I’m just going to go ahead and start this post by saying that if you’re on your own weight loss journey and you feel discouraged by the lack of progress, I feel you! I see you as you are putting in the work, and the scale… or measuring tape… or tighter fitting clothes… are moving in the opposite direction that you’re wanting. I know how heavy and daunting the process can feel. The plateaus can feel frustrating. The increased water weight, or bloating for various reasons can drive you mad. It’s alright. Let yourself feel all the feelings. I give you permission to throw a pillow across the room in these moments of great discouragement. Your feelings are very real, and they need to be felt and processed. Ignoring your feelings can lead you to seek comfort in the cookie jar, and you know that may be what you want in the moment, but that’s not your ultimate desire.
Choose to be productive in how you respond to your feelings. Remember that these frustrations pass, just as your stalled or dauntingly slow progress will pass. But only if you are very intentional about not turning to the non-strategic foods or habits to comfort your feelings.
“The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there”
I heard this quote in a Mark Batterson book, a few weeks ago. It has been on replay in my thoughts ever since, and I’m so dang thankful for that! I love the imagery and the implications. That dude (or She-beast) worked so dang hard to get to the top. While there may have been a few moments where the trail to the top was easy going. it’s most likely, that climber’s heart rate was elevated as he climbed up steep inclines. Think of all the blood, sweat, and tears that were shed as the mountain climber trudged through terrain where there was little or no trail to follow. Perhaps there were spots where she or he could only ascend with the help of a rope and harness to keep from falling off the nearly vertical slope. There could have been rain or snow storms that made the conditions nearly unbearable.
Enduring all these events, it’s human nature for the climber to question her/his ability to progress forward when the terrain seemed excessively grueling. Not withstanding, the hiker didn’t stop. She/he trudged forward, one step, climb or crawl at a time. We know that the goal was achieved, because the quote says so. That mountain climber made it to the top. She/he didn’t give up, or fall to the temptation of defeat. She/he didn’t grant any of the challenges power to stop her/him from reaching her/his goal.
Here’s another quote that literally was handed to me today:
“Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives- choice, not chance, determines your destiny.”Aristotle
So what should we do with this pep talk, then? Let’s be intentional. Working through the storms, and steep climbs and keep pushing forward, one step in front of the other. Let’s continue to make the choices which will propel us up the mountain to reach our intended destination. Through continued effort, we will attain excellence.
Envision the incredible view from the top! The lessons and the experiences you’re working through are going to feel so empowering when you’re at the summit!
Now, I’ve gone through this whole process, myself, just today. This morning when I got my bioelectrical impedance results and took my measurements, I sure wasn’t feeling this pep talk… I was frustrated, during my workout at how heavy my legs were feeling. I was frustrated that the measuring tape revealed some expanding, rather than shrinking. Even the bioelectrical impedance readings weren’t aligned with where I thought they should be.
I began over-thinking all of the possible reasons for the heavy legs, bloated belly, etc. Perhaps menstrual cycle? Maybe my body is not pleased with the extra workout I did yesterday? Maybe the ice cream and cookies from Tuesday are still affecting my system? Perhaps my second covid shot from last Friday? What else can I blame? Not enough sleep? Diet soda detoxing? How many of these are actually plausible?
I’ve had the day to work through my feelings. At first I was thinking about how steep the mountain of my goal felt. But then I shifted focus to continuing on with the baby steps, regardless of the steep incline. Even though my results have been frustrating for three weeks in a row, I’m not turning around to descend back down the mountain. I will continue to climb! I want to reach the top!
Enough of that. Let me show you this week’s results:
End of Week 21 Before and After Pictures:
Week 21 Food Journal:
Since this whole experiment has felt a little extra heavy, today, I’m starting with a food journal entry that was worth celebrating. Here’s my food journal from yesterday, May 26:
The rest of the food journal entries can be found at the bottom of this post.
Bioelectrical Impedance Results:
My total body weight: 132.5 lbs. (Decrease of 1.1 pounds since last week. Total decrease of 10.4 lbs. since start date).
