Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Weekly Weigh In: "No Comment"

I do not want to write this post. Despite everything - the workouts and the calorie deficit I squeezed out this week, my weight is still not back where it should be. Why? I have no clue. This can all be summed up as: I’m still doing this, still tracking and eating right and working out. But I’m also really, really pissed. I did not gain three pounds. Yet, here they are, like an uninvited guest. But not just any guest. It's the misogynist racist from next door who won't mow his lawn and lets his dog poop on your lawn.

Lbs. Fat82.772.570.370.867.165.366.864.767.466.5
Lbs. Muscle 67.366.865.267.363.964.465.263.564.268.2

Slightly interesting that muscle has really increased, but the fat pounds and overall weight measurement are so high! I know I had about a 1/2-1/3 pound gain last week. But not this week. And not this much.

In other news, since I joined the gym the day after my 25th birthday, last week marked my one year anniversary of being a member! I think this might be my longest period of consistent exercise, ever. It’s actually a real habit, a part of my life that I like, and I want it to stay that way forever. I want to be that 90-year-old yoga instructor.

I’ve even finally started to really take advantage of all the classes that are part of my membership. I’d been going to Zumba since the summer, but that was about it. Now I’ve tried Step, Power Dance, and Total Body Conditioning. Step was not for me - it didn’t have the camaraderie and mutual suffering bonding of most of the other classes I’ve gone to. But the other two are great, made even better by going with my gym buddy.

The first is called Power Dance. This week was our second time going, and I really enjoyed it. It’s basically learning a basic step, and then slowly adding more steps, all to different songs. There’s a ton of jumping involved so it ends up being a pretty intense workout. The only issue is that the moves seem to be the same from week to week, though the music changes. Since there aren’t that many moves in total (5-10 total, and many are very similar to each other), I wonder if that would get boring week after week, or if I would just get more comfortable with the moves and therefore be able to push myself harder - jump higher, kick harder. For now I really like it and the instructor is great.

The other new class we tried is called Total Body Conditioning. If you haven’t done it, it’s basically a group weight lifting class. Everyone gets a step, a weighted mesh pole, and some free weights. Then the instructor sets up different ways to lift, working out the entire body over the hour-long class - first arms, then legs, then abs. For each set, he plays thumping music and lets us know how long to keep going and when to rest in between sets. It takes the thinking out of weight-lifting.

Bonus that the conditioning class we’ve been going to is taught by the Power Dance instructor, so of course we really like him. That means that we’re taking two exercise classes in a row on Tuesday nights - first cardio, then strength training. So a hard 1.5-2 hour workout the night before I weigh in? Maybe I can blame that a little for these last couple of weeks?

The no/low sugar challenge is going well so far. Right now I’m not putting a blanket ban on sugar, because I like it in my coffee. Rather, I'm trying to make it a real treat instead of what it's been now, which is not worth the calories. #1 place to work on is work: first, there’s a candy bowl, plus someone puts treats in the kitchen a few times a week. Today it was mini Milky Ways in the bowl and bakery cookies in the kitchen. I didn’t have any, woot! Last week that would have been a quick 150 calories down the drain. Not necessarily a derailment, because I do have the flexible calories, but quite simply not worth it.

The other place I’m avoiding the sugar is at home. No more baking for our potluck meals, as much as I enjoy making desserts. It’s just not a good idea for me right now.

What’s your favorite exercise class?

Do you avoid making any foods for others because it’s too tempting?

Do you think I’m delusional and must be secretly hoovering frosting from the can?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Another No-Sugar Challenge and Marching On

This has been a tough couple of weeks. It started with my impending birthday, and (hopefully) ended yesterday with a family friend’s wedding. The not caring, or the unable to care, the not thinking about what I was eating before I did the eating. It was just one bad day on top of another. I also spent too much time feeling sorry for myself, in a fun little bubble of self-pity and “whoa is me.” I think some of it stemmed from feeling that this weight has been coming off so excruciatingly slowly, slower than I think it should be based on calories and exercise.

This has to stop, right now. Today. Now. Because I know all too well what happens if I let this continue. And it rhymes with “blain a brother lenty tounds.”

New (Old) Challenge

So starting today, now, I’m cutting way, way, down on sugar. For now I’m just looking at the next month, so until March 23. I need to get rid of it to get back to moderation. I did it before, and it was actually easier than I had anticipated. I had a bit in my coffee, sometimes a teaspoon or two with my oatmeal or yogurt breakfasts, and a very occasional weekend treat. But I took it out of the other day to day stuff, the places where it was taking over too much - the work food, the mid-week evening treats. It didn’t matter that I was tracking the treats, they were inhibiting my weight loss. 

