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Getting frustrated (please don't scoff at me)

HI there. I'm new to this site, and after looking around I'm glad I did. Everyone here sounds so nice and supportive. I'm hoping that you all won't judge me...

Here's the deal. I'm 5'6.5 and currently weigh 118 lbs. This is as much as I have weighed in about 5 years. I'm 31 (32 in less than 1 month, tho). My comfortable weight is around 108 (I prefer to be just under 110). I know that some of you are probably already labeling me, but this is just how I am most comfortable. I have been eating disordered in my life, but I have recovered. 108 is much better than the 88 lbs. I used to be comfortable in.

The past year and a half is when I gained the 10 lbs that I am trying to lose at this point. I just started a weight loss plan this past Friday the 27th of February. My weight loss plan consists of a daily caloric intake of no more than 840. This should enable me to lose approx. 2 lbs. per week. I am doing this extremely healthy (via fruits, vegetables and lean chicken), and am not starving myself as I once used to to accomplish my weight goals. I am doing 1/2 hour of moderate to semi-vigorous cardio and 25 mins. of circuit training 6 days per week. As I said, I have been doing this since this past Friday, and on all of those days I have remained just under my 840 calorie intake.

Here's my dilemma/confusion:

I just received my monthly bill (auntie flow) on Sunday (2 days after I started my plan) I usually do get bloated and gain weight during this time, but I just thought that I wouldn't actually GAIN since I've been cutting way down on calories (less than HALF of my usual diet) and exercising every day! I got on the scale this morning and there was a weight increase of almost 2 lbs! I'm not entirely sure how much my period makes me gain each month, as I have been avoiding weighing myself like I used to in the past, but it _always_ makes my jeans feel a size too small every month consistently.

I am getting frustrated because I have been doing so well with this and feeling so much better (increase in energy, mood, etc.), but stepping on the scale and seeing that # just made me want to give up.

Also, I'm not sure if there is anyone out there that can answer this question either, but for some reason after my circuit training exercising, my muscles are not feeling very fatigued at all. In the past when I worked out (and I know it was most always incorrectly executed), my muscles would hurt so bad that I wouldn't even be able to work out again the next day! I barely feel anything now though...but when I'm exercising it feels like I'm challenging myself...maybe just not enough?

Any pointers or information/feedback would be much appreciated.

Thank you for taking the time to read...

xo - nic0

Tue. Mar 3, 12:53pm

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Honestly, you really need to eat more. Not just because you're working out a lot, but because you need it to live. Instead of trying to lose weight (which you don't need to), you should focus on building muscle because more muscle will eventually decrease your body fat and you look more toned with muscle! With an 840 calorie diet, you're putting your body into starvation mode and your body will eat up your muscles. Even if you do lose the weight, you won't be able to keep it off once you get back to "normal" eating. Now I'm not trying to be harsh or anything, I'm just looking out for your health and well being. Focus on exercise is the key.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009, 1:46 PM

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Oh yeah I forgot to add that more muscle makes you look leaner even if you haven't lost weight (fat)

Tuesday, March 03, 2009, 1:47 PM

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Your metabolism is probably severly slowed down from all the years that you dealt with your eating disorder. I agree with the above poster- eat more and build some muscle. It may be great to say you weigh 108 but if your body percentage of fat is super high then you may as well weigh 250. Focus on what your body looks like and how your clothes fit rather then the number on the scale.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009, 2:34 PM

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Sweetie, this is not the website for you. Please continue to get help form a professional. You have done so much damage to your body and health already that you may not be able to ever recover. You msut stop this and get help now.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009, 5:24 PM

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You are underweight according to your BMI and a "welght-loss plan" that includes eating 840 calories a day is unrealistic. You are starving yourself. I'm not scoffing, I'm just being realistic.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009, 5:39 PM

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Nic0, I am within your general build range, and I have two answers for you:

1) Do NOT stress out about weight gain when you get your period. That is water, and as uncomfortable as it might be, it is healthy. A mere pint of water weighs more than a pound, so you aren't even retaining very much!

