Weight Loss Support - Completely FRUSTRATED!!! Advice??

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10-24-2006, 09:50 PM
OK, so now I am at a cross-roads in my diet adventure -- as you can all see, my ticker hasn't moved for months! Good news in that I am maintaining my weight loss. Bad news in that I am not losing more. Good news in that I am exercising and eating a balanced diet. Bad news in that I am eating clearly the right number of calories to sustain my weight (no loss, no gain).
I am SO FRUSTRATED, though, because I see clearly that to lose, I have to cut my calories and trust me, I'm eating reasonably (I follow Weight Watchers and eat three caluclated and balanced meals a day). I can't IMAGINE doing what our moderator Meg did and going on 1200 lousy calories a day with 60-90 minutes of intense exercise EACH AND EVERY DAY! BUT, I DO want to lose the pounds! I know there is no magic pill or system -- I'm just FRUSTRATED that for the rest of my life, I will have to seriously restrict my diet and work my a** off to get to a healthy weight. That I have nothing to look forward to but a lifetime of serious restriction and intense physical activity to maintain this healthy weight. That despite all my positive thinking and positive action, I STILL won't be healthy unless every morsel of food is weighed, measured, accounted for and worked off through serious exercise. I don't know how much more restriction I can sustain. I don't know how much more exercise I can do. Really, isn't 1-2 hours of aerobic activity (such as a step class followed by a 1000-m swim 6 days a week) ENOUGH???? On 1500 calories a DAY??? How much more will I have to sacrifice to be healthy?????? Can I sustain this routine???? Can I put up the the deprivation and hard work FOREVER???? Is this a reasonable lifestyle for ANYONE other than a personal trainer??? HELP!!!!!!

10-24-2006, 09:55 PM
How tall are you? This is what I use for a general guideline:

Women's Nutritional Calculator (http://nutrition.about.com/library/bl_nutrition_guide.htm)

Have you read Glory's Story? She plateaud at 140 and wound up upping her cals and then lost the rest of her weight!

10-24-2006, 10:05 PM
What about the pants o meter? Any shrinkage?
What about the quality of your foods?
What about your percentages? protein, carbs, fats?
What about meal spacing?
What about your exercise routine? Is a change due?
What about body fat percentage?
Are you lifting weights?
Is your cardio intense?

Honey, don't despair ... there's lots of things we can help you tweak.

10-24-2006, 10:05 PM

OK, maybe I'm not the best person to answer this because I'm also a personal trainer, but after 5 years I still feel this way occasionally. It's our inner 4 year old having a temper tantrum and screaming
and you're right. It's not fair, but it's the hand some of us have been dealt.

1500 calories can be a lot of food or a little depending on WHAT you are eating. The "cleaner and leaner" your food (less processed, less sugar, etc) , the more of it you can have. I maintain on about 1450 but eat a lot of very bulky foods so it doesn't seem measly.

Try changing your exercise. Pick up some weights: every kilogram of muscle burns 50 calories a day just sitting there maintaining itself. A kilogram of bodyfat just gathers friends.

Take a look at the book "Thin for Life" by Ann Fletcher. It's the stories of people on the National Weightloss Registry (quite a few of us Maintainers are members), how they lost the weight, how they keep it off, and a lot of their emotional journeys. Most of us have gone through exactly what you are going through now. :hug:


10-24-2006, 10:14 PM
It really gets me down sometimes, too, and I've never seen the other side of healthy weight. You feel a little like Oliver Twist, "Please, sir, can I have some more?"

Wow! You've done an amazing job, though. If you are staying at a consistent calorie level, I would try to up it just a smidge. An extra hundred calories (that's an apple or an extra cup of skim milk or a small sweet potato) and see what happens.

10-24-2006, 10:14 PM
I'm really sorry that you are going through this, but I'm SO glad you posted it and shared. I've been dealing with the same thing for the past couple of months and I think that's why I've been binging lately.

You've already got some wonderful responses and congrats on your weightloss so far! :hug:

I'm just letting you know you aren't alone and it's tough but we can certainly overcome it.

