Slow Morning

Good Morning!

For breakfast this morning I had the Nature’s Path Instant Oatmeal I bought last week. This time I had 1.5 packets instead of one to see how much longer it will keep me full for. I used 4 ounces of 1% milk and about 3/4 cup water. I also had a nectarine on the side—very ripe and juicy! This (using 1.5 packets) was very filling and satisfying….and using milk in it made it all the creamier. Yum!

Ryan is sick and I’ve been up all night as well…I’m sure those of you that are married or live with your significant other can understand that when one is sick, the other doesn’t sleep! I’m taking a “mental health” day from class because I’m quite tired and sort of already missed the point when I had to leave Tampa in order to get to Orlando in time for school. Bad, I know..but I really don’t miss often.


About 412 calories

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  • Lisa
    January 30, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    This is to anyone who might have the answer….yesterday I went to the gym and was running on the treadmill. I prob shouldn’t have gone b/c I wasn’t feeling well. Anyway, this has happend many times before but when I run on the treadmill or strength training classes, I always seem to get short of a sharp type of headache. I swear I’m eating enough…I tend to eat a snack an hour or so before the gym like apples and PB or crackers and cheese…I stay pretty hydrated too I think. I can’t tell you how many calories I eat a day…I haven’t kept track in a while but I’d say around 1700-1900 cal/day and I’m 5’7″ at 120-125 lbs.

    Also…I’d really like to improve my endurance on the treadmill. What are some tips to lengthen my running time/distance…I normally run about 20 min or 1-2 miles (walking included) I’d LOVE to run 3 straight miles without walking in between! That is my goal but seems too hard to achieve!

    Thoughts anyone??

  • Shelley
    January 30, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    Everyone needs mental health days sometimes! I wish skipping work was as easy as skipping class…sigh…

  • CR
    January 30, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    Hi Jenna,
    I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your healthy relationship with food and how it comes across in your blog. I have been reading several other food blogs for months now, and have made the decision to STOP reading them, because of a) the writer’s unhealthy/unrealistic relationship with food and b) other readers comments. I have struggled with disordered eating for years and both of those points I just mentioned have proved to be major triggers for me. Your blog and your personality are so refreshing. Thank you!

  • jenna
    January 30, 2008 at 2:33 pm


    I don’t think you should be so hard on yourself wanting to run without walking….I wish I could run without walking, but I always take walk breaks in between (and I was training for a marathon). Having walk breaks is not a sign of weakness, its actually a very efficient proven training method called the Galloway Method. According to Galloway, taking frequent walk breaks while running lost distances actually decreases your chance of injury while maintaining your stamina. I ran a 10K while doing this method and, surprisingly, finished not only before thousands of other runners but also with enough energy to keep going! While other runners run hard and try to keep running without walking, they usually burn themselves out and end up walking anyway then feel tired and their speed decreases. If you want to start running longer distances you might want to consider this plan.

    Here’s how I got myself to run longer distances (before I started running I literally could only run 1 mile on the treadmill!–got myself up to running 8.5 miles this way!)

    Run for 40 minutes 2x a week. During each run, run at your normal “running speed” for 3 minutes then slow your pace and walk for 1 minute. Do this the ENTIRE way for 40 minutes.

    Once a week do a “long” run…if you are just starting out, try running 3 miles. Run for 3 minutes, walk for 1 minute the whole three miles. Run at a slower pace than you would during your 40 minute runs. This will build your endurance and stamina.

    I still do this—now I sometimes run for 4 minutes and walk for 1, but i ALWAYS take walk breaks. If you increase your speed or distance too fast you WILL get hurt. I am living proof of that! its best to take it slow and go with a proven method if you seriously want to start running more! Oh, and pick a 5K race in maybe 3 months that you can work for! It helps with a goal in mind! πŸ™‚

  • jennifer
    January 30, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Hi Jenna I am new to your site and already I want to be you! Ok well maybe I just want to have your attitude towards food! For my entire life I have been obsessive (understatement) about the food that goes into my body. I have the kind of will power that women would kill for and IT MAKES ME MISERABLE. I eat whole grains, healthy fats, dairy, meat, everything, even in normal quantities, but apparently it is not enough. I have gotten myself into a health situation where my weight is too low an my body is not healthy and it makes me so so sad and feel really embarassed that I have been working so hard to be healthy but it seems I got the exact opposite. The food I eat now I’m sure would be the right amount for me if I was at a higher healthy weight, but it just isn’t enough to make me gain the weight I need to really be healthy. I know if I could snap my fingers and be “x” pounds heavier that I could eat the way i do now and be so happy. I tried to think of specific questions to ask you but I guess I wanted to just start by asking your opinion on all of this in general… thanks so much you really are an inspiration!

