I started MyFitnessPal (MFP) after seeing pictures of myself from spring break. I had been in school and was slowly gaining weight. I never really noticed until I saw the pictures.
After plugging all my data into MFP, I started focusing on healthier choices and staying within my calorie limits. My first week on MFP was a real eye-opener for me. I realized that I normally ate about 900 cals/day during the week and binged on the weekends. I began running, and lifting weights occasionally. However, I was more focused on cardio than I was on strength training. I dropped weight quickly, but I wasn't eating back my exercise calories. This usually put me at a net calorie intake of ~1000 cals/day.
I still wasn't happy with my body. I felt better, but didn't look the way I wanted to. I felt “skinny fat”, I weighed less than I had for 3 years, but still had a higher body fat percentage. Also, despite all my efforts, I had hit a plateau. I was stuck and I was getting discouraged. I tried eating even less, but never thought about eating more. I couldn't get the scale to budge. I was stuck at 140 lbs for about 6-9 months and wanted to change something to give me the body I wanted. I just didn't know what to change.
Around this time, I had started running longer distances, and I decided to train for a half marathon. With all the training I was doing, I realized that I should be fueling my body properly. I upped my calories in December of 2011, but with the big burns, I still continued to net about ~1200 cals/day. Before I ran my half in January of 2012, I met an awesome lady named Lucia on the forums at MFP. She introduced me to the concept of Eating More to Weigh Less and how it's important to know your TDEE and BMR. She encouraged me to up my calories even more and explained that my net was too low and that was probably why I was plateauing. My body was scared to lose anything because I had been essentially starving it. I upped my cals and started eating back enough exercise calories to net my BMR every day. Some days I ended up eating over 2000 calories. However, my runs improved and I started feeling less fatigued. My body was happy for the extra fuel. During that time, I gained 3 lbs, but I felt better than ever. I decided to “throw away” my scale.
To wrap up, I'm still running, but not frequently. I switched my focus to strength training. I've been training with the New Rules of Lifting for Women book and just recently started Stronglifts 5×5. I still weigh myself occasionally, but I know the scale is a liar. I'm 5'7″ and weigh about 145-150. Lately, it's been closer to 150. I work out 5-6 days/week. I usually eat between 1900-2300 calories/day depending on my exercise for the day. I no longer am a slave to cardio…I do a full-body lifting workout 2-3x/week and I take an MMA-styled class at my gym 2x/week for cardio. My next plan to to do a bulk cycle this winter. I'm a little nervous, but ready to dive in.
I have been Eating More to Weigh Less since January of 2012 and I will never go back!! Coming from a disordered eating style to the freedom of EM2WL has been life-changing for me and I hope my story will inspire others who have struggled as well.
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