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New to the forum and EM2WL
07-11-2016, 10:23 PM
Post: #1
New to the forum and EM2WL
I've just found this forum and have been reading lots of posts here. I think I'm catching on but would like some feedback to make sure.

I'll be 54 next month, 5'6" tall, and am also "officially" in menopause. I had my gallbladder removed last year about this time (had loads of stones due to an anemia that I have - long story), not sure if that matters or not. I have never had much trouble with my weight, staying around 124 - 128 most of my adult, non-pregnant life. I gained quite a bit with both my pregnancies but lost it relatively easily. Over the last 18 months or so I've put on 10 pounds and I can't lose any of it. I started using MFP recently and it recommended around 1200 calories per day, and some days I've been under that because I was eating a lot of vegetables. I actually gained a little bit since I've been cutting calories! I use an UP band and track my activity, and it tells me that my resting burn is around 1200. On active days, when I walk more or have a workout my total burn is around 1700 to 1800.

So from what I'm reading here, 1200 or less calories per day is not going to help me lose the 10 lbs, or add any muscle, but might make it worse! I read about the metabolic reset, but I'm not sure if I need it - I haven't really been "dieting" for that long, just 3 weeks or so. I thought I might slowly increase my calories for a few days and work toward more consistent exercise including more weight training.

So, from those who have more experience with this, am I on the right track? What is a reasonable amount of calories for me given my goal of losing 8 - 10 lbs and firming up my midlife middle? I know it's not much weight, but my body composition is awful, I've turned to mush and I don't like it.

Thanks a bunch to anyone who read through all this - sorry it's so long!
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07-12-2016, 07:12 AM
Post: #2
RE: New to the forum and EM2WL
First of all welcome! So glad to have you here!

Yes, you are right 1200 calories is not going to help you reach your goals, as you have already figured out... Since you are so close to your goal weight, I would just work on body re-composition at this point. Ignore the scale weight and work on building some muscle. If you work your way slowly back up to your TDEE you should be able to accomplish that (it's all but impossible to gain muscle while eating at a deficit..) That muscle is going to do more than anything to make you feel tight, strong and empowered! But, again, don't focus on the scale, but instead take pictures and pay attention to how your clothes are fitting...

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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07-12-2016, 07:55 AM
Post: #3
RE: New to the forum and EM2WL
(07-12-2016 07:12 AM)AnitraSoto Wrote:  First of all welcome! So glad to have you here!

Yes, you are right 1200 calories is not going to help you reach your goals, as you have already figured out... Since you are so close to your goal weight, I would just work on body re-composition at this point. Ignore the scale weight and work on building some muscle. If you work your way slowly back up to your TDEE you should be able to accomplish that (it's all but impossible to gain muscle while eating at a deficit..) That muscle is going to do more than anything to make you feel tight, strong and empowered! But, again, don't focus on the scale, but instead take pictures and pay attention to how your clothes are fitting...

Thanks for your rely Anitra. Ignoring the scale is hard but I'll try.
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07-12-2016, 09:44 AM
Post: #4
RE: New to the forum and EM2WL
(07-12-2016 07:55 AM)PaulaB Wrote:  
(07-12-2016 07:12 AM)AnitraSoto Wrote:  First of all welcome! So glad to have you here!

Yes, you are right 1200 calories is not going to help you reach your goals, as you have already figured out... Since you are so close to your goal weight, I would just work on body re-composition at this point. Ignore the scale weight and work on building some muscle. If you work your way slowly back up to your TDEE you should be able to accomplish that (it's all but impossible to gain muscle while eating at a deficit..) That muscle is going to do more than anything to make you feel tight, strong and empowered! But, again, don't focus on the scale, but instead take pictures and pay attention to how your clothes are fitting...

Thanks for your rely Anitra. Ignoring the scale is hard but I'll try.

So I wrote a bunch more this morning, not sure what happened to it! I will do photos today before my workout. I'm wondering how fast to increase to TDEE - is 100 extra calories a week a good rate? Body re-composition sounds like a good thing - I'm tired of buying bigger pants. I've always carried my extra weight around my hips and thighs, and now I've got a midlife middle to go with that. Makes it hard to get dressed in the morning.

Can you recommend a workout program or site that would be good for a simple home gym? I have a bench, dumbbells and resistance bands as well as a pull-up bar (left by my son who used to do P90X) but I can't do pullups. Sad Other things include a stability ball and a bosu (bought used but don't know what to do with it). I don't belong to a gym - used to and it was great for a while but it went downhill and I don't want to rejoin. I have some problems with consistency working out at home but am determined to get past that.

Thanks!
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07-12-2016, 09:30 PM
Post: #5
RE: New to the forum and EM2WL
Since you have only been eating low cal for several weeks, you should be able to make those increases back up to TDEE more quickly than someone who has been VLCDing for a long time. Personally, I would just add about 200 calories at a time, increasing each week, that way you should get to your TDEE within a month or so. Prior to trying the 1200 calories for a few weeks what was your intake like?

