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Where am I going wrong? - Printable Version

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Where am I going wrong? - theostlerscat - 07-16-2012 09:08 PM

The short version is long. So here goes:
I have a long history of SLCD, over-exercising, bulimia and diet drug addiction (2 years). This all started around age 13, I am 46 now.
I am sick of eating 1200 (sometimes netting in the negative) and working out 3 hours a day (usually 5 days). I am 5'7".
17 months ago I weighed 135lbs and was a size 7. My Kettlebell trainer suggested that the reason I might be gaining weight on 1250 calories/day was that I wasn't eating enough; so I started to eat. I went to 1350, then 1400, then 1500 and 1700 all the while gaining 1-2 pounds per month. I now weigh 165 (17 months later) and my TDEE calculates at 2229 on Scooby. I have finally met my TDEE and I am still gaining!!
I am up to a tight size 12 and I can't see any muscle anywhere on my body.
I lift heavy 3-5 days per week and do minimal cardio. I mostly do Kettlebell style workouts and heavy freeweight work. I have a background in fitness and dance, I was a trainer for 27 years; but I learned in the 1980's and I learned to eat less and exercise more which apparently doesn't work over long periods of time.
So, here I am, a year plus into reset, I am going slow. I have finally hit TDEE and there is no slowing of weight gain in sight. I am not eating junk food, it is all meat, vegies, fruit, beans, brown rice, plain yogurt, health food store stuff not from packages. I am high on nuts, avocados and coconut oil (this may be a problem), but I am not overeating.
What should I expect? Where am I going wrong? Help!!

RE: Where am I going wrong? - theostlerscat - 07-17-2012 09:37 PM

Did I say too much or not enough? http://forums.eatmore2weighless.com/images/smilies/confused.gif

RE: Where am I going wrong? - theostlerscat - 07-17-2012 09:46 PM

I think maybe the question is, how do I know when to cut? I know this has been asked a thousand times, but do I wait until my body reaches equilibrium with the TDEE? If that is the case, do I keep re-evaluating TDEE every time I gain 5 lbs and adjust?

I am really afraid that I am going to keep on going until I hit 200 pounds! This happened before when I took a year off in 2007 and ate (everything, even junk food) without restriction and didn't exercise, that time I gained 10 lbs per month for 7 months and leveled out at 197lbs. I ended up going on a crash diet with massive exercise after that and lost 70 lbs in about 6 months in 2008.

I really want this to work and I am so dedicated to doing it right. Will someone please let me know if what I am experiencing is normal? Or refer me to a post that might have already answered my question.

Thank you!

RE: Where am I going wrong? - Kiki - 07-17-2012 10:27 PM

I am checking this from my phone, so I will have to wait until I'm at a computer to respond thoroughly, but I wanted to assure you that what you are experiencing is very common.

You may have seen this post but I will include it for you just in case it may answer any questions.

RE: Where am I going wrong? - theostlerscat - 07-18-2012 09:19 PM

Thank you, I did read that link. I am trying to be patient with the process. I have bought bigger clothes (thank God for the Goodwill store) and I am dealing with the comments and attitudes of family, parents, husband and kids who don't understand the eating so much and letting myself gain weight (this is hard). But the question remains: Do I need to reach equilibrium before I cut? And do I keep adjusting TDEE as I gain?

Oh, I should correct my weight, it is 162 as of today. That isn't a loss, it is just me estimating badly.

Thank you for taking the time to reply. Of course I can wait.

RE: Where am I going wrong? - Kiki - 07-18-2012 11:09 PM

I can only imagine how hard that is on you when the family doesn't understand. I remember those comments and "looks" all too well.. Sad

You should technically reach equilibrium, because it is your maintenance level cals. How long have you been at TDEE? Did you ever hit a plateau at any of the cal levels you hit along the way to TDEE? Do you have a BMF or FitBit, etc? or ever been RMR tested?

Can you describe your typical workout routine?

RE: Where am I going wrong? - theostlerscat - 07-19-2012 04:08 PM

Thank you for your empathy. I used to have to justify my weird not-eating habits and now I have to justify my eating so much.

I have been at TDEE for 3 weeks; tomorrow. I have never hit a plateau since I started increasing calories in February of 2011. I increased in increments of 100-200 calories every 1-2 months and have decreased and kept my workouts at 1 hour/day. Workout frequency has decreased over this time from 2 workouts/day 2 days/wk AND 1 workout/day 3 days/wk (total 7 workouts/wk) to 1 workout/day 3-5 days/week at present.

