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MAYBER SparkPoints: (120,147)
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6/12/13 3:00 P

Thank you for sharing your thoughts
You have gotten wonderful advice
Continue one day at a time

5/19/13 9:28 P

Thank you for all of the advice everyone. I understand why people automatically jump to concern when they hear that someone has had a history of an eating disorder. However, I know the limits of my body. I never ever want to go back to the position I was in when I had the disorder. I wouldn't wish the experience on my worst enemy. Even though it took a horrible toll on my body and mind I learned that I'm a lot stronger than I give myself credit for and also that my body is so much more amazing than I could ever imagine. For my body to have gone through all of that and still be blessing me each day - that's strength. Like I said, it wasn't that the doctor triggered me with the statement, rather that I realized I wasn't treating my body well. My reaction would have been different if I had been eating healthy at the time. However, it made me realize that a diet solely built on chips, popcorn, and pizza (I'm really not kidding here) was not how I should be treating my body. My body deserves the very best. It's interesting for me to be making the choice to really focus on fitness and health as I am finally finding out what the signals of my body mean. When I push too hard - it tells me to take it easier. When it has lots of energy it lets me know it's okay to give it more. When I need more fuel, it lets me know that it needs more nutrients and not junk. The only think it needs from me is to actually listen. And for once in my life I am. I make a conscious effort to chose healthy options but that doesn't deprive me of anything. I'm visiting a friend this week and we went to a fabulous burger place where I had a grilled chicken burger seasoned with herbs on a whole wheat bun and a side of sweet potato fries. I chose a meal I'd enjoy while still sticking committing to my health. Also, the meal was seriously the best I've ever had!

AILEBBELIA SparkPoints: (13,418)
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Posts: 3,171
5/19/13 8:20 A

It's really amazing that you had an ed for 5 years, 3 years of full recovery and you are just 21. (I'm sooooooo old... LOL)

I'm sorry, I just got concerned because you said your new lifestyle change was trigger by what the doc, said. Also, that some days your are exercising for up to 90 minutes.

I hope things look up for you and you are able to find answers :)

PENAM87 Posts: 46
5/19/13 1:28 A

I'm not sure if your issue is solved yet to not but I would recommend seeing a dietitian or a specialist in eating disorders to help formulate an eating plan that can address some of your issues while not derailing any progress made so far. I would also look at your food consumption vs your calorie intake. Go for foods that are higher in fiber, healthy fats and carbs as they are known to keep your body fueled and satisfied longer. If you're still having a lot of fatigue, look into getting your iron levels checked as it could be a sign of low iron. I would also look into the type of workouts you're doing. Normally higher intensity workouts require a lot of fuel from the body and when it doesn't have enough to work with, it will start using up current muscle. Since you're maintaining weight, I would space out your workouts and try incorporating some low impact but great results workouts like yoga and Pilates. Shoot for 3x a week instead of everyday so that your body has enough time to recover.

STARRCHILD79 SparkPoints: (3,345)
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5/18/13 10:44 P

It might be PMS.... Thats the most challenging time for me!!!

5/18/13 10:37 P

AILEBBELIA - I've been fully recovered for 3 years now. I didn't mention any relapses because I haven't had any. I was had issues with my eating disorder since 15 and did go through one recovery period without any outside help that ended up in a relapse shortly after. But since seeking professional help three years ago I have been able to remain in a mental state of balance. I do have my good and bad days as can be expected, but that is something I work through. Like I said, I'm not so focused on losing weight as I am simply wanting to gain a healthier lifestyle and treating my body the way it deserves to be treated - with respect and love. It deserves the very best and to be fed nutrients rather than garbage. There will be slip up along the way, but it helps me learn how to positively cope.

SIMONEKP Posts: 2,764
5/18/13 3:17 P

Nirerin, thanks for the explanation which does make sense even if it a gross generalization to say that Europeans have larger frames, but I get your point.

AILEBBELIA SparkPoints: (13,418)
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Posts: 3,171
5/18/13 12:31 P

Hey, I've been in recovery since 2009-weight restored in 2010-then I lost part of my recovery weight during 2011 and 2012.

