20-Somethings - motivation plateau

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05-16-2008, 06:28 PM
it seems that i have hit a motivation plateau. about 4 months ago i completely changed my diet from moderately healthy, to mostly protein, whole grains and vegetables and started working out 6 times a week (4 days strength/cardio, 2 days cardio). i started off at about 135 and am now down to 130. however, i lost that 5 lbs about 2 months ago and have lost nothing since then. in addition, i dont seem to be gaining any strength and minimal increases in cardio endurance. i was wondering if anyone had any advice or motivation help. i just feel like quitting at this point. because i havent seen any results in about 2 months it just feels like a chore to wake up every morning and drag myself to the gym.

05-16-2008, 07:04 PM
I'm actually 30-something, so I hope it's alright for me to comment. I can understand your frustration. But my question is: do your clothes feel looser? It's really hard to go based on the number on the scale, even though I do the same thing! I've heard Oprah's trainer (Bob Green) say that when you're weight training, your body tends to hold onto water as it's getting adjusted and he actually said it takes about 2 months for that to improve. Ok, so that should make you feel like you're not just wasting your time. Also, had you been doing the same thing as before, you might be weighing more than when you started, so you're definitely helping yourself out.

However, do you know how many calories you're eating? Just because you're having more whole grains and veggies doesn't necessarily mean you'll drop weight. I've heard a weight specialist say that oranges are healthy, but if you eat 30 a day, you will gain weight. I'm not in any way suggesting that you're having that much food, but it's just a thought. Are you doing WW or calorie counters? You might want to consider doing something like that so that you'll know exactly what you're getting.

Also, I just read that studies show that people who workout tend to eat more because they justify it with the fact that since they burn more calories, it's alright to eat more, so they see less results. If you go on the exercise forum on here, you'll find the sticky that explains how cardio machines don't burn nearly as many caloreis as they say they do.

Finally, I would ask you what your'e doing for cardio? I highly recommend interval training. Maybe you already do this, but I thought I'd just mention it. Let's say you're on the treamill or elliptical machine and you start of slow. Then, you go 1 minute as fast as you possibly can and then, you slow down for another 2 minutes to catch your breath. You repeat this and it releases something in your body that makes you lose about 30% more weight. I read this a few months ago in Oprah magazine and in Women's Health magazine.

Most of all, please don't give up. You're not alone in this journey and it is a journey. Don't let 3 numbers on the scale make you give in because then, you'll definitely not reach your destination. Some people take a bit longer...so what? Sometimes, the longer you take to lose the weight, the more permanent it will be. Anyone here can do a fad diet and lose a bunch of weight, but we'll regain it and then some. You're obviously accomplishing a lot. Just tweak some things around and you'll soon see the results you want to see.

Best of luck to you! :)

05-17-2008, 12:36 PM
First of all, great job so far! I know it's tough, but I think that part of the "plateau" is our bodies' way of telling us that it needs a different routine. Try to mix up your workouts, or try something new - I don't know what you do now at the gym, but my gym offers a variety of classes (stationary cycling, kickboxing, yoga, etc.); maybe you can try a class or two? Swimming is also great exercise... Additionally, it might be a good idea to ask a trainer at your gym for advice.

Lastly, I would consider whether or not you are really pushing yourself to your limit during exercise. Weight loss will only come when you put all your energy into it.

05-17-2008, 01:16 PM
Time for some tough love.

Where exactly will quitting get you?

I've said it before, and I don't mind saying it again. Motivation is a fair-weathered friend. It's around when the going is good. It's there when we're in sight of what we want. But, when things are looking down, when we're struggling, when we feel like we just want to give up, where is motivation? Commitment is always around. Commitment to ourselves, to our health. Commitment is there with us, telling us that we have to continue with the way we're going. Instead of needing to be motivated each day to do things the best I can, I've committed myself to do the best I can. "I just don't feel like it" will not work on me anymore. Commitment continues on.

You're healthier and stronger now than you were 5 pounds ago. Do you really want to give that up?

If it feels like a chore now, how do you think it's going to feel when you're down at goal maintaining for years and years? Time to switch things up, time to try something you like doing. That you'd keep doing no matter what the scale says.

05-17-2008, 02:43 PM
ooooooooooooh Faerie I like that!! Remind me to come to you for tough love when I need it!