40-Somethings - Why can't I lose the weight?




View Full Version : Why can't I lose the weight?


ellaqz
07-18-2008, 11:28 AM
Hello to all -
I am new to 3FC and am trying to find a possible answer.
I, like many others, have been on the weight loss roller coaster, with the last "high" beginning almost 8 years ago & not coming down. This was about the time I was diagnosed with FM & have been struggling with severe fatigue since then. I have recently found, though, that regular exercise (not overdoing it) seems to lessen my pain & stiffness, but I'm still pretty tired all the time.

Since late May, I've worked out probably twice as many days as those I didn't (hmm - did that make sense?!) However, since returning home almost 3 weeks ago, I've done okay, but not great. What's really frustrating me is I've drastically (compared to a few months ago) increased my activity (doing cardio & weights) & am trying to pay more attention to what I'm eating & increasing my F & V intake & decreasing my high-fat (the good stuff) intake BUT the scale isn't changing. I've even tried a couple different "diet" pills as that has helped me in the past, with no luck. I'm starting to wonder if it's a metabolism thing. It's possible that I've entered the perimenopause phase, but my doctor doesn't seem to think so. I've heard that metabolism slows down after 40 & am wondering if this is a possible reason as to why the scale isn't changing. Any thoughts?
If it is, what have you done to overcome this obstacle?


HELP!!!


missi9245
07-22-2008, 03:12 PM
Have you had your thyroid checked? That was my problem I have a slow thyroid and once I got on meds I was ok and could loose weight again. But before that no matter what I did I couldn't loose!

tigerchic89
07-23-2008, 04:33 PM
I've found that it can take a few weeks for teh scale to show a change. I fight with this all of teh time, but I usually don;t see teh scale move at all. Then one morning, it will suprise me and show 1 lb lost. I just ty to keep going, knowing that all of my work HAS to pay off.


yoyonomoreinvegas
07-23-2008, 05:14 PM
Boy ellaqz, 6 months ago that could have been me typing that post :hug:

Aside from the excellent suggestion of getting checked out by your doctor :) it's kind of hard to give any opinion on what might be happening without an idea of exactly what you're eating. One thing that popped out at me was "am trying to pay more attention to what I'm eating"

The first thing my doctor had me do was start keeping a food journal - he actually told me to stop "trying to diet" because the stress of not seeing any progress was interfering with my health as much as the weight was. For two months I ate *normally* (which means I ate the way I was eating while the weight was piling on at it's fastest) but I had to write down every single thing that went in my mouth - including water and all those little *tastes* while cooking dinner. He also had me log how I felt each day to compare with what I ate. In the very beginning, he didn't even want me to count calories but I think that's because he didn't want me to get too overwhelmed with making too many changes all at once. I was kind of disgusted when I saw in black and white what I was putting into myself - Not an excessive number of calories really and, volume-wise, it wasn't a huge amount of food either but it was almost all totally over processed convenience or fast food :p (Not to say that there are not people out there who can do perfectly well losing by just cutting back on calories and portion sizes - just doesn't work for me)

Just seeing what it was I was eating and how I felt after eating it gave me a great base to start developing a plan. One of the toughest things I've had to learn along the way has been patience - just because something isn't working fast doesn't mean it's not working ;) And, you have to be prepared to try a few different things. The food combinations that work great for me might not work for you - if you were to run a search through this forum on the word *tweak* you'd probably come up with more posts than you could read in a week :lol:

So take a deep breath, relax, and start thinking about a plan of attack. You've already made a great first step by finding 3FC - the support and friendship of tons of people who are going through the same struggles as you are is such an important part of the whole process! You really CAN do this :hug:

betcoleen
07-24-2008, 05:02 PM
:hug:Boy ellaqz, 6 months ago that could have been me typing that post :hug:

Aside from the excellent suggestion of getting checked out by your doctor :) it's kind of hard to give any opinion on what might be happening without an idea of exactly what you're eating. One thing that popped out at me was "am trying to pay more attention to what I'm eating"

The first thing my doctor had me do was start keeping a food journal - he actually told me to stop "trying to diet" because the stress of not seeing any progress was interfering with my health as much as the weight was. For two months I ate *normally* (which means I ate the way I was eating while the weight was piling on at it's fastest) but I had to write down every single thing that went in my mouth - including water and all those little *tastes* while cooking dinner. He also had me log how I felt each day to compare with what I ate. In the very beginning, he didn't even want me to count calories but I think that's because he didn't want me to get too overwhelmed with making too many changes all at once. I was kind of disgusted when I saw in black and white what I was putting into myself - Not an excessive number of calories really and, volume-wise, it wasn't a huge amount of food either but it was almost all totally over processed convenience or fast food :p (Not to say that there are not people out there who can do perfectly well losing by just cutting back on calories and portion sizes - just doesn't work for me)

