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Thursday, 15 February 2007

Thin enough to go to the gym - Part Two

By the end of July 2005 I was at my lowest weight ever and ready to build a muscular lean body. I had a new gym membership, a personal training session once a week and the enthusiasm to start making the final touches to my new shape.

Now I have detailed records from 1 May 2005 so I can tell you what I ate and how much I worked out over the months following reaching goal. My weight stayed between 58 and 59 kgs but I rarely ate over 1200 calories a day, days under 1000 were frequent. Exercise calories burnt were almost always over 500 a day, some days over 1000 [when I worked out morning and night] and there weren't very many rest days at all. For some reason I stopped recording at the end of September - I can't remember why.

What I do remember vividly is that I was constantly exhausted [are you surprised] and got chest pains just walking down the street. I went to the doctor who sent me for an exercise ECG but I tested completely healthy. No-one knew what was wrong with me [can you say burn out? can you say starving yourself?]. I also remember the constant feeling of panic - if I wasn't losing weight with no food and heaps of exercise, what was going to happen if I ate more and exercised less - oh my god - I would get fat again. I couldn't face the thought that I had to live like this for the rest of my life. To add insult to injury, I wasn't getting those muscles I wanted [and I would be building them with what precisely?] and my knees ached constantly. I lived on painkillers and deep heat.

I thought that the chest pains might be the result of smoking [how else could I suppress my appetite!] so I gave up in December. Once the dam was opened the flood waters were unstoppable - no cigarettes = non-stop eating. I tried to eat healthy but I still gained weight - back up to 64kgs, I stopped sleeping properly and kept bursting into tears. Now I was trying to lose weight again while constantly battling hunger and some weird depression thing!

This went on for a few months until March 06 when I went overseas again to work. I hated the job, hated being away from home, I found it hard to exercise [no gym at the hotel], nowhere to cook, eating foreign food [especially difficult in the USA where EVERYTHING has sugar in it including wholemeal bread], and long working hours with no real meal breaks.

I tried but my typical day was a morning walk, a few body weight exercises, a healthy breakfast, a bit of fruit for lunch, no time for dinner, ending with a treat/binge on the way home from work [late at night after a crappy day]. I ate heaps of croissants, chocolate, iced buns, muffins - you should see what you can buy in a US all night store - all the carbohydrates that I craved.

I came home in May 2006 and I weighed almost 68kgs. Some of my clothes were too small - lucky for me I had clothes in every size [16, 14, 12, 10, 8] so I moved up to the 10s again. Time to start again but now I needed help. This time I headed for Weight Watchers.

Stay tuned for Part Three - Low Fat Misery vs Low Carb Luxury.

PS: I just read this back - I have realised that I came dangerously close to an eating disorder - wow that's scary ... the next installment chronicles improvement I promise so don't worry!!

PSS: Read this blog Skwigg Blog which summarises all the hard lessons I had to figure out for myself. Do what this says and you won't go through all the rubbish I have. If there is a secret to being healthy and fit - this is it !!! I kid you not - so go read it, print it and do it!! So there!! :)


  1. Lindy9:15 am

    Love your story..eagerly awaiting part 3 katiep!


    ..sounds all too familiar!

  2. Looking forward to part 3. :)

  3. Hi Katie - I've just come across your blog... I can't begin to tell you how familar your journey is to me..I'm looking forward to part 3 and I hope you are kicking butt this week. Mel xxx

  4. I had what I feel is an eating disorder creep up on me too! How did I go from being a successful dieter to a miserable, unhappy person obsessed with food seemingly overnight?!!! Glad to see I'm not the only one though...(not that I wish this upon anybody).