In which Sarah becomes less fat...

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In which Sarah becomes less fat...

Postby PictureSarah » Wed Jan 05, 2011 5:34 pm UTC

It's been almost two years since I got engaged and started losing weight for my wedding (which happened 09/13/2009). I continued losing weight after my wedding, and ended up going from 174 lbs to 147 lbs...lost almost 30 lbs!
Unfortunately, I then started taking half-time classes in addition to working full time, and had much less time to devote to exercising. I also started to lose my resolve to resist the junk food that my coworkers insist on bringing into the office on a very regular basis. Add to that some hormonal issues...I'm back up to about 160. The fact that I just had to go buy new pants (size 12, when before I had been down to a size 8/10), has made me painfully aware of how my progress is quickly slipping away.
So. I have no classes this semester, my ankle is healed, and I have no excuse not to be at the gym at least three days a week. I am also tracking my calories on both LiveStrong AND Sparkpeople, as well as my workouts. I figure posting here can't hurt either, since the more people I have to be even a little bit accountable to, the better?

So far this week I have hovered between 1100-1500 calories every day, and gone to the gym twice. One day I did a Zumba-like dance aerobics (did not really like, but may try again), and yesterday I did Power Yoga. The plan today is to just go and jog on the treadmill or elliptical machine. Also going to take a ballroom dance class once a week, and a snowshoeing class once a week!
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Re: In which Sarah becomes less fat...

Postby cerbie » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:17 am UTC

Are you bringing your own food to the office, now?
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Re: In which Sarah becomes less fat...

Postby PictureSarah » Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:30 am UTC

I was always bringing my own lunch. Bakemaster is the most wonderful husband in the world, and packs my lunch for me every morning. He makes sure that it's healthy food, and now he even measures things and jots them down so I can enter my daily calories.

The problem is that my coworkers, one in particular, have a hard time not inflicting their habits on everyone in the office. Today, for example, the primary offender brought in a huge carton of donut holes, and left them on the counter (directly behind my workspace), and insisted on telling us all "They're just little doughnut holes, you can just have one!"

I did manage to resist, though. It can be tough with delicious sugary, fatty, carby things within smelling distance all the time.
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Re: In which Sarah becomes less fat...

Postby cerbie » Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:13 pm UTC

That person is clearly a spawn uh thuh debil. I guess watch the calories, and maybe GLs, and try to emulate Job.
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Re: In which Sarah becomes less fat...

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Sat Jan 08, 2011 2:23 am UTC

Starting next week, I will no longer be partaking in my office's FREE hot chocolate and Timbits.

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Re: In which Sarah becomes less fat...

Postby PictureSarah » Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:40 am UTC

On the plus side, I went to the gym 4 times this week. On the not-so-plus side, today I went over my calories by about 400, depending on whether you believe the calorie counter on LiveStrong or Sparkpeople more. I still only had around 1700-1800 calories, so it doesn't seem like it should be a big deal (also I did go jog at the gym), but to me it feels like this huge failure. Add to that the fact that I feel SO HUNGRY...I'm seriously almost in tears about this thing that should not really be a big issue. I don't feel like I can comfortably inhabit the middle ground between strictly adhering to an extremely low-calorie diet, and binging.
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Re: In which Sarah becomes less fat...

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Sat Jan 08, 2011 4:53 am UTC

I'm back to being hungry all the god-damn time, when I don't exercise. Trust me, I do have a lot of empathy for you here. After swimming on Wednesday, I was amazed I limited myself to half a container of yogurt.

...

Unfortunately, it's the Island Farms yogurt that has eight BILLION calories.

...

Crap.

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Re: In which Sarah becomes less fat...

Postby PictureSarah » Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:45 pm UTC

I successfully resisted the huge pan of homemade cinnamon rolls that were brought in this morning for a coworkers birthday until they were all gone!

...but I've already had around 1150 calories today, and I'm trying to stay between 1200-1400 :(

The bulk of the calories have come from two tablespoons of peanut butter (natural, non-hydrogenated or sweetened) eaten with celery. It's so hard to eat fruits and veggies and plain yogurts and such and not feel starving all the time.
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Re: In which Sarah becomes less fat...

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:48 pm UTC

It took about a month for my hunger level to catch up with what I was actually eating. But yeah, I don't care how many apples and carrots you eat, sometimes you just want FRIED THINGS WITH CHEESE!

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Re: In which Sarah becomes less fat...

