“oh my gosh I had so much more energy when I was in active restriction, when I was on some kind of diet, when I was in the midst of my disordered eating, when I was over exercising… why did I seem to have more energy when I was there in a color energy deficit, when I was starving myself, when I was overall miserable – mentally, physically and emotionally, yet I still had more energy then than I do now,”
(lets say you may be in your recovery now, whether it’s earlier on or whether it took a few months for you to get winded and exhausted like I talked about in my other blog.. so it was either prolonged or the fatigue happened earlier on or it happened right off the bat right when you started eating more food more carbs more fats more proteins more amounts more calories in general and then you took on recovery,)
And now you feel more exhausted, you feel more tired, you feel more weak, you feel more joint pain, you feel more pain in your feet and your knees and are swelling in your feet and knees and face and your hands, just all over the place, there’s pain and achey-ness in your back
So you’re wondering “why does this happen now when I’m supposed to be recovering and I’m actually supposed to be healing? Shouldn’t I have more energy now that I’m taking in more energy?”
That only makes sense right?
“Am I doing something wrong? Was restricting actually better for me or should I go back to restricting because I felt so much more energy then??” You think to yourself..
I remember thinking the same things…
It set me back in my recovery.
It set me back into a couple of relapses.
It kept me stuck in quasi recovery for quite some time.
Because I thought that I was “just becoming unhealthy.”
I thought that I was just losing my fitness.. all the fitness that I’d worked so hard for.
I thought that I was just becoming unhealthy and I blamed it on the body fat,
I blamed it by saying “I have more body fat and that’s why I’m getting more winded and exhausted and that’s why I’m tired all the time… SEE at a lower body fat percentage I was healthier!”
BUT, really if we’re completely honest with ourselves and we look back (because our brain tends to forget all the bad) and so if we look back and be honest with ourselves, we remember that there was something that pushed us into choosing recovery..
and that was probably because you were miserable in all these other areas of your life (losing your period, hair was falling out, lost your libido, digestive problems, bloating, constipation, brain fog, binge eating, guilt and fear and uncontrollable feelings around food, food allergies, fatigue, insomnia, exercise compulsion, body dysmorphia, etc.)
Yet you’re focusing on the one or two “good” things that you got from dieting… “supposedly good things” right? lol or so we tell ourselves…(ahem…lies to ourselves..)
And that’s what I want to talk about in this video of WHY this is.
And remind yourself every day that you are choosing recovery because you do have to choose recovery every day over and over again.
Especially when those thoughts are strong tempting you and screaming that needs to go back to restricting to go back to over exercising to “control” the situation because you feel “out of control..”
and you feel like you’re losing something that you’ve had for so long, even though it’s not been good for you!
This will scream really loud when it is losing power but that doesn’t mean it has to win the battle no matter how hard it screams, you hold onto the faith of recovery.
You know deep down what you’re doing why you’re doing it and so you choose recovery again and again and again until you recover.
Anyways that’s off-topic but I wanted to talk about:
Even if you were just ketogenic, if you were paleo, if you were a low carb dieter, or you were low fat, or low sugar – no sugar, no bread, no pasta, no oil, no salt, vegan, all of these restrictive diets or if you were in anorexia or you were orthorexic, you were bulimic, you were an extreme athlete, all of these things, it doesn’t matter – you’re still starving your body in some way!
Just because the behavior may not be the same or the mindset behind the behavior might not be the same, you’re still doing extreme detriment to your body. God would NEVER want you to intentionally starve yourself or create an energy deficit, God gives us abundance and the choice for balance..
the negative forces are here tempting you to starve yourself, to take away from the light from within you, and all your greatness – they whisper to you that you’re not good enough and that you’re not lovable and that you need to starve yourself to keep up with the Jone’s, or that you’re not worthy of eating the foods in which bring you joy, energy, fullness and sanity, and to not trust in your own body, that yourself and your own body is not capable of telling you what it wants and when to stop, when it’s had enough.. but these are all lies that lead you astray..
Now, there’s a couple things that I want to talk about.
Of course you’re going to feel more tired in recovery because you’re coming from years and years of starving yourself and overworking your body and not giving it enough energy to make up for all of the breakdown – breakdown of muscle tissue and all else.
Once you start fueling your body properly and enough for the amount of exercise that you were doing, of course your body is going to go in hibernation mode for some time and it’s going to want to rest and as long as it wants, it’s going to create that fatigue and rest response or that communication to rest (fatigue) on purpose until it can heal properly and heals enough – Once it gets enough energy in.
So when you’re taking in energy (and you’re not only using those calories to maintain day to day like a normal person, you’re using all that energy to make up for all the damage that you’re coming from – from over-exercising, from the stress of malnourishment, from malnourishment itself), of course you’re going to be tired for some time in recovery.