2) It's unrealistic and perhaps dangerous to be at the low end of losing weight (I mean, you are not trying to lose 100 pounds.) and trying to lose 2 pounds/week. I find that .5 lbs/week is the utmost of what I can lose once I am under 125.

And some advice:
Eat more! Even if you have a tiny build, you'll still be losing weight at 1200. I'm going to assume that you are, like me, naturally small and a competitive athlete who needs low bodyfat. While in training for your sport, you need more calories in order to avoid overtraining. For more specific information on your circuit, you will need to work with a trainer who is there with you.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009, 6:12 PM

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You're probably happier because you've been able to control everything and stick to your rigid (and dangerous) plan. There's no way that a 5'6 32 year old woman working out 30-55 minutes 6 days a week should only be eating 840 calories, regardless of where they come from. Period.

Eating disorders are frequently about control. You are letting a number (108) control you- you make no mention about size, or toning up, simply that you feel better about a number. That is unhealthy from a mental perspective (and this goes to all women obsessed with a number instead of health, even when they say "well I'll be healthy if I'm this number." BS!) Just because you are "more comfortable" there is like me saying "I'm more comfortable if I'm eating doritos for dinner every night". Still not healthy.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009, 7:23 PM

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Sorry, but is this for real?

Even if you are a very small build you are eating WAY TOO LITTLE. Period. I agree with the PP's, you really should seek help from a professional that can help you, I'm afraid you are still suffering from an eating disorder. You may feel and believe that you need to lose weight but even without seeing you at 5'6 I can confidently say that you do not need to.

I'm not trying to scoff you either, only being realistic. I myself am a very small build, 5'5 and weigh about 118. I'm pretty thin myself so I can't imagine being 108.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009, 7:39 PM

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OP here

well i see i have some mixed feedback...some people telling me to get lost and others labeling me just as i asked them not to. thank you to those who managed to get over that and be supportive.

i know that i am anorexic...i always will be, just as an alcoholic always will be. should i have to be punished in spite of this though? certainly not. for those of you that commented negatively, why? why is it that this is "not the place for me?" i am not starving myself. i eat every day. there was a time where i wouldn't eat for 2 months. i would say that i have made some very grand improvements.

i am looking to tone up and lose weight, but not much. i am not looking to starve myself. i know how to do that, trust me...i did it for over a decade and weighed 88 lbs. for that long. if i intended to relapse and become dangerously thin again, i certainly know how to do that the unhealthy way that i used to. geeze. cut me some slack here.

no one even bothered to comment on the latter portion of my post, probably because no one finished reading it and went straight to brow-beating me about being eating disordered and telling me things about anorexia i have not only known but survived all of my life. i know what an eating disorder is, yes, i have one, no, that does not define me or make me a bad person. i am NO different than someone that overeats and is addicted to food, but yet i am judged for it and told to take a hike. would you tell that to someone who is 300 lbs. on this site? certainly not.

i do intend to build muscle, that is my goal. i know that muscle weghs more than fat...but my overall diet for the past year or so has been really bad. i feel so good about eating healthy and properly. for a long time i suffered from acute gastroparesis due to my eating disorder. my stomach essentially became "paralyzed" because of my severe starvation tactics. when i would eat food, my stomach would let it sit there for hours and i would become very sick. this compounded my problem and also hindered my recovery.

i am just now starting to be able to eat all of the things that were hard to digest and eat when my stomach wasn't working properly. i can eat salad and greens for the forst time in 5 years...i can eat raw veggies and fruits now...i am totally rediscovering food after years of only being able to eat 3-4 things. it feels good, but when people start beating you down for no good reason, that hurts.

i guess that's what i get for being honest. judgment.

just so you all know though...i don't judge people...fat, skinny or anywhere in between. we all have souls and that's what i like to be judged on, because i know mine is a beautiful one...

