt like running! I have never wanted to run & here I was fantasizing about going out to run. Bear in mind that for me running is really a very slow jog that gets me to the corner before I have to walk again, lol. I also have a belly dance tape that I like to do for exercise. I thought learning to do the belly roll would help firm up that flab. Anyway, it is fun to do those sensuous moves, not that I am good at it. I do think this is a good forum & I hope piranha that you stick around.March 3, 2014 at 2:03 pm #15655The Real AmyModerator
Wow, I posted that comment before the weekend, and today I see this thread just exploded!
Christinam, to answer some of your questions, I had an eating disorder for years, and then my recovery took about 4 years (with multiple relapses). I found Matt’s site toward the end of it, and it really helped me to let go and trust my appetite and get over my lingering fear of food. During recovery, I went from underweight to rather “puffy” and even a bit chubby (to me, but probably a fairly average weight), and then the weight did come off. But I am not going to say I had a RRARF experience as outlined by Matt because I did not. But the combo of what I learned through ED recovery and RRARF was priceless.
When I was going through ED recovery, the best things I learned were:
1) Eat 3 balanced regular meals a day, no matter what, no exceptions
2) Incorporate 1-2 snacks/day, which can be a good time to bring in a treat (which I restricted previously). I actually rarely have a snack anymore, but when you start healing it’s helpful.
3) Pay attention to hunger and fullness signals, and also why you are eating. You realize that sometimes you are not hungry, you actually really want a nap or to call a friend
4) I needed to work through a lot of issues from my childhood. Still working through them, but lately have gotten to a MUCH better place. Self-esteem issues are often the root cause of ED craziness, so you need to work them out to really be healthy.
5) Moderate exercise is good
6) Listen to your body and make friends with your body.
I went from a crazy diet of eating mostly veggies, and then binging and over-exercising, etc. to a pretty normal eating pattern (like what your grandma would recommend). I exercise a bit now, but all pretty moderate. I don’t think there is ever any perfect state we get to, but you can get to a place of balance where you feel tuned into your body and reasonably healthy.
As everyone on here has been saying, we are all unique. Some people thrive on 6 small meals a day, some on 3 squares. Some (like me) prefer more carbs. I know I need meat every single day or I don’t feel well. I LOVE veggies as well and anything savory, but don’t care much for rich desserts. Some people are totally the opposite. How you ate growing up can be a clue. I now eat fairly similarly to how I ate growing up. It just takes a looooong time to get your balance, but it is a worthwhile investment. I wouldn’t even worry that much about temps. Track them, but don’t worry so much about the short-term numbers as much as your long-term trajectory.March 3, 2014 at 4:18 pm #15661brittbrittParticipant
I’m happy to hear that I’m not the only one who hasn’t picked up a thermometer or refractometer throughout this process. I don’t even weigh myself anymore. For me, doing those things would just lead to another form of food/health obsession. I have found, however, that monitoring the frequency and color of my urine is a really reliable way to tell if what I’m eating is working for me, and I’m getting better at recognizing “crashes” from low metabolism/adrenergic syndrome/whatever Matt calls it. I think what I’m doing is closer to the protocol from Intuitive Eating (http://www.intuitiveeating.com/) in that I’m learning to listen to my body to the point where I have a better idea of what types and quantities of foods it wants and I’m developing stronger hunger and fullness signals…but I’m also utilizing what they call “gentle nutrition” by choosing a wide variety of healthful whole foods when I can. If I want cheesy mac or pizza or ice cream I have no qualms about eating it, but I also stock my cupboards with lots of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and full fat dairy and focus on getting enough of each of these things. Also, like David, I’m getting a LOT of physical activity every day, which means I can easily eat 3,000+ calories a day and still lose weight.
My new philosophy is eat hard, exercise hard, sleep/relax hard, and enjoy life to its fullest. I’m still about 15 pounds overweight if you compare me to a BMI chart but I’ve really truly come to believe that it is important to learn to accept and love your body pre weight loss. Doing so is the ONLY way I’ve been able to stop obsessing over my diet, which was the key to learning to listen to my body better and giving it what it REALLY wants. And since that has happened, my health and energy have skyrocketed and I’m losing weight. It sucks and it is hard, I know, but there is SO MUCH VALUE to learning to love your body as is. Otherwise, we are just on this site looking for more magic weight loss pills just like everyone else on all the other diet sites out there. It won’t work.
