Friday, September 21, 2012

Mad

I am so freaking mad today about the state of my body. I don't know what hit me today but I am so angry I could blow! Here I have been so calm and zen and at peace with the whole process... just "never give up" and "eat right, exercise, it'll eventually work out" and not stressing terribly about it and just suddenly this morning I woke up, got on the scale and saw 219, smoke came rolling out of my ears, my face scrinched up and I stomped into the bedroom, put on jeans fresh out of the dryer and thought THIS IS JUST UNACCEPTABLE!! I FEEL LIKE A STUFFED SAUSAGE IN MY OWN CLOTHES. I AM IN PAIN, I AM NOT LOSING WEIGHT AND ALL THIS EFFORT IS FOR

NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah, I got a little ticked off. I have worked harder in the past month on my weight than I ever have. Even when I totally do not feel like it I go to the gym and work out. Even when my feet are killing me, even when I am exhausted, even when I would rather stay home I get up and I go in there and I give it my very best effort. I work hard. I push myself, I come out of there soaked with sweat. I set aside the hobbies I want to do and instead I spent time lifting or swimming or walking, or shopping for veggies and cooking healthy stuff. And I have been at peace with that, even though after a week of working out I saw the scale go UP, I stayed off the scale for weeks and just focused on my health. Drink water, eat right, plenty of protein, no crap, NO overeating. I logged a few days. I never go over 1800 calories and that was a one time thing. 1500 is more the norm.

It pisses me off that I am working so hard on this just to stay the same weight.

I look back on this year. I started 2012 at 201 pounds, I went through Medifast Transition and in March I was 217 pounds. And EVERY SINGLE MONTH since then I have seen 217 pounds on the scale at some point in each month! I am so sick of 217! Up and down the same 5 pounds over and over for seven months now! And it didn't matter if I was counting calories, it didn't matter if I was Primal or Paleo, grain free or not, exercising or not.... 2-freaking-17. All. The. Time.

I was so sure going to the gym(s) and burning off calories and building muscle would turn it around. I am NOT binge eating, I am NOT even remotely pigging out. ONCE this month I had two cookies. And that was like, "the big off plan event" of the month. I've had blood work. I've had thyroid tests. I don't appear to have any health conditions this can be pinned on. I switched to black coffee. I don't drink soda or eat fast food. I am 90% grain free and sugar free and 90% free from artificial sweeteners. My eating is better than it has ever been and I am exercising more than I have in YEARS and I get on the scale and it is 219. My size 18 pants are tight. And the smoke is just ROLLING out of my ears from the madness.

I don't even know what the answer is. I can measure and write down what I eat until the cows come home but my weight is NOT going down. But all I can do is keep doing it, and hope that somewhere along the line I will find the answer, somewhere, somehow...

63 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh I am sorry you have to go through this phase. I don't know if it feels any better to know, but I think I am working out a lot and eating healthy and my weight isn't going anywhere. Now I am wondering if it has to do with my age (42). Maybe metabolism is lower. I don't know, but it sure is frustrating.

Taryl said...

I know that can be unbelievably frustrating, but consistency and dedication is crucial. Persist, keep persisting and do NOT give up. Are you really telling me you believe that if you do the exact same ing you're doing now, for an entire YEAR, that you will still be 217?

A month isn't enough time, any number of things can keep the scale elevated, INCLUDING water retention, lean mass gains, a sluggish colon, a quarter moon, a heavy hairdo, whatever. But you will be a marvel of modern science if you stick to your current plan without deviation until fall of next year and haven't dropped at least 25 pounds. Yes, things like medifast do a number on one's metabolism, but exercise can counteract that and heal your hormonal profile in the long run. If you are satiated and feeling good on your calorie level, keep at it WITH the exercise. And if you do this and a year passes at 217, I'll eat my hat.

Stop tweaking, put your head down, and do it! Just keep doing it. Because the only alternative is this endless cycle of tweaks and then giving up. And I'm pretty sure that's the last thing you want.

Apologies for the tough love, but I think a little reality check is needed. Give it time, because what other option is there? Creative and ever different plans aren't the solution, plugging away at it just like you did this month IS.

Jennifer McNeely said...

I know it is FRUSTRATING!! I gained 4 pounds workig out very hard for 8 months! BUT my body looked totally different. Bodies take TIME to adjust to changes, and your ew muscles are building. They are babies. Let them grow, give them time and space, this is a LONG TERM EFFORT< you ARE doing the right things. you may not be eating enough with the new activity, as well. Maybe check with a tracker to see what amount of calories you should eat with your new level of activity. IT takes time, you will get there, and guess what, you ll have to keep going, what is the alternative??

Anonymous said...

Yiu're on The Magic Number Diet.

Why do you assume that the listed numbers for calories and metabolism are accurate for everybody and every food? I'm sorry, but the science just does not support blind faith in all those magic numbers.

For one thing, everybody is different, and metabolisms are different.

Also, everybody has a different set of gut bacteria, which means that our digestive systems work differently, and calories are processed differently.

And many studies have shown that nutrition information on food labels is notoriously inaccurate.

Just give up the blind faith in magic numbers, and accept the fact that the numbers are leading you down the wrong path.

Instead of focusing on the numbers, just eat less and eat differently. And just keep cutting back until the weight comes down, regardless of all the other magic numbers.

Anonymous said...

