Week 1 Update: VICTORY!

A week ago, I started watching what I was eating and endeavoring to squeeze a leetle bit more exercise into my day. Using LoseIt.com, I found out that I should be eating about 1240 calories a day in order to lose 2 lbs. a week. Once you add in calories lost through exercising each day (around 400 to 500, depending on day), this meant that realistically I could eat around 1640 calories a day and still come out on top. I’ve been tracking every single bite, except for on the 4th of July, when I took an “off” day and drank/ate everything I wanted to. On average, I lost about half a pound each day.

  • Starting weight (6/30/14): 179.4 lbs. (81.37 kg, or 12.81 stone). 
  • Ending weight (7/6/14): 176.4 lbs. (80.01 kg, or 12.6 stone).

Reflections: The hardest part of this week has been dealing with my emotions. When I get happy, sad, or stressed, my strongest impulse is to eat. Not having the ability to fall back on food was REALLY tough. Also, there were several times when I was supposed to go out with friends to drink and/or eat, and although I cancelled a couple of social engagements due to not thinking I’d be able to cope, last night I went out and had a difficult time of it. I ended up eating a salad with no dressing (ugh) and a small cup of red beans and rice, then sipping on one cocktail when we went out for drinks. Since it was more of a “hanging out with acquaintances” thing than a “drinks with friends” thing, it was even more uncomfortable than typical. As they say, though, them’s the breaks. I’ll endure a few uncomfortable silences in exchange for losing pounds any day.

At any rate, I’m right where I’m supposed to be. I’m not hungry, or tired, or feeling like I’ve overworked myself at all this past week. My goal weight for this week was 177.4 lbs, so I’m a pound lighter than I planned to be, but that’s fine since I’m sure I’ll fluctuate a little in the coming week. My goal for next Sunday is to be 175.4 lbs. Also, I think that for the next week I’ll try stepping up my game just a little bit in the exercise apartment, maybe tack on an additional mile to what I walk each day, and try to get up to burning a solid 500 to 600 calories a day in exercise. Wish me luck!

Shifting Priorities…and Pounds

Since going off of birth control a year ago, I’ve gained 25 lbs. Add that to the original 20 lbs. that I needed to lose to be at my optimum weight, and you can see that I’m kind of in a bind. (Literally – my jeans are cutting off my circulation.) So as of yesterday, I’m back in diet & exercise mode. Which, let’s be honest here, has failed every single time I’ve tried for the last 15 years, as I’ve swollen from 135 lbs. to 180 lbs. Argh.

My biggest two problems are being lazy and having an emotional attachment to eating. My favorite activities are all sedentary: watching TV, reading, sleeping, playing around on the computer. On top of that, my moods demand to be accompanied/assuaged/otherwise treated with food. Do I know it’s wrong? Yes. Do I care, and want to change? Definitely. When it comes down to it, am I able to resist swinging by Popeye’s for some fried chicken, or getting that late night burger after an evening with my friends? Not really. Every time I’ve tried to focus my energy on eating healthy food, working out daily, and quitting that horrible cycle of treating my emotions with a prescription of baked goods and fried meat products, I’ve ended up failing spectacularly. Each time I fall even deeper into the hole, and end up cycling through patches of intense guilt and sandwich eating.

But all we can do is try. And maybe this time I might have a little more to try for. I’m turning 33 in November, and it just so happens that LoseIt tells me that I have exactly enough time between yesterday and mid-November to get pretty damn close to my goal weight. If I lose 2 lbs. a week, it’s realistic that I could be really close to 140 lbs. by my birthday. Also important is that I’ll be seeing two of my oldest friends that month, something that NEVER happens since they both live across the country and none of us ever get to travel that far. One friend recently experienced some amazing life changes and is looking quite svelte, so I can use her as my friendly competition. After all, I’d hate to be the chubby girl in her vacation photos. The other friend has always been super-competitive and a tad bit mean to me, so I can use her as my less-than-friendly competition. It will be immensely satisfying to look good in all of her vacation photos. Plus, the odds are high that if she sees I’ve gained weight since we last saw each other, she’ll make sure to mention it, and I will lose my everloving shit if that happens.

To get started, I’m taking small-ish steps to add activity to my day-to-day existence, as well as to cut back on needless calories:

  • Tracking every bite I eat at LoseIt.com
  • No more drinking (except for special occasions) – in other words, no more margarita nights with the girls or glasses of wine at home with sexy awesome boyfriend. Boo.
  • Walking to and from work every day – at a little over 2 miles each way, that’s 400 calories right there.
  • Wearing my VivoFit to track my steps walked, calories burned, and activity levels throughout the day.
  • Joining up at DietBet.com and making my bid to lose 40 lbs. a little more exciting of a challenge.
  • Drinking lots of water. This time of year I tend to eat even more because I hate going out in the sun and love sitting on my ass in front of the TV, but also because I’m constantly sweating and mistake dehydration/thirst for hunger.
  • Eating more veggies, less processed foods, little dairy, and no wheat.
  • Most importantly, talking about this here on my blog.

