Like many of you, I have always always always struggled with weight. And for a majority of my life, I have just always been obese/overweight up until recently. It took me almost 3 years to lose almost 50 lbs. Went from 188-136 at a height of 5'3''. I've been so fortunate to be able to keep most of it off. Up until recently :(.
I was away for 3 months this summer working at a daycare, and so not being home, I seldom weighed myself. But I'm pretty sure I stayed a consistent 136 throughout the summer. But then I come home after those 3 months, wait a week or two and come to find that I am 141 lbs.
I just feel so discouraged. I've been working out almost 3 or 4 times a week. Hardcore Zumba fitness classes and Ujam classes (hip hop cardio), burning over 400 calories per session and I hike on weekends when I get the chance, but it seems I am only gaining weight. Everyone says that it's because I am gaining muscle. I will admit that my body does seem a lot more leaner than it did before and my stomach feels flatter. But if you're gaining muscle, aren't your clothes supposed to fit looser? Mine fit tighter :(. Gaining these extra 6-7 lbs also put me back in the overweight bmi category, as well and I know they don't take muscle mass into consideration too much but it still feels discouraging to look at the numbers, you know?
I don't know what to do or feel, all I know is that it's stressing me out because with any weight gained, it scares me that I may fall back onto that path of obesity I was on years ago. I just want to be able to lose weight and be healthy and be happy.
Any tips, suggestions, wise words or anything of a sort that you feel would help?
Feeling so confused and discouraged,
Oh, sweetheart. Let me start by saying HUGE kudos for all the hard work, and all your success!
First off. 136-141 is just five pounds. I can gain that much having a shower. I can fluctuate that much depending on what time of the month it is. I can even gain five pounds between morning and evening in water and food in my stomach. So deep breath - it's not bad.
You aren't on track to head back to obesity. You're cognizant of your eating and exercise habits, and that won't allow you to backslide. Keep an eye on your sodium intake, and if this continues, you might consider cutting back on calories A BIT. But I'd wait for at least ten pounds of gain before you start to get concerned.
And if you're gaining muscle, your clothes will get looser, but only to a point. Eventually the muscle does start to fill out your clothes a bit. Nothing wrong with that! The arms of my shirts have started to get snug again lately, because I finally have biceps to put in them :)
For what it's worth, I'm your height and you're currently 4lbs lighter than my weight goal. (Screw bmi. After a point, it just isn't accurate.)
I'm also noticing some of my pants are fitting a bit tighter since I started working out. Part of me wonders if the muscle I'm forming is making the fat pooch out a bit more. If that's the case, it's going to even out when I'm done burning it off. Maybe the same for you?
Taking the freak-out over what the scale says out of the equation, how do you feel and think you look before you see the number on the scale? I firmly believe that if you feel good and don't burst into tears when you catch sight of yourself in the mirror, a couple of pounds on the scale isn't the end of the world.
And I totally agree with vbeattie. You're not heading back to ObesityTown. Sounds like you've got a good, healthy routine going in your life. If you were typing your post in between stuffing your face with potato chips and bon-bons and not sure why your clothes didn't fit, okay, THAT would be what it looks like to head back. ;)
Do you have access to Body Composition Testing? This can be offered by a gym, health fairs, even some doctors. I agree with the others this isn't a huge setback but it would be a shame if your workouts are benefiting you and you didn't know! If you want to know your body fat percentage asap, try this calculator: http://www.lockonfitness.com/BodyComp.aspx
Keep up the good work!
For one you cannot possibly stay the same weight every day (maybe even less likely as a woman) - so you accept that some fluctuation is normal.
It's probably a good idea to keep track of the calories and weight again - which should be a constant anyway. If it looks like some of the 5-6 lbs is not just a temporary fluctuation, then switch to a small deficit of 300-500 cal and you'll be back in one or two weeks.
Last but not least - Congratulations to your 3 year / 50 lbs success story!
Yes, I suppose when I look at it in the long run, 5 lbs isn't really that much. I guess I just get discouraged when my clothes start to fit my tightly again. I know this time, it's for better reasons, but I just get flashbacks of the past of when I would try on clothes and feel so ugly and bad about myself because nothing would ever fit me :(. I've got to try and dissociate those two because I know it's a different case this time. Thank you so much for your words, I'm glad I rejoined this site - there's always such a great support group on here!
I know, the bmi makes me go crazy!! I must try to not pay so much attention to it! I'm relieved to know that I'm not the only one whose clothes are fitting tighter. I guess I'm just so used to those informercials guaranteeing that your clothes will fit looser if you workout (and do their video ;) ).
I do feel better about my body lately. It seems a lot more leaner - less back fat and a flatter tummy to be precise. I'm beginning to see more definition in my abs. I think, like I said to vbeattie, is that I get discouraged when my clothes fit tightly. Not only does it make me feel like I've gotten fatter, but it's also just completely unflattering to see that muffin top.
Anywhoo, thank you to you as well for your words! Good luck with your future endeavors and this weightloss adventure!
I've never taken one before but I feel like it would prove to be a real great investment. I'll definitely have to look into that and hopefully it'll be able to help me out even more! Thank you!
Ahh yes, I know, no biggie, I must remember! Haha. Unfortunately, this weight gain has been pretty consistent so I'm afraid it's here to stay (until I try to lose it again!).
And thank you so much! I know 50 lbs in 3 years is a long time... people seem to be able to do it so much faster and I am quite envious of it! But I'm just happy that I am where I am today.