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How do I undo all of this health damage?


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I have really screwed myself up for the last year.. I didn't even know it until my doctor told me what I had done.

To start off with, I am 16, 5'9 and weigh between 130-135. I am also a cyclist who cycles 2 1/2 hours a day, 5 days a week.

Here's where I messed myself up..

I didn't eat enough calories. I estimate that I burn roughly 1,6000 calories per cycling day. I would only eat 2,200 or so. I have been diagnosed with "anorexia athletica".

Now, I am trying to pick myself back up.

I am getting help, and I am not promoting bad health, or any of the like. I just want to know what to do. But, I don't want to jump in so quickly. I have a few questions.

1. How many calories should I eat when not bike riding?

2. How many calories should I eat when bike riding?

3. Will I see temporary weight gain? I heard that when trying to end anorexia, your body can hold on to up to 20 pounds of water.

4. Will my health improve? My skin is seeing the effect of everything, and so are my joints.

I just don't want to be this way any longer.

14 Replies (last)
1. How many calories should I eat when not bike riding? As a teen you should be eating at lease 3000 cals. You may need to work you way up to this total by adding an extra 100 per day. You may also need more if the weight gain slows down.

2. How many calories should I eat when bike riding?

Your going to hate this but during recovery exercise is strictly off limit. By working out while underweight you are doing so much damage to your body. Its hard but you need to stop biking.

3. Will I see temporary weight gain? I heard that when trying to end anorexia, your body can hold on to up to 20 pounds of water.

Maybe, some people do gain water weight so dont. Some gain and dont lose this weight. Dont panic though and not let it cause you to restrict. 

4. Will my health improve? My skin is seeing the effect of everything, and so are my joints.

YES! You will finding biking easier after recovery, your sleep will improve, your skin, concentration, mood and hair will all improve! You will be warm again, you will be social again! There are so many good things to come from recovery!

 

Please read this - http://caloriecount.about.com/helping-starvat ion-mode-down-ft170153#3

Print it out and read it daily!!

And best of luck :) We are all here for you :)

Original Post by kiki_725:

1. How many calories should I eat when not bike riding? As a teen you should be eating at lease 3000 cals. You may need to work you way up to this total by adding an extra 100 per day. You may also need more if the weight gain slows down.

2. How many calories should I eat when bike riding?

Your going to hate this but during recovery exercise is strictly off limit. By working out while underweight you are doing so much damage to your body. Its hard but you need to stop biking.

3. Will I see temporary weight gain? I heard that when trying to end anorexia, your body can hold on to up to 20 pounds of water.

Maybe, some people do gain water weight so dont. Some gain and dont lose this weight. Dont panic though and not let it cause you to restrict. 

4. Will my health improve? My skin is seeing the effect of everything, and so are my joints.

YES! You will finding biking easier after recovery, your sleep will improve, your skin, concentration, mood and hair will all improve! You will be warm again, you will be social again! There are so many good things to come from recovery!

 

Please read this - http://caloriecount.about.com/helping-starvat ion-mode-down-ft170153#3

Print it out and read it daily!!

And best of luck :) We are all here for you :)

 Thank you for your words of wisdom. :)

I think there is something wrong with me :/ In the last two weeks I have gained THIRTEEN POUNDS.

I have raised my caloric intake by 1,000 because I am battling anorexia and now I've ballooned thirteen pounds in two weeks?

What have I done?

You've gained water weight and nothing more. Your body is still adjusting. Whatever you do don't restrict now. Your body will adjust and some of that will come off. Take a deep breath and don't look at the scale for awhile, and re-read Kiki's post. Hugs.

Why do I feel so sick and bloated?

I look like I've gained twenty pounds, and it scares me. My clothes are even feeling tight.

That's what water weight does - it makes you feel bloated.

When recovering from anorexia, how long does it take to lose all of that water?

Hopefully I can explain some things.  I know what you are contending with as I battled Anorexia Athletica and Anorexia Nervosa. 

Firstly, for those who need to build up their metabolism during recovery from an ED (or after dieting) do so by consuming a significant amount of calories.  Spreading out meals does help, but half of the equation.

Most ED patients are not prepared to face the stages they must go through to recover.  But it is the only way to fully recover.

 The first step is to eat 2500 calories a day... every day spaced throughout the entire day. Anything less and your metabolism remains suppressed and tries to hang on to what little energy is coming in -- but it's not enough to stop the damage, let alone heal it. 

You can gain up to 20 pounds that is temporary water hoarding. Usually, not weighing yourself through the first couple of months is a good idea. The body hoards water initially because water is so critical for cellular repair. The water gain eases up and real weight gain in the first couple of months is only 5-8 lbs. It will take many months or up to a year to have the water hoarding become balanced.--depending on the severity of repair needed.

Stop weighing yourself as your current weight is mainly due to water hoarding. 

The next phase is when the body starts to lay down fat. It does this because it does not trust you and assumes it will instantly be starved again. So it knows it must insulate and protect your vital organs from the next round of starvation.

Do not stress about the rapid weight gain.  This is when ED patients can often falter because all the fat is laid down around the mid-section (protecting vital organs). You have to be prepared for the fact that the fat all sitting in this section is temporary. You will be bloated both due to the digestive system having to ramp up to function again (lots of gas and indigestion) and feel huge due to the fat deposits that are temporarily in that one area. You have to keep pushing forward and then you'll be rewarded with complete fat redistribution.

You need fat more than anything because fat determines leptin levels, not muscle and bone.

