Well, it’s been awhile since I posted! Sorry about that! Sometimes weeks are hectic! We’ve been hit by flu bugs, colds, ear infections, asthma flare ups and snow days! Don’t you just love February?! Not much time to be anything but a Mom, but that’s okay. I have plenty of time left to do what I need to when everyone is better! I think we’re finally on the mend!
So I wanted to talk about one of the hardest things you go through when you’re losing weight. Plateaus. These are the worst!
If you are following your diet to a T and exercising, your weight falls off, you feel great, then about 6 months in, all of a sudden you lose a pound a week for 3 weeks, when you had been dropping about 3-5 pounds or more the previous month. Sometimes you show a gain or no loss at all. It can happen for several weeks in a row or just a couple weeks. This can be extremely disheartening. I remember my first plateau. I had lost about 75-80 pounds (can’t remember the exact number), I was still doing the same workouts and keeping within about 1200-1300 calories a day. I didn’t count calories per se, I just maintained 250 calories for breakfast, 300 for lunch, 500 for dinner and 2 snacks at 200 twice a day. I know it’s doesn’t seem like a lot of calories but it worked for me. I didn’t feel light headed or weak. My body tolerated it. I still stick to this plan everyday, except on weekends. Anyway, I was upset because I thought that I was doing something wrong. I started working harder in the gym, going in on Saturdays and Sundays. There weren’t calories to cut because I knew I had to have enough for my body to function. I remember getting mad at myself, why wasn’t I losing anymore weight? I couldn’t give up on myself because I didn’t want that weight back.
Well, what I learned was my body was used to the same regime. I was eating Lean Cuisine dinners for lunch. They are loaded with bad carbs. My favorites were Salisbury Steak, the pizzas and ravioli. All decent tasting, within my calories, but my body was so used to them it wasn’t letting go of those bad carbs anymore. Same workout equaled same results, it was time to step up my game. So that was the time I took my first class. I switched to eating things with lots of iron. White fish, salmon and brown rice for lunch daily. My breakfast stayed the same and dinners I really watched the portions of carbs. With doing these things my plateau disappeared. Weight just started coming off. I was finding that my metabolism was speeding up and I needed to eat things that my body could save to get through work outs. Then weight flew off all of a sudden the next month I was down 20 more pounds (in a month!). I kept losing for a while, I hit another plateau about 6 months later added more classes. At somewhere around the 130 pound loss mark I started putting on muscle. Not just toning, real muscle. I then knew the reason for the plateau. I added in cycling because one of the trainers said you burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time. It worked! It helps with toning your legs. Just because the weight is gone doesn’t mean it doesn’t leave behind evidence!
I am not an expert, but this is my thought on why your body plateaus. When you shock your body with forcing it to lose fat that has always been there, it confuses your system. Your body is looking for something to replace it with, sometimes it’s muscle. Sometimes it’s water. You have to go and figure out which it is and fix it. Muscle is good, but make sure you are drinking enough water. Water in, fat flushes out. If you are eating the wrong foods, then the problem is obvious. Do.Not.Give.Up. Have patience with yourself. You will figure this out.
Just because you weigh the same doesn’t mean you aren’t changing your body. I have been through many plateaus since the first one. I am continuing on one right now. I am at the end of my weight loss journey and moving on to my strength and toning journey. I have not lost any weight in months. But have I have been putting all my work into weights and cardio endurance. I am still “losing.” I am losing inches. You don’t notice all of the changes every time. It’s been awhile for me since I have noticed any physical changes. It used to be what kept me going. Yes, my clothes are smaller than I have ever worn, but when you are used to changing sizes every couple of months it’s hard tell yourself this is your size.
This past weekend my husband and I were shopping the clearance racks. The clerks at the store told me one time if you see the bathing suits come out, that’s the time to hit the clearance racks for deals! I saw a bathing suit top I really liked, it was bikini top. I don’t wear bikinis, well not in public anyway. They’ve never fit me in the past and well, I’ve three kids. I have always had problems finding things to fit my well endowed chest. Sorry TMI, but it’s the truth. But I wanted to try it because it seemed like my size. Long story short and less descriptive, the top fit. Very endearing moment for me. Last year I had to order from overseas for a swimsuit to fit.
I walked by this one dress in the main aisle (no it wasn’t on clearance), it was really pretty. Grabbed it as well just to try on, because I felt like it! 🙂 It was too expensive to buy, but I stood next to my husband whom is the same height as me (he had on his cowboy boots so he was a little taller at the moment) I looked at us in the mirror and I said, “I am narrower than you!” I have always thought my husband was smaller than me! In our wedding picture my big poofy dress made me look huge next to him. It was funny, he just looked at me and said, “Yeah” like it was obvious this whole time.
I have blinders on people,lol. Just because I went through all of this doesn’t mean there isn’t the same person inside me. I still see things to change, still feel as strongly about being healthy as I did the day I started. Again, I chose the lifestyle, not a quick fix. I love these reminders, it makes me stronger and gives me confidence in what I am doing.
I really hope this gives people encouragement to hear my stories of experience and successes. This is not a blog of self-righteousness. I hope to help those people struggling because I know what it feels like.
Deal with plateaus with patience. Don’t overwhelm yourself with whys. Just keep going. Your body will figure it out on it’s own or you will find something along the way you need to change. Just don’t give up on it.