Ok, depressing morning this morning, with a +1 weigh in for the week.
Got down to 221 last week, then spent this week bouncing between 222 and 224.
Whipped out the old fitday spread sheets-- usually when immediate progress is slow, I can make myself feel better looking at the long term.
So, here is the incontrovertible long term fact: my weight loss rate has slowed from 10lbs a month initially to :( 3 lbs a month :( for the last two months.
That is in spite of adding both running and lifting to my exercise routine and being as good as ever about weighing, measuring, and eating on plan...
I'm such a freaking angel that I even baked a chocolate cake during the blizzard and never even licked the spoon.
According to the Mayo Clinic calculator, my caloric need to maintain at my age, weight and activity level is 2050, and that's if I classify myself as "active" which I am, but just barely... so I'm realizing that shooting for a 2 lb a week loss is probably not realistic-- I'd have to drop my calories to 1050, and or increase my activity level even more-- neither seems very realistic.
I truly don't understand why this is happening, and I've been trying to keep the old chin up, but 3 lbs a month!!!???? A whole year to drop another 35 pounds? I mean, not that I wouldn't be thrilled to drop another 35 pounds, but it just seems SO SLOW for someone who is so careful about keeping with the plan.
Middle aged losers.... is this normal???
02-14-2010, 11:09 AM
One, everyone that starts at 300ish seems to get depressed around 220ish. On one hand, you've (and I've, and about six other people posting here in the exact same spot) have done something incredible, something amazing, but on the other hand, we're still fat. It's depressing. Apparently this is normal.
Here are a couple things I'd remember:
1) The choices are not 3 lbs like this or 10 lbs a month while starving. Cut 150 calories a day (or 300 calories every other day) and exercise a bit longer or at a slightly raised intensity (gradually!) and you could lose 5-8 pounds a month. It's not 10, but it's not 3!
2) As you lose weight, each pound is a higher % of your weight. Remember when you went from 295 to 275 and no one noticed? (At least it happened that way for me). Twenty pounds now is 10% of your body weight AND, since you have lost all the "easy" fat--the stuff that went on last--it's 10% of your body weight in those last stubborn areas. Even if you are losing 5 lbs a month from here on out, you'll see just as dramatic of changes in non-scale areas as you were seeing before.
3) You'll start looking "normal" long before your goal--at 5'8", 190 looks nice in anything-- and in cleverly chosen clothes, 190 looks great, like "doesn't need to lose anything" great. So while you'll know at that point that you still want to lose 15 lbs, everyone else will think you are done, and you'll certianly love looking in the mirror.
4) If, when you were at 295, someone had offered to make you 220 in Febuary and promised you'd lose 3-5 libs a week after that, you'd have squealed in delight. I know it's not a great comfort, but it's something to remind yourself of.
02-14-2010, 11:44 AM
Middle aged losers.... is this normal???
Well there is no such thing as normal. We're all different. You may even be different than yourself from month to month. Okay that was confusing. Just because you've gotten a 3 lbs loss 2 months in a row, which by the way is nothing to sneeze at, doesn't mean that it will continue that way.
So you've been sticking to plan - which in and of itself is reason to celebrate. Another two months gathering up great habits and making them stick.
Okay. So you're sticking to plan. May I ask you what exactly that plan IS? Is it perhaps in need of a little tweaking. Again, not that there's anything wrong with 3 lbs a month and again not certain that you will continue to lose in that fashion, but why not let's take a look and see if we could give a tweak here and there?
02-14-2010, 12:59 PM
I totally understand and am coming to terms with what seems like the fact that my loss is also going to be a little slower than I might prefer. But while 60 lbs would be better, it will still be great if I finish up in February 2011 weighing 30 lbs less than I do right now.
I'm trying to look at my current lifestyle as my permanent one. I'm much more active and eat so much better than I did even six months ago. I've seen improvement in my lab work so I know I'm getting healthier overall, not just smaller. I'm sure that is the same for you too.
But I would also guess that 3 lbs isn't necessarily a permanent number, just like 10 lbs wasn't. Probably in a couple of months, you'll see that your body has changed again and you are averaging a higher loss each month.
I know we all wish it really were just as simple as calories in vs. calories out, and we had that much power and direct control over the scale. But you have to focus on all the stuff you are doing right, and know that you will get there when you get there.
