Post Reply 
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Stumped
04-07-2016, 12:19 AM
Post: #1
Stumped
I don't want this to be a looooong post that takes forever to read. I do have a sporadic journal on here that is more detailed. But in a nutshell:

Started EM2WL exactly 2 years ago, April 2014. I was around 225 lbs after off and on dieting since... well, birth, it seems. I always said I was just a person who couldn't eat above 1200cals a day without gaining weight, and I couldn't, but I also couldn't live like that anymore. I was either eating and gaining and hating myself for it, or starving and hating everyone else. I vowed to stop the dieting/overeating rollercoaster and get more mentally stable about food, my body, my worth. So I did the metabolic reset for the full 12 weeks. Gained around 25lbs doing it, but I worked really hard not to get super upset about that and go back to my low-cal ways. I went to a -10% cut and hoped for a miracle.

In the meantime I went to a naturopathic doctor to try to see if she could help. I was struggling to work out due to many areas of inflammation. She said I had leaky-gut and set about healing that. I did what she said, took the pro-biotics and the omega-3s, did the elimination diet, then the food sensitivities testing. I already knew gluten makes me feel bad, turned out eggs were a no-go. Went off the gluten and eggs for almost a year. It helped, and I was able to work out again.

To add to things, I had a rough year at work last year and ended up on a stress leave for three months. I actually barely remember that time. Just tried to meditate, eat well, exercise some, sleep lots. Dr put me on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds but I weaned myself off of them both a few months later. By summer of 15 I was up another 10 lbs, so 250lbs now. I find that about 245 is my magic number where above that I feel like living hell. Heartburn, short of breath, constant knee and hip pain. Awesome. But I managed to not give in to the temptation to go back to 1200cals. Keep on keeping on, right?

At the end of last summer I was reading a lot about Functional Medicine. I found a practitioner in my area and went to see her. Talk about pricey! And not covered, of course. Which is saying a lot, since I'm Canadian! Another elimination diet, and she recommends basically staying on a ketogenic diet for life. Sigh. I wish people would stop telling me that, because I know it, but don't want to know it. My husband has a j-pouch, so it's mainly refined carbs for him. Opposites really attract! I have no choice but to have a house full of food I can't eat but want to, and a bunch of food no one in the family eats but me. Hard. Not impossible, but hard. Like tonight... he had chips and dip for dinner, and I had brussels sprouts. wah wah waaaahhhhh....

Anyway, the FM woman also tested my thyroid (my doc had done that before but always just said it was "within the normal range") and diagnosed me with hypothyroidism, so now I am on desecrated thryroid for that, and she also tested my hormones and noticed my progesterone was WAY low. So NHRT now too. Again, I tried not to get my hopes up, but still did. No miracle though... surprise!

So now here I am. A full two years later. I am up ANOTHER 15lbs. 265ish. I have never been this heavy except when pregnant. My face is almost unrecognizable from two years ago. I am short of breath all the time. I still keep between my -15% cut and my TDEE range (2156-2800ish) but I am still steadily gaining a couple more lbs a month. I have adjusted my cals more times than I can count. Go higher, people say that can help. Gained weight. Go lower, maybe I am overestimating? Gained weight.

I hit the weights and lift moderate-heavy 4-5 times a week. I walk. Easily get my 10,000 steps most days. I avoid gluten most days, don't eat fast food, can get pretty close to my macros when I am paying close attention.

So.... advice? What do I do now? I feel like I am at my limit. In three more pounds I will be at my highest weight ever in my life, and the lowest body image ever as well. I am giving this until my 39th birthday at the beginning of June, and if nothing changes, I don't see any other option by to go back to the 1200cals.

Sorry all, that was a bit more than the nutshell I planned.

Laura
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
04-07-2016, 08:28 PM (This post was last modified: 04-07-2016 08:32 PM by AnitraSoto.)
Post: #2
RE: Stumped
Oh my, such a long road with so many answers along the way but still no true direction. I feel your frustration....

