I'm going to give you the story of my weight-loss/look better journey over the last year or so in hopes that one of you smart, smart people can give me some guidance. :)
A little over a year ago, it occurred to me that during law school, I'd gained 20-30 pounds (I knew before that but you get where this is going...). Right as I finished, I decided to do Weight Watchers, as I'd previously lost 30 pounds on WW without ever stepping foot in the gym. This time, I wanted to exercise too, because I wanted a good bar-exam stress reducer. I noticed that I was losing weight WAY more slowly - even though I followed the plan 100%.
Over a substantial amount of time, I finally lost the 30 pounds I'd put on, however, that still put me at approximately 10-15 pounds heavier than my ideal weight. (Ideally, I'd like to weigh maybe 140 pounds, then go from there).
Eventually near the beginning of 2010, I'd hit a slump and I wasn't losing any weight at all, despite adhering 100% to the WW plan and even having taken up jogging. I was going to the gym 5 days a week and doing 45 minutes of cardio 5 days a week. I wasn't losing weight. That's one someone suggested that maybe I needed more protein in my diet (I'm a vegetarian) and to try B4L.
Here I am. It's Week 8, Day 6. Ist Challenge, obviously. I haven't lost an ounce and I'm doing everything by the book. I had to go out of town for a few days last week, which meant that I wasn't able to go to the gym, but since I'd not lost any weight, I figured it might be a good break for my body anyway.
Here's my usual diet on any given day - each meal is usually 2-3 hours between.
Meal 1: Egg white omelet (1/2 c egg beaters), veggies (onion, tomato, green pepper) and 2 slices low-fat whole-wheat toast. (I use Pam to cook, and sometimes use 1 tsp of fat free jam on the toast). I sometimes use a slice of low fat, 60 calorie cheese on the omelet.
Meal 2: Nutrition bar which has about 19 g protein and about 18 g carbs.
Meal 3: EAS Shake - Lite and sometimes a small salad with tons of veggies and the dressing has 1 tsp of olive oil.
Meal 4: Veggie burger patty, 1 red potato (with rosemary - yum!) and broccoli. I sometimes put a slice of low-fat cheese on the broccoli to make it au-gratin style. The cheese is 60 calories a slice.
Meal 5: 1/2 c low fat cottage cheese, 1 cup (as close as possible) of acorn squash with a tsp of light brown sugar on it (which is 15 calories and seems like a neglible amount).
Meal 6: Nutrition bar (about 19g protein and 18 carbs, as well).
So where am I going wrong? I know I've lost some inches, although I stupidly never took my measurements, but I have not lost ONE pound. Moreover, when I got back from the trip, the scale said I'd gained 9 pounds. I don't think it's physically possible to gain 9 pounds in 5 days. It's taken me about 5 months to lose 2 pounds, and now I've gained 9 almost overnight????!!!
Also, not sure if this is relevant but I quit smoking about 4 months ago. I don't believe I have any medical condition that would prevent weight loss as none of the other people in my family have any.
In my humble opinion, you should pull the original foods list from the book and eat nothing that isn't on that list for the next two weeks.
You will be really surprised at how much the little things you are adding are truly sabotaging your own efforts. Eat 100% clean 6 days per week.
Try trading in the two bars per day for real food like a tear open packet of tuna and an apple.
BTW, I've lost 2 pants sizes since July of last year and not a single scale pound. Find a pair of tight pants in your closet since you didn't take measurements and use them as your "progress pants". Try them on each free day morning before eating any type of treats.
The goal here is to learn how to eat for life, not just for the 12 weeks. You can do this, but you can not add all sorts of negligiable items because they do add up.
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
Oh and don't get worked up over the 9 lbs unless it stays on for a week or so. I'm sure it's travel related water weight.
Try ditching the toast in the morning and opting for a ff yogurt or piece of fruit instead.
Champster, thank you for the thoughtful advice. I just had a question: After reading the B4L book, when I looked through the sample recipes, they included negligible amounts of condiments, also. In addition, I started using the bars and the shake because he suggested it.
So when you say to cut out the extra stuff, what exactly do you think I should cut out? If you could be more specific, I'd appreciate it.
