A journey in words...

Welcome to my journey in words! A story about health, exercise, weight loss, food addiction, humor, size discrimination, sarcasm, social commentary and all the rest that’s rattling around inside my head...

I now twit, er... or tweet. Anyway, you can follow me on twitter @Aeon1202

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Status Report: 4.2 lbs. lost, 57.2 lbs. total

Full disclosure edit: I wrote this post last week and then managed to forget to upload it every single day until now, so that’s two weeks’ worth of loss you see up there instead of just one.  The previous week I lost just over three, and added another one at today’s check in.

Losing eight pounds in two weeks is I think what could be quantified as a “breakneck pace” for a weight loser.  It’s pleasing and slightly disturbing at the same time.

I have been working really hard though; committing to at least 45 minutes of exercise almost every day and keeping within about a 1,200 calorie per day goal.  With my healthy appetite, that goal is hard to stick to.  I work out pretty much every day so that I can tack on another three or four hundred calories to my meals.  Sundays are my rest day so that my muscles can heal, and staying within the goal without a workout is tough on Sundays – usually I have to stick to vegetables and proteins all day to make it work, and boy howdy am I dying for some bread and potatoes by Monday morning.

My group leader says that the workouts really don’t effect the scale that much – and this is a statement I don’t precisely agree with, although I do see her point.  She’s trying to steer people clear of thinking that as long as they get in a workout they can pretty much eat whatever they want.  They can’t.  A really hardcore workout may burn about 500 calories, and you can easily eat that back with a single serving of French fries, so it’s smart not to let a workout tempt you to overeat.  On the other hand though, I think that the extra muscle I’ve been developing by working so hard must be chewing through calories pretty effectively right now.  However, without combining it with that tightly controlled, highly nutritious food intake I agree that all the working out would be fruitless.

So last week they gave me an award and some applause in class for passing by another ten pounds.  Usually when someone does this, our leader asks them what advice they have for new members.  I said to make sure you love what you’re eating, and not to waste any calories on foods that you don’t like very much just because you think they’re ‘diet’.  Also – find a physical activity that you genuinely enjoy.

Thinking about it later though, another thing occurred to me that I currently believe is very important: don’t lie to yourself.

I’ve seen a lot of this going on over the years, and I have certainly done it myself.  People convincing themselves that this or that trick will help them achieve their fitness goals – like avoiding all of a certain food substance or not eating after 10PM.  The truth is very, very simple: create a deficit.  Burn more calories than you took in.  Do that in whatever way works best for your unique body, and I admit the process of figuring that out for yourself is difficult (and sometimes frustrating), but not impossible.

I also believe that you absolutely have to know exactly what you’re taking in, and the only way to do that is to track it all.  I actually pre-track my days, meaning that by about 6AM on most days I already know in advance exactly what I’ll be eating all day and how many calories are in it.  If you don’t want an unpleasant surprise on the scale that week – it’s really the best thing to do.  It’s so, so easy to over-guesstimate what you should be eating if you don’t keep track.  I have said in the past that I won’t do tracking and measuring because it makes me neurotic, but I have learned since that neurotic obsession is actually completely necessary for weight loss.

I just hope it isn’t for lifelong weight maintenance – because I seriously do not want to be this obsessed with intake and output for the rest of my life.  I kind of miss having other hobbies.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Progress Photos

I have Ted take progress photographs of me every twenty pounds down, and it's now been long enough that the difference is substantially noticeable.  This morning we flipped the newest one up on our computer screen next to the oldest one we had.  Both of us were silent.  I sat there blinking in surprise, and just as I wondered why I wasn't crying I realized Ted was standing behind me doing just that.  He's my heart, he cries for both of us.

So this is me, August 2013 in the upper 270's.

And this is me today, February 2014 in the lower 230's.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Status Report: 4.8 lbs. lost, 53 lbs. total

To be fair, I had a 24 stomach bug last week so there were two days I only consumed about 500 calories each.  Immediately afterward I focused hard on re-hydrating so hopefully none of the loss was water, but it’s possible I’ll stay the same this coming week to recover from the big drop.

Illness aside, I kicked butt!  I worked out five out of seven days and stayed within my calorie goal every day!

I also had Ted dig out our old yoga mat so that I can start doing toning exercises on the floor as part of my tightening up regimen.  Right now I feel like I’m ineffectually floundering about rather than doing much good.  During crunches all I can think is that my neck hurts, during push-ups I’m mostly focused on the agony in my knees, and my body is not currently strong enough to get into a plank position at all.  I’m also finding that I’m still somewhat too ungainly for certain things.  For example, I have strong enough muscles for mountain climbers, but in that position my belly and thigh fat is still too much in the way for me to move at the proper speed or follow the proper range of movement, so it doesn’t really do much good.  Basically I'm finding out that there are some exercises that just don't work right until you're thinner, so they're more about maintaining weight loss than achieving it.

I actually don’t want to focus too much on abdominal work right now anyway.  Since it’s impossible to target which of your fat cells decide to shrink, all that building up the musculature in my abdomen is going to do right now is probably pooch out the fat on top even more.  Basically I need to take a lot more poundage off before toning workouts make a visual difference in my life.

Still, I want that extra muscle mass in general just for the simple fact that it burns calories all the time – even while I sleep.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Status Report: Ouch

This week after weigh in I looked very quickly at my card and misread it, thinking at a glance that I’d simply stayed the same.  I was okay with that, it happens.  Later in the day I took a closer examination and realized that wasn’t actually the case.

So… some totals for this past week:

Number of times I exercised: 6 out of 7 days
Length of workouts: 45 to 90 minutes each
Numbers of days I consumed enough calories just to maintain my current body weight (according to weight loss Science!): 0
Number of pounds gained: 3
Fail snail: Yes

Fail snail is made of fail.