Weight Loss Support - Is this plan stupid?




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Breeandbutton
07-09-2012, 10:23 PM
Hi all, I am a 26 yr old cancer survivor who has gained 10 lbs through chemo. I am trying to lose that weight.

Currently I am 5'4", and 122 lbs. I am slightly muscular from doing heavy weightlifting (to give you an idea, my comfortable squat is 80 lbs and comfortable deadlift is 130 lbs).

:(I need help figuring out if my plan is stupid and that's why I am not seeing results.:(

Here is my exercise plan:

3x wk heavy weightlifting (Strong lifts)
2x wk 20 minutes of jogging or walking on hills
2x wk hiking or long walks (up to two hrs)

Diet:

Very clean, anti-carcinogenic oriented diet of around ~1300 calories per day

Dears, my plan just isn't working. I am not losing any weight and neither am I losing any fat %. Please help me. I really, angrily, want my old body back. I don't want cancer to have affected me like this (among other things).

Edit: I am terrible, btw, at cardio. I am just not great at it.


stunzorz
07-09-2012, 11:21 PM
How long have you been at it, and how are you tracking the progress? I know that my first go around with weight loss, it took a couple weeks of keeping at it before I the weight started to trickle off. (Also, your body might be retaining water from the sudden increase in exercise...in fact, this is very likely)

Breeandbutton
07-09-2012, 11:49 PM
I feel like I've been doing the lifting for 3 months now, but I haven't been doing any decent cardio until now. I think you might be right because I'm pretty sure weight training may not have any effect on losing water weight :(


Arctic Mama
07-10-2012, 12:36 AM
That sounds excellent, but your calories sound very low for that much heavy lifting and at your age. If you're strength training and not nourishing yourself in the process, you're shooting yourself in the foot for building lean mass. Your plan, both diet and exercise, sounds excellent, except for the calories. I'd suggest upping them to 14-1500 for a few weeks and seeing if that doesn't bust the stall. I'm not generally an advocate of upping calories for weight loss, but it honestly sounds like you're under-eating and that isn't going to help you get into a smaller size healthfully.

Especially post-cancer, you're likely going to see a lot of water retention and various forms of inflammation as your tissues are being bolstered and reserves being refueled. Weight can do crazy things during radiation and chemo, and it can take a good year or two for the body to respond normally, without over-active immune responses. An anti-carcinogenic diet is a brilliant start to keep that response to a minimum, but you still need to give yourself enough fuel to adequately rebuild what the disease and treatment are well known to decimate.

That's my .02

djs06
07-10-2012, 09:42 AM
Hi there, welcome!!

I second what Arctic Mama said. It sounds like you've been through a lot and you're taking good care of yourself. I would also increase your calories to support all that lifting (why eat less than you have to? If that doesn't work you can always switch it up from there).

I'm glad to hear that it sounds like you're doing okay health-wise, and I'm sorry you're struggling. :grouphug:

bargoo
07-10-2012, 10:03 AM
I would also increase my goal weight, 110 would actually be underweight for someone your height.

krampus
07-10-2012, 10:16 AM
Hi, first of all glad to hear you're a survivor!

Second - with that kind of lifting you can probably up your calories by quite a lot. Some posters on here who were around your height and weight (coughsontaiklecough) found their losses stalled at low calorie counts and picked up again with less cardio and more food.

CyndiM
07-10-2012, 10:20 AM
I would also increase my goal weight, 110 would actually be underweight for someone your height.

Not according to the NIH calculator (http://nhlbisupport.com/bmi/)

Breeandbutton
07-10-2012, 11:47 AM
The idea of eating more food to lose weight is hard to warm up to, especially because I am not doing calorie restriction - 1300 calories is my natural diet and has been for as long as I can remember. If I eat more I would have an uncomfortable time going to sleep at night. I love to cook and bake though! So that means I actually need to eat more to lose fat %?

Part of me knows that if I worked out more intensely, sure, I will lose weight, but I don't think I can work out harder in terms of weightlifting and I am still having trouble with cardio. Has anyone tried rowing machines? I actually like that one.

krampus
07-10-2012, 12:03 PM
Rowing machines are GREAT but they hurt my butt a lot.

Breeandbutton
07-10-2012, 12:09 PM
Haha same here! I need a rowing butt pillow!

