Plateaus are Dog Shit

Long time, no see.

Tis the season of excessive business and plans with people I otherwise never see or hear from the other 10 months of the year, and I’ve been a bit too swept up with life to think of and/or write content for you guys.  You’ll have to forgive me for that since I do this blog for my own enjoyment anyway.  A day-belated Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it, and happy whatever to anyone who doesn’t.  

What I’ve Been Up To

I’ve still been diligently pursuing my skinny body.  I found my collarbones a few weeks ago.  Before now, I’d never seen nor felt them before; even when I was thinner in high school my body composition never allowed me to see them.  I’ve always been very busty, so a lot of my body fat accumulated in my chest area.  Needless to say, finding them was super cool and I took a bunch of pictures.  Maybe I’ll upload some once they stick out more.

This whole losing weight thing, now that I’ve lost a pretty substantial amount (26 pounds!) feels like a treasure hunt – unbury and identify the body parts!  It’s a lot of fun, and that keeps me going just as much (if not more) than the number on the scale.  Speaking of…

I’ve Plateaued.

It finally happened.  I knew it would eventually.  I was doing so well.  With the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas, I have not gone over calorie a single time.  Mind you, holidays were a conscious decision.  As many of you know, I opted out of cheat days because I don’t believe you can cheat your diet.  You can only cheat yourself.  As a trade-off, I decided to allow myself whatever I desired on holidays and birthdays so long as I behaved every day for the entire month previously.  Extreme? Maybe.  But it works for me and I have iron discipline.  I don’t really recommend this to anyone since over-restriction can cause you to feel deprived and lead to binges.  Not the case for me, since I generally don’t enjoy eating much anyway, so it works.  But you do you, boo boo.

But yes.

Despite my dedication and constant use of the food scale, I’m still human and not exempt from the dreaded plateau.  My plateau began on December 7th, and since then, I’ve been stuck bouncing between the same 1.5 pounds.  It’ll pass eventually, and I’m doing all I can to facilitate weight loss.  I just have to wait for my body to stop throwing a tantrum and get its shit together.  That’s what I keep telling myself.

To combat the stress of the plateau, I’ve stopped weighing daily.  I only weigh in once (sometimes twice) a week now.  I’m hoping after Christmas my body will have the sudden realization that food is plentiful and we don’t need to shut down on losing weight, but we’ll see.  I’m patient.  I can wait.  Do your thing, man.  We’re gonna be putting on my tiny pants sooner or later whether you like it or not; you may as well make it more comfortable for the both of us.

Unrelated End Note:  I’m planning on posting some non-weight related content soon, so I’m sorry if that’s the only thing you’re here for.  Except I’m not.  I’m not sorry at all.  This is my brain dump.  Get out of my swamp.

Weigh-Ins: How Often is Too Often?

I see a lot of debate about how often you should be stepping on the scale.  Of course, I want to get in on that debate because, damn it, I want to be relevant.  The general consensus is that if you weigh yourself more than once a week, you’re going to be pushing yourself over the brink of insanity very quickly.

I recommend that people weigh themselves once a week, at the same time every week. Weighing yourself every day can have a negative impact on you. – Jillian Michaels


Every day is too much.  Even every few days is too much. – Ryan Walters, InBody


The argument is that “over-weighing” can lead to delusions in how successful you really are in your weight loss endeavors.  But here’s the thing:  we’re all dedicated to this.  If you’re weighing yourself, I’d like to make the assumption that you’ve at least done a tiny bit of research on basic biology or you wouldn’t be losing any weight at all.  Don’t we all know that our bodyweight fluctuates?  Aren’t we all familiar with water weight and retention and how we weigh the least in the morning?  Don’t we know that hormonal changes can cause our weight to bounce back and forth from day to day?  And muscle mass — what about that?  Haven’t we seen this all before?  This applies to new losers as well.  If you know enough to start losing weight, odds are you’ve seen all this information once or twice.  Why?  Because no one in the weight loss community  wants to see anyone else fail at their goals, so we mercilessly jam the unpleasant news down their throat in preparation.

You know your weight is going to change, so why let yourself get down from one day of fluctuation?

I am a firm believer of daily weigh-ins.  So sue me.  It works for me, and I think, done properly, it could work for at least 90% of people.  Weighing in daily allows you to be in control and keep track of the trend of your weight loss – which is what you should be paying attention to in the first place, far more than the numbers themselves.  Step back and look at your graph.  Ignoring the zig-zags, is it going down? Yes? Good. You’re losing weight.  Congratulations! Only if it is not going down should you maybe start thinking about revisiting your weight loss plan to assess what might not be working.

