Packing on the pounds?

Old 09-29-2009, 06:32 AM
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Packing on the pounds?

So, much to my surprise, I stepped on the scale this morning and discovered I've gained four pounds in the last week!! Yikes. I somehow thought I'd lose weight since I'm not taking in alcohol calories anymore, but I guess not. I've been eating lots of comfort foods, so I shouldn't really be surprised that I'm putting on weight. I'm 10 days sober now.

The odd thing is, I feel mentally skinnier. I've organized the kitchen and my office, so that feels better, and my mind feels a lot lighter. So I don't feel like I'm adding weight to my body, but I clearly am.

I know how to diet and lose weight, so I'm not really looking for advice on how to do that, but I'm wondering if the weight gain issue is normal in early sobriety. Not sure I have the mental strength right now to tackle weight loss in addition to not drinking -- it might be just too much to take on at once. I am trying to be nice to myself and give myself time and space to get better ... even if that means having a pancake for breakfast instead of fruit.
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Old 09-29-2009, 06:46 AM
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Alcohol dehydrates you, so I wouldn't be surprised if the four pounds you gained back is just water weight that your body needs.

I would try to focus on overall health rather than a few pounds... but that's just me.
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Old 09-29-2009, 06:50 AM
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I am the same its days 9 for me and i havnt lost a thing i think ive actually gained a kilo or two.... and i also thought that you lose weight when you stop drinking (I was looking forward to that) so i know where you are coming from, maybe it is the comfort food we have been eating........
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Old 09-29-2009, 07:03 AM
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I also noticed that I have very serious cravings for sugar of any kind, and especially chocolate. I normally have no sweet tooth at all, which is I think why I noticed it. A normal person with a normal sweet tooth might not.

All in all, though, I think the water weight gain theory is probably right on target.

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Old 09-29-2009, 07:12 AM
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Penny, I've been sober for 141 days and I have trained for a marathon during this time. Despite all my training mileage, I've barely lost any weight in part because I've replaced alcohol with Coca-Cola, root beer, and too much chocolate. Like you, I thought eliminating those alcohol calories would mean weight loss, not the opposite. Post-marathon, my next challenge is watching my intake of sweets and trying to get my waistline to an acceptable level!
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Old 09-29-2009, 07:16 AM
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You know I know what you mean about feeling thinner even though you actually gained weight. I know for me I was quite puffy faced and bloated before I quit, even though I actually put on some weight I sure had more then one person ask me if I had lost weight.

To be honest I have found being a bit heavier far better for my self esteem then being a drunk.
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Old 09-29-2009, 07:20 AM
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Im early recovery like you penny and the scale has been going up and down over the last few weeks, a pound or two. Im eating an insane amount of sugary junk...a shameful amount of sweets, Im hoping the sugar cravings pass. Have been gearing up to getting back into some daily exercise, walking and biking and hope that will help. We're sobor, can't expect to tackle it all at once ya know?
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Old 09-29-2009, 07:31 AM
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I started walking every day when I began to recover. It helped so much, in so many ways. It's relaxing and clears my mind, makes me feel physically good and I get a break from all of the stuff going on in my life.

And, I think being kind to yourself is a good thing.
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:07 AM
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Ditto what everyone else has said.

One thing that helped me was to remember that while sober, I was never in danger of a dui, or other consequences.

No one gets pulled over and ticketed for being Under the Influence of Twizzlers
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Carrie36 View Post
We're sobor, can't expect to tackle it all at once ya know?
i agree
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:21 AM
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some people go heavy into exercise others get through it by treating themselves more, its obvious that you are gaining weight because you are eating more, nothing to do with drinking or fact drinking the kind of amounts of alcohol we have all drunk will mean the body retains water so this should come off over the coming weeks too...just dont drink and get on a program of recovery...everything else you will have the rest of your life to do:-)
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:42 AM
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When I first quit drinking I gained a sweet tooth and a few pounds that I did not want or need so I joined a thread here where people are trying to eliminate or reduce the amount of sugar they consume.

It is run by Smiling Jack who keeps a chart for the willing participants.
It is here.

This along with my 16 week fitness challenge helped me get back in the shape I want to be in.

