At the halfway point losing weight gets more difficult |

At the halfway point losing weight gets more difficult

Kay Vasilakis
Post Independent Correspondent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

NEW CASTLE, Colorado – Signing up for a weight-loss contest doesn’t guarantee losing the extra pounds. It’s never easy to lose weight, even when participants are committed and working hard. After the initial excitement wears off, contestants often go through a demoralizing plateau stage, often giving up. This is also true for the regular exerciser not in a weight-loss contest.

The mental game is huge at this point, and self- destruction is common when the results stop coming as quickly. New Castle Family Fitness trainer Jennifer Harbottle recommends working with a dietitian or nutritionist to jump-start the motivation.

“Weight loss and nutrition go hand-in-hand, with nutrition contributing 80 percent and exercise contributing 20 percent,” said Harbottle. “The initial drop in weight is as simple as changing the body’s routine from not enough exercise and eating too much, to portion control and exercising. The plateau happens because the body gets used to exercising. It is important to change up the routine to keep the body guessing and the metabolism working. If a client is working out daily and not seeing any weight loss occur, the odds are it is all in the diet.”

“I constantly reinforce my clients to get back on track, and even if you only lose a half pound, it is still a loss,” said Harbottle.

Donna Dunlap and Kendra Jones of Team Post Independent, and Lucy Stewart of Team Alpine Bank say it is important to have an exercise buddy, support from family and friends, and a good trainer.

“I find it has been getting harder to motivate myself to get up in the morning or go in the evenings after work,” said Jones. “The initial excitement has kind of worn off, and I haven’t been as motivated as I was early in the competition.”

“When we weighed in last week and the scale read the same weight, I was really discouraged,” revealed Stewart. “It’s so hard. Then I thought about what has changed since I started the program. I’m eating healthier. I feel good when I’ve worked out, and that feeling stays with me all day. Even though the pounds are not coming off as expected, I can see definite changes in my body. And when we win, I’ll be able to continue with the progress I’ve made.”

“I did not lose as much as I thought when we weighed in last week, because I had been working so hard with working out and eating right,” said Dunlap. “They tell me that is OK because I am building muscle, and muscle weighs more than fat.”

Workout buddies are a definite motivating factor for success.

“I love going to the gym,” said Dunlap. “Tuesday mornings are harder because I get up at 4 a.m. to get to the gym to start at 5. Some days are hard, but as soon as I get there I get myself motivated, keep going and do a hard workout. My husband, Mike, works out with me every time.”

Jones said, “My boyfriend has been a great workout buddy, he goes with me in the evenings and on weekends, so it has been great having a partner. It would be harder to go the gym if I had to go by myself.”

“Lately I’ve been working out with Rosa, she’s on the team with us,” said Stewart. “She’s a great motivator. We try to meet a couple of times per week if we can. Since the gym is just down the hill from home and across the parking lot for work, there’s really no excuse for me not to go.”

Stewart also finds an interesting motivation in her children.

“I’ve got two small boys, a 5-year-old and a 1 1/2-year-old,” said Stewart. “The more they grow, the more active they are. I’d like to be able to keep up with them and chase them around. The healthier I am, the more energy I’ll have to be able to accomplish that.”

“Although the weight has been very slow to come off, I do see and feel a change in my body,” she added. “I can fit into smaller clothes, and it feels good. I recently pulled a blouse out of the closet that I had not been able to get into, and not only did it fit, it was actually loose. That was a great feeling.”

“My closet is definitely motivational, I have a closet full of clothes that I haven’t been able to wear in a while, so the thought of a new wardrobe is pretty exciting,” said Jones. “Summer is right around the corner so skirts, tank tops and bathing suits motivate and scare me. This whole thing is in the paper, so that provides a lot of motivation!”

To give herself a healthful reward, Dunlap sometimes indulges in one of the club’s health shakes or partakes of the sauna.

Jones has kept her sense of humor and said,” I usually reward myself after a hard work out with a beer or chocolate sundae – just kidding! After a long, hard workout I like to go to the Hot Springs Pool to unwind and relax, that always feels good.”

“The way I look at the half-way point is, ‘Yes, we made it this far and we can all keep going,'” concluded Dunlap. “We can do this! I am so blessed to be on this program, this is a chance of a lifetime for me. I thank everyone for supporting me through this.This has not been easy. ‘Go, team, go!'”

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