Sunday, September 30, 2012

Weigh In

Guess what. Scale says 221. Up 2 pounds this week. Might be the sodium from yesterday, or maybe I should lower my calories or carb or fat. Hard to know...

I figured my average stats for the week. Here is the average per day that I ate this week:

1421 calories
39% carbs
37% fat
24% protein

Frankly this whole thing gives me a headache. I *know* I am burning more than 1421 calories in a day, between my fairly active lifestyle, the strength training, the biking and swimming. Yes, I am in this for health, but I am also wanting to be lighter for the sake of my feet and my joints. I *do* tend to compare results to Medifast but I also remember when I lost the first 60 pounds (counting calories and exercising) and I did lose at a fairly regular pace. Sure it would be great to drop 7 pounds a month like I did on Medifast, but I was losing at a good clip *before* Medifast, calorie counting and biking:

240 March (-8)
235 April (-5)
228 May (-7)
219 June (-9)
216 July (-3)

... and then I stalled for 20 months. What IS it about this weight that is so hard to break free from? Those stats, by the way, are from 2008, when I was counting calories and aiming for about 1500/day. I am exercising a lot more now than I was then.


Anyway, I really don't know what to do. I try to glean wisdom from the comments people leave. I get some really important insights there. Yet there are such differing opinions on what to actually DO, from "you change things too often, just stick with it and give it time" to "if it isn't working, change it." In my own head I go back and forth between "stick with it" and "change it" a lot. I have stuck with the same basics with slight tweaking for many months. I did try Primal/Paleo and felt so yucky and almost ill on it for the whole time (3-4 weeks I believe) but I do still try to keep my carbs low. I have thought about cutting back to 1200 calories max but don't know if I can sustain the exercise on that level of nutrition. I don't even know...

I am torn between two ideas:

A) keep counting calories, adjust the carbs down and protein up and keep watching the quality of fat, while exercising at the same level (I cannot increase it any further until my feet are better)

B) stop counting calories, focus on exercising and quality of nutrition while eating as little as possible to sustain my activity level. No worries here about starving myself... I always manage to get in at least 1200 whether I count or not.

I wish I had a clear cut answer. I'm going to think about it and I do appreciate your feedback. I am also going to start taking Chromium Picolinate daily.

Either way the exercise stays and I am cutting the carbs back and aiming for grain free.


Anonymous said...

I think you're accounting exercise for too much, or expecting it to burn way more than it really does. Exercise is an awesome ADDITION to healthy eating but it burns way less than you'd think, save for if you're a serious athlete or Olympian.

In my opinion, you need to take in less calories on a daily basis while keeping up the physical activity, with a concentration on whole foods. I'm 4 inches taller than you and ate more around 1200 while actively trying to lose weight, mixed with pretty intense exercise (running).

CatherineMarie said...

Maybe you aren't eating enough carbs? Or the right kind? I've dropped 10 lbs, in part from stress, but in part because my meals have gotten smaller.

I don't eat much breakfast, I'm just not usually hungry in the morning... then run home from work and have a reasonable lunch, and then dinner is usually something a little more carby, because that helps me sleep.

You might need to do more veggies and carbs and less meat... meat, for me is more of a condiment..

But just stick with it for another couple of months, see how you are doing.. Maybe you need to bump up your calories a little...don't restrict too much, think about trying to take off a lb a week, four lbs a month. That adds up to 48 lbs in a year....

Taryl said...

We warned you about this - KEEP GOING. A week isn't long enou for anything, sometimes every several months isn't enough. Your diet is good, if slightly carb heavy if insulin control is what you're aiming for. You're exercising, and that can take several weeks to settle out water retention, too. It could be your cycle. It could be salt. But what ISN'T causing the scale the go up is an excess of energy - your calories are GOOD, maybe even low for your activity level.

Don't change them, don't change ANYTHING, please just stay consistent. And hide your scale for a month, while you're at it.

Anonymous said...

I honestly think your calories are way too low. Guessing you're burning at least 200-300 hundred calories, and if you're only eating 1400, then you're only ending up with 1100 calories a day. No matter what people tell you, your body won't run effectively on such a low intake just because you want it to. Maybe if you were 5 feet tall and 120lbs.

