A Personal Post :: Weightloss approaching 30

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I’m sure I’ve mentioned turning 30 more than a few times in the past weeks. I keep telling myself (and anyone who asks) that 30 is no big deal for me—I feel good about where I am in life, and where I’ve come from to get to this (mostly) comfortable place in my spirit. But one thing keeps sticking to me regarding this looming 2-digit number—and it’s weight. It almost feels like overnight it became hard to maintain a weight that I’m okay with. Before I get into it, I want to start with a disclaimer of sorts—or at least a gentle plea…if you are over 30 I really don’t want to hear some condescending (though well-meant) remark about how “You’re still a baby, wait til you turn 40” or “Oh, you think 30’s tough, wait til you have a baby” or “30’s nothing” or anything similar. I get this All. The. Time. And it doesn’t make feel better. In my opinion, turning 30 is a sort of milestone for me as a woman—and I don’t like hearing from older people about how insignificant it is compared to some other milestone birthday. Know what I mean?

K, thanks.

Anyway, onto the weight loss bit…not for the first time, I’ve joined Weight Watchers online on 7/27. I did it online because I knew I wasn’t going to sit through those meetings with the same type of women who says all of the above dreaded comments. You might recall that I had done a body cleanse a few months back—this was a very dramatic program not specifically designed for weight loss, but in any case it really threw me for a loop. I think of Weight Watchers as a nice, managable tool to train you about portion control and healthy habits. (In general I have a pretty good understanding about healthy eating—I do my best to stay away from processed or prepared foods and never, ever, EVER eat canned veggies!) The first week, as expected was a dramatic 6 lb. loss—it always is in the very beginning. You’re pumped up, you’re committed and you’re shedding a ton of water.  But now I’m into week what, 5? And I’m at a bit of a standstill.  I’m still as committed as ever, but it’s just not happening. I’m working out more than I ever have in my life and I feel pretty good. Lots of people insist that standing on the scale is not a good idea. Admittedly, I’m obsessed with the scale. Everytime I pee I hop on hoping for that tiny little .2 lb. drop.

My frustration is that even though I’m closely following the program, counting my points, tracking every single crumb that I eat the results just aren’t what I’m hoping for. I set a goal loss of about 14 lbs. and in this time since 7/27 I’ve lost a total of 4.4 lbs. I can notice a difference in parts of my body—my tummy feels flatter and my butt feels firmer. Than why is it that stupid scale the only thing that counts in my mind?

Have you tried Weight Watchers or any other plan? Have you noticed a major body change after hitting a certain age? What do you do to kill the obsession with that number on the scale?

18 Responses

  1. Jillian says:

    I really admire that you wrote about this. I turned 30 in February and I always held it up as a great milestone. I thought that by 30 I would have a great career, a family, a house, and exercise routine, a personal style and a body I was happy with. All of those are still completely works in progress and probably always will be.
    To answer your questions, I have tried Weight Watchers and liked it, but have actually been more successful using mycaloriecounter.com. I did notice a body change at 30 – suddenly clothes don’t fit or look right even though I didn’t gain any weight. I think you beat the obsession with the scale by exercising regularly – even if it’s just walking – and feeling good about what you eat and how you treat your body. Good luck with everything!

  2. elizabeth says:

    I feel your pain. 30 is indeed a milestone and it was tough for me too.
    as for the diet/exercise thing, what sort of workouts are you doing? It is clear that with your struggle, you have not found the right fit for your body chemistry.
    weight watchers is great, just don’t get too rigid about it, otherwise you will become obsessive with counting those darn points.
    regardless, stay positive! I know it is hard, but know that there is a solution! we just have to crack the code..so to speak.
    ~elizabeth

  3. Lori says:

    I’m sure you’ve probably heard this, but muscle weighs more than fat. You didn’t mention working out, but I’m guessing you are, so you might be gaining more muscle and losing the fat, making it seem like you’re not making progress, even though you are. Drinking water seems to make a big help, so I’d say keep drinking H20 focus on the inches vs. the number.
    Is the WW plan easy to do? I’ve been wondering about it and thinking about doing it myself. The last diet I did was the protein diet and I lost 25 lb. in 1.5 mo, but gag! Don’t think I can do that again.
    Good luck and please keep us posted!

  4. daisy janie says:

    The comments so far have been really good ones! I have a few items to offer as things to think about…but too much for a comment! Please send me an email (jan@daisyjanie.com) so it will remind me to write a note to you tonight! My husband and I participated in a weight loss competition with our gym, and we really did it to support and motivate our friends who sounded very frustrated (like you) that they had reached a plateau.

  5. I second what Lori said, muscle does weigh more than fat so you really should avoid that scale :) I just go by how my clothes fit.
    That said, I turned 30 back in August but probably for the last year I’ve been battling with 10 pounds that I just cannot get rid of either. I was a ballet dancer for many years and also a vegetarian, so my weight was something that never concerned. But I’ve found that as I crept closer to 30, my metabolism rebelled and even though I was still eating healthy and exercising daily, I gained a few pounds that eventually turned into the dreaded 10.
    Long story short, I’m still struggling to lose that stupid 10 lbs. Some days I get so frustrated about it, but I’m kind of at the point know where I’m just happy to be eating right and exercising. And I’m beginning to understand that maybe I won’t be a size 4 like I was when I was 23, so maybe I should just be happy with my good health :)

  6. I second what Lori said, muscle does weigh more than fat so you really should avoid that scale :) I just go by how my clothes fit.
    That said, I turned 30 back in August but probably for the last year I’ve been battling with 10 pounds that I just cannot get rid of either. I was a ballet dancer for many years and also a vegetarian, so my weight was something that never concerned. But I’ve found that as I crept closer to 30, my metabolism rebelled and even though I was still eating healthy and exercising daily, I gained a few pounds that eventually turned into the dreaded 10.
    Long story short, I’m still struggling to lose that stupid 10 lbs. Some days I get so frustrated about it, but I’m kind of at the point know where I’m just happy to be eating right and exercising. And I’m beginning to understand that maybe I won’t be a size 4 like I was when I was 23, so maybe I should just be happy with my good health :)

  7. karin sampogna says:

    ok – so I am one of those older women who has had a love/hate relationship with weight loss for many years, but one thing I know is that 5 pounds is 5 pounds – feathers, bricks, muscle, fat – weighs the same, but doesn’t look the same. I do believe – throw out the scale… eat what you know is good , everything in moderation… don’t beat yourself up for eating something you love -life goes quickly and we need to enjoy the ride , even the bumps…and mainly, embrace your healthy body for the wonderful things it does for you. Good luck..lifestyle not diet!! xoxo

  8. Ilane says:

    Heya Alissa,
    My thing is trying to stay away from the carbs and sweet stuff but it’s impossible sometimes so I take them for lunch thinking it can take the whole day to digest and be processed as energy before I sleep. Not sure if it’s crazy.
    Anyway, good luck for your weight management programme. No crazy drastic diet pill popping though.

  9. Krista says:

    I am right there with you! I turned 30 in May and freaked out, mainly about my weight. I am using fitday.com to track my calories and my workouts, I have a personal trainer, but I am still not losing weight! So now I am trying to up the amount of protein I eat because I am always hungry (I am going to try the Volumetrics Cookbook to help me feel full) and start training for a half marathon. I don’t have the magic pill for you, but all I can say is hang in there!
    Krista
    Chick 9 Clothing

  10. Alysa,
    Feeling like I have been on WW my entire life or at least most of it, I have an article that I want to send to you on making peace with your food. I even think that there a book (or several on this). WW teaches you about food, portion, balance, recipes and community. It does not teach you to make peace with yourself or your food. Continue to do what you are doing. It all sounds good. If you are really desperate to shed more pounds, there is he Wendie plan and I believe that you can find out more about in on msn.com Basically, it takes the ww plan and shakes it up a bit. Very effective for moving out of the slump. Give it a try.

  11. Sorry about spelling your name wrong.

  12. meg says:

    Throw out the scale…or lock it in the closet somewhere..or keep one at someones house you go to regularly but not everyday. You have to view your weight loss decision as more of a lifestyle change. It takes time and the slower it comes off usually the better. you have to be able to commit to changing your patterns of thinking and relationship with food. I don’t have a very good one. My mom lost 90 pounds on weight watchers and she has kept it off for about 12 or so years now. It can be done. you just have to believe in yourself and also not be so hard on yourself when you do indulge. otherwise you will go backwards.
    good luck.

  13. meg says:

    also…eat lots of protein. it fills you up, feeds your muscles and sticks in you longer so your not as hungry. two eggs in the morning with fruit is better than toast.

  14. Jenn says:

    Hi! I did WW in my 20′s and had my body respond better. Entered my 30′s and did WW a few times. Body responded a little slower. I ALWAYS hit a plateau (both in 20′s and 30′s). A maintenance of weight for a while. Then, I gradually break through again. Had life circumstances that prevented the continuances w WW, but I would do it again. If you’re working out, too, give your body time to swap out fat for muscle (muscle is heavier). At this point, if it’s pretty discouraging, try including measuring inches as well. As you tone, you might be maintaining weight but still slimming down.
    BTW…I really like my 30′s…I’ve looked forward to being in my 30′s since I was a teenager. Not too old, not too young…one more year 30′s to enjoy!

  15. pam says:

    hi there. i’ve stalked your blog for a little while now, never commenting. shame on me. i’m 43. my body changed at about 39 or 40. metabolism slowed drastically. things moved south. last year i hit my highest weight ever, which was about 15 pounds past MY prime. at a petite 5’1″, it all showed and i wasn’t happy. my chiropractor supervised a problem for me called ultra-lite. it’s basically portion control and no carbs, except vegetables, and no sugar. it is very hard to do (especially since i did it over the holiday season!). everything must be weighed, etc. but it was amazing. in 4 weeks i lost 12 lbs and 10 inches. and i felt wonderful! more energy. more stamina. i’ve managed to maintain the weight loss almost one year later thru both diet and exercise. the main thing i took from the program was… eat more vegetables, eat way less carbs, no white stuff, and no sugar. i don’t weigh myself. we don’t have a scale. i judge my weight by how my clothes fit. good luck with your program.

  16. Hi! I can totally understand what you are going thorough. I am doing Jenny Craig and I go once a week to weigh myself. I can only tell you that from my experience these past two weeks: JUST HANG IN THERE! You will see the results real soon :) I have to admit that I am obsessed with the scale too..remember that our bodies sometimes can be so complicated: if we are having our period, exercise too much all of a sudden can be a shock to your body, the time you weigh yourself ect. For two weeks I had only lost 0.2 lbs and I was upset because I have been working out and pushing myself to burn about 700 calories a day, Needles to say in the 3rd week I lost 4 more pounds. It will soon payoff all the sacrifices :) BTW, 30′s are great!

  17. Monica says:

    Turning 30 was MONUMENTAL for me. I was convinced that I would not make it to see my 30th birthday but thankfully I did. I noticed at 25 and at 30 that my metabolism slowed down significantly. I am down 11 lbs since from my peak – o – pudge, but still have 30 more go. Cutting back on portion sizes and eating more whole grains has helped tremendously. I have yet to stay on the workout wagon so my 11 pound weight loss is all the change in diet. Good luck on your weight loss! You can do it!

  18. ThreeBySea says:

    I feel your angst- I turned 30 and things changed. Domestication and motherhood added to it and all the sudden I realize that 40 is not that far off and I really don’t want to settle into THIS body for the rest of my life. I recently started the Flat Belly Diet because it was a healthy, realistic eating plan and something that could be adopted as a lifestyle for our family, not a short term solution. The weight is coming off much slower than I had hoped (the “Lose up to 15lbs in 32 days” is hype about ONE participant it happened to). But I realized that I’m doing this because I want to change my lifestyle, not drop quick weight, so if the weight comes off slower, so be it. Studies show it tends to be more permanent weight loss. Plus, I’m eating more fruits and vegetables now than I have since I was a kid- I’m proud of myself for that!
    As far as exercise, I know I could do more, but I’m appreciating what I do do that involves moving my body- cleaning, playing with my son, dancing to some booty shakin’ music in my living room (with hand weights now and then), short family bike rides we take a few evenings a week.
    Celebrate and focus the ways you do take care of yourself and remember, we are usually our own worst critics!

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