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Following a Routine vs. Stuck in a Rut

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

My weight hasn't changed much in about five months now. Is this good or bad?

On the positive side, this is probably the lowest weight range I've ever been able to keep relatively stable over this length of time, if that makes any sense. What I mean is that ever since I started losing weight, I HAVEN'T seen any stability until now. Ever since starting SP 4.5+ years ago I was always either in the process of losing or the process of gaining. I have pants that fit me five months ago that still fit, and I've even given away some of my tiniest pants knowing that it's not realistic for me to expect to wear them again any time soon. I have a healthy routine that includes good exercise and eating habits, while allowing some indulgences, and it's easy to stick to yet challenging enough that I have seen fitness improvements.

On the negative side, my BMI is hovering around 25, which of course means that I'm borderline overweight. I still LOOK overweight in certain outfits, from certain angles, on days when I'm just not feeling so secure.

Who remembers RUN_LIFT_EAT? She was only on SP for a relatively short time, but while she was here she was so bubbly, so friendly, and shared such thoughtful advice/opinions on her Spark friends' blogs. I miss her! Anyway, she shared with me an article that suggested that you should only lose small amounts of weight at a time - I think the specific number might have been 10 percent of your starting weight, but I might be mixing that up with Weight Watchers?:) Anyway, after you lose that small amount, you let yourself acclimate to that new weight before trying to lose any more - possibly resetting your set point.

So....maybe that's what's going on for me. I weigh just about ten percent less than what I'd consider my set point, and I am learning to maintain this weight. What I'm unsure about is what happens next. Obviously if I keep doing what I'm doing I'm not going to lose any more weight. I'd have to lower my calorie intake to make that happen. For me lowering my calorie intake will really mean restricting my eating - even if I don't go very low, it's still restricting because it's less than I want. And I'm not sure whether that will backfire again like it's done in the past...eating too little for too long seems to trigger bad habits for me. If I stay where I am now I won't have to RESTRICT as much as just stay mindful, which is something I know I can do long term. BUT, if I stay where I am now, I'll be borderline overweight forever. So, this is where I am now. Not really looking for answers...just wanted to kind of lay it all out.

PS - we finally got our mortgage committment yesterday, so now buying the house is one hundred percent definitely going to happen. Closing in 8 days!!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • ROGUE_1
    I agree with MBSHAZZER re BMI and often tell people about that slideshow you shared with us! It's great that you're aware of your triggers and know what will work/what will not work for you. I wish good changes on the scale happened MUCH faster than they do, but and have to keep reminding myself that it takes time. Lots of time, hard work, and dedication - and you, my friend, are on the right path, so don't give up!

    I miss RUN_LIFT_EAT too!!! She was a great buddy with so much insight and wonderful advice!
    2482 days ago
    i love the 10% idea!!! i think its great for setting up realistic goals!
    2482 days ago
    She had the best workouts, too! Maybe she'll read this blog and come back?

    Remember that blog you posted last year sometime with all the pics of people with all these different sizes and I don't know if the pics talked about their weight or BMI, but it was clear that looks are deceiving. I know that my BMI says I'm overweight and yes, I am a bit. But, I also know that I'm a lot leaner than some skinny fat people who are a much lower BMI, you know? I'm not petite and you don't look it either, so I think that alone makes the whole BMI skewed. My Mom used to say I had heavy bones ( not big bones, I'm a medium build) and I didn't believe her till one day I asked my Dr and she totally thought so too. I though my Mom was trying to make excuses, but no, especially if you ST and you got good bone density and are not petite, your frame is going to weigh more.

    I know sometimes it's all about fitting some standard, some # on the scale or some book, but trust me on this one Susan: you look fit! There is nothing wrong with wanting to get rid of some extra flab under your shirt that no one can see, as long as you keep it real, stay healthy and happy and don't pay a price not worth paying? I say RELAX, have fun, be consistent and the rest... will show up in unexpted ways .. like when you least expect it, because you'll be much more willing to tweak this or that. That's my theory and while I might not be all that successful, I have finally lost 7 lbs, without some crazy effort and I believe there is more good to come my way, if I don't loose myself!

    Embrace it girl: you are strong, fit and sexy! OWN IT!
    2486 days ago
    I definitely do remember her and yes....she is missed! I think you are doing fabulously!! Maintaining at a healthy weight is success! I'm proud of you and am so glad you continue to keeping up with you.
    2487 days ago
  • PHD140
    it's pretty amazing that you've learned to maintain--- that's a skill that'll come in handy no matter what weight you decide on. As far as getting to a "healthy weight," I think it's such a personal decision to decide when to stop losing. Wondering if there's a compromise for where you are-- focusing on leaning out at your current weight w/ ST. The number on the scale might not change, but you might feel tighter and smaller-- and better in all your clothes!
    2487 days ago
    I MISS HER TOOOOO!!! :) I think you're doing fantastic - this is the best possible scenario for you, I think. I also think the "looking overweight" thing is kind of in your head. When you're feeling insecure? Yep I think we all feel that way sometimes. Like OH MAN TODAY I LOOK LIKE A FAT COW WTF?!?!? When I know rationally that isn't true. Anyway - keep on rockin it! :)
    2487 days ago
    i miss her too. i think you are doing great though.
    2487 days ago
    i miss her too but i think you are doing great!
    2487 days ago
    The 10% rule is a GREAT idea, especially since you are at a weight where you feel comfortable to stay for opposed to being really overweight and wanting to lose weight faster. We all have bad days, so don't let those dictate how you feel about your body as a whole. The fact that you are remaining at a healthy weight for so long is amazing, congrats! That is a huge part of weight loss, simply keeping the weight off in a realistic way. No one is going to be able to stay at their lowest of lowest weight for very long, so little above that is just fine! Always remember how far you've come! :)
    2487 days ago
    KELLYFIT4U and I were just talking about RUN_LIFT_EAT during Zumba Convention! LOL I wonder if she knows how many people miss her?

    I do agree to allowing your body an adjusting phase. I think the longer you can maintain a certain weight, it becomes obvious that you have made lifestyle changes... and that is what it's all about! Small lifestyle changes add up over time, so losing a large amount of weight relatively quickly does not make for a lasting impression on your body, that is unless it is followed up by more consistent healthy habits!

    It's easier to make one or two small changes to help you lose 5 pounds over the summer, let's say... then do a massive lifestyle shake up to your diet/exercise routine to simply try to lose weight for a certain short term event.
    2487 days ago
    I miss RUN_LIFT_EAT!! She dropped off because of law school. But you are so right - she had such good commentary.

    OK, on to you! I think BMI is a bad measure for most people. Forget about it. How do you feel? Sounds like you feel pretty good and you are maintaining a weight, which is important. A lot of fluctuations are NOT healty. And if you are trying to lose weight just because of a number (be that the number on the scale, a BMI number, or a dress size), that's not really a good motivation or reason to do so.

    You have seen in the past that when you go much below your current weight, it ends up backfiring, so I think trying to go any lower isn't a great idea. I agree with R_L_E's comment, also... I have gradually lost weight over the past 10 years just by changing some things about my diet and exercise program GRADUALLY - nothing drastic, just some really easy to live with tweaks here and there.

    Finally, I think you LOOK great! There is NO WAY I would look at you and think you were "overweight" according to BMI (see above, re: BMI = B.S.!). Just as an aside, according to my BMI, I'm "underweight", yet I eat plenty and most definitely do NOT look underweight.

    Good luck with the house! How exciting!!!
    2487 days ago
    It sounds like you ARE in a good place health-wise, Susan! A lot of people ignore that stupid BMI thing and listen to their bodies. To me, it seems like that's what you should do, BUT I am not you so I don't know what you are feeling :) I just wouldn't let that BMI scale be the end all be all, ya know? You have to trust your body and what you know is right for it.
    2487 days ago
    Losing 10% and then getting used to it is an interesting thought! I've heard of a lot of people that have gone through drastic weight loss (through surgery or whatever) that have serious body issues still because they now have to take time to acclimate to their new body and were losing so fast they didn't have time to get used to the changes.

    We're closing on our new house TOMORROW!!!! GOOD LUCK!
    2487 days ago
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