Stuck on a Stupid Plateau

I have been doing a lot of research this week. I have also been seeking the advice of people who know and understand. I am stuck on a plateau. I haven’t lost any weight in more than a month. That’s also when I started lifting weights five nights week.

This past week I ratcheted up the distance on my walks a bit after not walking Monday. I had this grand idea that I would cut out cardio and just strength train to lose weight. After one day I craved walking. So, I walked four days, (Tuesday-Friday, 15 miles total). I got back on the stick with the weight lifting after missing two nights the week before and didn’t miss a night this past week. Then I walked three miles yesterday. I did something a bit different today.

A friend recommended a run training app called Couch to 5K (C25K) to help me get up to speed with running. I gave it a shot today and broke my 5K personal best. I got out to 2 ¼ miles really fast during the 30-minute workout the app dictates. Two other friends recently recommended interval training, which is exactly what the C25K app does. The shin splints are back but I did get a good workout in. I walked the rest of the way and that last ¾ mile seemed to take forever.

One of my friends who recently recommended interval training also sent me something from one of his favorite blogs that suggested I may be doing to much cardio and that’s what has caused this latest plateau. Considering my cholesterol is out of whack and I’m out of shape, I’m pretty sure I need cardio in my life. Much of that blog post excerpt didn’t make any sense to me.

So, the other friend who suggested interval training has become a bit of a bodybuilder and he said he would tweak my diet. We both believe I need more protein and less carbs in my diet. He knows a little bit about lean muscle.

I have no inkling to quit – the exercise and change in diet are obviously good for me. I do have more energy, I feel better now that I am carrying 19.6 less pounds than I was in January.  It is amazing the difference darn near 20 pounds off makes.

My knees still hurt when I run and the return of the shin splints doesn’t make me very happy. The pain wasn’t debilitating this morning but my shins had my attention.

The nightly weight-lifting sessions are great. I really feel like I have been getting stronger and more flexible. I can touch my toes standing or sitting for the first time in a few years. Muscles that were buried under fat are starting to become visible again.

I know a lot of what I have been writing about my progress would seem like no big deal or old hat. I have written previously that I long for the days of being able to just run off at top speed at the drop of a hat or jump into a pick-up game of any variety without worrying about pulling a hamstring. Showering and getting dressed are getting easier. Go ahead, take these little things for granted. Let yourself go and see how easy it is for you to do these things. Any overweight person reading this blog knows exactly what my words mean. Tying your shoes, pulling on your socks, bending over to pick something up…these things are chores when you are overweight and out of shape. I have broken a sweat getting dressed.

Living comfortably and performing mundane and routine tasks easily are reasons enough to lose weight and continue to exercise. I could live with 217 pounds if my body fat was under 10 percent. However, my frame was never meant to carry this much weight and I don’t have the genetics to chisel what I am carrying.

I do so wish to announce to you that I have lost 20 pounds total. I have been as light as 216.8 a few weeks ago. 216.6 will mark 20 pounds even. Keep your fingers crossed I get off this plateau. That is either the horizon I see or the cliff. I pray it is the cliff and the weight plummets from there.

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