Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Lo-Down and Catch Up

Here's the lo-down and the catch up based on yesterday's comments to answer some questions and acknowledge some of the most wonderfully supportive friends a girl can have.  I love you all.  You're amazing people.

Hormones:  My Dr. is confused just like me.  I'm on Depo Provera, I've been on it for years and yes, it causes weight gain.  In October 2009 I started experiencing all the classic symptoms of early menopause, which does run in my family.  Night sweats, hot flashes, mood swings, thinning head-hair and sprouting hair everywhere else (even a course gray whisker on my cheek that keeps coming back).  This spring I finally had my hormones tested and my OBG-YN declared that I was experiencing pre-mature perimenopause.  Menopause, technically is the state a woman is in AFTER she's been "menopausal" for several years.  It's the end result when you stop having cycles, hot flashes, etc. and you're free to be a happy, sterile old lady.  Perimenopause is the time before full menopause when women are miserable, cranky, and hormonal.  It's caused by dropping estrogen levels and my Dr. said my estrogen was all but non-existent so she put me on supplements and assured me that "most people LOSE weight on estrogen".  Now, on Nov. 1st of this year I went in for my regular depo (I'm not sterile yet) and my clinic had a new OBG-YN who looked at my chart and said "Why are you on depo AND estrogen?"  So I explained it to her and she said "Well Depo is PURE progesterone and that's probably why your estrogen is so low.  If you're having symptoms of menopause it could just be the depo, we need to get you on a non-hormonal form of birth control and off the hormones so you can lose weight" ... YAY she seems like a much smarter Doc!!!  So Monday of last week I dropped the estrogen.  I slept good, had more energy, got more done, and felt good until about Friday (it takes time to build up and leak out of the system, hence the delay).  Friday was hot flash city.  So I started taking them again.  I have an appointment in January to get an IUD.  Birth control without hormones.  No progesterone, no Depo, no estrogen supplements (hopefully).  Until then I guess I'll take the estrogen on an as-needed basis because school is starting to get really stressful and I need to be able to sleep so that I can concentrate.

So for those of you asking - that's the full blow-by-blow.

Giving up: You re ALL right.  I took your advice Dr. Swan and something even more interesting popped out at me that I hadn't even realized.  I've stopped eating breakfast.  I don't know when it happened but aside from my Sunday morning breakfasts with Snackers I've completely stopped eating until my Healthy Choice lunch at 1 p.m.  That's my bad.  I've also grown accustomed to drinking a gallon or more of water a day which, during the summer, was good but now that it's winter and I'm not really sweating much, I think it's overkill.  I upped my sodium as a result of my increased water intake.  I need to lower them both - I mean it's 50 flippin' degrees outside and I've had these little blinders on because I'd become obsessed with routine.

I've also started to think that 50 jumping jacks 5 to 6 times a day is the best exercise ever.  It's not.  It's a super great boost but I need to get back to walking.  I've notice MOST of my exercise now for months has been muscle-building exercise.  No, I haven't gained 10 lbs of muscle.  My brother tells me in the body building world professional lifters are lucky to gain 2 - 3 lbs of muscle a year.  BUT I've all but given up on good old fashioned cardio.  I started to get obsessed with wanting to run and then when I got shin splints from it I just pretty much gave up.  My goal is to run after I'm under 200 lbs so I'm jumping the gun there.  I was losing the most weight when I was walking 3 -5 miles a day.  I need to get back to that - and I am sure Vladdy will appreciate it too.

The hardest part right now is school.  It's gotten really hard.  I just got the first C on an assignment that I've ever gotten in my life.  I've never even gotten a B before in my life and I got a C last week.  I know it sounds dumb but that is emotionally devastating to me.  I need to get over it.  Last night I stayed in my office after work for 3 hours working on an assignment and when I finally stopped working on it I was psychologically, mentally, emotionally, and (for some strange reason) even physically exhausted.  I'm finally working classes that focus on my major instead of gen-eds and that added stress is eating at my drive to exercise in the evenings.  Anonymous is right.  Somehow I have got to find a way to get my butt up and get it moving again.