For some time as in months.. maybe even a year or two years.
However long it takes, it is what it is and it’s gonna take as long as it takes.
Don’t worry, your body will sort things out.
Be in the now and embrace recovery and it will happen – things will get better, you will overcome this tiredness and fatigue.
And like I was saying, your body is going to, as a rebound effect from all of the stress for years and years that you put your body through (of exercise and under eating) that in recovery it finally has a chance to rest for once so your body’s going to try to take advantage of that.
Well if we don’t have enough energy coming in to make up for that energy expenditure the body senses that it’s in a scarce environment ie., calories are scarce!! kinds of foods are scarce!! variety of foods are scarce!! the proper balance of carbs fats sugars proteins are scarce!!
What that does is it triggers this response in the brain to MOVE.
To move to survive because if you rested or if you slept too much when you are starving or malnourished or in a prolonged energy deficit (dieting) that pretty much meant death.
So your brain has this trigger designed in it to try to protect you from way back in the day (because it doesn’t realize it’s in the modern day and things have changed so drastically. It thinks we’re still back before we had access to all these grocery stores on every corner and Amazon and all of these different sources that have created a lot of convenience and accessibility)
This response to compulsively move, to compulsively exercise, to compulsively be doing something and those thoughts that are produced to “burn more calories” or to be always moving or to be fearful of calories or be fearful of sitting too long or feel guilty for missing a workout, or feel guilty for not going to the gym when you were scheduled to typically…
These are all as a response to your body and brain thinking that it’s in this environment and that it needs to move to get away from the scarce environment, the scarce environment that there’s not enough food and calories and energy and it needs to move ASAP for your survival in order to find an environment that has an abundance – an abundance of food.
That’s why it creates that false sense of energy because it’s not real sustainable energy (that’s why you were miserable overall as well as feeling more energy.
And on top of it, if you felt a lot of pain (joint pain, muscle pain, digestive pain) the pain response in active starvation and malnourishment actually gets suppressed,
because if you felt too much pain in your legs or your arms from moving too much or from too much muscle tissue breakdown (which happens when you’re constantly moving, trying to find a new abundant source of energy, a new abundant environment)
and what’s the natural response to pain and inflammation and swelling? To REST. To stay off of that part(s) of your body until you feel better or until that goes away, until that heals.
So the body also suppresses that pain response because then it means death because you don’t get to that new environment quick enough.
That’s why there’s a feeling of urgency and compulsiveness, it wants it quick.
That’s why you feel energy all throughout the day and perhaps you can’t sleep at night because the body and brain is like nope, we can’t sleep, we can never sleep until we get to that new environment with a lot of food.
Now this isn’t for everyone, some people slept great in their restriction or over exercise and then in recovery they have insomnia so this isn’t for everyone but this can explain for people who do feel these sensations in their recovery versus restriction..
but again, it doesn’t justify the restriction, it doesn’t justify the over exercising as being healthy for you because remember, if you really look back and look at all the negatives that drove you into recovery you were miserable..
Your brain will try to come up with all these positives restriction and dieting gave you.. they’re great excuses of why you should go back to restricting or over exercising.
The real you though, wants to recover. The real you was drawn to recovery for a reason and asking questions and questioning the way you were feeling in all these other areas of your life.
So really out of all of it, your body is just sending that communication signal to rest, that’s how it can communicate to you.
You’re trying to learn how to be “intuitive” right or “normal” and really all that means is listening to our body.
Although the body can’t communicate verbally to us like we communicate consciously, these physical and mental signals is how the body communicates, the body communicates with you for example, by producing hormones such as hunger and satiety cues which are fueled by hormones leptin and ghrelin.
The same thing with fatigue – those are signs, those are communication signals that something needs to be addressed and it needs rest.
That’s why in recovery that’s your “new environment” you’ve been “moving” for, because once you start eating more you’re like “oh my gosh I need to recover, you may have found some source that you realized that you need to eat more and rest so you took on recovery and that’s why when you start to eat more and rest and you’re not still compulsively exercising,
and you show your body by communicating to your body that there’s a lot of food that’s going to be coming in now so the body and brain gets that signal that’s it is able to rest finally because “it’s found it’s abundant environment”
…which is just recovery…
the brain and body doesn’t know that it’s in the same environment that it was in restriction, all it knows is that – environment is scarce.. environment is abundant..
Based off of what has been happening (eating less, or eating consistently and enough)
You’ll see as time goes on. For some it’s quicker for others it’s longer.
A lot of people report 10 months, a year or year and a half, of FULL committed recovery..not quasi recovery.. when they start to finally feel all of that energy coming back slowly and that’s not to say that’s gonna happen for you, it really all depends on where you’re coming from, the state of your body, how committed and fully embraced you are and the recovery process, etc.
