Weight Loss Support - I'm discouraged...please help

View Full Version : I'm discouraged...please help

02-02-2006, 06:11 PM
I am new and was hoping there would be someone who could give me some suggestions. I am 43, mother of 4 (23,21,19,17) and wife of 25 years. Six months ago I decided I was tired of being fat (194 lbs and 5'8) and hired a trainer and began an exercise program. I lift weights Mon. (legs)w/ 20-30 min cardio , Tues. (back, chest and shoulders)w/ 20-30 min cardio, Thurs. (biceps and triceps) w/ 20-30 min cardio and Fri. 30-40 min cardio no weights. I also do abs 3-4 days a week. I have seen some change, flatter tummy, lost 3 inches in my hips and 3 inches in my waiste but no weight loss,(still at 194 after 6 months) that doesn't seem like much for all of the work I have done. :?: I confess that my diet has not been the greatest but I have started keeping track on fitday.com and it looks like I should be loosing according to fitday. My intake in calories is usually 1700-1800 and my calories used is usually 3000-3500. My trainer said he has never seen anything like it...so I had a check-up and had my thyroid tested. It checked out, so that isn't the problem. I am getting soooo discouraged. Can anyone help me with some suggestions.

02-02-2006, 06:29 PM
I experience this too. I think you might just be putting on a lot of muscle with all that strength training. The muscle will help you burn more fat. I started a weigh-in and measure-in thread in the success stories forum. I did this on Tuesday precisely for the problems you are having. Even though your weight, (which is just that, weight), may not being going down, inches lost is great! So join us. Tomorrow is day 1 of the weigh-in, measure-in. Keep at it. Maybe all at once, you'll start dropping the pounds, until then, don't cheat yourself the satisfaction of knowing you are successful and you are doing great! Seeya tomorrow!;) :hug:

02-02-2006, 06:32 PM
Well, your body is DEFINITELY changing since your body SIZE is changing! I think maybe you might want to take a break from the scale as a yardstick for your success--you're certainly experiencing success in other ways. I'm 46 myself so I know the metabolic challenges possible at "this time" in our lives too :) It can make for slow going sometimes!

Have you and your trainer discussed possibly changing up your routine? More cardio? Some people on these boards lose weight best with weights, and other people lose best with cardio, cardio, cardio.

The only other thing I might comment on is that if you're really muscular, you might not have THAT much weight to lose. My girlfriend is 5'8" and she can carry 175-180 pounds and she is like a brick! She is exceptionally fit and healthy at that weight (definitely a mesomorph). Your body is clearly converting fat to muscle right now and at some point, the weight too will probably start to drop....but don't let yourself get too enslaved by the scale as a measure of success because you're definitely doing something right!

02-02-2006, 06:32 PM
If you have lost inches then you have lost fat. With the weight training, you will have gained muscle. Has your trainer measured your body fat? Body composition is a more accurate indicator of fitness and size. True, I would think you'd have lost SOME "weight," as it would be unusual for a woman to put on that much muscle. Still, you are getting smaller, and that's the real goal, isn't it?

It's good that you're getting your thyroid checked -- it'll be interesting to hear what your doctor says about this. I wouldn't change anything just yet until you hear what they have to say.

02-02-2006, 06:35 PM
I would suggest adding more cardio to your plan. Cardio is the fat burner, strength training is the muscle builder. I went through something similar last year, I was doing more weight training than cardio and losing weight very slowly but dropping dress sizes. After my yearly with my trainer this month, turns out I had lost 12 lbs of fat but gained 6lbs of muscle. Fat and muscle weigh the same but are vastly different in size, there is a great picture of fat vs muscle here (http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=17582) , you should check it out to give you some perspective.

Get with your trainer about increasing your cardio and let us know what happens, good luck!

02-03-2006, 04:16 PM
Thanks everybody, I appreciate the input. To answer some of your questions....yes my trainer changes my routine every 4 to 5 weeks and he has done the fat check with the calipers every time the routine changes. My body fat has decreased so I know that things are changing, I guess I just need to be more patient. Sooner or later as long as I don't give up I should see some changes in the scale.

02-03-2006, 04:34 PM
Post us a link for yur fitday Healthy2b. We'll have a look at your diet and that miserable exercise calculator. More people find that part of fitday frustrating ...

02-03-2006, 04:39 PM
Here's my link to fitday. I know I need to get more protein....can anybody suggest a good protein drink? Thanks


02-03-2006, 04:56 PM
I get pro-rated brand at Costco. It's cheap and tastes fine to me. I always make my own shakes. This is my new favorite after workout shake--tastes just like orange julius and with my modifcations is about 181 calories and 18 grams of protien. You could up the protein by using a full scoop of powder.

Blend together in blender or with handblender

1/2 an orange,
1/4 banana
3/4 of a scoop protein powder
1/4 serving blue bunny carb control yogurt
3 ice cubes
enough water to blend
Splenda to taste (or erythritol--that's what I use)

But any protein drink tastes ick just mixed with only water. I always make shakes of some sort. My favorites are egg nog shake, orange julius shake (listed) and chocolate supreme shake. I like orange julius for work outs because it has a nice fruit sugar boost for my energy levels and a good protein boost to build muscle, plus it tastes very fresh like Jamba Juice! My kids beg for these.


