Friday, April 16, 2010


So five weeks into working out twice a week (hard!) with a personal trainer and eating really well, I am down a grand total of 2 (yes, only TWO) pounds and 1 (yes, only ONE) percentage in body fat.  Needless to say, I am hugely, massively, extremely disappointed and discouraged.

I’ve kept a food journal all along and it reflects healthy eating – unless you consider salmon and tzatziki sauce made with nonfat yogurt and cucumbers (30 calories for two tablespoons) or dinner at the Mongolian Grill with only fresh veggies and shrimp and cooked with very little oil unhealthy. 


I have one more week on my (phenomenally expensive) personal training contract and then… well, I don’t know!  I will continue to go to the gym at least three times a week because I know that’s a good, healthy choice no matter what I do there.  Maybe I’ll replace the Monday/Wednesday 7 AM personal training with a 7 AM yoga class (I’ve never done yoga!).  I’ll continue to eat well, continue to shun sweets and, yes, we’ll likely continue to eat out a time or two a week because – well, we’re empty nesters and that’s what we now do.   

And I WILL do the Danskin Triathlon in August, even if I have to crawl to the finish line!

But today, I am discouraged, baffled, frustrated, and sad. I know this is 100% up to me, but where do I even go from here?

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Julia said...

Carol, don't be discouraged! Losing 1% body fat in five weeks is REALLY good - most people only lose .5% in a month, so you've doubled that! Slow and steady wins the race - every time! Keep it up and you'll see the results.

Jen F said...

Hang in there! I can completely identify. The best advice I was given was to stop watching the scale and the measurements for a couple of months while continuing to track my workouts and diet (to keep accountable).

As far as fitness goes - it took a while to figure out what "works" for my body and what types of exercise it responded to. Walking and yoga weren't enough to cause change, but once I started running (I did the couch to 5k program) things changed a little faster.

And don't forget that muscle weighs more than fat! :-)

Unknown said...

Exercise is great, and has many benefits to our bodies. But weight is gained and lost in the kitchen, not the gym.

Most people who work out very hard (too hard?) will compensate by doing nothing for the rest of the day, and will eat that doughnut (or 3) that they worked hard for and therefore deserve.

R* said...

Wow, this blog post hits REALLY close to home for me so I'm going to "delurk" and post a lengthy comment if you don't mind!

So, last year I lost 8-10 lb over 4 months on weight watchers and felt SUPER disappointed by what I felt was slow as molasses progress (despite all the "pep talks" of course). I hadn't even dropped a single dress size, though I felt a bit lighter. This year I set some goals for myself (also in September!) and as part of that, I researched and went to swedish weight loss services for a medically supervised weight loss program. I lost 20 more pounds in 2 months and 4 dress sizes through diet alone (and getting out and walking just a bit more than normal. Zero gym time.) That's the craziest/coolest part! More importantly, my blood sugar levels are even keel now and my lab results are awesome too. I also get enough protein to build muscle (which burns fat and perpetuates this great cycle). Now that I've got some of my 'innards' under control, I'm working with a personal trainer on a strength training program to incorporate more fitness. It's been such a great experience overall.

I agree with Sinead. I kinda think fitness and weight loss are parallel efforts but are still two separate things. You can lose weight but not increase your level of fitness or muscle, and you can train for a marathon but never lose a pound. You have a fitness related goal of the triathlon and a great support system set up to achieve that goal, but it doesn't seem these fitness experts are as qualified to help with the psychological and physiological aspects of your OTHER goal of weight loss!

So, in the short term (say, the rest of April) maybe you can set a specific diet-related goal? Perhaps consider really mindfully weighing out your food portions before you put anything on a plate or in a dish or in your mouth (except at restaurants, that'd be a little weird!) I know it sounds a little OCD, but I can tell you from personal experience, you can easily over- or underestimate your calories by ~500-800 calories a day(which over the course of a week really messes up your weight loss efforts!) A friend wrote a great blog post about this:

Long comment, I know. Carol, I REALLY admire you for putting your goals out there. For what it's worth, people keep gushing about how gorgeous your daughters are, but really, they get it from you. You look great and you're really making awesome progress on your fitness and overcoming whatever setbacks life throws your way. kudos to you.

AstroYoga said...

If you ever stop by Regensburg, I'd be happy to introduce you to Yoga. In the mean time, I could recommend a Yoga teacher if you start to explore that route.

If weight has been a life time issue, some kind of spiritual approach may be a helpful addition to the standards of exercise and food awareness. Understanding who we are now, both physically and mentally, emotionally, etc., can help us see how we got to be this way. I find that transformation only begins once I figure out and accept who I am right now. Oddly, accepting yourself as you are may be the only way to move on and begin to change. But, that just may be my experience with transformation talking.

c said...

Hi. There's a diet going around in my circle of friends that seems to really work. It's The Fat Flush Plan based on the book by Gittleman. Basically she starts you out with daily menus that emphasize protein and vegetables and liquids for three weeks and then she starts reintroducing healthy carbohydrates. It seems to be a doable diet and I know 2 people who have each lost at least 30 pounds over just a few months and another who has lost 11 lbs so far after 2 wks.

Also I have one friend who was about 20 lbs overweight but she just couldn't lose it and she finally found Overeaters Anonymous and went on their diet and to their meetings and finally lost the extra weight in just 2 months. She's continuing to go to meetings to maintain her weight.

I'm sure you'll find what works for you... When I've dieted and felt I was doing everything right but was not losing weight, the real truth was that I was eating bigger portions than I should or eating bites here and there thinking what could a bite of this hurt and those little amounts kept me from losing weight.

Maria said...

I was going to say what Julia did basically. Don't go by the scale, or even body fat, solely. Does your body feel different? Tighter? Endurance up? Those are better early indicators!

If the goal is weight focused, that does mostly come from diet. Eat as close to raw foods as possible. Avoid processing, and drink water!

You can do this Carol!

Homestay Mama said...

I've been eating healthy for a long time, but I've also been overweight during that time--until 6 months ago when I visited my Canadian cousin for two weeks. She told me I'd lose weight if I followed these three principles:

1. Eat breakfast every morning. 2. Eat your biggest meal at noon.
3. Eat a light dinner. Finish eating by 7pm. No more food until the next morning.

The two weeks I stayed with her, we ate this way, and after the first week I had to buy a size smaller pair of jeans. I was amazed, so I continued eating that way after I got home. I am still losing weight (15 pounds to date!) and have had to buy yet another size smaller pair of jeans!

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