Sunday, December 21, 2014
First, happy Winter Solstice to all of you! We've made it. We reached the darkest day of the year and today marks the return of lighter days.
Establishing a sideways trend is 6 months in the making at this point. I thought October would be the month. It was not to be. I hesitate to celebrate too early...but, will December be the month?
As I worked to restore my health and well-being, I lost weight by increasing my physical activity and eventually turning my attention to how I chose to nourish myself. I reached my initial goal weight of 144 lbs on June 15 and the work of establishing the sideways weight trend began. Doing so has been more challenging than anticipated. Once established, maintaining this trend and adjusting it as necessary to support and maintain my health and well-being will continue for the rest of my life.
Yes, my work is cut out for me! Worth it? YES! Beyond any shadow of a doubt!!!
Below is a graph of my December Weight Trends
The green dots represent daily scale weights. The orange dots represent a 7-day weight average and the faint purple line is the trend line of the 7-day weight averages. In maintenance mode seeing a flat trend line is a good thing! I'm liking what I see.
As I reflect upon my journey of the past 18 months the transformation undergone has been nothing short of amazing to me.
Do dive in ...
UPDATE: I have been weighing daily since my transition to maintenance began in June 2014. This information has been tracked using excel (7-day & 10-day averages, trend line of 7-day averages), WeightGrapher www.weightgrapher.com/ and HackerDiet https://www.fourmilab.ch/cgi-bin/Hac
What I have noticed is that the daily weight fluctuations are smoothed out much more in WeightGrapher and HackerDiet. So, the changes generally unfold more gradually. The 7-day average seems to act like the "canary in the coal mine" for me. It is much more sensitive to the day-to-day fluctuations and helps me identify an emerging trend earlier rather than later.
I am especially appreciating viewing the day-to-day, 7-day average, and trend line information on one graph (which is what I posted above) and the Maintenance Challenges where we work to stay within +/- 3% of a chosen center weight as we strive to maintain our weight loss. Do give the team At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance team www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp?gid=1111 consideration. I'm glad I did!
Friday, December 12, 2014
Surf along the Northern California Coast remains high following yesterday's storm.
We need at least another 6 storms like yesterday's for water managers to even think of calling an end to the drought.
As we ran this morning, it was wonderful to see water standing in ponds that have been dry for months to years. After three years of drought, yesterday's rains were a welcomed relief.
Sunday, November 09, 2014
As some of you may know, I began my transition to maintenance in June and declared that I was entering maintenance when I reached my initial SparkPeople goal weight of 144 lbs.
Well, nearly 5 months have elapsed, I have trended down another 17 pounds and am left feeling somewhat discouraged and a bit unnerved. It may sound easy - eat more. For some, establishing the sideways trend may not have been a challenge. For me, establishing that trend may prove to be just as challenging, if not more so, than losing the weight in the first place.
When the stress in my life became overwhelming and the decision to move on a regular basis was initiated in June 2013, weight loss was not consciously on my radar. Improving my health and overall well-being has been the overarching principle guiding this journey. Over the course of the next 6 months my journey would evolve to include a focus not only on movement, but also nutrition. In December 2013, I began tracking my nutritional intake and have continued to do so.
In June 2014 - a year after the decision to move was initiated - I reached my initial SparkPeople goal weight of 144 pounds. At that time I had been tracking my nutritional intake for 6 months. Another 5 months of tracking has taken place and that sideways trend has not been established.
I really thought October was going to be the month it would happen. That was not to be. Instead, I found myself contacting my doctor for advice. Should my thyroid levels be rechecked even though they had been checked in August and found to be normal following a reduction in thyroid medication? Regarding my weight, how low is too low?
My doctor would respond as follows: "I agree that we should recheck the thyroid. You are probably as thin as you should get."
So, off to the lab I went. The lab results indicated normal thyroid function. My doctor responded, "This looks fine. You may very well be burning more calories than you are consuming."
