After gaining about 20 pounds in college, my self esteem has been shattered. I'm no longer the confident, bubbly girl I used to be. I hate what I see in the mirror, it makes me want to cry when I see what I've become....
I've been exercising and eating healthy since November and since November I've lost a total of 2 pounds. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong.
I've tried counting calories, weight watchers, going vegetarian, juicing, etc... NOTHING WORKS. I even went to the doctors to get my thyroid checked and apparently it's fine. I am by all means "healthy" except for the fact that my BMI is 29.0 which makes me almost obese for my height.
Please SOMEBODY help me?
I don't know what else to do.
I exercise 4 times a week, twice a day, in the morning and late afternoon. I eat right most of the time. My plate is mostly vegetable which a side of carb and a side of protein.
SOMEONE, I'm urging you, PLEASE HELP ME. I am getting really depressed over my weight. I just want to be fit again like how I used to be.... :(
06-25-2013, 10:23 PM
Hi Maddie, welcome to 3fc! I send you a big hug and urge you to continue your effort!!!
First of all I would suggest to decide, plan and be consistent. With that I mean first choose a plan that works for you (example calorie counting, low carb, portion control) and that you feel you can continue for life or at least a long time. After that plan, for example if you want to calorie count determine your basal metabolic rate and the amount of calories you need to lose. If you want low carb see what kind of food you can have and in either case make meal plans and grocery shop for what you will need. Finally you need to be consistent and maintain even if at first you donīt see results. For me itīs important to be rigorous, for instance if I calorie count I plan my meals and prepare them with a scale and measure everything and count everything that goes in my mouth. Iīve heard lots of people eat more than what they think they are eating and thus donīt lose. If itīs low carb there is no exceptions, I cannot "lick the spoon" or "just have a bite" of off limit food.
As you said youīve tried many different methods, maybe you never gave time to your body to adjust to any of those and got discouraged too soon.
I firmly believe that if you are strict and continue, even when you donīt see immediate results, that you WILL get results.
I wish you the best and please keep us posted on what your plan will be!
06-25-2013, 10:48 PM
My experience with trying to lose is similar to your's. Low carb with moderate protein seems to be working for me really well. There is good science that backs it ... especially for people who may be experiencing insulin resistance.
If you are under a great deal of stress (like I often am), your body can also produce more than it needs of the hormone cortisol. From what little I know about it, it causes weight gain.
There are a number of low carb, moderate protein diets to choose from. I am doing the Ideal Protein version which limits (during the weight loss period) my carb intake from 25 to 40 g a day.
I experience very little hunger, no cravings, a lot of mental clarity (low carb mod. protein is supposed to be a good way to eat for people who struggle with depression.)
And the diet gives good results.
Other diets that vary on the theme are Atkins, Dukan, Power Protein ... and I am sure there are others.
Hang in there. The sun will shine. Overweight and Obese are medical terms. They don't define who you are as a person. Don't give your power away.
06-25-2013, 10:50 PM
ps It is a matter of perspective... here is what someone just shared in another thread:
'I am so close from moving my body fat range from Obese to Overweight. I never thought I'd be this excited about being "overweight".'
06-26-2013, 02:39 AM
I can definitely relate to how you feel! That said, if you are exhibiting signs of depression - feelings of sadness, decreased energy, feeling hopeless, loss of interest in activities, etc. - then please talk to someone. You don't have to go through it alone.
One thing you might want to think about is what made you put on the weight in the first place. Was it the stress of college? Not enough time to eat healthy foods, plus lots of available junk food? If you can figure out what caused the weight gain, then you may be able to remove those triggers or at least minimize their impact.
If you haven't tried a low carb diet, that might be worth a shot. When I restricted calories or ate a low fat diet, I either put on weight or stayed the same. The only real weight loss I've ever seen is from a low carb diet. Another thing that might be stalling you is the amount of exercise. It sounds like you are working out a lot. 2 x a day, 4 days a week is a lot. It's possible that you may not be eating enough with the amount of exercise you are doing, so your ody is in starvation mode. Make sure you give your body time to rest.
Considering the amount of exercise and the all of the diets tha you've tried, you might benefit from a nutritionist. If you are still in college, your college might have someone on staff. If they have a counseling center on campus, they also may be able to refer you to a nutritionist.
If it makes you feel any better, you are probably not the only person on campus who gained 20 lbs. I know it's hard to look in the mirror and see something you don't like, but try not to let it get you down.
06-26-2013, 11:28 AM
I agree with everyone here - choose a plan and stick to it, don't get caught up in the short-term.
More importantly, I wanted to give you some hope, as a fellow college student. Back in late February this year, my BMI was 29.9. That's right - basically one pound away from being considered "obese." That scared me. I NEVER wanted to be obese. But I didn't really know what to do - I'd tried many times before to lose weight, and it never worked (although I also was never able to stick to it for more than a few weeks).
Weight loss became an issue of concern, but since I didn't know what to do, it took the backburner. Instead, I found my encouragement in attempting to tackle some other long-standing health problems - in particular, my chronic headaches and exercise-induced migraines.
One morning I woke up and I was just ready to do something about the headaches (weight loss was not the goal). I decided to start the day with a short fast until dinnertime, since I wasn't particularly hungry anyway (ate a big meal the night before). In the meantime, I went grocery shopping and made a commitment to eat really healthy for a week, and also try some new veggies (kale, spaghetti squash, acorn squash, jicama, etc.) I spent hours browsing for new healthy recipes and testing out ones that looked good. I did not make any attempt to control portion sizes at that time. After 2 weeks, I braved myself and stepped on the scale. I was actually rather startled to see that I had lost a few pounds.