Hi there, I know exactly what you mean.....I did want to tell you the first time I started REALLY working out and going to a gym, I gained 8 lbs because "muscle weighs more" .... so that might have a little something to do with it.... Also, have you tried eating at 1400 calories instead ? That seems to be the "magic" number for me.....1200 and I don't lose at all , 1400 and things are gravy. *hugs*

Anonymous said...

Oh Lyn.... I feel your frustration!

Maybe you should try the carb-free/low-carb/Medifast again? Call it an experiment - see if your body responds this time? You know it's worked in the past... I know it's not the healthiest way of eating, but maybe this is how your body needs to eat in order to LOSE weight, and then you can bring back the healthy fruits/grains, etc once you're where you want to be.....

Just a suggestion!! Even if you do it for a week or 2 I bet you'd lose enough to build some momentum?

Good luck - you CAN do it!!

Anonymous said...

Lyn, if you had a "me too" button, I would have clicked it. I'm going through the same thing right now too. I've thrown away my scale and am trying not to focus on the number, but my clothes aren't getting any looser, either! So frustrating..I can SO relate.

Anonymous said...

I'm a fan of your blog and your weight loss, and it's great that you're taking measures to improve your health through exercise and eating healthy foods. But if your goal is weight loss then you know what you have to do: count your calories, every day, all the time. I notice you said above that you logged a "couple" of days and that you were positive you never went over 1800 cals/day. But I bet if you had actually been weighing/measuring every single thing you ate, you'd find your calories were closer to 2400/day. So do what you know you have to do to reach your goal -- you've done it before! Once you see the scale moving downward, I'll bet calorie counting won't seem quite so terrible. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Oh honey I so feel for you. And I have been there so many times.
You really have been working so hard and putting your all into your healthy path of eating and exercise.
Just know that the scale lies! Really it does. What the scale says today or any given day is not an accurate representation of your weight in general. Just what it is that minute. You may have some water retention today because of the lifting or something hormonal. I realize that it is the same as it was - so you think this isn't working, but just give it another week and then get on the scale and see... **ACTUALLY** Are you open to trying something a little more aggressive just for 1 week to light it up a bit? This works for me for a good 5-7 lbs every time...
Here's the secret: Eat as much lean protein as you want (white meat chicken & turkey, fish and seafood and egg whites), and also eat lower carb veggies and salad. You can also have healthy fats like olive oil, low sugar dressing and some laughing cow cheese. But don't have starchy veggies or grains or fruits at all this week. No nuts, milk or yogurt this week either...
You will drop the weight!!! It will kick start it again. And it's just 1 week! I promise this works! If it doesn't work I'd be shocked!
Let me know... Good Luck! Carlie

Anonymous said...

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. Your body is telling you loud and clear your calorie count is too high. Eating "healthy" is eating healthy it isn't dieting. It is a fact that exercise has very little effect on dieting. Major publications like Time have done major issues about it.

I am sorry this is not a personal attack just the truth people who (in the face of failure to lose eating a certain way continue to say *keep doing it*) either are in deep denial or just want to eat what they want to eat.

I am so sick of demonizing foods as healthy and not. Suggesting that eating healthy foods will make you healthy. You have eaten a ton of "healthy foods" -- you sure are not healthy! You have plantar fascitis and are over weight. Losing weight will make you healthy. In every single system of your body. BP, Liver, kidney function.. and on and on and on.

The answer is not to throw away the scale. It isn't to keep doing what you are doing and some day it will come off. It will not. You know it.

The 1200 calorie count limit is a lie. You know it, I know it. Either the calories in food are a lie OR, that figure is wayyy too high. If you really want to lose weight... you will do what is necessary. If you don't.. you will continue to make excuses and listen to the same well meaning people who you have listened to. That are obviously -- so obviously wrong.

The alternative is obvious CUT YOUR CALORIES. A lot, until that scale moves. I will *eat my hat* if you spend one week cutting your calories 40 to 50% and do not see that scale move - every single day.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the poster who said you can get too caught up in the numbers. Supposedly you will lose a pound if you run a 3,3000 calorie deficit, right? Well, I keep meticulous track of exercise (using a HR monitor) and calorie intake and I have to run more like a 10,000 calorie deficit before I lose a pound. Perhaps because of medications.

Does it stink? Yes. But I have to accept it and do the work anyway. I still can lose weight, it just takes longer and requires more effort.

So if you are not losing weight at your current calorie intake and activity level, you have to reduce the first and increase the second. It doesn't matter what "should" happen.

Also, unless you are METICULOUSLY measuring and tracking your intake (and you admit you are not) you are probably underestimating how many calories you are eating. If you truly are sick of your current situation, you'll harden up and HONESTLY and CONSISTENTLY count calories plus keep up the exercise.

You said in a post recently you aren't willing to restrict any more than you already are. If you want to lose weight, you will have to. It's as simple as that.

Margaret said...

I'm right there with you, but I've been working out 3x a week (cardio 30 minutes and weights), plus riding 25 miles a week on my bike for 16 months - and have not lost a single pound. Though my health is better - but that wasn't my goal.

The numbers don't lie. That's denial talking.

My background is the same old story: lifelong yo-yo dieter. Now, at 43, I'm well and truly stuck.

Lyn said...

Anonymous (gee there are so many of you!)~

the only thing I really take issue with is you telling me I will "continue to make excuses." There are no excuses being made here. And I have nothing to make excuses FOR. If I ended this post with, "what the heck, I may as well binge" then I would call it excuses. But instead I went to the gym. And I will keep going to the gym and get this thing figured out.

skinnyhollie said...

