Friday, May 15, 2009

By the Numbers

You have probably seen my weight loss ticker in my right sidebar, and if you have been paying it ANY attention lately, you know that it has not moved in almost 3 weeks. I'm stuck, and I am confused! I have been eating less and exercising more, and nothing seems to be changing. Yes, I know, it is not all about the number on the scale. But the number on my tape measure hasn't changed lately either.

I did abandon my diet completely the first weekend of May for my birthday. And I relaxed my rules a bit while my parents were here visiting. But, all in all, I stuck to my guns. There was even one night while they were here that I cooked ribs and mashed potatoes for everyone, but I ate an egg white omelette, strawberries and yogurt!

I'm not trying to become toothpick thin. I would just like to lose about 10 more pounds. And I would like to lose the flab from my arms, belly and thighs. I want to look toned.

So, I'm doing the unthinkable. I'm going to give you ALL of my stats (GASP!) in the hope that someone out there in blog land can tell me what the heck I am doing wrong. I'll take advice from anyone and everyone. But if you or someone you know happens to be a nutritionist or personal trainer, please pass my numbers along to them as well! Maybe one of the gals over at BookieBoo can give me some advice...

Here we go:

I am a 33 year old female. I'm 5'7" tall. I've had one child. I currently (and for the last 3 weeks) weigh 144 pounds. I had gained up to 160, and lost the first 15 pounds very easily. I usually eat between 1200-1500 calories a day or between 18 - 20 Weight Watchers points. On average, I run about 12 miles a week (4 times a week at 2.5 to 4 miles each time).

Here's a breakdown of my past 5 days to put it all into perspective for you:

Sunday - 1360 Calories, 24.8 Fat Grams, 21 WW Points - Ran 4.2 miles outside & did 30 minute cardio DVD
Monday - 1320 Calories, 18.2 Fat Grams, 19 WW Points - No exercise
Tuesday - 1000 Calories, 9.1 Fat Grams, 15 WW Points - Ran 3 miles on treadmill
Wednesday - 1015 Calories, 20.5 Fat Grams, 17 WW Points - Ran 3.5 miles on treadmill
Thursday - 1145 Calories, 12.3 Fat Grams, 16 WW Points - Ran 2.5 miles outside

So there you have it. I'm eating healthy and I'm exercising. I drink at least 72 ounces of water a day (sometimes flavored with Crystal Light) What else can I do? HELP!

While I'm asking for advice, what are your recommendations for workout videos. I've been dying to try the 30 day Shred, but I can't find it in stores anywhere. For all the time I've spent looking in stores, I could have ordered it online and had it delivered twice by now!

Also, I'm not really doing much in the way of strength training right now. Unless you consider the occasional workout of walking a couple of miles with 5 pounds weights in each hand to be strength training. In my mind, I figured I needed to lose the weight before I tried to build the muscle. Is this wrong? And to that end, who can answer the age old debate for me... cardio then strength in a workout, or strength then cardio?

So there you have it folks? Who has all the magic answers for me?!


Kameron said...

It's all about the weights. The only way you will get that toned look is by doing strength training. I for one don't like doing weights, I'd prefer to run., but the more lean muscle you have, the more fat you burn.

jenn said...

the more 'lean' muscle you have the more of your fat you will burn....and you will burn more through out the day!!!

make sure you aren't taking in too much sodium and retaining water!!

best of luck!

E @ Scottsville said...

Okay, no advice from me.... cuz I'm dumb in this department.

BUT words of encouragement and support! Hang in there, Kiddo!!!

Hope other commentors can help.

Loukia said...

It sounds like you are doing everything right... even keeping within your WW points... which I find incredibly hard and always fail at!

I'm no exercise pro, but the people who left comments before me seem to know what they are talking about!

Good Luck... also - you are at a very great weight. I wouldn't even worry about losing any more weight! You look great!

Wahkonamama said...

