06.10.15

MY HEALTH CHALLENGE / 03

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good morning! i’ve completed week one and two and now i’m in my third week of the health challenge. there have been a few struggles, but also some good progress. read about it below!

also, follow the hashtag on called  to see others getting healthy and giving motivating advice and recipes. tag your photos so i can see them and i repost them sometimes!

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joanie: it was friday morning and bri and i were in strength yoga class, dripping in sweat and i couldn’t stop laughing thinking about all of the classes and workouts we’ve done together in the last two and a half weeks. i tell her she went from zero to hero because she has literally been game for anything and everything when it comes to working out. except fencing, she drew the line there. for me, weekly workouts are always mixed, i’m a long time user and really appreciate that they allow you to try different classes with zero obligation. since you can only go to each place three times per month i mix in yoga, barre, and pilates. i’ve also been going to this fitness climbing class called which is so intense but it’s only 30 minutes, and i just keep telling myself i can do anything for 30 minutes. , you feel like a champion athlete when you’re done.

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bri: this past week i have worked out 6 days (pats myself on the back for that one) and took sunday as a day of rest. i honestly never thought i could stick to it, but i’m really learning to like this workout thing. last week i also tried the walking/running again (it’s about 3.5 miles around the reservoir and back home) it was hot, not easy, and i can’t say i’m a huge fan still. maybe it will grow on me. i just enjoy the and pop physique classes so much more, they keep me active and i can really feel my body working out those spots i want to work on. i also decided to give strength yoga a try and although it was quite challenging, i felt amazing afterwards! my flexibility in these short weeks has already improved so much and i find myself wanting to stretch all the time.  has me trying new things with friends and it’s kept things interesting. on monday, i went back to the hip hop dance class with my sister and it’s a fun tradition i’d love to have together. +twerk+

my favorite workout this week was the cardio bar method class i tried for the first time. my heart rate was up the whole time and i loved the fun music. each week i try a few more of the harder pose options presented in the class and it makes you feel really accomplished when you work through the pain!

i’m doing two different barre classes this week before i head to new orleans for a few days (i probably won’t work out there, but will try to walk a ton and maybe do sit ups at the hotel. my friend is going to make fun of me. ha)

ps i got and really like them!

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CLICK THROUGH TO SEE THE WHOLE POST…

joanie: i have a real love affair with trader joe’s (especially their frozen food!). they have all sorts of interesting products and they’re always adding new items to their shelves. i like to look into other people’s carts when i’m shopping because i feel like everyone has there favorite items that they swear by and can easily get overlook because that store is jam-packed. we thought it would be fun to share what we’re buying at trader joe’s and also have you tell us your faves! (stay tuned this week for that). i’m also very into “heathy fats” at the moment, coconut oil in my smoothies, almond butter, avocados, etc. i know people are hesitant to incorporate a lot of fat into their diets but for me i feel like it has improved my skin and keeps me full longer. i’ve also been oil pulling for the past year, has anyone tried it? it’s pretty disgusting at first but you get use to it quickly. i don’t think it has as many life altering positive effects as people claim but i do notice that the dentist has less complaints when i go in for a cleaning.

bri: last week, people in the comments gave me the advice of eating more calories if i am working out as often. (i was eating around 1200-1500) so i’ve been incorporating more healthy fats into my diet. luckily i have a few close friends that love to cook, and i keep them company while they’re in the kitchen. still failing at the healthy eating thing at restaurants, but not wanting to miss out on my social life, i’ve been eating at home with friends and it’s just as fun! at a restaurant i will guaranteed eat the bread, agree to the extra glass of wine, and order the semi-healthy food that probably has so much oil on it i don’t even want to know. but at home, it’s very easy. my friend celeste came over and made ground chicken (cooked in coconut oil) and veggie lettuce wraps and they were so good. (very similar to ) and they made a great leftover lunch over brown rice.

peppers

my new neighbor victoria is a domestic goddess and made her and i chicken kabobs on the barbecue, beans with homemade cilantro salsa, and . with friends, i will usually have 1-2 glasses of red wine still (because it’s very difficult not to) but i’m not being too hard on myself about it, and on nights home alone i stick to water. (that used to be a martini at 7pm)

and how about my mess ups? saturday night i was at a bridal shower dinner in malibu. 20 people. champagne, truffle mac and cheese balls, fried brussels sprouts, pastas, and pretzels with sauces were just being passed around. let’s just say IT WASN’T PRETTY. my friend has a video of me eating mac and cheese like a real animal and begging for help. she thinks it’s the funniest thing in the world and it kinda is. #dlffallsoffthewagon! and then sunday …so you better believe i ate it.

but i’m back on track now and at least i had a lot of fun.

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joanie: i can honestly say that i’m having way more fun working out then i have in a longtime. i’ve switched from thinking about it as something to check off my list to something that i get to do, it’s nice to view it as an experience rather then a chore and to embrace the freedoms our bodies allow us to have.

bri: okay, so here’s where things are a little tricky and i’d love your advice. i became a little frustrated that i’ve been eating so much better and cutting out foods i love and dragging myself to the gym so often…but the scale barely moves. i feel like when i was 22 i could not eat bread for one meal and i would lose weight. do you think it’s because of building muscle? water weight?  i started at 140Ibs, went down to 138, and now back up to 139. the scale has been the most discouraging part really. i’m thinking of not weighing myself for a while actually. my body doesn’t feel drastically different, but i feel like my stomach is flatter and i can see small changes in my face. i definitely don’t want to quit because it’s done wonders already for my anxiety and mood, but it sure would be nice to start seeing body results too. in your experience, how long does it usually take to see body results when you’re starting to work out consistently? i love your advice!

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84 COMMENTS

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    Carly says:

    When I started working out more frequently, it took a while for the scale to do much of anything! I found I was eating better but at a higher volume, and since you grow muscle when working out, often the scale barely budged for me. BUT the physically changes were really noticeable – you will see newly toned arms, abs, legs and your face will look slimmer! And that to me was better then anything the scale could show me. I’ve stopped weighing myself – it was a hard habit to break – and starting to take progress photos instead. Seeing the results really helping me keep incorporating exercise into my lifestyle. You guys are doing so great, I love reading this series. Good luck!!!

