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Is “Metabolic Damage” a real thing?
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April 6, 2016

Is “Metabolic Damage” a real thing?

 

Hey guys!

Most people start off on an innocent health and fitness journey wanting to lose some weight and tone up a little bit. You start changing your diet, eating less food, and exercising more. You start to see results! Weight loss! It gets exciting. You feel “happier” and you get motivated to keep going! And you think you can keep going forever.

BUT, did you know that after you restrict calories for so long, your body becomes tired, you’re hungrier, you’re crankier, and you’re more likely to plateau?

It’s frustrating to hit a plateau because the thing that once motivated you to push harder (the constant leaning out of your physique) is no longer happening. So what’s the normal reaction? You start cutting even MORE calories an exercising harder and longer. I mean, it worked before right? So why can’t it work now? Then the cycle begins again. You lose a pound or two and you’re happy. But then…it stalls. AGAIN.

This time you’re hungrier than ever and your energy levels plummet drastically. UGH! What’s going on?! You’re doing everything “right”. Dieting, exercising. WHY does this keep happening? Why isn’t my body changing?

Then, you start to realize that something isn’t right. You aren’t fueling your body with enough nutrients to function properly. I mean, you’re HUNGRY and tired all the time – so that’s not a good sign! So, you start eating “normal-healthy” again. It’s not like you’re eating junk food all day erry day. But you’re not eating 1000 calories a day of just vegetables and protein. You find that you’re reacting weird to food. You become bloated. Gassy even. You may become irritable, constipated, and your sleeping habits are unnatural.

Why is all this happening? Well, when you push your body so far through diet and exercise, you experience something called adaptive thermogenesis, the fancy term for “metabolic damage”. Basically, this means that your body is adjusting to the low calories that you have been feeding it. As a result, you can’t expend as much energy because your body is holding onto those calories. The reason why your body does this is because it is a human survival reaction. Back in the day, our ancestors had to hunt and gather food. A meal was not guaranteed. So in order to survive, they could not spend more energy than they consumed. This means that they could not keep burning excessive calories if they could not find something to eat! If they kept doing this, they would shrivel away and die. Our ancestors were NOT worried about weight loss. They ate to live!

Because there are too many debating schools of thought on what “damage” actually means, I am going to now refer to this condition as “metabolic disruption” for the sake of clarity in our conversation. In my personal experience, metabolic disruption exists. I endured it and eventually, I healed from it. It took me 3 years, but I dug myself out.

 Here’s a vlog I just filmed sharing my metabolic disruption story with you.

This all happened to me while I was preparing for my bikini competition. Advised by my trainer, I was put on this crazy diet – only eating about 1000-1200 calories a day and working out for about 4 HOURS every single day. 1000-1200 calories is NOT enough energy to sustain such an intense workout routine – I was weight lifting, doing cardio, HIIT, and teaching POP Pilates classes. My calories came from vegetables and protein mainly. I wasn’t allowed fruit, grains, or fat sources. I became SO tired and irritable. Some days I literally had no energy to do anything. I would just fall asleep. My mind was foggy and I couldn’t concentrate. So, for 8 to 10 weeks I endured this crazy plan, I did the bikini competition with my new, lean body, and then I decided to go back to “normal-healthy.”

I decided to introduce a variety of foods back into my diet, like brown rice, quinoa and different types of protein – not just chicken breast and tilapia. I’m talking salmon people! Salmon.

Well let me tell you, my body did NOT like that. My body acted like a sponge. SOAKING EVERYTHING UP.

For the next 3 years, I gradually gained weight. And there was nothing I could do to stop it. During this time, I was STILL working out really hard for about 1 hr a day like a normal healthy person! But my body just didn’t respond. It backfired and rebelled instead! It was seriously so frustrating because in my mind, I was doing everything right. Diet + exercise should = weight loss or at least maintenance. But because of the damage and stress that I put on my body during that bikini prep, my hormones changed…in a bad way.

Cortisol, the stress hormone, increases when you significantly lower your calories, over-exercise and/or don’t have enough sleep. And cortisol plays a role in increasing abdominal fat! Even more specifically, LOWER BELLY FAT. AHH. This stress also decreases leptin, the hormone that controls your appetite. So, you feel EXTRA hungry all the time and it’s likely that you may crave those carby, high-fat foods. That’s EXACTLY what happened to me!

