fat2fitrunner

5 years out and impossible to lose weight

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OK, here's my story, I'll try to keep it as short as possible.

I had the sleeve about 5 years ago (3/8/2013). I was wildly successful. I started at 280 lbs, and within 10 months I was 169 lbs. I lost so fast, I couldn't stop losing. My goal was 190 and I flew past it. Everyone was telling me I was losing too much weight. They thought I had a problem and wanted to lose more. I tried eating more to stop it, but just couldn't.

Eventually it leveled off, and I fluctuated between 170-180 for 2-3 years. I looked great, felt great. I started running, something I had never done before in my life. I found a love for it. I did 5Ks, a couple half marathons. Then I decided I wanted to do a marathon. Also, around this time, I started having marital issues that I'd prefer not to get into here. Part of the issues led to counseling, where she accused me of being obsessed with my weight, and weighing myself, tracking my food, etc. So, I stopped doing all of that, basically everything that had made me successful for so long. So, anyway, I started training for the marathon. I followed an 18 week intensive training plan. During these 18 weeks, I put on 20 lbs. Some of it I'm sure was muscle, and some was from eating more to replace the excessive calories I was burning. The training was 18 weeks of hell. The marathon itself was hell. The recovery was hell. It sucked all the fun out of running, and I stopped. I don't regret doing it, because I had to prove it to myself for some reason. But I will never do it again. 

After the marathon, I developed some bad habits. I had started snacking more between meals because of the marathon training. I continued that after the marathon, and I was no longer running. I no longer ate protein first. I was drinking soda. I developed a Tostitos addiction. I was no longer weighing myself twice a day or tracking my food because I was accused of being obsessive. When I lost the weight, I had promised myself I wouldn't let myself get over 200 lbs again. I broke that promise. I got up to 213 lbs. Not horrible, but not where I want to be. And now the high blood pressure that went away when I lost the weight is back and I'm back on medication. Ideally, I'd like to be 190 again, but I'd settle for anywhere under 200.

I don't exactly feel like a failure, just went off track a little and want to correct it. I started running again in the beginning of January. I'm doing 3 miles a day, 4-5 days a week. I'm pushing myself to be faster than I was when I was into it a couple years ago. I've started eating protein first, cut out snacks, cut out soda and sugar. And the scale isn't budging. I'm already eating very limited quantities, I'm not sure what else I can do to get this weight off at this point. 

Any ideas of what I can do? 

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1 hour ago, fat2fitrunner said:

OK, here's my story, I'll try to keep it as short as possible.

I had the sleeve about 5 years ago (3/8/2013). I was wildly successful. I started at 280 lbs, and within 10 months I was 169 lbs. I lost so fast, I couldn't stop losing. My goal was 190 and I flew past it. Everyone was telling me I was losing too much weight. They thought I had a problem and wanted to lose more. I tried eating more to stop it, but just couldn't.

Eventually it leveled off, and I fluctuated between 170-180 for 2-3 years. I looked great, felt great. I started running, something I had never done before in my life. I found a love for it. I did 5Ks, a couple half marathons. Then I decided I wanted to do a marathon. Also, around this time, I started having marital issues that I'd prefer not to get into here. Part of the issues led to counseling, where she accused me of being obsessed with my weight, and weighing myself, tracking my food, etc. So, I stopped doing all of that, basically everything that had made me successful for so long. So, anyway, I started training for the marathon. I followed an 18 week intensive training plan. During these 18 weeks, I put on 20 lbs. Some of it I'm sure was muscle, and some was from eating more to replace the excessive calories I was burning. The training was 18 weeks of hell. The marathon itself was hell. The recovery was hell. It sucked all the fun out of running, and I stopped. I don't regret doing it, because I had to prove it to myself for some reason. But I will never do it again. 

After the marathon, I developed some bad habits. I had started snacking more between meals because of the marathon training. I continued that after the marathon, and I was no longer running. I no longer ate protein first. I was drinking soda. I developed a Tostitos addiction. I was no longer weighing myself twice a day or tracking my food because I was accused of being obsessive. When I lost the weight, I had promised myself I wouldn't let myself get over 200 lbs again. I broke that promise. I got up to 213 lbs. Not horrible, but not where I want to be. And now the high blood pressure that went away when I lost the weight is back and I'm back on medication. Ideally, I'd like to be 190 again, but I'd settle for anywhere under 200.

