Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Run-Down, Hungry Faltering

I am having more trouble today. I just feel bone-weary for some reason. Maybe having a sick kid in the house. Or just trying to juggle everything we working mums have to juggle. Or just not eating enough. I don't know.

I was reading this article today that explained that people who try to diet cut their calories back too much and end up either giving in and bingeing or lose the weight but gain it back. We've all done that, right? So, it described how to calculate the number of calories one needs and you're supposed to subtract from that number 250 to have the number of calories you should eat in a day.

The calculation was based on a number devised by the amount of exercise you get times your weight. My numbers were 164 x 15.5 = 2542. So that would mean that I need to eat nearly 2300 calories per day!! That doesn't seem right - in fact, I know it isn't right because I know I need to be well until 2000 calories per day to lose weight, even with exercise.

But, it did get me wondering if I'm eating too few calories. I thought I was doing well because I average 1300 to 1500 calories per day. Sounds about right, no? Except that I am exercising every day - and for the past week or so I've been exercising twice per day most days. Take today for example: I did 30 minutes of Denise Austen's Boot Camp Cardio/Weight Training DVD workout and then later I did 75 minutes on the treadmill. I only kept the treadmill at 3 miles per hour, but it was on an incline the entire time.

So, maybe I'm not getting enough calories and that will ultimately undermine my efforts, causing my body to start conserving. But, I'm worried about turning around and upping my calories and then losing the benefits I've gained.

So... I should eat when I'm hungry but just be aware of eating healthy food - and, of course, keep up with the exercise. That's the lifetime diet plan anyway. Maybe counting calories isn't the best for me because it makes me worry about every bite I eat and I don't want to live like that.

Ugh! I can't seem to find my way to the right weight loss path. I'm just tired and irritable. The house is a mess and I have no energy to clean it.

Tomorrow will be better.


  1. Hi Judy,

    Your post has been niggling at me since yesterday, and since I have a very long lunch hour today, I'm going to respond.

    First, please remember that anything I have to say is said in a spirit of friendship and caring. And if you don't agree, feel free to disregard any or all of it.

    I think you're absolutely right to be wondering about the wisdom of severe caloric restriction. Yes, you will lose weight and lose it fairly (or really) fast. But the question remains: will you keep it off? The more you starve yourself, the more deprived you will feel and the more likely it will be that you will fall off the "restriction" wagon and fall HARD.

    This doesn't mean you should be eating gobs of food and bingeing to boot. We all have to find our personal way of making peace with food, enjoying it and not using it as a crutch. Personally, I think this is a very tall order, but probably the only way to get to a place of peace and health.

    When I started my blog a couple of months ago, I wrote a lot about learning to eat in a way that I can apply for the rest of my life:
    1. Eating what I want.
    2. Eating when I am hungry.
    3. Eating consciously.
    4. Stopping when I'm full.

    These are the "rules" (though I hate that word) set out by a Brit named Paul McKenna in his book "I Can Make You Thin". I started following the method at the beginning of January and lost four pounds in the first two weeks. During the next two weeks, I lost two more pounds. Over the first 10 weeks or so, I lost nine pounds.

    Then I stopped losing weight. Completely.

    However, I haven't gained any of those nine pounds back since I started 16 weeks ago.

    It's not a fantastic result, but it's been years since I've been able to MAINTAIN a weight loss of even a pound or two without bouncing right back to where I started. And my weight has been creeping up quite disturbingly in the last nine years of so.

    Just before Christmas, my natural health practitioner put me on a programme that was severely calorie restricted. I did lose six pounds, but was ravenous and angry all the time. Needless to say, I had gained almost everything back by the time I started using the McKenna method at the beginning of January.

    You're doing a great on the exercise front, but even there, you DO need to take a day off a week. Your body needs to recuperate. That's Mother Nature for you.

    Take your measurements just as often as you weigh yourself. If you are actually building muscle, you may see little weight loss but an encouraging loss in inches. And as a doctor I heard recently said, if you have to choose, choose to lose inches rather than weight (and choose both for best results!).

    A slow, steady loss in weight and inches gives your mind the time to adjust to new, healthier eating habits too. Give yourself time. Stay the course.

    I am just as obsessed with calories, pounds and inches as anyone out there who's trying to "remake" herself and her health. I often feel very discouraged. At this point, though, if I lose and keep off ten pounds this year, I think I will deserve to give myself a good pat on the back.

    My words might sound really discouraging to you. I don't want to give you that impression. I am sure that you will continue to lose weight if you eat healthy and continue to exercise. A lot of my difficulty losing weight comes from the fact that arthritis prevents me from doing the kind of good cardio-vascular workouts that you do. That's my problem, not yours.

    Keep up the good work. Be kind to yourself. Eat healthy, real foods. Avoid calorie-reduced, unreal food. Avoid things with glucose-fructose--real sugar is much less harmful. Continue to exercise. Be kind to yourself.

    And then be even kinder to yourself.

    We all need a good dose of love and understanding to go along with our healthy salads!

    Your friend,


  2. Wendy,

    Your comments were JUST what I needed. I was nodding along and agreeing with everything you said. You're totally right that I am losing focus from healthy to pounds - which is what I DO NOT want to do. And I feel a deep sense of rightness to the fact that we need to eat healthy and consume the right number of calories to be as strong, fit and healthy as possible and that may mean little or no progress on the scale.

    I have to admit, I did buy a measuring tape because I had also read that losing inches was more important than losing pounds, but I have yet to measure myself. Purely out of laziness, I'm afraid.

    I will definitely do that today. Thank you, very much, for your kind words and support. It was just what I needed to get my head thinking on the right track!

  3. Glad I was of help!

    Bloggers stand together!