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Frustration used to be a board game from my childhood, now its how I feel about this journey.

Another month of frustration.

I’ve lost a pound this month.  1 pound.  Which means I’ve only got to lose  just over one pound  to reach the low of 179 that I hit oh so briefly 3 months ago.  So I’m frustrated. Earlier on this journey,  I was losing four to five pounds a month. On the other hand, I haven’t gained weight either.

Weight plateaus are frustrating.  We are doing so well, and see the pounds melt off and then all of a sudden it stops.  And the freak outs and panic and blame starts.

“What am I doing wrong?”, “What’s wrong with me?” , “It’s all my fault, if I were more perfect, this wouldn’t happen”.  When I went to Google “weight loss plateau”, most of what I found were articles detailing things to try to get past that stall.  Restricting calories, upping exercise.  All things that corroborate that I’m to blame for this stall and that if I just did things better, or did more of them, then my weight loss would continue.

Now I’ll admit that I haven’t been perfect about getting to the gym, but in reality, this plateau started when I began hitting the gym more.  With my on-line school plus another online course through Coursera on Greek and Roman Mythology, plus work, I haven’t had much time or energy to get to the gym as regularly as I should.  I also realized that I was drinking a bit more than I should and *gasp* I had sushi this month (carbs). I also did a bit more traveling and staying with friends. And really how can I say no to a friend who makes me a gluten-free blueberry pancake for breakfast?  (I only had one)

But in reality, a weight-loss plateau or stall is also about our bodies re-settling themselves. It’s also about reaching a set point.  Remember when I wrote about how I haven’t been able to get out of the 180’s for years? While I am not comfortable being in the 180’s, my body is.  It’s not only an emotional situation, it’s a physical situation. Apparently, there is some scientific evidence that says that once you lose 10% of your body weight, your body starts to fight back. Guess what 10% of my body loss is?  20 pounds.  Yep, the amount that I have lost. Apparently, it takes anywhere from 3 to 6 months to reset that set point for your body to feel comfortable with it.

The good thing, is I haven’t given up.  Sure my weight loss has been small, but I just have to remember that in July I weighed 182.6 pounds.  In three months, I’ve still lost 2 pounds.  Yes, its frustrating and slow,  but the scale is still going down.

I am changing things up a bit more for the next month.  I’m giving up most alcohol.  I still might have a vodka but no more than twice this month. I’m also committing to getting to the gym once a week.  If I can do that three weeks in a row, I’ll figure out how to add in another day a week.  Knowing me, if I continue to fail to hit my goal of three days a week, I’ll just keep spiraling down.  Better to keep a commitment to one day a week to get me back on track. Oh and no more sushi. The one thing I’m definitely not going to do is give up. It’s just going to take me longer.

October 2012 Measurements

Measurement Starting Current Difference
Weight 200 lbs 180.6 lbs -19.40 lbs
Chest 39.00″ 36.50 -2.50″
Waist 36.50″ 32.50 -4.00
Stomach 43.00″ 35.50 -7.50″
Hips 45.00″ 41.00 -4.00″
Thighs 25.25″ 23.00 -2.25″
Biceps 15.50″ 14.50 -1.00″

As frustrating as all of this has been, my measurements do show progress. 2 of my measurements are lower than they have been since I’ve started.  I lost 1.25 inches in my chest and 1.5 inches in my waist. I am at my lowest measurement in 3 of my areas. Keeping in mind how last month, I was at an event where most of the meals were carbohydrate heavy, I’ve still lost inches from when I started, so this is a huge improvement.

I’m also fitting into more of my clothes. I tried on a pair of old jeans that I haven’t been able to get into for about 3 years.  While still a bit snug in the waist, everything else fit really well. So while my weight hasn’t improved, my measurements have, and that keeps me more motivated.

Fitness Report Series

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