10-24-2006, 10:33 PM
Thanks for all the advice. Yes, my height is 5'7", so my maximum weight for a healthy BMI is 159 (some sites calculate a maximum of 153lbs) so I know I am close. I know body composition is important, but it IS hard for women to gain significant muscle mass, so I am confident that the majority of my excess weight is flabble, not muscle. I am, quite honestly, afraid to pick up weights. I have seen COUNTLESS shows concerning weight loss --Fit Families on the Health Channel for one -- where diet and weight programs have been instituted, and without a single exception, the pounds have gone UP and one poor girl, after 6 months on the weight loss and weight training program, actually put on 5 inches around her waist!!! 5 INCHES!!!!! The trainers congratulated her on "putting on muscle" and that the weight training accounted for her new BIGGER measurements. The thought of that happening is absolutely terrifying to me. ABSOLUTELY. Imagine - a weight loss PROGRAM with weight TRAINING, and a 5 INCH INCREASE ON YOUR WAIST!!! Yikes!!!! As for my diet, I eat absolutely NO processed foods. None. You won't find a prepared, pre-packaged dinner meal or frozen meal in my house. I grind my own chicken turkey, beef, and pork to make sure I know what is in it. I buy fresh fish. I cook vegetables. I don't use sugar, sweetners or sugar substitutes. I swear I will float away if I increase my fluid intake! I never, ever deep-fry anything (I don't even own a deep fryer!) My husband and I rarely, if ever, eat out, and if we do, it is Vietnamese beef broth soup and fresh, non-fried veggie rolls for me, and no more than once a month. No pizza, no burgers, no spanakopita, no curry, no Mexican (GOD I love jalapeno poppers - haven't had one for over two years now!)--I haven't had a french fry in MONTHS. I restrict my carbs, as I tend to bloat up when I eat them. I eat low-fat proteins and lots of beans. I have cut out white rice, white bread (I only make my own, whole grain and whole seed bread --recipe from the American Diabetic Association), and white potatoes completely. I have tried INCREASING my calories, and gained (and subsequently lost) the 7 lbs I gained in 2 weeks. I have had my thyroid and vitamin levels checked by my doctor, and all is normal.
I will just keep plugging away, but MAN OH MAN is it boring, discouraging, and, I am afraid, unsustainable in the long term. I feel like I have no life anymore - it is hard to eat anything that I can't control as I don't know what is in it - I have no social life as I have to exercise to maintain this weight (try finding 2 hours a day!) - and I am at the end of my dietary rope!
I know - how do you advise anyone in this situation-- but thanks for the support and thanks for listening. I will keep on plugging away...

10-24-2006, 10:58 PM
I've been working out with weights 3 times a week for the past year and haven't gained weight (I've lost 30 pounds) and my measurements, including my waist, have gotten consistently smaller. I work out with a trainer, so I know that I'm using the weights effectively. I think that girl that gained 5 inches in her waist was the exception, not the rule; you should be able to do weight training without bulking up. Building muscle mass would increase the calories you burn while doing the same amount of exercise (muscle burns more calories than fat). If you think that most of your excess weight is flab and not muscle, why not have your body fat % measured (they can probably do this for you at your gym) and find out for sure. Then concentrate on reducing your body fat % for a while and stop focusing on the scale. In the end, isn't it about getting rid of the fat and looking better, regardless of what the scale reads?

2 hours of exercise 6 days a week sounds like a lot to me, unless you enjoy it(which doesn't sound like it is the case). It esp. sounds like a lot on 1500 calories. My trainer thinks that 30 min of cardio per day is sufficient. And based on my knowledge of how much I exercise/eat, it seems like you ought to be able to maintain at a higher level of calories (including allowing yourself a treat now and then) and/or cut back your level of exercise. I wonder if you aren't just doing too much exercise and need to cut back. I have read that overexercising can sabotage your weight loss.

10-24-2006, 11:39 PM
Is there someone at your gym who can show you the ropes with weights? I was scared of them too (not of bulking up but of not knowing what I was doing and hurting myself). After an initial orientation with a "trainer" at our first gym, and even though she wasn't great, she got us started with machines. After 10 months of that we bit the bullet and started working with a real trainer at our new gym. I'm loving the results! (even if I don't always love the process!)

I've been losing weight steadily, even before getting a trainer, but since I start with weights I've lost 65 pounds, countless inches and have gained tons of energy and starting to see some muscle definition.

It can be scary starting with weights, but there are lots of resources -- check out the Ladies who Lift forum right here. Learn about the "pros" of weightlifting!!

10-25-2006, 02:44 AM
If you are exercising intensely one to two hours everyday and only eating 1500 calories... my guess is that your body is going to fight to hold on to every last extra pound because it is in deprivation mode. If you are burning off 500 plus calories a day working out that puts you well below the 1200 mark which is the bare minimum for any woman. I would actually increase daily food intake and give yourself a day off of exercise. And I would add in one higher calorie day so your body doesn't think its starving. Mix up your workouts... try some interval training. I would cut out one of the aerobic workouts and replace it with some weight training. You may want to check out a program like Body for Life since you are already well-disciplined. You would actually be working out less and eating more and you would definitely get in the best shape of your life.

