Friday, May 27, 2011

Weigh in 2:18

There used to be a lot of joy in this process, but lately that has not been the case.  When I committed to this journey I knew rationally that the only things that would change would be my weight and my appearance.  Neither of these is insignificant, but losing weight and getting healthier are not some magic bullet that will get me all of my hopes and dreams in life.  I don't know where along the way this happened, but I must have at some point invested this journey with much more responsibility than it ever had any right to carry, because I am incredibly unsatisfied.  I take no pleasure in the sheer fact that I am thinner.  I refuse to judge myself by my weight. Don't get me wrong, I have an objective sense of accomplishment over how far I have come, but some of my friends talk about how proud they are or how proud I should be and that is simply not how I feel.  I understand that impulse, but for me it is like I got the right answer on a test.  It is what I should do.  How much pride is there to take in substituting stupid self-destructive behavior with what I should have been doing in the first place.

So I am in a funk.  I have been trying to rationalize myself out of it for four months and it is just not happening.  Part if it is that I haven't had a show for a while and my job, though more interesting than my old day job, is fairly unfulfilling.  I have felt at times that my whole life has revolved around this journey, and knowing the level of energy it takes to make the kind of progress I have it is understandable, but I hate it.  I hate feeling obsessed by my weight, like every choice I make revolves around Friday morning weigh ins.  I have retaliated by having weeks like this one.  I just didn't feel like it this week.  It is not something I am particularly proud of, but I need to own it.  I am terrified of being the kind of person that bases all of my self-worth on the number I see on the scale, so to prove I don't think that way I don't make any progress.  Because that's rational.  Here are the numbers:

Current Weight: 281 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: -1 lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: 4.2 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 159.2 lbs

This whole post is not some fishing trip for sympathy or comments.  It helps to put some of it down so I can process.  Sorry for the pity party, but hopefully I can work through what I am feeling a bit better this way.  I want to be happy and not satisfied, and not because I am thinner, but because I am respecting myself more.  I just have to figure out how to accept that for what it is and not judge it.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Weigh in 2:17

Meh.  The results are lackluster this week, but the journey through the week felt pretty good.  I certainly wasn't perfect, but I kept fairly good track of my intake and got in 4 workouts this week.  I have done a lot of speculating in the last weeks when my weight loss has been stalled that has attributed my lack of movement to something that makes me look good, like gaining muscle.  It has been a convenient excuse, but this week I actually think that might be true.  My clothes are fitting a bit more loosely and for the first time in a while my reflection in the mirror looks a bit more svelte.  If I am in fact making that kind of progress then it was a good week, but as I said I was less than perfect.  I know where my mistakes were for the most part, but the victories I can build on for the coming week were:

-Cooked more than I have in a while.  Good, cheap meals at a reasonable nutritional level were the key to my quick progress in the 1st 10 months and regardless of the time I have lost to my new job I need to get back to that.
-4 workouts.  The elliptical broke again, so this week might be difficult for really good cardio, but I can still do something, and something is better than nothing.  I am also pondering getting a bike to enjoy the summer with.  Suggestions from friends who bike would be appreciated.
-Smarter snacking.  I wasn't great this week, but I was better, and I need to keep that progress going.  Bad snacks and my sweet tooth are still my biggest hurdles nutritionally.
-Less coffee.  I know I have been retaining water, and the caffeine hasn't helped.  Coffee is also a carrier for sugar and milk, which are alright in moderation, but I have been less than moderate.  I am cutting back a bit.

Here are the numbers:

Current Weight: 280 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: -0.2 lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: 5.2 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 160.2 lbs

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mid Week Update

Well, I haven't been perfect, but i feel a decent week coming on.  I may not lose much, but I have already gotten 3 really solid workouts in, and I can see real differences in the mirror.  I have been lifting a bit to try to build muscle mass to raise my resting metabolism, and then getting in the aerobics.  Another cold snap has forced me back indoors, but that has gotten me to know the elliptical a lot better.  Until recently the machine had been broken, but my last three workouts have been able to incorporate it and that is a very good thing.  I imagine the elliptical was designed by an East Texas mother.  I say that because it is very gentle while kicking my ass.  I can almost hear it asking, "How's your mom n'them?" while menacing me with a wooden spoon.  The low impact nature allows me to workout at a much higher level for longer, and today's session was the longest yet.  I spent 40 minutes at what I would call a fairly vigorous pace, especially considering I was using one of the built in programs that adds resistance to the pedals at varying intervals.  According to the elliptical and my calorie counting app that is good for 800 calories.  My sweat agrees, but my head doesn't.  Whatever.  Honestly it was a good workout and is another step in the right direction.

