WHEN can I expect to see change??? Getting discouraged!!!

  • Hi everyone,

    I am new to the form, but not to BFL.  I did a challenge five years ago and in over 4 challenges lost approximately 100 pounds. 

    I am currently up about 25lbs and decided it was time to buckle down!  I remained active, am in the gym everyday, am a fitness instructor, still love the weight room.. but  got a little slack on my nutrition and backed off the effort over the last three years.  URGH!!!  what was I thinking????!!!!

    Anyway, I have been back on track for the last 5 weeks and am looking at myself wondering HOW long it took to see changes the first time around???!!!  I think it was at the 10 week mark that I remember seeing something, however with the effort and clean eating I am sticking to it is SO VERY disheartening to get on that scale week after week and not see it budge!  I was suppose to weigh and take measurements today, but didn't want to ruin my day so avoided the scale like the plague.

    WHAT IS A correct expectation in terms of seeing changes?? REALLY need to hear from some of you experienced BFL'ers!

    When I did manage to get down to the lowest body fat I ever was, I removed all dairy and ate one green apple per day.  I have been including fruit at two meals and cottage cheese at one meal this present challenge and have been trying to make a decision on whether I should let it go again.  What are your thoughts?

    I'm a 42 year old woman, 6 feet tall, 171lbs with a goal to return down to 150lbs and 17% bf.  Sitting a very disgraceful 23% BF right now... again URGH, what was I thinking???!!!

    Thanks everyone

  • Hi Nissi51,

    Glad you are back on the program to start with! Good work.

    I have to say first that I am NOT AS EXPERIENCED AS YOU with Body For Life, I am coming to the end of Week 3 of my first time through it at the moment. But I will share my thoughts with a fellow BFL'er! :-)

    As far as seeing changes goes, well I would imagine that would depend on the person, and on how closely they are following the Body For Life instructions. Your gut feel of "Week 10" could of course be correct for you.

    I am very keen to see progress in my own journey. To this end I am taking various measurements of my body with a tape measure, as well as measuring my scale weight and my Body Fat % EVERY WEEK (I do it on a Sunday morning when I get up). I also take a picture on that Sunday too.

    I think the book recommends photographing yourself every 3 weeks. Personally, because, like you, I am so keen to see progress, 3 weeks is too long for me to wait without knowing if I am improving or not. This is why I measure myself every week. I look forward to each Sunday now to take my measurements, and to see, for example, if my waist line has reduced by 0.5cm etc.

    Seeing the results in the mirror is OF COURSE a big part of Body For Life. But bear in mind that some of the changes your body is going through will happen very slowly. And if you are looking at yourself in the mirror day in day out, wondering "When is that body part gonna change?!?",  well you could be overlooking some of the changes that ARE HAPPENING, but missing them because they are so slight. (I hope that makes sense).

    I would recommend that you:

    1) Start making WEEKLY measurements against EACH of your goals (e.g. For your weight, weight yourself 1st thing on a Sunday morning (after going to the toilet to get rid of excess water), and measure your body fat then too).

    Bear in mind that you want your Body Fat % to come down, but this does not necessarily mean that your scale weight will come down. It might go up because you are gaining muscle (sure you know all this being a fitness instructor haha!)

    2) Take a picture each Sunday too.

    3) Also look at the records from your weights, REALLY LOOK. For example, when I have finished an upper body session and entered all the reps & weight etc that I did, I immediately look back at the previous Upper body session to see if I have improved.

    Even if I did just ONE MORE REP than last time, THAT IS PROGRESS. THAT is getting me closer to my goals. So I can feel proud of myself. You can feel this too. I also then plan out the next upper body session, with added weight (if I reached all of the required reps that day) to ensure that I continue making progress in the next session.

    4) I personally believe that Body For Life is best adopted as a "life style", rather than just for 12 weeks. I think you probably think that way too. Hence, when you look at it like that, you are GUARANTEED to reach your goals at some stage. And my personal feeling, based on the progress I have made so far, is that your goals, like mine, are NOT years away, but are VERY ACHIEVABLE in 12-15 weeks following this program.

    5) If your measurements are consistently not changing (e.g. bicep size etc), then this information tells you that something is not working. This is GOOD, because you now know that you need to get help. So you can come to this forum and ask for it etc.

    As far as your diet question goes, my advice is to stick to the guidance in the book and you cannot fail.

    Good luck Nissi51 I hope this helps you!

  • Nissi:  Hang in there, and don't get discouraged. What are your options?  To continue doing what you are doing and be patient with the program or go back to doing what you were before, which is what brought you here in the first place!!!  I didn't have a lot of weight to lose during my first challenge, but my body fat was creeping up there.  This is how my first challenge went....you can look at my profile for before/afters.....by 4 weeks, I was discouraged and saw zero progress with my weight/photos, etc....by 8 weeks, I saw a few minor changes.  By week 10, I was able to see some definate improvement, and between weeks 10 & 12 is when it all came together for me.  I ended up losing far more weight than expected and was definately happy with my results!  You have to really be honest with yourself.  80% of the puzzle is nutrition and so many people think they are eating clean but they are not!!  Hone in on what you want and make it happen.  You have the tools...go use them!!

