The first one is from 12 years ago from when I first started working out and eating healthier. I was starting a bit of a beer belly. I wasn't exactly over weight and I definitely didn't have any muscle definition. Over the next several months, my weight stayed the exact same. But my body fat percentage decreased. My waistline and hips measurements decreased. All the while my legs, arms and chest got bigger. Over the years, I would end up 10 pounds heavier, with a smaller belly and waist, but with more muscle definition on top of that.
The second story actually took place for all of July through just last week. July may have been the hardest month of my life. I've never lost someone I've loved so much. And I'll preemptively say, there's nothing to be concerned about, nor do I want any further condolences or attention. But the reality is, I turned off the fitness side of things in this time. I probably worked out 5 times at the most in July and I did not discriminate food or drinks by any stretch of the imagination. Last week, I did a measurements check.
Over the last month, I ate and drank like trash and did not work out. I actually lost 6 pounds. Most people would take that at face value and think that sounds great, right? WRONG! I lost 6 pounds, but my body fat percentage increased by 4%, arms decreased by a half inch and my waist line increased by a half inch. That right there should help hammer home the point that muscle weighs more than fat. I lost quality muscle and gained not-so-quality fat.
Those are my stories. And believe me. I get it. I understand the struggle because I see it all the time. People weigh themselves all of the time and get so discouraged because the scale isn't budging or is decreasing so slowly. Your weight doesn't tell the full story. It tells part of the story, but it isn't the end all be all. If you really want to know how you're progressing, check your body fat percentage and measure your waist, chest, arms, legs, hips, and neck.
If you check your weight and it remains the same, slightly increases or barely decreases, you can check your body fat. If that remains the same or increases, you know you're missing something and still need to make some changes. If it decreases, you know you're heading in the right direction. Keeping track of all of these things will give you the full story, avoiding the trap of having tunnel vision with the scale and getting discouraged.
If you've been at it for more than a few weeks and nothing is trending in the direction, don't quit! You can do this! But don't keep doing what isn't working. You'll need to make some changes. Are you eating healthy and controlling your portions? Are you working out regularly (minimum 3-4 days a week)?
That being said, I am happy to help you check your body fat percentage and take measurements. All you have to do is ask next time you're in and we'll make arrangements! The same goes for eating habits. If you think you're eating healthy and working hard, but not getting results, I would also be happy to look over your meal diary to see if there's something in there holding you back. You have a great resource here beyond just workouts. Don't be afraid to use it! Don't forget to browse the healthy eating link up top while you're here!