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DMARTIN302 SparkPoints: (74,969)
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8/31/13 9:59 P

Jill, you sound just like me (except a year ago, I was getting ready for my daughter's wedding and my 25th anniversary!). Since I started trying to lose weight 44 months ago, there are only FIVE months where I have lost more than 3 pounds. Generally it's a whopping 1 pound. I've increased my exercise and kept my calories in the appropriate ranges, and still, nothing. I started at 184 and it's taken me 44 months to lose 35 pounds -- and still have 15+ to go.

In addition to needing HRT for surgical menopause (a complication you don't have, though BC can cause similar issues), I have hypothyroidism. I had to fuss and fuss to get them to treat me. The accepted range for normal TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) was .5-5 until 2003, when it was changed to .3-3. Note that the low number means hyperthyroid and the high number means hypothyroid. I was falling at 4.8 -- right in that zone between the old and new ranges. Once I got one to start treating me (I had a team of 6 doctors), the weight loss went from a weight gain (despite cutting calories and starting an exercise program) to a nominal weight loss. Each of those 5 months that I've lost more than 3 pounds corresponds with an increased dosage because my thyroid numbers were out of whack.

Doctors are all different. Some doctors (doesn't matter if they are primary care or endocrinologists) will treat on symptoms of low thyroid and a borderline lab test, others won't treat until it exceeds the limit, still others won't treat until it gets to 10. You'll need to work with your doctor(s) on that, but it's worth knowing that the definition changed a decade ago and many doctors and labs are still using the pre-2003 definition. It's a long-shot, but something to check on, since you said you have an enlarged thyroid.

I also did the 600 calorie, medically supervised diet. After just about guaranteeing that I would lose 10 pounds in a month, I lost 3 pounds in 6 weeks. The doctors were shocked. I don't recommend that diet ever, but especially not if you are planning a wedding! It was AWFUL to do because you can't eat very much at all, but it helped make my case that perhaps my diet isn't the problem. They then tested my RMR and found that I only need 1010 calories per day -- the same as the average 127 year old who weighs 10 pounds less than I do (the calculator won't go over 127 years!).

And as far trying on dresses...don't worry if you're a few sizes different than the sample sizes. When I went with my daughter, there were lots of sizes, and if it didn't fit, they have ways of fastening it with clips and cords to hold it up to see what it looks like. And if you lose the weight between now and the wedding, the seamstresses can take it in. You're clearly not the largest bride they've seen, nor will you be the first to change weight dramatically between ordering the dress and being fitted should you be able to shake this plateau.

As far as being angry about not making progress: I'm right there with you. For me, first it was to lose weight for my daughter's college graduation, then her wedding/my 25th anniversary/my 50th birthday, then my son's college graduation. I've whiffed on them ALL. And while I didn't look like I wanted to, everything still worked out just fine.

In the last year, I've lost 7 pounds despite learning to swim, buying a bike, and competing in a triathlon (my second will be in 6 weeks). With 3 hours of strength and core training a week, 2-3 hours of swimming (4000-6000 yards), 1-2 hours of running, and 5 hours of cycling (50+ miles) PER WEEK, one would think I would lose slightly more than 7 pounds in a YEAR, and more than 2 in the last 6 months. My BMI puts me at the line between healthy and overweight, but my body fat keeps me squarely in "overfat." My diet? RMR + 90% of calories exercised (using HRMs and swim watches to accurately track) to create a deficit. 1400 calories per day and expending 400 calories per day JUST TO MAINTAIN? Yeah..."angry" is one way to describe it!

It is SO frustrating when you're doing everything right but not seeing results -- not weight, not inches, not body fat, or not even the way clothes fit. Particularly when you read on message boards when people have lost 10 pounds a month for the last 6 months and now are losing "only" a pound a week. I'd be THRILLED to lose a pound a week!

The good news is that you will find a gorgeous dress that flatters your figure. There's a dress for you, I promise. I found a gorgeous MOB dress that disguised my belly and upper arms. I looked so good, even both of my brothers gasped and told me I was gorgeous! (That NEVER happens!)