I have finally been weight restored as of May this year....LOL

Anyways, this exhaustion and extreme hunger is common during the first few years of recovery. That's why some people in recovery (from anorexia) crossover to bulimia.

All I did was drag myself to the kitchen table and back to bed. I couldn't work or concentrate.
(My T. sent me to a doc to rule out depression diagnosis. Turns out just ed effects!)

Please listen to your body cues and take it easy. I'm actually surprised you are able to do all the activities you listed. Some report feeling worse DURING recovery than during their ed. There is mental anguish and your body is not use to digesting so much food.

You mentioned that you are concerned, but that's the thing with eds. The behaviors slowly creep up and you might not be able to stop a full on relapse. A hallmark of this disorder is that we can lack insight regarding the severity of our disorder. I'm also surprised you didn't mention any relapses.

Also, it can takes MONTHS to see a specialist. I relapsed hard Nov/Dec. and I had to wait until April to get an appt. with a new specialist.

Two years might seem like a long time to you, but my therapist keeps telling me that it can take anywhere from five to 10 years for a full recovery. I really suggest that you look into at least look into to seeing a experienced therapist.

Call and set up an appt.-you can always reschedule :)

ICEDEMETER Posts: 1,332
5/18/13 11:49 A

Thanks for the additional information!

A couple of things that you might want to look in to are having your doctor run a full vitamin / mineral blood panel for you to see if you have any deficiencies (iron / folate / B12) that might be causing the exhaustion, and also having a body composition analysis done to see what your body fat % is. From the sounds of things, I'd be willing to bet that you have more muscle than the standard BMI accounts for, and that you'd be best off to be maintaining and not losing.

Kudos for living such a healthy lifestyle and for taking such good care of yourself!

NIRERIN Posts: 14,325
5/18/13 11:07 A

the height weight charts, while for everyone, do tend to clump like with like. in other words, european can run towards the top of the ranges, while asian can run to the bottom. if the op were japanese it would be less likely that she would be healthier at the top end of the range because she would likely have a smaller frame and therefore find a better balance at a lower weight. but europeans tend to run a little taller and larger framed, which tends to make their best balanced weights a little higher. that's not to say this is absolute or anything, just more likely statistically speaking.
add to that the op exercises a great deal, which tends to mean carrying around more muscle weight and that means a higher number on the scale. so if we're talking about someone who has a larger frame to begin with, that can mean a number right at the top or just above a healthy weight being a reasonable place for their weight to balance out with bodyfat.

5/18/13 10:32 A

Thanks for the additional information---it helps make more sense of your original post.

Yes, 10 additional pounds would have put you just slightly in the overweight BMI category.
Yes, many women report increased hunger prior to the start of their period.
If you want to update your ticker, check out these steps:


5/18/13 10:07 A

Thank you for all the wonderful information and advice! I greatly appreciate it. I've been eating a little more throughout the day to keep my energy up by having more fruits and trying to remember water. Water is also a big issue with me because I just tend to forget to drink. I'll try adjusting my setting and see if that changes anything in regards to my Spark info.

As for the ticker issue... I don't know why it shows kg instead of pounds. I tried fixing it once and couldn't get it to change. Also, when I went to see the doctor and they told me I was overweight it was before I lost weight. I've lost about 10 pounds over the past few months since I went. Also, the doctor was someone who was doing a bone scan for me because I have low bone density and they wanted to see if it improved. They said it's much better than three years ago but still on the lower normal range. I can't go back to see the same doctor I had during recovery because I was at a children's hospital. It was actually my doctor (I see a doctor on my college campus) said that exercise and eating right would help with my back pain that I had been having - which it has.

I also realized one of the main reasons I was so hungry was because it was about a week before my menstruation. Does this happen to anyone else? I get super hungry but I guess the exhaustion was a side affect since I was eating less and no loading up on junk calories like in the past. Should I eat more during the time if my body is reacting like that? Normally during my menstruation I am very nauseous and cannot eat much. I've also only had it for the past two years or so (I'm 21), as I didn't have it for 5 years when I suffered from anorexia and it took a year in recovery before it came back.

