Week 6: Discouraged.

  • Also make sure to take measurments.  The scale lies.  If you are losing inches around your waist (right under rib cage for women and around waist for guys) then you are losing fat.  Water fluctations can play tricks on the scale.  Plus, in the beginning you can put on some muscle at a pretty good rate, especially if you have never lifted before.  Plus, your muscles will become better at absorbing nutrients (gylcogen) which can register as more weight on the scale.

  • I am ULTRA careful and accurate about what I am consuming.  Out of frustration, I began checking everything on week 3 because I was feeling no difference except muscle soreness.  Where possible, I use the nutritional information on food packaging, such as the low fat cottage cheese, and I measure it in 1/4 cup increments.  I have an app on my phone that converts other foods that don't contain printed info to their nutritional information.  I weigh the meats on a scale to be sure I am only using the correct ounces, and I only use lean meats and tuna packed in water, ones on the BFL list.

    I have heard that it is unhealthy to go much lower than 1200 calories per day.  I have many days when my intake is between 1050 and 1200.  Yet I am not feeling deprived. I am rarely hungry on this program, except around dinner time when I am used to eating a larger meal.  Still, I do not go over what I am supposed to.  I just hang tight until I can have a snack.  

    For the record, I am 5' 7" tall, 51 years old, and started the program at 170 lbs.   I don't get on the scales, and have only done so once at the end of 4 weeks, which showed a meager loss of 3 pounds.  

    But I do believe that I am gaining muscle mass, as I have not exercised at this level in many years.

    The water has been a stuggle, but I am working on it.  

    As stated in yesterdays post, I am starting to see differences in my hips, and it's time I should take another measurement.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment BigBennyM.

  • I really appreciate that response from you Big Benny. I am 5 ft 1, very petite and weigh about 110lbs, if I ate 1800 cal I would be twice the size I am now regardless of exercise. I have read a lot on here about eating too little, I average 1200 cal a day and it is the only way I will lose the weight. I do not struggle with lethargy,  I have two kids, work full time and train everyday - and Im still standing.

    Thanks for the clarification

  • Yeah, the whole eating too little thing comes from faulty research that was scewed.  It basically went that a group of women claimed they were not losing weight when they were only eating 800 calories a day.  The research was warped, because the women were self reporting their consumption.  When their diet was actually looked at they were eating over 2000 calories a day.  Research that is based on self reporting no legitimate.

    Even by RDA standards, a person can get all the nutrients they need to survive by consuming around 1000 calories a day.  

    When you have are overweight your body can pull needed calories from fat pretty fast, which is why you can get by with a larger deficit.  When you lean out your body cannot pull from the fat as fast, because there just is not that much fat to pull from, so it has to make up the difference by consuming LBM.  You can keep a smaller deficit for the whole transformation, but it will take you longer to get to your goal.  In the beginning you can eat pretty low calories and then when you are pretty lean you will need to eat closer to maintanance.  You will start to feel lethargic and you won't be able to get through your workouts.  That is when you need to eat more.

    A woman around 5ft will have a maintenance around 1600-1800 calories tops.  You can usually get this information by going to an online calculator and enter your information like height, weight, and age.  Then select Basal Metabolic Rate.  Don't put anything in for activity, because those things are highly inacurate, because they are using a formula were based on people that were highly active in their daily lives, much more active than we are today.  So the numbers will be really high.  In all actuallity we do not burn much more than our Basal Metabolic Rate (recent research has proven this).  

    If you just want to stay on the safe side, then eat 1200 calories a day and have a free day once a week (just don't go overboard).  The palm/fist method works pretty well for this.  A woman can get by eating 5 meals instead of 6.  Just keep up the workouts to preserve muscle and diet to lose fat.  

  • I took a measurement.  Hips are still at 1 inch reduction, but the waist has gone down 3 inches.  At the end of week 8, I will weigh again.

    I am also cutting my consumption of bread.  I'll make my carbs up in fruit, or vegetables.  I am convinced that it will be healthier any way.  It also seems to help if I skip the last meal.  I feel lighter in the morning, and I believe that I sleep better.  

    I'll just keep on keepin on...........

  • I cut out the wheat bread this week and have had sweet potatos instead.  I'm going to weigh in Monday and see if it made any difference.  Keep up the good work!

