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Old 05-29-2009, 09:04 PM   #1
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Health problems, perhaps from losing weight?

This deals with a couple different issues... nutrition, mental health, physical health, etc Posting it here, if there is a place where it would be better please move this.

About a year ago I decided to lose weight for no other reason then because I felt like it. This was done through simply paying some attention to what I ate. Instead of two burgers with fries and a coke it was a burger with water. Instead of 10 pieces of pizza it was 3-4. This worked and over 8months I quickly lost about 90lbs. While a little faster then what most consider normal it was not a crazy amount for someone with my starting weight(260lbs). During this time I felt good, never overly hungry etc. About 4 months ago I decided to start working out, again just because I felt like it. However, with working out came some information on nutrition... some of it good a lot of it bad. Before I simply ate less. Now I began to pay attention to what was in food. I began to count calories.. obsessively... I still wanted to lose a little more weight so during this time when I started working out I was eating roughly 1600-1800 calories a day(i found out later that this was a ridiculously low amount as my current maintenance amount WITHOUT working out is around 2750). During this time eating around 1600 calories and working out I felt great, better then I ever did. While I payed attention to what I was eating I was not obsessed with food.. more on that later. This worked for about 3 months. However over the course of about a week I began to feel weaker and weaker, to the point I decided to stop working out for a week to try and recover. After a week of not working out I felt no better.. perhaps worse. During this time I searched extensively for information on what was going on with me and quickly came to some startling conclusions that are obvious in hindsight.

I was practically starving myself and on top of that I was working out.

Now don't get me wrong, I thought what I was doing was healthy. Loosing weight from being very overweight was certainly a good thing and working out instead of sitting around all day was good as well. However, my lack of knowledge led me to go about these things in a questionable way that obviously put my body through a lot of stress.
Anyways, once I figured out how much less I was eating then I should be over the course of a couple weeks I bumped my calorie intake to find my maintenance which is roughly what I eat now, 2750. I have not gained or lost a pound over the course of a month. However my feeling of weakness( to the point of it being too much effort to hang out with friends) has continued (along with other psychological problems that I am only now beginning to recognized.) I figured eating at maintenance would allow my body to recover however it seems that that may not be the case. Over the course of these last couple months I have read a lot about food and nutrition and it began to be all I thought about. However I did not think too much of this as that is normally how I am with things that interest me. What began to concern me is when my only thoughts throughout the day revolved around food... After finishing a meal I immediately planned the next one. At the end of the night I am deciding what I will eat tomorrow. Before I even open my eyes in the morning I am fantasying about eating. On the occasional day I decided not to count calories and eat as much as I was hungry for I would eat till I was in physical pain, as soon as it subsided I would quickly make something else to eat and be in pain again this would continue all day long. It is not that I could not stop myself this is just what I wanted to do if I was relying on myself to regulate what I wanted to eat naturally.

I also have lost a lot of sense what what I may prefer over something else. A bowl of steamed broccoli is just as appealing as a steak or pizza or a burger. Just the act of eating is overwhelmingly enjoyable no matter what it is. The psychological problems I mentioned earlier were hard for me to describe until recently when I read an article about the Minnesota Starvation Study <removed>. The things the participants experience was like reading a list of things I had written down about how I was feeling and behaving yet failed to recognize. Once I found this and showed it to others they immediately agreed.
General information:

I don't really care what I look like and was only doing this all because I felt like trying to lose weight one day. No other reason and I have no problems if gaining the weight back is the best solution for me. However, I would much rather find a happy medium as I don't believe my starting weight was very healthy however currently my psychological health is a far greater concern.
I am certainly not trying to be destructive to myself and am fully willing to try anything and everything to regain a healthy relationship with food and myself.
I cant tell if this is all nutrition related or if its a combination or my normally obsessive personality and some depression mixed in..

I got results from my blood work back recently and was told my liver enzymes are elevated. I am going back in for a ultrasound in a couple weeks. How likely is that to be related to my weakness?
I am currently toying with the idea of eating without care, I would rather be overweight then weak and mentally stressed.


Any help is greatly appreciated. I will respond to any additional questions or comments asap for the next couple hours

Last edited by mod-anon; 05-29-2009 at 09:19 PM. Reason: Do not post commercial websites. Please read and follow the posting rules.

 
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Old 05-30-2009, 06:29 AM   #2
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Re: Health problems, perhaps from loosing weight?

First of all, congrats on losing weight and getting more fit. That takes real initiative.

Several things come to mind during your narrative:

1) The number of calories is as important as where they come from. We each need a certain amount of fat and carbs and proteins in our diet for our bodies to function properly. It could be that you don't have the right mix and that's causing your lack of energy, etc. Additionally, most people think that too much fat in your diet can cause gallstones. That's true but it is also true that not enough fat can do the same thing. This may be the cause of your elevated liver numbers.

2) If you don't eat enough calories a day (proper diets REQUIRE that you eat a minimum amount of calories a day), your body will begin to burn muscle instead of fat. This can also cause weakness and lack of energy.

3) Obsessing over anything is not good. That's not helping your system to operate efficiently either. Stress can also cause weakness and lethargy. Getting a firm grasp on what's important and what isn't is where you need to go.

Good luck!

 
Old 05-30-2009, 09:18 AM   #3
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Re: Health problems, perhaps from loosing weight?

While I appreciate the congratulations, I regret doing it.

Quote:
1) The number of calories is as important as where they come from. We each need a certain amount of fat and carbs and proteins in our diet for our bodies to function properly. It could be that you don't have the right mix and that's causing your lack of energy, etc. Additionally, most people think that too much fat in your diet can cause gallstones. That's true but it is also true that not enough fat can do the same thing. This may be the cause of your elevated liver numbers.
1) During this time I have read a lot about nutrition and feel my diet is definitely better then most of the population. My macro breakdown is roughly 25%f 60%c 15%p. I eat at least 2pounds of vegetables and fruits a day sometimes much more. The sources of my fats are split pretty evenly between nuts, olive oil, eggs and meat/fish. I take a multivitamin and fish oil every day.

Quote:
2) If you don't eat enough calories a day (proper diets REQUIRE that you eat a minimum amount of calories a day), your body will begin to burn muscle instead of fat. This can also cause weakness and lack of energy.
2) If I was still losing weight then this would be my first thought, however, I am not and have not lost a single pound for over a month so as far as I believe I am eating at maintenance. Which for awhile lead me to believe my weakness was not based on my food intake. At least that is what I thought until I recently started reading about Ancel Keys' starvation experiment. This has lead me to believe I could still be suffering the physical and mental effects of starvation.

Quote:
3) Obsessing over anything is not good. That's not helping your system to operate efficiently either. Stress can also cause weakness and lethargy. Getting a firm grasp on what's important and what isn't is where you need to go.
I definitely agree with this, however, while I stressed out its not much more then it has always been. I have always been the type of person to worry about things and over think situations and before while doing this it did not effect me in this way. So while I believe they can be related, in my situation I feel they are not.

Thank you for the reply and comments.

Last edited by Shinyhelth; 05-30-2009 at 09:20 AM.

 
Old 05-31-2009, 11:36 AM   #4
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Re: Health problems, perhaps from loosing weight?

Anyone got any other ideas?

 
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