She knows that I began running in June. She has physically examined me twice since June, most recently in late October, and is not overly concerned about my weight. So, I need to take a deep breath and continue to work on increasing my calorie intake.
As far as movement goes...October would see the lowest fitness minutes and mileage in over a year. On the nutrition front, October would see the greatest average daily caloric intake for the month. I am consuming hundreds of calories more per day on average than I was when food tracking began nearly a year ago. At that time I weighed in at 184 lbs. I am consuming well over the daily caloric average of June 2014...and, obviously, it is still not enough.
It is astounding to me what an apparently *turbo charged* metabolic thermostat can do. I have been running 16 miles per week for the past 4 weeks and will continue to do so. At some point, I expect that running mileage will increase. But, I feel a need to halt the downward weight trend first.
The good thing is that I still feel healthy, energetic, and strong. The not so good thing is that I have been dipping in and out of the underweight BMI category for the last couple of weeks. So, this experiment of one (as ONEKIDSMOM likes to say) continues.
Above is a picture of my weight graphs for the last 31 days. The green represents my scale weight and the orange my 7-day average weight. The faint black line is a trend line. This is NOT what maintenance should look like. So, the pursuit continues...and...more calories it is!
P.S. I want to say "THANK YOU!!!" to all of you that have provided encouragement and support. Anja, thank you for the continued Maintenance Challenges that you make available through the At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance team. I trust that I will eventually be able to prevent the *fall out* at the bottom end of my maintenance range. ;-)
Sunday, September 28, 2014
Reading MJREIMERS blog “A Few Pounds [sic] Heavier”
has struck a chord in me.
In June of this year I began my transition to maintenance. At that time, 144 pounds seemed to be a healthy, maintainable goal for me. After all I thought, "I am a menopausal woman with a hypothyroid. It stands to reason that I cannot expect to weigh what I did decades ago when I had a fully functioning thyroid with menopause still decades away." Well, that was not to be.
My weight continues to drop as I increase my calories. I think part of what has made establishing a sideways trend more difficult is the fact that I began training to run in June. I also found it difficult to increase my calories too quickly and was initially fearful of doing so because my doctor had significantly reduced my thyroid dosage which in the past lead to weight gain. Weight gain has not followed the reduction in thyroid dosage and follow up exams indicate that my thyroid is functioning within normal ranges again.
Upon completing my first maintenance challenge I dropped my goal (center) weight to 133 pounds. To the best of my recollection this was a stable weight for me in my late teens and into my early 30s. For the past month my 7-day weight average has run below 133 pounds.
This is actually somewhat scary territory for me. In my early 20s I was ordered by my medical doctor to quit playing racquet ball until I gained 15 pounds. I do not want to go there again. I do not want to be directed by my doctor to quit running until I gain X pounds.
Following MJREIMERS blog I posted the following: “Thanks for your blog. Establishing a healthy and maintainable weight is important to me.
I have yet to establish a sideways trend. Keep hoping that it is about to emerge. But just when I think I have it, my weight drops more. I continue to boost calories and am doing my best to notice how I am feeling...Am I fatigued? Feeling sluggish? Not as alert? Feeling weak? The answer to those questions remains "no."
However, I find myself doubting my ability to accurately answer those questions. I am hearing an awful lot of "You need to eat more!" "You're wasting away!" "You need to quit running!" "You're exercising too much!" and the list goes on...
For the past 3 weeks I've averaged in excess of 1800 calories per day and am running about 9 miles per week (+/- 1 mile). “
What contributes to my doubt is the fact that I was definitely underweight in my early 20s and I did not feel sluggish, fatigued, weak, etc. So, my question to myself is “How can you possibly expect to be able to accurately determine a healthy, maintainable weight for yourself?” I’ve wondered if it might be prudent to ask my medical doctor what she thinks would be a healthy weight for me.
I know that I weighed less than I do now when I was married at 26 years of age. However, until my journey began in June 2013 I did not routinely step on the scale. In fact, our home did not have a scale in it for decades. So, how accurate is my recollection of the 133 pounds being a stable weight for myself?
