LEAN_GAINS…. this is the dream of every eating disordered individual on the face of the earth. If you would like to sit back and think that there was no distinguishing your body image, weight and appearance in your eating disorder then be my guest, but realize I do not believe you. Everyone wants to feel good in their skin. Everyone wants to look good in their body. Everyone wants a carefree attitude toward themselves, their food, and how it interacts and relates in their every day lives.
When I was suffering the malnutrition and horrendous side effects of being stuck in a disease, everything about my body image and food intake, or lack thereof, was incredibly distorted but so REAL to me at the time. If you have been reading my blog you understand the first step in the right direction in recovery from an eating disorder is acceptance, not per say of yourself, because it is not possible with a distorted mind. But acceptance in recovering and finding yourself. This means you need to force your mind to separate from your body. See yourself as a being one entity, all of it’s own without your eating disorder. Put a cup in front of you and make that your disorder. It is NO longer in your mind. Until you can force yourself to see this difference, you will always live WITH an eating disorder rather than recover from one. Until you understand and accept it is all in your head, your life will be run by food- plain and simple. All food blogger’s lives are run by food. I do not think that is healthy. Hosting a recipe site is one thing, but if you need accountability for yourself via the web that is just weird. You lack of trust in yourself and you lack the maturity to force discipline in yourself.
What you do is up to you. How you recover is up to you. I have always held true to the fact that my recovery goes against conventional wisdom. You will never find a nutritionist or dietician who will say ‘my way’ is the right way. I can guarantee you their way isnt the right way simply because the right way is the way your PERSONALLY find and experience. You cant mirror someone else’s recovery or food because you are not them. All I can do is reflect with my blog what has worked for me and continues to amaze me everyday. And that is where LeanGains comes in…
Martin Berkhan hosts a website devoted to strength training and a dietary protocol which instills a no-strings-0r-emotional attachment guideline to food, eating, and lifting weights. I found Martin’s site well over a year ago and was immediately drop-of-the-jaw amazed by his research, self experimentation to find what works, as well as similarities between his dieting journey and my own. While looking at the website on first glance one would assume Martin is a genetic freak of nature, he was once a chubby kid just like I was. I was a fat, big-ol chubby child and teen. However I never really got overweight because I was strong, and active with cheerleading, dance and field hockey in high school.
However, college led me to drinking and eating all hours of the day which lead to some good fat gain. From there, I dieted down and turned on this genetic switch i have since been tryig to switch back off. I became this distorted beast of doubt, hate, willpower, and starvation. But most of all I suffered to most selfish mental hate you can imagine. I got so incredibly stick thin, gazing food, thinking about food, tallying food, drooling over recipes and food I would never touch, and doing just enough to stay alive(save for the 4 times I can actually remember almost dying). I hit rock bottom and tried conventional wisdom, conventional treatment and did any and everything the ‘industry’ wanted out of me. I slowly painfully and undevotingly put on enough weight to still be ‘anorexic’ but no longer deadly. you can coin this, no pun intended to my ability to fool the scale chugging water and putting rolls of quarters in my bra before ‘weigh-in.’ I hadnt accepted recovery because I didnt not trust or believe in ‘the industry.’ I needed to find what made sense to ME and only I could decide and find that.
Thing is nothing had changed following what doctors said. I was more food focused than ever, more tightly side tracked in counting, summarizing, tallying, everything like a second nature beat in my everyday obsessive life. All repetitive mind controlling like ackward ecstasy almost. I hated it and I hate going back there and remembering it. I hated my life. I hated myself. I hated that I couldn’t figure out what the fuck was wrong with me, why I WAS a freak and why I was so fat, but not ever really big at all. Why did I CARE about my food, why did I HAVE TO workout, why did I have to be that freak oddball whom everyone and their brother’s sister’s aunt’s cousin was nervous around; always tiptoeing around the right words.
