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Are you doing everything right and NOT losing weight??

Friday, May 24, 2013

I recently had a Sparkmail from a team member saying that she was doing everything right but wasn’t losing weight and she felt so alone because we hear about the people who do lose weight but what about the others?? Often I think they just lose interest and leave the site.

I honestly believe that weight loss is an extremely complex subject and that the simplification of it by Sparkpeople to Calories in vs calories out nowhere near tells the full story!!
Yes it can be the answer for some and if you are fortunate enough for this to work for you then lucky you.
But there are many people that I personally have come across who are doing everything right, eating in calorie range, balancing macronutrients and menus, drinking enough water, exercising to the best of their ability, moving often instead of sitting etc, etc– but they still don’t lose weight. And I might add they keep almost religiously to the program!!
However we often fail to see what they are gaining because we are so fixated on weight loss on the scales!! Interesting that - to be controlled by a number on a piece of plastic, glass and or metal!!

Firstly – I believe its perfectly OK to talk about the fact that you are NOT losing weight and that you should certainly not be judged for that!! It does NOT mean you are a failure!! I am talking maybe about plateaus in some cases, but also in a complete lack of the body wanting to show any inclination of losing weight over an extended time. Talking about not losing may not bring answers but it will assure you that you are not alone and that the frustration you feel is normal!!

I am in this position too – as most of you know I lost weight at the start of my program and inches too – but for the last 2 1/2 yrs or more I haven’t lost more weight, or inches – and I still have quite a bit of weight lo lose. . I have more or less maintained the weight I had lost – except that recently I had a bad 3 weeks and put on 6lb – I have since lost 2 of those lb but the rest is going to be much longer coming off.

Why is it we can put weight on in a flash – but losing it is a long hard journey!!??

So why do I keep going? In my case for three reasons -
1 – its become a habit and if I changed I‘m not sure what else I would do and
2 – I am becoming stronger, more mobile and have better balance and my body likes that – I feel healthy.
3 – I am on my feet – whereas before I was in a mobility scooter!!

Our bodies are all different, we all react to different things in different ways – just because you can’t get the scales to agree with you does NOT mean you are a failure. In some cases there may be a reason – but in most cases– our body has the last say and our body will dictate to us when, and how often it will lose weight!! Unfortunately it rarely works to our timetable!!

I know this can be hard on us – on our thoughts and feelings and particularly when people ask – are you still losing?? You say “No” and they think at once – “she’s put weight on – I knew it wouldn’t last!!” Oh yes – I have had that said to me many times - even by my Doctor – who is forever telling me that people who lose weight invariably put it on again!! I tell him where to go!! I haven’t put on (well not much) and I have NO intention of so doing!!

However I accept that I might not lose again either – but if I can live a healthy (relatively) life and do the things I want and need to then I am happy. If I threw it all in, stopped exercising and eating healthy and put weight on – I definitely could not do the things I want to!!

We have a thread in the Chair Exercise Team for exactly this - to discuss - Doing everything right and NOT losing!!
Maybe its something other leaders can also think about!!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • MZLADY77
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    1426 days ago
    What a great blog Ann! We all have been there and still there! I have been struggling with the same area of weight for 6 months! Up and down! Plus, since my fall last month I had a bad time with emotional eating. So now that I am all healed I feel much better and ready to go! It took me 5 weeks, and gained 4 pounds to wise up. But, we all have bumps in the road and we need to keep focused. It does get discouraging at times, but SP has enough motivation to keep us going...like those team threads and blogs like this!! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1438 days ago
  • MISSB8604
    You rock, thank you for this.
    1441 days ago
    Thanks for the spark goodie!! I tried to write this on your home page but my typing didn't show up. Strange I know.
    1456 days ago
    Good blog. You are right. There are a lot of reasons we aren't losing weight or inhes.
    I know I am stuck and it is beause I am not tracking EVERYTHING.
    I guess in my case I should because I am playing with the same few pounds up and down.
    Plus I have got to get moving more.
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    1459 days ago
    Loved how you stated it. I also learned today that not getting enough sleep or irregular sleep changes how we metabolize and can also add to weight gain. Chronic pain interferes with sleep patterns and therefore can stop the progress of weight loss. Though I desire to lose inches and weight, I am no longer focused on it. As you stated so eloquently, reaching for a greater scale of mobility to do the things I love to do is my focus.

    I'm in the race with you Spark Friend!