Just seeing what it was I was eating and how I felt after eating it gave me a great base to start developing a plan. One of the toughest things I've had to learn along the way has been patience - just because something isn't working fast doesn't mean it's not working ;) And, you have to be prepared to try a few different things. The food combinations that work great for me might not work for you - if you were to run a search through this forum on the word *tweak* you'd probably come up with more posts than you could read in a week :lol:

So take a deep breath, relax, and start thinking about a plan of attack. You've already made a great first step by finding 3FC - the support and friendship of tons of people who are going through the same struggles as you are is such an important part of the whole process! You really CAN do this :hug:


:hug:What excellent advice I really like your suggestions they are so true. Water water water is key as well.

Beach Patrol
07-28-2008, 03:14 PM
Well, I will be 45 next week, and I haven't "overcome" that particular obstacle.

I am in peri-menopause (according to my doc) and I've yo-yo dieted since age 24. A little diet - that is, cut back on portions & eat more veggies, used to work wonders for me. But the older I got, I realized that EXERCISE was the big "to do" for me. I have realized that I can diet til the cows come home, but if I don't exercise, the scale doesn't budge.

Enter my many health problems for the past two years, & a severe lack of exercise and I am once again tipping the scales on the upper end of the 100's. It's seriously disappointing. I am finally at the stage (physically) where I can exercise more - I am swimming 1 hour per day, plus walking 1/2 hour. And while I FEEL WAY BETTER, I still haven't lost a single ounce. It's daunting, I tell ya! And I have given up junk food & sugared cola. I eat WAY more veggies (I like mine raw!) & fruit, lean proteins such as baked chicken (no skin!) and turkey & fish & I hardly ever eat fast food AND I keep my caloric count between 1300-1400 most days... and yet, NOT ONE SINGLE OUNCE IS GONE. SINCE MARCH.

I am beginning to understand that whole "metabolism slows down after 40" thing. Unfortunately.

So while I can offer you no firm advice, at least you know you're "not the only one". :hug:

MBN
07-28-2008, 04:51 PM
I'm 48 and I was able to successfully lose 40 pounds last year, although it took me a whole year to do it!

I find that I just can't eat what other people eat. I'm only 5'2", and now weigh in the low 110's, and I figure that my basal metabolic rate is right around 1100-1200 calories per day at best. Since I work out EVERY day, for at least an hour, I find that my average maintenance target is right around 1500-1600 calories per day. That's it. When I was trying to lose weight, my target was around 1200 calories per day. That would get me a pound loss every week or two.

I just find that it's very easy to underestimate how many calories I'm eating and to overestimate the calories I'm burning. On the days that I do a 12 mile run (I'm a runner) , I only burn an extra 850 calories or so and heck, that's not even one hot fudge sundae. (It's a whole lot of veggies though!) The only way I've been able to stay on track for over 6 months of maintenance is to log every single thing I eat and closely monitor my weight over time.

The sad fact is that for most of us, our life is pretty sedentary. I have a desk job, so the hour at the gym in the morning is pretty much the only exercise I get. I don't have to chop wood, or walk 3 miles to work, or pump and carry water, no, I pretty much sit on my butt. So it's no wonder that I just don't burn off all that many calories. (BUT, when I went backpacking and lugged a 35 pound backpack 5 miles up the mountain, I was able to eat everything I wanted and not gain!!)

The only thing that has worked for me is to keep a food diary, make very careful food choices to maximize nutrition, stay as active as I possibly can, and monitor my weight to see if it is doing what I want. (I also monitor body fat percentage, because that is just as important as total weight -- you CAN be losing fat while the scale stays the same.) If the weight isn't going the way I want, then I have to either decrease intake and/or increase energy expenditure. And I'm going to have to do this forever, I believe. But it IS worth it!

ellaqz
07-28-2008, 07:32 PM
Thank you all for your support.
I believe I'm doing better with eating. really trying to cut out nightly after 8p snack. actually haven't had it for a few days. My physical therapist keeps trying to give me some positive reinforcement because I am moving better than I was when I first saw her in May.
I still just wish clothes would feel looser & scale would change. I just have to keep telling myself "I am a valuable person & deserve to be healthy".
Plus, although this isn't the Faith group, I pray for God's assistance everyday so I can be healthier & in a better position to serve Him.
He's already doing something in my life by sending me here, leading me to Linda Spangle's Overcoming Emotional Eating book & to "Weight Loss God's Way" that I haven't yet purchased, but am receiving articles & newsletters.
I believe He's telling me I need to improve my self-esteem & the way I view myself. :)


Thank you again.

tigerchic89
07-28-2008, 10:18 PM
I'm 48 and I was able to successfully lose 40 pounds last year, although it took me a whole year to do it!

