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Crohn's Disease Forum » Diet, Fitness, and Supplements » Fitness and Exercise » My ongoing transformation: skinny to buff


05-31-2013, 04:07 AM   #1
AlexJ
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
My ongoing transformation: skinny to buff

Hi folks

Just thought I would share my transformation over the past year. I was diagnosed with crohn's in July 2011 aged 18, it caused me all sorts of bother (I shall spare the details, you all know the drill!). I ended up having a small bowel resection and ileostomy in April 2012. I had the reversal on the 2nd of August 2012 and just 10 days after returning home my intestine had become blocked and I required a further small bowel resection on the 16th of August. I spent a full month in hospital with a pick line as my bowels just wouldn't wake up after my third operation. I was finally discharged and in remission on the 17th of September 2012 weighing just 130lbs (standing at 6ft1 I was a skeleton). I started uni on the 27th of September and began gaining weight. In January 2013 I decided that I want to prove that not every person with crohn's is skinny, frail and weak so I began an intense weight training routine and as of today I have gained 50lbs and I have no intention of stopping until I am a huge muscular freak!

130lbs in September


155lbs in January (I began weight training on this day)


180lbs Today


Me in the same t shirt, I've definitely filled out a lot
05-31-2013, 07:49 AM   #2
UnXmas
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Hey, that's great! Do you mind me asking what kind of diet you used to gain weight? I'm female and really not interested in building muscle, but I have a lot of weight to gain to reach the healthy range and I'm finding it very difficult. Did you manage it just from getting your disease under control, or did you have to concentrate on eating more too?
05-31-2013, 08:39 AM   #3
AlexJ
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Hey, that's great! Do you mind me asking what kind of diet you used to gain weight? I'm female and really not interested in building muscle, but I have a lot of weight to gain to reach the healthy range and I'm finding it very difficult. Did you manage it just from getting your disease under control, or did you have to concentrate on eating more too?
Well to be honest, after the third operation I've never felt truly "normal". Despite being in remission and having no pain I still go to the toilet at least 5-10 times a day with urgency and with mostly liquid stool, I've not had a single formed stool since pre-ileostomy.

I track my calories on myfitnesspal and I aim for 3000 per day which is around a 500 calorie surplus for me. It's safe to say that I've been eating a LOT of food. I seem to struggle the most with sugars so I get a lot of my extra calories from calorie rich foods such as peanut butter and olive oil. Other than that I have a fairly balanced diet with plenty of protein and complex carbs
05-31-2013, 08:46 AM   #4
Mistybear
 
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You Can Do It!
05-31-2013, 08:50 AM   #5
Beach
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Looking great! Congratulations on the lean weight training grains.

I've been in a similar situation as you. A few years back I decided to take up lifting to put on some weight myself. As a result I've also added approx. 50lbs. Traditionally I've been shy about wearing a tee shirt. A collard shirt I thought helped hide the skinniness a little.

The last couple of days though I've been wearing a tee shirt, doing some dirty work projects. To my surprise I've been receiving compliments from others, about how much weight I've gain and looking good. It's been nice to hear. And good to have the extra muscle for these work chores!
05-31-2013, 08:55 AM   #6
kel
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Good luck! Work hard and don't let minor setbacks get to you. Decide on some concrete goals (getting buff is not a goal) and stay consistent.
05-31-2013, 08:58 AM   #7
kel
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Hey, that's great! Do you mind me asking what kind of diet you used to gain weight? I'm female and really not interested in building muscle, but I have a lot of weight to gain to reach the healthy range and I'm finding it very difficult. Did you manage it just from getting your disease under control, or did you have to concentrate on eating more too?
I recommend keeping a food journal and just counting calories. That way you know exactly how much you need for maintenance, how much you need to gain 1-2 lbs per week etc. You can adjust your intake as needed.
05-31-2013, 09:04 AM   #8
AlexJ
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Good luck! Work hard and don't let minor setbacks get to you. Decide on some concrete goals (getting buff is not a goal) and stay consistent.
Yeah I have some real goals, but "getting buff" sounds much better for a thread title

After a total of 1 year of hard training I am aiming to bench 100kg, squat 140kg and deadlift 180kg. I realise that's quite a lofty goal but you gotta aim high! My ultimate goal is to weigh in at 200+lbs with somewhere around 12% body fat, but that's at least 2 more years down the line IMO
05-31-2013, 11:17 AM   #9
ejh96
 
Join Date: May 2013
Do you feel like Crohn's interferes with your working out? Like in terms of energy level, calorie intake, appetite, etc? I'm 16 and I started working out consistently around the time you did. I'm having good results but sometimes my energy is just not up to par and I always drive myself crazy to figure out if maybe I should up a dose of a vitamin or if I'm just plain lazy.

Good progress, btw. It's good to see other's with Crohn's making progress lifting weights.

