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Old 11-27-2013, 11:31 AM   #1  
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Default Should I be worried? :(

Hey all! So... this post my be kind of dumb but I don't know very much about this stuff. :P

I'm getting super close to my first mini goal. I'm at 251, my goal right now is 249!

Back in October I was really good about staying on plan for about two weeks. I dropped 9 pounds in that time. Then I fell off the wagon... and from mid October to mid November I gained about 4-5 pounds.

Now in the last week I have dropped 6 pounds.

I know it's not possible to actually lose 6 pounds of fat in one week. So all of this is probably water weight right?

Should I be worried that it's like... muscle loss? I do cardio 3-4 times a week. I did try doing some strength training in October but couldn't because of an injury. My shoulder/arm has been in bad shape for a few months. (I assume due to the position I sleep in combined with picking up and carrying toddlers as part of my job.) Now I also get strange arm spasms in my arm at random. When I did strength training it made the pain worse so I stopped. I made an appointment with my doctor but the earliest I could be seen isn't until December 5th.

Is it possible that:

A. The pain started in June. At that point I had lost 55 pounds with very little cardio and no strength training. Could the pain be caused by my muscles like wasting away or something?!

B. Is not working out now while injured going to cause me to lose muscle?
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Old 11-27-2013, 11:52 AM   #2  
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There other folks here who are more into strength training than I am, so I imagine they'll chime in. I've read scary things, too, but I'm pretty sure that you're not losing muscle in a way that would actually cause the pain. So I think the answer to A is "no" and stressing out about it probably isn't what you need. In the long run, though, when you're healed, some strength training will help you prevent that sort of injury.

My understanding is that if you're losing weight while not developing muscle that you are probably losing fat + muscle + water. On the other hand, lots of us have lost weight without a huge amount of strength training and there don't seem to be the dire consequences that some predict. For one thing, I don't think there's been much study on how much muscle development goes on in large people just from getting ourselves around. I know that I developed muscle at the beginning part of my journey just from walking -- I could feel the muscles!

So, my advice is worry less, move more. Can you try some squats or lunges with your current injury? The biggest muscles in your body aren't in your arms, so you may be able to do other exercises that will develop more muscle mass anyway.
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Old 11-27-2013, 12:27 PM   #3  
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I'm no doctor or any other kind of specialists, but you're not going to lose muscle that fast. I do know that people who need to wear a cast and can't move their arm or leg at all can lose muscle over shorter period of time, but even then it's because they can't use it at all. Even they will recuperate from that later on when they can train again.

There's probably always going to be some muscle loss on a diet, and for most people it's fine. I think the biggest problem would be for those who go to the extremes and their heart muscle is starting to become weak. But for regular dieters, it's not that worrisome.

I would also think that twitching and spasms can occur when there's some sort of imbalance with electrolytes. So for example when you're dehydrated, you'll get cramps.

I'm sure the doctor will clear what's going on with the pain, but I'm fairly certain that you're not "rotting" :-)
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Old 11-27-2013, 12:30 PM   #4  
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The more weight you have to lose, the less likely it is to be muscle. That tends to happen at very low calories and little body fat. I'm not saying you haven't lost muscle, but probably not that much. And even if so, when you are healed, strength training will help even that out. At the moment I wouldn't worry too much about it.

So I'd say no on your first question. It's probably just water weight that your body was holding onto.

It sounds like you've probably put some strain on your shoulder from carrying around toddlers and daily activities. Average toddler weighs 20 lbs and that's a lot of weight to pick up and carry off and on all day. In a way, you are doing some strength training LOL. If you are sleeping funny on it too, you're adding more strain. That sounds to me like you should be building muscle not losing it.

I agree with gardenerjoy; worry less. There are other strength exercise to do aside from upper body. Leg presses, squats, etc.

Of course, your doctor should have more answers for you.
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Old 11-28-2013, 09:58 AM   #5  
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Phew. :P Thanks for all the replies guys.

Ahh I just wanna go see my doctor so I can start working out more.

Maybe I'll call tomorrow and see if theres any cancellations so I can go sooner.

Oh, and I will try doing some more leg exercises. I kind of figured they are getting a work out anyways from doing the stationary bike since that's my go to thing.

Last edited by makebelieve; 11-28-2013 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 11-29-2013, 09:48 AM   #6  
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Originally Posted by gardenerjoy View Post

My understanding is that if you're losing weight while not developing muscle that you are probably losing fat + muscle + water.
I am not an expert, of course, but I do strength train, and I do read about it. This above is exactly how I understand it. If you are a calorie-restricted diet, you are almost certainly going to lose muscle. The goal behind strength training while reducing fat is to preserve as much muscle as possible.

But - you just do not need as much muscle when you reduce your body mass. It takes a lot more strength to move 250 pounds around than it is to move 150 pounds around.

I do strength train because I am convinced that preserving muscle is an important thing. But as long as you are eating reasonable amounts of food, you will almost certainly not do any permanent damage to your body. I think most people who lose weight do not strength train, and most people's bodies adjust well to the inevitable muscle loss.

It also sounds like when you went "off the wagon," you may have put on water weight, and now you might be just taking it off. Large variations in weight over a short period of time tend to inevitably be water weight.
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