10-25-2006, 03:38 AM
And go do a little reading in the Ladies Who Lift forums. Those gals look great!
And a little resistance training is good for your bones.

10-25-2006, 10:38 AM
two things come to my mind.......you might try training w/ light weights. About 5 lbs. maximum weight, but about 2-3 minutes of reps. You won't gain bulk, but you will firm and define existing muscle. Start w/ 1 lb. weights and slowly increase.
and #2.....if you are eating 3 meals a day w/ no cheating, you might try dividing your calories into 3 meals and 3 snacks, or 6 mini-meals a day. this will help keep blood sugar at an even level, which may help. Good luck and keep us informed.

10-25-2006, 05:34 PM
Do I ever feel that! According to FitDay, I'm burning 2000 calories a day, average (that's including going to the YMCA for aerobic exercise 5X a week and weights 3X per week). I'm eating just under 1400 calories a day, again, average, over the last month and a half. According to FitDay, I should have lost 8-1/2 pounds in that time, and I've lost 4.

Heck, my weight can vary that much just because of water!

The calculator that Jasmine31 posted says I should be eating closer to 1200 calories a day if I want to lose a pound a week, and from my experience, it looks like that's true.

** I had to edit this. I went back and tried again on the calculator, and I had my height wrong. It says I should be eating 1400, not 1200, to lose a pound a week. So, I have no clue about what's happening. **

I know it's discouraging, but life just isn't ever going to be like it was back when we were younger and had higher metabolism. Giving up is not an option because you KNOW where that's going to go . . .

So, please hang in there! Help me out and stay with it! We can all keep going together.

Jay :hug:

10-25-2006, 06:09 PM
Hi all!
I will still continue the fight, but I guess my question was more of a philisophical one -- how much is one willing to sacifce and to do in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight? Does it take the average person daily hours of exercise and a severly restrictive diet? How realistic is that type of lifestyle for anyone other than a fitness expert? Is size acceptance the key to happiness? Or is the pursuit of a health "norm" the answer???
Mental food for thought!!!!

10-25-2006, 06:16 PM
I think part of the problem, at least in the US, is that our idea of "normal" is actually skewed. I don't believe that we, as humans, are meant to eat the kind of crap that surrounds us now; the burgers, fries, breaded this and chocolated-covered that...and our idea of appropriate portion size has been completely corrupted by ad campaigns, etc. It's not that the things we have to do to be healthy are truly abnormal, it's that our accustomed eating and lifestyle are!

Just my .01; inflation hits everywhere. ;)

10-25-2006, 06:43 PM
It is a great question. About a year ago, my husband and I were talking about what it would take to maintain a large weight loss. I had lost 40 pounds or so, and he was just getting started. I wasn't yet exercising a lot and we were just starting to talk about getting into weightlifting. He commented that if we lifted 3 days a week and did cardio a few more, that we were probably looking at about an hour a day.

I've never liked exercise before, and even though I had been here reading about what it takes to maintain I was flabbergasted! I honestly couldn't see how I could have that lifestyle. "NO WAY" was my reaction.

Well, fast forward a year and I am starting to make it work. I don't do an hour every day, but an hour at least 3 days a week and then maybe 1/2 hour or more 3 others... The cool thing is, it feels like a lot less of a sacrifice than I thought it would be. First, I really see the benefits. Second, I let other things take up a lot less of my time -- I watch a lot less TV and don't cook most days (I cook Sundays and we eat a lot of leftovers!)

So, I guess the answer may change! You may also find things to do that are more efficient, so you don't have to work longer, but work "smarter" so to speak...

10-27-2006, 11:53 AM
That's a good example, wyllen! It's amazing what we have time for and no time for, and like your story shows, we often have more options than we think. I am going to the YMCA now almost every day, and although I "didn't have time" for it before, suddenly I seem to be able to do it.

I think it's true about the "skewed" view of normal. Think of the fast food ads you see on TV. Always there are "normal" sized people in there ordering the huge burgers and fries. They don't show overweight people--guess why not? Because who wants to see that eating fast foods can contribute to overweight. Same thing for restaurant ads. All slim folks. Experience says it doesn't work that way.


10-27-2006, 02:05 PM
What are we willing to do? so different for everyone. I hope that once I get to my goal weight I will be able to answer you. Sorry I can't help you much. I do know that once the fat cells are there they never disappear and they are looking to store something. I am NOT willing to go back to the diet I had before. I am NOT willing to gain back the weight and ignore it while it is happening. I hope I am able to maintain on 1700 calories and 30-60 minutes of exercise per day.

