Tell me about your weight loss plateau.
I'm getting frustrated. I know I shouldn't, but I can't help it.
As I've posted before, I started my weight loss program back at the beginning of 2011. I was 460 then, 235 now. I know that's a huge drop, but I'm getting frustrated because it's REALLY slowed down. My goal weight is 210 (I'm 5'11") since the surgeon says we should account for about 10 - 15lb of skin that we'll remove at some point and my final goal weight is basically anything below 200.
I'm not really looking to change my diet program - it's medically supervised and they're not worried. But going from losing 3 - 5lb a week to just slowly slowly dropping or just maintaining is frustrating. Especially since I would like to move on to "phase 2" (which is what they call maintenance). I may have to do so before reaching my goal weight, simply because there are times where training on the bike and the diet are not compatible. This last 25lb are just killing me.
It also seems like the more I ride the more water I retain as my muscles recover from the workouts. It seems if I back off the bike for a bit - take a day or two off - then I spend a day peeing like mad and *boom* I'm down. So I suppose I should a) be looking at things other than the scale and b) try to take confidence in what I've done so far, but it's hard.
I'm hoping to hear some similar stories here. So tell me about a rough plateau you've faced - especially if it had a happy ending!
Here's my story.
I was 470 in August of 2010 and didn't know it. I had stopped caring and just sat around all day watching tv and playing computer games and working my desk job and eating. One day there was a fire in the apartment below mine. It was very stressful and the entire apartment was destroyed (luckily mine only suffered smoke damage). Outside, the paramedics could tell I didn't look right so they insisted that they take my vitals and noticed a 200+ blood pressure reading, and insisted I get hospitalized. One embarrassing hospitalization later I decided to go ahead and fix myself.
Started spinning 20 minutes a day, 6 days a week. Cut out all frozen foods and fast foods, ate a lot of salads. At first my progress was amazing. I was losing an average of 3 pounds a week for 6 months. At one point in October I decided to get out my old bike from storage and try that out. The gears didn't shift, however, and my stomach was so large that when sitting on the saddle, it touched the handlebars. I felt incredibly embarrassed just being outside that I went about 20 feet before I stopped, got off, and brought the bike back indoors, forgetting about it.
When November arrived I was sick of spinning indoors, which had increased to about 40 minutes a day 6 days a week. I was just so bored of being inside that I decided to do something crazy: buy cross country skis. I then went outside and skied for the next 3 months and loved every minute of it. I think it helped that I was skiing in an empty park every day, so I didn't feel self-conscious about people staring at this gigantic dude trying to go 1mph on skis. Eventually the snow waned and I started getting back on the spinner, only to be immensely bored to death after the skiing adventures I just finished. Around April 2011, my company started a walking challenge, so I decided to try that out. I had just found that the next town over had paved a brand new bike path and decided to walk on it. Unfortunately I was still too heavy and every time I walked 3 or more miles I felt pains and aches in all my lower joints for the next few days. It was kind of a bummer, because I enjoyed the trail quite a bit.
Things started slowing down with my weight loss, and I hit 380 around May 2011. I was still losing weight, but nowhere near as fast as before. After weighing nearly 90 pounds less than the last time I tried going for a bike ride, I decided to get it fixed up. I went to a bike shop and got the shifters replaced. I went for my very first (modern-period) bike ride in mid-May. I did 10 miles at around 11mph. It was tough but felt rewarding. From that point on I went crazy increasing my mileage and my speed until I was averaging around 13.5mph on short rides in November, and did two 12mph centuries, one in September and one in November. I was biking to work regularly, 40 miles a day, from July to November. In June my blood pressure was normal again so I got off the meds and that was one of the proudest accomplishments of my life.
Unfortunately I hit a gigantic plateau. I bottomed out at 360 pounds in August and it stayed flat for all of September, October, and November. In November my office closed and transitioned me into a work-from-home job which depressed me greatly because I viewed my bike ride to work as the happiest part of my day. The complete lack of socialization when working from home contributed to this as well, added to the fact that I really hate my apartment and couldn't stand spending 24 hours a day in it. My plan for the winter was to ski like crazy again, but that never ended up happening. It snowed twice over the entire winter, so I got 3 excursions in total. I also made 6 bike rides, but in general I just sat around complaining that there wasn't enough snow to ski, and it was too cold to bike. I couldn't bear the thought of spinning indoors anymore as I was obsessed with this idea of only exercising outdoors now, so all exercise basically stopped except for a few sporadic workouts here and there.
Due to the disruption in my daily routine I stopped weighing myself in the mornings too, so I wasn't keeping track of how much I weighed. After a few weeks I actually avoided the scale on purpose because I knew I had gained and I dreaded admitting it. Then things started snowballing. Tons of food for the holidays, then tons of comfort eating for the loneliness and depression...
