We all know the very likely reasons that keep us from losing weight, but have we ever thought about those unlikely reasons you’re not losing weight?
Reasons beyond “stop eating processed food” or “reduce your salt intake” or “workout more”?
I mean, we read every article, reduce every calorie, calculate every formula and when we expect a positive result on the scale, the results are always the same. Disappointment.
Oh, the tears I’ve cried.
When I gained 50 pounds, I knew damn well how I gained it. That part was pretty easy to determine. I was stressed, I ate too much, drank too much, and let my weight get away from me. Before I knew it, I was 50 pounds heavier than I was before.
Read: My Weight Gain Story.
To my complete horror, I turned into just another 40-year-old fat woman desperate to lose weight. And, I hate to say it, but losing weight after you turn 40 is next to IMPOSSIBLE!
I never wanted to believe it, but it’s true. Your body really starts it’s downward slide to shit once you hit 40.
It’s doesn’t work the same.
Once my own personal pity party had ended, and I finally got my mental shit together, I decided to tackle my 50-pound weight gain.
As usual, I went right back to my old tried and true weight loss strategies.
Weight Watchers and lots of exercise.
I very successfully used this strategy to lose the baby weight with both kids AND to help lose the little pockets of weight that I had gained here and there since my 20’s, so it only seemed natural to use “what always worked”. But…
something was off.
It didn’t take long to realize that I could no longer focus and track what I was supposed to eat. My mental capacity to get this accomplished had shifted.
So I had to take a minute, and think. Take stock and try to figure out WHY I no longer had the capability to lose weight as I normally had.
4 Unlikely reasons you’re not losing weight.
So, what was so different? For me, it was a life shift.
I’m a married 40-year-old woman with two kids, a full-time job, and a massive commute.
Free time is limited and with little to no time for prepping, tracking, and just plain old trying to figure out how to lose this weight gain, losing the weight seemed next to impossible.
But, I was able to get my shit together, AND lose 30 pounds, but it wasn’t without some very serious thought as to why I just couldn’t get over a weight loss hump that I had gotten over so many times before.
Read: My weight loss story.
I had to take a minute and break down some of those unlikely reasons I wasn’t losing weight, to be able to shift my focus and find a solution to my weight loss problem.
Unlikely Reason #1: Options, options, options!!!
When I couldn’t get my mind in the right place to help with my weight loss, and could not lose the weight with my tried and true strategy, I went on a desperate search to find something that would work. Something that was GUARANTEED to work!
In my research, I found a whole lot of diet programs, conflicting research, food lists, weight loss formulas, shakes, cleanses, workout routines, nutrition counseling, pills and so so many products.
The options are endless!
From one price point to the next, I found it next to impossible to find a program that would FIT ME!
It seemed like every program had me track every calorie, macro, mini, and breath I took, or it was so restrictive that failure seemed like the only outcome.
With so many options out there, what do I chose? Is there a one size fits all?
I don’t think there is. But, maybe can we alter the hem to make some of these solutions fit for us?
The fad diet.
Back in the day, I did the South Beach Diet. And when I say “back in the day” I mean, like, 2003.
This was at the height of the low carb/no carb phase of weight loss. And, while I lost a good amount of weight on the South Beach Diet, the list of what I could eat was too restrictive, and very quickly, I left my South Beach days behind me.
BUT, what if there are some concepts of that diet that could work, but with some tweaks that would make the plan more doable for me?
What if I could blend one plan with the other? Find a solution that would work for the long game? Find a solution that allowed me to eat more than 9 almonds a day?
Yes, I do believe it’s possible, but there is only one person who can figure that out, and that’s you.
And,yes, that takes time, but believe it or not, you may have more time than you are lead to believe. (I get into that further in this post.)
Unlikely Reason #2: Science Changes.
I’ve been reading health and fitness magazines (and now online articles) since I was in my teens (so, like, a long time). And, while the basic concepts of weight loss remains the same, the way we go about weight loss constantly changes.
Remember the egg?
Sure, we all know about the egg. For a long time, eggs were considered a dangerous food to eat. Then, the science changed and we could eat the egg, but only the egg white. And then, the science changed again and eggs are, like, a superfood now!
I’ve thought about this, the egg, and the ever-changing science of the egg, a lot. Maybe too much, to be honest.
But, do you think one of the unlikely reasons we can’t lose weight is because we are constantly adjusting our diets to the ever-changing science in our desperate attempt to lose weight?
Did you get that?
Think of that diet rollercoaster we’re always riding. Just when we’re about the get off that rollercoaster, when we find a weight loss plan that works for us, the science changes and we have to start all over again? These changes happen so often that we can never get off that ride!
Honestly, there is so much science and so much information out there that it’s almost impossible to determine what the right approach is for you!
Think about that. How many times have you adjusted HOW you diet/eat based on the ever-changing science?
You hear about a new diet fad or new diet science. They talk about it in all the magazines (do people read those anymore), in online articles, on the news, and daily talk shows. This new science, this new fad, is everywhere! And, it sounds amazing. So amazing that…
you drop everything that you were currently doing, and switch gears…again.
How many times have you done this?
Me? Crap. I’ve lost track!
Reduce the noise.
Maybe, just maybe, we need to start shutting it down, reduce the noise.
