Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Weigh In 4:19

This was a rough week, folks.  I started a new temp job that has me working early, late, overnight, and everywhere in between.  One necessary evil this week has been a ton of caffeine, and the changing hours have had me struggling to figure out meals.  Add in an inability to exercise as much as I have been in recent weeks and you get a gain.  I feel a little lucky it was only a pound, to be honest.

I weighed in at 385 on my old scale, and 390.4 on the new one.  I weighed myself during the week to measure the difference and about 5 1/2 pounds seems to be the average, so I am going to call it 5.4 and call it a day.

As things stabilize this week my hope is that I can eat a little better and take a few more pounds off.  I am still adjusting, though, and my shifts are still all over the place, so I am not going to kill myself to do it.  I still struggle with thinking of this as my new lifestyle rather than as a temporary inconvenience.  For as slow as it is going this time around I am able to enjoy myself a bit more, and maybe that is a good balance.

Friday, July 19, 2013


The new scale has arrived!  It doesn't have all the bells and whistles of my old one, but it has a very wide base which will help with accuracy, and it is new and factory calibrated, so I know it is (more) accurate than my current scale.  Here is the old one:

And here is the new one:

An unfortunate reality is that my current scale is inaccurate in the wrong direction.  I opened up the new scale and weighed myself on both and the new scale was 5.4 pounds heavier.  I was 384 on the old and 389.4 on the new.  Now, I have been weighing myself on the same scale the whole time so this does not change how much I have lost, just where I started and where I am now.  I will do a couple more calibrations to get an average difference, and then I will adjust my previous numbers to match.  So far I am break even for the week (though I weighed later today than usual), so that should make things a little easier.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Weigh in 4:18

It finally happened.  My scale has finally shuffled off this electrical coil and stopped working.  I should say I can still get on it and it will still give numbers, but they are so inconsistent and it takes so long to figure out what it wants to do that it is not useful right now.  I had to weigh myself 4 times today.  Once it settled on a pound up, once on a pound or so down, and twice it just kept fluctuating between 370 and 390 and then settling around 384 and then jumping all over the place again.  I took 384 as the number because that seemed to be the consensus number, but I could be a little up or a little down.  Suffice it to say that I had another mediocre week, although probably down just a tick.

This week I was victim to some poor preparation on my part.  I wasn't as strict on myself with food as I was last week, which is OK because I cannot do that every week.  I also was a bit lazy with exercise, though I still got around 35 points worth.  I missed out on monday because I was supposed to have a dance callback but the choreographer is injured so it has been moved to next week.  I did not want to tire myself with a workout or long walk earlier in the day, so a day I had planned to get exercise turned into one I did not get any.  Working exercise into my day to day life is still a new thing, so I must continue to get better at that.

A new challenge starts this week as well.  I have a new temp job to take me through to the start of my kids' shows in the fall.  It is part time, but mostly 3rd shift, so I will need to stay vigilant and work to plan my meals as I will be completely changing my body clock and personal schedule.  This is less than ideal, but I need work, so I will have to learn to work around it.

This coming week I know I can do a better job of working out and managing my food choices.  It sucks that I have to be as vigilant as I need to be, but complaining won't change that.  This weigh in puts me just over 1/3 of a year from my restart on the blog, and about 6 1/2 months to a new year.  In that time I have lost 20 pounds, and 26 for all of my time on weight watchers.  That puts me losing about another 40 or so for the year, and I would love to kick that up a bit.  Shooting for 320-325 by next January is a solid goal, and I would love to be under 300 for next summer.  If I can establish a better rhythm and habits, and keep going on my exercise I know I can blow past that, but purely based on what I have done those goals seem reasonable.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Thin Margins

In the past few weeks I have alternately been frustrated and elated with my results.  The frustration was from doing things right and not getting rewarded.  The elation was from reversing the trend.  One thing that has become frustratingly clear is how thin my margin for error is. This post is not to make excuses, but rather get out some big frustration I have over it.  I feel like I have to be constantly perfect in order to have consistent results, and that is the kind of mindset that leads to burnout and acting out against my diet.  I did not realize at the time, but 3 years ago this came so easily.  I barely got exercise, I frequently indulged in (reasonable) cheats, and I was losing over 3 pounds a week easily.  Now I can only get that eating 6 salads in a week and 5 workouts.

There are always things I can do better, but I would be inhuman if I didn't find it frustrating and see the distance to a healthy weight as very daunting.  Losing a pound a week is quite reasonable for folks looking to lose 20-30 pounds, but I need to lose at least another 130 pounds.  At a minimum.  At a pound a week pace that is two and a half years away.  In the 5 or so months I have been on program I have lost 25 pounds.  25 pounds is a lot and something I am trying to be proud of, but there is so far to go that It can be hard to see the trees for the forest, to corrupt a phrase.

Looking on the bright side I have only been really committed to working out for 3 weeks.  One of the surest ways to increase metabolism is to increase lean muscle mass, and as the work I am doing compounds I should see better results and have more of a margin.  As I have mentioned many times my meds put me on the back foot, but they also make workouts possible without having a heart attack, so I will have to take the good with the bad.  There is room for improvement with my diet, and every little bit helps.  The Weight Watchers Points system is helpful, and a little more user friendly than calorie tracking, but it is not perfect, and some points are better than others.

