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MORNINGGLORY893 SparkPoints: (27,896)
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1/22/14 5:27 A

I don't have this all figured out but my journey has become easier once my motivation became health instead of weight. Learning that eating healthy can help me avoid the diabetes and heart disease that is common in my family has been my motivation. Reading Eat to Live and watching Forks over Knives has really impacted my eating habits.

Also, I found that the scale was my enemy at times! I complete the calorie and fitness tracker every day to monitor my behavior but I have not weighed myself in the last 8 months. This has eliminated the emotional rollercoaster connected with the scale. I monitor progress with my clothing.

KELLBEAN Posts: 103
1/21/14 5:01 P

Hypo over here...hang in there it's taken me three years to get on board with a new lifestyle of nutritious eating habits and daily exercise..boy was I stubborn.

SUGARJESS SparkPoints: (4,394)
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Posts: 42
1/21/14 4:18 P

I have a thyroid condition(s), I have Hashimotos and Graves disease. A few years back I was able to lose more than 80 pounds, through determination and hard work I did it! Now I have gained this weight back and have found it harder this time around to get motivated.

PATTIMET Posts: 657
1/21/14 11:19 A

As many people have suggested get your thyroid checked. It definitely slows down the metabolism. Get out the measuring cups make sure that what you think is the correct portion size really is. Mix up the exercise - the longer you do the same things the more efficient your body becomes and it doesn't use the same energy to complete it. If you can find a trainer to push you harder - they will push you to your limits and may give you a boost.

Good luck on your journey.

2013SWEETJANE SparkPoints: (8,879)
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1/20/14 1:49 P

All great pointers and ideas! What I am doing today to regenerate my passion to stay on track is to: Go to the Zumba class at the gym. No, I can't DO it, really...I shuffle where others flamboyantly shimmy and shake. But it's FUN for me, and that's the best encouragement to exercise, by far. Also, I just ordered myself a juicer. It's not a top-of-the-line, but it's a decent Breville that can get me started on incorporating more healthy greens into my food plan. And later I am going to re-watch the very inspiring DVD, "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead".

This is a journey. We have to make it our own. You can't do my journey, and I can't do yours. So, I can't say, "Do this, and you'll succeed". I can only say here is what I'm doing, maybe some of it will click for you, too. If not, happily disregard everything I've said, and blaze your own trail!

You're HERE, you'll find your way with it. And CELEBRATE every little thing you've improved upon over that time you've spent getting healthier, thus far. We must be our own best cheerleaders!

Love and hugs, proud of us all!


YOGA1973 SparkPoints: (3,937)
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1/20/14 1:30 P

Reasons for back-slidding:
1. Hectic life/increase in life stress
2. Routine fatigue
3. Diet fatigue
4. Exercise boredom

1. Recognize the cause(s)
2. Realize and ACKNOWLEDGE how far you've come so far.
3. KNOW there is NO WAY you want to sacrifice any of that progress to a temporary backslide.
4. Don't keep telling yourself the backslide is 'temporary' or that you'll get back on track 'tomorrow'. (Truthful to oneself is the first step to go back on-track.)
5. Address the solutions to the cause(s) and SOLVE 'EM or choose an acceptable coping method that is good for your physical and mental health.
6. Now, get back on track! Whoo hoo!

Love to all, keep pushin'! emoticon

KICKINGIT@56 Posts: 3,166
1/19/14 4:04 P

Lots of good ideas and advice which is one of the reasons that SP is such a great website.
When my motivation starts to diminish I examine my expectations. You've done an admirable job of making and sticking with lifestyle changes which have been working for you. (20 lbs lost is not insignificant). Perhaps you were expecting it to get easier or that the weight loss should be accelerating ( like a snowball rolling downhill) instead of slowing down. The body is a marvelous machine always trying to achieve homeostasis - reaching a set point and staying there. Find a level of exercise and a food plan you can live with and stick with for the long haul so you will not lose the progress you have already made.

Do I sound like I have it all figured out? I don't! It has taken me over 5 years to lose 13 lbs which is only half of what I'd like to lose. It has been frustratingly slow but there is no denying that if I had not been staying on track (and getting back on track) I'd probably be 13 lbs or more heavier than I am now. Don't just think about where you are now but where you might be if you had not taken the steps you did to get healthier. Keep at it. Don't give up.

emoticon emoticon

2013SWEETJANE SparkPoints: (8,879)
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1/19/14 2:43 P

In response to DIANEDOES: What a lot of good ideas on overcoming the stagnation effect of a long-term lifestyle change. I second the "collage" idea. I created a "vision board" a few weeks ago, with pictures from magazines and a few inspiring words cut from them, too. It now sits on top of a tall chest of drawers in my bedroom, right next to a lamp. So, every time I turn on the light and walk in, I see it. I find myself looking at it every day and feeling cheered and encouraged and re-connected with what is important to me and why. It also serves as a reminder that I need to continue to find time for the creative side of me! We are not just creatures who eat and exercise. I think when the focus becomes too pinpointed on ONLY those things, we soon stop having fun and being positive in our mind-set. Then boredom and ennui and "the blahs" set up shop and pretty soon it's gray skies and thunderclouds everywhere you look! Hope Mandy tries some of your ideas, I think they will be a BIG help!

Edited by: 2013SWEETJANE at: 1/19/2014 (14:43)
KELLBEAN Posts: 103
1/19/14 2:22 P

Love your ideas. I was thinking that I love projects - mostly remodeling the house..there are several going on as we speak. But, doing something keeps your mind busy. Most definitely need to keep the mind busy! Also - we might practice keeping ourselves at the top of the project list. I often let myself go because of all the other major things that need my attention. Balance is the key to staying motivated. Motivation to me is really another brain exercise closely related to self-discipline. I'll let you know when I have this tackled - still working on it myself. :)

1/18/14 2:41 P

HI Mandy !!

GREAT Idea's here !! Mine may repeat a little and so , I DO apologize.
I was at this point a few weeks ago,, I've been at this since 2010 or rather that's when I joined SPARKS, I had started 2 yrs before that. My total loss now is 70lbs. :) Still for ALL the YRS I've been doing this,,, YO !!

