March Wrap Up

Friday, March 31, 2017

I started at 286.4 on 2/28/17 according to last month's wrap up and this morning I am weighing in at 278.8.  I am up a little from last week but I think it is due to the monthly bloat. 
  My loss for the month is 7.6 pounds!

Measurements for the month are more evidence of my bloatedness, I went up in my chest and waist areas!?! Maybe that means I am losing the dangerous visceral fat around my organs rather than the pudge in my outer layers?  I hope to be moving in the other direction next month.  (I noticed the picture isn't labeled, but those are bust, waist and hip measurements in that order)

March Goals

Keep my Lenten sacrifices of not eating pizza at all and forgoing desserts during the week.  I know this will be helpful in my weight loss efforts

Doing well!  Now that I am low carb I don't even bother with dessert anymore, but darn it I miss pizza.  I haven't had any yet but I am counting the days until Easter and I can make this low carb version

Exercise 4 times per week.  I am leaving my options open whether to get on the rower, do some youtube yoga, swing the kettle bell.  Time to get moving!

Utter fail.  Maybe I need to just quit with the exercise goals for now.  I make them and then have no intentions of keeping them.  I will perhaps reassess at another time. 

I really want to challenge myself and am setting a goal to weigh 279 or less by the end of next month.  I have been losing about a pound a week, and I realize 7.4 pounds is nearly double.  I haven't been 'trying' very hard either, so to mix things up I want to really focus and be disciplined.  I won't be crushed if I don't hit the goal, but I think if I do everything (mostly) right, I can do a lot better than a pound a week.

I did it!  That felt really good to type.  Plus the whole making a goal and achieving it feeling is pretty nice as well. ;)

Go through my clothing and find what is fitting and not.  Donate what I don't want.

Ugh, I need to do this and I am mad at myself for not getting it done.  

Review the goals weekly and not only on March 31.

I did really good with this for two weeks and that is where it ended.  If I had, maybe my clothes would be sorted by now.  

So about 50/50 with the goals. I feel like I met the most important ones, so I am pretty happy with the progress this month.  Now lets make some April goals!

April Goals

I don't like to make specific weight loss goals, even though I did last month.  I like the focus to just be on following the plan consistently and get the results that I get without the focus being on the number on the scale.  That being said, my minimum goal for the year was to stick to a pound a week, and I am at the end of the 13th week, heading into week 14 and am down a total of 14.2 pounds.  Right on schedule despite a slow start!  So by continuing this pattern, I expect to be around 274.8 this time next month. If my weight is lower on April 30th, so be it! 

Enjoy pizza in moderation once Easter is here, which I define as 2 times or less this month.

Wow my endocrinologist with my weight loss and improved lab work.

Go to the eye doctor, which my endocrinologist asked me to do the last time I saw her.

Stick with the tracking and low carb living

See you Monday for the next weigh in!

Weekly Weigh In #12

Monday, March 27, 2017

Week 12 is here and I am having a great week!  Remember last week when I said I wanted to try going lower carb to give my weight loss progress a boost?  Well I did, and I have seen fantastic results, to the tune of 4.6 pounds lost in a weeks time.  My motivation came in part from my annoyance with such slow progress, and from seeing the most incredible success stories on reddit about the Ketogenic or 'Keto' way of eating.  People are losing 50+ pounds in a matter of months!  It is exciting to get a quick fix, and while I don't think that is the best way to achieve long term successful weight loss, it can be a powerful motivator.

And good riddance to the 280s!!

Now Keto eating is a super strict way of eating, your goal is to keep your carbs below 30g per day.  There are carbs in so many things though, like I had a V8 vegetable juice and that is 7 right there.  I did not want to commit to such extremes, especially since I am a type 2 diabetic and am on lots of medications and don't want to low carb myself into a coma.  I don't like to mess with my meds without my doctor being involved, but if I would start feeling a little funny like my blood sugar was getting very low I would skip the next metformin dose.

Eating this way totally isn't the worst.  For breakfast it is usually eggs and breakfast meat.  Today I am enjoying the other half of a delicious omelette I ordered yesterday after church - eggs, spinach, bacon, and corned beef.  It is delicious!  Lunch is my usual random assortment of grab and go foods.  Sometimes I bring more eggs, sometimes I wrap up lunch meat and cheese around a pickle spear, or I find a nice lower carb soup that doesn't have rice or noodles or potatoes.  Dinner is meat and a veggie side, or I just straight up don't eat the bun off a burger or sandwich.  Basically if it is any sort of bread/grain/carb thing, I won't eat it, and nothing with sugar either.  Some keto eaters will eat berries since they are low sugar, and that was my treat for the weekend.  I am not trying to be a totally control freak over it - like I will eat something breaded(like a chick fil a chicken egg and cheese bagel, hold the bagel) and it hasn't seemed to have a negative effect.  My carb ranges have averaged in the 60s, but that feels low enough to me.

