Getting in Shape

Care to share your success stories? Frustrated.

Hello ladies (and gents),

I apologize for the following sounding so negative, but I'm kind of frustrated with my "fitness journey" at the moment and would love to hear about your successes! Any suggestions would be welcome as well.

I've had the most success with strictly using MyFitnessPal and doing Tone it Up workouts and my own workouts at the gym. I've tried Weight Watchers too. I'm a vegetarian who is 5'3" around 144 pounds and wear a size 12 jeans. I've already ordered my wedding dress, and I love it. I'm not looking to lose a drastic amount of weight, but I'd love to fit into my old size 8 jeans, and lose the annoying little fat chin I have. That last comment was definitely fueled by my current whining mood. I've had issues with my weight since my first period, and I recently was diagnosed with endometriosis. I have been tracking with MFP and working out, and I'm getting no where. NO WHERE. I don't have hypothyroidism, I'm not pregnant (lol), and I am being very careful with my calorie counting. I'm just frustrated and feeling unmotivated, because when I stop tracking and working out, I only gain about two pounds back. So whenever I go hard again I feel like "Okay, I'm killing myself and sticking to my calories to lose... 2 pounds.". Has anyone else been through this?


Re: Care to share your success stories? Frustrated.

  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    How much cardio are you doing? 

  • I second that question about cardio -

    To burn significant calories to loose weight you have to do A LOT of cardio. Endurance sports (hiking, backpacking, long distance running, long distance biking) have really helped me because it's not unusual to burn 1000+ calories in a day doing these. It's a big time commitment but if you can spare your weekends then it's worth it. I don't count calories at all (there is nothing I find more painful and pointless than calorie counting!).

    Also I hope you aren't trying to push your body towards something that's not really natural. Depending on your body type 144lb and 5'3" may actually be a healthy weight. Body fat content is a better measure than weight - aim for 25-30%.
  • Cardio: That's tough to say exactly. I'll do HIIT workouts that are either 25 or 40 minutes maybe 5 times a week. Or I'll use the treadmill for 30 minutes alternating between jogging and a fast pace on a high incline. I usually burn above 500 calories at least every time I do cardio. And I hate counting calories too @redheadbride15 ha
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    That does sound good. You defintiely want to be burning that many calories, and you want to make sure your heart rate is up. I usually do at least 35 minutes of cardio and I do interval training as well. Do you belong to a gym? I recently started taking spin, and I'm obsessed with it. 

  • @ClimingBrideNY, thank you for the reply :) I have to take a look at my Polar watch, my heart rate usually gets up there, I try to stay in my "zone" for as long as possible. I do belong to a Planet Fitness. My FSIL LOVES spin! What do you love about it? It looks so appealing to me! I have a hard time with bicycles, I had a horseback riding accident years ago and shattered my tailbone and fractured my sacrum, I have nerve damage and a hard time errrr sitting on a bike seat LOL! You're up on your feet often though right? Maybe I'll give it a try.
  • I have had some stops and starts with my weight loss. I gained a lot of weight this past year (about 16 pounds) and getting it back off has been really challenging. My doctor did some blood test and determined that I am insulin resistant and put me on metformin. It is really helping me feel more energetic and more like myself. Before I was on it I just wanted to lie down after work and now I have the energy to actually go to the gym. 

    I lost about 4 pounds pretty quickly on a good diet (low calories, I do pretty well with calorie counting). But then I kind of stalled out. So I hired a personal trainer. She is freelance so I just go with her to the gym she belongs to and we work out. She created a low carb diet for me. I eat dairy, eggs and fish but not other meat so it's been extremely helpful to have someone tell me what I should and shouldn't be eating. It's been a couple weeks and I'm only down another two pounds or so but FI swears that my body is getting more toned and I am starting to notice a bit of a difference. 

    If you are a vegetarian it is especially difficult to avoid breads and such, at least in my experience, which for most of us women are kind of the enemy. I don't think extreme atkins style is the way to live but cutting down on breads and pastas and such really does help a lot in slimming down. 
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  • Thank you @badbnagdway!! I stinks to get off track, but good for you! And you're totally right on about breads and pastas, definitely the enemy lol!
  • @lunardaydreaming I hear you, girl! I also have endometriosis, so I have some days where I'm just "Ugh... no. I am not getting out of bed." I've found that a plant-based/vegan diet has helped me lose the most weight, but as a vegetarian/vegan--you DEFINITELY need to be careful with your carbs! I find that when I'm in a pinch for time, I tend to gravitate towards high-carb foods rather than fruits/veggies/lean proteins. I hate MFP because I cook most of my food from scratch, so it's hard to keep it accurate, but if it works for you, then that's awesome!

