But What if I Can’t Lose Weight?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
We are excited to hear stories about people who choose to make positive lifestyle changes like Birdie Varnedore and lose significant amounts of weight. When we read about people who have accomplished wonderful results for their days, weeks and months of dedication and commitment, we are encouraged to continue in our own quest to reach new health and fitness goals.

However, for every wonderful success story like Birdie’s, there are several other people out there that have been equally dedicated and committed to their health that didn’t see the same results. They kept careful track of how many calories they consumed on a daily basis, exercised faithfully and sacrificed a great deal. Unfortunately, instead of seeing the scale move 100 pounds in 10 months, they only saw their scale move a couple of pounds. Some of them heard family members, friends or even their doctor tell them they must be doing something wrong or “cheating” with what they were eating or how much they were exercising. If this sounds like an experience you have had in your healthy living journey, this blog is for you!

As a Clinical Dietitian earlier in my nutrition career, I worked with patients who were fortunate enough to receive a solid organ transplant of a liver, kidney and/or pancreas due to end-stage organ disease. I say fortunate because many die each year waiting for this limited life-saving resource. While each of the paths that led these patients to their transplant was very different, the road they followed after their transplant was very similar. Immunosuppressive medications, outpatient clinic visits, rejection episodes and various secondary medical issues would be hills and valleys they would all encounter as they traveled the post transplant highway of living.

I LOVED my job for a variety of reasons. One of the biggest reasons was that I followed the patients as outpatients after caring for them in the hospital. There was consistency in the nutritional care, intervention and education they received. I worked closely with the medical specialists, surgeons, nurse specialists and pharmacists and the nutritional care of each patient was an integral part of the multi-disciplinary care they received in the hospital and after they went home. This is not always the case when patients move from hospital care to outpatient care and I believe it has changed over the years as things in the hospital setting have changed. However, at that time, it was the most ideal of situations to help provide the best and most cost effective care to these very special patients.

Although nutrition was an integral focus of after care, and I had the benefit of seeing each of the patients regularly for the first year after their operations, there are some realities that just can’t be changed even with the most ideal of circumstances. Regardless of how well I educated, how carefully I monitored or how compliant my patients were, the one consistent thing I witnessed in my patients over the five years I worked with them was their battle with their weight after transplant. Prednisone and other immunosuppressive medications caused even those that had never had a weight problem before to deal with a rapid and often uncontrollable episode of weight gain in the first few months post transplant. Add to that, additional medications that became necessary after rejection episodes or to combat other newly developed health complications as well as other issues that limited their ability to exercise consistently and you have a constant and ongoing weight battle.

Many patients who previously in their life had been able to cut back on treats and increase their activity for a few weeks to drop a few extra pounds now found even following a strict calorie controlled diet and balancing their intake closely with their activity did little to slow the rate of weight gain or to bring about the loss of the 20 plus pounds they gained after transplant. Patient frustration and tears would meet me when I entered their room in the hospital after a re-admission or as they came to my office at the clinic. My love of nutrition education and working to help people find what might work for them came from working with these dear people and their families.

Little did I know back then that a few years later I would join these people in their weight control frustrations. While I didn’t have a transplant, I did have a portion of my thyroid removed back in the spring of 2002, which changed many things for me. I learned, as many of my patients did, that eating at the right level, and exercising intensely and faithfully doesn’t always allow you to return to your “normal” weight. The weight you were before your medical condition changed.

I have been active since about the age of 10, when I started playing softball. I was a three-sport participant throughout junior high and high school and attended college on a volleyball scholarship, which allowed me to remain very active well into my 20s. Throughout my 20s, I maintained a pretty set weight and was always able to lose the vacation or holiday pounds by watching my intake and increasing my activity for a few weeks. I had healthy pregnancies and returned to my pre-pregnancy weight within six months after delivery of both children. Of course I wasn’t happy or content with my body at the time like many women, but I was healthy and able to maintain my weight fairly easily.

Last week I was talking with a long time friend who also has thyroid disease. While she has not had any of her gland removed, she does have hypothyroidism and taking Synthroid for more than five years and battling with the ever creeping weight gain. She is in her mid 40s just like me and was sharing her frustration at not being able to lose weight when she works so hard. My friend shared that she has been running three miles a day five to six days a week in addition to yard work and other family related activities. Additionally, she has been doing concentrated strength training three days a week. After six weeks of focused exercise and controlling her calorie intake, she has lost only one pound. She told me with definite conviction that “everything they say about balancing intake with exercise is just not true, at least not for me.” Our children are the same age and she has always been active, lost all her baby weight after children and able to maintain her weight. We have worked out at the same gym since having our first children and meeting a few years later.

