Weight Loss Support - I've lost 10 lbs this month - why does it (mentally) feel like I'm on a plateau?

02-24-2006, 01:28 PM
I've (supposedly) lost 10 lbs this month - why does it mentally feel like I'm on a permenant plateau? It feels like I'm in a constant battle with the scale, since it doesn't want to give me and obvious readings (my digital bathroom scale appears to have broken, and the doctor-style beam scale at the gym seems to change +- 10-20 lbs. depending on how you stand on it, where you stand, which way you lean, whether you have your arm up or not, etc.), and the head-games are making me weary.

And while my shape is changing (according to the tape measure), my pants haven't seem to have gotten any bigger in the last 4 weeks, and those ketone strips tell me I'm not metabolising any fat. :-(

I work out 3+ times a week (usually 3), 40 minutes on the elliptical, treadmill or stair-master, I weight train upper or lower body (on alternating work-out days) with weights, I try to swim 10 laps a week (usually all at once), and my calorie intake is averaging 1200 a day. I increased my nuts/good-fat, since my skin was getting dry, and replaced breakfast with a protein shake, since I wasn't getting enough protein/nutrients.

Everything says I'm doing it right, and I should be counting it all as success, but why do I feel like I'm in a permenant fight with my weight? Am I just impatient?

I think part of why I slipped in the first place and let a lot of the weight come back, is because I felt exactly like this. Depressed, frustrated, and weary of living like a monk. It felt like I'd always be at 185 and nothing I did was making me go less. I got down to 185, and stayed there for 5 years... the only time I went lower was when I stopped working out (and that was just a weight loss from muscle atrophy, I imagine). I just feel like I'm failing, even though I shouldn't.

Could somebody give me a kick in the pants? Does anyone else ever feel like they're failing even when they're not? :(

5'10", 30 years old, currently somewhere around 223 lbs

02-24-2006, 01:45 PM
I know it's tough dear, you just gotta keep trudging on though. I'm sure everyone feels that way sometimes. No one ever said weight loss was easy... on your mind or your body. Take a deep breath, look in the success forum for inspiration/motivation... and just let all of that bad energy flow out of you. Try switching up your exercise routine a bit... do something new and exciting that you enjoy. Try cooking new and exotic foods using healthy foods... it may not end up tasting very good but at least it'll have been fun to try.

02-24-2006, 01:45 PM
What your feeling is kinda illogical, but I've been there too :D

I'm not sure where the feeling comes from, but perhaps its that we make such a commitment to lose weight, we introduce exercise, we make massive changes to our eating plans, we come to websites, we think about it all the time, that sometimes the rewards don't seem to equal the effort we are putting in.

It took me 20lbs before my clothes started telling the story. However now after losing over 60lbs and dropping four dress sizes I am complaining about forever having to buy new clothes!!! No time to sew!!! Nowhere to plug the sewing machine in!!!

Your doing a fab job, and your helping all of us with your insightful, creative posts. You will do this, and it is going to take a long time to get to where you want to be, as it is for me. It's taken me over 12 months to lose 63 lbs, and I still think I have at least 18 months to go before I am anywhere near goal.

I am learning that it's ok for it to take a while. After all, once I get to maintenance, what is going to change??? Nothing, maintenance is going to look very much like weight loss.

02-24-2006, 02:24 PM
they're right. you are doing a great job. i too felt like i had plateau'd this whole month. i stayed at about 181. i started trying this zig zag thing and i upped my calories from about 1200 to anywhere from 1400- 1500 and drop them back down to about 1000 or 1100 on the low days and i've dropped 2 pounds. ***thank goodness***. But even without it dropping, i just told myself, all this walking on my lunch break gave me fresh air, a different environment than the floresent lights inside and helped my heart and lungs feel better. this is a liftstyle change, not a diet. it takes time for us to see the results we sooo long for. I look in the mirror 17 pounds lighter and wonder where it left from. because there is still so much fat on my body, i can't understand how anyone would ever want to see me without clothes. lol. but you can do it. just be patient. and this is a great place for inspiration and encouragement. make small goals for yourself. don't look to the long term, look to the short term. concentrate on some of the other physical and mental things you can tell are different. like how you look at food portions and how you feel after you excersize.

you can do it!!

02-24-2006, 02:35 PM
Have you considered replacing your scale? I only use one scale--my own--because the variation from scale to scale was large enough to give me no sense of whether I was losing, gaining, or holding steady. I also only weigh myself at the same time of day, always on an empty stomach, and always in the same clothes. I try to eliminate as many variables as possible.

These days, I'm trying to teach myself to judge my success based on performance, not results. If I'm sticking to my eating plan, keeping a food log, and exercising regularly, I'm a success, regardless of what the scale says, regardless of how my jeans fit. It's the only way to keep myself from giving up when I don't see immediate results.