I don't exactly feel like a failure, just went off track a little and want to correct it. I started running again in the beginning of January. I'm doing 3 miles a day, 4-5 days a week. I'm pushing myself to be faster than I was when I was into it a couple years ago. I've started eating protein first, cut out snacks, cut out soda and sugar. And the scale isn't budging. I'm already eating very limited quantities, I'm not sure what else I can do to get this weight off at this point. 

Any ideas of what I can do? 

Welcome to the forum!

My surgeon was very clear: no matter how well-meaning, I was never to take nutritional advice from ANYone except my bariatric surgeon! There is however much collective wisdom here on the forum that I trust over just about anything else :-)

The point is I personally think it was a mistake for you to stop tracking your food intake, at the advice of someone who (I could be wrong) probably knew nothing of the post-WLS lifestyle. It was what worked FOR YOU, and you don't make is sound like you were having any kinds of obsession issues with the food or weight loss?

Anyways my gut reaction to this is to say to go back to what worked for you in the beginning, and also to post here an average day of what you are eating throughout the day.

Edited by Michael_A

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Thanks Michael. I used to be on this forum, and others, but no longer needed the support so left.

My wife also had the sleeve, but never did any of the 'obsessive' things I did. She was and is still successful. She was right, in a way. I was obsessing. I got on the scale every time I went into the bathroom. Once or twice a day would have been more than sufficient. But I did it because I didn't want to be a failure, this was my last chance, and it was working for me.

I haven't been tracking, but my calories are pretty low, I know that. I eat a Dannon Light & Fit Greek yogurt for breakfast, 2 Quest bars throughout the day, and a sensible dinner. No more snacking throughout the day like I had been doing. And 3 miles a day of running. The scale isn't moving. At all.

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Sounds like you're doing a lot to get back on track. Good job! I would up fluids in a big way and see how that goes. The occasional protein bar can be really convenient, but not so great as a staple in your diet. Exercise is fantastic. It makes you look and feel so good. But it's your diet that will really impact the weight loss. If you have to eat more to be able to run, that might be counterproductive while you're trying to lose. All these things you're doing will move the scale eventually. Are you getting your vitamins in too?

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Yes, I get my vitamins. I had bloodwork a few months ago, and my vitamin D was low so he put me on a prescription for that, but everything else was good.

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But you're right, I've always relied too heavily on protein bars. It is out of convenience/laziness. I'm so busy driving the kids everywhere and working that I don't take the time to prepare lunches for myself. 

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Protein bars pack around 200 calories a piece and for me they don’t fill me up.  Start tracking again.  Sometimes it’s a surprise.  Fill up on lean protein; 120 calories of chicken breast fills me up and stays with me.  You have to do what works for you.  I weigh every morning and once in a while at night but I know the night weight varies, a lot.  When I was losing I couldn’t have the scale around and weighed every other week.  Find yourself a support group for wls people.  For many of us this is it.  

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It does sound like you were "obsessive", but I think many of us have been there. I was certainly accused of it by my husband when I tracked food and exercise in an earlier weightloss attempt. For me the problem was that I could see he was right. Since my revision I do not track at all. I believe I learned enough in my previous obsessive life to know that I'm making healthy choices for the most part. I do weigh daily, but I know that there is no point weighing more than that, other than to recalibrate my scale. I know from my obsessive weighing a few years ago that my scale only moves if the difference from the last weigh-in exceeds about 0.5lb. Given I don't lose that amount on a daily basis, I will step on the scale fully clothed in the afternoon just to get the scale to reset. I could just throw a book on it or something handy, but the easiest option is to just jump on it myself. That weight though has no relevance in my mind....only the morning weight matters.