My friend and I are not alone. There are many others like us out there that are working really hard, watching what they eat, exercising faithfully and seeing little results on the scale.

So now what? Check out the Weight Busters: Finding Strategies to keep Moving When the Scale Will Not article to find out what next steps you can take. We will look at positive ways to move forward regardless of our life stage.

Many people feel they are the only ones doing what they should with diet and exercise but are seeing very small results. If you are one of us, it would be encouraging for you to post and let us know you are in our “club”. What shall we call our club?

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It felt so good to read this... I thought I was going a little crazy! I argued with various doctors for 3.5 years before they would believe something was wrong... I had thyroid cancer. I had breast cancer last year, and following mastectomy, chemo and rads I joined SparkPeople to try to lose weight. I was losing steadily from Sept-Dec, then started taking Tamoxifen. Back up 9.5 lbs in a week! It's been steadily in that same range since then. It's very difficult to get any tangible support in the medical community when your blood levels are "normal", and I just hear that same 'calories in/calories out' song. I even had one dietician tell me I'd have to chose between losing weight and addressing the hypoglycemia. Another told me the answer was quitting my job. Fruitless running around and paying out money for what? No help whatsover. I am so thankful I have found SparkPeople!!! Report
for four months I rode a plateau for all it was worth. I did ST every morning, I did cardio every chance I could and my eating was clean. I did everything right every day, but my body just wasn't ready. I'm not going to stop beliving in my body though. Report
Thank you. I looked at the date and realized it's old, but I have a thyroid issue as well. It's very difficult to deal with losing 20 pounds in three months, having to switch meds and jumping ten pounds in a week. Half my hard work gone. It does get very frustrating. So, thank you for reminding me I'm not alone. Report
Thanks to you guys for all the inspirational blogs. Before seeing these comments I was about to quit because I have been frustrated with the lack of weight loss over the past 5 years. After reading all of your stories it has given me the motivation to get back and fight to lose the weight. Report
OMG...thank you so much for this blog! I thought I was the only one...I've felt like such a failure because I've done challenges with groups of ladies and although, I'm the most consistent and the one that works out the hardest ( I weighttrain and do cardio 5-6 days a week plus have a strict nutritional diet that is also gluten-free due to celiac disease), yet in a 12 week challenge I only lost 3 pounds compared to the minimum of 8 pounds that the others had lost....I am now in my 20th week of this lifestyle and have not lost anything! It makes me very depressed because I'm on a cpap machine and my goal was to at least be at 215 pounds by the end of this year (starting at 237 at the beginning of 2010, meaning I was hoping to have lost in a year 22 pounds, a very reasonable amount in that time frame)...yet, I only got down to 233 pounds and have to continue with my breathing machine. It's frustrating when others are losing way more than you and put in the least amount of effort. At the same time it's disheartening when people around you , like family and your own doctor, tell you that "you must be doing something wrong, are cheating, or lying about what you're doing because there's no possible way if you were doing it the way you say you are that you wouldn't have lost by now." Sometimes I get so depressed and just want to throw in the towel, today is one of those days because when I review everything and still the fat girl in the mirror it makes me very upset and depressed. But then I look for inspiration from others and from my own successes: I mean I exercise almost every day and eat clean and I feel great, my body doesn't ache, my skin is clear, I haven't gotten sick in six months when before I was getting sick every few weeks, I'm finally committed to exercise and it makes me feel like I can do anything. I would definitely to join a group like this; we need to have a place where people that are hard losers can support each other....no one knows how frustrating it is unless they've lived this....much success to all!! Report
Wow-this article bummed me out. This is me. I am in a plateau that just will not break--same weight for 12 weeks. I am eating the right amount of calories and I started interval training. The scale will not budge. I am 54-definitely early menopause. After reading these comments, I just feel like giving up. Report
THANK YOU!!! People see me busting my ass in the gym, and lose only a quarter or half a pound. It is so frustrating. I too, have PCOS and have been eating as I should. Ahhh good times. I go to the gym 4-6 times a week, do Zumba & aquasize and body pump, yet the scale doesn't budge. At least I haven't gained anything, and my pants are a wee bit loose. Report
i cant lose any weight but i dont gain it either Report
Here I am, aged 62 years, andI am so happy to have read your blog. This is the story of my past three years!
• From February 2007 to around November 2007 I lost 35 pounds. Wasn’t that nice! I felt so good and I bought all new clothes.
• By the following May I had put on about three pounds, but no worry. I could take that off, surely. Well, much to my dismay, over the next year, 6 more pounds crept on. Then a couple more, and so on, until I was up about 14 pounds.
• I went back to Weight Watchers in June of 2009, only to spend six months and a ton of money to lose six pounds. I gained back four pounds, and then started with SparksPeople in May of 2010.
Now, I have been tracking my food intake for close to 20 years, so that’s easy. And as for the exercise, that had in the past been sporadic, and the “bare minimum.” In May I started with Curves, going three days a week, in addition to 6 times per month with 90 minute line dancing sessions and then walking or dancing, or other aerobic activity the other days of the week. I’m actually almost addicted to being able to move/exercise! LOL
This “progress” is so s l o w! I am still 8-10 pounds above my goal weight! My weight keeps fluctuating up and down by a couple of pounds…. Just about staying the same. The only things positive are that my cholesterol levels are better, my blood pressure is down, and I have tons of energy!
I was on soy for awhile, but later realized the soy was making my weight loss efforts pointless. I've had to quit taking it. Had been on synthroid when a weight loss doctor prescribed it as a way to help my weight loss, but then he had me stop it when I got pregnant. Later I learned he was in trouble with the state board of healing arts as using thyroid meds for an unethical weight loss treatment, and he died a few weeks before his hearing. In the meantime, I've been doing a lot of reading and discovering that boosting my intake of sea vegetables like kelp, spirulina etc brings up a natural iodine levels and does seem to boost my thyroid, making my exercise etc. more productive. I'm still a long ways from where I need to be, so will have to see how this all works out. Report
I think most people can relate to this in some way or another. I know I certainly do. Thank you for a very informative article. Report
I have the same problem. Please create a team to share the experiences that members bring. Report
This article is wonderful! I always have a hard time getting the weight to come off even though I am very active. I have had my thyroid checked and been in doctor's offices crying asking for help and what I am doing wrong with notebook in hand every food written and exercises logged. I lose VERY slowly, but with SparkPeople I've learned to try and focus beyond a scale number and pant size. I refuse to stop moving forward since I am in this to be a healthy active role model for my son. I've been very fortunate not to be on a bunch of medications so, I get very frustrated not fully understanding what's holding the weight loss back. Age, hereditary you name it I've heard the excuses or suggestions on what it could be.