So when I lost my motivation two weeks ago,,, and again the other day, I sat down, and wrote out in my journal all I have been Doing RIGHT !!! I noticed it was A LOT of things ! Now I drink water,,, try to eat freggies (this is a CONSTANT battle, but starting WOOHOOO TO WIN !) I've ALWAYS exercised, so that remains the same,,,, and that's GREAT !!! For I have a TON of health issues (mostly feet,,, and back,, have had 17 surgeries on feet) ,,, and I was quite FRANK with writing out the GOOD things,, than I asked "So why am I doing this to myself"? I had restarted to gain.

When I wrote it ALL OUT ,,, I came to the conclusion I was BORED !! Bored of it all !! The same routine,, eating etc. so I wrote out,, what CAN I DO instead of over eating ? Nibbling? When bored,,, first was what we've learned,, DRINK water !! At least a cup of it,,,,, that in general takes away the urge,,, sometimes I drink flavored water.

So what ELSE Can I do? I LOVE doing painting, drawing etc, but haven't been, so that's what I have recently started back with ! WOOHOO IT"S WORKING For me !!

So do you have ANY hobbies,,, reading, arts & Crafts,,, maybe like to play games,,, (not on puter) if so invite others over,,,if you have the time. I am TRYING to do that !!! I can than plan the snacks so they are healthy ! OH YEAH !!! Also the Pats are playing the Bronco's tomorrow night, and I am HUGE FAN OF BOTH teams !! I live in New England, but did in Denver,, who to DECIDE TO CHEER FOR??? I will NOT know til it starts. LOL

So if bordom is a part of the prob find something to do. If it's NOT ,, than how about making a NEW COLLAGE of where you wish to be when the journey is done? Also hoping on the motivational thread and helping others, for when we help others, we ALSo help ourselves !! U NO DOUBT have a LOT of GREAT Experience ! That ALWAYS helps me get back to what it is I wish. Mix UP the routine,,, find something FUN and diff to do for exercising. Than let ALL UR FRIENDS/FAMILY know,,, and watch their faces that YOU are doing WHAT????? LOL It's LOADS OF FUN !!

hope this helps hon. WISHING YOU THE VERY BEST !!

1/18/14 3:08 A

Don't worry about doing everything right at once. Just focus on incorporating one good habit a week! It's all the little small steps that eventually add up to big progress. Seriously!

BOREDA SparkPoints: (366,827)
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1/17/14 6:00 P

I'm in a similar boat on this one, albeit that my boat is floating in a slightly different part of the ocean. I started in January 2012, hit goal (losing 60lbs) in July 2012 and have been maintaining ever since. So losing the weight was relatively quick and easy, but the maintenance is HARD WORK! I have found by trial and error that I need to eat no more than around 1400 calories a day (even though Spark says my BMR is 1540 and I burn around 500 calories a day in exercise). I started losing motivation, slacking off a bit, in September 2013, and since then I have put on 6lbs -- hardly a disaster in itself, and I can still fit into my skinny jeans, but it is 10% of what I lost and definitely heading in the wrong direction. But it is SO hard to get back the motivation... I shall try not to quit, and I wish you success in keeping going!

CTHCTH1 Posts: 103
1/17/14 3:14 P

I went through the same thing and could not seem to shed much weight no matter what I did. Then I had my thyroid tested and found I had low thyroid. Medication is now right and I am losing at the rate of 2 lbs. per week. I don't work out nearly as much as you do and if you haven't had your thyroid checked by a competent doctor, I suggest that you might want to think about doing that. It made all the difference for me.
Huge congratulations on your perseverance. It's not just about the scale. You have done a lot to make lifestyle changes, which mean health benefits. Please don't give up. You helped me today just reading your post! emoticon

MARIBETHKC Posts: 1,312
1/17/14 2:33 P

There are so many good ideas on this thread. One thing that has always helped me is to continue to hold myself accountable. By that I mean that even if I'm not eating according to plan, I make sure I track it. I would never give up the scale because it too holds me accountable. There are times, for many reasons, when it's hard to stick with the plan, but if you can ride it through, things will get better. When I slip, it seems to be with carbs, so I'll make a special effort to be mindful of the carbs. I find this time of year especially difficult--- so cold and grey, but it will get better. Like other people have said, you have to believe in yourself. You also have to love yourself and be kind to yourself. I spent too many years beating myself up for slipups-- they are always going to happen, and you have to find ways to cope that will work for you.

CHAQUITA73 SparkPoints: (69,876)
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1/16/14 8:05 P

I could have written the original post myself.

I did really well the last half of 2012. 2013 started off with some bad "ju-ju" at work that I used as an excuse to "forget" how to eat/workout. I ate horribly for the entire year and workouts slowly stopped. I realize through it all, I was lucky to maintain 20 of my 25 pound weight loss from 2012.

I just started getting back on track over the last few weeks. It took me hitting bottom (I pretty much ate my way through the holidays a few weeks ago and felt miserable) to realize that I really want to lose the excess weight.

I've made an effort to start running again and taking time to pack lunch/snacks as well as logging all food. It's made the difference for me.

Unfortunately, it will take a bit of soul searching on your part to rekindle the spark. Everyone here believes in you. Do you believe in yourself?

LJBRANDOK Posts: 183
1/16/14 7:37 P

I tried to tell myself that my decisions are about having a healthy lifestyle and living longer. I also tell myself that I had a lot of years of being unhealthy and eating whatever and not exercising. It took a lot of time to get to 235 pounds; it took a long time to get to a more reasonable weight. Try to think of long-term benefits, too. Hope all of this is helpful. We've all been there.

JPEARSON86 SparkPoints: (1,789)
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1/16/14 6:03 P

You should read the article on what is the definition of motivation. I thought I knew until I read the article. I thought it was so great I even made a poster for my wall that reads "Motivation- Taking Responsibility For Conscious Actions". Works for me.