I have to say, the results thus far keep me motivated day to day, and I treat it kind of like smoking or AA.  Maybe CSA? Carbs and Sugar Anonymous?  Kidding aside, the first three days of giving up carbs sucked, I got headaches and I wanted to go eat an entire chocolate cake by mid day. I had to just suck it up and just stick with it and by Thursday it was smooth sailing.  I feel like if I were to have a 'cheat day' and just eat anything I'd have to go through that hellish three days again.  No thanks!  This mindset has been a Godsend for the weekends.  Much to my delight, eating this way has made it extremely easy to stay well under my calorie limit as well.  The premise of this way of eating is LCHF - low carb high fat, so you can be as liberal as you wish with the butter, the cheese, the fatty cuts of meat, etc.  This is so helpful in keeping you full and not focused on you next meal constantly.

I'm not trying to evangelize this diet, (it has only been a week, after all) but I about fall over dead with shock when I check my blood sugar in the mornings.  Before, under 150 for me is alright.  (These are first waking up readings) When I cut calories it would be about 120 give or take.  I'd get really proud of myself if it was under 110, and it was a rare day when I was even under 100.  Like maybe I fell asleep at 6pm and skipped dinner.  Now - freakin' 80's for several days in a row now!!  I even check twice sometimes because that just seems unreal.  Shouldn't I feel weak and dizzy with sugar that low??  (no, because this is a completely normal and healthy blood sugar level to have). I have an appointment with my endocrinologist next month and I am looking forward to knowing the results of my lab work and getting all the compliments about the pounds I've dropped.

I plan to keep on with this plan and hopefully I will keep my sugar levels in the fantastic range they've been in and the weight will just continue to fall off.  At this rate, maybe I will be on the the 260s in a matter of weeks??  After being in the 280s for months, it would be a welcomed change!

That is 14.8 pounds down!

Can I tell you about these jeans for a minute?  I was in desperate need for new jeans at the end of last year, and I ordered 3 pair in a size 24.  The two pair I order fit like a dream, but one pair was a lot smaller for being all the same size.  I even stacked them on top of one another and this pair was a good inch or so smaller in the waist on either side compared to the others and the legs were very borderline skinny jeans.  I try them on and they fit but it was muffin top city.  I didn't return them because I forgot, then I was a month into calorie counting when I remembered and assumed eventually they will fit better.  Well today was that day!  My other jeans are in need of a belt but not too huge that I wont wear them anymore, but I tried this pair on and I was only muffin topping a regular amount!  Now I have 4 pairs of jeans in the rotation, yay!  (and I have around 6 pair waiting in the wings for when I am ready to size down fit into my old clothes again)

Good week!  Going to keep on doing what I am doing for now because it is working, but I do have a cheat meal planned for our trip to San Antonio this weekend.  When you get a chance to eat Oscar's Puffy Tacos, you take it.  Look for my March month end recap on Friday!

Weekly Weigh In #11

Monday, March 20, 2017

Welp, here we are at week 11 and I am proud to say I am officially down 10 pounds this morning! I wish I felt more excited for this milestone, but I'm thinking maybe it is fine if I am not.  Firstly, I was frankly shocked to see the scale where it was this morning after all the junk and sugar I ate over the weekend.  I assumed I wouldn't get there.  Then just thinking it is week 11 and I am only down 10 pounds, so I am behind schedule on the pound a week minimum I was trying to reach.  I'm just feeling in a slump or a funk lately, I don't know.

This week I just feel like doing a brain dump rather than the old format of positives vs things to improve upon.  

I am proud of myself for working towards this goal consistently since January.  There is something to be said for momentum, and how as the weeks tick up one by one, I am a little more dedicated to not quit.  Quitting isn't even something I think about ever.  It is more like 'quit what exactly?' because I still do everything I want to do or don't want to do, except tracking without fail.  The act of tracking and wanting to stay reasonably within my calorie limit during the week is the sole reason for my success to date.

The last week or so I have even noticed my pants getting a bit loose.  They aren't falling off of me, but I feel like if I were a plumber I'd fit right in..  It is a little motivating nonetheless.  When I look at myself I don't see any noticeable change, so at least this is something.