Welcome to my world. I have been in the same(ish) cycle since June. I am beyond frustrated. I just want to quit most days. Paleo worked for about a week...

I am so discouraged, but I also know that I can't live like this, either. I'm over 300 lbs. and uncomfortable. I have to keep trying.

Anonymous said...

Lyn,

I'm not going to join the pile-on, even though I am another Anonymous. I am going to respectfully suggest that, please, just for one week, measure/weigh/journal EVERYTHING you eat, and see what happens. I know you hate doing that, but can you do it for just a week as an experiment, just to get your hands on the data, and see how it applies to what you're doing?

I'm not suggesting that you're making excuses, or lying, or anything like that, I'm just saying if you get some hard numbers, it may help you decide where to go next with achieving your goals.

Whatever you do, good luck.

Kristi said...

Oh Lynn, I feel you. It took me a year of being off medifast until my body worked correctly. I worry what I did and thought it would be forever. It will work, just keep plugging away

Lyn said...

Anonymous~

yeah, it looks like that is where I am headed with this... I don't know what else I can possibly do, but log at least short term and keep increasing my activity.

And thank you for the thoughtful and respectful suggestion.

Anonymous said...

Do you track your food, using SparkPeople or My Fitness Pal or something? Because it's clear that your current intake is at a "maintenance" level. To lose, you need to get under your current level, but it's hard to know how to do that unless you're tracking.

One of the things we do to ourselves by constant "dieting" is screw up our metabolism, such that the body eventually gets very efficient at using every last scrap of calorie. It means we need to drop calorie and carb levels fairly drastically to see any action, unfortunately.

Keep up the fight, it's worth it in the end.

-Kathy A

Em said...

Lyn, if you're doing serious strength training, you HAVE to expect the scale to be wonky for the first bit. I've been lifting heavy since July. People keep commenting on my weight loss. I have lost zero pounds. I've been up a few, but NEVER below the weight I was when I started lifting. But I've dropped at least one clothing size, and I can see that my jawline and waist are more defined. Take measurements, or photos, or something!

Anonymous said...

It seems like a lot of people want to help you, but you need to be willing to do what it takes. (And going to the gym is not what it takes -- that will have a de minimis impact at most on any weight loss regimen).

It seems clear that you think you are doing the right thing by eating cheeses, "grass fed" beef and whole eggs, but certainly you know these things are high in fat and calories.

What you need to do is drastically reduce your calories. If you want fast results, all you need to do is: Eat a maximum of 1 gram of LEAN protein per lb of LBM (based on your stats that would be no more than 120 grams of LEAN protein per day). I estimate that your BMI is approx. 44, so that's how I got your LBM. Then you can eat an unlimited amount of leafy green vegetables (like romaine lettuce), and calorie free drinks. Do this and you will lose at least 2-3 lbs per week. (at least). And the whole thing about "starvation mode" = a myth (unless you spend years in a concentration camp). The best thing for your health would be to bite the bullet and eat only enough to sustain your lean muscle mass, until you reach a healthy weight. Only you know if you are willing to do it, though.

Anonymous said...

I hate to say this, but it sounds like you may need to go back on Medifast, or at least, a diet comparable to medifast. I lost a lot of weight when I was 18-19 years old, on a very low calorie, low carb diet (basically starved myself.) I kept the weight off for 20 years, but I had to stay under 1000 calories on average per day (plus hard excercise) to do so. I gained 100 pounds plus in a year due to infertility treatments, preganncy, and an endocrine (pituitary) disorder and damaged gland. My doctor ran tests and told me that I'd need to eat under 1000 calories per day to lose weight.

I am currently on Medifast and it is the first thing that has worked since I gained all that weight. I've looked at all the MF posts and research -- it looks like their maintenance diet is about what you are eating now, unfortunately.

I could never lose weight on 1500 calories per day, even if I was exercising hard.

I'm sorry to say this, but it sounds like you need to return to what worked for you, grit your teeth and get to goal, go through their transition and maintenance program. Your body will get used to low calories, it does change your metabolism. It's hard to keep working so hard on a regimine that would work for someone else, and not have it work for you.

Good luck -- I know you have been through hell with your weight, I understand and am there too...

may G-d help us through this.

Anonymous said...

When it comes to body mass, a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. It doesn't matter if a food is "healthy" or not; your body doesn't differentiate. It's the total NUMBER of calories you take in that leads to weight loss, gain or maintenance, NOT their content.

Vickie said...

I did not read any of the other comments.

It always goes back to logging food when it is not working and you do not understand why.

The easiest way to do this (in my opinion) is to make yourself sets of data. We all tend to eat things in sets or groups. So each time you eat a favorite set, write it down and figure it out (total calories, %'s of carbs/fat/protein). Then you only have to figure it out once per set and then you have the data at your finger tips for the next time.

If you have a day where you do not have time to track, you eat the sets where you already have the data. So you might end up with two breakfast sets, six tiny snack sets, and a whole pile you rotate between for lunch and dinner. This makes tracking painless.

Some people have done this on index cards and then flipped cards. If you like to do it on the computer or whatever, great, but track.

I would not change anything, just track and see if you really are where you think you are.

Log your water.

Get your sleep.

Keep doing your swimming and weight resistance work.

Time and time again, when people finally pick up their exercise, they let their food slip because they think they have burned it off or they think they have been good and deserve more. I see it all over blog land on a very regular basis.

And people think they are working a lot more off than they actually are (don't even get me started on tracking exercise and adding more food based on those numbers). If you are being trained for the olympics, it is another story.