When I started adding in more non-whole foods and transitioning to a more moderate plan, I recognized an acute allergy to wheat (which seems to have been at the root of most of my headaches). From that point on, my "diet plan" was basically a calorie-controlled, healthy, wheat-free diet. Exercise came later, after I got more comfortable with the diet change.
The results: I have lost 31 pounds in 103 days. My BMI is 25.3 - I'm only 2 or 3 pounds away from a normal BMI. While I couldn't run for a full minute just 2 months ago (and hated every second of it), I'm now doing a beginner triathlon at the end of July and have found a love for running.
If I can do this, you can too. Leave the scale alone for a while and focus on other aspects of your life. Find and test healthy recipes, try new foods, practice stress-management techniques (very important), and learn to love yourself and your body even at the weight you are at right now (a big one for me, especially at my high weight!). Detach yourself from the short-term ups and downs and trust in yourself and your plan. The results will be there in the long-term if you stick with it. Persistence is everything.
06-26-2013, 03:51 PM
Thank you everyone for your reply! I will take everything you guys said into consideration. After a rough day yesterday, I'm just going to keep at exercising and trying to eat healthier with less carbs. I find that after eating "bad" my stomach no longer wants to be friends with me so not eating healthy is not an option.
Thank you again for taking the time to reply to this post and shed some light on the situation, I'm really grateful for it. It helped me see that giving up and pouting all day won't do anything to help reach my goals!
I really like what each of you guys said, and especially about perspective (Annik) and persistence (chronostasis). I just finished my morning workout and I already feel 10x better.
Good luck to you all on your health journeys! And congratulations for everything you've accomplished so far.
06-26-2013, 04:18 PM
Hi - you sound really stressed out. My suggestion is to trade out some of your cardio exercise (which adds stress to your body) for yoga. Also, do no discount how important it is to get a good night's sleep. You are already doing well with the eating. Good luck to you!
06-26-2013, 05:13 PM
For many of us (even for some of us with surprisingly large amounts of weight to lose), it can take weeks to see results. So it's easy to give up because we're not seeing results.
It's like giving up on a garden, and deciding to stop watering it, because the plants haven't come out of the ground in a week.
Calorie counting will work for everyone (even folks with thyroid and other endocrine issues), so long as you're patient and persistent in finding the calorie level that allows you to lose weight.
No one can maintain their weight on zero calories. Almost no one can maintain their weight on 800 calories. Some people can lose 2 lbs a week on 3000 calories and others will gain two pounds. And even those people may not lose or gain for several weeks after trying the 3000 calorie per day diet.
Finding you calorie zone and seeing results can take a month or more.
Many people lose in " wooshes" they'll see no losses for weeks, and sometimes even a small gain from water retention and then every few weeks, several pounds will drop off, seemingly overnight.
In my experience, eating whole foods, reducing carbs somewhat, and eating a little more fruit and a WHOLE LOT MORE low-cal, high-fiber veggies tends to result in significantly more weight loss than the same calorie intake of processed foods, But even so, and especially if you're not super morbidly obese, or if you're a diet veteran of any size, you may not see results for several weeks. And if you still don't see results, you have to drop your calories further. Eventually, you will find a calorie level that allows you to lose. You may not be able to lose as much as you'd like, but you will eventually find a Calorie level that allows you to lose a couple pound a month (Not everyone can average even one pound per week).
06-27-2013, 08:28 AM
Maddie, I have been busting my hump and eating right this week & exercising and gained a pound back, so I felt bummed after getting off the scale. At first, I wanted to cry and eat a Snickers and say screw it all, but I wouldn't let myself do it. I have convinced myself that I am doing everything right, and am probably just retaining water or need to have a BM or maybe the scale wasn't exactly flat on the floor, but it isn't my fault that I gained, and I am not a fialure for it. I just have to keep doing things right.
06-28-2013, 06:44 AM
Betty, thank you for sharing that! From this whole post, I'm sure we can all agree that we have bad days throughout our weight loss journey. I'm new to 3fatchicks but I can already feel the love and support from the people on here.
Keep trying and keep it pushing! You won't reach your destination if you go backward. I feel for you because losing weight is haaard work.
06-29-2013, 11:17 AM
Maddie, I've been where you are!! I was a little overweight all my life, but gained 20 lbs and college and felt horrible :( I was teetering into the obese category, nothing looked cute on me, and I always thought there was no diet in the world that would work for me.
I was partly right....no diet did. What DID work was changing how I looked at food, what I ate, and how I felt about exercise. I didn't diet, but I found delicious, healthy foods and ate them instead. I looked forward to my acai berry/banana smoothie for breakfast, rather than a boring bowl of cereal. I worked out Monday - Friday, same time, doing the same thing (which was kind of boring, honestly...but stepping on that scale and seeing that number go down by .25 almost every day was SO worth it!!!). I completely stopped drinking alcohol. I ordered meals for their nutritional value, NOT for their taste (and honestly...I was always satisfied with what I got).
Was it easy? Not always. I still got cravings, but I made a commitment to myself to eat for my body, NOT for my tastebuds. It DID get easier to ignore the cravings. Instead of willpower being something I had to remember, it became automatic to say "no thank you" to doughnuts at the office, wine with dinner, brownies at someone's house, etc. Once upon a time, I would only order french toast for breakfast...now, not only do I not order it, I crave an egg white scramble with veggies for breakfast. It took 6 months, but I lost 30 lbs and have kept it off for 5 years!
YOU CAN DO IT!! Give your body, mind, and tastebuds time to adjust.