    I second PPs--cardio, cardio, cardio! Keep in mind that it can take up to 8 weeks to see progress, but it will come! Don't lose faith in yourself--you CAN do it! And try to switch it up, too, so you don't get bored with your exercise routine: do cycling some days, elliptical some days, treadmill, swimming, etc... whatever you like! Or try some Zumba if that's your thing--my sister is an instructor and she's had the most dramatic physical transformation while she's been involved with that. :)
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    @ClimingBrideNY, thank you for the reply :) I have to take a look at my Polar watch, my heart rate usually gets up there, I try to stay in my "zone" for as long as possible. I do belong to a Planet Fitness. My FSIL LOVES spin! What do you love about it? It looks so appealing to me! I have a hard time with bicycles, I had a horseback riding accident years ago and shattered my tailbone and fractured my sacrum, I have nerve damage and a hard time errrr sitting on a bike seat LOL! You're up on your feet often though right? Maybe I'll give it a try.
    I really love the workout I get with spin. You're defintiely not sitting the whole time. It depends on the class and the instructor, but you could spend a lot of the class out of the seat and standing. Maybe try one class and see how you feel? 

  • Thanks everyone again! I'll definitely try spinning and stick with the cardio. And thanks @rustibride27 for the reminder not to give up, I'll keep at it. :)
  • WinstonsGirlWinstonsGirl The Cold North member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Try changing it up.  Your body can get used to the same workouts time and time again and plateaus.  If you try a new workout, it could kick start your body back into weight loss.  

    I'd also suggest tracking your food and exercise if you're not still doing it.  Sometimes if you've stopped tracking, you can forget about the extra little something you've eaten earlier, and those calories can add up too.  

    And finally, as PP's have said, maybe this is just a natural healthy weight for you to be at.  And that can suck when you're aiming for lower  as you don't see the "progress".  Good luck

  • I feel you!  I was there last year.   My wedding was in October and my goal was to lose 30 pounds from Jan-Oct.   June came...I was working hard and had only lost 10 pounds.  But all of those pounds were lost Jan-Feb.   I reached out to a coach and I starting working out at home with Beachbody programs.  It's been really successful for me because the workouts I do are only 30 minutes and come with a nutrition plan (it allows for some splurges too!).    I am way too busy to get to the gym these days and honestly am pushing myself harder in 30 minute workouts than I did at the gym.    I did the 21 Day Fix to start; it's basic and all the workouts are different.  That combined with an easy to follow nutrition plan has resulted in me beating my goal...I lost 36 pounds for the wedding.  My only regret has been not starting the program sooner!   PM me if you have questions.  
  • That sounds awesome, thanks for sharing! That's great :) I might, I've been seeing a little success it's slow but steady LOL! What were the workouts like?
  • IDK if I'd call it "success," but I got to the point where I felt good about myself on my wedding day.

    I'm 5'6 and started at a weight of 150 about 15 months before my wedding. I wanted to get to 130, but i knew that was a stretch and hadn't been that light since high school. I lost my first 5lb by switching to water instead of sugary drinks and salads and yogurt for lunch, but stalled after a few months. 

    I got a fitbit about 4 months before my wedding and started calorie counting and added in 30-40 minutes of running or swimming everyday. I got down to 135 and felt amazing! I actually had to gain weight back to fit in my dress right. With the wedding and the holidays, I'm back to about 140 now, but I still feel pretty good.

    Lots of water and cardio, and if you hate calorie counting, you might be more likely to follow a diet if you just each one serving size of a food at a time (measure out 1 cup of chips/nuts/veggies/whatever rather than taking the whole bag with you and eating it all on accident). 

    And, recognize that there are some things you can't change: I will always have big arms and shoulders, but as much as I hate them, that is how my family and H see me. Even if you don't like how you look, the people who matter do, and they are a lot less critical of you than you are.
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  • They were all 30 minute workouts.  
    Day 1:  Total Cardio (with weights)
    Day 2:  Upper Body 
    Day 3:  Lower Body
    Day 4:  Pilates
    Day 5:  Total Cardio (no weights)
    Day 6:  Dirty 30 (kind of a mix of cardio and weight training)
    Day 7:  Yoga

    There was also a 10 minute Ab video I did a few times a week too.  

    I really sped up my metabolism with the nutrition plan it used as well as the muscle I built.   So much so that when we went on our honeymoon I didn't gain a single pound back!   And I didn't watch what I ate.

