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How To Bust a 3 Month Plateau!

Yep, you read it right. 3 MONTHS! At the exact same weight (which was 150 lbs). And such a torturous number to be at. I think it would have been less painful if I was stuck at 148 or something. But, I knew it wouldn't last forever, it was just a matter of adjusting how I approach losing weight at this point in the game. It's like the final huddle before the last 10 seconds on the clock are about to run out. Sometimes, you need to change your strategy to win! 

So that's pretty much what I've been doing, adjusting my strategy. Given that I'm 10 lbs from a healthy weight, it seemed that my approach that lost me the first 65 lbs wasn't going to work for the last 10.  When you are near that point, a high calorie deficit is actually a bad thing! At the rate I was working out, my calorie deficit was too large and I went into a rather long and painful starvation mode. But, have no fear, I'm here to explain what I did to bust a plateau in hopes that other people in my situation can get out of their own plateaus.

1.) Look at your net calories!  - I could easily get away with netting 500-700 calories a day before. I thought people who ate exercise calories were crazy. Then I realized how it all works. MFP already gives you a deficit (like mine set to 1 lbs a week is 500 calories a day). Working out only adds to that deficit. So after exercise my deficit was 1000+ calories a day. That's a 2 lbs a week loss! Which is fine if I'm significantly over a healthy weight. But I'm not, I'm 10 lbs above a healthy weight. So that high of a deficit just lead me into a long starvation mode period. I was like "I'm not hungry, I don't need to eat more". That's all the reason to eat more! Your metabolism has shut down. Now that I eat more, I'm hungry ALL THE TIME! I eat every 2 hours. I'm netting at least 1000 calories a day. And I think that has been the biggest difference in why things started working again.

2.) Reassess your exercise plan -  You need to think about your workouts. Is it really getting my heartrate up? Do I feel sore afterwards? Am I working out consistantly? Do I have both cardio and strength training in my schedule? If you answer no to one or more of these, you might be in danger of getting too used to your exercise schedule. Throw in some interval training, add in a day of strength training, take up a new exercise (for me it was running 3-4 days a week plus cardio plus strength). If you don't force your body to change, it's not going to...

3.) What and when exactly are you eating? - There's a big difference in what people can eat for 1200 or 1500 calories a day. Empty calories aren't really going to do anything for you. The key is the right amount of nutrient dense foods.  I've adopted a plan to focus on eating more carbs in the afternoon prior to a workout, and then as much protein as possible in the evening after a workout. I make sure I hit 100g of protein a day, and I stay under my carb and fat limits (I have it set to 45% carbs, 25% fat, and 30% protein). My trainer explained it to me that I need carbs to burn as fuel during my workouts, and then protein after to repair my muscles. 

4.) Give your changes some time! - I admit, I was completely impatient with this process. I'd give it a week, get frustrated something wasn't working and I'd try to change things again. Finally I said I just need to wait and see. So I gave it about 2 weeks, and sure enough last week the scale started to inch down. And then it really started moving! I've gone down 1.5 lbs in the last week! So, even if things don't work the first week, give it another week or two to see results! 

 

So that's my advice to you, it's what ultimately busted my plateau. I'm not saying it will work for everyone, but it seems to be a common tale around here that people who are close to their goal weight need to EAT MORE to get out of the plateau, not less. As long as you are accurate with your logging on a regular basis, feel free to experiment with adding calories. Don't jump from 1200 to 1800 overnight, but start incoporating more over a 2 week period. I might need to eat even more if the scale stops again, it's all a game really.

I'm happy to answer questions if you have more, just post below or PM me! 

Little by Little

I really miss the days where my Friday weigh ins would yield a 2 lbs loss and I'd jump around in my bathroom. On this past Friday, I had a 0.3 lb loss, and I still jumped around. Because that's 0.3 lbs more than I've had in the last 2 months! 

I'm taking this as a sign that things might actually be working for me. I've been focusing on getting at least 100g of protein a day, most of it comes from my dinner and a post-workout protein shake, but I'm focusing on going for the less-carby options during the day too. I've finally managed to get my net calories for the day closer to 1000 instead of arond 500-600. It seems counterintuitive, but sometimes eating more is hard! I don't want to eat crap, but things like peanut butter, protein shakes, and granola bars help to add in some healthy calories.