Once you get to TDEE I would just plan on staying there and seeing if you can build some muscle. That muscle will fuel your metabolism and you should start to see changes in your body that you like as you get stronger and stronger. I really would try to avoid making that loss on the scale as your goal. At this point in your life, muscle gain and maintenance should be your goals. Muscle = Metabolism = Empowerment

As far as workouts, have you done much strength training before? We have a lot of free workouts available here:

http://eatmore2weighless.com/category/workouts/

Or there are some really inexpensive ones here (that if you do in the order in which they appear will give you a nice periodized program:

http://training.eatmore2weighless.com/shop/

Or the Beginner Strength Training Manual is not only a 12 week program but also a good read (with home gym options available):

http://training.eatmore2weighless.com/be...g-instant/

The last one would be my personal choice, but all are great options

If you are more into DVDs, definitely Cathe Friedrich would be my first choice. Her form is impeccable and she has great workouts.

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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07-13-2016, 01:44 PM
Post: #6
RE: New to the forum and EM2WL
Welcome!

The curse for women is our bodies naturally turning anything Into fat as we age, especially around menopause! I think weight training will help immensely! You will probably have good results right off the bat since you are new to weight training.

The Cathe DVDs may be a good option to help teach and motivate. Make it an appointment with yourself and keep it.

Good luck!

Sorry for typos- on mobile!

MFP @saranharm
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07-13-2016, 06:04 PM
Post: #7
RE: New to the forum and EM2WL
Hi Anitra and thanks for your response. Prior to the low calorie experiment I was just eating whatever I wanted. I've been lucky to do that and get away with it for most of my life, but also my diet has always been real food mostly cooked at home (grew up on a farm). My employer has cafeterias on campus with reasonable choices so I don't have to go out for meals, also pack lunch from home sometimes. I have been drinking a bit more beer than usual though. blushing My BF likes to go out to eat or have a drink on a Friday night, so we end up going out more than I am used to. We hit the farmer's market every week or two and load up on vegetables and eggs from a local farm.

I've already started to increase - about 150 calories more yesterday and today, and started back with lighter weights. I used to hit the gym regularly for weights, a kick-butt boot camp style class, elliptical, spin class, etc. and was in pretty good shape. I hit a rough few years with a shoulder problem that I didn't deal with (didn't want surgery, stuck head in sand) which went on for almost two years followed by my hip developing something, either bursitis or tendinitis, that was another couple of years getting fixed. I couldn't believe how long it took to find a way to relieve the hip pain! During that time, exercise was difficult and I barely did any so I'm completely out of condition. I'll look at the links you gave me, and I did find the EM2WL beginner weights workout which I probably should use for a while given how long it's been.

My fitness tracker had my TDEE at 1900 yesterday (a relatively active day with 7000 steps and a 30 min. weights video) and the EM2WL calculator put me at around 2000 with moderate activity so I'll shoot for a goal of 1900 for now and see how that goes. I want eating to be intuitive again, the way it used to be! Hopefully I can get there again.

Thanks for all your help and comments, I really appreciate it. There's still a lot for me to read and get my head around, but I'll get there.
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07-13-2016, 06:11 PM
Post: #8
RE: New to the forum and EM2WL
(07-13-2016 01:44 PM)Jc_wt Wrote:  Welcome!

The curse for women is our bodies naturally turning anything Into fat as we age, especially around menopause! I think weight training will help immensely! You will probably have good results right off the bat since you are new to weight training.

The Cathe DVDs may be a good option to help teach and motivate. Make it an appointment with yourself and keep it.

Good luck!

Thanks! The last year to 18 months has been the biggest gain I've ever had outside of pregnancy and one year when my job was all-consuming and very sendentary. I ate poorly and worked 15 hours a day sometimes. I guess this is a similar time - I've been too sedentary due to some physical problems and eating less well than I should too. My BF likes to go out and I'm not used to going out so often (and the liquid calories that go with a nice meal out!) I'm looking forward to getting back into weight training - I used to do weights classes and other things but it has been a few years now. I've been doing some videos with light weights to get back into it and I'm so sore! I might as well be brand new.

I like the appointment idea - my time and it's important!
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07-13-2016, 08:15 PM
Post: #9
RE: New to the forum and EM2WL
Hi! Welcome to the group! Looking forward to hearing of your progress. I can certainly relate to your story in many ways. While just shy of 46, I am in a chemically induced menopause thanks to a breast cancer diagnosis three years ago. That concentrated an 18-wheeler-sized tire right smack in my mid-section which wasn't the tiniest to begin with...LOL! I also have a shoulder issue (bicep tendonitis along with rotator cuff damage) along with wrist and feet problems.

My two cents (which is about all they're worth) are 1) don't worry about taking it slow, every little step you take is a step forward and you don't want to overdo it and take a gigantic step back due to injury. Listen to your body! It's okay...it usually knows what it needs if we would listen a little more carefully when it starts with its gentle reminders instead of waiting until it really gets our attention e.g. injury. My husband and I have started out with resistance bands to get back into practice and while I wouldn't consider it lifting heavy by any stretch of the imagination, it's a start. We don't worry about how/what we'll be lifting next week or next month, but focusing on the now, this workout in front of us. And 2) Enjoy your liquid calories without guilt...part of this whole process is getting our heads around the fact that there really is nothing that should be totally off the menu and as you increase your calories, maybe that is one way of reaching your target once a week. We constantly make adjustments from day-to-day. It's all about the freedom to make choices and not starve ourselves physically OR mentally.

I'm pretty new to this, so I'm sure a moderator will correct if I've said anything incorrect. happy
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