Rapid Weight Gain, Week Two
The bad news is, my thyroid tests were normal. Which means my recent, rapid weight gain is not the fault of an underachieving thyroid gland. And that’s bad because, as happy as I am about my thyroid (that’s a phrase I never thought would come out of my mouth), it means I’m still befuddled about the cause of the weight gain.
My vitamin D levels were low, however. Which doesn’t surprise me, since our bodies make their own vitamin D through daily sun exposure, and Kentucky had exactly two sunny days since October, and one of them was yesterday. I’m now on a prescription does of D, and hoping that means something good for me.
So now that we’ve ruled out hypothyroidism as a cause for a 12-pound weight gain, I’m tossing around a few more theories I’ll need to discuss with my doctor. What do you think of these:
1 Having my book proposal critiqued and rejected repeatedly has formed a 12-pound layer of thick skin.
2.Hair growth/lack of leg-shaving.
3.I’m pregnant with a toddler…in my butt.
4.Satan. Christians blame everything bad on Satan. Why not this?
5.My metabolism is on strike, wanting higher pay and better working conditions.
In all seriousness, whenever you want to take steps to lose weight or improve your health, it’s good to assess where you currently are. So I did just that. Last week, I weighed and measured myself (chest, waist, hips, butt, thighs) to get a good baseline. I also went to the gym and had my body fat percentage taken–which was, by the way, 2% HIGHER than it was a few months ago when I first started training with a personal trainer and doing P90X–completely obliterating the theory that I’ve gained muscle, not fat. It’s definitely fat..or hair…or a toddler.
Then I took a long, hard look at my habits and my goals. Here are my conclusions:
1.My health is more important to me than my jean size. I want to lose this weight, not because I want to look good, but because it’s bad for my body to gain this much weight. Looking good is a nice byproduct. But I won’t allow that to be my focus, and thus, will not go to extreme measures to drop the weight.
2.I have a life outside of the gym. Sure, I could increase all my workouts and go to the gym every day. But I actually like to do other things, like spend time with my family, write, read, cook, and do laundry. Kidding about the laundry. I refuse to allow my life to get off balance because of this. (I’ll be talking all about balance starting Monday with my new series, Balancing God and Life.)
3. My diet is already very healthy and well-balanced. I don’t eat fast food. I don’t drink soda. I don’t eat fried foods, trans fat, red meat, or highly processed and packaged snacks and sweets. I like fruits and veggies. I like whole grains. I like them so much, I eat them early and often. Too much, I think. I am not one of those skinny girls who forgets to eat. I love food. I love to cook. I love to eat what I cook. I love to eat what I cook whether I’m hungry or not, simply because it tastes good. That worked for me all of my life because I balanced that with exercise. Apparently, those days are over.
So this past week, I’ve directed my efforts toward eating smaller portions and cutting out excess calories.
Most people go into mild shock when they see what a sensible portion actually looks like. Especially with food like pasta, rice and cheese. If you aren’t sure how to measure portions, there are lots of methods you can use. Here are some of the most popular:
1.You can assign your food a point system, ala Weight Watchers
2.You can measure and weigh your food based on recommendations like these
3.You can count calories based on recommendations like these
4.You can pay someone to measure your food for you, ala Jennie Craig
5.You can eye-ball it, ala Body for Life or like this from Web MD.
I, personally, like Body for Life because it’s free and I don’t have to remember any numbers. I don’t have room in my brain for extra numbers. So this past week, I ate four or five times a day, all healthy foods, no treats.
I don’t like expending this much mental energy on my diet. It makes me weary. It makes me crabby. It makes me ineffective at laundry-folding. But I need to do what I need to do to see results, right?
So, after one whole week of doing all of that, guess how much weight I lost! Go ahead…take a stab at it. Three pounds? Two pounds? One pound?????
* Blink. blink. blink. *
Isn’t this motivating??? I totally don’t blame you if you break up with me after this.
I love you so.
But not in a creepy stalker way.
Just sayin'. And I need to TALK to you, have some additional news 🙂
The weight gain HAS to be blamed on #4.
I've sympathized so much with all that you've shared so far. I've been on all spectrums of the weight scale and struggled with my weight in different ways over the years. Yet I"ve said by far the hardest time for me was after I had my twins – I KNEW I had a solid number of weight I needed to lose, was working out 5 days a week (Jillian Michael's we're talking here . . .not leisuringly walking : ) ) and watching my intake and what types of food I was eating . . .and went almost 4 months with losing around a grand total of 2 pounds (with around 30 still to go). Thankfully eventually my body did start responding again and I eventually lost the weight in away I felt was healthy. But by far, I told my husband, the most discouraging and exhausting part of those months was having to think about it that much. I hated having it take that much energy and thought.
So all that ramble just to say, thanks for your transparency in this stage of life – as undesired as it may be. Thanks for keeping it in perspective and managing it in a healthy, God-honoring way. I'll be praying you can find some answers.
Sandy, sweet-sweet, Sandy! I wish I was there to give you a big hug and sit down and have a cup of coffee with you while our kids play!
All I can say is hang in there. It really doesn't make any sense to me. What else is your Dr thinking since your Thyroid is fine… besides the not shaved legs and pregnant with a toddler on your butt!
You sound like you're doing everything right. I know that my body always seems to be delayed by a week. For example, when I workout really hard one week – I don't see the results right away. Sometimes I even see a gain, but the week after I see a loss. I don't know why this is. I'm hoping your body is doing the same!
I feel your pain…I'm the former cereal addict who has cut out her nightly cereal fix for two weeks and started exercising also and guess how much weight I've lost….wait for it…. -0-. Maybe next week the scale will move =)
Thanks so much for your honest and transparency!