I may not get to my goal as fast as I'd like, but I will get there or to a place where I feel good and comfortable with myself. I am not racing against anyone, and its about being your own personal best. I keep plugging away and reading the articles and blogs to keep motivated and focused forward. I keep thinking, welcome to the 40s but at least I will be working on a healthy me and no more excuses. Report
Thank you so much for posting this article! For some of us it's so hard to read the stories and see the pictures of someone who lost 100+ pounds in a matter of months. We keep hearing the same old advice - calories in vs. calories out, just do the math; stay in your calorie range and you'll lose; just do more exercise. After a while, you just start to feel like a big failure or like you're doomed to be heavy forever.

Befor SP I was on Weight Watchers for two years. I lost about 20 pounds, gained about 7 back, lost 4, gained 5, lost another 4 .... I've been circling the same 5 pounds ever since. I track my calories and points every day. I drink only water. I exercise 5 days a week. I do everything I'm supposed to do! And while other people who are doing the same thing are posting that they've lost 7 pounds or 10 pounds, I've lost one. Maybe two. If I haven't gained.

I recognize that I do have medical issues that make it harder for me to lose weight. I have PCOS and hypothyroidism and have struggled with my weight my entire life. I have never, ever, once been "thin." My first day of school, at 5 years old, I was the fat kid in class who had no friends. Sometimes, I feel like I'm doomed to be that person forever. The fat girl with no friends.

