At the end of the first month... some questions for others?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Well it's now been a month since i signed up for the gym and decided to start working on my health goals again. I'm proud of myself that I was able to keep the habit going for 4 weeks straight... isn't it 21 days to make a new behavior a habit? I have to say, in the past I have had a lot of emotional ambivalence and barriers about exercising however this time around I have really enjoyed it! I love the feeling of physically exerting myself and how that makes you feel afterwards. I find myself looking forward to this time. I signed up initially just for myself (not my husband) and it's nice quiet time to do something on my own for myself. It's nice too because the gym is only a block from my house so it makes it super easy!!! I just wish there was a pool... I live in a small town so the resources are limited.

Some thoughts that I have had going into month two on things to explore:
-I want to explore adjusting my night owl-ness to getting up earlier in the day so that I can do early morning workouts instead of them at night when I am less likely to go if i get caught at work late.
-Pre plan and "ready" meals, exercise gear ahead of time
-My focus has been increasing exercise however I need to adjust my diet as well.
-Work on reducing caffeine/sugar addiction!
-Reduce all those bad carbs!! (Bread, pasta, rice, pastries, ..... nummy)
-Increase veggies and fruits
-Drink more water
-Reduce red meat consumption
-Test cutting out dairy products (cheese, milk) to see if bloating in tummy will go down.

I have not really lost any weight yet... even though I went from couch potato/no exercise so going almost 4x a week. I seem to vary between 260 and 263 each day. I think i notice some small changes in how my body feels (around my hips, my calves, my nose, my fingers) but the number on the scale hasn't changed. So perhaps those things are in my head, wishful thinking? Is this typical? Although I'm not discouraged yet... you would think it would have some effect. I want to make sure that I'm on the right track. While i'm trying not to focus on the "number" would there be any case that all that hard work this month didn't go towards anything or was wasted? Like if i wasn't doing anything right? Of course I haven't paid too much attention to diet yet, but I have of course been exercising and making some small choices throughout the weeks of replacing foods for healthier choices, saying no more, and looking at labels/portion sizes more. I read a lot about how really "obese" (that word sounds so ugly) people begin an exercise routine and often lose weight really quickly, at least in the first two weeks before leveling out. However i didn't even have that. Could this be a sign that there may be health issues (thyroid? stress?) that are prohibiting weight loss until I resolve those issues, therefore that work going for nothing? Or do some people just lose slower? Or muscle is replacing fat making it appear that there is no weight loss? Any feedback or personal experience would be great!

I'm trying to keep a positive attitude and celebrate my success rather than focus on what i'm not doing, what i didn't acheive, etc. This has been helpful to keep my motivation going! This is what I teach my clients in counseling... now I'm using for myself as well. By being non-judgmental and kind to myself it takes out the disspointments and keeps the journey fun and encouraging!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Good advice everyone thank you! I read the article and found it helpful. Ive been trying to get on board with tracking ... your right that even little things add up. Even though I haven't been quite meeting the nutritional goals ive been more aware of what is going in. Therefore I'm likely to be eating less than before... so its a start. And you are right that water is important and I don't drink nearly enough water.
    Ive never heard of non scale victories but I like thinking of things that way. I wish I would have taken measurements ... but I suppose I can now.
    1919 days ago
  • GABBY98_80
    read those articles- they helped me alot. But also- be sure to track calories in and out. I was shocked at the amount of calories in some of the things I thought were healthy.
    1919 days ago
  • CHERYLA2012
    Hi there Sarah! I wanted to share a couple thoughts with you...

    Here's a great SP article on the very thing you're writing about
    "8 Reasons Why You're Not Losing Weight"

    The scale is awesome at reflecting your relationship with gravity, and not so good at reflecting anything else. You say your weight hasn't really changed and you "notice some small changes in how my body feels". Less wishful thinking and more of what we like to call NSV or non-scale victories!

    If you haven't yet entered your measurements in the Tracker, I encourage you to do so. You will soon discover by monthly measurement that your body is, in fact, changing. You've been going to gym on a regular basis - that's another NSV. So is giving some serious thought to how you might have to rearrange your schedule and being okay with the decisions you make to accomplish your goals.

    Other non-scale victories would include things like entering all your nutrition on the nutrition tracker, drinking your (at least) 64-ounces of water a day, and if you have a negative chorus in your head that likes to chatter at you every once in a while, replacing it with speaking positively to yourself, the same way you would speak to someone you love - because you are the only you there is!

    You said ..."I haven't paid too much attention to diet yet..."

    So - what's stopping you? "If you are relying on exercise alone to lose weight, you are fighting an uphill battle. Exercise burns calories, but not as much as people think."

    I know my eyes are too big for my stomach so I use a digital scale and measuring spoons to portion control my food. I tried experimenting with measuring cups versus the digital kitchen scale and was shocked at how much more I was getting just using the measuring cups. So if I'm eating it, it gets portioned out. I also work really hard at relearning portion sizes against every day objects - like a serving size of cheese is roughly the size of 2 dice, or a portion of meat or fish is roughly the size of a deck of cards. You can google "portion size chart" for infographics.

    Also, the water? It really, really will make a difference. I know it sounds like hooey - but I seriously didn't start making any real headway until I ramped up my water intake. Want to find out what a suggested hydration amount is for you? Check out the Hydration Calculator at:

    I also had serious doubts about the amount of calories SP was telling me to eat so I double checked them against a BMR Caluclator. (Basal Metabolic Rate - basically the number of calories you'd burn if you stayed in bed all day. You can check it out yourself at:

    (And if you do, make sure you also calculate your Daily Calorie Needs based on your daily activity level (the link is below the BMR Calculator).

    Currently I'm subtracting 500 from that amount to get a calorie range that should allow me to lose roughly 1 pound per week at the general formula of 500 X 7 = 3500 - which is roughly a pound. (That calorie range also happens to be right in the middle of the one that SP gave me - so at least I know for myself that it's right).

    I know it's a lot to take in, and a lot of little changes to make, but each little step you take - each. little. step. will get you closer to becoming the healthiest you can be!

    I wish you much success on your journey! You can do it!!

    1925 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/17/2013 8:54:24 AM
    Those are really awesome goals. I know you can do it. emoticon
    1925 days ago
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