10-Pound Challenge: Week 8

by Erika Torres

Last Monday marked Week 8 of the Lose 10 Pounds in 12 Weeks Challenge aka the 10 Pound Challenge.

This week, I give updates. In my true form of brutal honesty–is there any other kind–I’ve decided to admit that I have not lost a single ounce since my update on Week 4.

I had planned to shove this under the rug, or pretend that I just “forgot” to do a Week 8 update in the hopes that no one would notice. (would you have noticed?) Because really, how do I–the person who’s hosting this darn thing–not lose weight?


And let me tell you why I don’t know because hopefully you can help me out here.

  • I run 4x a week (at least 15 miles each week and it’s only going to increase with my half marathon training)
  • I do Pure Barre almost every day, and have missed only 4 days since I signed up February 23 (gotta get my money’s worth!)
  • Most days I was sticking to 1300-1500 calories, with a couple of cheat days in betwen, but it wasn’t anything extravagant maybe like 2000-2300 calories total on cheat days
  • I hardly eat simple carbs, and do eggs for breakfast, lentils and cauliflower for lunch, and protein (chicken) and veggies for dinner

I honestly feel like my body just doesn’t want to lose weight. I am 5’7 and have always had a very muscular frame. In high school, I weighed 20 pounds less than I do now, so I know it’s not like I’m asking myself to be super skinny. I want to be 10 pounds less than I am now, which I think is happy medium.


Give me your advice! Any nutritionists out there?

The only thing I’ve come up with is that perhaps I am eating too little. I don’t think I’m fat, and honestly I feel very comfortable in my body, especially with the muscle I’ve gained in Pure Barre. And I know muscle weighs more than fat, but I feel like I should have lost at least something by now!

Since what I have been doing has NOT been working, I decided to take the advice of this girl and up my calories. So this past week, I started upping my calorie intake and have settled on 1700 calories a day. I also started eating carbs again-like whole wheat bread and *gulp* pasta. Oh pasta, how I’ve missed you.

Did the scale budge? Nope, still the exact same weight. Seriously. I didn’t lose any weight when I was eating 1300 calories a day, and I’m not losing any weight eating 1700 calories a day. I’ll take 1700 calories.

Here’s hoping you guys all had better luck than I have:

Andy from Tight Fisted Miser has actually gained weight. Thanks for making me feel better Andy! He’s hop[ing to lose some weight though during an upcoming long hike.

Crystal from Budgeting in the Fun Stuff (also one of our sponsors!) is stuck in weight loss limbo as well! She keeps yo-yo-ing around the same few pounds. Darn those pesky pounds!

One Frugal Girl has lost 9 pounds. Show off.

Incredible Shrinking Libra has lost almost 8 pounds. She’s shrinking alright.

How’s your weight loss going?



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weight loss May 13, 2013 - 7:51 pm

I have fun with, cause I found exactly what I was taking
a look for. You’ve ended my 4 day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

Kay Lynn @ Bucksome Boomer March 28, 2012 - 6:46 pm

I’ve been a fail with this weight loss challenge. I’m still going to watch what I eat over the next couple of weeks but we go on a two week cruise soon and I know it’s crazy to work hard at losing there.

Marissa @ Thirty Six Months March 21, 2012 - 9:51 pm

I have a feeling that you are putting on muscle which weighs more than fat. So you maybe losing fat, but replacing it with muscle. Do you feel slimmer?

Carrie - Careful Cents March 21, 2012 - 10:34 am

After consulting with a nutritionist at the beginning of this year, I found I was not eating enough food, and the food I was eating was processed. I was eating veggies and fruit, but they weren’t organic or from a local farmer. Since the beginning of the year I’ve lost 11 pounds and am still steadily losing every month. I’ve also done a lot more smoothies, where I sneak in kale, spinach, avocado and other greens. Eating more (healthy) food was a big thing for me.

As side note, I rarely workout. And it seems like you are doing a lot of exercising. I’m not a trainer, but it’s important to fuel your body with more food, and rest if needed.

Frugal(er) March 21, 2012 - 9:47 am

Hey! you forgot me! I’m down five and I’m actually shocked by that number. apparently not exercising is the key–you heard it here first. Actually, I think I’ve just lost muscle: http://findmefrugal.blogspot.com/2012/03/home-stretch.html

Krys March 20, 2012 - 9:13 pm

I haven’t lost any weight, either. I tried sticking to Weight Watchers for awhile but I just do NOT have success with their new program. I don’t eat much meat and it’s become very much a low-carb diet, which is hard for me, not eating meat.

Sometimes I think maybe my body just… wants to be this weight. I only want to lose about 10 lbs, and like you, I used to weigh around 20 lbs less. Instead of trying to lose 10 lbs, I’m now trying to focus on exercising, eating a little better, and appreciating my body for what I DO like, rather than a few extra pounds that just annoy me.