Almost all of us cannot work off bad food choices.

Very few of us are working at a high level.

I am one of the most consistent exercise people I know and what I do, I consider not being a couch potato/normal activity.

The first several years I was exercising, I learned a lot and was working on range of motion, flexibility, bone density, balance, but I was not getting as much exercise as I thought I was at the time.

You have put your body through a lot.

Eat real foods, drink your water, sleep, eat at meal time and track for the next month and then see where you actually are. At that point you will have the data to decide what you need to adjust.



Karen said...

Only you know what is best for you.

Have you considered other options or tools to use

Life coach , trainer ,counselor, structured plan, surgical options, medifast with a health coach this time, accupuncture, hypnotherapy , whole 30 , OA, another blogger buddy to keep you accountable, going back to work full time?

If those options don't sound right, brain storm or try what worked before and add in one of the tools above. There is a answer. Keep searching for the answer and you will find it.

Careful weighing , carb measures, weighing your body is a great place to start to see trends in how you are feeling and if you are trending up , the same , or down and you can then tweak your plan and take the next steps. Exercise is great for mental health and other benefits, however the foods you eat play a huge part in weight loss.

Good luck and keep trying. Many of us have been there. A study of the other bloggers at maintnence will have loads of tips. Interview 1-2 a week and make your own plan or template. Be a student of weight loss for your own self.

Karen P.

Lyn said...

Kathy A~

I use Sparkpeople. When I do log calories, I am meticulous about it. Everything goes into a measuring cup or spoon or on my digital scale. Every single thing. I spent most of the last 5 years counting calories, so I am pretty good at it, and good at estimating as well, although I know I can be off by 200-300 calories a day by estimating so the only way to know my current intake is to log.


Anonymous~

My body has very different reactions to different calories. I do not agree with the calories in/calories out weight loss model; I think different foods affect ones' metabolism, insulin response, fat storage, etc, and it is important to me that the calories I eat are healthy ones. Obviously that Twinkie guy lost weight eating junk... it is possbile for some. My path is a different one though, and I need to figure out the balance and the types of food and exercise that my own body will respond to.

timothy said...

it sounds like a VERY stubborn plateau and breaking it might not be easy. i'd suggest doin a mini fast of like 2 days then into hardcore carb dieting, under 20 grams a day NO DAIRY,and nothing fermented. you might also take heavy doses of garlic, if you've taken antibiotics at all you might have a yeast infection in your bowls which will stall weight-loss. if so the yougurt on any sugar at all feeds that! whatever you do don't give up !!!

Lyn said...

Thank you all for the suggestions, thoughts, and encouragement. Tonight I am not as mad as I was this morning; I put a lot of that anger into an hour of working out at the gym. I am going to take the weekend to figure out where exactly I want to go with my eating now. Logging has to be a part, at least for awhile. The 'food sets' thing sounds convenient, Vickie. Thinking...

Vickie said...

I thought of a couple things - check whatever system you have used in the past to make sure numbers are correct. I looked something up on one of the popular systems this week and the numbers were way off.

I do NOT think a month is long enough to have given what you are doing a try.

I honestly would keep doing what you are doing (but track food and water) and give your body a chance to adjust.

You have sort of gone up, down and around and you have had a lot of stress.

Anonymous said...

Lyn, I see how hard you work at this and I know how disappointing it can be to put in serious workouts and not see the results on the scale. I have ran on average 20 miles a week consistently for nearly 3 years and i have not managed to loose more than a few pounds and that was during a period when i religiously logged my food. I think of it this way...I run because it helps keep me healthy, is great stress relief and I really enjoy it. However, I don't exercise to loose weight...it doesn't work for me. Unforturnately, it is way too easy for me to eat back the calories i burned off. Bottom line: to loose weight I have to count calories AND eat higher protein lower carb. Running/exercise is just a pleasant, healthy pasttime, but does not appear to be related at all to my ability to loose weight. I dont think this is uncommon, sadly:(

I have read your blog for months and i want you to know how much i admire your tenacity...I have no doubt that you will be successful and reach your goal weight...you will keep trying until you get there. You deserve it!

Anonymous said...

Shock your system! You need something different! Something in addition to what you're already doing. You've been trying so hard but IF IT'S NOT WORKING FOR YOU, then YOU have to try something different for YOU. Fasting?!? Maybe stop eating or drinkin anything after 5pm. Only eat when you are TRULY hungry. You've been doing so well and I understand how frustrating it is. :( Have you heard of the Weighdown Diet? It's very good and the only thing I've managed to lose on.
-N.

Human In Progress said...

This is me thinking out loud in response to the other comments, as much as anything else...

Please keep exercising, as you have vowed to do. It's about health and functionality as you age, not just about weight loss (so whoever was saying "it won't help you lose weight"...well, whatever. I don't know. This one post may have been about the number on the scale, but I know the blog as a whole talks about general health and vitality too. And exercise will help with that.)

Please keep eating real food--stay away from Medifast. Stay away from unsustainable plans "just to kickstart the loss" or "just to gain some momentum." You know enough about that already.

Please give it more time. I agree with the others who are saying that tweaking things in the exercise and/or food department every month or two probably hurts more than it helps. Whenever the tweak doesn't yield something dramatic, the way a plan like Medifast yields dramatic results in the beginning, it contributes to impatience/anger/despair. And weight loss is as much a psychological game as a physical one, in my opinion.

