not so much satisfacted about the result

ACNE

IMPORTANT:
So for the past two years, especially last year, I had moderate acne. It was only on my back at first and then it spread to my cheeks, where it scarred. Mum took me to the doctor, mainly cause she was worried about my self-image and I had talked about it being an insecurity. With professional medical advice, I started to follow this daily treatment plan:

1. Doxycycline 50mg antibiotic (daily)
2. Nightly ‘gentle’ skin cleanser (cetaphil) DO NOT use face masks/exfoliants/products that ‘improve’ skin complexion. These will irritate acne, reducing natural oils that fight bacteria *yay for oily skin*
4. Differin cream nightly (each tube is $80 but lasts two months)
3. 2L of water each day

And finally the most important:
DO NOT PICK/SQUEEZE!! Yes, there is a great amount of satisfaction/pain relief in squeezing that pimple.. BUT DON’T. Each pimple you squeeze = a new scar.. thinking about that helped me resist (you can do it!).

I have been following these steps for the past 10 months, and my acne is pretty much all gone. Yes, I still have scars, and will for a while, but in time they will heal. Also, don’t expect any results quickly. It took about 5 months for my acne to start clearing up, so you have to be patient! I know there are many who have had acne way worse than me, but this is how I helped reduce the amount of mine :)

PLEASE SHARE!

In case you don’t follow me on Twitter, here’s my State of the Joseph. It gets dark and personal, be warned.

Don’t dwell on the problem, think of a solution.

I don’t know how many times I’ve repeated that phrase over the years (too many for some that know me, I’m sure), but it might be the mantra I have that I believe in the most. I get stressed and upset like anyone else, but I am lucky enough to have the ability to collect myself and work on moving forward. Moving forward is the name of the game and I’d ask you to keep that in mind when reading this. Some of the timeline is shifted slightly for the sake of easier reading, but nothing so much so that actually changes the impact of events.

As I said before, this post isn’t going to focus on the past. The big points of interest have already been covered by Troy and Tim and the things that could be added aren’t relevant for you all to get the big picture of how everything went down. Power was abused, trust was broken, and friendship was lost. One thing I will mention is in regards to my “eat shit” comment to Noah. Some people seem to think that that was an unprofessional comment to make. Well… no shit. That’s why I put “mostly” in parentheses. Noah knows exactly the part he played in all of this and should have known how I would react to a sickly-sweet non-statement in a thread based on honesty and transparency. I can also assure you all that mine and Tim’s misgivings about Noah were anything but petty. That is probably the last I will ever say on the matter and, while you have all been truly amazing at respecting my privacy on the matter, I would just like to state that I’d appreciate it if you didn’t press me on it further.

Don’t dwell on the problem, think of a solution.

After Tim and I left THAC, I had a lot of anger, a lot of stress, and no outlet. At first I thought that I would pick up live streaming and Tim and I were going to blow the world away with all of the cool stuff we’d be making. However, when Tim came over with a whole bunch of new toys to play with, I found that my heart just wasn’t in it like I thought it was. I was burned out and the only thing I really felt like doing was nothing. Looking back, this is what I would call a bout of depression. I had lost my best friend and felt forced away from a job I loved. That being said, there was a freeing aspect to it because let me tell you, making your wages based on internet popularity is a fucking nightmare. When I started feeling that weight lifted a bit, a “new” plan came to mind.

Don’t dwell on the problem, think of a solution.

Rewind. I like having a plan, which is weird because I spent so many years in school screwing around and torpedoing any plans I had. Nevertheless, it’s a trait of mine that I’ve had for as long as I can remember. When my good friend Steven got married, I visited Seattle for the first time and fell in love. When Mai came to join me, I told her we should just stay in that “ha ha I’m joking (but only if you say no)” kind of way. Turns out, she dug the vibe of the city as much as I did and I started obsessing over it. When we came back from the wedding, I told the fellas that I had a new five-year plan. I was going to get my TCF degree, get a job at a Seattle TV station, and live as a Hipster Cool Guy for the rest of my life.

Well, the degree got put on hold because I dropped out to focus 100% on building THAC and over the next year the five-year plan was pushed to the side to deal with the day-by-day management of a new and struggling company. When I left THAC, it felt like the five-year plan was pretty much done for. I applied for a job at the local news station but you try competing against free student labor for PA positions and against people who have relevant experience that doesn’t include “the internet” for salaried positions at an old-school news station. The dream is dead, boys and girls.