Postby PictureSarah » Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:22 pm UTC

I'm actually feeling better about how little I'm eating now. Also I am doing well with the gym thing. I went 4 days last week, and I have gone twice this week, with plans to go tonight and maybe tomorrow. Also I lost a pound! So...that's something, I guess.
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Re: In which Sarah becomes less fat...

Postby PictureSarah » Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:44 pm UTC

I have kind of fucked up this week. On Monday we celebrated my sister's birthday, and went out for Thai, and then had cake...I *did* go to yoga on Tuesday, but last night I went to a show (and out to dinner. and drank a gin and tonic. and had bad hotel breakfast.) instead of working out, and then didn't get up early enough to use the hotel's fitness room. I can't go to the gym today unless my late afternoon appointment cancels, because I will be 40 miles from the gym at the end of my work day. I guess my choices are to drive 40 miles to go to the gym this weekend, or hope the weather is nice enough to work out outside if I want to get my 3 workouts per week goal met.
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Re: In which Sarah becomes less fat...

Postby PictureSarah » Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:14 pm UTC

Alright. So in January, I did not quite meet my goal of getting to the gym 3 days a week. But I did make that happen on 3/4 of the weeks, with two days at the gym on the failed week. I also did pretty well food-wise, if you take the month as a whole. I...didn't lose any weight. I did make it to yoga every single week, though! See my pretty chart?!
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Re: In which Sarah becomes less fat...

Postby studyinserendipity » Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:10 am UTC

Hooray stickers! Good for you Sarah :)
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Re: In which Sarah becomes less fat...

Postby caje » Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:06 am UTC

What is your nutritional strategy? Low calorie? Low fat? Low carb?

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Re: In which Sarah becomes less fat...

Postby PictureSarah » Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:53 pm UTC

Low calorie and low carb. I don't eat a lot of fatty foods, because that would make my calories go up too quickly, but I don't specifically look for low-fat or nonfat things. I try to make breakfast my biggest meal of the day, and then have snacks throughout the day. Lots of fruit and veggies.
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Re: In which Sarah becomes less fat...

Postby Solt » Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:36 am UTC

PictureSarah wrote:I...didn't lose any weight. I did make it to yoga every single week, though!


I don't mean to be demotivational, but yoga won't help you lose weight.

Still, pretty good consistency. I'm envious.
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Re: In which Sarah becomes less fat...

Postby PictureSarah » Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:45 pm UTC

Well, it's "power yoga," and it makes me pretty sore sometimes, so wouldn't that fall under strength training? It includes a lot of ab and shoulder exercises and such. Even if it doesn't help me lose any weight, I'll do it anyway, because it's pretty much the only thing I've found that helps me de-stress. Considering my job, I need something to help me de-stress.
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Re: In which Sarah becomes less fat...

Postby caje » Sun Feb 06, 2011 12:30 am UTC

PictureSarah wrote:Low calorie and low carb. I don't eat a lot of fatty foods, because that would make my calories go up too quickly, but I don't specifically look for low-fat or nonfat things. I try to make breakfast my biggest meal of the day, and then have snacks throughout the day. Lots of fruit and veggies.


If you ever get stuck losing weight you might want to think about really lowering the fruit content and upping the amount of fat (mostly through eating naturally fatty foods like beef). It is hard to be on a low-carb diet without taking in a decent amount of fat (also not too healthy without the fat either)

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Re: In which Sarah becomes less fat...

Postby Nath » Sun Feb 06, 2011 1:43 am UTC

PictureSarah wrote:Well, it's "power yoga," and it makes me pretty sore sometimes, so wouldn't that fall under strength training? It includes a lot of ab and shoulder exercises and such. Even if it doesn't help me lose any weight, I'll do it anyway, because it's pretty much the only thing I've found that helps me de-stress. Considering my job, I need something to help me de-stress.

Soreness isn't a good indicator that you're getting stronger. A lot of ultra-high-rep exercise makes you very sore without really affecting your maximal strength. Unless you're actually working with pretty high amounts of resistance, you aren't on a strength training program. It is possible to do this with appropriately chosen gymnastic movements, but that's not the goal of most yoga programs.

Of course, that doesn't mean it's not useful. Most people could use some stress-relieving mobility work.

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Re: In which Sarah becomes less fat...

Postby Solt » Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:17 am UTC

PictureSarah wrote:Well, it's "power yoga," and it makes me pretty sore sometimes, so wouldn't that fall under strength training? It includes a lot of ab and shoulder exercises and such.


Yea, but the fat loss part of strength training comes from the act of moving heavy weights against gravity multiple times. This requires serious energy, which means you burn calories as well as becoming stronger. You can strengthen your muscles through relatively static exercises but you aren't necessarily burning calories in the process. If your power yoga includes pushups/crunches/situps that will give you some benefit, but the weightloss effect will top out after a point.
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Re: In which Sarah becomes less fat...

