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Where I started Jun 2009 - Sept 2009

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Third in the series of where I began...

Part 1
Where I started (335.6 lbs, BMI = 52.6) May 2007 - Apr 2009

Part 2
Where I started Apr 2009 - Jun 2009

Part 3
Where I started Jun 2009 - Sept 2009


June 25, 2009
People amaze me. (Have I turned into a food Nazi?)

Tags: bariatric surgery, diet, exercise, grilled cheese, nutrition, protein
There’s a guy in my water aerobics class. This fact, by itself, is commendable because he must feel isolated at times because at the moment he’s the only one. He comes with his significant other, who is supposedly a retired(?) nurse.

He recently underwent bariatric surgery in January. As of yesterday he’d lost 97 lbs (down from 400). I’d lost 97.6 (down from 335.6). So we’re in roughly comparable situations and we compare notes.

A few weeks ago when we first started chatting about long-term weight loss, he told me he’s losing weight so fast that he’s losing muscle too, and feeling weaker. I asked how many grams of protein he’s eating per day? He didn’t know. He pointed to the SO and said, “she’s in charge of that.” So later I asked her when they were together. She said, “he eats protein at every meal.” But how MUCH protein on average, per day? She didn’t know, either. I told him that he should probably look it up, and at minimum be getting 100g per day.

His weight loss has been slowing down in the past few weeks, to the point that I’ve caught up to him. Yesterday I found out why.

While waiting for them to open the pool and class to start we were chatting and he divulged that he’s started being able to eat more lately, which he took as a sign that he’s recovering well from the surgery. The item that he said he’d eaten? A whole grilled cheese sandwich. GRILLED CHEESE? Did he mean broiled, or fried in butter? He didn’t know. The SO who probably served it to him was sitting on the other side of me and didn’t speak up. “GRILLED CHEESE?!” I said. “That is NOT a good food choice. It is almost pure carbs and fat. And if it was fried, it’s even worse.”

“They told me cheese is good,” he said.

“Cheese is loaded with fat. If you want protein, go for lean poultry breast or a lean fish like hake, cod, or tilapia.”

“I love tilapia!,” another woman waiting with us said.

“Dude,” I said. “This is not what I want to be hearing. I do not want to be hearing that you are now eating grilled cheese sandwiches. After all the hard work and effort you’ve put into getting to this point, it will make me cry to hear you are eating things like that. I love cheese. But the only kind I’ve found that is OK is the Weight Watcher’s string cheese and the WW cheddar pieces. They have the least fat and salt compared with the amount of protein. But I can only eat them sparingly.”

“String cheese is good for snacks,” he said.

“Not just any string cheese. You have to read the labels. Weight watcher’s is the only kind I have. And I do like it.”

Then they opened the doors.

About 220,000 people supposedly had bariatric surgery in 2008. The number probably went up this year. The more people having these surgeries, the more sloppy the places that do them are going to be. And I’m sorry, but a place must be very sloppy indeed if they don’t educate their patients about nutrition. I mean, COME ON. This is INTERNAL elective SURGERY. These people can’t put more than something like a tablespoon of food in their stomachs at a time, and they aren’t told that they need protein, and that eating whole grilled cheese sandwiches isn’t something to be proud of? Or if they are told, they don’t pay attention?

Yikes. I see a massive problem coming with the explosion of these procedures. I mean, do we really know the long, long term effects of them? Not with so many people. And without proper coaching, nutritional education, and permanent lifestyle changes, how are they going to maintain their fitness?

Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s fantastic that this guy has lost 100 lbs and that he’s in my water exercise class. That is commendable. However, having made similar strides without surgery or drugs, I can say for a fact that the nutrition is a key part of the process, if not the most important factor. And without it he will fail, which I would hate to see.

June 27, 2009
New BMI = 36.90

Tags: 100 lbs, bmi
Very Happy Milestone this morning.

I have removed 100 lbs!

