This is a weight loss progress post, friends! Remember how I gave up weighing myself for lent and then I told you 20 things I learned from my no weighing challenge? I also wrote about how the first 40 lbs or so came off and some general weight loss tips.
Then it all went to hell.
Well, today I have an update, BUT before I delve into my weight loss progress I want to state two things:
- If you have about 20-30 lbs. to lose to get back to your healthy goal weight, I IMPLORE YOU to do it now before 20-30 becomes 40-50 or 80-100 or whatever. It is SO. HARD. to lose a massive amount of weight.
- Despite what I’m about to say in this blog post, I am not giving up, giving in or anything of that sort. This is my blog to vent my frustrations while keeping it real. It is SO. EASY. to gain weight, and therefore, I am not throwing in the towel.
Two Sundays ago, I was exercising and I hurt my knee to the point I had trouble walking and had to do seated cardio (yes, it’s actually a good workout!) for a few days.
I ended up making a doctor appointment, and the lady that does my vitals and such before I see the doctor isn’t the nicest lady, so I knew I’d end up seeing my weight on the scale even if I didn’t want to…
So, I weighed myself last Wednesday. I physically felt the same weight I had been the last time I weighed myself, and yet I physically know I am smaller because pants fits me loose. I realize those are contradicting statements, but essentially I know I’m smaller, but felt the same weight wise.
And I was pretty on point- I weighed in and had lost 1.2 lbs. since March 8. Yes, that means between March 8 and May 1, I’d lost 1.2 lbs. despite working out every single day in April, and the latter half of March. I have hundreds, if not over a thousand minutes of exercise under my belt in that six week timeframe.
I was pretty ticked, not going to lie. Even though I knew what I felt, I was hoping for at least five pounds. Nothing crazy.
Then from last Wednesday (May 1) through May 4 (Saturday), I gained a pound bringing me right back to the weight I was in mid-February.
I AM LOSING MY MIND.
Weight Loss & Calories In, Calories Out
Facebook comments are truly where humanity and kindness go out the window, and yet I am such a sucker for reading comments about weight loss or plus size fitness.
The one common thread I find in all of these comments is that fat people are/stay fat by choice, they need to workout more and they need to eat less and like, maybe eat salads or something. The Fat Logic Reddit also kind of delves into this sort of thing, and as a fat person who has been hardcore calorie counting, exercising and weighing every morsel of food she consumes, I always feel like a failure.
I want to reassure fat people haters/shamers THAT I AM TRYING REALLY DAMN HARD. I am not fat by choice, trust me.
I weigh my spring salad mix. I weigh individual components of fruit/veggie salads like a weirdo. I have a food scale at work. I track every macro.
I look at my Apple Watch that states I burn on average 2400-2600 calories a day, and I was eating about 1800-1900 calories/day, which should result in a calorie deficit of 600-800 a day. This should be enough, on paper, to lose at least a pound a week.
And I’m not. There I go off to Google and the Lose It Reddit to get ideas on how to bust through this plateau (is this a plateau? I guess it qualifies). I read Physiqonomics and watched a Syatt Fitness video on how to set calories/macros for weight loss, and my daily calorie goals with their calculations are 1960 and 2040, respectively.
As someone who is obese, I am legit afraid of eating more.
I go on My Fitness Pal and do their calculator and it tells me 1600. For nearly two months I worked my butt off with exercise, and I stayed the same (essentially), so logically I think I need to lower my calories, right? Have I been eating at maintenance?
The trouble with that frame of thinking is eventually a person keeps cutting more and more calories and ends up 1200/day with nowhere lower to go. My goal has always been to try to eat as much as I can and still lose weight.
But I’m not. And I am at my wits end because in a year I’ve lost 55 lbs. I know that’s a pound per week on average, BUT I AM STILL OBESE. I haven’t lost any substantial weight since mid-February:
- I am not 170 pounds and trying to lose those last 10 to get to my sweet spot of 160.
- I have about 50 pounds to get to my wedding weight, and another 20 on top of that to get to a weight that would still classify me as overweight.
- I have plenty of fat to lose; this is not vanity weight.
- I just want my weight to start with a 1 already. It’s been TEN YEARS since I’ve seen that 1 as the leading digit on the scale.
Why is it this hard for me and yet other people lose 100 lbs. in the same timeframe or less?
I’ve had bloodwork done and it’s all normal.
I just want to be really beautiful, fit and healthy. I want to wear shorts, sleeveless tops and shop at regular stores.
I can’t squat, do lunges, stairs are still hard on my knees, getting down/up off the floor takes an act of congress. I really want this so very much, and I have worked so hard.
What is wrong with me?
Muscle Doesn’t Weigh More Than Fat
I would say 70% of my exercise is cardio. I’m loving Turbo Fire, Turbo Jam and Walk Away the Pounds.
The other 30% is strength and resistance training using free weights, resistance bands and my own body weight.
Lots of well meaning people on Instagram kept telling me I also probably gained muscle mass (this would be a good thing), and that muscle weighs more than fat. It doesn’t, but I get what they’re trying to say.
However, I really do not believe that my body has lost both fat and yet gained muscle in equal amounts, which would explain lack of movement on the scale.
My upper body strength is so weak that I’m using four pound dumbbells for lateral raises and have trouble completing the three sets of 12 that my workout regimen states I should do.
I understand inflammation goes up with cardio exercise, and I understand sore muscles retain water.
The problem is that after eight weeks of this, something has got to give.
Getting Through a Weight Loss Plateau
I don’t even know if I’d call this a plateau. I mean, here’s the trend:
- November 2018-January 2019: Lose/gain the same 3-4 pounds
- February 11-February 23, 2019: Do keto and lose 10 pounds
- February 23-May 8, 2019: Lose nothing
- Bright side: I didn’t regain those 10 lbs from keto once I reintroduced carbs
What’s my plan to push through?
Well, given that I know how easily my body gains weight, I will continue to exercise and track everything I eat.
Exercise also helps reinforce my physical therapy and is good for my mental health, too.
For the next month, I am trying 1500-1700 calories and seeing if that shakes things up. I’m also taking 2-3 rest days per week to see if that helps get rid of potential water weight from my exercising.
In addition to focusing on calories, I am also extra focused on meeting my protein target of 120-140 grams per day. Carbs and fat can fall wherever they may as long as calories/protein are met.
I’ve resumed weekly weigh-ins on Saturdays and avoid the scale all the other days. The last weekend of every month is when I take measurements and progress photos– sometimes these things show more progress than the scale does.
And finally, I have a pair of super tight jeans I am trying to fit into that I put on every few weeks to see if I’m making progress.
All that to say that I plan to continue trying despite what the scale says because I have to. Giving up is simply not an option.
IF THAT DOES NOT WORK to get weight loss going after four weeks, I’ve decided to take a two week break from calorie restriction and eat at “maintenance” levels of 2200-2400 calories and then resume a calorie deficit with a range of 1800-1900 calories. During my maintenance break, I would still continue healthy food habits and exercise.
If you have any ideas, I am all ears because I feel broken, discouraged and like I’ve failed all of you who follow along for my weight loss stories. I’m sorry I don’t have better news to report, but it’s my truth.
I do not believe this should be this hard or complicated, yet here I am. Still fat.