When I did it last time, I didn’t have the level of left out/deprivation feelings that I assumed would occur. It actually made me feel good, and in control, and strong. So I can do it again.

As for the last couple of weeks, the upside is that I kept up the tracking and working out. After tracking everything as best as possible, I am at a half-pound gain from last week (which I already mentioned in my previous post), and so far am at close to even/slight gain for this week. If I can shape up over the next couple of days, I can pull off about a 1200-calorie deficit for this week. Not too bad, considering.

I remind myself this is the bump - what I do right now, when things got a bit more difficult, is the difference between eventually succeeding or perpetually coming close and then failing. Weight loss isn’t about “if” you screw up, but what you do after it happens. Right now this is a little bump, and if I can refocus and move on from the past couple of weeks, that’s all it will be. Right?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Weekly Weigh-In: Post Birthday

On the bad side, this was a bad week. I really struggled just to break even, and didn’t even manage that. On the good side, I turned 26, tracked everything faithfully, and this is the first bad week I’ve had in months. By my estimates for the end of the week, I was over by about half a pound. Then I got on the scale:

Lbs. Fat82.772.570.370.868.167.165.366.864.767.4
Lbs. Muscle 67.366.865.267.363.363.964.465.263.564.2

Urgh, that’s pretty appalling. I know it’s not real - or at least not all of it is real. This weigh in came after an awesome new gym class followed by strength training (woot, I went to the gym on my birthday!), followed by a wonderful, delicious, sodium and French fry filled meal I shared with some friends for my birthday. So while I may have eaten one or two thousand extra calories this week, it was not, dear God, twelve thousand.

Despite this logic, I was pretty upset this morning. Not going to eat in rebellion or smash my scale, just angry.

Right back on the horse today, feeling good. Had another good workout and stayed in my calories. I’m resisting the temptation to weigh in again tomorrow in order to ensure myself that the bloat is going away. The above, what I wrote, is my weight this week, whatever that means. But it sure as hell won’t be my weight next week, or next month.

Obviously my goal of making it to the 160s by my birthday feels like a cruel joke (remember how optimistic I was?)

More later, right now I’m long overdue for a good night’s sleep.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Weigh-In: BirthDAY, not week

Alright, let’s dive right into this.

This week’s weigh-in:

Lbs. Fat82.772.570.370.868.167.167.665.366.864.7
Lbs. Muscle 67.366.865.267.363.363.96564.465.263.5

Well, I’m glad last’s week gain is gone, along with another half pound - and the fat numbers match the net weight numbers, so at least that half a pound was fat lost and not muscle or water. I was hoping for more, of course, since this means I’ve lost just half a pound in two weeks of eating well and working out. It’s been a good few weeks of consistent workouts, actually bringing lunch to work, and staying within my calorie range.

This means that I will definitely not make my goal of getting into the 160’s by my birthday. I knew it was a tall order based on my history, but I really thought it was doable and I’m extremely disappointed that I didn’t make it. New goal: I’m going to try and do it by the end of February, but that might be a long shot as well.

The upside is that I’m not going to do anything about it; I realize that I have no choice. I can keep trying and know it will eventually catch up, or - what? Give up and gain back 25 pounds? Can’t, nope. So onward we ride. Weight loss is definitely like riding a bike at a really low gear - you pedal and pedal, so quickly, but move so slowly.

Because confidence is key.

Upcoming challenges:

Birthday - My plan for my birthday on Tueday is to have a maintenance day and treat it as its own one-day week. I know it’s probably not worth eating so much that the calories spill over onto another day, so I’ll try my best. Bottom line: As long as I keep it to birthDAY, there’s only so bad it can be.
Wedding - we have a wedding of a family friend next weekend (yay!), which will also involve a weekend at my parent’s house. It should be too challenging, but I’ve learned that I don’t do great out of my comfort zones of work, home, and occasional outings. It won’t be hard to eat healthy with my parents, as they eat very well, I just have to watch portion sizes and do my best at the wedding.

Things that are not challenges: Valentine's Day, because I don't really care about it. Our wedding anniversary is my Valentine's Day. The upside is that everything is discounted on my actual birthday because it's on the 17th. Woot!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Weigh-In: Sometimes It's Just Annoying

Last week I was disappointed that the my weight was essentially the same despite a good week, so this morning, after another on-plan week, I was expecting to be close to my birthday goal of getting out of the 170s.

