First, a little bit of background info: I'm 18 (19 next month). I moved out of my parents house in early April. Healthwise, I have been watching my weight since I was 12 and I have never in my life been thin, always a little bit on the chubby side but not too bad. I had a seizure last December that was drug related (unintentional overdose, it was really dumb), and after that, my body started to do some weird things. I'm not sure if it was related.
In late January, I had been exercising and eating healthy for a while and was down to 120 pounds at 5'2.5", which is the lowest weight I had ever been at that height, and I was happy about that. But, after I got a new job and moved out, everything just kind of went downhill. What I don't understand is... It's 10 months later now, and I have been eating healthy and exercising for 3 months. I haven't really weighed myself at all since January when I was at my lowest weight, but I went to the doctor today and their digital scale read 168 pounds... And this is after "dieting" (read: lifestyle change) for 3 months. I imagine I probably weighed about 180 3 months ago, with that math. I just can't believe it. I knew I had gotten bigger, and I have a lot of stretch marks from the sudden weight gain..
But that's similar to how much weight you would gain during a PREGNANCY, and it wasn't even 9 months!! And it's not like I was ever eating and eating nonstop. I wasn't on a 6 month binge. Should I be concerned? Should I get my metabolism checked or something? I didn't even go on any new meds or anything. I'm terribly afraid that I messed up my digestive system and metabolism with the massive amount of drugs and the seizure. But the doctor I went to was a gynecologist and didn't really seem to care about the weight issue... I don't know if I should go to someone else? I'm just concerned, and a little bit devastated because I weight 20 pounds more than I thought. I'm starting to even doubt that I've lost any weight at all in these past 3 months.
Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks for your time.
This is a bit of a personal question, so feel free not to answer it, but could your body still be adjusting to puberty (in the last 4-5 years)? It is possible that your hormones are just unbalanced without having a disorder of some kind, but talking to your doctor and getting your hormone levels taken is definitely a good idea- even just for your own peace of mind.
Weight gain like that can sneak up on you with the kind of lifestyle change that comes with moving out of your parents house. There's not necessarily something wrong with you, so don't worry too much, just talk to your doctor.
I agree about going to see a regular physician if you are concerned, but would also forget about the last 3 months becuz you really don't know where you started. The incidious part about weight-gain is that it is very sneaky; and can creep up on you without notice.
You say you were a bit chubby as a teen and lost some after you left home, but then gained afterward when you were sick: this can happen and does happen to lots of people. You were probably more active at that time and when you were sick, things changed. When you lose some weight, your metabolism can slow down, but if you increase your exercise at this time; you can increase it again!
That's really the most important thing to remember here. I've been where you are and cried my eyeballs out when I saw that I had gained weight back that I had worked so hard to lose. The problem is that 'life happens' and can cause setbacks; but now you must look forward to a plan of action and start anew. Your doctor may also suggest a good dietician that can help you keep an eye on what you are eating better as well.
Start fresh tomorrow; you can get that back off now, as you are young and strong. Now is the best time of your life to do it too ... Rosebud.
As far as the weight gain is concerned- I would probably see a physician just in case. Medically speaking, anything over 10% change in the course of 3 months (unintentional) is cause for some concern. I imagine that you have probably crossed that threshold. As far as causing permanent damage with the overdose? Well, most of that depends on the type of drug- but it's highly unlikely.
And- some of the best advice I've ever heard- Always get a second opinion. If you feel like something is wrong- fight for the answer. You will, unfortunately, always have to fight to get the best healthcare and the best answers. Don't be afraid to be pushy and never be afraid of offending a practitioner- it's your health. (Compiled from the wonderful nurses I work with)
I would try starting a food journal though- many of us underestimate how much we eat. Make sure to measure out how much you're eating as well- correct serving sizes are disappointingly small!
50 pounds over 6 or 7 months is less than 1000 extra calories per day. Is it possible to gain that much, that quickly? Sure, and it wouldn't be that hard to do. A single fast-food meal could easily provide you that extra 1000 calories.
I'd see your regular doctor, not obgyn, and have a thyroid test done just to rule that out. Ask about a referral to a dietitian while you're at it. Make your concerns known.
You say you've been 'eating healthy' but that's kind of vague. Were you tracking calories? It's easy to overeat, even on 'healthy' food. So, if you weren't using calorie counting, that might be a place to start just to see how much you are eating now.