March came around and I started biking again. We had a freak heat wave, and it was 80 on Saint Patricks Day. I kept eating a lot, justifying more by saying "you're exercising again, you can afford it". I still didn't hop on the scale though. End of March came, and I took my bike on a business trip to Washington DC. I went on a ride on the Mt. Vernon trail there and got my ass kicked. Crashed a few times and busted my knee twice. Later on I got very inebriated and started jumping around like I was 16 again, only to fall on the busted knee and bust it even more. Went to the doctor and they said my blood pressure was really high again and put me back on the meds, and I need to stay off the knee for a few weeks. I was furious with myself at having fallen back to a bad blood pressure after spending an entire year working my way off the meds. Went home and weighed myself to see that I came in at 402 pounds. I swore I would NEVER break 400 again once I fell below it, and yet here I was, above 400 for the 2nd time in my life. Even more furious with myself at this point.
I started exercising like crazy again when my knee got better, determined to get back on track. Unfortunately the next 2 months saw my weight increase again to my lasting frustration. I signed up for calorie counting sites and they all told me I need to eat a lot more, but I thought that was nuts. I decided to go the opposite route, and cut my diet. I was shopping for groceries 2 days a week, Mondays and Fridays, mainly to keep fresh produce around. I decided that I was probably buying too much food on these trips and decided to buy more food, but only once a week on Fridays starting in the beginning of June. My theory was that even though I was buying more food, I wasn't buying twice as much food, per trip, and therefore I'd be eating less. The first few weeks were tricky because I kept running out of food by the end of the week and had nothing around to eat by Wednesday or Thursday. I resisted the temptation to go shopping though, so I would be forcing myself to learn how to ration the food throughout the week better.
I was hit by a car at the end of July and had to spend nearly 4 weeks off the bike, but I started some low-intensity spinning indoors after a week of bedrest. I was determined not to let the fitness I had built up all spring and summer long disappear because of an accident. I started off at 90 watts over a half an hour, gradually increasing that to 210 watts over 40 minutes as of this week. I'm back spinning, and this upcoming winter I'm going to keep with it when I can't exercise outside.
Rationing the food didn't seem to work at first. Every so often I'd get a weight reading in the upper 390's and I would freak out, thinking that I wasn't losing weight. But last week I decided to do some numerical analysis on the numbers and noticed a downward trend. This week I had 4 readings turn out to be my lowest readings of the year so far, so it's pretty clear to me now that my new diet is working after all. I'm happy that I'm finally making progress this year again, and even though it's not 3 pounds a week, I'll still gladly take 1 pound a week. Hell I'll take a half pound, as long as it's something. I have been breaking personal speed records left and right this year, culminating in a 16.8mph ride tonight, and I can feel how much faster I would be if I could just drop some of this frigging weight. I'm 384 pounds now, and I keep thinking "how much better could I do if I hadn't have gained that 40 over winter?". Well, next year we will see.
After my very long plateau I think the solution was to just lower my caloric intake some more. It's hard to do when you're doing lots of active workouts and your body is screaming at you "FEED ME SEYMORE!". But now that I've gotten a taste that this is the proper way to do it, I think my mind can overcome my body.
Summer 2009 while I was on vacation in Oregon with the family my wife took a very unflattering profile picture of me while swimming in the local swimming hole. Back home while looking at the pictures I was struck by all the extra weight I was carrying. I'm 5' 11'' and was 250 lbs then.
Between 2009 and 2011 I dropped 65 lbs and 10 inches off my waist line. Lost most of that by simply commuting to work.
I've been bouncing between 185 and 190 lbs for the last year. The commute to lose weight strategy isn't working anymore. I need to figure out something different to shock the system so I can drop the last 20 lbs and get down to my goal weight.
Started off at like 232... went down the 210 pretty fast and got stuck there for a month or so.
Then I got down to 203 about two weeks ago... still stuck there.
I am going to put the scale away for the rest of this month and just keep riding and then weigh myself on Sept 1st.
Jan 2011 290 pounds
July 2011 235 pounds
Then I got stuck there, my plateau lasted a few months. I was riding a lot, ran a 5K in Sept 2011 and felt good, but I wasn't losing any more weight. Thanksgiving comes around, went for a run that morning, turns out that would be my last run for a while, I weighed myself and was still 235. I got really frustrated, I pigged out that weekend. Got lazy and stopped running, rode my bike maybe once a month if that, started drinking and eating junk again. Like Mithrandir I stopped stepping on the scale. I knew I had gained I just didn't want to know how much. Fast forward to July this year I finally step on that dreaded scale, 265 it said. I got mad at myself, all that work wasted, gone, because I was frustrated at not losing any more weight.
I started running again, and even though I don't get to ride my bike nearly as much as I wish I could, I ride it as much as I can.