  • Beth
    January 30, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    I wake up in the morning hungry. Breakfast is the first thing I do. I realize I haven’t had food for a while, but a lot of people seem to be able to workout first thing before they eat. How are you able to workout eating a half a cliff bar, etc. without getting hungry in the middle of exercising? Is it bad to have food in your stomach while working out? Thanks!

  • linds
    January 30, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    Hey Jenna-
    Thanks for that post on running, it was a real eye-opener for me!! I used to do a lot of long distance running in high school but haven’t kept up with it as much through college. I love excercising outside though so even through the winter I walk for as long as I can each day, I aim for an hour or so depending on how busy my day is. (I’m not much of a gym girl, I prefer the changing scenery of excercising outside). Since I can’t run for as long as I used to I have kind of gotten discouraged and felt like taking walk breaks was ‘cheating’ or failing at my run… I am definitely the runner who burns themselves out and then walks anyway cause they’re tired lol. Anyway thank you so much for mentioning your methods I am honestly inspired to try running again, and since I love to walk I feel like this way is going to be fun for me πŸ™‚ Thank you!

  • Katie
    January 30, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    Jenna, I posted this question on Kath’s blog yesterday but would really like to hear your opinion since you practice yoga, which is an exercise I enjoy as well. How do you all exercise during that time of the month? Literally all week I just feel crappy. Obviously, the first few days are the worst, but the last thing I feel like doing is getting sweaty when I feel so gross. Since yoga is in a heated room, it seems like the worst exercise. How do you continue your programs such as weight lifting and yoga? I would appreciate any advice because I don’t want to have a set back 25% of the year! Thanks!

  • jenna
    January 30, 2008 at 3:05 pm


    I wish more than anything I could help you more but just telling you that food shouldnt be your enemy and to eat more often won’t do anything, I’m sure. I know how you feel because so many of us go through what you are going through…I really think you should seek out a nutritionist in your area. If you are in college, i know for a fact that most campuses have a nutritionist in the health center available for FREE counseling. Don’t see this as a sign of weakness, see it as one step towards becoming happy again…because just hearing from you I know that you are not happy and food should never be the cause of unhappiness. If you get to a better place with food you will feel happier all around and have more energy in your day. There’s so many groups/women/counselors that can really help if you are willing to make a change. Seek them out. If you are a member of a gym, make an appt with a personal trainer and get their opinion. You just have to be willing to make a change! its taken me a long time to get where I am right now with my attitude towards food…I always thought I wasn’t good enough,..wasn’t thin enough…wasn’t perfect enough. But really, will losing 5 pounds make you more “perfect”? In whose eyes?! Trust me, when you lose more weight you will then find something else that isnt perfect and the cycle of unhappiness will just continue. You seem to know deep down that you are underweight and need to do something about it. Why don’t you follow a typical day of my meals for a start? I eat around 1800-1900 calories a day but if you dont want all that you could easily just take out a dessert. I hope that helps!

  • katie
    January 30, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    CR – My story is similar to yours. Jenna just “gets it right” when it comes to balance. I always feel good about myself coming here, whereas other sites are so frantic and goal oriented that I feel the need to compete and of course since perfection is an illusion, I always fall short. Been there, done that! This site is positive, makes me feel good, and helps me move closer to the mindset I am striving to attain and away from the obsessive mindset so pervasive in other blogs.

    BTW, Jenna…don’t feel bad about playing hooky. We all have been there. It’s well-deserved. Enjoy.

  • jenna
    January 30, 2008 at 3:06 pm


    i am the type that thinks about what they are having for breakfast the second my eyes open in the morning. You just have to have the dedication to get up, work out and then eat! its actually a lot of discipline. Most morning snacks before working out dont hold me over as well as a clif bar. And actually, drinking a small amount of coffee really helps too….or chugging water…or having some black tea. 1/2 a banana with 1/2 tbsp of pb would be a good preworkout snack too!

  • Beth
    January 30, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Thanks Jenna! I will try to have the dedication- is it better than eating breakfast first and then working out? also, I will try the cliff bar, but do you keep going even if you are hungry?

  • jenna
    January 30, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    ah girls, I WISH i always got it “just right” when it comes to eating and food…just know that I struggle just like everyone else sometimes! No one is perfect and I def. still have ‘fat’ moments or moments when I criticize myself for eating too much when I know I shouldn’t have. We all have these times and no one is perfect! its a work in process!

  • katie
    January 30, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    Jenna, just so you know thats two different katie’s!

  • Trina
    January 30, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    Lisa, Jenna’s ideas sound great on how to increase your running, but I thought I would add another suggestion just in case you would like to try a couple of ways.

    When I started running, I could barely run a mile! What I did to slowly gain my endurance was add a little bit each time. Just make a goal of slowly adding distance to each run (something like half a lap on a treadmill for example)….it is a nice, slow way to get yourself where you would like to be. Then, once you get to be able to run three miles, you could slowly increase your speed. I think with time, you will definitely get where you want.

