Right now, I'm 5'11" and 135 lbs., which gives me a BMI of 18.8. "Underweight" is < 18.5, so I'm very close to being "officially too skinny".
When I first started the BTD in August '07, I weighed 170. I was still kind of skinny (arms and legs), just with a little fat hanging around my waist and neck/chin. In the following months my weight gradually fell until it was down to 125! I did put it back on, and was almost back up to 150 in the summer of '08, but stress seems to make me lose weight, so it has fluctuated since then with various other stressful events/circumstances.
All this time I've been wondering what was the problem. I am eating good food, and getting exercise to build muscle, but with no results. At first I thought, "my gut hasn't finished healing from years of eating gluten, so I'm not absorbing nutrients well." Next I thought, "there must be other things that need healing worse than my muscles need growing, so nutrients are probably going there instead." Perhaps those theories had some merit, but the time has passed and still no results, and I should have long since been done with healing.
So now, at long last, I believe I have finally found the solution, the missing piece of the puzzle as to why I haven't gained up to a healthy weight: I'm not getting enough total calories.
Now you might be saying at this point, "shouldn't that have been the first idea to consider?" And of course, you would be 100% correct in that observation. But a few of you here who have become acquainted with some of the idiosyncracies of my brain already know that it's perfectly natural for me to come up with the most obvious solution only after considering the more obscure and complicated ones first!
Members of my family have expressed some concerns that I need to fatten up a bit, and I have been stubbornly assuring them (and myself, too) that I've been eating plenty (honestly, I do eat frequently). That thought that I'm not eating enough has been nagging at the back of my mind for a while, but I've tried not to think about it. You all know that real food is expensive, and I don't have much money. I've been in this sort of "scarcity" mindset, just trying to eat enough to get by and convincing myself that it's enough, thinking this is a good way to save money. On top of that, I just don't like the necessity of cooking and eating. PLUS I'm terrible about listening to what my body is trying to tell me, so everything has just combined to put me in a bad situation.
I stumbled upon this "revolutionary" insight just last Thursday. I finally confronted the idea, and started thinking about what I typically ate in one day. I looked up some calorie information, and thought about the numbers, and realized I was well below 2000 calories. So that was a wake-up call. Starting Thursday night, I resolved to stuff myself whenever I sit down to eat (if I can). I haven't put on any weight yet, but I'm already feeling more energetic (which means I will probably need to eat even more in a day than I am now to gain).
I have realized that only part of my trouble with eating enough is the factors above. Another factor is that my diet is so restricted, and that I enforce it very strictly. With that in mind, I am experimenting with relaxing some restriction to make it easier to load up on the calories. I'm allowing myself some sugar again; tomatoes and stevia (black dot on SWAMI) not because they have a lot of calories but because other things taste better with them (and I'll eat more of them). The focus has shifted from eating specific foods to eating LOTS of food, especially fat since it is the most calorie-dense. I'm still going to be mostly compliant, but I'm going to allow myself more cheating and see how it affects me.
GT1; L (a-b-); (se); PROP-T; NN Sa Bon Nim Admin & Columnist
Location: ''eternal spring'' Cuernavaca - Mex.
I remember the first picture you posted years ago!
maybe something in between might be just right?
''Just follow the book, don't look for magic fixes to get you off the hook. Do the work.'' Dr.D.'98 DNA mt/Haplo H; Y-chrom/J2(M172);ESTJ The harder you are on yourself, the easier life will be on you!
Rh+, Warrior, Started BTD 2007, Started Swami 2009 Kyosha Nim
Location: New York, NY
Hi TJ, In The Genotype Diet book, Dr. D says, "Nomads have the enviable gift of controlling calorie intake." This might be a piece of the puzzle for you as a Nomad. I'm a thrifty Warrior and I have the opposite problem...once I start eating it's hard for me to stop. My mom and brother are Nomads and they are very good about not overeating. They don't even give it a second thought. I also need to have something to eat before I go to bed or I won't fall asleep. My Nomad brother and mom can eat dinner at 5:00p.m. and go to bed at 10:00 p.m. with nothing else. My brother can leave food over on his plate and save it for the next day. That was something I always envied in him because I wanted to finish everything on my plate even if I was full.
Have you tried eating rice cakes with ghee, butter, or nut butters? Maybe eat a big meal right before you go to bed and see if you gain weight. My 35 year old Nomad brother still eats a SAD of french fries, chicken wings, pastries, etc and does not gain a pound. My mom was as thin as a rail until she had kids. It might just be a Nomad thing.