    Liz says:

    You just have to trust the process! If you are showing up every day and putting in the work, changes are happening- even if you can’t see them. Don’t try to explain every movement in the scale. The results will come if you put in the work!

    Annie Reeves says:

    I had this exact issue at the beginning of the year! My best friends and I did a biggest loser challenge. I started working out, cutting out unhealthier items from my diet, etc. and the scale wasn’t budging!!! I think the amount I was running was really affecting the amount of muscle that I had, and therefore I was technically gaining weight. That said, clothes were fitting better and I got lots of comments on my weight loss. Scales are frustrating. Side note — I found out by weighing myself more often that around that time of the month, I can gain around FIVE POUNDS. I about lost it the first time when I didn’t know what was going on. So prepare yourself for that!! Good luck — this is my favorite series you’ve ever done!! xo

    Moonlight says:

    1 weekly weighing should not be enough to put you down!
    Maybe you should also take your measuremements. Also, when you lose 2 pounds of FAT you should REALLY be able to feel and see it.
    Of course, as long as you are losing fat, it’s still a gain, even if the scale doesnt show. But you can only check this by going to a professional who will count and inform you of your body composition maybe once a montso that you check your improvement.
    Sweat loads to lose fat, gain some muscle by doing resistance excersice and some weight lifting so that you burn more fat and calories just by mainitaining the muscle mass, and eat less fat, but a balanced amount of carbs, protein, fruits and veggies.

    Jess Zimlich says:

    I think it’s great that you splurged over the weekend, if you don’t allow yourself to do that every so often, it will eventually happen and it will probably end up being more than just a night (the snowball could start and trust me, it’s hard to stop!). My weight fluctuates as much as 4 or 5 pounds, depending on time of day when I weigh myself and whether or not I’ve gone to the bathroom (TMI, sorry). When I started my weight loss mission, I stuck to once a week. On Wednesday mornings, I would weigh myself and then be done. I’m with Annie, this is my favorite thing you’ve ever posted here 🙂

    Adrienne Tregre says:

    Hi Bri, what brings you to New Orleans? I’ve been following along for a few years and live in New Orleans. I would love to be your Blogshop intern for a New Orleans session. If you need any suggestions while you are here, just let me know!

    Anonymous says:

    After I spent almost the entire summer travelling last year and mostly eating out (lots of brunching in Berlin, pain au chocolat in France, hamburgers and pancakes in the USA and so on..) I put on 12-15 pounds. I felt so uncomfortable in my own body by the time I got home.
    When I got back home in September I completely cut carbs and sugars out of my diet for about a month and a half. I only ate 2-3 meals a day, mostly protein and veggies. I didn’t work out during that time. After those six weeks I lost pretty much all of the weight and then I started working out again and focussed on eating a balanced diet without any restrictions. I think that’s probably the best long-term solution! I love desserts and baking and I can’t imagine not enjoying those things. We all have our weaknesses. For some it’s the glass or two of wine in the evening. I think we just need to work on finding a balance and enjoying those things we love so much. And when we have that glass of wine or cookie (or two), we can try to be mindful about it and really enjoy it.

    I think you’re doing great btw! Your honesty and openness about what you’re going through is really inspiring and so real. It’s great if you’ve decided g to get in shape by eating healthy AND working out at the same time. But maybe it just means you’ll need more time and patience if you choose to do both from day one.
    We all struggle with body image. It’s actually thanks to you that I’m currently reading The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown! I love that book, thank you so much for that tip.

    Looking back on last summer, I think the main reason for my weight gain was probably the overeating. Sure the food I was eating wasn’t always the healthiest, I was on vacation and enjoying it. I wouldn’t change one thing I ordered at a restaurant last summer. The only thing I regret is not paying close attention to my body and to stop eating when I felt full.

    Lynn says:

    Is it that time of the month? Because you probably won’t lose and might gain then. The good news is the next week you’ll drop more 🙂 Just stick with it and trust!

    G. says:

    I agree, watching your diet and working out regularly is an intense effort. I have a more sedentary lifestyle (behind the desk all day and little time to spare) and I try to squeeze in at least 4 sessions of moderate excercise a week. Since cardio is not my thing, I have to watch what I eat and I was able to reach my ideal weight and keep it by eliminating most carbs, including fruit. I keep in healthy stuff like oatmeal and berries for breakfast and the 1-2 times a week treat like a dish with rice, or desert. I had to let go of beloved pasta dishes which I think do the most damage. I am careful to not have huge quantities of carb containing veggies, including beans but I do eat them. Otherwise I fill up on healthy veggies and enjoy all sorts of meat products, cheese, fish and seafood. For dairy I try to stick to goat milk products but other delicious treats do sneak in. If you work out more intensely try to have carbs only the day before or on the day of the workout, it gets burned.

    What I can say is that is what works for me and lbs go down fast this way. Do not get discouraged, it takes a while to find what is YOUR right Balance.
    Good luck!

    shayna says:

    3 weeks is nothing! and it gets even harder to stay fit over 30… Stay off the scale for 3 months and keep at the routine. If you don’t see changes by then, then you’re allowed to feel frustrated.

    yy says:

    I haven’t weighed myself in 9 years now (I turn my back when the doctor weighs me) and it’s done me so good in terms of my mental health. Sure, there are times when I stop working out and eating right but having a number taunting me is so dangerous for my mental health!

    I’m also glad to hear you’re going above 1200 calories. That really isn’t enough for someone who’s working out. I like to focus on eating whole foods and portion control over counting calories. You’ll feel so much stronger!

    Kaylee says:

    The scale is a liar! Weight isn’t the best way to measure progress, unfortunately. I have a trainer and she says the most important measurement is your body fat percentage, which you could get measured at any gym. Because if you’re gaining muscle, the scale may not budge even if you know you look so much better! Try measuring your body fat every couple of weeks and see how that goes 🙂

    Maura says:

    Use measurements, not weight, as your measure of progress made. You and Joanie can measure each other 🙂
    It’s old school but it works – measure around your waist, hips, bum, arms, thighs, etc – everywhere. With all the work you are doing, you’ll see the results in your measurements the most.
    You are right. It does get harder and harder as you get older – I’m 44, exercise more and eat better than I have in my whole life, and it’s a STRUGGLE 🙂

    mary says:

    I just got back from a check up with the doctor about this same thing! I eat well (or so I thought) and I am an avid runner and yoga fan. He said that the additional calories needed in a day for extra exercise amounts to an extra piece of fruit a day. That will keep the pounds lowering and make sure you have enough bloodsugar to work hard!

