UPDATE: The Weight Loss Journey

by Erika Torres

I’ve been dreading writing an update on the weight loss journey (you can read past posts here and here) because I didn’t lose any weight in February. I also wish I could blame it all on the good food I ate in Seattle (I mean, really, who diets on vacation?), but truthfully, I hadn’t really lost any weight before that either.

I want to believe that it’s because I’m gaining a whole bunch of muscle and this is why the scale hasn’t budged. But I’ve been stagnant for about 6 weeks.

I know you all may be thinking that I’m really cheating all the time or perhaps I’m not working out enough or hard enough. But I swear I break a really big sweat every time I hit the gym. (see proof above)

And there’s so much confusing information out there. Some places tell me I need to stick to 1200 calories a day. Then others tell me no less than 1500 or else I’m just losing muscle.

And you know how weekends are my weakness, right? Well, this past weekend I tried really hard to just eat normal, rather than overindulge. Although Sunday I did go to brunch with the family and pigged out, but it was my only meal for the entire day! I know that’s not healthy, but cut me some slack okay?

For March, my friend and I signed  up for an unlimited boot camp for $17 thanks to one of those deal sites. We’ve been going to the 6 am class almost every weekday morning, and I even ran on Saturday too!

Here is a typical day’s worth of meals for me right now:


  • 200         1 cup Kashi Go Lean Crunch
  • 100         1 cup fat free milk or greek yogurt
  • 60           2 tablespoons flax seed (Dr. Oz’ orders)
  • 120         1 banana
  • 90           Whey protein (I eat half of the whey shake before and half after my workout, same with the banana)


  • 300         2 cups Chicken Pot Pie Soup (minus the chicken or potatoes, basically just a bunch of veggies, but it’s soooo good) or Baked Potato soup (minus the bacon and skim on the cheese)


  • 300         Apple with 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • OR
  • 200         carrots and 2 tablespoons hummus


  • 300         Chicken and veggies, or fish and veggies, or soup


Weight goals for this month:

  • Work out at least 20 times (or 5x a week)
  • Do not overindulge on weekends! Come on Erika, you can do this!
  • Fit into my jeans comfortably by the end of the month for our one-year anniversary pics! (this means losing at least 5 pounds…I’m already behind so we’ll see…)

How is your weight loss going? Any tips?

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Anonymous March 13, 2011 - 6:59 am

If you haven’t already incorporated weight training into your gym routine, I highly recommend doing that. If you are concerned about “bulking up”, never fear. You won’t, no matter how hard you try! But building up your muscles will help you burn more calories at rest, look leaner and makes carrying the groceries in lots easier. 🙂

Alternate your food and workout routines. Your body will acclimate to the same food and same workout within a few weeks, and get more efficient at it. (By efficient I mean burns less calories). The boot camp will mix it up I’m sure, good call on that one.

Also consider having your thyroid checked. When your body defies math, it’s time to look at the hormones. I hit a plateau that just didn’t make sense, and eventually someone tested my thyroid and found I had mild hypothyroidism. Easy to get back on track after that is addressed.

Good luck! It’s hard to lose weight the right way. Really hard!

Lindy Mint March 12, 2011 - 8:00 am

That chicken pot pie sans chicken soup sounds yummy! I’ll have to give it a try.

I have lost weight so many times using the calorie reduction method or the extreme workout method. But I always gain it all back. For the first time in my life I’m trying to create sustainable habits – skipping candy after lunch, walking a few miles a day, enjoying smaller meals. Needless to say, the weight loss has been slow, to the point of being unrecognizable, but I keep holding out that these changes will benefit me in the long run.

It is confusing all the contradictions that are out there. Some studies even say that exercise does nothing for weight loss. But as long as you feel good doing what you’re doing, that’s what matters in the end.

Afford-Anything.com March 10, 2011 - 3:23 pm

Your meal plan sounds great … very similar to mine. My trouble is sticking to it on the weekends! That’s when friends want to go out to dinner together … Friday night leads to burgers, or cheesy pasta, or nachos. No doubt about it.

But I’m slowly steering my friends towards dining out at sushi restaurants, instead, which everyone is amenable to …

One day at a time!

Best of luck with your goals!

Serena March 10, 2011 - 3:08 pm

Hi! I just found your blog through Debt-Free by Thirty’s blogroll…

Since I’m new to your blog, I’m a bit NOT up-to-date on your weight loss progress, but as a newlywed carrying “newlywed” weight, I can at least generally relate. But at least one of the two of us is working on it!

By the way, I wish I could look as happy as you after a butt-kicking workout. I’m prior service and let me tell ya- I DID NOT look as peppy as you after PT.

Remember, muscle is much heavier than fat, so go more for more “how you look and feel” and don’t worry so much about the [weight] numbers!

Keep up the good work!

Serendipity March 10, 2011 - 12:32 am

Oh dear. Losing weight is something I’ve been struggling with for awhile. Perhaps your body is at it’s healthy weight and now all of the healthy changes are helping you maintain your weight? Weight loss is tricky but keep at it. =)

Teacher Girl March 9, 2011 - 7:09 pm

Hang in there girlie! I haven’t lost any weight either =( I know that you are working out and that it WILL show eventually! You look amazing no matter your weight. I know it’s frustrating, but keep at it.


