Sunday, March 28, 2010

When is the last time I really tried?


I am losing momentum on Medifast. My scale has been stuck all week:( I have lowered my sodium, upped my carbs to make sure I am getting between 80 - 85. I have also increased my water. So you can imagine how pissed I was when I got on the scale this morning and it said I had GAINED 6 lbs.

I imagine the gain has something to do with the 5K I walked yesterday. Or maybe even PMS? But it has been a LONG time since I've had such a large gain with PMS. And it just doesn't make sense to me that EXERCISING should throw me off plan. I don't know. I have spent the day evaluating.

I really like Medifast because of the convenience of having my meals pre-packaged and planned out for me. The food is not bad, and I am not hungry. But honestly, I know I will not stick with it long term. It is too restrictive, and lately, that part of it has really been getting to me.

I keep seeing these beautiful strawberries in my local grocery stores... oh, how I would love to have some! And yesterday, I felt so good walking, but I was so weak and starving the rest of the day. Honestly, I think I have avoided exercising since I started Medifast because I am so weak all the time. My energy is LOW. But what do you expect with 900 calories?

OH... another revelation from yesterday. I bought the Medifast book, and was reading it at soccer practice yesterday. Between 4 hours of practice, I read the whole thing. I was really shocked when I read that being on Medifast actually LOWERS your metabolism! It lowers your metabolism so you can survive on 900 calories more efficiently. That is why you gain weight so fast when you go off the plan unless you follow their maintenance plan. During maintenance, you slowly raise your metabolism until it's back to normal while you re-introduce regular food into your diet. I never knew a SLOW metabolism could lead to good things/weight loss.

I just know that being on such a restrictive plan SUCKS when you are not losing weight. I vow to stick with it right now, but I don't know how much longer I will go. Now who knows... the scale might just start moving again and I will be happy again! Who knows...

I was talking to my oldest daughter today about Medifast and how I was ready to throw in the towel. She asked me, "But mom, when is the last time you REALLY TRIED to just eat healthy and exercise?" I pointed out to her that right before I started Medifast, I really tried for a couple of weeks. But she countered, "Don't you think it might have took longer than that?" Out of the mouths of babes...

Maybe I need to take a serious look at what I am doing... again. I know healthy food and exercise works, but you DO have to be CONSISTENT. When is the last time I was REALLY consistent? Really, really honest about what I was eating? Really diligent about counting calories and weighing/measuring my food? Hmmm...

14 comments:

Jer said...

I've really tried to keep silent on this medifast thing as far as reading your blog goes because I know that you were excited about it- but you seem a little less enchanted by it so I want to take this opportunity to provide my perspective on the plan.

Things like Medifast, Slim4Life- prepackaged meal places, they take advantage of the overweight population. They provide big promises and give you those things in a short amount of time. In no way though do they give you something to maintain.

900 calories a day? That's starvation. That's anorexia. You walked a 5k yesterday. That burns way more calories than what you took in.

Logically, that would tell you that you SHOULD have lost weight. Except it's not how your body works. Your body is holding onto everything that it can because you're not eating ENOUGH.

I know it sounds like I'm just blowing it out of my hindquarters and I don't have a clue as to what I'm talking about but I've lost 130ish pounds the good-ol' fashioned way- diet and exercise. I grew up obese, everybody in my family is MORBIDLY obese (my mother is 5'3" and 415 pounds) and right now, I'm smaller than I was in 7th grade. I'm in a size 16 and I did it by eating what I wanted to eat when I wanted to eat it- just not as much. I work out like a dog and I watch how many calories I take in.

Last November, I hit this horrendous plateau that carried me all the way into January and I couldn't figure it out. I cut my calories back from 1600 to 1400 thinking that I was eating too much. Wrong. I went to visit my doctor to see if something metabolic was going on and lo and behold, I wasn't eating enough. He made me increase my caloric intake to 2000 calories a day which was absolutely terrifying to me because I could see the scale just going up and up and up.

Wrong.

I lost 7 pounds in three days. My body let go of all of the extra that it was holding onto and I've been on a steady downward trend since.

I know that you can do this. I know you can because you're determined and smart.