Somewhere around months 4-6 the ED patient hits another wall. Now the body is beginning to trust the constant flow of repair-levels of energy and it is now attending to bone and muscle repair. Osteopenia and osteoporosis begin to reverse at this stage. The patient starts to experience moments of enjoyment in life, has more social contact and unfortunately assumes she is basically ready to go to maintenance (around 18.5-20 BMI at this point).

This is the last ditch effort of the skewed neurotransmitters to convince the patient to relapse. She must continue to avoid exercise and gain to the point that the periods arrive. Then her maintenance calorie intake must be 30% above what is maintenance levels for non-ED patients for another 6 months.

You do not continue to gain weight during this final stage. All that extra energy you take in goes to normalizing the neuroendocrine system and not to the fat stores. This is also the stage where the fat stores are now redistributed evenly throughout the body. It is the final stage of trust-building between you and your body. Skip this final stage and you're pretty much assured a relapse.

If you were running and/or doing intense cardio during your ED (as well as before) then much of the damage you may have caused would not have have been properly communicated to your brain. Because ED short circuits a lot of the sensations of pain, it is unfortunately common for an ED patient to injure herself and be somewhat numbed from the normal signals to stop and rest. As you return to weight restoration, much of the suppression of the pain signals are being fired up again (this is unpleasant but a good sign you are well into recovery!).

Begin sessions to have cognitive behavioral therapy to overcome your ED by finding the underlying reasons behind it and ways to manage your ED. Behavioral therapy is very important as well as proper weight gain. 

Stop drinking a lot of water.  Patients who do drink  lot of water do this precisely because water loading is an expression of the eating disorder.  By doing this you feel less "guilty" and it suppresses appetite.  Which in turn is manifesting all the power to your malfunctioning neurotransmitters. Also, in your current state of health that kind of water intake is really risking electrolyte imbalances that could land you in the hospital and even cause death.

I hope you know  that fluid also comes from food. You get adequate fluid if you eat 2500 calories. You can also have other fluids such as juice, but the water should primarily be coming from calories found in foods.  These include all full-fat yogurts, cottage cheese, fruits, breads, etc.

The cellular repair will occur only if the body is getting the fluids from calorie rich foods and using the remaining energy to begin major organ repair at the same time. 

It takes hundreds and thousands of calories to repair your body and system.  Consuming 1600 calories and at your current weight will not repair your mind and body.

 I really want to emphasize the damage you have caused on a skeletal and cellular level both by Anorexia and Anorexia Athletica...

Whether you realize it or not your heart is muscle is damaged and exhausted, your adrenal glands are exhausted and stressed, your bones are slowly deteriorating due to lack of nutrients and ammenhorea and thin and hallow, your kidneys are due to fail, your skin is dry and flaky, your gut and bowel mobility and functioning has slowed, your immune system is suppressed, your hypothalamic function is suppressed by both calorie restriction and exercise leading to all the hormonal  imbalance-That's just to name a few things. 

As a side note, because I had severe Anorexia Athletica I did some permanant damage to my tendons, joints because of the severed malnutrition coupled with obsessive exercise which is a toxic mix.  In addition, Anorexia Nervosa damaged my thyroid gland so I am on medication for life.  Some things are reparable  and others irreversible.   

Please get the professional help you need and message me anytime

Thanks for all of your help. It's just scary to see that much weight gain so quickly. Before I started working on this, I had a BMI of 18.8, and now it's up to 20.7. That can scare anybody.

It is just something that my body will probably never be used to. I feel like I have to eat so much to make myself feel better.

I am freaking out like crazy now. The scale now says that I've gained 17 pounds. I feel so depressed over it. Going from 126.6 to 143.6.. This scares me..

Is this even possible?!

In one day? No. Probably water weight. I think, and I am still working on this myself, you need step away from the scale. If it is going to freak you out every time and set you back maybe you need to put it away for awhile. Your self worth and inner beauty cannot be measured by a number on scale. Take a breath and remember health is your number one goal.

Original Post by puddykat:

In one day? No. Probably water weight. I think, and I am still working on this myself, you need step away from the scale. If it is going to freak you out every time and set you back maybe you need to put it away for awhile. Your self worth and inner beauty cannot be measured by a number on scale. Take a breath and remember health is your number one goal.

 126.6 to 143.6 has been done in 3 weeks.. or 18 days. I have been eating more to make my metabolism speed up, and try to recover from anorexia.

I've raised my caloric intake from 2,000 to 3,000. So, would that do it?

Original Post by healthfreak94:

Original Post by puddykat:

In one day? No. Probably water weight. I think, and I am still working on this myself, you need step away from the scale. If it is going to freak you out every time and set you back maybe you need to put it away for awhile. Your self worth and inner beauty cannot be measured by a number on scale. Take a breath and remember health is your number one goal.

 126.6 to 143.6 has been done in 3 weeks.. or 18 days. I have been eating more to make my metabolism speed up, and try to recover from anorexia.

I've raised my caloric intake from 2,000 to 3,000. So, would that do it?

Mmkay let me try to calm you down.

You need to eat 3500 extra calories (on TOP of what you naturally burn in a day) to gain one pound of fat. Do the math. It doesn't work.

In this time, I'm sure you have gained a small amount of fat, some muscle and added weight from wasted internal organ repair, but mostly water.

Original Post by healthfreak94:

I think there is something wrong with me :/ In the last two weeks I have gained THIRTEEN POUNDS.

I have raised my caloric intake by 1,000 because I am battling anorexia and now I've ballooned thirteen pounds in two weeks?

What have I done?

Ditto. And ditto your reaction. This is why we shouldnt weigh ourselves during the first few months. You MUST keep at it. Keep eating and gaining and getting better :)

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