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Getting back into shape after anorexia

Discussion in 'Obsessions and Interests' started by inkfingers, Apr 21, 2019.

  1. inkfingers

    inkfingers 19 year old Aspie artist and Jesus follower

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    Lately, my ever-shifting special interest has moved on to fitness (particularly rock climbing). I am completely obsessed with building muscle, losing excess fat, and sending harder and harder routes. I want to lose fat to improve my climbing performance, but I also have a history of anorexia. How do I get back in shape in a healthy way without falling back into old habits? I am really set on becoming a better climber and working on my physique, but I don't want this to turn into something unhealthy. I know what exercise abuse feels like, and I want to keep the joy in physical activity. Any suggestions?
     
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  2. Anarkitty

    Anarkitty Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    You triggered one of my interests, so apologies if this is more than you wanted to know. :) Prepare for info-dump!

    Eat! It takes calories to build muscle. I always have a protein shake or two every day when I'm trying to build muscle. It's much harder for women to build muscle, so it's even more important not to skimp on nutritious food, especially an adequate amount of protein.

    I lost 60 pounds a few years ago, and here are my best tips for losing fat:
    1. Low-ish carb. High carbs lead to high carb cravings. I find it impossible to eat right when I have too many carbs. Ideally, I stay at around 100 g of carbs per day.
    2. Eat all of your calories within a window of time, like between noon and 8pm (or whatever works for you). Reason: Spreading limited calories out over 16+ waking hours per day can leave me feeling hungry all the time. But if I wait until lunch time to eat, I'm a bit hungry in the morning, but I'm full the rest of the day.
    3. COUNT YOUR CALORIES. For you, I think this is more important than for most because you need to make sure you're eating ENOUGH every day. I have an app on my phone so that I can quickly and easily jot down my meals. It keeps me honest.
    4. Walk a lot! Walking is great because you burn calories, but it doesn't make you extra hungry like most forms of exercise will.
    I like lifting weights, and I think lifting is helpful for any other kind of activity, especially if you want to put on muscle. I got out of the habit when we moved a year ago, and then I hurt my back a couple of months ago, so I haven't been able to lift in a while. :( But I love lifting and can't wait until my back is better so I can start up again. Before the move, I was down to 135 pounds and had a 245 pound deadlift. :D After reading some about sensory issues, I realized that lifting is important for me also because of the sensory input that I receive when I lift.

    My favorite book for women about weight lifting is Strong Curves by Bret Contreras.

    A lot of women are afraid that they'll get bulky from lifting heavy, but it's actually pretty hard to put on serious muscle and keep it on. People generally look "bulky" as a result of a high body fat percentage.

    I'll stop now. :oops: :)
     
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  3. AloneNotLonely

    AloneNotLonely Well-Known Member

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    Not true. It's better for health and weight loss to stick to requirements for fat + protein and the rest of calories in carbs. you don't really want to go over 50g of fat, around 20-30 is probably best. And that's with pretty much all of it in omega3/omega6 with a 1:1 ratio. A blood test can tell if dietary fat is too low because you will have elevated triglycerides and the doctor will be clueless because nobody eats those levels of fat these days.

    The rest is solid advice, though.
     
  4. Anarkitty

    Anarkitty Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    That's an opinion which many, including me, do not believe has been backed up by scientific studies.

    This is also how I lost weight, so it's absolutely true. If my carbs go up, so does my weight because I stay hungry all the time. I do eat a lot of fat, too, and my cholesterol levels are pretty enough to frame and display on the wall. :) My triglycerides were 52 last time I was tested; standard range is 0-149. My VLDL was 10; standard range is 5-40.

    Recommended reading and viewing:

    Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes
    Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes (a slimmed down version of GCBC)
    FatHead by Tom Naughton (video)
    The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson
    Protein Power by Drs. Michael and Mary Eades

    One of my favorite parts of FatHead is a clip of a group of scientists arguing with Senator McGovern about the dietary guidelines that he was trying to push through--McGovern succeeded, which led to the awful advice to cut down on dietary fat and eat more carbs.

    Dr. Robert Olson of St. Louis University: I have pleaded in my report and will plead again orally here for more research on the problem before we make announcements to the American public.