I know you ultimately want your weight to be lower, but focusing on how your body is looking and feeling and functioning is really important too. How are you FEELING these days? Does your body feel stronger since you've begun exercising at the gyms, for example? What's your energy level like lately? If you feel better at 217 now/in the near future than you did at 217 some months ago (and I sure hope you do; I wish you well) isn't that progress?

Anonymous said...

I would continue what you are doing with working out, and go hardcore with the calorie counting. If after next week you still do not lose at 1800 calories. Then the following week you need to cut down to 1700 calories. If you still see no results then decrease your calories the week after that by another 100. Keep doing this till you see that scale going down. You have to find that right amount of calories, and you can only do that through trial and error. Good Luck!!

MargieAnne said...

Hi Lyn. You have a heap of replies. I'm sure they all have good advice but there are people out in blogland with radically different points of view.

Have you had a good look around this website?

http://livinlavidalowcarb.com/

I've been listening to podcasts and learned a lot about the reasons some of us struggle to lose weight and some radical, to me, ideas about how we should be feeding our bodies the right nutrients for health and not worrying about weight. It is all too complex for me to write here. It has taken me 6 months to accept some of the ideas but the results people are having speaks for itself.

Among the ideas is one about intense exercise for a few minutes twice a week while staying reasonably active in a normal way the rest of the time.

I suggest you look at Jimmy Moore's n=1 experiment too.

There is an answer somewhere for you and you are determined so you'll find it.

But you may have to sidestep some traditional thinking. Hope you have the courage to do a trial after you[ve read all you can.

Blessings

Raina Singh said...

Heya Lyn - it's a shame that you're feeling frustrated, and when you're looking exclusively at the numbers, of course you're going to.

I would please though, urge you, to take a step back and take stock - realise that it is *not* all for nothing. Health is about behaviours, and you've listed in your post some *INCREDIBLY* healthy behaviours. These are behaviours you should be proud of! Instead, the tone I see from your post is that you resent these behaviours because they subsequently don't translate to a lower number on the scale. (and of course, it's the frustration coming through here).

You've said I don't drink soda or eat fast food. Rather than being disappointed, be proud that you're not putting that stuff in your body any more. At some level your body is thanking you for this, although your frustration with the scale may be preventing you from seeing it.

I look at everything you're doing and am so proud that you've taken all of these steps to improve your life - and no doubt your children are witnessing all of these changes too; that's another thing to be proud of, the wonderful role model you're being for them.

I'm sorry for the mammoth comment, though it saddens me that the numbers are driving you to be frustrated and angry (which also, can be inhibiting your weight loss) instead of celebrating the undoubted improvement in your health that you are experiencing.

Much love to you.

Anonymous said...

A month just flat out isn't enough time.

You have never really worked out before- not just in your weight loss journey, but *in your life*. I remember your post about it.

You are finally committing to a sound exercise plan that will build muscle, strengthen your knees, and help with bone density. Your body is experiencing a host of brand new feelings and having a host of reactions.

I think you need to have more realistic expectations. I wonder if Medifast set you up for disappointment because the extremely low calories gave such huge results?

Keep working out. Keep eating as you said. If you are doing all those things you described, there is no way that it is possible for you to not begin to lose weight, but it will be slower than Medifast and may be slowed even more by swelling and water retention related to exercise.

Even if you don't lose any weight, you SHOULD work this hard and you SHOULD eat this well because it's GOOD for you. It's what your body wants and needs.

Anonymous said...

Also, I cannot agree more with Taryl on this point:

"But you will be a marvel of modern science if you stick to your current plan without deviation until fall of next year and haven't dropped at least 25 pounds. And if you do this and a year passes at 217, I'll eat my hat."

EXACTLY

Anonymous said...

I stayed at the same weight level for over a year while exercising, keeping track of food intake, etc. well, I actually lost 4 lbs. FOUR !!!! in one year.
Then finally my doctor thought about checking my insulin levels, it turned put that I have insulin resistance. Put me in medication, it's not a magic pill it only regulates insulin.
Now I'm "normal" if I overeat, I gain, but if I stay on track and exercise I lose. I have lost 30 (out of 40) lbs that I needed to lose so far.
Ask your doctor to check for insuline resistance, that may be your problem. Good luck.

Lisa said...

RE: the comment above stating: "...a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. It doesn't matter if a food is "healthy" or not; your body doesn't differentiate."

PLEASE do NOT believe this!!!! There is NO POSSIBLE way your body will process 500 calories of little debbie snack cakes the same as 500 calories of lean turkey or 500 cal of broccoli. Your body will absolutely differentiate a junk carb from pure protein. This should be painfully obvious and apparent.. but it's one of those lies people like to tell themselves so they don't have to give up eating as they wish all the while hoping for a change. Dream on.

No, I'm not a nutritionist, but this is BASIC COMMON sense. Even a first grader will know that a donut is bad for you and an apple is good... or at least better.

If you are serious, and seriously mad enough to make changes.. cut out EVERY form of sugar from your diet (Fruit/any junk carb/starch, etc.. you KNOW), watch your protein choices (no, bacon is not a protein or a condiment.. it's fat, and sodium.. don't kid yourself), cut WAY back on the dairy (no, cheese/yogurt/etc.. should not be considered a source of protein, it's more a source of fat and unnecessary calories) and knock your calories back to 1200 a day. Then get real with yourself and the scale. Quit telling yourself that a gain is from water or "gaining muscle". Unless you are on a strict bodybuilding type of regimen AND a bodybuilder!) there is no way you will gain that much weight in muscle. This is just another one of those wonderful lies the fat love to tell themselves.

