My Weight Loss in 2015

I’ve been waiting to do this post for a year. I didn’t take many body photos along the way this year because I wanted to be able to see a difference. I can’t believe I’m going to share them publicly on the internet, but I am. I have been going on all year about losing weight and eating ice cream, and I want people to see that it really IS possible to lose weight and keep it off without restricting foods, going into a deep calorie deficit, and going insane. With just plain old moderation in eating and regular exercise.

To recap:

My mission for this year was to not drink alcohol and to take control of my health by eating better and exercising consistently. I decided I would lift weights and try to eat close to maintenance to try to do some body recomposition. First let me say that I could not have done any of what I did this year without giving up alcohol. I wouldn’t have had the energy or drive to continue working out long-term if I kept it in the mix. Second, I also made the decision to just work out per my schedule, no matter what. I did that, except for in May when I seemed to be sick and fatigued the entire month. I’m not sure what was happening there. But I just let my body rest and heal.

I started small, just lifting weights 3-4 times a week for about 30 minutes each time. I used Nia Shanks’ Lift Like a Girl routine for a while, just basic stuff but trying to lift a little heavier whenever I could. I also did most of her Train to be Awesome program. I started running again, 3 days a week, anywhere from 2-5 miles. I did this for a few months and then started to work in more running. Now I am running 6 days a week, about 27 miles a week, and still trying to lift heavy-ish 2-3 days a week.

As far as eating, I just ate what I wanted. I tried to be reasonable and aim for balanced meals. I also tried to be hungry for my meals, not starving, but hungry for a while. I never cut out sugar or wheat or anything else. No need! Not giving up anything I loved made it easy. That just leads to deprivation and guilt when you finally cave and eat all of the things that you aren’t ‘supposed’ to be eating. Anyway the food part was really that simple. I ate ice cream almost every day for many months. Oh, and I never counted calories.

Fast forward to today and I made so much progress in 2015! I ended up losing just under 26 pounds, 11.5% body fat (according to my scale which I know isn’t completely accurate), and 17.25 inches!! That averages out to be just 2.15 pounds and about 1.5 inches lost per month. That would have driven me crazy in the past to only lose 2 pounds every month, but I knew it was going to be the only way for me to finally make lasting change and my best hope to keep the weight off. So far it’s working. I could have really gone nuts and tried to lose more weight and do it faster, but I know that would have backfired. I didn’t try to eat too little because I knew I wouldn’t be able to sustain my efforts in working out. Working out was what was going to change how my body looked. Besides, if you are trying to re-comp, your muscles need fuel to grow!

I thought I’d give a monthly breakdown of my weigh-ins this year to give a better idea how I moderately lost weight. The first number is pounds, the second is body fat percentage.

January 1 – 152.2, 37.5%

February 20 – 148.2, 33.5%

March 1 – 147.6, 34.5%

May 1  – 142.6, 32%

May 29 – 142.2, 33%

July 5 – 139.6, 32%

August 2 – 138.4, 31%

August 30 – 136.4, 31%

September 27 – 134.8, 29%

November 1 – 131, 29%

November 30 – 126.8, 26.5%

January 1, 2016 – 126.4, 26%

I also took measurements monthly. That was where the progress was the most exciting for me!

January 17, 2015

  • Bicep – 12.25
  • Chest – 39
  • Waist – 31
  • Belly – 36.25
  • Hips – 40
  • Thigh – 24.75
  • Calf – 13.75

I lost anywhere from .5 to 1.75 inches each month.

January 1, 2016

  • Bicep – 11
  • Chest – 36
  • Waist – 28
  • Belly – 32.25
  • Hips – 36.75
  • Thigh – 22.5
  • Calf – 13.25

If my math is correct, I lost 17.25 inches this year!! My goal was to change my body recomposition and I’d say that was a huge success.

If I could give anyone some advice on how to lose weight I’d say this:

Find a way to move your body that you like, that you will do consistently long-term. If you can, lift weights to give you the most ‘bang for your buck’. What worked for me is lifting and running. Use activity to make you feel good! Just stick with it.

Eat what you like, but try to focus on getting regular, balanced meals. Try not to eat too much.

Don’t use exercise to punish yourself for eating. Don’t burn off calories for eating too much. If you ate too much, just use it as a learning experience and move on.

Don’t label food as good or bad. Food is just food, fuel for our bodies whether it is cookies or salad. Don’t attach morality to food, it has no moral value, just nutritional. Save yourself the guilt trip!! Just try to eat in a way that makes you feel good.

Don’t deprive yourself of things that you love. If you love chocolate or ice cream (ME!), eat it, just in appropriate amounts.

So that’s that! I feel like I made huge strides and changed a lot in 2015. I reached my goals of consistent exercise and weight loss. I never really set a specific number goal and don’t think I will. I’m just happy to have lost the weight and inches and my new goal will be to keep them gone.