    When I started, I ran 1 mile in 15 minutes! Then I slowly added a little more each time and was soon running 2 miles in 25 minutes and eventually got down to running 10 minute miles! I now run about 4 times a week, and usually 3 of those runs are 3 miles and the fourth is longer (maybe 5 or 6 miles). It is definitely doable! If I can do it, then you definitely can! I think the main thing here is just not to push yourself. Let yourself gradually build up. I have never tried it the way Jenna does, but I might test it out and see what I think!!

    And, Jenna, I would love to take a “mental health” day!! Sounds like a good plan πŸ™‚ Do some shopping-that’s always good for mental health!! It is for me at least, haha.

  • Trina
    January 30, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    So you said that you used to struggle with your self-image a little or at least used to not have such a great attitude towards food. I am wondering how you got to be where you are at now? I just thought you must have always been healthy and happy adn had that great attitude!!

    Was there something you did that made you finally get over feeling that way? Or did you just grow out of it? Just curious!! Thanks!

  • K
    January 30, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Jennifer –

    I can relate to you very much! I wish more attention would be paid to overdoing it when trying to lead a healthy lifestyle. I think there are quite a few people out there in our shoes, who are looking for advice and tips on how to change their ways and strike a better balance. Not everyone is looking to or needs to lose weight! (All the health/fitness info. out there is for people with unhealthy or so-so habits…)
    I am also trying to gain back too much weight lost. The crazy thing is I never intended to lose as much as I did. I was never overweight – just comfortably in the middle. Then I got more interested in healthy eating (I have always liked healthier foods), and I also got addicted to exercise endorphins and thought I had to do high intensity workouts almost everyday to reap full athletic/health benefits.
    Although, I never ate less than 1,600-1,800 calories a day, I wasn’t eating enough and it took losing my period, anorexia rumors and eventually seeing a dietician for me to realize this. The dietician was a Godsend in helping me become more lax with my rigid healthy diet. I gained some weight back, felt confident and stopped going after a few months. Well, I’ve reached a plateau (with weight GAIN, instead of loss like most people!) And like you, I wish I could just snap my fingers and be at my healthy weight and not have to go through the struggle of making sure I get nearly 3,000 calories a day and not working out very intensely.
    Just some advice on the calories/weight gain – slowly up your calories. My dietician had me go in 200-300-a-week increases, ’till I successfully gained 1 pound a week. And she said your body can become “used to” that level and just maintain there, so to continue to gain, watch your intake/weight and increase as needed. (I need to actually use this advice again to break my plateau!)
    The food you eat now is not the right amount for you. You weigh too little, and to maintain that unhealthy weight, your body doesn’t need as many calories as it would at a healthier weight. You will need to eat more calories in the future to maintain your healthy weight when you reach it.

  • katie #2
    January 30, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Okay, Katie…for now on, I’ll adopt the name katie #2 to avoid confusion!

    Jenna – I know you have your weak moments, as you generously share them with us. Last evenings’ indulgence is an example. But, contrary to what you modestly claim, I think you are much farther along on the spectrum of healthy moderation than many of us. I appreciate that you feel unworthy of the “role model” label, but really…I learn from you every day!

    Jennifer – Several years ago, I was in your shoes. Jenna’s advice to you is right. Be brave and reach out to a professional for some guidance. I also agree that you really need to want to change the situation. If you really want a full-life ahead, you need to do everything it takes to restore your health. Best of luck!

  • jennifer
    January 30, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    Thanks Jenna (and K) for your words. Jenna- I already eat more calories than you in a day so that suggestion wont help! But I think what will help is reading your blog and seeing it is okay to acknowledge how much i love food (mostly all healthy anyway) and that it is even safe to- gasp- get excited about mealtime! It also helped when you said “see it as one step towards becoming happy again”. I guess I have gotten so down on myself that I can’t gain weight and call myself a “bad” unhealthy person, that I forgot the reason I wanted to gain weight in the first place- to be happy! If it is okay with you (and readers) I’d like to share how stuff is going with me because right now I feel pretty alone, especially since the rest of the world seems to be in the opposite shoes. Jenna, what is your personal email? Thanks so much again, it is so refreshing “in” here πŸ™‚

  • Katie R
    January 30, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    Hi Jenna! I’m new to your blog and I love it! You’re doing a fantastic job! Congratulations and keep up the great work!! My question is about your exercise habits… are you more of a morning person? Do you ever work out at night/during the afternoon etc…? How many times a week do you try to work out and for how long? I’m just trying to sort of find my happy medium… I love working out but obviously I don’t have the time or energy to work out 7 days a week, at least not for one to two hours… what do you typically do throughout the week? Thanks for the advice and enjoy your day off!

