Weight Loss Support - Gaining weight at retail job, help!

12-16-2013, 09:53 AM
I work a full time retail job that seems have me putting on the pounds. In a short time, I went from 136/137 to 140 pounds and I don't know what to do. :(

I changed my Fitday activity level to see what it would say for a calorie count and it gave me close to 2400 calories. So realistically, I should be eating ~1900 which is huge compared to what I'm used to. The thing is, I haven't been packing food so I don't know what I'm actually ingesting as I'm eating right in the store. I don't think I'm going over 2400 as I sometimes struggle to get hungry at all.

I've been stressed, very sad, sore, and tired. I don't seem to be digesting properly as I don't feel I've had a normal bowel movement (TMI, sorry) in a while even though I am eating.

I haven't been grocery shopping, I haven't had the time, energy, or motivation so I need ideas on how to reverse this. If I get a list of items to buy, my boyfriend will get them for me. I also think I need to bring a water bottle to work with me as I don't have a way to get water while I'm on the sales floor at the moment.

Any tips would be appreciated, I don't want all my hard work to be for nothing. :(

12-16-2013, 10:13 AM
The thing to do is keep track of every bite, lick and taste, keep a food journal, pack your food. Eat lots of vegetables and some fruit (fiber is needed), At your current weight 1900 calories is probably too many. A more realistic approach to weight loss would be 1400-1500 which would net about .5-1 pound a week. Drink plenty of water.

12-16-2013, 10:17 AM
1900 did seem high but I wanted to be sure I wouldn't go too low either, I have no idea how many calories standing/walking/cleaning ~35 hours a week burns but it's the most active I've ever been at a job.

I'm working on finding ideas for things to pack now, I hope it makes me feel a bit more energetic, I'm just kind of neutral most days. *sigh*

12-16-2013, 02:46 PM
Over what kind of time did you gain this weight? A week, two weeks? I know when I worked retail, I gained muscle weight because I was so busy.

12-16-2013, 02:48 PM
2-3 lbs could easily be water and have nothing to do with fat.

Is it possible to estimate your calories ingested?

12-16-2013, 03:59 PM
I worked retail for over 10 years. It was hard to focus on my health because I was so tired all the time physically and mentally (no set schedule or rotating schedules.)

When you first start you will gain from water retention. All that soreness and being on your feet a lot. Try to watch what you eat. I know that when I would get off work I would feel ravenous! I just had to eat. Unfortunatley I made bad decisions. I gave in to being tired and more oft than not got fast food. And definitley not enough water.

As for the bowel movement that could be from the stress, new amounts of physical activity, and diet. I know I did not get enough fiber when I worked retail. And that makes a big difference for me.

I hope it gets better for you. My advice is to give the water retention a couple weeks, watch your salt, pack healthy meals, lots of water and fiber, and pamper yourself with warm baths. :)

12-16-2013, 04:29 PM
Track your calories. Pack your own food for work and try to eat 5-6 times a day. Remember your water bottle too ;)

12-16-2013, 07:54 PM
Track your calories. Pack your own food for work and try to eat 5-6 times a day.

This is a common but false myth. There is no benefit to eating 5-6 times a day unless eating 5-6 times a day is how you prefer to do it.

The idea that eating 5-6 times a day has some metabolic advantage is false.

Calories matter, not when you eat or how many times you eat.

12-16-2013, 09:24 PM
That's good to know John because 5/6 meals a day just isn't happening. :lol: I get two 15 minute breaks but I would have to pack snacks to manage any food on those. Then I get one half hour break so I'd really have to push it to get that many meals in and I'm just not that hungry anymore.

I brought my water bottle today but as usual, I'm sore. I'm emotionally stressed a lot, partly because I'm a sensitive person and my manager...isn't. She's kind of fake nice; she'll smile and sound really energetic but then she can randomly make mean comments that leave me standing there like...I'm sorry for being stupid... So crying has become common, almost daily.

My boyfriend went shopping today so hopefully he got enough that I can bring food with me but he's not the best shopper so I think he missed a few things, haha.

And thanks Mara, I appreciate the input. I used to work retail but it was part time so I only worked, at most, 4 days a week. Now I'm pulling 5 days with only one day off at a time; weekends are a thing of the past. I'm always mentally and/or physically running on empty and it looks like the busiest employees there are, in fact, heavy despite eating healthy which worries me.

I think today I ate 330 at breakfast, 710 at lunch, and had a drink for like 350? I'm home now, it's 8:30pm, and I'm not remotely hungry but you'd think I would be after such a horribly hectic day...

Oh, and the weight "gain" was over about 11 to 13 days.

12-17-2013, 12:46 AM
I've been in the restaurant industry for 20 years, and I've seen ppl gain/lose weight when they start into it. (I'm sure the industries are almost identical in physical activity level)

Sounds like you are being physically and mentally exhausted right now, and you'll gain weight just from that. Personally, it makes no difference how much 'work' I do, if I'm not sleeping enough or relaxing enough I simply don't lose weight. Ever.

You're drained and that alone will cause your body to retain water, not to mention the soreness means your muscles are obviously trying to repair.

Unless you have dramatically raised the calorie/amount of food you are consuming then you haven't gained any real weight. Period.

Don't stress and for heaven's sake stay off the scale, and give yourself a mental break from that too.

Let all this calm down and relax.

It's retail and Christmas time. It's going to suck on several different levels at once. You'll do fine and you'll start 2014 feeling better and those few pounds will dissipate when your body gets more used to the routine.

12-17-2013, 09:39 AM
Thanks for the input Katie. Do your legs ever adjust, will I ever not be sore? When I was 18 and worked part time I don't think I ever got over being sore. I worked from September 30 to about February 4 averaging 18 to 24 hours a week. Now it's 40... I was so sore after work I could barely drag myself around the mall to get some badly needed work clothes. :(

Once my living room warms up, I'm going to try measuring myself instead. But I won't be checking either number very often.

12-17-2013, 02:06 PM
I worked retail for a bit. On on a concrete floor standing the entire work shift. I had shooting pain in my legs. Someone then suggested San Antonio Shoes (SAS). They are handmade in the U.S. They are pricey but made a profound difference. By the second day no pain.

I would say invest in the best pair of ("comfort") shoes you can. SAS if you can find them (they don't sale on the internet but can find them on eBay). Or some other brand. The better you feel at the end of the day the more weight loss and health you will be able to accomplish.

12-23-2013, 07:28 AM
Skip breakfast.

12-23-2013, 10:31 AM

I already do most mornings without even meaning to. But skipping breakfast isn't healthy.