Have you considered a program like Weight Watchers? People have good success with it.
Defocus on the number, check your clothes and body. One of the possibilities is that your previous scale (or your doctors scale or both) is off...do your clothes fit differently? Most people find a size is between 10-20 pounds.
Then go back to basics. Log your food and find out if what you think is being "good and eating healthy" is actually low calorie. I have a dear friend who became a vegetarian. She assumed that because she switched from meat that she would lose weight. She didn't, she gained! She didn't allow for the calories in the much healthier items she was eating.
You can be in control of this, time to take charge!
I guess I should have mentioned that I'm counting calories and measuring out my portions. Actually, at the beginning (3 months ago) I started removing soda from my diet, as I was drinking 800 calories worth of Dr Pepper a day. Then I took out potato chips (I blame the MSG but I was able to eat an entire large bag in one sitting... talk about a binge), and then fast food, and then ice cream.. I guess it was a month and a half ago that I started exercising, and a little less than a month ago that I started counting calories. The little by little approach worked for me this time.
I didn't really consider what Rosebud said, that when I lost weight previously, my metabolism slowed down.. Maybe that was why I was able to gain it all back (actually, gained twice as much as I had lost) really fast.
I think I'm going to invest in a scale, even though I infinitely despise them for having so much power over me in the past. I will continue to track my calories, keeping them around 1300-1600 (it varies) and see what the scale does. If I see a downward trend, I will be less worried. I might go get my thyroid checked anyway... but I do feel a lot better now. And thanks for the welcome to 3FC. Even though I have been a member for 4 years, I usually just lurk around the forums when I am trying to lose weight and don't actually post anything.
I started removing soda from my diet, as I was drinking 800 calories worth of Dr Pepper a day. Then I took out potato chips (I blame the MSG but I was able to eat an entire large bag in one sitting... talk about a binge), and then fast food, and then ice cream..
If you were eating all of that on a regular basis, then yeah, it's entirely possible to gain 50 lbs in 6 months. Keep in mind that 3500 cals = 1 lb.
800 calories a day in soda = 5,600 cals a week = 1.6 lbs.
6 months = 25 weeks (give or take a few days). 25 weeks x 1.6 lbs = 40 lbs
So even JUST with the soda, you're over half way to the weight you gained.
Add in junk food, chips, ice cream, it's pretty easy to gain that fast, no matter how good your metabolism is. And when you're not paying attention, it all just sneaks up on you.
While I would never disagree with advice to check with your doctor, I suspect you'll find out that there's nothing wrong with your thyroid or your metabolism. It's just normal weight gain from eating and drinking a lot of junk and consuming too many calories.
It sounds like you're on the right track now by cutting out a lot of that stuff. Just keep going and being healthy and I suspect you'll find the weight coming off.
Last edited by PhotoChick : 12-02-2008 at 04:26 PM.
Even though all of that is going great I would still recommend seeing a doctor and checking all your levels and if anything comes back fishy I would definitely see an endocrinologist. I had a very similar thing happen to me. I was gaining and gaining and didn't know why. I was eating the exact same way as I was at every other point in my life (it wasn't the best diet since it did have junk in it but it was still the same) and gaining like crazy. And then after a while of trying to get it under control by just eating healthy and exercising and not losing anything I finally got myself checked out and it turned out I was hypothyroid. I was put on meds for that and for like a year and half the regular general care practitioners were telling me my levels were fine when from an endocrinology standpoint they actually could have come down which was making me still hold weight. It was only after a few months later that I also found out I had polycystic ovarian syndrome that accounted for a good amount of weight that I put on after I tried to go off birth control and I never knew about. Yes, I had a sneaking suspicion that it might be the case because I knew in my gut that something was off but didn't know exactly what. I'm not saying that you're exactly the same as me and have endocrine imbalances, but the thing is you never know and sometimes when you put on a crazy amount of weight in a short period of time it's for a reason. I would still definitely consult a physician and if you still feel like something is off keep pushing to find your answers because you honestly never know the changes that your body can be undergoing since your biochemistry can change and does change at multiple points in your life and can be greatly influenced by so many external cues from not getting enough sleep, too much stress, environmental toxins, etc. I say get yourself checked out and take if from there and then do the research you need to depending on what findings your doctor comes across. Good luck!!!!
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