Using Custom SWAMI Food List Sun Beh Nim Moderator
Best wishes. I was only low weight during one period of my life. It was like I didn't have enough time in the day to get enough food in. Calorie dense foods are important! Eating a carb meal late in the day may be helpful. "dinner" for breakfast and "breakfast" as an evening snack.
Good for you TJ! I have had the opposite problem of carrying about 15-20lbs more than I would like for many years. I too, have learned a similar but opposite truth. If I wait until I am hungry before eating, and yes, regular meals, but do not stuff myself uncomfortably, as I have done in the past, the weight comes off. That and of course following my swami.....it's been working now since I have started this "program"....I am down about 9lbs, which for me has broken a plateau of many years. For you, it makes such logical sense that you need to eat more to start gaining the weight back. Keep us posted as you go. The "scarcity" mentality is interesting, I wonder if some of us overeat because of the same reason, like the food will disappear if we don't eat it all now. Or like in my family, we pretty much cleaned our plates, or one of our siblings, or my dad would finish it up. My dad has been heavy for a long time because of cleaning up after all of us!
I also need to have something to eat before I go to bed or I won't fall asleep.
Me too! And the same goes for my dad, also a Nomad. I have tried rice cakes, but they are all air. I'd rather just eat cooked rice with butter and salt and whatever else I feel like topping it with atm. FYI, I was about 120 out of high school, and very very slowly gained weight over the years, living on frozen pizza, ice cream, potato chips, PB&J, cold cereal w/ milk, and fast food.
Quoted from 312
For you, it makes such logical sense that you need to eat more to start gaining the weight back.
It has always been grains that put weight on me. I could eat a ton of meat, fish, fruits and vegetables, even my 10 oz of goat yogurt everyday, and never pack on weight. But grains in any form will start my scales moving upward.
Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. ~Mary Jean Irion
Thanks everybody! Me too! And the same goes for my dad, also a Nomad. I have tried rice cakes, but they are all air. I'd rather just eat cooked rice with butter and salt and whatever else I feel like topping it with atm...
Well... rice cakes spread with ghee, almond butter and a little honey or cherry preserves aren't so bad...
I know I've said this before but I have never followed the recommended servings nor portion sizes of either the BTD or GTD. And especially the suggested daily menus. If that's all I ate in a day I would disappear into thin air! My BMI is now around 20 and I have added back in more vigorous exercise (which I feel best on) with my weight staying within range. So when I "follow" the BTD/GTD it is in food choices, not in the recommended daily/weekly servings, especially with the fats and oils. And I eat waaaay more eggs per week than recommended. Way more.
The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.
I'm right there with you TJ. Since I've started eating for my blood type (2+years) it is extremely hard for me to keep on weight. You should go to this website http://www.fitday.com. This was extremely helful in making sure I was getting over 2,000 calories a day. For someone of my size it is very difficult. I am 95lbs. I cannot afford to skip a meal. Now I have it down to a pretty good science, and I just make sure every meal is pretty calorie dense. I also eat a lot of nuts in between meals.
Victoria, I do eat a lot of brown rice. Others just aren't available in this area (well, not counting the quinoa at $7 for a 10 oz. box). Maybe if I started eating corn again... Filling up on rice just doesn't hit the spot for me! I wish it did, it would be way cheaper.
Kristin, that would be a better way with rice cakes, but I am doing even more. I am letting myself have milk, too (also a black dot). And remember how I mentioned sugar above? Well, I have some of this in my freezer:
Mixed with plain yogurt, of course, when I eat it. It seems to be quite clean except for the sugar. Generally, I haven't followed the portion recommendations either. If I ate all those veggies I wouldn't have room for anything else! Eggs I still have to be careful with. I used to have a sensitivity to them. I allow myself one per day right now, and that seems to be going fine. I may try to increase that, though. Regarding BMI, if I can get up to 150, that puts me over 20.
Wow, nodoubt, you need it even worse than I do! Well, maybe...how tall are you? Maybe our thyroids are a bit too excitable.
TJ, You are on the right track. B4 BTD, I had lost around 20 #'s & I was NOT fat. I had digestive issues big time. Went to GTD because something was still causing stomach/reflux & discovered it was soy. Neutral on BTD & avoid on GTD.
I never paid attention to the portion sizes because I needed to gain some of the weight back. Felt good, but skinny. Now I have gained 7#'s & must not gain anymore because I do not want to buy new pants right now. Portions are now watched carefully.
