Struggling on Week 7. Need some help....

  • Hi Everyone :)

    My name is Karen and my neighbor and I began BFL on March 1st, and we started Week 7 this past Monday. I have been pretty dilligent about my workouts and although I struggle a bit with the food, I think overall I have been doing pretty well. Unfortunately, I am not seeing the results I had hoped for, so I think I am doing something wrong... and thought I might get some help from some of you here.

    The upside is that my energy is better, my cholesterol level is lower, my hip with the bursitis in it doesn't hurt at all anymore, and I'm stronger. I can lift my kids up to the ceiling in my kitchen!... but I've only lost 3 lbs overall. I would love to lose 15 more pounds. I didn't take 'before' measurements, but my clothing is no looser. I sometimes eat my dinner leftovers for lunch the next day, (love the spaghetti and meatball recipe in the book!) and I dont' always get the two veggies in me per day. I also have difficulty late in the day. I find it hard not to eat a larger sized dinner and sometimes I don't always want the last meal of the day. So... any words of wisdom for me? Any ideas on what I might be doing wrong? I really want to stick it out, but am losing motivation. My neighbor has been a little more successful than me, but not by a whole lot. I would appreciate any input! Thanks so much,


  • Karen_B:Somebody made reference that there are many down posts, people feeling they arent seeing things happening. In my opinion, it is just relative to the enormity of this site. Those that arent doing fabulous dont feel the need to post as much. They arent going to come on here daily to say "man I look HOT", because they think that would be to egotistical. (I sure wish they would myself ;) ANYWAYS, my point is, you are certainly not alone, and when you realize that BFL is for life, the numbers you see on your scale will not matter to you, the ability to lift your kids to the ceiling will be your "success" and measurements and increase in energy and so many more obvious leaps of health in the right direction.

    If your head is in the game, the body will follow.

    Here is a post that has helped me, and continues to help me. If you have read it before, well then just scroll past. Keep working at it, keep your food clean and workout hard - hitting your 10's EVERY workout. One day, one workout at a time. Eventually it will all fall into place. Promise!


    Here’s a little inspiration for those of you who are worried about not seeing any changes in your body so far.

    Let’s assume you go out and buy two rolls of paper towels, each with only 84 paper towels on it (one for each day of the challenge).

    You put one aside, and keep it for future reference (your "before" picture).

    The other one represents you (I’ll call your paper towel you "Ed"). The core represents the lean Ed. The towels represent the fat that is covering the lean Ed. For sake of argument, let’s say that Ed wants to lose 21 pounds of fat, so (84/21) each sheet represents a quarter-pound of fat lost. Let’s also assume that Ed loses his fat equally during each day of the challenge.

    Each day during the first week, you tear a sheet off of Ed, representing the fat he has lost for the day. Next, you put Ed next to the full roll ("Big Al") for comparison. No noticeable difference!!! Even at the end of the week! This can’t be working for me!

    But, being a good Ed, you continue to follow Body-for-LIFE. At the end of weeks two and three, you continue to compare Ed to Big Al, and still notice very little difference. That stinkin’ Bill Phillips MUST be a liar!

    But Ed is determined! He works hard! Hitting his 10’s…eating his 6 daily meals. Three more weeks go by, the sheets peeling off day after day, before Ed gets up the courage to stand next to Big Al again. Holy Myoplex! Ed is skinny! OK, not skinny, but less huge!!!

    By the end of the 12-week Body-for-LIFE program, Ed is down to his lean dream, or somewhere near it. Ed is happy. We are happy. Big Al – well he’s not so happy.

    The lesson to be learned is that fat, like paper towels, comes off in sheets. When you are heavy, you are big around. And when you are big around, that fat is spread over a MUCH larger area – just like that outside towel sheet. The closer you get to the lean you, the more each lost pound of fat shows, because it is spread over a smaller area.

    While the outside sheet may only cover 1 layer of the roll, the inside sheet may go around 4 times. That last sheet looks like it gives you 4 times the results of the first sheet, but in reality, the results are the same – your perception is just different! And you’ll never see the inside, if you aren’t patient while the outside is coming off!

  • Karen-Also go to BFLMike's website  and read (I would print it off for future motivation as well) the Ladies Success Document.

    After 7 wks for me I think was down maybe 8#, but by the end of challenge it was 20# and 15 inches. Hang in there, this does work. Keep the FAITH! :)

    DebMO :0)           Blessed to be a Blessing...

  • Hi Karen,  Good to see you here and congratulations on your progress toward a healthier you.

