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Old 12-06-2018, 11:17 AM   #1  
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Default Help at the end of my 100 lb journey!

In 2014, at 265 pounds, I set out to lose 100 pounds. I made it to 95 lbs lost, and the regain began. In January 2018, I was back up to 226 and renewed my commitment to loss. Now, at almost a year later, I've finally re-lost those 56 pounds and am back at 170, just 20 pounds from my ultimate goal of 150 and 115 pounds lost. The problem? I can't seem to get out of the 170s and lose that final 20 pounds. With earlier loss, I was losing 2 pounds a week easily. Now, I've been between 170 and 175 for 4 months. I work out 5 days a week, changing up my workouts every month. I eat about 1300 calories a day, NOT because I'm trying some low-calorie diet, but because I just am not hungry. 1300 does it for me and I don't want to force myself to eat if I'm not hungry. I try to eat high protein and fiber. Fruit and veggies every day, almost no sugar, no junk food, refined flour, etc. I drink a ton of water. I don't understand why I'm not losing. I've heard that the last 20 pounds is the hardest, but I am not 'thin' and definitely still have excess fat to lose, so it's not like my body is telling me that I'm getting too thin. I'm small-boned and 150 is at the high end of where I should be. So why the slow down? I don't know if this is a plateau or if I'm doing something wrong and somehow need to adjust my calories/macros/exercise. It's not like I can really eat LESS calories...1300 is pretty low. So frustrating! I *am* really grateful to be where I am, but getting to 150 is something I never imagined possible even a year ago. It's really important to me to hit that milestone. I'd love any advice!
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:14 PM   #2  
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I'm certainly no expert, and feel sort of silly giving advice to someone who has already accomplished what I am just now working on, but your post caught my attention because your starting and ending points are about what mine are. I stared at 267.4 in March of this year and I'm currently at 210. I'm also 5'7" and I'm shooting for about 150 also. So first of all... AMAZING JOB so far. Way to go.

Also, 56 pounds in a year is more than a pound a week, which is VERY GOOD. So don't knock the fact that you've been stuck for a bit. You had a great year. I'm hoping to lose at least 40 next year, which would put me at about your current weight, and then lose the rest (the last 20) in 2020, and likely take the entire year to do it. And sometimes, you should just focus on maintaining and give your body a chance to adjust to being the new size that it is. I plateaued for absolutely no reason for the entire month of September (about 6 weeks total) and I'm convinced that it was just my body going "ok, so I'm smaller now, let's get used to this for a while". And I'm expecting at least one plateau next year, and maybe more. But 4 months is long enough that your body should be used to that size, and you are probably in a plateau because you actually are maintaining. So your TDEE and your calories eaten might be the same at this point.

Reading your post makes me wonder what you are doing for exercising. You said you've been trying to change it up, but is there any weight training/resistance training in the mix, or is it all just cardio? Because it could be that as you've lost weight, you've lost enough muscle that you just have a low TDEE, so the 1300 calories is just maintenance. I've read a bunch of articles talking about how once someone has been overweight and then lost, they actually maintain on a lower number of calories than someone who was always that weight. So a 5'7" woman who weighs 160 and has never been obese might need x number of calories to maintain, but a 5'7" woman who now weighs 160 but used to be obese could need as many as 300 calories less per day to maintain that weight. Not really fair, but might explain why you aren't losing.

First thing to do would be to consult your doctor on what they think. Do they agree you need to lose more weight? Do you have any issues with your bloodwork that medication, supplement or simple additional lifestyle changes could help with? Second thing would be have you tried working with any sort of personal trainer? You may not be doing enough resistance training, so don't have enough muscle mass to burn the calories you want to be burning.

Other than that, my best suggestion, assuming you're already doing some resistance/weight training to keep muscle on, would be to cut an additional 100 calories a day, either by eating less or moving more. 1200 calories a day of healthy foods is still generally considered healthy (although most docs don't recommend going lower than that). And you wouldn't lose quickly, but an extra 100 calories a day is about a pound a month. Or you could try intermittent fasting, and cut maybe 500 calories 2 days a week, and eat at maintenance the other 5. That would also be about a pound a month. When you are in the final stretch, a pound a month might be all it is possible to do without excessive means. Losing at a slower pace at the end will also help you transition into maintenance much easier and give your skin the opportunity to rebound a bit.

And don't beat yourself up. You've done amazing, and if you never lose another pound and just maintain where you are at, you will still be so much healthier than you were at 265.

ETA: I can't believe I forgot to say this. Have you been taking your measurements? It is entirely possible to be plateaued on the scale, but still be burning fat and losing inches, which is a GOOD THING. Do your clothes fit better than they did 4 months ago? That is the true measure of success. It is only a plateau if you aren't losing pounds OR inches.

Last edited by Lacerta; 12-06-2018 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 12-06-2018, 02:27 PM   #3  
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Thanks so much for your response! I am pretty excited to be where I am right now, but with goal so tantalizingly close, it's frustrating, a bit!


So for the exercise part, I am NOT doing weights because of an old shoulder injury that is very slow to heal. Just body weight resistance. I run, I spin, hike, do boot camp and HIIT, just modified with no weights. I won't be able to lift for at least another 3 months. I went to the doctor for a terrible plateau I had a couple of years ago that was related to being prescribed a too-strong antibiotic, but I'm fine now. I think I had a full physical within the past year and everything good. I agree with what you said about the calorie thing. After doing more reading on this site, I have actually been planning to try calorie cycling (or what used to be known as the "Wendy Plan", I think!). I'm going to add in a 300 calorie smoothie every other day and hopefully, going from 1200 - 1500, up and down, will cause something to happen. Am just going to try to be patient. After making it through a career change, a cross-country move, major sickness of a spouse, major downsizing, and (still) living in temporary housing with everything in storage until we find a house, all in the past 7 months, with no emotional-eating gain and even slight loss (15 lbs), nothing is going to throw me off track now (I hope!).