I'm no expert, but are South Beach and Atkins highly restrictive in terms of calories? I always thought low-carb and low-cal were NOT to be doubled-up.

Lyn said...


to be clear, 1420 is the total calories eaten per day. I did not subtract any off for exercise or add up how many calories I burned.

I average about an hour a day on exercise (strength training, swim, biking), not counting any walking I do (sometimes a mile a day, not mroe right now due to foot pain).

Margaret said...

Well, I know exactly how frustrating this is. I lost seventy pounds on Optifast (shakes and a bar) and watched it creep back on over the course of two years. Nothing I did worked - including going back on Optifast. So I really feel for you.

But I doubt the wisdom of "just keep going" when you are actively gaining weight. And another couple months of 2/3 pounds a month? Hm. If it's not working, then doing it more and saying it's about to work seems like denial.

I think the first thing is you need to figure out how many calories you need to stay where you are - just not gain - or maybe to slide back into the teens. That would be a good place to start.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I'm just are you burning over 1400 calories a day? When I go HARD on the elliptical for AN HOUR I don't think it's anywhere near 1400. I wonder if you really are underestimating the food and overestimating the exercise. How do you track your calories? I recall you saying that its a pain to do one of the online ones because you cook recipes so you have to input everything but wouldn't you have to do that anyway since you are counting calories? I truly am trying to figure it out...... I always lose even when I eat 1500-1600 cal a day and I weigh less and am way shorter. And when I DO exercise my weigh in is good. Would ONE piece of pizza really cause a two pound gain? Would ONE German sausage do it? It's puzzling. I'm not trying to be a jerk but I also recall you saying you DID love paleo/primal and posted a bunch of recipes. Forgive me for saying this but I am totally confused.

Anonymous said...

It seems obvious to me that your body has adapted to 4 years of eating less. The amount of calories that you burn is lower. Your body has taken measures to be as efficient as possible, including perhaps releasing hormones that are powerful to keep weight on you. Many studies have shown that your body adjusts. When you were counting calories you never went under a certain amount, until, you went on medifast. Then you created a new deficit. Until your body adjusted again. You ate more in attempt to reboot your metabolism but if it did at all, it wasn't much. Many studies have shown that it can take over a year to have your metabolism come back.

To me it seems like you have only once choice drop calories a lot in some fashion. There is a certain point under which your RMR just simply cannot go any lower. If you go under that point... you will lose. Personally I find that around 900.

In order not to cause your body to re adjust downward you could cycle your calories. Two days high, five days lower, so your over all calories stay at a particular level and your body doesn't think you are starving.

I find your calories to be wayyy too high and I also find your carbs to be way too high.

Lyn said...


We burn calories just by existing: breathing, digesting, heart beating, etc. That is called Basal Metabolic Rate and is the amount of calories we burn just by existing. According to BMR calculations, I burn about 1700 calories just sitting doing nothing. Surely I burn a few hundred by moving and exercising as well. I know those calculators are just estimates but I do think my BMR must be at least 1400 calories. BTW I don't know if I ever "loved" Primal, because I felt sick on it the whole time, but I did like the food and making new recipes.

Lyn said...


I log calories on sparkpeople because they have an online recipe calculator.

Anonymous said...

I'm really not trying to burst your bubble but according to myfitnesspal app you'd have to run 53 minutes at 10 mph to burn 1457 calories. And it's probably over inflating that number a bit.

I truly think you're over thinking this. You know exactly what to do, all us fat people know exactly what to do to lose the weight. We've been studying this our whole lives, it's the actual DOING it that trips us up.


Lyn said...


I never said I was burning 1400 calories by exercising; please see my comment above on BMR.

Agreed on "doing" being the important thing, which is why I am "doing."

Margaret said...

So, that BMR appears to be the answer.

If you are eating 1420 a day (and I believe you are, Sparkspeople is great for tracking) and gaining two pounds a month, then you are consuming 246 calories extra a day (average.)


Therefore, including the exercise you are currently doing, your maintenance calories should be 1174. So, if you are burning about 200 cal. a day exercising (that's very conservative) your BMR is actually about 974,


Anonymous said...

Lyn, you're spot on about the calorie burn. My BMR is about the same as yours...when I'm basically just breathing. Frustrating isn't a strong enough word.