    Senator McGovern: I would only argue that senators don’t have the luxury that the research scientist does of waiting until every last shred of evidence is in.​

    This clip kills me every time I hear it because I cannot believe that anyone would say something so monumentally stupid, and yet, here it is on video:



    The following article discusses the effects of insulin on diet. I chose this particular article because it was from a more neutral source than ones from paleo/primal or low-carb websites, which I believe have far more accurate information. The focus in this study was specifically refined carbs. However, it is simply a fact that all carbs trigger an insulin response which is far greater than that of fat or protein, and this is what happens after an insulin response:

    How Carbs Can Trigger Food Cravings

    Previous research suggests that when blood sugar levels plummet, people have a tendency to seek out foods that can restore it quickly, and this may set up a cycle of overeating driven by high-glycemic foods, Dr. Ludwig said. “It makes sense that the brain would direct us to foods that would rescue blood sugar,” he said. “That’s a normal protective mechanism.”
    A low-carb diet is one which is also low-insulin diet, which means that there is less reason for biologically induced cravings. It's just science.
     
  5. AloneNotLonely

    AloneNotLonely Well-Known Member

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    Why do people, who spread nonsense that has been scientifically proven to be false, claim that there's no science to back up the ideas of those that disagree with them?



    The studies done as quoted in this video show that the evidence is quite clear. Once you open animals up or do an angiogram you can see development of coronary disease in high fat diets, while low fat diets reverse coronary disease.

    Taubes and such have no proof other than badly executed studies without angiograms or autopsy.

    I've been eating high carb for over 10 years and never have hunger issues. Carbs are the only macronutrient that blunts hunger through increasing circulating Leptin. Whole food carbs only increase hunger in those with insulin resistance, and if you are insulin resistant then the last thing you should be eating is fat because fat causes insulin resistance.

    Edit: and dietary cholesterol does cause heart problems. Humans have limited ability to process cholesterol, too much of it starts clogging up the arteries. Cats, dogs, ferrets and other carnivores have different biochemistry that is much better at processing cholesterol. Bunnies have almost no ability to process cholesterol and get heart disease from it as well. Just basic biology, it's surprising people don't know this extremely basic 1 + 1 = 2 science stuff.
     
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  6. Jojo_LB

    Jojo_LB Brilliant Enigma V.I.P Member

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    If you're set on gaining muscle and losing fat, then put more focus on gaining muscle. Muscle burns so much calories, that the more muscle you gain, the better for you 'cause you'll be burning calories and fat, even while resting. And also make sure you get a lot of protein. You need to repair those muscles. Don't overexercise. If your muscles are hurting and you're feeling weak and you have cramping problems, do not push yourself! You need to know your limits, and stop at those limits.

    I personally don't believe in diets unless you have to be on one because you have some disease or condition that requires it. I found that when I stopped counting calories and cutting stuff out and just being more active, I lost weight. I find food restriction counter-intuitive. You cut out the things you like completely, or severely limit it, you are going to want it so badly and eventually you may cave and then you may kick yourself for caving. Why suffer needlessly?

    Starting in 2013, over the next five years I gained a whopping 60 pounds. (!!!) That's more weight than I gained during my pregnancy. My life got so, very hard because my untreated ADHD got pretty severe, and also I couldn't get out of the cycle of anxiety and burnout because I didn't know I was autistic until very recently. I ate for sensory reasons. I craved flavor because great flavors stimulate me. And on top of that, I no longer could feel when I was getting full. It's not that my stomach stretched out or anything, it was a neurological issue that caused me to stop feeling fullness. It was pretty bad.

    Now my knees are suffering. I lost some weight again, because I'm on meds. The meds actually help me cut down on the portions, because I reach a limit. I do not restrict anything. If it's good to me, I eat it. But now, I stop at the limit. I know I have a limit now because I can feel it. I don't feel it in my stomach, I feel it in my mind. (I mean the mind is the one that tells the stomach that it's full, but now my mind says, "Full" even well before the stomach feels it). Hard to explain, but anyway.

    I guess if it's easier (more affordable) for you, stock up on healthy stuff. But don't completely deprive yourself of good stuff! I do believe in that old saying, "Everything in moderation." You can enjoy the foods you like, even if it isn't considered super healthy, but don't overdo it of course.

    Maybe you can contact nutritionists and fitness experts who know a lot about helping former anorexic people reach their health goals?
     
  7. tducey

    tducey Well-Known Member

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    Good luck to you at this time. Especially full marks to you on getting past anorexia. 2 of my cousins went through that, thankfully they're better of that now.
     