Then I found LeanGains. Martin prescribes a basic guideline, easy, no thinking involved way of eating. JUST EAT 8 hours a day and GET ON WITH YOUR FUCKING LIFE the other 16. Get it? Easy. This is how I based my recovery and weight gain over the past almost 2 years. At first I was a ‘zero carber’ but obviously when I started blogging was when I also gained some common sense as well- JUST EAT REAL FOOD, even easier. So, two things have come out of me in the past year :
*JUST FUCKING EAT 8 HOURS A DAY, enough to gain weight if you need to…it does not matter what your ‘macros are’ your ‘grams’ are etc etc. nothing to think about. Just devote 8 hours of your day for eating. From here, you work with yourself, finding what makes you feel good and what doesn’t. don’t eat shit you don’t like, don’t plan meals because you think you need X Y and Z, JUST EAT. If you cant cut it then DONT DO IT but I am informing you what works for me.
* I eat real food, simple. If it breathes in nature I prolly want it dead and on my plate., preferably rare and bloody. And yes, supposedly ‘plants’ and vegetables breathe too. And hands down dairy is food to me, I love it.
Has it worked? Haaa, only the best idea I have ever in my life followed through with. With 16 hours of a day left ‘free’ your mind has NO CHOICE but to find something else to do. You find new interests, hobbies, more time for family and friends, more energy devoted to your job, your affairs. Everything is less stressful, more calming and relaxed.
It also helped my digestion. Every eating disordered individual has some pooper problems, EVERY ONE. Whether you restrict or binge or barf you have gut malfunctions. Intermittent fasting allows your body a break, and time to assimilate and put to use all the good food you feed it when you do eat.
taught forced with this acceptance of recovery and trusting Martin’s guidelines as well as the nature of intermittent fasting, to eat big. Eat a big ass meal, lots of food. And I was still alive to tell the tale. My food digests relatively well prolly 90% better than it has in the past, and I am SATISFIED AT EVERY MEAL. Not a day goes by that I do not truly enjoy my meals, my food and the satisfaction of nourishing myself as it is meant to be. Now, this doesn’t mean my mind is disordered free, with my passion of the human body I often get caught up in 10 different studies at the same time and attempt to reflect them on myself, but it is no longer an eating disorder, no longer a petty hate I have toward myself. I just have this ever running mind that aims to discover the human mind, not so much into the human body and physique especially in reflection of myself.
LeanGains forced me to grow up and mature. I had no choice. I HAD to eat big, I HAD to nourish myself because I accepted recovery and getting healthy. Why did I? Because I accepted it.
Then, in the past couple months, I read Body By Science (recommend everyone read this book) and was further schooled on the human body and its adaption to strength. I became very interested in strengthening my body and found that lifting heavy shit a couple times a week left me feeling AMAZING, and even more relaxed and calm than I could imagine. I need to eat big because I want to strengthen my body, I have a goal.You cannot get stronger without eating well, eating a lot, and trusting what you are doing. I want strength. When you have an eating disorder, you’re weak, not just physically but mentally. Lifting has allowed me to gain confidence, as I continue to do because I am amazed at what my body can do, handle and take. This confidence reflects now in my blogging, my ability to discover joy in life, find shit funny, sit back, kick back and just not care about shit sometimes. It allowed me to feel the NEED to eat and get stronger. And I have, results have shown that this works. I have gained lean body weight, in a healthy manner, and continue to get healthier each and everyday.
I literally look forward to relinquishing my beast lifting weights twice a week and TRUSTING this is all I need to do. Again, the amount of mental time I save is freaking awesome. Unlike many people who wake up cardio, walk, stretch, breakfast, followed by incremental meals every 2 hours, lifting, blah bLAH BLAH. Just live your life. Eat for 8 hours. Eat big. Eat till you satisfied, even a bit stuffed. THEN GET ON WITH THE SHOW. This my friends, works J I may still well be full of ‘beginners gains’ in my strength, but fuck I will take it, I am happy and I am strong.
So, since I know you are anxious to read up here are some I recommend:
http://www.leangains.com/ Martin’s site, obviously
http://www.leangains.com/2010/10/top-ten-fasting-myths-debunked.html Myths about Fasting
Well, there’s a shit load to read at the site, so if your interested please put aside time to read it!!!!!!!!!
I could quite possibly kick the shit out of you, both in lifting weights(accounting for bodyweight) and eating haha. Have a good weekend !!
PS- You can be the judge, here is me today, post lifting(if anyone knows how to get the video to turn right side up, please let me know!!!) :