I have been with Spark People for almost 5 years now, and I am still 20 lbs from goal. I am not 'worried' nor discouraged over this because in the process of this journey of doing the footwork, I have learned quite a bit, and Life has changed quite a bit as well, which further demanded more learning, more paying attention to, more testing and trying. Life is, after all, a balancing act!
I have been on Teams with old timers and new timers and have been very aware of the difference between 'weight-change' and 'weight loss'; I have become aware of what it means to be 'skinny-fat', which was a very important realization for me for some time, and confirmed my need to do ST long ago, when I first read about our bodies losing 1/2 lb. a year each year we don't use those muscles, after the age of 20! Becoming aware of the importance of muscle strength and its impact on bone health and strength made me very aware of the need to cultivate both diligently, or face the consequences as we live longer.........in order to live 'better' to the best of my ability!
After a loss of 40 lbs and a stubborn plateau visited me, and then stayed as if it decided to LIVE with me, I decided I needed to have a clearer way of measuring the changes I was undergoing and any I needed to make. So I gifted myself an OMICRON body scale, which not only 'weighed' me, but also gave me a general idea of three very important indicators: body comp, visceral fat, and adjusted RMkcals needed based on changes stored over time.
The handbook had a chart that explained SO CLEARLY what I have tried to point out time and again, to those who keep worrying about weekly weight changes and what the scale in lbs says and I include that above, hoping it helps others as it did me, to see what I needed to do and not JUST in terms of 'rapid' weight loss schemes, but, tangentially and LOGICALLY, I concluded, WHY we need to do our ST religiously the entire time we are working on lifestyle changes! Indeed, to make it an integral aspect of that change! ST OFFSETS loss of muscle that does and will occur as we 'lose' weight. And we don't want to 'lose' anymore than we must. In fact, we really need to 'grow' our muscles and that takes hard work, MINDFUL hard work!
The other concern I became aware of but which is seldom discussed or addressed in forums is 'visceral fat', which I have managed to bring down 1 point with a loss of 40 lbs, putting me right on the edge of safe and not safe. The handbook has a very good picture of that as well. Visceral fat levels are an indicator of health risks as well. So my main focus physically, has been body comp change with weight loss targeting visceral and subcutaneous fats, through both preserving & building muscle.
The third issue is RM kcal changes; I know SparkPeople pops up a dialog every 10 lbs we lose, or so, to remind us that we need LESS cals in as our BMI changes down. Figuring out what is going to work for me is a highly individual aspect since we all are at very different levels of muscle-to-fat ratios, and so the higher the muscle ratio, the higher our metabolism. This means that I may need MORE cals in rather than less to feed the muscle, and burn the fat. It gets tricky, but one thing I have learned is that in any pursuit, mindful effort is absolutely imperative, and therefore, commitment to this demands it fully! So I continue to niggle out what works, what does not, and mostly, I continue to pick myself up and do the footwork, trusting that over time, my body will develop as it can.