Hitting the Reset Button
Thursday, September 04, 2014
I struggled for most of last year with losing weight. I significantly upped my exercise, taking Zumba and swimming a mile 3-4 times a week. I felt great, and my body changed in shape, but the weight didn't come off like it should have. I adjusted my calories, fiddled with my tracker, posted queries on the message boards, but I was basically on a plateau for about six months.
I was so frustrated when I went home for the summer that I basically gave up. I stopped tracking, stopped checking in most days, and even though I was conscious about what I put in my mouth, and tried to swim or walk or do yoga most days, I pretty much just ate what I wanted to, and worked out when I felt like it.
I also went to see a nutritionist who hooked me up to a bunch of electrodes and talked to me about the amount of exercise that I was doing and what I was eating. She said that I should be eating about 500 calories a day more than I had been, and double that on the days when I was working out. She felt that the plateau was a result of undereating, and that when my body had adjusted to the higher calorie level, it would be easier for me to lose weight.
And I really think that's been the case. Despite the fact that my summer was filled with what I would consider to be excesses, I gained about five pounds, which I have taken off in the past two weeks, by tracking and staying at the top of my Spark suggested range. I'm not tired all the time, I look healthier, and I don't feel as stressed as I did when I was working myself so hard on the same amount of calories.
You read a lot about how we put ourselves through repeated cycles of starvation and binging, and how that messes with our metabolism, and now that I have had this experience, it makes a lot more sense to me.