As for tracking I realise it has value but I don't believe all calories are equal. Weightloss seems to bring many scientific theorists out of closets, but I don't believe it is as simplistic as the theories would have us believe. As an example, I'd been in a stall and earlier this week ate a big creamy apple turnover. The next day I'd lost over a pound. What would tracking that tell me? That eating a big creamy apple turnover would help me lose weight,  or at least break a stall. We both know that can't be right... the more likely scenario was that my stress levels lately had been affecting my hormones and my sleep patterns, keeping my weight locked up. Plus we've been experiencing yet another heatwave so my body was holding onto water that when the heatwave broke my body responded by dumping that extra fluid. No tracker is going to lead me to that understanding....only my own mindfulness can come close to the actual reality. That said, I'm currently maintaining below goal, so I can afford to play around with my own musings. My pocket diary (as opposed to my old huge A4 tracking printout stuck on each page diary) consists of my daily weight, an emoticon that represents my day or if I'm unwell etc, a note of the daily temp if it is excessive, plus a once a month BMI calculation and body fat reading. That is it! For me that's what I currently want to study about myself and weightloss. If I were to be experiencing regain, I'm pretty sure the obsessive tracking would be restarted. We have to do what works for us. If tracking is what you need to do....then do it without guilt....because it's what you need!!!

PS: Really hoping I didn't just give you ideas on how to become even more obsessive in your tracking. ;)

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I see we have the two wings of TTF represented here: the Trackers and the Heck-No-I-Don't-Track people :lol: It's so important to figure out what works for you - since both ways (and the various shades of grey in between) can obviously be effective if they're used right by the right people - @Michael_A and @Aussie H being exemplars of each method.

@Gretta's mention of exercise not driving weight loss is pretty significant, especially coming from her (an avid exerciser). If you need some perspective on how much you have to exercise to offset your eating, here's an article (with research studies for backup) that might be interesting to you: https://www.vox.com/2016/4/28/11518804/weight-loss-exercise-myth-burn-calories  It's not meant to discourage your running, but to temper your feelings that the running will drive weight loss.

Maybe a 5 day pouch test to reset your head/habits a bit would help? I feel like going back to basics might be useful at times. As well as popping in here (or wherever you can get some support) frequently to keep your mind in the game. Let us know how you're doing.

 

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10 hours ago, Jen581791 said:

I see we have the two wings of TTF represented here: the Trackers and the Heck-No-I-Don't-Track people :lol: It's so important to figure out what works for you - since both ways (and the various shades of grey in between) can obviously be effective if they're used right by the right people - @Michael_A and @Aussie H being exemplars of each method.

@Gretta's mention of exercise not driving weight loss is pretty significant, especially coming from her (an avid exerciser). If you need some perspective on how much you have to exercise to offset your eating, here's an article (with research studies for backup) that might be interesting to you: https://www.vox.com/2016/4/28/11518804/weight-loss-exercise-myth-burn-calories  It's not meant to discourage your running, but to temper your feelings that the running will drive weight loss.

Maybe a 5 day pouch test to reset your head/habits a bit would help? I feel like going back to basics might be useful at times. As well as popping in here (or wherever you can get some support) frequently to keep your mind in the game. Let us know how you're doing.

 

I understand exercise isn't the answer. I just would have expected that cutting calories, increasing protein, decreasing carbs, and the huge increase in activity would result in some movement on the scale. I can't eat much less than what I am eating, so I'm not sure what else to do.

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14 hours ago, Aussie H said:

It does sound like you were "obsessive", but I think many of us have been there. I was certainly accused of it by my husband when I tracked food and exercise in an earlier weightloss attempt. For me the problem was that I could see he was right. Since my revision I do not track at all. I believe I learned enough in my previous obsessive life to know that I'm making healthy choices for the most part. I do weigh daily, but I know that there is no point weighing more than that, other than to recalibrate my scale. I know from my obsessive weighing a few years ago that my scale only moves if the difference from the last weigh-in exceeds about 0.5lb. Given I don't lose that amount on a daily basis, I will step on the scale fully clothed in the afternoon just to get the scale to reset. I could just throw a book on it or something handy, but the easiest option is to just jump on it myself. That weight though has no relevance in my mind....only the morning weight matters.