As for m exercise, I do about 45-90 minutes every day of the week. I do strength and cardio, usually my strength workouts tend to be 90 minutes and cardio is usually 60 minutes max. However, I do take a 2 hour long bike ride every week as one of my exercises. Normally my cardio is very intense and high impact. Also, one rest day usually (although sometimes I get 2 days if I'm on vacation or something). Rest days normally include some form of light exercise like 20-30 minutes of yoga or walking.

Edited by: KRISTYBEAUTIFUL at: 5/18/2013 (10:10)
5/16/13 3:25 P

Which is why I used the word "qualified", not necessarily "your". Returning to the doctor/specialist whom she worked with for the eating disorder would probably be the best. This practice would have an understanding of her history and needs. Probably also able to assess nutritional needs better.

The OP said she went to the doctors and how many does she see, are they all in the same practice, are some of these specialists??? I was confused by this??


5/16/13 3:15 P

"If not, see a qualified doctor for a complete physical."

Becky, that's part of the trouble. She went to a doctor and he told her she was overweight...which she is not.

5/16/13 1:16 P

1. Your BMI for 5'1", 132# is 24.9 which is the upper number of the healthy weight range.
2. Update you SP program. Make sure your fitness program is accurately reflected and showing the calories you burn weeky through planned exercise.
3. Also check your program set up for accuracy in weight. Your "ticker" is showing that you weigh 275 pounds. You could have made an error with pounds vs kilograms.

Now...what is your SP calorie range?? I imagine it is somewhat higher.
If eating in this range for the next several you feel better, more energy, etc.

If not, see a qualified doctor for a complete physical.

SP Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

5/16/13 12:06 P

I have to agree with everyone else about needing more calories. I was having the same problem last week. Then, after I exceeded my weekly exercise goals on Wednesday, I got a message reminding me to make sure my fitness settings were up to date. And sure enough, when I went to check on them, I realized that my meal plans were based on a two-year-old goal of three 30 minute cardio sessions and 3 30 minute strength training sessions. As soon as I updated that to reflect the 6 45-minute cardio session I'd been doing, my calorie range increased. And now I'm finally feeling like I'm getting enough to eat. Still feeling tired at times, though, so maybe I really need to decrease my workout a bit.

SUSIELYNN50 SparkPoints: (3,745)
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Posts: 418
5/16/13 11:53 A

Firstly, congrats on how far you have come in your life!! Overcoming anorexia is tough and you've made it so far. Just some simple thoughts from me - yes, you probably are not eating enough. I had the same exhaustion. Your body needs good fuel to run it at the high level you do. Fit in some good protein - boiled eggs, very lean meats, healthy cheeses & dairy.
Don't worry about putting on weight - your body is craving the energy it needs.
Yes, drink more water. I bring my full water bottle w/me to class, in the car, to work & re-fill it throughout the day so I am sure to get enough to also replenish what my body needs.
Are you going to bed too early? Try staying up half hour or so later so you are tired when you go to sleep and can sleep more deeply. And, YES, keep up the periodic treats - they are good for you and keep you from feeling deprived. And, lastly, find a new doctor! They may just be overly cautious because of your earlier anorexia, but you sound like a healthy weight and you are very active and young and you are certainly on the right path for optimal health!
Be happy how far you have come, treat yourself well, and be kind to yourself!

SUNSHINE6442 Posts: 2,320
5/16/13 9:57 A

Yes you probably need to drink more water or fruits and veggies which can also hydrate you.

Dehydration can cause tiredness...becuase your blood volume decreases when dehydrated and less oxygen is delivered to muscles and organs which make you feel worn essence, if you dont drink enough water it forces your cells to borrow water from your bloodsteam. Just stay hydrated and you'll see more energy...sip water during bouts of exercise and throughout the day.

Eat an orange...get that viatmin C. ...the Vitamin C helps with energy. Eat an apple, Oatmeal, the old fashioned type provides energy because of the B vitamins. energy....they fight fatigue.
Processed ingredients in snack foods can kill your energy levels...maybe try red or green peppers dipped in salsa....Eggs and blueberries, strawberries and avocados are energy boosters too.

Flax has all important proteins, and energy time~released affect on our bodies, and chia seeds also.

