To add to the current issues in my life, my weight loss has decided to slow to a glacial pace. This not only stinks, it cries out for some fairly drastic measures. After all, I am nowhere near maintenance. A good 45 or so lbs. need to be lost before I even hit the top end of healthy BMI. I feel like yelling at my body, "We're not through yet!"
My body, of course, is not listening.
What do I mean by a glacial pace? Wellll, when I started off, and for about 11 months or so, I lost a good 10 lbs., on average, per month. Then that slowed to about 7 - 8 apiece for the following 4 months, with a bit of a surge in April when I had my appearance and its attendant insanity (I lost 7 lbs. in one week, a feat I do not imagine I will ever duplicate).
Now, though, it's a whole 'nother story. On April 20th, I weighed 200.8 lbs. Today, June 1st, I weigh 199.0, same as last week. That may not sound so bad but it's been up and down, and the pièce de resistance was 199.2, which is what I was from May 4th - 18th, and then just .2 less on May 25th and today. It's been sticking around for weeks. Here it is, 6 weeks after April 20th, and here I am, just .6 off that day's weight.
Hence alli may have (hopefully just temporarily) stopped working for me. According to the alli site, you are encouraged to only use it for 6 months as that's when you lose the most weight, but the reality is that it can work for up to 2 years. I've been using it for 1 year and 4 months plus. Hence I am close to the end of my useful time with it but not quite there, assuming all of the planets align. I realize that the 2 year dealio is an outside estimate.
But I've got to do something just the same. This is a lovely weight, and I am a size 14 when I used to be a 28 and all of that happy stuff, but the bottom line is, this is not the finish line by any means. Vanity aside, I'm still clinically obese. I refuse to take this lying down and, in fact, that's a part of the changes that need to be made.
A few ideas, mainly culled from the alli site:
1) More, and more intense, cardio.
2) Less weight training, allowing more recovery time, but more intense when I do it.
3) More water.
4) Tip the balance more toward protein than carbs, but keep the upper limits and keep the totals and the daily calorie total.
5) Go off alli for a month and see how it goes.
Putting it into practice involves the following:
1) Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, leave the house 15 minutes earlier and walk to an earlier bus stop, rather than weight train at home. Go to the gym on those days (I already do) and try for more intense cardio, e. g. faster, steeper, more resistance. Continue using resistance bands every day.
2) Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, regular lifting but w/35 lbs of weights instead of the 25 I've been using. Continue lifting as per usual at the gym, e. g. using the same machines and the same free weights there. May or may not rethink the second part of this, as that still gives me lifting every day, I just lose the at-home stuff.
3) Try for 9 - 10 glasses/day of water. This means 4.5 - 5 of the big bottles/cups versus 4.
4) Because my main protein sources are chicken, fish, beans and tofu, I'm looking at alternatives. I may end up with a third serving of dairy every day, and that will most likely come in the form of fat free yogurt as milk would make me live in the bathroom even more than I already do. Calcium has been a nutrient I've had some trouble getting enough of, so this is helpful. I also eat plenty of the protein sources I mentioned above, but I clearly need to do more. #5 will actually help with that, as I can go a little over on fat if I have to (as we all know, protein is often wedded to some fat).
5) I stopped taking alli on Sunday 5/31 and will stay off it until Sunday 7/5, AKA 5 weeks. I will continue to watch the fat and calorie content, and track. We may go to some naughtier restaurants during the time off. Of course that's not a great thing to do but my husband has been incredibly patient during this whole thing so some of that is for him. Plus I have noticed that sometimes I need to be a bit naughty to get things to work for me. Protein, again, will be pushed. E. g. if we go to Vinny Testa's (Italian, with huge portions), my strategy is to have something like chicken marsala rather than pasta, light on the sauce, plus a salad, light on the cheese, walnuts and dressing, and of course watch the portions. I don't intend to go to restaurants any more than we have been, just to a different one or ones, to see how it goes. That will be an interesting balancing act. Certainly it will be a test to be sure that I don't tank everything by doing this, plus it's good practice for maintenance, to make sure that such things don't make the whole process go kerflooey. We'll see what happens.
In the meantime, I also don't honestly know what I will do at the end of the 5 weeks, what I will use as a measure of success or failure. The scale, to be sure, and the tape measure, absolutely, but what else? I will not completely give up on alli as I have a good 4 months' worth of it in my house and do not wish to give it away (I'll give away clothes, but giving away drug items seems wrong, not to mention potentially illegal). Hence it doesn't truly matter to me what happens by July 5th, as I will return to taking alli, although that will probably determine whether I go on it again for a month and then off again, or do something else. But that is all in the future and need not be worried about just yet.
I love ruts and dislike change, particularly complicated changes, and this one's a doozy, but I see that I am going to have to move the slider bars on cardio versus weight training and on protein versus carbs, and this is a way of doing just that.
On July 5th, I will hopefully be at a lower initial weight than I am today, or at least have better measurements. A new adventure in the making.
We shall see.