Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Me and Michael Phelps

My weight loss has been a real case of the running in place recently. Down 1.4, up .6, down .2, up 2.2, etc. Netting out to zero, or close to zero.

And my god, I've been hungry.

Not Oh, that doughnut looks tasty sort of hungry, either.

But My bleeding Christ, I would kill someone to have a half cup of tuna fish!

You know when you find yourself feeling guilty about the six or seven grapes you ate (packing up your husband's lunch for the next day and snitching them as you washed them off...) that there's something really, really wrong.

I wasn't hungry for chocolate, or cake, or even cheese. I was just hungry.


And I got scared of my points again. I wasn't losing weight when I was eating my activity points (altho I wasn't eating most of my flex points... maybe 5-10 in the course of a week). So I stopped eating my activity points. And I still wasn't losing weight. And then I started skipping food from my regular points...

For the last couple weeks, without really confessing what I was doing - or even really thinking about what I was doing - I've been starving myself.

I get 19 points a day. Calculating that out, if I avoid the full fat stuff and eat mostly high fiber... that's 1,330 calories per day. My basal metabolic rate (rough guestimate based on height, weight and gender) I'm supposed to use up 1,400 calories laying in bed and pretending I don't exist.

You know that's not what I do.

I hit the elliptical a few times a week. I walk. I swim. (Hell, I even swim with my 35-pound child piggybacked on my back, and let me tell ya, that's not as much fun as it sounds... not for me, at any rate... good workout, though...) I do step while I watch old episodes of Buffy. I clean.

So, the question in my mind was this; how can I not be losing weight?

With the sort of calories I'm burning versus the amount of not-eating I was doing... calories in < calories out = weight loss, right?

I continued to cut calories. I was continually hungry, and I was getting to the point where I wanted to cry every time I opened the fridge. Every time I walked past a mirror. Every time I got dressed.

So, I'm talking to a friend of mine - bitching, really... and he said this;

"Girlfriend, you're working out like an athlete. It's time to start eating like one."

(Ok, maybe not that much.)

"Seriously, I want you to do this - do it for me, for just a month, and see where you are..."

- Eat the twigs in a bowl for breakfast NO MORE than twice a week. The rest of the week, eat an egg, or a muffin with some soy peanutbutter (we have to eat the soy stuff because of my daughter's peanut allergies, but it's really quite good, and loaded with protien.)

- eat at least one chocolate bar per week. Not the kind with goo in it, but a plain hershey's bar, or a lindt bar.

- eat your activity points. All of them. The day after you earn them. For snacks from activity points, chose high protien, low-carb foods. Cheese. Eggs. Grilled chicken strips. Yogurt.

- Avoid those 100 calorie stupidsnacks as much as possible. That means no more than 2 packs per week, and really, you should cut them out entirely. If you want a cookie, buy a damn COOKIE.

- eat all your flex points. ALL of them. Not 10. Not 20. 35. Points.

- drink 8oz of low-fat chocolate milk after your elliptical training.

- don't eat after 8:30pm (or, more exactly, don't eat in the three hours before bedtime. If you go to bed at midnight, you can bump that up to 9pm, etc.)

Me, looking at this list, actively horrified: I'll gain weight!

Him: You won't.

Me: Yes, I will.

Him: Ok, let me put it to you this way; I will pay for your weight watcher's membership for as long as it takes you to lose any weight you gain in that month.

Me: Oh, all right. What's the worst that can happen?

So... I tried it. I wore my Mio Stride almost all day so that I had a more accurate count of how many calories I was using up in a day. I ate. I wasn't hungry most of the time (after about Thursday, I was surprised by how hungry I was first thing in the morning, but after breakfast was eaten, I was fine...) and I had a pretty good week. I wasn't tired. I wasn't headachy. (I've spent the last two months having a low-grade headache all the time. So, you know, if I've been a bit of a bitch recently, that's probably part of why...)

My Wii Fit told me I was down about two pounds for the week, but you know, I didn't believe it. I've been having serious discrepency problems with the Wii versus the Weight Watcher's scale.