This is a constant learning process, and it is something I have to live with forever.  Sometimes that takes adjustment.  A little progress is still progress.  The journey can be as valuable as the destination.  I think tomorrow that will feel truer to me.  Today I had to talk it out a bit.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Weigh In 4:17

Now that is more like it!  After last week's debacle I was hoping that my body was merely trying to reset and not that I had made some huge error in my accounting of things.  As I posted earlier in the week the 4th was not a great day for me on my diet, so I am even happier that I managed to have a great week and still have one ridiculous day.  I weighed in this morning at 385.2, which is a loss of 3.2 pounds.  That is the kind of range I would like to be in on a weekly basis.  If I can string together 3 more weeks like this then I can hit about 375 by month's end, which would achieve my most ambitious goal for the month.  Considering how previous weeks have gone this may not be realistic, but I think shooting for somewhere south of 380 is a solid goal.

Considering the fact my diet was not perfect this week I have to look at the other changes I made to see from where the progress came.  The first, and most obvious, is from exercise.  Last week was decent, but this week was great.  I hit the elliptical 3 times for a total of about an hour, and took an hour walk as well.  Unfortunately being a big guy meant that this also meant that by yesterday I had a bit of a chafing issue, so yesterday I also did a few reps with my free weights, and although it probably did not do much in terms of calories it did get my blood pumping just a little bit and couldn't have hurt, especially on a day when a jog or walk was painfully unrealistic.  I have discovered that Netflix is my best friend for working out on the elliptical because it does just enough to take my mind off of how sweaty and tired I am and keep going.  A sitcom episode is perfect because by the time the credits hit I can slow things down and cool off and have about 25 minutes done.  Walks are less of a problem because I am outside with much more pleasant surroundings and it is not nearly as vigorous as my elliptical sessions.

Another strategy that helped this week was my protein buster.  Two days of salads had me craving anything but by the third day, but it really got me back on the right track.  Starting Sunday I pretty much ate as I normally would.  The results speak for themselves, so I think at least every other week a few salad days consecutively are going to become part of my repertoire.

This week I want to keep going with what I achieved this week.  This is a great baseline to shoot for, so I plan to keep up what has worked.  40-50 points worth of exercise, a few salads, and keep it sensible otherwise.

Friday, July 5, 2013

That Escalated Quickly

Oh Holidays. The parties, the fun, the frivolity all create an atmosphere of inattention to making good eating choices.  Compound that with a little booze and the hand to mouth filter gets quite weak.  Yesterday was 2/3rds fantastic, one third nuclear holocaust.  By the time I left for my party I still had about 30 daily points left.  By the time I was done I had used all of that and all of my weekly points.  It is amazing how fast that can happen.

Yesterday was a fantastic reminder of what liquid calories can do to you.  Alcohol and sugary drinks are pretty high in calories and points while offering absolutely nothing in terms of filling you up.  It is the dietary perfect storm.  Now, things like the 4th of July are why you have those weekly discretionary points, but my margin of error for the week is now quite a bit smaller.

On a positive note I have already done one walk and one elliptical session so far and have earned 20 activity points.  Since I start every week with 49 discretionary points that sounds like a good activity goal for me.  Considering an hour walk or a 20-25 elliptical session equals 10 points I just need to get 5 of those in this week.  And that is very doable seeing as I am 40% of the way there already.

The salad kick started today and I am roasting some chicken for homemade salads as I type.  3 days of that should clear away some of the Independence Day excesses.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Weigh In 4:16

OK, this was a pretty terrible week.  It didn't feel that way as I was experiencing it.  In fact, judging by the goals I set last week I did quite well.  I could have cooked more for myself, but I got a little behind on keeping my place clean and couldn't afford to make the problem worse.  I did have alcohol on Sunday at a birthday party, so that goal was not met.  On the positive side I did much better with my water intake, I kept 26 of my discretionary points, and I got 27 activity points, which while short of the 30 point goal I set was still more than I got last week.

And I gained 2 pounds.

I have to think this is just one of those weeks where my body had to reset, or perhaps the added exercise changed things for me and after an adjustment I will be back and better than ever.  Part of the reason I try to maintain so many of my weekly points is to give myself a buffer in case I have under estimated portion sizes and things like that.  If I am eating something I did not make from scratch for myself it can be very difficult to accurately track my points.  Keeping those points gives me a 1-2 point buffer on every meal.  Add in the activity points and I had two large meals worth of points left over this week, and I find it very hard to believe I was off by that much.  So I chalk it up to a fluctuation I can do nothing about and keep going next week.

I do think this week I am going to take a page from the old Quick Weight Loss Center days and do a protein buster.  What that entails is basically eating nothing but salads and white meat chicken for 2-3 days, excepting breakfast.  I can do fruit for snacks, but lightly dressed lettuce with chicken is about it in terms of meals.  On that program It was used to start off with and to bust plateaus.  I have resigned myself to the fact that on my blood pressure meds I may never have big numbers, but I can at least get back this week's stumble and then some.

This week I would like to keep up the strides I have made with exercise.  As I mentioned I was able to get 27 points worth of work in, but all of that was done in only 2 elliptical sessions.  An upside to that was that I was forced to stretch myself out  little bit and go longer than I was comfortable going to get to the point total I needed.  If I can combine the increased stamina from this week with a little more frequency then I think I can set myself up for a good week in that regard.

Ultimately this week is a great reminder that despite all of the scales. systems, diets, gyms, and nutrition advice ultimately our bodies are going to do what they want to do sometimes and we are really making a lot of this up as we go along.