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Needing some support / venting



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  • Needing some support / venting


    I'm posting this because I really need to just vent, but everyone in my face-to-face life just doesn't get it.

    First of all, I've been paleo since late 2010, and for the most part am super strict about it (last year was a large blip on that radar as I had some serious issues coping with the insane stresses in my life (med school)).

    I have been trying for about 8 months now to lose the weight that I gained from the turbulent food choices of last year. Trying unsuccessfully. I was able to lose the first twenty pounds, but am having a very hard time losing the last 15. The reason I want to lose another 15 pounds is that my dimensions are still significantly larger than they were before the pre-stress-nonsense, and thus my clothes do not yet fit me. I also just generally feel uncomfortable in my own skin right now and unhappy with my appearance. And I don't like how my body feels when I run - like there's just too much of it.

    My stagnant weight for over the past 5 months is REALLY stressing me out - more than my classes at school, and that is saying something! Whenever I've spoken to anyone about this (medical professionals, significant other), they just tell me to "keep doing what I"m doing", which is frustrating because five months of stagnation to me indicates that what I"m doing clearly is NOT working. Or they tell me to put weight loss on the back-burner, which is unacceptable to me because it is a priority for me. I work out twice a week (short 30 minute intense sessions where I mix up weights and resistance-y cardio). I've also had people suggest that I'm too stressed to lose weight, but I wasn't stressed all summer and yet nothing happened then.

    I'm so annoyed by the propensity that people have to be careless with their words and to casually and carelessly disregard the goals / desires of someone (in this instance, me) because "I look fine" and "this shouldn't be a priority". Ugh.

    Having vented that, anyone have any advice on how to kick start the weight loss? Dropping my carbs super low and intermittent fasting aren't options for me. I've never responded well to either of those regimes. I"m actually thinking of trying TCM or something...

  • #2
    If it's taking too long to drop the weight then your body is probably at it's set weight right now and you're going to need to crank something up to get over the plateau.

    What worked for me personally was working out and cardio. It goes against the chronic cardio principle but as I said. It worked.

    I didn't do low carb either. Kept everything the same since I was doing everything right. I just worked out more.
    F 28/5'4/100 lbs

    "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."


    • #3
      What are you eating?

      I found that doing a 16 hour IF helps to kick start weight loss. Also cutting back on nuts and snacks helps.
      Instead of running do sprinting. Just sprint of 30 seconds in a short period of a few minutes to start with. (That one is really helping me) I do sprinting through rope jumping because I don't have the coordination to run.

      My trainer said more weight training helps to loose the fat.
      My story, My thought....

      It's all about trying to stay healthy!!!!


      • #4
        I work out twice a week (short 30 minute intense sessions where I mix up weights and resistance-y cardio).
        I recommend CrossFit, 5 days a week. Find a good one with heavy lifting. You may gain weight, but you will get smaller and probably won't need to change your diet. I've noticed it is a good program for women with "healthy" weight bodies to lean out.

        Sometimes it takes a lot of work. I do CF, eat VLC and IF.... my weightloss is still slow. It is annoying.

        On your diet, just do a week of calorie tracking to make sure you aren't inadvertently doing something like eating 500 calorie snacks of nuts. I think as we get used to a restricted diet, calories can tend to creep up as we find new favorite foods etc.
        Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!


        • #5
          That last 15 pounds can be a real stickler for a lot of people, including me, you've reached a point where you are an acceptable weight health-wise but just want that extra leanness because it feels so damn good. This is just my approach, but what works for me is this:

          1- Regular weights / lifting
          2- An increase of quality protein (as much fish / quality meats as you care to eat)
          3- Maximum nutrition from things like bone broth, organ meats and some raw veg

          The more of 2+3 you do, the less hungry you will be and you may even find yourself sponatenously fasting on occasion, from a pure lack of desire to eat (I stress this would be on occasion, if at all)

          Also I would imagine med school is brain taxation so some form of downtime/stress reduction is going to also help at least prevent weight gain, from what I've read stress can cause weight gain, I don't know if thats just because it lowers standards re food choices, or whether there is actually some physiological process connected to cortisol / adrenaline - maybe thats one for you to answer :-) but I have read that often.
          Healthy is the new wealthy.


