Mar 31, 2006 11:17 AM
I’m back again, and in the same frustrating unhealthy dilemma again. I need some help and sport physician recommendations in the Boston/Nashua corridor.
For six months, after being told by nearly everyone (informed by their dime-store nutritionist mantra) that I was putting my body into starvation mode, and that I was too fat “simply because I ate too little,” I increased my daily calories more toward a ‘normal’ daily intake. I still ate way under the 3,000 calories nutritionist formulas want me to eat, but more than my usual (so-called ‘crazy’) 800 calories per day. So I’ve been eating around 1200 calories per day. Eating more toward ‘normal’ in that I was able to participate in eating parts of the same group dinner with the everyone else at the ski house, and was not on my usual “fear all fats” and “fear all carbs” highly restrictive healthy super-foods-only CRAN diet where dinner is a ski-house-ridiculed "not normal" bowl of microwaved spinach and an open can of tuna.
Justifying the moderation of eating some fats with “a body needs a little good fats,” I started using some olive oil and stir-fried my whole fresh veggies instead only fat-free steaming them. From the runner pro-carb sentiment here, I started justifying some carbs by eating more fruits (in particular allowing bananas) and switching from plain fat-free cottage cheese to pineapple (more carb grams than protein). So instead of my usual orange for breakfast, plain cottage cheese for lunch, steamed veggies and chicken/fish for dinner, I switched to a banana for breakfast, don’t-fear-carbs pineapple cottage cheese for lunch, another banana as mid-day snack, and same dinner except some olive oil in veggie stir fry versus steamed. On ski weekends, told myself to loosen up, “the little bit of carbs in a single beer with the group won’t kill you, you can have dinner with the group, that little bit of carbs in their carb brown rice won’t kill you on just the weekend”.
And here I sit having gained 40lbs!!!! Yet again! Do you know what trying to hang with the cycling pack on hill climbs with 40 extra pounds is like?!?! This trial yet again shows that if I don’t maintain a minimum of three hours of cardio and 1 hour weight-lifting on a maximum of 800 calories EVERY single day – my body rapidly gains weight in the winter off-season. It’s been this way all my life as a cyclist in the off-season, going on thirty years. Over winter I went from 160lbs to 200lbs, from 18.7% bodyfat to now technically obese at 31.2% bodyfat. THIS FAT IS UNHEALTHY – NOT the style of diet and exercise that keeps the fat off. Don’t you agree?
The ONLY thing that works, and has EVER worked, to keep bodyfat off my frame is the above so-called ‘crazy’ levels of exercise and reduced calories.
This trial of “moderation” – like all the rest - just doesn’t work for my body type. Only super strict so-called ‘starvation’ restricted CRAN calories on so-called ‘burn out’ levels of extreme exercise keeps body fat from accumulating on me. No breaks, no rest days, no special dinners. All extreme, no moderation, all the time. I relaxed these rules a bit, said “everyone needs off-season rest”, said 1200 calories of still healthy foods is still restricted enough, stopped fanatically weighing myself two times a day, and bang, forty pounds of fat results.
I know what works. Every attempt to try different approaches fails despite strict adherence to whatever regime it is. I should no longer be surprised by the data from every experiment anymore. I AM doing my usual routine again, the ONLY regimen that ever works to keep me non-obese. But the lack of this math adding up really bothers me. 40 lbs of fat is 140,000 calories extra!!! On bananas and pineapple cottage cheese? Just because in winter I only went to the gym for an hour per day and stopped cycling in the bitter cold, replacing it instead with ‘only’ XC skate skiing and telemark skiing winter sports. At the ski house, I eat way less than everyone else, only eat whole foods, avoid all the gobs of junk foods they eat in huge shocking amounts (cookies, pasta, cereal, granola, pizza, cheese/crackers, beer, etc), work out much more than them as they sleep in – yet I am the one who is 40lbs overweight!! The group comparison screams that something is way different for me than the norm. The numbers just don’t add up!! Yet I’d be the fool once again to ignore the real life data that eating more 800 calories of anything but super-clean low-fat low-carb low-calorie foods is BAD for me!! I won’t even get into the fact that my ideal race weight is 120 lbs, as I sit here once again at 200lbs – OBESE!! Prevented now from the best workouts because I cannot keep up with the pack. NUTS! If I maintain the above regimen to my usual ‘extremes’, by the end of summer I will be lucky to be back down to 160lbs again, where winter comes again, I gain weight again, next summer repeat!! Year after year.
Can anyone recommend a sports-minded physician in the Boston/Nashua area? I’d like to understand with my body seems to break the laws of physics. Even though I’ve probably trained my body over the years of restricted cyclist eating regimen to make it ever more efficient on ever fewer restricted calories, this still doesn’t make sense to me.
I work out more, I eat way less, yet am unhealthy obese to show for it all. Frustrating!! I need some medical feedback. Either “Yes, your body is that abnormally efficient at converting food calories and at conserving calories used, where 800 cal/day IS healthy for you and what you need to do” or “No, you are too fat because you eat too little and work out too much, see, here is the cortisol/hormone blood test levels which shows us why.” I cannot be alone in this “outside the typical group norm” experience.