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August 12th, 2004

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12:39 pm - I'm starving ...

I'm literally starving. I've been trying to stay under 1200 calories a day, thinking that that was what I needed to maintain my weight and not gain. Sometimes that ends up being around 700 or 800 calories a day, and sometimes (like this weekend at the water park, in which I ate no less than two hamburgers, two footlong hot dogs, and four cookies) up to 2,000+, but normally around 1000 or so.

Had the metabolism test again today, and I'm up from a BMR of 1270 to 1370. Plus, at my daily activity level (not much and not counting any working out I do), I need like 1700 calories a day just to stay the same weight. Then there's the whole treadmill and weight training thing, which probably takes it up even more.

No wonder I'm hungry and feeling like crap.

So, now that I know that, I'm not sure what to do about it.

Okay, "Eat more," yeah. Only ... it's really tempting to just go and lose more weight. You know, just a little more. Maybe get down under 130. Maybe just to 125 or so. It's only a few pounds, you know, and wouldn't that be cool -- for me, the chubby girl, to weigh 125? Yeah. That'd be cool. Or maybe just a few more than that, and get down to 118 which is actually technically underweight. It's not that much less than 125, and how cool would THAT be? To actually be UNDERWEIGHT after all those years of seeing "Obese white female" in my medical charts, and listening to the doctor telling me I should just eat under 1,000 calories a day.

I have this vision in my head of people begging me to eat because I'm too thin. And I could eat anything I wanted because it would be okay if I gained weight. I could live on chocolate and Doritos and ice cream and sushi. That would rock. That would be the coolest thing ever.

Except ...

I know that's not right. That's not right at all. It wouldn't be the coolest thing ever, and would end up with me feeling like total shit every day.

It's really, really tempting though. I barely recognize my own body these days. There are bones and tendons and muscle-type things that I didn't even know were under there. And I start to think, "Hey, what else is under there?" And I start really wanting to find out, and just take it a little more, just a little more down.

Sometimes it's a bad deal, having to live inside my head. Sometimes it's a really bad deal.

(35 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2004 01:08 pm (UTC)
*hugs* Hang in there mrsv.

Remember what you said to me about body image!!

You are beautiful!! Don't give into the voices in your head.
[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2004 05:00 pm (UTC)
Thanks, babe. But, see the problem isn't that I can't see myself as attractive, or that I feel I need to be thinner to be worth something. The problem is that it's almost a challenge now. Just to see how far I can take it. Beating my own record, that kind of thing. I don't honestly know where it's coming from, because I do look great to myself most of the time.

I mean, not to be vain -- it's taken a lot of practice to make me look great to myself, and I do have to do the squinty eye thing a lot of the time, but still. That's not entirely it...
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2004 04:55 pm (UTC)
You can't do chocolate in moderation.

Or ice cream.

Or sushi.

Because -- I mean -- what's the point of that? :-)

I want an entire BOX of ReeseStix!

I want GIANT bowls of ice cream smothered in Magic Shell and caramel sauce! And maybe little sprinkley things.

I want All-You-Can-Eat Sushi!

I've never been good at the moderation thing. It's like all or nothing. It's a character flaw, I know.
[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2004 01:56 pm (UTC)
*hugs* you can do it!

And being underweight sucks. Trust me on that. I was 10 pounds underweight at the end of my freshman year of college. 10 pounds may not seem like a lot, but I'm a little girlie.
I was sick most of that entire summer. Migraines. Fatigue. Lack of energy. I specifically remember going for a bike ride with a friend and needing to stop because my stomach decided it didn't like my lunch, and up it came. It took me TWO YEARS to get back to a 'healthy' weight. I never want to be in that place again.

listen to zoot, and most importantly, listen to your body. *mojo*
[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2004 04:52 pm (UTC)
Thanks, kat. Yeah, I was doing really well for awhile, but while I am kind of enjoying being the size I am now, clothes that I really like don't fit anymore, and I just haven't felt well this week. Headaches, fatigue, yeah, all that. I think it's just catching up to me.

It's just hard, you know. It's like, I'm on a roll -- wonder how far I can take it.

And the funny thing is, I liked myself when I was heavier! I might have thought, yeah, it would be nice to drop a few pounds, but overall, I thought I looked fine and was happy with myself. So I don't understand where this sudden "have to be thin" thing is coming from.

[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2004 02:02 pm (UTC)
Listen to the girlies!!

Btw, how tall are you?? The mother was five foot four and hit 115 and lost her mind. She just couldn't function at that weight.

We love you and need you healthy and fit, sweetie.

* smooooches *
[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2004 04:49 pm (UTC)
I'm 5'6"/5'7"ish, depending on my posture that day. :-) I think if I hit 115 (and was still trying to lose weight or stay at that weight) then I would be "officially" anorexic. That's a bit much, I think.

