Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I Need a Pep Talk

Hi, sister friends. I'm trying to win this shebang this time around. I signed up for the Biggest Loser Moms contest last time too, and ended up gaining something like seven pounds over the past four months. I totally half-assed it. (Or really, I one and a half assed it, considering my weight gain.)

This time I'm taking it seriously. I need this. I need it for my self esteem and my mental health. And probably my actual health too, but whatever. I am here to KILL THIS. I don't care if I lose the prize, because my prize is a substantial start on weight loss.

But here's the thing. We're heading into the third weigh in, and after a disappointing week and a great week, we've arrived at the I-want-to-kill-myself week. Because I seem to have gained weight from last week, bringing me to just one pound under my start weight.

Normally, I'd be all, "Yep. That's sucks." And then I would go eat a batch of cookies and forget I was part of this contest. But not this time. This time I want to know: What? the? FUCK?!?!

Here's why:

* I cut out my daily morning brownie.

* I eat waaaay fewer calories than I used to.

* I have been working really hard at exercising. I'm doing the couch to 5k three times a week and I'm trying to get in a Wii Fit or EA Active Wii workout six days a week on top of that. And I'm doing it. I am actually working out once or twice a day for a total of an hour.

* I've been drinking more water.

* I've been eating vegetables.

* I've cut down on my evening snacking.

I'm doing everything right. So what am I doing so wrong?

Stimey can be found grumbling into her salad at Stimeyland.


Laurie said...

Three weeks is nothing. NOTHING. It feels like a long time but it's not. It takes a while for your body to get in the groove of these changes.

Last spring when I started working out and wasn't ready to deal much with the food yet, I consistently lost inches over a period of two months but the scale didn't move much. It was frustrating but given my history of yo-yo dieting and on and off exercising, I honestly believe it takes awhile for my body to figure out what's going on and respond accordingly (I am not a scientist. If someone wants to correct me that's cool, but this is the experience I have inside MY BODY, so tread lightly. :))

When I finally got more balanced with food and water and continued the exercise, I started losing until I was down almost 20 pounds by August. (5-6 days per week, 60-90 minutes a day, yes. That is what I need to make changes. Again, that's just me.)And I was happy, and I didn't want to burn the photos of myself from BlogHer. :)

And now it's the following February and I tanked my exercise plan and started mainlining cookies and the occasional vodka cocktail again from stress so hi, ten pounds. Blah.

We can put ourselves within the artificial time frames of competitions and whatever we make up for ourselves in our own heads (this is all a head game, I believe it.) but the reality of this situation is that it takes time to lose weight in the way that it requires to keep it off, and sometimes it's hard to tell from week to week what is going to happen to affect that. I can make a bad food choice (for me, sodium-laden stuff) and gain two pounds in water weight that it takes drinking a gallon of water to remedy, and let us not even speak of hormonal cycles. I am a slave to the moon and pepperoni! Awesome!

That said, you are doing the right thing. Your water weight and fat to muscle ratio will work itself out (I think that's why numbers seem so crazy in the first month of any kind of change like this) and I bet if you keep on making positive changes and adjusting exercise and calorie intake appropriately you will hit a stride. I do. I won't tell you it'll be enough to win because I don't know, but if the outcome you're looking for is better mental health, I'm kind of more behind that anyway. :) If you get down on yourself because this isn't happening fast enough, you will push yourself mentally and physically and burn out. I wonder where all the people kicking their own asses with the Shred even when their bodies are saying NONONO will be with the Shred in six months. I tried it, couldn't do it, but there are other things I CAN do and sustain. (Sorry Shredders...nothing personal at all, just my own experience.)

I moved out of Silver Spring but if you ever want a weekend walking buddy, hit me up. I'm only 15 minutes away. :) And I need to get my head back in this game too (plus? Am not competition at this point, trust me. :))

Karen Putz said...

Ok, I'm at that point too. I'm working out like never before-- have made some changes in my food choices and the scale isn't showing me what I think it should be showing me.

But, my daughter said something nice-- she said, "Mom, you're putting on muscle where there used to be fat, so that counts for something." I gave her a cookie just for that.

Joeymom said...

Your body is adjusting. I wouldn't worry about it too much yet. If you continue to have issues, you might want to have the doctor check it out. Insulin resistance can be funny- it can actually cause weight problems. Also, if you have upped exercise, remember you are building muscle, and muscle weighs more than fat.

Drink plenty of water and don't worry about it. We're cheering for you! *Hugs*

Selfish Mom said...

Hey Stimey, here's my 2 cents with a side of potato chips, take it or leave it.

Relax. I'm involved in two long-term weight loss competitions right now and I have a feeling I'm thinking about this way less than you are.

Go slow. As great as my first two weeks' loss was, I knew it was mostly water and was going to slow way down, and it did, and I'm ready for it. Be in it for the long haul. I managed to lose 25 lbs in two months a few years ago, which was great, but I've been chasing that kind of success ever since and constantly disappointing myself. I've finally learned that I have to go slow and just be happy with it.

Don't do too much too soon. Aim for losing a pound a week. That's 500 calories less a day. Totally achievable. And you can still eat brownies. You just have to count them and make them fit.

Don't kill yourself with exercise. If you go from zero to 60 you'll crash. Nine workouts a week? You couldn't pay me. Actually, you probably could, but it would have to be a big chunk of change. I worked out once the first week, twice the second week, and three times the third week. And I'm not planning on adding any more workouts yet. If I get to the point where I'm making myself exercise too often and so much that I hate it, I'll avoid it.