    My coach and online accountability group really helped me stay focused until it all became habit.  Once I saw my results for the first round (21 days) it was easy to keep going.  I lost 8.6 pounds in the first round (and I still hung out with my friends, went camping and ate at my bridal shower!).   

  • flbride2015flbride2015 member
    Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    edited February 2015

    Step away from the cardio! Seriously. Weight training is the way to go. A friend shared this post with me today (keep in mind, it is written with the goal of working out to look good, not for overall fitness); it's a really good read.

    http://www.t-nation.com/training/10-mistakes-women-make-in-the-gym

    Also, when it comes to cardio, go for HIIT workouts.

     

     

     

    nicemarmotfuturecptkirkSoldiersMom
  • Buy a food scale if you dont have one. I was having the same issue and started weighing my food to get an exact calorie count. Turns out what I thought was one serving and was logging as one serving is more like 1.5 to two. Once i had precise food measurements and I knew I was TRULY within my calorie goal, the weight started melting off.

    I disagree with needing to do excessive amounts of cardio. I eat 1300 to 1500 calories a day and eat between 50-75 grams of carbs. I started off the month of January at 157 pounds, I am now 149 pounds. I don't like working out LOL, so I would rather have a stricter diet.

    flbride2015amelishakat1114
  • amelishaamelisha Canadian Texas member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper
    Yep. Food scale, food scale, food scale. All the exercise in the world is going to do nothing if you're not in a calorie deficit, eating less that your body is using in a day. Obviously exercise has a ton of health benefits, but if you want to lose weight, it's a diet thing, not an exercise thing, because ultimately losing weight does come down to calories in/calories out (barring metabolic health issues or whatever.) Cardio can help you build a deficit, but even an hour of biking or jogging or a class might only burn 400 calories, and even if you did that every day and ate at a maintenance level, you still wouldn't lose even a pound a week. Sure, you'll look better if you retain as much muscle mass as possible while losing (strength training is the way to go for that), but to lose weight you just have to eat less that your body uses. And keep in mind that 2 pounds a week would be aggressive at your height/weight and one pound a week is more reasonable. It's slow going.

    MFP is a great tool but it's not going to help if you don't count your calories really, really accurately. It sucks, but it is so easy to over estimate, and when it comes to calorie-dense stuff even coffee creamer and cooking oil can put you over if you're not weighing and measuring everything.

    I'm just saying all this because it will work. If you're counting accurately and estimating your exercise burn accurately, the weight WILL come off unless you have something seriously medically wrong (very rare.) 

    I lost more than 25 pounds a couple years ago by just being an absolute stickler with the math - weighing absolutely everything I put in my mouth and logging it into MFP. And I've kept it off since by maintaining awareness of my daily calorie count (although I do estimate more now that I know better what servings actually look like.)

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    MissMed07
  • Something that I am trying to do (which is harder in Chicago now that we just got 20 inches of snow- but I will get back in to it soon) is to add walking into my daily routine. I do Crossfit- which is super intense and some days afterwards I don't want to move. But, I make myself go to a 30-40 minute brisk walk everyday that weather permits. I put my Ipod on, decompress, go over wedding details in my head to talk to FI and my parents about. Sometimes FI joins me and we check out a new store or restaurant in the neighborhood. According to my Fitbit, I burn another 200 + calories a day just doing that, which adds up over a few weeks and gives me mental clarity. It's so much easier to get yourself out the door for a daily walk then to a high intensity workout.

    I should also note that I was doing Crossfit for about 3-4 months before I started to feel a difference and it was only after the last month of really tracking my calories that I have started to notice a huge difference. Our wedding is in 6 months and I do worry that I am going to go too far and that the dress is going to be sagging, so I am trying to lose only 1 pound a week, recognizing that there are going to be some cheat weeks with vacations coming up and other events going on. I've lost a total of 8 pounds or about 2 inches b/c I have gained so much muscle. I will have about 20 or 3 more inches to go to get back to where I feel good.    
  • Start incorporating weight training! I heard the best way to do weight training if you're at the gym is to run on the treadmill or do the elliptical first to get your heart rate up, then move onto weights.  You won't get bulky (women can't really get bulky like men) and your body continues to burn calories after you finish working out.  When you do cardio, you are really only burning calories while you work out. But with weight training you continue to burn calories for over 24 hours from that same workout.  The best thing to do is cardio every other day, and weight training on the other days to switch it up.