    I’ve been following a strict calorie diet and have lost 4 lbs, which is much more than I saw when I was worker out harder, but not keeping the calories as low. I was eating around 2000 before, now it is between 1200 and 1600 depending on my hunger levels.

    Danielle says:

    Bri, step away from the scale and take your measurements instead!

    Nikki says:

    You’re going to get A LOT of opinions on the scale thing, but here’s my own experience since I’ve been reading about this kind of stuff and actively doing it for nearly 3 years:

    Basically, to lose a pound a week you need to be at a 3,000 deficit for that week (which is A LOT!). With the amount of weight you need to drop being so low, 1lb loss a week is pretty aggressive, not undoable, but it’s a big goal. 1/2lb a week loss would be perfectly reasonable, especially with those 1 or 2 days a week you’re going over your calorie goals. I personally know how frustrating it is to work so hard and barely see the scale move, so what I can recommend is to only weigh yourself once a week and start taking measurements (you’ll see the changes in your measurements more quickly!).

    No matter what, don’t get discouraged and don’t make yourself miserable by making dietary/lifestyle changes that you know you can’t sustain. Remember that you’re making really good progress on your overall health, and in the end that is the true goal.

    kate says:

    A little miracle that worked for me was totally cutting out dairy (even yogurt)and watching refined sugar. It sucks because I LOVE cream in my coffee and cheese is my fav. also making sure I get enough protein has helped too. once I started to incorporate these guidelines into my diet it was like something clicked and the number on the scale finally started to go down. Hope that helps!

    The number on the scale means NOTHING. I was an avid Crossfitter from 2007-2009 and when I hear women I know speak negatively about their weight, I show them a picture someone took of me lifting a big weight over my head. I am tiny in this picture, but I weighed almost 160 pounds because I was so solid. The response is usually shock. Too bad I can’t attach it 🙂

    I think deep down we all know that the number means nothing, but it is hard to not have an exact, scientific measurable scale of your progress, so we look to the number.

    jaclyn says:

    You’ve only been making these diet and fitness changes for a very short time so the scale isn’t likely to move much right now. But more importantly, your weight is just a number, NOT a defining factor of YOU.

    You’ll most likely have better long term success at being fit if you just go by how you’re feeling and how your clothes are fitting. If you focus too much on the number on the scale, it can get discouraging but if you focus on how much more flexible you feel, or that your stomach feels flatter or your pants are a little looser, it’s much more rewarding.

    Also, as hard as it can be to stay healthy while socializing, you’d be amazed at just how much damage you can do by cheating two days a week. You may want to try to cheat in moderation from now on. It can also be helpful to count calories for just a day or two. That way you when you’re faced with the temptation to have the extra glass of wine, you can think to yourself, “is this worth an hour on the treadmill?” Before I lost 20 pounds for my wedding a few years ago, I counted the calories of my normal eating days before trying to lose weight so that I’d have a baseline and I was astonished at just how many calories I was ingesting on a daily basis even though it never felt like I was over indulging.

    Lastly, any effort you make in living a healthier lifestyle is a success in itself so already you’ve succeeded!

    Jennifer says:

    Hi Bri, First of all- I’ve loved following your progress & have started my own fitness / healthy eating campaign as well. My numbers are identical to yours & I’m having the same results! It’s very mysterious, but since turning 35 whenever I start exercising a lot- I usually gain weight or definitely don’t lose. Previously I’ve always been able to easily drop weight, but not lately. I do feel less bloated & generally better about myself, but I’d love to see that scale moving closer to the 125 mark. I know, I know, it’s just a number- but it is frustrating. I sort of suspect that cardio may not be my friend…Anyway- just wanted to virtually raise my hand & say me too! I can’t thank you enough for letting us all follow along on this journey. xo

    Lauren R. says:

    You’ve totally got this! Not seeing the scale numbers move is the worst. It takes forever for them to. Keep it up and notice more the changes in the way your clothes fit and how you feel. The numbers will eventually budge.

    kim boswell says:

    Don’t worry about the scale. For one, it’s still early in your work out. Two, muscle weighs more than fat. If you want to track progress try checking your measurements at the end of each week. Arms and thighs are great measurements to track. Always weigh yourself in the morning and night, it’s proven to help you stay mindful and on track, but never get discouraged by the numbets. Women in general fluctuate in weight weekly due to hormones and all that. Just keep it up, stay away from processed carbs (all white foods except for cauliflower) and stay hydrated and balance your sodium levels with bananas and raw coconut water!

    Christine F. Mitchell says:

    ditch the scale! read some Geneen Roth and you will see why!

    Claudia says:

    I would get a scale that measures body fat and water content. Weight can be very deceiving, do you feel that your clothes are less tight? At any rate, you feel better and are more than on the right track. I also think some foods are very healthy yet they might not help with losing weight. Good luck! 🙂

    Amanda says:

    I don’t weigh myself anymore. There are so many reasons your weight fluctuates – muscle, water weight, time of the month bloating, etc. My trainer measures me every month and I just watch how my clothes fit. And if going up the stairs is getting easier, or lifting heavy grocery bags is getting easier, I feel like I’m making progress. Keep it up!

    SS says:

    What Liz said!

    Kay Be says:

    I started my fitness journey about 6mons ago but really committed to it about 3 months. I do a mix of Barre3, spin and 4mile runs 4-5 times a week and some weeks are way better then others. I like to weight myself once a month but I’m not really taking that number into consideration. Sure I would like to be the weight that my licenses says I am, but I’m 30 and its summer and Rose just taste so good on a hot day. You seem like such a happy woman that I think that you are going kick 100% butt bc it’s all about that PMA

    Cassandra says:

    Don’t weigh yourself. Just don’t. Throw out your scale, I mean it, even of it goes down it isn’t giving you the right information.