  • K
    January 30, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    Jennifer – I don’t know about anyone else, but that would be great to hear of your progress! I know all too well how lonely it can feel. And it’s not only nice to have support, but to be held accountable when striving to reach a goal. πŸ™‚

    Now that you’ve recognized that you are underweight and need to change your view of food, health, etc., don’t continue to beat yourself up. You know where and how you need to make a change, so from here on out – accept and love yourself as best you can! You are a human being, and you may be having problems in this area of your life, but rest assured we all have our struggles, and you will get healthier and become happier!

    Jenna’s blog is great to read if you are trying to form a better relationship with food. Don’t let the other blogs pull you back into that black and white, unattainable quest for healthy-food perfection (what a mouthful!)

  • katie #2
    January 30, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    I concur with everything you said, K! Keep us posted, and let us know how we can support you, Jennifer!

  • Monica
    January 30, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    Hi Jenna and everyone!

    This blog is really refreshing and I love it! I sometimes read “eat like me” but it has become too intense as far as the comments go…. Kath’s too, people accusing her of being too obssesive with food or suggesting she has an eating disorder etc….

    I can relate to your eating pattern the most because I have a sweet tooth as well (chocolates! not so much cakes) and like to have small snacks between meals when I get hungry. By the way, I was inspired by your meal and made myself an apple sandwich. I will be having that as part of my lunch at work today. What brands of bread do you like?

    I feel a little bad now because when my husband is sick, I do take care of him but I can fall asleep pretty easy too….and sleep well…. You are so good to Ryan!!

  • Kelly
    January 30, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    Hi Jennifer! Let me just say I am in the EXACT same position as you. I’m 5’3 and around 98 lbs. I got a little too pre-occupied with what i thought was healthy. I kept choosing Sugar free, fat-free, fake products thinking they were healthy. I got to a point and have been at a point for while now where I’m just too thin. I hear it from a lot of people. What get’s me is that people have no problem telling someone “your too thin” but if I were to say “your too fat” I would be a real meanie. They are both the same, both unhealthy. I am gradually working on putting on more weight.

    When I tell people that I’m trying to put on weight and that it’s harder than it seems they don’t understand how it’s so hard. It’s not hard because I’m scared of eating it’s hard because I don’t want to put on weight with foods like french fries, pizza, chicken fried steak, ice cream, etc. Sure, I love ice cream and eat it often but I’m not going to sacrifice my heart health for some lbs. quickly. Plus, I don’t eat fried foods really.

    I’ve started by adding little thing to my day. Rather than having a powl of puffed wheat with ff yogurt and a banana, I know how a big bowl of wheat bran, some almonds, low fat yogurt, a banana and an apple a little later. I’m trying to be a little more “lax” in how I approach dining out too. I used to hate that someone else was fixing my meal but now working at enjoying that luxury.

    I’m trying to give myself what my body craves. Last night it was three Kashi oatmeal rasien cookies. That’s what I wanted after dinner so that’s what I had. Do I fear putting on weight and not being able to reach a stoppign point? Yes. But I’m taking things one day at a time. One meal at a time. If I get mad at myself for eating three cookies when I wasn’t really hungry they just tasted good, that doesn’t do anything to help my situation. Just move on. You can do this, I can do this!

    Oh and something I did that might help is to make a “Think About Card”. If you are ever feeling guilty or having a hard time eating like you need to look at this card. Mine has all the pros of putting weight on it like:

    Not being afraid of hugs (I don’t like people touching me)
    Massages (more to massage)
    Better fitting clothes
    Enjoying great food at great restaraunts
    More social gatherings
    Self confidence
    Better fertility
    Ability to donate blood
    Lastly but most importantly to me- putting God first. This is something I have to do because food should not be number one.

    Keep at it! I’m here for support!

  • Arika
    January 30, 2008 at 4:43 pm


    I am not sure if you will see this, but I saw your comment yesterday about being from MN. Thats Where I am from! So…I am right there with you on it being freezing here! If you don’t mind me asking, where in MN are you from? Have a nice day.

  • VeggieGirl
    January 30, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    oh no!! wishing Ryan a full, speedy recovery.

    my goodness, look at that nectarine!! so luscious!!

  • Ashley
    January 30, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    Jennifer, I just wanted to tell you that I understand completely how you feel right now. About a year ago, I got really into eating “healthy”, cutting out almost all fat and carbs from my diet. I thought I was fine because I was still eating 3 times a day, but my 3 meals never alloted to more then 900 or 1000 calories at their best. I started losing weight really fast, and at first no one mentioned anything. But it got to a point where my boyfriend and parents all started commenting on my weight loss, which I dont even think I was aware was happening.
    The only way t really gain the weight back is by slowly adding calories, but before you can do that you have to be convinced in you head that your doing it to be healthy, and t be happy again. Counting calories takes over your life, and I know first hand how depressing and lonely it really can be. You need to just to be ready for a change in your life, that is the only way it will happen.
    Over the past 2 months, I have slowly been adding calories to my diet, with the help and pressure of my boyfriend. It is hard, because who exactly wants to gain weight, but I know that I am not healthy and getting all the nutrients my body needs right now. I told myself that I need to do this to be healthy, and I will. I think you just need to be in the same state of mind, ready for a healthier happier life, and you will be able to do it.

