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Old 12-23-2008, 04:44 AM   #1
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teawithsunshine's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 671

S/C/G: 307/lost 140+ lbs/125

Default gaining muscle & it sucks! (sometimes)

I know I shouldn't complain. I'm still losing weight (barely this week).

It's just... I can feel my legs and other parts of my body gaining muscle. I luv how I feel and I'm contemplating adding winsor pilates on a daily basis for my stomach/legs and buy some dumbbells for working on my arms-- both as a means to help keep going in weight loss & building strength.

*I'm also eagerly waiting for my order of Mari Winsor's Coreplus Reformer to come in from amazon.* Her product's featured online at fitness magazine so it's easy to google

**what should I start out with for the arms? three or 5 lb dumbbells? or heavier?**

I'm just totally frustrated today. Hear me out, I have been losing inches (that's obvious by 2 reasons: one, my pants get looser each week. Two, I'm getting more compliments from strangers/friends in the last few weeks asking if I've lost a lotta weight (the answer would be an honest yes, if I go waaaay back to the summer it'd be 50 lbs or a bit more).

I've been forced to go on the treadmill in my house the past week due to the ice/snow that's blanketed my city (and seems it'll continue for another week or so, ugh), instead of being able to walk outside.

So I've been doing challenging things... incline, speed changes, etc etc.

I've been careful on counting my calories (2 to 4 servings of veggies at breakfast, lunch, dinner /choices of eggs or chicken or turkey or salmon at each main meal & yes I'm fully aware of portion size since I have a weight scale & calorie book. *I also check the internet when I come across a food item I'm not sure I can find in my calorie book before eating.* I also vary my snacks of nuts, olives, fruit, etc-- no junk food whatsoever).

I drink a LOT water consumption (okay herbal tea in this cold weather, but PLAIN with no sugar/milk/cream, etc), at least 8 glasses daily if not 10 glasses or a little more due to where I work & am on my feet all day.

I got on the scale today and it's only ... a .... dang ... 0.6 lb weight loss for this week. I guess I flipped my lid because its 202.4 lbs and da*n it, I was hoping to get to 199 by New Year's A part of me just wanted to cry of frustration here when I saw that number on the scale.

Sigh. I luv feeling new muscles and all, but when am I gonna see more of a weight loss than this? why gain muscle if it doesn't do squat (or not a lot) for a chickie after 4 weeks of a slow dripping weight loss on the scale?

This is just a dumb, discouraged, frustrated rant.

Am I completely stupid?

Feels like it's going to take a dang lot longer to get to my target weight goal if this keeps up .........
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Old 12-23-2008, 06:11 AM   #2
Gone, baby, gone
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Sunapee, NH
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S/C/G: 274/212.6/134

Height: 5'1"


Ahhh! I know how frustrating it is to just see the small weight losses, but as someone here once said - the number on the scale is not the only means to measure success, just the most convenient. As you said, you can tell you're losing inches, and that's wonderful! And 50 pounds since the summer? Awesome!

Also, sometimes I know my body takes a "break" from losing weight. I may still see a .2 loss or even a .2 gain. I know that I'm still "losing", but not at the rate I think I should. Mainly, because weight loss isn't linear. Just because I burned 3,500 calories this week doesn't necessarily mean I see the 1 pound loss on the scale (unfortunately!!) What does sometimes happen for me, is I'll see the little numbers for a couple of weeks, and then I'll see a larger drop!

Good luck with your New Year's goal - that's my goal, too, and I've decided not to beat myself up over it, if I don't see it until early-mid January. I decided that enjoying myself in moderation for the holidays is more important than a number on the scale.
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Old 12-23-2008, 07:54 AM   #3
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 10,498

S/C/G: Lost 50 lbs, regained some

Height: 5'3"



It's very unlikely that muscle gain is slowing your weight loss, especially if you're female. Women just can't gain muscle mass that fast.

Keep doing what you're doing. Don't go off the rails because of a slowdown. You may or may not get under 200 by January 1, but you have a better chance of getting there eventually if you stay with your plan. It's not a race, and the body doesn't care about calendar dates.

If you haven't already found the 3FC weights forum (for lifting and resistance exercise), here's a link:


Hang in there!

