Weight Loss Support - Advice needed, please




View Full Version : Advice needed, please


mama1
07-18-2008, 12:40 PM
Well I've just turned 29, had two kids and am ready to get back into shape. I'm 5'10, and look pretty good around 170-180, which is about 20-30 lbs overweight still, but not too bad. Over the years it really crept up on me, until I hovered around 220 for years. Then I got pregnant and gained a solid 60, was right at 300 at the height of things, then got back down to 250 after the first child. Child #2 came afterwards, and I didn't lose as much weight afterwards, so I was hovering around 280. Well months and months ago, I went on a pretty good diet for about a month, couldn't wait to get weighed by the Dr. at my appointment, only to find that I had lost no weight at all. I gave up for a while. Now I am ready to give it a go again, bought some scales, and I am at 320 lbs. Needless to say, it came as a shock. I'm panicking. I've tried to diet a few days, and it's just not coming off like it used to, and I will weigh myself and be 5 lbs heavier than I was the day before? Now I have gained and lost a lot of weight in my life, and would like to think that I know my way around diets a bit. I like to start out a bit slowly so that my body does not shock itself into stalling, and at this weight, cutting back calories and moving a bit more should show some results. I am a bit sedentary, I will admit, since I work from home. But honestly, not a day goes by that I do not break a sweat, with these two kids to tend to. We go outside everyday for an hour to play (although I only have the stamina to physically play with them for about 15-20 mins), there are chores to do, baths, feeding, learning. I'm not constantly sitting about all day, and hauling all of this weight, it seems that I should be burning something. I had a pretty active day yesterday, ate somewhat normally, although restricted a bit. Woke up today 5 lbs. heavier.

I feel like something is wrong with my body. I haven't even thought about my weight for almost 3 years now, have I thrown myself out of whack? Before, when I would go on a diet, the heavier I was, the faster it came off, for a while. And it used to be, that no matter how much I ate, I wouldn't get beyond a certain weight, and had time to get it off. Now I feel like my own body is out of control, and worse, beyond my control. Is it my age? Am I being a wuss? Do I need to start a somewhat strenuous (for me) exercise program at least 5 days a week or what? I don't know what to do now besides go hard on myself, but I fear injury somewhat. I can't afford to deprive myself so much that I feel faint during the day, because of having to take care of the kids, but I'll be damned if I won't give this an honest try before I become someone that can't even take care of anyone because of my weight.

I'll be honest and say although I know that true weight loss is a permanent lifestyle change, I've never been one for truly long term diets. I know it's not going to come off tomorrow, but I at least need to see some results for my work, or else I'm going to fall off the wagon. If I have to go a month working out, depriving myself and giving it my all, and there's no weight loss, what do I do? I just don't know what to do anymore.


mamaspank
07-18-2008, 01:07 PM
Sounds like you're at your wits end. I had a baby a year ago and was at 201 pounds when I walked into the hospital for my C-section. The weight seemingly melted off the first month and I got down to 175. I guess my appetite came back and then some because I got back up to 183 and finally said enough is enough. I, like you, was worried about my ability to take care of my baby.

I knew I had to make a lifestyle change and started shopping diets. My friend, Amy, started WW and said it was so easy that she didn't even feel like she was dieting. Sounded great to me. I started it on April 7, 2008, and have gone from 183 to 153 and from a tight size 14 to a loose size 8. I can wear a freaking medium now. That is just insanity. I was so excited to by a medium top at Old Navy. I always have just walked straight to the Larges and size 10 almost my whole life.

I have tried other diets, like Atkins and South Beach. I just can't give up bread. With WW, I didn't have to. I just keep very good track of what I eat (food diary). It isn't always easy, but if I stray, I don't beat myself up too much over it. It took a good week for me to start seeing a difference on the scale and about two weeks to start seeing a difference in my clothes.

I walk every night briskly for an hour at the track and have started jogging at least half of that. I can't believe I am running again! I feel so light on my toes. I hope that I helped a little.

Just go for it. You're right; you need to do this for your kids. I am such a better and more fun mama now that I can't wait to get out of the house every day.

alinnell
07-18-2008, 01:14 PM
It's not your age--you can lose weight.