Or ... is it?
[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2004 02:36 pm (UTC)
Oh Honey. *HUGS*

Listen to what those smart girlies above have said.

You know deep in your heart that those voices want to hurt you. They just don't know any better. But you do and you need to do what's healthy and right for you. You are already on the cusp on looking too thin. Hell one more flare up could send you into unhealthy underweight land. You have your health and a safe weight to live with on top of girlie body image issues. That's got to be rough.:(

You can maintain your thinner weight while still gaining muscle and being fit. It's just a balancing act. ;)

I hope yo are feeling better today, MrsV.


[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2004 05:13 pm (UTC)
I'm feeling a little better. Just a bit torn and indecisive. I'm trying to work this whole thing out, and you guys are helping (believe it or not).

Hugs back atcha!
Date:August 12th, 2004 03:43 pm (UTC)
Try to keep this in mind: anything less than 1200 calories for an adult female is self defeating. You can literally convince your body that it's in famine, and change your metabolism-making weight *gain* very possible. And it's not healthy weight gain, it's entirely fat weight.

And yeah, doctors are not the best people to listen to about nutrition. A few years ago several of our friends--all docs--decided the Atkin's diet would be a Fun Thing To Try. Never mind that they'd all seen patients suffering the adverse effect of so much protein (this was back before the Atkin's people admitted all meat with high fat was not the wisest choice and added low glycemic carbs to the mix), people were losing weight and they wanted in on it. AND recommended it to patients.

Doctors are smart people, but they don't always have a lot of common sense...
[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2004 03:56 pm (UTC)
Actually, I've been doing some research and from what I've seen, it's not so much that going under that many calories changes your metabolism, it's that when you go too low, your body starts reserving fat and eating up your lean tissue. Your metabolic rate seems to be based on the amount of lean tissue in your body (regardless of height, weight, and maybe age ... ) so when you start losing your muscle, your metabolism drops. You see a happy number on the scale, and figure you can go eat normally again, but now you don't need as many calories because you haven't lost fat, just muscle, so at that point your body just packs everything extra away as fat.

So then, I start telling myself, hey, it's cool to massively restrict calories, as long as I work out more and take protein supplements, because then I won't be losing muscle mass.

And honestly, if you get your 50 grams of protein, 120 grams of carbs, 20 grams of fat and the RDA vitamins, does it really matter if you get it in 700 calories or 1700? And wouldn't it be actually better if you could just pack all your nutrition into fewer calories like that?

See, this is how my brain works.

And I'm not entirely sure I want to change it. That's probably the biggest problem. It's like being an alcoholic, and knowing you're an alcoholic, but not wanting to quit drinking.

Gads. I'm a mess, eh?
[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2004 03:45 pm (UTC)
Im going to be glad once your reunion is over.

Next week, you can expect a 5000 calorie a day diet while hanging with us.

You are way too thin, damn it, so no trying to loose more. Or else...or else...Im going to post a picture of you and let everyone yell at you.

So you better watch your step missy.
[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2004 03:57 pm (UTC)
I should have started on that diet this week. I think all my formalish outfits are too big.

Date:August 12th, 2004 04:56 pm (UTC)
Sweetie, I know exactly that thought process, and I'm way the hell over on the other end of the spectrum, weight-wise. And those exact thoughts have crossed my mind more than once (things like, "Wouldn't it be cool to get 50lbs UNDERweight and Ben&Jerry's my way back?"). And this often results in days of eating practically nothing, I'm so frustrated and embarassed. Which causes the inevitable backlash of wiping out the DiGiorno's aisle in the grocery store in one weekend.

It's all a part of this vicious circle, which I may not be entirely sure how to defeat, but I know, like all the others who've chimed in, that it's total bullsh#t. Listen to the sensible while taking strength that there are others who know exactly what you're feeling, and extend the strength they've got to help you do what's right and good for you.

[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2004 05:10 pm (UTC)
Thanks, kiddo. I do appreciate it. I really need to not tie my self esteem into how many miles I did on the treadmill or how few calories I can manage on. I need something else to focus on, I guess. :-)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2004 08:36 pm (UTC)
haha! How could I possibly smack and/or unfriend you for something like that, you weirdo?

Anyway, I'm not exercising all day. I'm not even exercising every day, although I'm trying to. But when I do, the longest it's ever been is maybe 45 minutes of mostly walking. And since my last post where I talked about not feeling well, I've been trying to eat more. I'm still monitoring it (yes, somewhat obsessively, I'll admit) but I'm not *usually* staying under 1,000 cals a day, and am trying to get to at least 1500, even if that means the ultimate sacrifice of an extra ice cream bar. :-)

I kind of think it's a problem, but I don't really want to admit it's a problem, because I'm mostly being sensible. I think. I'm not entirely sure, which is why it's helpful to get people's input.