Why Weighing Daily is Great:

  • You get a better idea of the trend.
    • Sometimes I even weigh twice a day.  Once in the morning, and again at night.  This helps me see that even at my heaviest, I am so much lighter than I was when I began and allows me to become more comfortable with my weight not being a static number.
  • Weighing in once a week can give false information.
    • What if you’d really lost 3 pounds of fat, but the day you happened to weigh in was a day you were experiencing hormonal imbalances (ladies)?  What if the scale said that you had gained 5 pounds?  That sounds a hell of a lot more discouraging than being at a 3-pound loss one day and then going up 5 pounds.  You’d have to seriously be straining yourself to put on 5 pounds of fat that quickly.  Daily weigh-ins keep things in perspective.
  • It keeps you on track.
    • I don’t know about you, but I need constant reminders or I’m not going to get off my ass.  Seeing my weight every day tells me, “Hey go work out, jackass.  This isn’t amateur hour. Put that fucking donut down.”  Your internal voice is probably friendlier than mine.

Ultimately, do what works for you, but seriously…With the right mindset, daily weigh ins are the best.

 

TL;DR Section for You Nerds Who Want to Read a Blog Without Actually Reading a Blog:

  • Weighing yourself daily is the best option as long as you don’t approach it with the mindset that you’re going to lose every single day.  Anyone who says otherwise is wrong and is also a degenerate.
  • Seriously, just do it.  If you really need reasoning, just scroll up literally 2 inches.  I already put it in bullets for you.

What They Don’t Tell You About Weight Loss, #2 – You Smell Weird

Seriously, what even is that fucking smell?

About three weeks in, I started noticing my natural body odor had changed pretty drastically overnight.  I’m talking a complete 180°.  I’m talking one day I smelled like garlic, and now I smell like a homeless man dumped his life’s savings of 38 pennies into a puddle in the middle of a dead-of-summer rainstorm.

When I wasn’t trying to lose weight, I never really sweat that often.  I am fortunate enough to not be one of those overweight people who just constantly seem to be dumping salty buckets off their skin.  (My sincere condolences to those of you out there who do suffer from that issue.  I truly sympathize. )  On the rare occasion that I did get sweaty, it usually smelled kind of like garlic, onions, and maybe a mild swiss?  I think a lot of people describe their sweat as cheesy….

But, now?  I have a slight odor all the time.

All. The. Time.

I constantly smell like metal mixed with some almost-familiar-smelling mystery substance that I can’t put my finger on and I have no clue why.  It makes sense that my body would smell different; after all, my body’s composition is changing.  This was just never a side effect of the lifestyle change that anyone talked about — this came completely unexpectedly.

Like the reasonable-minded woman I am, I consulted the greatest doctor I know to find out why I smelled like a banker’s fleshlight:  Doctor Google.  Apparently, a lot of people experience body odor changes when losing weight.  Unfortunately, all the answers I found didn’t pertain to me.  The only suggestion out there was to drink more water.  I’m drinking a gallon a day, what more do you even want?  If I put any more water into my system than I already do, I’m going to need to carry around a bucket.  Otherwise, it’s probably nothing to worry about and is just an interesting – albeit disgusting – part of watching your body transform.  May as well embrace it.

TL;DR Section for you nerds who want to read a blog without actually reading a blog:

  • I smell like I use a coin-roll as a makeshift dildo.
  • That’s normal, I guess?
  • Drink your water.

 

Cheat Days Will Fuck Up Your Shit

The end of this week marks the one month anniversary of my relationship with weight loss, and I’ve decided to celebrate it in true “I’m 13 and this is my first relationship ever and every hour is a milestone” fashion with an update on my journey as well as offer my opinion on a part of weight loss I hear so much about — cheat days.

How My Journey is Going:

In my one month of weight loss, I have lost a total of about 9 pounds.  That’s NINE pounds.  That’s an entire gallon of milk off of my body.  Do you know how crazy that is?  Look at this!

screenshot_3
MyFitnessPal is an amazing resource with an even more amazing community.

This line is me.  As you’ll see, it was not a consistently downward streak — if you are just getting started on weight loss or are feeling discouraged, take a close look at that line.  It doesn’t just go in one direction.  Sometimes it goes up, sometimes it doesn’t move at all, and on extra special days, it goes down.  That’s when we celebrate.  Hell, today my weight even went back up a little.  It happens!  It happens and it’s completely normal and okay.  Remember that if you lost every day, you’d disappear.  You’re too wonderful for that.

My measurements have gone down, too!  That’s probably an even more amazing feeling than the number on the scale decreasing is.  If you aren’t already — start taking your fucking measurements!  They have saved my sanity on more days than one.

I have dropped one pant size.  I can now fit comfortably into a 22, and squeeze into a 20.  My 24s fall down every 30 seconds.  I will soon have to go on a thrift store adventure to cover my ass while the weight comes off.

screenshot_4
These are huge!

