Dealing With Rapid Weight Gain, Week One
Weight gain is a complicated process, involving intricate biological systems working together. We can’t reduce it to a formula. But just for the sake of simplicity, if every pound equals 3500 calories, then quite possibly since October, I have taken in an excess of 42,000 calories (3500 x 12). Which is an excess of 8,400 calories a month, 2,100 calories a week and 300 calories a day.
Which is the amount of calories in 3 tablespoons of peanut butter, or one serving of macaroni and cheese or 34 whole grain Wheat Thins.
Speaking of Tagalongs, here’s a quick shout out to my Super Buff, Gorgeous and Health Conscious Husband:
Now, back to my 12 pounds (or 18 pounds depending upon when you start counting). Since the inception of my blogging days, I’ve resisted the urge to work through my issues on line for the world to see. I’d much rather deal with my issues in the privacy of my own heart and brain and then spill them all over the internet AFTER I’m whole. Post-recovery disclosure. It’s much more professional that way—
and you know, I’m all about being professional.
But, darn it, weight-loss journeys in real time inspire people. They stir up the inner cheerleader in all of us, so we will pick up the proverbial pom-poms and rally our fellow weight-loss champion on to Fitness Success (cue your favorite high school fight song).
And so it is for the greater good of all mankind that I invite you into my world now, rather than later. It’s not about me…it’s about you.
Right about now, you may be asking some questions:
1. Is Fitness Friday girl still working out?
Yes, I am. Currently, I work out once a week with a personal trainer at the gym, about twice a week doing P90X workouts at home and about twice a week doing some form of cardiovascular exercise for 45-60 minutes (usually elliptical or stationary bike). That’s five days a week doing intense work outs, each session 45 minutes to 1 hour, with a combination of cardiovascular exercise and weight training.
2. Could the 12 pounds be muscle?
Maybe some of it, but not all of it. My, uh, vast fitness knowledge leads me to believe that increased muscle mass does not result in larger waist, butt and thighs. In other words, I’m not just gaining weight, but my measurements are increasing. If it was purely muscle, I’d be getting smaller.
3. What in the world? Have you eaten one of your children or something?
Nope. Last time I checked, they were all still here.
4. Has Fitness Friday Girl made any dietary changes?
Sort of. The rapid weight gain started when I ended a 40 day fast where I ate only fruits, veggies, beans, nuts, tea and water. However, I was careful not to skip meals during that fast and I only lost about 3 pounds in those 40 days. While I wanted to reap the benefits of a spiritual fast, I did not want to screw up my metabolism. When I integrated normal foods back into my diet—namely carbohydrates, dairy and some meats—I started gaining immediately.
Note: if you’ve been around Fitness Friday for any length of time, you know my “normal foods” are still very healthy. So, it’s kind of difficult for me to believe I screwed up my metabolism this much by changing my diet for those 40 days. But I suppose anything is possible.
5. Has Fitness Friday Girl been to the doctor?
Yes. Yesterday. She is checking my thyroid and my vitamin D. I do not have the results of those tests yet, but will post them next week, assuming it’s appropriate to do so.
6. Is Fitness Friday Girl a closet binger?
No. I binge openly.
7. What are some other common causes of rapid weight gain?
These, according to WebMD:
a. Lack of sleep
b. Increased stress
d. Medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism
8. Are fluctuations in weight normal?
Yes. Typical weight-gain (though not inevitable) for a 40-something year-old woman is about a pound a year (not to be confused with 18). Two to 3 pounds is a normal daily fluctuation—water retention can cause that. Three to 5 pounds means you’re probably eating too much and moving too little. More than 5 pounds is serious.
It means increased stress on your heart and increased risk for all types of illnesses, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, insulin resistance and certain types of cancers.
Dude…at the weight I’m growing, I will gain 100 pounds in less than 6 years. I don’t think this is the kind of endorsement the P90X folks are looking for.
Come back next Friday to find out the results of my blood work and continue find out where I go from here.
That is one cute cheerleader!
You're right, real time stuff is majorly inspiring. And if, say, you were to lead a group of us in some sort of challenge… Well, that might just be enough to inspire me to get off my duff. I love me a good challenge (but it's hard to stay accountable when it's anonymous – since I "know" you and have met you IRL, there's a bit more accountability there).
How was that for an insane, run-on, parenthetical sentence? 🙂
Oh my dear friend, how I feel your pain and your gain!
Thank you for sharing your journey as you live it. It's not always easy but I am sure there are plenty of us out here that will be inspired, motivated and encouraged through it. It's incredible how God can use our processes — in process — to minister to others.
