Friday, October 12, 2012
This morning when I weighed in I discovered I had lost an additional 1.5 pounds. Considering I had not dropped a single pound since September 15th, this was momentous. So how did I banish the plateau? There are so many factors that I can't attribute it to one particular thing that I did. I'll just list some of the changes I made.
1. With my doctor's permission, I stopped taking my thyroid medicine. Doctors like to deny that a medication could cause weight gain or plateaus. If they admitted it, no one would want to take it. The lesson I've learned is that I have to be vigilant about what goes in my body--even if it's prescribed medication. A doctor is not going to always know how YOU will respond to a certain medication. If you complain and they don't listen--for heaven's sake get a new doctor.
2. Calorie cycling. Jillian Michaels is right. Calorie cycling works. Last weekend, I spent THREE days eating around 2,400 calories a day, then THREE days this work week eating about 1,200 calories a day. What's particularly interesting to me is that I ate all kinds of stuff over that weekend and STILL lost. This calls into question a lot of what I've learned about calorie intake. I think the calorie cycling idea has merit. If you've been eating at 1,200 to 1,500 calories and have not lost weight in a month, I recommend INCREASING your intake so you are eating about 100 to 200 calories above your maintenance level, then dropping your calorie intake down to 1,200.
3. Intense exercise. I took a kickboxing class, did zumba, threw in a couple of bootcamp classes. I started jogging instead of walking, continued to lift weights. I've worked out 5 of the last 7 days and each workout is an hour. Four of the sessions I devoted thirty minutes each to strength training and cardio. My lesson? It's not just about the cardio. Strength training counts. Fortunately, I enjoy lifting weights. I really do. I've also just discovered that I like the rowing machine, too.
4. Focus--I tried to act like I was back to day 1 of the program. I made sure I recorded my intake, drank my water, measured my food, got more sleep.
In a nutshell, what I've learned is to STAY PERSISTENT and WORK HARD. A stroll around the park is not a workout. Pumping your arms and walking so fast that you're about to break out into a run IS a workout, because it's WORK. Especially if you're over 40.
I am blessed because I know two women my age who have just gotten knee replacements. Not because they're athletic, but because they are 80-100 pounds overweight and have been carrying all this weight around for years. And here I am in the gym doing jumping jacks, wind sprints, modified push ups and jumping rope. I'm carrying loads of groceries with ease, doing the silly gangnam style dance, lifting and twirling my grandson and bouncing up and down flights of stairs. Me. The most unathletic snail that was left in the dust during my school years. A fit woman.
Now my motivation is back! I'm psyched and hopeful that I'll enjoy another round of steady weight loss.
Onward and downward!