I've also managed to get a little better when eating out, I still have my beer, but I've gone for the salad option with it (and a decent salad, not one with 1000 hidden calories). Plus i had an active weekend with tons of walking. The end result is that I'm already 0.1 lbs below my Friday weigh in, with 3 more days to go! And I don't have any plans for this weekend for eating out or drinking, I'm going to behave (my boyfriend has his mom visiting so I won't see him).

 

And little by little, things are getting better. I'm still working on the challenges with my running. I really need to try a dairy-free day or at least take my lactaid pills when I eat ANY dairy. It seems that my lactose intolerance is acting up and even cheese on my sandwich yesterday gave me a stomach ache. The problem is that I like eating dairy for the protein, yogurt and string cheese are my favorites. So, I'll have to stock up on lactaid pills. It seems if it's not one thing its another.

Also with my running, it's getting easier to run at higher speeds. I ran for 5 minutes at 5.5 mph twice yesterday on the treadmill. I've never run that fast for that long before. I also did run out of steam 3K into my attempted 5K and walked the rest of it. But hey, I finished! Even though I was incredibly frustrated and not breathing well and everything. I was officially diagnosed with Exercise Asthma yesterday (follow up appt with a breathing test from my consultation) and I have a prescription for an inhaler now.

 

So after all the challenges I've had in the past 3 months, I'm gonna start off April right. All is not lost, I still have 2 months until summer, I've bought quite a few amazing and adorable summer dresses to wear, and I WILL be rocking a bikini once my pool opens in June. I'm hoping I'll be at least moving closer to 140 at that point. I don't know if magically I'll lose 10 lbs by then, but if I'm consistantly losing even half a pound a week, it's progress in the right direction! 

5K Training Progress

I never thought I'd see the day where running was something I looked forward to, not dreaded in middle school gym class. We had to run a half mile and I distinctly remembered HATING it. I didn't run, maybe I'd job for a few seconds, give my gym teacher a nasty look, and walk with a friend the rest of the time. My attitude towards running remained that way until last summer.

Enter the Couch 2 5K program. I sort of used it for about a month and I got myself up to running a mile in 12:30 or 12:00 (which would wipe me out and I'd walk the rest of it). Or I could run a little slower and go for more like 20 minutes but again, I'd be exhausted. I didn't really run much after the Fall weather gave way to cold winter-y weather. Once I joined the gym in December though, I tried it again. Then I figured out I had exercise asthma and that's the reason running (and intense exercise in general) was so difficult. Now that I have everything I need, the progress has been really amazing!

In three weeks of really focusing on running (I think I was averaging 4 running workouts a week), I've taken my 5K time from 48 minutes in my first attempt on the treadmill to a time of 37:45 OUTSIDE! Yep! Not on a nice climate controlled treadmill, but outside! It was windy, the trail is hilly, there is geese poop to avoid when running (the trail is a 1K lap around a lake next to my apartment, thus the geese poop). But it's definitely getting better. I was able to run a solid 2 1/2 K before I had to stop for my first walking break on Saturday morning. I took a walking break maybe every 1/2K until the end, but I finished strong.

The only issues holding me back right now is my own stupid stomach. I'm really sensitive to food in general, and it seems like I'm usually living with some degree of a stomach ache. That doesn't translate well to longer distance running! I tried to run 5K on Friday and ended up with such a bad stomach ache that I stopped after 3K and was nearly doubled over. Then on Saturday my stomach was OK but I had a side stitch for the second half (thus the walking breaks). Its so finicky when I run! I can't seem to get a day where my stomach, my side, and everything else wants to cooperate at once. So, in attempts to appease my stomach before running, I'm gonna avoid high fiber foods (especially fiber granola bars) during the day. And I'm gonna try to cut down on the dairy too (since I already know that upsets my stomach). Also I've read not to eat or drink 2 hours before running. So I'm gonna make sure I'm well hydrated and fed by 3pm so I can run after work ends. Definitely no more protein drinks BEFORE running, save that for dinner. 

If anyone has any tips for helping with these issues, I'd love to hear them. It's like the pieces of the puzzle are finally coming together, hopefully all this intense exercise results in some weight loss this week. I've hidden my scale since Thursday and it's not coming out until this Thursday. I'd love to see below 150... 

Lots of Little Changes Can Add Up

So its a few days after switching my mindset about the tail end of this adventure. 10 lbs to go and a solid plan in which to lose them for good. But I've noticed that lots of little changes can really add up to a big difference. 

