Good afternoon, everyone! I am a new member of Calorie Count, but I have read several topics and threads in the Forums, particulary under the Health & Support hoping to find topics over questions I have and maybe reasonable answers. I have not been successful in this, and have decided to make an account and post a question myself. This post will be long, lol, but I hope that somebody, anybody, will take the time to read and answer my questions, for it would be greatly appreciated!
I am 16, and will be 17 in May. I am 5'3.5" and currently ~116 (115.6 to be exact). I exercise 4 times a week, for an hour. I engage in aerobics for 30 minutes and for the other 30 (I researched the exercise that I do and it is considered..) strength training.
I am currently in self-recovery from anorexia, and, never reaching a truely low weight-- for I caught myself and realized I needed to change, and for that I pat myself on the back-- I have been maintaining my lowest weight of ~116 lbs. for about 3 to 4 months on 1700-1800 calories. I know it is unrealistic that I will stay this weight and have given myself a range instead of 115-123, haha yes not 125 but -23.
My first question: I am an obssessive calorie counter, I never go under 1700 and never over 1800. I hate calorie counting, and would like advice on how to stop?
My second question: I don't really look forward to being on the high end of the range I listed, but it may just be the "anorexic mindset" I've obtained from this disease. It's awful and I wish the pyschological part wasn't so hard to deal with.. But I've visited my GP who said I could eat 2000 calories. That doesn't seem it takes my personal characteristics and requirements to heart, so I want to know how many calories COULD I consume?
Other questions: I know this is rhetorical, but should teenagers worry about their weight? I know they should if it is clearly an issue, but if not, then no? I've heard they should only worry about eating a balanced diet, but that fact is hard for me to wrap my head around, mostly because of "my thoughts".. Oh! My most important question! Is it true that it is okay to have unhealthy food, and it will all balance out?? I wish I could wrap my head around this claim as well.. My Spanish teacher recommended me for AP Spanish (which means I would skip a year of learned material), and she said I could (as she did, for she did the following to achieve advanced placement in her freshman year of college, except for the food part, she specifically said I could do this, lol) I could go to the library, with my study material, HAVE SOME PIZZA AND A COKE, and just study. And I flipped out in my mind! People really do that? Eat pizza AND a coke? At the same time?! Haha! Honestly.. I wish I could.. I wish myself would let myself. But how do you get yourself to? If your afraid of gaining weight? And how does the pizza and coke (or any other healthy food) balance out in the end?
I hope someone was able to pay attention to the end, I know my post was great in length and I apologize, if you were, I greatly appreciate it. I hope I recieve replies, I would really enjoy having these questions answered, it would really do wonders for my recovery. But I wish everyone a wonderful Saturday :)
First off, good job at catching yourself before reaching a low weight and deciding to make a change. That's a huge step in itself and something you should be proud of :)
In response to your first question, calorie counting is not always the easiest thing to stop doing, especially when it's used as a symptom for an eating disorder. I still struggle with counting calories myself sometimes (still in the recovery process) but it has improved greatly. What really helped me was being put on a meal plan that used exchanges, not calories, and that might help you as well. Instead of focusing on how many calories your eating, focus on the types of food your eating instead. It'd be even more beneficial if you could meet with a dietician who specializes with eating disorders and can give you an exchange based meal plan for yourself. It would take a lot of focus off of calories. If it helps, I can send you the meal plan I was put on, just to give you an idea. Obviously our needs our different and you might need to eat more, but it could be a good starting point to start establishing healthy and normal eating, minus calorie counting.
Secondly, your GP is right. You can eat 2000 calories, most likely more. I'm the same height as you and a few years older and I maintain on over 2000 calories when sedentary- more when I exercise. I would say, with your exercise habits and young age, you could likely maintain on more like 2200+ calories.
Personally, I don't think anyone should really worry about their weight, teenagers most definitely included, unless it is a problem. If someone is over weight, obese, or consistently gaining weight then yes, they should probably alter their habits. But if you're maintaining a healthy weight then there's really nothing to worry about. I used to be obsessed with eating "healthy" when I was restricting and would not touching anything like cookies or fries. However, the meal plan I was put on ended up having a mandatory dessert every day and, for the past 5 months I've been eating things like cookies, brownies, ice cream, pie, and candy every single day. Aside from initially gaining weight in the first month or so (which was definitely necessary), I've been maintaining my weight. I now also eat things, like pizza, and have not gained a pound and feel and look better than I have in years. Going to the library and having pizza and coke would not do anything to you and is perfectly normal. Yes, if you eat two whole large pizzas for dinner everyday, you will probably gain weight. But I doubt you'll ever run into that problem. What you need to stop doing is labeling food as "good" and "bad". One thing that helped me was the exchange based meal plan I was put on- whether I have oatmeal or poptarts for breakfast, it's all just exchanges.
There's really only so much advice I can give you, but I hope I helped a little and reassured you that you can eat more and have those off-limit fear foods :) I really do recommend that you seek professional help though, as calorie count forums can't substitute dieticians and therapists. Let me know if you need anything else :)
Your advice is exactly what I was looking for! A million thank you's! :) To be honest even now I do have a treat everyday, ice cream and cereal, I love them together. But even still I enjoy them because they fit into my calorie budget. I really have to break this cycle, and I know I can. I got into, I can get out.
The reason I haven't seen a dietician already is due to the lack of financial stability in my family. But honestly I think my mom wouldn't mind, since I am trying to better myself without the use of drugs, alcohol, etc., but instead with my own mind.
The exchange plan is a great idea! My GP gave me a print out of an outline but only up to 1800 calories, but even still I have trouble figuring out correct portion sizes, but mostly because I am still having a difficult time trusting myself..
But thank you dearly for your reply, I take your advice to heart, and will try my best to get myself to follow your great suggestions!
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