View Full Version : weight loss

06-12-2007, 01:05 PM
Does anyone know if there can be a medical reason to keep you from losing weight besides thyroid problems?

I rode last summer consistantly and then fell off for a bit because of weather and then DH bought me a treadmill and I have been on it with maybe a day or two in between. I watch what I eat. I kept a log for about a month and went to a dietician and she said I wasn't eating enough and had me on this exchange diet.
I still have not lost weight. I weigh 230 lbs, shoot if anything I have gained more weight since last summer.
I quit smoking last summer in fact today is a year being smoke free, and I did this to become more healthy and I have slowly gained more and more weight even with all the exercise and watching what I eat.
It seems like the harder I try to lose weight the more I seem to gain.
I'm tired of going to the doctor and getting no results and feeling like they just don't believe me.
In fact most people in general do not believe me when I tell them I am exercising and dieting and I am personally really tired of it.
I'm miserable and feel fat (which I am) and I have problems with my feet and ankles (planters fastitis sp?) and I am quite sure the weight does not help as far as this goes and also the arthritis that I have.
I would like to get healthy and be a healthy weight sometime before I die, I mean it sure would be nice to wear clothes without buying things just to cover up.
I just can't figure it, and I get so frustrated.

Of course I am not going to lie, I cheat on ocasion, but nothing to extreme and I really try not to call it cheating so much as just allowing myself a treat once in a while.
I'm to the point of going to some quack doctor somewhere that will give me drugs to keep me from eating. I mean it feels like I am just going to have to starve in order to lose weight.
I'm so sad sometimes. I love to ride my bike and walk on my treadmill. I feel better after I do it but sometimes I really have to force myself to do either because I get into my pity party and start feeling like "what is the point".
Okay, sorry, I didn't mean for this to become a book.
I am just at my wits end.
I guess I will just eventually have to reside myself to being a healthy big person.

06-12-2007, 02:09 PM
That sounds very much like some kind of hormonal problem. You may be insulin resistant. You may have diabetes. You could have thyroid trouble. You could have polycystic ovary syndrome. I'm sure there's a lot more hormonal disorders that could be the culprit. Every hormonal disease I'm aware of is much less severe in a patient with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Because you are active and are trying to eat properly, some of the standard tests may not work correctly. It took my mom nearly 10 years to get diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic, despite a family history of it, 3 instances of gestational diabetes, 3 kids all born well over 9 lbs, and weighing nearly 300 lbs at 5'3". She ate reasonably and stuck to pretty healthy food, and the test results just didn't look bad. Even now, her test results just don't look bad most of the time. She treats any blood sugar test that comes out as over 120 as a spike, and any test that's under 80 or so as a dangerous low.

If you have a food diary and/or exercise diary, bring it to your doctor (if you don't have these, start them if it's possible). DO NOT see your doctor alone. Have a friend, husband, or other person present. Doctors habitually treat a single patient much less seriously than a patient with an entourage. Most doctors also treat fat patients much less seriously than "normal" patients (and there are medical journal studies demonstrating this). Emphasize to your doctor that normal people do not gain weight while eating the way you do, with the activity level you have. Insist on seeing an endocrinologist.

If that doesn't work, try another doctor, and use the same methods on them.

Oh, and despite what wikipedia claims, one of the classic signs of a type 2 diabetic is someone who is overweight, eats an appropriate amount and a balanced diet and can't lose weight. It's also a classic sign of at least one other hormonal disorder, so don't assume you have diabetes.

06-12-2007, 04:55 PM
First of all congrats on stopping smoking. That is great. I agree with the above comments. Having the support of family and friends and someone going to the Drs would help. Unfortunately I know that a lot of people in the medical profession see someone that is "overwieght" as being lazy and not eating right. I Know that is not always the case. I work in the medical field and currenly am working with a patient, who is overweight, who is on lots of different medications for Diabetes, celulitis, and other diagnosis. Some of those medications cause weight gain. She doesn't eat much and has been working hard in therapy and can't lose anything. I know that doesen't help your situation but I guess I was wondering if you are taking anything thay may cause weight gain. I would also stay away from taking supplements or pills that can encourage weight loss. Those items can really cause more damage then good. Hope you are doing well, and welcome back!!