    1460 days ago
    thanks a lot great blog
    1462 days ago
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    1462 days ago
    Wow couldn't be said any better!
    I love the new thread as it is a comfort just to know others are in the same place I am. Somehow knowing that makes it easier to Keep On Keepin' On and anyway if I quit, like you , what would I do instead? All this healthy eating and exercising has totally changed me. I am disgusted by the unhealthy nutrition in foods from takeout or fast foods and processed foods that I used to practically live on. If I have to eat without vegetables or fruit I don't feel satisfied no matter how much I stuff into my body. And I can't even go one day without craving exercise. My body feels out of whack if I do. emoticon blog my friend emoticon
    1463 days ago
    As always Ann you know how to put in words how we all feel.We must persevere and never give up.
    Slowly but surely we shall all learn to adjust, accept and continue the journey we are on.
    Thank you.
    1463 days ago
    Thank you for a wonderful post Ann. For 3 or 4 years
    I was too embarrassed to change my weight on Spark.
    I used to lose and gain those 6kilos and always felt a
    failure I eat healthy, don't have binges of eating and do
    as much movement as I am physically able to, yet I just
    can't lose. I have lost 6 kilos since October but have stalled
    yet again. I am not doing anything different. My thyroid meds
    were lowered and who now if that was an adjustment to
    my metabolism. I did a trial at the Wesley Hospital a few years
    ago and it was over a 6 month program. In the report they gave
    me at the end, they stated that it was very hard for me to lose
    weight because of the subtaceous fat...Not sure of the spelling.
    Each of us is different and we should just focus on leading a
    healthy lifestyle. I count my blessings that I have no blood
    pressure and that I am not a diabetic. I don't drive and still walk
    so I am doing my bit for the environment also.
    We are all different. Viva la difference as the french say.
    1464 days ago
    Excellent and pertinent blog my friend. An interesting thing that happened to me this past year was that after fighting the good fight for so long, I found myself almost back at the beginning. Starting in March 2009 I was 450... went down to 300 after joining SparkPeople... went from a wheel chair to walking with just a cane....went from taking water aerobics to TEACHING water aerobics & swimming lessons.... tracking all my food & fitness... Sparking daily.... I ended back up to 410 in Dec 2012. I had been working with 2 different nutritionists, a trainer, a coach, and going to my doctor who then referred me to a Pulmonologist who also dealt with sleep issues. After conducting a sleep study he told me that my lack of sleep & excess exercise had virtually stopped my metabolism. He told me that I could have been eating NOTHING & would continue to gain. Hmmm. I don't know about that.. but he put me on a CPAP machine and told me that in 6 months he expected me to lose 80 pounds. Well, it's been 5 months and I have lost 67 pounds. I have done nothing different , some food plan, same exercise program... but I have been SLEEPING. I had an appointment with him this past week & he was very excited about my progress. He told me that if I would let go of more stress & sleep MORE.. using my CPAP machine even when I nap.. I will lose even more weight. I am happy to say the least. I feel MUCH better & I am not as grumpy. Hopefully, I'll keep moving in the right direction. I was totally frustrated. Now I am feeling emotionally better and more hopeful. Thanks for sharing the journey with us. emoticon
    1464 days ago
    You put into words what a lot of people are feeling and you expressed it well. I think I will probably make it to my goal but it may take a year to get there at a quarter of a pound a month which is what I was told I would lose on 1200 calories a day. I am playing around with some different things and so far it seems to be working.

    I applaud you for hanging in there and maintaining. I think when a person has lacked mobility for a long time it does put the body into starvation mode and we subsist on less calories then others of the same height and weight. I think it happened to me when, after a severe illness my mobility was so limited and I couldn't eat much so my body adjusted to that. It really is complex.
    1464 days ago
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    1464 days ago
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    1464 days ago
    Great blog!
    1464 days ago
    I love your response. I haven't lost any weight either since I reached 100 lb loss about 1 and 1/2 years ago and I am still eating healthy. I am moving more than ever but my challenge has always been exercising on a regular basis. I start and then I stop I start and then I stop, I hate it and I can't get my head around it. Truth is I KNOW I have to get my head around it in order for it to become habit. I won't give up on this challenge and I know one day I will get my head where it needs to be about it and maybe then I will start to lose some weight again. Till then I will continue to live my healthy lifestyle.
    1464 days ago
  • KIMBERLY19732
    1464 days ago
    You are absolutely right. In the end we have to accept ourselves as we are. I have had long plateaus in the past but it was probably because I didn't understand about the need to eat a balanced diet including some fat and used to just cut the calories too low. Since joining Spark I have read more about how nutrition works and the importance of strength training as well as cardio. However, this time round the weight is not going rapidly and I am only a quarter of the way along the road. It may be that I will end up not losing everything that I want to and will have to be satisfied with better health and more energy.

    Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom. emoticon
    1464 days ago
    such a truth enjoying your blog
    1464 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.