First off, I'm hiding that darned scale! It has been an obsession since Day 1, and since I'm an engineer, I love numbers. Seeing it the same for so long has been a bit of a drag on everything and it's time to free myself from it. My trainer told me on Day 1 of our session in January to stop weighing daily and switch to weekly. I'm starting with going 1 week no scale, and then from there we'll see. I'll probably pick 2 days to weigh, Monday and Thursday, to keep myself in check for the weekend and see progress during the week.

Second, I'm finally starting to make better food choices and beer choices when I go out. I love the dark beers, but there's a big difference in calorie content with some of them. Guinness Daught has a shocking 120 calories per 12 oz, so I got one of those last night. Yuengling is 125 calories too. So I'm going to avoid the really dark, heavy beers for a while. Light Spring beers are in season anyway. And for food choice, I ended up with a chicken breast last night instead of a cheeseburger or something equally unhealthy. I ate a few of the fries that came with it, that's it. I was happy with myself. I'm eating out again tonight, I'll be running around the lake beforehand, and I'm gonna be smart with my food and beer choices again tonight.

And this whole concept of eating more and sticking to protein at night is making a difference. For the first time in a while, I'm actually feeling really hungry! And I've been eating like 1500+ calories a day since Tuesday. Hopefully it's helping to reverse my sluggish metabolism and get things moving in the right direction. I feel like I'm always eating, but I'm using slightly high calorie foods like my love Peanut Butter to get me to where I need to be in terms of net calories.

And finally, I'm really starting to see an inprovement with running! First was my 5K RUN last Friday. And then on Wednesday, I ran outside for the first time since Fall. What a difference! I was able to run long, and I would have been able to run more of the 5K except for the stitch in my side/stomach ache. I think my new plan is to stop eating around 2:30 or 3 on days I have to run, and try not to drink a ton of water later in the afternoon. And I need to start stretching before I run. Usually I just dive right into it, but I read an article with some tips to avoid a side stich or stomach ache. I managed my outdoor 5K with running as much as possible and taking a minute or two long walking breaks in 39 minutes! That's pretty awesome, with a 12:30 per mile pace. I'm aiming to run a sub-35 minute 5K on May 1st I think. I'm not sure if that's a reasonable goal, but if I can run more of it, I think I could shave off 4 minutes. And I'll have my buddy Sarah to keep me moving.

So, all those little things added up I hope will spell results on the scale when I'm allowed to get back on it on Thursday. I redid measurements and for the second month in a row, they were all the same! Not a single inch lost anywhere, so I'm 100% in plateau/starvation mode. It'll take some time and effort to get out of it, but I think I'm finally in the right mindset to do it. Food is good, working out is good, eating enough food to balance out exercise is even better! 

A New Approach

After reading quite a bit of information on here about undereating, working out and not eating back calories, etc, I think I may have found the root of my problem. Not enough calories!

When I started this whole thing a year ago, I was eating between 1200-1400 calories a day, rarely more, and working out pretty consistantly 5-6 days a week. Everything was going great, I was dropping the weight at a rate of 1-2 lbs a week. Until about October. Then it slowed. And then it STOPPED. Completely. I'm 10 lbs from my goal weight and it hasn't budged. What I was doing that worked so well suddenly didn't work anymore. I tried eating less (like 1000-1200 calories a day) and that failed miserably. Then I started eating more and lost a pound or two to get down to 150 lbs (where I am now). I started doing more intense exercise at the gym and eating more protein. Still nothing.

But the one thing I learned from reading all the informative posts and blogs on here is that when you get close to a healthy weight, my BMI is just under 27 right now,  it can't handle really large calorie deficits anymore. Well, I'm still eating 1400 calories a day, that should be enough, right?

NOPE! I burn 600-800 calories during an average workout now. Which means I'm netting a measly 800 calories at most on those days. Sometimes closer to 500 depending on the workout. That's such a high calorie difference that I think it's slowed down my metabolism.

