Sunday, February 12, 2012
I've had it. I don't know how much longer I can eat like this. I'm tired of my family accusing me of not eating enough and too fixated on what I eat (or, more specifically, not eating the old family favorites anymore, at all). I'm tired of doctors and well meaning friends accusing me of lying -- "if you track everything ACCURATELY, you'd see where your problem areas are. If you truly ate and exercised like you say you do, you would lose weight FAST." I *AM* tracking accurately! Just ask my family who would like to use normal serving utensils instead of one of the many sets of measuring cups and tires of the scale on the dinner table.
My primary care doctor thinks I do too much cardio (I jog 3x a week for 40 minutes most weeks). My cardiologist thinks I don't do enough (he wants 5 hours a week at a minimum). My endocrinologist thinks there is absolutely nothing wrong with me despite being hypothyroid and treated such that my TSH is "normal" -- according to that practice (three doctors that I've seen), none of them feel that my symptoms have any basis in endocrinology, despite my symptoms reading like a textbook hypothyroid case.
I have averaged 1311 calories for 648 days. I should be losing weight, right?
I am the same weight I was nine and a half months ago. In that 9.5 months, I've averaged 1401 calories per day. Still well within SP's limits of 1200-1550. Sure, I did get down to 157, but then my thyroid meds were increased in October. Usually increasing my meds has the effect of dropping a pound or two more than usual for a week, however this time it caused a rapid increase of 7 pounds over 2 weeks -- dramatically counter to what "should" happen. (Doctor says it's just "stabilizing" and, of course, I really need to "accurately" track diet and exercise.)
Since that med change, I've been between 159 and 162, bouncing up and down in a very uncharacteristic manner compared to the previous year and a half. I have averaged a few more calories since then, which is the holiday season and having adult children home from college for an extended time. The damage since October? 1460 calories per day. STILL in the range to lose weight, not maintain.
So what about recently? Let's look at February. I'm down to a more normal 1247 calories for the 12 days. Verdict? GAIN OF FOUR POUNDS.
Exercise? Yes, thank you, I do. Like I said, running 3x week for 40 minutes or so. I ran a 5K, 4 miler, and 8K in the last year. I haven't run a lot in the last month thanks to the decreased daylight, but I have done a lot of home improvement projects, like washing/priming/painting the trim in our house -- at least 4, if not 8-10, hours per day. According to my calculations, I've exercised 137 calories per day since October, and 354 per day for the month of February. However, I'm willing to discount the exercise calories since 1) heart rate monitors are simply an estimate, even if you do have a chest strap; 2) exercise is only 20% of weight loss so it's not as effective; 3) it makes up for all that "underestimation" of calories that I'm apparently doing.
Still, how can I GAIN weight, 4 pounds in ten days, on 1257 calories? How can I NOT LOSE FOR NINE MONTHS?
Non-scale signs of improvement in nine months? Ha. Waist: +1". Hips: +1". Upper Arms: same. Thighs: lost 0.25". So, no improvement on the tape.
Medical improvements? Well, with a pulse of 45 and a BP of 105/63, how much better can it get? My thyroid numbers are getting worse, but hypothyroidism is independent of diet and exercise. While we're on medical, TOM was surgically removed along with my gallbladder -- so I can't blame anything on that.
Do I feel better? In the last 9 months? No. I'm still suffering from hypo symptoms -- extreme cold intolerance, brittle hair/nails, inability to lose weight, insomnia, etc. I have to say that over the 648 days that I've been doing this, I DO feel better and have lost 23 pounds total. My back pain has abated with exercise. But no change in the last 9 months.
But I'm tired of trying so hard to keep within a calorie range and exercising more than I ever have only to not be able to change my weight or measurements.
(And for you helpful individuals who will look at the last week of my nutrition records and note that I eat out a lot, well, yes -- the last two weeks I did eat out a lot because of spending an unusual amount of time on home improvement projects. I had no energy left to cook. Usually I eat 2 meals a week out. Dinner is typically 4-5 oz of boneless, skinless chicken prepared with 3 or more servings of various veggies and 1 tsp olive oil and a starch on the side. I also had a leftover meatloaf this week to finish for lunch instead of my usual .75 cup of homemade yogurt or bowl of oatmeal. Breakfast is usually minimal because I cannot have food within one hour or iron, calcium, or fiber within 4 hours of taking my thyroid meds.)
Almost two years ago I started to lose weight for me. Over a year ago, my daughter started planning her wedding and I wanted to look good for her wedding. Well, at this rate, I'll be lucky to still be this size instead of a size or two larger. I have NO idea how I'm going to ingest only 1200 calories or less at her wedding. I can't wait for THE ENTIRE EXTENDED FAMILY to pick on me about what I'm not eating that day. And the following week when we go to the beach and share a beach house.
I absolutely DREAD any interaction with family regarding food. Eating out with my family has become an absolute nightmare. Mom's a recent cancer survivor and isn't up to cooking for a crowd and can't drive in the dark (I live 23 miles away). We drive there to take her out for dinner. I feel ill when I'm handed a menu. I'm pressured to eat things that I *dearly* love, but cannot ever eat again because it's one or even two days worth of calories in one meal. There is very little that I can eat out for 400-500, even 800 calories for a meal. I dislike fish and I have a terrible food aversion to leaf lettuce that I cannot get over (it's so bad, I can wind up vomiting after a meal).
Because of the eating constraints around thyroid meds, I've found that I can do a small snack for breakfast, then eat what most people consider breakfast for lunch. By taking only 400 calories or so until dinner, I've got enough calories left so that I can eat a normal size meal with my husband and possibly even a snack. Even better if I stay under 1200 (the endocrinologists and primary care doctors have recommended 800). At least I can hide it most of the time. This all falls apart when the kids come home from college and want more substantial meals.
I hate living like this. I would LOVE to eat bread with dinner (a waste of calories since it's nutritionally deficient). I'd love to eat pancakes with my family without being chastised for eating only one. I want to eat frozen yogurt with the family without having to plan three days in advance to find 150 calories (and still be chastised for eating so little). I want to eat my daughter's wedding cake without making myself ill over the calories I'm eating. I want to NOT DREAD HER WEDDING -- NOW FIVE MONTHS OUT -- because of FOOD.
I need to try on mother-of-the-bride dresses this week. Last time I tried them on was last June. I weigh more now than I did then. And NOTHING fit well last time.
I just don't know how much longer I can do this. And unfortunately, it looks like 1200 calories is mandatory for the rest of my life.