Girl, I feel your pain!!! For the past couple months, I have been doing portion control sort of kind of like weight watchers. And well, I have finally dropped weight. Apparently, although I had cut out most if not all my bad food, I was still eating more than my body needed.
I figured out my BMR (how many calories I burn a day — 1650) and eat about 1200 calories a day (I basically just load up my grocery cart with WW or Lean Cuisine and feast on that– requires no thinking). And so far, it's been working — slow but it's progress.
I KNOW how frustrating it is. There was a time when the main focus was looking good in those jeans or in the cute little dress. Now, it's about being healthy, being able to keep up with my son, and being able to actually enjoy the life I have been blessed with. And well, if I can look good in a pair of jean, a cute dress and bikini season is around the corner…all the better.
Hang in there! Know that you are not alone!!
Well Sandy . . . I think it's a virus because I caught it too this winter. I dare not get on any scales because if I don't I can still fib to myself a bit and tell me it's all in my head. But it's not. And I believe the Lord has allowed this for me to see that by body – my body – comes between me and Him. Isn't He sweet like that? So now that He has truly shown me (and it's not pretty when the Lord shows us our idols, our sin), I have a choice to make: Will I continue allowing my weith, my looks, to validate who I am? Or am I willing to let Him use this for His glory.
The answer sounds so obvious. I bagain even as I'm writing here – even as I say "Lord, help me lay this body of mine upon the altar." Because underneath all of that, I'm still whispering "through that, will you make me thin again?"
O Jesus help me see you when I look in the mirror and not me.
Thank you Sandy for your honesty!
Thanks for lightening up with some seriously good humor. I couldn't help this comment. Sorry. I'm glad you have a healthy thyroid and I can empathize, not just sympathize. WW has worked for me but I need to go to the meetings. There's something about the accountability… it's probably pride and competiveness that kicks me in gear when I go.
Very well-written post! A humorous look at a not so humorous happening! Have you read Jorge Cruise's book, The Belly Fat Cure? Sounds like you are a very healthy eater, but I wasn't aware of all the sugar in 'normal' foods! Cutting those has helped me to lose a couple pounds in 1 week.
BTW- I'm having a book give away (One Million Arrows by Julie Ferwerda) – come on over and check it out!!
I think I have the best readers in all of Blogdom. You are so encouraging and funny. If we don't learn to laugh, we'll cry, eh?
I wish we could meet for coffee, like Sarah said, and talk. Wouldn't that be fun? What's a midpoint for all of us? Nevermind, let's just meet at Ana's house…she lives in Miami.
I will keep you all updated with my progress and hope I will have something positive to report next week.
Sandy, I randomly ended up on your blog today when I should have been packing (WHO likes to pack? NOT I!)… but I wanted to comment about the thyroid thing because it's been a big part of my life the past few years. I just want to encourage you to get the actual NUMBERS from the thyroid tests. If you are even remotely borderline (TSH above 3.0) you might ask to do a trial dose of medical treatment (usually Synthroid)and see if symptoms improve. Many people have much lower tolerances for swings w/ thyroid levels than the levels that some labs call 'normal.' So, that being said, just ask.
And all THAT being said, I loved the post! Good attitude. Hang in there.
Ah – by the way, we have a mutual friend-of-a-friend. Julie F. (author) is good friends w/ one of my closest friends Melodie Griffin! What fun.
Wow…thanks for that tip. I will get the numbers. The thyroid tests were ordered by my gyn, and I'm going to follow up with a family doc. So hopefully, she will dig a little deeper.
And small world…I don't know Julie personally, but one of my best friends knows her.
I agree with a closer look at the numbers from your test. My test very close to regular and just made the "abnormal" cut but the medication has helped with some of the other issues too. The "numbers" are only one part of the story the doctors should also be looking at the other symptoms and history.
wow! I had to laugh so hard when I read your new reasons for your wieght loss. I totally laughed out loud at #3!! my goodness. I feel like that too someitmes.
I am so sorry I missed fitness Friday last week. I was stressing over getting ready for a wedding. I wasn´t in it or anything.. just my first Spanish big to do wedding and wanted to be sure I had an outfit.
I am on a plateau myself so I have no ideas. It´s so weird to be eating right and still be gaining. I was thinking of adding more protiens and cuttin back on my whole wheat favorites. not cutting them out but thinking maybe I am just eating too much of a good thing.
I sure hope you can get it figured out. I thought the P90X was suppose to confuse your body into losing the fat and toning muscle.
I am sure you look great though like you said it´s about being healthy and you eat great! just keep doing that and your heart will be thankful.
You are an encouragement to us all!
ps I am so not breaking up with you cause I feel like I am doing the same thing. I have a fitness blog and I am gaining weight! what´s up with that? Just trying to get back under my weight from the last challenge. Maybe we need a surgury like Sarah. jk. =)
Oh Sandy, at least your still laughing…or at least making us laugh!! I think I am carrying a toddler in my butt too!
While this likely doesn't have much to do with the weight, I was diagnosed with severely low Vit D too! (my # was like 14– it's supposed to be above 40!) I have had more energy since I've started taking Vit D supplements…though I didn't like the mega dose they originally gave me (50,000 1x per week) so I bought 5,000 iu pills at Wal Mart and take once a day…it makes me feel better about it!
I just love you. Who wouldn't be motivated by your honest, yet VERY funny post. Weight loss or weight gain your "realness" is such an inspiration.
Now tell that toddler it's time to go home!! lol!
Your posts never fail to inspire me and make me laugh Sandy. Perusing your blog and your new series sounds great! I grabbed a button of your blog's new look to put on mine. Happy 2nd B-day little blog!