L is for Losing Weight
I got a great email from a reader wondering about my weight loss. Here is her question:
“some of the 7-12 day periods, you lost a lot more than others… like those weeks what I pasted below:
if you would, plz shed some light on how the weight loss nubmers got to be so big these weeks… (great!). for example, were you on some liquid fasts these weeks, or like soups and prot. shakes only? “
First, no I did not fast. I’ve never done liquid fasts, starvation or crash diets, or only consumed protein shakes. That may work for some people but it wasn’t for me. I needed a lifestyle change, not a quick-fix diet. But the rate of my weight loss in the beginning of my journey is a good topic to discuss!
Whenever someone starts a new program to lose weight there’s going to be some immediate weight loss–sometimes a significant amount. This could be a mixture of water weight being lost and simply shocking the body.
When I weighed over 250 pounds, I was probably consuming at least 5,000 calories a day. Going from the eating free-for-all I was having to counting my calories and eating less than 2,000 calories a day is a pretty drastic change. The body isn’t meant to carry 100 pounds of excess weight. A drastic change is going to shed the pounds fast. My body dropped over 10 pounds in that first month.
Seeing 10 pounds lost in the first month was drastic for me. It also motivated me to keep doing what I was doing! It can be very frustrating to go through the motions and not see weight loss so I was ecstatic.
When I was losing my weight I recorded my weigh-ins on an Excel Spreadsheet on my computer. It was simple and basic with no additional notes–just the numbers. You can see it here.
As you can see, there was a big loss in the beginning and then it started to slow down. I was averaging between 3-6 pounds at a time. Sometimes I didn’t record my weight each week because I was stuck in a plateau and not losing. I decided to only record when there was a loss. Getting too wrapped up in the numbers wasn’t my goal.
Once I got into the 180′s and 170′s the weight loss slowed A LOT. Often times a month would go by with only 1 pound lost. It was frustrating and I didn’t really know how to change that. I just kept doing what I was doing because losing 1 pound was better than gaining. (Now I know that I should have been weight lifting all that time. Lesson learned.)
I think the rate of weight loss is going to be different for each person. There’s no tricks or quick tips to make that happen faster. I know that plateaus are frustrating, I’ve been stuck in them so many times, but sticking with the program and staying committed is what helps!
I’m happy with how I lost my weight. Sure it was “the hard way” and it took a long time (almost 2 years) to lose it but I don’t regret working hard for it. I learned a lot about myself in those two years and it changed how I look at things and how I look at myself. A life changing journey is going to be hard, sometimes painful, but it’s worth it!
QUESTION: If you’ve lost a significant amount of weight, how long did it take you? How many plateaus did you go through?