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The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step -- Lao Tzu - Printable Version

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The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step -- Lao Tzu - hannah77 - 06-07-2016 01:04 AM

Hey there! I'm a newbie to the site and finally decided to take the plunge and start my journal. I'm sure I'll need some help along the way and maybe I can encourage others in their own journeys. I actually came across the site researching something for my husband...we are participating in a weight management program (thankfully, only 2 weeks left to go as although there is good information in the program about nutrition and physical activity, the program is still a proponent of "move more, eat less" and I want to get away from the weekly weigh-ins for my husband's sake). My husband was drastically cutting back on his calories, even more than the program was recommending (he's 6'4", 310 pounds). In a six-week period on time, he was averaging under 1500 calories per day and had only lost 10 pounds. Two weeks ago, I was able to move him (kicking and screaming) up to 1800 calories per day. This past week, 1900. First major goals are to move him up 100-200 calories at a time past his BMR of 2980 (don't know how I'll ever get him to eat his TDEE of 4619...can a person actually eat that much?), rein in some of his cardio (he just had a knee replacement last year with complications, so he just walks, but was walking over an hour every day), and add some light lifting. But, enough about him...

My Story:
My bad experiences with the scale started as early as junior high. I used to run track and field and based on our weigh-in each week, we would compete with others in the same weight category. To avoid the catch-all "above" category, I would literally starve myself for a couple days beforehand. Of course, that led to binge eating afterwards. Then, there was the time in high school when I went to a volleyball camp at the age of 15 and was told "if you would lose 10-15 pounds, you could jump a lot higher and be a better player." And so the struggle continued on and off through my 20s (military weight standards) and 30s (metabolism starting to slow down so they say), and early 40s (max weight ever, just over 200 pounds). A love/hate relationship with food. A love/hate relationship with the mirror. A love/hate relationship with the scale. A love/hate relationship with my clothes. A love/hate relationship with myself...mostly hate.

In 2011, I started working on my registered yoga teaching certification (if you want to feel fat, just hang around a bunch of skinny yoginis! LOL!) and made a(nother) commitment to losing weight. Yo yo up, yo yo down! Through the first six months of 2013, I dropped down to 170 pounds and was honestly feeling the best I had in years. Then, a diagnosis of breast cancer. Three surgeries, a year filled with chemotherapy/radiation, and 18 months (and counting) of chemically induced menopause and severe joint and muscle pain side effects from the medication and back up to 200 pounds. From the weight management program and averaging 1325 calories per day (through 23 May), I lost 15 pounds (hard to get away from that "crack cocaine" high of fast weight loss), and that's when I came across EM2WL and decided I was ready to try something new and to stop the insanity of low calorie eating (you know, doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.) As I started increasing my husband's calories, I did the same. Two weeks ago, up to 1500 (no weight loss, but no weight gain). This past week, 1600 (weigh in tomorrow but expecting no loss/gain).

I've read through the Starter Kit a couple times and while I may need to make some modifications, here are my initial goals and my information:

1) Increase up to TDEE of 2399 (based on moderate activity), 100 calories at a time and hopefully minimize any regain. Then, I'll evaluate where I'm at. While my average daily calories the past 2 months had been low, I think I had been eating more than that in recent years, so to move into a cut immediately or not remains to be determined.

2) Fit into my size 14 clothes.

3) Be able to wear my wedding ring again.

Age - 45 (46 very, very soon)
Height - 5'5"
Starting Weight - 185.0
Neck - 14.0
R Arm - 13.25
L Arm - 13.0
Bust - 41
Waist - 40
Hips - 45
R Thigh - 26.5
L Thigh - 26.0

Activities: Water aerobics (2 X 60 minutes per week)
Yoga (2 X 50 minutes per week)
Walking (2-3 X 30-60 minutes per week)
Light lifting (2 X 30 minutes per week, just starting)

I have a slight rotator cuff tear and bicep tendonitis in my left shoulder and De Quervain's tenosynovitis in my right wrist. I'm not quite ready for surgery as I'm not sure how much these conditions are being exacerbated by my medication. I'm supposed to see an integrated health doctor in a couple months and wanted to see what came out of that before deciding about something as drastic as surgery. I am also returning to community college in August and am hoping to return to teaching yoga and water aerobics as well. So, while I understand that eventually I will have to up my lifting routine, I have other priorities...and honestly, I think, my initial goals will take me through 2016.