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Old 12-23-2008, 08:12 AM   #4
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Location: Mi.
Posts: 1,856

Height: 5'1"


Yulp, you're stupid! ha!! Honestly, the muscle is great. Like everyone says, be patient. When you lose the weight, and you will, you will look amazing. You can be thin and out of shape. You will be thin and shapely and toned! Plus, the muscle burns fat and that means you will be able to lose weight faster and eat more, eventually. So get those hand weights and start toning those arms! you will be so glad you did.
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Old 12-23-2008, 09:45 AM   #5
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 841

S/C/G: 198/ticker/125

Height: 5'0"


First of all, congrats on losing 50 pounds! That is awesome! Feel good about that success.
Secondly, if you have plateaued for some reason, try having one high calorie day. Eat an extra 300 calories say (obviously of healthy foods) to throw your body off and then continue your regular calorie days. That might help. Otherwise, I wouldn't be upset in the slightest about how you are doing.

Good luck!

"Unless you faint, puke, or die keep walking!" --Jillian Michaels

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Old 12-23-2008, 10:14 AM   #6
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Posts: 2,640

S/C/G: 163/128/125

Height: 5'5


Start with 5lbs minimum (your purse probably weights 8-10lbs!) and if you can afford it, try getting a set of 8's, 10's, and even 12's or 15's.

Don't worry about the weight loss. If you are consistent with this, the number on the scale becomes less important because your body's shape will change.

Maintainer 2004-2009/3 Pregnancies/Maintainer 2013 - Present

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Old 12-23-2008, 10:28 AM   #7
PR 1 Mile: 9:44
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Pensacola
Posts: 1,555

S/C/G: 200.5/160/130

Height: 5'-4"


Originally Posted by sacha View Post
Start with 5lbs minimum (your purse probably weights 8-10lbs!) and if you can afford it, try getting a set of 8's, 10's, and even 12's or 15's.
I think you need to empty out your purse. I was curious, so I just weighed mine, it weighs 3lbs today. If you routinely sling 8-10 pounds over your shoulder you are going to end up with shoulder/back problems.

As to the original question, I think that upping the intensity of your cardio along with adding the larget amount of weight you can safely lift for one set will give you great results (do up to 3 sets, just use the maximum weight you can lift for 12 reps). In other words, no pink "Barbie" weights. Remember that no one sees that number on the scale but you. Everyone can see when your inches decrease. Personally I've had months where I only lost 2 pounds, but I've lost a lot of inches, and that's the time when I get the comments. I know it's frustrating when you have a specific goal weight in mind, but hang in there. It will happen.
1000 miles in 2010 - 7/1000
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Old 12-23-2008, 10:48 AM   #8
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Location: The Deep South
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S/C/G: 237/165.8/130

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Keep in mind that when you ramp up your exercise and especially when you ramp up strength training, your muscles will retain fluid. They can retain as much as 2 or 3 lbs all over your body. So you may still be burning fat, but the retained fluid from the higher level of exertion is going to offset that for a while.

why gain muscle if it doesn't do squat (or not a lot) for a chickie after 4 weeks of a slow dripping weight loss on the scale?
Isuspect you know the answer to this but I'm gonna answer it anyway.

Because muscle is more metabolically active than fat and having muscles will help you burn more calories while working out, and even burn more calories while at rest.
Because while muscle may weigh more volume for volume, it is tighter, compacter (hee - more compact?), and looks a helluva lot better under your skin.
Because weight isn't the only way to measure your size. Inches count too. And even if the scale isn't moving, the inches are coming off and redistributing.
Because that cut, strong, fit look is f'ing sexy.

Oh and as far as starting weights ... the thing is that you can't count on using the same weight for everything, so it's hard to say what to start with. I can curl 2 20lb dumbbells no problem, but I can only military press 15lbs in each hand. And I can only do butterflies with 10lb in each hand. But I'd say for most women 3lb is just WAY too little. 5 or 8 lbs at a minimum ... and for some things even 10 or 15 lbs is good. Try out various weights for a good 10 reps each and see which you can do.


Last edited by PhotoChick; 12-23-2008 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 12-23-2008, 12:04 PM   #9
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,221

S/C/G: 289/193/159

Height: 5'7"


I've increased my exercise--both cardio and strength-training--over the last month and definitely seen the same water retention and slow loss happening. However, last night while lying in bed with my husband, I rested my hand on my own butt and THERE WAS A MUSCLE THERE. At first I was a little shocked to feel such a firm, foreign lump...but then I was quite pleased. I can also see nice curves of muscle in my arms and legs now. So even though the loss is slow, I'm seeing exciting changes in my body. I figure the scale will catch up eventually.
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