A food addict's travels on the road to recovery.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My Spark Was Extinguished Tonight

Ok.  This post is going to be full of moaning, groaning, bitching, whining, irritated, frustrated, aggravated kind of stuff.  Just so you know ahead of time.  I need to VENT!!!

I'm telling you my weigh-in early.  Yes, it was supposed to be tmrw morning, and I was going to wait until then in case I dropped another pound.  But after what happened at the gym tonight, I'll go ahead and tell you what it said this morning, and then I'll tell you why I can't be excited over it like I WAS.  I weighed 233.6 lbs this morning for a loss of 6 lbs.  Big whoop.

Remember how I told you on Monday night that the trainer TRIPLE CHECKED how many calories I SHOULD be eating, and he told me 2306??  Well tonight when I got to the gym he proudly told me that he was damn close to the right number.  The gym's corporate sports nutritionist was there tonight, he showed him my stats, and the nutritionist said I should be eating 2200.  I told Chris (our trainer) that I still think he's full of crap, so he told me to talk to the nutritionist after my workout, and I did.  What a bummer that turned out to be.

Now, I have to hear something a couple of times before it all sticks in my brain, so I won't be able to explain it to you exactly the way he did, but I'll give you the jist of it all.  He said something about our Basal Metabolic Rate, meaning when you're at rest, laying on the couch doing nothing, is between 1800-1900.  He said you have to eat MORE than that to burn fat, so I need to be eating 2200 cals a day.  If I eat LESS than that, I'm actually harming my body, because then I'm losing muscle. 

I tried to complain, telling him that I ate right around 1500 cals/day this week and worked out 6 days this week, and when I weighed this morning I'd lost 6 lbs!!!  So my way HAS to work!!  He said he knows I'm excited,  but unfortunately, what I actually did is I probably lost 3 lbs of fat, and 3 lbs of muscle.  He said it makes no sense to be in the gym busting my ass 6 days a week to gain lean muscle (in order to help burn fat, and lose inches), only to eat too few calories and lose muscle at the same time, and faster than I'm gaining it with the weights. 

My bubble was burst, my balloon was deflated, all the wind was sucked out of my sails, and my heart sank to the floor.  I asked him if I did it his way, eating 2200 cals/day, how much fat would I lose in a week.  He said expect to lose 1 lb.  Did you catch that??  One stinking lb. a week.  When you do your quick math, realize that I want to lose at least another 60 lbs, figure out there's 52 weeks in a year....then you realize that it will take me OVER a year to lose the rest of this weight.  I pointed this out to him.

That's when I got the speech that I HATE with a passion.  "What the scale says doesn't matter."  Oh really?  Well tell that to society....tell that to my psyche....tell that to every effing bastard that's ever made fun of me for weighing what?? A deuce....deuce and a half??  I know that SOME people have reached that glorious place in life and in their minds full of rainbows and fluffy clouds and butterflies where the scale doesn't matter, and for them, I'm glad life's all shits and giggles.  But let me tell you ....for SOME of us....it DOES matter.  It always will. 

I can appreciate that I will lose inches faster than I will lose the fat, like he said I would.  I appreciate that I'll be able to fit into smaller clothes.  I got all of that.  I got it.  But I really am not going to give a damn if I can fit into a size 6 jeans and the effing scale still says I weigh 200 POUNDS!!!!

I was on the edge of tears, so I thanked him for the information, and bolted out of the gym.  I got in my car, called Dwayne, and bawled my eyes out.  So deflated.  In an effort to calm me down, Dwayne suggested that I bump it up a little to 1800 cals and see what happens over the next couple of weeks.  And to be fair to the nutritionist, he did say not to go straight from 1500 to 2200 in a week.  He said to go to 1800 next week and stay there for a couple of weeks.  Then do 2000 for a couple of weeks.  Then hold it at 2200.  But he wants me to get all the way up to 2200, and I just don't know if I can do it. 