    I think you have answered some of your own questions with your post.  The nutritional part of BFL seems to be the biggest challenge of this challenge for many people.  Without more information on your food intake and workout routine, I'll offer this:

    I truly believe that to see the great results that others achieve you have to commit 100 percent to the nutritional aspect.  One thing in particular that I will point out is that you are not consistently getting your veggies in and are more hungry for your dinner meal.  The two facts might be related.  I really don't like veggies, I really don't.  I have come to realize that these green things are awesome for my body and really help with hunger and cravings.

    Aside from that portion sizes are crucial.  As to your last meal of the day, really try to get it in.  Not to sound like a broken record, but, cottage cheese and a fruit will do the trick.

    Also there are many posts on how women respond differently with regard to timeline.

    I wish you the best of health and discipline as you enter the home stretch of this challenge.  Keep with it for your own sake and if you have doubts ask yourself the question "Do I feel better today than I did 8 weeks ago?"

  • "I wish you the best of health and discipline.".....that's powerful. Well said JamesK.

  • Karen,

    First of all, you are doing great.  You are more than half way fulfilling the promise you made to yourself.  Good job on that.  

    Legs, James, and Debbie gave great advice, so just to reiterate: You need to get in the 6th meal.  When eating your 5th meal, remind yourself to just eat the appropriate portions, because you get to eat again in 2 hours.  Keep portion creep under control.  You mentioned the recipes in "the book", which makes me think you might be using the Eating for Life book.  This book has awesome recipes, but is more for folks that are in maintenance.   Apparently, the portions are a little large for women trying to lose weight.  

    You asked for ideas on what you might be doing wrong.  Just correct the things you mentioned in your post.  Smaller meal 5.  Eat meal 6.  Get in all your veggies.  You can do it, and it could make a big difference!  

    Definitely download the ladies success document.  Lots of women don't see big changes until after week 8 or later.

    Sounds like you are already seeing amazing changes, like lower cholesterol, and less bursitis pain.  Things only get better from here.  I lost 18 pounds in C1, and plan to start another one in a week or two, but I have a lot of weight to lose.  I started out needing to lose 40 pounds.  Since you are closer to your goal weight, the scale might move slower.  You will see the changes you seek, just keep up the good work, and make some small corrections.  Just think, you are doing so many things right!!  Good luck.  

    Keep posting because the support you receive here can make a world of difference.  

    Julie (in VA)

  • Karen,  James is right on.  The best protein you can eat right before bed is casein protein, found in cottage cheese and greek yogurt.  Have one of these as meal six.  Many people will mix cottage cheese with some lowish carb yogurt.  Remember to shoot for about 20gm protein, and 20gm carbs for each meal.  I found some great greek yogurt, CHOBANI.  It has 20gm carbs and 14gm protein, 0gm fat per 6oz. serving.  I add a tbsp of my low carb vanilla protein powder for an extra 5gm protein to get closer to 20gms protein/carb.  It is delicious, and they sell them in single serving sizes, with blueberry, vanilla, strawberry, and peach.  They are soooo yummy!!

    Julie (in VA)

  • I tried to respond to this thread first this morning (6 a.m. eastern) and in the mist of doing so my computer decided to do some configuration thing.  Ugh!  Anyway, below is my response. :-)


    Remember this is a 12 week process.  Do not judge your progress via a scale but use a tape measure instead.  You will see your progress better through inches lost rather than pounds.  Do you know there was once a person who only lost 3 lbs but you could visibly see her dramatic results?  Also do not compare your progress to your friend.  Everyone is different. :-)  BELIEVE the little things you feel, they add up to big results at the end of week 12.

    I suggest you not use the Eating-for-LIFE book for your meals.  There is a difference between serving size and portion sizes.  Read page 73 of the book if you haven’t already, it explains it.  If you use the book I suggest you use the simple meals found on these pages:

    131 (without the mayo)
    144 (without the yogurt, breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese)
    180 (without the white wine)
    235 (without the peanut butter and sugar substitute)
    301 (without 3 egg yolks)
    307 (without the sugar substitute)

    As was suggested to me by a Mike Harris the 2006 50+ BFL Champion, “most of the mixed recipes are fine, too, but to avoid the conflict between portion sizes and serving sizes you really need to just adjust the recipes a bit.  That's not as hard as it might seem.  For most recipes, you can get YOUR portion size by using 70% of the amounts called for in the recipe, and that should make two servings for YOU.  Otherwise, the recipes will be too large."