Don’t dwell on the problem, think of a solution.

I got a job as a deli clerk at Publix, a southern grocery store company. It’s a good company and I set my sights on moving up as fast as possible. I made full-time in three months, something that doesn’t happen very often, and I was starting to feel pretty good about myself. Then my grandfather got put in the hospital. Basically, he overexerted himself caring for my grandmother who suffers from Alzheimer’s. He’s no spring chicken and has an assortment of ailments himself and just can’t keep up with her needs. The doctor basically said they either needed to move to an assisted living facility or have constant in-home care.

We felt that my grandmother’s condition meant that moving her out of the house would only accelerate her condition and would effectively be a death sentence. With that in mind, I suggested that Mai and I move in with them to help however we could. We aren’t nurses or anything but just picking up the slack on minor things like filling prescriptions, doing dishes and laundry, and just generally being available to help when we weren’t working seemed like it was worth doing. They raised me and I was a pretty crappy kid so it’s the least I can do to repay them, right? We decided to go for it.

Unfortunately, the downside to this decision is that I get to struggle with the crippling stress of a lot of dark questions. What if moving in with them causes us to stagnate and we miss out on living our own lives? What if Mai grows to resent me for that? What will I do when my grandmother finally stops recognizing me? What if they die?

Don’t dwell on the problem, think of a solution.

When I was telling my mom about my idea to move in with my grandparents, she said something that has helped me power through a lot of those dark thoughts. When it comes to Alzheimer’s Disease, you can’t think a decade down the road. You have to think six months, a year at most, ahead. Focus on the now and enjoy the time you have left. I can’t cure my grandmother and I may very well lose her twice. What I can do is make her time with me as comfortable as possible and keep moving forward, because that’s all she wants.

It’s really hard to have a feeling of self-worth when you are doing something that your heart isn’t in for a job and you feel like you can never do enough to help those you love when you’re home. That said, those same people that I feel like I can’t help enough have never been anything but supportive of me. It’s because of that that I do what I have to to make things work. I am nothing if not resilient.

Don’t dwell on the problem, think of a solution.

I’ve taken you guys into a deeply personal place in my life and I’m sorry for that. This write-up is as much catharsis for me as it is an update for where I’m headed. Let’s actually talk about the future, shall we?

Like I said, my heart isn’t in front-facing retail. As much as I am a natural performer (I swear I am actually really good at trumpet), I’ve always had a love of being behind-the-scenes and making things work. It’s not about being in control, it’s about knowledge and the satisfaction of knowing that your actions had a direct effect on a result. This is something that really came alive in my time with THAC and was when I realized, “hey, I’m actually super good at this”.

Mai is currently finishing up her internship and we are working on getting her visa/green card stuff done so she can get a big girl job. Once that is done, I am planning on going back to school and finally, FINALLY, finishing a degree. Besides music, one interest that has always stuck with me is my love of technology. That, combined with my analytical mindset and love of tinkering, has me wanting that degree to be in computer science. If I’m a good boy and do all my homework, I can finish it before my 31st birthday.

Remember that “new” plan I mentioned a while back? The quotations are important because my love for Seattle never faded, though the path leading there did. Now I have a new road that I’m gearing up for. It’ll be bumpy and hard and I’m sure the car will break down at some point but I’m not backing down this time. I find myself daydreaming about being out there near-constantly and it is that feverish desire to move ahead that keeps the dark thoughts at bay now. I can’t think five years ahead for my grandmother, but I can for myself. When the day comes when I have accepted my new job and need to figure out what to do for my grandparents, I’ll figure it out.

Don’t dwell on the problem, think of a solution.

Now for some parting words. I want to extend my deepest, most sincere feelings of gratitude to all of you fans out there. You have made the last seven years simply unbelievable. I will never forget all the fantastic memories you’ve given me. My life is better for every interaction I’ve ever had with you.

I’d like to stay creative and make new things for you all but I’m not going to sit here and make empty promises. There are no BIG PLANS or COMING SOONS, just me working my butt off at a deli to pay for a wedding ceremony in September and school in spring. I do have ideas, but that’s all for now.

