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  1. #1
    Registered User Hannah73Louise's Avatar
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    Intermittent fasting warning......

    I've extolled the virtues of intermittent fasting on here, so just wanted to post an update and warning. I started fasting all morning and eating 3-9pm ish and loved it at first.

    A few months down the line and I've ended up with an eating disorder. I've got hooked on the high of fasting which has ultimately led to binge eating followed by purging.

    I had a very brief bulimic episode at the age of 17, but never after that. I was really overweight for years, and lost 7 stone in 2009, all without any bulimia. I'd been eating a regular 5/6 times a day bodybuilding diet very happily for months with ZERO cravings and no desire to cheat ever.

    It's very difficult to see what you are doing to yourself when you are in the middle of it and I really regret ever doing the IF thing. Obviously it works well for a lot of people, but if you have any history of eating issues of any kind be VERY wary of asking your body to fast, because it's so, so easy to trigger binging and a very negative cycle.

    I've now got to focus on conquering this negative behaviour on top of everything else in my life, and yes I have been and got a referral to a ED clinic.
    "Ain't about how fast I get there.....it's the climb"
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    Registered User redgirl's Avatar
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    That's why i think that all The "all or nothing"diet dosen't work...ending with some form of ED...
    When I was following the Metabolic Diet, from monday To saturday I was literally Carbophobic....counting the carbs contained in veggies like lettuce too...then on Sunday morning...boom! Was the beginning of a cheat-binge day....eating also thing that I wasn't really craving but were in the house...the mentality was " today I can eat all the stuff that during the week is forbidden, so I don't want to waste time, eat it, tomorrow and for


    the rest of the week you'll can't and you'll get back to your no carb plan"
    I was ending up my Sundays filled like a pig, guilty, sweaty and for the following 3 days eating only veggies and some protein, killing myself @
    gym...is this life?! Is this a correct way to live healthy?! Is this an food education?! No I don't think so....I won't never fall in these kind of diet anymore...
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    Registered User zrach's Avatar
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    I don't get how people get high from fasting? If I do that, I'll just feel dizzy and weak
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  4. #4
    doing what i can. jagadzie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by redgirl View Post
    That's why i think that all The "all or nothing"diet dosen't work...ending with some form of ED...
    When I was following the Metabolic Diet, from monday To saturday I was literally Carbophobic....counting the carbs contained in veggies like lettuce too...then on Sunday morning...boom! Was the beginning of a cheat-binge day....eating also thing that I wasn't really craving but were in the house...the mentality was " today I can eat all the stuff that during the week is forbidden, so I don't want to waste time, eat it, tomorrow and for


    the rest of the week you'll can't and you'll get back to your no carb plan"
    I was ending up my Sundays filled like a pig, guilty, sweaty and for the following 3 days eating only veggies and some protein, killing myself @
    gym...is this life?! Is this a correct way to live healthy?! Is this an food education?! No I don't think so....I won't never fall in these kind of diet anymore...
    agree. it seems extreme. and while i'm sure some people can balance it and have a healthy attitude towards it, it is very all or nothing. eat nothing or eat a lot. i would NOT be able to have a healthy approach to food if i did that, i know it.

    hannah, i'm so sorry that it "took over" your healthy ways of eating and that this happened. i can see how it could easily happen very much so and can empathize with your situation. i'm glad you're getting help, wish you the best. your progress has been AMAZING and i'm sure you'll overcome this and get right back on track in time.
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  5. #5
    Registered User chelly88's Avatar
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    This just proves it's very individual... I also have a history of an eating disorder (bulimia) and I've found a very comfortable balance and actually have only had a very brief period (about a week or so) of struggling with bingeing (was still adapting and figuring out how to work it best for me). Since then I've actually found that I crave any sort of junk MUCH LESS and have not had a single episode of bingeing or even overeating. I have a history of huge sweet cravings (mostly to fill some void or emotional need or desire) and I've found that the fasting actually forces me to deal with emotions without the use of food and has proven extremely beneficial (as has the fact that I'm bulking... INCREDIBLY helpful for me thus far!)
    But I am also NOT all-or-nothing. If I'm hungry before my regular "scheduled" fast ends, I eat. I don't restrict any foods from my diet but work them in and focus on healthy habits. I don't calculate anymore but I do mental calculations to make sure I'm meeting my protein needs (and fats but less sure of where those sit but it's working for me right now).

    But I think ANYONE needs to be careful of their reasons for trying IF. I do experience a pleasant feeling when I fast, it feels good and sometimes I have to remind myself that I don't need to try to fast for longer than usual (unless I'm really really just not hungry... then I eat denser foods later and enjoy a huge bedtime snack which I prefer sometimes).

