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mighty m

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  • in reply to: At what point does the weight gain STOP?? #12685
    mighty m

    Kristi, I”ve been reading your posts and think you’ve come SOOOO far in gaining health! Huge congrats!!!! I’d also add that your current weight is nothing “bad,” though I do understand the clothes inconvenience.

    My understanding is that weight will level off and maybe even drop slightly AFTER the body perceives that there’s absolutely no more risk of shortage AND any internal repair/rebalancing caused by the shortage is fixed. You get to that point by following hunger, even if the calorie amounts are temporarily very high. My understanding comes from what’s been written about the Minnesota Starvation Experiment.

    in reply to: Sudden Surge in Appetite – Extreme Hunger #12659
    mighty m

    (BTW, those walking totals include ALL my daily steps, as measured by a pedometer. So not as much as it might seem at first … I’m not doing any 8 mile hikes per se, just lots and lots of 1/2mile and 1-mile jaunts on busy days.)

    in reply to: Sudden Surge in Appetite – Extreme Hunger #12658
    mighty m

    Hi pals,

    NYC, probably happening because your metabolism just jumped up. I find the increases in metabolism/hunger occur in a stepwise fashion, rather than steadily for me.

    I’ve been experiencing this as well this month, as I’m a grad student and the semester just started. I’ve gone from 2-3 miles of walking a day (mostly by choice) to 5-8 (!) miles per day, pretty much by necessity, carrying a lot more stuff and under more stress and pressure. My hunger has gone thru the roof! From 3000+ kcal a day to some days I need that much by 1pm to not eat my arm off.

    I’ve followed the YE advice to just keep eating. The first week was lots of adrenaline & I didn’t eat enough and probably even ran a deficit … That week, I went up a clothes size in bloating in 1 week! Also had return of insomnia — ie, waking up hungry. Fixed that with a big milkshake right before bed (my favorite food).

    I think I’m still in a pretty deep energy deficit from my 8 mo long paleo misadventure, Sept-May. Been eating lots since June; my appetite came roaring back as soon as I let it. Many benefits, one detriment is some bloating and 20-30# weight gain over paleo (but only 10-15# over pre-paleo), but my BF insists I look better, even though I am now well “overweight.”

    in reply to: A complicated recovery #12518
    mighty m

    – Yes, early in the day makes a BIG difference for me. I truly feel like I get more “benefit” from the calories that way. Playing catch up after 5pm is better than nothing, but it’s a 2nd choice. … you just put in the food (approx, can’t get over-precise with these things) and it will tell you the grams of the macros automatically. Set the calorie goal manually, otherwise it might “choose” one too low. Most of those auto-counters use “diet” numbers. After all, there’s no real food expertise behind them, they’re just apps designed to be yet another advertising venue. Market research suggests “everybody wants to lose weight” so that’s how they design the app.
    – WAPF, done all the way, always sounded like a retro “Cult of Domesticity” to me! I often wondered if there was a background in religious fundamentalism to it? They have some good info, but to do the whole 9 yards seems like an endless amount of household drudgery.

    — ** Also, do you have something really interesting in your life? Interesting work, hobbies? Intellectual, creative or social challenge is what I mean. I really think that’s important. Health is important but also kind of boring, IMO. Even Ray Peat has some quotes about that.

    in reply to: A complicated recovery #12478
    mighty m

    @David … you are so prolific! I commend your documentation. Whatever you find that works, it will be well documented and vice versa. Also, you seem like a really good person.

    … I remember you talking about struggling in other threads, and so I apologize if this suggestion is redundant. But reading your comment raised a BIG red flag to me when you wrote: “I also don’t like trying to eat so many calories. It makes me wonder if I am taking steps backwards when I don’t get the calories in, but then some people have said not to worry about that, just eat to appetite. You all might be surprised to see how little I eat in a day if I just eat to appetite. Then again, it might be more that I think. I don’t know,lol.”

    I think *I* might have said something like “just eating to appetite is fine” … I perhaps wrongly projected my experience of strong hunger pangs, assuming it was universal or at least common. In my case, I was so hungry by the time I ditched paleo, that it was easy for me to hit 2,500 without hardly trying. Some days I have intensely physical, stomach-growling hunger for twice that.

    Anyway, “eating to appetite” will only work if you have a healthy appetite! But your last comment makes me wonder if you do … your words really sound appetite-suppressed, a classic low-metabolism and/or semi-starvation symptom. Do you think doing a quick calorie count for a few days would be crazy-making? If it is less than 2,500 (the amount non-restricted/non-dieted people actually have been measured to eat, for women 25-50; Matt’s in Diet Recovery2 is a little more precise but in the same ballpark), you might try raising it to that. And consistency can really help.

