I am a 19 year old male who currently weighs 89 Kilograms and is 176cm tall. I have lost around 11 kg so far starting at 100 kg. I eat around 1,500 calories a day and go on hour long walks usually every other day. I started dieting on the 1st of November last year (2020) and have noticed that my body has been struggling ever since. Most nights i have either heart palpitations or stomach issues such as GERD or bloating along with many other stomach related issues which vary in intensity. This is also accompanied by cold hands and feet, shivering and irritability along with head aches. As of January this has gotten worse and I had to go to A&E just to get it checked out. They checked my blood pressure and blood sugar levels and they where normal. I have spoken to my doctor multiple times and they have proscribed me a Proton pump inhibitor to combat the stomach issues. I fear this is due to my diet, as these effects where not present prior to my new diet. I honestly just want some answers at this point, its starting to really worry me.
Feeling Awful...: I am a 19 year old... - Weight Loss Support
Weight Loss Support
>89 Kilograms and is 176cm tall
-hang on a sec: 89 x 2.2 = 198 lbs more or less; 176/2.54 = 70" (5'10")
>lost 11 kgs since Nov. 1
hmm, 2.2 x 11 = 24.2 lbs over 70 days, ~0.33 lbs/day
You're on NO medications, and have been diagnosed with NO ailments?
You're having troublesome GERD symptoms. What specifically is your regular cuisine/dietary fare? What do you actually eat/drink during a typical day?
ps. What is your waistline measurement (inches or cm)? If you were a muscular chap, you may be grossly undereating. With that half decent activity level of strolling about every 2nd day and low calorie intake -- I'd expect the body to rebel in some fashion, GERD might be typical. Of course, your food/drink might be intensely aggravating/triggering leading to GERD, too.
Hello wbiC and welcome to The Weight Loss Support forum.
Thank you for your support.
You sound like a mathematician 😂. Ok, so in regards to my diet i have had these meals in variations for the last 2 and a half months now. Breakfast consists of Bran flakes/Corn flakes or Rice Krispies accompanied with an average size banana.
Lunch normally consists of a weight watchers microwave meal which on paper do look decently healthy and contain around 300-400 calories depending on which one.
As for Dinner that would consist of either some kind of processed chicken steak along with another piece of a similar kind of chicken or processed fish with breadcrumbs. These are almost always freezer items. with sweet potato fries/basmati rice or as a treat some small jacketpotatos with cheese and a small amount of bacon amount to roughly 200-250 caloreis for the potatos, I would then add some microwavable vegetables to the mix. this meal seems to vary the most in terms of calories anywhere from 600-750 calories.
This would normally take me to around 1300 calories or so and then i would eat a protein bar (usually grenade bar) which are around 200-250 calories to get to 1500.
In regards to my waistline, i currently do not have a means of checking this however i can tell you it is ghastly, and it most certainly isn't muscle.
On another note, the medication i take consists of Folic acid (I have a vitamin b9 deficiency) and a Proton pump inhibitor (for my occasional extreme GERD at night).
Thank you for going through the hassle of converting my weight/height and asking me questions, I really appreciate it 🙂
Well, your diagnosis (perhaps no doctor has brought it up??) appears clearly to be GERD, and the likely cause imo is a faulty stomach/esophagus valve (readily enough corrected surgically, please don't experiment doing that on yourself!). Perhaps you've already googled it, but what it means is that because the shut off valve's faulty, your stomach acids are prone to go up your esophagus which does not have an acid resistant lining.
An interim non-med step would be to sleep on an inclined bed (add blocks under the bed frame). A more expensive approach would be to invest in an 'adjustable' bed. The former can get you a 15% incline which may suffice (I use blocks because I've glaucoma and it also reduces eyepressure), the latter will get you a 30% incline which will definitely help, perhaps completely eliminate your GERD symptoms at night. Of course, check with a doctor before doing or not doing anything, as always.
What brand/type of proton pump inhibitor have your been taking? Some are very prone to wrecking havoc with your vitamin/minerals intake (which, suggests if you needed to keep taking it, you ought to at least be taking a daily vitamin supplement).
