Sunday, April 12, 2009

The end of the chapter...

Yesterday was rough. Really rough. I honestly can't remember the last time I cried that much. I've been frustrated, but I never let it make me cry. Not like that.

Until yesterday. I'm just going to put this all out here so there is no misconception.

Yesterday was the final check in for a 12 week "Biggest Loser" challenge at my gym. I hesitated even joining the challenge, because it wasn't based on overall weight loss, it was based on body fat lost and muscle gained. Well, in addition to being on a plateau from hell (and now yes we can say its definitely a plateau), in my year and a half of working with personal trainers I've NEVER shown a gain in lean body mass. But, I signed up anyway. Fast forward to about 6 weeks in. Still not losing weight at the scale. Still busting my ass. Still nothing happening. I decided to have my trainer do a body composition analysis, just to see where I stood. I was prepared for it to say I'd lost more lean body mass, just like it always does. But it didnt. It said I GAINED over 6lbs of lean body mass in six weeks. Impressive, right?

Here's the thing. I don't take steroids. I still have enough fat hanging around that to show that kind of gain in lean body mass is just pretty much impossible. And I don't care how much protein I eat. It's just really not. I was shocked, and I doubted it. But I also got excited. Maybe it WAS possible? Maybe? Maybe all my hard work was paying off? Maybe Im really not on a plateau? Maybe I now had some hope to cling to? But always in the back of my head I just knew it couldnt be right. But when I would express that doubt, to people who understand physiology far better than I, I got shot down for doubting myself. So a couple weeks later, on the last day of my training, I asked for another analysis. It showed I gained 2 more pounds in lean body mass. At this point, I let my brain ditch logic completely.
Again, let me just stress how hard it is for a woman to put on that kind of lean mass. But, I was encouraged by the professional to think it was legit.

So yesterday I go in for the analysis. I had expressed doubt in the days before to Jessica, that I needed to prepare myself, just in case. I clearly didn't prepare myself enough. Long story short: I have lost less than a pound of fat in 3 months. I have gained a pound in lean body mass. Ouch. Those two other tests? Wrong. Just wrong. And I was devatasted. Should I be a stronger person than that? Maybe. And I am a strong person. But I was absolutely devastated. And not because I knew there was no way in hell I would place in the top three of the challenge, let alone win it.

No, my devastation came from using the incorrect information as validation to keep at the diet and exercise, when it's been a real struggle to feel like I can do it. When I have felt for months that I've been busting my ass and not getting anywhere. I had hope. And that hope got pulled away, in a matter of seconds. (Okay, maybe minutes when you factor in the analysis was done a second time by one of the other trainers in hopes the first one was wrong.)

Am I angry that that I let myself have hope when I should have known that the probability of my putting on muscle like that was all but non-existent? Yes. Am I angry that the people who ARE PAID to know that the physiological facts make those tests results highly suspicious didnt consider that? Yeah, frankly I am.

But at this point, that's water under the bridge. Water made largely of all the tears I cried yesterday. I lost all hope. I could care less about the challenge. I need to know Im going to be successful and reach my weight loss goals. This months long battle with the scale has left me feeling helpless and pretty close to hopeless sometimes. But I will not give up.

I realize this post will offend somebody. Somebody I care about. I cannot help that. I started this blog as a way to channel my feelings, and this brought out some might strong ones. All I can do is be honest and not malicious about it.

After I left the gym (without working out, because I saw no point in it), Jessica called to see if I was okay (gym staff actually went to drag her out of spin class, to be honest). We met at Starbucks, where I cried for most of the time there. One of the things she said repeatedly was 'please don't let this be a reason for you to stop believing in yourself'. She knew. She knows how tenuously I've been hanging on recently. She knew. She knew that's exactly how I was channeling this disappointment.
She didnt tell me to be strong, she didnt tell me to just look back at all I've accomplished. She KNEW that none of those things mattered to me right then. When all I felt was that I had no hope and no chance of succeeding. Trite was not what I needed to hear. She let me cry. And I did. For most of the day.

So, here I am, a day later. What is in the past is in the past and can't be undone. To dwell on it, for me, would be holding me back rather than pushing forward. I'm going back to basics. But I'm going forward. This is the end of the chapter of self doubt. Will the scale be on board with the plan? Who knows. But it's time to move on.


  1. Don't give up! Bless your heart. I don't know how I would react if I hadn't loss weight for a month of working hard. Then to get told all the stuff you told, and yes, I would be upset too. I will watching to see how you handle this. You know you can do this!! Just don't give up!

  2. I have no words that can take away your pain and frustration, but I can say that I'm here for you. I'm rooting for you, and I'm thinking about you. You're a bad ass, but I know that isn't enough right now. But at least you have that!

  3. I'm so sorry for your pain, but I have complete confidence in YOU. You will move on and you will reach your goal.

  4. Sounds like you know your own body better than anyone else. I will be most interested to see what you do now and what happens with your weight loss.

    Good luck and go with what you feel is right!

  5. To be absolutely fair, I should probably acknowledge the possibility that I gained back 7lbs of fat and lost 8.5lbs of muscle in a week and a half. Yeah, that's probably what it was.

  6. Have you been to your doctor? I've been following your blog for a while and you've been at a bit of a plateau, have you ruled out any medical cause for the plateau? Sorry (TRITE ALERT), you've done so much and come so far and worked far harder than most of your readers could dare dream, perchance there is a medical reason behind this? I'm just saying...