I've realized one thing. Yeah I got stuck at 235 last year, but 235 pounds is way better then when I was at 315, or 290, or 265 that I am at today.
As of this morning I weigh 265, and I wish I weighed 235.
I dropped from 240 to 186 (at 6ft4 I still feel over 200 though!) and I have been between 186-190 since March. I spent the whole of May off the bike, and then got back on late June, I've stuck at the 188 mark for the past month and just cannot shake it.
In the winter when it gets a bit too foul to ride outdoors I will be doing a lot of interval training in an attempt to get down to 174lbs.
I am 6' and my starting weight was 213 lb. I am now at 152 lb. So you are saying ok go ahead and brag. But this is the problem. I have stopped losing weight. I want to go down to 140 lb which is the bottom of my BMI. I want to do this to see how my blood sugars will react.
I was losing about 5 lbs per week by eating 1 lb of tri colored cole slaw, one can of beans, one can of tuna fish, and about 8 tbl spoons of mayo a day. I think that this was about 1500 calories a day. When I hit the 150 lb mark I decided that I need to stop losing weight for a few weeks to let my body adjust to its new size. So at this point I started eating a little more. I added a couple of pounds of almonds a week or 3200 calories and one dark chocolate candy bar probably another 1600 calories.
So I have been around 150 lbs for the last 4 months and it is very difficult for me to cut out the almonds and the dark chocolate. I know that for me to get motivated to take the necessary steps that I will have to get angry, pissed and mad with myself and then my attitude will turn into this last 10 lbs is going to go even if I have to eat nothing for the next week.
I think that the body becomes more efficient as we lose weight and this means that we need to eat even less food. I know that nutritionist say that you have to eat to lose weight. I agree but I believe that it is essential to eat very little calories while you eat if you are trying to lose weight. I have also found that if I am very hungry and exercising that it is better to stop exercising than it is to try to eat to stop the hunger.
Good luck with your weight loss and most of all listen to what others have said about being proud of what you have already lost. Try to be happy that you weigh less now than you did at your highest weight and fight like hell to make sure that you don't let your weight go up by even one pound. Think of it this way if I could just maintain my health like it is today I would live forever.
Interesting thread. I'm 6'3.5, 42 years old.
2011, in March, I hit 248. Too much. I started weighing myself every time I used the master bathroom. I cut volume of food, but I didn't change the diet -- just focused on 2,000-2,500 calories a day, and one nice meal a day. I love food, I love cooking, and I like wine. It took about 3 months to not be hungry any more, but it worked. I would also replace about half of the additional calories burned exercising.
By the late summer I was in the mid 220s, and figured that was pretty good. I was much stronger on the bike and had a lot more stamina. I started seeing abs. I finished a hilly century in late September in 6 hours flat; my goal had been 7 hours.
I added a core workout 1-2 times a week. Exercise ball, free weights, lots of planks and pushups and pullups. I would do planks, front and side, during commercials when I watched TV at night. I also started trying to run 10 miles a week in addition to the cycling, and signed up for a 10-mile running race to motivate myself. By the time I got to the race in April 2012, I was 212. I ran 10 miles in a respectable group, finished in 91 minutes. No knee pain. Felt amazing, and very proud.
I was very ill as a child, and very asthmatic. I never thought I could run.
I'm now about 205, and my waist is down from a tight 39 to a true 35. I am not trying to lose any more, but I am trying to keep up a high level of fitness. If more weight comes off, so be it. To celebrate my birthday yesterday, I ran 5 miles in 44 minutes, then did a core workout and went to work. Oh, I was on a business trip; got home at midnight.
The most amazing thing is not the weight loss. It's my stamina. I can function well on 2-3 hours of sleep. I am much, much stronger. And very little hurts, ever. It's been over a year since I have injured myself exercising.
The key, I think, is in the relationship with food. I love it. Always have -- it is a great pleasure to me. I could not bear the diet described above with mostly cabbage and beans. But you can love food for its taste and quality and all the rituals that come with preparation and eating, and not get too caught up in the volume.
On plateaus -- yup. I have had several: 232, 220, 212 and now around 205. The other thing is that my weight varies quite a bit -- whether I've been good or not on volume, exercise, etc.
Well, my all time high was at 419lbs. I joined this forum in 09 weighing 378lbs and got my left knee replaced. Through all my surgeries (9+ knee, one shoulder, one hip replaced, multiple PEs (twice), kidney failure one, heart issues) biking and now triking has been my one constant in my weight loss journey. I weighed 302lbs in May of 12, and have been stuck between 299 (once) and 305lbs all summer. At 6'0" I want to hit my first goal weight of 280lbs - but am stuck it seems around this 302 number.
