Your plan of action sounds like a great idea and I admire your tenacity! I've been struggling a couple years myself but recently found a nutrition and exercise combination that is working for me, so patience and perseverance does pay off. You can do it!
Have you been tested for PCOS? If you haven't been, you may want to request some tests.
My sister is a belly dance instructor. She has her own studio and dances with her classes, on top of working out at home on her own. She had the same struggle you seem to be having. It didn't matter how strictly she controlled her calories; what she ate; what she didn't eat; how much she exercised, or didn't exercise; or any of the other things we do to try and get our weight under control - for years she had a slow steady increase in weight.
PCOS can really mess with a person's metabolism, making it difficult to lose weight. It is possible, however, but it needs to be managed first. Not sure if this is part of what's causing you difficulty, but it's something that can be checked.
Fitness Minutes: (4,362)
3,171 5/6/13 5:25 P
Please, be careful with insinuating that her eating disorder is the reason she can not lose weight.
There is NO research to back that up.
Because those kind of statements keep OTHER people with eating disorders from seeking help.
Those of us who are in recovery are often assigned to read excerpts from the Minnesota Starvation Experiment to PROVE that anorexia (prolonged starvation) DOES NOT permanently mess up your metabolism.
Fitness Minutes: (35,208)
2,226 5/6/13 5:07 P
Anorexia and other eating disorders can really screw up your metabolism. My friend has the same problem. All the things you mentioned in your original post also affect her. She battled with anorexia and bulimia for many years and now that she is eating normally, she simply can. not. lose. weight. She hovers just under the obese BMI and is quite dedicated to her exercise routine and eating well. I have no advice, because I'm sure if she could find an answer she wouldn't be struggling so much. She has been to a naturopath several times, and traditional docs just assume she's eating too much. Nothing seems to help ... Just wanted to say it was probably the eating disorder that has caused your issues. Not sure what the answer is.... best of luck on your journey.
Just a heads up - I gained weight when I went OFF of birth control. I was totally confused because everything I had heard was people gaining weight on the pill. So I went to my doctor and asked and she said yes, it happens and it takes a while for your hormones to adjust. Sometimes up to 6 months. So, personally, I wouldn't go off the pill for a month, it might do more harm than good unless you are willing to stop taking it and wait awhile to see results. I went back on it and my weight is more stable now.
Fitness Minutes: (14,252)
9,633 5/6/13 1:36 P
I would also recommend NOT going under 1200 calories; you need at least that much to ensure your body meets its basic nutritional needs. If you get less than that, it's nearly impossible to get adequate nutrition, especially for your size. If you need to go below that, it needs to be at a doctor's direction and with careful monitoring.
Let me suggest something that may help you. Because of your lack of weight loss, you are stressed out, you are feeling negative and your thoughts are all probably about your inability to lose weight. When I stopped resisting my body and started using my mind things began to shift for me. I began to be content with my new found energy and healthier food choices, I used my mind in conjunction with my natural efforts and accepted myself. If the weight is released great! if it takes a long time, so what? You are healthier, you are stronger, you are dedicated and committed, commend yourself for that. Watch your words, because out of your words, flow the issues of your life. Speak lovingly and kindly to your body, in other words, "Don't worry, be happy"!
Thank you all so much for your ideas and suggestions. Here is my plan of action: as of today, I am eliminating gluten and dairy (I have done this before but not both at the same time). I am going to start a detailed written food and exercise diary (including times and medications if any). I am going to give my body a month without birth control, gluten and dairy and see what happens. If I don't see any improvements, I will take my written records to my GP and ask him to send me to a specialist. At least then I will be armed with lots of detailed evidence that my body is insane!
Since you're actually gaining instead of losing and you are actually overweight, I don't think the answer is going to be found obviously or easily. I think it's time to put your head together with your doctor, get him/her to admit that s/he doesn't know what's going on, and then work together to find an endocrinologist who specializes in weight issues. You've pretty much established that your body isn't functioning like the average person's, and your doctor did blood work to eliminate the obvious issues, so now you need an expert who knows what other things to look for. It will cost you some time and effort and probably some money, but in the long run you'll spend more of all those things trying to guess and experimenting on your own.
I think you made a good choice by going off birth control. About a year and a half ago I got down to my goal weight fairly easily by eating right and exercising. Then, all of the sudden my weight started creeping up. I literally had not changed anything wiith my diet or excercise because I was living in a remote indigenous village. It was balffling. A little over a year later it struck me that I started gaining the weight shortly after going on birth control. I guess it never occured to me before because of all the wonderful things that birth control was doing for my skin and cramps. I've been off it now for a little over two months and am finally starting to lose 1 - 1.5 lbs per week! I hope this gives you a little bit of hope and that you get similar results. Best of luck!
I'm stumped, but I have a suggestion. Plan a day of meals that are healthy and will keep you energized, and eat the same thing every day for a couple weeks. Also plan some contingency meals if you get sidetracked by work or other things, but try to stick to the same meals every day. If it doesn't look like it's working, guess what food you think might be the culprit and swap it out for something else, or guess what macro nutrient you think might be the problem and try adjusting that rather than jumping from one diet to another.
