If you are completely lost watch my first video– Metabolic Damage and Why I’m Pissed off and then check out the follow-up : Metabolic Damage Follow-Up and Resources.
These are a series of videos to serve as a tool to help others through the mess that I’ve been going through for over 20 months. I am as truthful and honest as I can be about the reality of metabolic damage and that there’s no “dieting your way out” Its a complex issue that can’t be fixed by changing ONE thing.
I will continue to blog about this issue as new progress is made and as long as I continue getting emails and questions from you guys:)
I have PCOS And have had to deal with something like this for almost 15 years now. I have had to do so much research on my own in the past 4 months. My hormone therapy was giving me migraine and upping my chance of stroke all of a sudden. They took me off hormones and just left me with no answers and to just sit and stew. Recently I lost 50lbs by changing my diet (4,000+ calories a day on a vegan diet to 1,500-2,400 on a vegan diet) It worked. My fear was that all my symptoms of PCOS would come back after 15 years (weight gain, excessive hair growth, acne and no period) and all my hard work in the past 20 months would be ruined. Fuck doctors. They thought my concern was having babies. Idiots. I walked out on one doctor. ANYWAYS!! It has been almost 4 months and I have gotten my period for the first time in 15 years with no hormone therapy, TWICE!! Pretty good. I did a lot research. No one ever told me that I have a much higher chance of being diabetic, I should have NO caffiene or added sugar (FML) and that it would be much harder for me to keep weight off. So far my usual moustache and chin whiskers have stayed the same, my skin is the same and my weight. I take a few things to get everything back I heck but they are all natural!! Every woman should know about these herbal remedies.. Vitex Berry, Maca root powder, gymnema, B-12 and herbal teas. Look them up and thank me later. They got my metabolism and my lady bits back in working order, medication free!! Also, a few documentaries to watch. “Food Matters” and “Forks Over Knives”. *bows*
Yay!!!! Me too! I’m at month 8 of my AF recovery now. Still not training hard and have lost about 2kg, but heaps of people are saying I look like I’ve lost weight. Yuss!!!!. Anyway, yes a healthy metabolism is the key. Keep up the good work Danny, you’re right on the money with everything you’re saying, I hope all those girls out there are listening!
Stacey!! agh! i need to TALK to you still! I’m so glad to hear it!
WOW!!! I feel like (minus the whole competition thing) you were talking about my life right now! I have had so many years of eating horribly and just being prescribed whatever the medicine-du-jour was that I have had major issues loosing weight even though I’m doing what everyone else is doing. I eat a clean paleo diet, workout with a trainer 2 x a week, workout on my own 2-3 more days any either don’t budge or gain more. My trainer is understanding and helpful instead of demeaning like I’ve run into with past trainers and she sent me to a chiropractor/holistic dietitian (not really sure what else to call him) and we have been testing various hormones and possible allergies to help get my body back on track. THANK YOU for posting this. I have never seen anyone post this particular topic and understand it so fully!!!
good luck Jenny! Its happened to a TON of ppl and not just competitors… might need to take a few weeks off training, but I don’t know where you’re at.. I think the holistic approach and checking hormones is a good place to be.. most drs are just… ugh!
Danny-J thank you do much for putting yourself out there, being honest and sharing all of your fab resources! I have been a fitness professional for 15 years, done marathons, triathlons, taught every kind of group x class imaginable, and am now competing in figure. I am SUPER lucky to have seen a lot of my friends struggle with AF prior to deciding to compete… I was able to really go into it with a good understanding of what I DID NOT want to do in order to be stage ready and how I wanted to approach tho as a lifestyle instead of a phase.
Everything I have been learning and applying through my own life experiences came to life when I read the new ME book. Thank you so much for recommending the ME! I wish ALL fitness professionals took the time to check out all the awesome information out there instead of just applying the lame “calories in/calories out” model and don’t even get me started on carb depleting!!!
I was able to keep my carbs at 100 to 150 grams a day right up until I took the stage for all 3 competitions I have been in so far because I was adamant that was the right way to go … Even when some friends thought for sure I should be depleting like everyone else. I held true to my own beliefs and did it MY way.