Strength, strength, strength. You will not tone via cardio alone... and when you start strength training, give yourself a few more calories - especially protein. Those muscles will burn more than the muscles you already have...

I am no where near in shape right now, but when I WAS, I was following a modified version of Body for Life (Google it and you'll get the info for free off the BFL website). I build muscle faster than the average person, but I saw major results with BFL!

(PS: 30 Day Shred is awesome! Order that baby online!)

Bevy said...

I lost about 15# last summer and am flatlined - but holding steady and I'm really in the same dept. as you.
I have cut out so many things it's amazing there's anything left to eat.
I would look at your carbs - specifically sugar and white flour, high corn fructose? as those just pack it on. Also, any little things you nibble on thru the day - make sure those don't get out of hand - and you do that moderately if not minimally. :)
I do 'Sit and be Fit" - but I'm 53 and I am 5'6" and 172.8 this morning. I've been struggling with 180# - so this is MUCH better - but I'd like to get to 150 in the next couple years. That means I need to LOSE weight in the summer- I think that's the best time to lose it.
I gained 50# with each pregnancy when I was 24 and 26 and lost till about 145# and I have held it at 130# for a 2 year period. :)
I have made a lifestyle change - that's the only thing that's worked for me.
God bless you and keep on keeping on and tweak this where you can.

Coach Jenn said...

OK, had a chance to review your stats. I am concerned that you are NOT eating enough. Your stats show days when you are only eating about 1000 cals.

Most importantly we need to better understand WHAT you are eating. If those 1000 calories are in processed foods (ie lean cuisines and 100 calorie cookie packs, etc) You are not getting enough nutrients and starving yourself for nothing.

I would suggest what I always do...STOP counting calories and start eating as cleanly as possible. Whole grains, leans proteins, fresh fruits/veggies, good fats. Limit dairy and cut out refined sugar and processed flour.

Also, if running is your only exercise for the most part I would also guess its your favorite. Your body has probably gotten used to it and is no longer showing you results. You needs to keep your body guessing!!! Switch up your routine. Add some different cardio, weights, etc.

You would be a great canditate for ChaLEAN Extreme for example.

bookieboo said...

Coach Jenn hit the nail on the head.

I've lost over 100 lbs. and have hit plateaus like this several times. What I had to do was stop exercising for one week (I know sounds crazy, huh?) and give my body a rest. I watched my weight watcher points carefully this week so I didn't over due it. Then I started a completely different workout. For you, I would stop the running all together and do ChaLean Extreme. I'm doing that program right now and am in the 3rd month and have already lost about 16 lbs. It's weight lifting for women and it's real fun...not boring like you would think strength training would be. The program is 90 days and you will have to purchase your own weights or bands. I prefer the weights...the bands are too hard for me. I have a range from 3 lbs. (which I never use) to 20 lbs. (which I use every time). But to start you will only need 3lbs, 5lbs., 8lbs. and 10lbs. I'm actually considering purchasing 25 lbs. weights, but they don't sell them at Target. But I'm already pretty strong, so you might not have to go that high.

The other thing I wanted to say, is you might want to consider giving yourself a high calorie day. I've done that for awhile, they do it on the Biggest Loser, and it is really effective. Sometimes when we restrict our calorie intake with weight watchers and don't take advantage of those extra 35 points, we can really screw up our metabolism. So take one day and eat an extra 500 calories or more. I know that sounds scary, but what you are doing is telling your body there is NO famine and it doesn't have to shut your metabolism down to store fat for the winter. If you decide to do the ChaLean Extreme, those extra calories will be burnt off in your sleep.

Oh, and if you decide to do something like that, you will get very very hungry all the time because you will be building muscle and your metabolism will be skyrocketing. Trust me! Focus on eating more eggs, some protein powder, lean meats, and milk. You are going to need it to stay satisfied. And you will need to eat food that is wholesome like what Coach Jen said. Those 100 calorie packs aren't going to cut it! But I wouldn't stop counting weight watcher points. I'd be cognizant of it.

