Hi! I am a 49 yr old female who has just completed Week 7 of my first challenge. I was always slender until my mid-30s, and about 50 extra pounds have crept on since then. I have been a clean eater for most of my adult life, so the BFL eating plan has not been a stretch for me. I never was the most motivated at exercise, though, but have been doing the BFL plan faithfully and haven't missed a workout.
I have tried many things in the past few years, and have been unable to lose much or maintain weight loss. I have had bloodwork, and have no thyroid issues. I think my metabolism just s***ks! I was determined to make BFL work for me, and have been sticking to the plan faithfully for 7 weeks. Here's the problem......I have lost exactly 1/2 lb in 7 weeks, and my body measurements have not changed. Most of my fat is in my belly, which I thought had gone down a little, but my pants' waistbands are still snug (maybe a little looser in the butt and thighs).
What is wrong with me????? I am seeing some definition in my arms and legs, although it isn't much. I feel stronger and a little more energetic (I was getting so easily fatigued and depressed before.) I know that muscle weighs more than fat, but in reading these forums, people are losing up to 10 lbs by this time. Shouldn't I have seen the scale move a little bit, and seen more room in my clothes?
I have considered going to a nutritionist, but am afraid of wasting my time going to someone who will recommend their chemical shakes and supplements, or try to give me some crazy no-carb diet or something. I refuse to go to a doctor and take medication which will further screw up my metabolism. And diet pills are not an option.
I don't know what to do next. I am all out of ideas. I am not planning to give up on BFL, and I know that exercise and clean-eating are healthy for me even if my body doesn't change, but I am tired of being size 12! I want to get back to at least a size 8! I know it doesn't happen overnight, but it has been 7 weeks already. Help!!!!
One more thing.....So many women I work with who are older than me,and post-menopausal, go on those nationally promoted eating plans and lose tons of weight in a few months! It is very discouraging, becase I will not eat prepackaged and processed foods. And yes, they keep it off! I have tried using WW points system with clean/healthy foods and that hasn't worked either! Yet my friends swear by WW while eating pizza and cookies and other unhealthy things on a regular basis! Frustrating!
Please post your weight height and body fat %.
Also your weight training log, when did you lift, how much, what muscle group. Did you lift until your muscles quivered and gave out?
Your cardio log. When did you do it. Did you record your heart rate? If what was it? Anyother detail you can think of?
What have you been eating the last few weeks. What time of day do you start eating? How far apart are the meals? What time of day do you stop eating? What are you eating with specifics? What are you drinking? What are you doing on free day also.
I am sorry to hear you are feeling so frustrated with your progress. There is a document on here you may find helpful.
It is in Media- Downloads- lady success. It shares the experiences of lady members who often don't loose weight until much later in the twelve weeks.
I am the opposite to you in that I love the exercise, but find it difficult to stick to the diet. I am at the end of week eleven and although I have not hit my weight loss targets, ( my own fault for not sticking well enough to the eating plan) I am stronger fitter and firmer and now have excellent posture, which was getting quite bad previously. Your friends who are going on ww diets will not look as good as you if you continue on the plan as they are starving away their muscles and are setting themselves up for long term problems.
It sounds like you are doing really well it is just a very different plan to what you are used to and the visual results take longer. I don't think one 12 week plan is enough for most people to get the body they are aiming for and I will be continuing on to my second twelve week plan after this one, and am now hooked on body building for life! lol
Good Luck with your journey
I know of your concerns. Speaking from a males perspective, it affects us too. I lost between 10-12 pounds in the first 5 weeks. Then it completely stopped. Never missed a workout and ate clean. Finished the twelve weeks and then went on into another round. Four weeks complete, scale hasn't moved. I even upped the cardio. Not extra, but more intense with running and some jogging, which in the past, would take the weight off. The only thing I can figure it is in the diet. you have to be so strict, especailly with the times when you eat. But I did BFL in the past, and had great results. This time it's like my body knows whats coming, and has adjusted, to my dissappointment. I'm sure I'll have to tweak my meals. It's a huge part of this. I am older now, so I have to remember the results won't come as fast. I think i'm on a long term plan.