As for tracking I realise it has value but I don't believe all calories are equal. Weightloss seems to bring many scientific theorists out of closets, but I don't believe it is as simplistic as the theories would have us believe. As an example, I'd been in a stall and earlier this week ate a big creamy apple turnover. The next day I'd lost over a pound. What would tracking that tell me? That eating a big creamy apple turnover would help me lose weight,  or at least break a stall. We both know that can't be right... the more likely scenario was that my stress levels lately had been affecting my hormones and my sleep patterns, keeping my weight locked up. Plus we've been experiencing yet another heatwave so my body was holding onto water that when the heatwave broke my body responded by dumping that extra fluid. No tracker is going to lead me to that understanding....only my own mindfulness can come close to the actual reality. That said, I'm currently maintaining below goal, so I can afford to play around with my own musings. My pocket diary (as opposed to my old huge A4 tracking printout stuck on each page diary) consists of my daily weight, an emoticon that represents my day or if I'm unwell etc, a note of the daily temp if it is excessive, plus a once a month BMI calculation and body fat reading. That is it! For me that's what I currently want to study about myself and weightloss. If I were to be experiencing regain, I'm pretty sure the obsessive tracking would be restarted. We have to do what works for us. If tracking is what you need to do....then do it without guilt....because it's what you need!!!

PS: Really hoping I didn't just give you ideas on how to become even more obsessive in your tracking. ;)

Ha, thanks for the extensive answer. I need to find a decent middle ground for my tracking. Honestly, I don't really need to track my food that much, as long as I'm honest with myself and not grabbing a few chips every time I pass the cabinet. I know that if all I'm eating all day is 2 Quest bars and a yogurt, that's 480 calories. Then a sensible dinner, and I'm probably at around 1000-1200 calories a day.  

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7 minutes ago, fat2fitrunner said:

I understand exercise isn't the answer. I just would have expected that cutting calories, increasing protein, decreasing carbs, and the huge increase in activity would result in some movement on the scale. I can't eat much less than what I am eating, so I'm not sure what else to do.

I would highly recommend the 5 day pouch test as a "restart", and then I'd ditch the protein bars and stick to lean protein first plus veggies.  Get back to the basics and then be patient (that's the hard part!), your tool is still there and it will work.

While exercise is not the key factor in weight loss it certainly has a multitude of other benefits, physical and emotional.  Good for you for getting back into it!  Maintenance is so much harder than the early active weight loss phase, at least for many of us.  You've done the best possible thing, which is to take back control, congrats!

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30 minutes ago, msmarymac said:

I would highly recommend the 5 day pouch test as a "restart", and then I'd ditch the protein bars and stick to lean protein first plus veggies.  Get back to the basics and then be patient (that's the hard part!), your tool is still there and it will work.

While exercise is not the key factor in weight loss it certainly has a multitude of other benefits, physical and emotional.  Good for you for getting back into it!  Maintenance is so much harder than the early active weight loss phase, at least for many of us.  You've done the best possible thing, which is to take back control, congrats!

I've seen people recommending the 5 day pouch test since before I even had surgery. I always thought that it would be something I'd never have to do. My restriction was always so tight. It is still fairly tight, but I can definitely eat a little more than I could in the first few years. My problem really was the snacking, and 'eating around' the sleeve, and slider foods. I guess I could give the pouch test a try, since so many people seem to be recommending it. 

I agree about exercise. It makes me feel better overall, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. I'm happy that I've decided to start again. This time I will try to remember why I'm doing it and not have to push myself to do more and more to the point it is no longer enjoyable. Like I said, I don't regret the marathon because it was a big accomplishment and something I can always say I did. But I regret that it sucked all the fun out of running for me. 

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1 hour ago, fat2fitrunner said:

I can't eat much less than what I am eating, so I'm not sure what else to do.

That sounds like a hard place to be! How long have you been cutting back on calories/carbs? If that's also since the beginning of January, I can totally see why you're feeling impatient. Maybe 5DPT or hardcore keto would shake your system into letting go of a few pounds. It really seems like you're doing everything right :unsure: Hang in there! 

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3 minutes ago, Jen581791 said:

That sounds like a hard place to be! How long have you been cutting back on calories/carbs? If that's also since the beginning of January, I can totally see why you're feeling impatient. Maybe 5DPT or hardcore keto would shake your system into letting go of a few pounds. It really seems like you're doing everything right :unsure: Hang in there! 