Breaking my total body weight down into different categories of body composition:
- Total Body water: 80.9 lbs (Decrease of 1.1 lbs from last week. Total of 2.6 lbs. increase since start date).
- Dry lean mass: 30.0 lbs. (Decrease of 0.4 lbs. since last week. Increase of .9 lbs. since first weigh in. Remember that this includes muscle, organs, and bone minus any fluid)
- Body fat mass: 21.6 lbs. (This was a 0.4 lb. increase from last week. Total of 13.9 lbs. of fat lost since start date!)
- Skeletal muscle mass: 62.2 lbs (Decrease of 1.1 lbs since last week. Increase of 2.2 lbs since first weigh in).
- BMI: 22.7 (Decrease of 0.2 from last week. Total decrease of BMI is 1.8 since start date)
- Body fat percentage: 16.4% (This increased by 0.6% from last week. Total of 8.4% decrease in body fat percentage since start date.)
- Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): 1456 calories (This increased by 36 calories.)
- Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE): 2257 calories on moderate exercise weeks. 2512 calories on heavy exercise weeks.
- Calorie target goal for weight loss: 1600 calories (May increase by upwards of 300 on days that I burn over 600 calories)
Week 21 Measuring Tape Results:
- Right calf (measured at widest part): 14 1/4 inches (Same as last week, and down 2 1/2 inches from first measurement)
- Right thigh (measured at widest part): 21 1/4 inches (Same as last week, and down 1 3/4 inches from first measurement)
- Hips (measured at widest part): 37 1/4 inches (Up 1/4 inch from last week, Down 5 3/4 inches from first measurement)
- Butt (measured at widest part): 36 1/2 inches (Same as last week. Down 3 1/8 inches from first measurement.)
- Right below my muffin top: 33 inches (Up 3/8 inch from last week, and down 2 7/8 inches from first measurement)
- Waistline (measured across belly button): 32 1/2 inches (Up 1/4 inch from last week, and down 2 3/4 inches from first measurement)
- Chest (measured at widest part): 36 1/2 inches (Same as last week. Down 11/4 inch from first measurement.)
- Shoulders (measured at widest part): 39 1/2 inches (Down 1/8 inch from last week. Down 1 inch from first measurement)
- Biceps: (measured at widest part): 10 1/2 inches (Down 1/8 inch from last week, and down 1 inch from first measurement).
This is What My Workouts Looked Like:
Although I’m down 1.1 pounds from last week, it is all water and muscle. I actually increased in fat by almost a half of a pound from last week. I did find that I increased my steady state cardio workouts a bit, this week, but I don’t think it was enough that it would eat away at muscle. But maybe?
The measuring tape results were strange. I increased in size in my hips, right below my muffin top, and at my waistline. But I decreased in my shoulders and biceps. So weird!
I’m just going to go ahead and say it. I’ve come to understand that the In-body bioelectrical impedance machine does have a distinct margin of error. I do not believe that people should be measuring their body composition with this devise weekly, as I am. I do believe that it is reasonable to measure every 4-6 weeks, though.
I’m definitely feeling the burn out from doing so, so often. And I’ll be honest, I have some orthorexia tendencies, so sometimes I feel like I’m feeding the addiction by weighing in every week. Part of my frustrations from today are that I quite frankly want to be at the end of the portion of this journey where I have to watch all the numbers so closely. So that fact that I didn’t lose any fat, and even gained some caused the mountain to feel really steep.
I’m tired. But I’m going to keep going. I’m going to keep doing my best to see all the numbers objectively, and not let the emotions be tied to them.
I’m absolutely determined to reach the top of the mountain, no matter how rough the terrain. I just have to keep up the practice of giving my strategy the respect it deserves.
That’s it for today. Talk to you soon!
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Food Journal Entries From the Rest of the Week:
Friday, May 21:
Saturday, May 22:
Sunday, May 23:
Monday, May 24:
Tuesday, May 25:
Thursday, May 27 (today):
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