The first thing that strikes me when reading your history is all of the stress you went through and the food sensitivities and elimination diets. Kiki has done videos and maybe more recently some Periscope "scopes" about stress and its negative effects on our bodies. She has also posted links to articles (some of them quite detailed) about this very subject.

This article/study is pretty scientific and lengthy (which is why Kiki obviously tries to break down the science-y stuff into terms "the EM2WL fam" can understand for her videos). But, this particular study shows how stress causes AND exacerbates allergies:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3264048/

My "takeaway" from this is article is that even if you ultimately feel the need to remove the item(s) now, you still must tackle the source of what it likely causing these reactions…or risk simply feeling allergic to something else in the future (and having your food options become more and more restrictive over time...)

Having a restrictive diet or dealing with "elimination diets" definitely will increase one's stress levels... Also, eating something that you think will cause a reaction will increase stress as well (and possibly give you the exact reaction that you feared!) The most important thing to understand that you literally cannot separate physiology/biology from psychology. You can’t try to keep stress and food problems in two separate boxes. They are interrelated, and it seems to me as though the newly diagnosed problems with your adrenals may be proof.

Here are some more articles that may be of interest about the subject:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1592668/

http://www.foodsmatter.com/digestive_con...clash.html

http://www.foodsmatter.com/digestive_con..._also.html

I found these very interesting food for thought... Again, please remember that I am not a doctor, but interesting articles/studies like that Kiki references really catch my eye since they seem to relate to what is happening in our lives today.

One thing to remember is that the body sees many things as stressors, and not just what we routinely think of as "stress". Exercise is a stress. Eating at a deficit is a stress. A hectic family life is a stress. Health issues are a stress. Work is a stress. In my experience, the more stressors one has in their life the harder it is to lose weight, which is why we always suggest minimizing these stressors as much as possible. Now, obviously, there are some which are just out of our control, but there are some which we can control:

The exercise one we can control by not overdoing it. Make our workouts short and effective and not simply hours on a treadmill. Or, in the case of adrenal fatigue, eliminating exercise altogether is often a necessity to further reduce the stress and allow the adrenals time to "heal".

The "eats" we have control over as well, and we can reduce the stress by keeping our deficits small and not resorting to low calorie quick fixes and not eliminating entire food groups.

The daily life stuff we can control to some extent, but there is a lot that is beyond our control. Minimizing stress when possible and not taking on too many unnecessary projects, tasks, and responsibilities can be helpful.

But, generally when people reduce as many stresses as possible in their lives and just settle into a routine things "magically" start coming together.

Stress is a HUGE factor in our health. Stressing can cause allergic reactions… Constantly going through elimination diets can cause stress (both mentally AND physically), which can enhance the body's reactions (and possibly even be causing MORE).

It is so hard, because everybody has an opinion, and we certainly look to our doctors for advice and guidance... But it certainly seems obvious to me that as our lives become more and more stressful we seem to be hearing more about allergies and food intolerances. When I was growing up there were those rare kids with peanut allergies, but on the whole life was simple and we didn't have a whole laundry list of foods we were unable to eat. We ate what mom told us and that was it laughing

These days there are so many people who begin to avoid certain food groups for X, Y or Z "diet", and then they find that when they re-introduce those foods that were avoided during the diet that they are even more sensitive to them than they were before, resulting in a vicious cycle of avoidance. For instance the Whole 30 Diet does not allow any grains, rice, sugar for the first 30 days. So many people find that when they begin to re-introduce those foods or totally "fall of the wagon" because the diet is too restrictive that they have become very sensitive to these foods.

Certainly if you have diagnosed allergies that's one thing, but so many people just randomly start to avoid foods and create (or exacerbate) their own sensitivities, and then the stress of that causes more reactions. A vicious cycle that can often be avoided by not cutting out entire food groups, or understanding the stress that may be causing the sensitivity.

Does any of that "ring true" with what you are going through?