Yeah I have some real goals, but "getting buff" sounds much better for a thread title

After a total of 1 year of hard training I am aiming to bench 100kg, squat 140kg and deadlift 180kg. I realise that's quite a lofty goal but you gotta aim high! My ultimate goal is to weigh in at 200+lbs with somewhere around 12% body fat, but that's at least 2 more years down the line IMO
05-31-2013, 04:02 PM   #10
Cat-a-Tonic
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Well done, AlexJ! Keep up the good work! I've been lifting weights for about 2 years now myself. I'm female, so I'm not trying to bulk up, mainly just trying to get my body to be as strong and healthy as I can. I had pretty much zero muscle mass when I started working out, thanks to being really ill and from being on Entocort (corticosteroids can rob muscle mass). My weight hasn't really changed since I've started working out, but I've converted a lot of flab into muscle and I feel great. (I had just hit remission and was at a healthy weight when I started working out, about 135 lbs at 5'8", so no need to gain/lose any weight.) I think of myself as a work in progress, there's always more work to be done, I can always stand to get fitter and healthier, so I'll never quit. Anyway, I'm rambling on again, but just wanted to congratulate you on how far you've come and encourage you to keep going! Great job!
05-31-2013, 06:07 PM   #11
kel
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Yeah I have some real goals, but "getting buff" sounds much better for a thread title

After a total of 1 year of hard training I am aiming to bench 100kg, squat 140kg and deadlift 180kg. I realise that's quite a lofty goal but you gotta aim high! My ultimate goal is to weigh in at 200+lbs with somewhere around 12% body fat, but that's at least 2 more years down the line IMO
Those are good goals. That's about what I was lifting when I hit 200lbs.
05-31-2013, 06:15 PM   #12
AlexJ
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Do you feel like Crohn's interferes with your working out? Like in terms of energy level, calorie intake, appetite, etc? I'm 16 and I started working out consistently around the time you did. I'm having good results but sometimes my energy is just not up to par and I always drive myself crazy to figure out if maybe I should up a dose of a vitamin or if I'm just plain lazy.

Good progress, btw. It's good to see other's with Crohn's making progress lifting weights.
Yeah I really struggled with fatigue as I was anemic but after a few months of ferrous sulphate I am good to go and I often need to go for a poo in the middle of my workouts. I'll finish a set of squats, dash to the toilet and then come back and finish up
06-01-2013, 04:12 AM   #13
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I recommend keeping a food journal and just counting calories. That way you know exactly how much you need for maintenance, how much you need to gain 1-2 lbs per week etc. You can adjust your intake as needed.
That's the problem though! I know I'm not eating enough calories, but I'm too full to eat any more food. Recently I did a count of the calories I eat on an average day, and it's approximately 1500. I try and incorporate lots of calorie-dense foods into my diet - chocolate, peanut butter, full fat milk, butter, etc. - but I'm still not eating enough calories to gain.

Sorry for taking your thread off topic, Alex. Congratulations again!
06-01-2013, 05:12 AM   #14
AlexJ
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
That's the problem though! I know I'm not eating enough calories, but I'm too full to eat any more food. Recently I did a count of the calories I eat on an average day, and it's approximately 1500. I try and incorporate lots of calorie-dense foods into my diet - chocolate, peanut butter, full fat milk, butter, etc. - but I'm still not eating enough calories to gain.

Sorry for taking your thread off topic, Alex. Congratulations again!
I had this problem for a long time, but if you want the honest truth you just have to bite the bullet and stuff your face even when you aren't hungry. I find that I am more of a grazer and snacking all day works best for me. Fruit juice is a great source of calories, I love pineapple juice and I can easily go through a litre a day which is an extra 500 calories. Always put extra sauces, butter, oil, etc on top of your meals too

You can also get weight gainer shakes that have an insane amount of calories per serving (I used these from september-december but have stopped since my appetite is much larger nowadays) or you can even make your own, you can put pretty much anything in there. Milk, oats, peanut butter, ice cream, and even throw in a few tablespoons of oil (or anything really) and you can easily make a shake with 500+ calories
06-01-2013, 05:22 AM   #15
xX_LittleMissValentine_Xx
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AlexJ well done! Its great you have managed to make such good progress and are working hard at it!
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06-01-2013, 06:57 AM   #16
upsetmom
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Well done Alex you look good!!!
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06-03-2013, 02:19 AM   #17
AlexJ
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
I have a lot of weight to gain to reach the healthy range and I'm finding it very difficult, did you manage it just from getting your disease under control....

Being in remission certainly helps massively, however I don't think I will ever be truly "normal" (in terms of BM frequency, digestion problems, etc) again.

It's definitely very hard to start gaining weight, in my case I was fed through a pick line for a month and when I was able to eat food again my appetite was virtually non existent. You really have to push through the full feeling, over time it gets easier and my appetite has increased dramatically. For the first few months I would force myself to eat something every 2 hours by setting an alarm on my phone.

There's no easy way around it, you've just got to bite the bullet and get as much food down your neck as you possibly can.
06-28-2013, 10:42 AM   #18
AlexJ
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Just thought people might be interested to see some old pics of me


This is me in April 2012 just after my ileosomy. I have a huge huge moonface after 9 months of pred



This is me in July 2012



This is me in September 2012 after my reversal and another bowel resection. This is after 4 weeks of being fed through a pick line (the nrg was for fluid coming out, not in ).



And of course the mandatory progress pic I am now roughly the same weight as I was in April 2012, but it's definitely not fat!


Last edited by AlexJ; 06-28-2013 at 11:08 AM.
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