    IMO this is not CAUSED by IF but IF was likely a trigger. IF didn't force you to be all-or-nothing, rigid (as it shouldn't be...it's a lifestyle not a rigid diet) and many people experience this from eating 6 meals a day like I did. I became VERY focussed on what little food I had at each meal, never felt mentally satisfied with 300 cal meals, had problems going out (some weeks we go out up to 4x depending if family visits etc) and eating huge restaurants meals, swapping for veggies, all these special orders etc became tiresome, boring and triggered a lot of binges for me.

    Either way, if anyone has a history of eating issues even a site like this and watching food while intake, macro's etc while you are still recovering is a HUGE risk and can be a trigger

    JMHO

    It takes a lot of guts to come out and admit to yourself and others that you are struggling again... HUGE koodos to you for bringing awareness to the board!
    "The more you tell me I can't do something the more successful I will be at making you look like a fool" - C. Cutting

    "There will always be reasons not to do something... will there ever be enough to do it?" C. Cutting

    "Waiting for motivation to come to you may work sometimes but the most successful people always go looking for it when it is lacking" C. Cutting
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  6. #6
    BRB - Gettin' shredded FemmeFatale28's Avatar
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    I too have to agree that it is very individual. Before I started IF and I was cutting I was miserable and hungry all of the time. IF helps me with diet adherence because I dont have so spread myself so thin.

    What I have found is that psychologically you can only calculate your lifestyle for so long before flipping out and just start consuming everything. So I took a two week break from EVERYTHING. I didnt lift, all I did was the PT I have to do because of the military and I ate everything I wanted when I wanted and I decided I was going to do that until I felt like I was "healed" from the stress of dieting psychologically because even when I was "maintaining" I was calculating ect ect and I just needed a break. I took a step back, found my "center" and now Im ready for more changes Granted Im 5lbs heavier, but Im not sure that its fat. Undeniably some is but not all more importantly my metabolism is kicking. I feel the difference. I believe "resetting" your metabolism isnt something you can do while calculating because the numbers get in the way the body lets you know whats up if you listen to it. Its when you let your mind control everything that it leads to trouble. Before I took that break I was binging hard a few times a week and I could not figure out what was going on. I tried eatting more fat to regulate my hormones but nothing was working. It wasnt until I took a "vacation" from "bodybuilding" that I was able to regroup. I really think this is an instance of correlation =/= causation. Really just my opinon though
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  7. #7
    Registered User Bonny_Lassie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Hannah73Louise View Post
    I've extolled the virtues of intermittent fasting on here, so just wanted to post an update and warning. I started fasting all morning and eating 3-9pm ish and loved it at first.

    A few months down the line and I've ended up with an eating disorder. I've got hooked on the high of fasting which has ultimately led to binge eating followed by purging.

    I had a very brief bulimic episode at the age of 17, but never after that. I was really overweight for years, and lost 7 stone in 2009, all without any bulimia. I'd been eating a regular 5/6 times a day bodybuilding diet very happily for months with ZERO cravings and no desire to cheat ever.

    It's very difficult to see what you are doing to yourself when you are in the middle of it and I really regret ever doing the IF thing. Obviously it works well for a lot of people, but if you have any history of eating issues of any kind be VERY wary of asking your body to fast, because it's so, so easy to trigger binging and a very negative cycle.

    I've now got to focus on conquering this negative behaviour on top of everything else in my life, and yes I have been and got a referral to a ED clinic.
    The most important thing is that you have identified that IF is leading you to engage in unhealthy eating behaviours, and you are now seeking professional help before it spirals out of control.

    I have seen your progress Hannah, and it is inspirational. When I first came across your profile I was so impressed that I had to show my boyfriend next time he was at my flat (we are both PTs and bodybuilding geeks ). So I really hope that you get over this little 'blip'.

    In my opinion, I think that all these diets, eating strategies or whatever you want to call them are unnecessary, dangerous, and lead to unhealthy obsessions. I know this comment may spark outrage with followers of IF, keto, 6 small meals a day blah de blah , but I honestly believe that cals in vs cals out is the best method of all. So you meet a friend in town and she proposes that you go for lunch - "oh sorry, I cant, my fast doesn't break for another 2 hours." Following a structured eating pattern may work for your body recomp/lifting goals, but how good is it exactly for your psychological health and your social life?