My hope is that it inspires others to see it can be done.
I am so happy to see you showing people the real deal. I love your honesty and am SooooooOOOOOooooo happy you recommended the ME. Now that I have read their book, I can’t wait to get more involved in their whole program. Truly inspirational. THANK YOU!!!
Ahhh sorry for typos. iPhone + acrylic nails + me = a bunch of silly typos.
Hopefully you can decipher that I’m saying you’re awesome and THANK YOU!
thank you so much Cori!! I had never planned on making this public or even having it HAPPEN! But I”m glad you found other ways and have stayed healthy! what a long road back it is!
Are you following the ME way of eating? What type of foods do you eat now?
no, I’m just eating. I’m not following anything.. eating intuitively I guess you could say.
Right now I just can’t follow any “rules”
I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner and sometimes a snack.
Most of the time I don’t eat grains, not because I am trying not to, but because I just dont.
I have fruit everyday. I rarely eat dairy. (greek yogurt sometimes)
I have chicken, eggs, rice and veggies.
As it stands right now, I just need to eat and I’m not doing any kind of diet or measuring food
so glad i found you the other night when researching AF. i’ve had this for about two years, maybe longer. i have had a lifetime of abusing my body, ED, dieting, purging, over excersising and under eating and things “worked” until my mom and grandma got sick in 2010 and eventually passed away. it was the most stressful and sad time of my life. the only time i felt ok is when i was working out (cycling) and i didn’t want to eat because my mom couldn’t (colon cancer). after she passed i noticed extreme fatigue thought it was because i wasn’t sleeping because i was crying all the time. i became alarmed when i noticed the belly fat and still didn’t really understand until my mother in law was diagnosed with cancer 9 months later. went to a Nd and had the saliva test, my cortisol was high when it should have been low and vise versa. i am trying to eliminate stress from my life and understand that no matter what i do, until this heals, i’m going to be in neutral with my food on the gas (ie STUCK). this is very hard because exercise is a part of my life but i have come to the realization that i need to just chill. i’m larger now than i’ve ever been before and have had guilt over mistreating my body and not appreciating what it did for me despite what i did TO IT. i do not like what i see but i need to concentrate on other things. i have dialed back the cycling (my LOVE!) and am doing yoga and am going to try meditation next. i just ordered the book you talk about and have been reading up on supplementation. i NEED TO HEAL and lose this adrenal fatigue! thank you for letting me feel validated!
Lisa– I’m glad you are taking the right steps and I’m sorry to hear about all the tragedies going on in your life! Please check out the workshop I’m holding in October, it would probably be a wonderful event for you. At the very least, on the home page, get on the mailing list on the right hand side:)
Good luck and keep me posted on your progress.. its a long hard road, but I believe we can heal if we can let go of that “control” and the abuse of ourselves.. BIG HUGS!
Hey there, yep it’s been a tough two years. My gma passed July 10, my mom passed three months post diagnosis in 10/10 (on my birthday), her mom died two days later, then my mother in law three months post fibroid cancer diagnosis in 11/11. You can’t make this up!!!
I signed up for the newsletter but haven’t seen info yet on the workshop! I need all the help I can get!
oh my gosh! honey thats awful! at the end of 2010 we had 6 deaths in 5 months, but they all weren’t close family.