Lila said...

Margaret, you aren't understanding BMR - you've oversimplified. Even an adult stuck in a hospital bed typically burns more than 974 calories simply through basic bodily functioning. Your BMR can adjust downwards when you lose weight, but there's a threshold it won't break.

Lyn, I'm guessing you're dealing with some metabolic damage here. Your body will adjust, but it will take time - your calorie level was so low for so long, you don't just bounce back from that when you get back to "normal" eating. As someone else said, it may take a year or longer. It sucks, but other than pressing on there's not a lot you can do except let the time pass and keep on with your healthy habits.

Have you ever worn a GoWear Fit? I can't recall. You might want to consider it to truly hone in on your BMR vs. your calories. Though there is a margin of error, I've found mine to be well within the 10% margin and it's been an invaluable tool. Some surprises: I burn SO many more calories on a day where I'm just generally busy than I ever do when I invest an hour of exercise. I also burn more than I ever thought - to start losing I had to actually eat more than I ever did on previous diets. I never would have known otherwise, and probably would have assumed I had to eat even LESS, which would only have caused more problems.

I'm highly supportive of the idea of giving yourself a year. I know it's hard to consider when you feel like you're gaining weight, but honestly - 2 pounds could be from anything. It's what the average is over time that really matters so much more than the number on any given day, week or even month. If you have damaged your metabolism, it will right itself in time. Your only alternative is to go back to old habits, gaining rapidly....there really IS no choice but to choose a path and stick with it. If you're exercising, eating as healthfully as you can and monitoring your macronutrients (though not to the point of obsession), then you can't do much more.

LHA said...

Lyn, not only do I feel for you but I really admire you so much. You are trying very hard to unravel the puzzle that is weight loss. You have not given up and that is impressive! Unfortunately I don't have the answer either. I do think that the comments pointing out that your body has adjusted to functioning on less calories make sense and that might be one factor.

The only thing I could add would be to really listen to your body concerning hunger instead of eating set amounts. This might not have any effect at all, but it has helped me eat less. I used to be so conditioned to eating till I was nearly sick or restricting my food by the rules of some diet I was on that I rarely even thought about whether I was hungry or not. It was a revelation when I actually started to do that.

Like so many others, I am rooting for you! You have been successful in keeping so much weight off and that is one thing to be proud of. Good luck in moving forward.

lisa~sunshine said...

Get a Fitbit for $100
it will show you what you burn.. There are no monthly fees like other devices.. It's VERY small to wear.. You can program in your swimming or other activities.. but it will show your steps.. and it will track your walking so You WILL SEE WHAT YOU DO.. it makes me move.. You wear it to bed.. it tells you what you BURN WHILE SLEEPING.. and how good your sleeping.. You can check out there food tracking on there website free..
They have a community there too..

This way you will get a device giving you a BETTER example since you are wearing it.. instead of justing imputting information into a calculator online..

I think you have adapated and your body is not letting go right now.. i think you just have to keep doing what your doing.. and stick with it..

Another thing I'm curious on.. Where you as concerned about eating ONLY natural whole foods when you calorie counted before? I would think not since you went with medifast which wasn't a whole food.. but I'm curious if maybe the need to eat grass fed.. etc etc.. is playing into a feeling that to lose weight.. you must be healthy.. I only say this because actually LOSING weight isn't healthy.. our bodies don't like to do it.. Yes it's healthy to be a better weight when we are done.. the actual part of cutting our calories and stripping ourselves way down isn't healthy.. Just curious..

Keep going.. I have faith and believe.. it will all work out.. your persistent enough..
I also agree.. this weigh in has WAY too many variables.. you have been low carb for so long that to add in pizza.. and sodium.. there is NO WAY the scale would go down.. be kind to yourself..

Lyn said...


I pretty much ate whatever fit into my calorie level when I was calorie counting before, although I did try very hard to eat less junk and more fuits and veggies. I was not too worried about protein or where it came from, or fats, or carbs. If I wanted an ice cream I had it as long as it fit into my calories.

I actually wore a device a few years ago... I want to say it was a Body Bug or something like that. I have the printouts around here somewhere with all the info it gathered for a month. Of course that was pre-Medifast and pre-possibly-hormonally changing, so it would be different now.

lisa~sunshine said...