    Go by how you feel, how your clothes fit, and of you need a metric use a tape measure. SO much more accurate when you are working out and building muscle.

    Love,
    A part time nutritionist.

    hannah says:

    Super inspiring to hear about your fitness & health journey! Best of luck as you continue on (: XX

    Judy says:

    Try a nutritionist, it’s what I did when I didn’t see my weight change after 2-3 months of 5x a week work outs. Turns out I was eating too much (even though I was eating all healthy stuff). A calorie of as asparagus is the same as a calorie of chocolate. Exercising also makes you hungrier, so keep that in mind when eating post workout. Keep logging your food intake and stay around 1500-1600 on days you exercise and closer to 1200-1300 on days you don’t. Also my nutritionist recommended this: for two weeks you create a meal plan of around 300 cal for breakfast (Greek yogurt with berries bc it has a ton of protein) 400 for lunch (usually a salad with protein, dressing on the side!) and 400 cal for dinner. Leaves about 100-200 discretionary calories for the glass of wine (120 cal) or sweets in my case. By keeping to the same, but maybe boring, meal plan for two weeks, you start to see the effects!! Keep it up. Also try soul cycle next time you’re in NYC 🙂

    Kaelyn says:

    I felt the same way about the scale numbers. I weighed myself at 145 and then a week into it I weighed 142, then two days later I was back at 144. Ay yi yi! The scale is so exhausting so lets both ignore the scale and focus on how we feel! Yay for flat feeling stomachs!

    Katherine says:

    I’ve been doing a nutrition challenge through Camp Gladiator here in Dallas and I had the same frustrations with the scale not moving. BUT I’ve learned the scale lies! Part of our challenge involves body fat testing at the beginning and end of the 4 week challenge. My “dry weight” or scale weight was only down by about 3 lbs (and I was working out HARD and eating super clean…more calories, but clean calories). Then I did the dunk and couldn’t believe the results. I had actually gained 3.5 lbs of muscle, and lost 7.5 lbs of fat! That meant a nearly 4% decrease in body fat in 4 weeks, which my trainer said was great. SO, it’s so so hard, but don’t get discouraged by the number on the scale! Good things are happening!

    Lindsay R says:

    I try to stick with weighing myself every other day. I did a workout program (Kayla Itsines) and she suggested the every other weigh day as well.
    I don’t love running but I find after sticking with it, working out, eating good, it’ll will take me about 4 weeks to see my body toning up. The scale doesn’t move drastically but you have to count in muscle. Also, it sounds so silly to be so exact with food but cutting down carbs (even the good ones) to smaller amounts make a huge difference.
    I can’t agree more with metabolism changing in late 20’s! I’m 28 and things are not the same from when I was 20.
    And I think cheat meals are wonderful. I need something to look forward to or else it’s just depressing to me. As long as I keep my cheat meal within an hour, I think it’s fine. It gives me something to workout towards.

    LOVING these posts! You two are an inspiration to me!

    brookstar says:

    i’m 35 now and definitely am finding it harder to shift the extra pounds, but i do find that consistency is key. i find that it takes about 6 WEEKS of exercise and diet changes to start noticing the difference on the scale, but once it happens, it continues. maybe its water weight, gaining muscle, my body trying to stay the same – who knows? but, one thing that has helped me, and can be very tricky for somebody who might have had an eating disorder, is to weigh myself twice a day. i have a withings scale that tracks my weight and i have an app that collects the information. my weight goes up and down in the morning and at night, and what this does it it shows an upward or downward trend, instead of individual data points. the fluctuations get evened out, and i have a clearer idea of what is going on. i’ve also found that this has been the most effective way to not gain weight – if i notice the trend moving slowly upwards, i can catch it before i “need” to lose weight and just adjust my lifestyle as a response. also, food tracking. i was surprised by how much extra wee bites add up and usually just knowing i have to log my food is an incentive to not overeat or to be very mindful. good luck! you’re doing great and following along has been inspirational for me as well. Thanks!!!

    Jess says:

    Don’t weigh yourself. When I started working out my weight only dropped a pound or two then it increased about 6 lbs. I got really discouraged at first but the longer I stuck with my diet and exercise I began to see results! I just needed to give my body time to lose the fat weight and build muscle tone. It just takes a lot longer than we would like. Keep up the hard work!

    Meagen says:

    I went through a workout phase last year where I would weigh myself everyday and got so discouraged when the scale wouldn’t move. This time around I haven’t looked at it and take progress shots every week instead.I think doing this encourages me to keep going. The scale eventually made me give up. It’s an evil, evil thing :p

    Aly says:

    I would recommend reading “It Starts with Food!” It took me a few hours to read a weekend ago and might help you crack some of the weight loss codes.

    jo says:

    the reality is that muscle weighs more than fat, so as you start working out your muscles are developing. this could be a big reason for the scale not being a good indicator of overall health particularly as we transition to a more active lifestyle. keep it up!

    Jody says:

    This was me a couple months ago. I started eating better and working out three weeks before a trip to Tulum thinking that would do the trick, nope. The scale hardly budged and I didn’t see many changes in my body. I fell off the wagon pretty hard while on vacation but picked it back up once I got home. Now I’m seeing some real changes (I’m just a little over two months into the game to give you a point of reference). I’m down at least one pant size and have lost 10 lbs (I started at 155 lbs, I’m 5’6″ and 31 years old for more reference :). I got a Fitbit and that has helped me so much. I use the vibrating alarm feature to wake up at 5:30 in the morning to go to the gym and it’s not nearly as much of a struggle as it was trying to wake up to a blaring alarm clock. If I’m under the recommended 10k steps I go for a walk before bed. It’s just great motivation and does all the tracking for you. So my recommendations are, give it a couple more weeks and get a Fitbit. Love following along on this journey, thanks for sharing!

    erica says:

    Hi Bri,

    Love your blog and love your #dlgetfit posts!

    I struggled with losing weight for a long time before I FINALLY saw the scales move for real. Much like you, I was wanting to just get healthy and active overall and drop about 15 lbs.