    Whether you want to or not, eat all 6 meals as provided in the book, every 2-3 hours apart.  This helps keep your metabolism going, even while you sleep.  Make sure you aren’t over doing or under doing your portion sizes.  Also do not worry about how late you eat, it doesn't really matter much.  I eat my last meal at 9 p.m. (usually cottage cheese) and go right to bed.  This hasn't been a problem as far as the old belief that we will put on weight, we do not if we follow BFL as written.

    A portion of PROTEIN is roughly equal to the size of the palm of your hand. For example, a chicken *** about the size of the palm of your hand is a proper portion of chicken for you.

    A portion of a right CARBOHYDRATE is an amount roughly equal to the size of your clenched fist. For example, a baked potato about that size is the right amount for you.

    The right amount of a serving of VEGETABLES is approximately what you might imagine you can hold in the cupped palm of your hand. For example, a portion of steamed broccoli could be a little or a lot, depending on your appetite, really.  You see, with vegetables, you have a lot of leeway—you don’t have to limit yourself to a certain amount, and you certainly don’t have to force feed yourself a certain serving size.

    Also, when you eat is important.  Be sure you are eating within 30 minutes of your weight days (UBWO and LBWO) and 1 hour after cardio.  If you eat sooner you cut into the burning you started with your workouts and slows everything down a bit.

    Drink your water!  Legs will tell you this.  Water is a big deal as is sleep.  Get enough sleep so your muscle will grow and help burn your body fat.

    I’m not sure what your goals are, but are you working out first thing in the morning on an empty stomach?  If you do that, it will help with the fat burning process.  Cardio is best done in the morning this way but you can do your weights in the afternoon after you have gotten food in your system but at least 1 hour before your next meal because you should eat or drink a Myoplex Lite (recommended for women) right after you finish your weight training.

    I also suggest since you are in the last few weeks to begin weighing yourself and taking photos every 2 weeks and measure yourself with a tape measure every week.  I normally do measurements and photos on Sunday morning right after waking up every 4 weeks.

    Hope this helps.

    Love you some you...PERSEVERE!

  • In the "Champions Body For Life" book, there is a section that describes the phenomenon known as the "Week 8 Miracle".  It affects a fair number of people, mostly women.

    Basically, it shows that weight loss may be modest for the first 7-8 weeks, and then BAM!  It's like your body throws a switch and the weight loss starts coming at a better pace.

    Keep your portion sizes proper, but do NOT starve yourself.  Starvation makes your body go into survival mode and start storing fat, dropping your metabolism, etc., which are ALL BAD!

    Add low-calorie veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, squash, etc.).  Cut your carbs in the late evening.  Follow the plan by the book, all the way through Week 12, and then compare your results: scale weight, how clothes fit, etc.

  • I love CHOBANI!  Good suggestion Julie.

    Love you some you...PERSEVERE!

  • The 8 week miracle does happen but doesn't always happen right at week 8 for everyone.  That miracle can happen anytime at or after week 8.  So if you don't see it then, you may see it at 9, 10 11 or even at week 12.  :-)  Think of it more as the 8 week pay off.  It can really only happen if you have applied yourself to BFL the majority of the weeks.

    Love you some you...PERSEVERE!

  • Karen I re-read your original post a couple of times and something really jumps out at me.  You said that "you struggle a bit with the food" in one sentence and then "I think overall I do pretty well".  These are signs to me that you don't keep a food journal.  If you keep a food journal and you don't eat what's planned, then write it down. You can see where you issues are.  I struggle with food and have for years.  Every bite counts.  Heating up something for the kids and take a bite to see if it's warm, it counts.  A nibble of this and a bite of that adds up quickly.  

    You've still got plenty of time to make good progress so start keeping a food journal.  Write down what you eat and if you screw up, write it down and how you felt before, during and after you ate it.   Oh and don't compare your results to your friends, just stay the course and your results will come.

    Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right ~ Henry Ford

    Michelle Simpson ~2009 Body-for-LIFE Champion 46+ Catagory

  • Thanks everyone for your kind words and thoughtful responses! I really appreciate it!!

    I do keep a food journal, but I had been using the cookbook most of the time, and looking back at it (after reviewing the above responses), I think my portion size was a little too big. I also wasn't drinking as much water as I should have. I think my third mistake was having too many Myoplex bars. I cut those out and swapped them for cottage cheese and yogurt... since I really like cottage cheese, it wasn't a hard substitution...

    Anyway, things are better for me! I still feel like I have a long way to go but I've lost a little more weight and the other morning at the gym I literally saw my tricep pop when I looked in the mirror. That was encouraging!

    Is 3/4 of a cup of nonfat or lowfat yogurt mixed with cottage cheese an appropriate sized snack? THanks again... and Legs, I love your paper towel theory. Thanks again everyone!