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SPORTYLAWGIRL SparkPoints: (11,853)
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3/16/13 1:32 P

Try to eat high calorie, nutrient dense food. Add nuts and flax to smoothies, yogurt, and oatmeal. Add cheese to salads, sandwiches, snacks, etc. Good luck emoticon

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (256,551)
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3/15/13 4:09 P

JAMIERHF - re the OCD - I really feel for you on that one. My husband had very severe OCD and received regular (mostly) weekly treatment for it from a Psychiatrist who did the therapy. He had Behavioral Cognitive Therapy which was very successful. It reduced his symptoms from very severe to just under the criteria to be officially diagnosed with it. He also took medication for it, and that helped heaps, too!

My thoughts are that by aiming for the 1500 cal's rather than the higher is a good step. That way you will be celebrating your successes, which should spur you on to a higher figure, rather than beating yourself up for failing to meet the goal.

I went to have a peek at your SparkPage but see that you don't have one. If you create one and have it open for others to drop by you will find that you will get tons more support. It is amazing how those little messages left can not only spur you on, but is also a way to make some fantastic new friends on this journey :-)


JAMIERHF SparkPoints: (1,981)
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3/15/13 3:58 P

Thank you. I'm managing the 1500 okay so far - I know I need to take in more, and I actually managed a little over 1700 yesterday. I agreed to 1500 because I didn't want to set my goal too high & be frustrated when I don't meet it. But I am trying to consume more than that. My doc did approve the swing exercise - although I don't think he realized (I didn't) that I was going overboard even with that. I actually injured myself last week (pushed too hard on the swings, overcompensated by holding myself up more with my right arm & pulled a muscle in my back under my shoulder). I've healed up since then and am making a point not to overdo it. All of my labwork comes back in normal limits, and my heart and blood pressure are fine, so he isn't too worried about it. The 2500 calories sounds like it's a bit closer to where I will need to be once I start strength training - that is very helpful!

Thanks for the links! I will check them out momentarily. You're right, it might be beneficial to incorporate a dietitian in on this.

Thank you. My doc just wanted me to take it slow & not overdo it, which I'm "getting there", lol. I'm going easier on my routine now. According to the estimates online, swinging can burn up to 200 calories per hour - I assume that's just "regular", fun swinging and not the full body crunch variety that I messed myself up with.

Based on a consult a couple of years ago with a dietitian, I had been thinking of trying to gain 1 to 2 pounds per week, but from what you're saying it looks like even that may be a little ambitious. I am not currently seeing a dietitian, but I think you're all right that I need to include one in on this.

Technically (in the interest of full disclosure) it was my therapist who asked me to agree to a minimum caloric intake. I asked her to share relevant information with my doc, and I plan to bring this up with my doc at our next appointment.

I've actually seen quite a few dietitians, nutritionists, doctors, etc over the years trying to address this. I'm starting to realize that the likely culprit is OCD (I had more than a few symptoms of anorexia in my youth, but was only "borderline' per the diagnostic criteria, so I didn't receive treatment). Although I don't suffer from any body image issues currently, old habits die hard & I'm starting to realize that my OCD is hindering me in quite a few ways, not leastly distracting me from eating.

My therapist is aware of my resting rate and my exercise routine. We agreed that I would probably need to be taking in closer to 1800 to have any hope of gaining weight, but in the interest of building success & not getting torn up about going under my goal, we agreed to a minimum of 1500.

Thank all of you for the input. This has been a long journey for me, and I feel like I'm (finally!) getting closer to finding what I need to reach my goal - a happy, healthy, energetic me.

ICEDEMETER Posts: 1,332
3/15/13 12:06 A

Hi there!

You have my sympathy - I know from a couple of friends of mine that gaining weight can sometimes be harder than losing it.

Did your doctor give you any guidelines on what he considers a safe and healthy amount of weight for you to gain per week? Do you have any idea what amount of calories you burn with your exercise?

It really needs to be your doc who breaks down what is healthy and reasonable for you, but I'll toss out a rough guesstimate...

Going from what my friends went through, they were looking at gaining 1/4 to 1/2lb per week, which would mean you would want to be having a calorie excess of about 125 to 250 calories per day over what you burn. If your base is 1400 and you burn around 250 in exercise, then you'd want to be looking at around 1775 to 1900 calories intake per day. If I remember correctly, one of them actually had 1/8lb per week as the goal, with the ideal of gaining 10lb total.

Since you mentioned that your doc was looking for you to eat at least 1500 calories per day, was that with or without your exercise? If it was with, then it seems like with your base plus exercise that this would keep you at a calorie deficit.

Do you have a dietitian to work with to help you start adding in the extra calories? That would be the best place for you to start, as they have great suggestions for additions that will increase your nutrition and calories without being overwhelming or being a huge volume of extra food that you are not used to.

Best of luck to you!

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (256,551)
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3/14/13 11:54 P

Below is a link to an article written by Dietitian Becky which should be able to help you considerably with your issue:

Apart from the suggestions in the above article, I would be inclined to ask your Dr for a referral to a Dietitian, if you don't already have one, and seek advice from him/her as it pertains to you and your health.

Good Luck,

Edited by: SLIMMERKIWI at: 3/14/2013 (23:56)
AILEBBELIA SparkPoints: (13,418)
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Posts: 3,171
3/14/13 11:51 P

I would follow your doctor's orders and start with the 1500. Do you think that's doable?

Also, did you get the 20 minutes of walking and then 40 minutes of swing approved by your doc?

I had to gain 19 pounds and was eating anywhere from 2,500+ calories. I was only allowed to walk for 30 minutes (at a slow pace... LOL)

JAMIERHF SparkPoints: (1,981)
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Posts: 46
3/14/13 11:39 P

Hello, I know most folks are here to lose weight, but I'm actually trying to gain weight. I'm 5' 7" and weigh 107 pounds. My physician did clear me for my current exercise routine. I have been struggling to gain weight for quite some time (over a decade). I had my resting metabolism tested in 2010, and they told me I needed to eat 1400 calories per day just to maintain my weight (assuming that I didn't perform *any* activities that day). Most days before then and since then, I have consumed quite a bit less than that...

One of my medical providers struck an agreement with me today that I would eat at least 1500 calories per day as a starting point. I am also trying to incorporate a low/no impact exercise routine (slow walking & swinging on the swings at a local park) to promote muscle development. I re-started my routine today & plan to do this daily until I'm feeling strong enough to incorporate some body-weight exercises for strength training.

In the meantime, I need some advice. If I walk for about 20 minutes and swing (sometimes vigorously - essentially alternating between a plank and full body crunch) for 40 minutes a day, about how many calories should I be taking in to support healthy weight gain?


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