Really it’s as simple as that..
Maybe by understanding this it’ll ease your mind a little bit about those thoughts that can pop up telling you that what you’re doing is wrong, what you’re doing is unhealthy..
I can assure you, what you’re doing is actually the most healthiest thing you can do right now.
You can’t compare yourself to someone who isn’t coming from a past of restriction, who isn’t coming from a passive over exercising and yo-yo dieting for years and years or anorexia or any of that – you’re in your own lane.
Just because somebody else (out of ignorance) says “if you’re not moving that’s why you’re feeling tired all the time or if you’re not moving that’s why you’re becoming unhealthy or all of these mindsets that are pretty common in our culture…
You’re not healthy enough to exercise. What you need is to rest!
Just know not to blame the food.. orthorexia clean eating people… thinking like “oh see it’s the carbs, it’s the fats, it’s the processed foods… THEY’RE not good for me, they’re making me tired… I was better off before, I had so much energy…”
No it’s really because your body is finally sensing that there’s an abundance of food coming in and that it can finally REST.
Out of all of it, your body just feels SAFE finally.
It’s felt constantly in that fight or flight mode, survival mode, trying to just survive.
That’s why it’s been telling us to move move move compulsively, move all the time, and if you ever sat down you felt guilty or you always felt the urge to move or you had the energy to move..
That’s why now your body is starting to feel safe.. It doesn’t feel completely safe yet but that comes slowly over time.
So it’s really a positive thing so try to look at it as a positive thing.
These things can help you to understand what’s going on so then you can feel more at ease and not so guilty.
Realize that you’re nursing yourself back to health and you deserve every bite, you deserve every second of rest and you need it!
Remember you’re different from someone else – you are coming from a lot of damage and depletion and malnourishment / energy deficit and you’re making up for it.
Listen to your body and find your balance!
In my like the beginning of my recovery I didn’t know what was going on still and I was blaming the food because I was coming from severe restriction.
I just got off at water fast after being raw vegan and then into regular vegan for a long time and then into ketogenic and so much more. And I had come from all those things trying to heal myself (all of which did not heal me)
After that it was several months after and I was still trying to be a clean eater. This was this place where I was out of control.
I was fed pasta and oh my gosh I was kicking and screaming but that’s all I had access to..
So long story short I was kicking and screaming; I was pissed off that I even had to eat that but I did it. I ended up eating it, it wasn’t even good at that point because I was so pissed off that I had to eat that even though deep down I love pasta and love pizza and I wanted all of that but I thought it was bad and so I told myself that I didn’t like those foods anymore
Or that it was just the parasites or candida that liked the pasta or it was my food addiction that liked it and blah blah blah and the pasta processed foods were evil and bad and off-limits
But I still ended up having another couple bowls of pasta because I was like
oh this is kind of good and I was really hungry so I had another.. an that night for the first time in years I slept through the night like a baby and I wasn’t up at like 4:00 or 5:00 a.m. just wide awake and thinking about food
For the first time I felt that but my brain was like “this is bad, there’s seriously something wrong and I felt so guilty because I thought that
because I was so tired and lethargic the next morning that I had ruined everything and I thought that I was terrible and weak and a glutton and that food was terrible and I used that to justify, my brain would justify like “see those cooked foods, those processed foods, those carbs, the cheese that’s all bad for me because it made me feel tired and lethargic”
But that was just the beginning and after that I had unleashed the Beast of bingeing and there was no going back, I tried to for so long for months and months. I tried to go back and forth between restricting and bingeing because my body got a sense of that it was like “we have access to real food -EAT. Eat a lot of it and then I was able to sleep more..
but later on in my recovery it was like a rebound effect and I was starting to not be able to sleep because I was so hungry and I had to keep getting up to eat before bed and then in the middle tonight to be able to sleep [so just keep that in mind too, it can all fluctuate throughout your recovery]
Moreover, this is just to touch on why you may feel more tired now in your recovery versus back when you were restricting and active restriction, active malnourishment, active starvation..
I tried to blame the foods I try to blame the gluten and the bread and the sugar and the carbs and the fats and trying to blame all of that the
processed foods bla bla bla
BUT those were the exact things that healed me.
Just remember your body is starting to feel safe so don’t try to run and hide and be pushed away from recovery because of this disordered eating a starved brain that’s scared of recovering because then it dies.
I hope that this all eases your mind a little bit more.
YOU GOT THIS! 😉
P.S. I’m hosting a free masterclass specifically for people who want to stop feeling obsessed around food and truly heal their metabolism and you’re invited! Click here to sign up.