Have you checked with your doctor to make sure you're healthy and that nothing is wrong that might be causing your weight gain (or lack of losing?).

First things first...get a notebook and start recording every morsel of food that you eat every day. (Having kids often leads to cleaning up after them when they don't finish their food--don't be tempted!) Then add your exercise to that notebook. Exercise is crucial--start by simply walking around the block (as quickly as you can) every day and increase it as you find it becoming easier for you. Another good suggestion is to take your daily food logs and determine the calories, fat, protein, carbs of the foods you've eaten each day. In order to lose a pound, you need to drop 3500 calories. That can't be done in a day--more like a few days that's why losing 1-2 pounds a week is a healthy rate of losing. Try to determine the # of calories you are comfortable eating (without going hungry which can cause a binge) and stick with that amount to see if you can lose. If you don't lose, reduce it by 100 calories per day. To be healthy, you shouldn't go below 1200 per day, but you will most likely be able to lose at a much higher daily calorie total (try starting out at 1800-2000 per day to see if you lose). Try to keep your fat intake under 25%. Protein tends to keep you feeling full longer so have protein at every meal. You can find these amounts in foods at places like fitday.com, calorie-count.com, Calorie King and others.

Best of luck to you!


mama1
07-18-2008, 01:19 PM
You know, I did try Weight Watchers once a long, long time ago, and I had great results with it. That just might be the answer, I will look into that. Yes I had a problem with bread with the Atkins too, and it's scary to think that if I go back to eating bread, then I just might gain lbs. back faster.

That hour around the track is great, that's the ticket. I used to do things like that when I was younger. I guess I need to stop kidding myself and workout. I don't have a stroller at the moment or a lot of resources, but I do have internet, a clear floor and some spare time, so I'm looking into workout videos. It's hard to do some of them at this size though. Come to think of it, I used to do those Richard Simmons workouts a lot years ago, because they were light and low impact, relatively easy to do yet long enough to keep me going and burning. See, you guys are inspiring me already :) haha.

Edit: Yes, I noticed myself 'cleaning up after the kids' this morning actually. That's something that I haven't really been consciously thinking about, and I won't even really be hungry, but that leftover piece of banana just seems to find it's way into my belly haha. A log of what I'm eating would help too, because it's occurred to me that perhaps I'm eating more than I think. I plan on asking the Dr. about it next checkup, but I have a pretty no-nonsense Dr., and I know I'm healthy otherwise. I just think I need a WHOLE LOT more discipline. At least that's what I'm hoping. Thanks you guys, I feel like I have a starting point and a rough plan now.

JayEll
07-18-2008, 03:20 PM
I'm glad you feel that way, mama1! I'd like to second the idea of Weight Watchers. Many folks find it really useful to look at food a different way, and also to be accountable every week.

You can't be on a diet for life, but you can follow a sensible program for life that will let you keep weight off once you've lost it. WW has this kind of program.

I also second the idea of not "cleaning up" after the kids. If they don't eat it, throw it out. You are not the disposal! :lol:

Jay

Heather
07-18-2008, 03:49 PM
:welcome2:

It's really easy to eat more than we think! In addition to writing down everything, I'd suggest weighing again in a few days. Scales go up for all kinds of reasons -- mostly water, which fluctuates a LOT -- you might not have gained 5 pounds of fat. (See this thread for more great info: http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=115826).

Also, you might want to join us in the 300+ club - lots of people who understand some of the difficulties of weighing 300 pounds or more! We're here: http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=124

mama1
07-18-2008, 08:34 PM
Thank you very much, Jay and Heather! I'm looking at the 300+ club right now and will be settling in. Both of your weight loss is also a big inspiration. I've kept a diary today for once and noticed that my snacking is adding up, surely that's what it is. I'll be right at 1200 after dinner, and it's really made me watch what I'm eating! Without the diary, I probably would have eaten at least 800 more cals today. What a big part of the problem, solved. There it is. Add a little conscious exercise effort and I think I'll be off to a good start. I can't thank you all enough.

