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Getting in Shape

Struggling....

I have been doing really good with running, doing some light weight training to tone, and watching how much I eat. I cut out soda. I only drink water. I don't drink juice or anything else. And I'm not getting anywhere. I'm feeling really discouraged. I have lost 5 pounds in the last 4 months, which is not on track with where I want to be. I push myself more and more every time I work out. I run 2-3 days and do weight training 2-3 days a week.

Idk what I can do! Any suggestions? Anyone else on the struggle bus?

Re: Struggling....

  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    How much are you trying to lose?  If you are at a pretty healthy weight already then it gets to be really hard to lose because your body is like "hey, I am healthy!"

    Do you use My Fitness Pal?  If not I would suggest it because your diet is like 80% of losing weight.

  • I'm 5'3 and I'm not considered "healthy" but more so overweight. I know I have a lot of muscle in my lower half, but its my upperhalf that is the struggle. I have baby weight I'm trying and have been trying to lose.  I want to lose 20 lbs so I can be in the healthy BMI range for my height.
  • I use My fitness pal, I use my fitbit tracker. I use the samsung health app on my phone....idk what I'm doing wrong.
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Have you thought about talking to your doctor?  Or a nutritionist?  They may be able to look at what you are doing/have done and maybe figure out where the issues (if there are any) are.

  • That's my next stop. I went and had my thyroid tested, because the women in my family all suffer from an underproducing thyroid. It's just very discouraging that I'm working hard to not see any results. People I know stop drinking soda and drop 15 pounds, but I quit drinking soda and increase my water intake to half my body weight and I ended up gaining weight.
  • How much are you eating? Sometimes if you restrict too much, your body stops losing. I've had this problem before.

    Either way I second @maggie0829 in talking to your GP or a nutritionist if you have one. 

  • When I was running and watching what I ate, I really didn't lose much weight.  I was running 4 days a week, and eating a balanced diet.  It was only when I started doing workout programs that I really noticed a difference.  I'm considered overweight but my doctor doesn't seem too worried because I have big hips and muscular thighs.  So I totally know how you feel.  I also went through getting my thyroid tested, and that wasn't the problem.  I am noticing that as I get older, it's getting harder and harder to lose weight and maintain it. 

    If your workouts aren't making any noticeable changes, I would start there.  Try some online workout, or go to some classes.  I started doing the 21 day fix (no I don't work for beachbody) and I lost 10lbs in under 2 months.  It also has a meal plan to follow which is really simple.  Honestly, out of everything I've done in the past few years to try and lose weight, workout programs have worked like a charm. 

     

    And light weights aren't going to do a ton unless you are mixing it with cardio.  You really want to work your muscles because once your done with your workout, your body continues to burn calories trying to repair itself.  It's also best to get your heart rate up right before lifting weights so you burn more calories throughout.  Heart pumping=more calories burned.

     

    Try tracking your workouts/diet with an app.  You might find that the workouts you are doing aren't really putting a dent in what you're eating.

    alhaley88
  • 1) Get a Body Composition Scan done - it'll be around $60 out of pocket, but it's money incredibly well spent.  This will tell you where your body is actually at.  NEVER believe a BMI chart because they don't take into account your body composition.  The scan tells you exactly where you're at on each part of your body and where you are overall.  My BMI was over 11 points off from my Body Composition Scan.  That's a HUGE difference!!!  My lean body mass alone is enough to qualify me for Obese on the border of morbid for my height/weight. 

    2) Get your thyroid checked by an endocrinologist.  Nothing against primary docs - but most of them are worthless when it comes to managing thyroid and other vitamin levels.  Yes, get your D, B12, and Iron levels checked.  Also, have your Estrogen level checked, estrogen dominance can really throw you off.  A vitamin deficiency is nothing to mess with!!!  If you find that you have one, don't be afraid to go back after you've supplemented for a while to make sure your dosage is the correct one for you.  Oftentimes doctors will prescribe a supplement for a deficiency then never come back and recheck to make sure the patient is at optimal levels, only assuming they are when they may not be. 

    3) It's entirely possible that you may be restricting your calories too much.  If your body thinks it's starving it'll hold on to every calorie you give it like it's its last.  Work with someone who works with bodybuilders on the platform.  If they send you a one size fits no one diet plan, you aren't working with the right people.  You need to essentially fool your body into thinking it's full with fuel for your muscles at the right times (when you're eating is as important as what you're eating!)..