And also…not to minimize the concern of others, but a number of people that I’ve read about on this site are at or close to a “healthy” BMI already and I understand that it is frustrating to not be able to lose weight but I’m guessing at least some of these folks have an unrealistic goal for themselves in the first place. They might not be losing weight because they are close to where their body needs to be…and a better approach might be to go kick some ass in the gym to convert that weight into more muscle, or to learn to accept it and go flaunt it!March 3, 2014 at 4:50 pm #15663
Awesome post! I don’t think you could have said it any more succinctly than this:
“My new philosophy is eat hard, exercise hard, sleep/relax hard, and enjoy life to its fullest.”
That’s exactly how I feel. Admittedly, I still watch my calories, but I’ve increased my daily intake so much (to match my exercise) that I eat pretty big meals now. When I started working out last summer, I couldn’t exercise long enough to burn more than a few hundred calories, but once you can burn a thousand calories or more a day, then you can eat like a beast and still lose weight. Grinding through a pile of food after a huge workout is incredibly rewarding.
And you know, 15 pounds of extra fat on a muscular, well-conditioned body doesn’t look all that bad. That same 15 pounds on a weak body can look pretty flabby.
Keep it up! I love walking, and I think it’s a great start to a long-term exercise program. My conditioning was PATHETIC when I got started. I got worn out really easily and always felt like I was on the brink of an injury. I often overdid it and spent the rest of the day collapsed on the couch. My back and joints always seemed to ache, and I hated every minute of my actual “runs,” slow as they were. Measured by weeks, it seemed like I wasn’t making any progress at all, but measured by months, there was an obvious transformation. My advice would be to constantly praise yourself for every small accomplishment, and even to brag about them to a spouse or friend if they can stand it.March 3, 2014 at 7:29 pm #15664
Amy- thank you for sharing what worked for you! I can relate to your experience of moving from extreme diets to normal eating. I feel best when I have a regular eating routine and eat what I’m hungry for. Stuffing myself feels just as bad as undereating, no matter if it results in higher temperatures. I truly believe that a lot of my cold feet and hands has to do with emotional stress and eating properly can only take me so far. I simply love the book by Claire Weekes!! Today I had a meeting with someone important and I was very invested. I was nervous and there were my cold feet. I tried the method of swimming through cold water to prevent the secondary fear. Gosh it’s not easy to stay focused on it. What a find, though. I am hopeful.
Britt, it’s true, we need to get away from the image being priority and find a place that feels good on the inside. And then accept whatever that will present on the outside. I also don’t weight myself. But I still measure my waist every few months. I tend to lie to myself even when my body starts to feel heavy and the measurement is the honest feedback to not overeat and I actually start to feel better and lighter. But for the last couple of years I haven’t restricted like I did before. It’s more of a mild adjustment.
March 4, 2014 at 2:39 pm #15679The Real AmyModerator
- This reply was modified 9 years, 11 months ago by Christinam.
Christinam, so glad the book has been helpful for you! I think it’s absolutely genius. I think it sounds like you are actually at pretty good place in your journey and will keep getting better over time if you keep at it.March 13, 2014 at 5:13 pm #15851mmmfoodParticipant
You guys might remember me. I’ve posted on here several times. I’m a 19 year old Male. I started implementing Matt’s ideas into my life back in July 2013. I didn’t read the posts before me, so forgive me if I am just repeatinng what was already said.
I was 145 lbs or so when I started. I had restricted food for a few years starting around age 13 then when I was 17 tried the Vegan diet, then the paleo diet at 18, right aound my 19th birthday I started reading Matt’s stuff. It made sense and I had been feeling it was time for a change. I was very optimistic. I thought that the fatigue, the aches and pains, the low sex drive, everything, was due to my history of dieting. So i started eating like crazy, but my temps would never come up. I tried multiple approaches: eating as many calories as possible (youreatopia gave me this idea), very little fluid, loading up on salt. I read posts on here like crazy looking for answers.