PhotoChick
07-18-2008, 10:34 PM
Hey there! Welcome to 3FC. As I read through your post, I noticed a few things and so I'll respond to them directly first and then I'll add more further thoughts. :)

I'm not constantly sitting about all day, and hauling all of this weight, it seems that I should be burning something.The thing is that our bodies are actually pretty efficient machines. Your body gets used to your daily activities at your current weight and learns to work with the least amount of expended energy on a daily basis. Meaning that although you might be moving around a bit, your body adapts and you won't burn lots of calories.

Also to really burn calories, you have to get your heart rate up. On a daily basis we really don't burn all that many calories. Even strenuous exercise burns fewer than you think. For example, I can spend 30 mins on the elliptical machine at a very steady pace, breaking a hard sweat, and only burn around 300-350 calories (I"m 5'4" and 165#).

I had a pretty active day yesterday, ate somewhat normally, although restricted a bit. Woke up today 5 lbs. heavier.It's practically impossible to gain 5# of fat overnight. You'd have to have consumed nearly 17,000 calories to do so. It's more likely that you ate salty/high sodium foods and are retaining water.

Is it my age?To a degree, it might be. You're 29 and as you approach your 30s and into your 40s, your metabolism shifts. It is much harder for me to lose weight now at 40 than it was at 25.

I can't afford to deprive myself so much that I feel faint during the day, There is this mindset that you aren't really making an effort to lose weight unless you're miserable and near death from starving yourself. That's hogwash. You have to make this a lifestyle change or you're just going to fail again and again and again as you push yourself to the very edge of starvation and pain and give up because you simply can't tolerate it any more.

I don't deprive myself to the point of starvation. I don't make myself feel guilty over what I eat. I count calories, allow myself 1500 cals a day, and eat what I want within that range. Today, for example, I went to lunch with a friend and had frozen yogurt and 2 cookies. Because I'm aware of it, I ate a smaller dinner and had a fruit and protein smoothie for dessert, instead of my usual frozen yogurt.

My average day includes 3 meals, and 2 or 3 snacks - and it seriously is whatever food I want as long as it fits into my calorie range.

Ok. Now my further thoughts.

1 - You need to KNOW what you're eating before you can change it. I would suggest that you start off by keeping a food diary. It doesn't have to be anything fancy. You can use an online site like dailyplate.com or fitday.com or soemthing like that or you can just write things down on a piece of paper or a notebook. But do this for a week. Write down EVERYTHING. If you eat the crusts off your kids sandwiches, write it down. If you drink a Coke, write it down. If you lick the spoon while you're cooking dinner, write it down. I think you'll be surprised as how much food you can consume during the day. When I did this, I found out that I was consuming over 1000 calories "extra" just by nibbling mindlessly. A handful of sunflower seeds, 2 cookies from the breakroom, an afternoon Coke, snagging the crust from my husband's pizza.

Once you've done that for a week, you'll have a really good idea of where a lot of your extra calories are coming from. You can also see where you might be eating a lot of processed foods that will have high sodium content that will contribute to you retaining water.

2 - While on the surface, it's calories in vs. calories out, there are all kinds of other things that come into play. Our bodies are al different. Some people need more or less carbs. Some people do better eating more protein. I know that I personally can't eat carbs at dinner time or my weight loss tends to stall ... but some people can do just fine with them. You might have to experiment and take a few weeks to learn about how your body reacts.

3 - EXERCISE. Yes, you must exercise. It's possible to lose weight w/out doing it, but then you're just "skinny fat" (i.e. skinny but out of shape). Also the more you exercise, the more you can eat ... if you don't build exercise into your plan, you'll have to restrict your calories more and more, in order to lose the weight you want to lose.

Exercise doesn't have to be painful or miserable or done at an intensity to make you puke or pass out, but it does need to raise your heart rate for at least 30 mins. You can chase your kids around all day, but if it doesn't get your heart rate going, then it's not doing you any good.

Also, I strongly recommend adding in weight lifting and body resistance training from the start. Building muscle means you increase your metabolism, and increased metabolism means more weight loss. Weight lifting doesn't have to be this big power-lifter gym thing. In fact I found that lifting weights was easier for me than getting cardio when I first started out and was really heavy. Start off with some 10# weights from Target or Walmart. Even if you can only do 1 curl or one arm raise, do that. And keep on. These are things that you can do (at first) while watching TV or while sitting watching the kids.