You don't really think that peach smoothies are going to help you achieve your goal... do you??? I don't care how you make it. A peach still contains sugar (which will not help you in any way), and sugar (in all it's forms) is not your friend. Especially if you want the scale to go down.

Anonymous said...

Another anonymous here...

I'm going to echo other posts. Write down everything you eat-even if it is one bite. Really try to track calories and accurately measure portions. Also, your excercise may not be as intense and fat buring as you describe.

I'm sure you've done some damage to your metabolism with Medifast (hard not to) but that can be overcome with time and good, whole foods.

Best of luck.

Anonymous said...

Lyn,

Every single time I step up my exercise and do something new, I lose very slowly, if at all for quite a while. I've been told (and I believe, because it seems true) that when you're doing something new with your muscles, they swell and hold water. Eventually what seems to happen is a loss of inches and then, eventually, weight loss. But once the body composition changes, the changes can get dramatic.

Good luck!

Arabella

Margaret said...

Hey Lyn,

I remember in the 80's, when I started dieting, being taught that if I worked out and built muscle then my body would burn more calories even at rest. Because muscle burned more calories than fat.

And just the other day I read an article about a study that checked that and found just the opposite. So, the fitter the study participants got - the fewer calories they needed to maintain their weight - because the body (muscle) was more efficient (fat).

So, if you maintained at 1800 in the past, but are now ten percent fitter, your new maintenance number is 1620. And so forth.

Isn't that a kick in the pants? Just thought it might be useful as you search to understand what's going on the past month.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure everything has been covered, but two things stick out to me: you're eating a much higher-fat diet than you were on medifast where your only additional fat was in the 5-and-1 (right?). I'm not debating the (de)merits of fat, but the reality is that it's extremely common to underestimate calories and even more so when it's a high-calorie item like fat. E.g. when you made your "crack slaw" you talk about "drain off the fat" and then add in sesame oil. Suppose the fat you drain off is less than you think, the meat had more fat than was on the label, and the T of oil is really 1.5 T (easy to do)? That can add 300 calories per serving to just one meal.

The second thing is more awkward to state clearly, but you keep comparing doing everything "right" to the extreme of bingeing and not exercising. In that other extreme you were gaining weight to the tune of 10 pounds a month, and who knows how high your weight could have climbed? So, this is a HUGE move forward for you, to maintain your weight without MF foods. At this point, okay it's about lowering the portion sizes and probably the extra fat calories here and there. Again, not getting into the debate about fat as evil, but you have to cut calories from somewhere and protein is prove to be more satiating than fat.

Anonymous said...

The thing is, you are not working out hard enough/long enough to burn enough calories to result in weight loss from that alone. Most people don't. As others have said, you should exercise for the myriad of other benefits it provides.

Notice a common theme in these comments? To lose weight you will have to cut calories. If you cut 500 calories per day you should lose about a pound per week. You will probably be hungry sometimes. How bad do you want it?

Anonymous said...

Lyn, I absolutely love your blog, but I usually don't comment. On this one, I really wanted to give my 2 cents. I trained for a half marathon recently, and it completely changed my body shape and size, but I DID NOT LOSE A POUND. Not one. I just want you to be very aware that you can lose fat and gain muscle with the same net body weight. I know this because it happened to me. I went down 2 clothing sizes and didn't lose any weight (and yes, people commented on how great I looked and how much weight I had lost), so please give it a bit more time and be proud of all you have accomplished.

Lyn said...

re: yogurt and fruit~

Whether yogurt is a good protein source or a fat/sugar source depends entirely on what brand and type of yogurt you buy. I tend towards plain, nonfat Fage Greek yogurt which is an excellent protein and probiotic source (6 oz = 100 cal, 0 fat, 18g protein). I also think unless one is going for a ketosis-style low carb lifestyle, a piece of fruit a day is probably beneficial. It's a good way to have something sweet that is *not* sugar or artificial sweetener based.

Also, I've never, ever said I was gaining weight due to muscle. I don't believe that for one second. I *am* gaining muscle but certainly not to the tune of pounds and pounds of muscle.

I may not respond to every thought or comment here, but I do consider them all and am trying to formulate a plan.

Anonymous said...

Lyn, as I was reading your post, I thought about one of my co-workers. She runs nearly every day and is so frustrated because she loses no weight. You definitely aren't alone. I don't think anyone has all the answers and I'm certainly not going to pretend that I do, either. If I did, I'd be rich. And a normal weight. I do want to wish you luck and hope that this turns around for you soon. I love your blog. Best wishes.

Anonymous said...

Lyn, I think you're making it too hard. I think if you cut down to 1200 calories a day, whether you're eating local, grass fed beef or lean cuisines, whether you exercise a lot or not at all, you will lose! (I lost a lot of weight and kept it off this way)

Good luck and best wishes to you-

Paige said...

Hi Lyn,

I've been reading your blog for quite some time. I'm so sorry you're feeling frustrated. But if I could offer one small piece of advice, and I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but just from what I read, it doesn't seem like you stick with a plan for very long. It seems like once you determine it's not working IMMEDIATELY, you abandon ship and are on to something new. I feel like maybe the weight came off so easily when you first started (which it does, for people who are extremely overweight), that you expect the same results now. I think maybe sticking with one plan for longer than a month might benefit you. And again, I mean this just as constructive criticism and with the utmost respect and admiration, so I sincerely apologize if it comes off as preachy or talking down to you. I just hate to see you struggle so. Even though we've never met in person, or even spoken to one another, as one human to another, I genuinely want to see you succeed! Hang in there and don't give up so easily. We are all rooting for you!