Also, how long have you been strength training and are you stronger than when you started?
I don't know if this will help. I found that I gain weight anytime I eat anything with gluten or dairy, MSG or sugar. The last time I ate Chinese food, I gained 5 pounds. If I eat anything with gluten or dairy, it's not unusual for me to gain 3-5 pounds. It takes at least a full week of avoiding those foods before my weight goes back down to what it was before. It took me years of continuously gaining while eating healthy (I'm vegetarian) before we figured out what it was. All my labs, hormones, thyroid, cortisol, etc were all normal and still are.
Maybe there's a food sensitivity that is causing your weight gain, even while exercising and eating properly. Your doctor or nutritionist should be able to guide you thru a healthy elimination diet after an allergy test.
Fitness Minutes: (35,271)
265 5/6/13 12:12 A
Oh geez, I feel in the same boat. I eat pretty cleanly (I prepare my food myself from scratch--straight from the garden!) and can't understand why the weight won't come off. In fact, I seem to gain slowly over time. I have anorexia and also bulimia in my background, and I can't help but think they are to blame. My blood tests and hormone levels are innocent. I haven't tried every diet or any magic weight loss pills because I'm low income and always come back to the fact that a healthy diet and active lifestyle should do the trick! Well it's not working! I came to Spark People as a last desperate attempt to try to find out what is wrong. I love how the tracker calculates calories for you, and yes, my kitchen counter is littered with measuring cups and spoons, and many of my lunch containers have their ounces or cup capacity marked on the bottom. Someone suggested seeing a nutritionalist, so I did, but the nutritionalist thought I ate fine already, she just had me calculating diabetic exchanges for stabilizing my blood sugar (I'm not diabetic but she just likes that way of managing a diet). I have pretty much given up that I will ever be able to lose weight and I know the feelings of despair and discouragement you must be feeling. I've cried every night since suddenly gaining 10 pounds a week ago. My last idea is going to a weight loss clinic. I guess they will put me on a prescription meal replacement with a fixed amount of calories. They monitor you fairly extensively including your vitals, blood work, and EKGs and you have to show up for classes that teach you about obesity and bodies and food. My hope is that when I don't lose weight as they expect, they will find out the problem. They are real doctors so I am hoping they have cracked cases like mine before and can help. Otherwise I am out of ideas because I am in weight gain hell and not liking it at all.
I currently eat between 1100-1300 calories per day (typically 30g fat, 80g carbs, 100g protein). I do use a food scale in addition to measuring cups and measuring spoons. I add a small post-workout snack on those days (150 calories or less).
Fitness Minutes: (14,252)
9,633 5/5/13 9:31 P
What's your current daily calorie intake? YOu mention high and low calorie diets, but not what you're currently eating. Do you use a food scale?
This is a very long post with a lot of complaining. You've been warned.
I am 33, a wife, mother to a 7 year old daughter and a real estate agent. I am 5'10". Four years ago I weighed 222 when I started Weight Watchers. I did well on the program for about 6 months, lost 30lbs, then headed back down the anorexia road that I had been on as a teenager. I cut my intake down to 300 calories a day for six months and lost another 40lbs before I got myself back on track. Ever since then I have been in weight loss hell. I spent about a year eating healthy and waiting for my weight to stabilize - it never did.I have been steadily gaining weight no matter what I do.
I work out 4-5 days a week - generally an hour circuit workout that includes heavy weights (BodyPump for those of you familiar with the program). I have worked with several nutritionists to try to get a handle on what is going on with my metabolism. I have tried high calorie (2500), low calorie (1200), high protein, low protein, high carb, low carb, no carb, vegetarian, vegan, whole foods only, grain free, gluten free, caffeine free... seriously, you name it. Right now I eat about 90% whole foods, rarely eat out (1-2x a month and no fast food). I avoid processed sugar, HFCS, hydrogenated oils, fried foods, factory farmed meats, artificial colors/flavors/sweeteners and basically anything else unhealthy. I do occasionally have a slice of pizza or a sliver of cake or whatever, but that is very rarely.
My doctor has run blood tests and all of my levels are normal. I don't feel overly tired, my skin and hair are fine, etc. The only thing wrong is that I literally CANNOT STOP GAINING WEIGHT. I am at 219.8 as of today. It is devastating. I have gotten to the point where I feel like I am trapped in someone else's body. This is not my body - this is not the body of a person who eats nearly perfectly and works out all the time. I feel like I am trapped in a tomb of fat and it is taking everything I have NOT to go back down that anorexic road. I think about it all the time.
I shouldn't have to feel this way and I honestly don't know what to do anymore. In a last ditch effort to get to the bottom of things, I stopped taking my birth control pills a few days ago. That is the only thing I can think of that *could* affect my ability to lose weight. I am really hoping that someone out there reads this and knows what I am going through - and has an answer!! Or at least a really good idea :)
SparkPeople, SparkCoach, SparkPages, SparkPoints, SparkDiet, SparkAmerica, SparkRecipes, DailySpark, and other marks are trademarks of SparkPeople, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
SPARKPEOPLE is a registered trademark of SparkPeople, Inc. in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia. All rights reserved.