Yes, I started the changes in diet at the same time as I started running again, the first week of January. Maybe I'll give the pouch test a try, couldn't hurt. The thought of going back to shakes and liquids isn't something I'm crazy about, but it's just a couple days. 

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Just now, fat2fitrunner said:

Yes, I started the changes in diet at the same time as I started running again, the first week of January.

Ack. You're really looking for some wins right now, then! A month is a long time to go without seeing any evidence of losses on the scale - don't let it discourage you, though. You're doing the right things, it seems! Upping your exercise and decreasing your calories/carbs can't but lead to better health, anyway, and surely those pounds will fall off eventually!

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4 minutes ago, Jen581791 said:

Ack. You're really looking for some wins right now, then! A month is a long time to go without seeing any evidence of losses on the scale - don't let it discourage you, though. You're doing the right things, it seems! Upping your exercise and decreasing your calories/carbs can't but lead to better health, anyway, and surely those pounds will fall off eventually!

Thanks! I'm not quitting, I can't. This was actually a big fear of mine from the beginning. That my body would get accustomed to the smaller amounts of food (kind of 'reset'), and would eventually put a little weight back on, and then it would be impossible to eat even less to lose weight again. I had bounced around between 211 and 213 since the beginning of January, but I actually stepped on the scale this morning and was 209. So maybe it is finally starting to move. We'll see. I'll continue doing the right things.

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18 minutes ago, fat2fitrunner said:

Thanks! I'm not quitting, I can't. This was actually a big fear of mine from the beginning. That my body would get accustomed to the smaller amounts of food (kind of 'reset'), and would eventually put a little weight back on, and then it would be impossible to eat even less to lose weight again. I had bounced around between 211 and 213 since the beginning of January, but I actually stepped on the scale this morning and was 209. So maybe it is finally starting to move. We'll see. I'll continue doing the right things.

That is a very real concern!  Prolonged time on very low calories makes your body think you're starving and it holds onto every bit it can.  After it adjusts to surviving on ultra low calories then "normal" caloric intake can cause gain.  Not fair, not fair, not fair.

The biggest value of the 5DPT for me is not the physical reset but the mental reset.  I've done it several times, usually after a vacation or holiday and it mentally gets me back in the groove. 

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For me, it is more about getting back off the blood pressure medication than being a certain weight. I worked so hard to get off all my medications, and also beat sleep apnea. To be back on blood pressure medication now is a huge blow for me.

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49 minutes ago, fat2fitrunner said:

For me, it is more about getting back off the blood pressure medication than being a certain weight. I worked so hard to get off all my medications, and also beat sleep apnea. To be back on blood pressure medication now is a huge blow for me.

That's where getting back into exercise will be a HUGE benefit!  You are on the right track!

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Dumb suggestion but worth a try: Change the battery in your scale, if it has one. :)

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On 2/16/2018 at 6:57 PM, fat2fitrunner said:

Update: It seems that the weight was just 'stuck'. It is now moving, and I am down 7-8 lbs in the last week and a half.

Congrats! I'm very happy that things are moving along for you again :)

What on earth is going on in our bodies when this kind of thing happens? So mysterious...

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Ugh, stuck again. I'm at a loss. After finally shedding a few lbs, I've been fluctuating between 206-209 for a month now. I tried the 5 day pouch test, I'm running 4-5 days a week, watching my calories and carbs. It is just not moving. Is this as good as it gets? At this point, I don't even care about the number on the scale, I just want to get off the blood pressure medication. That seems to be tied to the number on the scale for me. I'm really not sure what else to do.

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Honestly, I would back off the running a bit.  Stress causes your body to hang onto its stores, and between fretting about your health and running 3 miles almost every day, you may just be overdoing it. 

Take a week off from the running, make sure you're getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night, get at least 64 oz of water every day, and at least 60-70 grams of protein a day.  I'd also consider dropping the protein bars in favor of a few ounces of dense protein - chicken, pork, shrimp, beef, whatever.  Sometimes sugar alcohols can stall you out. 

Mainly, rest up and relax.  If you're nervous about dropping exercise entirely, maybe walk your distance instead of running this week.  Your heart is in the right place - you're working hard.  But maybe changing things up a bit will help?

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