Try, Try Again (Weigh-in)

So, evidently, despite the fact that my diet for the past week has been approximately 83% chocolate-coated, I had a pretty good weigh-in this morning! With all the Hurricane Sandy stuff (we were very lucky and were basically unscathed — didn’t even lose power! — but my work was closed for two days. I hope you’re doing okay if you were affected by the storm!), I kind of forgot that yesterday was Wednesday. Thus, I forgot to weigh in. Forgetting the day also means I will have an overflowing trashcan very shortly (Wednesdays are our trash pickup days, oops).

Anyway, let’s get straight to it, shall we?

Starting Weight: 246 lbs
Last Weigh-in: 199.1 lbs
This Weigh-in: 198.0 lbs
Difference: -1.1 lbs

Woot, another loss and another pound down! To be honest, the slow-going nature of my weight loss this time around is definitely not always sunshine and rainbows. Don’t get me wrong, it’s certainly more encouraging than the constant up-down-up-down yo-yoing I was doing before my summer weight (re)gain, but now that I’m actually only weighing in every two weeks, we’re really only looking at an average of like, half a pound per week. Which is progress, for sure, but it is SLOW progress. And sometimes, slow progress can be less motivating than no progress at all.

Feel like that’s backwards logic? Well, it is. But lemme ‘splain. See, on those weeks when I stagnate, or when I gain a little back, it’s extra motivating for me to try even harder for my next weigh-in. I tell myself that next time will be better, I’ll get it “right” next time. And then, usually, barring multiple birthday celebrations, or a really bad week at work, or any of the other 19823750382 excuses that I have ready and waiting at all times, I do. And then I’ll experience some miraculous 4-pound loss or something, feel triumphant, and have the juice to keep going! But when my weight loss comes off in these achingly slow, incremental bits, it’s more like “Yayyyy, another loss… well, guess I’ll just keep on truckin’…” which isn’t a bad mentality, it’s just not a particularly exciting one. Especially given how I’m used to reacting to my weigh-ins, which is usually with a lot of fanfare and drama. You know, not knowing what to expect, cursing the world, or jumping for joy, all that stuff. Not just like, “Oh, cool.”

I guess one of the things I’m having a hard time swallowing this time around is the idea that what has worked for me in the past might not work in the same way anymore. Repeating the exact actions I took to lose 60 pounds during my first go isn’t going to magically make me lose another 60 pounds. My body has adapted to my new lifestyle, and things change. I’m still losing, but it’s not this woot-or-boo cycle that it was in the past: 4 pounds down, 3 pounds up, woot, boo, cheer, cry. Nope. I’m still incorporating a lot of the same concepts as before, but because I never completely reverted back to my old, former lifestyle (tons of binge eating, junk food, eating my feelings, and endless TV marathons… er, actually, I never stopped doing that last one. Whoops.) it’s not really the same.

I’ve always been pretty honest in providing my opinion that 90% of weight loss comes from what you eat. Even now, as I’m struggling to lose the weight I’ve regained over the summer, it’s really difficult because I’m not able to make the same kind of big changes to my diet that I could the first time. Calorie counting REALLY worked for me in the beginning. I used the Calorie Count app, and set a general limit of anywhere from 1,200 – 1,800 calories/day. I would usually try to aim for around 1,500, but wouldn’t beat myself up if I went over, and wouldn’t try to “make it up” if I came in under. I didn’t even start thinking about fitness/gym stuff until after I had already lost a significant amount of weight — at least 20, 25 pounds? — which is when I started training for my first 5K.

The main things I did was cleaned up my eating (eliminated junk food, did away with processed frozen meals like Lean Cuisines and stuff cause they weren’t satisfying enough and full of sodium), started packing a lunch and snacks for myself every day for work (this is the big thing I’m trying to get back into now), and started eating breakfast (which I had to FORCE myself to do, because I was so used to not eating at all until like 11 or 12 each day). And aside from lapsing quite a bit in the bring-my-lunch department, I still do those things. I did regain some weight because my portion control slipped, but it’s not like I went back to stuffing my face with Baconators every day. So, having decided to continue with my weight loss efforts, it’s still a little harder. Because I didn’t have as many changes to make this time around. I didn’t need to do a complete overhaul of my diet again, because my diet was already reformed.

I guess what I’m just trying to get at here is, for anyone who is trying to lose weight, remember this: different things are going to work for different people differently, and the things that work for you at first might not work forever. But don’t lose heart! Progress is as progress does, even if it’s slow. And I’m still on track, still losing, and feeling pretty damn good about keeping it off this time.