Here is some info on the workshop and I’m sending 3 newsletters this week, Mon, tues and wed
O Danny! We so need to get together and have an herbal tea when you get here and get settled in Dallas! I definitely haven’t competed as much as you, but I SERIOUSLY rebounded and just couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me after the last show I did in ’07. Since then I’ve lost the weight but was no where near show condition, got pregnant 3 times, miscarried 2, went on bed rest and ate seriously hideous amounts of ice cream, had a healthy baby boy but weighed almost 200 pounds (OMG!), lost it all, again, no where near show shape, but hey I could fit back into my jeans, moved across the country, took a maddening stressful job (and quit because I hated it so much!) short sold our Vegas house (FINALLY!), and I am 50 pounds heavier 1 year later after all of that chaos again. Throw in there some medical weight loss because I was so desperate to get the weight off, and well, here I am the heaviest I have ever been, miserable, an anxiety ridden horrible mess and struggling (physically, mentally, hormonally) I definitely know being consistent and not being like a cat with my claws stuck in the ceiling will help, but I am planning to go see a naturopath and have my blood levels assessed, some of the things going on with my skin, my gut and mentally (really foggy way too often) are pointing to some things that need to be addressed to get healthy again. SO glad I finally took the time to watch these! When you get settled in Dallas, give me a shout on Facebook and we’ll meet up!
yessss! there’s so much to say here, well I will be there soon!
F**k my body! F**k the 10+ doctors I went to! I am sick of this constant deep breathing, unable to digest, mind fog, heart racing shit. F**k it all, I have been like this for more than 3 years! Life like this is worthless, but you must continue, right? Yeah, right, let’s hope for the heart attack soon! I pray!
did you see one of my follow-ups to this?
there is hope and I’m very sorry you are feeling SOOOOO awful.
please take a look at some of these things http://thesweatybetties.com/metabolic-damage-follow-up-and-resources/
Thank you for posting these videos – super informative. In one you had mentioned you would be posting video’s showing the type of training you are doing through your recovery – would you mind posting links to those? Because of exhaustion, my training has been cut WAY back. I can just muster up 2-3 sessions a week, about an hour each. I’ve been told to keep it to just the two and fit in so walking/yoga when I can.
I’ve gained SO much weight over the last few months though, whilw training 3 x’s a week – it would be devastating to gain more. I eat (and have for a few years) a paleo diet, and have upped my carbs and stopped intermittent fasting since this all started (or rather at the height of all this when I gained about 15 lbs in November 2012, and lost my period after that)…Thats also around the time my energy went to sh*t and I dropped the super intense training down from five 1.5 hour sessions (including hiit 3x’s a week) to just the two 3 hour sessions, resistance training only. Weirdly, I was never on a super restricted diet (not to me anyway) before this. I did eat lower carbs, but I think this happens by default when youre gluten intolerant and don’t eat grains. I also preferred to skip breakfast, but def. ate 2k calories +, all the time. I was not super skinny (was 5’4, 145, trying to get to 135-140, and a size 4-6). Interestingly, I quit smoking in September – just goes to show you stress can come from ANYWHERE! I gained about 25 pounds from Nov through Feb. None of my old clothes fit me, and having to shop for a bigger size totally sux, and added SO much stress to my head.
I feel like the stress is leveled out. I am more relaxed and calm, and almost sleeping right. I have not been able to drag myself to bed at 10. Still waking up at 3, but generally able to fall right back to sleep. I know this is a huge piece of the puzzle I need to work on.
Anyway, I just started seeing a functional doc. who am hopeful about, as he spent an hour with me on my first appointment and talked to me about my training, eating, energy, adrenals, and fam. history of thyroid…..I gave at least 15 vials of blood on Friday and doing a 24 hour saliva adrenal/cortisol panel. So I am hopeing that he will prescribe the right meds ands supps to help me fix this.
If you don’t mind posting this link, this is how I found my doc – this might help others who are having a hard time finding a doctor who will help: http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117
I am in no way affiliated with that site – I found out about this through Chris Kressor’s Healthy Skeptic podcast, and was forever grateful that it was mentioned on the show I was listenting to.
Anyhow, I’ve rambled enough! Would be so appreciative if you would please post the links to your recovery training. Thanks – Lisa
hehe – edit – I am NOT working out for 3 hours twice a week. I am working out for 1 hour, 2-3 times a week…
I actually STOPPED ALL workouts for over 4 months. I didn’t do ANY. Not weights, nothing.
Walking, hiking, yoga… all just mayyyybe a few times a week, but nothing scheduled..
then I started back lifting slowly.. I made this program you can download
I did it all exact except I didn’t add cardio back until week 5.
