The comments and emails about my eating have been interesting. Some folks think I am eating too much (basing that on my idea of keeping my calories around 2000 for this week). They say I should not be eating walnuts at all because they are high in fat and calories. They say I need to cut way back, but of course no one agrees on how far back: 1500? 1200? 600? Those numbers are all suggestions I got. Then other folks say I am not eating enough, that I need more calories to heal and be well, that limiting myself to 2000 is unhealthy. I should eat more, people say. I've had a couple of friends who are doing Medifast that lament me stopping, and tell me if only I would stay on it strictly I'd lose eventually. And others say real food is the only way to go. It's all conflicting, but I am glad people are sharing what they think. It is really interesting to read the different opinions and thoughts and wonder who is right. Actually, I guess we're all right in some way. Probably different things work best for different people. But I figure I've already done the 900 calorie thing for long enough to see it is not working for me anymore. I'll admit I considered cutting back and doing all shakes/all Medifast an no real food (but Medifast absolutely does not condone this, and it is only done under a doctor's supervision) but when I really sat down and thought about it, I believe that would not be conducive to my injuries healing, my health, and my sanity. And how would I ever come off of that and maintain? I had a close friend who did Optifast in the 90's and lost a LOT of weight. Her hair fell out, she got dark circles under her eyes, her skin looked pale, and she had no energy. But she was thin! Do you know what happened when her doctor told her it was time to get off Optifast? She cried, and said, "no, please, please don't make me stop. I am so afraid I will gain all the weight back! Please let me stay on the shakes." And although she went off Optifast with an eating plan and a nutritionist, she was back near 300 pounds within a years time. And to this day that is where she has stayed. It is very hard, I think, to come back from 600 calories and NO solid food for months.
So since I was not going to reduce to 600 calories, and was not going to continue on Medifast, the only other option is to increase my calories. How much to increase them is where I am not so sure. Maybe 2000 IS too much. Maybe I will gain and gain on 2000. I hate this, but it is something I have to do, I think, to get in the nutrition I need to be well. This is not 2000 calories of junk. It is also not 2000 calories of spinach and tilapia. I am eating a wide variety of foods, aiming for at least 80% whole foods. When I choose something like maple syrup, I am aware that it is just a natural sugar and if I eat too much it will trigger me AND I will have pain. So I measure out 2 teaspoons and fit it into my calories. When I decide to eat walnuts on my oatmeal, I do so knowing what they are and believing they are a good choice for healing. I also weigh them out on my food scale so I don't overdo it; a half ounce is plenty. I count using Sparkpeople, aim for 300-400 calories each for breakfast and lunch, and 600-700 for dinner. I eat 2 or 3 snacks and try to keep those to 100-150 calories each. That totals 1500-1950 calories a day. So far I am on the high end of this, between 1900-2000 calories a day.
As for exercise, I am not getting a lot. I'm still on crutches and sit a lot. I have my weights and resistance bands by the recliner, and I am doing mostly upper body work:
wrist curls, reverse wrist curls
Tomorrow I am adding some floor stretches and exercises, like side lying leg lifts, crunches, bridges, and quadriceps presses. My chair workout video will be here soon and I will add that to get my heart rate up. I've tried a few chair workouts from YouTube but they are sooo slow and don't get my heart rate up at all. Mostly stretching, but that's better than nothing for now.
Thanks for all the encouragement and insights!