Now around 7 months later I weigh almost 240 lbs!!! That’s right, two hundred and forty fucking pounds. It’s not very fun. My temps have come up into the 97s most days but I still feel tired all the time. I let myself gain all that weight thinking there would be a pay off somewhere, and there was, but a very small one.
Matt advised me to get my thyroid checked after I emailed him about my insane weight gain. I got tests for TSH, Free t4 Index, T3 Uptake, T4 Total, Thyroglobulin Antibodies and Thyroid Peroxide Antibodies. They are all normal. My doc now tells me I have fatty liver disease.
I have been trying to come up with a reason for my huge gain. I don’t see too many others forum posters gaining 90 lbs doing this. I have had an anxiety disorder since childhood and also PTSD since age 11, but I don’t think that that would cause me to gain that much. I could see these issues causing more wiehgt gain than usual, but not that much more than usual. I’m open to being proven wrong on this though.
For the past couple of weeks I’ve been eating a diet high in fruit, whole grains, lean protein with some junk food thrown in there occasionally, but lower in fat and processed foods. I’ve also been walking a lot and working a bit with a relative of mine who is a painter. In other words I’ve been eating a fairly mainstream diet and getting more exercise. I feel a bit better. The bloating has gotten much better, I feel more optimistic. I’m still fat as hell though.
Anyways, I think Matt’s stuff got me out of a bad place with a ton of food resticitions and made me realize that there’s no reason to avoid certain foods at all costs. We all eat junk sometimes. It also made me realize that calorie restriction is terrible for your health. But I wonder if people would have better results if Matt rewrote his books to recommend that people use real, whole foods for this process. I think if I had used whole foods in place of processed and fast food to refeed, I may not weigh nearly as much as I do now. I realize that he does not say, eat only junk foods, but after reading the book Diet Recovery 2 and reading the forums I was under the impression that processed foods do not have much of an ill effect on our health. Maybe he should not leave things as open to interpretation and incorporate some guidelines. I also think that Matt should advise people to get checked through blood tests and such for diseases and disorders that could cause the same symptoms of restrictive dieting before diving into refeeding. I think that some of my symptoms are caused by underlying disorders (my doc thinks I might have rheumatoid arthritis).
Anyways, I am thankful for Matt’s work because it has helped me, but at the same time I am disapointed. I had total faith that my temps would come up and I would be feeling like a million bucks for the first time in a long time. That’s not the case though. Sometimes I think i feel worse than when I started beacuse of all the weight gain.
Maybe I was too optimistic. Maybe Matt’s work subtly suggests that it is the cure all for health issues. I’m really not sure.March 13, 2014 at 5:36 pm #15852
I think it’s good that you are now coming around to eating whole foods. And I agree that Matt seems to promote junk food in large quantities which just cannot possibly be good in my my mind. Some people rapidly gunk up their livers when they eat a high sugar diet because their body is somehow wired that way. I’m very cautious since nobody is coming around here and sharing their great weight loss story while eating lots.
Better safe than sorry. But I still eat well. One reg. entree size bowl full of oats with banana, dates, coconut milk, warrior protein powder and some maple syrup for breakfast, something like quinoa or rice with miso, coconut oil, steamed carrots, small handful of greens and a small dessert of cream cheese( no additives) on a few strawberries with maple syrup. And some fish or beef most days. Sometimes I’ll have some ice-cream and dates with macadamia nuts in the afternoon. This plan has stopped my weight gain which happened on lots of bread, some tart/cookies, lots of ice-cream, butter, jam, pancakes. Urgh, eating that felt yuck and the taste of it wasn’t really interesting anymore after a few weeks. I felt like a gross, lethargic, depressed sloth on that?Maybe I’m happy with my plan now because it’s close to how I ate growing up.
I’m so sorry you gained so much weight. You probably were too thin when you started, so you will probably not need to lose as much as you gained.
Walking is good until you lose a bit of weight and then you could do 20 min. of push ups and abs, squats everyday to keep it simple until you start feeling good again. Try and stay busy doing things and reading etc. as not to focus so much regrets or worries.
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