Weight Loss Support - Ughh! Starting over again...




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cagesorwings
05-05-2007, 12:44 AM
Hi guys, I just need some sort of support here....
I'm sure this story has been told many times before but *sigh* here I go...
I am just finishing up my freshman year of college and my GOD have I gained weight. I am 5'8" and I think I was about 160/165 in September, and I wanted to lose weight then (about 20 lbs) and here I am, in May... I just weighed myself, granted at the end of the day, after I came home from a restaurant... but I was 196 lbs. This is seriously... BEYOND the freshman 15. And I was one of those people who SWORE I'd not gain any weight freshman year... I was convinced I would LOSE weight!
Apparently not so...
But anyway.... I go home on Monday, and as soon as I get home my mom and I are gonna go "gym shopping". We did a bit over spring break, and I'm pretty sure I am going to join one of the Gold's Gyms near my home, but there are two independent locations so I have to see which one I like better I guess. Near the beginning of this semester I was really good, and I went to the gym at school most days of the week, but with midterm stress and whatnot I totally dropped that habit, and now I end up even worse off than I started...
I think I have a bad habit of... stress eating? I guess? I mean I don't feel particulary stressed, but at the end of the day I feel like I 'deserve' that drink from starbucks or whatever. I have 4 months, or 17 weeks to hopefully lose as much weight as I can, healthily... I know they say 2 lbs a week is normal, but do you think I'd be able to lose more than that? I mean, a friend of mine I discussed this with said that at Weight Watchers meetings, they praise you if you lose 5 lbs a week. I don't know if shes exaggerating or whatever, but just curious what everyone's perspective is on that.
I know that all I really have to do is keep track of what I'm eating (I'm gonna start writing it down!) and exercise a lot. Back in my early-semester exercising days, I got a HRM and my normal exercise routine was burning about 700 calories. If I can get back up to that and keep my eating calories at 1500, I suppose the pounds will start coming off... right? Ahhh I don't know what to do! I just need to get focused and stay motivated, I guess.
Any advice or support would be GREAT!
Thanks


lilybelle
05-05-2007, 01:06 AM
Hi, I remember how stressful that first yr. of college was for me and how much I gained too. I started at 135 lbs. and ended at 182 lbs. (I guess I was going for the freshman 50 instead of the freshman 15). Take heart, the wt. will come off when you set your mind to it. Going to the gym will certainly help. I really don't know much about your calorie and exercise goals but I'm sure someone here will offer you help with that. (I recently switched to counting calories after reaching goal by doing Atkins). You are definitely in the right place for help. Logging your food daily is a great idea. I used to write mine down everyday, now I put it in Fitday every day. I know that for me personally when I started my lifestyle change the wt. came off quickly at first and then slowed to a very reasonable level of 2 lbs. loss each week. I wish you the best of success with your wt. loss plan. Try to look at losing the weight as changing your life, not as a quick-fix because it will help in the long run and make each lb. seem even that much more precious. Believe me, we'd all like to take it off as quick as possible, but slow and steady works best.

JayEll
05-05-2007, 06:26 AM
Hey, cagesorwings!

lilybelle is one of our wonderful inspirations here! :D

Stress sets people up for gaining weight because metabolism changes under stress. If someone tends to eat for relief when stressed--well... there ya go!

1500 cals a day, average, and the exercise you plan to do should lead to weight loss. You don't have to go for 700 cals exercise every day--half that would also work. I just mention that because it's good to have an exercise goal one can stay with even when the going gets rough. It's best to try to exercise 5 or 6 times a week to support weight loss.

I highly recommend using a computer calorie tracker--it makes life easier. Another thing that helps is looking up calories of foods you want to eat ahead of time--and entering favorite foods into the tracker. For example, I was surprised to find out that a serving size of my favorite brand of corn chips is 11 chips. Eleven! And it contains 140 cals.

Try to eat a good balance of foods. Too much carbohydrate or fat isn't ideal, even if you stay within the calories. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits.

Two pounds a week, average, is a good rate of weight loss. It's average, though. Some weeks you could lose more, some less, some not at all, and sometimes even go up a little. Yeah, those 5-pound drops are nice, but unless you had a lot more weight to lose, you most likely won't see many of them.

Remember that a goal gets you moving in the right direction--it's not set in stone. If your goal is 34 pounds and you "only" lose 24 pounds, that's not a reason to be disappointed.

Cheers! Good luck!
Jay


rockinrobin
05-05-2007, 06:38 AM
I definitely understand about the freshman 15. My freshman daughter is coming home this Friday and she's packed on close to that. She is always complaining about how difficult it is to eat healthy while away at college. She says she thinks her dorm is singlehandedly supporting Entemanns. And there's never enough fresh fruit and salads and whole grains and the such served. Getting in a workout when you have large papers due every other day is next to impossible.