    Re sleep: I’ve made really big improvements on poor sleep … I mean, it’s better but I still have bad nights. If you just can’t get it yet, great sleep is not a prerequisite to improve!! Please don’t get hung up on that! One night this month, I had insomnia from 3am on, took my temp at 6am, and it was 98.6! (Months ago I was in the 96-97’s.) It can be done, sleep might be the last thing for you, rather than the first.

    Re exercise: I agree with the exercise recommendations by David, with this caveat (which I don’t think is in disagreement with David, I’m just making an additional emphasis): You must eat to fuel it. I think Matt has quoted Diana Schwartzbein, and I now paraphrase: Exercise doesn’t make energy, exercise takes energy. Exercise is incredibly good for you, but you have to fuel it. If you aren’t sure if you are eating enough, please check and find out!

    Personally, I find walking every day essential, at least 30 min total (could be in smaller chunks). For my mental well-being as well as physical, I get restless cabin fever without it. Every day. That’s “allowed” even to those recovering from an underweight spot. As for strength, I find just once weekly to work best for me for now. If the exercises are really easy, maybe 2x.

    Sorry for the book … just some thoughts that came to mind as I read your comment, Linda.

    in reply to: The Dreaded Plateau (also: hi) #12430
    mighty m

    @Heather … how have you been doing since your original post? Eat that breakfast! :)

    How do you know when to seek thyroid medication? How much time do you think you can give non-medication methods like restorative eating, sleep, stress, others?

    If you feel like answering, I’ll give you my stats for context: 37yo woman, btw. When I was inadvertently eating low-carb and low-calorie (had tried paleo ways to remedy health problem, of course it made it worse), I had the whole panel done, and was borderline low in T3, with elevated reverse-T3. At that point, I was eating less than 2000 calories per day, plus exercise. Yikes! But sadly didn’t know any better. I suspect I might have been borderline low even before the terrible paleo phase, due to overwork, undersleep, overcaffeination and inconsistent eating (… and in fact, that combo of factors was probably the root of the health concerns in the first place). Tested just TSH and T3 when I had upped calories through lots of buttered potatoes, but hadn’t yet put back diary, grains & sugar — improvement in both, but not ideal. In June (3 months ago), I disavowed all that mess and began eating without restriction: my suppressed appetite returned with a vengeance and I experienced extreme hunger, quickly gaining weight and many health improvements. These improvements include energy, sleep, strength and endurance [despite limited exercise], sexual, intellectual. Have not tested thyroid yet since starting “the big eat.” Since I’m doing a lot better, I’m inclined to give non-med methods at least a year to work … does that seem wise?

    Naturally, I would love to recover without medication. But, in your opinion, … how do you know if/when you need supplemental/replacement thyroid hormone?

    in reply to: anorexia/restriction, running, and how to stop the insanity #12419
    mighty m

    Some great insights and conversation here. Ashley & j-lo are two of my faves. Just commenting so I can read anything new in my email.

    in reply to: Want to diet- help #12250
    mighty m

    Don’t do it. What’s to be desperate about? If you’re not a Hollywood actress, there’s no urgent need to be a certain skinny size. This is just a momentary panic. Your posts elsewhere reflect such confidence and optimism and eagerness to have another kid — I truly believe that THAT is the real, authentic self talking, and that this panic about the paddleboard photo is a mere passing, distorted anxiety. From the #s you’ve reported elsewhere, I recall you being at a very reasonable weight, especially for disordered-eating recovery.

    Keep in mind that photos can be unflattering! Even the most beautiful people in the world can take a bad photo. I remember the first time I saw certain old photos and thought I looked terrible; I look at them now and it doesn’t phase me, I know that either I actually looked good, or I did in fact look kinda bad, but that’s because it was a bad photo because I had good photos from more or less the same time. Probably a similar trick of the mind at play here.

    If there’s any “real” flabbiness, remember that you can improve your strength over time and look great without losing any weight. Not by overdoing, but gradually.

    And, although 3 periods is a great sign, it doesn’t mean so-healed-you-can-risk-dieting-again. The body is like an ocean liner, it changes course very slowly. My advice is to consolidate your achievements so far by nurturing stability, rather causing hormonal “whiplash” with another change.

