Friday, November 22, 2013

Trying Something...

Sadly I haven't lost any additional weight for a couple of months now. To say I'm frustrated is not even close to what I'm feeling. I have gained and lost the last five to seven pounds for months. That mess just isn't working for me.


What's worked for me for two years just isn't cutting it anymore. And that's pretty scary to me. I hate change and I despise having to try something new. What if it doesn't work? What if I gain more?

Unfortunately, that's where I am. To be honest, I have started to grasp the whole concept that I simply cannot eat between 1200-1300 a day every day for the rest of my life. I lost all this weight so I could live, but to be honest I have stopped enjoying my love of food. (Yes, you read that right. I simply love food. And that's okay. It's normal. It's not normal to binge like I once did!)


I've got it stuck in my mind that eating clean and never having my old favorite foods is the way to exist. I kinda miss Pasta Weesie from Carraba's. I haven't had it in over two years and that's just completely sad. I envisioned this whole weight loss transformation allowing me to finally enjoy the foods I love. I don't want to go overboard like I did when I was bigger. I just want to relax a little more. I haven't allowed myself to do that.

Friends, that isn't very healthy. Here I am thinking I'm living this incredibly healthy life and I'm almost neurotic about eating the "wrong" things. I didn't think I'd be so addicted to watching every tiny calorie that enters my body. It becomes habit and then it becomes a cycle.

Not many people who have successfully lost a lot of weight talk about these things. It's hard to tell you that I feel as though I have put my body into starvation mode. Yes, I am eating the lowest amount of calories recommended, but those figures do not account for my physical activities. I was eating 1200 calories a day and had weight loss success long before I began Zumba and started running. It was just plain habit and I didn't factor in the extra activity.

Bottom line: My body is angry with me and my metabolism is suffering.

I've started researching the whole macronutrient idea. Basically there's a calculation of the proportion of fats, carbs, protein, and fiber your body needs each day. My personal calculation (based upon my age, height, weight and activity level) suggests that I aim for 1524 calories per day to achieve weight loss again. But it doesn't just end there... I should aim for 73.2 grams of carbs, 162 grams of protein, 64.8 grams of fat, and 32-41 grams of fiber every day.

That doesn't mean I can eat junk all day as long as I stay around 1524 calories. If I am including the suggested amount of carbs, protein, fats, and fiber, I have to make sure the foods I eat help meet those amounts. Guess what? Pizza won't get me there, but if I plan it right I can still include that every now and then. To even get close to those amounts, I still have to eat real, nutritional foods the majority of the time.

I am afraid of seeing that calorie count rise so much, but I know deep down it's more realistic. I've researched the idea of reverse dieting. Reverse dieting is slowly increasing your caloric intake over a period of six to eight weeks so that you don't pack on the weight from drastically altering your food intake. It's designed for people who have not eaten enough calories over an extended period of time and people who have lost extreme amounts of fat (think professional weight lifters and competitors).


So what does a day of fitting in my macros look like?

Breakfast: Cottage cheese, low fat (3/4 cup)
Snack: Shakeology
Lunch: Zaxby's Cobb Salad with Grilled Chicken and one packet of Ranch Dressing
Dinner: Baked Tilapia (8 oz), Steamed Veggies (2 cups), and Boiled Okra (1 cup)

I was completely stuffed. That's actually a lot of food for me. It was 1564 calories, 78 grams of carbs, 155 grams of protein, 62 grams of fat, and 30 grams of fiber (I had to add a supplement to get enough here). It wasn't perfect, but it was a start. I also did two hours of Zumba. I'm going to work at this and give it several weeks to see if this works better for me. I understand I may gain a bit, but I believe it will come off easier once my body adjusts to it.

There's no perfect way to lose weight. What works for one person may not work for you. It takes patience and an understanding that this isn't going to happen overnight. But I promise it is worth it! Keep trying to find what works for you. Even if something works great for a while, but prepared if things change.

26 comments:

  1. You're on the right track, Wendy! As scary as it is, I actually lose more weight when I up my calories (with healthy foods). When you're at a high activity level, your body is going to hold onto everything to fuel yourself properly when you aren't eating enough. Keep it up. I'm sure you'll start seeing results soon!

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    1. How long did it take you to see progress from increasing them?

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  2. First of all, you look GREAT, so you are doing something right! But, as far as changing things up, I hear you in that you are uncomfortable with change. It took me diving right into that uncomfortable feeling to lose the last bit of weight I had.... I went paleo and UPPED my calories (up to 2000 a day when I am maintaining and not looking to lose... which scared me). I tried it and it worked for me after years of being stagnant. You will find the thing that works for you, but like you said, gotta change it up!

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    1. Thanks so much! Did you increase the calories all at once?

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  3. I'm with you! I think I have held back calories for far too long! I'm mixing things up as well! Good Luck!

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    1. Thanks! I hope you do well with it! Will you let me know?