I love my fitbit..

The reason why I was asking was because when I get caught up in the macro split.. it makes me THINK too much.. I just like to fit the calories into what I want them to be.. When I think about or worry about healthy fats.. etc.. it just seemed to add calories.. and higher ones.. and I justified them because they were HEALTHY fats..
For me.. I do better just doing the basics and moving as much as I can..
I've also been at a standstill like you but I also came off a LOW CARB diet around the same time you did.. it's been super hard.. but all we can do is push and keep moving..
The best thing I think is to find a device to show you exactly what your doing.. and then develop a plan that works for you..

I find I eat pretty close to a paleo/primal diet.. but I WILL NOT call myself that because I'm NOT going to allow this or that to myself.. Just find what works for you.. there are too many people who flip back and forth between this or that.. and claim this or that work.. but you MUST find what you can do for you..

Tessie said...

I wish I had wisdom..... But all I can send is a cyber hug and a kind thought. You just need to keep blogging and never give up.


timothy said...

i think cutting back carbs and eliminating grain are GREAT ideas! you can get past this just keep going! xoxoxoxoxo

Anonymous said...

I would def change something. I would not hide your scale for a month. Keep your weekly weighins going. You need to be conscious of the number. If not, slowly but surely your weight may creep up. I've said it before, I think you're body has adjusted to your current lifestyle and eating habits. I think you need to find a way to shake things up. We are all in this together! You are doing so well by keeping at it and hangin in there!! Great job Lyn. :) Eventually I believe you WILL see the # comedown.

Margaret said...


You are correct, I must not understand BMR. Because if I had a BMR of 1700 and I ate 1420 c. a day - with zero exercise - I would have lost 21 pounds so far in 2012.

Is there a test a doctor can do to measure BMR?

Anonymous said...

From the stats you posted, in 2008 you were losing weight eating about 1500 calories a day until you got down to about the weight you are now (218-220). Then you pretty much maintained at that caloric level.

Now, you are eating 1500 calories a day at the same weight (218-220) and . . . pretty much maintaining. (I know you said you are exercising more now, but your metabolism has probably slowed a bit also as you aged).

I think your body is telling you that at your current calorie level of 1500, you will maintain. Period. What you do with that information is up to you; I won't chime in as I know you are probably already overwhelmed with advice, much of it contradictory.

Keep your chin up.


Okiebelle said...

I feel for you. I've been there. I have PCOS and am insulin resistant. I understand how hard it is to lose under those conditions. I believe limiting the overall carbs will help, but I don't think you need to eliminate them immediately. My endocrinologist told me the new Weight Watchers program is insulin resistance friendly because it forces you to cut way back on empty carbs, while choosing fruits & veggies instead (staying in your daily requirements for # of servings.) I really think your gain is from the pizza and sausage. Give it a couple of days and weigh again. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Best wishes,

MargieAnne said...

Oh Boy! lots of advice much of it conflicting.

I tend to go along with the idea that you have some metabolic damage. My daughter has tried to go wheat free and gained weight. I didn't ask too many questions .... touchy subject and she is very sensitive ....but when I look at her and at the books she reads and some of the foods she eats I am convinced she is stuck in the wrong mode. Sadly she will have to keep experimenting until she works it out because our ideas are diametrically opposed.

My thinking is that you cannot possibly get full nutrition, all the best minerals, vitamins, trace elements and macro-nutrients on 1500 cals but I know many people lose weight at that level so I could be wrong.

I do suggest you keep plodding on and do not despair. The key to good health is eating unprocessed foods as much as possible. Think about natural occurring foods including vegetables and meats. People who have restricted fats for a long time sometimes take months to restore proper metabolism but others have no problems.

You are in a difficult place where nothing you do seems to work. You eat mainly healthy natural food and none to excess so it's a case of plodding on for another week and hoping.

Meantime keep up your research. You have experienced what makes your body feel good and what makes you feel sick so somewhere in there is the answer.

Metabolic damage means your endocrine system is not working properly and hormones and enzymes are out of balance.

Here is an interview with Jonathan Bailor that explains better what I am trying to say.

The truth sets you free.


Anonymous said...

