Ella: I gained 6 pounds.
Me: It’s ok, I promise.. your body just isn’t sure what you are doing to it yet.
Ella called me last Friday. She was in a panic and I could hear the tear welling up and the gulps in her throat being held back. She has lost about 24 pounds and has gained and lost about 6 of those in the last week, over and over and over. What you have to understand about Ella is that she wasn’t having regular cycles before setting out to lose weight these last 2 months. And the result has been a 3 week long menstrual cycle accompanied by fluctuating hormones and many tearful phone calls.
This is actually a very common thing. When women lose weight, it messes with our lymphatic and endocrine system (both sex hormones and regulatory hormones). In the end, it’s a good thing. And don’t get me wrong if your hormonal changes are really bad, as in you or someone around you is fearful for your well being, then definitely go see a doctor. Otherwise, keep going!
In the weight loss battle, feeling stuck is one of the worst things in the world. It’s ultimately what makes so many people want to quit. But keeping going! In fact, I always tell people (including Ella) to just give it 1 more week. If nothing changes in a week, and .5 pounds counts as a change, then let’s reconsider what you are putting in your mouth and how you are exercising. But 9 times out of 10, a week is all your body needs to get used to what you are putting it through.
I explained it like this. If you and I both have to get to a party and a driver drops your off 20 miles away but drops me off 50 miles away, well it’s going to take me longer to get there. And I’ll probably even need to stop and rest, or get water, or go to the bathroom more than you. But the point is that I get there. That is how our bodies work. Someone who needs to lose 20 pounds compared to someone who needs to lose 50 pounds. The person with 50 pounds to lose will actually start losing faster but it’s just a matter of time before their body needs a break from everything it’s been going through. And they will probably experience two “stuck” periods while the person with 20 pounds to lose may only experience one.
Just get there. Keep pushing on. Keep doing the work in private day in and day out and before you know it, it will pay off in public. Food is not our enemy. It’s our friend, it fuels us. Exercise is not the devil, it’s a great way to experience life.
Have you ever been in a “stuck” period with weight loss or over all health?
If so, what helped you keep pushing on?