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Friday, January 20, 2017

So,I am back again and making a pledge to myself to stay on Spark until the summer when I go off the grid for two months. I'm working hard, but am struggling and confused about the "numbers". So, what I know from years of worrying about my weight is this...it supposedly comes down to calories in and calories out. But...what if that doesn't work? I am diligently tracking everything. I can see I burn a healthy amount of calories in comparison to what I eat. Most days I burn, according to the numbers, more calories than I eat if you account for basic calorie use. I decided to go to an endocrinologist to see if there is something I need to consider. I do have a managed thyroid condition. I have had a lot of stress in my life (both parents dying in the last three years from terminal illnesses and an ill but now recovered child). So I know cortisol can be an issue from stress and poor sleep, and I thought maybe a specialist could help me figure things out. What did I hear from her? "Have you considered bariatric surgery?" I lost faith in her at that moment. So, I went to the library this week and started doing some research. I learned that going up and down in weight can mess with your metabolism, as can aging. So I have 4 pregnancies where I gained a high amount of weight and then lost it for the first two, but not the last two, plus one stressful time period where I gained weight and didn't lose it. I have decided to keep reading and researching as well as continuing to increase activity and decrease calories, but I want to know if anyone else has dealt with something like this and whether you have any advice. I know I can't be the only person in this position. I exercise 7-9 hours every week and eat a healthy amount of good food with the occasional indulgence. I'm trying to up my activity and lessen the occasional indulgences. Please let me know whatever thoughts you have about this! Thank you!!!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I have had a struggle with my weight. I used to work night shifts and that blows the metabolism to hell. I contacted a trainer in California who suggested using BCAA powder to help reset my system. I recently read an article about "older" peoples stomach changes and they don't absorb proteins as well as when they were young. I am not sure what point "older" occurs but I have upped my protein and take BCAA's a few times a week. The weight loss is very slow but I will take a downward trend! Everyone is different so like they say here on Sparkpeople, you are an experiment of one. I am careful not to drop too low on calories in so that my body doesn't go into starvation mode. I go low a week or two and then pop the calories up toward 1500 for a week or two, seems to keep the metabolism guessing. LOL, silly metabolism!

    762 days ago
    Thanks for the helpful advice and encouragement here! I think one thing I need to do is be more serious about inputting my own recipes on the nutrition tracker since I am taking similar ones instead of my own. I also should measure again since it has been awhile since I have tracked food and my eyes could be off on portion sizes. I keep my eating pretty simple and standard since that is easier to track...

    The other thing I am wondering is whether the fitness calories burned are accurate for my metabolism. So, Spark might say, for example, yesterday I burned 1,461 calories for the exercise I did (row 491 cal for 32 min, bike 251 for 21 min, 657 cal for 30 min breaststroke, 62 cal for ten min walk to swim)...does this seem too high? Are my expectations off for that? I work hard when I exercise, and I choose the lower option- like moderate versus vigorous rowing unless I do intervals. On my weight lifting/row for warm-up and walk day(45-55 min) Spark says I burn almost 2,000 calories. Is this where the disconnect is happening? I'll keep mixing things up as a way to try to get some loss happening- I just added swimming in this week to add more time with a different activity.

    I'll check out some of the other resources you all suggested...for now...it's am workout time!!!!! Thanks again for the support and ideas!
    1463 days ago
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    Kim. I don't know if I have any logical suggestions. Yet, I will cheer you on and be there for you! As mentioned, it is a lifetime change. That's where I have to get my head. There have been some very good suggestions mentioned here. The one thing I do know that for me, this time around, I can't quit even if I hit plateaus or stressful times. With the losses of Mom and Dad and the various stressors in both of our lives, it's easy to fall on the slippery slope. I've seen people do the low carb very seriously and raw foods, high protein, stringent adherance to meal plans and they fight. Their successes have been gradual as well. I even know one girl who used to fast one day a week to clean her system. She's a very intelligent, bright, and logical individual. It seems to work for her. Check out the motivation material here. It can really help stick with the trek in spite of the discouragements. Take heart for you are more than a number. And you are a beautiful person inside and out. Sometimes weight loss is harder when we have poor self talk. Improving the thoughts you have toward yourself will help definitely. That cortisol can really build if you are beating yourself up. Put positive images in your mind. Get motivational songs, videos and quotes in your life. Half the battle is attitude. I have to do all this or I slip into really bad areas in all the vices I try to conquer. The one thing I know is that I don't do this on my own and I also have God to turn to for support, conviction, and strength. I am with you in this. And we're all in. Because this is our quality of life! Try some of the basic challenges in Challenge Central. Also read articles that resonate with you because a lot of these articles have really helped me and you can save your favorites to your page so you can always refer back to them. Many of them have links to other articles and some of them are series. I know you don't have a lot of time but squeeze in some of these goodies. I tell you that they work better than chocolate! I love you and just email me if you need a virtual hug! I love you! Talk to you soon! Hugs, Karen
    1463 days ago
  • SPICY23
    I can relate. I am not sure I can give you any definitive answers. You can get my personal story on my SP page if you are interested. I can report that I am very logical and analytical and have applied all the science-based information I can find (and even that changes over time). For understanding, Dr Pam Peeke's book, Fight Fat After 40, was enlightening and her Body For Life more practical (while it was working). For alternative practical approaches Dr Furhmans, End of Diabetes; Beck's, the Beck Diet Solution; and Linda Spangle's, 100 Days of Weight Loss; are all helpful. Most programs will work IF you work the program.

    I can tell you that I removed over 40# using some of those approaches and applying careful tracking and exercise. I kept it off for 4+ years; only to have it creep back inexorably. I had not fallen off the wagon or gone back to bad habits. Why did it creep back on? Not a clue. Hormones? Maybe. I have tried many approaches to get it to shift back off with little success. Then suddenly, a few # slipped away, again without any rhyme or reason. By the numbers it should be falling off quickly, but it's not. Does that mean I should give up? Heck No.

    I move every day. 45+ min AM Cardio and strength training when I can get my head around it. I do this because it is the right thing to do, to keep my body as fit and healthy as I can. Our bodies, like any animal's, are designed to be active. I do not get an endorphin rush, nor do I feel more energetic. The only subtle difference I note, is that if I don't do it, I am more reactive and less tolerant. Activity has been shown to reduce cortisol levels and tame stress, so that's a good reason to keep at it.

    I know quite a number of people who have had bariatric surgery. It's not a walk in the park. For some it may be the only option. It hasn't been the miracle cure for any of the folk I know. It forces a person to be very strict with their eating, otherwise they are in pain. It doesn't automatically change their mind-set, which is really key to long term success for anyone.

    Here is a sobering view that really captures reality (excuse the bad language):


    I hope this isn't discouraging, that isn't my intent at all. More I want you to know you are not alone. You can do this, just as many others here have. You will figure out what works for you. It will need to be something you can do forever, for life, and it will take far longer than it should. Prepare yourself to Stay the course. We will be cheering you on.

    Peace and Care
    1464 days ago
    Are you sure the calories you believe you are burning from your exercise match "standard" guidelines from a source that you trust? Keep at it, though. Losing weight can be a great adventure.
    1464 days ago
    Please excuse me if these are stupid questions. If you are tracking everything that you eat, including the indulgences, are you sure the portion sizes you are eating match those on the package for the food?
    1464 days ago
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