staying motivated... even when the scale isn't moving

Saturday, April 06, 2013

i am well aware that plateaus exist, but until now i had been fortunate enough to never encounter one... but apparently my lucky streak is over. in the past, if i was eating in my spark calorie ranges and exercising regularly my weight would go down. ALWAYS. this past month, as i've adjusted my goals to include very serious fitness achievements (a 10K race at the end of april, another in june, and a half marathon in october), i expected the weight to drop off faster than ever. i am up to running over 20 miles a week, plus cross training, plus the regular active life i lead. so it came as a very unpleasant surprise to me to see that even though i am burning more calories than i ever had, and eating in my recommended calorie range at least 6 of every 7 days, my weight hasn't gone down at all... in fact, it even had the audacity to go UP briefly!!!
now the obvious conclusion could be that i'm gaining muscle mass, which is 3 times as heavy as body fat, but i don't think this is the case. hoping to be proved wrong, i busted out my giant rubbermaid bin of my 'skinny clothes' (stuff that started to fit me the last 2 times i was at the 220 lb mark, size 16 and 14), only to find that very little of it fit :(
i am trying very hard to focus on the fact that my fitness is improving and we are eating healthier as a family, and all those other positive things, but i would be lying if i didn't admit that it is VERY, VERY demotivating to not see the scale go down as a reward for all of my hard work
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  • no profile photo CD9299170
    I know how frustrated you feel because I've been there, too! That "doing all the right things to no avail" feeling really drags you down and makes you question your plan. I agree with Karen in that you should make sure you're eating enough protein to make up for the extra activity and to ensure your body isn't interpreting the extra work as stress. I'd add that you might think about meditation (if you don't already) and slowing down a little. Make sure your fitness activities are fun for you and not just work. It sounds like your brain could be the roadblock here. Good luck, and keep us posted!
    3033 days ago
    Frustrating, I know. Just keep on keeping on and it'll happen.
    3033 days ago
  • no profile photo CD7059546
    3033 days ago
    I can totally identify with your feelings. A couple of thoughts. Indygirl brought up making sure your eating enough protein in particular and enough good calories in general for all the activity your doing. If your body feels like it's being starved it will hang on to everything so you won't lose weight easily. Also, if your body feels likes it's under stress, it will produce too much of a hormone called cortisol which will cause you to hang on and store excess fat.

    I hope these aren't an issue for you, but something to check on. Good luck on your races!

    Karen emoticon
    3033 days ago
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    3033 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.