Thursday, October 17, 2013

Stuff I'm Thinking About (and Doing)

Those were some really awesome comments on the last post! Thanks to all who participated. I love how we can learn so much from each other.

I took away a lot of info from the conversations. I like the idea of a lower calorie day or two each week to offset higher calories on other days. I agree with the thoughts that eating lots of low calorie, high volume vegetables is important to keep me full and nourished. And I agree that I need to make sure I get enough protein in each meal, but maybe not quite as much as I was getting on Medifast. I often got well over 100 grams of protein per day... sometimes 120+ grams, even though the official guideline is to get "more than 72 grams of protein per day." I want to get most of my carbs from vegetables but still include fruits (I cannot *wait* until Clementines are in the stores!) I think it would be cool to get my BMR professionally tested. Have any of you ever had it done? From what I've read it involves running in a treadmill, and that's out for me. I wonder if there is an alternate test. But then when I search on Google for people's experiences, some of them say when they eat according to their test results they still don't lose weight. I am still curious though.

Today's farmer's market trip yielded two kinds of apples, free range eggs, and whole, non-homogenized milk from pastured cows. Last week I bought cream, which I like on my oats and sometimes in a cup of afternoon coffee, but I went with milk this time for the calorie savings while still getting some of the healthy fats of pastured dairy. Plus, my kids will drink some of the milk and that's good for them. They are not fans of cream. Also in the fridge are pears, raspberries, a lemon, cantaloupe, a pink grapefruit, carrots, lettuce, baby kale, sweet onions, various colors of peppers, zucchini, green beans, celery, and a batch of locally made lentil soup made with coconut milk. I've got Greek yogurt in there too, along with some leftover chicken and cooked burger. Today's dinner was a bowl of cantaloupe cubes and raspberries and a plate of Tandoori chicken. I meant to roast some green beans... will do that tomorrow. Calories are coming in between 1900 and 2050 each day.

I am so weak, and my arms shake when I do my strength training with very light weights (3 pounds for wrists, 5 pounds for the other stuff). I remember when I was using mostly 15 pound weights for these same exercises with no problem and was about to shop for heavier dumbbells! That was a long time ago, though. I have a long ways to go. I'll get there again.

I also have been thinking more about asking for further thyroid tests. My TSH tests have always come back normal (by the new, stricter standards) but I just wonder. Then again, I was reading about that online (I'm doing a lot of reading while I'm off my feet) and some folks say that inflammation from gluten can mimic thyroid issues. Huh. Maybe. I did go "gluten free" for awhile... but I put it in quotes because I was not exactly careful about small amounts of gluten in other things I was eating, like maybe restaurant food, sauces, that kind of thing. I just avoided grains. Well, I guess at some point I should go gluten free for a month, do an elimination diet, to find out. But not now. One thing at a time.

And now I'm feeling a little hungry, so I'll have a bit of yogurt for a snack before bed.


Anonymous said...

Have you tried using an online BMR calculator? I did mine and found it was accurate.

I know this because I figured my TDEE (actual daily calories to maintain) and tracked my calories for 3 months. Weighed weekly.

I am 5'9and 150lbs. and over 50 yrs old. I found that I only lost if I ate around 1300 cal. per day. I maintain on 1550 cal.

I calculated TDEE based on Sedentary (BMR X 1.2) even though I walk on the treadmill 30 min. a day.

So it is hard to even maintain. I don't think you will maintain on your daily calories.
I suggest if you do use the online calculators, also put in ypur target weight and you can see how fewer calories can be eaten as your weight goes down.

Christine said...

That's a great farmer's market haul.

Doesn't the non-homogenized milk have a layer of cream on top? That's how the milk used to come when it was delivered by the milkman when I was young. My mother would use the cream at the top for her coffee, and then we'd use the milk for cereal, etc. So good.

kathyj333 said...

If you're interested in some really good insights into thyroid diseases and all the tests you should have, got o The site is written by Mary Shomon.

Lyn said...


yes I have...

That one says my BMR is 1698. Then on the next page says for sedentary, multiply by 1.2 to get 2094 calories a day needed to maintain.

Another one

calculates in the activity level you choose, and I choose sitting all day because it multiplies by 1.2 like the first one and it says my BMR is 1682 and maintenance calories at this weight are 2018. In reality I am doing SOME light activity, getting around on crutches, tugging with the dogs, strength training etc which would be "seated work, light exercise" and change my calories to maintain this weight to 2355, according to that calculator.