DANAEBOYCE1 SparkPoints: (16,481)
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Posts: 224
1/16/14 3:24 P

I was thinking about it, and I think that even if you are not motivated, track your food. I have noticed that as long as I am tracking, I tend to lose weight, even if I dont exercise. It just makes you more accountable.

2013SWEETJANE SparkPoints: (8,879)
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1/16/14 2:31 P

Right there with you on the low thyroid thing. I've been on medication for about 15 years now, and despite the "numbers" being in the "normal" or desired range, it is HARD to drop any of the weight I gained during the time my thyroid issue went untreated. I don't think the replacement hormone really acts exactly the same as your original thyroid did.
As with most of life, you have to deal with the way it is, not the way it ought to be, right?
I am not yet having success with losing appreciable amounts of weight. But I am not quitting. I am going to keep on trying. If there's ANY movement towards a lighter me, that'll be a plus. I'm hoping once a few pounds come off, my energy will accelerate and with it my vision of losing significant weight will come into focus.
Hope you don't give up, either! You're here, that's a start!

1/16/14 1:47 P


Fitness Minutes: (17,158)
Posts: 1,163
1/16/14 1:05 P

I will assume you have had you thyroid checked out? Mine quit during my pregnancy with Shorty. The meds help me feel better but don't replace the metabolism.It's slow and tedious.

that said, you need a change? Re-work your food, cycle to 1800 calories, adding extra protein once a week. Break your meals into 6 mini meals. My go to snack is an apple with almond butter. Double check you are getting enough water. Double check your sodium intake.

Change whatever you are doing as a work out. Your body adjusts to your exercise. You may need to use heavier weights? Change your work out. Add a speed component or a hill climb if you are a runner. Take a class that involves all muscle groups, bootcamp, plyometrics. See what is sore the next day, chances are you have an under used muscle group? Add some low impact work outs into your regular day. Take the stairs at work, take a walk at lunch. Park farther away from the store. Add an extra few blocks to the dogs walk.

Sign up for a race, a 5K, a triathalon or an obstacle run and train for it. Re-evalute your goals, are you wanting the magic number or the life you had that coincided with that weight? What made that part of your life great? Was it social? Maybe try and re-creat some of that life. For me, my most fit and fun times were when I had "me" time. I have a demanding husband who works crazy hours, rental property to manage, a couple kids underfoot and the "me" time is gone. When I have some time to myself to work out, I feel better and everything clicks. Hang tough, you can do this!

JSIMMON1 Posts: 228
1/16/14 12:13 P

Thanks everyone for your advise to the person starting this thread. We all get discouraged and for me it's the *#)&& scale that is usually to blame.

When this happens I try to focus on what I have achieved - how much better my clothes feel, am I a smaller size, if I took body measurements at the start - have I shrunk, do I feel better, am I able to do more without feeling tired.....

There was one person who wrote put the scale away and focus on being healthy. I think this is good advice - determine a non weight related goal and work towards it.

Also realize that you don't have to deprive yourself when you are on a diet. There are some really incredible recipes out there for healthy, delicious foods. Personally I seek out delishous side dishes that I can rotate in and out of my food plan. If you have been eating basically the same foods for a long time its no wonder your body is craving something different.

One last thougt - is your goal reasonable? I would love to weigh what I weighed in college but that just may not be possible. Focus on healthy lifestyle behaviours and your body will find the weight that is best for you and as a bonus you get to live a longer, healthier life which is a heck of a bonus if you ask me.

P.S. I also loose weight EXTREMELY slowly no matter what I do - I've tried to adapt the attitude that in a famine situation I would have an advantage - so someday this metabolism of mine might be a plus. I've also changed my ticker to track minutes of activity because this is something that I can totally control.
emoticon emoticon

Edited by: JSIMMON1 at: 1/16/2014 (12:18)
1/16/14 11:30 A

My Fitbit has helped me get back on the right track. It does my activity tracking for me, and seeing myself get near to certain milestones helps to give me the motivation to move just a little bit more.

P.S. Jamirblaze--great response, it inspired me.

Edited by: LARKSONGRUTH at: 1/16/2014 (11:32)
JAMIRBLAZE Posts: 1,784
1/16/14 10:11 A

About 1.5 years in, I was much the same. My weight loss had slowed, I was having more cheat days, and I was taking more licks, bites, etc. that weren't being tracked. I was 15-20 lbs from goal, and feeling frustrated. I had to step back and take a look at myself, my exercise and my goals. I was dialing it in more than actually wanting to change.

I cleaned up my eating, focused more on making sure that I was getting enough protein/fat/carbs, and stopped worrying so much about the scale. I switched my goals from weight to more fitness based. I had been slacking in some of my workouts, and that had to stop. I started lifting heavier and more often, and incorporated more HIIT and less steady state. I pushed myself.

Seven-ish months later, I'm 1lbs from goal and transitioning to maintenance. I'm getting stronger. I never knew that I could not actively hate burpees. I can do a 5K without stopping and am working on increasing my running distance/speed. I'm working on reducing sugar from my diet for health reasons, not weight. I don't eat many processed foods. I've found a way that I can eat, most days, for the rest of my life that's (mostly) easy to stick to. I rarely find myself wanting to indulge, as I usually work in most of the things that I want to my plan.

Set goals for yourself that aren't just weight related. Want to run a marathon? Set a realistic goal like doing a 5K in a couple of months. Then a 10K, etc. Want to lower your body fat? Great. HIIT workouts make the most of your limited time, and eating as cleanly as possible will help. Want to feel strong? Lift and lift heavy. Higher weight, less reps makes the best use of your time. Maybe there are aspects of your diet (sugar, protein, processed foods, etc.) that you want to change.

I noticed that you mentioned lower fat. Make sure that you are getting enough. I tend to go low on fat due to some dietary preferences, and the days that I feel the worst about this journey and least satisfied is when my fat is too low. Also, make sure that you are getting protein! Good luck!

