Week 11 - HELP! Gaining Weight

  • Hey Everyone!

    I'm starting week 11 of BFL and can see the finish line. I started at 147.8 lbs and now weigh 148.1  I'm 5'4 1/2 Ft tall. I've lost 3 inches around my belly, have developed calf muscles that everyone seems to notice (including me! holy sh*t I didn't even know my calf muscles could bulge like that), and can feel (more than I can SEE) biceps and definition in my arms coming in. I want so badly to be able to see my arms curve along the muscle groups. And even though I know muscle weighs more than fat, my Body Fat Percentage hasn't really budged since week 8 and that just makes me nervous. 

    Unfortunately, I've not experienced the "miracle" that folks talk about. Which Buh-lows! But I"m still in the best shape I've been in of the last 5 years so I'm not in danger of bailing, just in need of insight. 

    I've been an athlete most of my life, was an athlete in college but then just sat on my ass for about 5 years. I know I can't expect a miracle in 11 weeks - and that this is body for LIFE, not atkins or anything else that empties your muscles of water and makes you skinny fat. But now that it's week 11 and I don't really look like the "after" photos (everything except for my legs that is), I'm deciding on whether or not to make a few modifications. Because what I want is to lose weight on the scale, to have a flat stomach, and to see muscle definition in my arms.  I KNOW that means I need to lose more Body Fat. So here's what i'm thinking: 

    1. I'm going to do BFL for 15 weeks. Just in case. MAYBE EVEN 15 YEARS. 

    2. I've upped interval cardio training by 10 minutes every time I hop on. So, i'm doing 30 minutes of cardio and hitting 10s.  Maybe yes I could give more in my 20 minutes and not go longer. But the resistance on my machines are yanked to the top level. AND i'm hitting my target heart rate at least 4 times for a minute in the 20 minutes of workout. 

    3. I've added YOGA to my BFL routine the last couple of weeks, just to confuse my muscles. On my Cardio days (and AFTER 30 minutes of interval HITT cardio) I hop on over to the  YOGA studio for an hour of yoga 3x a week. Not the kum-buy-a world-peace kind of yoga, but the holy-hell-what-is-happening-i-am-sweating-like-a-pig-yoga. 


    I follow the diet but not to a "T". I'd say i'm about 90 percent clean. I am human and therefore flawed. I work at a restaurant and I tell them to please not make my Salmon (which by the way I'm soooo tired of Salmon, whoo!) with anymore than 2 tablespoons of Olive oil. I eat veggies like a champ. If i see one more hard boiled egg, i swear to god I'm going to throw it at someone's head. and the same goes for the avocados. Nature's butter! Wow, I get it, i get it, nature. But I need a break. Eating healthy is fun, but meeting my protein goals every day is becoming a little nauseating. ALL This to say, not to worry, i'm not in danger of giving up.  I'm good, can mix up my food, but just REALLY want to see results. 

    Maybe others have gone this long without the scale moving to where they want it to. Seems like a mental game more than anything else? I did pass a homeless man the other day who said, "hey buff girl," which is nice but I feel like I may need more positive reinforcement --- because right now, I'm feeling like i'm taking the long way home. 

    That's enough from me for tonight. Thanks BFL community for any thoughts!


  • Sounds like overall you're happy with the way you feel, so that's great!  Keep going.  Losing inches is great and means you're hitting your 10's.  If you're not losing weight AND have weight to lose, I would suggest really concentrating on eating by the book.  If you're eating enough avocados to be tired of seeing them, that could be part of your problem.  Avocados are great, and they're good for you in moderation, but if you're eating much more than a thumb sized portion, then they won't help you lose fat.  I would suggest continuing to hit your 10's but concentrate on eating by the book - portion sizes and very simple meals. Keep at it and the pounds will come off - at least the extra pounds.

    Great job, keep it up!

  • Yeah, it sounds like you have your workouts down.  I don't think it's necessary to add the extra time in cardio.  The benefits of cardio come to hit your body after the actual cardio.  Just make sure you're hitting your 10's.  If you think you may be able to do higher, than maybe it's time to change your cardio to something that isn't a machine.  Maybe running.  I do stairs a lot.  30 second bursts, 30 second moderate up to 20 minutes.  

    With eating, double check your portion sizes.  Chicken and brown rice or shakes.  Eggs are good.  Oatmeal.  Just simple things.  Nothing too fancy.  These are things that have worked for me.  

    No reason to extend the challenge if you're looking at continuing BFL.  Just take a week or two off and start a new challenge.  

    Best of luck to you!


  • Lianna- First of all congrats on making it to week 11! Its a great accomplishment.  I have to disagree with you on one point. Based on what you wrote (more musculature and more definition in your arms, loss of 3 inches) while at the same time only gaining 0.3 pounds there is NO way you can't have lost body fat. Its just not possible that you added muscle mass without losing any fat while still basically maintaining the same scale weight. scale weight just measures gravities effect on your body so not as important as how you look.

    Body fat measurements are notoriously inaccurate. Are you measuring this yourself or is someone helping you with this? There's a bit of skill involved.

    Its clear to me you've been very successful and look fantastic so forget the scale weight and keep plugging away.  Look forward to hearing about your successes!

  • Thanks everyone! DaveND, for the past week I've cut down on Avocados. I was eating a quarter of avocado at each meal (3x a day), or maybe more like 2x a day. Im going to be mindful about that, tho. So thank you!

    John - ya know, I'm relieved to hear you say that. After I wrote this post, I looked at photos from just before I started the program and now, and I do look and feel a thousand times better than when I started, there's just not a "dramatic" change. In other words, If I were entering the challenge, I would not be a winner haha!  

    Thanks to how I've been measuring myself (weight and the body fat calc, and those not budging) I get discouraged like every other human being might. I am using this hand held device at my gym to keep track of my body fat percentage. Week 8 it told me I was at 28.5, and week 10 it told me i was at 28.7! Not only does that make me overweight by the charts, it makes me frustrated. How is it possible to be working out and not budging.  I hope you are right and that it is inaccurate after all.

    I keep seeing people say that PHOTOS are the best way to motivate yourself. I wish I had taken more when I first started, but  they're right people. Now that i'm almost done with the program, looking back, I can say that today it's NOT the measuring of my waistline or the scale that has motivated me, but the pictures that make me go -- oh yeah! Look at that. I do look different. And believe it or not after I posted this last night was the first time i'd bothered to look at photos side by side as I've been so stuck on what the numbers are saying. I definitely see a difference. 

  • Wow, well in your pictures your arms look amazing!!! There is definitely a big difference. I have relied on pictures for motivation and it serves me well. I also write everything down, so weeks where I don't see progress or I feel crappy I can look at my diet and see a trend.

    Good luck on your challenges! You are doing great so far.

  • Lianna- I was going to ask you if you were using a hand held device! It supposedly works by running some very light electricity through you.  It is notoriously inaccurate depending on time of day and body composition.  The best way to measure body fat (outside of water displacement) is good old fashion calpers.  Have someone that knows what they are doing take a reading from you from multiple parts of your body (waist, arm, thigh, etc).

    Anyway you look great so keep on going.  The transformation is working.

    BTW the guy you are with the picture has a very impressive mustache. lol handlebar mustache If I'm not mistaken.

  • DITTO What John says on the BF Machine.  Those things are junk!  I can see major changes in the picture that you've posted.  You're looking great.  Don't worry about that scale and keep following the program.  You'll get to where you want to be.