  • CR
    January 30, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    Jenna, in response to your earlier post –

    The fact that you DO struggle, and you AREN’T perfect…to me, that’s what “just right” really means! Being able to recognize those qualities, share them with the world on this blog, and still feel OK about yourself at the end of the day – this is just what many struggling women need to achieve.

    I’m sure there are many, many things that go on in your head that we DON’T see on this blog. I just think, as far as this blog goes, you’ve struck a wonderful balance for us readers. The biggest testament to that is that I have yet to see a SINGLE word of negativity or criticism from any of your readers! And in comparison to what’s being thrown around on some of your sister blogs…this is quite an accomplishment πŸ™‚

  • jennifer
    January 30, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    I can’t believe how encouraging everyone’s comments are. I was so fearful of being labled or ridiculued as the “poor skinny girl” or something silly like that. I would like to go a step further and maybe list what a typical day of food in my life is like bc I truly believe I eat a “normal” amount. (I understand that I need to be eating more than normal to gain weight but I want you to see WHY it is hard for me to up my calories). In my opinion I eat a balanced diet and like Kelly I dont want to gain weight on junk food. Anyways I was hoping that by posting a typical day Jenna (and others!) could make some suggestions of where and how to add calories. I am going to think over if I am brave enough to do this and will post later today! Thanks so much again I feel very supported πŸ™‚

  • Annie
    January 30, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    Kelly, I am so glad that you posted all those things about how you are feeling. I did the same exact thing as you, low calorie, sugar free, etc etc, and dropped way to much weight. I am 5’5″ and weight maybe 105. People started noticing, and it does hurt when they say “your to skinny”, people just dont get that it is just as insulting as your too fat. I eat three meals a day, and feel I am making progess just as you are, but people dont understand that its not an over night switch in your head. It called a “disorder” because thats what it is, it is a problem within your self, wether a control issue, or a self esteem issue, or whatever it may be for that one persons situation. I am scared too, of not being able to stop. I see people in my family, most of whom are overweight, and it scares me to the point where I think I wont be able to stop gaining weight once I start, and I return right back to point A, right back to being scared of eating something alittle fattening, or scared of that slice of pizza or the big dinner at a fancy restaurant. I love food, I love eating, but I am also petrified of it, and it helps so much knowing that someone else out there is willing to admit the same thing.
    I am glad that we have this blog, were we can all support eachother, and say whats on our minds without being judged.
    We can all get through this, it just takes time, and is different for everys ingle person. You have to remember why you want to gain weight, what it will do for your self esteem, happiness, family and friends who love and care about you, but most importantly, for me I have to remember that this is leading to me being healthy and happy again.

  • Meggie
    January 30, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    Jennifer and everyone,

    I also have struggled with “healthy” eating habits that turned out to be too restrictive. I lost a lot of weight, even though I ate three meals a day and claimed that I wasn’t losing on purpose. I guess it’s a similar story to what a lot of you are describing. I am a lot better now – I have slowly gained back more than ten pounds over the last year or two, though I still have more to go. Gaining weight is really hard, first of all because a few big meals or dessert for a week will not make you gain much! It takes a lot of work, especially when you have healthy tastes. And then there’s the fear that you will get fat, even though it’s silly because you are so far from having to worry about that! And then there are all the magazines telling you how to reduce your calories.

    But it is worth the work overcoming these blocks. When I look at myself in the mirror now I think my face looks prettier. And I fill out my jeans now! All I can say is why didn’t I do this sooner! I spent too many years of my twenties unhappier and less attractive than I could have been.

    Also, I want to say thanks to Jenna for the great blog, and thanks for this discussion forum too! It is good for all of us to see you being “imperfect,” because like CR said, that’s how life really is. We have enjoy living and indulge ourselves sometimes and then move on. The ability to do this is part of a healthy lifestyle.

    Okay I’m done now:)

  • Lisa
    January 30, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    I loved reading your post! Especially the last part about putting God first! I have to remind myself of that also…With questions like “Why do I want to go to the gym and workout? Why do I want to stay thin? or Why do I want to eat healty?” (some are obvious reasons but I can get far to caught up in that at times) Is it because I think it will make me happy or have more self-confidence or look good in my clothes? Because that’s what society tells us is to be thin? Or is it b/c God gave me this body and I need to use it to glorify him not matter my weight just as long as I am healthy and able!

    Anyway…keep it up everyone! And its awesome to see everyone being so supportive!!