As to your calorie intake, it is somewhat low but you're getting good results so I suggest you keep at it, UNLESS your waistline is under 36" (use string, then measure how long the string is in hardware store with tape measures, yardsticks, etc.) Multiply whatever the string length is, eg. 36" by 2.54 cm/inch to get back into your familiar metric environment.
You wear belts? What size belt, and, which notch works well for you? eg. The middle notch in a size 36 belt, would confirm your waistline's likely around 36", roughly optimum for most people such as yourself. I was reading much earlier that not more than a 34" waist became a requirement of some South American country's police staff, a lot of them were getting flabby -- that's manageable but with difficulty for most men.
Much more recently: texastribune.org/2019/10/10...
Hi, Do you think you may have a sensitivity to something that could be causing your digestive problems? Another thought could be stress ? You sound like you’re making great progress. I hope you find a remedy for your gastric problems. Good luck 😉
Hi and welcome, Matilda2020
I'm sorry it's taken so long to find you, but I hope you've had time to explore the forum a little.
All of the information you need about the forum can be found in Pinned Posts healthunlocked.com/nhsweigh... and we hope you'll be joining all the Events, Challenges and Clubs that we run, especially a weigh-in and the daily diary.
If you haven't already taken it, here's a tour of the forum healthunlocked.com/?tour=true
We've found active participation to be key to successful weight loss and, of course, it's a good way to get to know people, find inspiration and share support and encouragement.
Wishing you all the best
Hi Keyosophy and welcome to this amazing forum. We are a peer to peer support group and we are not qualified to offer medical advice.
I suggest you spend some time clicking about to find your way around. It's easier if you have a lap-top as there are several threads. If you’re using another device I strongly suggest that you use the web page as opposed to the app at least until you know your way around.
Have a good read of the pinned post “Welcome Newbies” and follow every thread.
Here’s the link to the pinned posts, healthunlocked.com/nhsweigh...
Here’s the link for the “Tour” of the forum. If you haven’t already taken it.
You mention that you're only eating 1500 calories per day I believe that you're not eating enough. I suggest you run you stats through the BMI calculator and obtain a personalized calorie allowance.
Concentrate more on "What you are eating" rather than "How much"
I strongly suggest you read and contribute to the Daily Diary and participate in a Weekly Weigh in.
You will find there's loads of tips about better eating, from other members. Sharing your daily menu not only helps you stay committed, it can help other members too.
Good luck I hope to "see " you around.
Hi Keyosophy and welcome
Normally I'd say see a doctor but you have. As TheTabbyCat has mentioned, you are eating way too little for your age, height and weight and your issues may be linked.
You've supplied all the necessary details apart from your level of exercise which I've taken as 'Moderate'.
The NHS BMI calculator shows that when you were a 100kgs your calorie intake should have been 2194 - 2821 kcal.
Your weight has reduced now to 89kgs and now the suggestion is 2029 - 2609 kcal.
I'm not keen on my first words to someone new here being quite so negative but in essence, you've been starving yourself.
I have to commend you on your focus, in that you've been able to maintain such an extreme regimen for this long but now, my suggestion to you, is that you start to eat and drink in a way that's going to be kind to yourself, to your body.
One question, are you still losing weight at the same rate whilst sticking to 1500 cals?
Best of luck
Thanks for the warm welcome 🙂. In regards to my activity level, I usually try to go out every other day and do at least an hour long walk (at a decently brisk pace). Honestly not to sure if this counts as "exercise". I feared doing an intensive exercise regime and starting a new diet at the same time would overwhelm me and thus cause me to burn out and give up quickly, this possibly could be the reason i have managed to stick to 1500 calories despite it being far to little from what folks here have said. Best of luck to you too 👍
Hello and welcome
Yes you are right, a lot of folk here eat 1.500 Calories per day or less.
I have also heard it in the German community a lot 1.200 -1.500 Calories, but that's nothing for a long time or everybody.
And mostly we are women and older than you. We don't need so many Calories.
For example, I'm female, older and a little shorter than you. My normal daily Calorie intake is 1.581 - 2.033 kcal (NHS) and when I want to lose weight I have to stick to 1.581 or a little bit lower.
The 12-weeks plan from the NHS site recommends 1.900 Calories for a male or the lower end from your healthy daily calories-intake which would be 2.029 - 2.100 Calories for you.