    I didn’t see the scales move much until I did WeightWatchers. I would work out, eat healthy, and nothing would happen. I’m not advocating at all that you have to do the WW program to lose weight, but I think their principles go a long way. Before starting WW, I THOUGHT I was eating healthy (and I was eating healthy foods), but my portions matched those of my 6 foot 4 boyfriend, and I didn’t understand why I wasn’t losing weight. WW taught me that portion control is imperitive and that snacking adds up a LOT (even if it’s a healthy protein bar. sometimes those pack in like 300 calories!)

    Week-to-week the weight loss was incremental, but when I would look back after a month, I was able to see I had lost 3-4 pounds or so (which is hard to do!)

    So hang in there, look for other ways you might adjust. You’re doing great!

    jane doe says:

    I just started listening to “the gifts of imperfection. As someone who has struggled with eating disorders and distorted thinking about my body and food. I have found it is hard to diet and count calories and measure steps and track. I am still trying to figure what what does work when one struggles with eating issues from the past. Although I don’t engage in eating disorder behavior for the last few years, my thinking is still disordered. I really appreciate reading journey towards health because sometimes it should be about health vs weight.

    Thanks!

    kate oates says:

    Great work you two!

    Bri – Ditch the scale, drink tons of water, keep moving, and focus on intuitive eating. Over time the weight will fall off. And don’t think of certain foods as cheating. Everything in moderation! We have to enjoy life, right? And please read up on intuitive/mindful eating. It will change your life!

    Kara says:

    Don’t give up. When I first started working out / eating healthier I would weigh myself around once a month. Your body has a lot of toxins/chemicals to rid of from eating so many processed foods and junk. I started at 172lbs and now 3 years later I’m 131. I saw the most progress after a few months when I wasn’t sneaking in cheat weekends instead of a cheat meal. Or allowing myself to have dessert “every night” even if it was a skinny cow ice cream (which now I know are HORRIBLE for you). Just have patience, do yoga breaths and stop worrying. The more worry and stress you put on your body the more your weight won’t fall off. I also recommend eating/exercising for hormone balance. So many women don’t realize how imbalanced their hormones are. Sara Gottfried wrote some amazing books on balancing hormones and explaining how you need to go about balancing them. She takes science and makes it understandable. Lastly, don’t expect results over night. If you want to keep and maintain a healthy lifestyle it takes time to adapt and you shouldn’t rush the process. When you rush the process 9/10 times you will give up and go back to your old ways. But you are on the right path! Keep it up 🙂

    Steph says:

    I just did a diet and fitness challenge where they dunk take body fat test you at the beginning and end. I gained 1.3 pounds over the course of the challenge and I was so bummed. When I did the test though it showed that I lost six pounds of fat and gained 6 pounds of muscle! There is hope! Keep on keeping on!

    As a fitness professional I can tell you it takes time. Our bodies change a lot along with our chemistry, so your body def processes life differently than before. Remember the days where we didn’t have hangovers? Same thing. I takes a bit more work, effort and patience. BUT. Please, find content, strength and happiness in knowing that you are making positive changes. Everything else will fall into place. You are a beautiful soul, let it flourish. The results are worth the wait.

    Casey says:

    Don’t weigh yourself! Or maybe at least not next week. If you FEEL better and LOOK better, what’s a number, right? Don’t let it detract from the hard work you’ve been doing working out and eating right when you can!

    Erika says:

    Bri, this article will explain why your not dropping a lot right away:

    Bottom line: day in and day out, if you commit to exercising and eating healthy foods, but not eating too much, you WILL eventually see a change. It really is good advice to view your lifestyle changes as just that rather than a means to an end because it’s not like you can reach a goal weight and then return to old habits. Also, measure yourself and take weekly progress photos if you need confirmation that your lifestyle changes are having an impact. The scale is a liar. Better to weigh your food than your body!

    Hang in there because you’re doing something wonderful for yourself!

    Meg says:

    So, loving these posts Bri and jumping in because I have a few particular thoughts about weighing oneself. I made a decision at 15 never to weigh myself again (I’m now 34), after seeing a friend stress about being a kilo up / down from day to day. I remember thinking ‘trouble that way lies’. And it’s been a blessing to me – I have a very healthy relationship with my body for a whole range of reasons (though mostly a strong and much-loved yoga practice) and I think this is key. My weight goes up and down a bit (currently on the up as I’m three weeks into a four week holiday in Europe)(and loving your Berlin tips too, thank you so much for sharing!) but mostly I’m conscious of how I feel, not how much I weigh. How I feel can be anything from round, tired, achey, strong, supple, clean, dynamic or tight, depending on the day. Everyone is different, and I’m certainly not interested in judging anyone on what works for them, I just think that taking the emphasis off a number (which can be so misleading) and embodying your health – as in, how you FEEL – is a pretty good idea…

    Erin says:

    It takes me a . . . while to see results. Whatever anyone wants to attribute that to is fine, but it takes as long as it takes. If the scale bums you out, by all means don’t get on it! 😉 Enjoy how you feel and celebrate all the wonderful things you’re doing for yourself. It’s pretty cheesy but that’s worth more than anything the scale says. Try to find the certainty that eventually you will see the physical changes you want to see. Weigh-ins mess with my mind too much, and even after 50lbs lost and maintained for 4 years, I still opt to skip the scale unless I need a wake up call or I’m flying high and I know it won’t affect my progress to hop on. Yay! For all your hard work! I’m loving following this journey.

    joani d says:

    Hi Bri! I’m trying to workout & cook more this summer, so I love following along with this series. Thanks for making it seem more fun! Also, I’m a NOLA girl—so I know all too well that it’s full of great food (& drinks!). You should for sure splurge while you’re here. But if do find yourself wanting something healthy, Juice NOLA at St. Roch Market is great & District Donuts has green juice most days too (in addition to great sweets of course). And you should for sure get a snoball at Hansen’s! And crispy kale from Domenica!

    sophia says:

    I just saw this, and I agree with you – I’m totally in love with class pass!