When I put in your figures that calculator says your BMR is 1402 and cals needed at sedentary is 1684. Can you link me to the BMR calculator you are using? Maybe they each use a different formula to figure this out. Makes me wonder, if all the BMR calculators aren't giving similar results, how do we know if they're accurate?


yes! so if I really want cream I can definitely do that. The milk is just delicious, with the cream shaken in too.

Anonymous said...

My BMR is 1355. My current TDEE is 1626.

At target (135) my bmr is 1287. TDEE is 1544.

Ialways figure my calories at target weight. Sorry I didn't make that clear at all, I said that was my current TDEE. Sorry about that.

But I would suggest checking out TDEE at target, or interim target weight. I guess if I think about it, the BMR calculator estimates high.

Sara said...

That farmer's market haul sounds delicious! Also, I am very jealous that the farmers' market is still open where you live--too cold for the one close to us, now.

I am so curious about raw and/or non-homogenized milk. My household doesn't really drink enough milk (or cream) to make buying ANY milk worthwhile at all (I love some almond milk in my coffee and oatmeal), let alone more expensive milk from the farmers' market, but if we did I'd be seriously looking into it. Do you find that the taste of the non-homogenized milk is different (better?) than store-bought milk?

Re: TDEE... I have mixed feelings about calculators. Again, "every body is different." For some people, yes, it might be accurate, but for others it's quite off for whatever reason. The only way to find, without fail, how much YOU can eat to maintain is trial and error--stay at a certain number of calories for a set period of time (1-2 weeks) and see how it affects your weight. A good starting point IS the number the TDEE calculator is telling you, or one close to it, like your 2000 calories. Depending on the results and your desired outcome, raise or lower your intake by 100 and see how that affects your weight. There are so many factors besides weight loss/gain that those calculators don't take into account. Do you feel emotionally and physically healthy eating that amount of calories? Are you eating an appropriate amount to fuel your activity and feel strong, or are you eating so much that you feel sluggish? A calculator and a scale can't tell you those things.

Right now, you can certainly view the fact that you MAY be eating at a calorie surplus as a positive thing, even if you are gaining weight. While the body CAN build muscle and lose fat at the same time, the body most efficiently builds muscle while at a calorie surplus. If you've lost enough strength that you've gone from 15lb weights to 3lb weights and those 3's are a struggle (believe me, I understand, I am going through the same thing after having to give up strength training while on the 5&1), it is DEFINITELY a good thing that you are building muscle right now because the loss of strength implies a loss of lean body mass.

I know strength training isn't necessarily your favorite thing in the world, and you may never be one of those people who's going to spend several hours a week lifting in the gym--and that's OKAY! I just want to point out that a) you are NOT stagnating during this time, even though you are injured, because you're working on your strength, and b) even if you ARE eating at a calorie surplus at 2000 calories, you are making healthier choices, feeling good (I assume) with that amount of calories, and you can find the positive in your calorie surplus by knowing that your body can use those extra calories to help put back on LBM that it lost while on the 5&1. Use other tools in addition to the scale (record your gains in strength, evaluate how you feel emotionally and physically) to understand if the changes you're making are affecting you positively or negatively. Ultimately, having more LBM will make it possible for you to eat more calories during weight loss or maintenance, whatever your eventual goal is.

It's hard to remain positive in the face of a gain in scale weight, but there are SO many other factors to evaluate. I hope that you can take them ALL into account without hyperfocusing on the scale, as most of us whose goal is weight loss tend to do (myself included).

Thanks for giving us readers this space to write in and do headwork, too. I so appreciate you reading and publishing all our comments!

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say that I've struggled with injured achilles tendons for almost two years now. It's very painful, and similar to your plantar faciitis in many ways. I hate not being able to exercise the way I used to.
However, I think I'm finally on my way to healing, and the two things that have made the most difference are giving up gluten and doing yoga. I saw a naturopath who told me to go off gluten and I reluctantly complied. After a few months I ate something with wheat, and within an hour, had swollen, painful achilles. It hurt, but I was really glad to have that clear of a sign that the gluten really was hurting me. I'm vigilant now.
And once I'd healed some, I started doing yoga, and that's helped a lot, to stretch and strengthen the whole area, from my feet to my hamstrings. It's been wonderful.
Hope that helps, and I hope you find the answers for you.

Lyn said...


thanks. That one gives me a BMR of 1647... pretty close to the others. Online TDEE calculators are giving me a range from 1978-2076. If I pick a target weight of 165 pounds and still sedentary, it gives me a TDEE of 1700-1772. If I increase the activity to 4x/week, my TDEE at 165 pounds is 2010-2095. I am using this calculator:

I am really not sure how to use this info, but am reading up on it. Some things I've read state that you should never eat below your BMR because it will severely slow your metabolism. That could explain why I have not lost weight (much) on 900 to 1400 calories a day, maybe.


I love the local milk! I do think the non-homogenized milk tastes so much better than store bought. It's a lot fresher and the fat is healthier due to the cows' diet. I don't buy it all the time, and my boys drink store bought (cheaper) milk because they drink so much of it! The half gallon of whole local milk cost $3.65 and will last us a week, with me using some in coffee or on cereals, my daughter having a glass or two a day and the boys might have one glass of it. It's kind of an indulgence for me :)

I think you're right about the trial-and-error being essential. While the data I have from my blog is helpful, I don't think my metabolism now at 44, with a couple years of restricted calories behind me, is going to be the same as it was at 38 coming off years of binge eating. The only way to truly find my optimal calorie level is to see how different calorie levels affect me. Thanks for your comment!

Lyn said...


thanks, that is helpful. I've had several people tell me that going off gluten healed various injuries. I have been really resistant to doing it... wanting to find a way to fit in an occasional piece of cake or Christmas cookie etc... but I need to get over it. The food is nice and I like it, but if going without it would help my pain then that's what I'll need to do.

Anonymous said...

On eating below your BMR.

I agree with what you mentioned about some people saying not to eat below your BMR.

I mean target weight BMR.

I did Very Low Calorie dieting and got less results than when I ate right at target BMR.

I think what happens (non-scientific here) is not "starvation", but if a person eats too few calories, maybe they don't move as much in LITTLE ways. make one trip up the stairs instead of several, don't fidget or tap your foot, that sort of thing.

Which leads to a lowered metabolism and less weight lost.

I agree with the poster who suggested charting. But I think it takes calorie counting and charting for a long period to nail down the numbers.

I don't count or chart now, hoping low carb and counting carbs will take care of that, but I'm glad I did so I know what I should be doing.
You might have to do it for a couple of months.

One other thing, be careful about "eating back" your calories. I guess it works for some people but try to underestimate calories burned. If you're hungry with the plan you decide on you might need to lower carbs.

That's the only thing that's ever helped my hunger and I've tried about everything!

Lyn said...


interesting. And I've seen people who "eat back" the calories they burn of during exercise, but I've never done that. I always eat the same amount of calories and don't add extra for exercising. Sometimes I get hungry on very active days and might have a string cheese or some nuts, especially when I was on Medifast, but as a general rule I don't alter my calories because of exercise.

Anonymous said...

Re: the thyroid thing.

I just saw my endocrinologist. I began seeing him because my doctor referred me to him--->to check out the goiters I have. (For years, on both sides of my neck.)

At the time, he biopsied them and there was no problem. I continue to see him for my diabetes.

Prior to each visit, he does blood work which is includes thyroid tests.

I just saw him last week. He said, "Your thyroid is good."

Now. In addition to the goiters..GOITERS...on my thyroid, my normal temperature is 97.2, I've lost the end of both eyebrows, my hair is thinning, I tire easily and lose weight slowly.

Well, okay then. Since MD says "thyroid is fine," your mention of gluten and thyroid symptoms is interesting. Maybe if I really stick to totally gluten free for a couple months, my symptoms will go away.

But that's the rub, isn't it? STICKING to gluten free on a daily basis for a period long enought to make a difference.

:) To that aim, I threw money at it (as opposed to willpower) and bought a t-shirt that says "I love gluten free" (I know, too funny.) So far, I haven't had enough commitment to put it on. :o Yeah. Pretty sad.



Anonymous said...

I've had my Bmr tested at a local physical therapy place. They asked questions and the had me breath into a devise for one minute. I was 325 lbs and ended up having a 2263 number. I thought it was huge number but gave it a go (it was after medifast and then bingeing for almost a year). I was talking a class 4 days a week for 1 hour, eating 2250 or so in whole foods pretty consistently, and amazingly the weight was coming off. I would look into finding a place to do it. It cost me $100 I believe but was well worth it and gave me the confidence to eat more and not think I screwed up my metabolism for life.


Vickie said...

The Wendie Plan:
This is the original Wendie Plan description copied from the EZ board....
Click here for POINTS Ranges

"The Wendie Plan" in a nutshell...

What is the 'Wendie Plan'?

