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KODIAK13 SparkPoints: (16,124)
Fitness Minutes: (13,019)
Posts: 143
6/6/14 2:55 P

That's good that you've got an appointment with an endocrinologist. You definitely shouldn't be stuck with your eating and exercising habits. I think you need to give yourself a BIG pat on the back for sticking to healthy eating and fitness. It's hard to do when you see no progress being made yet it's definitely been important to keep your previously made progress.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (198,565)
Fitness Minutes: (296,673)
Posts: 27,197
6/6/14 12:09 P

I'm sorry about that ! I'm afraid I confused you with another new member.

Do other members of your family carry their weight around their middles ? If so, losing weight could be harder as a result of being apple shaped. But it doesn't make it impossible.

Have you ever worked with a dietitian ? If you find that you haven't had a loss for the past year, then maybe it's time to have a dietitian examine your food logs. They may be able to spot things we can't.

And well, it wouldn't hurt to get a professional opinion.

6/6/14 11:57 A

I'm not post menopausal, I'm 31, so age is not an issue.

I do strength training, including circuit training and weight lifting (free weights) and a variety of kettlebell exercises. My legs and arms are very lean and muscular. I have not dropped any clothing sizes due to the weight being around my mid section. I have to have a size 16 to fit around my waist, even though pants are too loose around my legs and dresses/tops are too loose around the chest and arms. It's depressing. And when people first meet me they really do think I'm pregnant, which makes dating even harder for me.

I worked with a personal trainer for all of 2013 and slightly decreased my body fat (1.5% reduction over 12 months) but did not lose any weight or reduce my clothing size. I have the coveted "thigh gap" but that's really not where I needed to lose weight. Mostly it came from my chest...I went from a 44C to a 38B in bra size.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (198,565)
Fitness Minutes: (296,673)
Posts: 27,197
6/6/14 9:40 A


Being post menopausal doesn't help when it comes to weight loss. Many women (once they hit menopause) do notice an increase around their middle. And yes, studies have shown that people who are apple shaped are at a higher risk for heart disease than someone who is pear shaped.

However, that doesn't mean all is lost.

One thing you should do is ask your doctor for a proper BMR test. Find out exactly how many calories your body needs just to be able to lie in bed. If you've been eating at such low levels for so long, that does cause issues with a person's metabolism.

Also, what have you been doing for strength training ? If not, I'm going to encourage you to start. You are not too old to do some resistance training. Adding lean muscle can help reduce your waistline. a good strength training program could help you lose 1-2 clothing sizes. Adding lean muscle can help reduce your risk for heart disease as well as osteoporosis.

You might want to check out this link. I think you'll find it helpful. Tufts University did a landmark study that showed that older people CAN and do benefit from strength training. Like I said, you're never too old to start.

I'm 50 and have been strength training for a few years now. Believe me, I plan on strength training for many more years.

6/6/14 9:30 A

I can't figure out how to quote people on this forum, so I'm just going to do a general reply (I know, I'm such a newbie lol).

Thank for all for the support and telling me not to give up. I don't want to wreck my healthy lifestyle or give back all the progress I made several years ago. So I'm going to keep on keeping on.

I am actually a long time member of overeaters anonymous, so I called my sponsor and we talked things out as well. I'm feeling much better today. Still discouraged, but definitelly better. And OA is the reason I can't have chocolate or pizza or popcorn ever again. Those are my "trigger" foods for an all-out binge, and I can't be trusted to eat them in moderation, so abstaining from them is healthier. I do eat some bad-for-me, processed food within my calorie ranges on occasion. I love Chick Fil A, so I work 2 sandwiches a month into my meal plans. Preserves the sanity.

Sue - I am 5'8 and 198. I've been stuck between 197-202 for about 2 years, so that leaves me with 40 more pounds to lose. I haven't had a BMR test done, but I will ask at the gym tonight if they can do it. What results did you find from that, and how did it help you?

I have an endocrinologist appointment at the end of August to see if there may be something really strange going on with me. I'm very blessed that my family doctor knows how hard I've worked and is committed to helping me take the rest of this weight off. She says because I carry all my weight in my stomach (I look pregnant), that I'm still at higher risk for heart attacks and strokes. So we both want to get this beat!

KODIAK13 SparkPoints: (16,124)
Fitness Minutes: (13,019)
Posts: 143
6/6/14 7:33 A

That is a long time to see zero progress. But is it zero progress, truly? Have you looked at it from the angle that if you weren't continuing to exercise and eat right you would have regained that 50 lbs and possibly gone up even more?

I'm not an expert. I have no idea why you've seen zero progress in 23 months with the scale. But, I do not think denying yourself the food you love is a good idea either. In your shoes I would continue with tracking food, exercising, but don't be afraid to have some pizza every now and then or some chocolate.

There's no reason why favorite foods can't fit into a healthy eating lifestyle.

As for exercise, if you view it as only a means to an end with weight loss then try expanding your vision. Exercising makes us fit and capable. It allows us to do whatever activities we want to do instead of being incapable because we're out of shape. It's about living well, not just about losing weight.

Try to start changing your mindset and it might help you at the very least continue on a path of maintenance with what you've lost.

Also, the cortisol being in the high end of normal, that may be a factor. Have you only consulted with one doctor? Perhaps you can request a referral to an endocrinologist?

BHENDRICK2 Posts: 1,210
6/5/14 7:20 P

emoticon emoticon

SUEFROMRI Posts: 2,267
6/5/14 5:54 P

You never mentioned your height or weight. You did say you were a size 16.
When I was a size 16. I was 199 pounds (about 50 overweight, but you could taller than me?) I had been at a plateau for over 2 years.