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  4. I lost most of my weight walking and keeping my calories at 1200 plus activity. I started working out at the gym and then lifting heavy and just felt flat. I upped my cals to 1400. I may have only last 1-2 pounds this weigh but I am lifting heavy so I need the extra calories. I also started eating 6 smaller meals a day all around 250-300 and still have a cheat meal every Friday at my favorite restaurant. I DO NOT FEEL GUILTY about it all. We need this or else we will binge. I totally understand that point.

    I also started Zumba two days a week and I LOVE it!!!! Hopefully that will kick my losing into high gear.

    I think it's all about trial and error to see what works.

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    1. You're completely right! I just can't see doing this long term anymore.

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  5. If you're exercising for two hours, your body probably needs more calories, enjoy them!! Have you heard of the I've been eating 1700-1900 calories/day for the past month and I'm down 6 lbs. I'm a long way from goal, but it's working for now... Have you heard of the site Eat More 2 Weigh Less? I heard a great interview with them on the Half Size Me Podcast - perhaps their site can give you valuable information about increasing your calories? http://eatmore2weighless.com/about-em2wl/

    Good luck!

    Caitlin

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    1. That's awesome! Did you increase your calories all at once? Thank you for the link too. I will check it out!

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  6. thanks for being so honest!

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    1. I try my best to share not only my successes, but also the places I struggle. I know there's got to be others out there dealing with the same thing!

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  7. Losing weight is the easy part, no matter how difficult. Maintaining that for LIFE is the hard part.

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    1. You are so right! I've never had to deal with this part of the process. It's all new to me.

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  8. Losing weight is the easy part, no matter how difficult. Maintaining it for the rest of your LIFE is the hard part.

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  9. Hi Wendy! I'm gonna agree that 1200-1300 calories a day with 2 hours of exercise a day, isn't enough. BUT, I'm going to go against the grain and suggest that it's the level of exercise that needs to be re-examined and perhaps changed, not the calories so much. I think 2 hours a day is probably one hour too much. At 2 hours of cardio a day, your body is in a constant state of stress/inflammation. That not only keeps one from losing weight, but can lead to illness and injury. We only need 20-30 minutes a day of cardio for optimal heart health. So anything beyond 45-60 minutes a day really is too much of a stressor. I will link 2 articles on that below. I suggest you might want to consider dropping down to an hour a day, keep your calories around 1300-1400, and just enjoy the occasional 'naughty' food, adjust accordingly, and not beat yourself up over it. Just my thoughts (well, not just mine as you can see from the links below):

    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/case-against-cardio/#axzz2laGLsPjd

    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/why-you-shouldnt-burn-more-than-4000-calories-a-week-through-exercise/#axzz2laGLsPjd

    Good luck, whatever you try! Sorry you are struggling!

    ~ Gwen

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    1. I just do Zumba twice a week for two hours each. Not every day! :) I don't have the time or energy to workout 10-12 hours a week!

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  10. Good luck Wendy, you can do it and from a native Tennesseean now transplanted in Sunny Florida, (I know horrible, right), GO VOLS!

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    1. I'm sure I could be a Vol in the beautiful state of Florida! I can wear orange and white anywhere!!! It would be tough being around so many gator fans though...

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  11. Good luck with your new plan! I was on a 1500 calorie plan to lose a few pounds and am now in the 1900-2100 range, and it's a little tough readjusting, but not too bad! Enjoy those extra calories! :)

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    1. How long did it take you to get used to eating that much? Is it working well for you?

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  12. First let me say I think you look FANTASTIC! Second, I think you know your body better than anyone else and know what works for you, sounds to me like you're on the right track and I'm looking forward to reading about the results you achieve.

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    1. Thank you!!! I'm really hoping I have some success with this. I'll be sure to let everyone know.

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  13. I lost about 70 pounds over the course of a year, but over the last six months I've pretty much hit a plateau. I haven't beaten myself up over it too much. I feel like it will start coming off again if I just pay more attention. Thanks for this wake-up call. I lost the weight by being very intentional about how much I ate. Now I'm going to have to pay more attention to exactly what I eat. That whole carb-protein-fat ratio is a struggle for me. http://fatpastor.me/2013/07/05/the-anatomy-of-a-backslide/

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    1. All this time I thought I was eating healthy, but when I stepped back to examine my carbs there's really no wonder I wasn't doing very well! I was overloading on carbs even though I kept my calories low. Just take a look at your ratios and you'll probably be pretty surprised too!

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  14. I really think you will do well with your new calorie ratio. I hope you can get to the point where you feel like you can live normally again. I really don't keep track of my calories or ratios. I just try not to eat wheat and sugar. It seems pretty easy. I have been having an occasional piece of pizza. I just don't crave any of those things anymore. Sweets really don't appeal to me either. I feel like I eat everything I want. I hope you get to that point and start to enjoy your foods again.

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