Eating and me have a weird relationship. I have a physical disorder that is causing me swallowing problems (which has helped greatly with my weight loss), but Pepsi is my one 'happiness' it seems at this point, but stopping the Pepsi for 5-6 weeks straight offered me no loss whatsoever, so I am back to drinking 3-6 cans daily. I am no longer a 'grazer' as eating in general doesn't work for me so well.
So in my view I am still in the middle of all this, have lost 70-odd pounds to date, and this is the lowest I've weighted in 15yrs, but I want it to continue.
A little over 7 years ago, I hit my all time high of 273 lbs. (I'm about 5'11 1/2") Along with it came all the related problems -- sleep apnea, high blood pressure, blood glucose bordering on type 2 diabetes, etc. I had started cycling a year or two before that, but nothing very serious. It was the BG readings and studying about the outcomes of uncontrolled diabetes that really got me scared.
The first step was cutting down on the carbs. Before then, I was probably consuming around 400 to 500 grams a day. I cut that back to around 200 grams, i.e. what the Amer. Diabetes Assn. still recommends for someone my size.
The next step was committing myself to a very long term plan. I was 57 then, and had been yo-yoing all my life, so I knew quick weight loss wasn't for me. My goal was to lose 10 pounds per year for the next 8 or 9 years, until I was around 190 to 195 lbs.
The first five years went pretty well. I met my goal, and gradually got into better shape. By this time last year, I was down to 223 lbs.
Then I got complacent. I started adding a lot of carbs back into my diet. By May of this year, I not only plateau'd; I was back up to 229 lbs. I had another blood test, and found my BG was climbing back up into the danger range. I realized I had better get serious about what I was putting into my body.
Exercise wasn't the problem. I have been cycling around 100 to 150 miles per week for the past 7 years. The problem was diet. I did a lot more studying on the effects of carbs on people like me, and came to the conclusion that I had to alter my diet even more. I committed to a ketogenic diet, where daily consumption of carbs was well under 100 grams. The transition to ketosis, which takes 2 to 3 weeks, was rough, but once I was there, strenuous exercise went much better.
Since May, I have lost an average of 3 or 4 lbs. a month, and this morning I even weighed in at 215.4 lbs., my lowest weight since 1989. My goal for this year is to get to around 205 lbs., and to get to 199 lbs. by the end of next year. So far, I'm right on track.
I hate counting calories, and I don't really even have to count carb grams any more. I get virtually all my carbs from fruits and vegetables. I learned the hard way that this approach only works if you replace the carbs with fat, not protein. Fat is what makes your food taste good, and what keeps you from getting hungry all the time. And just as eating food that contains cholesterol doesn't raise your blood cholesterol, eating good fat doesn't make you fat -- at least if you're like me and are insulin resistant or diabetic.
I weigh myself every morning at the same time. That way, I don't get alarmed by the "noise", because I can see it on the app on my Android phone. I use a great free app called Libra, which displays your weight on a graph, but also computes a trend line for you that takes into account all the noise.
This has been a life-long process, and there is no one solution for everyone. The main lessons for me were:
o commit to a permanent way of eating, not a short term diet
o don't use "cheat" days: that's a way of telling yourself that what you're doing is temporary.
o if you do fall off the wagon, pick yourself up and start right over again
o realize that the agribusiness and big pharma companies have a lot to gain by promotion the carb-based food pyramid as a healthy diet for everyone.
o exercise for fitness and for mental health, not for weight loss.
o learn to cook delicious meals that fit into your diet.
o stick to your way of eating when you go to restaurants. For example, I don't mind going to a pizza place. I have a pizza with all the toppings, and then discard the crust.
o don't think you're on a mission to save the world. I'm happy to tell others what I do, but how they eat is up to them entirely.
o don't expect that your significant other and your friends will necessarily go along with your plan. Fortunately, my wife supports me completely, but that isn't the key to my success.
there is some real motivation in here! some of you have really lost alot! Nice work everyone!
I was weighing in closer to 250 on the scale at the begining of Spring this year. My girlfriend got me onto the 'Eat Clean' Bandwagon which helped me drop 20 lbs in like 2 weeks (amazingly fast results) just cutting out junk food and fast food. No exercise to get the first 20 off. I got down as low as 216 these last few weeks. I started P90X this last week and i put back on 6 lbs lol. I have been running 2 miles every other day for the last 2 months and my legs are starting to hurt again so i picked up riding my Mountain Bike week before last for exercise and it occured to me I should be doing. SO now im shopping for a road bike to use. And now I find out im what is considered a Clyde!!! WTH now im a fatty again lol
btw im 6 foot and now 221 but am working my way down to 200. Buying an old school road bike will help me achieve that goal of hitting 200.
My girlfriend Rachael is a Team Beachbody coach, here is the lind to our facebook health journey page for those out there that like to "LIKE" junk on facebook lol
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