How I feel:  Several of you addresses how I feel.  Here comes the uplifting part.  I feel awesome.  I feel stronger, more confident, I have higher stamina, and I find myself wanting to dress nicer and take better care of myself than my usual pony tails and no makeup because I FEEL like I LOOK better.  Well I do look better.  At the start of that hike in Red Rock last weekend I was afraid of my own legs.  I wouldn't hike that rock ridge with Snackers and Vladdy because I didn't trust my legs to carry me.  Half way through I swallowed my fear and tried it out and I felt like I was 15 again!  It was beautiful!  I used to get winded trying to climb the stairs at my apartment one time.  When we moved I was up and down those stairs like a jack rabbit on crack and I loved it!

The conclusions:  You're all right.  I can't give up.  Failure is temporary.  Quitting makes it permanent. 
  • Maybe the hormones are playing a part - if that's the case I need to power through and fight to keep my weight at least stationary until January.  
  • Maybe school is part of it - if that's he case I need to power through and do as much as I can until I graduate in April and will have a bit more free time (which I might use to get a second job to pay off student loans depending on how big my raise at work is and, if I do, I'll get something physical like busing tables or something).  
  • I probably need to go back to eating something small in the morning whether it be a Fiber One bar or a yogurt or something.  
  • I need to cut back on my water - the Mayo clinic recommends approx 96 oz and I've been drinking between 120 to 140 oz which can cause the cells in the body to swell.  (Dangerous levels of swelling are extremely rare and it is called water intoxication, I'm not to that point but I could be retaining too much water due to an excessively high water intake and not being active enough to actually sweat).  
  • Actually, that's another interesting fact from looking back on the early posts of this blog.  When I first started to increase my water I was sweating profusely all of the time, even just sitting at my desk.  Whether that's the hormones or something else, I've stopped sweating recently except at night (yeah still get night sweats from time to time) and I'm not going to the bathroom more so where is all of this water going?
  • The three-week plan was really helpful.  It gave me goals to accomplish and a routine to follow.  I am routine-centric.  I tend to have a higher drive to follow routines than I do to just "wing it".  Lately I've been winging it and getting nowhere, I need to get back on a routine.

So I am posting this post for now in response to your comments, I will post another post tonight with food/activity.  Thank you all for your support.


  1. You've been doing this diet/weight loss thing for a long time now. Maybe it's time to give your body a break and eat at maintenance for a few weeks. When you get your IUD in Jan, you can hit it again. Most people actually UP their cals when they plateau, change up their exercise for a bit then drop back down to weight loss cals to get going again. Worked for me. You have gone so low you have nowhere to go. And I'm sorry, you can't get proper nutrition on 900 cals a day. Ask any doctor or nutritionist. I am really concerned that you are doing long term damage to your body by insisting on keeping your cals so low. And frankly, how do you have any energy to do anything :(
    You are probably concerned that you would gain even more weight if you start eating more. But seriously, logic should tell you that you didn't get to 287 lbs on 900 cals a day so no way you should gain weight on 1800-2000. I am 44, 5'5" and 150 lbs and can maintain on 2200. You should be able to do more than I. You need to eat more to get your metabolism going again. At least give yourself a break for a few weeks anyway. Please think of your long term health here. Do you really plan to eat 900 cals a day for the rest of your life??

  2. Anonymous: "Do you really plan to eat 900 cals a day for the rest of your life??"

    I actually never 'planned' on eating 900 cals a day even to lose weight. It just kind of happened when I started paying more attention to what I ate and stopped associating food with other daily behaviors. i.e. when I stopped feeling like I needed to eat at my desk all day at work; when I stopped feeling like I needed to eat every time I sat down to read a book or watch TV; when I stopped feeling like I needed to eat every time I got bored; when I stopped feeling like I needed to eat every time I "went out" such as running errands or shopping. When I stopped eating because I had nothing better to do and started only eating when I was hungry (not starving but just starting to feel a gurgle) I dropped, naturally, to about 1,200 w/o trying. But then I stopped feeling hungry as often and started eating on a schedule and that caused me to naturally drop to 900.

    Example: I USED to wake up starving, so I'd eat.
    Then I stopped waking up hungry so I'd eat something at 9:00 a.m. anyway just because it was 9:00 a.m. Then, for some reason, I just stopped eating at 9:00 a.m. too and still don't usually feel hungry when I eat lunch at 1:00 p.m.