As far as your intake, I definitely don't see it as an "all or nothing" kind of solution. You said that your TDEE is in the 2200 - 2800 range. If you are consistently gaining eating at this level, that certainly does not mean that you need to drop all the way down to 1200 to see results. There is a whole lot of leeway between 2800 and 1200. Personally, I would try to log really consistently at one level and monitor your weight. If you are seeing gains at that level, try backing down by 100 calories and see if those gains slow or stop. Remember, just because a calculator or on-body device says that your TDEE is X calories does not mean that is the level that your metabolism is actually functioning at. I think for right now I would try to determine what level of intake you need to have to maintain your weight, and not go off of the calculators. At least that way you would have a "starting point".

Also, try to reduce stress wherever you possibly can and maybe even consider cutting back on the exercise for a while, just to give your adrenals a break.

Anyway, good to hear from you, but I am sorry you are struggling. I am interested to hear your thoughts...

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

My EM2WL Journey: http://eatmore2weighless.com/never-too-old-anitra/
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
04-07-2016, 10:30 PM
Post: #3
RE: Stumped
Thank you so much for your response Anitra, it was just what I needed to hear. I will take a look at the links you attached. My Fitbit has my average calories out at 2400-3100, so -10% would be around 2250, which is what I have been aiming for the last month... still gaining. I will try to be super consistent with logging my foods for a few weeks and see what happens on the scale. What are your thoughts on eating back exercise calories, yay or nay?

Laura
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
04-08-2016, 06:58 AM (This post was last modified: 04-08-2016 07:01 AM by AnitraSoto.)
Post: #4
RE: Stumped
I would get a *true* FitBit average to work off of. That 2400 - 3100 is a really wide margin. I would get your daily totals for the past 30 days, add them up and divide by 30, which will give you a true average to work off of, rather than that wide range. For now, try logging really consistently at this 2250 level, and if you are truly gaining, then try cutting back to 2150 and see if you can get it to stabilize. The consistent logging make sure that those gains are truly from over-reaching your TDEE and not just inaccurate logging and over-estimating portion sizes...

As far as the eating back of exercise calories, that is *not* something you do at all when you are working off of the TDEE method. When FitBit gathers your data, *all* of your activity is already factored in there, so you do not want to eat back any additional calories. The only exception to this would be when you have a really high burn day ... say if you go on a long strenuous hike one weekend, or spend 10 hours moving furniture and boxes one day. In cases like this, then it is fine to eat a couple of hundred extra calories, just to make up for that larger than normal burn. But generally, if you are working off of your FitBit averages, it already knows how active you are and is giving you a reading based on that activity level.

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

My EM2WL Journey: http://eatmore2weighless.com/never-too-old-anitra/
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
04-09-2016, 11:05 AM
Post: #5
RE: Stumped
Okay, thanks! That makes sense. So I will change MFP to not add exercise calories into my daily total for food. And will do what you suggest about the Fitbit average, as well as the consistent tracking.

Laura
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
04-09-2016, 11:31 AM
Post: #6
RE: Stumped
I added up the calories burned for the last 30 days and averaged them, like suggested above. My total is much higher than I thought! 2777 is the average. So if I am working off that number as my TDEE, then -10% would be 2499cals/day. So I will stick to that for a couple weeks and see what the scale does. Even -15% would still be 2360, and I was going lower than that. Could that be the main problem? Could going too low below TDEE cause me to GAIN? I have been around the EM2WL world long enough to know that it is never recommended to go below 15% cut, but could that cause me to steadily gain like I have been doing?

I also do think it's highly possible that when I am not tracking, I am going over the TDEE number regularly. So I need to consistently track. But it's a bit of a Catch 22, because the daily tracking causes me stress, which in turn can cause weight gain. sheesh! lol

Laura
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
04-09-2016, 11:41 AM
Post: #7
RE: Stumped
Anitra- what are your macro goals?

Laura
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
04-09-2016, 01:00 PM (This post was last modified: 04-09-2016 01:03 PM by AnitraSoto.)
Post: #8
RE: Stumped
Sounds like a great plan! You will want to set your macro goals to 40% Carbs, 30% Protein and 30% Fats, making sure you hit that protein goal each day. If you do that, you will find that the other two just sort of naturally fall in place (or close enough...) I think logging consistently is going to be key to make sure you are heading in the right direction. The only way you will ever know how much you are eating is to log it... Yes, it may add a bit of stress, but you may find it to be enlightening, and hopefully if you can on the right path that will decrease your overall stress.