I got my stuff from Coach Jen, so you can email her about it if you want.

I'm always here to help! Good luck and let me know how it goes!

Oh, one last thing, you can do a guest blog on teh site and I'll feature it for you if you want more advice and attention.

Ashley said...

I'm no expert but I was totally gonna say what Coach Jenn said... maybe you aren't eating enough. When I was going to Weight Watchers meetings (I went for over 2 years) they always pointed out that you have to be sure to eat enough and take advantage of the extra weekly points.

Good luck... I'm in the same boat as you... totally plateauing but I don't get as much exercise so..

Kathy B! said...

I'm enjoying reading through your comments... I basically exist on 1100 calories a day to maintain my weight (39... 4 kids... I'm a bit different than you). It sucks.

I'm going to reconsider strength training.

darnold23 said...

Everything I was going to say was already said by Coach Jenn. While I am not an example of svelte myself, I have been around long enough to know that what she says works. Good luck

darnold23 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miller Racing Family said...

So I can't give much advice in this department as I have been working out and haven't lost alot of weight, lately. I did do the 30 day shred and I did tone up but I didn't lose weight. I ordered the video but with mail taking longer to get to you I don't know if that would be the best bet. I have seen it at Wal-Mart.
Sorry I am not much help but keep up the good work.

momstheword said...

Yeah, it sounds like you're at a plateau. Also, sometimes your body holds onto body weight and refuses to budge if it thinks you're "starving."

There is a great blog here:

She is a professinal fitness pro, or something like that. Anyway, ask her your questions and she will help you. She is great that way and you'll love her blog I think!

I think it's funny that you almost used the same header that I did (the "Lucy" like retro-redhead). However, I think your header is adorable and really fits with your blog name.

I just popped over from the Five Moms to thank you for visiting our new blog today!

Eyeglasses & Endzones said...

Dr Mommy...Hi...I am doing Jillian Micheals Making the Cut. I am on day 27 of the 30 program. I Highly recommend that you try it. She discusses HOW you metabolize and then gives you Weight Circuts. As much as I used to be a cardio nut, I have lost 3 inches in my waist 2 on each thigh and 2 in each arm. Now mind you the scale has not moved much...but I am a BRICK...not in my baby belly because that is where I have all my extra pounds but the rest of me is fighting weight.

It stinks to be in a rut but is NOT about the scale its about how you fit into clothing and your personal feeling...AWESOME job on what you are doing!!!

Thanks for stopping by the Mom Blog and leaving a comment...we are excited to get going!!!

Tiff said...

I agree with Coach Jenn. Make sure you are eating enough and eating a cood BREAKFAST. Get your metabolism going early in the day. Eat protien and good carbs, I would quit counting calories and just read labels and eat good-for-you food.

Do you have Comcast? I don't know about Canada, but we have OnDemand and on Excercise TV there are workout programs that I like to sit and watch. But I have learned that sitting and watching doesn't burn any calories. Strange.

LeAnne said...

WOW...what awesome feedback from your readers, Tiffany! Sorry, i can't help you...if i could, i wouldn't be holding on to my own extra 20:) i'm hoping to get back to running and working out daily once we're all settled. keep up the good work and keep us posted. but just look great!!

ben and erin said...

well my first reaction when i read your post was "EAT MORE!" but you've already been told that! speaking from personal experience, though, i have lost 30 pounds in the last 4 months. there was 2 or 3 weeks that i wasn't losing ANYTHING and i kept track of all my calories and it was about 800-1200 a day. well i found out that when you don't get enough calories your body goes thinks you're starving. so your body goes into "starvation mode" and it stores your calories as fat so that it can live off of that for longer. make sense? so after my RUT, i kicked my calories up and bam i'm lost about 4 pounds the next week.
this website helped me to figure out how many calories i need a day... hope it can help you.

and it's true, when you are eating the right things you don't need to track those calories as closely.

and you need to find a balance, too. when you get to your goal weight are you gonna keep eating egg whites when everyone else is having ribs? i'd say go ahead and still eat regular stuff in moderation. otherwise your body will get so used to not eating meat that when you have some your body will spaz out again and tack on a few pounds! :-)

good luck... and good job asking for help! i know that must have been hard!