Wednesday, March 04, 2009, 5:14 PM

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If you work out a lot, your body will get used to the activity, which is why you are not sore after a hard workout anymore. Try cross-training or an activity you've never done. You say you're doing circuit training - do you use the same machine each time? Try a new machine, or several. Try kickboxing if you want to be sore after nearly every session. Even yoga can be challenging if you are not used to it. Switch it up.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009, 5:38 PM

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We're not judging you - you just need help. I get that you will "always be anorexic" but if you can encourage yourself to eat 800 calories a day, why can't you encourage yourself to be at a healthy weight? Just 300-400 more calories a day and you could be eating normally.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009, 5:38 PM

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i have been getting ongoing help. my therapist is aware of my goal. i was not starving myself when i was at 108 lbs. and i managed to stay there for a couple of years. my diet the past year has been completely unhealthy, too. so if i'm going to be eating a lot healthier, i'm more than likely going to lose weight anyways. i've never had a huge appetite as it stands, so like i said...i'm not starving myself. when i feel hungry, i eat...i just eat a lot more healthful food choices. this kind of recovery is a process and this is part of that process. i don't expect you to understand it if you've never suffered from it. we all have our own crosses to bear and i certainly wouldn't encourage you to do more than you were willing to do if it made you uncomfortable. my heart is healthy now, after going into the 1st stages of heart failure nearly 3 times, my weight is 100% healthier than it has been since i was 12 years old. my doctor's were satisfied that i maintained 108 lbs. without relapsing. if i fall below that or make any goals under that, then that will be a time to worry and criticize.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009, 6:16 PM

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Your period plays a role, too. I am on mine and I noticed a two-pound increase this morning (it hadn't started yet). We women just retain water around this time...

Good luck...

Wednesday, March 04, 2009, 6:46 PM

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5:38 thanks for the advice. i have a nice gym in my apartment complex that has good circuit training machines. i rotate my workouts to do upper body one day and lower body the next and i do cardio everyday...usually around 30-40 mins. on average. i rest on sundays.

there aren't any classes at the apartment gym, and i always get intimidated bc i kinda like to do my own, my days are busy and nights i like spending with the would be hard to get a regular workout in that way (via classes).

i'm not sure if maybe i'm just not challenging myself enough during my workouts. maybe i need to add more weight and do less reps (i tend to do 4 sets of 12 reps on every machine) at a weight that i feel is not pushing myself too hard. maybe i just need to push myself a little harder then...i just fear injury mainly.

my upper body days i work my arms (triceps, biceps, shoulders) abs & obliques

my lower body days i work my legs (inner/outer thighs, calves), delts, glutes and abs again.

for abs and obliques i use the ball to do crunches and also the crunch machine using the harness on the machine.

maybe i'll try and up the ante tonight and put a little more weight on myself.

thanks again!


Wednesday, March 04, 2009, 6:51 PM

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7:39 PM Here again

I wasn't intending to judge - I'm just honestly concerned. I understand anorexia 100% and it just sounds to me like you may be struggling with it again - however without knowing your personally that is just my opinion.

Is there any way you can just focus on your health instead of the number on the scale or the number of pounds you want to lose? It seems that maybe that would be a healthier way to achieve your goals.

Again, not judging, just giving my 2 cents. And I agree with a PP, if you are doing repetitive exercises your muscles will get used to them. Perhaps you were always sore in the past because of how little you weighed?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009, 6:55 PM

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Talk to an exercise physiologist. You ARE starving yourself at 840 calories per day. Your metabolism will slow down in order to compensate and make weight loss difficult -- as it should be. Even if the foods you eat are healthy, your eating plan is not healthy.

I think some alcoholics are lucky enough to do the inner work necessary so that they no longer spend their time thinking about drinking once they've stopped. I'm glad I grew up with women who had real curves. I think you are caught in something very unhealthy that goes on around women and weight in this culture and I hope you can find a better way to live than starving yourself.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009, 6:57 PM

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