    Ansley says:

    The most important thing I’ve learned my own health journey is that everybody is different. What works for one person may not work the same for someone else. Finding what works best for you and gets you to the results you want just takes time, which is the really hard part. Staying motivated during that frustration is SO difficult, but once you find your own sweet spot between how much you work out vs how much you eat and start actually SEEING results, it’s actually enjoyable to make the healthy choices. In my experience consistency is key but so is enjoying life, so it’s great that you splurged some at that AMAZING mumu party as long as the next day you’re back on track. And like many others I would definitely suggest measuring yourself instead of just weighing, I personally liked a system of measuring each week and weighing every other week (or maybe not even weighing at all depending). If I felt really happy with my results that week I usually wouldn’t weigh in because that number doesn’t truly represent your progress. you’re doing awesome so far and if you keep it up and give it a few more weeks I think you’ll get closer to the results you want. You can do it!!!

    Vic says:

    Hey, so enjoying these posts! The things that work for me in the stubborn few kilos is water. Just a crap load of water. And flipping your habits on when you eat what. Eat buckets for breakfast and lunch and try really hard to do SUPER boring dinners. Like brown rice and steamed veg dinners. With no sauce. Or balsamic vinegar. That shifted me ridiculously quick. You’re not hungry, but it’s so boring you eat less and the saying goes ‘breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen and dinner like a pauper.’ Works. Having said that, totally agree with the not weighing yourself as the marker. Do body fat measurements. Make sure if you’re doing lots of barre classes you throw in some decent cardio, cause they’ll get you strong and shapely but won’t necessarily get rid of the extra on top. With you all the way!!

    Aubrey says:

    Personally, I think the scale is your worst enemy! There is a common misconception that muscle weighs more than fat, but a pound of muscle and a pound of fat, is still just a pound. The real factor is there is, if you are filling up 2 jars that are the same size; one with muscle and one with fat – it takes more muscle to fill the jar. Therefore, 5 pounds of muscle would fit in the jar, but probably only 1 pound of fat. Have you seen those examples of how much 1 pound of fat is? It’s pretty shocking. Needless to say, don’t weigh yourself, you will become obsessed! Have you seen/looked into the 2 women who have a fitness program, etc. You don’t have to do the program (I don’t), but they have great workouts that you can do at home, it’s what I do because I have a huge fear/anxiety about working out in public with people watching me – they’re called, ” Tone It Up “. You can always do that when you are traveling. Hope that helps and you look great!

    Brianna says:

    Hey Bre + Joanie, first off congrats! You guys are doing so well! The biggest hurdle is building the habits, so now that you’re rounding the 4th week, you should be soooo proud! Just being consistent is the biggest proponent and you’re getting that down for sure.

    Some of the struggle with weight coming off sounds like a mix of diet and the exercises you’re doing. My boyfriend is a personal trainer who works with a professional athletes, men and women alike. So I’ve picked up some tricks along the way. What sounds like is happening is you might be actually triggering your body into starvation mode.

    You’d think 1200 calories sounds reasonable, but its actually not when you’re working out like you are. Between the increase in cardio, and less calories, your body thinks you’re in survival mode and it starts holding onto fat and weight even harder.

    My boyfriend always tells me, eat more! eat more! It sounds crazy but I swear, when I eat about 5-6 small meals a day I lose weight quicker and feel better too. Try the Abs Diet for Women. It worked awesome for me cause it’s a great balance of rules, but nothing too strict. You even get a cheat meal 😉 Check it out.

    Another thing you’re going to have to do, and I know it sounds bananas is stop with so much cardio! Seriously. Cardio is not the best exercise for what you’re looking for. He says it’s good to do some cardio 20-30min about 3x a week but you really don’t need more than that to get the benefits. What you really need is the weights! Start lifting girl! Get a trainer to show you a couple moves and try them out. I swear weightlifting is the best exercise to lose weight (and not you wont get bulky!) Ok I hope that helps. That’s like my exercise 101 ha!

    EmFawcett says:

    Congrats on becoming a regular worker-outerer! I am a graphic designer also and I find it really provides perfect clarity of mind for creative work. I’ve actually designed some of my best work in my head while doing a pump class or going for a run!

    I started off about 3 years ago doing Les Mills body attack classes several times per week and it had a good effect on my mind but like you said, there were no physical changes right off the bat. Doing purely cardio, I found it took a year to see significant changes.

    I decided to change it up after about a year of working out (should’ve cottoned on sooner that I needed more variety) and started to incorporate weight training into my routine. I have to say that in hindsight, weights are the key to changing shape and building true fitness.

    By doing weights I’ve been able to weather situations where I maybe can’t workout as regularly as i’d like and the muscle memory I’ve built up sees me through without too much weight gain or shape change.

    I highly recommend giving it a go. Start small and as you get stronger you can build up the weight. As long as you are partaking in training that is high reps you don’t need to worry about getting too bulky.

    I aim for about 1800 cals on weekdays and keep carbs to the bare minimum but ease up on weekends when I let myself eat bread and drink wine. I also eat chocolate everyday, which I couldn’t before I started doing weights!

    There is really no fast track to completely changing ones shape but in 6 months you’ll look back and notice such a difference!

    Good luck! I love reading the updates 🙂

    EmFawcett says:

    Oh and I highly recommend not weighing yourself, why undo all the peace of mind you receive from exercising only to agonise over a number? You’ll know when you’ve lost weight or changed shape by the way you feel and how your clothes fit, the scales mean nothing!

    Erin says:

    This is a great series. I enjoyed reading all three of your health challenge posts all the way through. I just moved back to southern california a couple of weeks ago, and since I’ve been here, my best friend from high school and I are pretty much living the same life you and Joanie are living in the workout/eating world! I actually have a (not-literal) TON to lose, since I gained 80 lbs over the course of about a year. It wasn’t until 5 years later I found out I have an auto-immune/thyroid thing and can’t eat hardly anything anymore because of it (luckily i didn’t gain more than the 80, phew!).

    Sooooo, I’m REALLY excited you are sharing all of your gluten/dairy free foods because that means I can eat it too!! I’ve already saved a few of the ones you’ve shared!

    As far as the scale goes, I do notice the scale wont move if I’m ovulating/pmsing, but right after “that time of the month” (i know, i know), the weight will drop LIKE CRAZY. Weighing myself less often was definitely helpful, it’s just hard to stick to when you feel like you’ve been so good and you want that gratification. I will say though, it’s kind of motivating having weigh-in days so far apart, because I know I tend to work harder the closer I get to “weigh-in.” I’m competitive, so I like to beat my own score 😉

    I also wanted to mention that Trader Joes jut got this avocado salsa that’s REALLY good. It has like 3 ingredients in it and I think you can find it near the hummus. Ok, that’s all!

