Elana -- You sound like me! I joined a gym (a hospital-affiliated wellness center) in October where I weight train 3x week, do core classes 2x week, spinning classes 2x week, and do the stationary bike/treadmill/elliptical or run outdoors and ride my road bicycle in good weather for a total of 7-8 hours a week. I'm 5'3" and 155 lbs, I eat 1400 calories a day, and have not lost weight. To add insult to injury, my waist and thighs have GAINED INCHES. My trainers referred me to the hospital nutritionist.
The nutritionist looked at my diet and said I'm doing everything "right," though I can always do better (more protein for breakfast, never eating out, always having side dishes of vegetables even if the entree is a vegetable stew...geez, she made me feel TERRIBLE). Then they did the oxygen testing for my metabolism and my RMR is a paltry 1010.
If I keep on my 7-8 hour a week exercise (averaging 2100 calories burned per week, more if you go by my heart rate monitor), I should cut my calories to 900-1100 per day to lose weight (and I've got at least 25 pounds to go because I have a tiny frame buried in here, so it's not the last 10 vanity pounds). If I stop exercising, I should drop to 800 calories to attempt to lose weight, or remain at 1100-1200 to maintain on a sedentary lifestyle. I will NEVER* be able to eat more than 1400 calories a day unless I exercise more than 8 hours a week.
There's always a "but," indicated by the asterisk, above. I'm hypothyroid, and 'supposedly' properly treated. I say 'supposedly' because I still have so many of the symptoms: brittle hair, dry skin, feeling cold when others don't, and weight gain or lack of weight loss despite attempts to lose. The nutritionist has referred me to a specialist because low RMRs can be indicative of low thyroid and other medical conditions. If they can uncover another medical problem and correct it, only then might I be able to increase my RMR and eat more. Or add more workouts, which I plan to do by adding swimming for several hours a week, because I start swim lessons next week.
I hear you on the tailspin. While it was nice to FINALLY be validated that it's my metabolism, as I've been tracking diet and exercise for 33 months and kinda figured that out already, it also meant that I'm going to have to eat and exercise like this FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. There is little room for error in such a restrictive diet, and even eating a mountain of savory vegetables doesn't feel nearly as satiating as pizza and a beer on Friday night. I'm hungry and cold ALL THE TIME, and a warm bowl of beef stew has far too many calories for me to consider.
I guess we just have to reorganize our mindset to realize that we are SPECIAL PEOPLE and are so efficient that we don't require much in the line of food!
But I'm still depressed. I want to give up and just eat what I want. What's stopping me? It's taken almost 3 years to lose 29 pounds, and by going back to my old ways of eating, I'll gain it all back in a matter of months. I've lost zero pounds in the last 15 months (I gained 7 pounds despite maintaining my diet/exercise and then lost them last October through March by eating less/exercising more, and have remained constant since then, despite dramatic increases in exercise). I feel like there's no hope anymore. I'm doing the eating, the cardio, the strength, being more active in daily activities. AND NOTHING. That's a LOT of work to maintain.
I can't offer any words of wisdom, except to take that RMR report to your doctor to check for a medical condition causing the low RMR (thankfully, most are quite treatable!). But, you can see that my story is similar to yours, so I can offer a lot of commiseration! Hang in there! Being healthy is good. Seeing a change in the scale/tape measure/SOMETHING would help, but eating healthy and exercising is still a good thing!
| Pounds lost: 32.0