I'm really struggling here. I am 5'3 and 17 years old. Long story short: I began eating Slow Carb at 140 lbs, got down to 130 lbs with much restriction, then stopped restricting and went back to around 133 lbs, and then began exercising and eating Paleo. I felt I needed to lose fat but struggled to restrict and much of the last few months has been more of a maintenance phase (note: maintenance for ME- my slim friends would become way too thin eating as healthy/the amount that I've been eating). My weight has crept up to 135 lbs and then to 140 lbs over the last few months. In all honesty, I don't know how. I count calories (never exceed over 2000 unless I've "cheated" and even then I'm not sure it's much more than 2000) and I exercise hard. I've been slacking a BIT the last 2ish months (that means I've had some nice Indian food, sushi, maybe a bit more low-sugar fruits and dark chocolate) but not enough that I should have gained!! Especially considering how young I am, and the fact that I'm not very thin- maintenance with 10 extra lbs of fat shouldn't be so hard.
I eat a wide variety of food- steak, chicken, eggs, fish, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, spinach, eggplant, carrots, avocado, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, squash, sometimes fruits & nuts, the last month I've had a few servings of dairy a few times a week. I'm careful to watch my carbs and very seldom exceed 150g. Fat usually composes around 50% of my diet.
My exercise includes: running, walking, biking, yoga, TRX, weights, extreme endurance classes, kettlebells, usually 5 days/week
When I went up to 135, I chalked it up to water weight and muscle gain- which made sense, because the gain happened when I began to exercise and I was eating super healthy and slightly larger amounts (previously, I had been restricting a lot). I want think the same of the five pound jump from 135 to 140, but I can't because the tweed skirt I wore in November is now way too tight and so are the shorts I wore in February. Note: These items are too tight in my butt/legs, but fit as well as ever around the waist. Not sure if that means anything.
I will be going to college in the fall, and I'm really scared now. I have no idea how to maintain. I also want to enjoy this summer.. That means going on runs with friends, hanging out at the pool/beach, eating fresh fruit, yogurt and beans a few times a week and going out for sushi with friends on the weekend. I don't want to feel guilty if I eat some chips or a slice of pizza or drink something not Paleo. But I know all of those things are counteractive to weight loss. I really want to feel comfortable in a bikini the next few months and to love my body by the time I head off to school. To lose fat, I think I would need to go VLC and stay at a max of 1200 cals and do no exercise, and I would feel like crap.. I don't want to do this!! ??? Any advice? I'm all out of ideas. I can't get myself into the place of acceptance, nor can I wrap my head around the idea of restricting so much. If you have any articles that you think might be worth reading, please link me to them. Same with any books. I don't know my BF% but you can guesstimate. Here are some links:
I'm just so sad.. My friends are all extremely slim and eat garbage all day long. I feel like I try so hard and my body just will not comply. I love eating this way and I feel very healthy, but I do not look like an athlete or a gym bunny. I like the way women look at around 20-25% BF, and I do not look like that at all. I don't know what to do.
asked bySydney_1 (421)
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on June 09, 2013
at 03:43 AM
Well, judging from these reactions, and your name, you are probably not real. The level of detail in the question makes me feel, just a bit, that you are. If you are, please consider that you may have an eating disorder. You are still growing, so your clothes may stop fitting for very legitimate reasons. Stop restricting and your obsessive calorie and pound counting. Eat healthy, exercise joyfully, and please, get some therapy.
on June 10, 2013
at 12:21 AM
1) Have your thyroid checked
2) if it's OK, reduce your carbs to 60-80g a day but if you're on 50% fat you might be there anyway
3) I don't really know what to advise. Personally I gain on anything over 1500/day, but I don't work out like you do. Between 17 and 18 I gained...must have been 25 pounds at least with no change in height
4) could you be exercising too much? Adrenal burnout?
5) forget about your friends. Come back in 10 years and look at them then. Wrinkles, fatter, I guarantee it.
6) remember there is more than one definition of beauty. Just because the media and "society" tells you that stick insect tall and skinny is the only way to be beautiful, doesn't mean it's true. A lot of men like bigger women than it's "acceptable" to admit to. Not one man dated or slept with (and that's a reasonable sample because I'm a big ol' ho) has suggested or even implied that I should lose weight, in fact quite a few would have liked me to be 10 pounds heavier (I'm 5'1" and 115-120). Now I live in the Middle East and pretty much anything below a 6 is considered too skinny and not as sexy. The ideal here is big boobs, big bum - not 5'10"/32-23-32 catwalk model
7) I actually started uni at the heaviest I've been, 125. I actually lost 10lbs by the end of first year because I was literally too busy to eat
8) look for clothes that suit your figure. Most modern clothes are shapeless and look crap on anyone short and curvy. Try some 50s or 60s styles, or some nipped-in blazers. Stay away from leggings. If you don't have a naturally small waist, try waist-cinching underwear to smooth everything out - and make sure your bra is the right size. Measure your ribcage and don't buy a band more than 3 inches larger (e.g my ribcage measures about 27", I take a 28 or 30 band bra - NOT 32)
9) Get all 5 series of Mad Men on DVD and tell me that your skinny friends look better than Joan :D
on June 09, 2013
at 02:58 AM
PORN SITES!!! =O my virgin eyes! Or not. Don't click.