If pounds aren't coming off but you're exercising - especially lifting weights - take your measurements. My weight goes up and down like a motherfucker, but I know when my pants are looser.

I'm one of those people who wants to go to extremes. I want fast results and big changes. And I'm finally admitting that it's not the best way for me to lose weight. After three weeks of eating less and exercising more, it's fairly effortless because the changes weren't huge, but I know I'll be able to stick with them.

Don't beat yourself up!

Goddess in Progress said...

I hear ya, sister. Having a gain when you're working hard BLOWS. It's so unfair.

A few questions from an outsider, in case it helps (ignore if it doesn't):

1. Are you tracking your ACTUAL calorie intake (either straight calories or Weight Watchers Points)? It's possible that you're eating more than you think. OR, it's also possible that you're not eating ENOUGH, especially if you're exercising a lot. Sounds crazy, but worth checking out if you're really cutting your calories way WAY down.

2. Are you giving yourself rest days from exercising? You need it, not only to avoid injury and let your muscles recover, but also because sore/strained muscles can hang on to extra water. Try to take two days off a week, or at the very least, one day off and one really light day.

3. Keep the faith. This is long-term, and therefore slow, and therefore kind of sucks sometimes. Especially at the beginning, when it feels like you haven't gotten very far and there's SO MUCH stretched out in front of you. It does, eventually, add up. I promise.

Don't beat yourself up. We're all here. I had a shitty week, too. Lots of snacking, illness, no exercise. Plus, potty-training a toddler. If you think I didn't stress-eat, you're insane.

But we claw our way back onto the wagon. It gets easier. I promise. It takes a while, but it will become less painful, and more just a habit to maintain.

You can do it!

Natalie S said...

maybe you've cut your calories too much and upped your exercise too much so that your body has hit a starvation mode? either up your calories with more veggies, or lower your exercise for few times with higher intensity and see what happens?

Keep it up! Without trying, you will never find success!

Good luck!

CaraBee said...

The only thing that has worked for me is counting calories. And being realistic about it. I shoot for 1800 a day, but really try to hit 1600 and then I work out for 60-90 minutes 4-5 times a week. I have been working out for almost a year now and lost very little weight. I was so frustrated, but the problem was that I was just eating way more than I thought. I now keep a little notebook where I write everything down. Just the awareness of what is going in my mouth has been so helpful.

I have to agree with the other comments. Dieting is a marathon, not a sprint, however hard it is to think about it that way.

Keep your chin up, you're doing the right stuff!

jackieblue said...

Goddess in Progress and Natalie S. covered my theories nicely.

HANG IN THERE and try not to beat yourself up. You need to give yourself time and give your body time to figure it all out.

AnnetteK said...

Dude, no advice here, cause I'm in the exact same situation. Frustrated isn't a strong enough word.

Becky said...

I'm right there with you. I was feeling pretty good last week. This week? I've gained. One step forward, two steps back. DAMMIT.

Devra said...

Acknowledge the small steps you take instead of focusing on the big ones you think you might be missing. I think what I am learning is the small stuff starts adding up and becomes those bigger successes.

Start small. Congratulate yourself for not screaming out FUCK IT and strapping a bag of oreos to your ears and creating a feedbag for yourself. Like any of us would do, have done, might still be doing. It takes a lot to change triggers, button and habits.

Think about how much more the entire batch of "I am so fucking pathetic" cookies would set you back?! You didn't go back to an old pattern of coping, and that is a big success!

FAYE all the weigh!

Stimey said...

You all are awesome. Thank you. This all helps. It really does.

X said...

I am not a part of your contest (I didn't enter because I have been on a plateau for a year and knew I had no shot at winning) but I recently joined the Y and i lost a little the first week and went back up the next, too. I know where you're coming from. I am also doing this in combination with Weight Watchers. I have worked out EVERY SINGLE DAY for over a month, using both an elliptical and 5 different cybex machines, and all i have for my efforts is no change whatsoever in the number on the scale.

That said, My strength is WAY up from when I started, and so is my stamina. It's a long road- and not an easy one, but just keep pushing through it.

Well, ask me again in six months... Who knows. Right now I want to punch my scale in the balls.

J said...

I agree with what a few previous commentors have said about eating too little and really tracking your calories. Your body does need time to get used to all that's going on. I also think there are "plateau" weeks where your body kind of hangs on while deciding what to do with that weight. Very scientific theory, no? :) I suppose just another way of saying, give it time.

I can give you my own experience--since the Loser Moms challenge started, I have been working with a trainer who outlines pretty hardcore workouts for me. I work out every day. I follow a pretty strict food plan (counting calories and eliminating added sugar, white flour, and ALCOHOL!!). The numbers on the scale though were really disappointing. I think Week 1 I lost 3lbs, Week 2 I lost 1. Well, this week I lost 7!! I think it just takes time for the numbers to show up on the scale.

Andrea Meyers said...

I'm right there with you, girl! It sucks, no question, and I try to tell myself it's a long term project, except my long term project has been going on for 5 years and I'm tired of it. I've kept a food diary using the Diet Organizer software, I've tried the South Beach Diet and lost 10 pounds in Phase 1 only to gain 15 pounds in Phase 2, and have had no results with WW. WTH?

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