Jan 2016 VS April 2018
I have been wondering what to post recently as there are so many topics I want to discuss. This week I shall be looking at weight loss plateau as this is a topic I get asked about a lot.
There are many myths behind this scenario. But I want to talk about how I overcame these periods on my journey.
When I was in the throws of my weight loss, I obsessed over every little pound lost, so naturally, when I discovered this ‘Plateau’ business, it was very new to me. I tried cutting my calories from 1200 to 1000, and again to 600 when I continued to maintain instead of the loss I was experiencing every time I stepped on the scales. BIG MISTAKE! What was happening?! I wasn’t fueling myself enough and workouts became near on impossible. The only thing I could do at this stage was ‘Freak out’. I would get obsessed and make sure I was at the gym from the minute they opened so I could weigh myself before I had consumed even a drop of water for fear of it altering my weight. The scales would tell me that I hadn’t lost and sometimes they would tell me I had gained.
I had to shake myself out of this obsession that had crept into my life. I was so used to losing the pounds, that I just didn’t know what to do now that I was seemingly at a halt in my weight loss journey. After a strict talking to (with myself) and some friendly advice from friends in the PT field, I started to do my research.
I discovered that the reason for my apparent weight loss pause, was that I had little unnecessary body fat left, and was now gaining serious amounts of muscle. I was in a ‘state of Plateau’ I discovered. The scales weren’t moving, and I was losing my mind. I decided to ditch the scales. This was really hard to do but my focus had to change. I didn’t even realise that I was at a really healthy weight and didn’t need to lose any more. My BMI was finally within a healthy range and I was around 8 stone. I had to get my mind out of ‘weight loss mode’ and into ‘toning up and maintaining mode’
I started to up my workouts, and my calories. I discovered ‘good fats’. This was something that petrified me initially because when I was losing the weight, I tried to stay away from Fat but my body now needed it because I was burning anywhere between 2,500-4000 calories a day. In my weight loss days, If I skipped a meal I would give myself a pat on the back, now if I skip a meal, I’m on the floor with no energy, begging for the strength to workout. I re-introduced carbs – another scare factor for me. I upped my protein intake and even started to have the odd protein shake on big workout days. I stopped counting calories, I needed more than I had ever needed so I decided I didn’t need to count them like I had done when I was losing.
I now structure my weekly food intake on a Sunday. I meal prep for every single day of the week so I always have my food ready to go. These days I struggle to eat all the calories I need to be able to workout as much as I do. I honestly never thought I would see the day that sentence would leave my lips (or in this case – finger tips) but what I have discovered is that my weight loss journey is over. I did it. I lost 10 stone! Thats 140 pounds, 63.5kg. However you want to look at it – thats a lot of weight. The new journey is maintenance and continued toning.
I guess that this Plateau period really taught me a lot! If i’m honest, I was probably on the verge of an eating disorder and I didn’t even know it. I was so consumed with losing weight that even at 8 stone I thought I needed to lose more, simply because I was used to getting on the scales and seeing a loss every time. This dreaded Plateau situation actually made me realise I needed to take a step back and re-evaluate everything. It was the best thing I ever did. I now don’t touch the scales, I go by how I feel in my clothes, I also take comparison pictures so I can see my progress in a different way. I don’t calorie count, If I’m hungry, I eat. If i’m not – I don’t. If I fancy a biscuit – god damn it, I eat one without beating myself up. I burn a lot of calories so I can and need to eat a lot of calories. Life is so much better now I’m not obsessing over the scales. I feel the best I have ever felt, and my loose skin is drastically shrinking. I love the definition I am getting thanks to my workout and food routine now.
I have definitely had to make my own mistakes to be able to learn from them on this journey. Its amazing. Im still learning as I go, but its the best thing I have ever done! If you have any direct questions feel free to ask me anything! Thanks again for tuning in. Im off for a run – Peace out and have a positive day xx