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can't figure out where to start
07-02-2015, 02:49 PM
Post: #1
can't figure out where to start
Hello.... so... I don't even know where to start. Here is what I know:
I am about 190 #'s and want to lose weight and get strong.
At my heaviest I was 260 #'s. I dropped weight at first by changing my eating habits, and adding walking and easy exercises. I got down to 230 in no time. A year later I started jogging. I got up to 5 miles, about 4-5 times per week and I went all the way down to 190#'s. I did NOT count calories whatsoever, but I was constantly modifying what I put into my body and made more and more healthier choices. That next drop after I added jogging happened over the course of about a year. But I plateaued there for a looong time and so I tried doing other exercises, but instead of losing more, I began gaining. So I did the worst thing EVER and did HCG. Anyone familiar with this diet knows that it is a VLCD on 500 calories for about 28-36 days in the second phase. I LOST an incredible amount of weight and did two rounds to end up at 158 #'s. Let me also say that phase 3 is unique. Immediately after the very low calorie phase you add in fats and make sure your calories are up close 3,000. And, as long as you stay away from starches, sugars, and too much dairy, you can maintain no matter how many calories you eat. And I DID maintain, for about a year!

I was an eating machine. BUT, life crept back in, with camping trips, too many birthday parties, too many nights out, too many dates that wanted to drink wine or do the karaoke bar, and well, after I landed my boyfriend, too many movie nights and other junk foods, and I have gotten all the way back up to 190#'s. Most of that came back after I started enjoying too many nights out with my boyfriend over the course of 9 months.

In February I made a change. I got back into my jogging. NO LOSS. Then I decided to quit drinking altogether. NO LOSS. then I decided that too much cardio could be the problem and so I started lifting, and exercising about 5-6 times per week. At this point, I was making sure to eat lots of protien, lots of veggies, and very little fruit or other starches/carbs. Again, NO LOSS. (no gain either)

I came to believe that doing the VLCD HCG diet didn't just mess up my metabolism, but it made me sensitive to certain foods.

I kept at this routine for 3 solid months with NOTHING! I upped the weights..... bloated a bit, but remained the same. I half-heartedly logged my calories and I was around 1900-2100....? I don't know for sure. But I KNOW it wasn't low calorie, and I KNOW it wasn't higher calorie as suggested by my TDEE... even after a 15% cut.

I decided that my body needs fruits. And that some grains... sweet potatoes, yukon gold potatoes, brown rice, ezekial bread, chocolate, corn on the cob... that my body should be having all of these wonderful items. So, over the last month, I have added them back in, here and there. Not going crazy with them, but I am so done with deprivation! Over the last 5 months, as long as I am working out, I can enjoy pizza, a piece of pie or cake or what have you, and it doesn't effect my weight at all.

Now, I have found this wonderful site, and I have my TDEE and cut value, and herein lies my dilemma!
I am 35 (almost 36, 5'6")
TDEE: 2513
Cut @ 15% 2136
BMR: 1621

Okay... Eating at 2136 caloies... I jumped into my 15% cut because I felt that I had already been gaining weight and was stuck at 190#'s forever. I am soooo bloated and feel worse now than when I wasn't counting calories and I have not lost a pound! My scale is broken at the moment (I don't really care), but my clothes are all even tighter than when I first started lifting weights!
Someone suggested that I cut back on the work outs and just lift weight because what I was doing was 5-6 times per week with workouts that looked something like this over a 7 day period:
day 1: total body workout, 30 minutes, weighted combination moves (such as 10# overhead press with squats) in interval patterns, and 2-4 minute cardios in between sets. So, 3 different squats, with weights, 3 rounds, 12 each set, and then a cardio break, and then on to the next round of probably upper body.)
day 2: 30 minute ab workout from Jillian Michaels
day 3: a different total body work out, probably 45 minutes
day 4: 55 minute cardio workout
day 5: 30 minute total body again
day 6: a very looong walk, or a hike (lots of steep hills, sometimes jogging it), or a 2-3 mile jog
day 7: rest
This was in addition to me working as a preschool teacher for 3.5 hours per day, 5 days per week, plus I am a single mom, I cook, I clean, I rarely sit to watch television, etc...