It being my day off I was also able to get in a little kitchen time to prep for the week.  I had been using a new Thai Basil Chicken recipe taken from America's Test Kitchen on PBS.  I adapted the recipe, mixed it with a little brown rice, and used it to stuff a nice large green pepper.  This is honestly one of my best yet.

The red is a little bit of sriracha hot chili sauce as a garnish.  I am pleased to say I have three more servings left.  Oh, and the whole meal is less than 400 calories (it's on a salad plate, so it is not as big as it looks, but that is part of the trick).  That'll do.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Weigh in 2:16

Finally!  I little bit more discipline and a little bit more exercise and a lot less snacking have paid off.  I was a bit worried because I had 2 celebratory evenings this week where I had quite a few beers, but my planning and work in the rest of the week more than offset the indulgences.  I think being well again for the first time in a couple weeks helps as well.  Getting off of the DayQuil and sinus meds has helped me retain far less water.  I am finding that in the moment exercise has become less onerous and the resulting feeling after working out is well worth the effort.  My clothes are fitting a bit differently and I hope soon to be down another pants size and fit in the shorts that I just bought that are a bit too snug.  Here are the numbers:

Current Weight: 279.8 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: 4.2 lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: 5.4 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 160.4 lbs

I love to see that middle number change, and I have been waiting to break into the 270s for a solid 4 months or more.  Considering how stalled I had been previously I do not mind that I have lost more the last two weeks than I'd really like.  2.5-3 pounds per week is a healthy pace at my weight and I lost 7.6 pounds over the last two, or an average of 3.8.  I think that it is well within the realm of the possible to hope to break 275 by the last weigh in of May.  I think the 3 workout a week goal is a good minimum as well.  I am relishing the stress relief properties of sweating it out a bit, and lately I have really needed a positive distraction.  Any excuse to use an excuse for a positive reason is a good one, I suppose.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Weigh in 2:15

Back on track.  I got some solid results with some increased discipline.  Tracking calories has definitely helped.  Having a tangible indication that I have eaten enough helps me tremendously because I have a rational counter to any lingering cravings or hunger.  I know that if I give it a few minutes those feelings will pass.  In the moment without that rational trigger it is hard to fight those things.  This week I did not exercise nearly as much as I wanted due to illness.  I did a lot of sleeping this week.  That makes me worry at least a portion of my weight loss was muscle loss, but there isn't a whole lot I can do about that this week.  I know I did what I could.  The next step is to string together a couple more good weeks and break some new ground.  As an immediate goal I would love to be at or below 275 by the last weigh in of May.  I also want at least 3 solid combined cardio and lifting workouts a week.  Here are the numbers for my first week back on track:

Current Weight: 284 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: 3.4 lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: 1.2 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 156.2 lbs

Calorie Totals:

Calorie Target (For 2 lb a week weight loss): 2423
Calorie Consumption: 2549
Calories Burned in Exercise: 0
Net Calories: 2549

Calorie Target (For 2 lb a week weight loss): 2423
Calorie Consumption: 2462
Calories Burned in Exercise: 0
Net Calories: 2462

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tracking 3

A couple of decent days back to back.  I've been home sick since mid-day Monday, and boredom has pushed me into some mindless eating, but the quick accountability has kept some of it in check.  Here are the numbers:

Calorie Target (For 2 lb a week weight loss): 2435
Calorie Consumption: 2623
Calories Burned in Exercise: 0
Net Calories: 2623

Tuesday: Calories adjusted after morning weight check.
Calorie Target (For 2 lb a week weight loss): 2423
Calorie Consumption: 2596
Calories Burned in Exercise: 0
Net Calories: 2596

Both days I was over target, but the target is already 1000 calories or so below my maintenance level calories, so I am still on the path to weight loss.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Tracking 2

Well, Saturday night was a bit of a step backward, but yesterday I kept pretty good track of things.  Here are the numbers:

Calorie Target (For 2 lb a week weight loss): 2435
Calorie Consumption: 2573
Calories Burned in Exercise: 224
Net Calories: 2349