Beyond the scientific reasons for my weight gain, it was very much a psychological game. When I was dieting like crazy, I was labelling food as “good” and “bad”. I felt like I was trapped in food jail.

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 6.44.30 PM

But you know what happens when you start labelling food as bad? You start craving everything you CAN’T HAVE, even if you never liked it to begin with! All I wanted for some reason was cereal and bread! I honestly never cared too much for those things before. And now, they were controlling me.

It even got so bad that I would look at a banana and think “OMG, it’s going to make me so fat.” I feared bananas for crying out loud.

Metabolic damage doesn’t just happen to people who do bikini competitions. It happens to anyone who puts themselves through extreme dieting and exercise routines. Now listen up, I don’t want to scare you. Just because you see a plateau in weight loss and experience increased hunger, THIS DOES NOT MEAN you have metabolic disruption or adaptive thermogenesis.

Metabolic disruption includes many more severe symptoms:

-You literally cannot lose weight

-You become extremely bloated and “puffy” when you eat certain foods

-You become depressed and irritable

-You experience many digestive issues

-Exhaustion

-Difficulty concentrating

-Hormonal dysfunction – lower levels of leptin and higher levels of cortisol

-Loss of motivation

-Problems sleeping

-Loss of libido

-Amenorrhea (women will stop menstruating)

-You are cold all the time

So, what do you do if you feel like something’s not right?

It’s the simplest answer. REST. RELAX.

You need to sleep. Strive for about 8 hrs a day, so that you body an recalibrate itself.

You need to stop restricting calories.

You need to stop over-exercising.

Look, I know this sounds weird. I know you won’t want to do it. And I know you may think that you’ll turn into a lump of a potato if you do this, but you won’t. Because that’s what I did, and it worked for me. Unfortunately, I resisted for 2 years as I slowly gained weight. It was a torturous time for me mentally. But in the 3rd year, I decided to just eat whatever I wanted and not work out as much and my body started to recalibrate. I allowed myself to relax.

Then a mind shift happened.

I realized, why the heck am I so concerned about my physique when really, I should be concentrating on working out because it makes me happy! And eating food because it makes me energized!

When I stop focusing on the skinny and started focusing on the strong, I started to see results again. This was the inspiration that propelled the birth of PIIT28 – the Pilates Intense Interval Training program that I do every single day. It’s what I look forward to because it makes me a happier, healthier, sharper and more invinceable person. And why wouldn’t I want to do something that makes me feel that way?? And the best part is, it’s only 28 min and 40 sec a day.

If you want to hear more details of my personal story, please watch my video above!

I hope you learned a lot from this post. I used to get mad that I wasted a few years of my life worrying about weight gain. But now, I understand why it happened. It happened for a reason. I am meant to share my story with you to help you find your joy in health again.

love-cassey-transparent-150px

 

 

RESOURCES

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3673773/

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/88/4/906.full

http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/v34/n1s/full/ijo2010184a.html

46 thoughts on “Is “Metabolic Damage” a real thing?”

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  1. nuquach says:

    When I read this article last year the time it first came out, it made me really really uncomfortable. I was terrified that there was a possibility I can work as hard as I could and still gain excess weight and fat and that subconsciously contributed to me never comitting to my proper plan with exercise and weight loss properly. I thought that something ridiculous like metabolic disruption could never happen to me. I can never qualify to have that result as my weight gain because I can never be disciplined enough to have a decent enough caloric deficit.

    I was about five months when into starving at that point at 57kg 5″2, 14 years old when the article first came out, most days eating 600 calories or so, but still chubby because, well, I didn’t know. That was the year my grades began dropping. I did Blogilates about twice a week, restricted calories to sometimes 300 a day or as much as I could when I felt like trash, splurged on meals and went off and on periods of binge eating to over compensate for my extreme calorie restriction. Did I lose any weight? Of course not.

    Then this year I decided to do it properly. I ate under a thousand calories everyday and burned more calories through cardio most days of the week. Lost any weight? Nope. I went through a busy week of work experience at a cafe and was there from 10am to 12 at night so I ate maybe 1800 calories worth everyday that week. That was a month ago and I was 70kg at 16. I saw the expansion in my whole body and felt heavier just in one week.

