Thursday, April 1, 2010

An Epiphany

I had an epiphany on Tuesday. I may have realized why I hit that major plateau the last time I lost a significant amount of weight -- why I never could get past 37 pounds lost.  And it would probably be happening again if I didn't have my bodybugg.  The problem is seemingly a betrayal by my own body and by the very thing I've sought for the last several months -- better health and fitness. My body is getting more efficient.

When I first began working out and losing weight, I could hit my calorie burn simply by working out in the morning and making sure that I didn't remain sedentary for the remainder of the day. Not remaining sedentary could be as simple, a few months ago, as just making sure that I didn't sit all day. Simple movement, such as walking to where the kids were sitting to check their spelling words, rather than having them hold up their papers so that I could see them from where I was sitting or going up and down the stairs a couple of extra times was enough activity, along with my morning workout, to hit my calorie burn for the day.

That's not enough anymore. My body has become more efficient. On Tuesday, I worked out in the morning -- not my usual workout because I was running behind, but I did get in a 20 minute Biggest Loser DVD. I wasn't worried about not getting in a full workout, though, because I knew I'd be going to the Y that afternoon for a consult with one of the trainers (which involves the trainer showing Brianna and I new exercises or new equipment) followed by an hour spin class. You know, the spin class that makes me drip sweat, along with six -- you read that right, six -- different ab workouts and a couple of other machines at the Y.  Meeting my calorie burn shouldn't be a problem.

I didn't make it. Even with the hour-long spin class that left me gasping for air and pouring sweat, I fell 125 calories under my calorie burn on a day when I expected to exceed it. It's that efficient body thing.

On the one hand, I'm glad that I'm in such better shape than I was a few months ago…but it appears that being more fit is a bit of a double-edged sword because it seems that now I'm going to have to work even harder to reap the same weight-loss benefits that I used to enjoy. And I'd never have known that if it weren't for my bodybugg. I'd have just assumed that the type of activity that used to burn sufficient calories for weight loss would continue to do so.

Now, however, I know that I've got to up the ante a bit. I think the most logical change, right now, will be to increase my intensity -- more resistance on the bike or elliptical, a faster pace and more incline on the treadmill are simple changes that, I hope, will help me continue to see the results I've enjoyed so far on my weight-loss journey. And, of course, I'll be making an effort to be sure that I'm keeping my routine varied and not getting into a comfortable rut.

It's frustrating...but I'm glad I figured out what was going on before I wound up going weeks without losing and I wanted to pass it along in case there are others of you out there who are working as hard as you ever were, but are no longer seeing results.  The "problem" may be that you've achieved a level of fitness that allows your body to work more efficiently, which means you've got to work harder in order to see the results you were seeing at first.  No, it doesn't sound like fun...but it's worth it to feel so much better.



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