My workouts now consist of a warm-up (push-ups and machine assisted pull-ups 3x8 each) then 20min AMRAP of 1-4 exercises which follow either traditional kettlebell workout forms or traditional free weight exercises. I balance each workout to consist of either Chest/Back/Legs, Shoulders/Arms/Legs, or in the case of a traditional kettlebell workout, I may do a combination swings that involve the entire body such as Swing, catch, squat, push-press (all in one smooth movement) or clean, press, one-arm swing, two-hand swing, squat, two-hand swing, other arm/other side and reverse back across the body. I like complicated combinations; they entertain me. Sometimes I just swing a kettlebell or dumbell for 20 minutes straight (35-40lb). I have been professionally trained in RKC kettlebell technique. Depending on the exercise(s) I can get in between 5 and 10 rounds in 20 min. 5 when I am doing heavy free-weight work (15-30 lbs in each hand or olympic bar lifts) and 10 when I am doing lighter KB workouts 18-40 lbs swinging. Then I do 20 minutes of light cardio and 3x15 abs (variety). This all takes about 1 hour. I don't mind doing legs every day because I don't go very heavy (not more than 0-100lbs) and I only do one leg exercise/workout; swings, front squats, lunges, step-ups, box jumps, pistols, split squats, jumping lunges, etc...

I do this kind of thing 3-5 days/week. I wish I could be consistent, but our family has only one car and when my husband doesn't want to go to the gym, we don't.

I do not have a BMF or FitBit. I would like to have one but I have not been able to justify the expense. I have also never been RMR tested. I thought of seeing an endocrinologist to see if I have a thyroid problem, but I have no health insurance and I decided to try this first.

Well, that should do it. It is probably much more information than you wanted, but that is the nature of my character. I should have been a college professor like I had planned; now I just talk alot.

Thank you again for your input. Everything helps.

RE: Where am I going wrong? - EvelynNoor - 07-20-2012 06:31 PM

With Kiki and Lucia you are having the best, giving you advice. So there is not much to add from my side.
Just wanted to let you know, that I did gain quite a bit as well, while doing my reset. I am also 5.7 and I have gained 10 lbs in just a few weeks time. Maybe upping the cals slowly lead to more weight gain than jumping into it straight away?
Just hang in there. It will work out for you too

RE: Where am I going wrong? - theostlerscat - 07-20-2012 06:43 PM

(07-20-2012 06:31 PM)EvelynNoor Wrote:  With Kiki and Lucia you are having the best, giving you advice. So there is not much to add from my side.
Just wanted to let you know, that I did gain quite a bit as well, while doing my reset. I am also 5.7 and I have gained 10 lbs in just a few weeks time. Maybe upping the cals slowly lead to more weight gain than jumping into it straight away?
Just hang in there. It will work out for you too

Yeah, I thought of that. It probably has caused more harm than good. I didn't find EM2WL until just last month. I was just increasing incrementally on the advice of my kettlebell trainer and seeing where it would take me. He suggested that others in our group had increased by 100+ calories and had experienced renewed weight loss. He couldn't explain my consistent gains.

I bet you are right.

The good part is I feel better. I am not constantly cold. My skin and nails are better. My gums are better; they were receding and they are coming back. I sleep better. I don't have wild food cravings. I can eat just one piece of bread and don't have to finish the loaf. I don't binge eat anymore. I don't hide food or eat out of the view of others. There is a lot of good coming of this. I am just wanting to do it right because I only want to do this once; it is so hard to let myself get big.

Thank you for your support.

RE: Where am I going wrong? - elly1979 - 07-21-2012 04:09 AM

hi there,

I can understand your frustration! I would be frustrated at that kind of gain, too. Kiki & Lucia definitely have the best knowledge around here, but I did have a thought:

I, too, love kettlebell workouts. But I dropped them after switching to EM2WL. There are, of course, varying opinions across communities about what workouts are 'best' and why. There are certainly a ton of kettlebell success stories, and I will likely incorporate a kettlebell swing w/o as my cardio 1 day a week when I cut.

But. My sense is the kettlebell workouts function more as cardio workouts than strength building workouts. So it's possible you're building a lot of endurance, and fat burning, but perhaps not putting on as much muscle as you could. It's also possible you're doing the kettlebell workouts too much, if they would be indeed considered to be more a cardio style workout.

When I started EM2WL, I was stuck at a big plateau, and exhausted from circuit-style workouts. They were doing nothing to help me lose, and tiring the heck out of me.

I know it's hard to wrap one's head around them being cardio. But i think they really function more as fat burners (and good ones, at that) than strength builders.

I've been lifting heavy, in place of the kettlebells and circuit-style workouts, for about 8 weeks now. Things are definitely shifting around on my body. I've never seen my arms look like this before. my waist is a lot more defined, too. My *scale* weight hasn't really budged, but my pants fit differently. I expect, w hen I move into my cut soon, (I was on a reset), I'll drop some more sizes.

Just some food for thought in terms of the type of workout you're doing. I see you said you're doing AMRAP on the free weights, too, which classifies them more as endurance or circuit type workouts, I think. So high volume, which has its place, but so does strength building. Have you considered switching to some slower, compound style workouts a couple times a week, where the goal is lifting heavier for fewer reps?

Hope that helps. None of this is me judging your workouts. I think everything has a place. I often miss my circuit style training, for I enjoyed the high I got from it. But I think it was really burning too many calories in a sitting, without building adequate muscle on me. I was tempted to work out with them more and more to bust my plateau, but couldn't see how that was physically possible. Then I found this group. It's helped my body composition quite a bit happy