So, new plan... EAT! Not many people can argue with that one. But my focus is to eat more good stuff, like veggies, fruit, nuts, lean protein, etc. Also, my new system is to focus on carbs during the day prior to my workout, and protein after my workout to rebuild muscle. So a typical day might look like this:

Breakfast - whole wheat english muffin with PB, coffee
Snack - Almonds or craisins
Lunch - Salad with chicken, small slice of bread, soup, etc.
Snack - banana, Vitatop, granola bar, yogurt, etc.
Dinner - Chicken or fish with fresh veggies like zucchini, squash, etc., plus a post-workout protein shake
Snack - Greek Yogurt

This still gets me the ratio of protein and carbs that I want, but it splits it up so it's more beneficial. I need to carbs to be able to run and the protein after to be able to recharge.

Also, I'm going to try weighing less. Everyone keeps telling me it just stresses me out more, and it's true. So I'm gonna start with puting it away for a week. Tomorrow is my weigh in day, so I'll weigh and then hide it til next Thursday and see what happens. I suspect it'll take a week or more to adjust to this new plan, but I have high hopes it might actually work this time. I can't keep starving my body or my metabolism will shut down completely. And the drastic swings in food from the weekend and weekdays (eating too little during the week and splurging on the weekends) is doing more harm than it should if I'm not eating enough to begin with.

So, that's the game plan. You'd think with a Masters degree that it would be easy to figure all this out. But there is a reason that this blog is named "It Isn't Rocket Science, It's Harder!" 

I Don't Look Like A Runner... But I Still Ran 5K!

But then again, I don't look like a rocket scientist either. People can surprise you.

First off, I'm such a shorty. I feel like I look like a cartoon running at higher speeds. You know, the drawing of the roadrunner and it's legs are just a blurry wheel beneath it's body. Yep, that's what I feel like I look like trying to keep up with a treadmill at 6.0 MPH. I tried 7.0 MPH once to finish the last 0.1 miles of my 5K with a bang. I thought my legs were going to fly off. Plus I'm not tiny, well maybe compared to what I was before, but I look at the girls at the gym running like it's such a breeze and they're thin, and tall, and barely breaking a sweat. At 7.0 mph.

But, I learned this pretty early on in school, looks don't determine success. I like to think I'm a pretty good rocket scientist (mechanial structure engineer, same difference... haha), but I certainly don't look the part. I'm rocking heels and a mini skirt right now, I look more suited to be in the business office of the company. But nope, I'm churning out engineering drawings and inspecting satellites. I'm one of the few females in my department. It feels good to surprise people with what I can do.

Why does running have to be any different? Sure, I have to work hard to get to the same level as the tall, skinny, effortless running girls. But I can get there just the same. Maybe not running at  7.0 mph, but I ran my very first 5K on the treadmill. I ran the whole thing! I started at a slower pace to warm up at 4.4 mph and cranked it up gradually to 4.8 mph and ran at that pace for almost the entire time. I turned it down to 4.7 for the last couple minutes and then sprinted at 6.0 to get under a 40 minute time. I really thought I might die before I saw 3.1 miles come up on the screen. The last few tenths of a mile were painful. But I was committed. It would be like quitting my degree program in the last semester. I didn't work that hard the whole time to walk the last 5 minutes. So, I pushed and cranked up my music and I did it. It's amazing what I can do, especially armed with my inhaler for the exercise asthma. 

So now I have a nice starting point for my 5K training (race with my MPF twin Sarah on May 1st in DC!).  I know I can RUN a sub-40 minute 5K. I was OK at a 12:30 pace for most of it. I think with a month and a half of working on it, I can get my pace below 12 minutes and hopefully closer to 11-something. I'd love to run the race in under 36 minutes. It's a flat course in downtown DC, so it shouldn't be terrible. I'm gonna start running outside at least once a week now that the time has changed and it's not dark when I get home. I have that nice trail around my apartment that's one lap = 1K. And it's a bit hilly so it'll challenge me. 

It's really nice to have something to work towards, and I'm hoping the scale starts to follow suit. This weekend's family visit derailed me a bit, but I made the best food choices I could at the places we are. And I kept it to one beer per dinner. Now it's time to focus.  And running is a great motivation to eat the right foods and not stress. Who would have thought that I'd be a runner? But some people didn't think I'd be a rocket scientist either... time to prove people wrong once again.

Nagging Little Insecurities

Lately I've noticed that I've been feeling really anxious, and I haven't quite been able to put my finger on why. I just can't seem to completely relax, let things happen on their own, or be completely happy in the moment. It's only gotten worse in the last few days and I think I'm closing in on the reason.