As we age there are changes in our body regulation and hormones shift gears, it is a rhythm of life. Thing is to find that rhythm. Are you eating BFL strict or Eating for Life, recipes from this site? Like Linden asked a sample of your logs could be helpful. Calorie counters tend to fall into a trap of eating to the calories, macro-nutrient ratios, etc without considering changes in their body as well. As we age and take on exercise even each body runs according to it's own efficiency, some efficiently utilize carbs, others fat, others even protein and metabolic disorders can upset things even further. Most diets like WW work on a general principle that the greater percentage of people will respond to, the same could be said for BFL but there is a percentage it doesn't ; for those it requires a bit of troubleshooting to figure out.
Thanks, everyone, for your responses so far. To answer some of your questions, I am 5'6", about 192 lb. I calculated my BMI from an online source, and it is 31. Another site showed me my body fat percentage and it is 45% (wow!) Although these sources tell my I am obese, I don't look it, as most of my body fat is in my belly. I should tell you my waistline, (whch was 28" about 10 yrs ago) has not budged from 38.
I can't lift very heavy weights yet, but I think I am reaching my 10s. I use the BFL book to select the exercises and use my treadmill for cardio. I increase speed and incline for my 9s and 10s. I begin my workout at 6am before work, and eat my first meal an hour later. My meals are spaced 2-3 hours apart. My last meal is at about 9:30pm, and I go to bed at about 11:00. I had trouble getting used to eating this late in the day, but do it because it is part of the plan.
I just started using an app on my phone to track what I eat. I know counting calories is not the object here, but I am doing this to explore the possibility that maybe by eating 6 meals instead of 3 I am consuming too much. So far it seems to be around 1700 calories per day. I keep my eating clean and balanced. I try to eat about 3 oz lean protein with each meal. My complex carbs usually include a small whole wheat wrap or 1/2 cup brown rice. I include lots of fresh vegetables. I drink black coffee in the morning and water the rest of the day. On my free day I don't get too crazy. I usually include 2 or 3 things I don't typically have, like pizza, a glass of wine or beer, and definitely one dessert.
Here is a typical meal plan:
Whole wheat wrap with 4 egg whites, spinach and salsa, black coffee
Whey protein powder (27g), 1 tbsp cocoa powder, 1/2 cup skim milk, 1 tbsp PB powder, 1 tsp agave
Whole wheat wrap, 3 oz turkey, tomato, spinach, mustard
EAS Lean 15 protein bar
1/2 cup brown rice, grilled salmon or chicken, vegetables
1/2 cup cottage cheese or Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup fruit
Thank you for reading this far, and thank you for any suggestions you can offer!
M, First off BMI is a crock and theres no way a web site can tell you your % body fat with out fat pinch measurements. Your friends on WW lose weight for one reason, they have restricted calories. They may lose some fat but they are also losing muscle as well setting themselfs up for rapid weight gain when they go back to their old ways. One big clue is that you say you have always eaten clean. Eating clean is great but it can still make you fat. I know fat vegeterians! lol Your sample meals look good but lose the Agave it's a no no. here,s what I would do. Back off calories to ~1,500 a day by cutting a little carb and fat. On free day have at least two meals with a lot of crappy carbs like white flour, cake candy etc. Go easy on fats, don't gorge but you want to create big blood sugar spikes to reset fat burning hormones. Please don't take this the wrong way but many women don't know what it means to work hard in the weight room. When you are working the big muscles in the back and legs you need to move heavy weights. Also if you have access to any different cardio machines changing it up would be good. The treadmill is the least efficient machine to use. In order of effectiveness cycle, stair climber, ski and rower are much better choices
In addition to what dd has already said about weights, are you unable to do one more rep on your 10's? When I hit a 10 in the weight rooms it feels like this. My muscles are tired and I'm questioning my ability to get through the rep of 6 the weight gets lowered a bit for the second last 12 set and I can barely get to 12. The excercise changes for the final 12 and by the 10th rep its a struggle to get to lockout postion, by 12 my brain has to scream at my arms to push and my arms respond by quivering and even though I'm telling them to go, they just don't, they can't at all do even one more rep. This should happen every time you do a muscle group. Does that happen for you everytime?
A few more question about what you eat.
What is 1 tbs PB powder?
What veg are you eating ( just want to be sure It's not a carb like yam )
What fruit are you eating? ( better to avoid tropical fruits like banana or pineapple)
I don't know what's in the EAS bars but I know a lot of the bar I have seen are full of sugars ans saturated fats, maybe that could have something to do with it.