02-14-2010, 01:25 PM
Well, I hit a few low poundage months, while staying on plan. Most of the back end of last year, I was averaging maybe 3.5-5 pounds per month, which was a definite step down from the 7-8 pounds I'd been losing a month in the six months or so before that, which was WAY down from the 10-15 pounds per I knocked off in the first eight months.
And then I just knocked off something like 11 pounds in the last five or six weeks. I did drop a couple hundred calories from my weekly average, but, still, I've been by no means starving myself. I HAVE been really strict with my accounting, and very particular about what I eat, but my exercise has been about the same. My mid-December to mid-January plateau was partially self-induced for a few days around the holidays, but even after I knocked that nonsense on the head (and I didn't go insanely off the rails, by any means) there was a solid three weeks of me being incredibly strict with myself, and nothing happening, before the loss streak I just finished with (hello, premenstrual water retention!) kicked in.
OK, I'm just one early 40s woman, but I do think some of my slowdown wasn't from me being sloppy -- I really HAVEN'T been very sloppy at all -- but I think a lot of it has been a matter of me being at so much lower a weight now that I just don't burn as many calories lugging my butt around. I was running huge calorie deficits for the first part of the project, but those deficits have shrunk along with me, and it just plain takes more time to lose weight now, I think.
Hang in there, though, because you are doing GREAT.
02-14-2010, 02:10 PM
I'm definitely in the middle-aged group, started this project at age 49 and a half and am 50 now.
I know for many, many people here that their weight loss is 80% food/20% exercise. However for me, my eating was actually pretty good, just needed a bit of tweaking. What made the difference for me was increasing my exercise gradually from 3 hours per week to 6. So for me, the rate of loss has actually been increasing slightly as time goes on. I think this is because I'm fitter so am likely burning more calories per same hour of activity (for example,swam laps yesterday for 75 mintues, which I was also able to do 6 months ago but now swimming probably 40% more laps in that time).
However, I have been holding my breath a bit waiting for the stall as I know that the lower body weight means that daily activity is now likely not burning as many calories. After all, even when all I did was walk to the mailbox on the corner, I was lugging an extra 70 lbs. around.
02-14-2010, 02:17 PM
Shmead a lot of what you say makes sense, and it's true that I would be happy and delighted to get to 190 lbs. I'm hoping this is just a temporary slowdown and not a permanent state of affairs!!
Robin, my plan, in a nutshell, is 1200 calories a day. There are days I go down to around 1000 to 1100 and there are times when I go up to about 1350, but most days I manage to stay about 1200.
Breakfast I eat bread, peanut butter and half a banana, and generally lunch and dinner are both lean proteins (almost always either chicken breast or fish) and veggies. Sometimes I substitute bean-based soups. I cook most of my food from scratch and bake my own bread. I ALWAYS weigh my bread to make sure I don't get too much. If I go up to the higher end of my calories it's usually due to more carby veggies, like yams or squash, or a second serving of bread in my day. I usually eat half a banana and one to two apples daily, but I stay away from a lot of fruit. I don't add any fat when cooking except for PAM.
Exercise: I exercise 5 days a week. (I work two days a week-- 12 hour shift + more than one hour commute, so I usually don't exercise on those days...although sometimes I manage to fit in the treadmill at home.)
I started with half hour swimming, then upped to 45 minutes, then started alternating swimming with run/walk on a track, and now am doing more run/walk. Started weight training with a personal trainer one month ago and now lift 3x week. Am on week4day2 of C25k.
Where are my weaknesses? When I'm not working out, I don't have a very active lifestyle.... I work "day job" on weekends and mon-fri I work for myself which requires long hours at the computer.... so I don't spend as much time doing normal lifestyle activities like housework and shopping as stuff. Have a project due March 30th, so right now, a lot of desk time!!
Catherine I'm glad to know you are losing faster again!!! That gives me hope. Around the holidays, I could see that a few off plan days might have been responsible for the slower December loss, but since January, I've been such a paragon-- I'm just as strict now as I was before, and in fact, I still pretty much eat the same old stuff. My diet is fairly dull....
I *feel* like I'm due for a whoosh. All the signs are there!!!
Peanuts The one good thing I can say about all this is that 8 months in to my total lifestyle overhaul, I can definitely say that a few weeks of not getting the scale results I want doesn't change what I DO and that is a HUGE triumph for me!!!
