I've been pretty much on a plateau since July 2007. That is 8 months. I lost my first 40 lbs from January to June 2007. In June/July, I lost 5 lbs without trying. I spent August in Italy, and came back about 3 lbs over. I quickly lost that. In October, I lost maybe 1 lb. And stayed there, going up and down one or two lbs, for months. And months. And months.
I signed up for a half marathon with a friend, and started training. Walked 25-35 miles per week. I changed my calorie level on the SP tracker - but when I put in my true cals burned per week, I couldn't believe it - eat 2000-2400 calories a day? NO WAY would I lose weight that way. I scaled back the cals burned each week, ate 1700-2000 cals a day, felt happy, felt good, didn't lose an ounce.
After about 6 weeks of that, I hurt my foot. Walking 8 miles in Birkenstock sandals, on concrete, is not a good idea when one is 50-something. I developed metatarsalgia - I am now in Asics with metatarsal pads added in. I also had to stop walking. I still walk at school, I'm not on crutches or anything. But instead of averaging 12,000-14,000 steps a day, I do 4000-6000 or so.
So I scaled back my cals in the tracker. I figure I burn maybe 1500 cals a week with my walking around as a teacher, and going up to the office or whatever. So the new range has been 1300-1650 cals a day.
Well, after 8 months on a plateau, I figured who cares, let's have some ice cream. In a waffle bowl. I came out with 1642 calories. And lost 2 lbs overnight.
I tried it again - 1645 cals, brie cheese instead of ice cream. Down half a lb.
DANG!!!!! I've been eating too little!!!!! I haven't eaten enough fat!!!!! I starved myself onto a plateau!!!!!!!!!
Yes, I know - SparkPeople tells us this. You'd think I'd listen, huh? Nope, I'm stubborn. I know I plateau every 10 lbs or so. I've never plateaued this long.
And now I know my current magic number. Right around 1650 cals every day. I've kept this up for 6 days. I've lost 3 lbs. I am one (ONE!) lb away from "overweight" and out of "obese" BMI.
SO - people (myself included here!!) - LISTEN to our Spark Coaches! They know what they are talking about! You don't have to starve yourself to lose weight! You don't have to eat non-fat foods forever! I now add one full-fat dairy item per day. Today it is half and half in my coffee. Tomorrow might be full fat Greek yogurt, or more Ben & Jerry (single scoop at the store, I won't buy a pint).
EAT MORE TO LOSE MORE! That's my new mantra. That's my new policy. Stick with my magic number, until it isn't the magic number anymore. Then I'll search and experiment and find a new magic number. Until I hit my goal, now only 30-40 lbs away.
And then I'll eat a little more to maintain.
And, in the words of Scarlett O'Hara, I will never be hungry again!