Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Conquering the plateau

I'm not loving my scales at the moment.  I'm on a plateau.  From previous posts you'll all know that I'm not a plateau girl - I like the challenge of climbing a mountain, not standing around on the flat!  My weight actually went up by 0.7 pounds since last week and I'm struggling to understand how this could happen.  I mentioned in a previous post that I really struggle drinking enough water, so understand this could play a part in the weight not coming off.  I have now been making a conscious effort to drink more water each day and hope I can stick to it.

Another possible factor recently is my serious addiction to Pimm's and Lemonade.  This is my summer drink of choice and I would go so far as to say that I'm a Pimmsaholic.  It's about 85 calories for a glass - ish and lately I've been having one a day.  The biggest problem with this, aside from the alcohol content, is the sugar in the lemonade.

In England 'lemonade' is like Sprite or 7UP - it's a carbonated drink and is quite often used as a mixer.  Our summer had thus far been such a wash out with loads and loads of rain that I hadn't been craving Pimms until a couple of weeks ago when I had a party and bought two big bottles of the stuff.  Of course I used a smidgen at the party and am now left with the remainder in my house, calling my name every night!

So, here are two obvious factors for my weight not shifting.  The other possible problem could be that I'm not consuming enough calories.  I seriously struggle with this because my brain automatically flips out when I even think of eating more than 1500 calories a day "Are you crazy?  You'll gain weight!"  Even though my actual caloric needs for weight loss are 1623 per day!  Somehow I just can't get my head around eating more to weigh less!  Having said that, I struggled with a plateau in May and when I increased my calorie consumption, sure enough the weight started to drop again.

I suppose it's even more difficult because when I started losing weight back in January, I put myself on a very strict 1200 calorie per day limit.  So now, of course, anything higher than 1200, seems like I'm overeating!  In retrospect, I would definitely not recommend starting off with such a low calorie intake because moving forward from that - as I'm discovering - is exceedingly hard!

The final factor which may be playing a part in the scales not budging is my exercise.  Aside from my 5k training programme, which consists of 3 sessions per week, I've not truly been pushing myself as I should with exercise.  I've been for a few lunchtime walks and done a few sessions of 30 minute aerobic DVD's at home - but nothing that is pushing me to the limit.  Ultimately, if I want to see drastic results, I need to make drastic changes!

On Sunday night I decided to try another Jillian Michael's DVD called Shred it with Weights.  I bought this because I was intrigued by kettlebells and I wanted a workout that incorporated some weight training.  When I did the workout on Sunday, all I had was a dumbbell (which Jillian says is fine), however at the end I didn't feel as if I'd had a really good workout.  So, on Monday night I borrowed a friend's 5kg kettlebell and tried it again - flip what a difference!  By the end of the 30 minutes I was seriously sweating like a pig and felt as if I had really pushed myself, so I would definitely say that this workout definitely needs a proper kettlebell to be effective.

I suppose that workout has taught me that it's very easy to fall into a pattern.  If I want to prompt my body to change, I'm going to have to keep it guessing about what is coming next - so I think the key to this is to make sure I'm doing a variety of activities.  I need to mix-up my workouts.  A bit of kettlebells, a bit of running, maybe a bit of swimming if I can summon the courage to put on a swimsuit!  I need to increase and vary my calories to keep my metabolism guessing.  And I need to watch that I'm not consuming too many 'dead' calories in things like alcoholic drinks!

I found this on Pinterest, and need to keep reminding myself that it's true!  Let's hope that changing things up a bit will give a better weigh in next Monday :-)


  1. I'm on the same path as you and pretty stuck right now. However, I am trying to remind myself that even if it isn't showing physically I am learning to make smarter food and exercise decisions and it is better for me overall.
    Good luck!

  2. P.S.- You have been tagged in my blog.
    Do not feel obligated to do it, but I thought it was fun.