I've been focusing on getting healthy — not even trying to look hot in my jeans, but just healthy for the sake of health, my life and that of my son…
Still trying to find the time, energy and will to exercise. But have managed to cut out a lot of calories and 8 lbs off my butt, waiste and thighs. Now, I just have another 20 to go. 🙂
So please insight, direction and Divine Inspiration!!!
oh no!! it doesn´t sound like much Sandy when you say only 300 calories more a day but you are burning those! I think you do have to look at the thyroid or something. maybe the 40 day fast did make your body think you were starving and now it´s packing on for the next one. hmmmm…. I wonder what it is. Now I am going to be so curious.
I linked up today. I have been fluctuating those 3 pounds lately. I need to get them off.
I have burned over 2,000 calories this week! I know that from my new watch! It´s so cool.
WEll, I will be praying for you as you get all checked out. Pray that it´s nothing serious and can be identified. Mean while… I think you look wonderful!! 😉
ET: I just may take you up on the challenge to pose a challenge. But first let me make sure I don't have some sort of medical issue. Because then the challenge may be "did everyone take their thyroid meds today?"
Ana: I'm so proud of you and your 8 pounds. I, too, focus on being healthy and not losing weight…I think that's the best way to do it.
Dani Joy: Wow…2000 cals a day? You rock.
Love your blog! Seems we have quite a few things in common. My degree is in corporate wellness, have experienced the pain of losing babies (due to miscarriage), and am battling the weight gain issue (although I'm fairly certain mine has to do with the huge meals I ate while on vacation in Maui…)At any rate, I look forward to your next post! Go bless you abundantly!!
So I had to buy a new swimsuit today….yeah. I hear ya.
Tonight when putting my almost 6 year old to bed, she patted my belly and said maybe there is a baby in there and you just don't know. I love that girl and she loves me enough to say that in privacy!
Thanks for being real!
Oh and you all are invited to join in on my next challenge. Praying to do one this summer.
oh that 2000 calories was my weekly total.. actually it will be about 2,500 for my weekly total of calories burned.
I'm thinking thyroid could be it – I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism (sp?) in my early 20's after being tired, gaining weight, always being cold, etc. After about a month I felt a huge difference. I'm on a very low daily dosage but it's amazing the difference it makes. I went to two different dr.s before I was diagnosed correctly.
P.S. Hang in there – weight gain when you're doing healthy things is SO frustrating!
Dani…2000 cals a day seemed outrageous, but I know you are crazy work out girl, so I believed you. 🙂
Maria…nice to meet you! I'll be over to check out your blog. It does sound like we have a lot in common. Love it.
Oh dear…your comment made me laugh out loud.
Mindy…thans for the first hand experience. I'm cold and tired too, but I just explained it away because it's freezing outside and I get up at 5 am. Now, I wonder…
Sandy… I LOVE how open you are. I have this issue as well (not wanting to be open about weight gain) I gained 2-4 lbs with each business trip I took, but then got it back off… but it's still something I didn't want to broadcast!
I have thought something was going on with your body when we discussed this a few months back. I wouldn't be surprised to see that you have hypothyroid. Hopefully you will get some answers from you lab work. I hope you know I'm here for you (since you and I share the exact same feelings about this matter).
I'm praying for you girl. And even though this is a serious matter, your post still had me laughing at things like… "Did I eat one of my kids?" and "Are you a closet binger?… No.. I binge openly!" You crack me up!
Love and miss you girl! Hang in there!
PS… I LOVE the look at your blog. I haven't told you this in a while. Everytime I get on it, it gives me that warm and fuzzy feeling!
A good laugh for me this morning…not AT you. WITH you.
Last August I had my article "The Summer of My Blueberry Cobbler" published on the Proverbs31 website. My blueberry cobbler weight gain was not muscle, either.
Just for your information. I was diagnosed with hypothyrodism when I was pregnant with Drew, 9 years ago. I take medication daily. Just maybe another wonderful family trait.?.?
oh, to only have 18 pounds to worry about. I commend you. I pray for you and look forward to cheering you on. I wouldn't want you to become me. selahV
i am laughing and i need to laugh! i noticed when i hit age 39 ahem that i needed to eat less, work out more and just try harder in general to keep the weight i wanted.
then i got cancer. the cancer diet has proven highly effective at losing weight. it diminishes your appetite. haha you can laugh, i had to find a silver lining somewhere…i lost those last 15 pounds i'd been hanging onto rather quickly.
praying for your tests. seriously.
oh man…no fun…you have managed to make it funny in your words though! I look forward to hearing if anything comes back from you bloodtests…does Vit. D deficiency cause weight problems…I was diagnosed as severely deficient earlier in the year…I'm trying to battle some baby bulge still, so just curious…