DietVet
07-10-2012, 07:10 PM
This is interesting. It sounds as though you are a chronic undereater, which is too bad because it has long term effects on your metabolism.

How about this. Since you enjoy weight lifting and you are trying to build a strong, lean body, why not dedicate a month or two to *gaining* weight--that is, eat in such a way that you will *gain* muscle. If you put on a bit of muscle, you'll probably look and feel better, but you might also find it easier to lose fat afterwards. (And as a reminder, the point of weight lifting is to build and maintain muscle. It's really hard to do that in a calorie deficit.)

I'd increase calories slowly. If you've been undereating for a long time, your body will probably freak out and start retaining water when you increase your calories.

Breeandbutton
07-10-2012, 08:31 PM
Holy moly. Is this all really true? I've been undereating? I LOVE food! I bake my own bread! I have cake for breakfast! That I baked! It was double dark chocolate!
Okay, so maybe my stomach is small (and irritable). But I'm not sure if I can eat when I'm not hungry. It does sound all very fun and indulgent to eat more than I ever have, (here I come, thin italian cheese pizza) but I really...isn't there something else I can try first?


Well, here goes nothing. Today I am going to eat about 1500 calories. Extra meal, yay! I am kindddda nervous guys!

Edit: I AM REALLY FULL NOW

sontaikle
07-10-2012, 08:49 PM
Hi, first of all glad to hear you're a survivor!

Second - with that kind of lifting you can probably up your calories by quite a lot. Some posters on here who were around your height and weight (coughsontaiklecough) found their losses stalled at low calorie counts and picked up again with less cardio and more food.

lol!!!

Yes! eat more!

I never really stalled for longer than a few weeks or so but my weight loss got faster when I ate more.

When I hit 125 I upped my calories to 1600ish, 1800ish (or around there, I don't remember. Maybe someone can find an old post of mine or something :lol:) and I lost faster and my muscles showed up nicely.

When you're weight training you can eat more than if you were doing cardio and still lose or maintain your weight. You HAVE to eat more actually. When you do you'll notice that it's much easier to do lifts and you'll probably make some progress.

I'm trying to add muscle right now and the extra eating is really doing wonders for my lifts and bodyweight exercises!

Breeandbutton
07-10-2012, 08:56 PM
Sontaikle,

So lately (...as of yesterday) I am super into rowing machines at my gym, I will continue to do strong lifts but since I'm now going to do 40 mins of rowing 2-3x per week, I should eat higher calories...? My fingers don't want to type that out as I think it in my head. But I believe you! I'll give it all a go! I don't know how I'm going to eat more but I'm sure it's easy!

ahhh so scared

sontaikle
07-10-2012, 09:11 PM
Sontaikle,

So lately (...as of yesterday) I am super into rowing machines at my gym, I will continue to do strong lifts but since I'm now going to do 40 mins of rowing 2-3x per week, I should eat higher calories...? My fingers don't want to type that out as I think it in my head. But I believe you! I'll give it all a go! I don't know how I'm going to eat more but I'm sure it's easy!

ahhh so scared

I've never used machines, just free weights, dumbbells, etc. and bodyweight exercises. But make sure to give your body adequate rest between your workouts!

I know it's scary to add calories, but the thing is you can always cut back again if you don't see results. Just be sure to give it time. :)

I sometimes have trouble eating more too. A protein shake mixed with some peanut butter fixes that right up (and it's yummy!) :lol:

Check out the featherweight weight lifting thread :) we're all in there talking about our lifts and food all the time: http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/featherweights/255770-feather-weight-lifters.html

freelancemomma
07-10-2012, 09:11 PM
Holy moly. Is this all really true? I've been undereating? I LOVE food!

Yeah, I'd say 1,300 calories is undereating. I'm now in maintenance and eat about 2,000 calories a day. If I could eat as much as I wanted without gaining weight, my appetite would easily allow me to eat twice as much. It sounds like you're one of those people who gets full very quickly. (I wish.)

I also have trouble buying the notion that eating more will cause you to lose weight more easily, but I do agree with those who say that you need to eat more to support your weight lifting.

F.

ValRock
07-10-2012, 09:17 PM
Sontaikle,

So lately (...as of yesterday) I am super into rowing machines at my gym, I will continue to do strong lifts but since I'm now going to do 40 mins of rowing 2-3x per week, I should eat higher calories...? My fingers don't want to type that out as I think it in my head. But I believe you! I'll give it all a go! I don't know how I'm going to eat more but I'm sure it's easy!

ahhh so scared

That's a freakin' LOT of rowing!! But if you're lifting... Definitely eat more! Very possible that you're overfed and undernourished, though. Shift your calories to more whole foods and see if it helps. You need to feed the muscle!