Now that I know better, I realize just how blissful my ignorance was.  But we all know that once you know better, you're supposed to do better.  So now if I stick to 1500 and have another good loss, I wont' be able to feel good about it, because now I know it's not all fat that I'm losing.  Then I catch myself wondering how much muscle can I afford to lose?  What does it mean to lose muscle?  Is it really going to hurt me?  How much damage would I actually be doing to myself and will I be able to tell?  How will it manifest itself?  Crazy shit.

I'm just upset because it takes so much effort and so much focus for me to do every thing right every day.  There's a lot of days that I'm SUPER sore, and I just don't feel like going to the gym the next day.  But damn it, I did it anyway.  I was back on track.  I had the blinders on.  I finally, after 3 long, miserable months, had my fire back.  And now this.  Just so upset.

Maybe I'll wake up tomorrow with a new attitude and will be able to embrace all of this new info with open arms and a happy, willing heart.  LOL...yeah, right.  Grrrrrr.

And please....just in case any of my dear friends here in Blogland feel compelled to leave me a comment about forgetting what the scale says.  Please.....just.....don't.  Please.  Thank you for understanding.  I know I've got the wrong attitude about the scale, but still.....just don't.  Thank you.  :)

Quote For the Day:

"We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope."  -Martin Luther King, Jr.


  1. Okay, I'm gonna ramble so bear with me... he's probably correct in that you did lose some muscle as well as fat. The last time I was on the serious weight-loss rollercoaster, I heavied up on the strength-training. My losses were probably slower than they've been this time, but I know that my metabolism was jacked up pretty high. I know that when I got down to 215, I felt really weak and purposefully gained ten pounds. I thought that 225 was my "natural" weight. What I realize now was that I simply wasn't eating enough to compensate for the training I was doing. I felt weak because there simply wasn't enough fuel in the tank. This time, I threw out the strength-training and concentrated 100% on cardio. That translated into bigger, faster losses, but also a loss of some muscle mass in the process. I've transitioned to strength training now, but the smart thing would have been to mix it in earlier and accept the slightly slower losses on the scale.

    Let's face it: you're not gonna forget the scale. But there's a lot of other ways to check and make sure you're making progress. Take measurements, use the fit of your clothes, take stock of your energy level and state of mind.

    And lastly, it's not that hard to bump up calories with healthy choices. A half cup of pecans or almonds have over 400 calories, but it's a great, nutricious snack that'll keep you full for quite some time. Just because he wants you eating more calories doesn't mean you need to crack open a can of Pringles.

    The other upside to eating a little more is that it'll make you less likely to feel deprived or have a serious setback. I sometimes have trouble eating all the food I allot myself during the day (not every day, mind you...).

    Lastly, this is YOUR journey, Tammy. Nobody says you have to do it the smartest or most effective way. Make it happen any way you want to, my friend.

    Just make it happen.

  2. Wise ole' Jack. I can understand how you feel. God knows I've felt it myself and for me that number DOES matter, even when I "feel" thinnner...even when my clothes hang loser. It's something I need to work on for sure.

    Looking at your loss to date, I have to say I'm impressed.

    I'm back to using an eating plan I've had for some time. Eating every three hours. I have to say that at times I feel I'm eating WAY more than I did when I wasn't following anything (and gaining daily) and I feel like I'm eating all the time, which I basically am. But for some reason it's working.....why I'm not sure...but it does.

    You can do this...you've already proven you can....

    Best of luck to you!

  3. Every time I go to the Weight Watchers meetings I get to listen to all the people who've lost thousands of pounds, while I've got a scale that only inches down at the speed of a slug. I keep telling myself "But you're losing inches! You're fitting into smaller pant sizes!" It still sucks.

    I keep reminding myself that people who lose weight quickly can gain it back just as quickly. We're not yo-yo dieting; I figure the weight we lose is going to stay lost.

    That's my story, anyway.

  4. Hey buddy. I like Jack's response, especially about it being YOUR journey. You don't have to do everything this trainer says verbatim. You don't even have to use that trainer if you're not connecting well with him. In my opinion, the key thing is that your goal is to lose weight and you're doing it. If you told me I could get to my target weight in a month and that I'd lose some muscle in the process, I'd take it, and worry about bulding up the muscles later.