So when you did your reset 2 years ago, what level did you reset at? And have you been logging since then? I know you did a bunch of elimination diets, but do you have any idea what your intake has been recently, or has the logging been too sporadic? My reason for asking is that if you have been under eating interspersed with periods of overeating you may basically have to start over and go back to the reset, so that your body gets a good idea of where it should be functioning. Also, I just want to check and make sure that you have gotten a chance to read the Metabolism Reset Guide: http://eatmore2weighless.com/the-metabol...set-guide/ as this goes over the entire process in detail, but hopefully easy-to-understand format. Even if you have read it, I would suggest taking another look.

As far as why you are gaining when eating below your TDEE, there are three (or actually four) big reasons why this may be happening: First, if you aren't logging accurately, then you really have no idea of how much you are eating. Second, yes you could just be eating at too steep of a deficit, and the body just does not like this. The third cause might be that you are dealing with a suppressed metabolism. For whatever reason, your metabolism is not functioning where it should be. It could be still suppressed from years of dieting, it could be suppressed due to endocrine issues, it could just be reacting negatively to all the stress in your life. Although you may never truly know the cause, a(nother) reset would help to get it back up and running where it should be. The fourth possibility is, like you said, you may simply be eating over your TDEE routinely. Again, this will not be something you will be able to figure out until you get a solid few weeks of logging under your belt...

So right now, I would start by eating at one specific level (not too far off from what you have been eating most recently) and just log everything and see how your weight responds. I would not suggest simply increasing each week until your weight has stabilized between increases. This should help to minimize any further gains... Once you know how much you are eating and how your weight is responding it should be easier to figure out a future plan...

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

My EM2WL Journey: http://eatmore2weighless.com/never-too-old-anitra/
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
04-09-2016, 01:45 PM (This post was last modified: 04-09-2016 01:46 PM by LauCo77.)
Post: #9
RE: Stumped
I checked... I reset two years ago at 2732. Which actually seems pretty accurate based on the fitbit average I just did that put it at 2777. I have logged, but not consistently enough. I have read the reset guide, but not in a while, so I will go reread it. I could do another reset, but honestly, I don't think there is much chance that I have been eating too few calories overall. I think probably the most likely reason is #1. That not logging consistently has me thinking that I am eating fewer calories than I actually am (#4). This, coupled with an under-active thyroid and hormone imbalances, and it would explain my steady gain.

So yes, I will eat at my TDEE-15% (2360) for the next three weeks and track everything. That's pretty close to what I was trying to eat at the last few months, but without tracking all the time, I don't know how close I was. Weigh only once a week, or maybe not at all until the end of the three week period, and then see what goes on.

I cannot thank you enough for the time and thought you are putting in for me! Thank you!!!

Laura
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
04-09-2016, 02:12 PM
Post: #10
RE: Stumped
Well, your thoughts are exactly the same as mine. That's why I suggested starting out with simply trying to log your intake accurately, otherwise you have absolutely no idea what's going on. And overshooting your TDEE can be SO easy, and if you do that for a prolonged period of time, especially with an under-active thyroid then yes, there is your most likely explanation for the slow steady gain.

Did you get a chance to ready any of those links in my first response? I was shocked when I read those the first time, and it has made me totally rethink any type of elimination diet, barring a true, diagnosed food allergy. They are pretty heavy reading, but full of good info and food for thought.

And, you are very welcome. I can't be here 24/7 as I have a "real life" complete with it's own chaos, but i am so happy to be able to help out whenever and whoever I can...

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

My EM2WL Journey: http://eatmore2weighless.com/never-too-old-anitra/
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread: Author Replies: Views: Last Post
  Stumped rsobering@mymts.net 3 3,400 03-11-2013 07:45 PM
Last Post: Kiki

Forum Jump:


User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)