Wait, stop the presses!

I just realized that if you take my loss on this push (7 lbs so far) and averaged it across the entire time period (three and a half weeks so far), I am, actually, getting a two-pounds-per-week loss on average.

This means I guess I need to take back the disparaging comments I made regarding the Mayo Clinic calling me a lazy excuse-making fatso. Perhaps they are right, and I have a normal metabolism, I just don’t like the fact that at my age I have to work THIS hard to see only THIS much loss. Which is slower than what I used to see when I was a younger person. I mean, I’m working really hard! But also over the entire period I’m getting exactly the rate of loss I should expect. Jeez now I feel dumb about my last post. I can’t math today! Or rather, it took me a while to take a longer view than just one week’s results.

Dammit. I need more data. See you next Tuesday, BMR…and every week after that.

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Bonking

Just got back from one of the crappiest runs ever. I was bonking by about halfway through and never could recover enough to anything more than kind of jog-stagger back home.

It’s a delicate balance for me, exercise and food. I need to be appropriately fueled to exercise, but I can’t do it on a full stomach. So there’s a very particular slice of time in which I need to hit the exercise if I don’t want to bonk or puke. This morning my run was delayed by about 45 minutes due to a work call I needed to be on. Not realizing I needed a little more fuel to make my run work (45 minutes doesn’t seem like that much), I headed out and bonked halfway through.

Regardless, I got home and got to record my exercise for the day, but that was no fun.

(And yeah, I’m sort of testing to see if running makes my shoulder problem better, worse, or the same.)

Stupid Ankle

I had planned to go for a run this afternoon, as I had a weekend full of perhaps too much festive eating. But as I was walking from my car to my office, my left ankle started hurting out of the blue. I was just walking, I didn’t misstep or twist it or anything it just…started hurting. I thought at first it would be one of those transient pains I get now that I’m in my late 30s, and after a few steps it would stop again like normal.

Well, now it’s 3pm and it’s been hurting all day – for no reason! I did nothing to my stupid little ankle to warrant this! I’ve been kind of limping around the office waiting for the pain to go away but it’s hanging in there. So I guess I won’t be running this afternoon, which is a bummer because I need to get back on track with exercise after too much fun food the last few days.

Alas, all I can imagine I’d be up for at this point is upper body strength training, so I guess I’ll do that. Food is completely back on track today, as planned. I always plan to be on track and follow my food plan, because that’s how I roll.

Weight this morning: 187, which is an increase from last week’s lows, but is actually my target weight! I’m happy with this.

Hazards of Hotel Gyms

I have this issue, when I’m working out at a hotel gym. See, usually if I’m at a hotel and I have time to use their fitness center, it’s because I’m traveling for business, or I’m there with my husband for one of his Masonic functions. In these situations, I’m going to the gym because I have very little, or nothing, else to do. I have all the time in the world and no pressure to get things done with, so I tend to be over-enthusiastic about my workout.

Saturday morning was no different. I did 30 minutes of weight-lifting supersets, during which I did a brand new leg exercise which I haven’t done in probably a year, and I probably started a little high with the amount of iron I used. And then, not aware that I’d already overdone it (because the soreness takes 24 hours to set in), I hit a machine I’ve never used before (I’m switching things up! Using new muscles!) and did 30 minutes of hard running on an elliptical that was nothing like the one I’m used to at my office gym. A couple of times my legs got a little wobbly, and I noticed that the muscle that runs up the back of my calf was really working hard.

When I stepped down off it a soaked, sodden mass I knew I was in trouble. The muscle on the back of my calf was already hurting. I really overdid it.

I’ve been hobbling around like a cripple for two days now. I don’t know when it will stop. I’m hoping to go out for a run this evening, but it may be more of a brisk stumble if things don’t settle down soon!

In other news, I was expecting much worse news on the scale this morning, as the lunch and dinner at the event on Saturday weren’t exactly supportive and I felt I’d maybe eaten a bit too much of dessert and cookies, and would have some damage to fix this week. This morning’s weight: 185.5. Very good result! Maybe this tactic of adding a variety of different exercises is paying off.