Edited by: JAMIRBLAZE at: 1/16/2014 (10:12)
1/16/14 9:27 A


GZELLEFRO SparkPoints: (87,871)
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1/15/14 9:44 P

Whenever I feel like I'm losing motivation, I remind myself how far I've come and tell myself that I don't want to gain any weight back or inches. This has worked better for me than any other thing I've tried. I hope it helps you too! emoticon emoticon

Don't ever hesitate to ask for help because people here have been there and are more than willing to inspire you!! God bless you.

Edited by: GZELLEFRO at: 1/15/2014 (21:44)
CHRISTYMARIE89 SparkPoints: (566)
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1/15/14 9:16 P

Just remember how good it felt to lose those 20 pounds. Once you hit a plateau it's hard to stay motivated ,but if you keep pushing you will lose more and you will feel even better. Just hold on to that feeling of losing your first 20 pounds because it only gets better.

2013SWEETJANE SparkPoints: (8,879)
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1/15/14 3:38 P

Once that initial rush of optimism and visions of ones' self climbing mountains, going to the beach in a two-piece bathing suit, dancing in the arms of a man who is utterly bewitched by you, or whatever your favorite "after I lose weight" fantasy is has faded, doing the things that get results can get to seem boring. Pedestrian. Endless. Useless. And the negative self-talk gets louder and louder. Up go the know the ones. Where you say, "I'm counting ALL my calories but not losing anything!" Except, the reality is that you're "fudging the numbers" a little here and there; maybe counting a half cup of pasta, but eating a cup and a half? Or, you're just eating more calories that you need, so no matter how carefully you count them, you can't lose! We've all done it, all been there. Like we really think that we can lie (to ourselves, even) and somehow, magically, the fat will just GO AWAY. But of course, it won't.
Here's what I do to get jazzed up again, after I've taken a detour down the river called "denial": One of my favorite things is to watch "Biggest Loser" on TV. You see others struggle, and some days they don't lose or they even gain. But they KEEP ON GOING. They get back on track. And you find yourself picking up tips and also cheering on your "favorite" as the weeks go by. Pretty soon your head is in an "I can do that, if SHE can do it!" place. Works for me. Another is to read a new (or re-read one you already own) diet book. Something inspired you to buy it, why not re-read it and find out what clicked? Get re-focused, realize the only person who can MAKE this happen is the one sitting here on her butt. Then give that person a hug...after all, this isn't easy!...and get back on your feet and just keep on going.
That's the motto. I read somewhere that any permanent change for the good requires "long obediance, in the SAME direction". In other words, you can't be a dilettante and just sort of PLAY at it, now and then. When you feel like it, or the sun is shining, or you have a high-energy day. You've got to do it like you breathe...all the time, all the time, all the time.
And if the program you're following...REALLY following....still isn't giving you results? Then it is definitely time to get a NEW program. See a nutritionist. Get a personal trainer or a physical therapist to show you why what you're doing isn't working. Because it isn't magic. It's just numbers in, numbers out; and honesty and perseverance, once you find the right food/exercise combination.
In a year and a half, you should've built up some muscle, which should be making losing weight easier. Don't lose motivation. Get mad! Go after what you know you DESERVE! That great healthy body and mind and lifestyle that will let you go after whatever you want, for many years to come. You are worth it!

SCOOTSMOM50 SparkPoints: (2,512)
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1/15/14 9:16 A

First congrats oon the twenty pounds,( quite an accomplishment) Now I started out on Weight Watchers and was doing well, but then life tossed me a curve ball, and the hubs had surgery on his ankles,(surgery and then about 5 months of recovery and rehabilitation. He is fine now and bounced back stronger than ever) But as sometimes happens when you needto care for someone I came last, after everything and everyone else. And being a type II Diabetic, my sugars has gone up as my weight had come down. Finally after two years I got frustrated and after gaining back what I had lost after my Doctor added insulin, I had a heart to heart with her. The word I used was UNACCEPTABLE, regaing what I'd fought hard to lose was unacceptable, the fact that no matter what I did it didn't work, was unacceptable. She listened and agreed, suggested a reduced calorie diet. MY sugars are slowly coming down, and my weight is a work in progress, I loost 5lbs but am currently at a standstill,( I need to exercise that is my biggest flaw)

After losing what you have, you've hit a plateau, your body needs time to catch up with itself. You do need to eat though, depriving yourself makes the body go into starvation mode and it holds onto the weight as a survival mechanism. Up your caloric intake, with healthy things, including protein. Change the type of exercise you do,( believe it or not the body gets used to and immune to exercise if you do the same thing every day or week. ( I do Zumba, but I have several dvds, and change it up depending on time and my mood) And both hubs and I made a new years resolution that when the nice weather comes, we will be at the park more instead of sitting in front of the tube. (exercising doesn't have to mean sweating it out in a gym) Biking, hiking, even an after dinner walk can be beneficial. Strap on wrist or hand weights for resistence if you want the weight work. The main thing is that EVERYONE hits the Plateau while trying to lose weight, (there may be several Plateaus) But don't let it discourage you. Eat a bit more( as long as it's good stuff, maybe try a food you've never had before) and change up your exercise. You body will get back on track and so will you.

FITMARY Posts: 8,636
1/14/14 7:57 P

I think everyone on Spark People can relate! And all the good advice you've gotten---I bet most of us have tried all these tips at various times. Why? Because we are human---not machines--- and we have to keep tweaking things to keep ourselves interested, engaged, and progressing.

What has worked best for me at such moments is to find a goal that will keep me focused on something besides the everyday reality. For example, I promised myself that I would work out at least 10 minutes a day for 100 days. Of course there's a Spark Team for that! It kept me going and I even ended up extending my streak to 365 days! It was enough fun that I kept going. I'm currently training for a 5K (even though I'm not a runner and haven't ever really had that as a goal) just as a way to keep going. Little rewards may help too. When I really got stuck once, the promise of a new workout shirt was enough to help me lose 5 lbs. finally.

Not everyone will agree, but if you have your portion control well in hand, you might also try going without tracking for a while. You can always come back to it if you find yourself going off the deep end, but you might not need to. I was spending so much time tracking and it didn't really seem all that useful anymore since I eat the same meals in the same portions a lot of the time and by now I know well enough how to say in a healthy, reasonable range. And just eating a normal diet without having to track it makes it more routine and pleasant and less of a chore, at least for me.