Have you found that certain weight loss habits you’ve employed in the past have lost their effectiveness as time has worn on? Or maybe you’re like me, and you have restarted your weight loss only to find that your progress isn’t quite the same?


  1. i know its hard to see it but every bit counts, so congrats on that -1.1lbs. i never had that much weight to lose so its always been slow going for me and just focusing on one day at a time. i also dealt with binge eating so just curbing that habit each day is a big deal for me even if i do end up just eating chocolate chips mindlessly sometime i try to recognize that behavior and figure out why its happening.

  2. I find each time is a bit different. And I have found what worked easily before seems to require a bit more effort each “new” time. One that used to work insanely well for me in the past was walking. Now not so much…I have to step it up to see any change. I also find I have a weird time limit of success…meaning it works for a bit and then it stops working. Still haven’t figured that out.

  3. I know for myself and a few of my clients. If you lose a certain amount of weight in one fashion that doesn’t always work the second time around or it needs to be kicked up a notch to restart the senses. My first round of weight loss was from following Weight Watchers. I lost 150#s with that program and kept the weight off for about 5 years before getting pregnant and losing my thyroid to cancer. I journaled and followed WW’s while pregnant and ran until 6 months and than moved on to other workouts that were a little less crazy with baby belly flying all around. Within 8 weeks PP I was in my pre-pregnancy jeans etc.. However I went through 3 rounds of chemo back to back and started gaining weight (apparently the only person in the world who gained weight while on treatment) despite my eating well and working out during that time too.

    I finally sat down and looked at everything I was doing and said forget all of this it does not work for my current body. I revamped the work outs, I started eating less “point friendly” foods and started tracking by calories and food groups and I lost the weight I had gained (15#s).

    It’s a process that never ends and needs constant attention and reinvention.

    Good work.

  4. JinDCsays:

    Your going in the right direction – similar to you, I lost a lot (just under 75lbs, dangit) with Weight Watchers and have gained a bit back since my husband returned from his deployment (dang those double edged swords!). However, I rejoined WW and am hoping I san stick with losing. But like you, I find that what worked before isn’t working now because my body is used to major physical activity (which I kept up, just let my food slip).

    I’m really curious as to what is working for you now – especially as a young person with a social life (we like to go out to eat and all that). I live in DC so you know I’m surrounded by temptation (Hello, Baked and Wired!). I’d love to see a LITTLE more about what you pack for work since I also bring lunch to work as much as possible. Do you think the CrossFit has really helped you this time?

  5. Nicole Gsays:

    I feel ya on this one. The last time I lost the “last 10 lbs” (which, now I’ve of course gained back and am trying to lose AGAIN, ugh), the weight came off at a similar rate to what you’ve got going now — about 0.5lb a week. I wasn’t escatic about it either and I was honestly really frustrated that I was “doing everything right” and it took me 5 months to lose 10 lbs when before I had lost about 25-30lbs in 5 months when I first lost weight. It is a tough comparison game.

    Honestly, it’s tough because like you said, I’ve already encorporated so many “healthy habits” that it has really come down to the difference in 100-300 daily calories as to whether or not I’ll see a loss on the scale. I already eat breakfast, pack a lunch, eat veggies, workout 5-6 times a week, drink 8 glasses of water, skip soda, etc etc to include all those things people tell you to do when you’re trying to lose weight.

    But, on the other hand progress is progress. This year I wanted to lose the 15 lbs I put on in the previous year. I’m only about half way there, but I also started marathon training which is where I put on about 3-5 lbs last year, so I’m calling it a victory. Allow yourself to enjoy the downward (albeit slow) trend you’re seeing! You’re doing great!

  6. I lost a significant amount of weight about 5 years ago and it came off relatively quickly because I had poor eating habits prior to losing the wight. Unfortunately I gained a lot of it back, however my eating habits weren’t bad, but I let my portions get larger and wasn’t as strict with treats and what not. When I got serious about losing weight in January I noticed that my progress was so much slower this time because my habits didn’t need to be changed drastically.
    I’ve lost about 35lbs so far which isn’t a lot in almost a year, but I feel SO much better these days then I did this time last year so that’s all that matters 🙂

  7. Sounds like you have a really good handle on things this time around, even if it’s not as exciting and dramatic as it used to be when you weighed in.

