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FutureLegend 09-16-2011 02:19 PM

Restarting my routine
Hey Folks...

Please.... feel free.. PLEASE FEEL FREE to tell me what I might be doing wrong.

In 2008 I started atkins and lost 100 lbs in 5 months... then another 30 dribbled off over the following year. In the last year, I've put 50 back on.

My former routine was cardio 6 x a week and weight training 3 x a week.

Since I restarted (3 days), I've started doing 45 minutes of recumbent bike at home at 200 watts (works out to about 600 calories and 7 miles). Then I jump in the shower and head to the gym BEFORE I eat where I do another hour on the treadmill and pick and choose about 30 - 40 minutes of weights.

I'm loaded with muscle, so I'm NOTTTTT trying to build... I'm going with lighter weights, higher reps... ie:

lat pull downs: 40 lbs 3 sets of 15
Abductors/Adductors: 145 lbs 3 sets of 12
I use the machine for bi's: I keep that to like 30 or 40 lbs... 3 sets of 10 (I hate doing bi's)
Tri's: I use the seated press at 100 lbs - 3 sets of 12
Leg press: 210 lbs 3 sets of 12

of course, there are other muscle groups I try to work as well... but.... no matter what I do I make sure I'm doing supersets... no rest in between. ie: I'll do a set of tri's and go right to lat pull downs then right back to tri's.... etc until 3 sets of each are done (keeping up a good sweat).

So far.. in the past few days (I'm so impatient), I've gained 2 lbs! LOL I'm burning about 4000 cal a day between exercise and lifestyle (and even though I do a lot of housework and take care of my chickens and do all the cooking and laundry and even cut firewood) I put myself down for a sedentary lifestyle to inspire me to work harder.

I DO take Synthroid (.75), Pravastatin (40mg), bumex (1mg), I take .05 xanax 4 x a day and vicodin up to 4 x a day (10/660). I've SWORN that all these meds have something to do with my difficulty in losing weight, but the doc says no. I'll tell you folks one thing...... I took myself off of insulin and within 4 days doing atkins, my sugar was normal and like I said... 100 lbs fell off in 5 months. I know.. it was AMA... but, I figured if I was going to die because of diabetes... I was going to do it MY way - and instead, I got a LOT healthier.

Does anyone else have issues with meds and weight loss?

Thanks for reading.... I know it's longwinded, but I'm trying to get in as many thoughts as possible in one exercise message!

God be with you all!

RunbikeSki 09-16-2011 05:21 PM

Hi Lori,

I am not a physician, so I can only relay my experiences and the wisdom I have gained from all of the wonderful folks on this forum.

First, I am really sorry to see that you are on all the meds. I am sure that they are important for your functioning, but I am also guessing that you would love to reduce the number. Like you, I suspect that they are, indeed, having some effect on your metabolism, but the scientific evidence of moderate side effects is quite incomplete. Generally medicine is concerned with the effectiveness of the medication and making sure you won't die from it :eek:. Therefore MDs are reluctant to agree with our observations without experimental proof to back them up because each of us are so different when it comes to how we react to drugs.

Secondly, I am pretty sure you can still work around it with some changes.

One thing I would definitely suggest is to eat something before you head off to the gym. Like any engine, your body needs some fuel to work effectively and efficiently. I think having a little something even before your bike ride would be a good idea.

The weight gain is actually pretty common after hard workouts. A number of us have talked about this in past posts. As you are straining your muscles, you are actually causing little tears to the tissue. It is the repair of those tears that results in stronger muscles. The repair mechanisms usually causes inflamation... thus water retention and the apparent increase on the scale.

Which brings up 2 other important facts:

1. You need to make sure that you are getting enough protein to enable those tired, depleted muscles to rebuild. A high protein meal or snack after your workout is a really good idea. Eggs, cottage cheese, a protein shake, or even piece of chicken or fish are all great post workout foods.
2. In order for those muscles to rebuild, they need some rest. 24 hours or more between hard workouts is usually recommended for us mere mortals. Otherwise they fatigue to the point of breaking down.

Finally: Patience girl! If you spend some time reading the forums you will see that the most successful folks are the ones that set the course for the long haul. Pretty much anyone can drop pounds with a starvation diet and excessive exercise, but no one can stick to it for very long. Make good eating habits and exercise part of your daily life forever and you will not only drop those dreaded 50lbs, they will never come back.

Oh, and keep us posted on your progress. Log into the "did you exercise" thread. It is amazing how inspiring and helpful it is to read how others overcome obsticles and make great progress on thier fitness journey.

See you there!

FutureLegend 09-16-2011 06:01 PM

Thank you for the advice!

I know I can't be crazy..concerning the meds and weight gain and difficulty in losing it. I've experimented on my own and reported to the doctor. IE: I STOPPED taking the xanax for 4 weeks...and my weight maintained. I began again and by day 5, I had put on 9 lbs. The most and quickest I've seen it come on is 14 lbs in about 8 days. The doc says I'm nuts but I've brought my husband in as a witness (he watched me get on the scale and record the weight gain and the record the meds I've taken).

