Posted by: leebase | January 26, 2013

Keeping The Faith In the Face of a Plateau

plateauI am coming up on two months at the same weight, the first serious plateau in my journey to health. I was 231.8 last November 30, and I weighed in at 231.6 this
past Sunday, January 20. That included the holidays where I gained 5lbs. No mystery about that. I enjoyed time with my family and ate a lot of holiday treats.

Still, it’s been a month since the holidays and I haven’t even lost those 5lbs completely yet. I have been eating on plan. I have been exercising. More than just exercising, I started the Power 90 program more than three weeks ago. Strength training one day, cardio the next…6 days a week, one day of “rest”. More than that, I do the P90 in the morning and some other exercise at night (swim, elliptical, treadmill, walk). I’ve been doing 2 a day work outs since just past Christmas.

I’ve finished the book “Lose It Fast, Lose It Forever” by Pete Thomas, winner of the at home prize for season 2 of the Biggest Loser. All his excellent advice, most of which I’d already been doing, is pretty normal fare for how to lose weight. The “Lose It Fast” is about having intense exercise above and beyond the norm. So it’s not fad starvation diet advice (not that I’ve been doing that anyway). It helped inspire me to up my game in the exercise department.

But still, the scale taunts me. It is water? Has my exercise put on 10lbs of muscle in a month (my missing weight loss)? Who knows. What I do know is that I’ve been eating very well. Sticking mostly to real foods (not processed, not fast foods). Tracking with MyFitnessPal, I _know_ I should be losing weight. What to do?

Well, pretty much, I will keep doing what I’ve been doing. I know that eating right and exercising is the key to good health. Sometimes you have to just keep on keeping on. Have faith. Soldier on. You don’t just throw in the towel and quit. You don’t quickly jump to the conclusion that your plan isn’t working. Plateaus happen. I’ve heard about them from most anyone who’s had success in losing weight. I had assumed that folks simply ate too much or didn’t work out enough during those times. Well, I can testify that I’ve tracked what I’ve eaten and how I’ve exercised…and cannot explain this plateau in simple calories in vs. calories out.

Before the “No Sure, No Grains” crowed starts to gloat…I’ve not been eating TOO much of those kinds of foods either. Too much to be in ketosis, for sure. But my carbs are 100g a day range. And I’ve lost 80lbs since starting this journey so it’s not like I haven’t _some_ idea of what to do. I’m eating better than at any time before, even if not perfect. I’m working out MUCH harder than I ever have.

There has been marked improvement, just not the type shown on the scale. I just ran the mile in 9:38 this morning during the first leg of my 5K. I couldn’t run a single mile…at all…just a couple months ago. I run 5k’s several times a week now. I’ve gone from just trying to make it through the P90 exercise routines to pushing myself harder, using stronger resistance bands, etc. I’ve gone from not being able to do a girl pushup, to doing the first 2 rounds of 8 with regular pushups, then 21 girl pushups in the third round of P90 sculpting. I’m making terrific progress in my level of fitness.
In time the scale WILL move. No, I do not think “extra muscle mass” explains the amount of “missing weight loss”, though surely I am putting on some muscle. My measurements haven’t changed either (neck, belly, waist).

I will keep the faith. I will keep eating as I have: proteins (steak, chicken, pork, fish) and non-starchy vegetables will be the main part of my diet. Nuts and fruits will be eaten in moderation. Sugary snacks and chips will be occasional treats. I will exercise and keep pushing harder. The more fit I get, the harder I am able to work out.

In time, the scale WILL move.

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