Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Weigh-In: Pretentious Appetizers and Mojitos

There were several cocktails, a couple of shots, roasted potatoes, some kind of grilled flat bread with arugula and goat cheese, “creamy avocado dip with homemade tortilla chips” (fancy chips and guacamole), and, of course, Cheetos.

It was a really fun night out with my coworkers, celebrating the departure of one of the attorneys. Last Thursday evening started at the happy hour with a mojito and ended at 3 am at a karaoke bar with Cheetos and several outstanding renditions of classic 2000s pop songs.

However, it was also my highest daily calorie intake in a long time. When I finally calculated up everything on Friday, my estimated total was about 3,000 calories. So, yikes. Amazing how quickly a few cocktails and appetizers could add up to such a massive amount of calories. I knew I was saying screw it and enjoying the food and drinks, but I didn’t realize how much until after. And even after that, I enjoyed a delicious burrito the size of my head for lunch on Friday, a totally unnecessary consumption.

I’m not going to be angry at myself, especially since I picked myself back up on Saturday, but I’ve been thinking about what happened, why I let myself get so out of hand. Maybe it was just the rare calorie wild evening, which could fit into an overall healthy lifestyle. My coworkers imbibed as much as I did, and none of them have weight issues, so clearly they know how to balance food- and drink-filled nights with regular daily life. Or maybe I really needed an evening of just eating whatever I wanted. However, I will try to remember that those every-once-in-a-while nights only work if they truly are every once in a while.

Here is this week’s weigh in:

Measurements June 8thAugust 4thAugust 12thAugust 19thAugust 26th
Pounds Fat82.774.570.472.571.8
Pounds Muscle 67.368.266.466.867.3

So basically, score! Another pound down, and now officially ten lost total. Last week, when the scale didn’t seem to reflect the successes from the week, I(so graciously) decided to forgive it. This week, I scraped up a ½ pound deficit even with the 3,000 calorie day. This is good. I can do this.

I may yet squeak out my goal of getting to the 170s by Labor Day, but probably only if I dehydrate myself a bit.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Weekly Weigh In and Zumba

This was a pretty good week, though there’s a lot going on - J is starting school again soon, we’re going to have a guest staying with us for a week, we’re trying to reorganize our apartment so it’s more functional, and I’m starting a job search. I love my work, especially my boss and co-workers, but my position is an entry-level one in which people usually move on after a couple of years, and I think I’m ready for a new challenge. While I'm still tracking and working out, I'm slipping on the packing lunches and not eating office candy front. I'm eating more from the candy bowl again and then being annoyed when I can't "afford" a treat in the evenings.

Food-wise, I am slipping on the Friday front. Just something about getting home for the weekend makes me feel like I deserve a little treat. However, in the past, those Fridays would have been an actual free-for-all whose calorie intakes would have put me squarely in the “gain” box for the day. Now, while I definitely ate too much this Friday to have a calorie deficit for that day, I didn't affect the rest of the week. However weird it sounds, this is actually something I’m proud of. Ramble over.

This week’s weigh in:

Measurements June 8thAugust 4thAugust 12thAugust 20th
Pounds Fat82.774.570.472.5
Pounds Muscle 67.368.266.466.8

The good thing about tracking calories is that I can judge the number on the scale and decide if it makes sense, based on how many calories I know I've eaten over the week. A nice change of pace for that judgey electronic bitch. So while I was disappointed to see I'd lost half a pound this week, I know I had a calorie deficit of over a pound. I'm still hoping to make my Labor Day goal to be in the 170's, but we'll see.

We can have a cordial relationship because I know you're mistaken, and that's ok.

In fitness “news,” I took my first Zumba class this week. I've been wanting to try this class ever since I heard of a workout that claimed to combine club dancing with cardio, but just never got the courage to go alone. So when I ran into an acquaintance who happens to belong to my same gym, I asked her if she might like to try out Zumba. I can’t believe I hadn't taken advantage of the classes that are included in my membership until now.

The class was awesome. I’ve heard the the instructor can make or break Zumba, and Vicky was fantastic. She was enthusiastic, encouraging, and mixed up the moves. I had fun, even though I definitely made many missteps. However, they got fewer as the class went on and I learned the instructor’s various hand movements. The other members were friendly, and I never felt like anyone was judging anyone else.

And with the fun, hot damn that’s a workout. In the 55-minute class, I burned 550 calories - basically as much as jogging but was having too much fun to even notice. This class was a good way to break up the regular workout week, and I could even see it helping me with my coordination, which is similar to that of a drunk goat. We plan to go again this weekend.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Weekly Weigh In & Thoughts on Goal Weight Bodies

I’m getting a little better at being patient about getting to my goal weight. One things that helps is not overly focusing on it. Measuring, weighing, and tracking food, and exercising take up time and effort, but I can let them become a part of normal life, as routine as brushing my teeth. My day can be measured by the positive feedback I got at work as much as or more than the calorie deficit.