So why am I feeling in a funk?  I wish I knew.  I can't even tell if it is a funk over weight loss specifically or just a general life funk.  Part of it seems like it could be that I have lots of life things in the works that I am 'working on' and the road ahead is long, and I won't get to check things off the list until a lot of work and progress is made.  I have definite attention deficit tendencies so I am always looking to be excited and inspired and want to tackle things with gusto (and get the payoff with gusto!) and things I want are just not going to come to fruition so quickly.  So what I see is endless work and trudging along, which isn't fun at all, but I know I need to do it.  

I'm trying to earn my CPA so I can get a better job hopefully at the first part of next year.  Ahead of me are 25-35 hours per week of studying.  Expenses piling up from review programs and exam fees, kind of stresses me.  Each day my job just annoys me more and more, I am SO READY for a change.  I'm trying to lose weight and here we are month three and I am down only 10 out of like 160 pounds - this is going to take an eternity.  I am impatient about wanting to start a family.  I wish (I'm sure everyone on earth trying does too) that you could decide you are ready for a baby to come along and boom, here comes a baby.  It isn't even like we've been very focused on trying for months and months, it is just my own impatience.  Plus I would rather be much lighter when a baby comes along, I can hardly shut one of those paper gowns at the doctors office around my body as is, could you imagine if there were a pregnant belly on me as well?  Too much.  But I just want all these things to be happening now, without having to do all the hard work

Long story short, being self disciplined is hard and I hate it right now.  

When I quit crying and have a little better perspective on things, were this any other year, or me doing the same things I could be eating what I want and be 300 pounds right now, but I am not.  I am 282.8, and that is a heck of a lot better than the alternative.  

I feel ready to kick things into the next gear so starting today I am trying to eat more low carb in addition to staying in my calorie range.  I really would like to get into the 270s before the month is over, so it is crunch time!

I'd also like to give a special shout out to this lovely lady on her birthday:

My Mom is truly an inspiration to me.  She has struggled with her weight in the past and she just has the determination to do whatever she sets her mind to.  She has lost like 30 or 40 pounds in the last couple of years.  Was diagnosed with diabetes and now she is 100% off any medications and controls it with diet only.  She is amazing and wonderful in way more ways beyond just health and I love her with all my heart.  Wishing you a very happy birthday, Mom! <3

Weekly Weigh In #10

Monday, March 13, 2017

Double digits, can you believe it??  There isn't much in life that I have stuck with for 10 weeks in a row, so that is noteworthy in its own right.  Happy to be here another week and share my progress (or lack thereof.)

I did not lose weight this week :\  Actually, I did but by the time Monday rolled around I was up again.  It makes me think of that Paula Abdul song 'Two steps forward, two steps back...'

I ate well all week

I had my typical indulgent Saturday, but I tracked all my food and was within my calorie goals basically all week.  The gain I am just attributing to normal cycle fluctuations and possible water retention from a gnarly smashed finger incident that happened over the weekend.  I'll spare you the gory photos of my purple nail.  

No pizza!

Pizza is my Lenten sacrifice this year and man do I miss it.  Not having a pizza crutch to fall back on when I am feeling too lazy or tired to cook dinner is a challenge, but I feel it saves the day on the calorie count.  Honestly I was kind of burned out on pizza (at least the frozen kind) lately.  My new lazy meal is to cook a giant pot of soup and have leftovers for days, lol.

Now for the two five steps back:

I ate out a lot over the weekend

Eating out it tough because it is difficult to properly count your calories.  We had taco cabana on Friday, which was easy enough, but you never know if they were heavy handed with the cheese in your quesadilla or whatnot.  Then I helped my brother move a dresser on Saturday, so my reward for helping was more Mexican food, only add chips and salsa to the mix.  Who even counts those?  Then Saturday night before getting together with friends we got lobster rolls at this cute local place which doesn't have nutritional info online.  Then out for breakfast Sunday and I get a waffle and who knows how much syrup I drowned that bad boy in?  So on paper my calories were fine but it is all guessing.  I assume the average lobster roll on is close enough?

I didn't exercise

I just wanted to sleep in instead :\  No good reason why I chose not to work out.  I think it was so much easier the last time I was rowing consistently is that the rower was in the living room and I had like 900 episodes of America's Test Kitchen on the DVR.  Now the rower is in the office, so I can pull up the cable on the internet, or find a youtube channel to watch I suppose.  I just haven't gotten into the routine.  It is a new week though, and I am going to do better.  Just need to get over that daylight savings time change, it has me draggin!

