In which she utterly fails to lose a pound in six weeks

by DaniGirl on May 3, 2014 · 17 comments

in Me, only better

I will try very hard not to whine during this blog post, I promise, but I am soooo frustrated that I need some moral support, and maybe some advice.

As you might have noticed, I am really working on healthier living. I cook more than 90 per cent of our meals from scratch and I eat with purpose from whole foods. I’m very cognizant of just about everything I put in my mouth. I try not to eat sugar and I watch carbs in particular, although I have not cut out either one entirely and have no plans to do so. I’m also exercising diligently. I’ve ramped up my gym visits from once a week to twice a week, and for the last few weeks I’ve met my goal of walking 10,000 steps at least four days out of seven. For the last six weeks, I have been trying hard to lose the ten pounds I’ve gained over the last year despite my focus on healthier living overall, and for my daily and near constant efforts, I have lost – nothing. Well, I lost two pounds, gained one, gained two, lost one, lost one, gained two, etc.

I. Am. So. Frustrated.

My feet and knees ache with all the damn walking all the time. I don’t have room in my week for a third workout. I haven’t seen the inside of the elevator at work in a month (I work on the fourth floor) and I’ve switched to a further-away Starbucks. I am trying to eat with moderation instead of deprivation because I know deprivation isn’t sustainable. And if I were making any progress at all, even just a pound every two weeks, I’d at least feel motivated enough to keep working at it. I have to wonder, though, why the hell bother if I’m not getting any results? Pass the chips and dip, please.

You might remember I had great success with losing some weight after Lucas was born. It took me five months, but I went from 192 lbs to 165, and OMFG it was hard. I don’t want to work that hard again, but I also don’t want to lose that much – I’m just aiming for 12 lbs, which I thought was reasonable six weeks ago when I started. At the rate I’m going, I’ll be successful — in a year and a half. :\

I know the equation – consume less calories than you burn. Easy peasy, right? Gah. But when I start counting, I start getting obsessive. And also it’s a boatload of time and effort to measure and count everything, and I start getting anxious about what I’m eating and not eating and deserve to eat and should be eating, and I don’t like that road.

Vintage scale

So while I’m not ready to go back to the commitment of Dr Bishop’s clinic and the rigours of his plan (which I still have, somewhere – I remember it was 1200 calories a day) I’m thinking of maybe Weight Watchers Online. No meetings, I have neither the time nor interest in weekly meetings. But I know some of you have had great success with WW. I’d happily fork over the $60 for three months if I knew I’d be free of that damn 12 pounds at the end of the three months.

Any thoughts?


{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Life of K May 3, 2014 at 1:25 pm

How is your sleep?

2 Tracey May 3, 2014 at 6:52 pm

You should NEVER weigh yourself! Weight only indicates your relationship with gravity- it doesn’t indicate health, strength, or even size for that matter. The best way to track progress is with a measuring tape. Also- sorry to be the bearer of bad news but you really need to workout at least three times a week to see result. Two is good enough for maintenance. :S

3 Kerry May 3, 2014 at 6:59 pm

So… you know the only way to do this is to track what you eat, right? And that means weighing and measuring and making adjustments. And yeah… you’re gonna have to do it forever. (I hate it, too, Dani, but we can learn to love it together, maybe?)

4 Anonymous May 3, 2014 at 7:14 pm

eat low carb

5 DaniGirl May 4, 2014 at 12:25 pm

You’re right Kerry -gotta suck it up and start counting.

The good news is that someone recommended I try “My Fitness Pal” and I’m completely fascinated by it. It has a fantastic recipe database where you can either add foods (it even pulls ingredients and analyzes them based on a URL or you can scan a UPC code) and it also talks to my FitBit app. I’m very impressed so far, and it makes counting a wee bit less painful. The recipe analyzer is really pretty amazing – I’ve pulled a few of my recent faves from Pinterest into it and it only takes about three minutes per recipe. Since I cook the same things over and over, that’s a huge timesaver. And sigh, I pulled out the scale and washed it again.

Tracey, I love that line “weight only indicates your relationship with gravity.” I will use that in future. Sadly, the other more appropriate measures are also indicating action must be taken. πŸ˜‰

Life of K, sleep is good because it has to be. I need 8 – 9 hours a night or everyone suffers!

6 Anonymous May 4, 2014 at 5:45 pm

Have you tried loseIt or My Fitness Pal? I use LoseIt and I love it. LOVE IT. For one thing, you may not need to be on a 1200-calorie diet. You may, when you enter your weight and age and goals (1 lb a week? 1.5 pounds?) discover that you should aim at first for 1500 calories, and that’s the net (so if you do 30 minutes of exercise, your calorie budget will be more than 1500). And for another, almost every food you eat will already have an entry, and foods that have bar codes can be scanned with your phone and automatically added.

