Showing posts with label Plateau. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Plateau. Show all posts

Sunday, February 28, 2016

How do I get off this roller coaster?

I'm doing everything I know how to do to lose weight, yet I just keep going down then up again. Everything that used to work no longer does. Or it works briefly then stops. On January 16th I had that big drop after a week of returning to Phase 1 eating again. Since then it's been a roller coaster ride. Seriously, here are the ups and downs.

16 Jan - 84.1 kg - 185.41 lb.
23 Jan - 85.3 kg - 188.05 lb.*
30 Jan - 86.7 kg - 191.14 lb.
06 Feb - 86.3 kg - 190.26 lb.
13 Feb - 84.7 kg - 186.73 lb
20 Feb - 87.6 kg - 193.12 lb.*
27 Feb - 86.3 kg - 190.26 lb.

I kept doing Phase 1 for those first few weeks. The star means I had my cycle that week. I should have dropped weight after that, yet the end of January and start of February I weighed more. So I returned to intermittent fasting. Slight drop 13th Feb, but of course another star week followed.

So this past week I changed it up again. Instead of going entire days fasting, which just wasn't working, I decided to fast 23 hours each day, eating just one meal at dinner time within a one hour eating window. I've done this for over a week now, and combined it with a fair bit of exercise. Besides walking about an hour each day, I've done heaps of work around the house. Things like raking, shovelling and hauling a gazillion wheelbarrows full of rocks from what used to be an above-ground pool area in the back yard, and tearing down an old shed by hand this weekend. My body is definitely feeling all the extra exercise lately, trust me, and there is a lot more to come. Did any of this help me lose weight?

Well, the first few days I lost some. Then I stayed the same for a few days, then back up today almost where I started. I am beyond frustrated. My husband tells me to just be happy where I am and just eat healthy and not worry about it so much, but if I am fighting this hard to lose weight and I stop fighting, I will regain even more! I know I will. Trust me, I would LOVE to give up the fight. But I'm not going to. So what to do next?

Well I still haven't found a chance to make that doctor's appointment, between all the extra work to be done around the house and being busy as hell at work. I haven't had a chance to call my doctor, but I will find the time. I'm thinking the progesterone cream isn't helping as I'd hoped though. So I'll try something else. What else can I do? I'm going to try heaps smaller portions. Literally cut my dinner portions in half, have just an Atkins shake for breakfast, and a small can of tuna or the other half of my dinner for lunch. I just don't know what else to do at this point. I feel like I've got nothing worth blogging about anymore, yet here I am. I guess I'm not ready to give up on that yet either.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

8 lb drop in 1 week? It's Week #1 again!

I'm back and doing well -- I'll talk about my 8 pound drop this week in just a minute, for those of you still interested. First, let me apologise for not writing more, but the fact is I didn't know what to say. Hi, I'm still struggling and had a holiday regain? Who wants to read that?! Well I have lost a few subscribers anyway. People follow and unfollow for any number of reasons, but I can certainly understand only wanting to follow bloggers that inspire you. Struggling for a long time to break a stall may not be very inspiring reading, but it certainly is real. Most people who lose a large amount of weight don't sail effortlessly to goal. I wish it were true, but it's not. It reminds me of that drawing about what people think success looks like vs. what it actually looks like.



Struggling to break through stalls and reach goals is very common and very real. I did promise to share the good and the bad on this journey, so I'll try to remember that even when the going gets tough. Stalls suck, but I'm proud to say I have not given up, so maybe that's inspiring in and of itself.

In any case, when I last posted it was just before Christmas and I had every intention of staying the course through the holiday break. I was not successful. We had family up and every time I turned around it was an eating fest, whether at someone's home or out at a restaurant. I gave in on more than one occasion and quickly found myself regaining. I haven't posted weights lately, so here goes. On 19th December I was 80.7 kg (177.9 lb). by 2nd January I was 85.9 kg (189.38 lb). The family all went back home shortly after that and I was determined to start over. This time I thought I would try strict LCHF. I've dabbled with it and tried a few recipes, but never followed it strictly before, so I did for a whole week, using delicious recipes from DietDoctor.com. It was not easy eating that much fat and it was very high calorie, but I stuck it out for a week. On 9th January I was 87.7 kg (193.35 lb). What the hell ... I gained?!