When you are eating less than that on a regular basis your metabolism becomes slower to serious damage at your body and brain. You might feel weaker or have some health issues or ?? (don't know the word what stomach, bladder and ?? are doing with the food).
I'm different to you so please don't take it as 'must-rule'. But I'm missing fruits or veggies on your dish and especially color and raw food.
When I would eat only half of your processed food for one or two days, my tummy would be very sick and nauseous and not only at night.
To figure which part of your current diet is causing the health issues, it would be helpful to know what and how much/many times per day you have eaten before.
I don't know WW but what I believe is that a whole meal already cooked and stored in a plastic dish for the microwave can't be healthy.
And I have seen in Germany that a lot of convenience 'healthy', 'diet', 'extra-protein' or 'less fat/light' food has pea starch and other strange stuff to boost it and they are a little bit difficult for the stomach and can also cause your problems.
(I am not an expert, so please check all recommendations with your doctor or nutritionist before following them).
Hi and welcome, Keyosophy
I have to agree with everyone else and say that you are eating far too little for your size and activity levels, but I want to add another thought. Having read your bio on your profile and this post, I wonder if you've ever had your thyroid function tested? Many of your symptoms - rapid weight gain, acid reflux, feeling cold, etc could also be caused by an underactive thyroid.
My advise would be to join the Thyroid UK forum, as they know much more about thyroid function than most, read all of the excellent information they have there and consider having a private blood test done, as most tests done by a doctor will be woefully inadequate. healthunlocked.com/thyroiduk
If your thyroid isn't working optimally, then weight loss will be very difficult to achieve and sustain.
Wishing you all the very best
I have briefly speculated this in the past but i've never had enough of a concrete reason in my eyes to go through with getting it checked. The only thing that i've noticed is that if i've had a cold or migraine, i will very occasionally get an aching sensation around that area of my neck which i attributed to simply being a symptom of the cold i was going through. I will definitely keep this in mind 👍
I hope you start to feel better soon. As already suggested, tweaking your diet sounds like a good idea. I don't count calories personally and have lost weight just by cutting down/out less healthy foods. I'm sure you can find the method that works for you whilst also prioritising your health. Good luck.
Thank you all so much for the advice! I will definitely try and increase my calorie intake to at least 2000 as that seems to be a common theme amongst your posts. As a side note that i forgot to mention in my main post, i also have a vitamin B9 deficiency (Folic acid) which i only found out about last October as i was feeling really bad then also with migraines and ear ringing just to name a couple symptoms, this led me to believe it was the reason i was having all of these stomach issues and thus I did not expect the diet to be the issue. You guys are really helpful and you should be proud of how many people I know you've supported through their journeys.
That's another sign of an underactive thyroid. For full Thyroid evaluation you need TSH, FT4 and FT3 plus both TPO and TG thyroid antibodies tested. Also EXTREMELY important to test vitamin D, folate, ferritin and B12. If you're quick, you could get this discount healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...
Both my TSH and T4 levels came back as normal when i had a blood test back in October where i also found out about the folate deficiency. As for the other 3 i have no idea and do not know if they are significant. Either way i have ordered this test and will double check it, if nothing comes back then atleast i know that this isn't the issue for me.
Have you got a copy of your blood test? Normal is meaningless, it actually means in range. To highlight how ridiculous that is, shoe sizes 5 to 10 are in normal range, but if you're a size 10, then a size 5 isn't going to be much use to you.You are legally entitled to printed copies of test results, so I would suggest that you get yours and post them on the TUK forum.
I hope you'll do the same with your latest results, because the members there will be able to read them and tell you if you have a problem.
I do have my test printed and will see if i can post it later on to that form.
My serum TSH level was 2.4mlU/. Range is 0.40 - 5.00mlU/L.
My serum free T4 level was 14pmol/L. Range is 9.00 - 19.00pmol/L.
My Plasma glucose level was 5.5 mmol/L. Range 3.00 - 5.40mmol/L. This is higher than the range but it was noted below "Normal for patient - No action. This request was for non-fasting glucose. Quoted reference range applies to fasting samples only. ***Please note: from 4th February 2019 new reference range and comments in effect***".
