100 lb. Club - I think I know the answer, but still...

05-18-2010, 03:49 PM
This is long, so feel free to just skip it if you don't have the time :)

So, my first 40ish pounds came off easier than I would have thought. I sized down my portions (but still ate pretty much whatever) and went to an hour of zumba 3 times a week.

I've stalled badly over the last few months because I stopped going to zumba or doing any kind of exercise at all, but hovered around 206-208. Still ate whatever I wanted, but reasonable portions.

So now, we went to Vegas for a weekend and I decided to make that my official "back on the bandwagon" marker. Weighed myself Sunday, May 9th and weighed 210, which is about what I expected after a weekend of over drinking and over eating. That very day, I began working out - hard.

I've been going to the gym every morning and working myself as hard as I physically can. Here has been my schedule over the last 10ish days:

Sunday - ran/walk 2 miles
Monday am - 45 minutes of spin class, 30 minutes of "blast" class (high intensity cardio w/weights mixed in)
Tuesday - 60 minutes of Total Body Conditioning class (high intensity cardio w/weights mixed in)
Wednesday - 45 minutes of spin class, 30 minutes of blast class
Thursday - 60 minutes of Total Body Conditioning class
Friday - 45 minutes of spin class, 30 minutes of blast class
Saturday - 45 minutes of spin class
Sunday - 60 minute yoga class

Monday/Tuesday of this week; repeat. I'm constantly sore, and feel every day like I've pushed myself to my physical limit.

Now I also have to admit, I haven't been eating much. I'm not purposely starving myself, but I really don't have an appetite at all, and I hate to eat when I'm not hungry (that's what got me to almost 250 pounds). So I eat here and there during the day at work, but it's all veggies, fruits, tuna, etc. At night, I have some chicken and then a little brown rice or a little sweet potato. I've added it all up, and am only getting in about 800 calories. I know - that's bad.

Here's the biggest problem. I now weigh 216. I've been steadily going UP.

I totally know that I'm not going to start working out, and have the weight just disappear. I totally expect it to take time. But a 6 pound gain in a few days that is NOT COMING OFF? Just not what I expected.

Any advice? I'm guessing it's because I'm not eating enough, right? Does anyone have any suggestions for eating even when you're not hungry/don't have an appetite?

I'm so sorry this is so long. I just am getting discouraged and really hoping for some advice!!! Thank you!

05-18-2010, 03:52 PM
give your body a bit of time to adjust to it's new life :D

05-18-2010, 03:53 PM
See, that's what my rational brain is telling me - it's my moronic side that is saying none of this makes sense :D

05-18-2010, 03:55 PM
My guess is that most of your gain is the result of your weekend in Vegas. The effect of what we eat and drink tends to show up days later, sometimes even a week later. For many of us, it's not the next day (or even the day after that or after that).

Combine your weekend with your increase in exercise and that's probably why the scale is up. It's normal to put on some water weight once you start intense exercise. Your body even produces more blood plasma when you begin cardio (a good thing, it transports oxygen).

It sounds like you're eating all the right foods, but yeah, bump it up to at least 1200 calories. You can't adequately fuel your body for exercise with anything lower.

I think you'll see those extra pounds coming off over the next few weeks if you keep up the good work!

05-18-2010, 03:57 PM
When I read this, I worry about sustainability. I suspect this is a really harsh routine to keep up over a long period of time, though it might work for you for 10 days. It reads less like a lifestyle change that you can maintain than like a temporary regimen.

You were doing okay before, right? What made you fly to such an extreme? I don't think that's the way to get rid of the regain.

Also, in my experience, that soreness in your muscles could also indicate that they're retaining fluid while they repair from all the work you've put them through.

05-18-2010, 04:05 PM
I'm worried about sustainability as well, but I'm finding that I actually LIKE heading to the gym in the morning, working out hard and then heading to work.

I have been sleeping better than ever, and feel way more energized on a daily basis. I'm expecting to give myself a day off when I need one, but so far, I'm feeling pretty much like I could move the world. Until I step on the scale...

I have thought about sustainability...I just found that I'm liking the routine. I went Monday with the intention to do spin and blast, and then take a day off...but then I slept AMAZING that night and woke up super early, feeling well rested. So then I went to Total Body, with the intention of taking Wednesday off...same thing happened. It's been a routine now every day - I sleep so, so well at night and automatically wake up at 430 feeling rested and ready for the day, and the alarm isn't even set to go off till 6 am.

Saef, do you think I should just force myself to take a few days off, or wait until I feel like I NEED one?

05-18-2010, 04:11 PM
Your routine does not seem sustainable to me, either. You're not being very kind to your body--it needs time to rest and recover, and it needs adequate quantity and quality of food in order to recover and thrive. Probably you're "not hungry" because you've taken on a temporary ascetic mindframe where food is "bad" and will cause you to gain weight. But food is not bad...food is good and it's pleasurable, and you need it.

If you keep on like this, you will most likely either burn yourself out or injure yourself. Neither of those outcomes will lead to maintainable weight loss or better health.