Ugh... So I cut back on the workouts. I take a day rest after each time I work-out and lift weights (not sure if it is heavy enough, but I make sure to do reps where I can't do anymore than 12-15), and have stopped jogging. And I FEEL LIKE POOOP!!!! I was happier when I was NOT counting calories and doing all the exercise. My nails, since February, are sooooo nice! My skin is clear (I drink about a gallon of water a day). My energy was through the roof! I was sleeping well, and now I am not. But still, no weight loss, and now I feel like I am gaining weight. =(

Here is what I can't understand. I really don't know if I was eating less before or if I am eating less now. I can't seem to find anyone on the MFP group or here that has come from the background I have. And I really don't like the way I feel. My ultimate goal is to lose weight. The last time I did HCG was 2 years ago, so I'm pretty sure my body shouldn't be freaked out by calorie restriction anymore. OR, did I just jump right back into working out (cardio) before my body really recovered from the VCLD so maybe my body never really recovered? Do I actually need a reset? Could it hurt to go up to my TDEE for a bit and then come back down? I am dreading that possible gain going up to my TDEE... And is it really even my TDEE? Maybe I am just being impatient? I don't know where to start.

I can tell you that as of today, I am DONE logging my calories. It is driving me nuts trying to calculate everything. And I don't really care about the scale, but I do care about how my clothes fit and how I feel. And I'd really, really like to get a better weight set and really learn about lifting. Being strong and fit is really what I'd like to achieve. And I don't even care how long it takes to get there. I'd just like to see some results from ANYTHING I have been doing for the past 5 months!

Frustrated....
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07-02-2015, 05:06 PM
Post: #2
RE: can't figure out where to start
I'm sure a moderator will answer your questions. I just wanted you to know I am your same weight and height, and I did HCG and lost almost 30 pounds in 2011. Gained it all back under a year later. I have been eating more for one year and three months. I tried to rush my reset and after eight weeks I tried a cut. Gained 25 pounds over the past year. This past May I finally took the time to figure out my true TDEE. I had over-estimated it. I would say the year was wasted but I have come to love lifting weights and stopped bingeing. Those are serious gains after a lifetime of dieting. Take the time to figure out your TDEE...the time is going to pass anyway and if you don't, you will be back trying to figure it out after months have gone by. Wasted months because you are in a hurry to not feel like crap. But that is part of the process. Maybe try not counting for a couple of weeks and just walk once or twice a week until your head clears a bit? At first glance, I would say your activity is higher than you think? I use a Fitbit and finally got my burn numbers down exactly. We are here for you
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07-02-2015, 10:21 PM (This post was last modified: 07-02-2015 10:25 PM by AnitraSoto.)
Post: #3
RE: can't figure out where to start
Welcome! So glad you have found us!

First of all, it's going to be difficult to work your way through this process if you are not going to count calories or weigh yourself at all. Although, in an ideal world, we could avoid these two things, in reality we sort of need to use them, just so we know where we stand. Eventually, we can hope to live without these tools, but at the beginning, they are sort of a necessity.

You said that you jumped right to your 15% cut of 2,136. Do you have any idea of how much you were consuming prior to making that change? Ideally, prior to making any adjustments, you would have logged your calories eating as you normally do, just so that you could get a starting reference point. At least once you know where you are starting and have your numbers figured out you can make a plan to get to your goal. Because you are feeling bloated and miserable, my guess is that you were eating much less than this number, other wise you would not be feeling this way... Any idea how much you were eating before?

As far as the exercise, that is a lot of activity. I would try to simplify things and stick to the full body strength training 3 times a week and throw in a couple of short 20 minute HIIT workouts a week, or add a Metabolic Finisher to the end of your strength training workouts. Certainly enjoy a hike, but don't push it and try to go for "the big burn". Just go hiking, relax and enjoy. Remember, the body sees exercise as a stress. Exercise too much and the results will not be positive. Stick with a well designed, periodized strength training program 3 times a week, get some short HIIT-type workouts in there for some fat loss and to benefit your heart and call it a week. Keep it simple. This is definitely one of those instances where more is not better...

It sounds to me like you could really benefit from a Metabolic Reset. Not only would this help to ensure that your metabolism has healed from the previous HCG stuff, but it would also allow you to determine what your true TDEE is, rather than relying on calculators. Of course, to do a reset, you would really need to be willing to count calories. Not sure how to do it without knowing how much you are consuming...

