Friday, June 17, 2011

80% Diet, 20% CHILLING OUT

We've all heard how losing weight isn't all just about working out. The food you put in your body has an equally important impact. But then again, there are other mysterious factors out there that can keep the pounds from budging. One of the biggest one is stress, at least for me. It's a self-perpetuating cycle: I stress over not losing that week, the scale doesn't move, I stress because it didn't move... it doesn't move the next week... yada yada yada.

So, I tried something. I set my ticker to 150, the weight I've been at for 6 months. And I stopped freaking out. I'm happy with how I look 95% of the way, I'm fitting into the clothes I want (I'm a size 6, my size 8 AE denim shorts I bought a month ago are roomy now). And I'm happy in a bikini. So, I took the pressure of myself. No deadlines, no crazy goals, just going with what my body wants.

And so, exactly two weeks after I did that, the scale says 147.4. HUH???

Yeah, I'm as baffled as you. I got rid of the stress and reevaluated my habits and voila, bye bye 150s. So, what exactly did I do?

1. Cut back on the cardio! I rediscovered my Chalean Extreme DVDs. I've been chaining myself to the treadmill or the summit climber at the gym with no major effects. Great calorie burns, firmer tush, but no weight loss. Swap out my running days for circuit training or strength training and things have gotten a lot better.

2. Stop eating whatever I please when I go out. It's fine to have a nice treat meal on occasion, but that's not lunch every day. I have no need to go out to Chick Fil A or Potbelly or something 4-5 days a week. Oh the sodium... badddd. So I started bringing delicious lunches, and I can still eat with the guys I work with in the cafeteria. I've been getting more protein and WAY less sodium and less carbs. For dinner's I've been having a protein smoothie, plus a nice evening snack.

3. Took a chill pill. I don't mind taking a day off from working out. Or taking it easy that day. As long as I'm moving. I did a 30 minute Chalean DVD yesterday before going to kickball. I took Wednesday off because my calves were (still are) killing me from my nice 4" wedge heels. Now I just need to keep the stress level down. The scale cooperating does help.

So, if you're stuck, take a look at what you're doing. I said up and down that I didn't want to change my habits because I was comfortable. But you're body isn't gonna change when you're comfortable. So I looked at a few relatively painless ways to adjust things. Less running doesn't suck (and it's the hot summer anyway), so I"ll pick it up again full force in the fall when I've lost the rest of the weight. It'll be a good way to maintain it and look good. I don't mind brining my lunch, and my wallet LOVES me, haha. And the less stress is always welcomed :)


  1. hi! i came across your posts on MFP today when i was searching online for answers on net calories and calorie deficits.....i have now read your entire blog on there and am so inspired by your journey.
    i am in a similar place to you.....stuck at 151.2. i HATE it. im also obssessed and a list oriented, goal oriented person and am so frustrated with the lack of results.
    so i had a couple of questions even though i read your Q&As already.....
    please, any info would be sooo appreciated!!

    1) i see you are eating around 1500-1600 cals a day now. are those your net cals (after workout)?

    2) what is your average calorie deficit now?

    i also put myself into starvation mode and was celebrating 1600 deficit instead of realizing it was stalling my weight loss now i am trying to eat about 1300 net calories a day......which depending on workouts can mean actually eating between 1300-1800 calories a day.
    in your opinion, is that too high or too low?
    to calculate calorie deficit i take
    my bmr + activity level (lightly active)+ cals burned during workout = calorie deficit

    its so frustrating, trying to figure out your magic number and not putting yourself into starvation mode!!!

  2. Hey Shelia!

    1. 1500 calories is just what I eat, I don't take exercise into account. It's almost like I'm unintentionally calorie cycling. Some days I don't workout and net 1500, some days its more like 1000 net.

    2. My average calorie deficit depends on my workouts. On a rest day its as little as 250 calories (assuming I burn 1750 during the day that MFP tells me). On a big workout day where I burn upwards of 500 calories, I have more like a 750 calorie deficit. I've been losing at least a pound a week for the past 2 weeks so perhaps that 1750 is low.

    In terms of your own number, I found that the food I ate made a MUCH bigger difference than the number of calories alone. When I was eating Chick Fil A or the cafeteria for lunch, I was still getting a 400 calorie lunch and I wasn't losing. But change out my lunches for healthy homemade ones low in sodium and high in protein, same 400+ calories, and I'm losing. I also have a homemade protein smoothie for dinner most nights and I keep my snacks to healthy things and protein bars. So, I'd say look more at WHAT your eating rather than HOW much you're eating.