Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Help with weight gain and anorexia or something?

ok, well, here it goes. When I was a little past 16 years old I started dieting and exercising to lose weight. I felt awesome and had gained some muscle. However I kept on restricting, unaware of the dangers of crash dieting. I began eating a little less each day, but never really went less than 1000 calories a day. My lowest days were probably around 700 to 800 calories , but absolutely not any lower. Also, I tended to eat a very small breakfast, with a small lunch and than usually a very large dinner (my mom is an incredible cook). This kind of kept my digestive system alive I think. I did this for about 6-7 months until I learned that my weight loss had become unhealthy, around 112 pounds at 5' 9". Now i have been eating more and more gradually for months since last March and have gained some weight but still have some weird things going on with my body. First off, I don't calories anymore and just eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full. Usually I have a great appetite, but some days I just don't really feel hungry at all and maybe eat one meal! But I feel absolutely great. High energy, good skin, good hair, not always cold like anorexics are.

In short, I just want to learn whether or not whether what I did could be considered anorexia so I can recover my body in the right healthy way.

I just have a few questions because I want to know whether or not my restriction was severe enough to have caused the same effects of anorexia recovery so I'll know what I must do to safely gain weight. I've read that anorexics need a lot more calories to gain and maintain (like thousands) when recovering. I don't have anything against eating this much, but I'm just afraid whether or not its necessary for me. If I do need them than great, but what if I'm just normally underweight and don't need such a high amount of calories and hurt my body?
Second, I have heard that anorexics often have a lot of digestive distress when they start recovering, but I never really had that because I never really restricted that much. I ate a lot of vegetables too, so did the amount of food I was eating keep my digestive system alive? that is why I think I didn't restrict severely enough. I've heard that anorexics also have low appetite causing them to want to eat less, or not be hungry even when they've partially recovered, so I guess that is why I am scared when some days I'm not very hungry at all. I don't know whether it's my body telling me the right thing to do and protecting me from eating too much naturally like a normal person's body would, or if it's something wrong with my hormone levels or something.
Third, it says on many websites that my BMI is low, but aren't many teenagers like this during developments during irregularites in growth patterns? I heard BMI is different for childs vs. adults. before losing the weight, I was extremely unhealthy and had a lot of fat, poor developed muscles, etc. I was 150 pounds. Now, people said that I was at a healthy weight for my height, but was I really with all that extra fat? i heard that when you gain muscle during puberty weight increases tremendously, so yeah, if i had had that muscle than it would have been a healthy weight. so someone with my height, more muscle, less fat would be the same BMI as me, with lower muscle mass and higher fat. but of course i'm unhealthier. so i guess, concerning BMI, I'm wondering whether right now, was if I went back to my body how i was and subtracted the unhealthy amount of fat and gave myself a healthy amount of body fat, would I be the same weight I weight now? is it simply that this is truly how big i should be at this point in my life, and that my muscle hasn't really come in yet or something?

as a recap, I just wish to now which directino to take in gaining weight. Should I eat a normal amount of calories like I am now and simply wait to gain weight slowly and healthily or do I need to eat a lot of calories due to anorexia? If I did have anorexia, than eating normally won't help me gain weight and I might now recover. But if I didn't have anorexia, and I'm at a healthy weight right now for my age, and I start eating as much as a recovering anorexia should (like thousands of calories) I could hurt my body and cause unhealthy side effects like insulin resistance and diabetes and stuff. CATCH 22 aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh

Answer on Help with weight gain and anorexia or something?

You're okay now. A lot of us who have dieted sometimes don't know when to stop. I think this is more common than most know. What's important is where you are now; eating a reasonable amount of food.
You're right about BMI's being different for teens than for adults. Teens normally tend toward lower BMI.

Now you just need to stay on a normal diet (as in what you eat, not to lose weight). I doubt you did any harm to your body. In fact, being a little lean is good.

I would lay off of the supplements. You just need to eat a reasonable amount of food, mostly plant (grains, vegetable, fruits) and not too much meat. You felt good because it was health for you. Anorexics feel like they're starving all the time and faint. You never were anorexic from what you described.