I have not been taking my measurements, but I can tell that I'm toning, if not losing pounds. I'm really comfortably into all of my size 10 jeans and am even wearing some M shirts, and I've never been below an L before. NSV!! I am really going to give myself time. I would be thrilled with a pound a week. I just want to be at goal by next April/May. Fingers crossed that switching up my calories will work.


BTW, your progress is AMAZING!!! 57 pounds since March is so great! You're almost in ONEDERLAND. You'll be at GOAL in no time!
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Old 12-06-2018, 03:34 PM   #4  
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Nice post and beautiful response from Lacerta. hi Frances and may I say, what an amazing commitment you've made to yourself. Like you, I've gone up and down over the years and so I have so much respect for your journey. You kept at it. Very inspiring for me to read.

Yep, the last 20 are indeed tough. And it's not to say they won't come off eventually, but they are stubborn. Aside from waiting it out because you could be in a long plateau, the other option is to try Intermittent Fasting or IF as everyone calls it. I wouldn't recommend every day on IF. 3 days per week max for the first few months. It's easy to fall into the trap of "eat less to lose more" but IF works if we do it just 3 Xs per week. You decide because we're all so individual, what your eating window will look like. Depends on so many things like do we have kids at home, do we work, or do we commute 2 hours every day. Some peeps skip one meal per day and that works for them. Other folks eat only between 9 am and 5 pm. I think I'm not allowed to post a link on this site. But the Diet Doctor does a good job of explaining IF.

Another thought is working out 5 Xs a week? Girlfriend!!! Huge kudos to you for this level of commitment. I suspect that level of workouts requires a tremendous amount of nutrition. If you switch out a couple workouts per week for a couple days of IF ... you might tell your body "relax, you don't need to eat a cow to keep up with these workouts". Our bodies are a mystery. Whenever you lose the last 20, you are committed to living the lifestyle you so courageously chose by eating healthy and exercising. In my experience of losing weight, I'm good as long as I'm losing because that's a reward. After I quit losing at around 150 ... I stop seeing the reward of weight loss but I have to remind myself the reward is right now. It's a tough one.
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Old 12-06-2018, 04:00 PM   #5  
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Have you tried 16:8 Intermittent fasting? That really helped me. I eat all my meals between 10am and 6pm. (or any 8 hour window) that long night fast might help if you are not doing that. Now that I am in maintenance I have added back in an evening planned snack.
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Old 12-06-2018, 05:20 PM   #6  
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I'm actually a huge fan of IF! I started it 2 years ago to help heal my system after the antibiotic situation. I have an eating window of 11:30 - 6:30 p.m. It's never helped me to lose weight, but it's definitely helped with binge issues and it's also kind of killed my appetite, which is why I eventually got down to about 1250 - 1350 calories a day. Still, I *love* IF and plan to keep on doing it.


I love to exercise...can you tell? Definitely with the exercise I think I need to up my calories. I just hate eating when I'm not hungry, and I do feel like I have a ton of energy/am not suffering at all from the amount of calories that I take in, but every web site I look at puts me at 1500 - 1800 daily calories. Hopefully a gradual climb to 1500 will work.


Thanks for the encouraging words! I have a bad habit of being self-critical until I actually reach a goal, not appreciating the journey. I have worked really, really hard this year and if it takes some additional effort/time to lose the rest of the weight, that's okay. I don't mind slow loss...just need to see SOME progress. Hopefully the calorie increase/cycling will make a difference. I'll give this plan 4 weeks and if it doesn't work, I'll try something else! But I am NOT going to give up. After 30 years of yo yo dieting, I truly feel like this is "it." And the key, for me, has been NOT giving up when I don't see progress, and getting right back on the horse after a mistake. Phew...a weight loss journey is great for building patience!
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Old 12-06-2018, 05:43 PM   #7  
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Frances - my stall was not as big as yours (only about 6 weeks) but the one thing I have learned over the years is those who succeed are those who "stay the course" - it sounds like what you are doing is very similar to the plan I am folllowing. I did go back and look at my data during the time of active weight loss and it was closer to about 1100 calories and I did routinely walk about 14,000 steps a day on average. Did not do resistance training though now I am doing body weight fitness and maintaining on about 1400 calories (still tweaking) if that helps. I went from 265 to 140

FWIW at that level I did find my self having to supplement some vitamin wise even with all the vegetables in my diet.

Last edited by grannynancy; 12-06-2018 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 12-07-2018, 08:07 AM   #8  
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Grannynancy, that is my next step. I'm trying 1 month at 1400 - 1450 calories to try to get all of my nutritional macros...if that doesn't work, I will go lower, to 1200 solid. Just going to toy with it. But definitely staying the course, no matter what!
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Old 12-10-2018, 12:02 PM   #9  
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Yes - 1400 and up makes getting those macros a bit easier (now that I am there and in maintenance) definitely understand the admonitions about not going below 1200-1000. Not the starvation mode nonsense but you just can't get adequate nutrition below a certain level without supplementing.
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