  5. Allow me to be the contrarian. I have seen both points of view regarding BMR and caloric minimums for weight loss with and without attempts to also build muscle. I don't know what to believe anymore. I do believe this...that I've lost 42 pounds in 11 weeks by focusing on getting the greatest caloric deficit I could while still eating a reasonable minimum caloric level and doing cardio. I checked my BF weekly and it came down along with the pounds.

    I probably concur with Jack in most respects. I still believe you can keep at a deficit you feel comfortable with and let your performance at the gym tell the real story.

  6. I'm sorry for the disappointing news. It's disappointing for me to hear the logistics of it all!

    I believe with all my heart that you will get there, and I'll be rooting for you the entire way!


  7. I have actually had to add calories to continue loosing weight before. I had stagnated and was feeling torn up during a summer of prepping for a mile rough water ocean swim I did. I added calories to my mornings. It did help my energy level and I still lost weight.

    This IS YOUR OWN JOURNEY I SO AGREE with the above posters on that and personally I feel like loosing some muscle on me would be just fine. My legs are bulky, they have a lot of weight to carry for a lot a lot of years. Stay healthy with what you ad and see how your body feels at 1800.

  8. Oh Hunnibun, this is such an emotional roller coaster of a journey isn't it? There is no one on earth who knows how we feel about our weight. We can all empathise with each other but we cannot get into each others psyche. I'm so sorry you are so upset and I am sending you big hugs.

    On saying that I hope that when you have chance to you look at what happened with your trainer, you might think of him as a new navigator on your journey. Navigators are there to manage the compass and the map for journey's long or short.
    Just adjusting your direction a couple or three degree's could ultimately bring you to your destination looking and feeling healthier than you ever thought you could be.

    Muscle loss is not something to be taken lightly(excuse the pun) and the scales are but another tool and they should not be the tool that rules.

    Love you


  9. What Jack said. There is no bad reason to limit calories to a SANE level and increase movement. None. It can be a real mindf**k to get into the nitty gritty science of it all. Eventually, extra weight is extra weight, and we all want that off. The fine tuning can come sooner or later.

    I like Dwayne's suggestion of trying to bump to 1800 while continuing your workouts and seeing what happens. ALso have the trainer do the whole body comp. and measurements as the true baseline. Hang in there, Tammy. Obviously you had a great week with a 6 pound loss - congratulations for that, and I hope you can feel good about it! Many hugs -

  10. Ok...so I'm now irritated with your trainer!! 2 years ago, I lost 150 lbs. I've gained back 50 basically because I started eating like a pig again. BUT when I was losing I averaged around 1500 calories per day. I trained 3x a week and did cardio 6. I did not lose muscle. When the weight dropped, you could see all the muscle. Sometimes "trainers" forget that we are overweight people who struggle enough with food as it is. The scale shows what's happening, so of course you can't ignore it. My trainer stayed out of my food when I started training. She offered advice when I asked about it. One other side note....a lot of trainers give advice on what to eat and they are not nutritionists....something to think about...

    Bottom line....This is YOUR journey!!! Take suggestions, but the final choice is YOURS.

  11. Hi Tammy. I think you just have to do it your way. And yes you will lose some muscle as you travel down the scale. Because you need HUGE muscles in certain parts of your body to support 100lbs of extra weight. The thing is if you feel you've lost too much muscle at some point you can always bump up the strength training and rebuild some muscle. It ain't lost forever. And you won't lose more than you need to carry out you daily activites and whatever exercise you're doing - you'd know if you had because you wouldn't be able to carry out those activities anymore! But trust me, that's not going to happen.

    I've told you before that I think 1500 is a little low and maybe a little more is better for you. So maybe 1700 or 1800 is about right.

    Given a choice of 3lbs fat loss in a week and 1lb fat loss, I know which I would choose!