    Then I decided to really do it properly. I made sure most days to never go over 150c/70p/40f a day, my diet 85% of just tuna, prawn, egg, zucchini, egg, spinach, apple, carrot. Even though the calculator told me that eating less than 1200 was almost too little for a deficit, I was too scared to go over 1000 calories a day. I didn’t go over my macros even if it meant I could only have 500 calories. I feel full under 1000 calories. I slept at least 6 hours every night and sometimes 13 hours wasn’t enough.

    It was really taking a toll on my cognitive function. I was failing my grades horribly, easily depressed, anxious, self-conscious, irritable and the most basic everyday tasks, decision making would require enormous concentration and it was difficult not to get extremely emotional and wrangle with decisons like whether to brush my teeth tonight or start homework that’s two weeks overdue. I got more tired from working out each time and despite burning 300 calories a day through tabata, I didn’t feel sore, just tired and numb. My period cycles were irregular and in small amounts each time. Weight was all I could think about. Whenever I opened my mouth, calories and carbohydrates were all I could talk about. I was seething over the fact that anorexia couldn’t at least be glamorous for me (a friend dropped 10kg by eating 200 calories in fruit a day without exercise and my cousin dropped to 48kg just by walking once a week annd living off only 500cal worth of fruit combined with bulimia) so I obviously wasn’t doing it properly and nothing worked so I didn’t have an eating disorder; I was just plain lazy. Also, I can’t be anorexic if I was secretly proud of my ability to eat minimal amounts and I certainly can’t be if literally everyone dismisses my narrative on my dieting history dismissing it as not dieting harder and my parents accuse me of eating excess dairy and fats everyday just because I look like trash. I was too trash to have an eating disorder. If that isn’t messed up thinking I don’t know what is. Didn’t lose any weight.

    I was at that point where I was ready to fast 6 days a week and eat nothing but celery on Saturdays as a cheat meal if I could to just make the weight go away but I knew it wouldn’t work. Then I came back to this post and the Sheroic podcast many times and I didn’t know what to do or how to deal with its high relevance to my situation. It’s been a week since I’ve read this and heard the podcast and I am lost, stopped exercising regularly, eating 900 calories a day in mostly carbs and could barely do 5 minutes of pilates today. Part of me thinks I should actually do it properly properly by drinking 4L a day as well as cutting sugar and dairy. Part of me thinks I’m using this as an excuse to binge and be lazy. I can’t think straight.

  2. Katie Wheeler says:

    I know I’m a little late on this one, but I’m so glad I found this post! It just backs up everything I’m learning. I’ve been in the resisting and gaining weight phase for probably 2-3 years now and I’m finally hitting that mind shift to just let go. Well, getting there!

  3. Nata Lija Petanić says:

    That kinda reminded me when i was in a hospital for 4 days i lost 6 kg( from 55 to 49 kg) and after that the following year i gained 15 kg (64 kg) and now no mater how hard i train or eat healthy i cant get back under 60 kg.Is that metabolic disruption??
    well i am still happy with 61 kg now,i feel healthy but i still would like to now what hapend to me because i have always had 55 kg and no mater how much i ate it staid the same but that 4 days mesed it up.Can someone plsssss explain?

  4. Anna says:

    Can you guys please help me out here? In February, I got amennorhea, and my stomach later felt bolted every time I ate pizza. The thing is, I don’t exercise/workout that much (I started blogilates in March, I didn’t even workout at all in February!), and I eat a normal amount of calories each day (1700-2000). So my question is why this is happening to me, and do I actually have metabolic “damage”? Thanks!

  5. Comfycozyup says:

    Oh wow this was very informative. I’m on a weight loss journey, and I am trying very hard not to sabotage myself.
    http://www.comfycozyup.com

  6. Karen T Smith says:

    I am not underweight but I recently (within the last month) “got” amenorrhea. I don’t know if that’s the right way to phrase it. Being its only been a month cuz a few times I trained hard core two or three hours a day for a week or two, how long will it take for my body to bounce back?

  7. Fat says:

    Hi, could anyone please help and give me some advice? I’m 16 this year and I was fat since young. I’m now about 158cm tall and 65 kg. I once went on a diet and avoid all the meat and carbs. At the same time, I was also doing some cardio workout. I was eating only veggies and fruits by then and lost weight till 48kg. I was happy but then realised if I ate more I gain the weight back. However, I lost control and started to eat rice and meat. I was still doing a lot of exercises but I can’t stop the weight gain. And it’s heartbreaking when people saw me and said I turned very fat that they might not recognise me. I was really troubled and started to think if exercises do work. Please give me some advice I really want to slim down once again.