Have you read our Metabolism Reset Guide? This guide answers many of the commonly asked questions, and sort of walks you through the process from start to finish... Take a peek, if you haven't already, and let us know your thoughts:

http://eatmore2weighless.com/the-metabol...set-guide/

I really think that in order to have some idea of which direction to go, you will really need to count calories (unfortunately), otherwise you will have no idea how much you are taking in. How will you increase your calories and have any idea what level you are at without counting. Personally, I would just hunker down and make a plan that you are going to have to log, at least for a while, and then once you get a good solid handle on your intake you can let the logging go, or at least take breaks and only log occasionally, just to double-check yourself...

Let me know your thoughts. We are here to help you..

Anitra Soto
Team EM2WL
ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer
ISSA Certified Specialist in Senior Fitness

My EM2WL Journey: http://eatmore2weighless.com/never-too-old-anitra/
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07-02-2015, 10:55 PM
Post: #4
RE: can't figure out where to start
(07-02-2015 05:06 PM)Alioop Wrote:  I'm sure a moderator will answer your questions. I just wanted you to know I am your same weight and height, and I did HCG and lost almost 30 pounds in 2011. Gained it all back under a year later. I have been eating more for one year and three months. I tried to rush my reset and after eight weeks I tried a cut. Gained 25 pounds over the past year. This past May I finally took the time to figure out my true TDEE. I had over-estimated it. I would say the year was wasted but I have come to love lifting weights and stopped bingeing. Those are serious gains after a lifetime of dieting. Take the time to figure out your TDEE...the time is going to pass anyway and if you don't, you will be back trying to figure it out after months have gone by. Wasted months because you are in a hurry to not feel like crap. But that is part of the process. Maybe try not counting for a couple of weeks and just walk once or twice a week until your head clears a bit? At first glance, I would say your activity is higher than you think? I use a Fitbit and finally got my burn numbers down exactly. We are here for you

thanx for this! I agree that finding out my true TDEE is most important.
my activity level for the summer is changed a bit. I certainly spend more time in front of the computer or tv (no work for the summer.) so when I typed in my stats to scooby I calculate what it would be for the summer.

another hcger... glad to know I am not alone in the struggle. NICE that you're lifting!
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07-02-2015, 11:09 PM
Post: #5
RE: can't figure out where to start
(07-02-2015 10:21 PM)AnitraSoto Wrote:  Welcome! So glad you have found us!

First of all, it's going to be difficult to work your way through this process if you are not going to count calories or weigh yourself at all. Although, in an ideal world, we could avoid these two things, in reality we sort of need to use them, just so we know where we stand. Eventually, we can hope to live without these tools, but at the beginning, they are sort of a necessity.

You said that you jumped right to your 15% cut of 2,136. Do you have any idea of how much you were consuming prior to making that change? Ideally, prior to making any adjustments, you would have logged your calories eating as you normally do, just so that you could get a starting reference point. At least once you know where you are starting and have your numbers figured out you can make a plan to get to your goal. Because you are feeling bloated and miserable, my guess is that you were eating much less than this number, other wise you would not be feeling this way... Any idea how much you were eating before?

As far as the exercise, that is a lot of activity. I would try to simplify things and stick to the full body strength training 3 times a week and throw in a couple of short 20 minute HIIT workouts a week, or add a Metabolic Finisher to the end of your strength training workouts. Certainly enjoy a hike, but don't push it and try to go for "the big burn". Just go hiking, relax and enjoy. Remember, the body sees exercise as a stress. Exercise too much and the results will not be positive. Stick with a well designed, periodized strength training program 3 times a week, get some short HIIT-type workouts in there for some fat loss and to benefit your heart and call it a week. Keep it simple. This is definitely one of those instances where more is not better...

It sounds to me like you could really benefit from a Metabolic Reset. Not only would this help to ensure that your metabolism has healed from the previous HCG stuff, but it would also allow you to determine what your true TDEE is, rather than relying on calculators. Of course, to do a reset, you would really need to be willing to count calories. Not sure how to do it without knowing how much you are consuming...

Have you read our Metabolism Reset Guide? This guide answers many of the commonly asked questions, and sort of walks you through the process from start to finish... Take a peek, if you haven't already, and let us know your thoughts:

http://eatmore2weighless.com/the-metabol...set-guide/

I really think that in order to have some idea of which direction to go, you will really need to count calories (unfortunately), otherwise you will have no idea how much you are taking in. How will you increase your calories and have any idea what level you are at without counting. Personally, I would just hunker down and make a plan that you are going to have to log, at least for a while, and then once you get a good solid handle on your intake you can let the logging go, or at least take breaks and only log occasionally, just to double-check yourself...

