Maintenance + quarantine + manual labor = frustration
So, I was doing great.
Started back on Atkins Nov. 1 2018. I've done it: No longer overweight. At the beginning of the year, I was looking to STOP losing, and maintain my weight.
I could also look in the mirror and see how out of shape I was. ("You diet to lose weight. You exercise to look good naked.") Life-changes the past year made it hard to work out, and, for example, you can really SEE my utter lack of glutes, now that it's not camoflaged by excess body-fat.
I was hovering around 160 -- a very healthy weight for me -- determined not to go below. (This took some vigilance.)
Then, I took a job at an Amazon warehouse. And 3 days later, my daughter displayed "COVID-19-like symptoms" (Cough, and fever). While I don't beleive it was the virus, we had to go into 2 weeks of hard quarantine, before I could return to work.
This meant I was home all day -- something that hasn't happened in a year. So instead of eating 1 meal/day, like I had been, I found myself eating more. And, twice, cheating.
So I went from 160 up to almost 170, pretty much overnight. (Literally.)
That's OK... Aside from those two cheats, I'm still on-plan. If I eat on plan, the fat falls away. (For me, staying on-plan = drastically reduced hunger.... hence the one-meal-per-day place I was at.)
Then, I went back to work.
Did I mention I was out of shape?
Did I mention that I'm pushing 50, and Amazon is very PHYSICAL labor? Lifting stuff, often over my head, all day long. I get home bruised and sore. (I laugh at the bruises... looks like someone's beating me up on the regular, but it's just from handling the boxes. When I was in my 20s, working in dining halls at the local university, I was always bruised and thought I was just clumsy. Now, I understand why. Shins, knees, and arms... Yup, it's just the job.)
So... sore muscles = weight gain, because sore muscles = WATER in those muscles. Kind of like how I gain weight when my bad knee flares and swells: Makes my scale useless for a bit, and thus is frustrating, but doesn't mean I'm not on-track.
But the other part is that lots of hard manual-labor means I'm STARVING when I get off-shift.
So, instead of my past year, which has looked like getting home from a day of work, cooking dinner for my daugher, and maybe having some myself, maybe just having a handful of almonds... I come home, immediately starving. The other day, I wolfed down all 10 leftover meatballs (I usually eat 3, maybe 4 in a sitting), WITH cheese melted on top, and then went looking for more food. (Remember that I ate another meal's-worth, but don't remember what it was.) That's at around 11. And then, around 3, I make dinner, and usually eat that, too.
YES, my body needs fuel to a.) meet the new demands on it, and b.) build muscle, which weighs more than fat, so my over-all body weight may rise.
I know this.
And I'm working hard at finding when "hunger" is really a craving. (Salt is a biggie, given how much I sweat at work.) And drinking TONS of water.
I know all of this.
Doesn't make me less frustrated with my current state of flux.
Eh, as long as I don't cross that 170-line again, I'll consider myself good. **
I just hate that I so many things are coming together at once, to blur that line.
[**at 5'9", keeping my weight below 169.9 gives me a "normal" BMI, which makes it much easier to deal with health-care providers. I haven't been in this range in 20+ years, so having landed here, I want to stay here, and not creep over.]
I feel you. This is making things hard in so many ways. I suggest packing a really hearty snack (boiled egg, cheese and an ounce of almonds) to eat before leaving work or on the way home if you can do so safely. Then prep and prepare meals you can heat and eat when you get home. The snack will have been eaten early enough that maybe you wont be as hungry. And of you are not eating breakfast then do so. Fuel yourself before you go in. Finally, I know water is good (I drink about 80+ ounces a day easy) but if you are doing a demanding physical job, take two gaterade zeros with you too. The electrolytes may help with your muscle load and will replace your salts. ALso as you said, the muscles are holding water so the scale is tricky now, but the added muscle will eventually let go and it will raise your metabolism too. Hang in there-- you will find the right balance just don't give up.