  8. s says:

    Hey Cassey, I remember you were planning on doing a second bikini competition but ended up not doing it. Was that during or after the metabolic distruption? Were you still in the disordered mindset of trying to get a bikini body again when you decided to do the second one?

  9. Lia says:

    You’re amazing Cassey !

  10. Emma says:

    This was really helpful Cassey, thanks for sharing your story! I don’t think I’m experiencing this (though one of my friends might be, can this happen from not eating enough for a lifestyle that has almost no exercise in it?). But now at least I know what to look for and I can keep myself convinced to eat what I should be. I cut my calories to 1200 when I wasn’t exercising AT ALL but now that I’m doing pilates and trying to lose weight again I’ve gone up to 1400 and add more for exercising (I use myfitnesspal app to help me keep track). I’m trying not to worry too much about getting exactly on the mark everyday but I’ve found myself tracking my calories like a maniac and I think I just need to stop and trust that my body is losing weight. It’s tough when I don’t have a scale… I’ve been measuring every two weeks and last time I measured I’d lost weight so I’m trying to stay positive and healthy! 🙂

  11. Brynn Jornacion says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your story Cassey! Honestly I am almost going down the same road but bec of your story it taught me to not be so hard on myself and allow myself to RELAX. Thanks again cuz I feel like your story will save a lot of people. <3

  12. Amy says:

    This post was so informative!!! When you first opened up about your struggles with weight gain post bikini comp it really struck a cord with me. I realized I was doing horrible things to my body on purpose just for vanity. I immediately stopped and I’m so happy I did early on before things could have gotten a LOT worse. While my body doesn’t look as “thin” or lean as I remember it, I’m so strong and I workout because I enjoy it. I actually have ENERGY to power through my PIIT workouts. And I literally eat all. of. the. time. without gaining unhealthy weight. So happy you posted this! It definitely helped me so much 🙂 Love you!!! Amy G

  13. Kyra says:

    there’s so much /me/ in this post it’s scary. i read online that my body needs around 1800-2400 calories a day to function properly and i honestly don’t know how to eat that much. i’m not even trying to eat less i just can’t eat. i get stomach aches and diarrhea from so much food lately, i can’t sleep, i have no energy, my depression is getting worse, i’m just…there. my doctors keep telling me there’s nothing wrong with me except that i should lose weight but no one can tell me how. i had my favorite salad last night and after not even half of it i almost threw up because it made me feel so bad. i really don’t know what to do anymore

    1. Emma says:

      Hang in there darling! I have a friend who can’t eat half the time because she’ll just puke after. Her solution (though I’m still not sure she eats enough) is to eat a LOT of small snacks throughout the day. So instead of three big meals try like 12 snacks so you don’t feel awful but you’re still eating. I hope this works for you. Eventually your body should recover (like Cassey said in this post). Good luck <3

  14. Leah Merchant says:

    Cassey you are literally the best! I love you, and your workouts, and your personality, and your love for what you do! You inspire me everyday and make me smile every time I watch your videos. You are a great role model for a 15 year old girl and I am so happy I stumbled across your website looking for an ab workout last year! Thanks for being you and keep being the amazing, uplifting, WONDERFUL person you are!
    xoxo,
    Leah <3

  15. Amarilis says:

    Thank you very much for the post. Loved it everything Ive seen so far is helping tremendously Lucky I found your blog 🙂

  16. Judy Cho says:

    Hello!! Thank you for the amazing post it helped out so much! Could you write a blog post on how to get your period back i.e. How to cute secondary amenorrhea? So many girls are going through it including me and j would
    Love for you to give an insight about it! I’ve been eating a lot and haven’t exercised for around five weeks and ice gained heaps of weight so I’m not borderline underweight anymore. All my doctors are pushing the pill on me but I want to cure it naturally.. Thanks X

    1. Dana Balanza says:

      yesss i agree! i also stopped exercising which was hard for me to give up as i loved it so much and i stopped restricting kcls and eating more which my paidritician said to do. im finally at a healthy weight but my secondary amenorrhea hasnt been cured yet. its 9 months i havent got my period

