I am a nutritional newbie - I never took any classes on the subject, I'm a lifelong selective eater, and what little I know has been memorized, mostly in the last two months. I'm in need of some specific schooling on my current peculiar weight-loss situation.
: what is making me lose weight? And how can I keep this happening? And why does it seem like I'm breaking all the rules here?
: In September/October, I was prescribed Geodon
, which spiked my blood sugar from 88 to 163
in a matter of a bit less than two weeks. This freaked everyone the heck out, and rightly so. Amongst many other changes, I was enrolled in the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program, and starting on December 20th, I started tracking my food intake daily.
I have OCPD and OCD, and am totally confident that if anything, I am underestimating my caloric intake (due to ignorance of things like "how much fat do you add if you fry a tortilla.") I believe these underestimation problems are decreasing over time - that is, what once was in the diary as 100 calories with 8 grams of fat is now 150 calories with 12 grams of fat. Over the last two and a half months, however, my daily caloric intake, daily carb intake, daily soda intake, and daily fat intake have all dropped - by very modest amounts. The December 20-31 average was 2700 calories a day, the March 1-6 average is 2370. It's been a very slow, gradual decrease as I make various adjustments, though I suspect the actual difference (again, I'm improving my calculations over time) is more like 500-600 calories a day, and that really this last week I was around 2400 a day.
I exercised, at the very most
, a half hour on any one of those days, primarily in the form of jogging down three or four flights of stairs. Due to depression, upper respiratory illness, and other issues, there were whole entire days where I literally woke up, went down the stairs once, sat in a chair for eight hours, went up the stairs, and went to bed. If I had to guess, I'd say I was doing 5 to 9 minutes (averaged out) of low-intensity exercise a day, or 35 to 63 minutes per week. This didn't really change over time. In fact, this last week was the upper respiratory illness, and I doubt I was even hitting my normal "sedentary" activity levels on three of the seven days in question.
I weigh 243.6 pounds (as of an hour ago) - on December 20th, I weighed 262.0 pounds. I am 5'4" and female.
I don't understand how this is possible.
I know (within reasonable limits) that this is "real" weight loss - my pants are loose enough now that I need to buy a belt, a skirt I haven't been able to fully zip up in months is now fully zip-up-able and I can stick the first part of my arm in it besides. I don't feel
skinnier (in a subjective "my body feels smaller, my double chin is gone" sort of sense,) and in fact I walked in to today's weigh-in very, very
sure I'd regained some of the weight I've lost - instead I dropped from 246.8 to 243.6. It's been a steady 1.8-2.6 pounds per week for the last four weeks (since the program started.) If anything, I've been losing weight faster as the number of calories I eat goes down, which would sort of make sense, except that MyFitnessPal keeps giving me giant red "YOU ARE EATING TOO MUCH" warnings.
All I've really done is some very
basic "be less than insane" dietary changes. I think this week's "calories from soda" percentage may finally be in the single digits, I try to only cook my beans in one tablespoon of Crisco instead of two. I'm still very clearly eating too much, by every single standard I can find online
- I'm reading that in order to obtain these results I should be eating 1500 calories, or 1800 plus exercising for an hour and a half.
Again, my question is:
1. Since this is true, does this mean I'm magical or something? Or are those averages online for the 50th percentile, and there's a ton of people for whom they don't really apply?
2. Is the rule really "decrease your average intake over time" instead of "get to this fixed number of calories," or is my fixed number of calories simply wrong? Is the key to weight loss, for me, eating 2300 calories a day and sitting around motionless? Or is it "continue to decrease until the only way forward is pain?"
3. Given that these are the results I'm seeing, how should I be formulating my goals? I'm nearing the point where I have to start actively doing things that make me unhappy (whole meals of nothing but vegetables, only allowing myself spaghetti once a week) and I'd really like some sense of what I have to do, here.
Potentially relevant factors
- My cholesterol is now and has always been excellent
- I'm taking Metformin, Trileptal, Lexapro, Seasonique, Vyvanse, fish oil, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, a multivitamin, and Propranolol (as needed for anxiety.)
- I've weighed over 240 for at least six years, and over 185 since 1995. In 1997 I weighed 185 despite doing about 200 minutes a week of extremely intense aerobic exercise. In 2003 I weighed 225 despite working in a job that required me to run up and down concrete steps with heavy boxes most of the day, four days a week. I gained 15 pounds at about a pound a week, starting about a month after that job ended.
- My meals lately have been 65% carb and 22% fat. I only track these, I don't try to eat things to mess with the numbers except in a very general "ugh, too much fat" kind of way.
- I'm trying to drink more water, but I'm still in the 50-100oz/day range.
- The Diabetes Prevention Program official goal is for me to hit 233.4 on or around the 16th week of the program. At the rate I'm going, I'll be there on week 8 or 9. If that happens, it'll be the least I've weighed since 2005.
- I eat ridiculous amounts of pasta and refried beans. Absolutely insane. I'd guess, offhand, that I go through a pound of pasta and 3 15oz cans of beans per week.
- The Metformin is the only thing I've started, in any real quantity, since the weight loss began. BUT I don't feel less hungry at all, and I'm on the lowest effective dose (it does seem to be helping my blood sugar.) I certainly haven't experienced anything like looking at the plate and deciding I'm not hungry anymore, and the way I cook, I'd know.
Any advice, analysis, suggestions, resources, etc., are more than appreciated.
I also wouldn't mind finding out how much fat/calories/etc. I need to add to my corn tortillas after frying them in corn oil, by the way.