I will admit it's a problem if I do get down to 118. :-) But, honestly, I don't think that will happen. I'm being very careful to get at least 50 grams of protein, around 90 grams (or more) of carbs, and the fat seems to take care of itself, but on the days where I am under like 10 grams I take some flax seed oil supplements to get the essential fatty acids. I am taking vitamin supplements as well, and monitoring those too to make sure I get enough calcium, iron, A, B, C, etc.

So, honestly, yes, I feel like it wouldn't be so bad to lose more weight. And how could it be unhealthy as long as I'm meeting my daily requirements of everything (except calories per se) and exercising sensibly?

This is something I don't have an answer for. Generally, people who seriously restrict calories are also not getting their recommended allotment of macronutrients like protein/carbs/fat or micronutrients, vitamins, minerals, etc, because they're so focused on the number of calories, they'll eat like a head of cabbage and call it good for the day, or just drink a bunch of diet cokes and have half a can of tuna or something. I'm not doing that. It seems like, technically, I'm eating "enough."

I don't want to be unhealthy, and I don't have a subliminal desire to kill myself, as far as I know.

It's just that this elusive "thin" is ... kind of addictive.

Hell, I thought I was totally skinny at 155.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2004 09:48 pm (UTC)
The problem is she's a geek, who is trying to approach her body with a geek mentality. This doesnt work because the body isnt an equation, and you cant plug variables and truly judge cause and effect. The same qualities that make her good at her job drive this need.

I dont think she has an eating disorder otherwise I'd let you all know.

Believe me, I've seen the girl make a bowl of ice cream that would choke me.
Ok, maybe not choke...but its a healthy bowl....which in itself wasa probably about 3000 calories

[User Picture]
Date:August 13th, 2004 06:16 am (UTC)
My typical bowl of ice cream is only about 1500 - 2000 calories, I'll have you know.

That includes the Magic Shell.

Just so we're clear.
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:August 15th, 2004 11:44 am (UTC)
mrs v,
I agree with Icy. You may not have an eating disorder yet but it sounds like you could be heading down that path. Maybe you should see someone who can help you work out the stuff in your head.


and that santa pic is one of the hottest I've ever seen. Rawr.
Date:August 21st, 2004 01:14 pm (UTC)

New numbers game

I was thinking along the same lines as Rob. I wouldn't look at this as a typical eating disorder. It's sounds like it's more about being a geek than fitting a certain body image, and dare I say, more about being stubborn.

Is there a different set of numbers you can work with, MrsV? Rather than talking about body weight and calories, how about reps and the like?

I'm going through something similar with myself, but in a different area. My finances have been taking a real hit, but I've been managing to keep an overall upbeat attitude and I'm looking at life a bit differently now. There's a part of me that wants to see how far this can go. What if I lose it all? What if I end up on the streets with nothing to my name? Could I still pull it off? Could I still look at life as something positive and turn things around? Just how far can I go?

I don't know if that makes sense, but it seems like a similar mind-frame. I know that it would not be a good thing to do, but I want to see what happens. Luckily I'm not planning on actually making myself destitute, but the curiosity does help me deal with where I am. It can be dangerous grounds to walk, though.

Being able to see what's going on in your own head is a big plus. You know why it's tempting to you, so you can figure out the best way to deal with the situation overall. That analytical part of you that is steering you towards this trouble is the very thing that you're likely to use to keep it from going to far.

How's this for a challenge: You know what a healthy weight is, and what a healthy calorie intake is now. Can you maintain that without going to far, just to see where it goes? That's the real challenge here. Pushing yourself to lose more weight is easy. You know you can do that already. I challenge you to be stubborn enough with yourself to get back to a healthy intake and stay there. Because really, what's harder?

Going underweight is something you can point to and show people. It's something that's hard for other's to do so you can use that as incentive. Being healthy is not so dramatic. The "public" payoff is so much less. The personal payoff is good health, but that doesn't seem to be so much of a driving force when it comes to things like this. That's harder than math.

I look at it like the street cred someone gets for hacking up some really cool scripts. If they are whiz-bang enough, they don't have to do much useful (and can even be buggy) to get immediate attention. Writing a boring, stable driver that has more universal application has little glory, even though it would have a bigger impact on the community. In the long run people will notice, though. It's things like that that have long-term impact.

I challenge you to write yourself a driver for your eating interface that will keep your system healthy and functioning. You can get cred and self satisfaction from writing a quick-and-dirty script, but then you still have to deal with the bugs and inherent design flaws.

I think you're capable of being more than just a hacker. Be a body architect.


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