on June 09, 2013
at 10:10 PM
Ok first- "(note: maintenance for ME- my slim friends would become way too thin eating as healthy/the amount that I've been eating), my friends... eat garbage all day long" - this is a little sassy. It's great that you eat healthily but it doesn't give you the right to judge others for their eating habits... or at least not out loud. Lol.
Secondly- try mybodygallery.com ... you put in weight and height and see pictures of similar women. It's really common to misperceive your own body and there are plenty of gorgeous women with your stats... Good luck!
on June 09, 2013
at 09:32 AM
At your height about 126 pounds tends to look best but what you really must avoid particularly at age 17 is decades of putting on weight and losing it, a diet cycle. Much better you stay at 140 pounds of life (which many women would adore to be as it's much thinner than most in the UK and US) than to be losing and gaining.
on June 09, 2013
at 09:22 AM
You might want to read one of Geneen Roth's books. Body acceptance is a biggie, but so key.
on June 11, 2013
at 04:09 PM
First of all, your friends can eat all the junk they want but it doesn't mean they won't grow into their natural fat diabetic bodies down the road. Secondly, your stress levels about your body image isn't helping you, it's actually hurting you. You're probably producing more cortisol and in turn, not able to burn off as much as you would like. I agree on the Geneen Roth books, they're quite marvelous. College is hard, trust... don't be like the massive percentile of us that gained that freshman 15lbs from having campus money and meal plans. Continue to study up on what to eat while you're living in a dorm (assuming you're going that route) don't feel pressured to do everything your friends do ALL the time, make sure you have time for yourself and get plenty of sleep. You'll be just fine if you keep the healthy outlook. Chances are, your friends now won't be your best friends in college, so put yourself out there to get some healthy friends as well and make more friends that have the same mindset as you with a positive outlook on their body and being healthy, happy, and confident. Enjoy your life now, it's going to be awesome!
p.s. How do you feel about yourself NOT comparing to your friends? Be you, and be confident and no one will really care about the rest!
on June 11, 2013
at 03:50 PM
Note: These items are too tight in my butt/legs, but fit as well as ever around the waist. Not sure if that means anything.
My first reaction: http://troll.me/images/ancient-aliens-guy/puberty.jpg
You're 17, and still growing into womanhood. Females going through puberty will often maintain the same waist circumference while gaining in the typical 'female' places-- in fact, it's perfectly possible for a woman to maintain her waist size while seeing an increase in other places as her body becomes more fertile. I know you probably feel like you did puberty four years ago, but it's an ongoing process that probably won't stop until you're in your early 20s.
Keep an eye on your waist, eat healthy, and exercise (but not chronically) and get enough sleep. That's the best you can do.
on June 11, 2013
at 02:00 PM
I agree with Mandy! I'm not at the same height and weight as you, I'm 5'4"/160 lbs and 20 years old. I have a lot of muscle mass from a childhood of athletics, but during high school I was always the "thicker girl" in my group of friends, and struggled with issues of a negative self image. Take the advice from women who have been there: IT IS NOT WORTH THE WORRY. The girls you are friends with now can probably eat three big macs for lunch and not gain a pound. These girls do suck. However, in the long run, they will face many greater health issues than you ever will. LOVE your body, eat healthy, keep exercising, and do your best possible to stay in a good state of mind! The more you worry about pounds coming off, the slower it will seem to take for them to actually come off, and the more likely you are to fall off the wagon from disappointment.
Take it day by day; think about the LONG-TERM effects of healthy eating and exercising rather than just trying to lose weight. The higher your optimism is about a healthy lifestyle, the higher your self-esteem will soar. It sounds to me as if you are very healthy and beautiful just the way you are.
Focus on a healthy lifestyle rather than weight loss, and I guarantee your results will be greater than you could ever imagine!
on June 09, 2013
at 10:51 PM
you are the same height and weight as me :). i'm 15 years older than you and, finally, feel comfortable in my own body. i know how hard it is to be a teen and uncomfortable in your own skin. i am the same size i was at your age and feel great now but literally HATED how i looked then. i wish, so much, that i could go back and tell myself how beautiful i was then. buy some beautiful clothes that fit your beautiful body, eat to nourish yourself, and have faith that you can love the way you look some day. if you feel better eating paleo you can try taking your own snacks when you are hanging out with friends, but if you feel pretty good even when you have things that are off-diet then you should indulge and have what your girlfriends are having every once in a while.