It does take FOREVER to lose, but of course it's worth it in the end. You WILL get there! Stay strong!

DMARTIN302 SparkPoints: (75,474)
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1/14/14 6:53 P

You sound like me! I've been doing this for 42 months now -- weighing foods, striving for mostly produce with whole grains and lean protein. I picked up running 39 months ago, cycling 16 months ago, and swimming 12 months ago. I've trained for two triathlons with two more scheduled for this year, working out 6-8 times a week for at least 300 calories per day and keeping my calories at or under 1450 per day (female, 5'3", started at 184, low of 147, 51 years old).

That allowed me to lose 7 pounds last year. SEVEN. I've lost a total of 37 in the first 3.5 years. I'm so envious of your 20 in the last year and a half! :)

At the last race in October, I hurt my knee. It caused me to take 8 weeks off. I didn't reduce my calories and now I've gained back all 7 pounds in the last 12 weeks. :( 12 weeks to gain back 20% of what it took me 35 months to lose!

Here's the catch for me: I'm hypothyroid and post-menopausal. After consulting with a series of endocrinologists, nutritionists, and trainers/coaches, I finally had my BMR done. I need a paltry 1010 calories per day (about what a 127 year old woman who weighs 10 pounds less than me needs!). This piece of information has been invaluable! Now I know what I'm up against. I can never eat more than 1400 calories per day, provided I'm exercising.

I tell you this for several reasons: one is that if you've still got weight to lose and you're truly doing everything right, perhaps a trip to the doctor is in order. Secondly, it's always helpful to know that there are others who struggle similarly to you. Somehow, if I can commiserate with others fighting the same battle, it's comforting and I can muster more motivation. You've helped motivate me by reminding me that I should move on from my weight gain pity party! Thirdly, YOU know your body. You know what the parameters are to lose weight (albeit painfully slowly). That realization is sometimes enough to regain your motivation. For me, I can stop tracking and exercising, but then I can gain the weight back (and likely more). I've already undone a year of hard work in only 12 weeks! Looking at that choice, I choose to be healthier, if not thinner.

It's also hardest to eat right and exercise in post-holiday period when the days are short and cold and there isn't a lot of produce that's in-season right now.

Keep up the good work! You can do this!

PIXIEDUST180 SparkPoints: (1,439)
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1/14/14 2:05 P

Not sure if anyone covered this already, but it IS possible that you have gained muscle and replaced the fat. Muscle weighs more than fat, so that may be why those last few pounds are difficult to lose.

Maybe to boost your motivation you can have your doctor or gym measure your BMI, or from now on, not worry about the number on the scale, but measure how much you've lost by watching your measurements (waist, arms, legs etc.)

You've come so far, and done so well. Keep up the healthy lifestyle!!

1/14/14 11:07 A

Mandi, first off - good for you; don't give up. I started my "lifestyle change" in August, 2012 with the goal of losing 50 lbs. by my 50th birthday, May, 2013. I hit my mark by adhering to a 1,200 - 1,500 calorie diet and exercising although over the holidays I gained four pounds back, and I'm now working to get that off and an additional 10 - 15 lbs. as my body fat is on the high end.

I've been working with personal trainers who are much more knowledgeable about exercise than I'll ever be as I don't have an athletic bone in my body! I just started the new year with a male trainer. 17 months ago I was totally intimidated by this guy! His nutritional advice is stricter than I care to be as I'm not into deprivation, but I'm listening to what he has to say.

Here are some of his "Rules of Conduct":

1) Serving Size - be very mindful of a serving
2) Drink water, black coffee or unsweetened tea
3) ABSOLUTELY NO SOFT DRINKS or sport drinks of any kind
4) Eliminate as much sugar as possible & ALWAYS avoid high fructose corn syrup (it's the devil & if you see it in a label's ingredients, put it back on the shelf!)
5) Only eat the white meat from chicken & turkey
6) Avoid pork & pork products (as many are processed)
7) No "extras" on sandwiches and sides (i.e. butter, mayo, cheese) - Mustard is good
8) No creamy dressings on salads & skip extras (i.e. croutons, cheese, bacon, etc.)
9) Meal replacement bars/drinks for "on the go" & are to be used sparingly
10) Treats ARE NOT acceptable snacks; know the difference!

Like I said, he's pretty strict. His belief is that food is strictly to nourish the body. (I'm definitely not on the same page as him. I need food to taste good. I enjoy food. It is my one vice!)

I am constantly reminding myself to severely limit prepared, processed & prepackaged food. Of course, this pretty much limits you to meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts & legumes. Anything that comes from the earth is good. Everything else is crap. Try to shop the perimeter of the grocery store. That's where most of the acceptable foods are.

Once I cut back on my sugar intake, I found I no longer craved it. Old habits are hard to break though. My mind tells me I can still eat like I used to; my body tells me different. For instance, I ate a piece of birthday cake with sickly sweet icing on it. I felt sick to my stomach afterward. This is a good thing for me! I hope this happens to me every time I overindulge in sweets. Eventually, I'm hoping it will deter me from eating fattening desserts.

My new trainer says to aim for 80/20. Be strict 80% of the time and lenient 20% of the time. I would like to believe this means if I stick to my designated caloric intake all week, then I can go out to dinner on Saturday night and not have to worry so much...maybe even have a drink without guilt!

I hope you can extract something from this that you will find useful. We are all a work in progress. Good luck to you! emoticon

KELLYFIT123 Posts: 1,312
1/14/14 8:33 A

If it's feasible for you to do, in addition to getting your body fat % tested (I got mine done at my local hospital's wellness center), consider talking to a dietician. S/he might be helpful in thinking about your diet in a new way.

From what you described, I'd be tired too. Good luck!