      1. Judy Cho says:

        I’ve gained already 7kgs in 6 weeks to a very healthy bmi I’m not underweight anymore and I’m definitely feeling frustrated. I know it’s only been a short time but so many girls got their periods back during this time & hardly anyone has gained as much weight as I have in such a short amount of time 🙁

        1. Dora says:

          I used to have amenorrhea for about a couple of years due to excessive dieting and exercising. Despite my initial resistance, I ended up taking progesterone (not exactly the pill) for 3-4 weeks as the doctor prescribed and at the end I got my period and it slowly stabilized afterwards. I have never been on the pill and I’m not planning on it so I understand your desire to make it come naturally. Sometimes the body needs just a little extra push. Good luck!

          1. Judy Cho says:

            Thanks love!! I’ll definitely look into that X

          2. Fat says:

            Hi, I am 16. I used to go on a diet and hasn’t got my period too for a year. I lost weight from 60kg to 48kg, Then I started to eat mroe and I do got my period back but I gain weight to 65kg. I eat less than way before but more than the time I was dieting. im really frustrated, be been doing exercises too but eating just a little bit more. My period is still unstable and I hasn’t got my period for a few months now. But I really want to lose that weight. I don’t know what to do. It really feels bad when people saw me and said I got fat. I really need some advice.

  17. Eloïse says:

    I almost have all the symptoms except that I don’t over-exercise, I do sport 5 days a week at least 30 minutes so that’s not too much but I’m restraining my food a lot I think, my periods are absolutely not regular, I have digestive issues, I’m always stressed and irritable… I don’t know if I have this “metabolic damage”… what do you think ?

    1. Melody says:

      Yep, could be….if you’re working out regularly, but restricting your intake below what your body actually needs on a daily basis, you’re going to end up holding onto every little calorie because you’re body thinks it’s not getting enough. Try adding fresh whole foods until you feel you’re getting what you actually need to maintain your activity level and I’ll bet you’ll see a positive change in your energy levels right away. Best wishes!

  18. Hi, Cassey!! This blog post is so important!!

    I just wanted to thank you again for sharing this. For those of you who don’t know me, and I truly encourage you to follow me on Instagram or to reach out to me for support, I’m currently suffering from an eating disorder. I say currently because just like an alcoholic once you are one, that part of you never leaves. It started about eight years ago. I was doing martial arts and playing softball and I really started to calorie restrict while still working out for about 4-5 hours a day. When I was eighteen and going to college, after I lost a d1 scholarship for softball due to my eating disorder, it got even worse. About a year ago, through so many different medications, doctors, and motivations, I decided to Make a change to live a healthier lifestyle. This was after I was threatened with hospitalization. Keep in mind, I never fell into the low weight portion of a bmi calucator/info-graphic, according to the bmi calculators my body weight was just fine. Plus, I never fell below 22% body fat. Understanding that every persons body handles weight differently was a huge turning point for me. Right now I’m eating about 800-1000 calories a day and gaining weight. I’ve gained about ten pounds from last year.

    Honestly, it takes so much mental effort every day to encourage myself to eat something even as mundane as spinach- most of my calories come from plants and proteins sources like nuts and fish (I’m pescetarian). It’s difficult because you can rationalize your body needs the food, but you’re seeing the scale go up from an apple.

    But I know I need to do it. I know 800-1000 calories is not enough, but it is so much better than where I was a year ago, and I’m still working on it- I was just cleared to start working out again!! I tried to do PIIT28 last month and I was so excited, but it was too much too soon. So please listen to Cassey; Know when you’re body needs the rest!!

    For anyone feeling discouraged about your weight gain, and for those of you suffering from EDs, please keep pushing. You’re are much more strong, and beautiful than you could ever imagine. I know it’s a battle every day, but you can do this!!

    I still suffer from starving pains- literally you’re body hurts from eating zucchini because it’s not ready for it. I lost hair, and gained fur. I lost my aunt to anorexia. I lost a wonderful opportunity to play a sport at a competitive level due to multiple EDs. I almost lost myself. Please don’t let this happen to you!

    1. Hélène Fortin says:

      I used to have an ED too. For three years, I was obsessed with my body and I got hospitalized three years ago, when I was 16. Now, I’m 19 and I am so much better. I eat as much as I want and I workout. Yes, I have gained weight, but I feel better in my body and that is the only thing that really matters. I encourage you ! You are going to win that battle !!!