    (I share kelly’s views and was excited to read her post! I’ve seen forums in the past with people talking about God and other people bashing them and vice verca…I’m not here to do that or push things on someone else but He has truly helped me in my daily walk with being confident in how/who he made me and having a healthy relationship with food! That’s all!)

  • jenna
    January 30, 2008 at 7:32 pm


    So glad this is so supportive! jennifer, I’m glad you found some women that can relate because I know it really stinks when you feel so alone in this! Just know that you are def. NOT alone and now there are tons of people routing for you! My email is if you need to vent or anything and I’m also quite sure no one would mind if you keep writing on the comments! I went through kind of the same thing a little over a year ago. I was a senior in college, had a ton on my plate, exercised a bunch, and for some reason, lost about 10-15 pounds. Now, I’ve always been thin so this was way too much. I still to this day dont know how I lost that much weight so quickly! I didnt change my eating, ate dessert every night, did pretty much the same thing I do now….but too much weight came off. Well…I know many women would kill for that to happen to them, but when I got on the scale and saw 115 stare back at me (I’m 5’6) I KNEW I was too thin! I just didn’t know how to gain any weight! I remember literally crying in the dressing room of jcrew one day because I needed a new dress for a wedding I was going to and not even their size 0 fit me. I looked all bony and gross. Of course, I didn’t stop exercising because I don’t exercise to lose weight–i do it because its so good for me mentally as well. I started increasing my snacks and my portion sizes. For a typical snack I would have a slice of bread with peanut butter..I ate that a lot! I think it really helped me as well to get a food scale because then I know the correct portion size and can make sure I eat enough. I’m not sure what ultimately helped me gain some weight back..I never gained the full 10-15 pounds back that I I weigh about 120 pounds and am happy with that but just know, other people do have (or have had!) your same problem. I suggest yoga, like always, because that really saved my life. I used to get really down a lot and yoga helped me with that as well. Its just an all around life saver!
    There was also a question on how I stopped worrying so much about my body image and all of that….yoga again! When I started seriously practicing yoga I found sort of a “deeper meaning” for lack of a better cheesy word and it helped more than you could ever know.

    Hope some of that “wisdom” helps!

  • Kelly
    January 30, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    Lisa- Thank you for your sweet response, I appreciate it. Putting God first was definitley at the top of my list because I just kept thinking of how much time I was devoting to unhealthy thoughts and activites and how this time could be spent glorifyig him through other things. I have literally had times when I was so frustrated with a food situation that I just said “HELP ME”!!! My other reasons for putting on weight are still very very VERY important but my faith comes first.

    Meggie- Thanks for your feedback and story. Like you I know I would look better with weight on. I look at pictures of myself with more weight and I really do look a lot better.

    Jennifer- Feel free to post a daily food intake. Perhaps it will help to have others look at it. My best advice is to add things that are calorically dense like peanut butter. Although, one caveat to that is it fills you up. I had a peanut butter sandwich for lunch the other day with 2 tbsp. pb and I was full for 6 hours!! I had chips too.

    Jenna- You are the best! Thanks for all your encouragement. I’d love to get your mom’s pulled chicken recipe. I love that stuff!!

  • Sana
    January 30, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    Regarding the healthy eating leading to restriction issue…

    I went through the exact same scenario as a lot of you are describing in college. It led to long-term anorexia throughout college and law school…the psychological ramifications of which I have to deal with even now at 24. I’m also a runner so it’s easy to over-do it on the exercise. I look forward to reading this blog mainly because it’s so refreshing to see a normal, healthy outlook on food.

    To Jenna,

    This might seem like a silly question because you obviously have a much more relaxed/healthy view of food than I do but I know that if I go out to eat and “splurge” on a meal one night, I don’t feel hungry enough for breakfast the next day, will probably eat around 2 pm when I feel hungry and will likely eat lightly even then. I was just wondering if you felt hungry enough to eat the breakfast and lunch you had today or whether you ate because it was time to eat. Again, it just might be because I have a slower metabolism due to irregular eating patterns over the years…but i was just curious.

  • TC
    January 30, 2008 at 8:35 pm


    All I can say to your post is me too! I actually had that same experience at JCrew this time last year. I seriously remember crying to my boyfriend about wanting to gain weight and not knowing how…it was also during my senior year of college! But he was very supporting and with his help I increased snack calories…often with peanut butter…and finally gained some of the weight back so clothes fit and my self-esteem is much higher. It makes me feel so much better to read that others have struggled with this too; I just felt like something was wrong with me, especially when so many around me were trying to lose weight. I am so thankful for this blog!

  • Kelly
    January 30, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    Jennifer- I got to thinking about it and perhaps it would help if I showed you what I have eaten so far today. It might help to see someone else that has a similar problem. Keep in mind I really really REALLY do not want to count calories. I want to just eat and not think about it but I gave myself a rough count for this.