So, as you all know, the scale has been somewhat unexplainably stuck. I've been right around 150 since New Years, and now two months later, I don't really have much to show for what i've done so far in 2011. It's disheartening when I was having such great progress last year to (somewhat) all of a sudden hit a wall. I'd be happier if I was still losing inches, which happened in January but I didn't lose any inches in February. I think a part of my brain is starting to get scared that I'm stuck forever. 2 months is a long time in my book, I'm someone who like to see a tangible result from my efforts. And I'm just not as much anymore.

I'm still happy about how I look... for the most part. My stomach still needs to shrink and that's what I'm hoping losing 10-15 more lbs will do. I don't want to look like the chubby girl in the bikini, I want to look normal. Maybe that's what I'm dying to get to... normal. I don't want to have to suck in whenever I'm wearing my size small shirts so I don't have a muffin top sticking out. I want to be able to run a 5K without stopping. My stupid lungs are still catching up to the rest of me now that I have my inhaler to use. I want to feel attractive in anything I try on and that still doesn't happen. And if I'm not losing weight I don't know how I'll get there. 

I've been trying to work out more intensely the last week with running, haven't seen the results on the scale yet because TOM is a bitch and the results are hiding. I just want it to move! It moved all right, up to 151 this week. Did I mention TOM is a bitch? I'm hoping it goes right back down again in the next few days, and keeps going! I've been much better with eating and I'm going to try really hard this weekend with my family to eat in moderation and pick salads and stuff.

The other thing I've been insecure about is how well things are going with my boyfriend. I finally got my life together enough to date (didn't happen in college) and I found an amazing guy. But that nagging thought in the back of my head that for some reason, I'll screw it up. I'm still not 100% confident in myself to think otherwise. It's all a lot to balance, and I know that I don't have any reason to worry about stuff (honestly, he's a great guy and we get alone fine). But I can't shake the thought.

So, in short, I've been stressing out over every little thing because I'm just worried I'll screw it all up and that I won't get to my goals. I know I've given the scale entirely too much power in my brain, but I'm an engineer, numbers define success. And I shouldn't let it. I just need to keep moving forward with what I'm doing and hope for the best. I'm eating right and working out and maybe I'll be surprised when I take measurements next week. I'm not so certain tho. Maybe by then the scale will have moved. Even if it's going down slowly, I'll be so much less anxious if it's at least moving down.

I just had to vent on my frustrations, the boyfriend is super busy at work (partly I'm upset because I can't see him all week with the overtime working) and I'm stuck at my desk at work. I've already decided to take a mental day on Friday. My family is visiting this weekend and I don't think I can handle it if i don't take a day to get myself together. 

Weekday Sara vs. Weekend Sara

Lately I've realized that I've developed two different attitudes depending on what day of the week it is.

Monday through Friday I'm the model student. I work out every day that I can, I eat right, I cook decent food for myself, and in general make pretty good choices. If I have a treat, it's earned through an hour at the gym and a great food diary otherwise. I tend to see the scale go downward, if not stay the same at the bare minimum.

And then there's Saturday and Sunday. I love the weekends, I spend half of it with my boyfriend, sometimes we pick active things to do like hiking or walking around DC. And then we get dinner... and drinks, and the occasional dessert. Usually I can somewhat control myself and order a healthy option from the menu. But the 2 or 3 beers is a staple with our dates.  It seems that no matter what I do, the weekends are impossible for me to keep a handle on things. And it's all my own doing too. Randy doesn't force me to get  beer, or order mac n cheese. It's all me wanting to eat something that tastes good and is unhealthy as opposed to looking for a better option. 

With 10 lbs left to lose, slipping even a little bit every weekend is keeping me at a standstill. But at the same time, do I really want to become a hermit just to lose 10 lbs? There has got to be a way to balance. I'm thinking I need to make sure I work out or at least get moving more on the weekends. Instead of coming home and napping all Sunday afternoon (yep, did that yesterday), I need to get my butt to the gym or walk/run around the lake next to my apartment (if it's not cold/rainy). And when I'm out to dinner with Randy, I need to pick better things off the menu. I managed to order a chicken salad on Saturday night at dinner. Unfortunately that was after having a bagel, a cookie, crab dip with bread, and 3 beers already that day. At least I din't add to the damage by ordering something bad.