I guess my main question is, what can I expect in terms of changes (weight, measurements, etc.) if I am not able to heavy lift?

Thanks for "listening" to my very long-winded introduction. I am so excited to be a part of this community although a little apprehensive about making these changes and gaining weight back....

RE: Start of a new journey - hannah77 - 06-07-2016 06:16 PM

Here was today's weigh-in, 184.6 pounds (down .4). Increasing another 100 calories up to 1700 calories this week. My husband was down 1 pound and increasing up to 2000 calories (what a milestone). Also had our first experience with protein powder and protein bar. Thought they were pretty good and will help us get our macros in line and the calories up.

My hubbie and I are taking it really slow with the strength training, tried some youtube videos with some exercise bands yesterday. It was pretty comical. During one of the exercises, he snapped the band out of the clip...guess he won't be using the yellow band anymore (or he'll have to borrow mine). We were evaluating another video and this young lady was doing some combo exercise for leg and core, and he was like "I think we need to find something a little more basic to start with." LOL!

RE: Start of a new journey - AnitraSoto - 06-07-2016 11:26 PM

First of all, welcome!! So sorry for the late response, but it's been "one of those days"!

Well, it sounds like you have done your research and are off on the right foot, and your husband is very lucky to have you at the helm of his ship! I can't imagine a person of his size and stature eating 1500 calories... I think *I* would die if I ate that little. In fact anything less than 2000 for me is borderline torture LOL.

I know you said that you read the Starter Kit a couple of times, but I also wanted to make sure that you found the Metabolism Reset Guide as well:


Hopefully that will clarify anything that might not have been covered int he Starter Kit.

To answer your question, the strength training is really an integral part of this process, only because muscle truly is the key to a healthy metabolism. But with that being said, there are many ways to integrate strength training... Like you have already discovered there are resistance bands, which can really be challenging! Also, body weight exercises are not to be under-estimated. With various health concerns to be taken into account there is absolutely nothing wrong with starting out with some nice brisk walking. Then, maybe with time you guys can incorporate some strength training into your walks. For instance, you could do something like stopping every 5 minutes and doing some body weight squats (and increase the reps done over time). Or add in some walking lunges. Or you could do some push-ups, but start leaning on a taller sturdy object, like a tree or fence, then as you get stronger, find a lower object like a park bench or large boulder. There are ways to begin to integrate strength training that don't necessarily involve a barbell. You and your husband can keep it fun and grow (or shrink LOL) together...

Again, welcome! Can't wait to hear more about your journey and your progress!

RE: Start of a new journey - hannah77 - 06-09-2016 12:47 PM

Thanks! I was beginning to wonder if I had set something wrong in my profile and no one was seeing my posts...or maybe my BO was so bad, it was turning people off, even through the internet (ha ha!) Your reply reassured me that I am not alone out here.

I have also read the Metabolism Reset Guide several times. Maybe I'm fooling myself that prior to the weight management program I started in April I was consistently eating over my TDEE and so could start with a cut once I reach my TDEE (which at the rate I'm going won't be for another 2-3 months and if my activity level is actually strenuous vice moderate, 3-4 months). Maybe that in itself is a sign that I need to commit to the reset for at least the minimum 8 weeks and then honestly answer the questions in the "When is my reset over?" Since this is a journey I'm also trying to bring my husband along on (he's a man, need I say more?), resetting also allows more time for me to continue increasing his calories and for him to hopefully see positive results in me that will motivate/encourage him to continue on.