02-14-2010, 03:06 PM
uber, there was a point several years ago when I had lost to 170 lbs. I was running, walking, swimming, lifting, etc. I could NOT get below that point, and eventually I derailed (this is a "shame" for me, btw - I was SO close- but I am on guard and won't derail again).
The thing is, my body refused to lose, period, because I wasn't eating enough to support working out that hard.
I don't know if that is your situation or not, but I noted the similarity in calories and workout plans and thought I'd speak up. Hope it helps -
02-14-2010, 03:45 PM
The thing is, my body refused to lose, period, because I wasn't eating enough to support working out that hard.
You see that's the thing - there really is no way to know for CERTAIN that that (not eating enough) was why you weren't losing.
Even if we are doing the same things for months on end with little results and then all of a sudden we change it and then the scale starts going down, there really is no way to know if the CHANGE is why all of a sudden the weight starts to drop. It would *seem* as if that's the reason, but again - how can we be certain? Well we can't be.
uber, sounds to me like there isn't much room to tweak. Unless of course you want to experiment with giving up that bread for a few weeks and adding in some more veggies or low fat proteins in it's place. It *may* move things along, it may not. I for one have a terrible time with grains, even the whole grain variety. For me, it just wreaks havoc with my weight.
I think we've spoken about this before, but perhaps you'd like to add in some activity during your work day.
You certainly are adhering to a healthy lifestyle and I could understand your frustration by the slow-ish response the scale has been showing you. But I too think you are bound to have a whoosh soon! Keep up the amazing work! The weight may be stubborn, but you are far more stubborn and a lot wiser. :)
02-14-2010, 03:51 PM
Same here...I lost 3 lbs last month, and nothing yet this month....all this while eating 1500 calories a day and adding a half hour of exercise a day. I haven't exercised in three days, and yesterday, I went completely off plan....frustrated as heck... Well, now here I am back...on the wagon, I think I am going to try eliminating bread...it is home baked whole grain, and I always weigh it, but somehow, I am starting to think that it could be resposible for the big slowdown...time will tell...I guess all we can do is keep trying.
02-14-2010, 03:55 PM
I suppose that's true, Robin; it is just the conclusion that I reached after I accounted for all the other variables.
02-14-2010, 04:36 PM
See, when I do the math, I don't see how eating too few calories could be the cause....
Think about it this way. According to the mayo clinic calculator, a woman of my age and weight needs 2050 calories to MAINTAIN, so even at 1200 calories, I'm only getting a 800 calorie deficit, and if I eat a little over without realizing it, then I'm only going to get a 500 calorie deficit-- a pound a week. If I exercise less, Mayo says I can maintain on 1700 calories!
Caryesings I agree that exercising is really important-- but for me the food piece was a bigger challenge. I used to stop on the way to work and buy three large danishes and eat all of them! I guess I always assumed that all I'd have to do was stop eating that way and the weight would just fall off. I used to be very active and athletic, but by the time I got to 295, I certainly didn't move much at all.
Robin one of the things I've been thinking about is to switch off my breakfast to something more protein-oriented... I guess I'm sort of afraid to do that because my breakfast has become, in my mind, the ritual start to another good day, and I sometimes fear that if I fiddle with something that's working it will start me into that slow spiral. That fear is probably irrational, but I live with it nonetheless. Meanwhile, I need to set my alarm on my computer to say: BEEP: ROCKIN ROBIN SAYS GET UP AND MOVE FOR TEN MINUTES. I think that might help, but I get so immersed in work I forget.
02-14-2010, 04:52 PM
Have you tried eating close to 2050 calories once or twice a week? The theory, according to a dietician friend of mine, is that if you keep your calorie intake at a really low level all the time, your metabolism will slow way down, whereas if there's an occasional spike in your calories, it'll "trick" your metabolism into staying higher. This doesn't, alas, mean double chocolate cake several times a week, though.
02-14-2010, 05:17 PM
I think that esp. if you tend to eat the same thing every day, little tweaks can sometimes seem to reset things. So I don't mean changing your entire breakfast or even playing around with your calorie target.
But for me, I started adding a couple of hardboiled egg whites every morning. Plus I added back in grapefruit, which I had been eating consistently and then stopped. I'm not saying that grapefruit itself makes you lose weight, but maybe for me, it somehow balances my diet to make me burn calories more optimally? In any case, I had a 3 lb week after changing this, without changing my daily calories, just making slightly different food choices. This week won't be as high, but should be another.5-1 lb, which is good for after a big week.