Inching downwards

My weight loss continues steadily, albeit at a rate that is not breaking any speed records. As of this morning, I am down 15.4 lbs in 8 weeks, since January 1st. I have now lost the weight I gained in 2014. I am happy to be back into 2013 territory. :)  I’m not down a size yet, but my existing clothes fit better and I have more energy.

I have resumed my knitting hobby in attempt to keep my hands busy and not snack while watching TV.  This scarf is my first effort:

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I turn 40 in 2 months.  I would love to be down another 10 lbs by then. I’d set a higher goal, but I have a few challenging eating events to navigate in March & April (women’s retreat weekend, trip to Mexico, a few catered lunches where I will have no input on the menu) so I don’t want my goal to be too lofty.  I know there is still scope to reduce my points a bit and ramp up the exercise more.  But I’m aiming for progress, not perfection.

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Vacation victories

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I am currently escaping the snowy Northeast by spending a week in sunny Florida with my family. There is no scale in the vacation home where I am staying, so it is hard to have much barometer of my progress or lack thereof.  It is funny how used I am to that daily check-in.

I feel like I am making mostly decent choices, while still allowing myself a few vacation indulgences. Of course theme parks entail a lot of walking, so I’ve been getting my 10,000 steps in most days. I’ve only had ice cream once, and it was a small one.

We’ve eaten breakfast in the condo most days, so that has been limited to 8 points.  The one day we went out for breakfast, I got a veggie egg white frittata and toast, so that was a pretty healthy choice, at least compared to the vanilla brioche French Toast that was calling my name!

For lunches I’ve been packing pretzels, cheese sticks and fruit in my bag. We’ve eaten out for dinner every night, but I’ve tried to be conscious of what I’m eating.  We went to Sweet Tomatoes one night, so I started with a huge salad. Tonight we had Chik Fil A, but I figured out the points in advance and allowed for it.

I’ve been tracking everything to the best of my ability. I will be very interested to see how this all shakes out on the scale upon my return home.

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Snowy days and Mondays always get me down

I live in central MA, and we have been getting hammered by winter weather lately.  Over 5 feet of snow in the last two weeks!  Our Monday night community group has been canceled for 3 weeks in a row due to snow.  We are running out of places to put it all!

With the snow comes a lot of disruption to our usual schedule.  School is canceled, we must attempt to work from home or juggle childcare responsibilities between me and my spouse, and it can mean long days trapped inside with frayed nerves.

I’m realizing just how frequently food is my default coping mechanism for stress, boredom, tiredness or frustration. Learning how to rewire my brain to do something else other than eat when I experience uncomfortable emotions is the hardest part of this weight loss journey.  It’s not the tracking, the measuring or the cooking that get me down, it’s retraining myself not to reach for food to soothe, comfort, calm and nurture me.

I can so relate to this Weight Watchers commercial:

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Every step

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In the spirit of this quote, this weekend I am proud of the fact that I:

  • Chose the healthiest option at Panera when I needed a quick takeout dinner while working late on Friday night
  • Did not otherwise eat my feelings due to a stressful work day
  • Walked on the treadmill for over 70 minutes while treading Facebook on Saturday morning, instead of sitting on my ass
  • Took the Motrin I needed for my sore back, knowing that any weight blip it would produce was only temporary
  • Successfully avoided a calorific brunch and a Superbowl party on Sunday
  • Won a $210 payout in my DietBet
  • Brought my own healthy snacks for a 6-hour singing stint at church yesterday, so that I was able to bypass the table of muffins
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DietBet results

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This was the happy message in my inbox this morning. After 4 weeks of sustained effort, my scale rewarded me with a total loss of 9.8lb, which means I lost 4% of my body weight in January. I am just waiting to see what the final prize payout will be. I am excited!

This DietBet gave me the kickstart I needed to get back on the right path. I have cut back on chocolate, I ate way more fruit and veggies, and I didn’t have a single latte this month! I can’t see much difference yet in photos or in the mirror, but my pants are getting easier to fasten. :)

While I don’t think this rate of weight loss is necessarily sustainable long term, it did give me some monetary motivation and that competitive edge to get my butt into gear.  Now to keep some momentum going into February, and to plan for the challenges of a Florida vacation in two weeks’ time!

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Let’s get physical

I recently had my annual physical. This year’s exam was at 12 noon, so they asked me to come back 2 weeks’ later early in the morning for fasting bloodwork, which produced some interesting results.

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The good news:
My glucose (97) and A1C (5.4) were both good, so no diabetes.
My total cholesterol had dropped a LOT, from 218 in July 2013 to 147 now.

The bad news:
I had gained 9 lbs in a year according to their scale.
My HDL (good cholesterol) had fallen from 62 to 33, meaning that my TC/HDL ratio had actually risen from 3.5 to 4.5, despite the big drop in the total number.

The prescription:
More exercise!  It’s the best way to bring up the HDL value. I’ve run 5ks before and I know I can get back to it with some sustained effort.  This week of sickness really put a wrench in my gym plans. I can’t wait until the weather warms up and I can walk/run outside again. The treadmill is so boring in comparison.

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Sick as a dog

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My lovely daughter has shared her germs with me.  Around mid-afternoon on Monday, I started coughing.  Slept like the dead for 10 hours, thanks to NyQuil.  I woke up this morning with barely any voice.  It hurts to swallow and as my meds wear off, my body aches.  No fun!  Fortunately I didn’t have to work today, so I was able to stay home, nap and drink lots of tea.

The bad news is, I don’t have the lung capacity to exercise.  It hurts to breathe normally, never mind run! The good news is, my appetite has been lower and I’ve been sleeping a lot, which means less awake time to eat.

NyQuil also has the effect of dehydrating me, resulting in 2015’s lowest number yet on the scale this morning, 220.6.  However, I’m not putting much faith in it until I can verify if that number stays around until my health returns to normal. If it does, it would mean I was only 0.2 lbs away from my DietBet goal! There’s still a week to go before the final weigh-in, so a prize is not guaranteed by any means, but I’m quietly hopeful.

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