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Three Years of Sparking

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Yesterday was my three year anniversary since I started tracking my diet, exercise, measurements, and weight. I’m very proud of the weight I’ve lost, how much better I feel, and how much stronger I’ve gotten. Here are some statistics:

Waist: Currently down 1.25”, from 39.25” to 38”. I peaked at 41.5” about 5 months after starting this diet, and, I was down to 36.5” a month ago (despite NO weight gain in the last month!).
Hips: Currently down 5.5”, from 48” to 42.5”. Six months ago, I was down to 41.5”.
Thigh: Currently down 4.25”, from 28” to 24.75”. I was at 23.5” a month ago.
Upper arm: Down 2”, from 15” to 13”.
Weight: 184, up to 190, then down to 150 (148 two weeks ago), for a loss of 34 pounds (in 36 months).
BMI has gone from 32.7 (over 30 is obese) to 25.8 (over 25 is “overweight.”).
Percent body fat: currently 34%, measured by hospital professionals with calipers (average of 3 measurements in three locations). Anything over 32% is considered obese.

Health Indicators:
Blood pressure remains largely unchanged, at 108/65 – quite healthy.
Resting heart rate remains constant at about 43 bpm (yes, forty three).
Cholesterol is down slightly from 227 to 214, with HDL making a good leap from 59 to 70, LDL dropping from 145 to 133, and triglycerides plummeting from 117 to 56. Still room for improvement on the cholesterol front, but the doctor says it’s fine since the HDL is so high.
My RMR was tested last January to be 1010 calories per day, about 350 calories too low (or about what a 125 year old woman would have). This is indicative of a metabolic disorder, and I’m still trying to find a doctor that will take me seriously.

Went from averaging 0 calories expended per day to around 80 calories per day (in the warm months) when I started running. I was able to run a 5K, a 4+ miler in 2010, and an 8K in 2011. After purchasing a road bike late last summer, I increased my calorie burn to over 150 calories per day. My husband and I joined a gym seven months ago and I added strength training on machines, core strength classes, and several cardio classes (cycling and intervals). For Christmas, I got swimming lessons. I raced a sprint triathlon the week before last! I’m up to burning somewhere from 375 – 515 calories per day (375 using “swimming: general” and SP’s calculations, 460 using “swimming: crawl” and SP’s data, and 515 using “swimming: crawl,” my HRM data for cardio, and SP’s data for the rest of the exercise). That’s about 3 hours of strength training, 2-3 hours of HIIT, and 2-3 hours of steady state cardio per week.

Averaged 1334 calories eaten per day over the last 3 years; 59 days at 2000 calories or above (of 1097 days), only 10 days at 2400 calories or more.
I’ve met with a nutritionist who has said that my diet is reasonably good (there’s always room for improvement) and other than increasing protein with supplements, the only change I should make is to get my calorie intake down to 800-1100 calories per day to lose weight, due to my low RMR. That’s extremely hard to do on a regular basis, especially with as much exercise as I’m doing (and yes, that 800-1100 is WITH that amount of exercise).

The good news is that I’ve lost 34 pounds, a little over an inch on my waist, and almost six inches on my hips. I’m exercising and loving it. I feel much stronger, and I’m much leaner, but I still am “obese” based on my measured percentage body fat (and by the visible fat lurking around my middle). This has been a LOT of work to average a little less than one pound weight loss per month and only about one inch difference in my waist. It's been a long haul, but imagine where I'd be if I didn't start this lifestyle change three years ago, when I was gaining 5+ pounds per month.
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