You need to post this on the TUK forum, along with all your signs and symptoms and history healthunlocked.com/thyroiduk
I have posted this to the forum now, here is the link
Hello and thanks for sharing. I am very sorry to hear you are feeling so awful and hope you can find the way to make yourself feel better very soon.
A lot of people have already said about 1500 kcal a day being very low, which it is, so that’s one important thing to reconsider. I count calories myself and I picked 1450 kcal daily limit many months ago, which now I don’t think was the right way to go, but at that point such decision was made and I stuck with it. However, I’m female, shorter than you and much older, so it may have been a bit more appropriate, especially since I didn’t have any bad reactions, but still very low for daily intake,
Another thing - what are you actually eating, what has changed? There’s a danger in calorie counting - one could start eating food that is low in calories, but not necessarily good for them. With low calorie limit it also gets difficult to receive all the appropriate nutrients, vitamins and minerals. So it’s important what we eat, not only how much calories. Maybe you could look at that a bit more.
The third thing - when we eat. I personally see a lot of sense in Time Restricted Eating and having 8 hour eating window made a massive difference for me personally.
Things have to work for you, I’m only saying what worked for me and what you could explore.
Really hoping that it will be easier for you soon and wishing you all the best. Please let us know how you get on. 🤗
Firstly -well done for addressing your weight issues and doing something about it . Apart from what people have said I would see a dietitian who could balance calories and nutrition as just isn’t the calories but what you eat . It is no good upping 500 cals per day if these are empty calories. If you are getting colds/ shivering then this indicates your immune system isn’t great which happened to me post hiatus hernia surgery when I was immediately put on a strict liquid diet . It isn’t just calories but a balance of food that will nourish your body for life not just a temp unsuitable and unsustainable fix . I would get help to tweak your diet and there should be help at your GP surgery. If it is via phone then start a food diary which will help with where to move forward. Try not to feel negative as many give up and you seem determined.
Welcome to the forum. You’ve had lots of good advice here so I’ll not add my tuppence worth as I would just be repeating what others have said. Check in here regularly and participate in a weigh in etc to access maximum support. Good luck with your journey and remember it’s not a race. Slow and steady gets you to your goal 👍
Hi Keyosophy, you’re obviously committed to your weight loss, which is brilliant. I’d just echo what others have said (and you’re obviously taking on board) that your calorie count is way too low.
Maybe you could try to aim for the 1800-2000 range to give yourself a bit more flexibility with meal planning. It looks like you’re eating a lot of heavily processed foods too, perhaps for convenience? I’d encourage you to try to get a bit more fresh meat and veggies fitted in.
Hope to see you around the forum. All the best!
Hey UnitedRed, I really have been committing to this diet through all of the issues its caused me so far and i aim to continue but obviously take on board what others have said about the amount of calories . And yes you are 100% right, the processed food is for convenience and i really want to try and incorporate and eventually replace these foods with fresh alternative. My only issue is im not much of a cook and I really benefit from knowing exactly how long to cook an item otherwise i feel as though i have to be eyeballing it 24/7. Not to mention it lasts a lot longer. I also wish you the best of luck on your journey 👍🙂
I know figuring out recipes can be tricky - I basically survives uni on frozen food. But you could try something like a fresh chicken breast fillet rather than frozen/breaded pieces? Most recipes say 20-25mins @ 180. You could do 30-35mins to be sure? Just rub it in a half teaspoon oil before it goes in and add a little salt & pepper or whatever herb/spice you like.
Hi Keyosophy, I wish you well with your weight loss however you you choose to tackle it. With you having mentioned processed food, I'm just offering this as something you might want to consider. Please take a look online at Dr Robert Lustig's series of videos called "The Skinny on Obesity" especially episodes 3 & 4. I found that switching to fresh, unprocessed food, cutting out the carbs especially sugar, and going back to eating more of healthy fats, I didn't count calories, I lost my hunger pangs and I began to lose weight too. Even if you are not a cook, please start to look at what is actually in the convenience foods, a scotch egg may be better than a sugary snack bar. Good luck.
