Saturday, October 1, 2011

This is not a Plateau: Why I’m not losing more weight

I am struggling. I keep thinking that if I just keep going, the weight will come off. The truth is, I have only lost about 11 lbs. since January. Last year at this time, I had lost 25 lbs. The year before that, 26 lbs. I am REALLY far behind this year. I feel like I must be doing something incredibly wrong. I know that the more weight you lose, the harder it is to lose more. But is this actually, in truth, my fault, not the fact that I have already lost 85 lbs.? And I tend to think it is my fault—I tend to be hard on myself, so I am trying to to believe that it’s 50% my choices and 50% that it’s just going to be harder to lose weight this far along in the journey.

I’ve lost 85 lbs. But how? The same strategies to lose the first 85 lbs. are not working to lose the last 60, or at least not at the same rate. And that’s probably the way it works.

But if I am going to be 100% honest, I know that I have not been following the plan 100%. I know I haven’t reached a plateau because I know I have not been giving it 100%. It seems that every week, something comes up where I end up eating more than I had planned. It’s a holiday, it’s my birthday, I had to eat someone else’s cooking and be polite, or cupcakes are just SO good and everyone should enjoy a cupcake once in a while, I’m super busy and don’t have time to exercise, I’m exhausted, I’m sick, I need to relax, or I’m starving. Are these valid reasons for my inability to get this weight off/exercise or are they just excuses that I’m making while avoiding the truth? I think that what I need to do is be more strict with myself. I’m going to have to accept that it’s ok to be hungry once a while—after all, I am trying to lose weight. I don’t like to be hungry and when I do get hungry, I tend to eat more than I should. Instead of just eating, maybe I should drink more water. Maybe I should practice more self control and not allow myself to eat if it’s not necessary. Life events are going to happen. Sometimes I’m going to eat more than I had planned on. That doesn’t mean I should keep going down that road because I “screwed up,” but I should get right back on track. This is a lifestyle change and I have to learn how to handle eating at social events and holidays. It’s just the way it is. And I am going to have to put forth more effort. Period. How bad do I want this?

It comes down to self control. And I am lacking it. My self control muscle has gotten too weak. Just because I want something, doesn’t mean I have to have it. More than likely, there will be opportunities to eat the tempting food at another date. My favorite foods are not going to disappear from the face of the earth anytime soon, so I shouldn’t act like they’re going to!

And exercise is a whole other issue. I am genuinely busy right now. I find myself doing homework, going to class, or working about 95% of my time. I wake up at 5 AM as it is, and I know I used to wake up at 4:30 AM to get a workout in but I really need my sleep. Or do I? Would 1/2 hour be all that bad? Usually, it turns out to be not quite enough time for me to get a good workout in by the time I get my workout clothes on and hop on the treadmill or pop in a workout dvd—so I’d probably have to get up at 4:15—which is just way too early. And then there are the evenings. Tuesdays and Thursdays are school days and I have been pretty good about getting out for a walk or something on those evenings because my days are a little less tiring. But MWF, I work 7-5:30. I am starving by the time I am done working and so is hubby, so I make supper and before we know it, it’s 7:00 and I’m exhausted. This would be a good time to workout, but I often cannot find the motivation to work out after my long and draining work day. I go to bed at 9:30, so that gives me 2 1/2 hours of free time—often spent doing homework but many times just vegging out watching a show and spending time with hubby. And usually, I just want to crash. And that’s really only true for Mondays because on Wednesdays we go to church and get home at about 9:00, giving me half an hour before bed time, and on Fridays, we usually run errands and get groceries—and living 30 minutes from the nearest big town makes the time slip away faster than you’d think. So I’m busy. But am I making up excuses? I feel like I’m making up excuses. Feeling sorry for myself. In truth, I could use the free 30 minutes I have on most mornings to workout instead of checking my email. I could probably fit in a short workout on most evenings. The problem is, I can never motivate myself to go running when I have super busy days. And I feel like running is the key to success. Weekends are usually a little more free—so I should take advantage of them and become more active. If I aim to workout 5 days a week, I have 2 days on the weekend to easily fit in a workout. That gives me 3 days within the week to workout. Something I need to think about.

