Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Weight and the Coming Week

Weigh in today: 218 pounds. That's a one pound gain from last week. For those keeping track:

October 1, I weighed 210 after several weeks of 950 calories/day
Week 1 off Medifast, not counting calories, gained 2 pounds (212)
Week 2 off Medifast, not counting calories, gained 4 pounds (216)
Week 3, 2011 cal/day average, gained 1 pound (217)
Week 4, 1987 cal/day average, gained 1 pound (218)

Okay. So. Thoughts...

I have gained 8 pounds this month.
The gains have slowed down.
I feel satisfied, not hungry, and content with what I am eating now.

My activity level has been almost zero over the past 3 weeks due to my injury. This week, I kept doing the upper body weights and added a chair aerobics video twice. I am still not walking and am *extremely* sedentary. In the coming week I will continue the weights and video but have no other activity planned. However, there is a possibility I may get access to a pool this week. Fingers are crossed; I'll let you know! If I do, I plan to be over there swimming most days of the week. I am not a terribly strong swimmer so I might even buy myself a swimming lesson or two, so I can start doing laps and get the most of out my time in the water. That is a big IF... if I do end up getting pool access. I really hope it works out.

Anyway, my biggest fear when I decided to stop Medifast and raise my calories higher than I ever have during calorie counting, was weight gain. Some people said I would have to gain some weight, sort of a rebound effect of the low calories I've been eating, before I'd start losing again. I guess that's true. I have been really terrified of gaining. Every pound I have lost has been hard won and I don't want to go backwards. So I have had to really relax a bit and trust that this is going to work... is going to help me in the long run to be able to eat more (healthy foods) and heal and still lose weight. But part of me looks at 8 pounds gained in a month and wants to panic and cut way back and get those pounds off again. But you know, I feel more settled and at peace with this whole thing. I do not like gaining 8 pounds in a month, but to ME it is not as shocking as it might be to a lot of people. Heck, twice in the last 5 years I have gained 11 pounds in one WEEK. I know how volatile my weight can be. And I really need to be DONE being reactive about food and the scale. I don't mean I won't react (appropriately) to feedback from my body; I mean I am done with the freakouts over numbers, and making sudden, emotional decisions about my eating based on being upset about those numbers. I hope that makes sense.

My plan for the coming week: same calories. Under 2000. Maybe even 1800. Not trying to go any lower than that at this time. If I gain another pound, that's okay, I can handle it. You know why? Because this is not forever. I am not going to be completely sedentary for the rest of my life. I should be off crutches within another 2-3 weeks. And if I can sit here on my butt 90% of the day and not gain a ton of weight, then that is a HUGE step forward. Once I become active again, it makes sense to me that the weight will start coming off again if I keep the calories the same.

I have no intention of ever going below 1500 calories a day again. I say 1500, but really I am hopeful that once I am active again I'll be able to lose on 1800 or more.

I finally believe that the reason I stalled out back in 2009, even though I was biking 6 days a week, lifting weights 3 days a week, being generally active and eating 1500 calories a day, is because I was not eating enough to fuel my body. I could be wrong. But this is how I am finding out. It would make zero sense to me to go back to what DID NOT work (1500 calories and plenty of exercise). So I am trying something different, and if I end up that active again, eating 2000 calories a day, and not losing, THEN I might slowly cut back or just play with my macros a bit. Or I might just increase my activity instead.

Thank you for all the ideas and feedback. I really appreciate it!


Vickie said...

I agree, keep calories the same.

I would try to up your protein a little and lower your carbs a little to get those percentages closer.

Susan said...

I'm following your lead on increasing calorie intake. I'd been on a plateau so long that I felt tired and strung out. Not enough calories never crossed my mind until I read your blog so I do agree, gaining a bit to re-adjust your body makes sense and I'm 100% there with you. Keep it up, your blog is very inspiring. THANK YOU!

Karen said...

Ditto Vickie's suggestion on upping the protein and lowering the carbs a bit. Might also bump up some natural fat ( think avocado or olive oil or salmon).

Carbs completely drive my weight loss/maintence modes. The carbs add up quick in veggies alone. Ditching any "s" foods and upping protein/or fats may start to put you into fat burning or at least weight loss/maintence.

MargieAnne said...

i am so proud of you. This is a real break through. To decide to face your fear of regaining lost weight and eat real food is a huge step away from the old you.

Has anyone suggested you look at Gary Taubes books and there is also a website...

I understand his books take a lot of reading but you might feel even more comfortable with your decision if you take a look at his Blog. He is a reporter who has long studied the science behind nutritional advice.

