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Could I Have Plateau'd Already?

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Old 03-22-2012, 01:22 PM   #1
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Default Could I Have Plateau'd Already?

So I am a little distressed about something.

I have gone from 280 (beginning 2010) to 260 (2011-2012) and at the beginning of 2012 I weight 253. I started counting calories January 1st of this year and I have (with a few exceptions) stayed on track. I currently eat 1600 (or fewer) calories a day (I believe I need 2000-2200 to maintain). From January to February the weight just melted off (it was fabulous) and I currently weight 234-230 (depending on the day, it fluctuates with water weight) lbs.

Beginning Mar 1st, I have added the gym to my routine. On, M/W mornings I am there doing cardio [elliptical (30), rowing (5), stairs (10), bike (10) or arc trainer (20) or treadmill <alternate walking [3] jogging (2)>]. Tu/Th, I go at night and do Cardio/Strenght [elliptical (30) or treadmill <alternate walking [3] jogging (2)> and other cardio. Machine weights [row, chest press, abdominal, etc. lifting enough weight that is it a strain to finish. I also do a Yoga class on Monday night that leaves my muscles super sore.

However, since around Feb 22nd (before I added the exercise) all weight loss has stopped. I am still eating around/under my calories and I am exercising like crazy (ok, for a 230 lb person who has never done it before crazy...)but I haven't seen any REAL loss I would expect with the added exercise. In the month since Feb 22 to Mar 22, I have stayed in the same 5 lbs and it is starting to distress me. I want to see my scale hit 229 (which hasn't happened yet!) and then 220, etc but it seems even though I am trying I am not losing anything.

I am also not losing inches because I have been measuring that as well. I do have hypothyroidism but at my last Dr.s appt (March 6th), the medicine I take has it completely under control.

I don't understand how I could have plateaued since I HAVE upped my activity level. Does anyone have any ideas? Or encouragement since this is bumming me out in a major "What is the point if it's not working" way?

Thanks!
S-R
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Old 03-22-2012, 02:16 PM   #2
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Don't get discourged! You're doing so fabulously! Really, S-R, you are. How do you feel? Do you feel good, energized, strong? Are you feeling on top of all your efforts and really pleased with what you've accomplished? Then don't let that freaking scale tell you that you're not! The point of what you're doing needs to be much more than just how much you weigh. You're on the road to a strong sense of wellbeing that will last a long time as long as you keep at it. You have to do it because you love life and want to live in a place of good health, free to enjoy life and not be tied down to all doubts and fears that go with being unhealthy. You gotta do it because you love yourself.

Our bodies, at times, do not cooperate with what we want, which is to see the lower number on the scale. Don't give up hope, because you're doing it right and eventually your body will comply. It will!

Also, there is some weight gain from newly-taxed muscles. If you're really sore, then you're going to retain some water for a week or so. That will eventually leave. You are building muscle now, so your body composition will change. You can't really add more than a pound of muscle per week ('cause you're not a teenage boy!), but still, it's growing. You'll start to see some changes in measurements in a couple months from the workouts.

If you want to tweak something more, then look at what you're eating. I'm not questioning your data, I just want you to really hack your diet for yourself. Are you weighing and measuring everything or eyeballing it? Is your diet full of fat-free, sugar-free processed foods? What's your macronutrient percentages?

Just some things to think about. Surely many more will chime in here. We're all to happy to hack your state of disappointment!
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Old 03-22-2012, 02:22 PM   #3
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I just want to add too that without a diet surplus, you are not going to build significant muscle. So while you will get stronger it's really hard for women to build much more than a pound of muscle a month and almost impossible to build muscle without going over your caloric maintenance.

Most likely, you are holding onto water. Don't worry, keep it up, the scales WILL move.
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Old 03-22-2012, 02:25 PM   #4
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In my experience, when I get comfortable in a weight loss routine, I tend to stop counting like I should - and that is when the excess calories start creeping back into my diet. Re-evaluate, make sure your calories eaten haven't snuck back up, and if you still don't know what's going on give it time. It might just be water weight, like Geoblewis said =)
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:04 AM   #5
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@Geo: Thanks, I know I should FEEL I am doing fabulously but the complete stand still has me...crotchety and on edge. Putting in all this work and not seeing a budge anywhere is driving me insane. As for feeling good, energized and strong? It is mostly tired, achy and grumpy. ^_^ I do feel pleased with what I have accomplished but it would be nice to see some "Tri" for my "Umph". lol

As for my eating, when I take something for lunch I weight and measure it. I eat the same breakfast every morning (100 cal English muffin with 1Tb PB and SF Jelly, delicious!). For dinner, it is generally a lean pocket or something I weight and measure out.

I am not sure about the macro nutrient percentages but I do use My Fitness Pal (srt4852 if anyone else wants to add me!) and I usually seem to be right on when it comes to their numbers.

@Madame Z: I keep praying I am holding on to water but, if I am, it never seems to go away. lol. I drink a lot of green tea with mint and water by the gallons (I drink very few other things) so it's possible?

@Chain: I am not comfy in this routine and I have not slacked on my calorie counting. I am actually rather paranoid about it (like I am going out to dinner tonight so I will be having broth for lunch so I can splurge. >_<). I will go back and double check though!

Thanks for the advice. It really is...upsetting. If I had dropped even once to 229 I would feel ok but I just seem so stuck. I assume other people have experienced this?
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Mini Goals: 4/16/14
Lose 10lbs (249 - 239) - 4.02% Loss
Completed a 5k in 2014
Log Calories/Food for 30 Days
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:40 AM   #6
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If you're also feeling miserable, maybe you have a food allergy? Peanuts, Milk and Gluten all sound like possible suspects.

Also, how many processed carbohydrates are you eating? When their fiber content is stripped those end up as sugar in your digestive track - which gets used up quickly and will leave you tired and grumpy. They will also shoot up your insulin, which among other things, encourages your fat cells to take sugar out of your blood (where it's potentially toxic in high quantities) and store it.

Last edited by Chain : 03-23-2012 at 10:10 AM.
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