06-12-2007, 06:06 PM
I couldn't lose weight until I got both my hypothyroidism AND my impaired glucose tolerance under control. Ask your doc to check you for impaired glucose tolerance.

06-12-2007, 06:28 PM
What kind of relationship do you have with your doctor?
Do you feel that he really listens to you?
I see in you an absolutely desperate woman, I would venture to say you may be depressed and there may even be times when you don't want to look in the mirror. This is not healthy.
I think you doctor needs to know this as well as seeing your food & exercise diary, you may need to see a specialist. You don't have to "resign yourself to being a healthy big person".

06-12-2007, 08:34 PM
Thanks ladies. Just knowing that someone understands and can feel my desperation helps. You just don't know how much. I hope I don't sound depressed. I am usually a pretty positive, upbeat person and try to always look at the good sides of thing, so to let this get me down into depression is something I really don't want to let happen.
Desperate yes, not wanting to look at myself in the mirror or pictures, upset with the way I look, most definitely!
I'm just get so tired of trying with constant failure. I think I will print this post off and take it to my doctore and do like you girls say and take someone with me.
I have a good relationship with my doctor but I think I have seen him for so long that he doesn't take me serious anymore and he really aggrevates me with this. I even told him the last time I saw him that I thought that and I felt like he still blew me off. I'm always pretty easy going so I think maybe he takes that for granted. If he won't listen to me again, then I will be forced to change my doctor.
I have diabetes in my family, but don't really think I have it yet, but am a canidate for it especially if I don't get some of this weight off.

Again, thanks for the support and understanding girls, you just don't know how much I appreciate it.
I won't give up. I don't do that very easily. I may get discouraged and have my pity party now and then, but I keep plugging along in one way or another.

06-12-2007, 09:03 PM
Donna, one thing I did recently was to get a body composition test done, and I had a consult with a fitness expert. Like you, I haven't lost weight in a long time, even though I engage in distance cycling and I am careful with my food choices. The results of the body composition test was an eye opener for me. I mean wow. Maybe if you get the body composition test you will have an amazing wow too.

I am 53 years old and I am 5'8". The body composition test is accurate to within 3 percent, which is good enough for me. I know from a bone scan from last year that my bone density is off the chart, therefore my bones weigh a lot. The body composition test showed my lean body mass is 145 pounds. Think about that number, because that is more than a lot of women weigh. I am told I need to lose 40 pounds of body fat to reach a 23 body fat percentage, and that my ideal weight for a 23% is 188 pounds. Now I would never have known that to be my ideal weight because I weighed around 145 in high school, and if I got to 188 I would have thought I still had 30-40 pounds to lose. And it is extremely helpful to know I only need to lose 40 pounds of fat. Also, my BMR is a high 2001 calories per day.

The fitness expert told me that all of this time that I have been increasing my fitness level with my focus on increasing my cycling distances, that all of this stuff has been going on inside my body. She says I am extremely strong and that my body is firm and healthy, that my muscle mass is dense and healthy, and that I have more muscle mass than most people she knows. She said to be proud of what I have achieved. For personal advice, she told me to stop counting calories, that with my BMR plus the calories I burn every day with the cycling, that the excess fat will come off slowly over the next few years, and to focus specifically on the nutritional intake that will make me a better cyclist. The fitness expert was a lady with a specialized European degree, similar to a degree in Sports and Nutrition and Physiology.

She also said to stop weighing myself, to use only my tape measure and to get a body composition test done every six months to track my progress.

Mainly, though, the advice is that if one is healthy and fit, and if one focuses on nutrition and increasing the fitness level, then changes occur to the body composition that are for the better, and these are changes that are not observable on a bathroom scale.

You can go to the doctor and see if there is a physical problem, but if not, and you continue to focus on nutrition and exercise, then your body will change. It just takes time, and time is defined in years, not days.

I pass on the same advice to you. Start training for a century and you will like the changes it will bring to your body.


06-13-2007, 05:56 AM
What about birth control?

I had 5 pounds I wanted to lose, and it just wouldn't come off. I ate properly (weight watchers) and was riding a lot. So I knew that I should be losing weight. No matter what I tried, it wasn't coming off.

I switched birth control pills and the weight came off in two weeks.