I know that's not really the case, but it gets so frustrating to be doing all the right things and to be trying so hard, only to see the scale stuck at 295. I have to keep telling myself that I'm doing everything I can right now, that I'm trying, that it will get better eventually. I have to look at my tracker for the past three years and look at the weight I've lost, recognizing that I HAVE lost, and let that be my inspiration instead of the big, huge distance between where I am and where I want to be. Report
I thought it was just me. I have been on Predisone since1986 for SLE, then diagnosed with hypothyroidism , then surgeries for Predisone damage and lastly Gallbladder removal,and dont leave out the depression because sno matter how hard I try the scale won't budge. Sometimes I feel like just giving up, but then I look at my litte girl and realize I want to be around for her. So I keep struggling on I do as much as I can within my restricted limits and stop worring about the scale. The scale has no moved in four week, but I feel great doing what I doing. I always though it was my health conditions( and there are many) and 10 different medication holding me back, this just adds to my proof. I don't care I am not going to give up on trying to lose the weight. However it is good to know that there are others in my particular struggle. Report
My daughter now has problems with thyroid. She has been skinny as a bean pole her whole life and suddenly has stomach pudge and her weight is now 165. She is shocked! No more hiding behind a pole. She is now on medication and hopefully that will take care of some of it. She did lose some the first 4 months she was on it but now it is at a standstill again. Of coarse she dont' exercise..... Report
Oh boy- I can relate. Although I dont have a thyroid issue or transplant I am going through my pre-meno crap stage. Its super frustrating. Im glad that I am not the only one but at the same time its frustrating b/c I want to lose this weight. I want to be healthy and my body wont let me. IRK!!! Report
Oh boy, I can relate. In the past two years pre-surgery I had lost almost 60lbs. Then I had two surgeries in 2008. (Gall bladder removal and then emergency hysterectomy). With the recovery times and surgery-induced menopause, I have gained back 20lbs. I want to cry so much. I used to have fast metabolism (would drive hubby bonkers, didn't ever diet, etc.) now I have to work and be careful and if I'm not, the weight just seems to fluff right on. Am determined to get back to ideal weight again. Report
It's great to have this article available because I too had a scare with thyroidism and plan to follow-up with my doctor. In the past I worked out a lot but did not watch what I ate so my pounds did take a while to go down. This time I am doing both and saw a change on the scale but I seemed to be going on a plateau, so I am anxious that I have reached as far as I can go. Report
I can relate too! I exercise and log my food, every bite. Eat healthy, drink my water with no weight loss. I take insulin and high blood pressure meds. So what IS the answer? I will read the article in the link, but I would love to join this group if you have one. Please let me know. Report
The problem with thyroid is that you have to be optimized - at the right level of meds - in order to lose weight. Many women do not convert the T4 to T3, so Synthroid and the generic (which is T4 only) won't do us any good. My doc has now put me on Natural Dessicated Thyroid - I have it compounded for me due to the shortages of Armour, Naturethroid and Westhroid. I am feeling more human, but I think I need an increase. I have done 65 miles of "Walk Away the Pounds" and counted calories in the last 6 weeks - and have lost less than 4 pounds. Ugh. Report
I can so relate. I quit smoking on June 25th, 2007. I gave myself the summer (and 20 lbs weight gain) to get used to that and then decided I needed to clean myself up, lose the weight, clean out those lungs and try to start reversing some of the damage I'd done to myself over a 14 year, pack a day (sometimes more) habit. I started following the principles of Weight Watchers (I had done that very successfully after a previous failed quitting smoking attempt). That didn't work. I joined the gym with my bf. Minimum 4 days per week, 45 to 60 minutes of cardio AND weight training, 1200 to 1400 calories a day. Nada. Two and a half years later (and an additional 10 lb weight gain) I've been managing to maintain my weight at about 155 (average) but can't seem to get any lower then 152.

I've had blood work done, I've had tests done and they all come back normal... So now, I'm in a place where I'm trying to just maintain and not gain weight and attempt to stay healthy at the same time. Report
I'm glad this article is here. It is so frustrating to hear and see people who say 'calories in vs calories out!' its all math!

I work out at a gym 5 times a week (days i don't work out there I walk, make sure to do yard work) -at the gym - intervals,spin class, heart rate monitor, and all - 60-75 minute sessions, 70% (or more!) of my heart rate, for no loss, no change in size, nothing. There are times I leave the gym and sit in my car and cry because I'm so exhausted from working out and so frustrated with the lack of results. I'm not talking "omg i've been working out for likes 3 weeks and no resultzzzz!" I've been doing this hardcore for 1 year, 4 days a week for 2 years prior. All of the staff know me, and I don't even talk to anyone!

