Monday, October 14, 2013

Results and Efforts

I am feeling a little better today. Not my foot, but my spirits. I have plenty of "down time" now that I can't walk, and that means I have time to plan, think, and read. Yesterday I dug out my copies of my favorite workout books: The New Rules of Lifting for WomenWeight Training For Dummies, and Anatomy for Strength and Fitness Training. I've been looking through for exercises I can do while seated or on the floor and putting together a workout for myself. I will give it a shot today and see if I need to add or take away any exercises. I have some PT exercises I can do on the floor as well.

Food so far today has been:

black coffee
steel cut oats with pumpkin, cinnamon, walnuts, maple syrup, and pastured cream
large bowl of kale cooked with onions and ham
decaf Americano with sugar free caramel and half & half

I have some cantaloupe and raspberries for a snack later. No dinner plans yet. If I had my way I'd have fish on a bed of spinach, a side salad with nuts and berries in it, and a glass of freshly made carrot juice, but I might just have to settle for what I have on hand, like Greek yogurt and berries.

Yesterday I sat on my bed and folded up a bunch of shirts. They're all too tight. I finally had to put them away instead of keeping them stacked on a chair by my bed, waiting to be tried on every week or so to see if they fit yet. They *almost* fit at 208 pounds. They are my under-200 shirts. I can get them on, but they are tight enough to show every bump and bulge and I like my shirts a little looser. With this 8 pound gain, I had to finally accept that it is going to be awhile before I fit into those shirts again. I folded them neatly in a box, and put them in storage. It was kind of sad. I've been trying to get back under 200 for a long time. I have never been able to get under 200 in the past 15 years except when I did Medifast. Never, no matter what I did. Sometimes, I look at that and I want to give up and go eat a bunch of junk. I figure, if I have to be fat, why not enjoy it? But it doesn't work like that for me. If I go back to eating junk everyday I would be back up around 300 pounds really fast. I have to work hard to stay the weight I am now, even though I am not thin. It seems so unfair to me. I always thought of obesity as the consequence of eating a lot of junk. I know that's not always the case, but for me, my 280 pounds of morbid obesity WAS a consequence of eating pretty much whatever I wanted, in huge quantities. I got to eat every junky thing I wanted! The consequence was being very obese. And I figured the consequence of watching what you eat, giving up most of the junk, cutting back, eating healthier foods, was thinness. Well, that hasn't been my experience. No, my eating is not perfect, but it is so, so, so much better than it was. I wanted pizza for lunch but skipped it. I thought about peanut butter cups today and said no. There is cheesecake leftover in the fridge and I am not eating it. My big indulgence is pastured cream, a tablespoon in my oatmeal or coffee. Heck, I used to eat TWO PINTS of premium ice cream for my evening snack! So to me, it seems like the efforts do not match the results.

I hope someday my results match the efforts I am making.


i should be full said...

I think your results do match your effort because you AREN'T 300 pounds any more. I know how frustrating it can be to not be a the weight we want to be at and only have eyes for a goal we haven't reached yet. I know it so well. But you have still accomplished something amazing! Making the effort to stay where you are can be disheartening when you want to weigh less, but making the effort to stay where you are and not be any where near your top weight anymore is still something worth it!

I used to binge and binge and eat anything I wanted and I got huge too. 13 years ago I gave up a lot of the junk. Then 8 years ago I made other huge changes that cut out the binges. 18 months ago I finally cut out basically all the rest of the junk. I don't even want it anymore. I genuinely don't. It holds no appeal anymore. But one thing I noticed was that I realized one day that I'd eaten more than a lifetime's supply of all the junk food I wanted so there's no point in feeling deprived now. I had my fair share plus a lot more, so we're finished junk food and I.

It can be liberating if we let it.

Keep on keeping on. You are, as ever, and inspiration.

redbird said...

I hear this, and am in the same boat. It is a constant effort just to maintain at moderate obesity.

It makes me really sad to know that because I am obese, people are imagining I sit down with a box of donuts, a bucket of fried chicken, and 2 bottles of Coke every night at dinner. I wish I could be that careless about food! In reality, I really never touch those things. If I did, I would also be 300 pounds in no time! Instead I am constantly telling myself I can't have this and I can't have that...and listening to myself most of the time! Yet instead of seeing a reward for this effort in being normal weight, I'm still too big.

What would it take to get thin and stay thin? 300 calories a day? I don't even know.

Anonymous said...

Re: redbird's question on what it takes to maintain thinness

I'm 5'7 and maintain at 121 pounds and under 10% body fat. I eat about 1500 calories a day but I burn 1000-2000 working out each day. So a lot of days I actually have a negative calorie count for the day. It just depends on what workouts I do that particular day.

I am on a medication that is notorious for slowing the metabolism and making it impossible not to gain weight. So that is part of why I have to work so hard to maintain my weight.

Mostly it just comes down to self discipline. I have a routine and I know the calorie count of everything I eat and what the total needs to be for the day. I still have occasional treats but fit them into my calorie budget for the day.

Anonymous said...

You know the more I look at skinny people the more I see that they really do watch what they eat and exercise vigorously. The reason we think they can eat what they want with no consequences is because we aren't with them 24-7. They were just raised to watch food naturally so they don't mention it. They just assume we all do it too.

Lori said...