I do know that I have not been one to “fib” about my weight on my driver’s license. I’ll have to go see if I can dig out some of those old licenses. They could support or challenge my recollections. That would be useful information. In the meantime I continue to do the best I can to establish that ever evasive sideways trend.
Thanks again MJREIMERS for sharing your experience. I appreciate you!
UPDATE: I dug out those ol' driver's licenses and ... 130 lbs listed in the 1980s & 1990s, 170 lbs listed in 2000. As a teenager ... 115 lbs and 3 inches shorter. So, I gained 40 lbs in the 1990s and another 40+ lbs between 2000 & 2013.
Sunday, September 28, 2014
Saturday, a fellow team member, MOBYCARP of At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance blogged about "Becoming A Runner … "
Based on the thoughts shared by him and his sisters, ALICIA363 “Dreams of Quitting” … www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
and ONEKIDSMOM “Before I became a runner “… www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5787561 , I guess one could say that Labor Day’s running of my first 5k saw the birth of a new runner.
June 2013 marked the beginning of what continues to be a very transformative period in my life. At that time I could not climb a flight of stairs without being winded. I committed to regular walking at that time. By November 2013 a desire to run was beginning to stir. I had been a high jumper, long jumper and hurdler in high school. In my late teens or early 20s I remember running recreationally with one of my sisters. My best recollections say we were able to run 6 miles at a time and did so several times a week. Neither of us ever ran a race. I do not recall this running period lasting for long. I do remember enjoying it.
My fitness buddy and I would wait until June of this year to begin training to run. Both of us felt that it would be better for us to wait until we were carrying less weight before we began training to run. So, this June, we began run/walk interval training. Our training began with intervals of run 1 minute/walk 4 minutes and progressed through a number of weeks to eventual intervals of run 2 minutes/walk 1 minute. Following the completion of that plan, we moved to the next plan that began with intervals of run 3 minutes/walk 2 minutes and progressed through a number of weeks to intervals of run 10 minutes/walk 30 seconds with the plan culminating in a goal of running continually for 30 minutes or completing a 5k-Fun Run.
Prior to our Labor Day Race, the longest period of time that I had run continuously was 21 minutes. I had come close to completing a 5k in 31:30 with intervals of run 10 minutes/walk 30 seconds. My goal on race day was to run the entire race in less than 35 minutes, ideally in less than 32 minutes. If I needed to use run/walk intervals, I would use them.
Well, I shocked myself on race day. I ran the entire race. At 54 years of age, I ran my first 5k in 29:29.503 at a pace of 09:30 minutes/mile. I remember running past the clock at the finish line and seeing that I appeared to be finishing the race in less than 30 minutes. I felt both excited and confused. It didn’t seem that this could possibly be happening; but, it was and it did.
For years, I have wanted to run. A couple of times during the past three plus decades I approached one of my health care providers and inquired about whether or not running would be advisable for me. Each time I was told, “No.” At the end of 2013, when the desire to run stirred again, I asked my doctor whether or not it was okay for me to run. My doctor was well aware that my health and well-being were undergoing a transformation. This time I was told, “Yes. Be careful. Do not take on too much, too fast.” I was thrilled to be given the green light.
So, as ALICIA 363 said in her blog, “ … I know the transformative nature of having a child; is participating in your first running event also a transformation? …”
My response to her question would have to be a resounding, “YES!” Running has definitely shaken my preconceived ideas of what’s possible. I know that the running is transforming me in ways yet unrevealed. I can feel it deep within me.
I have learned and continue to learn much from those of you sharing your experiences in your blogs. Thank you!
I would be negligent to not thank my friend, coworker and fitness buddy. Thank You! Thank You! Without her companionship, encouragement and shared wisdom I have serious doubts that this transformation would have occurred.
I hope to run for many years to come and remain injury free. Should an injury confront me, I have experiences of recovery shared here on Spark that can provide guidance. It is wonderful to be experiencing life in a much healthier state with my ‘inner runner’ reawakened...for this, I am grateful.
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