Just don't let these big corporations take advantage of you, please don't let them take advantage of you. It's all about eating in moderation and exercising. It's math. If you burn more than you take in (not in extremes) then you'll lose weight. It will be slow but it will come off.

I highly suggest using The Daily Plate @ livestrong.com- you can input your weight, height, activity level and age- along with how many pounds a week you want to lose. What this does is show you how many calories a day you should be eating, along with being a bank of EVERY IMAGINABLE THING you can think of to eat. Eat what you want, just stay in your limit.

You'll get there, I know you will. :)

Jer

Jules said...

talk about hitting home. If only we knew the magic words, the right answers... any answer.

You daughter certainly has even made ME think. hang in there Hollie. And yes, I do believe that exercise CAN make you gain weight... sometimes you retain water afterwards. Depends on how much you do and how much your body feels.

keep your head up... and who knows, the scale tomorrow might be more realistic.

Greta from www.bigbottomblogger.blogspot.com said...

Real food is ALWAYS best. Real fruit. Real Veggies. Real Meat. Real Eggs. Healthy fats. (and it is not hard to cook these things and make them convenient to eat and take along to work, etc)

Eat just those 5 things..and maybe a healthy carb every couple days (1/2 cup of sweet potato or brown rice, for instance)..and the weight will go away and you will maintain and/or increase your metabolism...and you will be getting all your vital nutrients from real food.

But...for metabolism...you seriously have GOT to do some weights...or body-weight resistance work (push-ups, pull ups, squats, lunges. wallchairs, etc). The weights will absolutely increase your muscle mass and, therefore, your metabolism.

When you eat 900 calories a day your body loses muscle which decreases your metabolism. WHY would you want to do something that meant that you would have to ear LESS calories for the rest of your life? Increase your metabolism with weights. Eat reasonable amounts of real food. It works!!!

While I am doing p90X I am eating close to 2000 calories a day and losing fat still.

Not sure why you would be up 6 pounds, tho....it could easily just be some wacky fluid retention..or your body reacting to overly processed food (?). If you eat clean and real, I bet that weight will go away pretty fast.

One tip: eat fruit totally separate from any other food. At least 30 minutes before or 2 hours after other meals.

(sorry...am not meaning to be so bossy here!!! I just get sad when I see folks making the same mistakes I have made through the years....)

Shelley said...

Ouch. Gotta love the brutal honesty of a child. Have you been reading Lyn's blog? She seems to be feeling ok on Medifast - maybe she has some tips for you. Don't give up just yet - the strawberries will be there for months to come!

theotherkiki said...

I just started reading your blog today--hoping to connect with other people fighting the same battle I am. I completely understand your thoughts about needing to be consistent and doing it long enough to make a difference.

Good luck with the Meidfast diet!

Alexia said...

Your daughter raises a strong point! And 900 calories a day isn't healthy!

CiCi said...

Kids are so smart aren't they? I realized that I forgot how to eat after jumping from trend to trend diet. Now I'm back to the old school route...calorie counting and working out. But I struggle with consistency too. Do you have to be totally consistent? Or are cheat days ok and healthy once in a while too? Maybe if I'm ok with not hitting my goal on the exact timing I had originally planned - a day here or there is ok? I guess as long as I get right back on plan.....

Seren_Sighs said...

A large calorie defecit like 900 calories will definitely slow down your metabolism. Your body realizes it can't function properly on 900 calories so it slows down your metabolism so it won't lose any more fat. Your body views that fat as money, as a savings account. Your current diet is like an economic downfall and so your body is cutting corners wherever it can financially. If your salary was suddenly decreased you wouldn't necessarily dip into your savings account right away, you would start giving up anything you didn't think was necessary. Your body does the exact same thing so instead of burning it's "savings account" or fat it will burn muscle and lower your metabolism, and even lower your body temperature. Muscle burns 40 to 50 calories per pound a day while fat burns 2 calories per pound a day. So it's also better for your body financially to get rid of muscle first and worry about building it back up later.

Also, not being hungry is probably a bad sign. Your body will also turn off your hunger as a mechanism to help with starvation. Your hunger will come back of course, but mild hunger is a good sign, it means your body is working properly.

