T Nation

Sick, Can't Train, and Losing Weight


#1

First, I hope I’m doing this right. It’s my first time posting anything here.
Now, some background. I used to weight 132 pounds this past summer. I’m 5’7", and tired of being so skinny. I wanted to train but there aren’t really any gyms nearby. So, I got my hands on a pair of adjustable dumbbells and started training with them 3x a week. I started implementing better eating habits, eating 4 good meals a day. I didn’t go straight into a bulk because I think that establishing good eating habits should come first. I saw some decent gains, went from 132 to 142 pounds! The heaviest I had EVER been in my entire life. I was pumped. Granted, my training wasn’t amazing, and with the dumbbells I couldn’t do much, but I tried my best.

Sadly, September came, and hurricane Irma hit us. All my food went bad, and although I wasn’t starving, my diet was not stellar. Two weeks or so after it, Hurricane Maria hit us. That put me out for nearly two months. I couldn’t train and, again, I wasn’t starving but I wasn’t eating in a calorie surplus.

Finally, I went to work after a month, money was coming in and I was able to buy some food. But there was no electricity, so the diet was lacking. (I’m in Puerto Rico, at least half the island has no electricity still.) Electricity came back, I had running water, I was working normally and everything seemed to be back on track. I got my hands on a bench, some weight plates, and 2 bars, one of those ez curl. But I got sick, with mono, Saturday Nov 11. So, obviously I couldn’t train. That week before Saturday was awful and do was always tired, and the week after I went to the hospital was awful too.

I was feeling better, and started working out last week. Going 2x a week because I read that I should wait at least a month before doing strenuous work (running, combat sports, weightlifting, etc). I’ve been eating better,but every now and then I feel a little sick, and, well, I’ll try to put this the best way I can: sometimes, in a single day, I have to go to the bathroom more than once to empty my bowels. I don’t have to RUN, but it doesn’t feel right. I got on a scale and wouldn’t you believe it, I weight 129lbs now. And I’m worried about losing more weight!

Man, I saw that and I got so frustrated. So, since I know no one that’s into lifting weights (be it for bodybuilding or power lifting) I thought coming here would be a good idea. I’m thinking maybe BCAA’s can help me to kind of keep some weight, and I’m drinking protein shakes like I used to when I started training with the cheap adjustable dumbbells ( I pour one scoop protein powder, one scoop oatmeal, some oil, and milk). I’m also thinking I should pause training, for now. Even though that sucks.

What would you guys and gals recommend? Thanks in advance.


#2

Eat more consistently. If you eat at maintenance one day and a deficit the next because you don’t feel like eating or some shit then you’ll lose weight. Eat enough. Every day

When sick you could probably use the extra calories anyway even if not training. What kind of stuff you shovel down e.g. protein powder won’t really prevent weight loss if you don’t eat enough calories of worth of it.

Supplements won’t do much for you weight loss wise short of more calories via protein powder so save your money and eat more even if your appetite is telling you otherwise.


#3

Sorry to hear, you guys have had it really tough, good you’re moving forward

How old are you?

What is the situation like for rebuilding with you and your family -IMO if money an issue in any way dont spend it on supplements just pound down cheap whole foods train minimally and get your life in order.

Anyway, loads of good ideas for limited equipment…


Also google Dan John’s “From the Ground Up” ebook, great for barbell only workouts and its free! Reading a bunch of his articles very worthwhile also


#4

Those articles were amazing. I’m reading the book right now and it’s funny because the guy says that when he started training, he had to clean the weight to do military presses and squats, which is what I was doing because I don’t have a squat rack, and the rack in the bench doesn’t go up enough.

Thankfully money isn’t a big issue right now, because I’m working my regular shift. The problem is we’re scared electricity will go out again, because even though we’ve had somewhat consistent electricity for a month or so, it goes out sometimes out of the blue, like yesterday.

Oh, and I’m 23


#5

@khangles I am indeed trying to eat more consistently, my diet was not stellar but now things are getting better. I eat 4 meals a day and one or two snacks. Do you think it would be beneficial to count calories? I wasn’t doing so because I’m a beginner, as beginner as they come, and tracking macros and calories seems like something intermediate and advanced lifters do.

I am eating 4 meals a day, but since nothing is very strict, and consistency only came back a few weeks ago, it is very possible I am still undereating (if that’s even a word). Hopefully a few months from now I’ll be able to post here again, with a few more pounds on my frame.

Edit: I forgot to say I have an appointment soon for a check up. I’ve been going to the bathroom way too much, and that has to be at least part of the issue. I’m supposed to see my doctor regularly until everything gets back to normal, particularly my liver enzymes.


#6

Good to hear things are on the up.

Whatever you do keep tracking your weight maybe every morning then take a weekly average (there’s some apps that you can put your numbers into giving you a nice graphical representation of how you’re doing) to determine if you’re on the right track. If everything’s going to plan then keep on doing what you’re doing. If you’re weight gain has slowed down or stalled adjustments must be made.

If you choose to count you should be tracking macros as opposed to calories. Tracking macros is more effective for you in that it allows you to take into account your protein intake. Getting adequate amounts of protein will encourage favorable changes in body composition whether you are in period of losing weight or gaining weight, facilitating holding onto muscle and building muscle respectively.

Counting macros is something that beginners can do and get plenty of benefit from. It is however unnecessary in most cases.

If eating as you are currently makes the number on the scales go in the right direction then you probably don’t need to count anything. Maybe a rough estimate of daily protein intake per day e.g. eyeballing how much meat you get in so that you get enough.

If you are finding it hard to be consistent with how much you eat per day and thus have trouble gaining/losing weight as you’d like counting macro nutrients can certainly be beneficial.

Getting fat is supposed to be the easier than losing weight so try to have access to easy calories handy e.g. a glass of milk and eat food you enjoy eating.

Good luck


#7

Great those can be of some use.

Ok great as you’re young you have a good margin for error -as you are very underweight until you hit about 150-55 I would actually say eat pretty much unlimited lean protein, vegetables and good fats etc and have a big junk/cheat meal once a week and /or add a small chocolate bar or similar to your preworkout meal a couple times a week.


#8

@khangles I got a scale today and just weighed myself. It seems like I’m 132.2 pounds as of today. I hope the scale is accurate, because 132 pounds is a relief. I’m also feeling better, and the multiple daily trips to the bathroom seem to have ceased, or at least diminished. I’ll keep improving the diet, though, because since I’m not really keeping track of anything, I know it could be lacking.

@RampantBadger I’m curious, why do you suggest the chocolate bar? I had never heard of that advice. Sounds delicious though, so I won’t fight it haha


#9

Will create a small insulin spike which will help with weight gain and will give you a.quick fuel source during training. Will also make it slightly easier to get a pump