Hello everyone. I was hoping I could get some advice from you all. I'm 16, female, 5 feet 8 inches. I deal with anorexic and bulimic tendancies, which means I really can't trust my own judgement when it come to deciding on how many calories I should be eating.
I'm coming into working out and lifting weights after a 6 month lay off.
Currently, my plan looks like this. In about 2 weeks, I'll increase my weight lifting to 4 times a week. Right now I'm just getting back into the swing of things, and making working out an everyday habit, without becoming obbsessive again.
Monday:30 minute run
Tuesday: Total body weight workout
Wednesday: Bellydancing class, 45 minutes
Thurdsday: 45 minute run
Friday: Total body weight workout
Saturday: Bellydancing class, 45 minutes
Sunday: 45 minute yoga class
My current goal is to drop down to 125 pounds, though I'm more worried about getting into shape then what the scale says. So roughly, how many calories should I be eating?
As someone who is recovering from anorexia, I suggest you seek support to recover from your eating issues before worrying about calories. It is a very difficult thing to get over, and it doesn't go away just by eating better.
i wouldn't go below with 1800 calories a day at the activity level you're at. the first thing i'd do is find your breakeven point, which you'll find by monitoring your weight over a period of time. keep in mind that your body will go thru water cycles, and any one particular weigh in doesn't tell you a lot. don't react because you swing a few pounds from day to day. it's only a water cycle. instead focus on exercising. if you're exercising intensely, then you'll tone very well. be prepared to step up your calories as you train harder. you have to eat properly if you're going to exercise well.
when you eat, use a software program that counts and analyzes your food, and make sure you weigh and measure accurately because you will tend to think your calories are greater than the actually are, given what you've been through. if you screw up your diet and overeat, it's ok. just start over again. as long as you stick with your exercise program and you do it intensely, it will somewhat prevent you from overeating.
i eat for fiber and very low fat. i know it runs against the conventional wisdom of bodybuilders, but it sure works great for me. i've gone from around 25% bodyfat to 9% in the last 4 months, and my muscles have grown very well.
yes, and 125 is not the number for you unless you're willing to sacrifice your health to be ultra-thin. i'm not sure what the bmi chart says for your height, but i wouldn't let my weight go below the minimum. when you get to that weight, if you still look to heavy to yourself, then i'd go get some further counseling. be honest with yourself, because your health is at stake. you have a lot more to do with your life these next few years, like getting an education, etc.. and making yourself sick worrying about being rail thin won't help you get there. priorities!
Thanks for all the advice. I've just started an account on Fit-day to keep track of my calories and ect. 1800 calories seems like such a huge number, but in the logical part of my brain, I know that's healthy.
As for the goal weight, I realized now that I don't even have a real reason for wanting to be 125 lbs. The not so logical part of my brain, I suppose. I found a website today, that told me my BMI should be between 19-23, with a weight range of 121-158. I just instantly went towards the smallest end. So what should I aim for, weight wise? Or should I even? I think I just need to concentrate on proper nutrition and getting into the best shape I can. Becoming an athlete, instead of anoretic.
And your right, about eating properly doesn't mean I'm "cured" or anything. This is something I need professional help with, along with other underlying issues. But I can't ask for that kind of help, not with my family, and I don't even know if I'm strong enough to accept it at this point.
But I'm working on it.
Sorry for all the rambling.
Lots of women have troubles getting their minds around their real calorie needs - Let alone those women who are used to near starvation calories. Just take it slowly and keep telling yourself that you NEED the food. Add in a few hundred calories at a time and let your body adjust. You will probably find that you will have a lot more energy and not put on any weight at all. Food is not the enemy. Also - try to remember that you are "eating so you can workout", you are not "working out so you can eat". This is the mind-set that a lot of people get into - they feel that if they do not exercise then they do not deserve to eat. It is the wrong way to think about things and just adds to the guilt that you feel when you eat.
If you want to work out just how many calories you need a good formula is this one -
Your resting metabolism = 655.0955 + 9.463 x weight in Kg + 1.8496 x height in cm - 4.6756 x Age
This is the number of calories you need to eat just to stay alive. So on top of this you need to add in the calories that you are burning by being active and moving around. With your exercise plan you will probably need to times your resting rate by about 1.4. This will give you your daily needs.
So, lets say you are 130 pounds. At 5'8 (173cm) and 16 years of age this means your resting metabolic needs are about 1460. So, if you lay in bed all day and did not move a muscle, you would need 1460 calories. Then, add on your daily activities level needs (so, times 1460 by 1.4) and you probably need closer to 2000 calories. However, I think to start with 1800 will be fine.
About your weight. Techinically a healthy BMI is anywhere between 19 and 25. For a height of 5'8 that means your weight should be between 125 anbd 165. But for lots of body builders these numbers do not mean anything. They carry a lot of lean weight - which means that their BMIs tend to be high.
So aiming for 125 means that you will be 'scrapping the bottom of the healthy barrel', being just on the borderline of too thin. It also means that you will not have a lot of muscle on your frame at all. Maybe aim for at least 130-135? That will give you a BMI of 20 which is good. But I personally think that you should probably just concentrate on getting healthy and eating a well balanced diet at the moment. Don't focus on numbers or weight or anything else - You need to get the focus off these things and onto your health as focusing on numbers is probably what got you into this mess in the first place. You will also probably find that once you get the focus onto health you will realise that muscles are a good thing and you will want more than a weight of 125 will allow you. So don't set a number like that.
So - concentrate on healthy eating. Try to aim to eat about five well balanced, wholesome mini-meals each day. Try to eat as much good food as you can. Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, lean proteins, low-fat dairy, eggs, nuts and seeds. These are the types of foods that you can not go wrong with.
Try to make exercise something you do to be healthy, not something you do to control your weight. With this in mind I would drop one day of your workout. Your body needs time to recover and so working out more than 6 times a week is not really considered healthy.
The other thing I would suggest is reading as much as you can on everything there is to know about health and the body. There is nothing more powerful than knowledge. If you start to learn about these things you will be in a better position when you try to put them into practice. So - surf the web, read everything and anything you can find. Read up on anorexia and its horrible effects of the body. Read about weight training and exercise. Read about the human body and how the metabolism works. Read up on things like the glycaemic index and how to maintain a healhty well balanced diet for life (I recommend you look into the series of books called 'The glucose Revolution' by Dr Jennie Brand-Miller). You will find the more you know the more you will want to do what is right for your body. And, because eating disorders are all about the thoughts, obsessions and compulsions that surround eating and exercise behaviours, if you can change the thoughts and remove your impulses to perform those compulsions then you are in a much better position to tackle your problem.
A few web sites on nutrition and health I would recommend are:
Don't worry about rambling Ramble all you want. Talking helps. I know that there are many people on this board that are willing to listen and to try to help out where they can. There are also many who have been through what you are dealing with and they would be more than happy to talk to you as well.
Feel free to ask me anything (or PM me any questions if you don't like posting them). I am more than willing to listen and help where I can.