Q: I have a confession.
Its been 3 months, I'm up 10lbs and I couldn’t have gained 10 lbs in muscle. I cannot handle this anymore, is EM2WL for everyone? I didn’t go through over a year of hard work to slowly go back to where I started.
I'm trying to stay positive, I'm trying to promote EM2WL but I'm getting sick and tired of it and ready to give up.
I so badly want to go back to my 1200 calorie diet and 2 hours of cardio, regardless of all the articles opposed to it.
A: Ugh! I feel your pain at seeing the scale creep up 10lbs — really, I do. It seems so contradictory, and if I were in your place (and still at the beginning of my journey) I would feel the same way, and would probably look at someone saying what I'm about to say as insane. But having lived to see the other side of it, I can tell you from experience, that 3 months is NOTHING in the grand scheme of your entire life. Especially if you want to win this battle once and for all.
But, as for troubleshooting the gain (which I'm sure is the only part of this that you'll even WANT to hear, lol):
- How much cardio are you doing?
- What types of workouts are you doing, and have the workouts been the same the whole time, or changed?
- When was the last time you took a rest week?
- Are you weighing yourself under the same conditions every time (couple days off of lifting, moderate sodium, etc?)
- Is there something in your diet, in particular, that has increased that could be causing extra bloat water retention (dairy, wheat, gluten, etc)?
I know how frustrating it can be. It took me so many months before my body got back on the right track, that I'd pretty much given up, too. And not trying to scare you off, but…I gained back every.single.pound that I'd lost up until then.
This is not always gonna be a numbers game, and you may not always be able to “explain away” everything that happens on the scale. There are always so many variables, that honestly, you shouldn't even try. Trying to make sense of every single pound that is away from a certain number will drive you insane. Personally, I know that I can hold up to 10lbs of water weight, at any given hormonal moment. I would love for it to only be 2-3 like some ladies, but I just don't get that kinda luck. We are all about the real deal here. I'm not gonna sugar coat it and say to that you may not keep that 10lbs or that all the weight is gonna magically fly off. I'm also not saying that it won't happen, either. But I will say that stressing about it will literally make the problem worse, while not changing the logistics of what must take place here.
This is a mental battle. All mental. If you can stay strong in MIND, the rest can, will, and DOES fall in to place.
A few things to realize:
1) I'm exactly the same size that I was at my “fattest.” Right now. But I'm about 5 sizes smaller, and look 10xs better (if I do say so myself, lol)
2) We tend to get frantic when we start “gaining” during our reset and such, but typically any weight that is gained during the reset is the EXACT amount that you will gain ANYWAY, regardless of if you rode out 1200 cals until goal or did the reset. That's because if you ride out 1200 cals, get to “goal” then start eating normal, your body will still have the same reaction. Much better for your body to do the adjusting NOW, and see what you're really working with, than to be deceived by the false sense of security that low cals gives. Most people don't understand that when dieting, they would need to actually go 5-10 lbs below what they think goal is, because once they get to “goal” they have to allow for weight fluctuations that happen to EVERYONE when they get there. Check out the difference in the weights of former Biggest Loser Contestants. How many stay at the exact weight that they “ended” with?
3) If you do drop back to 1200, then hit a plateau before getting to goal, what do you do? Drop even lower? That is just so unhealthy, and I would pray that you would not let the scale have that much dominion over you. I know that it's hard to get to that point, mentally, where you don't care what the scale says, but it really cannot be your only dictator.
4) Studies have shown a very strong link between delaying gratification and success in life, so look at the ways that this journey will help you in ALL areas of life, not just how you look on the beach this summer. How's that for multi-tasking?
“Going back can sometimes be the quickest way forward.” C.S. Lewis