Lindsay March 20, 2012 - 7:33 am

I have been ridiculously busy and/or sick and have not gotten around to writing any update posts (or posts in general), but I’ve lost 21 pounds since January 15th and 29 in total! Sorry to brag 🙂 but it seems like you’re doing everything right! The only thing I can think of is that the muscle you’re adding with your workouts is counteracting any weight loss. Make sure you’re eating 5-6 small meals a day and drink LOTS of water! My fiance and I have a cheat meal on Sunday where we can eat whatever we want, which keeps us motivated. We added brown rice and cous cous back into our diets a few weeks ago, which definitely helped. I can’t wait until I can have pasta on a regular night! My goal is to lost 40 pounds so hopefully that day isn’t too far off!

Jackie March 20, 2012 - 6:18 am

Gah, I don’t know, but I’m experiencing the same thing. But I’m happy to be staying the same for the moment, because when I gave it a month of not eating crazy carbs like I used to and increasing my protein, I gained 8 pounds. I went back to eating the way I used to do and quickly lost that and am now back to my “normal” (which is still too much.)

CultOfMoney March 19, 2012 - 10:21 pm

Are you sleep eating? Seriously, a friend of mine just couldn’t loose weight and he was doing everything he could. Turns out he was sleep eating. Going to the kitchen, pulling stuff out of cupboards, and eating for an hour every night.

SB @ One Cent At A Time March 19, 2012 - 9:43 pm

Yo can try forgetting losing weight for a week and do what you like. See the result after 7 days.

Jane March 19, 2012 - 4:49 pm

I was going to say that muscle weighs more than fat but you already know that. Keep changing your foods around – I’ve read that your body gets used to the same foods and adjusts.
I still have the last 3 pounds to lose. I’ve totally stalled but with just a month left I’m going to renew my efforts! I’ve also started biking outside since the weather has been so nice and today I started walking 30 minutes on my lunch time.

kim March 19, 2012 - 4:30 pm

1300 was definitely too low, and you need protein (eggs, beans, meat) for muscle recovery/rebuilding. I don’t use the scale, I use the fit of my clothes.

frugalportland March 19, 2012 - 1:33 pm

for the remainder of the challenge, cut out sugar, wheat, corn, rice and potatoes. Eat more vegetables — a TON more. Eat fat, eat meat, and you’ll see and feel a difference.

CeCe @Frugalista Married March 19, 2012 - 1:17 pm

You said you had a few cheat days in there of 2-3k. My guess is that those cheat days however few may be sabotaging you. When you are trying to lose cheat days like that really set you two steps back then you go a step forward afterwards. Any bad eating can totally kill and hinder progress. Once you get to maintenance the cheat days aren’t so detrimental. That’s my theory. I know it’s hard…so good luck sticking with it. And good for you for fessing up and not hiding your week 8 progress report. Accountability is important for weight loss!

WorkSaveLive March 19, 2012 - 12:29 pm

I’m not a nutritionist but I’m really starting to gain interest in this topic and I wish I was!

On one hand I’d like to say that your body takes time to adjust to the “new” normal. The body can react to shocks in the system (reduction in calories) by thinking it’s starving and storing as much food as it possibly can.

Eventually it will learn that it’s fine and you will burn off the excess, but until then the body just does it thing. I’d agree with some of the other comments that you’re caloric intake is too low, but what do I know?

Carbs are important because it does fuel your body (you just have to be sure to burn them off, which it sounds like you’re doing). Protein is important to help your muscles rebuild after breaking them down via running or working out. Certain amounts of fats are also important but I don’t really know the right amount.

Okay…so I just rambled a lot and didn’t give much help. 🙂 Sorry.

Another thing to look out for is too much sodium/salt. Salt causes your body to retain more water. Emily mentioned sugar and that’s another big deal. Soda and sugar related foods are a definite no-no.

Tabitha March 19, 2012 - 8:34 am

PS: I totally should’ve joined this challenge. When you first announced it, I thought, “Well, I don’t really need to lose 10 lbs.” And then I promptly realized I had gained some weight since the holidays, and now I’m starting to get back on track again (think I’ve lost about 5-6 pounds!). Shoot. 😛

amandalynn March 19, 2012 - 8:27 am

I had the same thing happen last time I went feet first into a hardcore training program . Remember athletes are skinny but they weigh quite a bit! Muscle weighs more than fat and even though your losing fat…

cm’on admit your clothes fit looser and your looking pretty darn good in the mirror! That’s great! But it SUCKS when youre worried about the #s…. I gave up training this time. I walk a little more and have cut calories because my build loves muscle mass not weight loss! Oi.

I hope the next 4 wks treat you better (the scale I mean) sounds like your feeling pretty good to me 🙂

Xoxo A

Jai Catalano March 19, 2012 - 6:50 am

1300 is too little. Your body needs the energy. You can run to the cows come home but it’s about balance that you haven’t found quite yet. If you have a Jenny Craig weight loss center by you go in and have a free consultation. They somehow have the balance that works. Yes there is a fee to join but if you are kicking yourself asking why am I not losing weight I would say the money is worth the pain.