  8. Good job girl! I lose weight SO slow, but I don’t mind it so much because the slower it comes off, the easier it is for me to keep it off.

  9. Oy, this is me to a T. We are in the exact same boat. Birds of a feather. All that good stuff. So…yeah, keep on keeping on and I really have no wisdom to share because you got it all down. End quote.

  10. I had a similar problem when I was trying to lose the baby weight. I had been very successful on Weight Watchers pre-pregnancy, and I was excited to go back to the program post-partum. It worked slowly for a while but things just stagnated. It was incredibly frustrating not only because I wanted to lose but because I felt such loyalty to WW. I ended up using MyFitnessPal to count calories with better success. I now use that app and a Bodymedia Fit to keep things in check. It might not be for everyone but I like numbers and like being able to analyze what works, what doesn’t as well as have a better idea of what my body needs.

  11. Jennysays:

    I’ve had this same issue this time. I could really only make small dietary changes because I was already mostly eating pretty clean (cut back on snacks, chips, and desserts; watch portions; watch alcohol.) For me, this time around, it’s been all about the exercise, which means that weight loss has been S-L-O-W. But I feel extremely healthy, which is great.

    You might consider that now that you are lighter, each pound lost is a larger percentage of your total weight. Five pounds off a 250-pound person is different from five pounds off a 150-pound person. Just a thought.

  12. Keithsays:

    Slow, but pleased it is still in the right direction! Heading into The Most Challenging Time of The Year food-wise! Keep up the good work!! Proud of ya!!

  13. YES UGH! I have recently re-gained about 15 pounds and I am DETERMINED to get it off by the holidays but I find myself binging even though I am eating enough. I just let myself slide so far into the processed yucky stuff that I am having a hard time being away from it again…ick.

  14. PS-congrats on your loss! Sorry I didn’t say that!

  15. This is so true! Sometimes the things that worked in the past just don’t work as well anymore. Sometimes I honestly think for me it’s that the novelty has already worn off. Been there, done that, not so exciting so I don’t actually stick to it as well. Also, re losing the same weight that I already lost – so hard! Always harder for me than losing it the first time.

  16. Hoo boy. Because my HUGE weight gain (70 pounds in less than ten months — and I’m 5’2″) resulted from medication changes and metabolic disease rather than problematic eating habits, one of the difficulties for me has been just this absence of leeway: my diet didn’t really need an overhaul. It was my body that needed fixing.

    But now I do face a diet-related challenge. Over the last year (my second year of weighing 70 pounds too much) I have developed a serious problem with distorted taste, which my doctor says is a symptom of my disease. A lot of foods are extremely unappealing to me, especially in the abstract. Only sweets and refined carbs (like buttered toast) are reliably appealing. This makes it really, really hard to plan and prepare meals. I have about 30% of the average healthy person’s stamina, so any disincentive is way more than I can afford.

    I’m convinced that maintaining a healthy weight and diet would improve my stamina, maybe even decrease disease activity and help me regain a normal, healthy appetite for normal, healthy foods. But I can’t seem to get there. My husband tries to help, but he doesn’t know how to cook or shop. I’ve consulted nutritionists, but they don’t seem equipped to handle this kind of problem. I guess, in an ideal world, maybe I’d have home health care for a while, just till I could get going again.

  17. Calorie counting for sure worked for me two times, but I think my head is in a different spot now. Before it was all about numbers: calories in, calories out, goal met, the end. Now I’m really trying to focus on overall health instead of just calories. I eat whole foods–nothing processed, no grains, no alcohol (sob), no dairy–and the progress is slower than it was when I was tallying up my calories, but I can appreciate the subtle differences. I sleep better. I’m less hungry. My nails are growing like weeds and my hair is much shinier. So it’s a toss up, really.

  18. A slow, steady weightloss is more likely to mean that you’ll keep it off, right? That’s always what I hear! I think 1.1 lbs sounds great!
    The thing that works is being CONSISTENT. And not just throwing in the towel if you “mess up.” And yes- exercise helps, but it’s so much more about what, when and why you eat. A lot of people forget to focus on the WHY.

  19. I need to read that last paragraph of this post over and over again. As you said, progress is progress, no matter how slow it goes. Adjusting how I eat and/or exercise will help me see results, but it just may not happen as fast as it did initially. Thanks for the reminder, Gretchen!

Leave a comment

Please be polite. We appreciate that. Your email address will not be published and required fields are marked