Friday, March 07, 2014
Last May, I made a commitment to myself that I would allow for a YEAR to pass for weight loss. I told myself that I needed to set small fitness goals and be content with body shape changes, if any, instead of focusing on the scale.
I was tired of starting on a weight loss journey only to stop it in 3 months time because I saw no results, but had been going hungry for all of that time. I never fully gave up because I hated the way I looked and I knew that giving up would only lead to more weight gain. I knew I had to keep trying.
I focused first on getting back into shape, no matter what happened with my weight or shape. I started interval jogging and took my progress reinforcement from seeing improvements in my running. Throughout May and June, I jogged/walked in my local park 5-7 days a week. My performance steadily improved from not being able to jog as much as 20 seconds the first day to being able to jog for 20 minutes by mid-July. This was a fantastic distraction for me.
I barely lost any weight those months. Maybe 3-5 lbs, but those were the same 3-5 lbs I'd been losing all the time, only to hit some obstacle or sidetrack that would put them right back on. I lost only an inch off my troublesome abdomen, which had been out of shape since I'd had Alex. But I was bolstered by my physical fitness progress and my commitment to myself a few months before. This had to be a YEAR of trying with no lapses.
A few more months went by; I learned I had to cut down the number of days I was running due to ankle and shin pain. I learned that I had to invest in good shoes for this training. I learned how to improve my speed. I learned the best sort of intervals for myself. (5 min jog/2 min walk) I learned to hydrate well. I hit my fastest speed in July; an 8 minute mile.
In mid-July, I started to address my hunger issues. I learned how much grains were messing me up. I slowly eliminated them from my diet. My weight dipped. I had to deal with the speed decrease in my running, but it became a new challenge to build it all back up without simple carbs. By October, I'd lost another inch from my abdomen and my weight had stayed below the long-held barrier of 148 lbs. I kept on going because I knew I had to keep at it until next April before I told myself that "it can't be done" and how "nothing seems to work".
By November, I told myself that if I could just get to 142 by the new year, I'd consider it all a success. I grew bored with jogging in my local park and took to exploring my neighborhood. This led to some enjoyable mornings down near the water and spotting deer and such in local wildlife preserves. By mid-December, the snow and ice came and it forced a move into a gym. I took to the treadmill and learned how to keep my incline low for maximum speed improvement.
By January, I was jogging for 5 minutes at a time, losing steam only on the third such interval. I'd lost another inch in my abdomen by November and another half-inch by January. It was slowing down, but it was still progress.
In early January, I was inspired by a video I'd seen on the internet. I took on a new challenge for myself. It involved taking some supplements and getting my caloric intake down even further through the use of protein shake meal replacements. My class started. The snows got worse. I continued to get to the gym each evening walking through dark, icy streets. I started a new strength training regimen. I saw results from that in as little as two weeks.
From January through February, I took on long neglected doctor's appointments, especially the dentist. My class started in late January. I've been going to appointments and follow up appointments on the days I have off.
Now, by March, I'm halfway through a dental treatment that I need for the real periodontal work. I got through my regular OB/GYN appointment at which I learned that the DHEA supplement I'd been taking was acceptable for my doctor, despite the slight rise in blood pressure I've seen from it. (From 90/60 to 110/70). The DHEA itself has started to really work well in so many ways. I've been keeping up with my protein shakes and seeing good long lasting results from them, meaning I can go a long time without feeling hunger. It's made it possible to reduce my calories even more. My energy has returned to a certain extent too. I haven't been back to the gym for a week because of my midterm and cycle. I can't wait to continue next week.
And just last week, I saw a weight I had not seen since I had suffered from pneumonia in the Winter of 2010: I was below 140. 139.6.
Through a long, dark, hard winter, I persevered (with lots of supplement help) and I finally saw weight loss results. After all of these years of getting nowhere, I finally learned what it takes for weight loss over 45.
TIME. Lots and lots more TIME than it ever took before.
Monday, February 17, 2014
I have a separate blog about this, but about 40-ish days ago, I started a 100 day challenge. And what a CHALLENGE it's been. There were 5 short term goals stated in the challenge that I was to take on every day.
2) Do creative work
3) clear clutter from my home
4) do math study
5) go to the gym
Between the consta-snow and occasional illness and my going mad with cabin fever, I have not hit each of the 5 every day. In fact, I wouldn't even rate myself a 50% at this point.
But I have made some positive changes along the way and I continue to do so. The key to it all was to allow myself to fail small. I kept in mind that this was a CHALLENGE and not a dictate. I'm still going strong in each of those. I've made great strides in de-cluttering my home. I've taken on weight training. I've continued to lose inches from my body by continuing my jogging. I've taken on good creative projects. I've found more articles to write. I'm giving myself an 8 on mental energy.
Normally, I'd be hyper focused on a single thing and well into despair by now. I haven't lost much weight over the course of these 38 days.
I'm refusing to cave to despair. And that's the biggest win of them all.
Sunday, December 01, 2013
My weight has still not moved. It's disheartening to see the same weight range appear again and again for 6 years of trying.