Looking back after 25 years, these are things I wish I'd have known:
- While I thought I was fat then, I really was slim and beautiful. I see this now in hindsight; I wish I would have listened to and believed my guests when they told me that.
- What was fashionable then is NOT now. My daughter actually laughed at my dress!
- The pictures I cherish most are of the people who are no longer with us. We didn't take enough of them. There were plenty of me and my husband, and we're wearing the same dated fashions in every last one of them with the same deliriously happy smile in all of them.
- The day went by SO FAST. It didn't matter what I -- or anyone else -- wore. None of the details of the cake, flowers, decor, favors, etc., matter much. Some people didn't even notice them! What matters is that you are starting your life with your husband and merging two families.

I hope this helps. Yes, you have a right to be angry that you're working so hard for seemingly no gain. But don't lose sight of the prize (your fiance and your health, not the dress!). There might still be some medical things to try to lose weight a little more quickly. And you'll find a GORGEOUS dress. :)

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 3,293
8/31/13 9:01 P

Yep, I've been stuck at 18-25 pounds from goal for a loooong time. It is incredibly frustrating and I understand the feeling of failure. I keep losing and gaining the same 5 pounds over and over again. I've had some real, unavoidable obstacles in my life since February of this year, but even when I buckle down and focus, it just isn't happening for me these days.

In my case, my endocrinologist told me that it would be impossible for me to lose any more weight about 30 pounds ago. So I am trying to feel good about the fact that I am where I am and that I am more or less maintaining.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (194,549)
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Posts: 26,851
8/29/13 11:16 A


Here's something to consider. Have you had your body fat measured ? And not by a body fat scale or hand held monitor. Have you have had a caliper test done ? If you can't afford a hydrostatic test (and those are pricey), go to your local reputable gym and ask a PT to do a 9 point caliper test. Don't let them do the 3 point, the 9 point is a bit more accurate.

Find out what your body fat percentage is. Your lean muscle may be higher than you think.

I think you really are being too hard on your body. You've made fantastic progress and now that the scale isn't moving as fast as it did when you started, you're getting frustrated. It really did take years to pack on the weight. it's not coming off in a few weeks or months. You're trying to change your body's biochemistry and that does take time.

It took me a year to lose 50-55 pounds. INDYGIRL ? She took two years to lose 260+ pounds. So, I think that you're down to the last 10-15 says that you DID do something right. Don't be hard on yourself and your body.

You really have made marvelous progress. And yes, the doctor/nurse who suggested you go to a diet clinic for a supervised 500 calorie diet was WRONG. I just don't understand why so many medical professionals think that putting someone on a starvation diet will help them lose weight. It seems to me if it hasn't worked before, it's not going to work now.

JILLWOLVERINE SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 53
8/29/13 9:30 A

I appreciate the responses. I do at least 45 minutes of cardio 5-6 days a week, and I do a mix of weight lifting and pilates four times a week. I change up what types of cardio and strength I am doing every few weeks. I am seeing changes in my muscles, but my weight and my measurements are not actually moving and haven't for a long time. I am enjoying the muscles but am frustrated that I am not getting any leaner so you can really see those muscles. :( I eat between 1300-1500 calories a day, depending on how hungry I am and what workouts I did that day. It's a very comfortable range for me, I don't even have to think about it anymore to meet it.

It is good to know I am not the only one who hit a plateau this hard! I have been stuck for a month or two before but going on 5 months is just maddening. I just keep thinking, something must be horribly wrong, if I am doing everything right it should be working... the endocrinologist suggested if atkins didn't work to go to some weight loss clinic where they would supervise me on a 500 calorie diet or consider surgery, and that's insane! I am only 15lbs overweight! Those can't be my only options! But I am just spinning my wheels doing what I am doing, I am not reducing my fat. There has to be something else.

My only theories right now are needing to REALLY fine tune my nutrition and not let "good" eating be enough, and the medication I take for BC. I am going to explore both options through a registered dietician, and I am going to see about changing that BC. When I was losing I only ever lost 2lbs a month and it was all at once the week I wasn't taking the BC. Around the time my plateau started I started taking that BC full time without the week off and my weight hasn't budged since-- it could be a coincidence, but I am having other side effects anyway so it's worth changing it and seeing what happens.