WITTYBRIT2 Posts: 81
1/14/14 7:24 A

You all have great encouragement for anyone here. In the back of my mind I always think 'it took me years of poor eating habits to gain this weight, why would I think I could drop it all in a few weeks'. I have just climbed back on the wagon and have cut out my nemesis, bread and processed foods. Almost immediately I am seeing the weight drop, and more importantly, feeling better, less bloated, with more energy and not feeling starved or deprived. I have discovered 'corn thins' at my local health food store. These provide me with a crunchy snack and taste like popcorn!

Keep on keeping on.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
1/13/14 9:58 A

Over the last 4.5 years I have lost 170 lbs, or just .69 lbs a week. No one is losing 2 lbs. a week for very long. Over long periods, we have ups and downs, and average less than a lb a week. The problem is, everyone remember the 3 lb drop of October 2012, and wonders why this week the scale only moved .4 lbs.

The only concern I have for you, is that you think of this as a struggle. After a month, anything you are doing consistently should become a habit. I eat low carb, and I don't even think about it now. I just cook up meat and veggies, and eat it. I don't crave anything, or even think about other foods. I don't eat those, so unless someone waves it under my nose, I really don't have any struggle. You make it sound as though you have been struggling to control your diet for 19 months, while exercising quite a lot, and 20 lbs. is your result.

20 lbs is great, but not if you are feeling cravings, and feeling deprived, as you police yourself from constant thoughts of foods that you can't have. Then any loss of motivation, or lack of diligence, could result in you stopping your plan. After 19 months, it should be your lifestyle, and be easy to follow.

Personally, I am not motivated, or excited about my diet. It is just how I eat now. I don't think hard about it, or what I don't eat, unless talking about it here. I may think about whether to eat peas, or green beans, but that's about it.

What I notice a lot is that people are always cravings foods they can't have, and they ignore this, with amazing willpower. They lose 7 lbs. in 4 months, and feel like they are going to extreme lengths for small losses.

Your problem in that case is not too slow of weight loss, but that is was so hard to follow. I have no willpower. As a former binge eater, I eat when I am hungry. So I eat low carb, which has removed all my cravings, and while I only lose ,69 lbs a week on average, I have been able to keep that up for 245 weeks, since it is simple, and easy, not a battle. Since it is easy, I just think even if I lose 1/2 a lb a week, that is 26 lbs. a year, and 104 in 4 years.

If you are fighting your mind and body, to stick to a diet, then it will be impossible to eat for the rest of your life, and when you quit it, you will regain the weight. A diet should fit your life, be easy to follow, and not cause you to ever feel hunger, or cravings. It should be like sleeping, since it is a natural part of your life.

If we struggle to sleep, we do something about it. That isn't natural. Struggling with our diet is just as unnatural. At 19 months, you should just be eating what it is you eat, and living your life. No need for motivation. We don't need to get motivated to sleep.

If you are struggling. Stop and ask yourself why it is so hard. Why do you need to be motivated? Find a way to make losing weight easy, and switch to that. If losing 20 lbs was easy, even after 19 months, you would now be thinking, I'll be at goal weight in another 19 months.. sweet!

SUNSHINE6442 Posts: 2,251
1/13/14 9:03 A

Several days of fewer carbohydrates and more protein can help push you off a plateau
Also look at the labels and check sodium and sugar content of the foods you are might be surprised.........skip all breads and pasta for a few days.... eat veggie berries which have the least impact on blood sugar and veggies as they can also hydrate you.

If pounds aren't coming off salt may be sabotaging your effort to lose weight. Try to eat 1,000MG of salt or less per day and see the pounds start coming off once again. Cumin revs weight loss, so substitute cumin for salt.

I also found that moving every 20 minutes all day long helps. Even mild dehydration can stall weight loss. If you really want to treat your body right you should try to drink small gulps frequently, particularly while exercising.

Another thing is you might want to see a doctor to check if you are insulin resistant. I used to exercise like wild and not lose a pound...once diagnosed I stuck to a low carb diet and lost over 100lbs to date. When you are insulin resistant your body converts every calorie it can into fat even if you’re dieting. And it won't let you burn fat when you exercise.Being insulin resistant means your body stops responding to insulin, and instead grabs every calorie it can and deposits it as fat. So no matter how little you eat, you will gradually gain weight.
A person's body sometimes has trouble maintaining stable blood sugar...diabetic or not!

Check with your health professional for guidance

Edited by: SUNSHINE6442 at: 1/13/2014 (09:21)
KRICKET57 SparkPoints: (255,753)
Fitness Minutes: (257,001)
Posts: 2,515
1/13/14 8:27 A

I cannot add anything to what has already been said, so the only thing I can add is best wishes. You can do this. Make the adjustments you need and refocus on yourself and your goals. You have come this far and I am sure you can make it to your goal. Don't loose hope, just readjust and keep moving forward.

MANDI_BEAR202 SparkPoints: (7,118)
Fitness Minutes: (4,859)
Posts: 15
1/13/14 2:14 A

Wow! thank you all for the encouraging words and advice. I think it is an especially good idea to up my calorie intake for a few weeks so that I don't feel so deprived. I will try this and see if it works.

My work outs usually consist of a variety of things such as, the elliptical, running, (distance/intervals/hills), biking, or circuit training, zumba, strength training (dumbbell/kettle bell, push ups, sit ups, dips, planks...), work out videos, apps, yoga… I aim for 30 minutes to 1 hour each session.

What has got me this far is thinking about the long term results of a healthier lifestyle. Sometimes it definitely seems more like a "diet" or a chore. It is becoming that way. I agree I've probably focused a little too much on the scale. I do feel better in my clothes, but I haven't dropped multiple sizes, my BMI is 28.1. I'm 5'4. I'm positive my Body fat percentage is greater than 20%. Probably closer to 30%. (there is no six-pack forming).

I might look into seeing a doctor to run test as well. Michelle, I think I will hold onto your link. It is helpful. Callmecarrie, that is exactly what I don't want to do, give up. Although, I may have wallowed in self pity and defeat the last few days.

I'm glad to know, I'm not the only one that has hit this wall. I will keep chugging along, after a small break.