          • #6
            p.s, I've recently celebrated my 12 month anniversary of being on the paleo/primal wagon by falling off if for three weeks and eating all manner of rubbish, I've noticeably gained weight and feel pretty bad. I've been using the onset of cold weather as my excuse for suddenly finding myself in the pizza bar! Therefore I'm looking for the discipline to implement my own advice (as per the above), the other factor is of course that you need the discipline especially for that last 15 pounds, there's no easy answer and you sometimes have to forgive yourself for mistakes and move on, remember that this primal eating thing is the best choice you can make for your health, and realise how lucky you are to have the cognitive ability to discover this way of living, and how much more trouble you'd be in following the food pyramid or some such other thing !
            Healthy is the new wealthy.



            • #7
              The last 5/10/15 # is always the hardest. The big issue is that any changes you make now can't be temporary, over-stressing changes. They should be changes you intend to stick to. This is a problem for a lot of people who cut down on calories drastically, or go over-hard in the gym - once you stop, it's going to come back faster.

              So I would add a little bit to your workout, more than anything. Cut your portion sizes by 5% (if you aren't already at a big caloric deficit) and up your exercise by 5%.


              • #8
                Thank you to all for the responses - it actually made me feel better just knowing that I"m not alone in this. At my school everyone is super fit (I'm specifically in chiropractic, which means lots of skin is shown and there's lots of touching in our technique classes when we work on each other). Although I'm happy that I go to school with very actively minded people, and know I shouldn't compare, it's not easy not to. Especially because I used to be such a rail (naturally).

                All of your advice sounds very solid. In terms of tracking calories - very aware of the #s I'm eating. I've tried both creating a large deficit and creating barely any deficit at all. Since neither achieved anything I've just reverted to no real deficit since being hungry wasn't serving any advantage to me anyway. Boning up on protein and brothy-goodness sounds like a solid idea to possibly bring greater satiety and nutritional value with less calories.

                Also thinking I need to start lifting heavier. It's been a challenge even getting to where I am now (I just benched 45 pounds last week, and can do 20 real pushups, no still pull-ups - but I can isometrically hold my body weight up so my head stays above the bar now!). My background is ballet, and I am very hypermobile. I'm actually very strong through my lower body, but the personal trainer I have been working with has not brought in back / front squats or heavy dead lifts because of my gross hypermobility / lack of strength through my upper body. I think it's time though as I finally have some strength to control all that motion! We shall see...

                IF is really not an option for me. I have a history with anorexia, so I don't do things that engage that unhappy restrictive portion of my brain. It's far too slippery of a slope. I also find my body doesn't like it, possibly because I'm a female and our hormones function differently, or possibly because of my history with starvation. Anyway, IF for me = bad news bears.

                I will try integrating some of these suggestions and see if I can't get this thing to start moving again!

                ps - Congrats to everyone on their progress outlined in each response


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Owen View Post
                  Also I would imagine med school is brain taxation so some form of downtime/stress reduction is going to also help at least prevent weight gain, from what I've read stress can cause weight gain, I don't know if thats just because it lowers standards re food choices, or whether there is actually some physiological process connected to cortisol / adrenaline - maybe thats one for you to answer :-) but I have read that often.
                  Very mentally taxing. I've always done well with school though - it's the lack of balance that so many hours of class, exams and the immense amount of material to be learned that brings on the stress. Overall I think I cope with it well (or I am this year at least)

                  Stress and weight gain: - I have noticed with myself and others in my class that periods of intense stress do seem to precipitate cravings for crap (read: sugar and salt). A chiropractor recently explained to me that this is partly owing to the adrenals needing more materials to make adrenal hormones (e.g. cortisol) with. I have not researched the validity of the statement, but I do know that there have been times where I've felt lethargic, dizzy, stressed, tired and eat something salty and feel better after. There's probably some other mental thing going on that makes one crave crap when stressed, but I"m not so well read on the neurobiology of cravings and stress.

                  As for cortisol - I feel like Mark must have done a post on this, because there are indeed physiological mechanisms in play here. Brief story: cortisol promotes deposition of belly fat, which none of us like.


                  • #10
                    Yes I thought there was something in that.

                    You can do reverse pull-ups until able to do standard ones. Simply start with your chin level with (or above) the bar and lower yourself down slowly.
                    Healthy is the new wealthy.