For comparison's sake, I am eating an average of 2000 calories per day of delicious whole foods, getting 30 to 60 minutes of decent (but not necessarily all-out) exercise per day, and getting a lot of NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, basically all kinds of movement that burns calories but isn't "exercise"). I also plan in downtime (on Sundays I don't exercise hard, I just do some brisk walking), I get lots of sleep, and having healthy fun is an important part of my lifestyle. I will lose probably 3 to 5 pounds this month and an inch off my waist; if I wanted to lower my calories perhaps I could lose more quickly, but that's not what I want to do right now.

05-18-2010, 04:25 PM
A 6 pound gain in a short amount of time might be due to water retention. How much water are you drinking? You may be constantly dehydrated and your body is trying to hold on to as much water as it can, which may be the cause of your weight gain. I don't know how much water you drink. But I would try drinking more for now (with lemon if possible) and see if that works. I gained 4 pounds of water weight and it all came off when I started drinking more water.

Also, when you exercise, you get tiny tears in your muscles (that's why you get so sore). Then your body rebuilds over those tears. That's how you gain lean muscle. But, while your body is repairing those tears, it retains water. Measure your calf (or whatever area seems to hurt most after a workout) before you work out and after. See if there is a difference. The same thing happened to me about a week ago and I have been reading everything I can get my hands on about water retention, increasing muscle, exercise and drinking water.

Also, if you hurt that bad, you might need to take a day or two off of working those particular muscles so they can repair themselves. If you are walking or running and your legs hurt, make the next day and upper body day. Lifting weights and building muscle is a great way to burn extra calories. You'll burn more calories, even when you are just sitting on the couch. Muscles require more energy than fat, so it increases your metabolism.

As for the decrease in hunger, I can't help you there. I have the same problem. Half the time I don't feel like eating. I do suggest that you eat soon after working out. You burn more calories within an hour or so than you would eating at any other time of the day. Protein will help to repair the muscles, too.

05-18-2010, 04:41 PM
Pokeycactus, no, actually, I wouldn't take a few days off, as that's again going to another extreme of stopping activity entirely.

What I am reading is that you've been through some different phases here:
- You ate sensibly, did Zumba, and lost weight.
- You stopped doing Zumba, ate moderately, and stalled.
- You had a really, really good time in Vegas.
- Upon your return from Babylon, you became an ascetic (an astute word choice, WarMaiden) & foreswore food, having no appetite, & began exercising hard. You saw a slight gain.

Is this correct?

I'm looking for the moderation that you started out with, because I'm no fun at all & hate anything Xtreme (mostly because of the bad spelling). No. Kidding. Because I see that as sustainable, rather than going all out. It probably isn't very exciting, though. What I worry about is some kind of eventual backlash to pushing yourself. Not now, because you're not in the frame of mind for it. But eventually.

I would moderate your routine, doing just what you like very best of these classes, and then, after some time, switching off to the other classes that you also like, so that you have something to look forward to. Changing it up periodically will keep you interested.

And I would eat more, even if your appetite does feel temporarily suppressed, just like Meg says. Meg knows. Eat things that are good for you. No one ever eats enough vegetables. Get something green on that plate at night, for instance.

05-18-2010, 04:51 PM
I hate the spelling of Xtreme, myself. :) And thank you for your advice!!!!

And everything is dead on, except the swearing off food. I like to eat. I really do...and I'm honestly not starving myself, I bring a ton of healthy food to work every day, but I'm just honestly, really, not hungry.

Or I'll get hungry, and I'll get out the food I'm going to eat, and just a little bit into it, I'm not hungry anymore. So if my snack is supposed to be like, a few cheese sticks and a pear, I'll start eating the pear, and then start to not be hungry anymore. So I put the cheese sticks back, which means I'm not getting protein.

I didn't know if just making myself eat would be the best idea, because, let's face it, I got here because I ate when I wasn't hungry. For the first time ever, I'm not hungry - and it's a weird feeling.

05-18-2010, 05:29 PM
I didn't know if just making myself eat would be the best idea, because, let's face it, I got here because I ate when I wasn't hungry. For the first time ever, I'm not hungry - and it's a weird feeling.

I really think you should make yourself eat, at least to the point where you are getting "enough" on your macronutrients (protein and fat especially), and where you are hitting all your major micronutrients through food alone (taking vitamins doesn't count). That means A, C, D, E, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, etc.

Saef is correct, eating more veggies sure can't hurt. Almonds or peanut butter will add easy, not-so-filling calories to your diet. Shorting yourself on calories is not a long-term sustainable strategy.

05-18-2010, 05:40 PM
Sorry, Pokeycactus, for saying you "foreswore" food. You didn't, literally, on a Bible or anything like that. But you stopped being hungry, so your body decided it didn't need as much food.

(For me, I find hard exercise can temporarily suppress my appetite for an hour or so after working out, but then later I'll become ravenous, or if it's in the evening, I will wake up really hungry for breakfast.)

Can I ask you about why you stopped going to Zumba or doing any exercise at all? You may want to look at that. Was it purely for logistical reasons, like it was at an inconvenient time, or you changed gyms? Did your hips start lying to you? Or did you get bored with the routine? Whatever the reason, you may want to consider it as you set up your new exercise routine. So that it doesn't happen again. I think the answer is perhaps not to redouble how much you do, but to change it up, so it's not all Zumba, all the time, or all back-to-back classes, like you've been doing, and then it will stay interesting enough for you. And above all, to fuel your body properly for it, as others are urging.

05-18-2010, 11:31 PM
I think it will catch up and work itself out!