    MAJOR CONGRATS on losing 6lbs! And don't let anyone take the wind out of your sails!

    Bearfriend xx

  12. Hey, no offense taken! :) 1 pound for me is gonna be ok. Lucky for you, you have the full ability to exercise properly. I do agree with the rest of the comments regarding your journey. You are doing the right things, taking care to listen to all the info, and deciding on what is best for you. You'll do just great. Keep up the great work.

  13. Holy crap your post just hit me right in the butt! I have been running all week. Running and feeling myself getting stronger. And doing planks and push ups till I shake. And feeling stronger. And eating righ on the mark. And feeling stronger.
    This morning I was excited to get back on that scale. EXCITED! Till I saw the numbers, I lost 1.stinking.pound. All of that for 1.stinking.pound.
    But I measured myself and I have lost 1 inch at the waist and 3 inches around my hips.
    So maybe I am doing everything right? I know what you mean about only losing 1 pound :(

  14. The scale is my God. This weight loss journey is MINE. I have to do it my way. I could NEVER eat 2,200 calories, and think that I would lose weight. I have NEVER heard this theory before. Hugs, Kathleen

  15. I Love your blog. Consider me a new follower. I would have been the same way....frustrated. Weight is frustrating for me. I am glad I am not the only one struggling.

  16. Please don't forget that this is an INDIVIDUAL journey, Tammy! One that has a hundred different viewpoints on what is right and what is wrong. It's not even unheard of for doctors to prescribe a 1000 calorie diet in order to help the obese lose weight quickly because of medical issues. Everyone will do this differently and I think that the guy's advice is great and probably very sound, but you are the one who has to decide what is right for you. Personally (and I know that lots of people may disagree with me), if the choice is to lose the fire or lose the muscle, I know what I would opt for. Muscles can be gained later when health and motivation is no longer an issue. Just do what is right for YOU!

  17. It's all so confusing isn't it? I'm sorry to hear you were so upset but just keep doing what feels right for you. I'm here if you need me. I know we are going to do this!!

  18. i'm with Jack - 100% everything he said was right on the money - just take a breath and live uo to YOUR standards... whatever you want them to be :)

  19. Hey Tammy,
    It is all so confusing, I agree. I think Jack is right when he says to remember that this is YOUR journey. Listen to advice and follow only the bits that truly work for you. As long as you are eating healthy, exercising, getting enough rest and are feeling good, that's the important part.
    And I totally understand the importance of the scale. I really do. For some us (myself included) that number is very important.
    However, from what I have gleaned from my classes, my own readings and the advice of my own personal trainer, it is not wise to consume too few calories either. As frustrating as it is to hear and follow through with, it is better in the long run to drop the weight slowly. Maddening as HELL though I agree.
    So, that's my two cents, for what it's worth. But I still think the bottom line remains to be this.
    This journey is your journey for YOU. Do what works for YOU. It needs to give you peace of mind as well as of body.
    And remember that we're all here for you!

  20. I hate when the facts don't support what I want to do. I want to lose it NOW, not wait 52 weeks to lose 52 pounds. UGGHH! It is frustrating but I'd be happy to keep moving in the right direction.

    The longer it takes to lose the more likely it is to stay off.

  21. Tammy - I'm going to disagree with him a bit too. I think that 2200 calories is too much. That's just my unprofessional personal opinion. I don't eat 2200 calories now in maintenance. If I did I would gain weight.

    But you know that slow weight loss is often the kind that sticks so you need to do what you feel comfortable with. Have you ever checked out Sparkpeople? It's free and you can enter in your goals, etc and it tells you where you should be calorie wise. I found it to be very accurate.

  22. Well, I'm a bit late to the party, so a lot of what's been said I agree with.
    This is your body and your journey, so if you don't feel comfortable with their advice, then don't. do. it.
    Tell them okay, sure - I'll eat 2,200 calories -then just eat what you feel comfortable with.
    You can start strength training when you get to a point where you're comfortable with your weight, and build up your muscle then.