I have had those same feelings about working so hard to maintain. I have wished that skipping a nice treat would result in an actual, measurable loss as soon as I've declined it. I'd be at my goal weight for sure. The reality is, for me, saying yes creates an instant gain instead. Life is not fair.

Lori said...

I have had similar thoughts about wanting an immediate loss when I've skipped a treat. I'd be at my goal weight for sure. It seems like such a struggle for me to just maintain right now and that is NOT what I need to be doing.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 8:31 pm, what workouts are you doing such that you burn that many calories a day?
That's an absolutely extraordinary number. And how do you track it, with a fit bit or something?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous from 8:31 here

On a day when I burn 2000+ calories (I assume you were asking about the high end number) an example of what I would do would be a 2 hour HILLY bike ride averaging 17-18 m.p.h. followed by a 3 or 4 mile run.

I track the calorie burn using a heart rate monitor and a power meter on the bike.

By the way, I am a triathlete so these are training sessions for my sport. I'm not working out this hard just to control my weight. Burning calories and being able to eat more is just a fringe benefit.

Sara said...

Anonymous at 8:00 AM, I wore a BodyBugg armband 24/7 when I used to teach a class of toddlers, and at 5'7" would often burn 4000 calories a day because I was moving around (usually running), climbing on the playground, lifting kids, dancing, you name it, for over eight hours a day. My metabolism was so revved from all the exercise I'd continue to burn about 2500 on the weekend. It's definitely possible to burn a ton of calories that way!

However, I do feel like I need to point out that I was also consuming 1500 calories (very strict, kept a food diary) a day and I maintained at 160-165 lbs lbs--still "overweight" for my BMI, even though I was in fantastic shape (and no, I was not one of those people who are so muscular that they defy the BMI, I still had a BF% of about 30). Being overweight had nothing to do with having the self-discipline to burn a ton more calories than I was consuming in my case... Every body is different. :)

Lyn, while I completely respect your choice to lose weight if that is your long term goal, like I said before I really think that you're taking a giant step toward health by eating real food again. There's a reason why people are advised to go off Medifast or other low calorie diets before and after a major surgery--the body requires CALORIES, not just nutrients, to perform healing processes. I'm sure that your body will benefit from your increased intake, and I hope that as a result your injuries will be able to heal fully. I know that isn't necessarily the result that you want to see from your efforts, especially if you see a gain in the process of nourishing your body... But I think it's one to celebrate, nonetheless!

Anonymous said...

I still think that you need to consider what you eat when you state that you watch what you eat. Having walnuts, syrup and cream on oatmeal add on a lot of extra calories in one sitting that are just not nececssary. When you are not counting calories or tracking you forget about those and think, wow, I am doing so well and not eating much, what went wrong? It is to forget about all of the small things that really do add up over the do into really big things. Think about it.

Lyn said...

Thanks for all the thoughts. Anonymous, I do consider what I eat. Sure, I could have a bowl of plain oatmeal. I know I would not enjoy it and would not stick with it long term, so I choose what I consider the best options to add: pumpkin being very low cal and nutritious, pastured cream for a healthy fat that is supposed to reduce inflammation, walnuts for texture and nutrition, a touch of real maple syrup for sweetness. Total calories for that breakfast was 393, which seems reasonable to me and fit into my calorie budget. I am not saying you're wrong, just giving my viewpoint and why I am eating the way I am. Really, coming off restriction I *feel like* eating a huge plate of pancakes, sausage, hash browns and syrup, but I am trying to moderate those cravings by making something I enjoy that is much healthier.

LHA said...

Lyn, your blog creates such an interesting forum for people to voice their opinions on weight loss and health. I enjoy reading all the comments and learn something new all the time. I am always looking for new ideas to rev up my weight loss and especially for things I can use for the long haul.

I agree with you that it seems like you have a very difficult time losing weight at this point. It is unclear to me what the reason would be. All I can say is that you have done something very difficult in maintaining your weigh loss. I also admire your perseverance in continuing to review your eating and lifestyle and looking for ways to continue to lose weight in the future. Good luck!
(And thanks to all who comment here.)

Colleen said...

Personally, accepting that my basal metabolic rate is around 1600-1800 a day and my body's set point is around 180 lbs. made it easier to accept that I will need to restrict/track my food pretty much forever or else regain all the weight. Wishing my body was less dysfunctional/more normal just kept me in a cycle of comparing myself to an ideal version of me without metabolic damage. Well, mine is screwy, and the same way a diabetic restricts their diet I restrict mine for my health.

This is just my experience but letting go of the mindset of "but I eat healthy! It's all real food! I should be able to eat this stuff and not gain weight, it's not fair!" was an important mental step.

Anonymous said...

As long as you are counting calories (not estimating) and eating real food, you have made progress. I personally think 2000 is not enough to heal your ankle and your metabolism but it is a good start. Stay with 2000 until your weight stabilizes or drops, and then increase to 2200, repeat, 2400, etc, until you see an up tick in your weight, then cut back down by 200 again. Over a few months you will find you can eat much more food and lose weight healthily.

Anonymous said...

It seems like your results don't match your expectations. They always match your efforts. So, your expectations seem unrealistic. Maybe it's time to change them?

Like others have said, I have to eat *very clean* and exercise 12 hours/week to see weight loss every week. That can include nuts or oatmeal or moderate-fat meat (ham). It can't include all of them on a daily basis. I prefer pizza to oatmeal - thin crust, homemade - but I use that as my "refeed" day.