Tim and I are still great friends. I was the officiant at his wedding and he is returning the favor for me. I would not describe Troy and I as friends again, but we are talking again for the first time since the end of November. It’s sad that things are like they are, but that’s life. Shit happens and you are going to find yourself against some really intimidating obstacles. When you face those in your own life, my best advice to you is this.

Don’t dwell on the problem, think of a solution.

J-Hope Scenario: Sweet Dreams

  • Genre: Smut
  • Word Count: 842

After months of trying to get your schedules in line, you can finally bring Hoseok over to meet your family during the holidays. Thankfully, he meshed well with everyone and become the life of the party. In fact, he was loved so much that every single one of your relatives wanted to drink with him so halfway through the night he was dazzling everyone with his drunken dance moves. Trying to keep your boyfriend standing you lost track of time until it became too late to go home. Instead your aunt, the owner of the house, insist that you both, as well as many of your other drunk relatives, stay the night. Knowing you couldn’t argue, you lead Hoseok into a spare bedroom on the top floor. As you enter the room you begin cursing your choice, It was being used as storage, so full that from the doorway you could barely see the head of the bed. Making your way through the maze, you get Hoseok onto the bed and tuck him in without protest.

Afterwards, you help clean up the hurricane your boyfriend was at the centre of and put your younger cousins to bed. Taking a while to calm the chaos, you finally head upstair to join your boyfriend for some much needed rest. He seems to be fully asleep so you carefully nuzzle into his neck, trying to get comfortable without disturbing him. However, things quickly take a turn, you two begin to kiss each other passionately. Hoseok then takes the initiative and goes below the sheets; lifting your shirt and planting kisses everywhere on his way down. He continues past your hips and begins to kiss and squeeze your thighs before using his teeth to slowly slide down your underwear.

Just as he begins to plant kisses exactly where you need them, there’s a knock on the door. Then you see your aunt’s head pop through. “Where’s your boyfriend, Hoseok?” she asked. You tap Hoseok, who is still completely cover by the sheets resting on your lap, signalling him to stop. Realizing that she can’t see him you instead feel him smirk as he becomes rougher with his tongue. You have no idea what to do, pleasure and panic mixing in your mind.

Fighting through your high you respond as best you could. “Just-uh-on the other side of the bed, i think he had to much fun. He’s out like a light.” You laugh nervously, hoping she doesn’t notice your vice-grip on the sheets or irregular breathing. “I’m glad you brought him. He’s so good with the kids, helped set up things when he got here and was great entertainment. Everyone loves him,” she said approvingly. Indeed, while she praised him all you could think about was how good Hoseok was and the way his fingers had found their way to your clit. Almost breathless, you end the small talk with your aunt with a “goodnight,” that was more air than sound.    

 “What was that?!” you demand, anger mixing with enjoyment. Hoseok emerges from the sheets still fully clothed and goes over to the door, locking it. “I’m just getting started,” he responds, all evidence of his goofy drunk self gone. He strides forward towards the bed and rips the sheets away, exposing your soaked core. Your body shudders at the draft but you eyes are too distracted by the man stripping in front of you. Slowly, he removes each article, revealing his toned body. His arms, abs, legs; you drink in every detail about him. As he climbed on top of you he taunted “If you’re cold down there, I can fix that.” Rolling on a condom he positioned himself at your entrance. Slowly he pushes in, teasing you because he knows how riled up you are from before.

Frustrated, you reach up to pull him closer and force him to fully enter you. The sudden fullness caused you to contract, driving Hoseok crazy and you can see his eyes shift as he takes full control. Planting his arms on either side of you he begins to thrust. Not bothering to start off slow he instead goes full speed. His grunts are low, trying to keep his volume down so no one could hear. You grab onto his arms, digging your nails into him to try and prevent yourself from screaming with pleasure but his sounds were to much for you to handle and a deep moan escaped from your lips. Soon after the bliss resulted in you both climaxing, forgetting about the rest of the house and exclaiming in satisfaction.

Only after Hoseok rolls over beside you do you both realize what just happened. Blushing, you hope everyone was too drunk and fast asleep to hear or even care about the sounds you two had made. “Let’s worry about it in the morning, sweet dreams,” he mumbled lovingly as he pushed the hair in your face behind your ear. Reassured by his words you drift off to sleep, wishing you could live in this dream forever.    