    4) Enough with the "light weights" put some weight on the darn bar!!!  You'll actually tone!  I know women who can lift over 500lbs. in gear, others who can lift well over 400 raw, and you'd never know it by looking at them, they're even tested, so it's not that they're on anything either.  You aren't going to get bulky by putting real weight on the bar, your body doesn't have enough testosterone for that.  Putting real resistance on the bar will give you toned results.  Never rely on a fitness magazine for recommendations, the people in there don't even use workouts like that.  Check out Elite Fitness Systems, they've got free videos and articles written by some of the best of the best out there - be aware though - they are the types to tell it like it is...  However, knowing quite a few of their sponsored athletes before they were sponsored, they're some of the best people on the planet. 

    5) At the end of the day, it's about finding something that works for you and is designed around you.  Ask the questions, find the right circle to be surrounded by.  Don't focus on the scale, focus on how you feel and look.  You can take off 20lbs. of fat, add 20lbs. of muscle, and the scale won't tell you how great you look in a swimsuit.  The best of the best got there by showing up each and every day, this is about lifestyle not one single day in your life, but each and every day, be working towards the body and life you want for yourself!

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    alhaley88
  • Thanks for your suggestions! I'm going to look into an endocrinologist. Nobody has ever suggested that. I had my thyroid checked and my doc told me my results were "normal" but I can definitely tell my hormones are not what I would say "normal." I don't try to have too much deficiency in my calorie count. Some days are better than others. I will take heed to the heavy weights at the gym! I just didn't want to bulk up like a body builder (not that there's anything wrong with that) but that's not me. I definitely want to just be healthy and happy with my body and get back to how I used to be.
  • @alhaley88 ; There is no way you will bulk up like a body builder.  Girls typically just tone, I think you need to be doing crazy weight lifting and for a very long period of time to look like a body builder.  I know a girl who is a trainer and on the US women's weight lifting team and she looks fantastic- and really fit, but not bulky at all.

    I feel like I'm in a similar position to you.  Had my thyroid checked, had tons of testing done.  Aware that my hormones are out of control and not "normal"  but I'm also 28, and every year it gets harder and harder to maintain my weight.  I totally took being skinny back in high school for granted, and actually never believed I actually was skinny.  But wishing for my high school body back gets me nowhere.  My body has changed so much and I'm learning to be happy where I am while still working towards weight loss, just not allowing myself to feel down if the scale isn't moving as fast as I'd like. 

  • alhaley88 said:
    Thanks for your suggestions! I'm going to look into an endocrinologist. Nobody has ever suggested that. I had my thyroid checked and my doc told me my results were "normal" but I can definitely tell my hormones are not what I would say "normal." I don't try to have too much deficiency in my calorie count. Some days are better than others. I will take heed to the heavy weights at the gym! I just didn't want to bulk up like a body builder (not that there's anything wrong with that) but that's not me. I definitely want to just be healthy and happy with my body and get back to how I used to be.
    If you saw what bodybuilders do to look that way for two weeks (really, that's all the time those that are "natural" look that way!) you'd realize looking like that isn't something you'll accidentally stumble across!!!  The mental game they go through is something else!  However, bodybuilders know how to design a diet to get you to drop size and tone without FEELING hungry for the destination (wedding) because they're constantly eating, granted, us powerlifters laugh in that the big difference in diet is "Bodybuilders are constantly eating, but everything they eat tastes like chicken or cardboard, powerlifters, we like to eat, but we like to eat things that taste like Big Mac's!"  Their type of diet though contains a higher level of protein and is going to be a better fit than anything you'll get from a traditional nutritionist or dietician who is only following book guidelines. 
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  • If you have the budget look into a good personal trainer. A few years back I lost about 20lbs and hit a plateau- got the trainer and lost another 20. They know how to shake up a workout. Some of them are also registered dieticians and such so you get both benefits from one person. Shop around.

    Good luck.
    MesmrEwe
  • My downfall is definitely my diet. I am a sucker for some chocolate anything. I have been going to the gym since January with FI as my workout partner/motivational coach. I'm 5'0 tall and according to BMI charts my weight (at 135lbs) is "DAMN", but I am a size 4. I have been gradually working on bumping my weight training and am able to squat my body weight, deadlift 115lbs, leg press 230. I am going pretty slow to add weight as I have a bum knee and do not want to injure myself. I have a much stronger bottom half than upper body but I have slowly but surely been working on that as well. I need to get rid of some tricep jiggle before I slip into my strapless dress in May :) Good luck everyone , and thanks for the advice I have been able to catch reading through all the comments ;)
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    edited September 2015
    If you have the budget look into a good personal trainer. A few years back I lost about 20lbs and hit a plateau- got the trainer and lost another 20. They know how to shake up a workout. Some of them are also registered dieticians and such so you get both benefits from one person. Shop around. Good luck.
    That's a good idea.  If you don't belong to a gym, do you have park districts?  Each town here in the 'burbs gets a local park district where I take some zumba, fluid running classes (signed up for spin but never went LOL).  The gym in my park district IS cheaper than a chain and I was skimming the cost of personal trainers, which seemed less expensive than a gym too.  I haven't ruled that out either.