Do weight watchers and only eat natural foods. You will not be hungry and you will lose. Points are easier than calories to track. The meetings are a must to be successful. You will never lose on 1400 calories a day. It just won't happen. You will not go into starvation mode on 1000-1200 calories. That is yet another excuse. People on diets don't eat pizza.

Marc said...

Hi Lyn, Have a great week! I don't have any advice to dispense I have my own fat battle going on, good luck with yours:)

Anonymous said...

Since you seem determined to have a diet full of "healthy fat", you might try the Flat Belly Diet developed at Prevention Magazine.

In that plan, you eat four 400 calories meals per day, each with a serving of monounsaturated fat (mufa). From my guestimate, the fat counts for about 25% of calories.

Plenty of recipes and tips at

Jac said...

Lyn, have you ever considered taking an online quiz to check for adrenal fatigue, OR asking your doctor to test your adrenal function? (Western doctors don't routinely check for this - they'll look at your thyroid and call it quits.) It's possible that there is something hormonal going on (besides cycle-related) that could be sabotaging your efforts. Not only has your *body* been through a great deal in terms of your weight-loss efforts, but your personal life hasn't exactly been a breeze, either. Adrenal fatigue can make it *very* hard to lose weight, but it can be simply treated with supplements (nothing too "out there"), adequate rest, and a particular approach to diet and exercise. Something to consider perhaps? Whatever it is, I sincerely hope you figure it out soon - for your physical health *and* your peace of mind.

Anonymous said...

Such conflicting things on what works and what doesn't wow!.....just goes to show, that YOU must find what works for YOU...everyone is different:)and for anyone to suggest otherwise is misleading to you. I hope we are all just sharing to give you ideas and not suggesting that one way is better than another because thats just not the truth at all. hugs:)

karen said...

Anonymous above read my mind about 1500 calories being a maintenance level for you. If you cut back to 1200, you should have slow weight loss of 4 lbs/month, maybe a bit more factoring in exercise.

Until you spend hours in the gym like the Biggest Loser contestants, don't expect exercise to accomplish much for weight loss.

Vee and the Kid said...

Sometimes changing just 1 thing about your lifestyle will re-kick-start your health plan.

I'm only just back on my wagon so I can only wish you great success. You've already come so far. Can you be satisfied and proud of that, and not stress about the last little bit? It'll happen if it's meant to.

Vee at

Anonymous said...

It's your carbs. Too high.

Anonymous said...

I think dropping the calorie-counting would be a mistake. You have had so many good ideas and starts over the past 20 months, yet you haven't lost any more weight, and indeed are very slowly gaining.

I am 5'9" and weigh 150 lbs. My dr. has put me on an extremely restrictive diet -- protein from fish, chicken, some meat and carbs from vegetables. Say what?! All because my blood sugar hovers in the high 90s to 105 or so.I've decided that I will also eat fruits and nuts (not peanuts, as they are legumes). That is Paleo eating. And every 7 days I CHEAT! I count calories, and it's hard to get more than 1000 calories in a day unless I eat red meat and nuts (I love lightly-salted cashews!).

Now about exercise...I had upped my lap swimming over the summer until I was swimming 1 mile 4x/week. With this Paleo eating, though, I can't sustain that. So i swim 1 mile 3x/week and walk 3 miles 1x/week. I used to be a competitive swimmer, so I can whip out those laps.

Anonymous said...

We all share here our ideas and experiences. This is Kay Sheppard food plan, it is so easy and simple and has helped me a lot. Wheat and sugar free. But you have to weigh and measure your portions. No calorie counting or worries or headaches how much to eat.
I think low carb diets are horrible, I get awful headaches and I feel sick and tired all the time, could never do that.


1 fruit
1 protein
1 dairy
1 grain

1 protein
1 raw vegetable
1 cooked vegetable
1 starch or grain

Before Bed
1 fruit
1 dairy

1 fat

Daily Options
Spice 1 tablespoon
Condiments 1 ounce
Sweeteners 6 servings
Broth 1 cup

Note: Exclude sweeteners which contain dextrose, maltodextrose or polydextrose. This includes all packets. Saccharine and liquid saccharine can be used with this food plan. Read the warning on the label.