And now that I’ve shared my joy, onto what you really came here for…

Why Cheat Days Will NOT Be Fucking You Gently

When I was growing up, I always wanted to lose weight.  I wanted to be skinny and hot so shitty teenage boys whose pubes were still growing in would consider me an acceptable addition to their nightly-visited mental spank bank depository.  At my thinnest, I weighed 150 pounds, which is considered about 15-20 pounds overweight for someone my height; not quite obese, but a little out of shape.  Unfortunately, I am the spawn of a short woman who is the spawn of an even shorter woman.  We are very small people.  15 pounds is a lot on my 5’2″ frame.  15 pounds is the difference between me looking good naked and looking like a dilapidated and discarded Tupperware container of pink fleshy Jell-O, so I’m sure you can understand my 16-year-old self’s desperation to lose that 15 pounds as quickly as humanly possible.  I didn’t know a damn thing about nutrition, though.  I, like many others, assumed losing weight meant eating a steady diet of grilled chicken and steamed vegetables.  In other words, boring your taste buds into suicide.  So, how do you combat the perpetual agony of hating everything that goes into your mouth?  This question is what introduced me to the concept of a “cheat day”.

I discussed my plans for weight loss with a family friend — someone who had been dieting for as long as I could remember. (I wish I would have realized there was a reason they had never stopped dieting…)  She told me about the “cheat day” and how if you behaved yourself all week, you got to eat anything and everything you wanted on the last day because you fucking earned those three slices of cake.  Because you stayed under the rest of the week, apparently the Calorie Gods decided in your favor to ignore and void all cheat day calories.  That’s totally how it works!  Trust me.

And that’s what I did.

Fast forward a month, and despite paying my dues in the form of sacrificing my enjoyment of food (and life), I still ended up gaining weight.  Why?  Cheat days.

Why Are Cheat Days So Bad, Anyway?

  • All-or-nothing diets never work.
    • If you feel deprived, you’re going to be miserable.  If you’re miserable, you’re going to hate the process of losing weight.  If you hate the process, odds are, you’ll never make it to your destination.  You’re way more likely to give up on the way.
  • Deprivation leads to binging.
    • It’s a lot easier to stop after one cookie if you allow yourself to have them when you want them than it is to tell yourself no.  When you finally let yourself, your self-control is going to take a serious hit.  That “I’ll just have one” can easily turn into “I’ll just have the whole box”.
  • Weight loss should not be a punishment.
    • Losing weight should be fun and inspiring.  Don’t make yourself hate it by never letting yourself enjoy food.  Even if you do succeed in your weight loss, you probably won’t keep it off.  Do you really think you can continue hating your meals for the rest of your life?  Because I sure as hell couldn’t.
  • The forbidden fruit tastes the sweetest.
    • Knowing you’re not allowed to have something makes it all the more taboo, exciting, and desirable.
  • One day can negate a ton of progress.
    • You could have lost 1.5 pounds this week instead of the half pound you ended up losing  had you found ways to work in the junk food you want into your diet, rather than over-eating all of them on the final day of the week.

And most importantly…

Health is a lifestyle change.  Your goal weight is not the final destination.

This is a journey that never ends.  The happier you can become with your new choices, the more comfortable you will become with sticking to them.  Eventually, eating less will be easier.  The human body is absolutely incredible and can adapt to so much.  Give it time to grow and it will reward you.

Fall in love with the journey and not the destination.

 

What They Don’t Tell You About Weight Loss, Realization #1

Nobody gives a shit about your weight.

I’ve been heavy my whole life, so I’m very accustomed to the idea that everyone is constantly judging you quietly and the main thought at the forefront of their mind while talking to you is, “Damn, how long do I have to keep looking at this cow?”  While I’m sure that’s true for some, those likely aren’t the people you’re associating with regularly. If they are, please, ditch them for something more enjoyable.  You’re better than that.  

When I started losing weight one month ago, I was (okay, still am) very excited to proudly announce every pound less of me there was.  I’d tell my boyfriend, my mom, my grandparents, Twitter, Instagram, that cute old lady at the supermarket.  Fuck, I’d tell people I didn’t even know because to me, it was a huge deal.  Losing weight consumes the very center of your life and thoughts.  Every pound is a victory and deserves to be celebrated.  Unfortunately, you need to be happy with the idea of celebrating alone.

Don your party hat, bucko.  Toot toot.

The first couple pounds, my family was pretty supportive.  “Good job!” and a gradual slow in offering me sweets.  After about 5 pounds or so, their enthusiasm started to dwindle.  This morning, at 9 pounds, they honestly seemed like they couldn’t care less.  I guess that’s because they couldn’t.  My weight doesn’t affect them.  My health does not benefit or hinder their existence.  They probably aren’t thinking about how dedicated I am throughout the day.  It’s a sad truth, but people usually don’t care much about other people.  The only person who has to this day maintained a consistent amount of encouragement towards me is my partner, and I am extremely fortunate to have someone who engages in my feelings thoroughly.  When I struggle, he does too, and he has absolutely been my cheerleader through this journey thus far.  Sadly, I am an exception and not the norm.  Odds are, you probably won’t have the huge support system you were hoping for (and maybe expecting) when you began your journey.  It’s so important to be losing weight for yourself and not someone else because of this.  If you truly want something, you can be your own support system.