  19. Reading this blog was helpful and yet hard to read. I believe it could be because I am facing a little bit of this very thing. Thank you Cassey for your dedication and encouragement even though you are miles away.

  20. Amy says:

    Hi Cassey. I normally am not the type to comment, but I wanted to suggest maybe removing the bikini competition meal plan from your website. Your blog post and your video are so insightful, however, people new to your site who may stumble upon that meal plan first may be led down the wrong path. Thank you for sharing your story and, really, for all that you do to educate and motivate others.

    1. Kati says:

      I was thinking the same thing

      1. Kelsey says:

        Me too 🙂

        1. Maya says:

          Yes, that’s a great idea! You’ve been talking a lot about how this plan was destructive so you should definitely remove it from your site !

    2. DJ says:

      To be fair, that meal plan isn’t the same thing she’s talking about here though. That plan has over 1700 calories in a day, which is pretty normal for a young woman about Cassey’s size. I weigh more than her and that’s about what I eat to lose weight. The macros are a bit excessive (i.e. more protein than you probably need, fewer carbs and fat), but you’d be getting enough calories on that plan unless you were a man or significantly bigger than Cassey. The plan she’s referring to here is the one she did the two weeks or so before the competition, which was MUCH more restrictive and to my knowledge she never posted or recommended that other people follow along w/ it.

      1. DJ says:

        Oops, posted as a guest so I couldn’t edit. I meant to add that I agree she may want to take it down since it’s just not really necessary. BUT I just wanted to make sure it was clear that they were two different things. I do feel it’s a bit restrictive in terms of what you’re eating, like plain chicken and broccoli :/ but I wouldn’t call it unhealthy.

  21. Carri says:

    I am so glad you shared this! I have been working out for three months and I have not seen the results I want all. Some of the girls on the app have told me they can see changes..but I’m not happy where I am. It is very hard to squeeze in an hour a day of exercise when you have a full time job, a house to take care of, kids, boyfriend, friends, time for yourself..exercise has become frustrating for me and I’m almost at the point of giving up. I saw this video and it hit me hard. Maybe I’m stressing myself out about this. I’ve decided I’m going to try to PIIT videos you have online first to see if I get any results and then I’ll but the program if it works.

    MY PIIT JOURNEY STARTS TODAY

  22. Cate says:

    This is also very important information/advice for those trying to recover from eating disorders! The same symptoms of metabolic disruption (especially bloating) can make it very hard to let yourself heal.

  23. Tiffany says:

    Thanks for sharing your story! Love your videos and blog! I’m so glad I recently discovered you through snapchat!

  24. Cassie says:

    CASSEY! I am LOVING this new blog format–it looks so professional and so you! I absolutely agree with you that your diet plan was not sustainable nor was it enough for the strenuous exercise you had to do. I do think that metabolic disruption can indeed happen, and something similar did to me when I went on my first juice cleanse. My body soaked everything up like a sponge and it took a month or a little more to get my body back to normal. I am so glad that you found a healing path and that PIIT28 is so successful–it demonstrates an amazing message that you can make health and fitness easy, sustainable AND fun! Love you lots xoxo

    Cassie

  25. Ashley M says:

    I really appreciate hearing your story, and I love LOVE all of your videos and you!
    I just was wondering since you experienced such a messed up metabolism and unhappiness from the aftermath of your bikini comp, then what your thoughts were about leaving the bikini competition meal plan in the links above? It seems to me that you wouldn’t want people doing a similar plan. I’m sure you have an excellent reason, so I’m just curious. If it’s none of my business, I can also respect that.

  26. Can i ask if you still keep in touch with your trainer? Would you ever enter into a 2nd bikini competition?

  27. Brittany says:

    I really appreciate you sharing this story. My weightless journeys have always been done in spurts. In 2014, I decided that I wanted to feel better about myself after a horrible breakup the year before, so I joined a gym and added a 3 month personal trainer membership because I had no idea where to start. I learned about eating better (I was put on a 1400 cal diet which did not result in any weightless while working out 6 days a week, so I dropped down to 1200-1300 cal per day). I was very dedicated for several months and lost 16 pounds. I decided to go back to school to pursue a bachelor’s degree and that became my “new obsession”. I began working out less, I started a new relationship and BAM! all that weight I lost (and more) came back on. It was gradual, but when I realized I didn’t fit into my smaller size jeans, I felt horrible about myself. My self-esteem and confidence plummeted. I knew I had to do something about it, but I was so dedicated with school, striving to get A’s on everything, as well as working 26 hours a week. Eventually, about 5 weeks ago, I decided I was making excuses and that my health was more important than stressing over grades. I was sick of being sedentary and suffering from the body pain that comes with it. I came across your videos in an effort to attempt to tone up some areas before jumping into HIIT workouts that I was doing when I was in my prime (because when I had jumped right into HIIT, I kept getting bad muscle strains – causing me to work out only every other day).