Frugal City Girl March 19, 2012 - 6:21 am

Have you hit the dreaded plateau?

I haven’t been trying specifically to lose weight in my fitness endeavours (although I love the idea of the challenge!), but I’ve definitely experienced The Plateau anyway. After a few weeks or even months of slowly but steadily losing weight or getting stronger, it’s like my body just goes “OK! That was it – you got me!” and…stops. I’ve had to push REALLY HARD to get through it, and sometimes it’s taken months (!). It’s just my body figuring out what I’m trying to do and adjusting – I have to figure out how to outsmart it!

Based on your workout schedule I’d guess your body might just be used to running now, and has maximised its efficiency. This sounds good except it means it’s figured out how to use fewer calories to get the same thing done, which means fewer calories burned – no good for weight loss! So I’d maybe suggest mixing your exercise up a little? Try interval training or weightlifting or something new?

Tabitha March 19, 2012 - 8:33 am

I was gonna suggest the maybe-you’re-not-eating-enough possibility, but I’m sure 1700 calories is enough. So I’m with Frugal City Girl on the theory that maybe you’ve hit an exercise plateau. Add in a day of weightlifting or challenge yourself to run faster or do some hills or something?

Also, are you taking measurements of stuff like waist, hip, bust, arms, etc? That can be a great way to track long-term progress, especially if you’re not sure whether it’s muscle gain that is keeping you from “losing” pounds. If your clothes fit better, you’re on the right track, no matter what the scale says!

jobo March 19, 2012 - 4:52 am

I am so glad that you upped your calories…but one thing to note: this won’t mean you will lose weight in a week necessarily. It takes up to 6 months for your body to adjust to the consistent number of calories you give yourself each day. And being consistent is the BIGGEST thing to keep in mind. No cheat days, no ups and downs, ALWAYS the same number of calories, no matter what. If you want chaet-type things (for me – wine!), I just plan for it and eat around it so I can still have what I want. It is hard to wrap your mind around the fact that it will take some time – I would give it a few weeks – month and then weigh yourself again. And I bet you will lose some. I know it’s not ideal, a slow weight loss, but it’s the healthiest (and I agree, you look fantastic just as you are! Proud of you and your progress!!)

Hank March 19, 2012 - 3:56 am

Have you tried to eat five small meals instead of three regular sized ones? You talk about what you are eating. But what are you drinking?

Newlyweds on a Budget March 19, 2012 - 8:23 am

I only drink water. I may have a cup of coffee once or twice a week, but mostly water and tea. No soda, no juice , so I KNOW that’s not the issue : )

Shrinking Libra March 18, 2012 - 9:34 pm

Wow Erika, way to go on such an excellent commitment to an exercise routine. That accomplishment far out weighs a weightloss challenge anyday of the week. You should be proud!

Also, I think your pretty fit, so my suggestion is instead of a weight loss program maybe a weight training program is what your trying to achieve? Also, I’m not a nutritionist but I believe u may be gaining strength by your workouts in your already current muscles but may not truely be gaining muscle which then burns more calories & fat? My understanding is to gain 1 pound of anything you need an excess of 3500 calories, muscle included. Good luck!!!

Emily @ evolvingPF March 18, 2012 - 9:13 pm

I agree you needed to increase your calories, but not necessarily your carb intake. Maybe only go to a slightly higher carb level on the days that you run before your runs. I lost a lot of weight by keeping my eye specifically on my sugar intake so that’s what I recommend for everyone. I stayed under 15 g/day while eating at least 25 g/day of fiber. Good luck! Just keep tracking and you’ll figure out what works for your body.

eemusings March 18, 2012 - 8:46 pm

Yay! Full feed resumed 🙂

Jessica @ Budget For Health March 18, 2012 - 7:54 pm

I have clients that get into the same rut, so you’re not alone! You’re right about muscle weighing more than fat and need to take that into consideration so you don’t get discouraged! Weight can’t always be the determining factor of better health- I’m sure you look and feel better from running and barre, even though the scale isn’t going down. Some things I’m thinking of off the top of my head is the timing of your meals and what type of calories you’re getting before/after workouts. 1300 was definitely too low for the amount you were working out, so good call on upping your calories. I’m not sure if you want to share deets on your comments, but feel free to shoot me an email with your age, current weight, and goal weight (and how soon you want to get to this weight by) and I’ll let you know what I come up with 😉

Megg March 18, 2012 - 7:25 pm

Have you tried My Fitness Pal? You put in your weight, goal, height and how much you move at your job and it gives you a number of calories you should consume. I’d try that, and see what it tells you. It’s also really helpful, but I don’t know how you’re tracking your calories. It could be that you’re eating too little and your body went into starvation mode and that is what made you plateau.
Also, you might consider changing up what you eat or your workout routine. The body likes equilibrium, and it doesn’t want to change. It might have adapted to what you’re doing/eating, so you might need to change it up a bit.

Michelle March 18, 2012 - 7:03 pm

My weight loss is going great, surprisingly. I’ve been running with my dog and lifting weights at home.


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