Breeandbutton
07-10-2012, 09:33 PM
I absolutely love rowing! I'm going right now! Thanks for all the advice, girls, I'm really going to give it a go (ate more today already than I ever have since holidays). I hope it works!

AND oh - I also do free weights as well, no machines for weight lifting (it feels awkward) I totally get you!

Off to gymmie.

EricAnn
07-10-2012, 09:58 PM
I thought I would jump in here...

You've got some great advice here and sontaikle and Val definitely know what they're talking about, especially when it comes to lifting. I agree with playing around with your macros too, maybe more protein and fats, less carbs... you'll have to see what works for you.

Upping your calories is also a good idea, but you don't necessarily have to eat MORE food, just eat foods with more calories... Add some healthy fats (peanut butter - be careful of course of the "partially hydrogenated" of course (but you probably know that), extra virgin olive oil, avocado, etc.), cheese, chickpeas, etc...

At least this works for me. I often don't actually have time to eat A LOT of food, but I can eat some higher calorie (but still nutritious) foods and it generally has the same effect on me as if I were able to eat MORE food.

Breeandbutton
07-10-2012, 10:52 PM
You mean I can have CHEESE???
Oh, my wallet, you are going to hate me now. Gruyere, Here I Come.

I do have a problem with my sweet tooth. Not sure if I can fix that problem, but I shall try...

I just got back from the gym and you are right. I definitely, DEFINITELY had an easier time than usual doing my lifts. AND I did rowing on top of that. So I really don't think that extra meal I had (upon all of your advice) even lasted in my body since I think I burned that right off!

Just gotta keep it up, keep it up...!

shcirerf
07-10-2012, 11:04 PM
First off, congrats, survivor!

Second, you are probably not eating enough. But, if you want to build muscle and strip fat, you need protein!

With the heavy lifting, you need at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.

http://www.jpfitness.com is a great forum to go to for help with the questions you have. Lots of knowledgeable and friendly folk.

Not to knock any advice given here, :hug::hug:, but these folks specialize in strength training and lifting and the nutrition that goes along with fat loss and muscle building. It's also run by the authors of the New Rules of Lifting series of books. I'm a member there as well, and between 3fc and JP, I've lost my weight and put on some serious muscle!:hug::D:carrot:

EricAnn
07-10-2012, 11:33 PM
You mean I can have CHEESE???
Oh, my wallet, you are going to hate me now. Gruyere, Here I Come.

Haha, well some people may disagree with me, but in moderation, I don't find that it hurts... Plus, I loooooove cheese... :D

DietVet
07-11-2012, 12:48 AM
Yep: more calories but also better calories. LOTS of veggies, protein, and healthy fats.


And I second the jpfitness rec. I'm a member over there as well--it's a brilliant board for lifters of all stripes (and lots of active women members; not just muscly dudes).

Arctic Mama
07-11-2012, 01:34 AM
How did I manage to have NROLFW, visit blogs by several of the admins, and never hear of that site? It's great! Now I'm registered over there, too :)

sontaikle
07-11-2012, 06:19 AM
To echo what everyone said, making sure those calories are healthy calories helps even more. :) Sometimes you need something calorie-dense (like cheese) to get you up there, especially if you're still trying to get used to eating more.

Nuts are another thing to add if you have trouble consuming more. A handful of those and you've probably consumed the extra calories you need.

I'm trying to gain muscle right now and eating above maintenance has made my lifts AWESOME. I can do more sets, lift heavier, etc. I probably need to eat more than I thought to add more because I'm do so much more lifting! :lol:



I also have trouble buying the notion that eating more will cause you to lose weight more easily, but I do agree with those who say that you need to eat more to support your weight lifting.

F.

I don't think it's necessarily the food making the weight loss easier, but rather the food making the lifts easier, which in turn makes one burn more calories overall. One continues to burn calories after lifting so perhaps it's enough to offset the extra food and then some.

I just know from experience that increasing my calories led to faster weight loss, but it also made it easier for me to lift...and I was just doing once a week lifts at that time!

sacha
07-11-2012, 06:41 AM
Congrats on your successful chemo :)

I will agree with others.