First of all, let it be known that the Wendie Plan is NOT something different than good old Weight Watchers. Most of the people who regularly visit here are following the WW plan. However, this does not mean that the Wendie Plan can not be easily adapted for people who are using Richard Simmons, and/or counting calories. I suppose even people following a plan such as Atkins could adapt this to their program, however I do not recommend it. The reason is simple. I do not recommend the Atkins program or any other low/no-carb program like that. Why? Because it is not (or SHOULD not) be a lifestyle change, and because it is very dangerous to your health. I cannot advocate any program that would put your health at risk.

The Wendie Plan is very simple. You follow a simple plan of eating. You eat your regular foods that you have on WW. You work within your point range. You drink the water, get some exercise, etc., etc., etc. What is different? You alternate the amount of points you use each day. What could be more simple?

Let us assume for a moment that your point range falls between 22-29 points per day. (This is based on the original 123 plan, not the "Winning Points" plan) WW says that you can eat up to 29 points every day, and still lose weight. Do you? Maybe. Maybe not. Ever notice that on some days you aren't very hungry and on other days you feel you could eat all the points in the universe? After doing extensive research, I have discovered several things that don't always ring true.

Vickie said...

At this point, if you are someone who has been doing the program and losing a steady 2+ pounds per week, you don't have to read on any further. Your body is doing what it needs to for you to lose weight. If you are struggling to drop a pound, and no matter how hard you have tried the pounds won't shake loose? Read on...this is for you.

First of all, just because you eat within the points you have been assigned, drink all of your water, exercise at least 20 minutes every day, journal till the cows come home... does not mean that you will lose weight. I don't mean to depress you, but it is the truth. We have countless people here, myself included, who can attest to this. They try really hard, but week after week they are struggling to even lose part of a pound. I see it all the time. So... what are they doing wrong?

Oddly enough, they are doing one tiny little thing wrong. It is one tiny, insignificant thing, but it is keeping them from losing weight faster and at a steady rate. The secret to The Wendie Plan is simple. Alternate your points daily. At the start of your week, alternate the number of points you eat daily. Your rhythm of your week should look like this: low/high/low/very high/very low/high/med. high.

Vickie said...

For example. If your range allows you to eat between 22-29 points per day:

Day 1 - 22 points
Day 2 - 28 points
Day 3 - 23 points
Day 4 - 36-39 points
Day 5 - 22 points
Day 6 - 29 points
Day 7 - 27 points

On the WW plan, 22-29 points per day, you will eat between 154 points (low end) 203 points (high end) during the course of the week. On the Wendie Plan, you will eat 190 points during the course of the week. Which falls towards the high end of the range, but not the highest. (Adjust the points to fit your current range).

We have already seen some amazing results using the Wendie Plan. I developed this plan out of sheer frustration. After being on WW for 17 months, and having lost no weight in the last 9 months of program, but being too stubborn to actually quit, I found myself pouring over 17 months of anally kept journals, trying to find the one key which would unlock my door to success. In the first 8 months I was successful. I lost 40 pounds. What happened then to impede my progress? I was still following the program in every way. I was doing everything right, but experiencing no weight loss. Why?

Why, indeed? The most interesting aspect of my journey came at the end of May, 2000. I weighed in on WW and had reached a 40 pound loss. I decided I was close enough to a 50 pound loss and I wanted to reach it by the 4th of July. That was a reachable goal. So I worked even harder. I dropped my points down to 25 per day, and began exercising more. Everyday I was outside walking through parks or in the fitness center hitting the treadmill. At the end of 5 weeks, I had a net gain of 1.2 pounds! Muscle? To some degree, yes. But, as I never began to look like Arnold Schwarztenager, I realized that something had gone terribly wrong. I had "shrunk" a bit, which was to be expected, but still, at the end of 5 weeks, I was heavier. I continued. I worked out everyday, and kept my points down. This has got to work, right? Not necessarily. At the end of the next 5 weeks, I was down exactly 1.2 pounds. So my net loss for the 10 weeks after Memorial Day was zero!

I continued to work very hard, and by September, I had played around with the same 3 pounds all summer. Up, down, up, down but never gone for good. In October, I celebrated 1 year of WW, by maintaining my 40 pound loss for four months! What was up with this?

I stopped attending WW meetings in October, because first, I was making no headway, and I became so depressed at Monday's weigh-ins that it took until Tuesday afternoon to snap back out of it; and second, I did not get the support I needed through WW. They simply had no answers as to why I was not losing weight even though I was working the program very conscientiously. At the last couple of weigh-ins, when I was going up a pound each week, I got the general impression that my leader felt that I was not really working the program. At that point, I walked out for good.