I understand that strength training is a part of the process. My question was what can I expect if I can't lift "heavy" for a while, probably a year? We have started strength training (I misspoke, we are using resistance tubes not bands and my husband snapped our other yellow one in half yesterday...almost took his eye out! So, we ordered some resistance bands, uncut, so we can cut them in a length more appropriate to his height.) With his knee, shoulder and back issues and my shoulder and wrist issues...think the resistance bands are a "safer" option for us to get used to strength training again. My hubby from high school through his 30s was really into the weights. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, it caused some of the issues he has now and then he started the decade long saga with his left knee. Same story for me, lifting in my 20s and 30s, but then OBE (overcome by events). And I know periodic training is important to the process as well, but since this is a marathon journey and not a sprint, have to add pieces without overwhelming and confusing ourselves. We had a pretty decent 30 minute session yesterday. Hubby even did some forward and plie squats (clap, clap, clap...he's really tentative on anything with his knee). I woke up this morning slightly sore in the traps and biceps and remembered how I used to love that feeling!

I came across this article comparing resistance bands to free weights and feel better about starting with the bands to start. Of course, I understand the website is for a company that sells resistance bands, but interesting none the less:


Have a marvelous day everybody!

RE: The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step -- Lao Tzu - AnitraSoto - 06-09-2016 09:39 PM


Trust me, you are not alone! It's just that sometimes jobs and "life" get in the way of being here as often as I would like...

It sounds as though you have exactly the right frame of mind to start this whole journey! You have done your research and started off on the right foot. You have committed to taking your time and doing this right (realizing that what you have done in the past has not worked..) Increasing calories slowly will allow you to minimize any gains on the scale, and it's awesome that you are working with the hubby as that will motivate not only him, but you as well!

Personally, I would just mentally plan on doing the reset. No harm can ever come from doing a reset. You are simply reminding and re-training your metabolism of what "normal" is. Then, when you take a cut you are able to see results, but all while eating at a much higher level...

Absolutely you will be able to make progress without "lifting heavy", at least initially. Keep up those walks and integrate some periodic body weight squats, lunges and elevated push-ups. And yes, those tubes and bands can provide a real workout! I think you guys will just need to work around injuries and such, but yes you can make it work with body weight exercises and resistance bands!

RE: The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step -- Lao Tzu - hannah77 - 06-14-2016 05:13 PM

Not too much to report...but wanted to check in and say hi.

Our class was cancelled today, so no official weigh in. But, when I weighed on my home scale this morning, I was about 1.2 pounds less than what I weighed on it a week ago. My husband had his weight taken, but on a scale we've never used before. So, his 306 may or may not represent anything. I suspect he has lost a couple pounds though.

Upward and onward to 1800 and 2100 calories respectively.

I don't know where we would be without protein shakes and bars! We've been making one shake a day to give us about 250-300 calories....although I don't get one today Sad Occasionally, we split a protein bar, but I don't like them as much since they tend to be relatively equal in terms of protein and carbs, which sort of defeats the purpose. And because it's starting to get hot, the cold shake really tastes great!

We're still waiting for our resistance bands to arrive (Thursday, hopefully) but last week we did do three 30 minute strength sessions with the resistance tubes we have left. Managed to reduce my hubbie's walking expeditions to only two or three times last week. I continued with my twice weeklies (water aerobics, yoga, and walk).

Our moods seems to be much more pleasant, probably from happy, "unstarving" cells...especially in our brains.

RE: The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step -- Lao Tzu - scaryann1 - 06-14-2016 07:34 PM


Sorry it's taken me so long to reply to you, I have this tendency to sit back and watch (sometimes for years) before I get comfortable enough to actually comment. I'm pushing myself to stop this, but it's not easy.