    Just my 2 cents!
    "Procrastination is the thief of time"
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  8. #8
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    I've never tried IF, I'm one of those people who would faint from low blood sugar from going to long without eating. I eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm satisfied and I stay within my macros. I used to be a Intuitive eater (IE) and while I didn't lose weight while on it, it changed my relationship with food. I don't binge, rarely overeat or feel out of control, I can take 2 bites and then put the food down, I don't have that urge to finish whatever is on my plate. I was a IE for about 6 months and maintained my weight without counting cals and I guess that was my break from the structure of counting cals and being rigid. I'm glad that I did IE but for weight loss I need to count cals but I'm not rigid or a all or nothing. I do stick within my macros though and plus eating 2000 cals a day is easy because I don't feel deprived or hungry all the time.

    Its good that you are seeking help, and I wish you luck in developing a healthier relationship with food.
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  9. #9
    Da fuk is this. Echo814's Avatar
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    I only practice IF because it fits my natural eating habits not because of anything else. When I ate more than 3xs a day and throughout the day, in the morning especially, I binged. I agree though that any strict regimented eating pattern can trigger ED issues in people who have previously had an ED, or may even cause them.
    If this were easy, everyone would walk around ripped.

    I like eating, it helps with the not dying.

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    It is very individual. I also advised those who had a past ED history to be VERY cautious about approaching IF. I have realized that the majority of people following IF have had some sort of eating disorder in the past...so be careful.

    Posts I did in the IF thread which covers this:

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showpo...postcount=8366

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showpo...postcount=8370
    ^_^
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    Originally Posted by Bonny_Lassie View Post
    In my opinion, I think that all these diets, eating strategies or whatever you want to call them are unnecessary, dangerous, and lead to unhealthy obsessions. I know this comment may spark outrage with followers of IF, keto, 6 small meals a day blah de blah , but I honestly believe that cals in vs cals out is the best method of all. So you meet a friend in town and she proposes that you go for lunch - "oh sorry, I cant, my fast doesn't break for another 2 hours." Following a structured eating pattern may work for your body recomp/lifting goals, but how good is it exactly for your psychological health and your social life?

    Just my 2 cents!
    I agree completely. Intuitive eating has been my salvation from the all-or-nothing eating disordered thought patterns. Of course it took a long time to be able to read my body well enough to know my hunger/satiety signals, but now that I know I follow them. None of these other above mentioned dietary practices would be healthy for me from a psychological standpoint and I can see how they'd be harmful by many others who have struggled with an eating disorder (not *everyone* of course, but definitely many).
    On a mini-cut, then onto maintenance mode for the summer.
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  12. #12
    One step at a time Enneagram1's Avatar
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    Hannah I applaud you for having the courage to share this struggle with others. I know how hard that step can be. I'm also glad that you have the insight to get yourself some help. In terms of reclaiming healthier eating behaviours, (generally) the earlier treatment is commenced the better the outcome.

    In terms of IF, I guess that it isn't right for everyone. I know that I couldn't do it. I believe it would trigger bingeing in me too.

    Good luck getting on top of things.
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    I tried fasting awhile back and actually the opposite happened. I would dream of food all day long and when it was time to break the fast I ate everything in sight. The day after a fast I am seriously hungry all day too so that doesn't help matters. The other thing about IF for me, is the night before a fast I stress over knowing I have to go hungry all day. Nowadays I can't go more then a few hours without eating or I get dizzy and sick to my stomach so IF is out of the question.
    I have a friend who is a strict vegan. She went on a juice fast and ended up with an ED and still struggles to eat normal (non liquid) food to this day.

    I have tried the calorie counting and still was up until a few days ago. But it makes me crazy with food. If my family has a dinner together or goes out for dinner I either made up an excuse not to go or could not enjoy the time with them because I would be thinking 'darn I screwed up my calories/macros for the day' which would then lead to going home and eating more. And at night, when I get home late from work and know I only have 100cals leftover, I would stress because I'm hungry, it's late, and I only have this much left. I ate over? There goes my diet for the day I might as well eat more. It's so stupid but that's what dieting does to my brain. You have to find what works for you and keeps your sanity.
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    BRB - Gettin' shredded FemmeFatale28's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by elaina08 View Post

    I have tried the calorie counting and still was up until a few days ago. But it makes me crazy with food. If my family has a dinner together or goes out for dinner I either made up an excuse not to go or could not enjoy the time with them because I would be thinking 'darn I screwed up my calories/macros for the day' which would then lead to going home and eating more. And at night, when I get home late from work and know I only have 100cals leftover, I would stress because I'm hungry, it's late, and I only have this much left. I ate over? There goes my diet for the day I might as well eat more. It's so stupid but that's what dieting does to my brain. You have to find what works for you and keeps your sanity.
    This is why IF is helpful. Consistant satisfaction. Im not sure how long you did it for but my body has adjusted so I will be hungry right before I eat. :::shrug::: its all individual.
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    Registered User Hannah73Louise's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses. I will get on top of it. Just taking it a day a time - yesterday was a good day, and so far so good today. I'm back to eating 2000, 6 times a day, balanced. I've lost trust in myself though