And actually, I have to admit, I was looking forward to yelling at my friend. See! See! You are so full of crap! That food-plan works FOR A GUY! You idiot!

But... I probably won't get to.

I lost five pounds this week.


Holy shit.

Me and Michael Phelps.

Well, anyway, I'm committed to trying this for 30 days.

Eat more to weigh less.

Doc Hudson: I'll put it simple: if you're going hard enough left, you'll find yourself turning right.

Lightning McQueen: Oh, right. That makes perfect sense. Turn right to go left. Yes, thank you! Or should I say No, thank you, because in Opposite World, maybe that really means thank you.

-- Cars


Amy G. said...

Wow, that is awesome. I have to admit, I was totally nodding when I was reading about what your friend you! I was like, "Yes! He's right! Listen!" But it is always easier to do that when you're an onlooker.

Anyway, congrats. I bet you feel great.

Hanlie said...

I fully agree that we need more calories when we're in training, but Michael Phelps sets a very poor example by eating absolute crap! Whenever I see his training eating plan, I always wonder how much faster he'd be if he ate healthy foods! He is ruining his health! So, by all means, eat more, but make sure it's healthy!

And congratulations on the loss! That's awesome!

Sheryl said...

You really do need to fuel your body in order to lose weight. If you cut back on food too much your body goes into starvation mode and hoards everything.

I think you'll find you'll have to pay for your own WW membership. :)

You have a great, knowledgeable friend.

Ashley said...

Ack! So glad you had someone with the wherewithal to say something to you. You were putting your body into starvation mode (where it doesn't realize evolution has occurred and hoards all the calories you eat because it doesn't think there are any around). And yes, a cookie made from real ingredients is worth 20 of those chemically concocted 100 calorie packs.

Congratulations on your loss! I know you're proud.

Dani @ PFL said...

I'm so excited for you! I remember exactly when I realized I didn't have to starve anymore to lose weight. It's so empowering! And your relationship with food totally changes.

Great job and congrats on your weight loss this week! =)

Anonymous said...

I hit a plateau of my own last week, and in a panic I cut calories and increased exercise to find myself nursing that horrible starvation mode mindset, and of course, the dreaded low grade headache.
Your freind's perspective makes total sense: Train like an athlete, eat like one.

I am totally stealing this for my blog.

Trisaratops said...

Oh, what a fantastic post! It was like a suspense story. I love the feeling when I can tell that my metabolism is revved up and I can eat more, and still feel lean and move well. Congratulations to you!

Cammy@TippyToeDiet said...

It's crazy, isn't it? It took me awhile to get this through my thick head, but every time I raised my calories a bit, I saw results. Even now, I have to hit the high end of my calorie range every few days or I pick up a pound or two. Crazy, I say.

I may try that chocolate milk thing. Someone else recommended it a while back, and I meant to try it then. Thanks for the reminder!

Mary said...

CONGRATS on the 5lb loss!! That is awesome!! Eating more to weigh loss. I have certainly got to take down some notes here. (Heehee I have to look into the chocolate milk too:> )

Journo June aka MamaBear said...

So glad you have such a good friend! The first part of the post, I was yelling at my computer - "YOU AREN'T EATING ENOUGH!" Glad you gave it a try. :-D
Path to Health

Lucrecia said...

I've heard this so many times lately, I guess I'm going to have to believe its true. It goes against everything you think about dieting huh?

Rebeca said...

Love this, even though I'm slightly jealous because I'm not there yet... motivates me to workout though hehe

Losing it in Vegas said...

I have to agree with your friend. Calorie restricted diets may work for us when we aren't working out hard, but once we start burning calories in exercise and our metabolisms catch up, we need to eat more.

I am so glad you have a very smart friend who would point it out to you.

Just shows our relationship with food always needs to be worked on!

MizFit said...

sometimes more is so so much better huh? stokes the metabolic *fires*

Anonymous said...

This is the second time this week that I read that chocolate milk is a good recovery "meal". Huh. I might have to try that... CHOCOLATE!!!