Let me know your thoughts. We are here to help you..

Thank you so much for replying! I took a look at my mfp logs from about 3 months ago.. they aren't all there because I wasn't super concerned with it. But it looks like there were quite a few days that I was between 1500 calories and 1650 calories... and then other days, I was between 2000 and 2200. So... maybe consistency there? I don't know... lol
It just seems that NOW that I am actually trying to meet a higher calorie goal, I am bloated. So this tells me that I am in fact eating more calories now... at least I think. And for the summer my activity level has dropped a bit because I have the summers off as a teacher. I did try to supplement this a bit with yoga and walking. Actually, I have modified my whole work-out routine over the past couple of weeks, and this modification plus the logging is what is making me feel yucky.
For now, I have decided to do 30 minute morning yoga on my rest days with maybe some walking or hiking thrown in (my daughters and I love this stuff!), and then cut back on the cardio work-outs, but keep all the strength training.
I hate to say it, but I think you are right about needing a reset. I think after the hcg thing I just got right back into jogging, and then as the jogging died off and became inconsistent, and I made more normal food choices, I jumped up to 190 #'s again. It seems to be where my body remembers this weight.
I'll keep tracking my calories. Today I hit 1,873 and I am FULL!!!! and it is almost bed time here... I suppose I could just keep upping it every week or so until I am at TDEE, and then stay there for 8 weeks or more....
and yes, I will invest in another scale. The darn thing just stopped working a couple of weeks ago! lol...
Thank you again! No way I am giving up! I KNOW that eating to fuel your body is the right way to go...
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07-02-2015, 11:27 PM (This post was last modified: 07-02-2015 11:37 PM by AnitraSoto.)
Post: #6
RE: can't figure out where to start
I am happy you have decided that (at least for now) you will have to track your calories. It really is the only way you will have a clue where you are... I would try to figure out what level you were eating at previously (it was probably below 1800 if you are stuffed at 1873) and just make that increase really gradually. Maybe start at 1800 and stay here for a week, then up it to 1900 next week. Continue this way until you get to your TDEE of ~2500.

Remember, your reset will not technically start until you actually determine and get to your TDEE and then a minimum of 8 - 12 weeks at TDEE is what is recommended to allow the metabolism time to heal. Try to shorten that time-frame and you will just find yourself back doing another reset in the near future..

Cutting back on those long cardio workouts is a great idea. The body will most likely respond positively to the reduction in stress, and your strength training workouts will improve with the additional fuel.

Please make sure you come back often and keep us updated. Feel free to start a Journal of your own in the Personal Journals section of these forums. It's a great place to track your progress over time and interact with others going through the same thing (you can even copy and paste your first entry there so we have something to refer back to...)

Anitra Soto
Team EM2WL
ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer
ISSA Certified Specialist in Senior Fitness

My EM2WL Journey: http://eatmore2weighless.com/never-too-old-anitra/
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07-03-2015, 12:20 PM
Post: #7
RE: can't figure out where to start
(07-02-2015 11:27 PM)AnitraSoto Wrote:  I am happy you have decided that (at least for now) you will have to track your calories. It really is the only way you will have a clue where you are... I would try to figure out what level you were eating at previously (it was probably below 1800 if you are stuffed at 1873) and just make that increase really gradually. Maybe start at 1800 and stay here for a week, then up it to 1900 next week. Continue this way until you get to your TDEE of ~2500.

Remember, your reset will not technically start until you actually determine and get to your TDEE and then a minimum of 8 - 12 weeks at TDEE is what is recommended to allow the metabolism time to heal. Try to shorten that time-frame and you will just find yourself back doing another reset in the near future..

Cutting back on those long cardio workouts is a great idea. The body will most likely respond positively to the reduction in stress, and your strength training workouts will improve with the additional fuel.

Please make sure you come back often and keep us updated. Feel free to start a Journal of your own in the Personal Journals section of these forums. It's a great place to track your progress over time and interact with others going through the same thing (you can even copy and paste your first entry there so we have something to refer back to...)


Alright... thank you very much! I will keep all of this in mind. Yesterday sort of panned out with my calories from the day before which were close to 3,000... though that day was just really filled with tons and tons of veggies... Idk... but my average in a week is about 2200 so far. So I will try to stay there for another week or so before moving up to 2300 and so on... thanx again! I will start a journal very soon. Want to get that scale first! ;-)
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