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TOM weight and 3-week long plateaus

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Old 04-07-2014, 01:35 PM   #1
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Default TOM weight and 3-week long plateaus

At the beginning of February I started writing my weight on the calendar every morning. I've noticed a pattern over the past two months, though maybe this isn't long enough to make assumptions. Anyway, about 5 days before my TOM I put on 3-5 lbs. During, I plateau or jump back and forth between losing and gaining the same couple of lbs. The week afterwards I am re-losing the 3-5 lbs I put on. Then the next 2 weeks after that I can start losing more weight again. Then the cycle repeats. I lost 6 lbs overall during 2 weeks in Feb and again during 2 weeks in March. The rest of those months were spent regaining, plateauing, and relosing weight. It's kinda like lose 3, lose 3, gain 5, lose 0, lose 5, repeat.

It bums me out that I can only see the numbers go down for about 2 out of every 5 weeks. I don't seem to drop any extra weight after TOM. It makes me feel kind of helpless, knowing that I'm going to put on all that PMS water weight and can't do much of anything about it and my weight won't drop back down for weeks. I used to think I was doing something wrong in my plan, how some days I could get in a great exhausting workout and eat well and still gain 1 or 2 lbs overnight.

How do you get over this hopeless feeling? I'm starting to feel like it's not worth exercising harder and eating right when it doesn't seem to accomplish anything during those 3 weeks. It's like, why am I eating kale and doing toning and cardio if I'm just gonna gain weight anyway? How much difference would it make if I stopped exercising? Would I put on weight if I didn't continue what I'm doing during those weeks? Maybe this is why I manage to regain weight so fast. Is it normal to hold onto weight that long? I turned 30 in December and I feel like I lost weight more easily 2 years ago, but I don't know what my patterns were back then.
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:08 PM   #2
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But it's still going down, right? Slowly, but it is?

I've fought a similar pattern myself and the only thing that keeps me at it is reminding myself that if I stop I'm only hurting myself. Also, the idea of "giving up" brings up another question. Does that mean that you think at some point you can quit doing what you're doing? (Eating good and exercising) Because if so, you're going to end up regaining. The best thing you can do is look at it as a permanent change and keep going regardless of the scale.
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:57 PM   #3
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It's good to know your patterns. I gain and stall out until TOM starts, lose some of the water weight and then stall out during ovulation. So really, that takes half my month away right there. But I'm still losing, and that's all that matters.

I recommend graphing your weight (most fitness apps do this), so you have visual confirmation that it's trending downward.
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Old 04-07-2014, 04:05 PM   #4
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That's why tracking weight patterns is so important. What if you only weighed yourself sporadically? You would get all frustrated.

By knowing your patterns, you can predict when you will see the whoosh if you have been on plan. TO get that whoosh, you have to be on plan, of course, but after being on plan for 3 weeks, you get this HUGE reward!

In the end, you are losing the same amount of weight, it just doesn't get reflected on the scale daily.

I have a similar pattern, though at different times of the month... and now that I'm 44... it's not like clock-work like it was in my 30s.
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Old 04-07-2014, 04:19 PM   #5
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circa - it's possible that your plateauing is related to a need to switch up your routine. I agree with the above posters that you should keep tracking your weight methodically, but also suggest that you try to switch things up with both your exercise and your diet. Everyone is different when it comes to weight loss. While there are definitely guidelines for weight loss (diet and exercise being the most basic ones), some people need to put in more effort or create more variety in their routines in order to see progress.

I am one of those people. If I only do cardio I plateau after the first five pounds, for example.

Best wishes! Don't give up.
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:07 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advice, everyone. I'm gonna start graphing my weight. I wouldn't mind putting on the water weight as much if it didn't take so long for it to come back off or maybe if I saw some extra lbs come off with it. I think I'll still get bummed when I hit weight gain mode again, but maybe if I think of those weeks as exercising and eating healthier for necessary maintenance instead of for loss then it won't be as upsetting.

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You may be right about mixing it up. I eat a small variety of foods, and I guess it gets a bit repetitive. We have lots of different workout tapes and dvds at home, but I tend to gravitate towards certain ones. I prefer aerobics and jogging. Now I'm starting to work in more toning exercises. I'm gonna try to switch it up much more often.
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:38 PM   #7
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You've lost 18 lbs.! No matter what happens week to week, you are LOSING! Focus on the good and not so much on all the ups and downs of getting there. Just keep going and congratulations on your progress so far!
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