I just wanted to pop in and say that I have a disorder called EDS (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome) that prevents me from heavy lifting. My muscles have to take place of my tendons and ligaments. So light lifting will improve this, but heavy lifting will do major damage. I started lifting recently with 2.2 pounds. I have a set of ankle weights from Walmart that are adjustable in two pound increments. In just a few months, I have doubled my weights to 4.2 pounds. (The .2 is the weight of the strap that holds the sandbags) I have also gotten a pair of walking crutches (also known as forearm crutches) they have made an amazing difference in how much I can be on my feet. I had a melt down a few days ago because with using the crutches every time I leave my home, my arms just gave up on me and I could lift that dang 4.2 pounds no matter how hard I tried! I was so discouraged, but the wonderful people here talked me through it and refused to let me give up. applause

After that long winded introduction, I just wanted you to know that I'm not doing any heavy lifting, but since April 25, 2016 I may have only dropped 1.2 pounds, but I have lost 1.2 inches of my calf, 2 inches off my thigh, 1.75 inches off my hips, two inches from my abdomen, and two inches from my waist. So it can be done without heavy lifting.

I have gone from eating 500-800 calories a day to now 2000 calories a day. Since the day I started eating more, July 12, 2015, to now, June 14, 2016, I have gone from 305 pounds down to 280 pounds. I measured the wear on my belt this morning, it is six inches! That means that without lifting at all until this year I dropped six inches from my waist!

Mary Ann (ScaryAnn1)

RE: The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step -- Lao Tzu - Original_Beauty - 06-16-2016 10:45 PM

Hi and welcome, sorry for the late reply life has been crazy down under!!! It can be so scary looking at your TDEE when you are so far away from it, but the only advice I have is take it slowly, 100 - 200 calories every week. That will slowly add up, it's amazing how quickly it all adds up! How do you feel physically and emotionally going from such a low number to 2000 calories? You must feel so much better emotionally and physically, it's amazing how much stress goes away...Then you realise, there are no more good or bad foods. Which leads to less binging and enjoying life so much more. I'm so excited for you both, you both can do this!!! Good luck big grin


RE: The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step -- Lao Tzu - hannah77 - 06-17-2016 02:36 AM

Hi! No worries, thanks for posting and supporting. Where do you live in Australia? I lived in Canberra for seven years and loved, loved, LOVED it! Only regrets were I never got to ride the train from Sydney to Perth or visit Perth, Adelaide, or Ayers Rock. Did fulfill a lifetime dream of going to the Sydney Opera House (and more than once, what a bonus!) Depending on where you are, it must be getting kind of cold heading into winter.

I don't think I'm really scared about getting to my TDEE. Prior to the start of the program I've been on since April, I probably was eating a lot closer to, if not exceeding, my TDEE...just don't know since I wasn't tracking. If I can get there and avoid putting on too many pounds (although it will be what it will be) and develop a little more strength, the thought of being able to eat that much on a regular basis is EXCITING! And to go from 1325 to 2400 is not nearly as daunting as my husband's journey from under 1500 to 4600. But, I think him going over 2000 was a huge milestone, in my mind anyway. Since I'm tracking the calories and macros for him right now and he pretty much has to eat whatever is on the menu, I wouldn't say he's totally sold on the whole idea but is willing to go along with me for the ride. Certainly no stress on his part!

If not for this program that we're wrapping up next week, he wouldn't be weighing every week and I might have increased his calories twice as much as me. That's what has been keeping me reined in for this first month since finding EM2WL...not wanting either of us to spike in weight so that he continues on. But, I think he's coming around. Before the medical issues he developed through his 40s, he really enjoyed lifting weights and being active. I think he has enjoyed getting back into that. So looking forward to that program ending and being able to increase him a little faster, maybe 150 calories X 4-6 weeks (would put him up to 2700-3000) and then evaluating whether his body is adjusting well and/or could tolerate 200 calories increases. But, I don't want to get impatient either and push us out of the slow and steady pace which seems to be working for us.

Emotionally, I think we are both feeling much better...still waiting for the physical to catch up, but probably more due to side effects of medication I am on. Right now, I am just enjoying our 100 calorie fudgsicles or ice-cream treats just about every night with NO guilt! And the protein shakes are like another dessert!

Thanks again for your encouragement!

RE: The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step -- Lao Tzu - AnitraSoto - 06-17-2016 06:22 AM

I am so excited for the both of you. If you take those increases slowly it will keep those weight spikes to a minimum and keep the mental side of the journey so much smoother.. You are so lucky to be doing this with your hubby, and he is so lucky to have you guiding him!