    Erin says:

    Also, I too am benefiting from all of these comments! Your readership is a wonderful wealth of knowledge!!

    leanne says:

    I work out 5-6 times a week anyway. But when I add something new to my routine I usually have to wait about 6 weeks before I see any noticeable changes. but I am older than you! and I definitely don’t bother weighing myself. We all know muscle weighs more than fat and then there’s the monthly cycle that definitely adds more weight. So why bother stressing out about the numbers. When I can see the changes in the mirror and the way my clothes fit.. keep at it Bri!!

    PS – I’m heading to Sweden in a few months for the very first time and joanie was so awesome and responded to my email about where to find your post on Stockholm, as I want to visit that garden!! cannot wait

    Kristen says:

    Measurements and pictures will tell you way than a scale! It’s about body composition not a number. Make sure you are eating clean meats and lots of veggies, you can’t go wrong with that. Whole protein is better than created proteins. Any breads you eat should be Ezekiel bread brands, theyre the best!

    Tori says:

    When it comes to the scale, I find discouragement there as well. /: A couple years ago, when I was trying to lose weight, I got so sick of it that I just decided to embrace exercise and healthy eating habits without the worry of my weight. I just focused on the good of it all and how great I felt. After some time had passed, I decided to give it a go and found that I had lost eight pounds, which was huge for me because I seemed to be bouncing back and forth like crazy before, and it was usually just a three pound difference. I’ve now lost sixteen!

    Also, I’ve read that weighing on Friday’s is best because that’s the day you’re more likely to weigh least… right before the weekend ensues. 😉

    Yolonda says:

    You’re doing great ladies! Bri, hang in there with scale thing…it will consistently go up and down. On another note, I love that you have been sharing your journey. It has been inspirational. And I’ve joined the party. I did 3 miles today. I’m not quite up to 6 days a week…just three. But I feel better already

    Megan says:

    Throw your scale away! Judge your progress by the way your clothes fit. If you are looking to drop some weight try the Whole30 for a month. I lost 15lbs within the first month. I keep the eating rules for the most part and then started exercising and dropped another 15. I had had a kid and still carried the weight 3 years later (kids make you drink late at night and eat terrible things) I started going to spin class and got addicted. NOW I am a spin instructor just started teaching mat Pilates and am studying to get my personal trainer certificate. This is all from a girl who had been to the gym a total of 5 times in my life. It’s been 4yrs since I started and am in the best shape of my life and get to help others reach their goals! I teach at Metro Gym In Atwater Village. You should come by! Or if you ever want to work with a personal trainer I would love to work with you! I’m really enjoying this addition to your blog!

    Great article!! Thanks for your inspiration.

    michelle young says:

    BRI!!! Great job, so proud of you, but SCREW THE SCALE. You should measure progress by how you feel in your clothes. Take measurements! Your waist, hips, arms, even breasts. Even if the scale is not moving it’s probably because you’re gaining muscle. However, if you had measured yourself before I am sure you would see a centimeters to inch down difference now even if the scale is the same. Try not to weigh in for at least a month. Long lasting weight loss takes time. Also, take progress pictures. In a bikini- front back and sides. Lastly, don’t give up and cheat meals are good for your mental well-being! Strive for 80/20 (20% being 1 cheat meal a week, but not an entire cheat day). And if you do have a weekend of crappy food, don’t beat yourself up and just get back to it. I usually keep a bar of salted dark chocolate with me all the time so I can have a square or two a day and then I don’t feel deprived. Good job and you are inspiring me!

    Anna Rosa says:

    Well I’m sure someone has already mentioned it above, but I’ll share my experience just in case. I started excactly as you did, and I followed pretty much the same rules you follow. I live in Greece so getting fit for summer is something almost every girl does. But this year I have tones of work to do so I won’t have the time to go to the beach, hence no rush to show my perfect abs “I wish I had”. Anyway, that took a lot of pressure out of my shoulders and when I started working out I didn’t aim to the extremely fast weight loss but mostly to achieve a healthy lifestyle! So, the first month I think I lost 1 kg ( sorry I don’t know how much is that on lbs ) but I kept going! And by the end of the second month I had lost 4,5 kilos. Which is wow!! I mean it is like everything falls to order on the second month. Your body will ask for workout and you’ll start preferring healthy meals than fatty meals. Not always! I still crave a summery and colorful cocktail – which probably has 500 calories at least. And I still want the bread now and then. But I do what you do. I have them once a week and and I still take care of my body 🙂 so keep up the good work and I believe that your body will thank you within the next month !!

    Dominique says:

    I experienced a similar situation. You should possibly check your thyroid and adrenal glands. My thyroid was way off, but you have to go to someone who actually understands modern medicine (it took me 3 try’s to find a solid doctor in LA and that included a couple of doctors at Cedars). Let me know if you need more info and keep up the good work!!!

    The more you exercise, the more you like it! Getting started is the hardest part, but you’ve got it! -Audrey |

    Emilia says:

    The most common advice I’ve found when relating to this stuff is to measure yourself – your waist, your tummy etc and then to document that – and not to look at the scales…. It’s more visible that you’re losing the wobbly bits that way and can see the progress quicker… Plus I’ve been told with cardio it will take a while to see the effects (this is from a friend who has very little body fat) – apparently you should bring in weights if you want to see a quicker difference 🙂

    andra says:

    DON’T QUIT!! it sounds like working out is bringing you myriad benefits besides moving the number on the scale, so stay focused on those things. I am also a firm believer in only weighing in 1x per week. and make sure it’s consistent (always after a shower, before breakfast, for example) because weight can fluctuate through the day. I bet you’re also pushing out some fat and replacing it with muscle so the # isn’t everything. are your clothes fitting better? use that as a guide.

    stephanie says:

    bri! i feel you on the scale issue. a lot of times i think to myself- damn, i’ve been working hard!- and you kind of start having some expectations on your way to the scale only to be a little let down seeing that final number. but there could be so much more to it, and maybe we can all use a little less “scale time” in our lives. you said you’ve been working out almost every single day, and i’m so inspired with the changes you said you’ve made with your diet (that is my daily struggle…i work at a bakery…so…) that is so much to feel accomplished with already. a number on the scale doesn’t even compare to the feeling of those accomplishments. at the end of the day we have these feelings that we hold tight, not a number. , who knows, maybe it’s alllll muscle (flex)

    i love these fitness posts by you guys! thanks for the inspiration.