Hi, I really do feel for you. However, you are young and hopefully have the resilience of the young..I looked at what you said you were eating and it looks quite processed ie ready meals, processed chicken, and cereal. My thought is this; by not cooking fresh, high-quality meat and veg, fruit, and salad for your meals you are not getting the feelgood factor of your food. High nutrient-dense food items are more likely to satisfy you both nutritionally and also psychologically. Good food feeds the soul. There is a lot of information out there on foods that are delicious and nutritious. Try a few and see what sticks would be my advice for eating. You could maybe ask your GP for help in seeing a dietitian? Do persevere and don't put too much pressure on yourself. You have a great attitude which I'm sure will help see you through this difficult time.
Welcome back, DLaing
If you are still wishing to lose weight and as a reminder, all of the information you need about the forum can be found in Pinned Posts healthunlocked.com/nhsweigh... and we hope you'll be joining all the Events, Challenges and Clubs that we run, especially a weigh-in and the daily diary.
We've found active participation to be key to successful weight loss and, of course, it's a good way to get to know people, find inspiration and share support and encouragement.
Wishing you all the best
I can't really comment on your GERD issue, but as regards your diet: honestly, it sounds like you're eating rather a lot of rubbish, as a couple of others have noted. Simply eating smaller amounts of rubbish is not going to get you where you want to be. You seem to have already taken this advice on-board, but since you are so young I'm guessing you've been eating bad food for your whole life, and it may be a very steep learning curve to negotiate as you transition to eating proper meals. Can I offer a bit of concrete advice?
I suggest stop stressing over calories - which are irrelevant to your predicament anyway - and focus on eating proper food. Vegetables, meat, eggs, dairy. Try to avoid things like rice, potatoes, and anything made with flour, at least for the time being. There's nothing wrong with these things, but your body is losing the ability to do anything useful with them; it's just stashing them away for a rainy day that never comes. Drop them for a while and everything will recalibrate. In particular your appetite will start working again, so you can just eat when you're hungry and stop when you're full.
Avoid all "diet" and "low-fat" foods like the plague that they are. They will not help you get to a healthy weight, and are more likely to make things worse. Cheese, bacon etc are perfectly healthy, as long as you're eating them with plenty of veg.
My only issue with "proper" food is that it takes a long time to prepare, goes out of date very quickly and is generally harder for me to find the calorie content on. I need to look at calories otherwise i will have no idea if i'm over eating or not as my appetite is all messed up from my deficiency. There was one day where i ate only 1,200 calories and that seemed like enough to me but i made sure to eat more. I also have to convince my mother to purchase these "proper" foods also as she has been buying frozen/processed foods now for my whole life. If i where in control of the food flow i would certainly try and change this but unless i monitor everything my mother buys she will carry on with buying these food as she is clueless when it comes to nutrition and food in general. I have tried multiple times to get her to buy fresh food but it is always met with "what kinds?" or "there's none in stock" as we do are shopping online now essentially. You're also essentially suggesting i completely drop carbs for now but that honestly doesn't sound like a good idea. I would then have to substitute this with more vegtables/meat which there is never enough of. All of this I need to think over and consider but this would require a complete uproot of my diet and i've told my doctors about my diet and they don't seem to think its that bad, maybe they are not listening or im telling it wrong but either way thank you for the advice.
Yes, it will require a complete about-face in your eating habits, and the way you prepare food. Did you really expect anything else?
A useful life hack here is to just eat the same meals. Have the same breakfast every day (bacon and eggs is a good choice). Pick three dinners that you enjoy stock up the ingredients, and just rotate through them each day.
Nothing wrong with frozen meat/veg, by the way. Just don't buy rubbish in packets.
Your best bet, I guess, is to take control of your own food supply (and your cooking). At 19 you really ought to be doing that anyway. It's an excellent first step to independence. Maybe just get your mum to allocate you a food budget. Or if you're feeling adventurous you could just tell her you'll learn to cook and prepare all the family meals! I'm guessing mum is also overweight and unhealthy?
Unfortunately a lot of people go into this assuming that they can just carry on with more-or-less what they're doing, except eating less. This does not work. The things that made you fat last year will still make you fat this year.
>> I would then have to substitute this with more vegetables/meat which there is never enough of.
Well ... yes. Then buy more. Don't worry about your appetite being "messed up". Of course it is. That's why you're overweight. The goal is to correct it, and if you eat as suggested, it will sort itself out very quickly. Generally within a matter of days. You will also start to enjoy it (especially when you see the flab falling away). When this happens you'll actually notice your appetite drops markedly, so you'll actually be buying less food.