Well soon you'll be home and have some more control over your environment. I think 1500 calories is a great way to start. I will caution you that those pesky little calories have a way of sneaking up on us. But they are trackable either with the help of an online calorie counter, such as Fitday.com or a simple journal. As far as treating yourself at the end of the day because you deserve it, try to think of it at the end of the day you need to stay on plan because you deserve to be fit, trim and healthy. This is a great time of year to embark on a weightlosss program and make get some nice healthy lifetime habits into place. Nice light foods for the summer. Salads, with little dresssing, fresh fruits, grilled chicken cutlets, fish, fat free yogurt and high fiber healthy grains.

Getting to the gym will be great for you as well as all the outdoor activities that come along with the summer. Volleyball, walks, bike riding and swimming just to mention a few. Be sure to drink lots of water as this will help you stay full and keep your body nice and hydrated.

As far as your weight goals, I think 5 lbs is a wee bit too much to hope for every week. The average person can hope to lose between 1/2 lb and 2 lbs a week. This is a safe, healthy way to lose the weight - forever. Try, hard as that may be, to just focus on the healthy eating and your activity level. Yes, the weight will come off if you adhere to those things, but at what rate, well only time will tell. And even if you do the same things week to week, that surely does not mean you will see the same amount of weightloss every week. Our bodies are not perfect machines. One week it could be 3 lbs, the next 1, the next 0 and the next 1 1/2.

And like you said in the end, you need to just get focused and stay motivated. Very important aspects of all of this. But even more important then the motivation is the COMMITMENT to a better and healthy lifestyle. You CAN do this, without a doubt. Good luck!!! :smug:

BooBear2071
05-05-2007, 08:24 AM
I definitely understand about the freshman 15.

Me too. This is how I gained my weight. It is too bad that it is not more emphasized for freshman how easy it can be packed on in college.

I would say -- which I didn't get -- that you should lose it now while in college. Think of it as a class you have on your schedule. I never lost the weight in college but found that *work* life was much harder. It only gets more busy and more *fast food* so get it off now.

I don't think you should try too hard though. It can just derail your progress. You might have gained your weight overnight but you sure won't lose that way. That isn't to discourage you. Some things take their own time to unfold and they can't be rushed. I would say start small. Eat a little less -- exercise a little more and see what happens.

It is more important from my point of view that you stay on plan rather than get it off quick.

nelie
05-05-2007, 09:18 AM
I guess I was the only one that had the freshman -15 (or -30) :) When I went off to school, I lost weight. I was actually 270 at the end of my freshman year. I was 300 when I started the year off. I eventually gained those 30 lbs back and then some in the 4 years afterwards.

One reason is my first college was built on a hill so I got tons of exercise walking up and down the stairs. I also just liked walking in general. I then joined some intermural sports as well as joining a dance club. When I ate in the commons (that is what they call it right?), I'd generally stay away from the hot items and eat salads and sandwiches. I used to love my turkey and swiss on sourdough bread sandwiches.

Anyway, when you go back to school next year I'd definitely make sure that you incorporate exercise and watch what you eat.

baffled111
05-05-2007, 01:32 PM
Everyone is right: you have a great opportunity to lose some weight this summer, but you should try not to be unrealistic in your goals (so that you don't become discouraged--it will be almost impossible for you to lose 5lb every week) and you should recognize that you're going to have to keep it up when you get back to school. Count calories and exercise--you're going to do great!

On the more general subject of gaining weight in college, I, like Nelie, actually lost weight when I started college. The food was appalling! And it was a huge campus and I walked up and down a hill and all around the campus many times per day. I think I gained weight later on, when I moved off-campus and lived off pasta and food from the restaurant in which I worked.

The college at which I'm going to be teaching next year actually has a really great dining hall for the students. They provide nutritional info for all the food, and they color code it as local, organic, gluten-free, low-fat, vegan, friendly to dolphins, etc etc. It's pretty great, actually. But then, this is a very expensive college... At the U. I went to, rumor had it that they added starch to the lettuce greens to trick the anorexics into consuming calories. It was probably an urban legend, but you never know...

redlight
05-05-2007, 09:19 PM
I, too, gained weight freshman year. Not the full 15, but definitely some. I also gained in the year that I took off and the next year.

I think 2 pounds a week might even be too much to count on for losing in a healthy way. But 1.5 pounds a week for 17 weeks is 25 pounds, enough to make a huge difference.

cagesorwings
05-05-2007, 09:34 PM
thanks for everyone's advice!
I actually lost weight the first week or two of college, all the adrenaline & excitement led to lots of activity and not a lot of food... when I did eat, I ate two bites and felt full. It was really a great time...
I guess I thought it would last, which led to me settling in and overeating.... its ok though. I'm gonna change that.
I talked to my mom on the phone for a bit today, mainly about all of us eating healthier once I get home, and she's all for it. So I know that when I get home there will be good foods in the house (we talked alot about the 14 "superfoods"). Also, on monday (when I move back) we are going to swing by the gyms and figure out which one to sign up for.
Honestly, I just need to kick my habits in gear. Today I was okay with my food choices, I am being a bit forgiving for myself today since it is my last saturday night of college. I'd really like to enjoy it and not beat myself up. Starting tomorrow though, I'm really going to crack down on everything.
Thanks for all the advice and thoughts everyone, they really helped! I am going to aim for 2 lbs a week... keep you updated!