    Just a thought since I know park districts can sometimes be skipped when looking at all your choices.  And usually, it's closer to where you live too.

    edit; spelling

  • It really almost doesn't matter how much or how little you're eating, but what you're eating. If you're calorie restricting but still eat fatty and junky foods, nothing will help. And I second weight training, go up in your weights. Do fewer reps with heavier weights. If it doesn't burn the next two days, then you're doing it wrong. You won't bulk up, we have too much estrogen for that. The women who look bulky usually do it for competitions, where they train like crazy for weeks, heavily restrict their diets of anything and everything processes, take lots of supplements and other things (protein powders, etc.). So no, you won't get bulky. 

    If you can't afford a trainer, look into fitgirlsguide.com (a $20 e-book with a built in meal plan and workout), it works, and is pretty delicious. 
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    alhaley88
  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited October 2015
    My downfall is definitely my diet. I am a sucker for some chocolate anything. I have been going to the gym since January with FI as my workout partner/motivational coach. I'm 5'0 tall and according to BMI charts my weight (at 135lbs) is "DAMN", but I am a size 4. I have been gradually working on bumping my weight training and am able to squat my body weight, deadlift 115lbs, leg press 230. I am going pretty slow to add weight as I have a bum knee and do not want to injure myself. I have a much stronger bottom half than upper body but I have slowly but surely been working on that as well. I need to get rid of some tricep jiggle before I slip into my strapless dress in May :) Good luck everyone , and thanks for the advice I have been able to catch reading through all the comments ;)

    A little late to the game here...  If you can, find someone who's in to powerlifting/Strongman who can evaluate your form for your body.  Rehband knee braces through Jackyl's Gym are worth the money now that you're at the point of needing the little extra support/stability while squatting.  Good form will help a lot with the knees.  Next, foot beds!  Get some good athletic custom orthotics made for your lifting shoes.  If your feet are messed up, it's got an effect up the chain.  Between those three things you'll be lifting heavy forever and safely. You also may be at the tipping point where having a good belt is worth the investment.

    Next throw the letters BMI out the bleeping window!  It means jack squat for someone who actually is healthy and lifts.  Most NFL Football players are considered Morbidly Obese.  If you can, get a body composition scan done (they're around $50), that will tell you exactly where you're at.  That and how you feel in your clothes are the only thing you should be focusing on.  Muscle takes up less surface mass than fat does, 135 for your frame is still AWESOME!!!!

    ETA: How much ya bench?  That'll get the tri's and lats looking great...

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    alhaley88Knottie1430965129
  • Thanks for all of these wonderful suggestions ladies! I will look into everything mentioned!
  • @mesmrewe: Thanks for the info! I will definitely be investing in a good brace, the one I have is OK but starting to wear out. FI has me squat and deadlift in just my socks to keep my feet as flat as possible. He takes a lot of advice from guys who train powerlifting as well as MMA type, but they aren't always the best to ask about a good routine for me.

    In our area, I have yet to find any women who can give me decent advice other than "spin class is wonderful...yoga and pilates are fun" & Jazzercise is huge. There just aren't any who I've found that understand girls and weight-lifting, especially when I try to explain that I want strength not bulk, women won't get bulky unless they are supplementing or only lift to lift heavy. 

    I actually stopped doing bench and lat pull downs because I ran into the issue that my wedding dress would not fully zip when I tried it on about 4 months ago. While I had not gained any weight, the change in muscle caused the dress to be too tight across that area, so I switched up my routine to include more cardio and target exercises specifically to tone my upper arms without widening my back any further.

    BMI is definitely not a good resource. FI is 6'2 310lbs of muscle. Like you said, football players fall into that "morbidly obese" category. I have to laugh when he comes home from his physical bc every year the Dr. (who is about 5'8 and weighs the same as me) shakes his head and tells him "you're too big, you need to slim down." As if he doesn't even look at FI's body composition to see that he is MUSCLE not MUSH!

    Right now, I have figured out a comfortable routine that goes heavy on cardio 2x per week added to the upper body & core training, and moderately 2x per week on lower body days. The 3 days when I'm not in the gym I usually go for about a 2 mile walk.

    Thanks again for the tips on body composition scan/braces/orthotics! 
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