So here I am, coming in at 285.4, whomp whomp.

It got cold today, so I buried my girth in an over-sized sweater

283, I am coming for you, so look out!

Discipline over Motivation

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

There is SO MUCH information out there in every corner of the internet about how to lose weight.  There are diet plans to follow, exercise programs to join, support groups that can help you stay accountable.  These are great resources I am sure, and can be very helpful in reaching your goals.

I think for people like me, who are extreme amounts of overweight, all of these things are easier said than done.  I know I need to exercise, I know a calorie dense food from a light yet filling food.

Motivation is what we need!  If we just get properly motivated, then we will want to put the work in and get it done.  We will be excited and poised to conquer all obstacles set before us!

Oh, if I had a dime for every time I was motivated to lose weight.  (Can I get an Amen??)

Motivation isn't what we need at all.  Motivation relies on unsustainable feelings of empowerment.  Motivation is fleeting.  If we were able to just accomplish things we were motivated to do at one point, we'd all be awesome at life and goals and we would be living our dreams.

Motivation isn't enough.

Discipline is what we need. Discipline is action whether or not we feel like it.  Those actions over time will yield the results which is turn motivate us to stay disciplined.

When you think of disciplined individuals, who comes to mind?

Tiger Moms?
Olympic Athletes?

The soldier doesn't check in with his feelings about getting up at 5AM to do PT training.  The Tiger Mom didn't ask her daughter if she would rather watch YouTube instead of practice the violin.  Monks don't achieve holiness by giving into their whims and skipping Mass.  Maybe Simone Biles would have liked to spend weekends at the mall instead of at the gym?  Usain Bolt probably had to miss several late nights throwing back beers with his buddies, but he has achieved record breaking greatness and they have beer guts.

We don't need to achieve the extreme levels of discipline needed to fight a war, or join the New York Philharmonic.  We can use these examples as metaphors in how to better structure our lives to yield successes, weight loss or otherwise.

When taking inventory of my own life, I have concluded that I am not very good at discipline.  I am almost too in-tune with my feelings and whether or not I want to do something.  This is the mentality of a procrastinator, because I usually never want to do something now if it can be done later.  I usually don't do the dishes after dinner, because I'd rather watch tv and relax, I just get to them the next morning.  (terrible I know, don't tell my mom.)  I make sure I've checked all the social media and all of reddit before I will sit down to study for the CPA exam.  I will over eat on calorie laden food and desserts and proclaim 'tomorrow! tomorrow I will lose weight'

How can I be more disciplined?

Discipline is like a muscle, so be proud of your small gains and keep building upon them.  The few little 'discipline' things I do every day without fail have definitely been an asset to me on my weight loss journey.  It isn't very much, but I track my blood sugar levels every morning (I used to not be very consistent with this, which is HORRIBLE for a diabetic person), and I track all my food I eat.  That is it.  Just doing those things and having that knowledge helps me to make better food choices.  When I wake up with 145 blood sugar levels, I know I need to lighten up on the carbs today.  I know that if I go over my calories 4 days in a row, I shouldn't be surprised at what the scale reads.  You just need a tiny bit of motivation to commit to doing something consistently, then it becomes habit.  I'd guess the average fit person engages in several disciplines activities to manage their weight, so if I were to do the same, there is no reason why I can't be fit as well!

Discipline is great too because it puts all the weight management stuff out of your every day mental evaluations and puts it on autopilot.  I don't have to think about if I want to track my food, or whether or not I find it to be a pain in the rear; I just do it.  My feelings about the task at hand don't get counted in the equation.  Much like anything, when you stop worrying about your feelings, they don't rule you so much.  I don't give much energy to the fact that my job isn't my favorite place to be, I just get up and go because I want the money.  I'd prefer to watch Food Network all morning on Sundays, but we decided that going to church is important to us, so I just get up and get ready for church.

Maybe you go visit your Mom every Wednesday, maybe you walk your dog every night without fail.  Maybe you aren't a gross smelly person who does their dishes every night, lol.  There are likely things in your life that you already do in a disciplined way, so use those as a guide for cultivating even more disciplined actions.

In conclusion, we don't have to be slaves to our feelings.  If we learn to side step them in favor of disciplined action, we will be a much more powerful force for goal achievement.

Weekly Weigh In #9

Monday, March 6, 2017

It is a great day!  I am at my lowest weight thus far and a mere 1.6 pounds from the 10 pounds down mark!  Excited and proud of my progress.

