Another positive day. I was able to focus a lot of my time and energy on my health today. I got out for a walk, the first real outdoor walk of the year. It was pretty cold out, but the snow had almost completely melted off, so it was a pretty easy walk. I got in probably about 4-4.5 miles and walked to my favorite picture spot with my new camera, which I got for work, but I can use for myself as well. Here are the numbers, and a few shots of the scenery.
Total Calorie Consumption: 2473
Exercise Calories Burned: 464
Net Balance: 2009 calories
Yet again I am switching things up. Sundays really were not working for me as weigh in days. I need to keep those on off days so I can be in the right frame of mind and have the time I need to write. This also serves as a jumping off point for the following week and a time to collect my thoughts on the previous week so I can assess areas of improvement. I could not do that when, on Sundays I had to weigh myself, go work for a full day, come home, prepare for work the next day, and then find a few minutes to throw together my blog post. It took me a few weeks to figure out that the ritual of making my whole morning about my health was a really good, and ultimately indispensable thing.
5 days of tracking my calories like I did last year has proven immediately successful. I want to be at maintenance, but I have not reached my goals. Constant awareness can be fatiguing, so I shouldn't be surprised that I fell off the wagon for a while. I am sure it seems ridiculous to the outside observer seeing as I lost over 150 lbs in a year, but I have been thinking about this for so long that it feels like I have been at this forever. Sometimes. There are those moments when I see a not so old picture of myself and see the tangible proof of how far I have come. Just this week I went to change my address on my driver's license and decided to ask for a picture change as well. A supervisor had to approve it, but all they said was "congratulations, good job". That is a great feeling. Plus my new picture actually looks good, so that was $30 well spent. Another frustration is that the more I lose the more unsure I become as to the end point. I have no idea what my ideal weight is. According to the actuarial tables and BMI measurements I should weigh no more than about 205. That seems impossibly low to me. Looking at my waist to hip ratio and estimated body fat percentages I am quite a bit closer to my goal. Both my bath scale and estimates based on my body measurements peg my body fat percentage at about 29%. That means to be at the max healthy range I would need to lose about 30 pounds of body fat. Splitting the difference between the two metrics puts me at about 230, which seems about right to me. I just don't know, though, and not having a steady target to shoot for is sapping some motivation. I try to focus on health and happiness, but the scale is always there, and is the biggest indicator I have. It is hard not to get tunnel vision. Here are the numbers:
Current Weight: 282.6 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: 4.8 lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: 2.6 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 157.6 lbs
Like I said, I know what works. i just have to stay disciplined and do it.
Another hungry day, but I stayed within myself. I also got in a little exercise to offset a few of those calories. I know exercise doesn't do much for weight loss unless you are on "The Biggest Loser" or a professional athlete and have hours to work out daily, but every little bit helps. Exercise will also help me tone and look healthier, and will build muscle mass which increases basal metabolism. Here are the numbers for today:
Total Calorie Consumption: 2380
Exercise Calories Burned: 343
Net Balance: 2037 calories
All I can say is that I was pretty hungry today. It was good, balanced stuff, and still in line with my weight loss pace. My maintenance calorie total is 3412 per day according to the app I am using (dubious, but a baseline number to work with), so this is still pretty good.
It seems counter-intuitive, but I will be doing 14 consecutive days of blog posts that I don't particularly care if anyone reads. I need an accountability boost. Having to post my calories means I have to count my calories, and that is going to be key to getting back on track. There will be a time for a more relaxed attitude with my diet. That time is not now. I am not where I want to be yet. I have come a long way with my baseline habits, which is why even when I was not paying as close attention to my intake I still maintained and did not really gain weight. It is nice to know that maintenance will not be all that difficult, given the evidence of the past couple of months, but I am not there. Here are today's totals:
There are consequences for going out partying the night before a weigh in. I don't want to rationalize, excuse, or explain. I am not particularly happy about this, so here come the numbers, followed shortly by what I plan to do about it:
Current Weight: 287.4 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: -2.4 lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: -2.2 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 152.8 lbs
That won't work. I have gotten lazy about this. This week I made a choice to work on some good habits, and one of the habits I want to get back into is logging my calories again. Instant accountability is indispensable. To reinforce this I will be posting my calorie totals at the end of every day for the next two weeks, since that is how long I have heard it takes to build a habit. I will do this at night so that I will have an end point every day. Snacking and mindless eating have been problems, far more so than bad choices with my meals. I am eating mostly the right things at meals, but I am snacking on things that are too calorie dense. So goodbye to hummus, guacamole, and salsa. At least for a while. None of these are particularly bad, but they lead me to eat less than ideal things, like chips. I need to avoid those triggers for a while.
Stress. If I can describe my week in one word that would be it. Frustration, stress, disappointment, and anger. It got better as the week went on. i made a few sales this weekend that make my pocketbook look better if they get approved and go through. What it boils down to for my health is that I ate the pain away so to speak this week. I had a few danger items in the house which when I am on my game do not cause me too much trouble, but when I am in my darker moments it is best I not have around. I need to be more aware of that, because that is a good reason to not ever have them around. I'd love to say I can separate emotion from eating, but I know myself well enough to know that that physical manifestation of distress is unlikely to go away, so I have to set things up so that I cannot cause myself too much harm in those times I am compromised. This week was a lesson learned. Here are the numbers:
Current Weight: 285 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: -1.2 lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: .2 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 155.2 lbs
Working on weigh in days makes a timely blog entry difficult. This week I did have a few setbacks and a few really good points. I feel like my day to day diet has gotten closer to where it was when I was having consistent success, but being stuck in the house for a few days made good choices that much more difficult. Access to food, be it good or bad, was too easy, so it was hard to maintain discipline. With all of that said I still had decent results. Here are the numbers:
Current Weight: 283.8 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: 1.4 lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: 1.4 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 156.4 lbs
For those of you readers outside of Chicago you may have heard we had a little bit of snow. By the time all was said and done the official total was the third highest in recorded history in Chicago at just shy of 21", but being by the lake my totals were a bit higher. I had been chafing at the fact I could do very little out of doors recently, so I took this as an opportunity to get a very good outdoor workout by digging my car out. I was determined to do a masterful job, frankly for the purposes of impressing my neighbors. Here are before and after pictures of my car, and my get up which caused profuse sweating.
You can see how I ended up a little sweaty after an hour and a half of shoveling.
Before the dig out. Luckily the wind kept the drifts away from the side panels, so I was able to dig out comparatively easily.
I personally find this to be a thing of beauty.
Much to my pleasure my neighbors were impressed, and asked me to help them do the same. This is where I got in trouble. Most of my neighbors were well on their way and I just got them the last bit out, but one less than intelligent neighbor came out expecting to just drive away, walking up to her car and exclaiming, "they didn't dig me out!". I had an extra shovel (of course she didn't have one) and we got started. Towards the end of the process I got a shovelfull of snow a bit too far off center and threw out my back, but we finished. I asked her why her boss was making her come in today and she said "I'm going to the grocery store". I could only laugh. One, because she should have gone Monday, which I had no qualms telling her, and two, because we happen to have a little grocery store, which was open, IN OUR BUILDING. All you have to do is walk around to the side entrance. She was unaware of this, and by "this" I mean the store's existence, and walked over. Her car has yet to move. So, I have not been doing any working out since Wednesday, but on the plus side the trip from couch to pantry/fridge is less than pleasant, so snacking has been kept in check. Always a silver lining.
Oh, and just as an indicator of the kind of snow we got for the "that doesn't look like that much crowd", here you are:
That is about halfway up the drift, so a fair indication of what I was digging through.