Disclaimer- if you have anything horrible or condescending to say then please click away. Only kind words are welcome please. I want to reach out to as many people as I can so we can all support each other. If you’re genuinely interested in reading my story then continue below:
Most people wake up and go about their day, doing their chores with the odd thought about food. For me, it was the opposite because food was pretty much all I thought about. One night I was laying in bed a couple of weeks ago, when I had sudden palpitations and my heart began pounding in my chest. I thought I was going to die or have a heart attack. I scrambled out of bed and ate a Nakd bar in the middle of the night. I thought to myself for a second- do I really want to live like this? Unfortunately, my desire to be thinner overrode my desire for better health because as soon as I woke up the following morning I promised myself I would be stricter on my diet and I would be good all week. This was a daily occurrence for me. Infact I can’t recall a single day for the past 17 years where I haven’t thought about my weight, dieting or how skinny I wished I was.
I’m a prime example of a chronic dieter/ yo-yo dieter. You see, most people maintain/overeat and then go on a diet. For me it’s the opposite- I’ve always been on a diet and sometimes I go into maintenance for a day or a week or two (and even that was only starting this year when I learned about the benefits of diet breaks). In the past, I spent the ages of 10-18 crash dieting so I missed out on key nutrients during my growing age, thus causing my academic performance to suffer considerably as well as my physical health. I also barely slept (that’s another story). Chronic under-eating plus lack of sleep in my school years destroyed me. Even to this day.
Long story cut short- I’m fed up. I’m just longing to feel normal for the first time in years. I run an online business and I get orders on request for clothes. I remember waking up last week and I could barely get out of bed. There was a customer’s order due for that week and I had zero energy. This was even affecting my daily life and work. I thought to myself Its time to go into maintenance for a week or two. But that’s the problem- I’d go into maintenance, feel better and then jump right back in a deficit. I’ve been in a deficit, a rather extreme deficit for what seems like forever. Only recently- this year to be precise- have I adopted to go slower and stick to a smaller 250-300 calorie deficit. Unfortunately - even though I did lose some weight using the slow route - the nagging symptoms would never go away. They would always be tugging at me like a child who constantly seeks attention. These symptoms were as follows: cold hands and feet, dry skin, weakened immune system, mood swings, depression, brain fog, anxiety, extreme food cravings, thin brittle hair, weak nails, constipation, fatigue, muscle pain, joint pain, palpitations, pale skin, lack of motivation/desire to do things.
The good news is that since December 2019, I’ve gone on diet breaks and have had periods of maintenance so I’m much better this year. But again, as I mentioned before, that’s the problem- when I go back into a deficit the symptoms start to creep back after 2 weeks. It’s like my body is crying and screaming feed me like a normal person and I’m just ignoring it. Not anymore though. I’ve finally made the conscious decision to eat normally at maintenance for the next six months. Minimum. Oh my I haven’t done this for so many years! I’m so excited and nervous! I would be lying if I said that even now I wished I weighed 130 lbs and I wished I was skinnier. But I’m trying not to let these thoughts rule my life anymore and I’m going to accept myself at 150 lbs. I’m going to rule my own life and my own happiness! I’m 27, which is still young and I’ve got my whole life ahead of me. I can still recover from this. I just want to feel alive again, not like a corpse dragging myself everywhere. I want to wake up with energy and enthusiasm. I want my hair back. I want my life back. I really want to do this. I’m putting this out there because I want to share my story and give hope to anyone else in a similar situation. You can do this! I will be joining the maintenance forums.
What I will need advice on is how many calories I can eat. I workout 5 days a week doing a mixture of 3 fullbody workouts, yoga, Pilates and walking 10000 steps a day. Im also active in my work being a designer. My stats are F, age 27, 5’ 4” and 150/151 lbs so I feel that 2600 calories is a good starting point? I’m already getting full at 1900/2000 calories so should I gradually increase every week? I don’t want to stop exercise because it really damages my mental health whenever I stop exercising. My main aim is heal my body and my hormones by eating at the correct calorie intake for a long period of time.