Conscious Relationships

We are approaching a period of time when relationships are ready to go through a major redesign. The current paradigm isn’t working. People are unsatisfied in love; people don’t know how to make relationships work.

And, believe it or not, this isn’t a bad thing. Because when systems break-down, that’s when they change. I believe that’s what’s happening in the area of intimate partnership. The break-down is forcing us to move towards conscious love.

So what exactly is a conscious relationship?

It’s a romantic relationship in which both partners feel committed to a sense of purpose, and that purpose is growth. Individual growth. Collective growth as a couple. Growth that makes the world a better place.

As of now, most people get into relationships to satisfy their own personal needs. This might work for a few years, but eventually the relationship fails us, and we end up unsatisfied as a result.

But when two people come together with the intention of growth, the relationship strives towards something much greater than gratification. The partnership becomes a journey of evolution, and the two individuals have an opportunity to expand more than they could alone. Deep satisfaction and long-term fulfillment arise as a result.

So if you’re someone who feels called to take your experience of romantic love to the next level, below are four qualities that characterize what being a conscious couple is all about. Welcome to the path of the conscious relationship. This is next-level love …

1. The conscious couple is not attached to the outcome of the relationship - growth comes first.

Not being attached to the outcome of the relationship does not mean you don’t care what happens! It also doesn’t mean that you don’t have fantasies about how the relationship will turn out.

What it means is: you’re more committed to the experience of growth than you are to making the relationship “work.”

The reality is, we’re here to grow. Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. When growth stops, we automatically feel like something’s gone wrong. Because it has. Without growth, we aren’t fulfilling our soul’s purpose.

Unfortunately, relationships today tend to stifle growth more than enhance it. This is one of the main reasons we’re failing at romantic love.

We want our partners to act in a certain way, we repress ourselves to please others, and soon enough, we feel small, oppressed and puzzled about who we’ve become. This, inevitably, makes the relationship feel like a cage that we want to break out of. But the unfortunate truth is: we’ve caged ourselves.

The conscious couple values growth more than anything else because they know this is the secret to keeping the relationship alive. Even though growth is scary (because it takes us into the unknown), the couple is willing to strive towards expansion, even at the risk of out-growing the relationship. Because of this, the relationship maintains a natural feeling of aliveness, and love between the couple does, too.

2. Each person in the relationship is committed to owning their s#*t.

Conscious couples know that we all have wounds from the past, and they understand that these wounds will inevitably be triggered, especially in a relationship. In other words, they expect to feel abandoned, trapped, rejected, overlooked and any other shitty feeling that arises when we bond closely with another person.

Most of us still believe that relationships should only feel good, and when bad feelings surface, something has gone terribly wrong. What we fail to see in this situation is that these shitty feelings stem from our own faulty patterning! These issues are not caused by our partners; they’re caused by our beliefs.

The conscious couple is willing to look at their past and current issues in relationships because they know that by facing these beliefs systems, they can evolve into a new relationship-reality. Dysfunctional patterns will dissolve, but only when we take responsibility for them, first.

3. All feelings are welcome and no internal process is condemned.

In a conscious relationship, there’s room to feel anything. Not only that, there’s room to express those feelings and fantasies to your partner. This is edgy territory… it’s not easy to do. But it’s also one of the most healing things we can experience in a partnership

It’s rare to be completely honest about who you are, and to stretch yourself to let your partner do the same. You may not like what you hear; in fact, it may trigger the hell out of you. But you’re willing to be triggered if it means your partner can be authentic.

Like I already said, we’re used to molding and changing ourselves to please people we love because we don’t want them to stop loving us! This stifles the love out of our connections.

The only option is radical honesty: revealing parts of ourselves that are hard to share, and letting our partners do the same. This leads to feeling known, seen and truly understood — a combination that will automatically enhance your love.

4. The relationship is a place to practice love.

Love, ultimately, is a practice. A practice of acceptance, being present, forgiveness, and stretching your heart into vulnerable territories.

Sometimes we treat love like it’s a destination. We want that peak feeling all the time, and when it’s not there, we’re not satisfied with what the relationship has become. In my mind, this is missing the whole point of love.

Love is a journey and an exploration. It’s showing up for all varied nuances of your relationship and asking yourself, What would love do here?” The answer will be different every time, and because of this, you’ll get to grow in ways you never have before!