Vickie said...

I tried several things between Halloween and Christmas to shake some pounds loose, but to no avail. I then went back to WW the day after Christmas. It is interesting to note what happened. First, I didn't start the program that first week. I weighed in on Tuesday, and then rather half-heartedly began the program on Friday. When I weighed in on Tuesday, I was down 3.5 pounds! I buckled down and worked very hard on program the next week. I measured everything, exercised, drank my water, and journaled every bite. The following Monday I weighed in and I had GAINED 2 pounds! What is up with that?

It didn't take very long for me to see that going to WW was not going to help me. My body was being incredibly stubborn and was not going to let me lose this weight. Do you see a pattern forming here?

In addition to having 17 months of journals, I also have kept a spreadsheet of my weight losses. I began pouring over my journals and comparing what I did on certain weeks to the amount of weight I lost at the end of that particular week. I made an astonishing discovery.

I have always been a moderate loser. Meaning, I usually lost about a pound a week. Other people may lose 3 pounds a week, but I usually lost a pound, sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. But I was very consistent in losing. There were some weeks, however, when I did lose more than a pound per week. Interestingly, the weeks I had my biggest losses were weeks when I overate! The weeks were Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years! Christmas Day I ate 43 points! I lost 4.75 pounds that week! Upon further studies, I discovered something else. Every week that I overate one day, I had larger than average losses! How can that be?

It has long been thought that you have use 3500 calories less than you need in order to lose one pound. I simply don't believe it. I know it is mathematical, and mathematics was never my strongest subject, but science has always been an area in which I have excelled. I believe that our bodies are far more complicated than a simple mathematical formula can describe. The body is like a fireplace. If you build a fire, at first it takes awhile to warm up. You add more fuel and it burns more efficiently. The more fuel you add to it, the hotter it burns. Add less fuel, and it begins to cool down.

Our bodies were built for survival. If you go on a "diet" the body can become uncomfortable. This is especially true if you take so much food away from it that it feels as if it is going to starve. There is a lot of talk about not eating too little. Your body will go into "starvation mode" and you won't lose any weight. Well, to a point, this is true. Your body will lose weight if you starve it, but it won't want to, and it will take the weight from places you don't necessarily want to lose it from. That is why some people who lose a lot of weight look "gaunt", and is far more likely to hear comments like "have you been sick"? as opposed to "You look good!"

Vickie said...

Why does "The Wendie Plan" work?

Your body has this wonderful little thermostat inside of it. It regulates everything you do. If you feed it lots of food, it turns the thermostat up and burns it as efficiently as possible. This is why you have been able to eat as much fast food before WW and didn't gain the amount of weight that you should have. Your body became more efficient and was able to burn off much of the excess amount of calories. Otherwise, with the amount of food we porked in pre-WW, we should have been gaining 2-3 pounds per day!

When you go on a "diet" where you dramatically decrease the amount of calories that you consume, your body thinks "Oh-oh, we're going to starve to death here" and immediately turns the thermostat down to conserve energy. After all, your body will do whatever it has to do to ensure that you stay alive. It doesn't know that you don't want to carry those extra pounds around. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to convince my body that I really do want to shed those extra pounds through talking to it.

That is where The Wendie Plan comes in. If I can't get my body to shed the extra pounds by talking to it, then I have to trick it in to letting them go! The Wendie Plan is the trick.

If you are on WW, or even just counting calories, and you stick with a set amount of calories per day, such as 1400 or say, 27 points per day, your body will adjust to that. It will become extremely efficient at using just the amount of calories (energy) that you are giving it. You may lose fairly well at first, but after the first week or so, you will find that your losses may slow ... way... down, and even stop. Isn't it nice to have such an energy efficient body? However, the body isn't extremely fast. If you give it the same amount of food every day, it will adjust itself. But if you change the amount of food it gets every day, it doesn't have time to adjust itself! Which means on that day that you eat 10 points over your highest, it tries to adjust by turning up your thermostat, but it is unable to turn it down for the low points the next day. What you are doing, in essence, is keeping your body guessing. It doesn't have time to adjust the thermostat down, before it needs to turn it back up. What eventually happens is your body will never again feel as though it is going to starve to death, and it will never again try to shut down the thermostat, so you will continue to lose at a more rapid loss. This also means fewer plateaus.

Vickie said...