I was in weight watchers for a while, I remember when I got my 12 week pin. The leader asked me how much I lost in 12 weeks and how I was feeling. In front of the whole group (25+ people) I said 4 pounds and that I was disappointed. As other WW people might know, there is the announcement, and applause. I received no applause. Did I follow my points plan? Yes.. I even double tracked, posted my menus online, made counting bracelets and all. 4 pounds. I'm sure they all thought I was a big slacker and was cheating and lying in my journal. yeah, that's what I want to do, pay 150+ dollars to lose 4 pounds and lie in my journal. :P Report
I started losing weight December 11th 2007...and I lost close to 50 lbs by June of 2008...since then I have not lost a thing. I have actually gained 10 lbs and lost it, then gained 5 lbs and lost it...but I can't seem to break past that 170 mark (currently at 173). This is the longest plateau in history, for me at least. And I would love so much to break that plateau. I still have another 20-30 lbs to lose to have a BMI under 25...which is what will lower my life insurance rates by half. Report
Boy -- am I glad I found this article! I'm another one who thought there was something wrong with me. For almost 2 1/2 years I've been counting calories, exercising, doing everything "right", but I haven't lost more than about 7 pounds. I finally had my thyroid checked, and although the tests showed that it was functioning below level, my doctor didn't want to give me any thyroid medication (she thinks it's "not necessary"). When she told me that women my age (57) just "normally" gain weight, I decided to find another doctor. So that's my next step. Report
my friend and I are on the same diet, we are about the same size and i exercise more than she does and she has lost 30 pounds and i have lost 1. My problem started during cancer treatments because they gave me steroids to counteract the nausea. I haven't been on steroids for over a year now but i just can't seem to take off the 30 pounds i gained during chemo. the doctors think it's ok because it will eventually take care of itself, i don't agree. I hate this, it was bad enough having cancer but i want my life back. i am hungry all the time and have to force myself to go to bed sometimes just so i don't eat. i am going to continue with weight watchers although i don't know what the "Spark Diet is" I'm new at this and don't know all the areas yet. Report
Wow! It is sooo nice to see that I am not alone on this adventure. I have not had the troubles that you have had, but I have had a blown appendix, gallbladder removal, toxemia, and during my last pregnancy the same symptoms of toxemia except that my blood pressure didn't rise. Although my kidneys did stop working. I never a had a weight problem until the blown appendix and then to top it off, my fourth pregnancy. (After having my baby, my kidneys started working again...Thank God.)

It is frustrating that I seem to stay the same weight. My weight fluctuates between 191 and 195. It depends what week it is. Just when I think that I am on the way to losing some pounds. A week later, there is that BIGGER number on the scale.

I take solice in one way though, that it doesn't seem to go farther up than that.

I do watch what I eat,and I do take note of every bite I take.

I just hope that one day I will be saying Yippee! I made it to my goal weight! Report
It really makes one feel better to have company like this. I work out 7 days/week, walk 10,000 + steps everyday, and eat healty, balanced meals. I only want to lose 5-7 pounds, but it feels like 500-700 sometimes. I won't quit, and I know that I can do it, but it's so difficult. My problem is the 'a little of this, a little of that' adds up, and before I know it, a perfectly good 1400 calorie day has turned into an awful 1800-2000 calorie day. I will ge there though, because jeans season is almost here and I WILL FIT INTO THEM!!! Report
It took me more than a year to lose a small amount of weight. I have hypothyroidism and it's so tough to battle! I see friends make minor changes and lose a ton of weight and I make major changes and nothing happens. I'm glad I'm not alone. Report
How about: The Unbelievables. Three reasons: One, no one else believes this is a real problem!! Two, we keep persevering - no matter what, so we have unbelievable strength. And finally, slowly, ever so slowly, we accomplish the unbelievable goal of health, fitness, and yes, even weight loss. Report
We are not quitters are we? Despite efforts that exceed my friends and coworkers I also can not lose weight. I do not have any conditions or disease. I have cried at my doctor's office until I was prescribed anti depression pills. I have recently seen an endocrinologist and have little hope of success. The lab results show "normal". I know I should appreciate being so healthy but like everyone else not losing the fat is the one thing in my life I can not seem to succeed at. It is exceedingly frustrating. I believe it is hormonal. I am 52 and menopausal, prior to menopause I was able to drop 9 pounds on the Atkins diet (bad, bad diet). I have seen 3 nutritionists, 3 personal trainers...you know the story. I am delighted to find that it is not just me and would love to join the club. In the meantime I will try to keep the spark that motivates me to keep trying! Report
I'm in this club.

If you are one of my spark friends, you know I'm in this club. I've been blogging about it for over three years.