First, I would have my BMR tested professionally. It runs about $50-$100 across the country. Most gyms will perform it free for members, there are weight loss clinics that will test it whether you are a member or not. I would bring this number to my doctor, personal trainer, nutritionist to be sure it was normal and what they recommended.

Edited by: SUEFROMRI at: 6/5/2014 (17:58)
LOVE4KITTIES Posts: 4,690
6/5/14 3:08 P

Don't give up. Try reading these Spark People articles on plateau busting:

Seriously, don't give up. If you just give up and start eating whatever and not exercising, the weight you've lost will come back. It'll come back with a vengeance, maybe plus some extra lbs. You're a LOT better off minus those 50 lbs.


Edited by: LOVE4KITTIES at: 6/5/2014 (15:09)
ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (198,565)
Fitness Minutes: (296,673)
Posts: 27,197
6/5/14 11:33 A


Welcome to Spark People. Because we really don't know anything about you beyond what you've posted, anything we say should be taken with a grain of salt. We're just taking educated guesses.

Even though you still have 40 pounds to lose, no one should be on a permanent diet. Which is what you've been doing for the past year. Eating 1200-1500 may seem like an adequate amount, but the problem could be that you're not eating enough. I know this is going to sound strange, but eating too little and exercising too much could hinder a person's weight loss.

When someone says they've been on a plateau, that tells me that they need a change. If you have been eating that many calories every day, then it's time to eat a bit more i.e. have days when you eat 1500-2000 calories. I know that may sound like a lot to you, but depending on how much exercise you do, it should be enough to fuel your day.

Also, what have you been doing for exercise ? Have you been doing any strength training ? If you're not strength training, I'm going to encourage you to start. A good strength training program can help you lose 1-2 clothing sizes without changing the scale. Strength training will help add some definition to your body. So, if you're not strength training, adding it could help break this plateau.

Mostly, I suspect your body is in a rut from eating 1200-1500 calories each day every day regardless of exercise. that really does say, diet.

Here's the thing, Spark People doesn't teach deprivation. Spark People is a big believer in the importance of moderation and portion control. You don't have to deprive yourself to be healthy. pizza, chocolate, cheese, brownies, sodas, etc... CAN all be a part of a healthy lifestyle as long as you are mindful of your portion size.

I can't imagine living a life where I wasn't allowed to eat something because I was worried I'd gain weight. that's not healthy. Good health really can include a piece of pizza. How ? When you have lunch, enjoy a piece, just pair it with a big leafy green salad. You get your pizza AND your veggies in one meal.

When I decided to lose weight, I knew I could never give up certain foods and I didn't. I just learned to be more mindful of my portions.

Just a few thoughts....

6/5/14 11:20 A

This will be long, bear with me!

I'm stuck on a major plateau, and I don't know what to do. By plateau, I mean 23 months with no weight loss. I'm about to hit the 3 year mark of having lost 50 pounds and keeping it off (this is a win, I know, and I'm proud of myself). This is about to be the 3 year mark of eating well, sticking to my meal plans, and working out 5 times a week. But it's also about to be 2 years with no weight loss, and no drop in clothing size. This upcoming anniversary has me depressed and panicked. It's hard to see the point of doing all the right things and still having 40 more pounds to lose. Additionally, all the weight that is hanging around is in my belly and back. My legs and arms are lean and muscular. If any of you have some helpful insight on things I could do, I would appreciate it.

Here is everything I've done/tried over the past 23 months:

Diet and Nutrition - My calorie allowance is 1200-1500 a day. I try to stick around 1300. Within that calorie range, I have tried varying up my carbs/protein/fat percentages. I've tried lower carb with higher protein and fat, lower carb with higher protein and lower fat, higher carb with low fat, etc. Scale hasn't budged in years.

I've tried upping calories as well, particularly on workout days. Up to 1800 a day I maintained my weight. I did one month of 2000 a day with my standard workout schedule and I gained 4 pounds. Oh, and I have tried "eating back" versus not eating back my exercise calories.

I've tried decreasing calories, down to as low as 800. Scale never moved either direction the month I ate between 800-1100. I was starving and couldn't try it longer than a month.

I weigh and measure all my food, every day, without fail. The proof that I work hard at my diet is the first 50 pounds gone, and the fact that my triglycerides went from 2000 (yes, seriously!) to 100, and cholesterol from 300 to 160. I'm off meds for blood pressure as well.

I drink on average 100 oz of water a day. I've tried both decreasing and increasing that amount. I haven't had a diet soft drink in almost a year.

Exercise - I do 5 cardio workouts a week, between 30 minutes and 60 minutes each. In addition, I do strength and core training three days a week. I've tried doing strength training with 30 minutes of cardio, with 60 minutes of cardio, with no cardio. And I've tried cardio with strength training every day, to every other day, to none at all. I never succeeded in doing anything more than making myself tired. I spent $1100 last year on a personal trainer, and the only result was a 1.5% decrease in my body fat percentage over the year. I didn't move down in dress size though.

I've been to my doctor and had all my hormones checked multiple times. Thyroid, estrogen, T2, P4, LH, FSH, all that is always normal. I have had 2 tests for cortisol levels (including one 24 hour test) and that was at the high end of normal. I even had an ultrasound to check from cysts on my ovaries (which my doctor said could be causing this) and there were none.

I feel like I'm doomed to be 40 pounds overweight and a size 16 forever. And if that's the case, I don't feel like it's worth my time and effort to weigh and count every piece of food that goes in my mouth, and to bust my butt at the gym almost every day. I miss pizza, I miss chocolate, I miss sitting on my rear end watching a movie and eating popcorn. I'm about to give in and do all that.

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