Some people may do well on LCHF, but I didn't like it and was not about to continue! What to do? Going back to Dr Poon Phase 1 hadn't worked the last few times I tried it. But I had to do something, so I started again last Sunday (10th Jan). The next day I was down 1.5 kg (3.3 lb). Then another kilo (2.2 lb) the next day. I stayed steady the next day, then went up 100g (.22 lb), then saw another drop. Yesterday I was 84 kg exactly (185.19 lb), that's a loss of 3.7 kg (8.16 lb) in just 5 days. I haven't seen a drop that big since my very first week of Pooning!  In fact, that's exactly what I lost in my very first week! Today I'm up 100g (.22 lb) but that doesn't worry me, I'm still down 8 pounds! Now lest you think it was all water weight, my scale says it was over half fat.

So why did it work this week? What's changed? The only thing I can think of is I've started my 2nd month of progesterone cream. If the hormonal change of nearing menopause was causing my weight struggles (as it does for so many women my age) then maybe progesterone cream is making a difference. My cycle sure is behaving the way it used to a couple of years ago. No more of this every three week crap, it's more like 37 days now. I don't know whether it's the progesterone cream or not, but I plan to keep using it. And I'll ask the doctor about it.

Yes, I did schedule an appointment to have my thyroid checked. I scheduled it before I saw this week's drop, and part of me wonders if I should cancel (it's rather expensive!) but I don't want to assume one very good week means I'm back on track. And the thyroid could still be a factor. I have quite a few of the symptoms listed in the article Jan kindly shared with me, and while some of them could apply to PCOS as well, I'd like to be sure. The nurse told me the doctor would charge me $250 (I'd get $150 reimbursed from Medicare) but I didn't think to ask whether there would be any other charges (e.g. for pathology). I think it's important get tested though, so I think I should keep the appointment.

Anyway, thank you to those of you who are still with me, I appreciate it very much. I will be in touch more frequently, I promise. I'll leave you with another great success graphic, and I hope it helps you as much as it does me.



I'll be sure to let you know how the thyroid tests go. Hope your new year is off to a great start! :)

Sunday, December 6, 2015

From Egg Fast to IF again.

Well I haven't fallen off the face of the earth, or off the wagon for that matter. Frustrated with my stall and researching LCHF I came across something called the Egg Fast. Have you heard of this? It's for those who have stalled on LCHF and want to break through. For 3-5 days you eat eggs, butter and cheese (with few exceptions, some modify to include other fats like mayo so they can make egg salad). You can add small amounts of seasoning or a bit of mustard.

A quick Google search will tell you more, I think it was developed by low carb guru, author and podcaster Jimmy Moore of Livin La Vida Low Carb. You have at least six eggs per day and must have a tablespoon of butter or other allowed fat for each egg. You can also have an ounce (28 g) of cheese for each egg but they recommend you have less. Anyway the bloggers I found claimed to have dropped like 5-7 pounds in those 3-5 days. You will regain half a pound or more when you go off, depending on how gently you transition back, e.g. don't go nuts your first day off. In fact have 1-2 egg meals and one regular LCHF meal and transition back slowly. Most said they kept most of the weight off. My experience?

I did it from Sunday to Thursday last week, transitioning off on Friday and Saturday. I found a couple of delicious recipes which I saved for later in the week in case I tired of eggs, as most said they did ... but I didn't really. I love eggs. Monday I had dropped over a pound and a half. Then I stayed the same Tuesday. Wednesday I dropped about 3/4 of a pound and stayed there the rest of the time. About half that weight came back after my first transition day and the rest after the second. Very frustrating. I am starting to think I am not only never going to see goal, but I'm going to struggle to maintain the loss I have!

Not giving up, just beyond frustrated. I fasted completely today and will resume alternate day fasting this week along with eating much less on the days I do eat. Still sticking to LCHF. That's all I got.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Big drop this week ... thank you ADF!

Oh this is clearly working for me. This week even better than last week! I am so pleased, I saw two new low weights this week. Friday I was 76.8 kg (169.32 lb). And today? Well let's just jump right to this week's results.