Also, the BMI is now under 37.

Next milestone in 0.7 lbs when I will have removed 30% of my starting weight.

So in the end, my Reward Kayak ended up helping me get to the goal that made me deserve it in the first place. I LURVE my new kayak. Not only is it pretty and functional, but it ALREADY helped me lose weight!

July 5, 2009
New BMI = 36.098

Tags: indigestion, low fat, weight loss
A couple more milestones today:

I’ve removed 60 lbs since joining SparkPeople
I’ve removed 105 lbs total
Next milestone in 0.5 lbs when I’ll be under 230 lbs for the first time in recent recorded history.

I did well yesterday at the 4th of July BBQ in terms of staying under 2000 cal or so for the day. Unfortunately those cal that I did get included an extremely high amount of fat (almost 40% of the total calories), which my digestive system is NOT used to…

So I spent half the night with uncomfortable indigestion and the wee hours of the morning praying to the porcelain god, if you know what I mean. Lesson learned. When used to a low-fat diet, do not challenge the system with high-fat meals.

July 26, 2009
New BMI = 34.86

Tags: 5% net, halfway, under schedule
Aha! I made it! Under budget and under schedule! LOL.

Another 5% net G.O.N.E. (I’d projected July 27 to hit it.)

And now I’m officially halfway in terms of effort. Eight 5% net milestones behind me, eight to go…

If you had told me last December that before the end of July I would remove 113 lbs and try whitewater kayaking, I would have laughed at you. Not WITH you, but AT you.

By the way, that’s also another fun milestone. My personal trainer is 112 lbs. This means I’ve now officially lost an ENTIRE PERSONAL TRAINER in weight. When I started I was using cats (10 lbs) as units of weight. I’ve removed over 11 cats. (I love the image of 11 cats strapped all over my body. A big furry, HEAVY, wriggling, complaining mass. LOL. Much less interesting to imagine my trainer just sitting on my back, piggyback style!)

The difference is that she’s probably 95% fat free, while the weight I removed is probably 95% fat. Hehe.

August 26, 2009
New BMI = 32.98

Tags: 125 lbs down, 5% net gone, bmi under 33
Woo-hoo! I’m officially THROUGH that nasty 220 plateau.

A BUNCH of milestones hit today:

80 gone since I started tracking my food at Spark People in March
Another net 5% removed (projected for 8/21 so I’m almost a week late – see comment about plateaus, above) 9 down, 6 to go! This is the best estimate I have for marking where I am in the process in terms of actual effort and difficulty.
I’ve lost 125 lbs since I started
My BMI is under 33. When it gets under 30 I’ll no longer be obese, just overweight!
Next milestone in 0.7 lbs when I get under 210.

I credit preparation and determination for this one.


I brought 4 protein bars with me yesterday to the ribbon-cutting ceremony and boy, did I ever USE them! They prevented me from eating the sweet starchy things available in the morning with the coffee, from eating the chips, creamy dressing, and cookie in my box lunch, and ESPECIALLY from eating the pepperoni and cheese and ranch dressing with veggies in the afternoon. (I had ONE square of cheese and I counted it.)


I only had water to drink, even though there was good wine available (I was afraid of the carbs in the wine, but especially of the disinhibition it might encourage toward eating the pepperoni and cheeses). We were gone so long that I missed spinning class, so when I got home I did an elliptical session.

August 31, 2009
New BMI = 32.2

Tags: biggest loser
I’ve now officially removed 130 lbs. Next milestone in 1.3 when the BMI will drop below 32. When it drops below 30 I’ll be “overweight” and not “obese” for the first time since the early 1990s.

P.S. I won the weigh-in at work, again.

Overall % lost by each of us over the past 16 weeks:

ME 22.52%

Bill 5.74%

Tiffany 1.98%

Larry 1.43%

Rose -1.66%

I am beginning to suspect that I could have won some serious ca$h if I had ever managed to get myself onto the Biggest Loser TV show, if I could have psychologically handled being cooped up with a bunch of other intense people under the scrutiny of cameras (which is actually pretty doubtful).