Some people are aghast at the thought of actually eating 10 points over their maximum. I know, its the hardest part for me, too. Again, I just have to plan higher point meals for those days and make sure I actually follow through. If the huge point day isn't done, then the body will not turn the thermostat up high enough. It is all a formula which has to be adhered to high points, as well as low point days.

What about exercise points? What about them? I never use them. I just know that I don't plan any big exercise on my low points days. If I am going on an 8 mile hike, I will probably do it on my high or super-high day, so that I can take advantage of the extra fuel to get me through the exercise. I think WW was using the activity points as a carrot to get people to exercise. More activity, more food. I don't believe in that. Eat what your body needs. Exercise plays a good role in this plan, because exercising increases your metabolic rate. (Which turns up the thermostat even more!) So does increased muscle. Arrange your high point days on the days that you exercise. Or better yet, arrange your exercise around your high point days. My high point days usually fall mid-week. But why? It makes more sense to me to have my highest point day fall on Saturday. That is the most likely day that I will be doing an 8 mile hike. Fit this plan into your lifestyle.

My WW leader told us that it isn't what you do for one meal that causes you to gain or lose, it's what you do for 21 meals that makes a difference. What this is telling me is that I have 7 days, 21 meals, and 217 points to use. How I choose to use them over the course of a week is totally up to me. If I choose to have 42 points on Sunday and 24 points on Monday... I am still on program. Even better, I will probably lose some weight. Do not be afraid to have that one high point day. Just as you shouldn't be afraid to have the low point ones. At the end of the week, you will have lost weight.

Edited by: lovetwin at: 8/1/01 8:23:11 am
From: Pointing My Way To A New Life

Vickie said...

Hopefully I got that all inthe right order
Oldie post from 2001
I thought you would get a kick out of it

Here is the link -

Vickie said...

My personal opinion is that you are right, you are a science experiment. I was too.

If you gain at 2000 calories, drop to 1800 and see what happens.

Also a calorie is not a calorie. So I think (firmly) that you need to keep carbs and protein ratios pretty even with healthy fats a little lower so you can see what is happening with calories. If your carbs are very high one week and you gain, you will not be able to tell if it is the calories or the carbs.

In a science experiment, there can only be one variable.

Vickie said...

I was going to suggest you drop all processed at the same time (now) because that is a major variable too. It is not a big deal (at all) to drop wheat. Do it now.

Lyn said...


it's worth a try, right? Also, not sure what tests you've had, but someone once commented on my blog that my normal TSH tests did not mean my thyroid was normal, and that I should have the other, more precise tests done. I found more info on that by Googling TSH thyroid tests; interesting stuff.

Anonymous (Kristi)~

a PT place? Well I know several of those! Maybe I'll call and ask if any of them do the test. Thanks!


nice to "see" you! That was an interesting read. It makes sense, too, and it would be pretty easy to replicate that system with calories. Sounds like just the kind of thing I like to play around with! Thanks! And yes, I agree, going wheat free would be a relatively easy and good thing to do right now. And I do limit processed foods quite a bit, but yeah, ought to just phase them out soon too.

Lyn said...


I almost missed your comment! Thanks, I will check that out (maybe Deb will, too!)

Anonymous said...

Has anyone else tried Thytrophin PMG?

It's supposed to support normal thyroid function. My thyroid is supposedly normal but my temperature is low. I noticed someone else mentioned a low temperature.

I just started a couple of weeks ago. I feel like I have more energy but it'll take awhile to know if it works.

Leigh Costa said...
you don't need to limit yourself.

Connie said...

You probably mentioned this at some point and I missed it but, HAVE you tried WW? I'm a huge fan of it because it doesn't forbid ANYTHING (which seems to be a trouble point for you), you just have to work it into your food "budget". I find WW works for me even when i do zero exercise, and even when i have just that pesky last five pounds to lose which are always the hardest.

anyways, was just wondering if you have any experience with it!

dlamb said...

Wow, Lyn, part of the reason I come here is for the comments. I was going to remain silent on this subject, but Vickie's generous contribution convinced me to participate.
My experience with calories mirrors hers pretty closely. I fluctuate *wildly*, almost on a daily basis. I will not give examples of calorie limits, because each of us is different and I am extremely active.