My low carb diet needs some tweaking, and I've researched common pitfalls to the diet and have resolved to fix them. They include eating too much dairy (guilty) and using too many sweetener substitutions (sugar free gum CONSTANTLY). Those are tweaks that, like all the other changes, will take time to get right.
My exercise needs tweaking too. I've kept up my interval jogging, but have not followed through on my yoga plans. I MUST take this on, if for no reason other than my peace of mind.
My shape continues to change, though. I've been tracking my measurements since July and I've since lost 3 inches each from my abdomen and bustline. That's the reason that I'm LOOKING thinner without weighing less.
But more importantly, I found an important piece to the puzzle just the other day. Two years ago, I bought a digital scale that also measures your BMI and other features of your body composition. When I first got this scale, I was shocked to see that my BMI was over 29.5. I weighed the same I'd weighed for years, but that BMI brought me to just under "obese". I was devastated when I saw that.
It occurred to me to try to use the BMI feature again this past week. It ranged from 22.2 to 23.0 . That's quite a change in just two years. Yet, my weight itself was only a few pounds lighter than it had been on that devastating day two years ago.
That also provided me with an answer as to why I haven't been losing ANY weight on this low carb meal plan coupled with regular exercise. I lost body fat, but not weight. Once in a healthy BMI range, it becomes extremely difficult to lose weight. My expectations of slow progress just got bumped down to "glacial".
Now I know just how important it will be to start my yoga practice this week. I'm 5 months shy of my year point. It took about 5 months of interval jogging for me to see a difference in my body. I've seen great stuff happen in the past with yoga. Now is the time to make sure it happens.
Sunday, September 29, 2013
For six torturous years, I have tried to lose the extra 15 pounds I gained in pregnancy. I've blogged in two of those years here and journaled through the other 4 in other locations around the internet.
My biggest challenge was the unrelenting hunger I would feel through a calorie restriction process. My second biggest challenge was finding an exercise routine that I could do without interruption or disruption. Unfortunately, that took until my son was in full time school. I finally took up interval jogging in late April of this past year and stuck with it. I wish to work in yoga now that my son is in first grade with a much nicer and harder working teacher who will cause me less stress than his Kindergarten teacher did.
But it left the hunger. In fact, it made it worse. Through the first 3 and a half months of jogging, though my speed and duration were improving, my weight wasn't moving at all. Neither was my size.
That was when I finally Googled "How to lose weight without feeling hunger" and came across the Low Carb and No Carb diets. I eased myself into it beginning in July. It was hard, at first. It was hard to learn how to eat without grains and it was hard to keep my running up. It was a blow to watch my speed and duration crash simultaneously after I'd worked so hard to improve them. It was hard getting through an active day with decreasing amounts of processed carbs.
Now at the end of month two of low carbs, I can say that I'm finally seeing some progress. My running has taken a hit, though. I had to cut it down to four times a week and I had to become content with slower speeds and shorter duration in the jogging spurts. But FINALLY, my body and weight showed some positive changes.
I'm not yet near the lowest point I ever reached in my diet and exercise journey. At my current loss rate, that point is at least two more months away. I know I need to be more diligent about running. I plead being overwhelmed by my class and being frustrated with the slowness with which the warm temperatures appear to be departing.
After today, I expect to take up my interval jogging habit again - since it helps so much with stress. But, for now, I'm going to keep at this. FOR NOW, it's working.
But, again, I've been at this stage before. I'm just excited right now because I haven't been at this stage for over a year.
Thursday, September 12, 2013
A highlight: yesterday, I caught a glimpse of myself in a 3/4 length mirror. For the first time in 6 years, I was not humiliated by what I saw. I no longer look bloated and square. But neither am I the size I want to be.
My running has been going well enough, but it just can't be done without more carbs. My speed is getting slower each passing week. Yet, my weight isn't changing.
Eliminating wheat products from my diet did a lot to help curb my hunger. I couldn't reduce calories without getting ravenous until I cut out carbs, or, at least, significantly reduced them. But I was a failure at it. I would find that at the end of the week, I would be too tired and too spaced out to do anything, so I would scarf down two cups of popcorn or eat some dark chocolate. However, doing so only led to more carb cravings I had to fight back the next week.
For the past three weeks, I've been living with one foot in the stagnant carb world and one foot in the no carb world - and it's hardly a wonder that my weight didn't budge AGAIN. This after three weeks of being able to get through a day on less than 1100 calories a day - even including exercise.
But I hate the way I feel. I can't run. It took every bit of mental energy I had to get through just 30 minutes of interval running today. It was also my slowest time in months. I can't do this anymore.
If I can't go absolute with the no carbs - at least long enough to see SOME weight loss - than I can't continue to live with an amount of carbs that is clearly draining me. (40g? 60g? I'm not entirely sure, since I wasn't tracking)
Plus, it's extremely difficult to eat. I can't eat meat, cheese and eggs at every meal. Planning meals is nearly impossible.
I've got to work in carb days and there should be two of them. I read that people who do low carb just two days a week show the same weight loss as those who do it 7 days a week. So clearly 5 days a week instead of 7 half-assed attempts could help, yes?
I'm just so sick of this.
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