10-27-2006, 03:01 PM

I always end up in a very similar situation as you. I am also 5'7" tall, just as you are. I don't have trouble losing weight when I stay on plan and my exercise is good-UNTIL I get to the 170-175 area. Then I have to fight tooth and nail for every single pound I lose. Seriously...I can stay on plan for about 2 months before I see a pound lost at that point. I have to really, really work at it when I get to that level. It has happened to me every single time, after each of my pregnancies. I can go from over 200 pounds, to the 175 mark in just a few months-and then it may take me a year, literally-to get to get below 170. I have basically just learned to accept it. Here are things that help me get through it though, and give me better results at that time of the game:

~Change up your exercise. If you are currently doing 2 hours of swimming and aerobics-do something else a time or two each week. Spend 2 hours one day doing a yoga dvd or class, and then walking. Another day through the week maybe replace your swimming with some strength training. Change what kind of aerobics class you are doing-jazzercise, step aerobics, floor aerobics, bike riding, powerwalking, dancing-even though they all count as cardio-your muscles are engaged differently. They are probably getting used to your routine, and you are no longer working as hard. Change it up!! You don't have to do MORE than 2 hours a day-just do DIFFERENT.

~If you are currently eating 1500 calories a day pretty regularly, what I have to do at around your weight is to start cycling a little. I cannot eat below 1500 a day all of the time-because I am so active-but maybe if you pick one or two days a week to eat, say 1300, and 1500 the rest of the week-it gives a slight change, and your body will respond.

~Eat bulkier foods on days you are having hunger issues. Don't eat a 100 Calorie Pack-which while tasty, provides little satisfaction to the tummy. An egg, or 2 cups of strawberries, or a banana are all much more filling, and healthful for similar calorie amounts.

~Focus on non scale victories. When the scale gets you down-focus on your measurements instead, or a fitness goal that you have set for yourself. It can be something as simple as signing up for a beginners martial arts class, or a 8 week dance course-and completing it-something you can be proud of in your healthy lifestyle that does not focus on the scale.

Good luck,

10-28-2006, 12:50 AM
Hi all!
I will still continue the fight, but I guess my question was more of a philisophical one -- how much is one willing to sacifce and to do in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight? Does it take the average person daily hours of exercise and a severly restrictive diet? How realistic is that type of lifestyle for anyone other than a fitness expert? Is size acceptance the key to happiness? Or is the pursuit of a health "norm" the answer???
Mental food for thought!!!!
OK, I don't want to be verbally lambasted for this but...

Look at where you were!
Look at where you are!

Even if you never ever changed a thing and decided that it wasn't worth the sacrifice to drop the last 40, you've come so far. Please consider : Are going goaling for a number 133? Where did it come from? Would you feel dramatically different if you reached that number?

JMO, on myself, but I have goaled myself to get to 140. However, I've told myself that I'll be happy if I even make it under 200 and can't lose another pound. If that happens, I'll have gone somewhere and stayed there, much better than bumping between the pounds my whole life. And, maybe, after mainting for a few years, I can remuster the courage to go at it again from a new angle.

You're doing good! Don't let a lack of negative numbers make you feel any thing else but awesome. :)

10-28-2006, 10:34 PM
Thanks for the support, everyone! Yeah, I know that to date I have been successful -- I have lost a significant amount of weight AND kept it off, which is really amazing :)
No verbal lambasting here - so don't worry, Altari! My primary concern, Altari, is to get to a healthy BMI weight first -- anything after that really is gravy! (MMMmmmm, GRAVY.......). I just wonder how much more sacrificing I will have to do to get there! Nonetheless, I will continue, and switch up my routine and my diet and perhaps overcome my fears of WEIGHT TRAINING, and I will keep everyone posted.
I think that my philosophical question is interesting, though! Most weight loss shows focus on the "before and afters", such as "I Did It!" on the Health Channel, and most of those stories involve WLS (not that there's anything WRONG with that, but it isn't an option for me). Few shows show the daily grind and struggle and often the failure, save, of course, for X-Weighted - our great Canadian show!. But this show has its negative points, too - as it highlights that the success stories are NOT the norm after 6 months, and the effort and dedication required to "get there" often isn't sustainable for the people involved. Makes me wonder if the "norm" is really achievable for a certain segment of the population (that includes yours truly!) Anyways, I'll keep everyone posted.

10-28-2006, 10:42 PM
What station are you watching that xweighted on? I've never heard of it ... but we have cable now!

10-28-2006, 11:05 PM
I see it on Life Channel - go to www.lifenetwork.ca, and on the toolbar, click on shows A-Z, and scroll down to X-weighted. You'll find the broadcast details there!
It is a really good show, and will continue for a second season, as the casting call has gone out and the participants have been selected.
Happy viewing!