Just a word of caution if it is a choice between feeling better with food or feeling better with alcohol go for the ice cream. As the need to drink diminishes with time, which it will, then you can concentrate on working on the other things that need fixing in the eating area.
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:09 AM
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I am at 102 days and still have a major sweet tooth. I never did before. I have always been a gym person and go 5 days a week. I have quit smoking too. I am planning on tackling the sweet tooth sometime soon. Unfortunately with sweets, I cannot just eat any chocolate. It has to be Lindt, fine chocolate brands or freshly made chocolate. I have maintained the same weight (up and down a kilo or two) since quitting.
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:58 AM
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Isn't it just delightful what we start worrying about once we get clean/sober? As a crack addict, I didn't care about make up, hair, weight... Whether I was tan or fit. I did take my showers. But everything else was set aside for the drugs. Then when we quit we take notice of the changes that have happened as a result of our using and what is now happing as a result of our non-use. Lucky me, I lost 130lbs in less than 9 months of smoking. I'm almost 8 months clean and have gained about 10lbs. I didn't care whether I lost or gained weight, at first, because my life was at stake. Weight will kill us slower than drugs. I know it may seem like such a panty buster (pun intended) right now, but in the bigger picture, weight gain or loss should be taken with a grain of salt and worried about later down the road.
If you cannot bring yourself to do this, use the sweet tooth/comfort foods thing as a reward system. Allow yourself one indulgent food (candy bar, twizzlers, ice cream, buttery popcorn, smashed potatoes, whatever your choice) for every day you are clean/sober. Or one a week. Even better. You make it through the week and get a nice treat. I did that with breaking my crack habit. At the end of the week, I'd buy something yummy (Subway, Wendy's, Chipotle) with the money I saved by not smoking crack. On my 30 days, I got a CD that I had really been wanting. Got another CD on my 60 days. I treated myself to BBQ Chicken wings on my 90 days. I stopped doing the rewards since then, and feel comfortable enough to actually worry about something other than whether or not today will be the day I slip and get crack. Instead I worry about when we're going to get the seat belts and radio installed on my race car so I can run her on the road. I also started that diet, and park farther out in parking lots for a nice walk to the store. I'll increase the walking in a week or so, to walking in the parks or by the river, or just around the neighborhood, and enjoy the sights and sounds that passed before me when I used to hole up in my ex's house, smoking crack all week long and weekends.. How horrible I let two years go by without enjoying my FAVORITE season! Autumn is here in Ohio, or at least close enough. LOL. I got a lot of time to make up for and plan to enjoy all that our season has to offer. It feels fantastic. And my pants are already getting loose again. So I know it's working.. Though I'll have to make more efforts to exercise. Colder weather means nice, warm, heavy soups.. LOL
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:01 PM
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Hi Pennylane, you are not alone in this. I actually gain weight when I stop drinking because I eat more. Kind of a no-brainer! Drinking = forget to eat/vomit, Not drinking = eat normally. I get kind of unhealthy skinny when drinking. Who wants it and needs it? I have found that when I'm sober for any length of time I immediately put on about 5 pounds and then start exercising more. And then I'm packing on the muscle so the weight is kind of irrelevant as long as I'm looking and feeling good. I am disgusted with how little I'm able to exercise when I drink (end up like a couch potato when hungover). So I'm thinking there's an adjustment for our bodies getting healthier when we stop drinking which may involve packing on a few more pounds. Not the worst thing in the world

ANEW -- you crack me up. Driving under the influence of Twizzlers!
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:56 PM
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I am 9 months sober. First few months I went up and down (actually, my weight always fluctuates, sometimes as much as 5 pounds between breakfast and dinner).

I have over all lost about 14 pounds since I quit. I am healthier than I have been in 20 years.

I never had a sweet tooth when drinking, but now a bowl of ice cream for desert is an absolute must.

I am happy with the trade off
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:21 PM
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A coulée lb fluctuaion is nhing to worry about!!! Alcohol is junk calories of the worst kind. Sweets substitution for the complex carbs of alc is nothing to freak out about. Try weighing yourself once a week at the same time under the same conditions to get a good read. After a bike ride In 100 degrees, no lunch and # 2 I'll weigh 10 PBS less than I would otherwise.
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Old 09-30-2009, 06:23 AM
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Bjork, I read your post while shoving a Lindt Lindor truffle in my mouth. Bought a big bag a couple days ago. Gawd, they're good... Do we need to start a separate thread for people with a fine chocolate problem?!
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