I will post your doc. on my “resources” page
thanks!! any extra people can help!
Awesome! Thank you so much! 4 months – oh boy….
every person will be different.. but I was in bad shape (hormonally) my body needed it. I just slept A LOT and listened to how I felt. I didn’t go back until I wanted to go back… and now I work out sporadically, when I feel like it.. never more than 20 mins cardio and I’ve lost about 13 lbs of the 30
Wow I’m so glad I stumbled upon your Instagram which led me to this. I, like all the women in the comment section, have been struggling with my weight all my life. I started dieting like 10 years ago and have been doing any and EVERY possible thing I can think of to lose the weight. About 3 years ago I joined Weight Watchers and was able to lose 50lbs, but of course after losing it I slowly started gaining again. So naturally I up’ed my workouts, cardio queen for sure, and lost a little tiny bit. And then the bomb hit, I quit smoking and within 3-5 months put on at least 35+lbs. Fast forward 2 years and LOTS of dieting/exercise later, to no avail have yet to lose more then 5lbs and even when I lose I immediately gain it back. I just started to increase my cals and eating really clean, I’m going to try this for a good solid month and then if nothing for sure come back to this. Thank you so much for posting all this and taking away a lot of the frustration I’ve been feeling over the past 2 years!
I strongly suggest taking a solid 6-12 weeks OFF dieting.. if you can maintain by eating what you want.. thats progress
I also recommend looking for a naturopath in your area.. good luck!
I found this resource to be incredibly helpful when dealing with problems related to “metabolism”/thyroid health and over dieting/training.
Also this quote from the late Dr. Atkins says it all about prolonged dieting:
“…remember that prolonged dieting (this one [meaning the Atkins diet], low-fat, low-calorie, or a combination) tends to shut down thyroid function. This is usually not a problem with the thyroid gland (therefore blood tests are likely to be normal) but with the liver, which fails to convert T4 into the more active thyroid principle, T3. The diagnosis is made on clinical ground with the presence of fatigue, sluggishness, dry skin, coarse or falling hair, an elevation in cholesterol, or a low body temperature. I ask my patients to take four temperature readings daily before the three meals and near bedtime. If the average of all these temperatures, taken for at least three days, is below 97.8 degrees F (36.5 C), that is usually low enough to point to this form of thyroid problem; lower readings than that are even more convincing.” – Dr. Atkins
Good Luck to all with their metabolic problems and remember to just Eat the Food.
I would LOVE another update – I’ve suspected I’ve had this for a couple of months now. I’ve dieted for the last 2.5 years, and March 2012 I was in the best shape of my life, then I moved and got into a horrible flatting situation with a girl who was horrible – I was scared to go home, and stressed out, so what would I do? I’d go to the gym and do intense exercise every day. I gained about 3kg in that year. I then moved in November last year again to a lovely flat, but over Xmas I gained another 2-3kg. I was all, it’s OK, I can just up the exercise again and count calories again and it’ll be fine – but the scale kept going up! I didn’t get it. The toughest thing is the mental struggle…
I’m now working on a plan with my chiropractor, taking herbal remedies, zinc, etc. taking some probiotics and only doing yoga a couple of times a week as exercise to keep myself sane. I’m remembering to breathe as well…
Reading a book called ‘accidentally overweight’ by Dr. Libby Weaver – which is very good as well. Phew.
sounds like you’re on the right track now.. I will do an update soon!
Thank you so very much for these videos. I’ve been battling with the same thing for over two years now. I competed and never felt better. After competing i started binging and over training. the weight piled on and my hormones are still in shock. I’ve stopped dieting and exercising for a month now and it’s made no difference to my weight. My hormones are still in such a mess! I’ve been to a couple of doctors who just want to pump me with hormones. Ive been told i may have pcos. Deep down i know its the damage i have done, but the doctors don’t seem to want to listen. I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle. I’m from South Africa, and I find it hard to find good resources. I’m pretty much following your path. Thank you once again, for being so open and sharing your story.
thanks Carla! I’m working on some kind of a program to help others through it