I know I dropped the bars for that reason - the sugar and fat contents - I stick to the myoplex lite, and protein powders. I am guessing you mean the PB2 when you talk about PB powder, I just bought some - still learning to use it. When it comes to weight lifting, when I can get through all all sets without thinking my muscles are going to explode, I know it is time to up the weight. I use the treadmill, just because I enjoy the runner's high I get. I start at 3.5, my intensity 9 is at level 7.5, My "10" is level 8 (I can not yet hold it for 1 minute but I will, and once I can I will up the numbers again)
WW works - I know I did it. The problem with WW is that people concentrate on the points and not the quality of the food. They preach in the meetings to make good choices but most people who attend the meetings just watch the points, which means when they stop seeing the change (because they are nutritionally starving), they get bored, or whatever the reason, their body will return to the body it was.
Micheled, we are about the same size only I am 5'2. And while I feel your pain, it seems you are having the great "feeling" I am having. That in itself keeps me going. I am starting week 6 with a 4 lb weight loss. We have a lot further to go than a 12 week challenge. My goal is to be near or at goal in 24 weeks. I TRULY believe that once my body begins to adjust to my new lifestyle, I will see drastic changes. We just have to have the willpower to see it through.
Thank you all for your suggestions - I am considering everything and have made some changes already. I have cut some carbs out, however I did feel hungry today, so maybe I still need to tweak things. I also really pushed myself today doing my LBWO. I did feel, for most of it, that I could not do another rep during my 10s. I paid attention to the one area where I didn't feel that way, and will definitely improve that next time.
I am definitely starting to see some muscle tone emerging, and that is what keeps me going despite the stubbornness of the scale. I WILL finish this, and continue on well past the 12 weeks. I am determined to make this a lifestyle, so I know I just need to be more patient.
Linden - in answer to your questions: For veggies I eat a lot of spinach, arugula and other leafy greens, asparagus, zucchini, red and yellow peppers and tomatoes. If I eat a sweet potato or starchy squash, I will skip the brown rice and use it as my carb. I limit fruits, and use mostly berries, frozen cherries and green apples with my yogurt or in my shakes, usually not more than one serving of fruit per day.
I do limit the protein bars because a) they are processed and b) the relatively high sugar content. Sometimes, however, it is the best alternative to just stash them in my desk/bag/car, but I try limit them.. Same goes for the shakes, I use unflavored Isopure whey protein and make my own. I feel like the protein powder is my blank slate and I can make endless combinations. Those shaker bottles are great to bring to work and they don't leak!
Brenda - I feel the same way about WW. I know they are very successful, and I think portion control is an important disicpline to learn, but I do feel that they tend to neglect the importance of good nutrition and just count calories. I once knew someone who used to obsess about one food at a time and on WW she discovered that in those logs of cut-and-bake sugar cookies, she could make a whole dozen at two points each, and use her daily 24 points in one shot!
On Saturday I was really discouraged, and I took my free day Sunday to regroup, think about things and eat more freely. I am really glad I posted here.....thanks to all the support and encouragement on this site, I feel much more determined to move forward from here!
YAY! We can and will do this :)
Micheled - I know the book doesn't recommend counting carbs, calories etc, but I would be will to bet you are eating slightly too much! I did my challenge almost 2 years ago and pretty much eat a clean diet 100% of the time, I don't even do free days anymore, BUT when I don't calculate, weigh, and measure my food I always gain weight a little. SOOOO, try eating NO MORE than 20g of carbs and 20g of protein at each mean ... reduce or eliminate carbs all together for your last meal of the day ... just protein alone or with a little healthy fat or non-starchy veggies. Good luck to you, I really think if you try what I suggest you will start seeing the results you desire! :)
Michelle, if you are interested in keeping a closer eye on your macros, like 1fitmama suggest, you may want to think about joining myfitnesspal.com, and friending me (schmertnat); I can help you set up your macros and it is a great tool/resource. Take care & hang in there!
"The only person you should try to be better than, is the person you were yesterday!"
Thanks mama! I have started tracking everything I eat with an app on my phone. I was eating about 26g of protein at each meal. I was measuring my serving sizes of carbs a bit differently, but I will try to calculate and stick to 20g. Also, regarding the last meal of the day, as I mentioned before, I had always heard you shouldnt eat past 6 or 7 pm, so I haven't been comfortable about the final meal. By eliminating the carbs it makes me feel better about it. This is all good information, thanks!
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