Look into DVDs of things that incorporate something fun that will keep you motivated. Some people love dance, some people love the idea of kickboxing or TaeBo, some people like yoga or Pilates. Anything that will encourage you to keep trying. And the nice thing about DVDs is that you can do them in the privacy of your own home and you can stop and start as many times as you want until you learn the routines.

However, all that said, I'm a big believer in joining a gym - it gives you motivation and gives you access to a ton of equipment and things that you simply can't have at home (unless you're willing to spend thousands of dollars on your own home gym). And, if you possibly can afford it, look into a few sessoins with a trainer. That will help A LOT with your fears of injuring yourself - a good trainer will help you work out a routine that fits your ability level, as well as will be able to teach you the proper techniques so that you won't hurt yourself doing the various exercises

Ok, I know this has become a huge novel, but I Hope it helps you out and helps you to get started! :)

.

Gale02
07-19-2008, 02:17 AM
Thank you very much, Jay and Heather! I'm looking at the 300+ club right now and will be settling in. Both of your weight loss is also a big inspiration. I've kept a diary today for once and noticed that my snacking is adding up, surely that's what it is. I'll be right at 1200 after dinner, and it's really made me watch what I'm eating! Without the diary, I probably would have eaten at least 800 more cals today. What a big part of the problem, solved. There it is. Add a little conscious exercise effort and I think I'll be off to a good start. I can't thank you all enough.


Everyone else has given you great advice and I just wanted to chime in with a little tidbit. I think you need to start out at a considerably higher calorie level than 1200... probably more like 1800-2000. I started at 260lbs and lost the first 50lbs very comfortably on 1700-1800 calories per day. I then dropped it down to 1500-1600 per day.

The reason I say to start higher is that 1200 is at the very bottom of what any person should eat in a given day and if your weight loss stalls you won't be able to reduce your calories for a kick start. And, those of us in bigger bodies require more calories to fuel us and can therefore lose weight on more calories than someone that starts out at a lower weight.

I think WW is a fantastic program and will be a great tool. Just make sure you eat the points you're given and trust that the program will work!

Oh, and ditto photochick on the exercise, it's absolutely essential to being healthy even if you could lose weight without it. Good luck, you can do it!!

PhotoChick
07-19-2008, 02:44 AM
I just wanted to chime in with a little tidbit. I think you need to start out at a considerably higher calorie level than 1200... probably more like 1800-2000.

The reason I say to start higher is that 1200 is at the very bottom of what any person should eat in a given day and if your weight loss stalls you won't be able to reduce your calories for a kick start.
Absolutely 100% agree with this. I'm 165 now, eating 1500 cals a day and exercising 3-4 times a week, and still losing. 1200 is way too low for you to start out at.

.

Heather
07-19-2008, 08:30 AM
I agree with the above too!!

Bigger bodies DO need more. I started calorie counting at 280 something pounds. I ate 2000 calories/day and lost steadily (averaged over 2 pounds/week at first, which, given my starting weight was healthy). As I lost I dropped it a bit, and also let the weight loss slow!

If you eat too little, you not only risk not getting enough fuel for your body, but you set yourself up for a situation where you feel really deprived and that can lead to a binge, which leads to going off plan, for a while (once you feel like you've failed...). So, there are LOTS of reasons to eat enough!

sassybiscuit
07-19-2008, 02:53 PM
You all have such great comments! I am doing the Step Diet and don't feel deprived at all. I just wear a pedometer, try to get my steps everyday (which is doable) and eat 75% of whatever I pick up. I am NOT a good dieter. I wish that I could track calories, but I just can't. I couldn't even do WW because I kept forgetting the point thing. This is working for me and I recommend it. I think that the Step Diet makes more time for the kids too. Go for a walk, go the the park... pretty soon all kinds of new ideas come! I've only been officially on it for a month and have lost 8 pounds. The results are keeping me headed in the right direction and I already "feel" better about myself.

There are LOTS of diets out there and I've tried a good portion of them. None of them were right for me until I found the Step Diet. You'll find the one that fits you and things will all work out. Good luck and perseverance to you. I know you can do it!

Sassy

JayEll
07-19-2008, 04:14 PM
sassybiscuit, you GO girl! :cheer2: :cheer2: :cheer2:

Jay