The conscious couple is fiercely committed to being the embodiment of love. And through their devotion and practice, love shows up in their lives and relationship in ways they would’ve never imagined before.

~ Shelly Bullard ~

I saw that asks about what to wear and I got a bit carried away but I hope it helps someone.

What to wear for an interview in retail:

I always tell that dress like when you go on a first date, don’t show anything, but look good and feel comfortable. You want to show the best of you. And it don’t have to be black and white!

As a girl I always wear a beige-pink top, which has a necklace print on it ( in cold weather I add a black cardigan or jacket,) and dark blue jeans with black formal shoes. In the past if I wore these I got the job (so its my get-the-job-look).

For men: a shirt with collar (like tennis shirt), clear, simple, light colors(white, beige, light brown, light blue, light anything), in cold weather add vest, cardigan or jacket but use black, and dark jeans with black formal shoes, like dandy shoes.

in short:

top-light color

outer-black

dark jeans

formal shoes

Before the big thing always read about the place you go to and about the job you want to get (origin of the store, founders, locations, and what will be your duties etc). If they mention a lot how much they care about nature or something you can tell them that’s why you choosed them because … is very important to you too and it’s good to work with people who care about it. I even read the financial news about the company…

And find some good sites about “the most frequent questions&answers at a job interview”, read it and practise it to the point where you can make your perfect answers with your own words, its even better when you write them down. So do your research it can save your ass. Some examples:

-If they ask you if you are a teamplayer or not say that: I like to make my duties alone but I find joy in teamwork too. Like when I’m alone  I have responsibility for everything and I have to manage my time well, but in team we share duties and work together to achieve results. They’re both challenging, so I love them both.

-On the bad qualities: think about something that can turned to be a good quality with working on it. Like: I care too much about customers satisfaction, I love to see them smile while they leave. Here they always ask, why, it’s a good thing, but then tell them: Yes it’s a good thing, but not every customer wants a solution, sometimes they just play games to get free stuff, and I have to follow the rules of the shop I work in and don’t bend them. And in these cases, unfortunately I can’t help them. But these are not common, there are only a few customers who do this. 

This will take you to this question:

-have you ever had a bad case with a customer? Look like you think about it for few seconds and tell one with a happy ending, like a lady thought you know her kids, but got angry because you not, but after a small talk about her childs’ interests you find the perfect gifts (happened, yep). Or: a guy was angry because your shop didn’t sold one-sized clothes and he forgot his gf’s size, but you offered your help and asked about his gf’s height, or if she is bigger or thinner than you, so you found out her size, then helped him to choose out a few shirts (happened, too) And not forget to say that you told them about store policy: they can bring back the items with receipt.

On the interview: Don’t cross your arms/legs, don’t put your elbow on the table, sit up straight, SMILE, be kind and generous, try to talk like a lady/sir (manners), be confident, but if they ask just say them you are a bit excited because this seems like a good opportunity. It’s a good excuse too if you mess up something, and ask them if you can start over. (You can, and it helps. Just take a big breath before it)

If they offer it, accept a glass of water/tea/coffee and drink it before you leave(, if you can’t answer to something right away cough a little and drink some, you just won few seconds to think.) And it’s a bit interesting because psychologists say if you accept something from them they will like you more. And you can chit-chat a bit about the weather, the traffic or something small (fave tea-coffeshop!), but it will ease you both.

Always have a pen and some paper with you. And write down important informations. Like phone numbers, dates,… they will see that you take the job seriously

Nowadays nobody asked to bring in my documents or my resume, but it’s a good thing if you scan them (or have good photos of them) and save them on your phone. And yes: Phone on silent mode!

Before the interview relax a bit, sit in the bath, listen to your favourite songs, or anything, just let off steam for a bit.

Good luck!

Yesterday, I showed Sharee’s zumba videos to my friend who has been trying to lose weight for a while. She was looking for an at-home workout, so naturally I thought of how she could have a FUNERAL FOR HER FAT! Her first response to the first video was “okay, I could probably do this…” and then she said, “who is that skinny bitch with the perfect, flat stomach?!!” …naturally, this response gave me all of the feels. I explained to her just who Sharee was–fitblr, superwoman, Psych grad student, etc. I showed her before & afters from Sharee’s page, and she went, “OH that’s right, I remember you telling me about her. She worked really hard for her hot bod.” Instantly, because I provided actual EVIDENCE of Sharee’s hard work, her opinion changed. She then seemed incredibly defeated and discouraged…as if to say, “she worked hard for it…there’s no way I can work that hard too.”