Also, I don't eat meat, so I really struggle to find 6 meals, which is why the bars come in handy. It's not very convenient to have to hover over the stove 6 times a day to make tofu or something. (Plus you can only eat cottage cheese so many times in a day) :)
Do you have any other meal suggestions I could replace the bars with - that don't have meat?
I'm rambling, but also: will I ever weigh 140 pounds?! :)
Any sugar, even "lite" is not considered a condiment. Low fat cheese is really more of a maintenance choice. Condiments should really be limited to spices, vinegar and maybe a smidge of olive oil with a salad. The fat free jam contains sugar.
The bars are fine, but do contain sugar alcohol and some folks are sensitive to that. Whole foods would be the better choice and reserve the bars for the occasion that you simply cannot access real food.
My suggestions are based on the fact that you "are about to give up hope". Come on now. You've come a long way and the closer you get to your goals, the more challenging it gets. You can do this. If it was easy, everyone would do it.
As to the not eating meat, do you eat eggs? What about plain fat free greek yogurt? Add a couple packs of splenda 4 oz frozen blueberries and you have the perfect just before bed meal.
The thing to remember is that it's not about the scale, it's about your fitness level, the way your clothes fit and just how confident you will be when you get stronger and stronger and smaller and smaller. Ditch the scale, it's never loyal and only brings you down.
Find motivational photos of the body you want to have. Tape them in a binder and use that binder as a visualization book ad positive quotes and inspirational quotes.
One other thing, you said "you can only eat cottage cheese so many times a day"... be willing to eat it six times a day if it means you'll succeed. Change your way of thinking about this. Empower yourself!
Remember, food doesn't control you, you control it.
Thanks, Champster. This is thoughtful advice. I am fighting my brain at this point. I'm starting to feel defeated.
I'll try to be careful about sugars - I did check my jam and it's sugar free. Next week, I'll try to change up my diet some more. I frankly love cottage cheese, so that's not a problem - :)
I know I look better - everyone keeps telling me. I just can't believe no matter how good of shape I'm in that I should technically be overweight for my height. Not by more than a pound, but still. !!
Incredible post! I love where you said, "Be willing to eat 'cottage cheese' six times a day if it means you'll succeed."
And the darn scale...why are we soo tied to the scale? I get on it almost every day!! What is wrong with me? Luckily, I have not let it derail me, but I do wonder why the heck I keep getting on it? I am getting stronger and smaller, what difference does that number make? People see our bodies...they don't see our scale weight. They only know our weight if we tell them!! Some people get rid of their scale. I remember reading one post where a girl gave hers to her neighbor, and someone else that had her roommate hide it!
Sarabean - the greek yogurts are awesome. Chobani makes a great 0% fat greek yogurt. Just add a tbsp of low carb protein powder to get the protein up closer to the 20gms of protein we ladies seek. Costco sells them in bulk (12 indiv. servings 6oz. flavored - strawberry, blueberry, peach) Or buy the large plain or vanilla and do as Michelle suggested and add your own fruit. But add the protein powder. I usually eat greek yogurt twice per day and have a RTD once per day. That is three easy meals right there!
One recipe to try is the cottage cheese pancakes. They are good any time of day! One cup cottage cheese, 6 egg whites. Blend in blender. Add cinnamon, stevia, and vanilla to taste. Then add one cup whole oats, and blend. Don't overdo it, or they will be runny. Sometimes, I use a really small amount of SF syrup, and I mean small! But, the pancakes are so flavorful with the stevia, cinnamon and vanilla, that you don't need much added. These store great in the fridge. The kids love them, and I have heard they freeze well.
Don't give up sarabean! Focus on your size, and your fitness level! You can do this! Good luck.
You didn't mention how your workouts and aerobics fit in to your schedule. You definitely need the aerobic workouts to lose fat along with the nutrition plan. If you already do the 3 HIIT per week, try adding a walk of 30 minutes each day. Also drink 128 oz. of plain water every day. Eat only the foods on the basic list and try weighing the protein and carbs for one week just to get your eye used to the right amounts. Protein should be 2 or 3 oz per meal and carbs 3/4 cup or 6 oz per meal. If that doesn't work, you should see a doctor..