    Michelle says:

    My weight loss took FOREVER to come. My metabolism was so out of whack that I was working out for at least an hour most days and didn’t start seeing big changes for almost a year. It was frustrating but motivating. I am really stubborn and determined. I had to start focusing on other metrics. Measurements and body fat % became much more important to keep me motivated. It helped to keep me from being a slave to the scale. Now I don’t jump on it except once in a blue moon. I like working out a lot still. It’s my means for keeping sane, healthy, and allowing me to eat pretty much whatever I want. I love food! Bring on the truffle mac!

    Keep it up. The progress will come. You’re building a lifestyle! You’re already doing a fantastic job at making changes!

    Robyn says:

    I would look into having your thyroid checked. Not just the standard TSH test that most doctors will want to run but a full thyroid panel. That means TSH, T4, T3, Reverse T4, Reverse T3 and antibodies. Most people think of thyroid disease as one of middle age but Hashimoto’s (the most common reason for hypothyroidism) often starts in your teens or 20’s. I remember from a previous post that you also suffer from anxiety? That’s another symptom. It can’t hurt to check!

    Molly says:

    I have been on the same journey! I’m 5’6 and started at 150 and HAVEN’T BUDGED in three weeks. I’m eating on average 1500-1800 cals per day and doing hard workouts 3 times a week (60 min class of Body Pump) along with at least getting 300 calorie workouts in 4 days a week. It’s frustrating, but I feel much better! I’m going to see if I can see results in a month and if not, I’m going to reevaluate what I’m eating. I eat mainly veggies, meat, & fruits with basically no dairy, but am eating a bit of bread/gluten each day!

    Kristin says:

    Congrats on your progress so far. I definitely understand the frustration of the scale! What might be helpful to remember is that a scale does not (and probably should not) be the only, nor the main measure of progress! You say that you are feeling better and that you feel like you look better. I think the intrinsic value is so much more important than external motivators, so hopefully you let your internal scale do more of the weighing!!

    i weigh myself, but honestly measurements work the best for me. i can lose inches in my waist or thighs without losing weight, so that’s the best indicator to me. you should try it!

    jm says:

    All I can say is: THE SCALE IS A LIAR! I think the idea of not weighing yourself is a great idea. It’s hard – because you want to see that “number” proof – but from my personal experience and watching my sisters over the years (we’ve all dealt with weight issues or rather just trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle) the number is not usually a good representation of what is actually happening. Last year I went on kind of a crazy diet – it was healthy but it was intense! I lost weight in weird places and totally noticed a difference. It looked like i had lost like 25 pounds when in reality I had only hardly lost 15. Maybe try measuring yourself. If you’re working out you’re definitely going to be gaining muscle weight. The sheer proof that doesnt lie: how do your pants fit? haha. If you’re clothes start to fit better and you FEEL better thats way more satisfying than a silly number. Screw the number and just keep going! <3

    Kate says:

    I mean this with love: your health should be about how you feel in relation to your body. If you focus on numbers, especially agonizing over one pound differences, you will be struggling with yourself constantly. I gain and lose five pounds every single day with water, food, etc. It’s pointless to look at the number.

    My best advice is to start a journal and answer the question “How did my body FEEL today?” every single day. That’s it.

    Love yourself, and best of luck.

    Emmy says:

    About your comments on not noticing the weight come off – Measure yourself and go by the results with this. I’ve been on a healthy eating and working out run since Feb, and I have noticed hardly any weight loss however I’ve lost 4 inches on my hips and my clothes fit better. It’s the body you see and use every day, not the weight or scales. So maybe go by measurements but dont take too much from the sales – after all, muscle weighs heavier than fat!

    Emmy xx

    Jennifer Diaz says:

    Hi Bri! I love hearing all about your experience with the health challenge! I’m a certified exercise physiologist and have had many similar conversations with a handful of clients who have been frustrated with the lack of movement on the scale. As many people have already suggested, taking circumference measurements is a great way to track your progress. Often when you begin working out your body will develop muscle (which is great and helps you burn more fat) and can cause you to stay the same and even sometimes gain lbs. in the beginning. Taking some before and after photos can also help you to see the small changes as you go and it is always motivating to actually see the progress! Also, slow progress is often the best kind because you’ll have a better chance of maintaining and won’t be as likely to yo-yo, which can be hard on your body/metabolism. I hope this helps! Don’t worry about that scale and keep up the great work!!

    Stay off the scale! The number on the scale is not accurate of your actual weight loss because when you start working out you gain muscle and that adds weight. Take measurements!! I did that when I started my journey and those measurements blew me away! Another thing is to take before and after pictures. You’ll see massive differences in the way your body looks even if the number doesn’t change a lot.

    Brei says:

    I’ve battled the same thing, not seeing results on the scale. I started taking photos every 3 weeks and that’s what has really kept me motivated. SEEING actual body progress has been an amazing motivator. Take quick photos (I do it on my underware, but you could also just do shorts and a sports bra) of my front, Side, Back and I compare the current week with my beginning week. I don’t touch the scale anymore because playing the numbers game can get into your head and bring you down. Becoming healthy has turned into being less about my measurements and more about how I feel in my body and about my body. Keep up the good work!

    Marissa says:

    I feel like I’m almost identical to you in weight and age. Maybe not height? Focusing on the scale can be a real buzz kill. As the others suggested, take your measurements in addition to weight to establish your baseline. Many gyms offer body composition analysis (I just did an “InBody” scale through my gym in Austin for $10). Maybe only weigh yourself every 2 or 3 weeks. Also, the classes you take sound great, but make sure you’re getting in your cardio. Try to count the calories you burn, total them up for the week, then try to burn 200 or so more next week.

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