This interaction really got me thinking about our first response to women who are “skinnier” (I fucking hate that word) or smaller or more fit than we are. Most of the time, we are immediately defensive and shoot them negative thoughts because we assume that they were just handed their “perfect” body–that they’ve put in zero work. I am elated to be in this community for many reasons, but one of the biggest ones is that this immediate response has changed for me. When I see women working hard in the gym, no matter what size they are, I think: “you do work, girlfriend” and then secretly wish that I could high five them and ask them if they maybe have a tumblr dedicated to fitness. I think this for women who are significantly overweight on the elliptical, clearly struggling with a resistance that most would probably find easy–and for women who are hitting gains in the weights that the men next to them are far from. It is necessary that we support each other. The girls that are smaller than you? More fit? Let them drive you to be better and set more goals for yourself. Don’t compare their success to yours, but rather look at where they might have started from and know that you can do the same. Maybe some women are born with skinny, small, even athletic bodies…but guess what? They probably don’t know what it’s like to sweat until you taste salt–or bleed from blisters that are unavoidable with new running shoes. They might not appreciate their petite frames, but if you work for YOU and challenge yourself to be stronger, the love you have for your body will increase & change. There is so much satisfaction in proving people wrong and working hard to see results.

I am in love with this community of badass, independent, beautiful women who defy society’s bullshit expectations and who make strong the new sexy. I am so grateful for every single one of you. Remember why you started, and when you feel upset about a plateau or get stuck by the mental barriers that will undoubtedly smack you in the face…think of Sharee’s long and endless journey. I will never forget standing in line at my grocery store & finding her edition of People magazine–I did a little dance that was really embarrassing in retrospect…and then turned to the woman behind me, waved the magazine in her face (really, who lets me out in public) and went “I KNOW HER!!!” even though I could only dream of being friends with her in real life. My point is, it was so amazing to see the fitblr world hit the real world through the woman who brought me to this community in the first place. So, Sharee, please know that I am eternally grateful and will never be able to repay you for what you’ve given me. 

That’s all for now—I have to go run some miles and then do leg day until failure :)

Love yourselves, love one another. Work hard. Earn it. 

xoxo

"Initial Weight Gain" on Raw Till 4 vs. a McDougall Diet

On Raw Till 4, there is a lot of talk about “initial weight gain” on the high fruit diet, as the body recovers from previous calorie restriction and metabolism revs up. That’s the idea. 

Dr. McDougall doesn’t talk at all about initial weight gain. You’re supposed to just lose weight right away; if not, you can make adjustments to the composition of the diet to lower the calorie density (less flours, less dehydrated or refined foods, less high fat foods). 

So, who’s right and what’s going on with people who are trying starch solution, but still super ravenous and eating lots of bread and pasta and gaining or maintaining a high weight? 

Keep in mind, Dr. McDougall is real medical doctor. Most of the people he sees are sick with the common Western diseases: heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, breast cancer, prostate cancer, angina, etc. These are not people that are coming from eating disorders. They are people that have been eating eggs and bacon for breakfast, hamburgers for lunch and pork chops and buttery mashed potatoes and carrots for dinner. (I don’t know, is that what people eat?!?) Anyways, his focus is not people that are late teens, early twenties and are dieting / bingeing and upset they are 135 pounds instead of 110, you know what I mean? That’s not to say at all that the diet won’t work for these people, it’s just, not all your questions will be addressed in his books and presentations. We have to cobble our understanding together from various sources and our on experience. 

The whole raw food / fruitarian movement, on the other hand, is a total magnet for eating disordered young girls. The purity, the promise of being able to eat and yet be lean. The whole symbolism of it. So, yes, a lot of the concerns are addressed by Freelee, Durianrider and many in the raw food / hclf high raw movement. That doesn’t necessarily mean that high raw will work better though.  