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  8. inkfingers

    inkfingers 19 year old Aspie artist and Jesus follower

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    Thank you for the info-dump! I really enjoy info-dumps, actually, because they are so interesting.
     
  9. inkfingers

    inkfingers 19 year old Aspie artist and Jesus follower

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    While low carbs may be fine for many people, I find that carbs are very filling for me. Personally, a bagel with butter is more filling/satisfying than a piece of steak. Go figure. I think it depends on the person.
     
  10. Anarkitty

    Anarkitty Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It's simple. I don't think your expert knows what he's talking about, which seems to be exactly what you're saying about the people I'm citing. I'm also not a vegan, and have no desire to convert, so I didn't get more than 20 seconds into that video.

    I know this works for many people, but it did not work for me. I advise calorie counting because records are necessary in order to understand what's working, or not working, as the case may be, and for those who have had problems in the past, even a simple list of foods eaten in a day can keep us from being less than honest with ourselves about what we're eating. So it's awesome if you don't need it and invaluable when you do. :)
     
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  11. Anarkitty

    Anarkitty Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    FTR, I said low-ISH. :D I don't eat keto, either.
     
  12. Jojo_LB

    Jojo_LB Brilliant Enigma V.I.P Member

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    Ah. Yeah I guess I just can't stand the idea of treating something I enjoy so much (food and eating) like it's a science project. Not saying that's how all food journal keepers and calorie counters treat it. I'm sure you're still able to enjoy food while doing those things! I just care too much about flavors and smells and textures to even have the capacity to think about keeping journals :D I do get that some people need to find patterns in their eating, and find out what is working against their health goals.
     
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  13. Anarkitty

    Anarkitty Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    @Jojo_LB , I've seen lots of women who feel the same. I get it. :D And I thought I would hate it, honestly. BUT, I really enjoy keeping records--any kind of records, apparently. :rolleyes: There's just something about being able to pick a date and know exactly what I ate that day. Lol

    Nia Shanks (www.niashanks.com) recommends not counting calories, and she cites the unhealthy past dieting attempts that many women have had as a reason against. I never did all that, though, so I don't have those same associations.

    Also, not gonna lie--I like unhealthy foods on occasion, and the records help me bargain out how to have a donut without falling into bad habits. :p

    Hopefully, hearing what has worked for many different people will help the op find what works for her.
     
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  14. WittyAspie

    WittyAspie The One And Only V.I.P Member

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    ROCK CLIMBING IS THE BEST!!

    My only piece of advice is to climb because you love it. I’ve been climbing for a year now and I’m just now getting into the intermediate boulder routes. But I still love climbing every single time I go. I can have an absolute failure of day, not be able to send anything new, and still enjoy my time at the gym. If you climb because you enjoy it, then you will keep doing it for a long time.

    As the inverse of that, if you stop enjoying it, stop climbing for a little bit. If it starts feeling like a chore, consider taking a step back. Granted, sometimes we do physical activity we don’t enjoy so that we can improve at something we do enjoy. There’s nothing wrong with that. But I would encourage you to make the enjoyment of climbing your priority.

    I’m not the skinniest or strongest climber at my gym, but I enjoy climbing just as much as everyone else. I also know I’m a lot healthier than I would be if I hadn’t discovered this amazing sport. If you can cut a few pounds and climb harder, then great. But if you focus on building functional muscle that might be even better.

    I’m a climbing enthusiast, not a dietician, but I do know that climbing burns major calories. So don’t be afraid to fuel your body. You will be better off losing weight slowly or even maintaining weight and building muscle than trying to lose weight quickly. You can improve your climbing without focusing a losing weight. But you can’t improve your climbing if you don’t fuel your body well enough.

    Climb On My Friend!!
     
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  15. AloneNotLonely

    AloneNotLonely Well-Known Member

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    I already knew you were not going to listen because you are a fanatic, and fanatics never listen no matter the mountains of evidence that are provided. This is for other people that might read this thread. At least now they will have both sides of the argument.

    He is not a vegan activist, by the way. What vegan activist would have an ethical problem with olive oil? He has an ethical problem with people dying because they have been lied to about heart disease. The science on this matter should stand on it's own, no matter who it's provided by, but he's a cardiac surgeon and not a crazy vegan.