I find that I just can't eat what other people eat. I'm only 5'2", and now weigh in the low 110's, and I figure that my basal metabolic rate is right around 1100-1200 calories per day at best. Since I work out EVERY day, for at least an hour, I find that my average maintenance target is right around 1500-1600 calories per day. That's it. When I was trying to lose weight, my target was around 1200 calories per day. That would get me a pound loss every week or two.

I just find that it's very easy to underestimate how many calories I'm eating and to overestimate the calories I'm burning. On the days that I do a 12 mile run (I'm a runner) , I only burn an extra 850 calories or so and heck, that's not even one hot fudge sundae. (It's a whole lot of veggies though!) The only way I've been able to stay on track for over 6 months of maintenance is to log every single thing I eat and closely monitor my weight over time.

The sad fact is that for most of us, our life is pretty sedentary. I have a desk job, so the hour at the gym in the morning is pretty much the only exercise I get. I don't have to chop wood, or walk 3 miles to work, or pump and carry water, no, I pretty much sit on my butt. So it's no wonder that I just don't burn off all that many calories. (BUT, when I went backpacking and lugged a 35 pound backpack 5 miles up the mountain, I was able to eat everything I wanted and not gain!!)

The only thing that has worked for me is to keep a food diary, make very careful food choices to maximize nutrition, stay as active as I possibly can, and monitor my weight to see if it is doing what I want. (I also monitor body fat percentage, because that is just as important as total weight -- you CAN be losing fat while the scale stays the same.) If the weight isn't going the way I want, then I have to either decrease intake and/or increase energy expenditure. And I'm going to have to do this forever, I believe. But it IS worth it!

very motivating post. TY!!!

MBN
07-29-2008, 06:03 AM
very motivating post. TY!!!

Thank YOU! :D I hope it is helpful. I try to look at food simply as fuel for the body. We only burn a certain number of calories (depending on our metabolism and activity level) and if we take in more than we use, then we WILL save the excess as fat, and then we're stuck lugging it around with us all of the time.

I do believe we are genetically programmed to love and crave fat and carbs. In cave man days, that helped ensure survival. But that's not true today, food is readily available. Society makes it worse by pushing huge portions of calorically dense foods in our faces all the time. Couple that with inactivity (we drive everywhere, use the clicker to change TV channels, etc), it's no wonder that we have an obesity epidemic. And we don't know what true hunger is most times any more -- we eat because it's time, because it looks/smells good, because it's a "special occasion", because we don't want to hurt someone else's feelings, because we're tired/bored/stressed -- for every reason EXCEPT that we are truly hungry and our bodies require fuel. The deck is stacked against us.

I do think the whole weight loss thing is as simple as "calories in vs calories out". It's certainly not EASY, but it is that simple. You can't lose a whole bunch of weight overnight (at least, not safely and sustainably). It takes time, consistency, and finding an eating AND activity plan that is nutritionally sound and that you can live with -- forever. Because I'm here to tell you, when you reach that magic goal weight, it doesn't end. If I viewed this whole thing as a temporary "diet", and resumed my former habits, I would certainly end right back up where I started 40 pounds ago (or more). What is that definition of insanity ... Doing the same things over and over but expecting a different result ?

I am very active in my church as well, and I have had to painfully learn to "just say no" to all of the food temptations. During fellowship time, I simply don't eat the food. I have lunch waiting at home. And I don't have to eat to enjoy the fellowship. At potlucks, I take food that is on MY plan, and restrict other foods to very small portions or avoid them altogether. I find that others are grateful that I bring low cal desserts or salads to share. If there is a celebratory cake (like, almost every week!), I celebrate, but don't eat the cake. (I wait and have my low cal "on plan" treats at home.) It's about the people and being together, NOT the food!! You know, most of the time, people really don't notice whether I'm eating or not, and if they do, well they are used to me now and love me anyway. ;)

It's all about our food choices and uncoupling our eating from all of the emotional and societal triggers. We just need to focus on eating to fuel our bodies' activities in a healthy way. Maybe simple, but not easy at all .....

beffie
07-29-2008, 03:03 PM
I know just how you feel! It's just so much harder now than it was 10 years ago. Just need to celebrate small steps. (my first one is getting on 3FC)

beffie
07-29-2008, 03:05 PM
Oh, and I've started lifting weights at my desk. Got it right here and every time I take a sip of water, I try and do 10 reps with my bright pink dumb bell!