The Continual, Slight Disappointment of Maintaining

I’m maintaining my weight. Here’s my daily weigh in for the last several days:

  • 188
  • 187.5
  • 189
  • 188
  • 192
  • 189.5
  • 188
  • 188

And on and on. Every day, a little up a little down. But after losing a couple of hundred pounds, or a quarter of that, whatever, after spending most of a life desiring only one thing – to lose weight – to see a daily maintained weight that I’m happy with should be fantastic, right?

But…if you’ve spent your entire life defining success as a loss, seeing NO LOSS seems a little bit like a failure, even though it’s not. When I see a number that’s not less (or has even ticked up a pound or 3) I feel a slight sense of failure, even though I’m not trying to lose! My mind, completely unbidden, does a knee-jerk reaction with things like, “But I ran yesterday! I should be seeing a loss!” or, “But I’m working so hard! I should have lost!”

Even though I’m not trying to lose! Logically I can remind myself and settle my brain into contentment, but the instinctual, immediate response is to be disappointed that I haven’t lost. Even though I’m not trying to lose! Yet another of the many, many head games that go along with maintaining a large weight loss (for me). Am I alone in this?

Week 18 Results

We’re well into transition now. This past week we were down to 3 meal replacements per day, starting tomorrow it’ll be 2 per day. That means we have to replace those with real food. Normally this would be great but the Optifast system of exchanges is so complicated and non-intuitive that I find it quite intimidating. I was just about able to keep things straight this past week, but the upcoming week…I just don’t know. I may have to staple the list of exchange units I’m supposed to eat each day to my forehead or something just to get through the day.

  • Change this period: -1 pound
  • Total change so far: -45 pounds
  • Current weight: 189.5 pounds

I didn’t expect or intend to lose another pound this week. I expected that with the added food (and the glass of wine I had Saturday night and Monday night) I’d be maintaining this week. The only thing I can put this loss down to is that there may have been a couple of days where the math and complexity of the system eluded me and I just threw up my hands and gave up and went hungry. I probably missed a couple of units of dairy here and there because I just don’t like skim milk and non-fat yogurt enough to have a cup of it each day. (Bad news: this week we’re supposed to add another exchange unit of dairy. Ugh.)

So I’m a little bit worried about the upcoming week. I think that maintenance programs that people are meant to follow for the rest of their lives should be SIMPLE and INTUITIVE. This is the opposite of that and I’m struggling to see how anybody could do this forever. I’m very much looking forward to being done here so I can go back to what I used to do when I was maintaining with HMR: 7-9 servings of fruits and veggies every day, writing down my calories, and burning at least 2000 calories in exercise each week. Hard to get simpler than that.

Stay on Target…

I’m really in a holding pattern right now. I don’t have much to report – I exercise, I consume my 6 meal replacements each day, I wait to weigh in. However, in 2 1/2 more weeks things will start to change – we will start the “Transition” phase of the program. Each day for the first week of transition instead of having 6 meal replacements, I’ll have 5 plus one portion of…something. Then a week of 4 meal replacements a day plus 2 portions of…something. They haven’t told us what yet. And there’s no class for 2 weeks after Wednesday, so I hope they can clear up just exactly we’re supposed to start eating once we start transitioning before the end of class this week! Because we’ll be on our own after that.

I’ve mentioned before that this program is NOT value for the money, and this is yet another example. We have a class this Wednesday night, then none for 2 weeks, which means 3 full weeks without any support, and we go into transition phase with little more than a hearty¬† 2-week-old “good luck out there!” from the program staff. Really poor planning and execution, in my opinion.

*ahem*

I heard a strategy recently that stuck in my mind as something I will try after I’ve transitioned to real food again. The idea is that when presented with treats, like for example pie at a holiday celebration, or cookies or candy, whatever, pick the¬† one thing you want to try the most, and have 3 bites. That way you get to taste it, without consuming more calories than needed. It makes sense to me – I’m not depriving myself if I get to have 3 bites, and do I really need to eat a full piece of pie to enjoy the pie? No. I don’t need to eat the whole piece to enjoy it – 3 bites would be enough and then I would definitely be sure to savor every bite. So I think I will implement this plan.