I haven’t written about my weight loss in a while. Here on the blog, I’ve been writing a lot more about exercise, however, weight is still a focus for me. Let’s start with a breakdown for the new readers:
I began my weight loss journey in earnest on January 15, 2013. At that point I weighed 171.2. This was actually a bit of a low for me. I didn’t have a scale for several years prior to that, but I roughly know my weight fluctuated between 190 and 180. I had tried a few times before to lose weight and got down to 165ish, but didn’t keep it off. In August of 2011 I adopted my furry pal, Hermes, and that started to change things. I still didn’t have a scale, so I don’t have any actual records of pre- and post-Hermes, but I know that’s when I started to buy slightly smaller clothing sizes.
In May, I hit my goal. That is, I hit my “stated” goal, which was 140. I was very happy with it, but I confess, I still had a super secret goal… which was 135. Why 135? I have no idea. I think that at one point in my life (high school? early 20s?) that’s what I weighed and somehow that number got stuck in my head. If you can’t tell – weight loss and tracking have always been a bit slapdash with me, (until recently, that is.) In fact, when I decided to lose weight and use My Fitness Pal, one of the first things I had to do was go out and get a scale! While I have tried on-and-off to lose weight, I can’t say that I ever put all that much work into it. I played with South Beach and a few other diets. I had a treadmill and some other exercise equipment for a bit, but I can’t say that I was ever very dedicated. Of course, that’s all changed.
Once I hit 140, I decided to change my goal. Permanent maintenance seemed really scary, so I broke it down into a more manageable plan – my goal was simply to keep the 31 pounds I had lost off through to Jan. 15, 2014. That was my stated goal, but I figured while I was at it, I’d just keep going and see what it felt like to get to 135. I mean, it is certainly easy enough to put more weight on, so why not take off what I can and see what feels best?
I hit 135 in June. Since then, I’ve been riding between 131 and 135. I’m still tracking calories, though I don’t have any new goals (stated or otherwise.) My focus is learning on how to keep the weight off, and keep it off. Again, my target is Jan. 15th – I’d like to have a year of this under my belt before I make any other drastic changes. It’s enough that I am adding in running, weight lifting and other exercise! Even though I’ll have been working on my weight for almost 6 months, I still don’t feel like I have this down. It makes sense – I ate one way for 38 years, six months of change is still pretty much a drop in the bucket.
In fact, here are a few things I am still struggling with:
Ordering in Restaurants
What’s easiest is if the place is big enough that they have their nutritional values online. Then I can scope out the menu beforehand and walk in knowing what I want to order. However, I prefer locally owned little interesting eateries and their menus get tricky fast. Mostly, I just pick the best I can and try to eat roughly half. Servings are usually so large, it seems like a good rule of thumb. This is kind of hit or miss with me, though.
Not Drinking Enough Water
If I don’t focus on it, it doesn’t happen. I know I feel better when I am hydrated, but unless I make an effort, I just don’t drink water. I don’t drink soda or anything else either, which is good, but I am probably under hydrated most of the time.
Making Time for Working Out
I love what I do, but I hate not having more spare time. It absolutely needs to be a focus for me once I get through this round of freelance work. I need more time so that taking some out to go for a run doesn’t feel like I am using up my only free hour that week.
Too Much Sugar
I’m on a sugar kick lately and I am not sure what is up with it. I’ve never thought of myself as someone who was particularly interested in sweets, but man, lately it seems they are all I want. I don’t want to cut it out entirely, but sugar has this weird way of creeping into my diet and then producing stronger and more frequent cravings.
Portions are still tricky for me too. Thanks to buying a food scale and tracking things in My Fitness Pal, I am getting a better feel for it, but my default is always a larger portion than what I need. Growing up we ate HUGE portions. My Dad had one of those metabolisms that let him eat whatever he wanted and stay the same. (Ex: 4 quarter pound hamburgers, 4 ears of corn and a salad at a single meal, with room for dessert.) His way of eating effected all of us. I know it was one of the reasons I gained weight in the first place. I’m learning and getting better, but it takes time.
There are one or two other things that I struggle with too, but those are going to get their own posts. Suffice it to say, I’ve had friends tell me that now that I have been doing this for a while I should be able to “lighten up” and not have to be so meticulous about calorie tracking and so forth. I have also read a heck a of a lot of blogs and articles about how calorie counting doesn’t work. I can see that – I know it doesn’t work for everyone. It works for me, though. I do think that day will come when I can maintain my weight without it, but it isn’t here yet. Me, I’m going to take all the time I need. It’s just too important not to.
Photo credit: inger maaike