I find it very interesting to see how the weight gains have reduced each week. It's as though your body is working things out. To keep tracking and recording progress seems to be the only way we can know what is best for us.


Anonymous said...

No matter how you look at it, no one can argue that it is calories in and calories out. That is it. There is really no magical formula. THAT IS IT. I was overweight and now I am at a normal weight and have kept it that way by always remembering that you really have to burn 3,500 calories more than you consume to lose one pound. There is no getting around this. You can come up with reasons and ideas and plans and diets and body excuses and on and on, as I did and many people have recommeded here. But there is no getting around the basic science of this. Calories in - calories out, that is just how it works.

LHA said...

Good luck! I sure hope the swimming access works out because this is the greatest exercise. I have been away from swimming since my gym closed several months ago, but I need to work harder to find somewhere to swim indoors this winter.

I think your experiment with the calorie increase is worth a try. You sure gave calorie restriction your best effort and did not get the results you wanted. I feel you are on the right track somehow, regardless of how this new plan works out. Just chilling out over the number on the scale is a big step. Good for you!

Lyn said...

Vickie and Karen~

agree, I will pay attention to increasing protein a bit and lowering the carbs. It shouldn't be too hard; I've been kind of having a fruit festival lately, enjoying it SO much but I feel ready to sub some veggies for some of the fruits now. Will also get some avocados this week, thanks!


so glad my blog has helped you :)


Thank you so much. Your support has always meant a lot to me. I will do some reading on that website, thanks!


The human body is much more complex than a simple math equation. I'm glad you found what works for you. For me, I *should have* lost weight eating 1500, biking 30 minutes 6 days a week, and strength training, but I didn't. I *should have* lost more than 2 pounds in September eating 950 calories a day and being active, but I didn't. And I *should have* weighed 400 pounds with the huge binges I used to have, but I didn't. I don't claim to understand it, but I do think all of us can find a way to nourish our bodies and get to a healthy weight.

Lyn said...


thanks! I hope you find a place to swim, too. Since I am non-weight-bearing right now, swimming would be so helpful to me.

Vickie said...

It is NOT simply calories in and calories out for anyone who is insulin resistant. Composition of the calories IS part of equation. Yes, there are people (who aren't insulin resistant) who can simply total calories or points and lose. But that is actually minority as the diabetes numbers escalate. It is UBBER important to know which group/facts apply to your body. If one is insulin resistant and does not know, understand, they will be beating their head against a brick wall of no results with a lot of effort and will not understand why.

Anonymous said...

I hope the swimming works out for you. Water aerobics classes, with sturdy water shoes, has helped me a lot. I admire your positive attitude and determination to find just the right thing that works for you to help you lose weight. It's great that you are enjoying some real food for a change. I'm sending positive thoughts and prayers your way. Nan

redbird said...

I've had a lot of success lately by setting my calories in MFP at a number a little higher than is my "ideal," but low enough that even if I ate that number every day, I wouldn't gain. (Or, wouldn't gain a LOT, at least.)

Most days, I end up eating around the "ideal" number of calories, even though I've set my goal higher, because I am so pumped to be "below my calorie goal." It's like this little bit of positive feedback every single day. And if I do eat to the goal number, since I haven't technically broken the rules, I haven't "blown everything" so I don't feel the need to eat everything in the house and start again tomorrow. So far, it's working for slow but respectable weight loss.

But it took a long long time for me to work out that calorie range, and I'm sure it will change over time and I'll need to work it out again.

If this doesn't work well enough for the long haul, I'll consider a different plan. But I hope it works. I really, really love being able to eat food without obsessing over if it has a gram of sugar or carbs in it.

But folks with insulin resistance don't often have that luxury, and given Lyn's metabolism issues there certainly seems to be *something* going on there.

I had a physical recently, and my doctor informed me that I'm really low in Vitamin D. Apparently, this is common for obese people. He recommended supplements, and I've felt a lot more energy since I started taking them. This has helped a ton; personally I can only really tackle the weight loss monster (whatever my approach) when I have energy.

i should be full said...

I love, and continue to be inspired by, your dedication to figuring out what works for your mind and your body. I have zero desire to criticize you or your journey so while I'd like to share my thoughts on what you are struggling with here I also want you to know that it is not meant as a criticism of you at all.

I spent 15 years in and out of the rooms of Overeaters Anonymous and one thing I heard over and over again from people was talk of "giving up my will" and "taking back my will". I never really understood what it meant until about a year and a half ago.

See, like you, I spent a tremendous amount of time analyzing what I ate, the effect it had on my weight, and I struggled to figure out the "whys" involved. I was regularly changing things to accommodate my new theory or insisting that the only way for me to be "healthy" was to learn how to enjoy everything in moderation.