35% Nomad or Teacher - health history dependent Sun Beh Nim Moderator
Location: Orange County, CA, USA
I am a Warrior, but I find that I have to stuff to keep weight on. I also need to eat lots of protein to continue healing the nerves, etc. because of the long-term candida infection damaged them. I also am continuing the detox, which can feed candida - so it is a constant balancing act. Sweets are never on my food list, except for the beneficial 72% chocolate...
Have you looked into buying bulk grains online? There are 2 places we have ordered from that had much better prices. The shipping is expensive, but the combined price is still less than what you quoted above.
I also need to eat lots of protein to continue healing the nerves, etc. because of the long-term candida infection damaged them. I also am continuing the detox, which can feed candida - so it is a constant balancing act. Sweets are never on my food list, except for the beneficial 72% chocolate...
I have considered the risk with candida myself. I still have it on my tongue. Being a nonnie I will likely never be rid of it! I am still going to allow myself sweets for now, but this is an experiment, to be sure, and I might have to Hershey's Kiss them goodbye.
Yes, I just need to get off my butt and do it, I guess. I'd also like to visit in Raleigh again soon, and I can buy a fair supply from the Whole Paycheck bulk foods isle. I can get millet and quinoa there, and cheaper too.
Rh+, Warrior, Started BTD 2007, Started Swami 2009 Kyosha Nim
Location: New York, NY
TJ, Nice picture of the Breyer's ice cream tub! That made me smile. Since you're a B, I think you can have milk and cream, right? Here is a little trick to make your own ice-cream w/out an ice-cream maker. I make this for my B mom and B brother when they come to visit. It'll save you money and hopefully give you some extra pounds.
Mix 1 cup of milk with 2 cups of cream and 3/4 cups of maple syrup (any compliant sweetener) and freeze overnight and you have homemade ice cream!
Can you eat oatmeal? Maybe that will also add some pounds.
TJ, I am 5'2". So I'm a little one. I have an insane metabolism. When I get dental work done, they have to shoot me up pretty good otherwise the numbing will wear away too quickly. I've always had a fast metabolism like this. It's quite difficult, and like some people deal with obesity and a single meal can have them gain a pound or two, well I have it the same. I have to be careful as to get enough calories and protein in for my body or I do not run optimally.
Eat consistent, protein/fat enriched meals and you can gain the weight steadily. Just remember that 1 lb is an entire 3500 calories! So add a teaspoon of olive oil here, and an ounce of chicken there! Everything in moderation. Oh and another little tip to add calories to a meal, nuts and seeds! I will make a meal and add some pine nuts or pumpkin seeds for an extra 200 or so calories.
Can you eat oatmeal? Maybe that will also add some pounds.
It's a black dot for me. I've got all kinds of white lines in my prints, so glutens and gliandins aren't good stuff. I do eat oatmeal occasionally, but I don't want to undo my gut healing so I don't want to eat it more often.
I thought you had to mix the ice cream as it freezes to make it creamy (air bubbles?). Otherwise it's just a frozen chunk of dairy! But never fear, the Breyer's was half-price when I bought it.
Just remember that 1 lb is an entire 3500 calories! So add a teaspoon of olive oil here, and an ounce of chicken there! Everything in moderation. Oh and another little tip to add calories to a meal, nuts and seeds! I will make a meal and add some pine nuts or pumpkin seeds for an extra 200 or so calories.
All that in only one pound. I had no idea! Yes, I think you and I are definitely in the same boat. I'll take turkey instead of chicken though, and almonds, pecans, and brazil nuts!
I made some olive oil "mayonnaise" tonight for some tuna salad. As I posted on Facebook, it tasted like mayo but looked like pancake batter. BUT it made a great dressing for the salad! Maybe next time, I'll skip making mayo first, and just mix olive oil, lemon juice, and egg directly into the tuna...
All Gatherer -70 Scorp/Sag on BTD/GENO 17 year Sam Dan
Location: East Coast
I am looking in here with envy.. BUT I would remind all who do BTD .. it was once meant to help those who wish to also LOOOOOSE weight, so portions are meant for me on o with diabetes .. there it would be right, but with young and still healthy people , forget about portion size when you get to be 42 you will stop losing weight and when your fifty you will need to cut down, and by the time you are 60ti (goosh so far away but just around the corner) then every year you need to cut last years portion in half.. so skinnies.. that is what the diet is all about INDIVIDUALISM>> so eat for me and say a silent prayer.. maybe it will rob of on me.. hahaha
Being here is invaluable, but not enough. We need ALL the Doctors. I needed them for a very small cancer spot-I could never feel!!! Please do your mammograms! Doing so saved me from cancer later on. I am grateful! Thanks for learning from my experience! I was lucky! I wish the same for YOU!