What I will share here, especially for those who are incredulous re. your unfortunate experience, is this: there were two events in my (very long ;) ) life, that taught me to never doubt what people claim about stalled wt. loss. Both situations involved a high level of motivation that had nothing to do with health. They were decades apart.
The first time I was in my early 20s. I had reached 162# from my normal 130 or so and desperately wanted to lose it by a specific date. I stayed on 450 calories A DAY, while also swimming, walking and being active. Had it not happened to me, I would not have believed that *for an entire month*, my scale showed exactly the same number, namely 162#

The second time, in 2005, it was also a specific date that motivated me to get back to my typical 130s, from the 148# I had reached due to an injury. I will not say how many calories I was eating, because it was less than those I ate in my previous example. I was also walking hours on end and doing Pilates. The scale stayed pretty much within 1-2 pounds, over a period of three months. What broke the stall and brought me down to 130, seemingly in a couple of weeks, was my tripling my calories.

Like Vickie, I count calories but never use activity as a way to increase my allotment. Perhaps this is because I do not exercise formally. I enjoy what I do and think of it as necessary for my mental health. Having said that, I am often engaged in relatively strenuous activity for as much as 8hrs a day.

As always, I am totally in support of you finding *your* way to what you consider success. If you do not and you try to follow what works for others, you may not see the same results and become frustrated. THis is applicable to nutrition as well as physical activity. You cannot follow every piece of advice ever offered, nor will all the well-meaning feedback be applicable to you.
As always, I wish you success!

Lyn said...


I've never heard of that supplement. I hope it works for you!


I've looked at your site before, very inspiring!


yes, I did WW points a long time ago, maybe in the late 90's. I've thought about trying it again, but since calorie counting is free and WW costs $, I have not. I know it works for lots of people. I kind of have a "personal issue" with it because my mother was on WW for her whole LIFE and never lost the weight. I hated seeing her struggle like that. That was her issue, though, not WW's, I suppose.


yes, I do think our bodies are far more complex than a simple math equation. There is a lot going on in our cells and organs that affects our weight. Very true that calories too *low* can stall. I have this thought that if I eat more (2000) nutritious stuff, maybe my body will respond and start burning more calories, too. Thanks for sharing :)

Kara said...

So here are my thoughts.

You say you are so weak that your arms shake when you lift the tiniest of weights. You're weak and you're not losing weight.

Reputable VLC diets will tell you that you cannot add in tons of cardio on top of VLC because what happens is that your body cannibalizes muscle and you lose as much muscle as fat. The more muscle you lose, the more your metabolism drops, the more your metabolism drops the weaker you feel and the less you can do, and the more your body burns both muscle and fat. It's a vicious cycle.

Every reputable VLC diet tells you if you're going to cut your calories way back, make sure you focus on strength training exercises to minimize muscle loss and maximize fat loss.

I know that I and many others over the last 2 years have urged you, pressed you, even yelled at you to do weight bearing work - both when you were able to walk and when you were suffering from PF. We kept telling you to lift weights, squat, do pushups (even against a wall), do dips, do rows and presses, lunge, etc. And yet you've never done any of that.

Here's what I think: I don't think you've "destroyed your metabolism". I think that's kind of dieting myth. I think you have damaged your metabolism by doing everything in the exact wrong way and causing the maximum amount of muscle loss over the last 2-3 years. I think that's why you're so prone to injury. I think that's why you're so weak you can't life the equivalent of a small grocery bag weight over your head w/out your arms shaking. I think that's why your weight loss has stalled out and reversed.

I think that eating more is only the first step. Unless you really start busting out the weights and putting back on the muscle that you've atrophied and destroyed, you're just going to gain tons of weight on 2000 calories a day and go back to that place of saying you're broken.

So for now? Stop all the cardio and focus on WEIGHT. I will bet you hard money that if you do that for 6-8 weeks, you'll start losing again.

I challenge you to read up on Steve Troutmans pages and Lyle McDonald's pages for the science behind this and then do it.

Lyn said...


thanks for the comment, but I think you are confused. I have never done "tons of cardio"... in fact, I have done very little cardio in the past 2 or 3 years. Right now I am getting zero cardio but hope to start a chair workout once my video comes (I don't think that qualifies as a lot of cardio, either, since I can't even walk). I have, however, done strength training over that time, although I admit not consistently for years. Last winter I went to the gym 3 or 4 times a week and strength trained for 30-45 minutes per time. I also do my physical therapy exercises, but there is no way I would be allowed my my doctor or PT to do squats and lunges (aside from the modified PT squats I was doing). So I think you might not have read much of my blog, or have forgotten the many months of strength training I have done. I'm not sure why you're telling me to "stop all cardio" when I have not done any in months. Anyway, I am already back to strength training 3x/week and have seen improvements already, so we do agree on that!