This morning I weighed 76.2 kg (167.99 lb) which is a loss of 2.5 kg (5.51 lb) from last week, bringing my new total loss to 54.1 kg (119.27 lb). Yes that's 5-1/2 pounds gone this week, and given where I am in my cycle I should be gaining this week! So I have just 8 kg (18 lb) to go to reach my goal.  I am thrilled.

We even went out to lunch last Saturday and out to dinner Friday night with family. I made the lowest carb choices from the menu both times, swapped hot chips (thick cut fries) for steamed veggies, and thoroughly enjoyed delicious meals.

The day after a fast I sometimes have a protein shake or small can of flavoured tuna for breakfast but often don't eat until lunch time because I'm just not hungry. So rather than eating more on feast days as some tend to do when they first start fasting, I'm generally eating less on feast days than I did before I started ADF and it's always low carb. I think you adjust, you learn to recognise when you are truly hungry as opposed to when you just feel like eating. If I am truly hungry, I eat. In fact I keep a can of tuna and an Atkins bar with me even on fast days in case I really do get hungry but I haven't needed them yet.

I'm 43% completed with Milestone 11 of 12 in Happy Scale, the app that smooths out your daily fluctuations to show your overall trend or true weight and as you can see below after weeks stalling and then starting to drift back up, since I started ADF it's a smooth drop back down. Needless to say I will continue what I'm doing. I'm loving ADF!

As for exercise? Well I haven't run for a week or so, but do get in walks at least once a day, and meet or exceed my 10,000 steps goal nearly every day. I may still run once a week or so just so I don't lose my endurance but most of the reading I'm doing these days recommends low intensity exercise over jogging as a better tool for weight loss. So far so good. Have a great weekend guys!


The coloured bits around the line show how your weight compares to 30 days ago. Green means you're lower and red means you're higher.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

OK, time to give ADF a real try.

I have done my best to stay focused on my goal despite the lack of progress. But there’s a limit to my patience and last week I messed up; I’m human. No, I didn’t eat sugar or grains or any of the other garbage carbs I’ve sworn off for the last two years.  But I haven’t fasted for the last week or so, and I have let myself overindulge in what are supposed to be occasional treats. Two or three Atkins bars in a week is one thing … two or three in a day is another. A handful of peanuts is one thing … a whole bag is another. After months of trying to change things up to try and get things moving again, I had had enough and I ate these things out of frustration – then I found myself back at 82 kilos (181 pounds) on Thursday.  I determined then and there that this ends now.

Hubby is always telling me I should be focusing on how far I’ve come and how much better off I am today than I was when I started, even if I never lose any more.  That’s true, of course and I am grateful to have lost the weight – but I’m not ready to throw in the towel. If I don’t find a way to get things moving again, I’m worried the stall will become a regain, and that’s simply not acceptable.

One thing I have been doing the last few weeks is reading heaps of different books and websites, listening to various podcasts and watching lots of video lectures by Dr Andreas Eenfeldt (DietDoctor.com) and Dr Jason Fung (a world-leading expert on intermittent fasting and LCHF, especially for treating people with type 2 diabetes). The more I learn the more I keep coming back to intermittent fasting as the way to go. Dr Fung’s video lectures on treating obesity and diabetes (or diabesity as he refers to it) are fascinating. Yes his series The Aetiology of Obesity is long (six parts), and each video is an hour to an hour and 20 minutes long, but they are well worth watching. He is a proponent of alternate day fasting or ADF. I have read many articles on how it doesn’t always work as well for women, especially those of childbearing age. Some say it can cause issues like those discussed in this article.

I contacted Dr Fung via his website about these concerns and happily he wrote me back. He said that he has perhaps 300 women in his Intensive Dietary Management (IDM) program and he’s noticed no significant difference between men and women in how they respond to intermittent fasting – he believes it works equally well in both. I’ve been very much impressed with his lectures and I think this guy knows what he’s talking about. You may recall I tried 4:3 fasting for a week and didn’t feel it worked any better than 5:2. Maybe I just didn’t give it long enough to decide. Maybe it was just a bad week, I don’t know. But I've decided I am going to try ADF.

I actually started already with a two day fast – hubby was concerned but I reassured him first of all, when I go in for colonoscopies they make me fast for two days, so clearly there’s no reason to be concerned if you don't eat for a day or two. In fact I found numerous references to a man who fasted for 382 days (1 year and 17 days) under medical supervision and went from 456 pounds to 180, losing over half his body weight. So a couple of days is nothing.