Julie - Thank you for your thoughts. I agree with the scale thing - but that doesn't negate the fact that I want to weigh a more normal weight! If I thought I looked FABULOUS and still weighed 151 pounds, I suppose it wouldn't matter...but I'm not QUITE fabulous...yet!
I'll have to try the pancakes. How many pancakes does that make? How many = 1 serving?
I bought some greek yogurt so I'll try that. Where do you buy the protein powder from? I assume it's unflavored?
As for what Champster said about the cottage cheese...I think I agree and I disagree. You have to be willing to work reallllly hard to change the way you look. I'm willing to do that and am DOING that. However, as mentioned above, this is a lifestyle change and it wouldn't be nutritious to eat cottage six times a day, six days a week. I'm really trying hard here to make decisions that I can live with forever, so that I can maintain as well as lose. Eating the same thing six times a day is not only unrealistic in the long run, but not good for me. (Even if it could help me lose a few pounds).
What is an RTD? I may not know all the lingo yet...
Mimi - I do the workouts 6 days a week. I kick my own ass at the gym! :) I will maybe start adding more cardio, I guess. That's not what I wanted to hear since I went from doing 45 minutes of cardio to this - I don't wanna go back! :)
Sarabean, just my 2 cents...yes the scale is not our friend and our head gets wraps up in that dang dial and it's hard. I tried, before my 2 successful challenges, 4 times at BFL, but couldn't get into the headgame...one time I quit after 7 wks because the scale didn't say a certain number. How silly!
Since Christmas I have faithfully weighed and measure only every 4 wks...before I was on that dang scale every day, cursing at it mostly. Now the number doesn't matter because I pushed through, you can too.
I highly recommend the protein pancakes (made up a big batch this morning!) I make my pancakes about 4" wide and about 2 are a serving. With sugar free syrup, delish!! =) And the greek yogurt with berries, yummo!
Protein powder, I use whey protein, can purchase flavored brands from Walmart or Target, I use the EAS brand or Body Fortress. I will use that and a pc of fruit for a meal.
As far as the cottage cheese, I have mine at night with nf yogurt as it breaks down slower than other proteins...I believe Champster was trying to point out more that we should be willing to try anything in order to achieve what we desire, not really use CC as all 6 meals...imo...
RTD are ready to drink shakes also found at WM and Target, you can either get the ones that have the balanced portions of carbs/protein or the EAS Advantage Edge where you can throw a pc of fruit in there for a meal.
I guess I didn't catch what week you were in, but I wouldn't add too much extra cardio...I just finished my 2nd challenge and both of them were done by the book, no extras...
On your free day, do you indulge all day? I have only taken a free meal for my free day, usually a Friday or Saturday night out with the family.
I hope this information helps and all my best to your challenge!!
DebMO :0) Blessed to be a Blessing...
I have thought about giving up so many times, but I can't figure out why I haven't. There will be times you will gain muscle in the place of fat and it appears you haven't lost weight, but your clothes fit better. Like Bill always said " Stay With the Program, it will work." I think the reasons I haven't given up is if I do then I will not have honored my self promise to complete my Challenge. If you have read Bill Phillips book Body-for-Life and it has not inspired you to keep going.....then you have to get his new book "Transformation"....Then if you are not inspired, what can I say! There is a saying that I use all the time " When the going gets tough, the tough get going." So stay with the program and become a Winner. John
Just wanted add to add one thing to the great posts above and that was about when said
"I should technically be overweight for my height".
Please ignore BMI calculators as they do not take our mass make up into account. Based solely on a BMI calculator someone 5ft 5 weighing 140lb would have a healthy BMI on 23.3, however, if this person is 30% body fat there is nothing healthy about their build. On the flip side many of the ripped guys your see in magazines would fall into the obese category if you calculated their BMI but would probably only have 10% or less body fat.
So through away the scales and really work on getting rid of the WW mentality as it is this mentality, I believe, that is leading to our obesity epidemic. You can do this hang in there.
"The future will be made up of the present. By taking good care of the present, we take good care of the future." Thich Nhat Hanh
Please don't EVER give up hope!
Always remember you are making a change for the better!
Also keep in mind that muscle weighs much more than fat. So you may be losing fat, but gaining muscle :)
Have faith in the results and keep moving towards a better YOU!
© Abbott Laboratories,2013