Protein 4 ounces, 2 eggs
Starch 1 cup
Vegetable 1 cup
Fruit 6 ounces
Dairy 1 cup
Cottage Cheese 1/2 cup
Oil 1 tablespoon

Protein 6 ounces (beef & pork 5 oz.)
3 eggs
Starch 1 cup
Vegetable 1 cup
Fruit 6 ounces
Dairy 1 cup
Cottage Cheese 1/2 cup
Oil 2 tablespoons

(more info when you search Kay Sheppard food plan)


Princess Dieter said...

Your macros look good (the average), and I, along with some others, suspect there is damage done somewhere. You probably need to calm down, be patient, continue to eat right, continue to build muscle, and let the body heal, which takes time. It simply does. It's not a question of a week or month or months, and might be a question of YEARS. If after several months of eatin gat 1400 calories of GOOD food, not crap, and moving to keep muscles strong and joints mobile, if THEN, you are still gaining or not losing, then you need to see a pro (dietitian, endocrinologist, etc) and find out what the crap is going on.

At your size, you should be able to lose at 1200-1400.

I do think that the continuing to switch it up, do this, do that, will only make you nutty. Eat sound food, in good lower-carb amounts, avoid crap, rest, move, sleep well, meditate, tell your brain and body to hael, and give it time. Then see what's up. At least give it a couple more months.

Weight going up could be a lot--sodium balance, inflammation (which if your joints hurt, you amy have), counting calories inappropriately (though you said you measured, right? And you've had your thyroid checked, right (especially the reverse T3). I worrieda bout what all the Medifast soy might do to your thyroid back when you were on that, but I thought you had that checked.

Anyway, just hold the course, and don't freak. :) Sometimes, puzzling things happen in the body.

Princess Dieter said...

Oh, and forget the charts on the BMR averages. I found by logging for months and months that what the charts said I could eat/my burn rate didn't match up with reality (what I could eat). I was off by nearly 400 calories (fewer) that I could eat or that I burned, whatever.

I think the charts have to do more with normal folks who were never obese or without health issues. Who knows. Go by what your body does and use the charts as a likely-off-by-some for us. It gives a general guide, but won't quite fit.

If I ate what the charts said I COULD...hah, forget it.

Lyn said...

note about fats: I am not actively trying to *add* more fat to my diet; I am just not trying for "low fat" and am paying attention to the quality of the fat I do eat. It just happens to get to a higher percent because most of the protein I eat does contain fat and I am trying not to eat as many carbs, so *something* has to go up. The other option is to focus on fat free proteins like egg whites or egg beaters.

Anonymous said...

To the person who said that people on diets don't eat pizza... I ate pizza while losing 150 pounds (more than half my body weight), after being obese since early childhood. I still eat pizza, and have maintained my weight loss for over three years now.

There's so much superstition about what it takes to lose weight (It's the carbs! It's the bacon! Too much fat! Not enough fat! It's the dairy! Sodium! Not enough water! You need supplement X, Y and Z! Gluten! Sugar! Too much meat! You need to do paleo! You need to go vegan! You have to read Wheat Belly!).

It's all about energy balance. I know most of you don't believe that because you've struggled so much to lose weight, but it is what it is.

And please don't tell me to read Gary Taubes. He's not a scientist. I am.

Anonymous said...

The latest research studies are debunking the "metabolic damage due to chronic dieting" theory. I read about one reputable study (it was reported on MSNBC) where two groups of people were put on the same diet. One group was comprised of chronic and yo-yo dieters, and one group had never dieted before.

The group of chronic dieters lost an equal amount of weight as those who had never dieted. I presume you can find this research yourself with a google search. But I wouldn't blame your current lack of weight loss on metabolic damage; when you hit the right combination, you WILL lose weight.

I wrote the above comment about 1,500 calories being your maintenance level at your current weight. As a comparison, I eat around 1,500 calories a day but am much more active than you are (2+ hours a day training for triathlon), weigh 125 pounds at 5'7, and I pretty much maintain at 1,500-1,600. Even though some days I burn over 2,000 calories just through exercise. Sad, but true. It doesn't matter what the BMR calculators tell us, it's what happens in real life that matters and that we have to act upon.

Hang in there, you will find your way!


Anonymous said...