Secondly, I didn’t get hungry. After finding myself at 82.1kg (181 lb) Thursday, I fasted all day Friday and the next morning I was 80.2kg (176.81 lb). I had planned to start eating at lunchtime Saturday but I just wasn’t hungry! So I fasted Saturday as well. This morning I weighed in at 79.3 kg (174.83 lb) and more importantly, I feel great! I had some leftover soup that needed to get used so I assured hubby I would be eating today – I’ve had cabbage soup for brunch, and I’m having some Kielbasa soup tonight for dinner. I’ll even have a small no-sugar-added greek yogurt for dessert. Then Monday I’ll fast again and from there it’ll be alternate day fasting (ADF).

This time I’ll give it ample time to decide whether it works for me or not. One week just isn’t long enough to tell. Most programs allow eating up to 500 calories on a fasting day, but to me that’s not fasting, that’s just calorie reduction. Plus that's harder for me to do. Studies have shown benefits from fasting that you don’t get with calorie reduction. For example, people think fasting can lower their metabolism or lose muscle mass. My research shows that may happen with reduced calorie diets, but not with intermittent fasting. Dr Fung explained that if you eat less calories, the body thinks it needs to get used to less calories, so it starts conserving energy by reducing your metabolism. But if you eat nothing, your metabolism remains higher, you remain alert and have plenty of energy to hunt for food. He points out that our species would not have survived if a few days without food left us sluggish, lacking energy and losing muscle. Besides, I do much better eating nothing than eating less, it just works for me. I can eat none, but I can't eat just one. As I said, two days fasting was easy, I had no problem with it at all and I'm thrilled with the initial results.

We all have to do what feels right for us. Some may not think fasting is a good thing but people have practiced it for centuries – most religions emphasise fasting during certain periods. Research shows it’s not only healthy, it can extend your life expectancy. I’m not going to go into all the rationale here – I have done far too much reading and sat through too many video lectures to summarise it all for you here.  Do your own research if you’re interested. Start with DietDoctor.com and Dr Fung’s site, watch this video in particular, starting at 50:50 if you want to learn more about the benefits of Intermittent Fasting.

So that's my plan for the coming weeks. I’ll keep you updated on my progress. Wish me luck!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Ran 8k Today!

At least that's one good thing I can post about. My last couple of runs were 5k each but today I went 8k for the first time. I feel great! I actually felt like I could have run longer but didn’t want to overdo it and when I stopped after the cool down I was glad I had as my legs were really feeling it! They still are.

Weight-wise I don't have much good to report, unfortunately. I am starting to think it's going to take me 5 months to get through the 70s just like it did the 80s.  I just keep hovering between 77 and 79 kilos (about 170 to 175 lbs) for the last couple of months. I have been changing things up, including my intermittent fasting schedule, and I think I'm just going to have to tighten things up even further. I just can't bear the thought of not reaching goal!  People tell me I have come so far and to appreciate what I have achieved ... and I do, don't get me wrong.  But my goal is not unreasonable.  It's 68 kilos or 150 pounds ... still overweight for my height. Surely this is not out of reach!  So I will persevere my friends. I just feel like I haven't much interesting to post about while the weight stays stubbornly the same. But then I guess that's part of the journey, isn't it. That's real and honest and I'm hardly the only one who struggles with the last 20 pounds, am I?

The countdown to my trip home is truly under way. Three months will likely go by  fast! Hope you all are having a great weekend.

Monday, February 16, 2015

I'm in the 70s! WOO HOO!!

Just barely and it probably won't stay - I am sure given that TOM is just around the corner I'll probably dip back into the 80s again before I settle into the 70s but I don't care. After being stuck in the 80s for months, I could not be more thrilled to see the 70s.

This morning I am 79.8 kilos, which is 175.93 pounds, and I gotta rush off to work shortly but I just had to check in and share as I'm floating on cloud 9! :)

Total loss to date is 50.5 kg / 111.33 pounds.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

New low weight! IF is working, and so is Callanetics!

I'm still doing 5:2 intermittent fasting, with Thursday and Sunday as my planned fast days. It's much easier than you might think, and I like it heaps better than the daily fast with an 8 hour eating window. I'd heard it gets easier each time you do it, and that does seem to be the case for me.