Postby TheNorm05 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:08 am UTC

This probably sounds weird coming from me since I'm not over weight, but when I don't feel like eating for whatever reason, I have a pack of gum handy which keeps hunger at bay for about 40 minutes. The gum I get is like 1 Calorie per piece of gum, so you'd be able to bring it in at pretty much any time. If you get something minty, then you won't even want to eat a sugary donut or whatever anyone brings in. It's like eating candy after brushing your teeth, which you could also try. I'm a college student so I live out of my back pack anyway(brush my teeth where ever I am because you never know when you might want to make a good first impression(another story for another day I suppose)). The act of chewing makes you feel less hungry, I forget why.

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Re: In which Sarah becomes less fat...

Postby PictureSarah » Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:30 am UTC

I've been doing really well with diet and exercise, but I'm stuck. Not only that, but I've gained about 12 pounds back from this time last year, and my A1C has gone from 4.4 to 5.5 :(. My doctor started me on Phentermine today to see if that does the job. I'm nervous, but hoping.
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Re: In which Sarah becomes less fat...

Postby jjfortherear » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:32 am UTC

Really, heavy aerobic exercise is the most efficient way to burn calories, so if you're going to be going to the gym, get on the eliptical, treadmill, or get in the pool! Strength training/situps/yoga is, in all honesty, a total waste of time if your only goal is to lose weight. The time you allot for exercise should burn the maximum number of calories possible, and running/swimming/blah blah is so much more (less, if you're talking about your body doing work) efficient, it's not even funny.
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Re: In which Sarah becomes less fat...

Postby Nath » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:32 am UTC

jjfortherear wrote:Really, heavy aerobic exercise is the most efficient way to burn calories, so if you're going to be going to the gym, get on the eliptical, treadmill, or get in the pool! Strength training/situps/yoga is, in all honesty, a total waste of time if your only goal is to lose weight. The time you allot for exercise should burn the maximum number of calories possible, and running/swimming/blah blah is so much more (less, if you're talking about your body doing work) efficient, it's not even funny.

Sure, if your goal is to lose weight. But most people need to lose fat, while minimizing muscle loss. The goal (I assume) is not to become skinny-fat, which is what happens if you put yourself on a caloric deficit without offering your muscles anything to do.

And if weight loss is all you're after, even aerobic exercise is a waste of time. Just eat a lot less. Your health will suffer, but you'll certainly be lighter.

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Re: In which Sarah becomes less fat...

Postby VPeric » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:21 am UTC

If the goal is time-efficient weight loss, I'd guess something done in a Tabata fashion would be best? It won't last more than 10 minutes (including some warmup and the "oh god I'm dying!" period afterward). Unfortunately, such an intensive exercise protocol is obviously not for everyone.

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Re: In which Sarah becomes less fat...

Postby jjfortherear » Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:10 pm UTC

Nath wrote:
jjfortherear wrote:Really, heavy aerobic exercise is the most efficient way to burn calories, so if you're going to be going to the gym, get on the eliptical, treadmill, or get in the pool! Strength training/situps/yoga is, in all honesty, a total waste of time if your only goal is to lose weight. The time you allot for exercise should burn the maximum number of calories possible, and running/swimming/blah blah is so much more (less, if you're talking about your body doing work) efficient, it's not even funny.

Sure, if your goal is to lose weight. But most people need to lose fat, while minimizing muscle loss. The goal (I assume) is not to become skinny-fat, which is what happens if you put yourself on a caloric deficit without offering your muscles anything to do.

And if weight loss is all you're after, even aerobic exercise is a waste of time. Just eat a lot less. Your health will suffer, but you'll certainly be lighter.


If you're eating regularly (which I recommend, I think dieting is pretty fucking dumb, but don't listen to me), swimming/running will be plenty sufficient to stimulate muscle growth. I've never seen a female swimmer who wished she had more muscle.
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Re: In which Sarah becomes less fat...

Postby Nath » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:08 pm UTC

Extended aerobic stuff is done with low-resistance exercises. Low-resistance exercises only stimulate low-threshold motor units, which means that these exercises do not affect most of your muscle fibers. So no, jogging etc. are not going to make you stronger unless you start out really sedentary. They may, in fact, make you weaker if you are already strong.

