Thursday, December 02, 2010

Day 319: Greater than through love and support: Journey with the Cape Fear Heart Walk and Adam Freeman

It is a great day..but I qualify it becuase yesterday was a little bit of a blip and one that I want to share as I would imagine that it is important for everyone on this journey. Seems I have hit a plateau. I was not expecting it and it happened. I have not lost any weight in a few weeks and have maintained...but funny thing is that my body conintues to change.
Regardless, when I weighed in yesterday and saw that, you can imagine that I flipped out. I thought I had truly done something wrong. Especially becuase the scale at the gym was off and at first I thought I had actuall gained two pounds. Turns out I had not after Adam got me back on it and talked me down (of course I freaked him out too!)..but it took mnost of the rest of our work out to get my mind straight again.

I did some research last night on the internet and from the Mayo Clinic I found this:

"You've diligently worked to improve your diet and exercise habits, and you've been rewarded by seeing the number on the scale continue to drop. But then for no reason you can see, the scale doesn't budge — even though you're still eating a healthy, low-calorie diet and exercising regularly. You've hit a weight-loss plateau.

Before you get too discouraged, you should know that it's normal for weight loss to slow and even stall. By understanding what causes a weight-loss plateau, you can decide how to respond and avoid backsliding on your healthy-eating and exercise habits.

What is a weight-loss plateau?
A weight-loss plateau occurs when you no longer lose weight despite continuing with your exercise and healthy-eating habits. Being stuck at a weight-loss plateau eventually happens to everyone who is trying to lose weight. At that point, losing additional weight becomes more difficult. Although hitting a plateau is common, most people are surprised when it happens to them, believing that if they just maintain a reduced-calorie diet, they should continue to lose weight. The frustrating reality is that even well-planned weight-loss efforts can become stalled.

What causes a weight-loss plateau?
The progression from initial weight loss to a weight-loss plateau follows a typical pattern. During the first few weeks of losing weight, a rapid drop in pounds is normal. When calories from food are reduced, the body gets needed energy by releasing its stores of glycogen, a type of carbohydrate found in the muscles and liver. Glycogen holds onto water, so when glycogen is burned for energy, it also releases the water — about 4 grams of water for every gram of glycogen — resulting in substantial weight loss that's mostly water.

A plateau occurs because your metabolism — the process of burning calories for energy — slows as you lose lean tissue (muscle). When you lose weight, you lose both fat and lean tissue. (The notion that overweight people have a slower metabolism is a myth. In general, the higher a person's weight, the higher the body's metabolic rate.) Your weight-loss efforts result in a new equilibrium with your now slower metabolism. This means that in order to lose more weight, you need to increase activity or decrease the calories you eat. Using the same approach that worked initially will maintain your weight loss, but it won't lead to more weight loss."

I was thrilled to find this and as soon as i get to see Heidi we will go over what I am doing and see about any adjustments from here. But I don't feel as freaked out as I did yesterday. Hell, just monday I got into a pair of 38 slacks! That has not happened since 1998! I feel awesome and I know that I have been doing so well.

The Mayo Clinic did make its own reccomendations about how to break a plateau and I gotta say I saw some areas that I could improve by reading over them:

Reassess your habits. Look back at your food and activity records. Make sure you haven't loosened the rules, letting yourself get by with larger portions or less exercise.
Cut more calories. Reduce your daily calorie intake by 200 calories —

Well, you all have read about the "loosening of the rules" on a couple of occassions over the last few weeks. Not so much as to get me completely off track, and no regrets here, but it soes bode well that I should resume my focus if I am to contiune and break through this.

provided this doesn't put you below 1,200 calories. Fewer than 1,200 calories a day may not be enough to keep you from feeling hungry all of the time, which increases your risk of overeating.

This is a big one. I have learned over the years: Starve myself and end up not only failing but binging. If anything has been successful this year it has been eating three meals a day and being healthy about it. I can adjust my diet and intake, but never to an extreme. Extreme's equal failure!

Rev up your workout. Increase the amount of time you exercise by an additional 15 to 30 minutes. You might also try increasing the intensity of your exercise, if you feel that's possible. Additional exercise will cause you to burn more calories. Pack more activity into your day. Think outside the gym. Increase your general physical activity throughout the day by walking more and using your car less, or try doing more yardwork or vigorous spring cleaning.

We do pretty well with our work outs and my general activity. I am not feeling like I need to add to this nor do I want to. I am up to a total of about 15 miles of running a week and then the work outs included.

But of all the suggestions, just staying to course is the best one and being true to the way in which I treat the things that are working and not getting freaked out!

This is part of the journey and I know that this too shall will pass me by as I run and move along the way!

Thanks be!

1 comment:

Blaire said...

Don't feel bad....I haven't lost a pound in 6 weeks and have dropped a pant size. Don't focus on the scale...focus on your percentage of fat. My trainer has asked me to do away with the scale. That's difficult because we are all trained to look at a scale weight. Your fat can actually go down and weight go up due to creating additional lean muscle tissue. Just keep doing what you are doing and you will end where you need to be. Good luck and happy holidays!