I actually think, yes, there can be initial weight gain on both diets if you are coming from a history of disordered and restrictive eating

The way I see this whole problem is like this: 

If you restrict calories, especially to very low levels (like under 1200), and especially if you do so when you are young (like under 18), you trigger a starvation response in your brain, where your lower brain goes into emergency mode and uses all its tricks to influence you to eat more, any time there’s a crack in the armor of restriction. It will send you urges, cravings and thoughts that sound like your higher brain. (You can read all about this more in Brain Over Binge.) I call this starvation response, not to be confused with what people refer to as “starvation mode”, which is supposedly where your body downregulates the metabolism so much that you gain instead of lose on a low level of calories. 

To get out of this starvation response, you need to eat without restriction, until complete satisfaction every time you are hungry. For a while you will be completely ravenous and eating so much you question whether this is correct. You could do this really on any diet. People seem to have the best results if they can find a diet that they feel is healthy, where they can “make friends with their food” again. Where food is no longer just a source of calories (calories = bad, in their minds). People recover on paleo, because they believe in what they’re eating and are able to leave the restriction thoughts behind and eat an appropriate amount of calories for recovery purposes. They believe their food is nourishing them and therefore are able to tolerate the weight gain for a while. Some people embrace the idea of “EAT THE FOOD” or “The Fuck it Diet”, and just eat ice cream, pizza and whatever, embracing that this is the right thing for them. Any kind of consistent calorie supply will help to get the brain out of the starvation response. Of course, I would always recommend that everyone follow a diet that does not cause suffering to animals, and I do think that starch based is a wonderful diet for eating disorder recovery

The other component to initial weight gain and thereafter weight loss, is metabolic damage / repair. I’ve written about this before, but basically, McDougall and Jeff Novick don’t mention or give any credence to the fact that your metabolism would go down by more than just the amount that reflects the body losing weight, but I think many of us who have intensely restricted calories have experienced the lower body temperatures, cold hands and feet, brittle nails and hair and fatigue that Matt Stone writes about (<— free kindle book!). I do think that if you are feeling constantly cold and low energy from dieting, it indicates your metabolism is low and it can be repaired eating more, especially starch with some sugar and some salt. From my experience, the saturated fat part, that Matt Stone recommends wasn’t necessary, but that’s part of the original plan. 

For most people, if they initially gain weight and then lose it later, it’s because they find later, they don’t need to eat that much anymore, plus, perhaps, they’ve repaired their metabolism and are burning more calories now by keeping the body properly warm and running all the bodily processes at a higher level. Also, their energy level may be better so they burn more through activity. But these people gained weight initially, because they needed to eat more to satisfy the crazy hunger and reset their brains out of the starvation response. It’s not due to detox, it’s not water weight, it’s not due to eating salt, it’s not because you’re “not eating enough”, it’s just eating more -> gaining weight. You forced weight off of you before, now you get it back (and maybe some extra). You get to do it over right. Later, when the brain is out of the starvation response, you can eat a normal amount of food. If you make that food high carb low fat vegan food and especially focus on the MWL type foods (whole, intact starches with lots of veggies and limited fruits or high fat foods), you will be able to lose weight without all the craziness you’ve been feeling from the eating disorder. If you choose a high pizza and ice cream type diet for refeeding, it may be harder to lose weight after you feel better mentally, but perhaps you will then naturally transition to less dense foods also.

How long will it take? For me it took almost a year, and I hadn’t even restricted that severely in the last five years prior to recovery, plus I had binged on super high calorie foods so often, which I would have thought at the time would have acted almost like a “metabolic repair”, but I found that was not the case. I would go in with the expectation that it will take 12-18 months in most cases, but if you don’t do it on fruit, like I did, perhaps it can be faster. I don’t think fruit is ideal for recovery because (1) it’s less satisfying, (2) it’s restrictive (yes, I know there are many fruits, but for most people it takes considerably more effort to restrict oneself to fruit than to restrict oneself to oatmeal, rice, potatoes, pasta and hclf pizza), and (3) it’s high water, low sodium, which I believe is worse for metabolic damage, based on Matt Stone’s writing and my own experience with my body temperature going up significantly after changing to starch-based. 

So, for all those of you who have a history of disordered, restrictive eating, who ask me why are you not losing weight, why are you so ravenously hungry, etc., these are my thoughts on all of these things. For ordinary McDougall patients coming from a non-disordered eating SAD diet, yes, they will lose weight right away. But for already medium / low weight restrictive eating disordered people, there’s a period of repair and recovery that has to come first.