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L'Art De Vivre -- Magdalena's year to create the Art of Living (#4)


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Only 1 pound down. Very disappointing considering the calories in calories out math should have been 2+ pounds. I guess my very small treat on Mother's Day really slowed the loss. Not sure why. I had no dessert, just fajita's on a low carb wrap and thin crisps with dip. And I cycled off the extra calories. Feels unfair. But whatever. I'm still very focused, and am doing really well with being consistent with cycling and weight lifting and even yoga, which is a first for me. 

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Adulting is Hard. Jesus Helps. 

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So, I've been AWOL from the boards but not from the challenge. It's just that realizing saying "yes" to something (including using my free time to log on to NFR or play on social media) means saying "no" to something else, and so I actually added cycling (during my free time) and jump right from that to writing projects in the evening without letting myself get distracted with the internet. But . . . as I discover the things that have dropped out of my daily routine, I try to add them back in earlier in the day. 

 

So, this is me, finally updating my schedule and logging in at 12 noon. 

 

3 weeks of this challenge I did not cheat on my diet even once. Not even on the weekends. I cycled 500-1000 calories a day. And I lifted weights 6x a week. I even did yoga 3-4x a week. 

 

I lost the same .5-1 pound a week I usually do.

 

Hubby and I went on a date at the end of that 3 weeks. I ordered what I wanted. And of course, in one weekend, the 2 pounds I lost came right back on. Just like they have every few weeks for the last year and a half.  I have bounced between 162 and 172 at least 12 times  since 2019 (and between 168 and 172 all of 2021).

 

I am very happy to report that I think I FINALLY know what the problem is. 

 

I forget what sparked this, but last Thursday i found out about the 5:2 diet. I don't remember how.  Since then I have binge-read 4 different books on intermittent fasting. The Obesity Code by Dr. Fung pointed out that EVERYTHING you ingest spikes insulin (even if it doesn't spike blood sugar). And that if you are constantly spiking insulin (and never allowing your insulin levels to get low) then you are constantly in fat-storing mode. Everything includes Splenda, Aspartame, Stevia, etc. 

 

I wake up in the morning (between 8:00-and I have my coffee with my sugar-free creamier and splenda drops. I have a protein shake a few hours later. I make the kids a healthy lunch (turkey, apple, cheese) and pop pieces of all 3 into my mouth as I cut them up for them. I eat dinner around 5. The kids go to bed between 8-9 at which time I make my snack of rice cakes and cream cheese. Then, from 9:00 to midnight, I eat 90% cocoa chocolate (about 3-6 blocks). I break each block into 4 pieces and space them out and eat all night long, so  every few minutes I'm popping a piece in my mouth (12-24 pieces). I intentionally space it out so I feel I am snacking all night.  Sometimes i am sucking on that last piece as I walk upstairs to bed as late as 2:00 am (though usually midnight). 

 

It takes 4 hours after you eat for insulin levels to drop. 

 

So at 4:00 am on most nights, my insulin is FINALLY low and within 4 hours, I am spiking it again with my morning coffee. 

 

According to Dr. Fung, it is not calories that we gain weight. It is consistent insulin spikes. The reason I am feeling so confident and so optimistic right now about finally achieving my goals is because I can ATTEST to that last part. My daily calorie range is about 1200-1500. That is the number "they" say to eat if you want to lose weight. Calories in / Calories out. For the 3 weeks of this challenge that I did so good for, I was cycling enough calories to ensure at least only 800. Meaning, if I ate 1200 calories, I burned off at least 400. I did this as a healthy version of a VLCD since everyone loses weight on a VLCD and I wanted to break through the 168-172 see saw I've been on all of 2021.  And all I lost each week was .5-1 pound. 

 

But . . . if Dr. Fung is right, that is why I am not losing weight. Because even though I only eat 1200 calories that 1200 is spread out over 16 hours. My eating window is the opposite of the intermittent fasting window of fasting for 16 hours and only eating for 8. According to him, I could ditch all my sugar free chemical sweeteners, stop counting calories and eat 1500-1800+ healthy calories in an 8 hour window and lose weight faster and steadier and actually reach my goal. 

 

Because I have been struggling to lose and get off this see saw for sooooo long (constantly feeling so deprived that I treat ever few weeekends and put it back on), I am SUPER EXCITED to never diet ever again.  If I can fast 2 days a week and that allows me to eat whatever I want without ever cheating or counting calories (as long as it's usually healthful food, which fortunately I like), then I feel like I could do this for life. 