    You’re the greatest! Don’t go back to the “dark side”!

    in reply to: Recovering Adrenaline Junkie #12146
    mighty m

    @Kristi — Thank you for the progress report! It is great to hear about improvements, and the overall mood in your post seems so much more free and confident, as well! Great work!

    in reply to: Dont like new body need advice!! #12145
    mighty m

    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.

    in reply to: too long don't read, or: am i completely screwed #12042
    mighty m

    Maybe it’s me why they didn’t respond — maybe I’m the thread-killer! :) Since I just got this in my email, I will reply anyway:

    Don’t panic! Two days isn’t much. Relax, keep eating, and keep it SALTY is my suggestion. To me, extra salt, and salt on sweet foods, is the little bit of overdrive when I need it. Some ideas:
    Super salty potatoes & butter;
    extra-salted popcorn (popped in ghee if you want to avoid vege oil, just ate some last night, delish);
    bread & butter with extra salt;
    eat a cheeseburger and salt every bite separately;
    salty cheeses like sharp cheddar and parmasean (sp);
    ice cream with caramel or fudge sauce and SALT;
    BBQ meat with extra salt;
    pancakes w/ maple syrup with salt;
    spicy ethnic stuff like Indian or Ethiopian with extra salt, etc.

    But don’t think you can eat less calories if they’re salty. You have to eat a lot of calories either way. Salt is not a calorie substitute!

    Seriously, get yourself into a nice warm food coma and then read or watch nature TV or sunbathe or nap or something like that.

    To try to address some of the details of what you wrote:
    – Is there something going on in terms of life stress in the background, that’s making the food restriction worse? Is there a way to confront that and/or make things easier for you?
    – Your parents — yikes. I have a nutso family too, in different ways. Good news, crazy parents are survivable, but it really isn’t easy sometimes.
    – Again, I’m not an ED expert, and I apologize if I’m wrong, but what you wrote in the first message sounds really restrictive to me. 125# at 5’8″ is really really thin, that’s not a common natural size, even among young people. There’s a good chance that that’s too thin for you. My personal opinion is that carefully counting out 1900 calories to maintain 125# is NOT sustainable. That’s not just pro-fattie talk, I really think even vain, shallow, conventional people would agree with me that 125 is quite thin for the average 5’8″ person.
    – If you are more active, you have to eat more. What do you mean by “buffer”? … I didn’t get what you meant.
    – You can’t get more muscle or strength doing what you’re doing. Only food builds muscle.

    I don’t think what I have to say is original … you probably know this stuff better than I do, but for various reasons, you’re having trouble just going for it and eating.

    But again you AREN’T screwed, you just have to keep eating and maybe figure out if there’s a way to address other issues, too. People on this site like Lianda Ludwig have recovered metabolically in their 50s & 60s after decades of dieting. But why wait that long, recover now and enjoy your life.

    Maybe try to jump into some thread where the Real Amy is? … she is very open about being an ED survivor and her advice might help.

    Meanwhile, eat lots of food and make it salty!

    in reply to: Temperature Variability #12039
    mighty m

    You can expect underarm to be about 1/2 degree lower than oral. Don’t know about anal.

    in reply to: Vaginal Yeast Infection #12026
    mighty m

    @Fab ‘s question. The only way to know for sure is a culture. Are you in the US? If so, Planned Parenthood will do it on a sliding-scale fee, i.e., cheap if you don’t have insurance.

    Following on what Hannah said, as far as other things it could be:
    If it’s just irritated and itchy, could be just dry. Dryness and hypersensitivity can go along with low metabolism in my experience. Even if you can lube up when aroused, it can be dry the rest of the time. Frequent masturbation can help! :)

    Second, could be a skin irritation from an irritating laundry soap or something like that. Third, you can also have a bacterial infection; years ago, I once got a bad bacterial infection from using a condom with spermicide on it, my theory is it killed off the good bacteria and let the bad ones take over, while also irritating the tissues and making them vulnerable. The active ingredient in spermicides is detergent, as in Tide. Bad news.

    Fourth, more generally, I’ve found that cheap lubes like Astroglide can both irritate and throw of the balance in there, among other things they contain glycerine and parabens, causing either “mere” irritation or, worse, also creating a yeast-and-bad-bacteria-friendly environment. I’ve found that the Sliquid brand (plain water- or silicone-based, not the weird flavored ones) to be non-irritating.

    On the low-metabolism cause, here’s some explicit but maybe useful personal experience: When my metabolism was low last year/early this year, my vulva was dry, irritated and sometimes itchy during the 2nd half of the cycle. The usual discharge was thicker and wouldn’t flow out, it kind of got stuck in the folds and caused irritation. Other than red & itchy, there weren’t other telltale yeast symptoms such as the so-called “cottage cheese like discharge” or yeasty smells. I got it checked out TWICE at dr & Planned Parenthood, and it was NOT yeast or bacteria, just redness and irritation. The nurse practitioner I saw gave me some cortisone ointment, which did help but you don’t want to get “addicted” to that stuff or overuse it, because supposedly it can cause the skin to become thinner and thus more vulnerable over time. This went on for 10 months, so glad I was stingy with the cortisone! What worked symptomatically was, yeah, getting off, plus a little of that Sliquid lube … tried coconut oil but it was irritating for me.

