Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Some scary decisions

My experimental higher calorie two weeks went really well.  I did feel like I was over indulging and went up to 1900 calories on some days (heh - that makes me feel wicked just saying it LOL).  I noticed that I did start having regular BMs almost immediately.  The next fortnight I am supposed to be dropping down to 1200 calories a day to make up for the higher calories weeks.  My plateau also broke, and I dropped down to 164.6 by the end of the 2 weeks

But, here is the decision I made.  I am not going to drop down that far.  In fact, I am upping my calories to 1600.  I think I am have been "hurting" myself for being so low, and so strict, for 18 months.  Between my hair thinning tremendously (I read this is from too low of fat), the BM issue, and the fact that I freezing cold all the time (not enough calories to spare to heat myself from my best guess) I am not doing something right.  My nutrition or something is all screwy.

So,  with a heavy sigh, I am going to put the breaks on the weight loss aspects of my healthy journey.  I am going into a weight maintenance mode for a while.  My concentration for the next while is going to be on 1) getting the nutrients (fat and protein mostly) that I need 2) changing up the exercise plan so I can start toning up some of this flab and 3) figuring out how to eat smaller, but more caloric, foods (that is, learning to STOP being a bulk eater).  I will still weigh myself of course, but I don't expect to see the number going down very much anymore.  I was hoping to be 140 by the end of this year, but that is no longer my goal.  My goal will be to get down to a size 8.  If that happens reasonably soon, I'll start working towards a size 6.

In a nutshell, the healthy goals for now are:

  • Daily Calories 1600-1800 (current RMR is around 2100)
  • Daily (good) fat intake: 53-60g
  • Protein: 50g -60g
  • Be better about taking my nighttime vitamins, and add cod liver oil
  • Jogging - keep up what I am doing now (3.5 miles every other day, jog/walking)
  • Free weight toning, plus hill climb with dogs on non-jogging days
Until next time :)

Half the woman I used to be. Literally.

I am reposting this here for posterity. I posted this over at 3FC in the mini-goals photo sections. the response over there has been so heartwarming, it makes me want to cry!

I had a deal with myself that when I reached this mini-goal, I would post my pictures. I have been bouncing between 166.4 and 170 for 6 weeks now (trying to kick my first plateau while I was straddling this HUGE goal has been really discouraging, but I sallied forth!) This morning, I hopped on the scale and finally saw my magic number: 166 pounds which is also the amount of weight I have lost thus far. I weigh exactly half of what I weighed 18 months ago.

I still have 26 pounds to lose before I reach the "normal" BMI category. I am calling 140 lbs my 'high maintenance' weight. I am not sure how low I want to go weight-wise. I do know that I would like to get down to a size 6 (currently a size 10, down from a 26/28W), although I am pretty muscular so that may not be possible.

The pics are posted in the pictures area (see tabs above):


In January 2010 I had had enough. I weighed 332 lbs, was diagnosed as diabetic (just barely over the line for that diagnosis), had fatty liver disease, and had trouble walking a block. I lived with aches and pains day in and day out (I realized this later - at the time, I just thought pain and discomfort were part of everyone's life). I was also scared that my husband, who is 12 years younger than me, would be left wifeless at an early age if I didn’t straighten up and get healthy. I toyed with the idea of surgery but after a couple of days of investigating, I realized that that was not a healthy option for me. Although I had never attempted to "diet" before, I knew I could make healthy life changes that would result in weight loss. I have called what I am doing my "sheer strength of will plan" from day one.

I started clean eating and calorie counting (about 1400 a day, but that number has varied over time). I stopped consuming sugars, white flour products, and 95% of processed foods in general. I limited meat to 4oz or less a day. The reason I went the clean eating route was pretty simple: with only 1400 calories allotted, I had to be able to fit in all the nutritional requirements our bodies need in a compact way. I used Superfoods RX and In Defense of Food as my manuals for proper eating. Additionally, I am a bulk eater - I love the feeling of being full (which is actually a habit I am trying to break now, but that is a subject for a different post). The easiest way to get full on fewer calories is to eat loads of veggies, which I do to the tune of 9-12 servings a day. It helps that I LOVE to cook, and I am really good at it. I have been able to make really great meals using mostly veggies, very little oil, and healthy alternatives to higher calorie ingredients.

Within a month of making these changes, I was down 27 pounds and was no longer diabetic. I lost 137 pounds in the first year on eating habits alone. Three months ago I had an MRI done and my fatty liver striations and tumors have cleared up, so I am no longer considered having fatty liver disease. I could list a lot of negative things here that I no longer have; my list of "things I didn't know I couldn't do but now that I can I am amazed" would be twice as long.

In January 2011 I started to exercise. I started just by taking 20 minute walks. Then I added some distance. Soon, I added small bursts of light jogging. I started out at 15 seconds of jogging followed by 8 minutes of walking for 4 cycles. I thought I was going to die Over time, I added to the jogging by 30 seconds, while taking away from the walking and have continued this pattern. Today, I jog for 32 minutes, walk for 3 minutes and then finish with another 6.5 minute jog (about 3.5 miles total). I do this every other day. My goal is to be able jog the whole distance and once that is reached, I will start working on speed. I am trying to work up the motivation to add free weight toning on my off-running days, but I am having a really hard time starting.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Shaking Things Up

I think I need to shake things up with my diet and exercise routine. I feel like I have just stumbled upon my first real plateau. This is what my weight ups and downs have looked like in the past month:

May 8: 167.8 (-3.0)
May 15: 170.2 (+2.8)
May 22: 167.6 (-3.0)
May 29: 168.4 (+0.8)
June 5: 166.4 (-2.0)
net = (-1.4) in 4 weeks

My calorie intake is right around 1400 a day (sometimes I go slightly over, and just as often I go under). My BMR should be 1500ish. I should easily be losing a pound a week, and more so considering how much running I have been doing.

After doing a lot of reading, it seems that my body may just be used to my routine after doing pretty much the same things for the last 18 months. So, here is my shake it up plan, using methods that I have read about which seemed to help people break plateaus.

June 4 - June 18 = Increase daily calorie intake 1600 to 1800 a day, making sure to get lots of good fats and see if that makes a difference in my BM habits. Stick with the same amount of exercise (2 miles running, 1 mile walking, every other day). I will not be surprised if I don't lose any weight in the next two weeks. I think even at 1800 there should not be any gain (there better not be...)

June 19 and onwards: Crackdown time! Calories back down to 1200-1400 a day. Limit fruit to 2 servings a day (ie apple or strawberries for breakfast, prunes with lunch). Lunch to be protein and veggies. Dinner protein and veggies. (If calories allow, Punkin P-ice cream is back on the map). Try not to eat past 8pm (this is hard for me since I exercise after work and don't generally get back home until 6:30 which means dinner isn't even done 'til 7pm, but I'm going to try). Snacking and tasties will need to stop. I account for them, but it will be added calories I wont have any longer.

Exercise: free-weight toning DVDs have been acquired, so will begin these on the off days from running. Will start pushing for longer run time vs the walk portion.

Also, I am officially in size 10 jeans. Freaking crazy talk!