I have been reading your site for years. I struggeled up and down the scale right along with you; having babies and all that jazz. I got to my all time non-pregnant high in November 2011 of 261. My doctor asked me when, not if, I wanted to start taking insulin. It was harsh but necessary. I tried even harder for the next few months to lose weight but it wasn't working. I started looking in to weight loss surgery options. I lost 12 pounds before my surgery on May 31 2012. I had verticle sleeve gastrectomy. I swore I would never do surgery but I also swore I would never get large enough to qualify for surgery. I now weigh 197 and I know I will continue to lose. Exercising is so much easier on my body and I can do so much more. You have probably already made your decisions on surgery and I applaud you for all your effort and will continue to go along with you on your journey but I thought I would share my story.

Anonymous said...

Wow, so much math and science! So many suggestions!

Lyn, you know how to be healthy. You know whether something is a good food choice or a bad food choice. You know what exercise REALLY challenges your body. Just focus on that. Be critical of yourself. Continually improve your behavior and the weight-loss will follow. If you are truly eating the calorie amounts you say you are and if you continue to do that, you'll get there.

The hardest part about losing weight is being honest with ourselves. Measure EVERYTHING exactly. Write everything down immediately so you're not overlooking anything. Hold yourself to it and stick with it.

There's no way that a 221-lb woman eating 1400 calories per day and exercising for an hour each day wouldn't lose weight in the long run. Just not possible. This WILL work.

Anonymous said...

I think it might be helpful to accept that what should be happening is not. So you can say that surely you should be burning 1700 cals per day... but clearly that is not happening.

It makes no sense that you have to eat some magic combo of carbs or low fat or whatever. Because people who are deprived of food... prisoners of war or anorexics ... they do starve to death... they do lose weight.

It seems obvious that you should just keep cutting back until you see movement. Starving yourself for 2 weeks or so is not going to seriously change your metabolsim but it could give you a sense of where the weight loss line is. It will immediately show up (even if you are not losing fat) because you will lose water weight. As your body starts to burn the glycogen. Which it appears... you aren't even burning now.

Lyn said...


I have thought about cutting back, cutting back, cutting back until the weight starts to go, but IF my metabolism and body are trying to "heal" or recover from eating very low cal while on Medifast, wouldn't that being doing more harm than good?

Vickie said...

as I said - I do not think you can have a clear read from the scale because of what you ate the day before (yes sodium).

So keep doing what you are doing until you can get several weeks accurate reads from scale and have accurate data from which to proceed.

CatherineMarie said...

Lyn, that's why you need to just stick with what you are doing now. Then everything will finally kick in and you will lose.

Taryl said...

Lyn - yes, you will not be encouraging metabolic recovery with calories too low. I'm not convinced this isn't inflammation from exercise, still. I gained about 5 pounds in water weight when I began my TTap routine, and didn't shed it for over a month! But even while 'gaining weight', my pants fit the same, then better, and my face and hands looked slimmer, too. All the sudden, seemingly overnight, the water shed and I was lighter AND slimmer. It takes time, and I'm not convinced if you track yor calories like this for several months that you'd continue to gain. Even if your calories were slightly high, they're not 7000 excess calories per week too high! Therefore calories don't explain your gain, alone. And I'd posit they don't explain it, even in part.

Good nutrition, lower on carbs and have the carbs coming from veggies, when you have them. Plenty of nutritionally dense food like healthy fats, eggs, meat, etc. stick to your calorie budget. Rinse and repeat for a month or three. If you haven't lost a pound, then it is time to change things up. But you're doing your body no favors for fixing metabolic imbalances if you feed it the wrong things, and too little food in general.

I know this must be unimaginably frustrating, but diligence is your friend in this!

Anonymous said...

re body damaged from going to low on calories...

I don't see that you have any choice. If you "destroy your metabolism" which we don't know for sure is true... you would be losing. And you could worry about "damage" which may or may not be true... later.

I can't imagine your metabolism could be effected by two weeks eating signifigantly less and then, at least you would know.

Anonymous said...

As others have said, you are eating too much. Reduce your calories! This whole "damaged metabolism" hypothesis is hogwash. You are eating at/above maintenance right now -- the proof is on the scale's readout. I bet if you tried eating 1000 calories a day you would start to see movement. Then you can adjust accordingly.