    Breakfast (7:00 a.m.): Whole Wheat Baguette with some cherry preserves, stonyfield farm low fat strawberry yogurt ~300

    Mid Morning Snack (10:45): Banana and Gnu Bar ~ 260

    Lunch (1:00-2:00): Turkey and Swiss on Whole Wheat, Rice Crips, a Z Bar, and an apple ~700

    I wasn’t super hungry for the Z bar but I wanted something sweet so I FED my body with the chocolate brownie flavor, the apple was just for good measure to get some more fruit it. I’m quite full now.

    For dinner I’ll probably do enchiladas and chips and salsa. That will be ~500-550. I’ll still need to add more to this because I’m not even at 2000. I’d like to be eating 2100-2200 and see how I gain with that.


  • Annie
    January 30, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    Wow Kelly, Im glad that you shared that with Jennifer, but it helps I think a lot of people. I saw that you mentioned you were 5’3″, Im right between 5’4 and 5’4, and weigh about 108 right now, up a couple pounds from my 103 two months ago. I was just wondering whta you were looking at for your “ideal” weight. People are telling me that I should weigh about 115, which I feel is accurate. Are you basing your weight on a specific number, or just how and when you feel better. I undersand that any weight gain is such an accomplishment, for you, or me, for Jennifer, anyone with this problem. I feel like my 5 pound weight gain over 2 months was such an accomplishment, and am now getting nervous about going any higher. I just wanted to see how you felt about thigns like this. Do you feel that you reach a weight gain “plateau” were you dont want to gain anymore?
    I am currently eating about 1200 to 1300 calories a day, and feel like I am stuffed 99% of the time. I try to snack in between meals, but that makes me almost to full to eat a meal later on, and so my meals often lack in size. Does any one else have this problem? Sorry for going on and on. Im glad you are all here to listen though, and offer your opions.

  • Kelly
    January 30, 2008 at 9:49 pm


    I do not hav a specific number that I am shooting for. I am not going to weight myself because in my opinion it does no good. I’m just going to keep feeding myself as I my body asks. To give you a little background, all throughout HS and college I weighed the exact same thing, 123 lbs. I pretty much ate whatever I wanted and it was A LOT OF JUNK. I mean A LOT! I was also pretty active with cheerleading, horseback riding, walking to classes, etc. I have always had a body where my fat goes right to my belly and I have bird legs. Definitlely, apple shaped. I’ve never been overweight at all, I just wanted to get rid of my belly. I cut out all fried foods and gradually went from eating whatever junk I wanted to low fat, fat free, sugar free everything. I got to where I am now, roughly 98 lbs. (not sure exactly because I don’t weight myself, but I was at the docotor the other day fully dressed and weighed 100 so I’m guessing 97-98 is where I’m at). I probably looked best when I was at 110-115. I don’t want to put pressure on myself by telling myself to gain x amount of lbs. I just want to have fun, enjoy life, food, friends, family, etc. I’m learning from Jenna and others along the way.

    1200-1300 calories is way to low!! I will say that. You are borderline what a dieting person should be taking in. I don’t think you have reached your plateau because frankly you aren’t eating enough to gain any weight. If it helps, think about giving your body the nourishment it deserves. At each meal ask yourself “What am I craving and what would feel good to eat” Odds are you will still choose healthy foods but you’ll also be making a concious decision to FUEL your body not just give it enough food to sustain normal functioning. Choose calorie dense foods. When you are craving that chocolate and your just not that hungry EAT THE CHOCOLATE (like I did at lunch today).

    As far as being full all the time I can relate to that. I think the problem that healthy eaters like us have is that we naturally choose food that give you a lot of bang for your buck so-to-speak. I have literally found myself frustrated when I got so full after a meal that was low in calories because I WANTED to crave and be hungry for ice cream. The best way around this is to add little things to your meals. Use a little more cheese, add some extra turkey to your sandwich, make PB&J rather than turkey, etc. I will never say switch to full fat items because ironically, I have high cholesterol so while I have moved from fat free to reduced fat or I am still watching my saturated fat intake.

    I do think that by listening to my body, indulging a little more, and putting on weight will lead me to a weight my body is comfortable with. Whatever that number is is fine. I don’t worry that I’ll become overweight because my eating habits are completley different than they used to be. If you look at people you know that maintain their weight they tend to have a healthy relationship with food, don’t binge, don’t diet, and are just happy with where they are at. I also think when my body reaches a point it’s happy at some day’s all eat a lot and the next day not so much. Our bodies are smart and know what they want.

    Hope this helps! Have a super day! It’s HUMP DAY!

  • Kristin
    January 30, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    A quick note to Jenna and everyone:

    It amazes me how many of you are going through/have gone through the SAME situation as I when it comes to weight loss and food restriction.
    I actually began to cry, happy tears in this case, because to find people to relate to when it comes to weight gain is something I have wished for throughout all of my efforts, and finding you here has been a godsend.