Doc says not to stop taking it because even without the insulin, I'm still a diabetic and a low dose sedative will help keep my a1c down (something about stress raising blood sugar). As far as the pain medication - without it, I won't be able to work out. I'll be able to do limited housework... this and that.. but with a lot of breaks in between. It seems there is a bulging disc in my back and one in my neck...and in my youth I abused my body something terrible with gymnastics and have way too much arthritis for someone my age (I think).. I'll be 49 next month.

The Synthroid. Hmm... all reports show my thyroid is working fine.. so why the synthroid? It was working fine BEFORE it was rx'd by the endocrinologist (as a way of boosting my metabolism), but my primary says I just can't stop taking it and it's possible that this weight came on so fast because I stopped taking it a few months ago.

The diuretics sometimes work, sometimes don't!?! Sometimes I'll dispel up to 8 lbs of fluid in a day... then nothing for 2 weeks... so I don't see the reason for taking THOSE everyday either.

The fish oil and pravastatin have done wonders to reduce my cholesterol (which is still not normal.. 248).. but a heck of a lot better than almost 400. My triglycerides are now normal (since I stopped taking the insulin and stopped eating most carbs).. before, it was over 600 which the doc said was off the chart... they show the number, but there's no definition for it as in, good, fair, bad.... but's good.

Today I did my 45 minutes at 200watts on the bike... then an hour on the treadmill at the gym... and only worked a couple of muscle groups with many more reps in each set and slightly lower weight.. came home and had 3.78 oz 85/15 ground sirloin. I was told that I was supposed to work out on an empty stomache, but I'd sure love to have a few of those fresh chicken eggs BEFORE I hit the gym, but after I do my bike at home.

Again.. thank you... I'm going to switch to having something to eat before I go to the gym.... laying off carbs is a given for me because I don't want to spike my bs. (Last a1c was 5.8).. YAY!!! Not bad for a woman who was once reading a 14!!!

I'll check out those other forums too!

Thanks again for your response!!
God bless

rpmcduff 09-16-2011 09:09 PM

My son takes Synthroid and it can definately effect your weight.

You stated that your calorie burn is approx 4000kcal/day but you didn't say what your intake is or what your calorie deficit is?

I would guess that a lot of your weight may be attributed to water retention. This could have to do with the meds but I suggest you look at your sodium intake also.

Don't be afraid to increase your weights and drop some reps. A general guide for lifting is 4-6 reps to build mass, 8-10 reps to build strength and 12+ reps to build endurance. You stated that you don't want to build muscle so dropping to the 8-10 rep range will allow you to develop the denser muscle fibers that give that toned look as well as being stronger. By only doing high reps you are extending your cardio work out but not building those dense muscle fibers that will burn more calories and increase your BMR over time.

Keep up the good work and Congratulations on your loses to this point.

FutureLegend 09-18-2011 10:55 AM

If you don't mind.. how does Synthroid effect your son? Has he gained? I had stopped taking it for a while (when my husband's company closed down and we lost our health insurance... I was trying to eliminate what I could in order to save), but my doc says that THIS is why I could be gaining so rapidly. I say it has more to do with eggplant parm! (lol)... and making rich desserts, and family dinners... etc. I also got back into the habit of nipping in the middle of the night and not paying attention to my carb count. I mean.. c'mon... I'm not cured of diabetes, I never will... so I will always be carb sensitive and I think ditching the carb count in order to be part of the gang was the WORST thing I could do! That Synthroid bothers me though... especially since my thyroid wasn't out of whack BEFORE it was rx'd. The endocrinologist thought it would boost my metabolism, so when I had to give him up (lack of insurance), my primary kept on with it (even though HE is the one who told me that there is nothing wrong with my thryoid). I'm terribly confused here, but I think that if I have a fairly normal thyroid, and taking synthroid is causing some gain... I need to ditch it AMA (like I did with the insulin). After all... medicine is called a "PRACTICE" for a's not perfect.

In my younger years, I was a gymnast, and used weights to build strength. When those days were over, I was encouraged to build for competition by my trainers until I started to look... um.. (and no offense to women bodybuilders)... like a man! As a matter of fact, a year ago I let go of a trainer because he INSISTED on training me for building (he was excited about my strength and muscle mass), and even mentioned me taking testosterone shots to reduce body fat (because his wife does...even at MY age (48)...) but she has developed a lot of manly facial features and I guess I'd rather be more squishy than manly. Honestly, my man was very put off by my muscle mass when we first met and it took a year of not working my arms to drop that down.

Yesterday I began much higher reps.. ie: lat pull downs... I did 20 reps/2 sets at 40... and did my last set of 20 at 55.

If you don't mind... how should I change that to burn fat, maintain strength, but not BUILD.

Thank you so much (I'm a tad lost without a trainer but honestly, I find that a lot of times, the trainer and I have different ideas about goals.

Thank you!!!!