Eva March 9, 2011 - 6:15 pm

I used to obsess about food, run ten miles a day, and generally, my weight was my number one worry/concern in my life. Over the past two years, my life has changed remarkably and I would have to say that one of the catalysts was Bethenny Frankel’s book “Naturally Thin.” Now I’m happier than I’ve ever been, weigh less/am a size smaller than before, work out only 2-3 times a week (and often it’s only going for a 2 miles walk), and don’t worry about food anywhere near as much as I used to. Everyone is different in so many ways, so it’s difficult to give advice… My first step was basically just that I began focusing on my desire to feel GOOD (inside and out), as opposed to just feel thin. Because the truth was, even when I felt thin, I was still obsessing about food and anxious about gaining weight. What I do now so I don’t obsess is log one number (on a scale of 1-7) every day that I use to identify how much I ate that day. And I only estimate, so there’s no counting calories or points. Basically, 1 is the “Slim to None” category, which is for days when I’m sick and don’t really eat and 7 is like a full-on binge, like on Thanksgiving Day. 4 is the “Just About Right” category. Basically, I seem to end each week somewhere between 28 and 32 total points of energy (food) intake. I keep track like this, b/c historically when I don’t pay any attention to what I eat, I’ll consistently over eat, and while I pay too much attention, I obsess about it and am unhappy. So this way of doing it is my happy medium. Sorry for the long schpeel… suffice it to say, it’s a journey; you’re doing fine; adjust your path as needed to suit what you feel is a happy life. All the best!

Sarah Soon-To-Be March 9, 2011 - 4:21 pm

LOL I love that you posted the sweaty tank pic. Lunch soon? Veggie Grill is so diet-friendly and your soup lunches seem a little boring, IMO 😉

Shaba March 9, 2011 - 12:02 pm

Dude, I’m with you on the scads of confusing information. I feel like everyone has their own ideas about weight loss and nutrition and I just can’t take it anymore. I’ve been doing WW for about a month, and I lost 7 pounds. Now I’m stuck, which isn’t surprising. I maintained at the weight I’m at for a few years so i think it’s my body’s natural set point.
I know I need to do better with the eating though, i’m pretty good about workouts, but I looovve food.
I eat through my points so fast, it’s not fair.

Bronwen March 9, 2011 - 9:59 am

So I have been back at Weight Watchers since the second week of January, and so far I’ve lost 11 lbs! It is an extra expense, but I honestly have never found anything that works as well for me.

It’s not just about calories — it’s also about the mix of carbs/protein/fat/fiber that’s going in. The WW system takes all of that into account, and I find that when I really “do” the program, the weight falls off. I find the meetings helpful, but you can also just do it online for a relatively cheap price.

Right now I pay 30/month for the whole shebang (online, meetings, etc.) but I really can’t put a price on how good I feel (and am starting to look!)

lola March 9, 2011 - 9:20 am

best tip ever? EAT SLOW.

that’s it, but it’s harder than it sounds. Try counting to 30 chews with each bite (it’s ridiculous, but it works). By eating more slowly, you become more cognizant of when you’re full and end up eating much less per meal than usual.

this becomes a habit over time, and you’ll find yourself more aware of when you’re no longer hungry and when you’re sated vs. really full or stuffed.

Kim March 9, 2011 - 8:23 am

One thing I’ve learned that can sneak up on you – the stuff that goes into dinner. Do you use olive oil or butter to saute your meat or veggies? It’s not bad, but there could be calories that seem to be too small to matter but they really add up! Ditto a handful of m&ms at the office.

Tabitha March 9, 2011 - 7:55 am

Oh man, I can imagine how discouraged you’re feeling! I’m sure you ARE gaining some muscle mass if you’re working out that hard, but it still kinda sucks not to see progress on the scale. Do you feel better physically, or notice a difference when you look in the mirror? That’s sometimes a better indicator than the scale. Do you weigh yourself at the same time of day and/or same day of the week? (I recommend mornings, after you use the bathroom but before you shower.)

As for the calorie thing, I’ve used the below link (or similar tools) to calculate how many calories my body needs to MAINTAIN my current weight, then you just reduce your calories by x depending on what you’re hoping to lose. Burning 3500 calories is a pound (I think?) so if, for example, your body needs 2500 calories a day to maintain and you want to lose 2 pounds a week, you should reduce your daily calorie intake by 500. Maybe you’re not eating enough and your body is holding onto everything because of it? (I’m not saying that’s what it is, but it’s possible. I personally try not to ever have LESS than 1200 calories in a day, or I end up feeling totally run down.)


Oh, and make sure you are drinking SHIT TONS of water. 🙂

Jessica March 9, 2011 - 7:10 am

you’re doing great!!! My weight loss isn’t going so well either.. I’ve been busy with moving that I’ve really slacked. I’m trying to tell myself its ok and that packing and cleaning and heaving boxes to and fro count for something!! So I’m trying to eat good. Oatmeal or yogurt for breakfast, then an apple, then soup for lunch, a veggie for a snack and a small portion for dinner. My goal is to get into my jeans comfortable too! They are getting to the point where I don’t even want to wear them anymore! Keep it up girl!!!!

jobo March 9, 2011 - 5:05 am

You have a great plan! And your meals sound perfect, as do your workouts. I do agree that you are likely toning up a lot and gaining muscle. I don’t honestly think you need to lose weight! You look fantastic, truly. Not just saying that! Given my own body image issues, I can totally relate to wanting to lose weight but sometimes I struggle with whether that’s my issue, whether it’s mental mostly or whether it’s just dong what I have been doing more of – watching the weekend stuff, since that’s when i ease up a lot more than during the week. Travel has been tough, without a kitchen to cook in, but my goal for next week is to hit Trader Joe’s and get all breakfast and lunch stuff so I just need to eat out at dinner. Good goal, right? all things considered?!


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