    At the time, I didn’t know much about metabolism etc. It’s in retrospect that I can make the connection. What worked: I don’t mean for this to sound like a testimonial, but raising my temps w/ food really fixed the dryness. As of 2 months ago, I’ve been great, lubing like a 22 year old (I’m 37). Yeah, I’m 30 pounds heavier than I was at 22, but a lot of that is T&A! ;)

    Unless you are 100% sure it’s yeast, I DON’T recommend the over-the-counter anti-fungal medications (tho yogurt and garlic probably are harmless for most). Those can be super-irritating, especially if the problem is just dryness or irritation in the first place … speaking from experience, ladies.

    Sorry so long … although not as sexually experienced as this post implies, I have been around the block and it would be neat if it were useful to someone out there.

    in reply to: First signs of improvement #11975
    mighty m

    haha! Well, I haven’t done that since, but at the very least it showed me a) I was deeply hungry … because notice I didn’t say I “stuffed myself” but rather ate until I wasn’t hungry any more; b) desserts might be a health food!

    [[What follows is a long response to @Linda about sleep. Sorry to work that scrolling finger for those who don’t want to read it!]]

    Based on that experience, I made 100% sure to not go to bed hungry for the next two months. My less-junky snack at home has been sourdough bread & butter with jam, and yogurt & honey, because that’s what sounded best to me. After it worked a few times, it became sort of ritualistic. I went from waking 5+ times a week (with no return to sleep) in March and April, to waking 1-2 times a week (but being able to get back to sleep), which is where I’m at now. Now, I only eat this before bed if I’m truly hungry, but in June and July I would eat at least a mini-version if I could find any room at all, just to be safe.

    However, if I went hungry even a little bit during the day, even that late-evening snack wasn’t enough, I would still wake up hungry. Tried the sugar-and-salt thing, and it would actually whet my appetite for a full breakfast … at 4am! Never was like that before a 8-month stretch of paleo, I could eat less one day, sleep fine, and just be hungrier the next, no problem. Before paleo, I could also sleep with the lights on, sleep through a brass band, etc., and did NONE of that sleep hygiene b.s. but slept fine.

    Needless to say, when the insomnia began, I diligently tried ALL the sleep-hygeine stuff and supplements, to no avail. I handmade a light-blocking curtain out of a canvas dropcloth. At one time, I was trying 20mg of melatonin … no help. I believe this sudden-onset, predictable and otherwise-intractable insomnia was my body absolutely demanding to be fed; insisting on wakefulness is insisting on the absolute bottom-of-the-pyramid need, food. For the record, if I had awoken thinking about work, or relationships, or not hungry, I would not assume the problem was food — I would assume the problem was emotional stress. But did I mention that, before I woke up at 4am, I would be dreaming about things like cookies? Who dreams about food except hungry people?? Think about it: adrenaline can save your life, it can give people the strength to lift cars. Of course, if it’s needed, it’s going to override melatonin, organic or supplemented.

    Eating a lot (to appetite, always, of craved foods but mostly whole foods, never counting calories — but also never “stuffing myself,” I honestly don’t know where people get the idea that they should do that unless they truly have an ED) has allowed me to sleep, period. I’d tried everything else except pot, Rx drugs and hypnosis.

    Incidentally, I WAS able to notice metabolic benefits from the food even before my sleep improved much: I noticed more physical and mental energy, and a great deal more strength at the site of an old injury.

    Sorry so long — just wanted to respond to @Linda!

    • This reply was modified 10 years, 8 months ago by mighty m.
    in reply to: too long don't read, or: am i completely screwed #11953
    mighty m

    Was just about to get the f- away from the computer for the night and read this. The whole thing!

    Disclaimer: I don’t know shit about ED other than what I’ve read on here, and some Your Eatopia stuff, which is surprisingly relevant to the population at large. I don’t even feel right responding, but I couldn’t get it out of my mind and I think you should know that human beings on the internet want you to be well & happy.

    You seem like a really good person and a smart person and I love your Heathers pic, so total person-in-a-bar, no-b.s., with respect: No WAY are you screwed, but what you describe isn’t normal either. Being only comfortable with 125# is not normal, for one thing. But you can get back on track.

    I know other people are gonna have better specific advice for you, so I’m going to stfu. Sorry for the abbreviated profanity, I only mean it to indicate how much genuine human concern has been roused across the hemispheres. I apologize if I’m commenting excessively or out of turn.

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