    Also, counting calories is fine and all,  but it's all about eating the right foods.  Last year I stopped eating bread and pasta and it really helped me loose weight.  Each night for dinner I would have vegetables and protein.  And also, make sure you are drinking half your body weight in ounces each day.  Hydration is a huge part of losing weight.
  • Are you accurately counting your calories? There was a study that said most people under-calculate their calories by at least 30%. So when you THINK you're eating 2000, you're more likely closer to 2600. The opposite applies with exercize, that most people over calculate how many calories they are burning. If cardio isn't showing you the results you want, I'd try adding some weight training in, which will help you build muscle.
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    amelisha
  • MissMed07 said:
    Buy a food scale if you dont have one. I was having the same issue and started weighing my food to get an exact calorie count. Turns out what I thought was one serving and was logging as one serving is more like 1.5 to two. Once i had precise food measurements and I knew I was TRULY within my calorie goal, the weight started melting off.

    I disagree with needing to do excessive amounts of cardio. I eat 1300 to 1500 calories a day and eat between 50-75 grams of carbs. I started off the month of January at 157 pounds, I am now 149 pounds. I don't like working out LOL, so I would rather have a stricter diet.

    I agree with all of this. Getting a food scale has helped me really understand what a serving size is. Also, I agree that excess cardio is not necessary. If you're doing an activity like long distance cycling/running because you truly enjoy it, then great. Otherwise, don't kill yourself to log hours of cardio because in the end it can be more detrimental.

    And I definitely second the advice about watching carb intake. I keep mine around 100g, maybe going up to 150g if I'm doing a harder workout. People think if you're doing physical activity you need tons of carbs to fuel yourself, but in reality, you don't need to overindulge in carbs to have fuel for your body.

  • amelishaamelisha Canadian Texas member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper
    klk111415 said:
    Start incorporating weight training! I heard the best way to do weight training if you're at the gym is to run on the treadmill or do the elliptical first to get your heart rate up, then move onto weights.  You won't get bulky (women can't really get bulky like men) and your body continues to burn calories after you finish working out.  When you do cardio, you are really only burning calories while you work out. But with weight training you continue to burn calories for over 24 hours from that same workout.  The best thing to do is cardio every other day, and weight training on the other days to switch it up.

    Also, counting calories is fine and all,  but it's all about eating the right foods.  Last year I stopped eating bread and pasta and it really helped me loose weight.  Each night for dinner I would have vegetables and protein.  And also, make sure you are drinking half your body weight in ounces each day.  Hydration is a huge part of losing weight.
    No, you lost weight because cutting those carbs and eating more protein and vegetables meant you were eating fewer calories. You can eat nothing but white bread and still lose weight if you are in a calorie deficit, pure and simple. You won't feel good and you won't be providing your body with essential nutrients, but purely from a weight loss perspective it's irrelevant where the calories come from. This is bad advice, straight up...on MFP they call it "broscience" and for good reason. It's not based in fact.

    People lose weight when they cut "carbs" because they are naturally cutting calories by eating more vegetables and protein (so feeling fuller and not using bread and stuff to fill up) and not putting away hundreds of calories a day in starchy foods. Remember that fruits and vegetables are carbs too, and no one cuts those to lose weight, do they?

    This is such a pet peeve of mine. Weight loss IS calories in/calories out, whether you like it or not, and all diets that work work because, along with whatever the diet consists of, there's a calorie reduction there.

    (This is not to say that there are no health benefits to choosing less grain/processed food/starch/whatever - there absolutely can be. Just...not weight loss because of cutting that stuff out. You won't lose weight if you cut white carbs but replace them with peanut butter in the same number of calories, for example.)

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    chloe97teddygirl9Dreamergirl8812

  • People lose weight when they cut "carbs" because they are naturally cutting calories by eating more vegetables and protein (so feeling fuller and not using bread and stuff to fill up) and not putting away hundreds of calories a day in starchy foods. Remember that fruits and vegetables are carbs too, and no one cuts those to lose weight, do they?


    I was doing 0 processed food paleo for a month and I felt great, but I gained weight because I was snacking on almonds and nuts all day. Because paleo was so hard to do full time, I started just using MFP and ramping up the workouts and started slowly seeing results. I have tried to maintain the paleo influence- dinners with only lean protein and veggies, but from time to time I will eat tortilla chips or a piece of pizza. Moderation is key! 