LHA said...

First, I want to thank Lyn for blogging and all of the people who commented. It has been so interesting to read all the different views, experiences, and suggestions.

Every one of us has had the same experience as Lyn as far as stalling out on a plateau while really trying hard to lose weight. I don't pretend to have any answers at all! I have, however, had decades of experience in gaining, losing, and plateauing. After reading all of the comments, a few things stood out to me.

First, the people who commented that Lyn is doing well and maintaining a weight loss are right. That is no small feat, even though it is discouraging because she still wants to lose. If nothing else, this way of eating looks like it will sustain a weight loss in the future, so that is good news.

Second, and this is just from my own experience, I always gained weight quickly and predictably and was unable to lose it again for quite a while after a restricted diet such as Medi-fast. This is not a criticism of the diet or any diet, just the truth in my experience. I had to learn that hard way that serious restriction eventually led to weight gain for me. It is great while you are losing and you feel so encouraged and in control but once you let up...whoosh! Those pounds come rushing back and are so resistant to any weight loss efforts.

For me, the only thing that has seriously worked is just the opposite of what most of you are suggesting, and I don't know that it would work for Lyn or anyone else. I absolutely had to stop counting, measuring, weighing, obsessing and fretting about food. I made a really conscious effort to eat only when hungry and eat small amounts until I wasn't hungry any more. I limit sugar, heavy starches and high calorie foods to special occasions most of the time but don't have any terribly strict rules except that no food is off limits totally. I struggle with exercise but do it as much as I can. I don't know how much I have lost because I avoid the scale most of the time but the last time I checked it was over 50 pounds. Again, I am NOT suggesting that this is the answer for anyone except myself but want to support Lyn and all of us who struggle with this daily. My heart goes out to all of you and to myself too because this is a life long battle. I really admire everyone who wrote with suggestions and encourage everyone to keep at it!

Anonymous said...

I did Atkins induction religiously for an entire year. One thing I noticed is that, as a female, I would maintain my weight all month and then have a four lb drop one week a month (the week of "TOM"). Another thing I noticed during that year, was that I was meticulous in the beginning, then got a little overconfident and did not track as well, because I already tracked it 100 times. I too, eventually got stuck at a set weight of 230 lbs, that I, to this day, cannot break. But one thing I can tell you, is to not give up. I gave up, and here I am a year later, realizing that I need to get back on the wagon because if I never got off, at worst, I would still be maintaining 230 lbs. instead, I am teetering at 240. Wah! Plus, I completely agree with you... A calorie is only a calorie for those fortunate fools who were blessed with normal systems. I, however, blow up like a blimp if I eat starches/sugars more than once a week. It's a shame, but hey, we all have burdens to carry. Keep your head up and keep at it. You will lose this weight. Sorry for being anonymous, too lazy to register. Name is Kerry though. Good luck, look forward to your future posts.

Anonymous said...

Just read through all the comments. I have nothing to say really other than I feel our pain. I have been at hovering around 200 for 9 mos now so I am sending you some hugs and positive thoughts tonight.

Noxie

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with Raina's comment above. You have come a long way, be proud of the actions and not discouraged by the numbers on the scale.

I am also surprised that so many people are suggesting you further cut calories. I honestly believe that the reason you aren't losing weight is because you ate far too little while on medifast, and your body is only just getting used to the increased caloric intake (this takes a very long time). If you drastically cut calories again (shocked that someone suggested 40-50%!!), you will lose weight, but that's just not sustainable, and it propagates the yo-yo fluctuations / weight gain. Don't do it.

Just stick it out, weigh regularly, but don't be discouraged as long as you are making healthy changes, it WILL work.

-Annie

Ginger said...

Lynn I am sooo sorry you are having such a rough time. I can't offer any advice better than what was said, but I want you to know that I empathize with you. I do think you should keep doing what you are doing, eating healthy (healthy, whole, natural foods), and exercising. Don't give up on that... but I honestly believe sometimes our bodies just won't cooperate. For some reason yours is holding on to the calories you are taking in. Eventually it should even itself out. Please don't give up!

Mary Frances said...

All of the comments here are a good example of why it's so hard to lose weight. Everyone has an opinion, theory, or belief on what it takes to lose weight and they are convinced their way is the only way and everyone else is wrong. Some say starve yourself by dramatically reducing calories, some say eat more, and some say keep doing exactly what you are doing and give it time to work. My advice is that only you know what works for you. Use this blog as your best resource. Go back to times when you were consistently losing and try what you were doing then. I sympathize with your struggle and thank you for sharing the good and the bad with us. And I know it's frustrating now, but you will start losing again.

colleen said...

Lynn, I know that the math says that at 1500 calories a day plus exercise, you should be losing. For me that math never worked. I worked out 6 days a week at 1600 calories a day for two months straight and lost nothing (but did drop a size). To lose weight I need to keep my calories around 1000-1200. If I'm in the 1200-1500 range, I might lose extremely slowly - a pound a month maybe, but it will be hidden by water weight fluctuation and I'm unlikely to maintain eating in that calorie range because I get discouraged. At 1500+ calories I straight up maintain my weight. At anything over 1900 a day I start to gain. That is my math, I really wish it weren't so, but it is - and I suspect yours is similar (and have said so many times, been reading for years now). That is to maintain at about 5'4" and currently 180, trying to get down to 170 - I have made it down to the 160s twice but not stayed their successfully. I'm not sure if that weight is even maintainable because of the low amount of calories/high amount of exercise needed to keep me there. But at 170-180 I'm in a size 8/10 so it's not so bad.