0% Fage Plain Greek yogurt with blueberries, Eggs or egg whites on rye toast are good after a workout as it will provide good insulin sensitivity where the body can more easily take sugar from the bloodstream, allowing muscles to use it for fuel.

Hope this helps you feel more energized.

SIMONEKP Posts: 2,764
5/16/13 9:45 A

Curious as to why European ancestry is a factor in Anare's response. As far as I know, the height/weight charts are race neutral but if I'm mistaken, I happy to learn otherwise.

ESCHULMA SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 12
5/16/13 8:03 A

I am also 132 (and 5'6") and wore a bodybugg for years. With the caveat that everyone is different, for sedentary days I'd burn around 1650, and even with a fair bit of exercise my *average* was only 1800-2000. It's harder to burn 500 *extra* calories from exercise than most people think.

I have used 1,400 for weight loss but it isn't easy and these days I would go with 1,700 if I wanted to lose. Try adding a couple hundred healthy calories per day for a week and see how you do. I would NOT do a sudden large increase. No calculator can say if calories are way too low or high, trial and error is what reveals the truth.

Make sure your food is nutritious with adequate protein, 1g per lb. You also might want to do more weight lifting and less cardio if you are fatigued.

In a prolonged deficit the body will eventually complain -- some hunger and fatigue is inevitable. It is best to keep it reasonable though.

Edited by: ESCHULMA at: 5/16/2013 (08:05)
5/15/13 11:50 P

As was said before...your calories are too low. They're WAY too low in my opinion. was also said, 132 is a healthy BMI for the 5'1 folks like us. Ask to see the chart your doctor is using to judge your "overweightness." Then, when you see that they are wrong (which they are), tell them they are wrong. There's no excuse for incompetence like that, especially when treating someone who is recovering from an eating disorder.

ANARIE Posts: 13,205
5/15/13 7:50 P

Who told you you're overweight? How did they determine it?

At 5'1" and 132, you're right on the borderline of overweight and "normal." Overweight and overfat are not the same thing. You're in the range where you might have excess fat, or you might not. Since you exercise a lot and you appear to be of European ancestry, the teeny bit of debatable weight might be from muscle and bone. At any rate, it's not affecting your health. I would recommend going back to the medical professionals who treated your anorexia and seeing what they think about whether you should try to lose weight.

Even if you do have excess body fat, it's not enough to affect your health, so there's absolutely no need to rush to lose it. As others have said, the amount you're eating isn't enough to fuel the exercise you're doing. In fact, depending on your non-exercise activity level and how strenuous your exercise is, you might just be exercising too much. Your symptoms fall in line with overtraining. You might want to google "overtraining" and see if you think that sounds like it might be the issue.

And how much sleep are you getting? Do you know whether it's good quality sleep? Do you snore, or wake up a lot? Lack of sleep can cause weight loss all on its own, even if calorie intake is held level, PLUS it makes you hungry so it's harder to control calories. Insomnia and poor sleep are also signs of overtraining, so it could all be a vicious cycle.

I really think that your first step should be to go back to the people who treated the anorexia. Avoiding a relapse is job one. If they agree that you should lose a few pounds, then set up your account here with a goal date at least 6 months away. Then (if they approve) put the scale away and just follow the exercise and healthy eating plans, without weighing yourself. Judge your progress by healthy behaviors, not by weight loss. You almost certainly will lose the weight eventually, but avoiding weigh-ins will keep you from overdoing things to try to hurry it.

MILLIFRED Posts: 672
5/15/13 7:42 P

I am on that same calorie range with about 7 pounds left to lose. I am never "starving" although I have to admit I am sometimes exhausted. What I am wondering is if your balance of carbs. proteins, and fats is off too far. It's hard to get enough of all three when you're in that calorie range. This afternoon I kept wondering why I was so hungry and finally realized that my lunch had consisted of a tomato lettuce sandwich with virtually no protein. If you don't get enough protein you will be hungry. Carbs give you energy and if you skimp to much on the carbs you may be not giving your body the fuel you need to be active, especially with your workout program. Take a look at the nutrition feedback button at the top of your nutrition page and see what you're lacking. You almost for sure will be lacking vitamins and minerals but you can always take a multiple vitamin.