Sorry for rambling here, but this is how I get my thoughts out there. After writing this post this morning and letting it settle in, I came to the following conclusion:

I am busy, but life is always going to be busy and I have to stop making excuses and do what I can, when I can. I have to practice more self control. I have to be patient with myself and understand that I am not going to change overnight, but if I make small changes everyday, they will lead to lasting changes. My emotions and feelings are valid, but they are not excuses. I am a strong woman. I am a determined woman and I must become more motivated again. I need to remember the important reasons that I want to lose weight—and it’s more than just being able to fit into cute clothes (although this is a HUGE benefit). Hubby and I want to start a family someday and we don’t want to do so until I hit my goal weight and am healthy. We are getting closer and closer to the time when it would make sense in our lives to start a family and I am still 60 lbs. from my goal weight. Now if that’s not motivation, I don’t know what is!! So to wrap it up, I need to exercise more and practice more self control—and remember my big reason to lose weight because that will keep me motivated. I want to me a Mama someday and I want to see Hubby be the fabulous Daddy that I know he will be!

Now if I can just do this…


  1. Alissa I am right there with you. But Jesus, I have been working 10 hour days ALL summer! I am so over it! I want my life back!

  2. I seriously could have written this exact post...MANY times over. We can do it though! Sorry I have no advice...haha...I am in the same position!

  3. I think we all make excuses when the bottom line is how bad do we want the weight loss?

    I get up at 5am on M-W-F to get my workout or otherwise it would never get done. Sure, I'd love to sleep an hour later before I start the morning routine -- getting up superson & getting ready for work. But getting off work at 5p - coming home, cooking dinner, doing homework (and this semester after work on M-W - going to class until 830p) -- a workout would never get done... I'm too tired and quite frankly just want to spend a little time with my family.

    We can make excuses or sacrifices - the choice is ours. It may not always be easy - but it will be worth it.

  4. I'm in the same boat on the exercise.. I keep trying to get up earlier during the week to fit it in, but I just haven't tried hard enough. I'd have to get up around 4:30 too :( Maybe we can both make a bigger effort this week!

  5. I found myself nodding through most of this post. It really hit me. But I'm still at the starting line.

  6. I feel like I'm "over" trying to lose sometimes here lately. I have only been doing this since April, but I have only lost just under 18 pounds from mid-April to the end of September! It's hard measuring, weighing, and counting when everyone else around you just eats up with no gains!

    I keep buying things like Fiber One brownies, Snackwell's desserts, SF pudding snacks, etc. The problem is... if they are here, I want to eat them. I find I just have to have them. When in reality, I would rather do without those and once or twice a week have the "real deal" with my weeklies, yanno? I feel like I need to focus on eating more healthfully... not just eating within my points range with any old foods. Does that make sense? I almost always get in my healthy guidelines. And I'm fine with using every last WPA and even AP. I just think I could be eating more REAL food and less "generics."

    I am just getting back into my exercise routine. But then my husband was off work 2 days and that messed it all up! I stay really busy, too, but I know there are times I could make a way.

    But I know that I need to lose many more pounds and I can't just be "over this" right now. And I can't get "over it" once I reach my goal, either! If I do, I will gain it all back. It is becoming more of a part of who I am... more of a normal routine for me. It's not seeming as restrictive or aggravating as it did in the beginning. I'm just getting kinda lazy with it, I guess.

    So maybe after doing this for so long, you are just kinda lazy with it. Pretend like you are just starting! Reread your book, get dead serious, make sure you do all the things the book suggests for a beginner. Maybe it will light a new fire inside you!