Chanelle said...

Hey Lyn,
I am late to the party, but I read all the comments here and I couldn't pass this post by without addressing some of the things I saw here.

First, I suggest that you find a place with a BodPod, BodyGem, or Hydrostatically (under water) method of determining your BMR. Usually local Universities have these and do the testing for free or at a very low cost to you.

Sara was partially correct in her comment about you eating over your target calories to help build lean body mass, but as I have said before, you don't build lean body mass my eating over your calories and lifting 3lb. weights. I use this metaphor a lot when girls/women I talk to tell me they are "scared" to start lifting weights because they "are going to get bulky/manly"; I know dozens of bodybuilders (male and female), and if gaining lean body mass was as easy as eating slightly over your calorie target and lifting 3 pound weights, we would all be bodybuilders! And with that, I mean that it takes MONTHS of CONSISTENT weight lifting (90% of the time at a weight that is VERY challenging for you), finding an eating plan that works for you (but absolutely not calorie restriction), and oftentimes, calorie cycling, which has been used for decades and I, personally, haven't heard of it referred to as the Wendie Plan.
And yes, you don't have to enjoy weight lifting or spend 7 hours a week doing it, but you MUST understand that, if you are reaching a goal to not only lose weight but to be fit, it is counterproductive to pick the form of exercise that benefits you only when you are moving (cardio), over the form of exercise that benefits you even while you're sitting on the couch, sleeping, etc. (weights). It may not be your favorite thing to do, but it is the smartest thing to do. And let me just add that, those who seriously weight train ALWAYS eat back their calories after a weight training session because you CANNOT grow muscle without feeding muscle. Period. And if you do, you are setting yourself up for an injury. Lyn, I will continue to advocate for you to take a break from the cardio, go back to weights, give it more time, and eat to feed muscle growth, and of course, throw away (or hide) your scale!!

And I MUST direct this comment to Deb Willbefree: Losing your eyebrows and having abnormally slow weight loss is not good at all. You need to get more testing done or find another doctor. I know this because of my 8 year battle with Cushing's disease (which all started with the same symptoms you report).

And finally, I have gotta say that Kara is TOTALLY on point, as per the longer portion of my comment above. I also think that when she said "tons of cardio" she meant your constant return to cardio over the years, not that you got on the bike and biked for hours a day for the past few years. Either way, don't throw the baby out with the bath water. She is 100% correct about the damage done to your metabolism with years of super-restrictive diets and a dependance on cardio.

There is a reason why Medifast only worked the first time you did it, it's not meant to be used this long and, honestly, I think you should give away or throw away what is left of what you have because you are already making the steps to a lifestyle change. Why hang on to a crutch when you are making real progress?


Lyn said...


thanks. I was hoping you'd chime in. I appreciate your insights and yes, I think I need to make the strength training a habit. I am working my way up to heavier weights. I do still think moving is important, too; I have never biked so hard I was soaked in sweat, don't run or jog etc. So for me "cardio" is probably not what it is for a lot of fitness-focused people. For me, it is just getting my blood flowing and heart up and it helps build endurance and stamina for everyday life (yard work, playing with kids, dog training, etc). This is a very good time for be to focus on weights since I have plenty of time, can't walk without crutches, and am seeing results fairly quickly.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the comment to me. Cushing's Disease has crossed my mind, but I've only done a cursory search of it. Something in the initial descriptions of the disorder always makes me think it doesn't fit. (Of course, I can't remember what that something is right now.)

I'm going to Google it as soon as I hit "publish" here and do a more thorough read.



Anonymous said...

Okay. I looked up Cushing's Syndrome. Lots of symptoms fit, but there is mention that most women with Cushings have excessive hair growth on face, etc. (And, you know, I realized as I read those symptoms that I have a friend who I KNOW has Cushings. I have to give her a call and find out if SHE knows it!)

Anyway, I'm decidedly NOT hairy. Never have been. So, that's the indicator that put me off.

I have another appointment with my endocrinologist in a couple of months, and before I go, I'll give him a call and see if he can add the initial screen for Cushing's to my lab order.

Thanks again, Chenelle, I really do have a lot of those symptoms.


Anonymous said...

I've had my BMR tested. For JUST the BMR, you don't have to do any movement. I sat in a chair with a breathing apparatus on for 15 minutes and breathed as normally as possibly. That gives you your base result. If you want to calculate how many calories you burn in a day with activity, then they'll move into the cardio portions of the test, but for just your BMR, you don't exert yourself. Hope that helps!