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.
Friday, September 06, 2013
About three weeks ago, I cut complex carbs out of my diet. Or, at least, I tried to. A week's vacation to a NJ boardwalk resort town came in the second week. I successfully avoided wheat products, but not sugar. My son was way too into Dippin' Dots for me to skip ALL ice cream.
The only grain product I allowed myself to have was popcorn.
I expected to go up in weight. I didn't. I gained a single pound through that week. Normally, a week at the shore brings on 3-5 lbs, which initially shows up as 7.
I considered it a success. Although my moderate intake of sugar did result in a weight GAIN - and I must keep that in mind when I plan a return to sugar allowances - it wasn't anywhere NEAR what would have normally been after a week in which four days involved ice cream.
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Many years ago, I went to see a dietician following a colleague's recommendation. He put me on a rather strict diet for three weeks; no sugar, no grain products (bread, pasta, etc), no fruits, no fruit juices and not even vegetables. I hadn't even heard of a low carb diet at the time.
Back then, my regular diet was horrible. I recall the worst part of those three weeks being that I had to go without fruit juices. But the idea that I could have steak and eggs for breakfast on the regular was OK by me. I had to get used to doing that without toast, and I couldn't. I believe that was my one cheat.
The issue I'd seen the dietician about originally (not weight) was corrected and I lost 12 lbs in the process. He told me that the weight loss was a beneficial side effect. "It's a revised Atkins", he said. I was in my early thirties then.
Current day: I've been struggling for SIX YEARS to lose this weight. It's a mere 15 lbs that I gained during pregnancy that I can't get off no matter how little I eat. All of the regular, healthy approaches have failed me. Each time I try to restrict calories to the point of seeing results, the journey is misery. I feel hungry all day long. I can't stand it for long. And now that I have made running a near daily part of my life, that day long hunger kicks in even at 1500 calories.
Determined to make this work, I Googled "How can I lose weight without feeling hungry?" What returned were tons of articles about low carb diets and Atkins. I recalled that time I went low carb on a dietician's advice. I didn't recall feeling hungry at all. I decided to try it again. I researched the Atkins diet. I gathered all of the info I could on lower carb vegetables (because I won't cut those out again). I started about 10 days ago.
All relevant literature reports "rapid" weight loss during what is known as the "Induction" stage of Atkins. Granted, Atkins recommends no more than 30 grams of carbs per day. I recalled that I had regularly cheated my last time and still saw weight drops. Other research I read stated that 40-50 g of carbs daily showed the same results. I wasn't into "rapid" weight loss like I'd experienced before. I just wanted steady weight loss for two weeks. 6 lbs lost in those two weeks would have been great.
And what happened? After a hard first week I saw a drop of 3 lbs. After an easier second week (it gets easier as time goes on, because carb cravings go away), I saw a RETURN TO MY STARTING WEIGHT.
Today, I was lower, but that was after 4 straight days of gain.
I don't get it. Last week, it was a struggle to stay under 80g of carbs. This week, it was entirely easy to stay under 70g. Even staying under 50g is easy on some days. But I GAINED IT BACK???
I don't understand. I just don't understand.
And it's hard to run on so few carbs too. I'm still doing it for 35 mins a day. While on the low carb intake I won't increase my duration. Stress to my ankles led me to cut a single day of running per week, but it's still at 4 days/week.
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