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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Bodies » Underweight

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Author Topic: Underweight
Emily 249
Member # 28956

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I'm going to pose an uncommon question that will probably annoy a great deal of people: How can I gain weight?

Usually I weigh about 100 pounds. I fence three times a week (you know, with the swords and such) and have a freakishly fast metabolism. I've tried nearly everything. The fridge is always stocked with protein shakes, I snack constantly throughout the day -- granola bars, fruit, and the like, not junk -- and I don't skip meals. My appetite is pretty healthy save for in the morning; my breakfasts are pretty light as a result.

I recently lost four pounds due to stress and I'm scrambling to make up for it. Gaining weight has always been very difficult for me. It took me ages just to hit triple digits at the urging of my rather concerned doctor. Maintaining it was even more difficult because of how serious I am about fencing. Several teachers suspect that I have an eating disorder. At a tournament last weekend several girls were afraid that they were going to break me if they "stabbed too hard". Being underweight is starting to drive me up a wall. Does anyone have any tips on how to both gain weight and keep it on while living an active lifestyle?

Posts: 39 | From: United States | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 13388

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Emily, you fence? How cool! I had some friends who did and just loved it -- it seems like a fun sport and nice people. [Smile]

It seems crappy that people are judging you and making assumptions about your weight -- after all, some people are naturally small. And it's like, as if commenting about being underweight would help someone who really was going through an eating disorder?!

People could you some suggestions here, but it's really something for you and medical professionals to work out. I see you're talking to your regular doctor about this; that's good. However, what about seeing a specialist? To get some tests done to see how your metabolism, etc. I had a friend who was in your same situation for medical reasons (I can't remember which organ/thing was functioning differently.)

It's good that your doctor is concerned, but if s/he's not recommending getting a second option, s/he's not doing his/her job! Additionally, I don't see why being serious about fencing would hurt you in this regard -- being active is good. Stopping exercising to maintain your weight isn't really the most healthy option either.

Another volunteer with a medicial background could offer you more directed advice as to what type of doctor to see. I'm thinking maybe an endocrinologist? In any case, I'll give the other advocates a heads-up on your post.

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Gumdrop Girl
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 568

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Actually, a primary care physician can take the blood sample and have it run at the lab first. If there are any apparent abnormalities (thyroid and such), your doctor will then offer you a referral to an endocrinologist.

As for gaining weight, the pitfall many people make is they assume they can just eat a bunch of junk and gain that way. Yeah, you'll gain, but it'll be fatty gain, and you'll clog the heck out of your arteries. Not good unless you enjoy having heart attacks. You want to gain LEAN MASS, and you get that by eating a proper diet (albeit in bigger portions than people trying to lose weight). So lots of whole grains and lean proteins.

But first, you have to make sure your metabolism is okay. See the doctor and ask.

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Posts: 12677 | From: Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 32691

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Emily249, I know how you are feeling. I am 5'8 and weigh just under 100 pounds. I just DON'T gain weight. Like you, every doctor I have gone to is concerned and questions my eating habits. I've had blood work done to make sure everything was ok, and the blood work showed nothing wrong. It's annoying because when I go out in public places I've heard people wispering things like "oh my god look at that girl! Look how skinny she is oh my god!" I really don't like it. I also snack a lot, I eat some junk food sometimes but I would say I have a fairly healthy diet. I don't skip meals, yet I'm still EXTREMELY thin. I've always been really thin, and both my brother and sister are thin. For me, all I know is that it must run in my family. It sounds like you are healthy and active, and the best way to find out how to healthfully gain some weight is by asking your doctor. Just know you are not the only one facing this problem. I'm sure there must be many other people like us out there.

[ 02-18-2007, 11:31 AM: Message edited by: laur12 ]

Posts: 22 | From: USA | Registered: Feb 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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