I see now that all of that work and effort was about "taking back my will". I wanted things to be the way I wanted them to be not how they need to be for me.

I've heard you say that you don't want to have to think of a cookie as a "never again" thing that is forever off limits. I get that. I used to think that way too.

But now, I realize that I've had my fair share of cookies in my life and I don't get to choose what food I get to eat anymore. What I want to eat, what I want my food plan to be, what I want in general relating to food is largely irrelevant now.

The only way I found peace in my mind and in my body was to accept that I don't get to make those choices anymore. It was awful at first. I cried and had to go to bed at 8pm to white-knuckle it through the evening when all I wanted to do was eat something that my brain was telling me was still "healthy". How could beans be "bad" for me? How could spinach and quinoa soup be "unhealthy"? I didn't want these things to be true so for years I sabotaged myself with the rationalization that I needed those things to be "healthy", to be "balanced".

That rationalization just kept the fat on my body. The only way I got healthy was to give up my will and accept that things with food can't be what I want. They just have to be what works to get me to my goal (For me that's protein, non-starchy vegetables, and no more than one serving of fruit a day - that's my food plan now.)

The other night I had to meet some people out for dinner and I had no idea where I was going or what I was going to find on the menu. I started thinking about how tired I was and maybe, just this once, I could have pasta - because I could get back on the wagon again tomorrow. But then I thought, no, it's not worth it. Why take my sanity and stability into my own hands when leaving it where it is is working so well?

Now, I'm not a perfect weight. I rebounded close to ten pounds when I stopped the "losing phase" of my diet and moved on to maintenance. I'd like to lose it if I can. And this food plan might cause me to gain weight in the future, in which case I'll tweak it and change it. But I pray that I won't go back to wanting thing to be MY way, because, if there's one thing I learned in Overeaters Anonymous (even if it took 15 years) is that MY way doesn't work. MY will doesn't work.

I hope this helps you in some small way.

dlamb said...

Dear Lyn,
First, anyone who keeps track of somebody else's wt. fluctuations should get a life.
Second, yes on the swimming. Hope you get the opportunity to include it into your regime.
Third, what Karen and Vickie said (both times).
As always, wishing you well. You are definitely on the right path.

Anonymous said...

I Should Be Full's comment should be copied and pasted on our pantry cabinets!

I have to disagree with most of the other commenters however.

What you weight pattern says to me is that you wil probably Maintain on 1500-1600 calories/day, as I do.

Remember we are getting older. I haven't been able to eat higher calorie levels for years(now 52 yo).

I think dropping to 900 was a mistake though. While I don't agree with the idea of "starvation mode" or whatever, I do think that dropping too low leads to a loss of energy, therefore sabotaging weight loss.

I think 1300 cal/ per day is livable and you wouldn't be too hungry as long as you kept the carbs very low. And I can't remember the last time I had a cookie. I do eat low carb baked things that I make my self however.

Good luck in the future, I think if you try slowly lowering your calories you will do this!

Anonymous said...

Dear Lyn,

In 2010, inspired by your success with Medifast, I tried it. I went from 194 to 176 in 8 weeks, but I felt *horrible*. I went off the plan and regained all the weight plus some (ended up at 200, and I am 5'3").

For the last 7 years, I have been dealing with a cyclical situation that caused me a lot of stress each fall (and led to a lot of stress eating each fall). The situation ended conclusively last fall. Over the last 10 months, I have lost 28 pounds (I am down to 172) by eating 2200 calories a day. I am 43 years old, and I don't exercise.

I know that everyone is different and that what works for me won't necessarily work for everyone. (I also know that if I really want to be healthy I need to start exercising!). But I just wanted to chime in with my story to affirm that it is possible to lose weight by eating more calories. At least in my case this was true. And I definitely started with a big weight gain, once I went off Medifast.

Ty said...

The swimming sounds like just the ticket. Raise the calories required to maintain with long cardio and you can eat more and still lose. That's how I am doing it.

Anonymous said...

Commenters have mentioned issues with insulin resistance. I know you've had a barrage of medical tests done, is insulin resistance one of your problems and if so are you taking medication for it?

Also from what I recall you had your thyroid tested and there was no problem with that.

Lyn said...

Thanks all very much for the comments and thoughts. I appreciate the input and encouragement! You give me much to think about.


My bloodwork has not shown any problems... not sure if there is an insulin resistance test, but I had my fasting blood sugar done several times and that was normal, and then there was another one that showed the average blood sugar over several months (can't recall the name of that test) and that was also normal. I have had TSH test done for thyroid which was normal.