I am learning so much. It's true! I am learning about how to eat, why it's so important to eat right, the adverse affects of sugar and most of all......I am learning about myself and my body. It is a lot to learn in just a little over a month, but hopefully I will keep all that I am learning in mind as I continue to move forward.
One thing I have learned is that two people can follow the exact same plan and same menu and at the end of a week, can lose or not lose weight differently. I have seen lots of Mama's upset on the THM Facebook pages because they followed someone elses menus (who maybe dropped 3-5 lbs that week) but they either lost only a few 10ths of a pound, didn't move on the scale at all or even gained a bit. I know it is frustrating and it makes you crazy, but there are reasons for this.
Each of us is an individual and each of us loses individually....or differently. If you have 100-200 lbs to lose, those first weeks if you stick to plan, you are going to lose much faster than someone with say 20-50 lbs to lose. However, the more weight you lose and the farther along in weight loss you are, often times those pounds become more difficult to take off. You may have lost steadily for 3-4 months and then suddenly, your body plateaus and getting that scale to move is nearly impossible. That is why our Non-scale Victories (NSV's) are so important. They help us to focus on more than the numbers.
Sometimes when we add exercise into the mix, especially muscle building exercise such as weights, the scales will stall out or even go up a bit, even if we have not deviated from plan at all. While this is frustrating to see, the reality is that it is a good thing. It means that your body fat is being replaced by muscle and the more muscle you have the faster your metabolism is. This is why exercise is crucial to a healthy lifestyle.
So if you know you are doing it right, but your scales don't seem to be agreeing, don't fall apart, freak out or give up. Maybe it is time to change it up a bit. Add more aerobic (fat burning) exercise, or maybe you need to add a few extra E meals or throw in some extra FP's just to shake things up a bit. Your body really is improving. I promise.
As for my body.....I just finished up week 5 of the Spring Fling Challenge. I have one week and four day's left. This last week has been a bit rough for me. There have been a few stressors, it has been really hot and....well....in the past that would have been enough to "cut myself some slack" and let myself binge. I did not. I did have a few emotional hunger issues which I either relieved by eating a bit more at a meal or a couple of times I didn't wait the whole 3 hours before eating my next meal/snack for fear I would really eat something bad. Other than that though, I never went off plan. Still, I felt really bad about myself all week. This stressed me. I kept looking in the mirror looking for a difference and I couldn't see anything. In fact, I worried that this would be the week that the scales would turn on me completely and I would have failed myself.
Finally, after giving myself about a day to worry, feel sorry for myself and contemplate throwing it all in for a cheesecake and some fries, I kicked my own tail and gave myself some straight talk. So what if the scales said I gained. What was the worst thing that would happen? I couldn't have gained much because I have stayed on plan. So what is a pound or two? I am still way ahead of where I started and I needed to remind myself that I was in this for the long haul. It was then and there that I realized I was obsessing and that the scale was my guide and nothing more. I refused to allow it to become my obsession. From there I decided that the scales be damned, I wasn't going to quit and I wasn't going to go off plan, but I was going to start eating my way through the THM Cookbook.
Each day I began trying something new from the cookbook and my obsession about the scales quickly turned to excitement over what I was going to fix next. I tried pancakes, syrup and ketchup. I have done the meatloaf and tacos and my all time favorite.....the cinnamon roll in a mug. When you eat like that you fill that void or need for comfort food which helps a little with my anxiety and stress (at least for me it does). The great thing is, afterwards.....I don't have to feel an ounce of guilt or remorse. It is win/win!
Another issue I had this last week was exercise. Not once did I take a walk, but I did get a nice NSV in by proving to myself that I could still last for a while on the elliptical. It was only 15 minutes, but then again....it WAS 15 minutes. After that though, other than house work and my daily activity, there was no exercise. This worried me too as I was eating VERY well with almost zero exercise. Yeah, last night rolled around and I was kind of dreading today. Still, before I went to bed, I made peace with whatever was going to show up on the scales this morning.
When the moment of truth hit, I was ready. Regardless of what that number read, I was still moving forward, sticking to plan and happy knowing that I refused to quit, give up or walk away. So as the mental drum roll began, I closed my eyes, held my breath and then just peeked one eye open. It was a loss! It wasn't a huge loss, but it was a loss and I was beyond happy. Yay me!
So I am embarking on my last full week of the challenge. I plan on continuing to work my way through the cookbook and hopefully this week, I will add a bit more exercise. I have a lot more weight to go and I can tell you that the end of this challenge will definitely not be the end of my time on THM. We are way past the habit stage of things and it is now how I choose to live my life from here on out.
Oh....and Happy Father's Day to all you dad's out there! :)