    Also- take advantage of the MFP bar code scanning system. Before FI makes dinner, I scan the the bar codes from the meat or veggies he is make so I know exactly what I am consuming. I make sure I know how much olive oil he's added to meals, etc etc.  I also can make adjustments to how much I eat based on is coming up on the screen. It's time consuming, but eventually it starts to pay off! 
    amelisha
  • Well, all I know is I felt very good after giving up bread and pasta.  But I also love bread and pasta a little too much.  Doesn't mean I was depriving my body.  I was still eating the right amount of calories (I was tracking using myfitnesspal) But I was fueling my body and my workouts with healthy food.  I also bought a spiralizer which helped me replace pasta without missing it much.  I've done all sort of weight loss programs- including weight watchers.  I got tired of counting points and decided to just plan out my meals and know exactly what I was eating.  I think it's all about being consistent, NOT depriving yourself (if you want to treat yourself to a piece of chocolate, or a cup of frozen yogurt because that's what you are craving, do so) and listening to your body.  One thing I've been practicing is eating until I'm satisfied rather than till I'm full.  

    And as I said- weight training.  Always switch it up.  I've been using the Jillian Michael's workouts off of youtube and what I like about her workouts is that it incorporates weights, cardio and abs.  
  • I am doing two things. On the exercise side, I am training for a 100k walk (62 miles) in July. I go for long walks, try to go to the gym (mostly in the weekends because I get lazy in the evenings after work) and try to generally walk more. At lunchtime, I leave my desk and go for a 3k walk. I track all my exercise in Endomondo and try to do 200k (124 miles) a month, mostly walking but also cycling in the gym. I also do core exercises, mainly planks (I'm up to 2 minute planks, yay) and some upper body to tone up my arms/chest.

    From a diet perspective, I have stopped snacking and eating cake (my weakness!). There is always cake in my office. Always. It was hard to begin with, because it had become a habit. I have a light breakfast of granola or a wholegrain toast with some marmalade. Then lunch and dinner (no snacks), both mostly homemade: lentil stew, salads, homemade bean mix I make into a burrito, oven baked salmon with steamed veggies, mussels, roast chicken, homemade pasta... not all diet food per se, but I upped the beans and the greens and keep an eye on portion sizes when the food is less healthy and I stopped buying processed stuff. At night I might have a mug of stock if I feel a bit peckish.

    I allow myself the occasional treat. But it is now a treat, not something I will have just because I want it. I am going for two long walks this Easter weekend, so I am allowing myself to have chocolate those two days. We went to Bruges (Belguim) for valentines weekend. Belgium, the land of chocolate (!) so we indulged but also walked everywhere and clocked 20k a day.

    I bought myself a pasta making machine. Again, I love my pasta and I am not stopping that, but having it homemade and not going crazy on portion sizes. On the days I have a pasta dish I might have a lighter lunch.. maybe a chicken sandwich on wholegrain pitta bread with some avocado and lots of lettuce.

    The result of all of the above is that I have lost 5.4 kilos (11.9 pounds) since Jan 5th. That's about 1 pound a week. I have about 5.5 pounds still to lose. 
    Sometimes a week goes by and I don't seem to lose much at all, but I remind myself to keep going. I am 42 and losing weight is harder than it used to be.

    I will then have to maintain my weight loss, but I think by doing this slowly I am learning some good habits that I will stick to.

    Finally, I track my weight using an app called WeightMeter. That's been really helpful in keeping me motivated.

    Best of luck and don't give up! Look at the long term goal, there are no easy fixes, but lifestyle changes that will make you healthier :-) 
  • Dreamergirl8812Dreamergirl8812 your closet member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    Have you tried plyometrics? It's really good for busting through a plateau, and combines strength training with cardio.



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  • Two words: myfitnesspal and Fitbit! Lost two pounds with consistent use of both for the past two weeks! I know its not much but my goal is 5 pounds total and wedding is not until August so I'm in no rush. Main problem is how to "not fall of the wagon"... And these apps really help with accountability.
    - The stars, like dust, encircle me in living mists of light. And all of space I seem to see in one vast burst of sight. 
    nicemarmot
  • I've been working on losing weight for the last two years or so. I absolutely agree with previous posters that you absolutely should include weight lifting in your fitness routine. And I don't mean small high-rep weight lifting. I mean actually lifting some heavy weights. Not only does building muscle help you burn calories, but muscles provide a really lovely body shape. However, I do support doing cardio as well. (I'm not a fitness trainer, so this is just my personal opinion.)

    In the last two years or so, I've lost more than 20lbs. Recently after really pushing myself with my workouts and being more cautious about what I was eating, I dropped 5 of those lbs and I'm feeling great. It's doable. It takes hard work and discipline but I am so excited that I feel and look fit. They had to take my wedding dress in quite a bit and my "skinny" clothes are fitting again!
    flbride2015
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