  • Hang in there flygirl. In 1999 I hiked The Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. I didn't lose any weight at all until I'd hiked over 500 miles. I'd read about people losing weight on the trail and wondered why I wasn't losing any. But soon after the 500 mile mark the fat just started pealing off. I'm thinking this program could work the same. Don't give up. It's just a matter of time until you break through this plateau!! You can do it.  And.....if misery loves company you certainly have mine. I'm in my second week of the challenge and am fighting a very bad chest cold. This is the first time I've had a cold in several years. Talk about bad timing!! I have been bed ridden and missed some workouts. I feel horrible. But I'm not giving up and neither should you. You can do this!!

  • Big bent that's exactly right - I used that online calculator a few weeks ago and it told me for my height etc that I can consume 1500 - 1600 cal a day anymore than that and I will put on weight. Everyone cannot use the 2000 guideline. :-)

    I only eat bread on my days off. Breads probably the biggest catch out. Well done keep going! X

  • * benny not bent lol sorry

  • I am on day 26 and feeling VERY discouraged too!  Feeling so down today could be party b/c of my free day, which included wine (and which tends to make me feel depressed the next day).  I do feel really good and happy on this program, and maybe it was b/c I was positive that this will work, but almost on to my 4th week, and I feel like I am getting bigger!  I feel stronger but it certainly doesn't show under all the flab.

    I used to count calories forever until I started this program, and I was hesitant to stop counting in fear, but feel like counting isn't healthy...??  I feel desperate to start counting again b/c I don't feel like the portion thing is working but really enjoy not weighing every food I put in my mouth.

    I am hitting 9s and 10s and following the plan, with slip ups here and there, but am really trying hard to do everything by the book.  Feeling like giving up : (

  • Shellnikk please don't give up!! I've had many days where I felt fatter than when I started. I feel like my thighs are bigger than when I started but I just tell myself that it's muscle being built, and soon the fat will melt away like Cactus Jack said. I have my days when I feel really down too. But I think at least I'm trying to do something about it. I'm hoping for some progress like many have described at 8 weeks.

    Either way, I'll continue on because I believe that eventually changes will come. I am in week 8 now and see some minor changes, so I keep thinking that 8 weeks ago, I was fat, unhealthy, puffing when walking, clothes fitting tight, and absolutely hating the person in the mirror. Now I can say that I feel so much better physically, and I've stopped hating the mirror. I still don't love the mirror, but it's getting better! I can see "Me" coming back.

    One more thought. It took years to put on all this weight. It's unreasonable to expect to lose it all very fast. The slower way is the more permanent way. And the BFL way is the healthy way.  You can do it!! Just keep on!

    Cactus Jack I appreciate your story and thanks for the encouragement!!

  • flygirl - thank-you for your words - i had a bad couple of days and feel gross today but am ready to get back on track. The most important factor, other than shedding fat, is how I feel.  I have felt like crap the past few days b/c I got off track from BLF with diet and exercise, but I don't feel like crap when following BFL, so here I go!  I will NOT give up.  Thanks for your support!

  • I posted this somewhere else, but wanted to put in my 2 cents.  I didn't hit the 8 week miracle, but last week, at week 9, I really started feeling and even seeing the difference.  The scale started moving, and I see something new almost every day.  This is week 10, and I feel super great!  I feel like bouncing around all the time, and I'm 44.  I feel like if I keep going like this, there's nowhere I can't go!  There's also this paper towel theory that is encouraging when you're down.


    Flygirl, is that from Flylady?  I love that program!!!  Been with Leanne since 1998.


  • Shellnikk, I'm glad that you came back to the program.  I had a couple of days where I felt like giving up too.  But then, you feel so yucky when you start eating like before, and not working out, that you just have to come back.  Come here often for encouragment.  It helps to talk to others experiencing the same feelings.

    mintexas, thanks for that comment.  I am now in week 9 too, and ironically, I am seeing some changes like the paper towel theory!  I am finding that I am losing weight all over, like around my chest and back.  My boobs have begun slipping under my bra, so I know that the bra is beginning to be too big.  

    I stepped on the scales at the end of week 8, and I was still only down 7  1/2 pounds.  I had HOPED for better, but Finally, Finally, my clothes are beginning to show some evidence of being too big.  

    The final analysis is always the same.  Where else am I gonna go?  Back to doing nothing? Back to laying on the couch eating cookies?  I THINK NOT!!!!!!!!!!  This is after all, Body For  LIFE!!!

  • I have found that as soon as I began to feel discouraged a change was about to occur. I would feel down and sure enough I would lose a pound or my body fat percentage would drop a little. By week six, I don't recall seeing any changes but take that feeling and realize that it's part of the journey... Stand up straight, look at yourself in the mirror, and say, I am proud of myself, I will succeed and go for it!