I lost 34 pounds in 5 months the first time I downloaded LoseIt, and I’m using it again (because I’ve been home, not getting interviewed for jobs, and the fridge is SO enticing), and I strongly, strongly encourage you to start with a free app before you try a payment-based program.

Good luck!

7 Jody May 4, 2014 at 5:45 pm

Oops! Anonymous there was me.

8 Jody May 4, 2014 at 5:46 pm

And double oops — I didn’t read the comments. You are already on your way. Yay!

9 DaniGirl May 4, 2014 at 6:20 pm

Thanks Jody, I am loving My Fitness Pal. Is LoseIt better? I’m impressed how many Canadian foods are on My Fitness Pal, too. Last time I tried a food database (on about.calorie.com) they were very few Canadian brands. When I’m counting Smarties, I’m actually counting Smarties and not Rockets. πŸ˜‰

10 smothermother May 5, 2014 at 7:58 am

ever consider that you are converting to muscle which ways more? i agree with Tracey. Consider the tape measure. But also just tune into your body to see if it feels firmer, more energised, healthier. the number on the the scale can be a little distracting and the main goal is to be living healthy, right?

11 DaniGirl May 5, 2014 at 9:20 am

Thanks Julie. I totally agree, but my jeans being too tight was the first sign of a problem for me. We don’t actually have a scale in the house – I refuse to buy one – but there is one at the gym and so it makes for a good “yardstick” for progress. I do have a tape measure too and can I plug My Fitness Pal one more time to say that i love you can even track your progress with a measuring tape – very cool. So I do that, too, but the weight on the scale is a decent starting point for everything else, especially since I’ve been weighing myself with the same scale more or less weekly for years.

12 Paula May 6, 2014 at 8:12 am

As women age, keeping the weight off only gets harder. A lot of it has to do with hormones as well. I suggest you read one of Dr. Natasha Turner’s books – The Hormone Diet is a good one. Secondly, walking is great, but it is not a great calorie burner. You’ve got to get the heart pumping! I started wearing a heart monitor while I work out, and I keep my heart rate anywhere between 75-85% of my maximum heart rate. When my heart rate drops, I know I need to step it up and work harder. I would also suggest at least 4 times a week. As for diet, I would significantly reduce your carbohydrate intake from starchy food. I allow myself my chips on Friday nights, and we have pizza and other treats over the weekend. There are some great supplements out there that can help give you a boost, but won’t do much if you are cheating on the food side – Kelp (helps sluggish thyroids), B6, B12, and there are others if you go to a health food store. Best of luck reaching your goal!

13 DaniGirl May 6, 2014 at 6:27 pm

Thanks Paula, I did wonder how big a role hormones might be playing in this. I’ll look into some of those resources, thank you!

14 Kelly May 6, 2014 at 7:14 pm

I love all the comments!! I have to be honest, I’ve been trying to lose 10 lbs. for awhile now and I’m just beginning to make headway. I was confused with why I put in on, because I also do most of my cooking and eat ‘real’ foods. I finally forced myself to step back and take an honest look at thingsβ€”I was just eating too much. Too much of the good stuff.

I got completely fed up and tried ‘diets’ where they tell me exactly what to eat at every meal and I’ve tried other, looser plans (like Weight Watchers, the 1:1:1 Diet), but to be honest, it was all just too much work!! My brain was tired. I didn’t like feeling hungry. Plus, I’d lose weight on these plans, but it always came back eventually. Recently, I’ve decided to just tune in to myself & my body and here are my ‘rules’: Eat real food, limit junk. Eat until I’m satisfied (not overfull). Don’t go hungry. Eat lots of fruits & veggies overall (try for most meals & snacks). Also eat protein/dairy at every meal & snack to keep my blood sugar in balance and head off cravings. Don’t avoid any food groupsβ€”I’m not afraid of carbs at all, in fact, Canada’s Food Guide advocates them. Most importantly: listen to my hunger. When I’m eating a meal, and I’m starting to feel full, slow down and take a little time with the last few bites to be sure I’m not overeating. Lastly, I exercise 5-6 days a week, both cardio and strength. I find this really helps me to not feel as ‘hungry’ by levelling out my hormones.

And that’s it!! No guilt. No overthinking. Even moods. Better sleep πŸ™‚ I find that if I eat good, balanced foods during the day so that I’m satisfied, and then make sure that I don’t go to bed stuffed, and combine that with exercise, it’s enough to lose about 1 pound every week or so. I did something similar to this after both my pregnancies and let go of the stress of trying to lose weight and it just worked! It wasn’t quick, but I felt great.

Hope I can keep it up this time. I really feel amazing!! Best of luck with your own journey… I know you can do it!!

15 Jody May 7, 2014 at 8:33 am

Dani, I think all those apps are probably equally good. If you like the one you have, keep using it!

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