The hardest part was accepting all this as my reality. It's not fair that "normal" people can literally eat twice as much as me and not see the scale shoot up 4-6 lbs. as a result. But hey, life ain't fair ;).

Elaine said...

Lynn, I don't want to add to the myriad of advice you've gotten, but I did just want to say that I think you need to give your body more time to adapt. You abused your metabolism for years, and it isn't going to snap back into perfectly functional immediately.

When I wanted to improve fitness and lose weight a few years ago, I started working out 5 or 6 times a week at the gym and cut to 1400 calories (which I counted meticulously every day). I gained weight, and stayed at that higher weight for a couple of months before I started to lean down.

Keep working out, count your calories responsibly, and give it time. You're doing the right things.

i should be full said...

I have so much empathy for what you are going through because you are describing nearly every single weigh-in I've had over most of my life. That is, until recently when I finally gave up and decided that I can't construct a weigh loss program for myself.

I always thought I "knew" what it took to lose weight. I read everything, listened to everyone, and tried to use my smart brain to make "healthy choices": no junk food, no sweets, no fast food, no binging, organic food only, lots of cardio exercise to boost my metabolism and burn fat, weight training to build muscle. A couple of years ago when I went on a raw foods diet and ate nothing but nuts, fruit, and salads and *gained* weight I was beside myself, ready to just give up.

But a few months ago I gave up trying to figure this out for myself and decided to follow a diet plan that someone else made up (a doctor) and to follow it to the T. Surprisingly, it involved only walking and no other exercise and a strict diet that eliminated ALL carbs (other than non-starchy vegetables - that includes beans!) and very lean protein. I didn't want to do it at first, but then I remember the OA saying about being willing to go to any lengths. I was finally willing to go to any lengths. Even facing up to discover what was true for my body (that I can't eat fruit or exercise hard when I'm trying to lose weight) versus what I wanted to be true for my body (running is good for me and watermelon and peaches can't possibly be bad for me).

For me this diet is finally working. I'm down 31.5 pounds in 4 months and I feel healthier and happier than I have in years. I firmly believe it's because I gave up trying to be in control of this process.

Now, I'm not saying that you have to do what I do. You are your own person and I don't know that what I do would work for you. But one thing I hear over and over again in your posts is the extent to which you are frustrated, confused that your efforts aren't paying off, and sick and tired of having to go through this roller coaster. I hear you, I've been there so many times myself. In the end, what worked for me was letting go of my preconceived notions and letting someone else construct the plan for me.

In general I believe that if what one has been doing isn't working, doing more of it will eventually work. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is actually, according to OA, insanity. Doing something different got me the results I wanted.

Now, I haven't been perfect on this diet. But I have given up working so hard and I have just given in to the process. The result is that each week on the scale, it's paying off.

You are doing an amazing job trying to take care of yourself. You should give yourself a huge amount of credit. Not giving up is a huge accomplishment in and of itself and goodness knows I've given up plenty of times. That's how I got to the point 7 years ago where I needed to lose 100 pounds.

I know you are frustrated that the scale has had the same number on it for a year but that can be turned into a positive too: you can also be grateful that it's not gone back up to 278. You can also choose to see the positive that you now know exactly what you need to do to maintain your weight, once you get to where you want to be.

I know this was a long "comment" and I don't know if any of it helps, but just don't give up. So many of us are going through this right along side of you and we're with you, on the good days and the bad.

Siobhan said...

I don't have the answer either, but lots of sympathy for how tough it is to do it right and still not get results. What I do know is that you are doing this for more than weight loss ... You will feel better without the inflammation and sluggishness you get with eating sugars and grains. You will feel better exercising and getting stronger. And most of all you will be setting a wonderful example for your little girl on how to live and eat well.

liz said...

You lost so much weight so quickly with metafast do you think maybe your metabolism is screwed up? I think it may take time to reverse the damage. You need to build up muscle mass. Which you are doing with weight lifting. Maybe stay of the scale???

liz said...

Lyn,
I wrote you a comment about what I thought about all this. This is a really painful problem so many of us have. It's not a light subject. We live in a country with so much food so readily available. And at the same time there are other people starving. I'm going to give away 10% of my food. How? I eat about what you do, that would work out to be about 150- 180 calories. How much is that worth I'm not sure. But I but it would bless us with weight loss.
Silly maybe but I think God likes silly.

Tessie said...

I think dropping the calorie count is the answer. Mostly because I think you are underestimating the calories now. If you dropped to 1100-1200 you probably would actually be closer to the 1500 you think you're at now. That isn't to be meant in a mean way.... I truly believe we overestimate exercise and underestimate calories as a whole society. That is really why a program like JC or MFN or NS works, they actually are the calorie content they say they are.
Good luck,
Fall down seven times, get up eight :)

Rose said...

First, I just want to say.. you kick butt.. second.. love the way everyone comes out of the blog shell when someone is having a hard time and their so judge mental. I often wonder= how many of these bloggers who "offer" this "advice" so harshly are sitting at computers all day and NOT healthy at all.. just sayin'... KOKO Lyn.. you'll get there! Rose

Keri Hespeler said...

I have nothing to add- just wanted to say hang in there! I really enjoy your blog and have faith that you can do it!

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