    This is strange right? Shouldn't I FEEL hungry, even a little bit hungry, when I have gone 12+ hours without eating anything? I should, but for some reason I don't.

    I have to really STRESS THIS: I am not TRYING to eat only 900 calories a day. It just happens. I got to 287 because of associative and boredom eating. When I broke those habits 900/day became normal and sometimes I don't even feel like eating that many but I do because I know it's low.

    Take yesterday for example: Woke up at 6:00 a.m. poured a cup of coffee and a bottle of water. At 9:00 a.m. had another bottle of water. At 11:00 a.m. had another bottle of water. At 1:00 p.m. I ate lunch but I wasn't hungry - not even a little hungry. I only ate because it was lunch time and that's what I do. I had another bottle of water with lunch and another one at 2:00 p.m. At 6:00 p.m. I ate dinner but again, not because I was hungry - because Snackers said "Dinner is ready". So I ate a chicken breast and a cup of noodles with another bottle of water and then went back to studying for school until I went to bed at 10:00 p.m. Not once, in the entire day, did I feel even teensy weensy little tummy gurgles.

    Is it the water? Making me think I'm not hungry? Perhaps. But again, it's not intentional. Come to find out: now that I've cut cheeseburgers, pizza (for the most part), taco bell, ice cream, chips, cheese and crackers, snack cakes, and chocolate (for the most part) out of my diet ... I'm not really all that interested in food anymore. It's like I have a food version of Stockholm syndrome or something.

  3. P.s.: Google "why don't I feel like eating anymore?" I just did and it turns out that I'm not alone. There are literally HUNDREDS of posts on blogs, message forums, and nutrition websites of people having this same problem and from what I've read it seems that there are two things I have in common with the vast majority of them:

    1) Trying to lose weight / dieting over a long period of time.

    2) Hormone issues.

    Now, when I was on my Estrogen supplements one of the WORST side effects that it had on me was that I found myself craving constantly. Not hungry, but craving. Standing in front of the pantry or fridge for 5 - 10 minutes straight looking for something that I wanted to eat but not finding anything because I didn't even know what I was craving, I just was. SO maybe my high progesterone/low estrogen levels are to blame for my low intake.

    Or, maybe it's the result of extended "dieting" (though I never really 'dieted' I just started 'watching what I eat'). Maybe you're right, maybe I need to take a break. Holidays are here, perfect time to indulge and little and increase intake. But I am afraid that I'll go hog wild and gain 30 lbs. Maybe my lack of hunger is all in my head because I'm so afraid of gaining back what I've lost, as you said.

    I dunno but I'm about to spend 4 days at my mom's house (2 of which will include road trips to and from mom's house). Two places where I find myself notoriously more interested in eating are road trips and mom's house (the third is brother-in-law's house). So who knows, maybe my natural proclivity toward 900 will receive an equally natural cure over the next 4 days.

    BTW: I'm a social drinker, social smoker, and social eater. I'm more likely to do all of these things if I am around someone that does them than I am by myself (this has been proven via every relationship break-up I've ever had). So maybe being around others for four days will help. I want you to know I respect AND appreciate your comments. I'm not taking them lightly, dismissing them, or assuming that you're wrong. IN FACT I fully agree with you! I just "forget" to eat more most days. For weeks now I go to post my calories each night and say "Oh crap that's too low but it's 10 o'clock at night so it's way too late to eat something now. I'll do better tomorrow." Rinse - Lather - Repeat. *sigh*. I'm broken.

  4. I'm glad to hear you are trying to address this. I know that under eating for a prolonged period of time can override the body's normal hunger signals and cause this problem. Just check out the health and support forum on CC and there are a ton of girls that tell you they aren't hungry on minimal calories but when they decide to recover and eat more, their appetite comes back. A suggestion, since you are having trouble getting your cals, try changing your diet to more cal rich foods when you do eat so you are getting more even if you aren't eating more often. Like a handful of nuts or some nut butter on a sandwich, olive oil on a salad, full fat dairy. There are a ton of ways to up your cals without adding a lot of volume :)
    Regardless of whether your hormone issues are causing your weight loss stall, you need to give your body more nourishment. I hope you have a great trip and enjoy your vacation. :)