I have been both sizes that you are - 110 and 125ish at 5'4 (well, I claim 5'5 but that's more like 5'4.5 ;)). I am normally 125 (my stats reflect 3 pregnancies in 2 years!!)

110lbs at 5'4 with less muscle doesn't look as great as 5'4 and 120 with muscle. It takes years to build quality muscle (your lifts are good, but having trained in powerlifting myself for 10 years, I see you can improve quite a lot on your lifts too - that is probably because your undereating is holding you back).

I suggest, rather than being an average-slightly above average strength 110lbs, you train your butt off and eat well, and become a very fit 120lbs at 5'4, I think the rewards will be well worth it.

I want to show you an 'inspirational' photo of Amanda Latona. She is 5'4 and about 125lbs - but this is what happens when you really work hard at the weights for years. As you can see, she looks pretty darn good at a weight that you don't really like. Perhaps your weight is not the issue - but that you prefer a better body composition???

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lpdo2u36tl1qml1xqo1_1280.jpg

sacha
07-11-2012, 06:45 AM
You may also be interested in fitness model Jamie Eason's stories online- she around your age (around 29 I believe) and a cancer survivor herself.

Her story is a bit similar to yours - very slim for her height, not eating a whole lot, after chemo (breast cancer I think), deciding to eat more and lift heavier, and being much happier with her health and lifestyle.
http://www.jamieeason.com/

Breeandbutton
07-11-2012, 08:58 AM
Thanks everyone for such great inspirations and words! An extra meal a day is great news. I'm also going to TRY to eat less carbs (I love fruits, too much). I think this is going to work. Maybe it'll also help my resurgent eczema if I exercise harder! Maybe I'll grow wings! I don't know. I'm really excited/happy about the advices, thank you dears :)

P.s. those women look pretty buff. If I look half as strong I would still find it impressive.

Arctic Mama
07-11-2012, 11:52 AM
In lower weighs, body recomposition is definitely where it is at. Good luck and keep us updated on your progress!

DietVet
07-11-2012, 11:53 AM
Glad you're feeling excited about all the fun challenges ahead of you. Eat healthy food and lift heavy weights and you'll do just fine.

Btw, check out this article: it's the classic in the 'body comp is more important than scale weight' genre. <3
http://everydaypaleo.com/2011/06/22/attention-scale-addicts-part-2/



.

fatbookworm
07-11-2012, 05:46 PM
I don't have any weight-loss advice for you, but I want to say: Congrats on surviving chemo! I'm 1 year, 3 months out from my chemo for ovarian cancer (I was 26 when I was diagnosed and just turned 28), and as others have said before, it really takes its toll on your long-term body. I was obese before chemo, but my body is still very different than before. Joint problems, muscles don't seem to want to grow, water retention, fatigue, etc. My oncologist (and an NCI-rated facility, natch) really wants me to focus on health rather than weight post-chemo, and I think that might be a good idea for you, as well. (Although in my case, since I am obese, doing what is healthy is making me lose weight. But it's a side effect, not the goal). Really focus on feeling and performing your best, and your body will go where it is supposed to be. I wish you all the luck and full remission some day!

Breeandbutton
07-11-2012, 09:03 PM
Ugh, it really is something, right? I don't even know what to say about it all, I scar horribly and I think it made my skin so sensitive as well, thank god I have my hair back though. Sometimes, ...you know what, I still don't know if I can complete a sentence about how I feel about the whole ordeal. Good on us for surviving it, sistah.

Breeandbutton
07-12-2012, 08:43 AM
So I have eaten more than usual for two days with more exercise, and this morning I weigh 3 pounds more. I might be retaining water from increased exercise or the fact that my period is supposed to start today, but wow this is too scary.

sontaikle
07-12-2012, 08:58 AM
Don't worry about it too much. You said you jumped up to 1500 and lifted better right? You've probably got a perfect storm of TOM, water retention from exercise and weight of the actual food in your system. Unless you went and ate a whole bunch of calories then there's no way it's actual fat weight ;)

JossFit
07-12-2012, 10:57 AM
Don't worry about it too much. You said you jumped up to 1500 and lifted better right? You've probably got a perfect storm of TOM, water retention from exercise and weight of the actual food in your system. Unless you went and ate a whole bunch of calories then there's no way it's actual fat weight ;)


:yes: