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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Inagural Address by Amanda, Mayor of Plateau Town

I weighed in this morning.  I was up .8 lbs. (.4 kg.).  I immediately began racking my brain to identify the culprit.  Did I eat too much over the holidays?  Honestly?  No, I didn't.  Is it hormones?  Nope.  Stress? Naw.  Was there anything different that I can pin this gain on?  No, not really.

This stinks!

So I think it is a plateau.  I did some research on plateaus this morning and I don't like what I found.  Basically my body has adjusted to my caloric intake and exercise level.  If I want more weight loss, I'll have to either eat less or exercise more.  There's some talk about eating more calories for a week and then re-introducing the deficit again, but I'm not sure I buy that.  So I either have to make some changes or be happy with where I am at.

I hate change.

Can I be happy with where I'm at?  I think so.  I've lost more than 100 lbs. (45.4 kg.), which was my initial goal.  I'm wearing a size 12 pants and size medium or large shirts.  I'm 5'8" (172.5 cm.) tall so my current weight of 179.2 lbs. (81.3 kg.) is okay.  I look pretty good. 

But the gain bothers me.

What if I start re-gaining the weight at my current level of caloric intake and exercise?  I feel like all of the sudden my weight loss is no longer in my control.  It reminds me of how helpless I felt before I had surgery when I would diet and lose weight so painfully slowly.  My last real diet effort lasted six months during which time I lost 25 lbs. (11.3 kg.).  I followed all the rules and it didn't seem to work.  So I became frustrated and I quit.  I used to try to explain to people how hard I was working to lose weight and how it just wasn't working and I felt like they didn't believe me.  I felt like I was offering a bunch of excuses.  I figured people looked at me and assumed I just ate crap all the time.  But I didn't.  I tried to eat healthy food and I exercised regularly.  It was a really dark time in my soul.  The frustration, the pain, the self-loathing were unbearable. 

So being where I am right now reminds me of that time and I feel myself doing what I did back then to cope, which was give up.

But I didn't give up.  I had lap-band weight loss surgery and I lost more than 100 lbs.  I am experiencing a plateau, which is a normal part of weight loss.  And I have choices.  I can decide to work on maintaining for awhile and see what that's like.  I can cut my calories some more and try to lose more. 

I guess I've grown attached to how relatively easy my weight loss has been so far.  Sure, I've worked at it.  But I've also done it "my way".  I've refused to diet.  I don't write down my food anymore.  I don't track calories.  I don't deprive myself of the foods I love.  I've always believed it is (or should be) possible to eat a diet of all things in moderation and lose or maintain weight.  And that's what I've done.  I've written about it.  Hell, I've bragged about it! When I see people beating themselves up for eating foods they label "bad", I've said, "Hey!  Stop!  There's no such things as a good or bad food.  Sure, some foods are more nutritious than others and some should only be consumed occasionally, but ALL foods have a place in a healthy diet eaten in moderation.  You don't have to feel bad about yourself because of your food choices!".  And I want to believe those words so much!  I do believe them.  I hate that this plateau is making me doubt myself!

So I think I'm going to go for maintenance rather than more weight loss.  As long as I stay about where I am now, I'm fine with it.  I feel very healthy (other than all this scale/mental BS).  I like how I look.  I've achieved 95% of all the health benefits that I would have achieved if I'd lost the additional 14 lbs. (6.4 kg.) to reach a "normal" BMI.  The only concession that I'm going to make to this plateau is that I'm going to log my food for at least the next week to make sure I really am eating as well as I think I am.

So stay tuned!


Kristin said...

Whoa, Nellie! You are not going to start gaining weight unless you start eating differently (more) than you've been eating.

You've had a fantastic weight loss in a relatively short span of time, so it's not unusual that your body might be calling a time-out. Relax, take a deep breath and maybe skip a day or two on the scale.

Plateaus are a natural part of the process, and you're absolutely right that where you are right now is great. So hang in there!

tessierose said...

I agree totally with Kristin! Don't panic!

Jacquie said...

I am with Kristin and Tess too!

Annie said...

Please chill! You are a role model, a winner, and a fabulous and supportive blogger! Maybe up the water a little, and cut the salt?

Sherry said...

Me too! Me too! Plateau like the devil. I CANNOT get out of it. I've been at this weight most of my life so my body is just HAPPY here. I need to convince it to change the status quo but that's harder than it sounds. My body likes to be the boss.

Silverhairedgoddess said...

I agree with every one else - don't panic - you have done great and if you want to maintain, then do it and see how it goes.

But I think its a good idea to just track for a week to make sure that you are getting the right amount of calories and protein - let us know what happens at the end of the week of tracking !

Joey said...

Don't freak. It's easy to panic when it's happening to you (it's happening to me too). You are an inspiration!

~Lisa~ said...

You are an inspiration and definately a motivator to me! I'm just so amazed at what you've accomplished so far! Thank you for keeping me focused - and don't worry about that nasty little plateau, you'll get through it!

Amanda said...

no panic ing! Everyone goes through one of these. I have jump started before by just changing up the exercise. But exercise alone or ever won't just do it. I have done a zig zag thing were I add 200 calories more one day then back to normal the next...then the next week two days 200 more then 2 days back down! It worked a little. Not sure what your calorie count typically is but going to low is not good for anyone!

You have done so well...this is just a blip.

To Band or not To Band? said...

I was thinking that maybe you could put the same amount of time into exercise but ramp up the intensity so that you were burning more in the same amount of time?!? That way you are not really changing anything that you will notice. I went to a seminar that said the best thing you can do when you plateau is pay for a one off personal training session to check what you are doing is beneficial.

Rachel said...

What I noticed from your blog is that you "think" and eat like a thin person. You will be fine...You will be great. But thank you for being so transparent and open, showing us that these feelings are very human and that these feeling are just part of the journey.

Janelle said...

Did you do all this analyzing over 1 day of being up on the scale? If so, calm down! If this is just one day of a spike in weight, it's probably nothing to be concerned about. If this has been going on then maybe you are right about your body getting used to everything. I don't count calories either and I think that allows me to vary the amount of calories I eat every day, which is good for tricking your body so it doesn't get used to anything. I have read the best thing to do is trick it everyday. So up one day, down the next, up the next, etc. So each day is a different calorie range and your body won't get comfortable.

Maintaining where you are is awesome, you look super skinny already so who cares what the BMI chart says, it is old and inaccurate anyway.