My BMI on May 11 when we started this was 42.3. At that point I’d already lost 65.6 lbs, but even at a BMI of 42.3 I was bigger than Helen (41.5) and almost as big as Tara (43.4), who were the two female finalists in Season 7 (Helen won).

By week 16 Helen had lost 37.35% and Tara had lost 39.80% while living under TV scrutiny, working out for hours every day, etc. etc. Only three people in season 7 lost a larger % of weight at home than I have, and they had from 17-19 weeks to do it. (The person who had 17 weeks lost 23.22% total. By next week I’ll probably be about there.)

In our case, here are the winners for all 16 weeks and the percentage lost that week:

18 May Larry & Bill (tie) 4.38%

25 May Bill 2.1%

1 June Rose 2.72%

8 June ME 2.85%

15 June Larry 1.79%

22 June ME 2.31%

29 June ME 0.49%

6 July ME 2.79%

13 July ME 2.45%

20 July Bill 0.76%

27 July ME 1.13%

3 Aug ME 2.45%

10 Aug Tiffany 2.2%

17 Aug No-one (we all gained)

24 Aug ME 2.52%

31 Aug ME 3.42%

September 4, 2009
New BMI=31.86

Tags: obese, overweight
Greetings from the UK. Where Lisa‘s scale weighs me in STONES. Which means I don’t really know my weight until I’ve done the math, hehe. (Fortunately there are 14 lbs in one stone, so the math isn’t that hard.)

Today (my first morning here) I reached a new milestone. The BMI is under 32. When it gets under 30 I’ll be officially out of obesity and just overweight!

Yesterday on her way to an appointment in London Lisa took me by the local bicyle hire place where I got the ONLY Dawes Giro available. It’s a sweet ride. Took it out for a spin in the evening with Steve (Lisa was still in London until 9pm). Lovely 8 mile route, a bit windy in the country stretch, but very scenic. In the ensuing 40 min I got mostly used to the index shifting and burned 318 calories (max HR 151 BPM, which is respectable). See here for the route we took.

Today Lisa and I are going to spend the day kayaking on the Great River Ouse. To get there we will ride our bikes to the train station, take the train for2 stops, then ride the bikes to the yak rental place. No cars were injured in the making of this vacation, hehe.

September 9, 2009
New BMI = 31.45

Tags: 40% weight loss, 5% net loss
Went on a nice 47 mile round-trip ride with Lisa and Steve from King’s Lynn to Hunstanton by the seaside yesterday. Pictures and route forthcoming when Steve has a chance to upload/enter them.

Some new milestones this morning:

I’ve lost another 5% (10 down, 6 to go)
I’ve removed 40% of my starting weight (getting on toward being half the woman I used to be)
I’ve officially won my contest with Vic, so she’ll have to pay for the bloody marys in January (she dropped out for legit personal reasons a while ago, but she still owes me at least ONE victory bloody mary! LOL)
Next milestone in 0.2 lbs when I’ll have removed 135 lbs. And in 0.8 lbs I’ll win that contest with my cousin Nick, and he’ll owe me a nice dinner in November. Hehe.

Today is my last day here in the UK. I’m flying at 1pm to Philadelphia, and then from there to Syracuse. I better go see if those boarding passes printed out…

After this point I started posting my thoughts here at Spark People, with the Sept 15 2009 post, "Back in the Saddle."
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    This was a fun catch up. Your blogs have always been motivational to me. You are spot on about the grilled cheese. I am often horrified by others' food choices. Your product reviews have especially been helpful to me and have made me carefully scrutinize food labels. Why take it in if it isn't the best? I'm finally hitting 120 grams of protein per day after slowly working up from 30-50. Carb cravings are gone. emoticon emoticon
    2546 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.