02-24-2006, 02:40 PM
I guess most everyone here can relate to feeling like they're stuck on a plateau. The same sort of thing happened to me yesterday. I've lost 11 pounds (so far) but yesterday I felt like "where from? I can't tell any difference at all!" But you have lost. And you're more able to make good choices. You just have to remind yourself that even when your emotions are telling you that you're wasting your time and you should give up, your LOGIC tells you otherwise (you have dropped 10 lbs this month, after all!). Keep up the really good work, and you will start to feel thin very soon!

02-24-2006, 03:13 PM
:rollpin: I couldn't find a *kick in the pants* icon, so you will have to settle for a rollingpin on the head instead ;) lol

You're doing great! 10 pounds in a month! Think about it! :)

It's frustrating when we feel like we're at a stand still (even when we're not!) but as others have said, sometimes it's better to focus on performance rather than just results (although in your case, you have results too!) :)

It takes a while for a new lifestyle to become just a habit and simply a lifestyle. A lot of people sadly give up before their new habits become second nature to them. But you will get there! :) You just have to push through it and keep doing what you are doing. You are on the right path.

Everyone feels like this at one point. It's perfectly normal. So hang in there hun! :) It takes a bit of time to really start feeling and seeing the difference, but once you do, oh boy! you will be glad you stuck with it! :D

02-24-2006, 03:22 PM
You are doing awesome!!!!!

Even when the going gets rough, keep pushing and pushing. You are in control of this, not the evil voice we all have inside us that conjures up doubts and tries to crush our success. :hug:

02-24-2006, 03:30 PM
Thanks for the notes of encouragement. :hug: Yes, I think I'll go shopping for a new scale for home. One I can get nekkid on first thing in the morning that won't give me a reading of "ERR". :?:

I think maybe I'm a bit depressed because it's getting close to that time of the month and I just feel gloomy in general. Yes, the one side of my head is telling me "10 lbs!" but the other side of my head is saying, "But it feels like just yesterday we were 185... why aren't we back there yet already?" Of course that side of my brain isn't taking into consideration the 3 years since it's taken to put ON 50 lbs. :cry:

I also have a party I'm going to tonight that I'm dreading. (And while usually I'd just say, "Well then, I won't go," it's a post-wedding party for two very dear friends, so I really need to be there.)

I've been trying to load up on veggies and salad so I won't be hungry later, but so far it's not working - veggies leave me really empty. I was thinking I'd bring a shrimp-ring with me... then I'd at least have SOMETHING to munch on that's on my menu. I just don't feel ready to be bombarded by tables of pot-luck yet, though, whether my willpower has been good lately or not.

Because I've never really been a party person, I always found comfort in, "If I'm munching on stuff or grazing around the buffet table, people won't bug me to socialize or dance." Obviously, this isn't going to be the way to go... :nono: so I feel like I need a gameplan of some sort. :shrug:


02-24-2006, 04:17 PM
Oh, that time of the month will make anyone feel yucky. I felt like a whale last week. But! I'm usually a bit lighter after so I just remind myself I am bloated. Exercise usually helps make me feel better. I usually really don't feel like exercising when I'm feeling bloated or when I get cramps, but I drag my feet and do it anyway and usually end up feeling MUCH better once I'm done my workout.

Have a light meal before going with some protein and fiber! It will make you feel full longer and temptation will be much easier to resist. Grab a glass of water or some sparkling water mixed in with some juice when you are there (or even a regular drink, just sip it slowly), so you have something in your hands (to keep the dance invites away lol) Find the heathiest stuff on the table and pile it on your plate, that will leave much less space for the "bad" stuff :)

Maybe you could try getting out of your comfort zone a bit and give yourself a small goal to keep yourself from thinking about all the food on the table (if that's what you are really worried about) Like...say...introduce yourself to x number of new people, or...dance for x amount of minutes. You might surprise yourself and actually have fun! :) It's good sometimes to step out of our comfort zone for a little bit. Makes us feel younger :)

If you are shy, just remember that people LOVE to talk about themselves, so all you will have to do is stand there and listen and people will think you're really nice :D Let them do the talking! :)

If you get there and realize you really don't feel like being there at all, mingle a bit, chat with the people you are there to see and then call it a night. Say you have to go because you're really tired or something. They will be happy you showed up to see them and you will feel good about yourself for going.

02-24-2006, 04:28 PM
I felt that way, too!! Then a few days later I stepped on the scale and noticed I'd lost a few pounds. If it's near "that time of month" you're probably retaining water so it feels like you're heavier and not going anywhere. I do it, too. As far as the party, eat a healthy meal before you go and while you're there, if you're tempted by something ask someone if you can have a little taste. One spoonful tastes just as good as the whole thing :) But don't take one taste of EVERYTHING, lol!!