02-03-2006, 05:05 PM
There's a thread somewhere about clean foods and the food lists are good at bodyforlife.com

02-03-2006, 05:21 PM
Thanks for the info.

02-03-2006, 05:30 PM
I'd say too, not to pay too much attention to how many calories FitDay says you are burning (basal, and through exercise). It never pans out for me, and if I went by FitDay I'd have lost like 50 lbs now. I put myself at a bed-bound activity level for my basal, but even then I think it overestimates how much I need to maintain (especially if I was really bed bound). Just work on your exercise, and eating healthy. Maybe 1700-1800 calories is too much? Or maybe you just need to stick with closely calorie counting for a couple weeks and go from there? I try not to focus too much on the scale (unless I've gained) and set other eating and exercise goals for myself, ones I know I will have to do for the rest of my life. Good luck, I know you will see results if you stick with it!

02-03-2006, 07:29 PM
Also in my 40s. I started about the same weight as you (and I'm 2" shorter!), also 6 months ago - and have the same calorie deficit as you, also according to FitDay.

I have PCOS (which makes weight loss 3-4 times slower than for other women), but in 6 months I've lost just over 30lb and 6" off waist, bust, hips and thighs.

Bottom line is: exercise is a waste of time if you don't simultaneously take the diet totally in hand. It's not just the calories, but where they come from. I've lost painfully slowly - and exercise 50-60 minutes 6 days out of 7. But I doubt I'd have lost anything without taking the diet in hand too. Especially given the expense of a trainer, it does seem a waste of money if you haven't totally overhauled the way you eat?

I don't think 0lb weight loss over that period of time can be accounted for by muscle gain - as you'd also be burning fat, and probably at a faster rate than growing muscle. I've gone in precisely the same period as you, from couch potato to runner/cyclist/dancer/yoga, you name it! Starting same time, similar age, same weight - and I've plateued for whole months at a time, since July - and when I've lost, maybe only half-1lb a week. I've been on 1400-1600 cal a day (started at the higher end), and according to FitDay I'm well over 3000 cal expenditure every day.

I'd look at diet far more rigorously and then if no change after another month, maybe get checked out for underlying medical conditions but as I say even given severe PCOS, I've found weight loss to be possible. Exercise alone won't do it. Diet alone is unlikely to do it, or do it so well. You do need both and spending time and money on exercise is a waste of time and money if you haven't paid the same attention to detail to what you eat.

I haven't bothered low carbing, just simply eaten low fat and whole foods, plenty of treats thrown in and despite that have lost - albeit slowly. So I suspect you maybe need to be a lot more rigorous. Start with changing nothing - keep a food diary (honest one) for a week and see what's going on. You're probably eating more cals than you think - and you're also possibly eating unhealthily even if you're within the calories.

02-03-2006, 08:42 PM
I was about the same age and weight as you when I started my weightloss journey. Exercise is fantastic, but cleaning up your nutrition is key. Personally, I would ignore how many calories you think you are burning. To lose weight, I could never eat more than about 1400, even when I weighed 180. I probably ate considerably less while I was in my "lose it NOW" stage, but I wasn't counting calories so I don't know the exact numbers. I was exercising at least that much.

I'm a trainer, and I've seen this... and I think you are answering your own question right here:
I confess that my diet has not been the greatest

Ultimately, it's why I "couldn't" get below 135 for 2 1/2 years in spite of daily cardio and daily lifting. I wasn't being completely honest with myself about my diet. It's why I have 2 clients in the same situation. Don't believe the "calories burned" numbers or the lifestyle calories in fitday....Your body may not be burning calories or processing certain nutrients in an average manner.

Sorry if this sounds harsh, and you do deserve to be proud for sticking with the exercise! You are doing your body a world of good, and you already know that you are slowly changing your body composition, which is what we are all aiming for. But if you truly want to lose the fat, you need to clean up your eating.

I doubt that you are gaining massive amounts of muscle. Unless you have hormonal problems, it's just not possible. Some...5-10 pounds at most...but you can be losing a whole lot more fat that that at the same time.


02-03-2006, 10:21 PM
I agree with Mel and the others who have trouble losing when following Fitday. It told me I should have been losing for as much as I was eating vs. burning, but it wasn't so.

My experience with exercise is that exercise alone does not make a person lose weight. There has to be some kind of food plan--otherwise it's too easy to think, "Oh, I do all this exercise, I can have some XXX if I want." Been there, watched the scale go up. Of course, it is a plus to have a strong, well toned body at any weight! But if I want to lose weight, I have to watch the intake as well.


Down 16 pounds in 4 months.

02-07-2006, 01:50 PM
Okay....so I guess I'd better work on the diet!!!!! Not really a diet but what and how I eat. I have been so focused on the exercise part that I haven't put enough energy into what I eat. Thanks to everyone for their input. It helps to have feedback from you all.