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Question
Ryan...I sent you an email on August 17 or 18...I still haven't received a response?

Colleen M. Issa

Answer
Sorry for the delay Colleen.  You had a few questions so let me try to take them one by one:

As for the loose skin, if you are doing a lot of riding and no weight training, your body is in what's called a catabolic state (as opposed to an anabolic state of growth).  You are constantly burning energy and your metbolism is like a furnace constantly burning.  If you take, for example, a body builder.  He/she desires an anabolic state so they consume a ton of calories, especially protein for muscle building.  They also do only enough cardio to burn extra calories and to eliminate body fat storage.  They weight train to build muscle but would never ride for 4 hours like we do becaus that would cause muslcle breakdown and burn too many calories.  The loose skin could be from your having been very active, taken some time off and then lost again.

I'm interested in knowing how you are certain the stomache cramps are not hunger pains.  If it's becayse you had been eating, it is possible to experience them from eating.  One of the major complaints from folks with an eating disorder is that when they do eat, it hurts their stomach or they have abdominal cramps.  This is often because the movement of food, or specifically the speed that food moves through their digestive system has been changed because of the lack of eating.  It may sit longer in the GI tract and cause irritation.  It's not uncommon.

As for you and your doctor, I can't diagnose an eating dosorder over the internet but if your doctor thinks you have a bad case it could be.  Very frequently, folks suffering an eating disorder dont see what others do.  Your own perception of your body is off when in the midst of an ED.  In fact, distorted body image is a major symptom and its interesting when I speak to folks with an ED he/she often admits or understands they are skinny to an unhealthy level but if you ask them to draw a picture of themselves it's very distorted or if they describe themselves its very inconsistent...describing some body parts as acceptable to even admiting they are thin but other body parts are huge or fat.

As for your exercise, understand that food is your fuel.  You can't power a Corvett with water.  The other thing to keep in mind is that cycling is a non-weightbearing exercise.  The tour pros often have to deal with very low bone density because they train their bodies into a catabolic state, often withhold food to keep their weight down, but have problems with easily broken bones due to bone density issues.  That also means early osteoporosis.  There is an ideal body weight for the type of activity you want to do so athletes need to get out of the mind set that lighter is better.

Please let me know if there is anything else I can help with.  

Anorexia/Eating Disorders

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Ryan Hale

Expertise

I can answer questions specifically geared towards athletes and their eating issues. I would be able to assist parents or coaches with questions or concerns about disordered eating practices often found in the exercise and sports settings. I also have experience in training and conditioning so I am in a position to discus how the two interrelate.

Experience

I have a bachelor's degree in sports medicine and master's degrees in sport psychology and clinical counseling. I have done counseling with individuals, couples, and families, with specialization in athletes. Past clients have included triathletes, dancers, college cyclists, and Pro Tour cyclists.

Organizations
National Athletic Trainer's Assoc. American Counseling Assoc

Education/Credentials
bachelor's degree sports medicine master's degree sport psychology master's degree clinical counseling Nationally Certified Athletic Trainer with NATABOC Nationally Certified Counselor with NBCC Colorado Registered Psychotherapist

Past/Present Clients
U.S. national team level female athletes High school athletes Semi-pro soccer Pro Tour cyclists Triathletes Dancers

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