Aerobic exercise will not make you lose weight unless it puts you in a caloric deficit. And if you are on a caloric deficit, you're going to lose both fat and muscle, and low-resistance exercise will do little to change the ratio. High-resistance exercise will minimize muscle loss, and you may even end up stronger through neural adaptation. I'm not saying that jogging and swimming are bad -- I think creating a caloric deficit through exercise is better than doing it through diet alone. But these things work best as part of a fitness program, not as a one-stop shop for weight loss.

I don't know if this is at all interesting or relevant to the OP, so if you want to keep talking about this, let's take it to PMs or start another thread.

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Re: In which Sarah becomes less fat...

Postby Ulc » Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:58 am UTC

jjfortherear wrote:If you're eating regularly (which I recommend, I think dieting is pretty fucking dumb, but don't listen to me), swimming/running will be plenty sufficient to stimulate muscle growth. I've never seen a female swimmer who wished she had more muscle.


Neither have I.

But then, neither have I ever seen a high-level swimmer that spent more time in the water than in the gym lifting weights.
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Re: In which Sarah becomes less fat...

Postby jjfortherear » Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:00 pm UTC

Ulc wrote:
jjfortherear wrote:If you're eating regularly (which I recommend, I think dieting is pretty fucking dumb, but don't listen to me), swimming/running will be plenty sufficient to stimulate muscle growth. I've never seen a female swimmer who wished she had more muscle.


Neither have I.

But then, neither have I ever seen a high-level swimmer that spent more time in the water than in the gym lifting weights.


Perhaps I should've been more direct:
The girls who swam at my high school were fucking built, and I know for a fact they didn't lift weights regularly.
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Re: In which Sarah becomes less fat...

Postby caje » Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:30 am UTC

jjfortherear wrote:Really, heavy aerobic exercise is the most efficient way to burn calories, so if you're going to be going to the gym, get on the eliptical, treadmill, or get in the pool! Strength training/situps/yoga is, in all honesty, a total waste of time if your only goal is to lose weight. The time you allot for exercise should burn the maximum number of calories possible, and running/swimming/blah blah is so much more (less, if you're talking about your body doing work) efficient, it's not even funny.

... You might burn more during the actual exercising but the after effects of short term intense cardio and weight lifting on your hormonal profile makes them invaluable for weight loss.

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Re: In which Sarah becomes less fat...

Postby caje » Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:35 am UTC

jjfortherear wrote:Perhaps I should've been more direct:
The girls who swam at my high school were fucking built, and I know for a fact they didn't lift weights regularly.


The ones at mine weren't built. Though maybe your definition of built and mine are different, I prefer woman with more muscle on them then most women tend to like on themselves or other women. Many people consider seeing any muscle on a woman as built...

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Re: In which Sarah becomes less fat...

Postby PictureSarah » Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:34 pm UTC

I swam competitively for years, and was never "built." I was always a little on the fat side. The difference is that I was fat, but could swim pretty fast, had great lung capacity, and was strong. Then again, I was also living on a farm and routinely moving 80 lb. feed sacks and haybales and such.

I am, sadly, not in the same shape now as I was then. I am, however, back down to 150 lbs. I *really* want to get down under 140. I would absolutely love to be able to buy a bikini. I've never owned one, because I've always been (I felt) too fat.
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Re: In which Sarah becomes less fat...

Postby apricity » Sat May 07, 2011 9:30 pm UTC

I'd just like to mention that making it to yoga is likely a huge help. Even if it's not directly causing weight loss, stress often leads to eating less healthy. I think you should feel immensely proud of going to yoga as much as you do.
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Re: In which Sarah becomes less fat...

Postby cybermutiny » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:51 pm UTC

Hey, I worked as a weight loss and nutrition researcher for 3 years. It seems like you're very motivated to lose weight and that's great. I would like to offer you a bit of advice that is not what you commonly hear. You can take it or leave it as you wish.

Quite simply, I would like to tell you that the 'challenge' of losing weight is more a state of mind than anything else. American culture puts losing weight on a pedestal; treats it like it's some extremely difficult task, almost like to lose weight is to climb Mount Everest. If you think this way, then losing weight really will become difficult.

As much as you can, get away from that mindset and realize that your level of hunger is relative to the amount of food you've been eating over the past few weeks. Try a few experimental days where you decrease the amount you're eating. For example, try to take one day and just eat very little food. Instead of going to the gym that day, go for a relaxing walk (an intense workout at the gym can actually make you more hungry). When you get home, work on some engaging project, read an interesting book, or do something to get your mind off food. People often eat simply out of boredom.

After one or two of these 'mini-fasting' days, see if you start to feel less hungry.
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