So, as much as I love my weekends, I think I'm gonna have to adjust a little bit. If I can reign in my eating and make sure I get at least one workout in, I think it'll really help prevent myself from erasing any progress I made during the week. But I'm not going to go back to being a hermit on the weekends (which I pretty much was before we started dating).  There's only so far I'm willing to go, and it's all about balance. If I can't do this long term, it's never going to stick. I've already proven to myself that I can make better choices. Now I just have to act on it.

And one more promise to myself (if I put it in writing and you all read it, I feel more accountable to hold myself to it)... STOP NIBBLING ON JUNK AT NIGHT! One little chocolate there, a bite of something, a scoop of ice cream, a bit of cookie dough... IT ADDS UP! I wouldn't be surprised if I "nibbled" away 200+ calories in an evening. That's a lot when you shoot for 1400ish. So... I'm stopping it now. No more. If it goes in my mouth, it goes in my food diary! 

Things To Make Me Feel Better

I've been a bit grumpy today, the scale is still stuck despite my best efforts to unstick it. I know I need to give it more time to catch up to an adjustment in eating habits and workout routine. I'm just about ready to see it start moving again! I've been flirting with 150 lbs for a few months now, that's a long time! But enough with paying so much attention to that, here's a list of things to remind myself what I've accomplished that has nothing to do with a scale.

 

- My size 6 jeans fit awesomely well. They were snug when I first bought them in January with some spillage over the top, now the annoying fat doesn't escape when I move in them. I just bought 2 new pairs of size 6 jeans from Old Navy and I didn't have to get the styles with the elastic-y denim, the regular jeans fit!

- I bought almost all size small tops and dresses on my little shopping spree the last 2 weeks. I think I bought one medium and one size 8 top because they ran snug (i.e. my boobs were too big for a size 6 button down).

- I got through a 5K in 48 minutes on my first shot at doing one on the treadmill. I think I'm gonna try again today to see if I can run more than 15 minutes of it. My inhaler is definitely helping, I think I just need to be sure to use it when I leave work so it's working 100% by time I get t othe gym. My goal is a 5K on the treadmill in under 40 minutes this month.

- I cleaned out my closet and got rid of a ton of clothes that didn't fit. I gave a bag to my coworkers church for a donation and the rest is going to a local clothing donation shop in my town this weekend.

- I tried on my brand new Victoria Secret bikini and didn't recoil at the sight of me in it. It looks decent, not amazing, but I'd go out in public in it (sucking in of course, haha, who doesn't?)

- I'm only one size larger than my little size 4 sister, and only 20 lbs heavier. She has the body I want and we're built the same. 15-20 lbs more and I'd have it.

- I can hike around a park in DC with my boyfriend and he's the one trying to catch up to me and telling me to "stop walking so damn fast woman, I don't go to the gym every day!" Speaking of boyfriend, this weight loss journey got me one because I finally had the confidence to get out there and meet new people.

- My trainer tries to kill me and doesn't succeed. He made me do the Jacob's Ladder on Tuesday for 5 minutes, with a 'sprint' at the end. My heartrate hit 190. And I survived, did another 3 minutes on the machine, and then hopped on the Summit CLimber for 25 minutes. He can try to kill me, but armed with my inhaler he won't be able to.

- My heels are more comfy. I kid you not! The more weight I lose, the more comfortable my heels are! I actually have some worn out flats that I can't wear anymore because they're too stretched out from my formerly fat feet.

- I can actually enjoy cooking healthy food. Before if it required more than 5 minutes of prep and cooking time, I wasn't eating it. Now I cook yellow squash and zucchini on the stove and bake a chicken breast and have a yummy meal. Remind me that I need more fish...

- I don't run away from cameras. In fact, I park myself right in the middle of the picture and grin like I've got nothing to hide, because I don't anymore!

- I'm one of the "fit" girls at the gym, and I'm there so much all the people at the front desk and the personal trainers know me. I'm like the Teacher's Pet with the head of the personal training dep't... haha

- I run up steps instead of trudge. I'm actually kinda pissed that I might get moved to an office on the first floor instead of the one I have on the third right now. Less exercise! I already sit at a desk all day.

 

There, I do feel better now. It's nice to remind myself on occassion why I'm doing this. And it's not a number on the scale. It's everything and more than I just listed. My whole family has noticed I'm happier, I have so much energy when I'm out with my boyfriend. It's great. Yes, I hope the scale starts moving soon, but I'll survive until it does. It's not like I'm gonna throw in the towel now. It's not allowed, all my fat clothes have been donated! 

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