Paris here I come

Monday, 18 May 2009

I'm on the other side of a plateau!

A quick status update:
WI today gained 100gm, last week gained 700gm. Now weigh 85.8kg. Feeling annoyed but determined to get back to basics of tracking, water and exercise - pretty simple when I put it like that. So I am determined that the plateau is over and that I'm going to get to my 83kg goal by the end of May! It'll be a real push but I can do it. This is my week of determination like some others in my WW community thread.

I realise I can't really get anywhere unless I am determined. I've become content, and contentment leads to distraction and laziness. I don't want to sound like an obsessed person, but I know that if you want to get anywhere in life, you have to put some effort into it and be determined.

I just saw this article in the weekly e-newsletter from WW. I'm posting it here so I can remind myself of some strategies to get myself out of the plateau I've experienced the last couple of months. My first plateau since starting WW.

Power through plateaus
Article By: Laurie Greenwald Saloman

It's a phenomenon familiar to most people who've tried to shed excess kilos: You're finally close to your Goal weight but suddenly the numbers on the scale refuse to budge.

You've hit a weight-loss plateau, and you're wondering what's causing the stall. Is there something you're doing (possibly unwittingly) to sabotage your own efforts? Or is it an inevitable physiological part of the weight-loss process? The answer probably lies somewhere in between.

Ain't misbehavin'?

As much as we may not like to believe it, our actions are probably at the root of most weight-loss plateaus. "Probably about 90 percent of our plateaus are due to 'loosening up,' meaning the half-hour walk, seven days a week becomes a 20-minute walk, four days a week," says Weight Watchers' chief scientist, Karen Miller-Kovach, MS, RD. "It's the little relaxing that does people in."

Before you start berating yourself, give yourself a break. Recognise that you may have gotten a little too comfortable with aspects of the programme. But you can still keep moving toward your weight goal. Simply reaffirm your commitment to your weight-loss plan, and move forward. Try a new recipe, eat more fruits and veggies, or add some jogging intervals to your daily walk. By mixing up your routine, eating and exercise will be fresh and enjoyable again.

The body at work

Although less-than-faithful adherence to an eating and exercise plan is usually the culprit of a plateau, there are times when something going on within the body is causing the kilos to hang on. According to Michael Lowe, PhD, a professor of clinical and health psychology, about one-quarter of the weight you lose is actually lean tissue. Lean-tissue loss means you burn fewer kilojoules. "This effect is relatively minor, but combined with other factors, it can contribute to a plateau," Lowe says.

Lowe also points out that because kilos shed in the first few weeks of weight loss tend to be made up of about half water, people are often fooled into thinking they are reaching a plateau when, in fact, they're really just approaching a normal (read: slower) rate of weight loss.

Five ways to tip the scale

The good news: Whether the cause is behavioural, physiological or both, there are steps you can take to move past a plateau. First, strengthen your resolve to keep losing, then:

1. Increase your physical activity.

This may be the best way to get the weight off, according to experts. Look for simple ways to get core activity in: Take your dog for an afternoon walk. Park the car farther away, or get off the bus a stop or two away from your destination.

2. Eat right and write.

Research has shown that people routinely underestimate the number of kilojoules they consume daily. Keep track of what you eat. Enjoy seeing that you've stayed within your daily POINTS® allowance.

3. Eat fruits and vegetables.

Fruits and vegetables are loaded with a variety of vitamin and minerals and are typically low in kilojoules. Including them at meal time will help keep you satisfied and contribute to your health.

4. Spice things up.

Forgo your usual ham sandwich for a more exotic water-packed tuna with dill and lemon juice on toasted pita bread. This might stimulate your taste buds enough to keep you satisfied.

5. Get busy.

Join an after-work volleyball league, attend art openings or just chase your kids around outside. The less you're in the kitchen, the less tempted you'll be to eat.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Losing slowly but still losing

Wow. It's been a slow WW journey since Easter. I've been so nonchalant about the whole WW thing since then. It doesn't surprise me because I've been at this point before. In the past when I've lost a significant amount of weight I've ended up putting it all back on because I've started eating rubbish again.

I've been doing really well for a year, and I've made it to some major milestones and then I've relaxed. I'm not surprised that I've let my hair down a bit this month - but it's not a good excuse. In fact if I'm not persistent I could put it all back on because old habits could come springing back. I've felt better about myself so I've rewarded myself by eating things I wouldn't normally have. Mmmmm, ye olde reward yourself with high calorie food...doesn't really make sense.

But, I'm not going to relax THAT much again. Last week I lost 1 kg, and this week I lost 200 gm. So the weight is coming down again and I'm going to be diligent in my tracking this week. I would have called myself the tracking queen...but I've let it slip the last few weeks which is very strange. I think it's because I've had the kids home for school holidays and they've been on the computer so much that I haven't managed to get on there myself.

But now we're back into routine of work, and school, and I finally went fruit and vegie shopping which makes a huge difference to staying on track.

So now I weigh 85kg and have lost a total of 35.2kg, and I'm off to enter my points into the tracker!

But major news:
I went running with Sarah on Saturday!
It's probably 350 m around our street (a double-ended cul-de-sac), so a nice circuit for cross-country training. Sarah's got her cross-country run tomorrow at school - not her thing, but everyone has to do it. But to encourage her to do SOME training, we went for a jog around our 400 m street. Running is not my forte (at all), so I managed to jog for 300m and walk, then jog, then walk etc...I was huffing and puffing for the 3 laps I did. I guess we've all got to start somewhere ;)