Doctors, unfortunately, usually just repeat the party line about eating less and moving more. Partly this is because the nutritionists hold a lot of political power in the NHS and do not tolerate dissent; partly it's because most doctors haven't really thought it through, even though they have all the biological knowledge to put two-and-two together. They're just too busy thinking about other things to worry about why so many British people are overweight.
Anyway, if you find that calorie-counting doesn't work (and honestly, at 19, you don't want to waste too much time being overweight) I've given you another option to try.
Lots of assumptions made here but the spirit is there so thank you. Firstly i have competently uprooted my eating habits, my diet used to consist of Cornish pasties for lunch or mini sausages warmed up possibly, then i would have a larger dinner consisting of meat (Usually a burger) with a bun, chips and veg or beans. No breakfast and usually no sugary drinks or anything else calorific. Amazingly this would take me up to around 2000 a day as i checked on my calorie counting app.
The thing is I haven't been gaining weight for years, the last time i was properly gaining was when i was around 12, sitting on a computer 24/7 and eating large portions. Ever since the age of 14 my weight has been stagnant and since i haven't grown at all since then (19 now) my weight has been the same. "Don't worry about your appetite being "messed up". Of course it is. That's why you're overweight.".
My appetite may be messed up but i do believe it is due to the deficiency, it used to be more normal. I used to feel hungry for instance, the only reason i ate as much as i did was out of habit. I never chose to over eat as a 7 year old child, i was just given food and i ate it. That is now resulting in me having no self confidence and hating myself, not to mention all the health complications which may or may not be due to this.
You are 100% correct about my mother being overweight, she started to put it on just after i was born infact, so that was a nice foundation for my life going forward... I recall them saying that they used to feed me mcdonalds when i was less than 1 year old which honestly makes me sick. But i guess they did raise my brother and sister prior and did a good job regulating their habits as they both entered adulthood fit and healthy. This led me to have an inferiority complex of sorts always wondering why i didn't look like them but i digress.
One other thing, how the heck can bacon and eggs be a healthy breakfast? I don't mean that negatively just wanna know how you justify that, doesn't bacon and all kinds of ham have a but load of salt?
You're clearly committed to getting your eating habits right, but you're probably being held back by certain assumptions that just aren't true. Nutrition lore is built upon a squishy foundation of hearsay, badly-designed experiments, and stuff that people just made up.
I'll say it again because it's so important : "calories", or large portions, have absolutely nothing to do with weight gain. It's more to do with the sitting and the processed food - in other words, it's about the what rather than the how much. As for overeating, it's more accurate to say that people who are overweight will tend to overeat. "Overeating" is not the proximate cause of obesity.
2000kCal is a perfectly normal intake for a growing teenager. My nephew probably eats in excess of 3000kCal/day and he's solid muscle and about 9% bodyfat. Teenage male bodies can do that with ease, given enough exercise and proper food. He eats pretty much as I've described to you above: vegetables, meat, eggs, dairy. Minimal carbs. So do I, for that matter, although I'm 50 and despite not having his (or your) hormonal advantages I have about 12% bodyfat and visible musculature. I'm simply describing to you what works ... unfortunately the "why" takes quite a lot of explanation, but I can do that if you're interested.
All it boils down to is this: do you want to get this sorted now and enjoy your life, or do you want to experiment and watch the years pass by? If you're losing self-confidence, looking awesome is an excellent way to get it back.
Anyway ... to answer your question: sure, bacon has some salt in it. Three slices of bacon includes about 0.5g of sodium, which is the same as in four slices of bread. Reference daily intake should be roughly 3g/day, but it's not particularly important because your body will just excrete what it doesn't need. More importantly, bacon has a sensible amount of fat in it, which represents 'slow burn' energy ideal for a less-than-active lifestyle.
Humans regulate their salt intake the same as they regulate anything else, and you'll find that if you eat bacon and eggs like that you'll want to eat something non-salty on the side. Personally I add some salad leaves (because we grow them). You might want something more traditional such as fried tomatoes.
Eggs are one of the most nutritionally-complete foods you can get. Starting the day with 2-3 eggs and a slice or two of bacon will keep you going until lunchtime without the need for snacks.
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