The weigh-in:

Lbs. Fat82.772.570.370.868.167.167.666.565.366.8
Lbs. Muscle 67.366.865.267.363.363.96565.164.465.2


And this. 

What is this sorcery? This is one of those times when I think I just have to accept that, sometimes, the scale really just doesn't reflect the last week (or two) of hard work. Still annoyed, but have to trust that my body keeps track and it will catch up. I feel like I'm riding a bike at a really high gear - pedaling so fast and hard, but barely moving.

The stats for this week: 


I went to the gym six times this week, and burned a total of 3650 calories. I did one session of strength training, so will try to do another tomorrow since that's one of my February goals

Workouts included two classes - my beloved Sunday Zumba, and a step class. Holy crap, step classes are hard. They don't explain any of the moves, they just start and newbs like me try not to fall off or be too awkward when we realized we've been facing the wrong way for the last twenty seconds. 

I had a couple of higher calorie days, especially on the harder workouts, but it averaged out well with my "flex" calories and I ended the week with a deficit of about 3200, or close to a pound. Not that you'd see it on the scale though. (Bitter? Me?)

We went to a friend's Super Bowl party on Sunday and I told John that it would be easier not to eat any of the snack foods than to just have one chip or one pretzel or one pizza. I'm so much more about the sweet, so it would just be picking and mindless eating if I ate it. And I succeeded! Our lovely host also made a huge tray of cut up veggies, and we brought some baby carrots and hummus as well. It was a fun party, and my pride was such that you'd have thought I'd just aced the LSATs. 

Upcoming challenges this week: Nothing too challenging coming up, thankfully. However, my birthday is in a couple of weeks, and we have a wedding the weekend after that.

I'm stuck between "This is one of two days a year, literally, that I will not worry about calories and enjoy some food" and "Why lessen the week's accomplishments? Will your birthday really be so much less special if you don't eat a ton of junk food?" We'll see, I guess - though whatever happens, I WILL track it. 

Onto the next week. Really hoping my efforts show on the scale next week. I feel like I could squeak out my goal if that happens. 

Birthdays - Junk-fest-free-for-all or a chance to take a special birthday edition SoulCycle class? 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Goals for February

A blogger I like used to post monthy goals for herself, and I like the idea of that. I’ve made plenty of short term goals, like my original “Weight loss reboot” or when I stopped eating sugar for a month. It’s good to focus on the short term because my goal weight is likely a year away at least.

February Goals:

  • Get to a New Weight Decade
    • My original goal was to get into the 160’s by my 26th birthday, but I’m not sure I’ll make that. So while I’d still love to make that, my next “deadline” is to get to this place by the end of the month, two weeks later. Just 4.6 pounds...
  • Increase Strength Training
    • I’ve been going to the gym, and even pushing myself, consistently 4-5 times a week. However, I only strength train once a week, sometimes only a few times a month. For this month, I’m aiming to do weights 6 times at least, and hopefully 8 or 10.
    • Probably not 10, since this is a short month.
  • Get a New Weekend Strategy
    • Or, something. Every week I overdo it on Friday and Saturday, and it turns my pound loss into two-thirds or half a pound. Still progress and great and all that, but I need to be better at this.
    • Possible strategy: stop making desserts for potlucks, dammit Leah. People will still like you when you don’t bring them sugar.

  • Get Creative with Breakfast
    • I literally eat oatmeal or Greek yogurt for breakfast every day. I want to try at least one new work-friendly breakfast (so probably no eggs).
    • One option: I’ve always liked that if it’s food and you have it for breakfast, then it’s breakfast food. Stew, beans, chicken, why not?
  • Bring Lunch
    • Bring lunch at least 4 days a week. Laziness if the only thing stopping me. Even if it’s an Amy’s meal, it’s still cheaper than buying, and still better because it takes away the necessity of a decision.
  • Remember that it’s a birthDAY, not a birthWEEK
    • My mother was not in labor for a week; in fact, she was barely in labor for an afternoon. Celebrate/eat accordingly.
    • Call my mother on my birthday, to thank her. She did all the work that day.
  • Cook on Sundays
    • It helps so much for the week. I cooked a couple of dishes over the last two Sundays that were good for lunch - mainly fish chowder and balsamic chicken with fajita vegetables - and I need to keep this up. Today will be a challenge since we’re going to a Superbowl party so I shouldn't procrastinate like I usually do.

Alright, February. Here we go.

Who else has goals, weight-related or other, for this month?

What are they?