Recently, I cried to my endocrinologist. WHY, despite zumba, kickboxing, step, Iyengar yoga, and group power (strength training) every week, diligently, and a 1200 calorie diet with no more than 40% carbs, was I GAINING weight???? His answer:

"you will never be 'skinny'. You might be able to lose 20 lbs. But you have:
2. Diabetes T2 with insulin resistance
3. Hashimoto's thyroiditis
4 Menopausal hormone disturbances".

With all that going on, it is highly unlikely I will ever be one of those "success stories". I've been tested for celiac, cushings, pregnancy, and all kinds of other things. I've had my RMR calculated, my BMR calculated and so on. I know what I need to do (burn), and I know how much I need to eat. But one thing is for certain: My body hangs on to fat. It won't let go. And yet I have to ask... if I have these diagnoses, and they are being corrected through medication (I take cytomel, synthroid, glucophage, byetta, and janumet), why won't the weight come off? I've been on these medications for years!

So my attitude: Keep moving. Keep exercising. Keep eating healthily, in appropriate portions, with reasonable carb and calorie intake. If I don't, I could easily weight 100 pounds more than I do. I'm 5'2" and this morning was 162 lbs. That's down from 166 lbs, (my all-time non-pregnancy high), but up from the 158 lbs I weighed at my last weigh in. *sigh* I'll take it, though, and I'll keep sparkin'. Cuz if I don't, I'll creep up to the 170's, 180's, 190's, 200's.....

you get the picture.

On a positive note: My BP is excellent, my cholesterol is wonderful with high HDL levels, and my resting pulse rate is in the "athlete" range.
But no fat loss.

(What to call this club? How about:
MORE than diligent: Healthy people without results).
I gained 70 pounds on a corticosteroid (dexamethasone) in about 6 months. I take steroids for an adrenal disorder that has symptoms that are similar to PCOS. My new endo switched me to prednisone and started lowering my dosage. I I am also hypothyroid. A nutritionist specializing in diabetes and insulin resistance told me to eat 5 - 6 meals a day, with a protein at every meal, and exercise daily (I was already exercising every day, while I gained the 70 pounds--EVERY day!). In a year, I lost 50 pounds. But things have slowed down since. I still have long way to go, and I expect it's going to take a long time to get there. I try to stay encouraged by remembering that I am getting more and more fit and hopefully the weight will continue to come off slowly. It's good to see so many people with many of the same problems. Report
Great to see this article. I have been on 1000-1200 calories per day for over 2 years now and I log 20,000 steps on my pedometer every day, 365 days a year. I also do strength training 3 times a week. I have gained almost 20 pounds. I have had all the medical tests and everything is normal. I work so incredibly hard to maintain or lose weight but the scale continues upward. People say I have to be eating donuts at night or cheating because what is happening to me is not possible. And yet it is happening. I had my fat % done and I did not gain muscle mass - my fat % increased. I am at the top of the range for a normal BMI and so afraid I will keep gaining and jump into the overweight category very soon. I am scared to death at times to eat. No health professional is able to explain it or help me. I HATE THIS!! Report
Thank you sooooooo much for this article. Prednisone was one of the drugs I was prescribed at one point for weight issues. I also had several corticosteroids for breathing problems. Now that I"m off those drugs, I have been changed my diet, started exercising 4-5 days a week (45 min-2hours each day) and over the past two months I have lost 5 pounds. 5. That's all. It's so frustrating. I'm former military so I know how to eat and how to work out. It's awful to see my old military friends and feel like a fatty. On the bright side, I have dropped a couple of pants sizes. For now, I've decided to leave the scale alone for a month. Maybe I can keep losing pants sizes and focus on those types of accomplishments. I would love to be in this group if we ever get one started. Report
I am telling you, I fit this bill. I have been religiously working out for over a year, I keep a food diary and try hard to continue to eat right, but the scale does not budge, in fact it has actually gone up a few times which it unbelievably frustrating. I do not understand, I have NOTHING wrong with me, my thyroid is fine and I am in perfect health but I still cannot lose weight. I will continue to exercise and eat right and hopefully some day something with click in my body and I will finally lose the weight I need. Thank you for a great blog, it really helps to know I am not the only one with this problem. Report
Hi everyone. I was reading this article and it somehow points to me. This is my story:

I'm 36yrs old male. I weigh 220lbs. I do not have hypothyroidism or any issues as far as food and diets are concerned. I do not use any of the medication mentioned below. When I came to the US I was 236lbs that was 2yrs ago. My wife and I joined 24hr Fitness soon after I arrived. My weight dropped to 220lbs. I lead an active life-bike rides(I ride to work-16miles one way, on the way back I often stop at the gym), we go hiking-The Rockies are right here, we eat healthy-switched everything to whole grains, stopped using vegetable oil and switched to extra-virgin olive oil, we eat plenty of fruits and veggies(my wife makes wonderful fruit salads), never skip breakfast, fat free yogurt, beans, no-enriched flours, etc. I work in the IT field so as you can imagine I do a lot of reading to find healthy tips-that's how I found SparkPeople. The problem is my weight has remained exactly at 220lbs!! It is so discouraging. I have this huge beer-belly(I drink about 1-3 light beers in a Month!) bulging-love handles and I just can't seem to shake it off. No amount of sit-ups, push-ups and cardio seem to make much of an impact with me. I feel fit yes but according to my BMI, I need to lose 50lbs! It is really a sinking feeling when week after week, I workout and really try to reduce my weight and only to see it remaining at exactly the same weight-220lbs. Here is another catch, when I totally get out of hand after all the discouragement-I can eat every bad food you can imagine for a whole week-all the meals from b/fast to supper and next time when I dread getting on the scale-guess what? My weight is still at 220lbs. We bought a new scale just to make sure the old one wasn't faulty! :-)