 

So next challenge, I will not even have a weight loss goal. I will simply have a get used to IF lifestyle and see where it goes. 😁

 

 

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Adulting is Hard. Jesus Helps. 

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So, my boy's birthday party was yesterday so I had pizza, cupcake, ice cream, and a few cookies, and one last coffee with creamer and then started my first fast. I finished that coffee yesterday at 6:10 pm. I then lifted weights and burned 836 calories on my bike (while watching TV) to help burn off some of the party food. It is now 12:36 pm. I made my first 18 hours. I didn't even feel hungry until about 11:50 am, so not until 17 hours and 40 minutes in. Not bad. Especially, if what I usually choose to do is the 16:8.

 

 Here's something exciting! Weigh-in day is Friday morning. I usually eat slightly more over the weekends (6 blocks of chocolate instead of 3 and slightly larger dinners). Every Monday morning (even if I don't drink!), the scale is up 3-4 pounds Monday morning. On Tuesday and Wednesday morning it goes down a bit more and by Thursday morning it is usually the previous Friday's weight again and then by the next day, Friday, I finally see if I've lost anything from the previous week (usually about .5-1 pound). This happens EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK. Whether I eat only healthful food or whether I eat pizza and drink, it doesn't make a difference. My weight jumps up 3-4 pounds.

 

After the party, I jumped on the scale and it said 173.2. I wasn't surprised considering salt/water bloating from eating junkfood. BUT, this morning -- after my first 16 hour fast -- it said 169.8.  That means that the 3.4 pounds of weekend weight that usually takes me all of Mon-Thurs to drop is already gone! 

 

This is very motivating. Especially when they say you can lose .5-1 pound a day when you first start IF. I'm not making myself have a weight loss goal because if I've finally found something that gets me off the see saw, my body can take as long as it wants as long as its consistently moving in the right direction. But, of course, I would love to reach my original 2021 goal of hitting <159.9 by my birthday July 1. I have 23 days. .5 a day would be 11 lbs and I'm just hoping for 9. But we will see. Like I said, as long as I can tell I am off the see saw, I'm happy. If I can even be <162 by my birthday I will be ecstatic, because that is still 2 pounds a week -- something that is supposedly normal for weight loss dieting but that I've not seen in years.  So that would be all the proof I need to know I've found what the problem was (constantly spiking insulin regardless of low calories).  

 

 

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Adulting is Hard. Jesus Helps. 

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So my weightloss plan is:

 

16:8 or 18:6 (depending on my motivation on any day, and 12:12 or 14:10 if it's a really bad day or a treat day). 

 

My maintenance (I can do this for life) plan is:

 

5:2  with 5 days being a minimum of 12:12 and a goal of 14:10, and 2 days being 16:8 or 18:6.

 

If I really can maintain my weight doing that, without counting calories and being able to eat fruit or cheese (i.e. not feel like I'm on a diet), I will be so ecstatically happy. 

 

I can't tell you how many times I've forgone going out with friends over the last year an half because I knew it would go over my calories or carbs and what do I have to show for it? I'm not even thin. It's not like I forgo these things to maintain a svelte figure. No, I forgo them so I can stay on my see saw. It's maddening. To know this is probably over, that I've found the problem, that I can go out with friends AND be thing . . . my optimism is through the roof right now. 

 

Really hoping this works.

 

A girl at my church has been doing it since January and lost 42 pounds so far. I didn't think I could do it because of my MUST HAVE COFFEE first thing upon waking, but I'm allowed black coffee with 1 non-flavored creamer cup on a fast so I got myself a cinnamon coffee and it was quite enjoyable. Technically, drinking something with less than 50 calories will not break your fast, which is why you are allowed broth as well. The creamer cup is only 10, so I've had 2 coffees. I'm going to have some 10 calorie broth in a little bit. 

 

On this, my first fast day, I am aiming to hit 24 hours while my motivation and optimism is high . . just to prove to my brain that I can do it since the mind and not the body is usually want needs to be convinced. After this, if my brain complains and says, "you can't make it to 16 hours" I can remind it that I actually did 24 and it will survive, lol. 

 

 

Adulting is Hard. Jesus Helps. 

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5 minutes ago, Magdalena Ravenclaw said:

On this, my first fast day, I am aiming to hit 24 hours while my motivation and optimism is high . . just to prove to my brain that I can do it since the mind and not the body is usually want needs to be convinced. After this, if my brain complains and says, "you can't make it to 16 hours" I can remind it that I actually did 24 and it will survive, lol. 