    I take the point that it's not simply the IF to blame but a combination of many factors, not least the divorce I've been through in the last 18 months, being a single mum of 6, and having a 16 year old daughter dealing with some very stressful depression issues herself. And though I'd happily maintained for many months prior to coming unstuck, I was still counting and logging every calorie on fitday with total control. I guess IF appealed because I already had eating issues......
    "Ain't about how fast I get there.....it's the climb"
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    Patchouli Hopper righter's Avatar
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    Thank you for your honesty, HannahLouise. I think your post is a huge step forward into recovery. Plus you are helping so many others who struggle with this issue by being open about your experience. You get major props. I'm not an expert on addiction, but I know a little because I'm a recovering alcoholic. Addictions are almost always about avoiding/processing uncomfortable emotions. Things we don't like to feel, like grief, anxiety, and sometimes even positive things like success, and the stress that comes with it. Take it one day at a time. It will get better. I'm rooting for you!
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    Originally Posted by Hannah73Louise View Post
    I guess IF appealed because I already had eating issues......
    Exactly.

    When I first started IF I was spot on with it... now I fast between 12-16 hours its just how I live, I have had the ability to make it a lifestyle and even though I have binge eating issues it wasnt IF that was to blame it was the fact that psychologically I had, had enough of being so rigid with my diet. Meticulously calculating every little step and I just lost it. Binge eating for me IS about food. I love the taste of food which is why I keep IF in my life because I can cut and still eat delicious food and not be a social leper Im glad that you are coming around though and that you recognized the problem before it escalated further.
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    doing what i can. jagadzie's Avatar
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    Wow, HannahLouise, you've been through (and are gong through) some hugely difficult and life changing things. Even a mutually agreed upon divorce is still extremely difficult- single mom of six. Teenage daughter with her own issues... I do not envy all that you have on your plate and it is even clearer now knowing these things, how your ED made a come back. You should be proud of yourself for getting a grip on it, knowing to take it one day at a time- take care of yourself!!
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    Originally Posted by Hannah73Louise View Post
    I've extolled the virtues of intermittent fasting on here, so just wanted to post an update and warning. I started fasting all morning and eating 3-9pm ish and loved it at first.

    A few months down the line and I've ended up with an eating disorder. I've got hooked on the high of fasting which has ultimately led to binge eating followed by purging.

    I had a very brief bulimic episode at the age of 17, but never after that. I was really overweight for years, and lost 7 stone in 2009, all without any bulimia. I'd been eating a regular 5/6 times a day bodybuilding diet very happily for months with ZERO cravings and no desire to cheat ever.

    It's very difficult to see what you are doing to yourself when you are in the middle of it and I really regret ever doing the IF thing. Obviously it works well for a lot of people, but if you have any history of eating issues of any kind be VERY wary of asking your body to fast, because it's so, so easy to trigger binging and a very negative cycle.

    I've now got to focus on conquering this negative behaviour on top of everything else in my life, and yes I have been and got a referral to a ED clinic.
    Good luck with everything. I think I would prob be in a similar situation to you if i tried IF. Thanks for posting your story.
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    I'm sorry that happened to you OP, I know how horrible ed's are

    IF would be absolutely terrible for me - I need to eat small meals all throughout the day. I feel horrible when I eat a lot at once, and I would also get addicted to the fasting feeling considering I used to go days at a time without eating
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    Just wanted to say thank you for sharing. It takes a lot of courage.

    I can relate, as I developed some not too healthy patterns/behaviors/anxieties/binges after cutting this past summer. It's just not something I do gracefully....

    Since then, and deciding to go the route of intuitive eating, I decided to ditch calorie counting, weighing foods, macro counting, etc. Honestly, I do not even know what I weigh, as I threw out my bathroom scale. My clothes fit, and I like the way I look, and that's all I care about it. The rest is not important. What matters is my health and happiness and freedom from obssession. Until I feel like I can handle doing the above without obsessing and with balance, they will not be a part of my life.