Anyone experienced this? :-(

It's only been about two weeks since I joined SparkPeople. I'm hoping to get all the great tips on how to drop-just a few pounds, the most I've lost weight is 118lbs. Please if you have experienced this kind of issue with yourself tell me how to get around this :-) I'm also looking for a training buddy to keep my morale up, to challenge me-Fort Collins, CO. Wish you all the very best SparkPeople. Stay healthy! :-) Report
Boy do I fit this scenario. Over the past three years, I went from 173 (heaviest) down to 152 (lowest), then back up to 160 (no change in diet but exercise was cut in half because of work), back down to 147 (cut calorie intake to between 1350-1500, doubled exercise to minimum 2hr/day 4 days a week...on military duty which allows and requires this) and now going back up due to exercise halved (work restraints again) and still trying to keep the net calories no more than 1500. Note calories are mostly "good ones". Started mixing up the exercise from martial arts to jazercise to cycling...whatever. Still plugging on as I refuse to give up and don't any of ya'll.
This was a good article for me to read. There are times that I feel hopeless. I've struggled with my weight for years. I'm also on thyroid meds and my doc tells me to keep my calories at 1,000. That's starvation! All of last year I ate between 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day, worked out 30 to 60 mins. twice a day and lost a whopping 17 pounds!!!!! I know that the road ahead of me is long, but I'm ready to do this. Having read all of the comments, I don't feel so alone on this journey! Report
I thank you guys for pouring out. It is really encouraging to me as well as many others I believe. Report
What about not losing weight but feeling the different fit of your clothes? Body fat percentage differences? I know we judge ourselves far too harshly by the numbers we see on the torture device known as the scale! Report
I read stories about success, and then another post: I am back! I lost and moved on but now I am back. 95% SP who lost gain weight back, only 5% keep it. I do not want to work very hard for nothing.
Diet just does not work by definition. It was told that it is not diet, it is lifestyle. What is this lifestyle about? To wright before bite? Sorry, really is it possible? To drink a lot of water and be marry with toilet bowl because of urination? To make yourself very busy to put away hunger? I do not want this lifestyle. I wish to be free.
My weight is 242 lbs. I was told by doc to take WLS. Was it good idea? Not at all. Really people who took WLS have pounds back, health problems more then they had before, and for what? How doctor who must know that could suggest this surgery to me?
I think weight is social issue.
It is too much attention to pounds. Even 130 Lbs is too much. Woman try very hard to get into 115. Funny what would be after? To get to 100 Lbs, and so on?Well, with age she will get more and more. And with every one try she will get more.
When I come to med office doctor always tell me I have lose. It is easy to him to put me in depression: I am not healthy because I am fatty. Not at all: I do have these extra pounds because I am not healthy. Really what is "right weight about?" What If I do have very heavy bonces?
In bus young skeleton try to put me away from seat. Why? Because she does not have hit back. She never will do it with fatty aggressive man, but with me it is just her fun. We have a lot of abuse and discrimination. Why? Because weight, in public opinion, is result of overeating. It is not.
I do not care about my weight, I really care about my health.
I had a slow heart rate due to hypothyroidism and at age 50 I lost 70 pounds. Now I am 52 have gained 20 back ...had a pacemaker put in and now have a great heartrate and can't lose .......I stay so upset it's hard to take a breath....my life is hell........20 pounds has ruined my life but I will never give up Report
Hi, I have exactly the same problem. I was always slim and active throughout my teens. Then, in my 20's, my thyroid decided to just die. To this day, the doctors don't really know why. It just happened. So slowly, weight krept on although I was still eating healthy and always active. For years, the doctors just brushed all this off by accusing me of being just bone idle and lazy and greedy. I should eat less and excercise more, that was the advice. So the weight went up and up. Whzen I finally git diagnosed, the new doctor told me straight away, that even with thyroid hormone, it would be almost impossible to loose the weight again. He was realistic and knew a lot about it and assured me that if I eat like a waif and exercise to death, it would have little or no results. He was right and I have been struggling to at least keep my weight ever since. So now instead of beating myself up, I have accepted, that some things in life I just can't change. when I diet and nothing happens, I am grateful that at least I didn't put any weight on. And a couple of weeks of diet always seems to at least drop me back to my current weight level. So at least things won't get any worse. And I know within myself that I am rather fit despite what the outside looks like. I can still run and exercise without problems. That's the main thing. And I am daily grateful that my health problem is so little in comparison to many many poor people out there with things much worse than a dodgy thyroid Report
thank you so much for this article! this is so reassuring for me. i have been faithfully following the sparkdiet (with a few slip ups along the way, but nothing too major) since may, and i have only lost around 5 lbs. i work very hard at my diet and at the gym, and its frustrating when i don't see the numbers i want. of course, i love that i'm healthier and stronger, but somedays that isn't always enough for me. i look forward to continuing reading articles related to this and am glad to know i am not alone! Report
Am now seeing a homeopathic doctor who is giving much hope...I am also on Synthroid...having gained 50 pounds in the last 20 years....I will keep you posted on my progress...have been following a restricted food intake for 6 weeks and have lost 12 pounds...Take care to explore other alternatives....obviously our current medical system and its doctors are not the best for all of us! Report
I am not overweight by BMI standards, but I am close to it. In the last year and a half have really been trying to develop a healthier lyfestyle by eating right and exercising regularly. I definitely eat well these days, and exercise at least 4 days a week. Unfortunately I too have come to a plcae of frustration. Last year after I first joined SparkPeople, I was able to lose about 15 pounds when I changed my eating habits and started exercising. In February of this year however, I made one of my healthiest choices yet by quitting smoking. Sadly, I gained almost all the weight I had lost. I have been able to maintain my weight with diet and exercise, but I have so far been unable to lose anything. My doctor says that I am doing well, and if not for the healthy eating and exercise I would have probably gained even more weight. I'm frustrated, but I have goals. I plan to meet those goals regardless of whether the weight goes or stays, because I know I am healthier today. I have more endurance, my resting heartrate is more than 20 beats lower than it used to be, I am definitely more muscular and toned, and I am finally treating my body with the respect that it deserves! I am definitely in the "club", and can always use motivation to keep me going. Good luck to the rest of you. Report
Hi Ladies,
Same boat! Although I've had issue with my knee and foot when I was good, I too saw very slight results. This really got me upset so I did as we all have done....added more to the daily routine only to see the same small result. Logged every thing I put in my mouth, measured all my food did my water intake and still........ ZERO! I'm 45 no health issues, had blood work and full exam in April...what gives. I am so uncomfortable in my skin. I was getting toned, but little weight loss. So gald we are getting a group like this together. For someone who is always positive, happy and optomistic, my lack of being able to shed the weight is having some sort of impact. Report
I am so glad I checked out this posting! Where did you get that picture of me at the beginning of the post? Just kidding. Yep, you are describing me strugging for the past year and a half. I started SP Nov 2007 and I've only lost 13 lbs. So frustrating and demeaning especially when your partner has lost over 30 lbs doing less exercise activity than what I have been doing.
However, in all fairness, I do have health issues (Lupus and thyroid) that require medications. Reading this article has validated that the meds do indeed affect losing weight and others also experience it is a very slow process. Because it's been taking so long, I had given up on most exercising and considering withdrawing from SP. Now I've changed my mind since I see hope. Thanks so much. Report
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