    I know you can do this!

    "The only person you should try to be better than, is the person you were yesterday!"

  • I saw massive change in week 11.

    Courage isn't lack of fear. It's our ability to carry on despite our fear

  • Well I am here to tell you not to get discouraged.  I am new to BFI, and started my challenge first part of June and am currently still on it.  I went through a very discourage point as well, because I wasn't seeing any real changes.  But keep up with the effort, throw out your weight scale and forget what you weigh.  It's only going to discourage you, because if you lose 10 pounds but add 5 pounds of muscle, then you don't realize that and you're discouraged because all you lost is 5 lbs.  

    I quit weighing myself, and don't try to do measurements or stats every week.  Again the progress is slow, and week by week you are not going to see much change.  Much like watching your kid grow.  Do you see that?  But eventually you have to buy him new pants, because they high water.  

    I am down to eating, fruits, vegetables, protein shakes, chicken, fish.  I feel great and after about 8 weeks, I finally got where I'm enjoying the whole lifestyle change.  I am not seeing the results I wanted for 12 weeks, but am going right from my first 12 weeks into another 12 week program.  

    Let me tell you something, I saw a grandmother age 65 go through this program and when she started, she looked like a grandmother.  Fat belly, hanging breasts, poor posture, etc.  But after 1 year of BFI, she looks better in a bikini than some 20 year girls.  

    Make this a life style change and stop worrying about the scale, or about a time limit.  You are here to do this for the rest of your life.  No hurry, not time crunch, just keep doing what you're doing and eventually it will all start showing.  Focus on the routine part of it, the life style part of it, and the rest will just happen.

    We all get discourage, so hang in there.  You're worth it.   Remember to eat right, this is a very important part of the program.  

  • This is week 11 for me. I see change in my before and after pic...not huge change...but I had a lot of work to do. I think when I take a final after pic I will see huge change when the pics are held side by side. The weight loss has been agonizingly slow...but, my clothes are hanging off of me and I HAVE lost weight. An average of 1.5 lbs a week. Soooo, slow. I think where I have been slow in losing weight I have been gaining muscle fast though. I had none to begin with. I will need to do another challenge to finish what I've started. I'm no pro by any means and this is my first challenge...but, something you said in your post stuck with me. Your still going to the gym and you are an instructor. Really shake up your routine and see if that helps. You may need to wake your body up out of it's slumber it has gotten comfortable in. Great results wished to you.

  • Nice call on getting back on program when it is 25 pounds to lose and not more!  You've got this!

    I have created a Facebook group called “Body for Lifers!”  The link is…


    I just started the Body For Life program (8/15/12) and know I would enjoy having an easily accessible support group. I would like to have a forum where questions can be answered, encouragement given, progress celebrated and ideas generated.

    Please come join us!


  • Hang in there! It is easy to get discouraged and feel like you aren't making progress. I highly recommend taking

    Measurements too. Sometimes you may not see much if any change in the scale, but if you look back over other

    changes like waist, hips, etc you will have a much more accurate picture of progress. Also, follow the program- don't exercise any more or less than what bfl laid out. Changing up your cardio will help and changing your weight program about every 5-6 weeks too will keep your body from becoming too accustomed to the workout and challenges the muscles. You can do it.

  • Thanks for accepting me into the BOdy for Lifers group.  Great idea starting this on FB for us FB folks. Nice to have a second outlet for info and support. Thanks laura0917!!!!!

  • 23 percent i wish lol jesus you only have to lose mybe 5-10 pounds at the very most, no sweat!! when i do the program i can lose 12 percent body fat in the first month lol.

  • I too did BFL years ago, with good results. The first time I did it, I went on word of mouth ( didn't read the book right away), and did the meals wrong. I lost considerable weight. The second time I lost around 20 pounds. Now, i'm assumimg age has alot to do with this.The results change as we get older, just my opinion. I finished about 4 weeks ago on my 12 weeks for BFL. This time I lost even less weight, however,I gained musle and my clothes fit me so much better. The scale didn't move for me after week six. It's almost like your body knows what's coming, because we did this before.so it adjusts accordingly.I think we've reached a stage where more intense exercise is needed. This is the conclusion I have come to.

  • I am starting week 4 but I haven't really seen much of a change.  I am, however, feeling better.  I believe when I read that the change starts from in the inside out.  I have 50 lb to lose and this is my 1st  challenge so I lack your experience.  I do know that age does have a factor.  I also think that once you have success with a plan and then leave the plan, the reality of the effort it took to get where your were gets distorted.  Do not get discourage, remember, you know this works.  Give yourself over to the challenge and let it happen.