Friday, April 24, 2015

Weigh-In: Clouds and Clouds

Feeling a bit blah the last couple of days. You know the feeling? Just a little cloud over me, less energetic. These moods suspiciously coincide with PMS.
My goal is just to give myself a few maintenance days until I don't feel like shit. I don't want to put pressure on myself to lose, but would really hate to go backwards. So if I don't buy a pint of ice cream tonight and eat most/all of it, this evening will have been a success.

This week's weigh in:

Start6/88/1910/2912/311/282/253/243/314/74/144/21
Weight200191.2182.6181.4177.2174.6177172168.4170168.6170.4
Lbs. Fat82.772.570.867.165.366.562.760.360.858.861.3
Lbs. Muscle 67.366.867.363.964.468.262.761.561.562.765

More fluctuations, yay! (Not.) At least I'm still two net pounds down from last month, but frustrating because I expected to be closer to the mid-160s now. Ah well, I'll get there eventually. 

I hope you're having a better week than I am!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Making Weight Loss Less "Don't" and More "Do"

I usually think of diet and exercise as two completely different but complimentary things. With losing weight, diet is the thing that matters because I can’t out-exercise a crappy diet. Believe me, I’ve tried.  I've realized lately why exercise can be such a good mental health compliment to dieting.

Losing weight is so, so passive. Most of it consists of NOT eating. The cupcakes at the office, the cookies at a friend's house, whatever. There are also so many evenings after dinner, when we’re just hanging out in the apartment, and I realize the only thing I need to do, or can do, in order to have a good weight loss day is to not eat. That’s a hard way of thinking sometimes - the best way to accomplish your goal at the moment is to NOT do something.

For a five hour evening, I could not eat for four hours and fifty-six minutes, and then somewhere in those last four minutes, eat three candy bars or a handful of chocolate chips. Five hour evening, and those four minutes of overeating completely calorically overwhelm the other four hours, fifty-six minutes. In another scenario, I could sit for an hour at a table with a cake on it after dinner with friends. I don’t pick at the cake for fifty-seven minutes, but then those last three... 200 calories in a single swipe of frosting and those first fifty-seven minutes kind of don’t matter.



That’s why, at least for me, working out is so good for the weight loss mentality. I see it essentially as a separate component of health. Working out makes me feel strong. It makes me feel like I’m actively doing something for my health. My favorite instructor likes to tell us how we're changing our bodies as we struggle through leg lifts. It’s not about the calories (though those are a huge perk that definitely get me to push myself), it’s about being fit. It’s about being that 90-year-old pole dancing instructor who spins circles around her 24-year-old students. She's my role model.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Weekly Weigh-In: Lowest Fat to Date!

This week's weigh-in:

Start6/88/1910/2912/311/282/253/43/103/173/243/314/74/14
Weight200191.2182.6181.4177.2174.6177175173.6172.4172168.4170168.6
Lbs. Fat82.772.570.867.165.366.564.665.162.762.760.360.858.8
Lbs. Muscle 67.366.867.363.964.468.264.166.265.362.761.561.562.7

So I'm basically back down to where I was two weeks ago. Considering "there" was four pounds down, I'm happy with it. 

But the great thing is the fat! For the first time, I have less than sixty pounds of fat on my body, and it's being weighed out by muscle by more than a few ounces. 

I feel different - my hips and waist are more narrow, and my jawline and thighs are more defined. I still have my stomach, which I think is where I carry most of my weight. Looking forward to that leaving. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Weigh-In: Strategies for Not Gaining Weight Over the Holidays Or When Visiting Parents

This is a weird week - I was off yesterday since we flew back from Michigan, and I’ll be off again on Friday for the end of Passover. Three day weeks are the best.


Our time in Michigan, where John and I stayed with his mother, stepfather, sister, brother, and stepfather’s kids, was lovely. We ended up doing some puzzles together, which I always forget how much I enjoy until I do them.




Food wise, I made mostly good choices and some not so great, but overall I think it averaged out to “okay.” There were definitely a few places where I took a portion that was larger than necessary, or had a bit of wine even though I didn’t really want it. On the flip side, I was mindful of snacking, never had seconds of anything, and tried to make the focus on family and not food. My mother-in-law happened to have bought mostly cake and cookie mixes and not actual sweets, and in the end nobody bothered to make them. For someone like me, who’s a lot more tempted by a cookie than some chips, that was good.


This week’s weigh-in happened this morning like normal:

Start6/88/199/3010/2912/311/282/253/43/103/173/243/314/7
Weight200191.2182.6181181.4177.2174.6177175173.6172.4172168.4170
Lbs. Fat82.772.570.370.867.165.366.564.665.162.762.760.360.8
Lbs. Muscle 67.366.865.267.363.964.468.264.166.265.362.761.561.5


I am, actually, quite okay with that weight. That burst of fat loss is still holding. The weight itself feels like a backswing that’s balancing out the insane four-pound loss from the previous week. Thirty pounds down from my highest. However long that took doesn’t matter, the gains and losses don’t matter. What matter is that five years ago a weighed thirty pounds more, and now, not only do I weigh less, I actually have a better relationship with food, am fitter, and happier. I really, really, hope it doesn’t take me another five years to lose the next thirty pounds, but even if it does, I think I’ll be just as proud. Losing weight is hard, so no matter how slowly it happens, it’s still an accomplishment.




I’ve also finally figured out some of the strategies that I think work for me during holidays, or just generally when I'm in unfamiliar or junk-food-filled environments: 

Don’t Snack

    • This is actually something that happened naturally during the last year or so. I’ve stopped snacking. Sometimes I’ll get a bit hungry at noon or so, but then I just figure I’ll have lunch soon.
    • My goal is to get each meal to take me to the next meal. Sometimes I’ll have some fruit if I really want something, or if I just happen to bring it, but overall the snacks are pretty much non-existent.
    • This no-snacking custom is easier to maintain in an office setting than a “home” setting, since the second one gives much easier access. However, I’m really aiming to just cut out the snacking when I’m home. Looking back, that’s definitely one of the things that takes me over the edge from an “okay, pretty good” day to a “crap, oh well that was not great” kind of day.




No Seconds
  • Again, probably another no-brainer for most people, but avoiding seconds is something I only just started to realize on my own
  • Seconds are overrated - I’ve already had a portion of the things, and I’m usually full by that point. Seconds usually comes out of boredom or just because the food is right in front of me, and rarely because I’m actually still hungry




I figure if I can really focus on these two rules, I will be able to have a successful rest of the holiday. Those rules mean that the only food I eat is during meals, and during firsts and not seconds. Of course if I’m actually really hungry between meals I’ll have a snack, but it’s not something that comes up often.


We’ll be at my parents from Thursday through Sunday this week. My goal is to just be mindful and not gain, basically. It’s only a few days. I've been on a good roll lately, and want to keep it going.



In other news, I’ve been crap lately about getting to the gym in the morning. I’m still working out 4-5 times a week, but now it’s been during lunch or after work. This is just due to plain old not getting to bed on time. I know all the advantages of going in the morning, I need to start doing this.

Overall, I'm feeling good, I'm feeling confident about this. Now I just need to bottle and save this feeling for the next time I feel like crap. Positive thinking!