    About two years ago, I began running and getting more into nutrition and healthy eating, after realizing how detrimental my unhealthy choices and portions had been for years. I became a vegetarian, and still am to this day! However, as I began my efforts to stop eating meat, I was not making healthy food choices. When I realized this, I wanted to make a change; and I did! I started cooking my own meals, eating more balanced, and over the course of about a year lost about 30 pounds.
    At this point, I was eating right, exercising regularly, and at a really great weight.
    However, In efforts to maintain my weight loss, I began to get a bit TOO into food, and get obsessive about my eating habits, restricting all sweets and carbohydrates (besides fruits and veggies) and eating WAY too little; some days under 1,000 calories a day.
    At the same time, I was also running an extensive amount, and ending up losing way too much weight.
    I got too skinny, basically skin and bones, lost my period and was in a general bad state of health.
    It took me a long time, a lot of dressing room tears (just like Jenna, a “0” was way too big), intervention from my closest friends, doctor and mom to make me realize that even though I was healthy and very knowledgeable about nutrition, I needed to stop restricting myself and gain healthy weight back.
    I was, and still am, almost 15 pounds underweight. For about 6 months now I have been in the long, hard process of trying to gain the weight back to be a healthier weight.
    I’m at a plateau myself, and it is hard to eat healthy while making sure I’m getting in the extra calories to gain the weight back!
    I have NEVER shared this information publically, but I feel as though this is a supportive community, so I’m comfortable stating it here; I am 5’1″ and currently 79 pounds. My lowest weight was 74.

    I am a freshman nutrition major in college right now, food and cooking are my life! I really do have a passion for food, and always have. It has only been through blogs such as this that I have learned to no longer restrict myself to the extent I was, and develop a healthier attitude towards food, and myself. I actually started my own food blog recently, to document my life as a nutrition student… talk about my life, my food, and my efforts to gain back the healthy pounds. (Check it out if you’d like!)

    Jenna, I don’t know how to thank you enough for being my number one inspiration.
    Your attitude towards food and nutrition are incredibly refreshing, and you have helped me more than you will ever know.
    PLUS- I LOVE your recipes, and advice- I’ve tried many of them (some are even featured in my blog!)

    To all the readers/commenters:
    Thank you SO MUCH for just being there to relate to, anyone who ever wants to email me as well, I would be happy to share my weight gain effort experiances, and my nutrition knowledge with anyone who wants!

    No joking matter, this blog has literally changed my life.

  • Kelly
    January 30, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    Also, just to add to what I ate today.. I mentioned I would be having enchiladas for dinner, but the hubby requested breakfast tacos instead! So, rather than use egg beaters like I used to, I’m going to use half real eggs, half egg whites. I’m upping the fat and calories a bit but not overdoing it. Healthy balance!!!

  • jennifer
    January 30, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    i might cry from all of this support- and to think i almost deleted my writing before posting it bc i was too scared! i am just so so worried about how people will react to “complaining” about being too thin. but obviously it is a health issue, not just bc i dont like the way i look. so you all have inspired me and i AM going to post a typical day. i just need a little time to muster up some strength/confidence to do this. i’ll post it at one of jenna’s next meals, so stay tuned i guess? πŸ™‚ thank you all SO much again- I am saving all of these responses so i can remember i am not alone. mwa.

  • Lisa
    January 30, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    Kelly…I agree that all those other reasons are important to being healthy but like you I also just need to keep God first through my efforts of being healthy. Best of luck!

    This blog is so great! Kudos to Jenna for helping us all be apart of a positive blog!

    time for dinner!!! YUM!

  • Annie
    January 31, 2008 at 12:43 am

    I just wanted to say thank you to Jenna and everyone else on this blog. It is so supportive, and it feels so good knowing that I am not the only one who is experienceing this type of problem, and feeling this way about food and myself. Its nice to have others to talk to, who arent being judgemental or saying how easy it is to eat more. So, Thanks!

  • Kristin
    January 31, 2008 at 2:59 am


    Don’t worry about feeling like you’re “complaining” about being too skinny. I completely understand! It took me a long time to even be able to talk about it with people close to me such as my mom and my best friend. But once you find that support system, it makes all the difference.
    It took a lot of courage to write that, and I’m SO glad you did; because it gave ME the courage to input my own experiances.
    We’re all here to support each other; I’m in the same situation as you are, email me/check out my blog if you ever need any support/advice.
    Good luck!

  • VTgirl
    January 31, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    this blog seriously rocks. there should be some Blog Award of the Year or something!!! and obviously this blog should get it!!!!!!!

  • jenna
    January 31, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    Haha!!!! There actually ARE food blog awards every year! I need to check into would be fun to “compete” I guess with other blogs!