Now before I give this week's results, let me remind you there's only been one fast day since I last updated you because I did it a day earlier last week, and this is the week I would normally start gaining water weight. But happily, I weighed in at 80.1 kg (176.59 lb), beating my previous record on 14th December of 80.2 kg (176.81 lb) by just 100 grams. I'm down 0.8 kg (1.76 lb) from last week, for a total loss of 50.2 kg (110.67 lb).

I've been working very hard over the last few weeks to break this stall and it seems to be working! In fact, if I lose just 1.18 kg (2.6 lb) more I will no longer be obese - very much looking forward to that!

Fasting and running are definitely helping with the weight loss, but I am really loving the way Callanetics is working to tone and tighten everything up. I remember years ago when I first did Callanetics I took pictures at the start and then once a week for the next several weeks - you could definitely see a difference, everything looked higher, firmer and tighter, my stomach and saddlebags were smaller, too. I didn't take pictures this time, but I can feel it happening, and others are noticing as well. It's amazing how fast these exercises work! I have had comments in the last few days, both from my husband (who said my skin is tightening up for sure) and people at work (one said I look skinnier). That just confirms what I've been feeling myself. I can tell that my body not only feels stronger, but firmer and tighter as well, even under the chin. I love that!

So I'm still getting in my three C25K running sessions each week (last night I completed week 6 day 3, running 22 minutes straight) on the treadmill. On the following days I'm walking about an hour on average and also doing Callanetics. That leaves Sunday as a rest day, but I often get in another walk then as well.

I have never been someone who enjoyed exercise before, but now that I'm really committed to doing it regularly, I actually look forward to it, especially Callanetics. I know I probably sound like a commercial here, but it just feels so good! I turn on Pandora's 70s Lite Rock channel and slowly work through all the moves. I know the routine by heart so I don't need the video anymore, and the music sets the mood - it almost feels like yoga and meditation. Callanetics are slow, pulsing movements that work muscles deep inside the body (and you will definitely feel it) - but it's also slow, relaxing movements and deep stretches. I just really enjoy this workout.

Here's an article that will explain it better if you're interested, and below is a brief excerpt:
"The exercises are based on repetitive contractions in a very small range of motion. These minute movements, called 'pulses', work deep down into the muscles. Instead of contracting then releasing the muscles and repeating this pattern, the Callanetics method encourages one pulsing into a deep contraction. The exercises do not put any strain on the cardiovascular system, or any pressure on the joints, since there is no bouncing kind of movement involved."
I highly recommend this program. I use the original workout developed by Callan Pinckney. There are newer variations out there, but I stick to the original. I modify just three of the moves to ease pressure on my knees, but I do all of the exercises. It takes an hour if you follow the original video workout, but once you know the moves you can do it on your own and I find it takes me about 40 minutes.

I'm about half way through The End of Overeating by David Kessler and it's really good, though I've been doing my own research and eating healthier for long enough that most of what I'm reading doesn't surprise me. It does anger me, which is the reaction I believe Gwen had when she read it. Even today, Valentine's Day, I was waiting at the 7-Eleven while hubby was paying for petrol and through the front window I saw posters for the latest extreme, sugar-filled Slurpee flavours and heart-shaped Krispy Kreme donuts, while on the shelves I saw nothing but chips and other junk food snacks. Is that all they sell? I saw families coming out of the place, young children and all, munching on this junk.

In years past, on whatever diet I was on at that time, I would see something like that and feel deprived. Why can't I eat those things when everyone else can? Today I just felt angry. Angry that you can't go anywhere these days without being bombarded by garbage food and angry that for so many years I let that garbage control me. I felt powerless to say no. I've reclaimed my life and my power, but I know there are others still where I was then that are still in the control of this garbage and it really angers me. What kind of future are we setting up for our children? Instead of an occasional indulgence, this junk is now part of every day lives. What a shame.

Anyway, off my soapbox and on with improving my life. I'm looking forward to seeing a kilo weight in the 70s next week -- fingers crossed!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Holiday is over, time to start tracking

I have been enjoying my time off work, and that's meant spending more time with my husband enjoying each other's company and working on projects around the house, while spending less time in the blog world.  So unfortunately I haven't had much time to read other blogs either, but I'll be catching up with many of you in the next couple of days. I will be posting more regularly now, and also changing my focus a bit.