ICEDEMETER Posts: 1,332
5/15/13 7:17 P

Hi there!

That calorie range seems really low to me. I would be thinking that you should be up around the 2000 calorie area.

It seems like you're looking to lose 17 pounds, which means you should be looking at most for losing 1/2 pound per week.

Have you tried going in to the Fitness Tracker and updating how many calories you burn on average per week? From what you say here, you are burning around 2500 per week minimum, so you should put that in to your Fitness Goals in order for that to reflect in your calorie range.

Also, did you maybe set a too-aggressive timeline for weight loss? If you go in to your goals and change out the end date to be 30 to 35 weeks from now, that should give you a more reasonable range to be eating from.

You definitely shouldn't be starving or exhausted when eating within a more reasonable range. If that keeps up, please check in with your doctor to see if there is something else going on.

Hope you figure out what works for you!

Edited to add:

I just did a quick calc based on the above, and it shows that your range would be around 1700-2050 calories to lose 1/2 pound per week. It should be 2000-2350 to maintain. Since your goal is to eat healthier and live a more active lifestyle, and not really lose weight, it would make sense to me to be eating up at least around the 2000 mark. Honestly, it's no wonder you're tired and hungry at 1400 per day!

As Anarie mentioned, you aren't really even medically overweight, so eating better quality foods when you are hungry, and enough so that you're not tired should be the trick for a long-term healthy lifestyle. You said that you're not focused on calorie counting, etc., so just make sure that you really are eating enough to support your healthy lifestyle.

Edited by: ICEDEMETER at: 5/15/2013 (21:03)
MEGAPEEJ Posts: 732
5/15/13 5:36 P

I looked at your profile and realized we joined Spark on the same day. :D

Not enough energy is usually a pretty straight sign that you're not powering your body enough, assuming your sleep patterns haven't changed. You don't mentioned how many days a week you exercise, but if you're burning 500 calories a pop at your weight, you probably do need to eat a bit more to fuel that exercise. Do you have your fitness page set up to account for all the calories you're burning? If you put your expected calorie burn in you may end up with a higher range that will actually give you energy. Especially as you don't have much you have to lose, 1200-1550 seems low in your case.

5/15/13 4:55 P

Also I don't eat any junk food on a daily basis. I do let myself indulge in a treat every now and then because for me I can't have any off limit foods because my brain tends to go into old ways. So I usually have a sweet thing maybe once a week (or less depending on the social situation). Last week I had an ice cream with a friend and this week I had chocolate for the first time in almost 2 months in the form of a brownie. So I do allow myself treats in moderation but my average eating throughout the week is very healthy.

And I take a rest day from exercise once a week where I do something light like yoga.

Edited by: KRISTYBEAUTIFUL at: 5/15/2013 (16:57)
5/15/13 4:44 P

So, for the past 2-3 weeks now I've been doing really good. I workout everyday for usually a minimum of an hour sometimes only 45 minutes. However, sometimes it can be an hour and a half and I take a 2 hour bike ride every week. The first two weeks of trying to gain a healthier lifestyle I had so much energy and felt pretty full throughout the day... this is about my 3rd or 4th week and it's brutal. I'm always hungry. I'm at a point where I am so tired I was falling asleep in my spring classes and waiting for the bus. I have no energy. I'm really nervous about this because I was diagnosed with anorexia in 2009. I have been fully recovered for 2 years now and am not focused on losing weight or counting calories because I honestly just want to be healthy and fit. I decided to change my lifestyle when I went to the doctors and they told me I was now overweight. I also have an extremely bad back and they said exercise and healthy eating would help - which it has!!! :D But, ya. I don't know if I should be eating more? I checked my calories today just because it was so bad in terms of exhaustion and hunger. The site says I should be getting 1200-1500 calories each day. Today I had a little over 1400. I think I need to drink more water too, which could be an issue. But should I just my calories? I'm 21 years old 5'1 and weigh 132 lbs. I would say I burn around 500 days working out, give or take depending on what activity I'm doing. Any help would be appreciated! I don't want to eat more and lose all my hard work but I also don't want to put my body through exhaustion and hunger cause I've been there and that's not worth it.

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