Decided I need to start making fat-bombs. (Something I haven't used in forever.)
I just need something to curb the hunger!
Ive worked warehouse too, order fulfillment. HARD laborous work. I joked it was 6000 calories a day. They days I didnt eat much, I was ravenously hungry and ate everything but the kitchen sink when I got home. I wish I had been able to handle differently.
These days in lock down I hear everyone is adding pounds, so you are in good company.
Take a deep breath, do what you can do. I would like to put on muscle too. Found a video of a 70 year old woman that is ripped. She weight lifts with supervision of a trainer. If she can do it , we can do it.
Again, this us a difficult time. You are not alone. My DH was home 2 weeks due to illness and testing for covid took nearly two weeks to get results, by then he was well and cleared by doc to return to work , work sent him home. He had to fight to work.
My senior gets a car parade today for senior celebration. Today is last day. No graduation. no party, no yearbook signing.
We are all struggling, and doing what we can....you are justified in how this all affects you. Hang in there.
A bit farther into it, now.
When I wrote this post, in early May, I'd get off work ravenous, and it kind of never stopped... it was hard to get full.
I made some fat-bombs. (I use a pretty basic recipe: CO, butter, and peanut butter.) That helped. (Just made one batch, which I finished.)
Then I had some pretty serious GI issues, that started with severe diarhea, included a trip to ER (when I went to work *after* said diarhea, and started displaying symptoms that COULD be heart-attack, but wound up just being dehydration), peaked with vomiting, and then evened out.
(Yeah, that was fun.)
Understandably, while that MESS was going on (better part of a week), I missed a lot of work, and I ate differently. (Ya do, when vomiting is on the table.)
There was also some extreme stress into the mix. (Mid-divorce, had a "mediation"... you don't need the ugly details, but was super-stressful.)
So, in the past month, my weight has "yo-yo"ed from a high of 170 to... 163, this morning. The highs came from some deliberate cheats (including a slice of my daughter's B-day cake).
At one point, I realized that my non-stop labor schedule (when I'm not working, I'm trying to tackle the yard-work) meant I hadn't had a fast-day in ages, so tried to do one, just to empty my liver of its glycogen stores. Didn'twork: I was hugry by noon.(I get up at 4am, so not as "early" as it sounds.)
Then? The following week?
Hunger went away. The NEXT Friday, I got my fast in, almost without thinking about it. (And the huge scale-drop I had tells me that yes, I needed it. Those "cheat days" were all sitting, nicely stored, in my liver as glycogen.)
I'm finally back to what I'd come to think of as my "new normal" in terms of eating. Namely, I "snack" a bit, here and there. (A handful of nuts. A few "salami rolls". (Yeah, I know, processed meats.) I bit of whatever.) And maybe I sit down to one big meal, maybe I don't. Maybe I plan to and forget.
I even had a super-bad day at work, got off 2 hours late, and did my Chipotle, thing, with my daugheter. ("Honey? I need comfort-food. I'm coming to pick you up...") (Salad, 2x steak, no rice, no beans guac, sour cheese, salsa, no dressing. Had "extra" sour cream this time.)
Ate every bite of it, and was "good" for the night.
AND my weight's trending back down, instead of up again.
Glad you have it all sorted out..... continued good success.
I felt so bad for your situation in May-- just sympathized with the hard work, being tired, and starving when you got off shift. So glad you have found a workable solution. I have to admit the first time I tried a 24 hour fast I couldnt imagine not eating for that long, but I stuck it out and it wound up not being so bad. I have since found I like doing a 36 hour fast even more -- really jump starts losses, depletes the glycogen, and gets autophagy rolling (breaking down old faulty cells into ne amino acid building blocks and cleans out the cells that can eventually lead to cancer and other problems). I do it about once a month and then do a 24 hour fast once a month as well. I am so surprised to find I am feeling better with the fasts, I just schedule them for a rest day so I am not running on empty trying to exercise too.
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