Weigh-in Wednesday: March

Fortunately there’s more to weighing in than stepping on the scale because I’ve been stuck on the same weight for three months now.  However, this month the MRMC Wellness bus enabled me to check on progress of a variety of health measures, not only weight.
After starting my year long weight loss efforts in 2013, I realized I hadn’t kept any data regarding health or fitness other than my weight. If I were to start today, I would also measure inches to get another picture of progress.

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Fortunately, I’ve had the opportunity to visit the Wellness Bus every year since 2000 so this year’s health screening provided data that enabled me to compare more than my weight this year compared with my weight a year ago. And while I knew carrying extra weight affected other health measures, this year’s results proved the importance of lifestyle changes.
For those not convinced, the proof is in the numbers.

  • Weight: 25 pounds lighter than 2012 and 10 pounds lighter than in 2000
  • Blood pressure: No change…I’ve always been the picture of health where blood pressure is concerned.
  • Cholesterol: In 2008, my doctor’s office called when my total cholesterol exceeded 200 warning me that I needed to exercise and lose weight or I’d need to take medication. Guess what? They were right. A year of weight loss and increased exercise and my total cholesterol dropped over 30 points – back to where it was in 2001. And better yet, both the HDL and LDL levels improved as well.

Even my grip strength improved after declining for several years.
In fact, my health stats are back to what they were at age 40…not bad.

Of course, the nursing student conducting the screening couldn’t let me escape without admonishing me about my body fat percentage (the one stat that remains less than desirable) telling me I need to drink more water and participate in a weight training regimen.

Oh well, a good reminder that this health thing is a constant work in progress.

Weigh-In Wednesday: Wrap Up

When I proposed writing about my weight loss successes or failures weekly all three of my daughters thought this was not a good idea. Some of their comments:

  • What if you quit?
  • What if you don’t lose weight?
  • If I did that, I’d lie.

I considered the advice, and then ignored it! If I quit, I’ll say, I quit…just like millions of others who try to lose weight every year. If I don’t lose, I’ll just say, this is really tough. I’m not having any success, and maybe use the I quit line. I knew lying was not an option. I don’t live in isolation. If I claim to lose weight and don’t, others will call me out. And besides, my original goal: lose 15 pounds. I could do that!

As a result of sharing my weight loss journey, John and I are 70 pounds lighter heading into 2014. I hope that also means we’re healthier as well.

For me, Weigh-In Wednesday served as a measure of accountability. I had to write about not only successes but the bumps in the road.

While I know everyone is different, the keys to my success:

  • setting realistic goals (first 15, then 20, then 25, and finally 31 pounds)
  • thinking about (and recording) what I eat every day instead of unconsciously putting food in my mouth
  • making a serious effort to move more daily – just move, walk, ride a bike for pleasure, even do a little work in the yard
  • weighing in, not just on Wednesday, but everyday
  • sharing with others who hold me accountable

I looked for the magic weight loss bullet throughout the year but didn’t find one. What I did find was the willpower to continue working on better health for 365 days. I also know I’m not done. I still want to lose two more pounds and continue making positive changes toward a healthier lifestyle.

Just move!
Just move!

I’ll continue weighing-in, although I won’t be writing about it every week…unless the scale starts moving in the wrong direction.

Merry Christmas! I think I’ll go for a walk…and then eat dessert!

Weigh-In Wednesday: Week 49

IMG_1714I’m making a change to my morning routine now that we have ripe grapefruit again, and best of all, this is a homegrown grapefruit. I’ll be starting the day with one of my favorite foods every morning and according to Lose It, a grapefruit for breakfast will use about 100 calories of my daily calorie budget. This may be just the change needed to start shedding pounds again.

Another week with no change in weight. My body seems quite content with settling in on a maintain mode. I’ve got to convince it, to continue with weight loss. Four more pounds, then maintain.

I hope grapefruit’s the key.

Weigh-in Wednesday: Week 48

pizzaIt’s a good thing I’ve lost over 25 pounds this year…just think how I’d look bundled in four layers of clothing with the extra weight as well.  It’s pretty discouraging to look at pictures from our recent trip to New York because what I see is the heavier me of a year ago.

My goal for the week was not to lose weight but to just avoid gaining weight.

I can’t say that I succeeded since when I returned home I weighed in at 1 pound heavier. This despite the miles and miles of walking throughout the city and stair climbing in the subways.

I wonder if this could have anything to do with the extra pound?

Four more weeks…four more pounds. I’ve got my work cut out!

 

Weigh-In Wednesday: Week 48

Back on track, one pound lighter, and just in time as I plan the next few days around food. The goal for the upcoming week…don’t go completely crazy overeating.

I’ll concentrate on three things:

  1. No soda! Don’t drink extra calories.
  2. No candy! Dessert – now that’s something else, but I can stop after one slice of pie or cake. Just stay away from the bags of candy and homemade fudge.
  3. Walk, walk, and walk some more! Walking off large meals is the only chance I have to keep from gaining weight this week.

I still need to lose two more pounds before the end of the year. Difficult…but not impossible.

