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Old 07-15-2004, 11:06 AM   #1  
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Default Plateau FREAK OUT!

I think I'm going to go crazy. I've been at 170 for two weeks now. What good is eating 1200 calories/day if the scale doesn't move? I'm exercising a little, but not much, because the scale seems to actually go up if I do the elliptical for an hour. I understand the whole "muscle weighs more than fat" thing, but why do I still have this innertube of fat around my middle??? Seriously, I'm having a major freak out.

Okay, enough of the rant. What can I do to jumpstart this again?
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Old 07-15-2004, 12:48 PM   #2  
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Hi AmberSparks! It’s not that I don’t understand your freak out – because I do – but I also think that an 11 days plateau after having lost 16 pounds in just 2 short months sounds completely normal.
But that doesn’t make you feel *any* better, does it?

Potentially helpful comments then! Well.: You lost a lot of weight earlier, so you must have some experiences with plateaus from then? What did you do to end them?

I have gotten through my (numerous) plateaus by adding more exercise. Both cardio to burn fat and weight lifting to build muscles (because the one thing I really want more of on my body is tissue that burns calories!).

Another observation: are you sure you’re eating enough? Is 1200 calories enough for you?
A possible way to shake up your eating is to focus on 8.400 calories a week instead, and vary the calorie content from day to day. Have a couple of days a week where you eat closer to 1500 calories maybe? That seems to work for some.

So there are some things you could do – but mostly you should acknowledge that you’re doing really great: you have lost a lot of weight and are more active than you’ve been in a long time. And give it a little time. And best of luck!
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Old 07-15-2004, 03:24 PM   #3  
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Thanks for the suggestions. I think I probably didn't really hit any plateaus that went this long before because I used to cheat at least once/week, so I'd go up and down a little more. I'm thinking I might up my calories a little after this weekend (this weekend was, sadly, the reason I decided to go on the diet...crashing a high school reunion) to 1400 and start a weightlifting routine. I think I might start weighing in once/week too, instead of every day, now that I'm in the habit of eating better and don't have to be accountable every day.

I really appreciate your support. It's so frustrating to be hungry and not have any reward for it on the scale for a while. Especially since I haven't cheated on the diet in at least two weeks. I broke my habit of cheating on the weekends...where's the payoff!? Anyway.

So no one is posting on the summer reading thread anymore. What are you reading now? I'm still stuck on Hawaii (I'm half way now).
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Old 07-15-2004, 03:58 PM   #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmberSparks
I'm exercising a little, but not much, because the scale seems to actually go up if I do the elliptical for an hour. I understand the whole "muscle weighs more than fat" thing, but why do I still have this innertube of fat around my middle??? Seriously, I'm having a major freak out.

Okay, enough of the rant. What can I do to jumpstart this again?
Hey there, Amber -- and congrat's on your progress thus far! I currently share your frustration with a slow-down of your loss....it can be really frustrating. Have you done any research on plateaus and weight loss? Sorry if this reads a little like tough love, but I've got to pipe up here with the same sort of talk I give myself: I think you can pretty safely presume that the scale is not going up right after doing the elliptical for an hour because you're getting fatter.....know what I mean? The innertube of fat around your middle is just that: fat -- and you're not going to get rid of it by cutting back on exercise and simply waiting for something to just happen on its own.

Mette is right, caloric cycling has been known to help (I'm currently doing this myself) and changing your exercise routine is also an effective tool. Simply decreasing exercise is not the answer. It's pretty much science: when the calories you expend are greater than the calories you take in, you lose weight......metabolic rate, fat/muscle ratio, and weight loss philosophy notwithstanding. No one of us is immune to this physiological truth.

Mette referred to your having lost 16 pounds in two months -- that's great! Maybe you grew accustomed to a rapid rate of loss doing exactly what you were doing.......and maybe now you need to switch it up somehow, to keep your body guessing. The key is that you maintain a positive outlook, and maintain control over what you can.....and that includes exercise, eats, an ability to learn, and staying positive. It's truly hard -- I know, I'm in it too! -- but it's possible. Putting it on was easy, taking it off is hard. You've got to persevere and be obstinate in the face of difficulty.

Dig in your heels and get back on the elliptical. You'll see progress again in no time.
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Old 07-15-2004, 05:46 PM   #5  
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Default Thanks, but I fixed it the wrong way anyway

Thanks for the help and the common sense. Unfortunately, today turned out to be my first cheater day in about 2.5 weeks. I just had that really pissed off and despaired feeling inside, so a 1/2 piece cheesecake, 2 cookies and some beef jerky later, here I am. Full, slightly happier in a guilty sort of way, and hoping the scale doesn't really kick my *** for this tomorrow. I'm playing tennis tonight, so I'll try to really work out doing that (I've learned with tennis that I can burn or not burn a lot of calories, depending on if I decide to make the effort, but I guess that's pretty true of any workout). I don't feel too bad about the whole cheating thing, because usually I cheat almost every weekend. And actually, cheating usually keeps me from plateauing, though I doubt it's very healthy for me to yo-yo all the time (little yo-yos!).
Anyway, I'm certainly going to cheat this weekend because of the reunion/brewfest, but I'll be back on track on Monday.

One technical question: when people eat sugary stuff, they usually get a short burst of energy followed by a crash. Why do I go straight to the crash? I almost immediately feel sleepy after I eat anything like cookies or cake.
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Old 07-16-2004, 03:46 AM   #6  
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Hi AmberSparks - best of luck on your reunion this weekend!
And welcome back on Monday with some good changes: eating a bit more (1400 sounds much better!), starting on a weightlifting routine, and weighing yourself only once a week! It all sounds very good - and will most surely make your journey more comfortable. And that is a good thing - it means you'll be able to do this all the way through!

If you're looking for weightlifting programs, let me recommend Krista's pages if you haven't found her yet - you find her at http://www.stumptuous.com/weights.html. She's my absolute favorite! I do one of her workout routines with dumbbells ("all dumbbells! all the time!") three days a week, and the exercises are really effective.

I think Sarah has a point in that you've lost a lot of weight in a (relatively) short period, and to keep up the weight loss you need to switch it up and keep your body guessing. And variation in eating and exercising is also good for your mental state! (at least it's good for mine - boredom is one of my biggest obstacles!)

See you next week!
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Old 07-19-2004, 11:00 PM   #7  
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Hi Amber - how is the plateau-busting going?
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