Anonymous said...

Cohen Diet may help you. Look it up and the New You forum for those who are using the program. I lost 50 pounds on it after trying everything and I mean everything - exercise, calorie count, personal trainer, diet pills, etc. Nothing worked as effectively as Cohen just because the amount of food you have to eat are given to you.

Anonymous said...

It seems that you really don't want to reduce calories because it may be really hard for you. What about eating high volume low calorie foods. There is a plan called Volumetrics where you eat primarily high volume low calorie foods. It works on the energy density of food. So you eat mostly foods with low energy density but very filling foods. So you feel food but are actually getting low calories.

An example is grapes vrs raisins. You eat two cups of grapes with a ton of water in the grapes for the same calories as 1/4th cup of raisins. You are much more full from the grapes

Lyn said...


It is hard to cut back to, say, 1000 calories and get in teh correct nutrition on whole foods only, in my experience. It was realtively easy to eat 1000 calories a day with protein bars and shakes, but I did not have the energy to exercise then.

Agreed that eating high volume low cal foods is very helpful! Big salads and veggie soups are great for that full feeling AND good nutrition!

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree with the "damaged metabolism is hogwash" thing...

I lost a lot of weight really fast by eating 1000 cals a day and exercising 1000 cals a day (yes, I REALLY was exercising that much / hard).

It took YEARS before I could eat over 1200 cals a day and not gain weight. YEARS! Because I had severely damaged myself.

Only time fixed it... then one day, it was just kinda "fixed"... I started eating more, and losing weight... 1600, 1800, 2000.... I had to go up to 2500 a day at one point to stop the weight loss (yes, I was exercising too).

Now I am at an even keel - I can "eat when hungry" because I HAVE hunger signals (didn't for years - I was just ALWAYS HUNGRY).

Bodies are funny. It's not just calories in and calories out. Until you have been a long term maintainer, you have no idea how funny they can be.

Anonymous said...

Just one more comment (I'm anonymous at 11:25 am). The fact is, you don't need to eat 1200, or 1400, or 1500 calories to sustain your exercise. In fact, it would be fine if you ate less than 1000/day. Why? You have probably 100 lbs. of fat stuck to your body that is there to "nourish" you on a daily basis, and be burned during exercise, during digestion, etc. The whole point is to get rid of the fat, not sustain it. Your current plan has had you sustain -- and even ADD -- to the excess fat on your body.

You seem very reluctant to listen to people who tell you you need to eat less. Even the doctor you talked to told you to go back on Medifast (where you'd be eating around 800 cals. a day, I think). Eating less is not fun -- but it's a lot less fun to be obese.

Three years ago I was obese. I took the necessary steps to change it, and I am no longer at an unhealthy weight. I ate fewer than 1000 calories a day, and I didn't die, nor was I unable to exercise. My metabolism isn't ruined. The keys to not regaining are not being complacent, having a plan, and being consistent. (Those are the same keys that will help you lose).

You should be proud of what you've accomplished so far, but you should also realize that you can't defy thermodynamics. Eat less, and you will lose weight and be healthier. It won't be fun, and there are no magic bullets that will allow you to eat the amounts of "healthy" foods that you want to satiate an outsized appetite. Best of luck in finding your way.

Karen said...


(I've not read the other responses- here's mine)

I lost 72 pounds (Medifast- Take Shape for Life) and I've maintained that loss for 8 months now. My blood work has never looked better and I'm healthier than when I was in my teens and 20's. This is the first time in 40 years I have maintained a steady weight for this long.

I used the 12 Refuse to Regain rules to maintain my loss and to make my maintenance template.

I started blogging before I transitioned off Medifast and I've been blogging ever since. My goal was to document my journey, learn how to blog and have a historical record of what worked for me, and to have an online support area for those who are in weight maintenance.

Head over to my blog and join up. I'm posting how I work the 12 Rules from the book and my progress.

Good luck and I hope that you choose to either stay on track OR to find a way around any barriers/excuses.

I'm so thankful that Dr. Berkeley wrote Refuse to Regain. That book and my efforts to apply the template of eating/activity to my own life has completely made my life better in every aspect.

We are stronger together. The more the merrier.

Karen P