The best ways to boost metabolism are to eat a healthy diet, exercise frequently and vigorously, and to build muscle. Losing weight slowly while trying to build muscle is the best way to keep your metabolism from slowing down.

You don't need to lower your metabolism to lose weight. The best way to lose weight is to boost metabolism as much as possible while creating a small calorie defecit.

Downsizing me said...

Hi, I am new to your blog and not familiar with Medifast (I live in the middle of the bottom of the earth..yes I know. LOL) Anyway I just wanted to tell you, you are not alone. My 14yr old daughter said something similar to me 10 weeks ago. It hit and it hurts. However here I am 10 weeks and 11kg lighter later. I am doing it old school. Sorta weight watchers guided but mostly just sticking to portion control and avoid saturated fats.
I stalled for a few weeks and my doc said I was not eating enough and should eat more as my body was in hibernation mode thinking food was scarce and so was storing it for 'later'. and I was eating more than 900 calories a day I can assure you. So I increased my calories and bam... back to losing 1kg a week again.
Good luck and hope success comes to you soon.

Corletta said...

I have never done the diet that you are on; however, if I had to guess what caused the gain, it would be the water and the carbs. Unless you are doing lots of endurance cardio, I would lessen your carb intake. Carbs are like a sponge....they soak up all of the water that you intake as well. Just a thought.

Vio said...

I have to agree with everyone posting here about 900 not being healthy. You have to eat to lose weight or your body hordes fat to keep you alive. I know its easy to have the food all ready for you, makes it easier to watch what you eat when its being done for you. But no matter what diet, lifestyle change, etc we pick, nothing will ever work until we learn how to make healthy choices, eat what we need, eat what we love in moderation, and build muscle/faster metabolism. At some point you have to eat real food again, and you still will have to learn how to eat it in a healthy way. Please re-think what you are doing to your body by slowing your metab down, you are a smart, sunny, beautiful woman. You can do even without Medifast!
http://vislosingit.blogspot.com/

Rettakat said...

Wow, a lot of very intelligent comments here! Ditto to everything Jer said!

Also... when I was 37 yrs old, I did a similar VLC diet (very low calorie, 800 calories/day). Sure, lost weight at first... I lost around 90 pounds. Great, huh?

But... my hair started to fall out... I had a mini-stroke that caused mild aphasia that took a few years to recover from (for instance, I could see a chair, and know I wanted to describe it, but could not think of the word for it, so had to say "that thing" a lot). And yes, my metabolism was destroyed.

I don't believe them about your metabolism returning to normal... mine never has.

I'm sorry if this sounds negative, but I was so concerned when I read that you were doing the same type program I suffered through.

Oh, I said I lost 90 pounds. I did. And the minute I stopped the plan, I regained it, PLUS a hundred more.

Why?? Because it had been just a diet. Something I went on, then went off. I did not address the REAL problem, which was between my ears. The WHY, the reason I was using food as a drug, instead of simply nutrition.

I have been on and off of every "diet" I can think of since age 10. This is the first time in my life I have lost, and not regained. It is slower, sure, but it is permanent.

I am facing my stuff, not stuffing my face this time. It is hard. But I am learning to have a "normal" relationship with food. So, it's worth the effort. I am not looking for short-cuts this time.

You are right, it does take consistency. That was my failing in the past. I would be all gung-ho on a "diet", then lose momentum and fizzle out. Fast. I was not consistent.

This time, I made a deal with myself: I would never quit. No matter what. If I fell on my face, I would just get up and keep going. Period. Consistently. It's the only way.

And you can do it, too. You really can. Do it for one day. Then another. Then another. And never stop... just make it for life.

Yikes, I wrote a book. Sorry! I better stop now. :-)

Loretta
=^..^=

M said...

Being consistent has been a large factor in my weight loss. I still have many pounds to lose, but being consistent about exercise, journaling my food, and drinking water has helped. Don't give up whatever you're doing. Try to hang in there.

Lanine said...

I'm so glad your sharing your experience good and bad. I've always wondered how people do it on these plans.