Its just a thought. I've read several postings on people with the same experience.

Pedal Wench
06-13-2007, 06:47 AM
I wonder if your exercise is intense enough to provide weight loss. I used to spend hours on the treadmill, but once I got a heart rate monitor, I realized that I was going to slow to get much of a benefit. Once I upped the intensity, on the treadmill and on the bike, I burned the calories I needed to burn.

06-13-2007, 06:57 AM
There are many reasons why our bodies don't "want" to lose weight:

hormones and thyroid issues
proper nutrition (if you are lacking in something your body is "fighting" to keep systems running
allergies or food intolerances (sometimes weight gain is actual an immune response to some food intollerances).
sleep and stress - i call it either physically we are always hunting or running form the dinosaur. if this is the case, the stress hormones can prevent weight loss.
other health issues (some people mentioned diabetes) that our bodies are fighting with.

Working with a good holisitic dietician can help along with proper medical supervision.

Good luck!

06-13-2007, 11:48 AM
I wonder if your exercise is intense enough to provide weight loss. I used to spend hours on the treadmill, but once I got a heart rate monitor, I realized that I was going to slow to get much of a benefit. Once I upped the intensity, on the treadmill and on the bike, I burned the calories I needed to burn.

This is a valid point. I think if you can use a treadmill to jog on it, you can get the heart rate up. I can't because I am lame in the left foot. I found that in order to get my heart rate barely into the fat burning zone I have to push the elevation all the way to 8 and the speed to 4, and of course I risk tearing tendons on my lame foot with the treadmill positioned like that. It is the same for walking outside with the dogs too. Walking used to be my cardio, but now I have to go up and down the steep hills for two hours or more in order to burn any significant calories; if I walk on moderately flat ground my heart rate doesn't go up. The only activity that gets my heart rate up and burns calories is the long-distance cycling.

Also, Donna, in your initial post you used the word "cheat." That is really a dieting word, for people who like to join corporate diet groups. Long term weight loss is best achieved by permanently changing food and exercise behaviors, and if one doesn't eat perfectly for a day or two, it merely gets absorbed into the week's average. Also, losing weight and getting fit is mostly a solitary journey, an individual experience, and that is found to be the common denominator among people who have lost a lot of weight and kept it off for over 5 years; the lightbulb clicked over their head that the journey was not about yo-yoing on different diets, but permanently changing the behaviors, and that it came from within and was a uniquely individual experience for each person as they taught themselves how to react and cope with the emotions, stress and responsibilities of their daily lives with respect to nutritional intake and daily exercise.

I speak from experience. I may say I haven't lost weight in awhile, and the body composition test says I have 40 pounds of fat to lose, but I am a person who used to weigh in excess of 300 pounds, and I can tell you with certainty that my lean body mass was certainly not 145 pounds back then. Therefore I am delighted that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and that it is down to the final 40 pounds for me. I've had the majority of my weight off now for about 4 years, so I am on the countdown to the magical 5 year number.

Also, weight gain is normal during weight loss. I've learned to live with long plateaus and unexpected weight gains. As I said, use the tape measure, and stop using the scale.


06-13-2007, 12:30 PM
I have a heart rate monitor, and I promise you I am working hard. I have to watch to make sure I don't get above max. I can tell that my fitness level has gotten better because it takes longer for me to get my heart rate up and more to keep it there. I where it bike riding too. My heart rate runs high even at relaxed times, around 100 or in the 90's. If I wear the hrm around I watch my heart rate go up, in the 119's and stuff just from getting up and walking around. Of course that is the initial getting up. It goes back down quickly.