    Good luck to you. It's wonderful you have the awareness that something is off and are doing something about it.
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    Originally Posted by FemmeFatale28 View Post
    This is why IF is helpful. Consistant satisfaction. Im not sure how long you did it for but my body has adjusted so I will be hungry right before I eat. :::shrug::: its all individual.
    me as well. I used to be the "have to eat NOW or I will pass out...possible die" type but was easy to adjust. And the second I stopped freaking out about feeling huger (which has always been an issue in the past...hence why I struggled with bulimia and never even close to anorexia) the hunger wasn't so daunting. I feel ok being hungry which is therapeutic for me in itself. But generally I don't dwell on the fact that I tend not to eat before noon or up to 3 or 4pm some days which has made IF much breezier and comfortable... and also avoids binges when I start eating. I've also developed coping habits. If for some reason I get too busy or don't get breaks at work/school and have to wait too long to eat and find myself ravenous (really, this has been very rare now) I make sure to choose more volume for the same calories, start with lots of veggies to help fill the void and make sure I'm conscious of how hungry I am so I don't start downing my 1000cal meal in 5 minutes and then still feel hungry before I get a chance to fill full. I'll have 2 cups of water first if I have to just to take that edge off but I mostly used this in the adjustment phase.

    The minute you make ANYTHING that rigid, regimented and restrictive it can very easily lead to trouble for anyone. OUr society's approach to food is so off base that literally anyone can fall victim to an ED. It's sad really.

    This is a great thread
    "The more you tell me I can't do something the more successful I will be at making you look like a fool" - C. Cutting

    "There will always be reasons not to do something... will there ever be enough to do it?" C. Cutting

    "Waiting for motivation to come to you may work sometimes but the most successful people always go looking for it when it is lacking" C. Cutting
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    Originally Posted by thepowerwithin View Post
    Just wanted to say thank you for sharing. It takes a lot of courage.

    I can relate, as I developed some not too healthy patterns/behaviors/anxieties/binges after cutting this past summer. It's just not something I do gracefully....

    Since then, and deciding to go the route of intuitive eating, I decided to ditch calorie counting, weighing foods, macro counting, etc. Honestly, I do not even know what I weigh, as I threw out my bathroom scale. My clothes fit, and I like the way I look, and that's all I care about it. The rest is not important. What matters is my health and happiness and freedom from obssession. Until I feel like I can handle doing the above without obsessing and with balance, they will not be a part of my life.

    Good luck to you. It's wonderful you have the awareness that something is off and are doing something about it.
    It takes a lot of courage for women to go from cutting and being strict/regimented and so aware of their intake and exercise to just giving it all up and doing IE. It was scary as hell for me! Letting go of that control is hard in itself but recognizing that is what is best for you is applauded! Good job ladies!!!

    All I count is protein (very generally without any fancy programs or sites) and overall cals to make sure I'm not UNDEReating and hitting my protein for a successful bulk.
    "The more you tell me I can't do something the more successful I will be at making you look like a fool" - C. Cutting

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    "Waiting for motivation to come to you may work sometimes but the most successful people always go looking for it when it is lacking" C. Cutting
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    Damn, it's good to be me! thepowerwithin's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by chelly88 View Post
    It takes a lot of courage for women to go from cutting and being strict/regimented and so aware of their intake and exercise to just giving it all up and doing IE. It was scary as hell for me! Letting go of that control is hard in itself but recognizing that is what is best for you is applauded! Good job ladies!!!

    All I count is protein (very generally without any fancy programs or sites) and overall cals to make sure I'm not UNDEReating and hitting my protein for a successful bulk.
    Thanks for your encouragement to me and all women who may struggle.

    It was anxiety-provoking in the beginning, but well worth the emotional outcome. In giving up control, I gained control of my life again. Make sense??

    I highly recommend IE to all who need to make peace with food and/or chronic dieting or unhealthy obsessions about body image or who feel vunerable.

    A great body at the cost of soul sickness is just not worth it. It's more important to get right with you, then the rest can follow.

    I agree with Chelly88, after so long of calorie counting and managing my intake, I, too, know I am getting adequate protein to support muscle growth and I definitely know I am getting well over 2K calories per day, which fits into my current goals. IE doesn't mean you have to abandon your goals.
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    Originally Posted by thepowerwithin View Post
    Thanks for your encouragement to me and all women who may struggle.

    It was anxiety-provoking in the beginning, but well worth the emotional outcome. In giving up control, I gained control of my life again. Make sense??

    I highly recommend IE to all who need to make peace with food and/or chronic dieting or unhealthy obsessions about body image or who feel vunerable.

    A great body at the cost of soul sickness is just not worth it. It's more important to get right with you, then the rest can follow.

    I agree with Chelly88, after so long of calorie counting and managing my intake, I, too, know I am getting adequate protein to support muscle growth and I definitely know I am getting well over 2K calories per day, which fits into my current goals. IE doesn't mean you have to abandon your goals.
    Good on you, girl
    ^_^
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