Semi-Slacker Mom said...

I take Wellbutrin. It keeps me sane & skinny! And you read my post, so you know I need it!Seriously, one of the side effects is weight loss.

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

I can't say much on this, because, well, I am not healthy enough myself to do so. But~ I am thinking of you!

Ace said...

Maybe you're just at your healthy weight? I know, not something I'd want to hear either.

Order 30 day shred from amazon. Cheap and fast!

E @ Scottsville said...

Hey Tiffany!!! So glad you came and visited the new "Five Moms and a Blog" site. It should be a fun new adventure... at least we hope! =0)

Have a great Monday!


leslie ruth said...

My mom was a Weight Watchers instructor and we were just discussing plateaus and what to do about them. Her advice? Go eat a seriously greasy cheeseburger. No, really! Your metabolism might need to a little shock to get going again. Hey, at least it's a pleasant technique :)

Momisodes said...

Wow. We are very similar in statistics. I am very curious, just as you are, so I'm reading what your knowledgeable readers are saying here :)
Hope you find a solution and start to shed some more pounds!

Brooke said...

I love reading everyone's suggestions. I fell off my WW bandwagon last month and need to get back on (I feel so much better when I follow the plan, yet I hate to not have the genes to be able to eater whatever I want). I also only run, and I have noticed it is no longer helping me much. I'm off to check out bookieboo and ChaLean extreme....let me know if you try the later out.

chloe's clan said...

So, I haven't read what other's have commented but I do want to throw in a suggestion. Do the weight training! Muscle burns more calories! Plus you said you wanted the toned look. I bet with a change to your routine you will stop the plateau. You need cardio but you also need strength training. You can only go so far with just one. I LOVE Windsor pilates for strength training. Did me wonders! Anyhow, I wanted to thank you for your comment about Hannah. If you ever want to talk about the eating thing about our babies, then email me. redstonius @ hotmail . com

Anonymous said...

You may not be eating enough. screw WW :). Boxed foods have too much sodium. When you don't eat enough, your metabolism WILL slow down, and you will lose energy and motivation FAST. Don't quit running, and don't do gimmicky girlie workouts. Try CrossFit (you're still competitive right); it's really quick and it builds muscle. At the grocery store, try to stay away from the center, buy from the perimeter where fresh foods are. When eating carbs, be sure they are whole grains and fruit. Absolutely no fructose or corn syrup stuff. Don't expect to lose more than one lb a week if you want it to lose weight permanently. One more thing, when you do eat carbs, make sure it is centered around your workout times so it will be quickly processed and not get converted and stored as fat. Oh yeah, don't eat past 1900 hours. Keep at it! -dave, email me if you need more :)

Sherrie said...

Looks like you got some great tips, and my hubby (who has studied fitness and nutrition) would agree with it. Also, be sure to eat within 30 minutes after your workout. It's important for your body so that it can repair and do it's job. Also, be sure that meal is high in protein as well. We typically have a protein drink after our work outs. I really like the Cinnamon Roll by Lean Dessert. It tastes really good (unlike MOST protein drinks). The change of routine sounds good, too. I've always heard to eat "bad" foods in order to kick start your body again. So, good luck and hang in there.

Bevy said...

Hey - I STOLE your weight sticker - gr8 idea!

Kelly said...

Everyone has great advice, I would also suggest eating more and doing more weights. I`m also trying to tone up. I`m not focusing on my diet and i hope I don`t have to. I am doing a pilates type dvd and a 5 days ab video. They`re both very hard for me to do since i have very little ab strength but I`m determined to be toned for summer.