I'm not on any medications other than anti-imflamitories for my planters fastiitis (sp?) and an antibiotic for acne problems.
We have arthritis, diabetes, some heart problems and high blood pressure that runs in the family and that is one of the reasons I am so desperate to get this weight off to hopefully prevent myself from getting some of this, and of course just the looking better thing that goes with it. :rolleyes:
I was a little overweight before I had my son 12 years ago, but nothing major, just 10 or 15 lbs and it was always easy to take it off when I wanted too. Then I had my son and gained like 90 lbs and haven't been able to get it off since. I have fought it for too long. We bought our first bikes about 10 years ago and my DH and I rode pulling our son everywhere. We went on 10 to 15 miles rides 4 or 5 times a week and went on longer organized rides whenever we could. He works a lot of weekends. Then we quit when the boy got to big to pull and was still to young to ride along, but during that time I never lost any weight. I toned up some, but never lost and that was for over a year. I have gone back and forth with this for such a long time and cannot seem to get the doctor to listen. Maybe I am just not asking the right questions or for the right test.
I'm not sure the insurance covers any of the testing that some of you are talking about as far as body mass and such.
I could probably get a stress test done to check my heart and maybe that would get my metabilism checked too. I don't know, like I said I think maybe I just don't know enough to be able to go in and ask for certain test, or ask about certain types of problems I might have.

06-13-2007, 12:39 PM

Check out the nutrition section, there are threads like this:
that might be really interesting to you.

There are all sorts of things that it could be and you have received some great advice. I've noticed that since I've become older, my body has changed. I think that happens....it also means we just have to work a bit harder :)

I know what it's like being unhappy about the way things are. I also know what it's like to work hard and not see the results you'd like. I also think, though, that sometimes we are our own worst critics.

Definitely get checked out though, it sounds like you are doing everything you can on your own!


06-13-2007, 02:22 PM
I am not sure how many calories you eat in a day but I know that cycling burns a lot of calories. If you do not eat enough your body will go into starvation mode and not shed any fat. You may try adding 200 calories extra a day to your diet and see if the weight starts to come off.

I am 5'2" and I weigh 210. I know that in order for me to lose weight I need to eat roughly 1800 calories a day because of my cycling.

Also, you may try eating 5-6 small meals a day.

I am no expert, this is just my 2 cents.

06-13-2007, 05:05 PM
...I have gone back and forth with this for such a long time and cannot seem to get the doctor to listen...

This is why I asked what kind of relationship you have with your doctor.
It may be time to change doctors. See if you can find a female, she should inherently have better listening abilities.

Have you ever tried Weight Watchers?

06-13-2007, 06:24 PM
Just a couple of thoughts - it really takes ALOT for me to keep off the weight. I do 3 days of cycling, 30-40 miles at 75%-96% of my heart rate for the majority of the ride, and 5 hours of high intensity competitive tennis a week - and that's to keep from gaining weight, not losing it. If my max heart rate is 172 with the simple formula of 220-48 (yrs) than I need to be in the 140's-150's and up to be in the right zone, so your rate of 100 or so may not be enough.

Also, it sounds like you're focusing on cardio with the treadmill and riding, and you may want to add some weight training. Even at resting state, muscle supposedly burns more calories at rest than fat.

Good luck!

06-13-2007, 06:46 PM
my HR of 100 is my resting rate, not my exercise rate. My Max HR is suppose to be 177 and I exercise according to my HRM at on an average of 76 % of that. Sometimes I get above my max and have to slow it down, but most of the time I am around the 155 to 165 range while exercising.

My calorie intake is suppose to be 1550 according to the dietician in order to lose weight. I didn't like the way she did things at all. She didn't take into consideration my exercise and she was the type that said a carb is a carb and it doesn't matter what kind it is. I don't agree. Calorie wise this may be true, but nutrition wise it is far from the truth at least according to any healthy eating articles I have read.

I think your right, I need to change my doctor, I think I have put it off for fear of what I get in replacement. LOL

06-13-2007, 08:42 PM

With a history of diabetes and heart disease in your family, I just wanted to recommend a specific blood test. The next time you see your physician, ask for an A1C test (also known as glycated hemoglobin or HbA1c). A single days blood test (typical blood glucose test) only gives you one snap shot, while the A1C gives you a picture of your average blood glucose control for the past 2 to 3 months. My uncle had numerous blood glucose tests done - always came back negative, because he was always more conscious about what he was eating before going to see his doctor and to get lab work. As a result, it always looked like he was fine. Once he had the A1C test, it was evident that his blood glucose control was significantly imparired.

Good luck in your hunt for a new doc!

Take care,

06-13-2007, 11:05 PM
Donna, I just want to add one thing. A resting heart rate of 100 "might" be high normal, but sometimes it is indicative of a heart problem. Earlier this year in this forum someone posted a thread and commented that their resting heart rate was that high. Some TEers suggested she see her doctor. She did and it was determined that she had a mitral valve defect, and that was the reason for the high resting heart rate.

