Sounds to me like your body is normalising after its period of deprivation.
You are still pretty slight for your height so this is probably just your its way of telling you it needs a bit more.
Since I started running in June last year I have started to eat at least twice as much as I did. I try to make sure that if I am snacking then I eat something healthy such as a piece of fruit, nuts or an oat bar. I also make sure that I am eating lots of veggies and protein. Having said that I have lost 2 stone but I have now plateaued and my hunger seems to have done the same (even with more mileage). I would say in my experience that your hunger should level out so don't increase your mileage just yet, but wait till you see a doctor.
PS I am doing 30 miles + per week at the moment
summerrain - congratulations on how far you've come in overcoming your ED. Firstly, please don't worry about the 'extra' calories, as others have said it may just be your body's way of normalising. I am a bit reluctant to try to give advice on EDs over a forum as everyone is so different, but I really strongly suggest that you don't try to change anything about your diet until you have seen your doctor/counsellor and discussed with them.
I know from experience that it's really tough, and you can get easily stressed about what are perceived as "extra" calories, but I think it's important don't get sucked into the trap of thinking that if you have overindulged one day that you need to exercise more another day to burn off the calories. 8-9 years ago when I was recovering from ED, I ended up exercising to compensate for "extra" calories eaten. It got so that I was using exercise as another form of purging - I wasn't interested in exercising to be healthy, I was exercising purely to burn calories. I'm not saying that this is what you are doing, but just be careful - some of the language you've used, like "watching yourself" and that you can't wait to go for a run to burn the extra calories - rings a bell with me based on my own experience. Just be careful and keep thinking of how well you are doing in overcoming the ED
I am around the same weight as you and am back to eating around 2500 kcals a day ( during a recent long injury I started restricting a bit to around 1800 kcals) and have not gained weight but feel a lot better and running is so much more enjoyable. I am aiming to eat a bit more as still need to gain around a stone to get into healthy BMI range and this will be difficult in terms of not thinking I am being greedy but worth it I now believe. This time of year is particularly hard as so many people are on diets and make comments like 'I wish I could eat as much as you and stay so skinny!'
Just react to your body and of course follow the medical and dietary advice of professionals.
I had/have an ED and although my weight is now OK (healthy and normal) it wasn't easy having it climb up again.
You got to remember when you run or exercise or are weight gaining you need not just the normal amount but more then the normal amount- in hospital we had to eat between 3000-4000kcals (most of it came from refined carbs and full fat milk!) I got my weight up the last time alone and as I was still too afraid to eat carbs-let alone refined carbs I found that once I did start eating it was hard to stop. I didn't count the calories because it was just so much that I didn't want to think, I just didn't want to relapse and tried to keep myself in some sort of a pattern, even if I wasn't 100% happy with it.
What did help me was having regular appointments with a dietition and therapist. (Two different people), one to plan what I was going to eat and to go back to when I found it didn't work and the other to talk about how I felt about the whole thing in a little more detail. It wasn't easy, it did take a long time and I did feel very out of control. But it isn't the end of the world even if your weight does skyrocket- mine did, it was possible to reel it back in (again with the help of the dietiton) and I think I learnt alot about myself and my body.
We as human beings seem to have a primal instinct to eat for a famine. It is afterall a big part of why we have survived for so long- because we can eat store and know to try to premept famines and times when food sources are low. Most people can bypass this day to day and moderate their weight but think about how different that could be if for months or years at a time our bodies are constantly reminded that there is a famine: when food appears again in a slightly larger form then we are used to, its probably going to some how trigger that primal instinct which says "right, now food is there, get what you can and store it" So as much as it will feel difficult and complex and uncomfortable (and believe me at times it was harder to gain weight in moderation then it was to starve my way down to a stupid weight) its really important to try keep to a regular intake of food, eventually your body realises there is no famine and it can calm down the massive urges. BUT it wont do this until your weight is normalised and until your bodyfat has redistruibuted- your body relies on your hormones to regulate itself and know when it is healthy. Your hormones rely on your body fat to work properly. Its not just about getting your weight up, its about maintaining a healthy body too.
Be so very careful: your setting yourself up for an uncontrollable binge Summerrain- your body now "knows" food is available its not as 'easy' as it was before to just starve, you starve and you risk making it all so much harder and perhaps even making things worse. Added to that when in 'starvation mode' your body turns to storing rather then using calories and this it does by converting much of it to glycogen. Its then easily converted to body fat ready for the next time you starve. If you do this frequently you'll increase hormones which result in it sitting around your waist...(cortisol).
What your aiming for (or what would be good to aim for) is a body which works well and lets you exercise and get on with your day without feeling fatigue, irritable, tierd or not able to move as fast as you could normally do. You wont get that if your starving, your body is very wise and it knows how to make cut backs which you may not even be fully aware its doing but basicly its like working on half-power for the duration and even some of the time after.
Can you speak to a dietiton about whats going on? I really think it could help a lot, its natural to be scared- thats normal so don't berate yourself for that but trying to resolve the fears by reducing your food intake isn't going to resolve the fears its just setting you up for it feeling just as scary-if not more scary next time.