The worst part of sharing this on my blog is that since I’ve failed every time I’ve tried to lose weight over the past few years, I’m embarrassed to even let people know that I’m trying again. But eventually this is going to work out, and I really do need to be held accountable for my actions. So I’m going to keep sharing my weight, my struggles with eating, and my daily activities here.

Eventually, I’m going to start building on more activities. I already do a little bit of weight lifting every day, plus some yoga and basic stretching, and I’ve been jogging one or two days a week, too. But for now, I’m just going to concentrate on watching what I eat and walking to and from work every day. I think that’s going to have a drastic effect right off the bat, and I don’t want to push it so hard that I end up giving up as soon as I start, like every other time. Eventually I’ll work up to daily yoga or dance classes or trips to the gym, and longer runs every day, that kind of thing. But it might not be for a month, who knows?

The other thing I’m going to do is pledge myself a present for every 5 lbs. lost. That’s EIGHT PRESENTS, y’all. EIGHT things that I covet, that will be mine as long as I stop eating crappy food and start making slightly more intelligent choices each day. I’m not quite sure what my presents are going to be yet, but I’ll probably start shopping around online tonight and plan them out so that I have something to obsess over. It’ll probably be all clothes, books, and jewelry, though I do definitely want some things for my house. Hmmm…

The other thing I should probably note is that even though I’ve taken one set of blood tests that confirms I have a thyroid imbalance, and one set where the levels were all normal, I haven’t had enough money to get any other tests taken or go to the doctor for an official diagnosis and drugs. So this weight gain could possibly be because of my thyroid. But first, since I’m not losing my hair, my cycle is normal, and my brain fog is largely gone now that I’ve drastically cut back on wheat products, I’m going to try the diet and exercise route to see if it’s possible to make a dent in my weight. Eventually I’ll be able to afford health insurance. One day. Maybe. Probably not. But I’m seriously not going to worry about that today because it will just send me back to the refrigerator. For now, let’s just do some walking and eat some veggies. The rest can wait.

 

 

Smashing Wrap Up

I feel like I’m finally getting the hang of this diet & exercise thing, after years of screwing it up. It must have a lot to do with being surrounded by all the right people. My guy is super supportive now that he sees me trying hard and working at it every day. My coworkers are awesome, and when we make lunch plans they make room for my caloric needs. People on Facebook are always there with a great comment or tip, and today I even got an invite to run a 5k next month AND some personal training advice from an old college buddy. I even got enthusiastic comments from a group of people drinking outside my neighborhood bar as I ran by this evening!

Of course, there’s also lots of technology helping me out. From entering in my intake on LoseIt.com every time food or drinks cross my lips, to blogging here and commenting here and there on Facebook, I’ve structured accountability into every move. As soon as I get my new cell phone next month, I’m going to also pick up this app called Gym Pact, that basically pays you for going to the gym. The premise is pretty simple – you bet money that you’ll make it to the gym on certain days. If you don’t go, you lose the money. However, if you do go, you not only keep money, but win a cut of whatever money was lost that day by other people. Apparently most people make around $1 or so a day. Definitely a step up from Stickk.com, where I was just going to the gym because I was afraid to lose money. Nothing like MAKING some dough to really get you going in the right direction.

Today I stayed within my calorie range, ate pretty healthy things, and most impressively (for me) I still got my exercise in. All day long, I was in a bit of a haze. When I’m starting my period I tend to zone out a bit, and I’m also more tired than normal just because my food intake is drastically lower than my norm. Before I started watching calories, I was eating around 2,000 a day or so, with lots of processed food and no exercise. My body is still getting used to taking in a lot less, and getting more nutrients via supplements and whole foods. All day, I was just kind of dragging, and though I knew I needed to run a couple of miles, I just didn’t see how that was going to happen.

When I got home, I wanted to curl up in my pjs, but instead I put on my running clothes, put together a brand new running playlist for my iPod, and hit the road. The process took me about an hour, and I dwaddled quite a bit, but eventually I made it out of the house. I figured that even if I walked most of the way, it was still better to get out and try it. Instead, I started running and just kept going – I ran the entire way without stopping, or getting a cramp, or even thinking about slowing down. It was amazing!

Now it’s time to get ready and go to bed. I’m going to try AGAIN to get to yoga in the morning. One of these mornings is going to be the magical one where I wake up, get going, and make it a habit. Nothing to do but keep trying!

 

 

 

Closing Out Day #9 (Lamely)

I was exhausted and fuzzy-brained all day today. Not sure what was going on, but I ended up taking it easy as a result. Now that I’m thinking about it, I wonder if I’m suffering a reaction to whatever was in our Chinese food on Thursday. I was pretty tired yesterday, as well. Maybe it’s the MSG, or a response to carb-overload with all the noodles I ate. Whatever it is, no matter what I’ve just got to push past it tomorrow and forge on ahead – no more sitting around, even if I do feel like I might fall down from exhaustion at any second. Speaking of which, I need to get some shuteye. Here’s my LoseIt record for the day. Not too great, but overall not too bad, either.