The heart valve problems can be difficult for doctors to detect and a doctor won't suspect there is a problem unless the patient says a family member got diagnosed with it or requests an ultrasound test of the heart. The reason I remember this story is because a brother ended up in the hospital with heart problems (and ironically he is a doctor) and it turns out that all of his life he had this heart valve problem and didn't know it. It is a genetic type of thing, so everyone in the family had to go see their doctor and request the ultrasound test. The result is an older sister found out she has the mitral valve defect also.

I don't know if any of this is related to your weight, but if you plan on seeing your doctor, you should ask specifically about your high resting heart rate with respect to any possible heart problems.


06-14-2007, 06:45 AM
I just wanted to put out an observation that I have made in general.

It takes a huge change in diet to lose weight. I've been in the Weight Watcher program for 2 years. I know that in order for me to lose weight at 160lbs I have to have a 1600 calorie a day diet. It is amazing how quickly those 1600 calories go.

And my mom tells me all the time how she can't lose weight even though she is eating healthy. There is a big difference between eating healthy and eating to lose weight. A container of "healthy" yogurt has 200 calories. A container of "losing weight" yogurt has 60-90 calories. Those calories can make a big difference.

Last summer I was making my own granola because it was healthy. I eventually realized I was consuming 500-700 calories in granola. Needless to say I was putting on weight. :)

06-21-2007, 09:23 PM
First and most important: Congrats on keeping riding your bike and quitting smoking!!! These two improvements are going to pay you back for the rest of your life no matter what else.
A resting heartrate of 100 is surprisingly high, especially for someone who is a regular exerciser. I'd look into that.
I'm also surprised by your dietician's recommendation of 1550 kcal/day for weight loss. At 230# that is almost certainly below your basal metabolic rate (guesstimate 1750 kcal/day, a little more or less depending on your height and age). Even if you have a totally sedentary job, you should be using 2200 or more kcal/day without any exercise, and a slightly higher intake (say, 1800) SHOULD still allow for slow, steady weight loss for you.
There are a variety of metabolic syndromes that could be at play here. Polycystic ovaries is one that springs to mind right away.
Suggestion: dedicate yourself to making a totally accurate food log for a week. Don't lift the fork until you've lifted the pen to write it down. Measure quantities - so that you are sure of what you're getting. Then calculate out your calories.
Don't look at this as a suggestion that you're overeating - it's not. You just need accurate data so that you know (a) how many calories you're really eating, and (b) whether that translates to weight loss.
Now that you've got a good figure for calorie intake, see if it's a reasonable proposition to dedicate the time and energy to burn off 25% of the calories you're eating through exercise. Example: if you're eating 2000 kcal/day, make sure you burn 500 kcal/day through exercise. This could be something like 15 miles of biking, or 4 miles of walking/jogging.
If you're eating normally (consistently less than 2500 kcal/day) and burning off 25% of it through exercise, and you're not losing weight, suspect a medical reason why you're having trouble losing weight.
If you can't imagine burning 25% of the calories you eat through exercise then you may be eating too many calories to sustain weight loss.
Good luck and stay connected!

06-22-2007, 11:12 AM
Just a couple of thoughts - it really takes ALOT for me to keep off the weight. I do 3 days of cycling, 30-40 miles at 75%-96% of my heart rate for the majority of the ride, and 5 hours of high intensity competitive tennis a week

My understanding is that the fat burning zone is in zones 1-2... not up in Zone 4 or more.

My understanding is that in order to lose, or to prevent yourself from gaining weight, you should do 3-4 workouts (minimum 30-40 minutes) per week at an aerobic level which is an elevated heart rate, but you are still able to talk/have a conversation.

If you workout too much in the anearobic zones, your body may actually begin to work against you...

Thats just my understanding...

06-22-2007, 03:28 PM
I have the same problem Donna, my doctor tells me that is mostly a matter of DNA and menopause :( She said I will look as my mother did. Also I have gained a lot of belly fat since my perimenopause .

06-22-2007, 05:35 PM
How about going to an specialist? Maybe an endocrinologist?