Calories are a rough guide to someone who is completely healthy and has no need to gain weight or because they have a body in some sort of trauma.
Fact is, running takes alot out on your body, its a high impact sport, and added to the weather being colder your likely going to have some forms of micro tears on your muscles as well as requiring more energy because the weather is colder and you need to keep warmer. You don't always see your body shivering as it can do so on a very miniscule level but this is how it keeps warm, you need energy to do that.
You also need to bare in mind the problems your body may have faced in the past when you were unwell but simply were not dealt with because your weight was too low and your body shut down to an absolute essential level: ever wondered why at a lower weight you didn't suffer a cold or similar? It wasn't because you didn't get ill, its because your body simply didn't have the energy it required to develop the symptoms and fight off the virus:these still need to be fought off, one of the strange things you can see when in hospital with others trying to recover from chronic/sevear anorexia is the amounts of colds and flu symptoms going on: its not the food making them unhealthy, its the viruses which sat in their systems uncured because their bodies had shut down and were only working on the essential: keeping the heart beating. Your probably saying "but I don't have a cold" but a cold is just one illness, quite often we pick up viruses and so on and our bodies just deal with it and we never see a thing. Well your body is in a better place to do that now and if it is doing that it would require extra calories to do this.
You may well have good and bad days- its not going to damage you long term. You think about how many calories extra you ate, then total that over the month and divide it up again to see the average per day: its really not that much at all, enough to maybe cover a few days of having ketchup with your evening meal.
I'd really not worry about the odd day at all as your body will adjust. If anything at a very basic level its more likely to (if in surplus) use these calories for heat and being able to move around more or rebuilding once damaged muscles (damaged by years of them being used as fuel: heart and legs included!) If you then go starving yourself (a cut by more then about 25% is going to send a message to your brain that its starving and needs to go back to conserving energy, something it knows well how to do) all your doing is confirming the message you really don't need to confirm: that using energy for anything other then storage is wrong as there could be another famine. The best thing you can do is keep your eating on the 1800 you agreed with your dietition and not to try to fix things by reducing in big jumps- your not going to make it any easier for yourself and its already a very hard thing to do.
I know its a really difficult thing to do (not act on the massive urge to reduce to compensate) because I've been there. But what I can say is doing that is what makes things harder and can so easily trip you up as it can bring on the just as strong urge to binge, and that just makes you feel miserable. Its such an easy mistake to make but can cost you a lot. It may be fine once in a while but its so easy to get into a binge-starve pattern and what your describing seems exactly what you are falling in to.
Remember what it is here your fighting: your trying to battle with the very same voices you appear to be listening to.
summerrain wrote (see)
I totally needed that, Jenn - thanks How do you handle running and eating? Do you count calories or just go by what your body tells you? I can't imagine being able to trust my body, but I guess one day I'll figure it out!
That is a big question! Its taken a few years of hit and misses to get to a point where I tolerate my weight better and every day is a new day and comes with its own mental battles. It does get easier in some ways but lots of it is about getting into a pattern and learning what pattern works- though I have learnt that these pattens only work for a little while (few months) before I need to veer into another pattern, its all a learning curve! I think I owe a lot to the treatment I have (psychotherapist, psychiatrist and dietition) and many times going home and just following what the dietition has said to the word (or as close as I can get to it) then going back and seeing what happened and if I didn't like the results then changing something- with the dietitions say so rather then my own "I'll fix it by doing more exercise" or whatever.
I suppose in my mind I wanted things to change, I made a choice and its something I constantly have to keep reminding myself I have to stay true to and bear in mind a lot. I can see myself being in eating disordered hell/limbo forever unless I make changes, There are no promises it all gets better or goes away but at least that horrible little voice that says "your wasting your life!!" to me at 3am when I am trying to sleep reduces when I try to make more posative life improving changes. I've had my ED since I was 15, I know its not going anywhere fast but I also know that unless I am careful I could get to 50 (if I live that long- many ED sufferes don't) and just look back on my life and see nothing but an empty lonely and dull existance and the only one to blame will be me. I don't want to feel like that so this motivates me.
I can't say I'm perfect and don't preach to be- I make more then enough mistakes but the thing that gets me through them is knowing I can learn from them and do better next time. I read your post and saw someone who with an ED is struggling with the ED ideology still. Most healthy people would have a few days of over eating and just ride it out, maybe eat a little less if it was overeating but not be worried enough to impose the cuts if they didn't feel like it, you seemed to get very caught up in trying to fix it by restricting- every time you act on that ED idology you enforce it, you make it stronger it grows and the battle becomes harder, its not easy to battle with the best of times but does get easier the more you don't obey the rules it comes with. Thats been my experience anyway.
Visit the official Runner's World page
Follow Runner's World on Twitter
Other Natmag-Rodale Sites
Run For Charity
About Runner's World
Runner's World is a publication of Hearst Magazines UK which is the trading name of The National Magazine Company Ltd, 72 Broadwick Street, London, W1F 9EP. Registered in England 112955. All rights reserved.
Website powered by: Immediate Media Company Ltd. | © Runner's World 2002-2014 |