Stuck.

As great as it feels to write these “Look at the race/hike/etc. I did!” and “Here’s how I lost weight!” posts, I think it’s important to document the challenges I’m facing as well. Lately, I have been struggling with motivation to keep up with the “new” routines that I worked so hard to establish. (Really? New? You’d think ten and a half months would no longer qualify as new.)

Right now, I’m just plain stuck. The needle on the scale hasn’t moved in a month and a half. Nor have the other measurements I’ve been tracking (chest/waist/hips). Everything has just sort of stalled.

On the one hand, I’m thrilled that the bathroom scale says I’ve lost 50 pounds. (The doctor’s scale last said it’s really more like 35 though both scales read the same weight at my heaviest, so I’m not sure what’s going on there.) It’s been lots of fun “shopping” through the smaller clothes at the back of my closet. Just last week I was told that I have the blood pressure of a teenager, which was pretty cool. Especially considering I haven’t been a teenager for close to 20 years. Maybe that means I can stop the blood pressure meds in the near future.

On the other hand, it is incredibly frustrating to keep working so hard without any visible results for weeks on end.

I’ve tried changing up the foods I eat – both the variety and amounts – with no results. I’ve tried changing up exercise methods, again with no results. Add to that the frustration of not being able to run for the last week and a half or so, and yeah… I’m now having to work REALLY hard not to fall back into my old patterns. I just want to go home with a big bag of greasy food and a pack of cigarettes and dig in/light up despite the fact that I know that would only be counterproductive. Feeling down about things is no reason to start poisoning my body with all that crap again. I know this. I tell myself this regularly. But I still want to do it. Very much a lot.

I am also well aware that plateaus will happen when one is losing weight. I’ve had a couple previously, but they didn’t last much longer than a couple of weeks. I suppose I should feel grateful that it has taken this long before I hit this kind of stall. I suppose I should also be glad that the measurements are holding steady instead of going the other direction. But knowing all that doesn’t make it any less disheartening.

I know that eventually the numbers will start moving down again as long as I don’t let those old habits creep back in. I just have to remember that while it’s not easy, it’s also not complicated.

6 comments

  1. I can so relate to this. Don’t really have any advice. Just know you’re not alone and we’re all here for you rooting you on. Maybe the few days rest will help reset things somehow?

  2. Hi Thom – My initial gut reaction (especially based on your last post of your meal plan) is that you’re not eating enough calories. I went through a similar problem when I was at my lower weight a couple of years ago. I still wanted to lose 10-15 lbs but the scale wasn’t moving. I had a trainer at the time and she made me track my food intake and immediately made me start eating more. I was eating around 1200-1400 calories and burning at least 500 per day (giving me a net caloric intake of 700-900 calories). She wanted my net intake to NEVER be less than 1200 so I had to up my intake. When I changed things I did start losing again, about 1 lb a week. It just goes slower once you get down to where you want to be. But of course you want the extra calories to be “good” calories. Try adding in some extra protein, especially in your breakfast or lunch. Good luck!

    *Seriously, it’s been almost 20 years since we were teenagers? Ack.

    Judy (formerly Landry)

    1. Hey Judy,

      Thanks for the input. I’ll admit that I don’t actively count calories because I don’t want to let my OCD get a hold of that. That said, I did re-input a typical day’s food into MyFitnessPal and came up with just over 1700 calories. Granted, I also don’t measure/weigh my food, so that number may be a bit off. The site is currently recommending 1,640/day for an average loss rate of 2 pounds per week. Given that I burn somewhere close to 500 calories on my short runs (every other day weekdays), that does net me around 1200 for the day. And that would also put me around a net of 700 on my long run days when I burn closer to 1,000 (Saturday or Sunday), but those days I typically do eat back many of those burned calories.

      Erm… And I just took another look at what I put into MFP, which included a cup of rice that I’ve added back to my evening meals this week – which accounts for about 200 calories that I *hadn’t* been eating for quite some time. So, yeah. It’s really just a game of changing things and seeing what works and what doesn’t.

      * I know, right? I keep trying to ignore the part where I’m pushing 40. It isn’t working.

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