FutureLegend 09-18-2011 11:03 AM

I don't know if my food/activities are visible to everyone else... but I know I'm burning about 4000 calories a day (sedentary lifestyle) and the rest is mostly conditioning with only about 30 - 40 minutes of weights.

My food intake varies. Now.. I put down every single morsel... including splenda and the cream I put in my coffee. Even if I eat a raisin. I've seen it fluctuate from 700 cal to 1800 calories but generally I maintain about 1200. Does that help?

RunbikeSki 09-18-2011 07:22 PM

As I said earlier, I'm not a Dr.... well actually I am, but a PhD in plant physiology, not human physiology.

One thing that has become apparent to me over the years is that as an individual we have to take charge of our own health. And sometimes that means going against Dr's orders. I love my GP to death and fortunetly she knows me well, but her superiors require her to recommend prescibing medication first before really checking into other alternatives. I have moderately elevated LDL (the bad cholesterol) but very high HDL (the good kind) and blood triglycerides that are the envy of the medical community and still she wanted to put me on lipitor to lower the LDL. I refused. Statins are intense therapies and while I am not opposed to drug therapies in general, I definately felt that lipitor was uncalled for in my case. She didn't argue with me.

If your insurance will cover it, or you have the resources, you might look into a 2nd opinion. You do not seem to be seeing eye-to-eye with your current Dr. Maybe a different person might be willing to work with you a little better. But maybe not - obviously I don't know all the details, but it does seem clear that you are not happy with the current situation.

FutureLegend 09-18-2011 10:01 PM

I adore my GP.. I do... so much so that I trust not just MY life with him, but the life of my daughter. He's been our doctor for 20 years. As a matter of fact, I drive 10 hours for my 6 month visits because I've moved 700 miles away (my daughter is in college down there). Up here, I tried 6 doctors. At first, they were all put off by my general health and my weight and did not want to take me on as a patient. At that time I weighed over 300 lbs. I gave up trying to find a gp, and kept on driving down to see the doc who knows me best.

I was on lipitor at one time as well (pre-insurance) .. was costing me $300 per month per rx. Now I take the pravastatin with 4000mg of fish oil (the endo said it was safe to take up to 4000 mg..and it's made a WORLD of difference. I was hoping to get off the pravastatin completely and just stick with the fish oil... I'm just waiting to get to under 200. While I did have insurance, I looked into WLS - gastric bypass (when the weight started to come back on). I lost the insurance in the very last leg of the prerequisites. The insurance company requied 6 months of medically supervised diet. I was in the LAST month!!!! I had already done the sleep study, the endoscopy, the psyche evaluation, the seminars etc... wow.... I'm thinking that God was trying to tell me something... like...."Lori- you've done it before without having your insides rearranged.. you can do it again".

I'm REALLYYYYYYYYY curious about what others have learned about that synthroid though. As you can probably tell, I have no problem going AMA... doing it saved my life. Within the first 6 months of insulin, I had put on over 75 lbs!!!! I said.. FORGET THIS! Threw it away and stopped eating carbs. I believe I can do without the xanax (in fact, I think it makes me nasty at times), but not the pain meds.... I need to keep moving.

I did work out today, but honestly, it sucked. I did 250watts on the bike for 46 minutes and burned something like 650 calories.... but when I got to the gym, my ankles were screaming and I kept having to lower the speed on the treadmill. I would do 15 minutes, then go to some weights, then go do another 15 minutes. So it wasn't what I was hoping for - but still... I just looked at my count.. I burned almost 4000 calories (Including having to clean out the chicken coop and went on a hunt for fresh chicken food - so l lots of walking), but my calorie count isn't even 400 calories yet! BLAH...

There MUST be something else interfering. I should have lost 3.5 lbs by now.

mecompco 09-19-2011 12:51 AM

Forgive me for being dense, but how can meds affect weight loss/gain? They have no (or minimal) calories. If you consistently take in less calories than you expend, how can you not lose weight, regardless of medication?

Someone more knowledgeable than myself please explain. Thanks!


cjohnson728 09-19-2011 01:11 AM


Originally Posted by mecompco (Post 57152)
Forgive me for being dense, but how can meds affect weight loss/gain? They have no (or minimal) calories. If you consistently take in less calories than you expend, how can you not lose weight, regardless of medication?

Someone more knowledgeable than myself please explain. Thanks!


I'm not familiar with the medications listed above, but I do know that many antidepressants and antipsychotics are associated with weight gain. The exact mechanism is uncertain, though there is some supposition that they trigger cravings for carbs. They may also make you hungrier (like steroids, so you eat more...although steroids also have some effect on glucose and can increase fat stores, I believe). Also, with the antidepressants, lack of appetite is a frequent symptom of depression, so when the meds kick in and one is less depressed, eating increases. It's also been speculated that the meds affect metabolism in a negative way. Additionally, some of these medicines can cause fatigue, making a higher level of activity more likely. So, in reality, the medications make it more likely to do what results in weight gain...take in more calories than you expend.

Good luck, Lori; I hope you get it figured out. You're in the right place, with all the tools and support here :).

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