Great things:

Lent Began

It is Lent so I am not eating any desserts during the week and no pizza at all.  It has only been 5 days, and two were desserts are okay days, but the scale seems to have rewarded me.

I exercised!

Also a big help, I was able to get up early before work and get back on the rower.  I started slow with just about 10-15 minutes of rowing, but my muscles were feeling a difference!  I can totally see a difference in my blood sugar levels when I get exercise in my routine, so this is something I really need to stick with long term.  Not to mention I feel much more energetic and focused when I do even a little bit of movement in the morning.

I got complimented by my Mom

I went to see my mom on Sunday and she noticed I was looking a bit smaller!  That was encouraging, and she isn't the type to say stuff that isn't true just to be nice.

Needs Improvement:

I hate thinking about improving when I just had a stellar week, but alas, things are worth noting

Weekends are always a challenge

Weekends are sort of meant for letting your hair down a little, but I always feel like I go overboard.  We bought a big thing of frosted flakes at the grocery store and I was eating those all weekend long, noshing on cookies Saturday while being totally lazy and watching 100 movies on the couch, along with having dessert at my moms, then dessert Sunday night.  I didn't go crazy amounts over my calories but I can't imagine it is good to shock my system with all of that after days of eating healthfully.

Staying consistent with exercise

I got on the rower Wednesday and Thursday but I let myself sleep in Thursday and didn't do anything over the weekend when I had all the time in the world.  I even slept in this morning, so I need to get back to it and stop making excuses.  March is going to be a good month, come hell or high water!

I will be happy when that spare tire/muffin top is gone!

Now is the time where you can say a little prayer for me that I will be 283 or less next week.  I really want to be at the 10 pounds down mark.  It is already the third month of the year, I don't think ten pounds is asking so much? 

I was going to 'reward' myself with a little something for every ten pound loss I hit, but I think I want to keep it on the even 10's so once I am 280 it will be time to #treatyoself.  Any ideas for a good non-food related reward?  I will be thinking about it the next couple of weeks - March will be over before we know it!


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Today is Ash Wednesday and the start of the season of Lent.  Us Catholics attend mass, are told 'Remember that thou art dust, and unto dust thou shalt return' as ashes from last year's Palm Sunday are smeared across our foreheads in the shape of the cross by a priest, and then go about the rest of the day being told 'Hey, you've got some dirt on your face'.

Lent is a solemn season as we prepare for Easter.  Ash Wednesday reminds us that we are not of this world for long, so we need to repent our sins and follow the Gospel.  Then the weeks of Lent follow, in which we focus on prayer and sacrifice.  The point as I see (and as was taught to me) is that it is a 'death to self' and a reminder that we don't need to give into the temptations of the flesh.  I am not a theologian by any stretch, but that is the extremely abbreviated version of what is going on in my world.

Catholics typically 'give something up' during this time of year.  It is good practice to learn that things of the world don't control you, such as alcohol or chocolate.  Each year I like to think about different virtues and how I would like to spend my time during Lent to gain in those virtues.  I like being an overachiever too, so my list for this season is 1. no pizza (so hard.) 2. No desserts during the week 3. No being snarky on Twitter (sorry Bachelor finale! 😭 ) 4. Practice Self-Discipline

All aside from my twitter mean-to-reality-tv-stars persona taking a hike, these sacrifices are beneficial to my weight loss endeavors.  Pizza is a big struggle because it is my go to meal when I don't want to cook.  So I will have to fight my urge to be lazy and make dinner every night.  Desserts need no explanation.  I feel like I want a dessert after every meal I eat, so I need to remember what it feels like to not.  Self discipline is going to be important because after much reflection, it is a major source for why I feel 'stuck' and unable to move forward with any of my goals.  I make plans and don't follow through.  I want all sorts of things for my life but never modify my actions to make them happen.  It is because when I plan for tomorrow, I feel nice about it and nothing is required of me in the here and now.  It is just that the 'tomorrow' part of the equation never comes, I just make a new plan every day instead of executing the plan from yesterday.  A number of things will explain 'why' I do this, but the main theme is that I do what I feel like doing rather than what I should be doing.  It is the procrastination habit, or just giving in to laziness or other time sucks (the whole internet and all social media), but I need to regain control and remind myself of what can be accomplished with a little self-discipline.

I am looking forward to the next six weeks and seeing the difference these adjustments will make!  Wishing a blessed Lenten season to all who partake!