I remember 30 years ago when pregnant with Meghan Dr. Webster scolded me during my December appointment for gaining six pounds since my last appointment the previous month. He reminded me that if I continued at that rate I’d gain an additional 30 pounds in the next five months. Then he admitted that he’d gained five pounds during the same period and that we’d both need to do better.

I’m not worried about gaining six pounds this month, but I’m also not optimistic that I’ll lose weight this week. I’ll be have with maintaining the status quo.  Happy eating and happy walking!

Ready for a walk!
Ready for a walk!

Weigh-In Wednesday: Week 47

I’ve always read that if you do something for 3 weeks it will become a habit, but apparently 21 days is the minimum amount of time needed to develop a new habit – everyone has his or her own timetable. One source says it’s more likely 66 days, another reports 9 1/2 weeks is required, but in a study by University College of London, it was found that 254 days may be required to develop some habits.

It looks like I may set a new record. It’s already been 324 days, and I still resist doing the things I know have brought weight loss success. This may never be a habit, but instead something that requires constant thought and intentional action.

I thought returning to my regular schedule would be the key to losing the final three pounds before the end of the year, but I managed to gain a half pound instead of losing weight this week.

It’s pretty easy to explain where I’ve gone wrong:

  • Drinking too little water.
  • Failure to record food intake and exercise on Lose It!
  • Not enough exercise.
  • Avoiding the scale.
  • Snacking on chips.

You’d think that since I can readily identify the problem it should be easy to solve, and I have taken steps in the right direction the past couple of days. Monday and Tuesday I started the day by stepping on the scale. I logged my food and exercise – that means I exercised!

Now I’ll work on water intake and stock up on some impulse fruits – grapes, apples, bananas, and tangerines – to take the place of the chips. Back on track, but unfortunately not a habit…however, I expect to be a pound lighter next week.

Weigh-In Wednesday: Week 46

Week 46 provided more than a couple of weight loss challenges.

  1. Big Mac on Friday. My favorite stress food for lunch on Friday after working for two days to get the hangar ready for the wedding.
  2. Chili and sandwich bar. During Friday night’s rehearsal party I ate two bowls of chili, a sandwich, sangria, soda, and cookies.
  3. Food trucks. The Treehouse Truck, Fish Out of Water, and The Crepe Company followed by bites of several desserts from the sweets table at Saturday’s wedding.
  4. Too many sodas. Breaks from setting up and breaking down included too many sodas.

Despite all of the obstacles I managed to only gain one pound during the wedding week. Not too bad.

Back at home and on a regular schedule I’ll get on track with weight loss as well.

Weigh-in Wednesday: Week 45

Not a week of good news even though I managed to lose 1/2 pound this week.

I finally went to the doctor to determine the cause of the pain in my right leg. What started as knee pain has progressed to ankle pain, foot pain, and most recently shin pain. When going for a walk changed to going for a limp, I decided to get things checked out.

The doctor’s orders: walk less…don’t run (not that I considered that)…maybe you should take up swimming so you can continue to exercise.

Swimming...it's not for me.
Swimming…it’s not for me.

Great! I finally start exercising regularly. I lose 25 pounds. And now I’m told I’m exercising too much… usually only about an hour.

Slow down. Take it easy. Swim? Never…I hate swimming and it’s way too much trouble.

This is not an easy decision, but I don’t want to stop exercising and start gaining weight again. For now, I’ll just keep doing what I’ve been doing and limp a little.

Weigh-in Wednesday: Week 44

jeansIt’s been a pretty tough week to find time for exercise and cooking. With Emily’s wedding less than two weeks away, there seem to be little tasks to be taken care of daily so that most nights conclude at a restaurant without much thought to the number of calories being consumed.

It’s easy to see how I gained so much weight over the years…too many meals with too little thought!

Despite my poor habits, I managed to gain no weight…something to celebrate!

In between other errands, I bought two pair of jeans this week. This usually isn’t a cause for celebration. I find buying jeans almost as discouraging as buying a bathing suit; but not this time. It felt good to find more than one pair that fit, and who would have thought I would buy a pair called “skinny jeans”?

Obviously, the definition of skinny has changed from the 1960s when the model Twiggy was associated with the word skinny; but nevertheless, I experienced success as I start purchasing clothes in smaller sizes. Even for someone who hates to shop, this made for a positive week.

Weigh-in Wednesday: Week 43

Weigh daily.
Weigh daily.

Somehow I lost a half pound this week.

Despite eating out almost every day and some days eating out all three meals I managed to keep from blowing my weight loss plan.

The problem this week: Too much to do and too little time. This led to poor habits in both eating and exercising.

This explains how I gained so much weight over the years. Too much to do; too little time for too many years resulted in two to three extra pounds each year for about 30 years or about 60 extra pounds. I’m just lucky I was slender in my youth.

Now I start every day by stepping on the scale. Two or three pounds over the course of a year doesn’t sound like a big deal, but when that pattern repeats year after year, it’s a big problem.

I know my weight will fluctuate from one day to the next, but I also know the top limit of what’s acceptable. The ignorance is bliss model of old is no more. By weighing in every day, I’m able to hold myself accountable.

Four more to go!