I’ve been having issues lately dealing with my weight. Or more correctly, my increased size and increased body fat percentage.
April 15th was the end of the weight/fat loss challenge at my work, and I got another body composition test done. In good news, I’ve gained back a ½ lb of muscle since February, and my hydration has gone up a little. Overall, I’m better than I was in February, but a little worse than when we started in January (a little less muscle and less hydrated, and a tiny bit more fat). I’m eating better, and I’m not obsessing over my food. I make healthy choices (most of the time), eat when I’m hungry, and stop when I’m not. I’m trying to be conscious about eating more vegetables and not eating carbs (bread, rice, noodles, etc) with dinner. I’m making an effort to increase my protein intake (yummy protein shakes!) because I think I wasn’t getting enough before. I’ve not been great with my water over the last month, but I’ve remedied that the last few days, making sure I get in my 64oz a day. On a small side note, I learned last week that pasta makes me bloat like crazy. It was gone by the next day, but it was a really strange thing to see for the first time – I looked pregnant! So no more pasta for this girl!
After recovering from my injury and illness a few weeks ago (the end of last month), in addition to the diet changes above, I started to work out again a couple days a week. Last week, I upped that to 4 days, even WITH my period (take THAT, Aunt Flo!). I did 40 min Bendy Body one day, 30 min RLNA, some yoga, and a pole day with Samantha. Part of me felt like I didn’t do much at Samantha’s but I was sore the next day, so I was working harder than I thought. I really need to be nicer to myself. And Samantha and I took progress photos because Brandi posted one last week. She’s lost 22 lbs and I’m so happy for her. She’s been literally working her ass off, and looks fantastic (and she’s got abs to die for). It’s super inspirational, and has helped me kick things up this week. We measured, too, and while some things have stayed the same, there have been losses in other areas. I was on my period, which probably wasn’t a good time to measure – I’ll measure again this week. In good news, I’ve lost an inch in each of my thighs, but gained an inch in both my hips and my butt (this may have been due to bloating). Everything else has remained the same.
All of this awesomeness, and my body fat percentage hasn’t budged. Not one tiny bit. On the upside, I haven’t gained any fat, but I haven’t lost any of that 30% either. I’m trying to figure out what I’m doing wrong. I know these things take time, and maybe I wasn’t working out enough, but to hold steady at 30% for…4, 5 months? WTH? I was really frustrated the evening after getting my body comp. I was trying to figure out what I was doing wrong. Boyfriend said I needed to do more cardio. So I upped the cardio last week. But if diet is 80%, and my metabolism has been roaring (I’m hungry every 3 hours) surely I should have seen SOME change? I even compared my pictures from Friday with the ones from last Nov, and they look basically the same.
So I started thinking about when things changed – when my weight and body fat percentage went up to this level. A lot happened in August – a new job that has me not moving quite so much, moved in with boyfriend, so my diet probably changed a little, less sleep (early shifts at work). In Sept or Oct, I changed my birth control to a generic. And then there was the holidays, but all of this gain started before that. I even checked out my previous body comps, and while my body fat was 28.5% the end of Oct, and 30% in Jan, it’s held steady since then. Over the holidays I gained 2.5 lbs of fat. No changes in muscle or water, just packing on fat. Granted, I still wasn’t really working out then, because my back would flare up, and I ate a lot of stuff I probably shouldn’t have because I was stressed and depressed and frustrated (depression increases cortisol levels, which increases fat storage, too).
I’m not sure what caused it, but sometime between the end of August and the first of Nov, my weight changed drastically and my body fat % shot way up. My work pants fit in August, and even into September. But somewhere in the fall, they started getting tight. It may have been a combination of all of the factors above, but as my fat gains have been primarily in my butt, boobs and thighs (my waist is still the same measurement! Go figure…), I’m thinking that the change in birth control was a primary contributing factor.
So I’m running an experiment. I’ve switched back to the brand of my pill this month (started this week), and going to see if that has an effect on my weight the next couple of months. In addition to continuing to eat healthy and work out (more cardio!), of course.
Samantha thinks part of the problem is also that getting up so early for work (5 am and some days earlier) had thrown off my sleep cycle and I’m not getting enough sleep. And I can tell you right now that I’m not. My body naturally likes a lot of sleep, and most work nights I get 5-6 hours. 7 if I’m really tired or lucky enough to doze off early. So I’m working on going to bed earlier (boo) so I can get the sleep I need.
Honestly, I’m excited to see my results in a few weeks. I’m not going to watch the scale, or jump on every one I see – that would be stupid. But I’m definitely getting my body comp done again in 6-8 weeks. I want to see my side-by-side photos.