 

TD;DR Section for you nerds who want to read a blog without actually reading a blog:

  • Your friends and family don’t give a rats ass about your quinoa.
  • Be your own best friend, because no one else wants to.

Weight Loss: Week 1 Reflection

One week ago, (9/29/2016) I got on the scale and about shat my pants — which are beginning to get alarmingly tight, might I add.

262? Really?

Yeah. Really. No good. Not for me, with my super teeny 5-foot-2-inch frame. Not good for anyone, except maybe titan-sized body builders. I’m sure they could probably get away with it….

I remember being about 15, (I’m 20 now) sitting at about 185 pounds, losing my mind over the impending doom of that little one turning into a two. To me, in that moment, hitting 200 was the end of the world.  I even had some – less than serious – thoughts that if I hit 200, that was it.

Bang.

Dead.

Mid-teens me was absolutely terrified of pushing the barrier from “pretty chunky” to “fat as fuck”. There was nothing in the world that could possibly happen to me that would be worse than that. 185 isn’t healthy for someone of my stature by any means, but the weight that little one at the front of the scale reading is incredible. 199 feels so much smaller than 200. I ended up starving myself and surviving almost exclusively on diet green tea (because antioxidants and fad dieting!) and vegetables for two weeks (not to mention slamming the gym twice a day until I passed out) until I inevitably burned out from the totally unrealistic lifestyle I was trying to force myself into.

Fast forward to last year.  I knew I was at least 200 pounds, but I avoided going to the doctor like the plague because I was an adult and responsible for my own medical bills, so I didn’t know my exact weight. I noticed my clothes didn’t fit quite right, but I chalked it down to shrinkage. Shrinkage, right.  I was working a really shitty retail job that paid me in middle fingers, and started noticing tons of pain in my ankles. While I won’t divulge too deeply, as it’s a sob-story for another post, it ended up losing me my job (something I am not-so-secretly overjoyed about) and landed me in surgery.

Fun thing about surgery; you actually have to see a doctor. And do you know what doctors have? Scales. It was at this point I became aware of how much weight I had put on. I believe at the date of my surgery (July 15th, 2015), I was roughly 250. The funny thing is that it didn’t even phase me. I didn’t care.

The prior year had been spent cramming spiritual self-love mumbo-jumbo down my own throat.  It worked, which, in retrospect, is not such a bad thing. I was at a point where I had learned to dress for my size and flatter my shape, and learned to love myself regardless of how I looked. I got really into plus-size fashion, and debated starting a fashion blog; a plan, which, obviously, never came to fruition. I was happy with myself. I didn’t feel ashamed when I went outside with shorts, because fuck you, it’s 98 degrees and my comfort is more important than your disgust in seeing my cellulite.

I think it’s extremely important to be okay with yourself as a person before engaging in making any serious personal changes, weight loss or otherwise. It’s crucial to be able to take successes and failures gracefully and not let them ruin your drive for getting what you want. If you love yourself fat, you’ll still love yourself if you have slip ups — which you will have. For me, personally, trying to lose weight because I felt fat and ugly never worked out. When I thought I was fat and ugly, even if I lost weight, I still felt fat and ugly.  I became much less perceptive of changes, and focused solely on how intensely I could hate myself and punish my body for something I did to it. I did this, not my body. My stomach did nothing wrong, I failed to take care of it. Our bodies are innocent.

It has been one week since I began my official weight loss journey, and this week has been filled with joy and successes, compromises and slip-ups. Despite fucking up a time or two, I am pleased to say a few things:

  1. I logged my calories every single day without fail, and did not “cheat” or lie once.
  2. I remained under my limit by 100-300 calories each day.
  3. I burned 968 calories yesterday without trying — cleaning is your friend, let it count as exercise.
  4. And, most importantly, I weighed in at 259.0 pounds this morning; a three pound loss.

I began noticing yesterday that eating less has provided me with so much energy and life. Typically, I’m extremely lethargic from the time I wake up until I go to bed. The littlest things will exhaust me. Getting out of bed is a chore; I’ll wake up at 11:00 am and lay in bed for an hour before I feel awake enough to get up. As of four days ago, despite not changing the time I go to bed, I have woken up naturally with no alarm at 8:30-9:00 am and been fully energized upon waking. I have had the energy to clean my entire house top to bottom, and dance while doing so.

I have smiled more this week than I ever have before.