KARA623 Posts: 727
8/28/13 9:08 A

I was stuck on a plateau for a long time, too, when trying to lose the last 5-10. I actually had a year where I lost only 2 lbs the whole year, though I never let up with exercise and watching my nutrition. But as the previous poster said, increasing my calories helped. It's hard to wrap your mind around it, but sometimes that's what your body needs.

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,933)
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8/28/13 8:27 A

What's your calorie intake like?

Do you strength train?

I always found bumping my calories up for awhile broke me through plateaus/slow weight loss. Even maintaining your current weight for a month or two and then getting back on the deficit horse.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (194,549)
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Posts: 26,851
8/28/13 4:40 A


I give all new members and anyone who will listen to me one piece of advice and it's this,"Don't look at good health or weight loss with an all or nothing mentality". If the only healthy thing you did for yourself today was drink 8 glasses of water, that's still a step in the right direction.

Remember, there is more to good health than a number that stares at us from between our toes in the morning. There are changing happening to your body that can not be measured by a scale. Can you run or walk a mile faster now than you could a month ago ? Can you do more push ups ? Are you sleeping better ? Do you have a bit more energy ? Can you walk up stairs without getting tired ?

If you've been noticing improvements in your overall health and well being that IS a positive change. When will the scale move ? If you continue to eat right, watch your portions and get some regular exercise that includes some strength training, you WILL see change with time. But you have to be patient !! You didn't gain the weight overnight, it's not coming off overnight.

So, keep doing the right things for your body and eventually, the scale respond. If you really want to lose more inches, then you need to engage in a good strength training program. if you're strength training now and not seeing results, you need to adjust your program because a good strength training program will show results.

For now, if that wedding dress store doesn't have your dream dress in your size, try a different store. Go to different stores. Different stores have different sizes and styles to try on. Don't limit yourself to one store unless there is only one wedding store for 100 miles around.

So, stop beating yourself up because the scale isn't moving as fast as you'd like. Your body has its own schedule. you're going to have to accept that.

KARATE_KID SparkPoints: (57,509)
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8/27/13 11:03 P

You did not fail! You lost a bunch of weight, and you're still eating healthy and exercising which means you've adopted healthy new habits.

Being stuck on a plateau is frustrating. The last time I was stuck on a stubborn plateau I had to shift my nutrients around. I actually did Phase 1 of the South Beach diet which may be a bit extreme, but it did give my metabolism a kick start. Now I'm staying within the recommended range of nutrients on the SP tracker, but at the low end of carbs and high end of proteins. At least that's my goal; it's not always easy. I'm still losing very slowly but at least I've busted the plateau.

Bodies are amazing in their ability to adapt, both for nutrition and exercise. Sometime you've just got to shake things up. Having said that though, the last 10-15 pounds are hard. A dietitian would probably be very helpful for you.


JILLWOLVERINE SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 53
8/27/13 7:52 P

I have another 10-15 lbs to lose to not be considered overweight anymore, and I knew it would get slower and slower as I had less and less weight to lose-- but I didn't expect it to get this slow. I have kept up with my diet and exercise routine consistently, and have kept myself doing a wide variety of things to try to avoid a plateau, but that is where I am-- I have not lost a single pound or inch since April. In fact, in the last two months I have gained a half inch all over.

Now I am getting very frustrated, it seems like nothing I do makes a difference. Before I stalled out I was only able to lose an average of 2lbs in a month, and now nothing. I have been to the doctor, my thyroid is enlarged but tests are normal. They have no explanation and recommended I try atkins, which I am not interested in. I am looking for a registered dietician.. my eating has been great for a long time now but I am hoping different combinations of foods might help promote fat loss better than what I am eating now. I don't know how I will afford it, but I don't know what else to try.

I'd set out on a goal to lose two sizes in 9 months so that when I went wedding dress shopping I would be able to fit in the samples, but we are going next week and I won't be able to try on my dream dress because the only sample anyone has is too small. :( It probably would not flatter my figure now anyway even if they had my size. I failed. I am not going to give up but I am getting seriously angry that I can't seem to get any further. I want to look like myself when I get married, not like this. This is not me.

Has anybody else hit this stubborn of a plateau toward the end of their weight loss? And I don't mean slow progress, I mean NONE. HOW do I break this streak!? I just can't imagine why it is so sluggish.

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