    You have had an amazing journey. You have a lot on you right now. Not getting enough rest can also slow weight loss, so I'm not sure that getting 6 hours of rest a night would be sufficient if you got up at 4:15 or so. Yikes! lol That number is not in my brain as far as a.m. goes. ha

    You will figure it all out. One day you will be at goal, holding a baby on your lap, looking back at this post and being glad that mountain is far behind you, Lord willing. You can do it!

  7. Trust me, this is NOT an easy job. I first started WW 13 years ago. I still HAVE NOT got anywhere my initial goal I set. At the time I was working, then over the years, pregnancies, marriage break up, new relationships and a new marriage has had me up and down like a yoyo! Everything in my life whether it has been a high or low has had it's effect. I put on a good few lbs after my wedding last year - I'm still battling it. There's no point in my blog being diet aimed when I am doing so bad at it. My goal for my wedding was 220 lbs, I never quite made it and today I am still around 234lbs so you are doing better than me!

    I seem to get stuck between 225 and 250lbs and then my body seems to like it there. I'm NEVER going back above 250lbs, every time I put on a few lbs I work hard to get it back down but in reality I feel that no matter what I try that maybe my body does have it's own "destiny". It's not an excuse, it just makes me feel that I am not doing this for nothing. That in time when the time is right, things will get there.

    Deep down, we are all supposed to be different shapes and sizes, thats the way we humans are meant to be isn't it? Some of us just get the short straw to be the ones bigger than average!

    Don't give up on your dreams, being bigger doesn't mean you won't have kids. When I fell pregnant with my third son I was 266lbs, I never had any health problems in pregnancy or after but it was afterwards when I hit my highest ever weight of 290lbs. I'm just grateful I am FAR beyond that in the right direction now.

    Don't be so hard on yourself, you've come a long long way and I do think that we can all be a step or two closer to getting what we most want.

    Good luck. xxx

  8. Indeed life does get in the way of weight loss IF we let it. There is something to celebrate every few days. Unfortunately, most celebrations include food and not usually anything particularly healthy. You've come a long way. Here's to you finishing the race. :)

  9. I could have written this post myself. It is hard, sad and a tough journey. Putting on my extra 100lbs was way too easy. You are doing such a great job and should be very proud of yourself. But I know how upsetting it is to let yourself down. Being a mom is my number one goal too, so losing the weight is a MUST. Let me know how you get through this because I am in the exact same spot, only I have gained every pound I lost back.....

  10. Just a comment on what Staci mentioned... I think it is really easy to fall into the trap of "diet foods" (100 calorie snacks, Fiber one bars, etc).

    I had one friend quit WW after the change to Points+ b/c she relied so heavily on the "diet" snack foods and the new plan of course increased the points and left her frustrated with what to eat.

    The whole goal is healthy eating -- if you have a sweet tooth - try a sweet apple (Gala and Fuji are delish) or grapes/muscadines.

    I try to feed my need for chocolate with the a glass of skim chocolate milk - it's usually just what I need to get me over the hump.

  11. Yes, you do slip up but I think you have been doing an amazing job given the time crunch of life. You are so conscious of your foods most of the time. Maybe it is time to sort of re dedicate yourself. Maybe that will give you the inspiration you need to keep going. "My favorite foods are not going to disappear from the face of the earth anytime soon, so I shouldn’t act like they’re going to!"- So true. I tell myself this all the time!!!!!

  12. "it’s ok to be hungry once a while"

    Yep - nodding head here. I hate to be hungry, and it really is okay to be so!

    Maybe you need to change up what you are eating again like you did before.

  13. I so hear you! My weightloss journey has completely stalled. Life just keeps getting in the way, but I have to stop and remind myself that this IS my life. In order to jump start my motivation again, I'm starting a two week challenge and my whole family is doing it (the kids don't know it yet!) ~ stop on over and join us if you'd like! We can all do this if we rely on one another for support!



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