Still sticking to my food plan and tracking everything, even during the time out with friends. However, one frustrating part of this last week involved ice cream. Basically I learned that I’m still not ready to keep certain junk foods in the house. Last week, we bought some Edy’s slow churned after a really strenuous afternoon at the gym. I enjoyed some, netted about 1100 calories for the day, and all was well. But then later in the week, I found myself spooning some out without measuring, and ate it, not really caring that it would negate the day’s calorie deficit. 

Not such a horrible situation, obviously, but I realized after the fact that if the ice cream hadn’t been in the apartment, I wouldn’t have even been thinking about having it or cared when I didn’t. So at least for now, I’m not going to keep it in the apartment. There are four different ice cream or froyo places within half a mile of our apartment, thus plenty of options for when we want it.

This week’s weigh-in:

Measurements 6/8/20148/4/20148/12/2014
Pounds Fat82.774.570.4
Pounds Muscle 67.368.266.4

I’m going to assume that the net pound loss is real, but the fat and muscle are likely flukes - I did not lose over four pounds of fat in one week, as awesome as that would be. According to my own tracking of daily calorie deficits, I “should” have lost ten pounds. The actual weight loss, according to the scale/chart, is a little over eight pounds and maybe nine or ten pounds of fat. That’s pretty close, which makes me think that my data might be accurate. I'll see how it does in the long term.

When I’m doing well with weight loss, I think about getting to goal - what I’ll look like, what I might wear, how I’ll feel, how I’ll keep it off. I remind myself that losing all the weight is not going to solve all my problems or magically make me happy always & forever, but on the outside I will probably look very different.

It occurred to me yesterday that nobody in the world, including myself, has ever seen what I’m genetically supposed to look like. The last time I was at a healthy age was when I was six. I’ve known a few people who have lost 50-100 pounds, and their transformations were astounding  - the extra weight that had always changed their faces and bodies was gone. This isn’t about a person being more or less attractive at different weights, but just how dramatic the changes can be.

I know what I do look like, of course, but my face is a little too round and that garbles my bone structure, and my body hints at but doesn’t actually exemplify my genes. Might I actually posses the great legs that run in my family? How deep are the dimples that I haven’t seen at all in over a year? A third thing to round it off?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Results of My Eight Week Reboot - Weigh In

My self-imposed eight week challenge is over. And I’m really, really glad I did it. I was stuck in a serious rut for a while - working out, eating right “most” of the time, and getting more and more pissed off that the scale wasn’t moving. I wasted a lot of mental energy being annoyed before realizing that I was eating more calories overall than I realized, despite tracking and doing okay from day to day.

Equal parts chocolate and asparagus.

I set my caloric goals to lose 1.5 lb/week which gave me 1000-1100 calories per day plus whatever I burned off in the gym. My actual daily calories came out to 1350. It’s higher than I wanted, but still translates to a pound a week, so I expected to lose at least eight pounds over these two months.

On June 9, I weighed 191.2. At the time, I thought some of that was bloat since it was a couple of pounds higher than the usual range. But, no matter. Yesterday, I weighed in at 184 even. Or to put it in chart form with fat and muscle numbers:

Measurements 6/8/20148/4/2014
Pounds Fat82.774.5
Pounds Muscle 67.368.2

I definitely haven’t seen numbers close to that this entire year, so I’m happy to have some concrete progress. A little over seven total pounds in eight weeks, and eight pounds of fat gone from that. The scale isn’t infallible, I know. I weighed 185 in my kitchen and 184 in my bathroom, but it’s the best I can do. Time will tell where and how I’m really doing, but at this weight, where five or ten pounds lost doesn’t show, I want to know I’m making progress. And I've NEVER seen less than 40% body fat on the scale before.

Though my last official weigh-in was in the beginning of June, I’ve definitely sneaked a few peaks on the scale. It was hard not to look when I wanted so badly to see some validation of my efforts. Now I realize that I need to either get rid of the scale and bring it out once a month just to track long-term progress, or weigh myself regularly and learn to accept normal fluctuations. Standing on the scale while my husband wrote down the numbers did not work out, but it was an idea worth trying.

Good Changes and Improvements:
  • Tracking my food and exercise honestly every single day for the last eight weeks
  • Saying “no” more often to treats I didn’t need and didn’t even want - office cake, alcohol at cocktail hour, candy, french fries, second and third helpings
  • Eating more consciously, even with junk food
  • Going to the gym and pushing myself on the weight machines and the elliptical 4-5 times a week

Things I Should Work On:
  • Bringing lunch to work - I would do this for two weeks, and then get lazy for another. Rinse and repeat
  • Not weighing myself or at least not letting the number on the scale dictate my feelings
  • Patience
  • Ending sentences with prepositions
For now, I’m going to keep going the way I’ve been doing, but just try to push a little bit harder to lower my average calories. Those extra hundred or so came from two or three higher calories days, but mostly from little but completely unnecessary extra treats that added up to the difference between a pound loss a week and a pound and a half.

In other fun news, there's now a headless "before" shot of me on the About Me page.

My next mini goal is to be in the 170s by Labor Day, which give me about a month. For now, I’ll weigh in and report each week but there may be a bra/scale freedom burning in the future.

This is exactly how cool I am.