It's no secret I've been at a bit of a stall for nearly 3-1/2 months now. But it's also true that during that time I've hit new low weights three times. I'm not at a complete stand-still, and the ups and downs tend to sync with my cycle -- rather like two steps forward, one and a half steps back, then hold steady before starting over again. I have seen a new low weight each month, but just barely. It's not a total stall but it sure feels like one. Truthfully I am grateful for any and all progress -- but I am also determined to get things moving again.  Two nice drops at the start of my holiday made me think the stall had ended, but I now know it's just changed tactics. Therefore so must I.

I keep a weekly log documenting not only my ups and downs, but also my cycle, and I can see the pattern has changed. I'm 51 years old and have PCOS. I have no idea what to expect from menopause but it's likely it's going to be messing with me even more as I get older. For many years I would go two months or longer between cycles, but as I got closer to 50 I got more regular, not less. Now it could be three to six weeks but instead of one week gain before I tend to get two now.  That's why I feel like I'm getting nowhere.  But that's only part of the story.

While I set out to spend this holiday break pushing hard to get into the 70s I didn't get there. I did lots and lots of walking, often an hour and a half a day, and the challenging rainforest walk, etc. But I didn't do any other exercise, e.g. strength training or Callanetics, I just walked a lot. As for the eating -- well it's easier to stay strict Phase 1 when I am working than when I'm off. Work keeps me busy all day and I don't even think about eating between meals. I haven't gone off plan, but I've pushed the boundaries lately. I've given in to eating nuts when I shouldn't have, I've eaten more dairy, and I've allowed myself to have Atkins snack bars every day instead of as an occasional treat. It's easy to let that kind of behaviour become more frequent without realising it, so I'm going to try something new.

Starting tomorrow I'm going to track what I eat. It will make it much easier to see when I'm pushing boundaries if it's staring me right in the face. I'll track what I eat, and any exercise done that day. Hopefully that will help get me back on track. Tomorrow is my last day off before I return to work, so it's the perfect time to start. Hubby keeps telling me that as long as I'm not regaining I have nothing to worry about. He reminds me I'm fitter than he's ever seen me before. That may be true, but I'm not done yet -- I set a reasonable goal and I intend to reach it. I haven't even gotten out of the 'obese' category yet. That's my next milestone, and it's an important one -- I will get there!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Time to get serious

I’m here, just been very busy in the lead-up to our annual Halloween party, which was Saturday. We had a great time! I’m a bit stiff and sore from building a coffin prop over the last few days – that was a workout in itself and I am definitely not a carpenter!

I got a lot of compliments on both my new hairdo and my figure, which was really lovely; a good ego boost. There was one guest who hasn’t seen me in a year so it was a major change for him! My indulgences were limited to some nuts, devilled eggs and a bit of meat and cheese from the hors d'oeuvres platter.

My weight has been bouncing up and down a couple of kilos since my last drop just as I predicted. I haven’t been overly concerned about the slow progress because I have dropped over 100 pounds and it may take my body a while to adjust to that. Plateaus happen, they’re part of any weight loss journey and I don’t want to obsess or stress about it.  These changes to my way of eating are for life, I’m not ‘on a diet’ that I’m planning to go off of when I reach goal. There are some foods I’ll add back in slowly once I hit maintenance of course, but that’s a ways off yet.

So no, I’m not stressing over it – having said that, I am going back to strict Phase 1 for a while to see if that gets things moving again.  I’ll be having an Atkins shake with almond milk for breakfast during the week (I skip breakfast on the weekends) and will have Phase 1 meals for lunch and dinner. Now I’m not under-eating as these are decent portion sizes, but they’ll be mostly made up of foods from the unlimited list of Phase 1 with some other veggies that are allowed in limited amounts, but cutting out Phase 2 foods like tomatoes and carrots.  I am allowed small amounts of the lowest fat cheese on Phase 1, but I’m going to try to cut that out for a while as well and see how I go.

I’ve been exercising pretty regularly and I will continue to mix strength training and Callanetics with my walking / jogging mix.  Wish me luck!