Fitness Minutes: (2,813)
638 9/18/12 2:17 P
HI there KittyK
I can totally relate. Every single 'diet' I have ever been on ever has ended when I hit my first plateau...and every single time I have gone back up to my 'regular' overweight weight...except this time. This time was different because I made it different.
I was in much the same position as you: no chance to be more active than I have always been, but that doesn't matter. Weight lost is almost all diet. I have lost what I have lost with no specific exercise routine. I am not saying don't be as active as you can be (I walk to work each day, etc), but it isn't the end all and be all.
What is the end all and be all? What was different this time? I fully accepted that (a) I was not going on a diet, I was permanently changing how I eat and (b) I would do anything it took, food-wise, to eat the healthiest most sustainable diet possible. What that worked out to in practice was, basically, doing caloric restriction (between 1200 to 1400 for me) and completely tossing out processed convenience food from my diet. Whole foods/Real food only. Also, I spent a lot of time studying (and practicing) portion control.
So why did this get me through the first (and second, and third) plateau and down to a size 6? Because every time I hit the point where I was not seeing weight loss, I could remind myself that the weight loss was only one element of changing how I eat. Since what I was really doing was giving myself the right food in the right amount, I could convince myself to just keep doing that, just keep giving my body the best. Mentally there was no 'diet' to cheat on: this is how I eat from now on...there was nothing to 'quit'.
Take a little time and read some books on the subject. I, and a lot of people on here, are big fans of Michael Polan when it comes to learning how to eat right, eat well, enjoy food, and eventually get your body in order. Check out In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto. That and Food Rules (which really is just the last part of In Defense of Food) are what got me on this path, what convinced me that changing how I eat was not only possible, but important for my quality of life, and what led be to, now, be not overweight for the first time since puberty...
I suppose what I am saying is to work on stepping away from the being on a diet mentality and towards making meaningful changes in your eating which just happen to lead to you losing weight :)
The best thing you can do is to take the FOCUS off the WEIGHT and numbers on a scale, I am not saying to IGNORE them, but focus on the other measures of success, of improved health, improved stamina, improved energy, looser fitting clothes, greater strength, consistency, peace of mind/reduced stress, and general feelings of SUCCESS.
Success does NOT have to be defined by numbers on a SCALE. You can define success in a lot of different and often more productive ways. Success for a freshly graduated college student might be that you made healthier choices when you went out with friends on Friday night - chose white wine instead of beer, or chose to skip the eeewwwy goooey dessert or chose to have tortilla chips with salsa instead of potato chips and creamy dips/dressings. It might be that you brought a healthy dish that you created to a party instead of relying on whatever was there. It might be that you parked your car a little further away from the store or that you walked a distance instead of getting in the car to go a couple of blocks. It might be that you were able to make a better impression on employers because of increased confidence and your energy.
Success breeds MORE SUCCESS and when you focus on these other measures of success, AND you recognize that the scales WILL go up and down from day to day and even within the SAME DAY and that even though the scale said you gained 5 pounds yesterday, you did not REALLY gain that weight in a single day. That the DROP of 5 pounds in a single day is no more reliable than the gain was - AND that keeping track of your weight does NOT make it real until the same kinds (within a pound or two) of weight show up day after day. Pick a day, once a week, once a month, or whenever and decide that will be the WEIGHT that counts. for me what I weigh on the first of the month IS my weight for the month. Sometimes it is several pounds HIGHER than the day before or the day after BUT it ONLY COUNTS on the first. I see a trend toward better numbers OVER TIME. The reality is that our weight does NOT follow the math very well - it takes 3500 calories deficit to lose a pound and 3500 more calories in than you use to gain a pound. The REAL math is NOT that simple.
Fitness Minutes: (577)
9/18/12 12:14 P
I've tried many times to "get back on the horse" and dedicate myself to losing weight and getting to a healthier place. Minor setbacks aren't as bothersome to me, but when I hit that first plateau, everything starts to fall apart and I give up. 8 months later, I find myself wanting to start over with my weight loss plan, until the same thing happens again.
My college lifestyle really didn't leave me much room to be more active or do much differently than what I was already doing. (I've been an honor student my whole life-so I spent a lot of time on homework and extracurricular activities for school which meant I was mostly sitting and fairly inactive except for walking to class). I just graduated in May, and am looking to secure my first full-time job in my career.
Just yesterday I decided I wanted to try to lose weight once again, and updated my Spark People profile and reset my weight loss goals. What can I do differently this time to make sure I can power through my plateau when it inevitably comes, and what can I do to stay motivated and positive? Nothing seems to work for me in the moment!
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