    At one point when I was on the low cal diet, my school had a blood drive; I was denied eligibility to donate because the staff told me I wasn’t eating enough food. That was a sad moment. Also, one other time I went out to dinner with my boyfriend after not eating much all day; I got really sick like an hour afterwards. It wasn’t food poisoning; I think it was just a reaction my body had to a sudden intake of a large amount of food all at once.

    I love to eat. I love intense flavors. And I LOVE feeling full. I have had a few healthy meals that are filling but not satisfying taste-wise. I understand trying to balance healthy, clean food with food that is more for satisfying cravings. I have dark chocolate on hand because it’s my weakness. Sometimes I have a gourmet cupcake because I want one and because cupcakes are amazing. I try to balance. If I have a cupcake one day, then the next day is a clean food day. I think the biggest challenge I am experiencing is that my boyfriend and I live together and he has the biggest sweet tooth I have ever seen. A couple weeks ago, I decided to put all his junk food in his own personal cabinet so I don’t even see it. Out of sight, out of mind…sometimes *wink*

  28. Patrícia says:

    It is very brave that you share your story with everybody, and I am thankful for that. I believe that everything is about balance. Even the “good” things can become bad for you if you overdo them.
    I also wanted to ask a question that was on my mind for a while now… Is it necessary to workout everyday to see and feel the difference? Because if I may be honest, the first round of PIIT 28 was amazing and I loved it (and I loved the results and how I felt the most) but I want to consider fitness as a lifestyle, so I want to eat healthy and workout for my whole life, but I am not sure if it is really possible to workout everyday for me. I was thinking about it also like that I want to have kids one day and want to take care of my family and also have a job and I can imagine workout regulary for example for 3 or 4 days of week or now it is not a problem to me workout even everyday and as I said,I love it but now I am really young, I am studying and have relatively a lot of time… I just wonder what will happen if I will start going to work or have a lack of time some day.. So please, how it is with exercising? Also exercise is only 20 percent of your physique,no? So it is not necessary to workout everyday if I eat clean and eat mindfully?

  29. So how do you continue to lose weight? How do you know if you’re experiencing metabolic disruption?

    1. Sydney King says:

      Hi Tiffany! You’ll know you’re experiencing metabolic disruption if you have the symptoms listed above. The best thing you can do to continue to lose weight (in my opinion, and I’m on a weight loss journey of my own! Check out IG) is to actually determine your RMR or your resting metabolic rate. That is, how many calories you burn on any given day at rest. See, this rate is different for everyone. I’ll give myself as an example: Popular advice tells me that I need to consume about 1,200 Calories a day in order to lose weight. However, I used a boditrax machine to determine my RMR and found that I naturally burn about 1,600 calories a day, and that’s if I lay in bed all day! Eating 1,200 calories a day had put me in a state of metabolic disruption. So now, I’ve attempted to change the way I look at food – I try to plan my meals in such a way as to fuel my day. If I work out, I’ll eat a breakfast/ lunch full of protein and a bit of unrefined carbs (breakfast burrito!). If It’s an active rest day, I’ll have a breakfast/ lunch full of protein and heavy on leafy veggies and good fats. I’ve tried to focus more on how best to fuel my body, rather than counting calories, and my excess fat is coming off. It helps to change that in your mindset as well – you’re not trying to lose “weight.” You’re trying to lose excess body fat. Get stronger, and your RMR goes up, and you get to enjoy more healthy food! Also, find exercise you enjoy. Cassey started me on my journey almost 2 years ago and I still love Pilates, but I’ve started adding in weightlifting and yoga and I’m loving it. I look forward to going to the gym as often as I can. It’s a journey. Enjoy that, and respect what your body is capable of – it’s the only one you get. 🙂

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