TLB1630 SparkPoints: (44,671)
Fitness Minutes: (44,270)
Posts: 548
1/12/14 11:53 P

Ya gotta get the SPAT - SparkPeople Activity Tracker - emoticon emoticon emoticon

Ya gotta make this journey a GAME!!! It works for me!!! emoticon

1/12/14 8:20 P

I'm a restarter like many others here. I became discouraged and quit. I regained pounds. I also regained all of those miserable bodily complaints that brought me here in the first place. The misery of like feet swelling, aches and pains, disliking how I looked and feeling badly about myself.
The 6 pound losses and loose clothing feelings of the early days make this journey feel great. It's easy to keep going then. The plateaus and starts and stalls closer to the end are much harder to overcome. Where's the applause for a tiny loss? Yes, a small indiscretion can wipe out days of hard work. Things you got away with in the past like small unplanned snacks are very revealing come weigh in day.
You have already learned to make healthier choices on this journey. Think of this time as the learning you need for maintenance. You now know the cost of many small choices. Rather than be discouraged revitalize your journey. It isn't about what NOT to eat but what TO eat instead for maintenance. How can you change the need to snack? Need more veggies? Need better snack choices? Need encouragement. You've got it!
Don't give up. Your body is telling you that you need more tools to maintain your losses. Keep searching for the tools you need. You are worth it!
You can do this because you have done this and you can do it again. Hope you find the hand you need to make it through this rough stretch.

CARDAMOMMA SparkPoints: (21,057)
Fitness Minutes: (21,962)
Posts: 467
1/12/14 12:51 P

Wow, congratulations on sticking with it for over a year and a half!! Especially with what seems like results that are less than what you were hoping for. You have a strong will.

I think Modique gave excellent advice. Decide to move up a few calories (maybe a nearly maintenance level of calories for you?) for a few weeks. You won't feel hungry, it'll be easier to stay on your plan, and you may find you have more energy and, weirdly, that the scale moves downward. And even it doesn't, you'll still be in control of what you're eating, and planning and deciding, which feels so much better than letting things happen without planning.

Judith Beck's book, The Beck Diet Plan, has been super helpful to me in coming back after being discouraged, and I highly recommend it. It's all about changing the way you think about dieting, so that it's easier to get through these inevitable rough patches.

Good luck! You'll get through and come out stronger on the other side.

EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
1/12/14 12:49 P

I've read that the "last few" pounds are typically the most difficult to shed. That seems to be right about where you are. And I can relate to your being frustrated with having made efforts for so long and not being at your final goal.

Use some other success markers along with your scale. How's your health? improved? That's a good indicator. You're doing right things with your nutritional plan there, if so.
I agree with a previous comment about your level of activity -- maybe you're pushing it too hard, and your body's trying to conserve what it has because it now expects to be in deficit. Our metabolisms are incredibly savvy that way.
There's also some reliable research out there, current science, which is showing that the "old ways" of weight-loss diets aren't especially effective. We're all admonished toward cutting calories, cutting fats, exercising more... and those things are not the most advantageous method to shed pounds. By the science, in any case. Yes, it's still promoted; it's been part of our "common wisdom" for so long that many can't escape those parameters. Newer indicators lean more toward what we eat, where those calories are derived. Perhaps you might research that a bit and see if it might help jump-start your efforts again.

Don't lose faith. Hang in there. Focus on how far you've come toward your desires, and don't throw that all away. You can do it!

1/12/14 11:27 A

How many calories are you eating? I am frustrated too because I am 3 pounds above where I was last year. That means I am losing weight I already lost... I know that I have to eat 1200 calories and exercise in order to see the results I want. I have had to deconstruct my diet, start over and make a real commitment to exercise. You can bust through this plateau. And you should give yourself a pat on the back for not gaining more. When I lost track of things I gained 6.5 pounds before I even realized it and each pound is such a struggle.

MLAURETO Posts: 33
1/12/14 10:50 A

This past September and October I kept loosing and gaining the same 3lbs. Like you, I had a goal to stay around 1,500 calories, and with other lifestyle and diet changes, I was chugging along with weight loss till September came.

It was extremely stressful by early October that when I got on the scale and saw that, even with my best efforts, I had gained a 1lb.

What I have done in the past at a crossroad like this is to give up. What's the point of depriving myself of certain foods, starve off hunger and such to not see results? This time though, I changed my mindset on what it meant to be healthy.

Healthy is not a number on the scale. I put the scale away. Healthy is not being obsessive with food. I still made healthy choices but I stopped tracking and having forbidden foods. I let go of the guilt and self hate if I over indulged or skipped a workout. Also, I made a point to mix up my workouts and added weight lifting.

Being healthy became less of a chore and more of a lifestyle choice- second nature by taking the stress out of hitting a certain number.

Three months into my new mindset and I am 12lbs lighter, but more importantly I have finally figured out how to make being healthy work for me.

It is so frustrating not seeing the numbers move when on you are doing everything correct, but try to make a few tweaks in your program and stick with it. You will see results.

NIRERIN Posts: 14,247
1/12/14 10:25 A

you're losing roughly 1/4lb per week. your ticker says you planned to lose 35lbs overall. so how tall are you? male/female? age? and what do you weigh? that's going to be a big factor in where you start. also, have you had your bodyfat percentage checked? by a doctor, not some guy at the gym who gets paid if you become his client. because your bodyfat percentage is the golden rule, not the number that happens to be on the scale. because if you're female and already at 20% bodyfat, you basically need to be training like a professional athlete to drop below that. and dropping below that might even involve gaining weight. if you're in the 30s or upper 20s you can likely lose some weight. if you have a higher number, have you headed to your doc for a checkup to make sure there isn't a medical issue interfering?

unless your long term plan involves never eating out again, eating out a little more isn't slipping up. eating out is something that most of us will do at one point or another, and managing it is the key. eating out isn't a mark in the bad job column. eating out and doing so reasonably around the calories you wanted/needed it to be is a mark in the good job column. eating out more is how you figure out how to do so in a manner that maintains your weight. again, unless you plan to never eat out again this sort of trial and error is how you learn how to eat out in a way that works for you.