If you make adjustments based on new science, and it works for you, great! But, I don’t think it’s necessary for us to constantly CHANGE our eating patterns every time the science and information changes.
When you find what works for you, stick with it! If it makes you feel good and it’s not detrimental to your health, EXCELLENT!
And, if you feel like adjustments are needed, maybe take a look at that new science and see if you think those adjustments might work for you!
Think Old School.
In times like these, I think about my grandparents. They both died in their late 80’s, were healthy, happy, and did not have any significant health issues. They were never overweight, never sick, and always full of so much love.
How did they do it?
They consistently ate a very small breakfast, split a sandwich with fruit and chips for lunch, had a little midday snack, and then enjoyed their dinner.
I’m not joking when I tell you that they did this up until their dying days!
They didn’t have to diet because they ate very consistently every day and very rarely ate above and beyond what they learned their bodies needed.
They didn’t need science or fancy diets to tell them what to eat. They figured that out all on their own.
Unlikely Reason #3: Everyone BODY is different.
Say it with me. Every BODY is different.
What works for someone else might not work for you. And, what works for you, say, 15 years ago, may not work for your current (um, 40-year-old) body!
THAT is science.
It’s about you.
When I was searching for a weight loss solution I was interested in EVERYTHING! And, I was willing to spend a lot of money on it. I just wanted someone to tell me what to do to lose weight. I wanted it gone that badly.
But, all of these programs would have me do exactly what I no longer wanted to do. Track and count. Count and track. Limit this and limit that.
I’m just so over it.
As a 40 plus-year-old working mom with two kids, I saw that as just another thing to add to my day.
BUT, here’s the deal. While that doesn’t work for me, it might work for you.
Sure, I could have lost a lot of weight on one of those programs, but the part of my body that these programs didn’t work for was my BRAIN.
I am currently at a time in my life where I absolutely cannot add one more activity to my day without mental implosion.
But, like I said, that’s ME!
It worked for them!
I have a friend who had gained about 15 or so pounds since turning 40. And, like many, she paid into a program to help her lose weight. And, she lost a lot of weight very quickly. And, she feels great! And, so far, she’s kept it off! And, that’s great, and she looks great!
But, I will NEVER do what she did. Not because I don’t think it won’t work, it’s just that it won’t work for ME!
Why? Because I just don’t want to do any more programs.
I don’t want to be bound to drink shakes and count calories for the rest of my life to maintain a weight loss.
I want to learn how to live my life eating the foods that I love, not RESTRICTING the foods that I love. (Like my grandparents!)
But that’s ME! There are some people who do very well in these programs. Back in the day I was one of them. But, this brain of mine has hit a mental block when it comes to counting calories and I just can’t do it anymore.
As far as a “program” that works for me, I have found something, but it may not be for everybody.
If you have time, I’d love for you to read about it! I’ve lost 30 pounds and it didn’t cost me a thing. It wasn’t an overnight weight loss, it took some time, and I still feel really great!
And that brings me to my final unlikely reason we can’t lose weight…
Unlikely Reason #4: Patience.
Ring the bell! This is it right here. PATIENCE!
I’m going to close this last unlikely reason we can’t lose weight segment with a little story. That’s right, it’s story time.
The other day my daughter asked if her package arrived. You see, we had placed an order for her on a Monday and she expected it on a Tuesday. When she didn’t receive it on Tuesday, she became very concerned because “she needed it right away!”.
We then told her the tale of a day when orders were placed via the United States Postal Service, on a paper order form, with a check for the amount of the item (plus shipping), in an envelope, with a stamp, that was then dropped in a mailbox and MAILED to the company that we were placing the order from.
She was so pleased to hear it…
So, we continued this tale by telling her that, in order to receive the item, we had to wait 8-10 weeks for delivery.
She really loved this story, by the way…
We continued by telling her that, if we didn’t get that item in 8-10 weeks, we had to call the company to see if our order was placed or if the envelope was lost.
Awesome tale, I know…
And then, we had to wait even longer to see if they could locate our envelope with our coveted order and check inside. And, if we were lucky, they would find the order, and place the order, and then we’d have another 8-10 weeks to wait for our item.
But, if we did receive that item in 8-10 weeks as scheduled, we were the happiest people on the face of the earth.
It’s not her favorite story, but whatever, we don’t care.
But, do you see the moral here?
All good things come to those who wait.
The way I see it…
I still have about 20-25 pounds to lose. I lost that first 30 in about a year and I’m still riding that second plateau.
I’m 45 years old. I know I’ve said this in other posts, but my plan is to live until I’m 90. That makes me smack dab in the middle of my life. With 45 years left to live, I have plenty of time to lose the extra 20 pounds I need to lose.
Do I want to take 20 years to lose it? No, but I realize that the slower I go, the greater my success is at keeping it off.
Why? Because I will be learning through all of that time what will work for me.
Keep Reading: 4 Tips to help you manage your hungry.
We have all this extra weight that we want to shed. We see ALL of those success stories and I get it. We’re dying to be a part of THAT statistic, the weight loss statistic, and not the one we’re currently a part of.
We want to click our heels together three times, close our eyes, and wake up a “new me”.
But, that’s not how it works.
In the end, we need to make take these unlikely scenarios and make them work for us.
Be my grandparents.
Take your time, find YOUR plan, make adjustments as necessary, and get back on your wagon. At some point, you will know what works for you.