I also started with 24 hours and still try to do that once or twice per week.

 

Starting takes a couple of days (in my case: three) where you're fighting the hunger, but after that, your body adjusts and you're hardly ever hungry again. Which works wonders in avoiding treats!

 

Good luck!!! 👍

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So, my weight went right back up after eating which was rather frustrating. I didn't come on here to report because all my mental energy was on not giving up. I'm wondering if I am insulin resistant, and so in addition to the 16:8 TRE, I am also going to keep my carbs to under 50 grams. Approximately. Not going to obsess about it, but definitely not going to eat a sweet potato for dinner the same day I eat an apple and cheese for lunch, that sort of thing. 

 

The other thing I've decided to do, which is making it very difficult, is I'm cutting out Splenda since there are claims that it can spike insulin and kick you out of ketosis. Not very many people say that . . . most claim it will NOT kick you out. And my morning coffee -- the very reason I get out of bed in the morning, the thing that gets me going -- has TONS of Splenda (sucralose) in it, from the sucralose found in my sugar free creamer (I use 1/2 cup creamer in my 24 oz coffee) to the additional 20 sucralose drops I add to it. (Yes, I like a sweet coffee.)  On top of that, I drink sugar-free (sucralose) Pineapple-Orange carbonated water like there is no tomorrow.  The ONLY other thing I drink is a sugar-free sucralose Pineapple water enhancer. I do not drink plain water. I don't drink soda. I don't drink juice. I don't drink milk. I don't drink ice tea. I literally only drink those 3 things and have for years and years and years. Before I took vaping back up I joked to my husband that my coffee and my Pineapple-Orange carbonated water had replaced my nicotine. 

 

Anyway. I've completed one full day of no sucralose. I started yesterday afternoon. I've doctored my coffee enough to make it tolerable. I bought lactose powder to sweeten it (lactose, believe or not, doesn't cause an insulin spike), but it's not very sweet and because I'm keeping my carb count low, I can't put enough in to make my coffee sweet. And instead of using my sugar free Sweet Italian Cream creamer, I'm using plain old unflavored 10 calorie creamer. I did pick up a holy crap that's expensive vanilla creamer with no sugar or sweetner that is also only 10 calories per 1 TB but the amount needed to make my coffee taste vanilla-y is too expensive. 

 

I REALLY REALLY need to see the scale go down. 

 

I can't give up all of this and just see the same see saw as I have for over a year. They say you don't make a change until the pain of staying where you are (fat and with delicious coffee) exceeds the pain of change (THIN with tolerable coffee -- NOT fat with tolerable coffee). 

 

So: 

 

6/7: 173.2 (at night AFTER a birthday party, so lots of water weight not actual fat included in this number due to pizza, a cupcake, and a ice cream cone)

6/8 (after 21 hour fast )169.8 
6/9 (after fasting 16 hours): 171.2 (VERY DISCOURAGING)
6/9 (after eating): 172 
6/10 (after fasting): 168.6
6/10 (after eating): 170

I would love to believe that I'm actually losing and the IF is working. But the problem is I was 168 on Friday. And I find it very hard to believe that I gained 3-4 pounds of actual fat over the weekend. I've not consumed any salty foods or starches since Tuesday night at 6:00 pm.  It's Thursday night. After intermittent fasting for the first time in my life for several days.  I would have thought I would have seen 168 by now. I'm trying to not give up. But until I see 165, and unless I see 165 very soon, I do not know if I will remain optimistic that IF will get me to my goals. You are suppose to lose very quickly in the beginning and I've spent the last week losing the same weekend weight gain as I always do on any diet. 

Oh . . . I've been sticking to my evening cardio and weight lifting and even added in some morning cardio before I eat since you supposedly can burn 20% more fat if you do light cardio in a fasted state. 

The hardest thing is the weekend is now here, and instead of seeing a pretty good loss that was suppose to fuel my motivation to not eat any differently and stick to a fasting schedule, there isn't much of a difference. 

But maybe I'll get lucky. Maybe I'll wake up and see 166 or something. 

Here's to not giving up. 

Adulting is Hard. Jesus Helps. 

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Hoping you have found something that works for you. It is normal for our weight to fluctuate. Maybe charting your weight to see if the trend is going down will give you a better overall view of how it is going?

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"If more of us valued food and cheer and song, above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world" J.R.R.Tolkien

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