i must preface my tangent about snacking by saying that i am a grazer. meals do nothing for me, i am quite happy eating about eight snacks a day. so i may be quite gung ho on the snack front. but there are two really important things about snacking. a snack should still contribute something to your diet [yep, i use the primary definition of the word, which is what one eats] and thus have a bit of protein, carb, fat and fiber. and the trade off to snacking is having smaller meals. in other words, it's fine if you want to snack or find yourself snacking, but the trade you have to make is eating fewer calories at mealtimes. so a snack isn't a family sized bag of chips. if you want chips, perhaps try half a serving with a 1/4 cup of beans, 1/2 oz of cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa and maybe a little avocado. in other words, if you're taking the calories out of a meal, make sure that you're having something that might actually hold you for a bit. it's not for everyone, but it is an alternative if you find that not snacking just isn't cutting it for you.
then there is your exercise. are you eating enough to fuel it? the first part about that goes back to your basic stats. the second part is what kind of a workout are you doing four to six times a week? if you're walking 30 minute miles for an hour you're probably not having an issue. but if you're running seven minute miles, benching 1.5 times your body weight or something more along those lines you may not be eating enough to fuel what you are doing. also if you're hitting a ceiling in one kind of workout, try a different one that works the same area. in other words, if you're not feeling bicep curls start working on pull ups. or you may just have to admit that you have peaked on some things. another possibility is that there is an underlying issue with why you aren't able to push yourself to where you usually can. could you have a medical issue?

this is me mostly throwing out a ton of suggestions so you can see what sticks. you didn't include any basic information, so it's kind of like asking on the internet if your outfit matches without including a picture. the more information you give people, the better the advice you're going to get. you'll also not spend so much time sorting through the suggestions of the things that you're already doing and feeling like people are judging you for what you are or aren't doing. it's just that when you have such an issue, you start with the basics. like if your tv won't turn on, you check the connections, make sure it's plugged in and check the batteries in your remote. they're stupidly basic suggestions, but they are the first line of defense. and it's quicker, cheaper and easier than calling in a repair guy to tell you that you need new batteries in the remote or that the cat turned the power strip off. you rule out all the basic stuff first, and once you have eliminated the obvious it can be easier to find a solution to the problem.
if what you're doing isn't working that doesn't mean that you aren't putting the effort in. what it might mean is that you're putting a lot of effort into something that doesn't have anything to do with what you want to achieve. and picking apart what you are doing is the way to figure out what part of your efforts need redirecting to a channel that gets you where you want to be. because if your goal is to get a blue m&m, it's going to be nearly impossible if you're buying coconut m&ms or skittles. and you can go to as many stores as you can and buy as many bags as you want but you're very unlikely to find that blue m&m until until you hit on buying the peanut or plain m&ms instead of the coconut.

MICHELLE73101 Posts: 317
1/12/14 9:59 A

Sometimes you just need a little break to meditate on your goals. Remember why you set them in the first place and adjust if you need to. Once you remember how bad you want to get there, then you will find it much easier to find the strength to do it.

Here are some great tactics that I use when I need to dig deep to find the motivation:

1/12/14 8:02 A

I say this hoping to give you motivating advice. I lost 110 pounds, then life got really busy around late last June. Incrementally, I started slipping more, cutting corners, measuring less, tracking less.... and as of January 1, I was 30 pounds heavier than I was in June. You don't want that to happen to you. I'm now back on track 100%. Motivation is a really tricky thing so I don't really know what to say, except you don't want to undo all the great work you've done so far!

MODIQUE Posts: 30
1/12/14 7:44 A


I think most of us can relate one way or another to what you're saying. It must be really tough not to see the scale move.

First off though - CONGRATULATIONS! A year and seven months of being really healthy and twenty pounds already gone? That's fantastic! If this is the first moment of lacking motivation then you're doing really well.

What I would say though is your schedule sounds quite punishing. Only 1,500 calories yet you're working out up to six times a week? You're really going full steam! Anyone would find that a struggle to keep up long term.

Why don't you have a bit of a break and take a week to eat quite healthily but 'normal' calories (around 2000 or thereabouts) and while you're doing that think about the exercise you're doing. You must be really fit now so rather than hitting the gym or whatever you do, why don't you join a sports team or do something that involves learning a skill, like a martial art or climbing or a water sport? Or could you teach something perhaps?

The difficult part was accepting that weight loss is slow, I think you've achieved that, so now branch out, be impulsive, shake-up your routine both in terms of diet and exercise and do things that make you happy!

I have faith that you will be fine.

MANDI_BEAR202 SparkPoints: (7,118)
Fitness Minutes: (4,859)
Posts: 15
1/12/14 5:56 A

I have been 100% at this for 1 year and 7 months. I've gradually changed the way I'm eating. I eat more vegetables and/or fruits at every meal. I measure foods, replace foods for lower cal/fat/sodium and am using more whole grains, less dairy/bread…. I usually do not eat snacks. When I do it usually includes vegetables or fruits. When logging I eat 1500 cal on most days. I work out at least 4 times a week. Depending on my schedule, I will work out up to 6 days a week. I have had to work on sleeping better, this is definitely a downfall of mine. I drink water throughout each day (at least 2L per day).

I have lost roughly 20 pounds over the last year and a half. It has been a painfully slow process. As anyone who has been on this journey knows, every day is challenging, of course...

Lately, I've lost motivation to do the right things. I've had more and more "slip ups". I keep telling myself I can get back on track, but I never actually do. I'll pack my breakfast/lunch/dinner depending on the schedule, and cook at home. Around my meals though, I'm starting to snack unnecessarily. I'm also starting to eat out a little more. I still work out, but I have a hard time pushing myself like I know I'm capable of doing.

I'm discouraged because I've not seen the results that I would like… Come on it's been a year and a half! I'm just growing tired of struggling. I have tried to find like minded people, but I either get people that do not have the same fitness and nutritional goals/lifestyle or I get judged like I just don't try.

Any advise, anyone else feel the same?

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