02-24-2006, 04:36 PM
When you feel defeated and frustrated, just think of me and be glad you aren't me. I've been trying to loose weight for seven, thats right, seven months and have only lost four pounds. But I refuse to give up. I have seen my body fat % go from 31% to 21% and I have gone from a size 16 to a size 12, but only four pounds on the scale, and that is on a good day. Sometimes, it's only 2 pounds. I have been to the doctor (tested my thyroid, it is fine), I have changed my eating ranging from 1100 calories to 1600 calories per day, change up my workout routine every 4-6 weeks but always do an hour of weights and 20-40 minutes of cardio at least four days a week. Nothing seems to work. I definately see muscles where I've never had muscles before and see changes in my body, but there is still a lot of fat that I need to get rid of. What I wouldn't give to loose 10 pounds.

02-24-2006, 06:23 PM
Busker: I get that feeling too, every time I do this "diet thing": that it's not fair, why do I have to suffer, why can't I just eat what I want, I'm sick of being "good" and losing nothing or losing just a half pound... I've been on some diet or another for about a quarter of a century now and have probably lost thousands of pounds. It sucks, it really does, but... I don't know what the answer is. Maybe we just have to remind ourselves that life isn't fair, after all. I've been thinking about starting a blog or even just a paper journal or something with a list of all of my reasons and writing something about one of them every day to keep myself reminded of why I'm putting myself through ****.... again.... 365 Reasons to Not Give Up, maybe? I'm hoping that will help when I eventually hit that wall again, because I know I will, I have done so with every diet I have ever been on since I was like 10 or so. And it makes me scared, knowing that it's coming whether I will it or no, even though right now, at the beginning, I'm feeling so very fine... Just... just don't give up, okay? Keep coming here, keep posting, keep reading, whatever it takes we'll all try to pull you through another day when you need it.

healthy2b: I'm sure you've been told this before but muscle weighs more than fat. There's a big difference between 190 pounds of beef and 190 pounds of lard. I read one of your other posts and with all of the exercise you're doing, what's happening is that you are actually losing a couple of pounds or so a week, but you are replacing it with an equal weight of muscle, therefore, no movement on the scale. Throw away your scale, that number is meaningless in your case. Here's a comparison; I have lost the same four pounds that you have. Have I dropped four dress sizes? Not by a long shot. I have moved from a hefty 26W to a svelte 26W. Nothing, nada, zip. Four pounds, no change in body fat, no change in inches, no change in even the fit of my 26W's much less an entire size. Throw away your scale and just look at the body fat % and the inches. Seriously, throw away your scale, lock it up in a closet or hide it under your bed, give it away, whatever... It is a hang-up that you do not need when you are doing so well with those other numbers. :hug: Quit focusing on the poundage!

Okay, I'll quit lecturing now!


02-24-2006, 11:54 PM
Thanks lala, I needed that!!

02-25-2006, 01:07 AM
Well, I'm back from the party. I brought a shrimp ring (ironically, my "diet buddy" in the corps brought one too) and ate salad, fruit and shrimp. There really wasn't any non-dessert that looked all that good, so I just skipped it. (I mean, I'm sure it was "good" but... it's all like casserole and lasagna type stuff, and it just didn't interest me). There were also these little slices of bread with broccoli and stuff in them. I decided to try a slice. It was so dull and bland, I didn't take more than a bite of it.

There were lots of goodies on the dessert table, and I did go up a couple of times with my hands behind my back just to look. But I couldn't even bring myself to use my weekly wildcard on anything. While it all looked good, if I got started, I wouldn't stop, and I'd rather use it tomorrow when I'm really hungry after a long day of walking the stores and scale-shopping.

Luckily, I thought ahead, and while I was at the grocery store getting the shrimp, I also picked up a couple of large bottles of my peach fizzy-water to bring with me. So, instead of chowing the entire time, after I finished my plate of salad/shrimp/fruit, I just started guzzling water. I went through 64 fl. oz... but it certainly helped me "just say no" to the desserts.

My diet buddy was there and says I'm looking good, which is an encouragement. Apparently he sees some change in me, even if I can't from the day-to-day. I figured nobody could tell even from week-to-week, but... :shrug: So, I'll take it. He's also very happy with how things are going with him, which is great, because I've been feeding him a lot of tricks/info.

My boyfriend has also complained (can you believe this? COMPLAINED) that his pants are getting too loose. I haven't done anything with him regarding encouraging him to diet, except we're not eating out as much, I suggest some activity on the weekends (walking around the stores, bowling, etc.), and we both "play" with the yoga ball to torment the dog (who's terrified of it). Also, he's started eating whole-grain wheat products to replace his usual bread-items that he likes, (waffles, toast, buns & rolls) and has replaced some of his cookie-snacks with my fat-free jello pudding cups and low-fat chewy-bars. Also, by "training" him to do some grocery shopping for me, he's not reading labels and trying to cut back on sugar-carbs.

I also convinced my friend in TX (by talking about what I was doing) to get back on the Weight Watcher's wagon. My dad has also dropped about 10 lbs since Christmas, and my sister has gone back to the gym.

So, I guess even if I'm feeling sorry for myself at the moment, I should look at the diet-by-association effect I'm having on some of the people around me and be proud. :hug: