I did some research into various methods for breaking through this little plateau and discovered that I was needing to change a few things.
- I wasn't drinking enough water. I know there are differing schools of thought on how much water one needs to drink, but I wasn't even getting in my eight glasses a day. A week ago I started drinking more water, shooting for 14 glasses a day. At my size, some say I need to be drinking 20 glasses a day, but I'd like to visit other rooms of my house besides the bathroom! I'm compromising at 14 for now. It'll help wash away the used up fat, the toxins my fat was storing, and I'm hoping it'll improve my dry skin and skin tone.
- I needed to change up my routine. I had settled into a routine with the stretching, I was walking at a steady state on an older treadmill, and my weight training routine was already getting easy. I started my making more effort to deepen my stretches (which made me feel so much readier for my workout and gets me into a positive exercise frame of mind). I moved my weight training ahead of my cardio workout to help get my heart rate up before getting into the fat burning phase. I also started lifting as much as I can at three sets of 12, to real fatigue. (I had been taking it a little too easy). I did this to build more muscle faster. I also started creating my own intervals on the treadmill. The older treadmills at my gym don't have an incline feature, so I increased the speed as fast as I could walk for a minute, then dropped it by half for two minutes. For now I'm doing five cycles of these intervals. On non-weight training days, I like to dance! I turn on FitTV and do the Shimmy bellydancing workouts, or I put on the Core Rhythms DVD and get my salsa groove on.
- At home, since I'm living on my own for now, I was not wanting to cook so much, so I bought a lot of diet frozen meals. I'm done eating those and am taking back the control with regards to what I'm eating. I stopped eating beef and instead have started eating organic bison, which is much lower in cholesterol. I have increased how much salmon I eat in a week. I've increased my vegetables back up to the levels I really enjoy eating, and I eat a lot of really colorful veggies too. I'm now eating more sweet potatoes and peppers. I am not going to cut back on fats, but I'm making sure it's not butter so much and more olive oil. And all my grains are whole, which is what I actually prefer.
- I'm getting in my 8 hours of sleep! It took some doing to get me to stick to a schedule, and I still struggle over staying up and watching Stephen Colbert or Craig Fergussen (I'm absolutely in love with both of them...they make me laugh so much!). When I make the choice to stay up and watch them, I do sleep in a bit longer, but I try to get up naturally.
I'm not perfectly religious about keeping to "the plan". I do have my indulgences. I am in love with Luna Bars! I like eating one a day, with a big glass of almond milk, just before going to bed. My favorites are the Lemon Zest and the Nutz Over Chocolate flavors. I also eat a single ounce of high quality dark organic chocolate, like the Dagoba or Valhrona brands, every afternoon. Yum! I really do like eating well, with lots of delightful flavors. I always dress my salads with the freshest extra virgin Spanish or Greek olive oils and a squeeze of lemon juice or splash of seasoned rice vinegar. I also like sprinkling good Turkish oregano on my salads. It's so fragrant and fresh-smelling!
On Sundays, I do absolutely nothing! I indulge my lazy, TV-watching, Internet-surfing reclusive nature. But I do go outside so I can get good hour of natural sunlight into my eyes for my mental health.
So, this morning, the skin on my forearms is visibly jiggly, more than it was last week. I weighed in and found I have lost that five pounds again. If I can push past that into next week, then I'll know I worked through my first plateau. Five pounds at a time, that's all I'm going to work at.