And here’s something I never thought I’d do, but I (mostly) feel comfortable enough now to do it. Post before and now pictures. This was from June 2014, I pretty much looked the same in early 2015.

150 pounds

June 2014 around 150 pounds

26 pounds lost

January 2016, 126 pounds

I’m still carrying some fat, but not that much. And as you can see it is almost all in my belly, butt, and thighs. My body isn’t perfect but I love my body now! I actually have some muscle definition! If I never lose any more weight I’ll be fine with that, because my body can do cool stuff, like run and lift heavy things. I know I’m strong and that feeling is priceless. I imagine though that I will be able to lose 10 more pounds or so, if I keep lifting and running, which I intend to do.

So there you go. My year of change and weight loss. I hope that I will maintain it and not regain it. It wasn’t necessarily hard work but it took a long time and I don’t want it back!

Goals for 2016

My number one goal for 2016 is to keep the weight off that I’ve lost so far. It isn’t ALL about my weight, but I am not going to put back on weight that took me all year to get off!! So my other goals need to be centered around that. The whole point of losing weight the way I did was that I was going to be doing the things that I like and want to do, which would result in the body I get/have. So in theory, if I just keep doing what I want to do (lifting, running, eating what I want) then my body will not blow up like a balloon with weight regain. I want to be off of the yo-yo roller coaster for good!!

So right now I’m sitting at 125-127 pounds, 25-26% body fat.* Even if I never lost another pound, I would probably be happy where I am. But I think that I could lose another 5 without too much pain and suffering. Maybe even another 10?

To do that, I would probably need to tighten up my eating a bit. That is something I want to do anyway. I’ve been pretty fast and loose with treats, which is fine, but it is kind of losing its appeal. I’m feeling some treat overload I guess LOL So I do want to lower my treat consumption and replace it with more nutritious food.

I think I want to go back to something like the real food rules. If I have treats, I want to make them myself. Since I don’t have tons of free time lately, that will automatically mean less treats LOL I know I will feel better if I’m eating more real food and more nutritious food, so it can’t hurt to try. I’m not sure how I’m going to do this just yet, but it seems like the easiest thing would be to say I’m going to make all of my treats/junk myself, and to buy more whole foods.

Equally important to me is that I run the Portland Marathon in October!! If not more important…I don’t know😉 Anyway, I know what to do for that one. I need to keep on lifting weights and keep on running. I’ve been tempted more and more lately to skimp on weights, and I need to knock that off! If weights/strength is on the schedule I just need to make it happen, no matter what. I also think I need to do more short strength sessions after runs, like the mini routines I used to do all of the time. I really want to stay injury free, and I think the best ways to do that are to stay strong, lose a few more pounds, and stick to my running schedule I’ve got mapped out.**

I also have a few non-fitness/health related goals.

  • Spin, knit, and sew more.
  • Try to learn Spanish (I’ve made this goal several times but never followed through.)
  • Read more
  • Save money, now that my car is paid off!!

So I guess that’s it. That’s probably enough. I’m really going to make an effort to do them all instead of just saying I want to and then not following through. I’m not worried about the running and weight stuff, but the other stuff tends to fall by the wayside pretty easily.

So, what are your goals for 2016?

*My lean body mass is only down like 1.5 pounds. Yay for not losing muscle!!

**I’ve been using a schedule I made up for myself that was more than a year long LOL I’m still doing it with success so I better keep on it!

Weigh-in

Last week 126.4 pounds, 26% body fat

This week 127.4 pounds, 26% body fat

I’m up a pound, but I’ve been weighing at 125 most of the week, so I’m up 2 pounds really. I’ve been eating higher calories all week. Yesterday I ate lots of stuff, mostly sweets. Don’t really feel good about it, but I don’t want to beat myself up about it either. All I can do is treat myself better today. I think I’m going to go through the cupboards and get rid of all of the stuff that I don’t truly love to eat, so I’m not just mindlessly grabbing stuff all day long. There is so much in the way of treats in the house, I kind of feel like I have to have some of all of it. But I’m having more than some of all of it! Its almost like I’m doing last chance eating. Even though I don’t plan on changing that much come the new year. Hopefully I’ll cut it out this week.

This week’s workouts:

Sunday I did a long run of 8 miles. It was cold and snowy but not horrible. I actually ran a pretty good pace too, 9:03! The whole thing took me 1:13.

Monday was a 3 mile run and weights. My run took 27 minutes, 9:03 pace. For weights all I had time to do was deadlifts. I think I did 7 sets total, with the 35# plates. It felt good.

Tuesday I did 4.17 miles in 38 minutes/9:05 pace. This was a wet one, it had snowed but it was on the warm side so there was a lot of slush and water happening. My socks got soaked! It was a good run though.

Wednesday should have been a run and weights but I skipped the weights. I was trying to get stuff done ahead of time for Christmas and I didn’t want to feel too pressed for time. I did 3 miles, 27 minutes/8:52 pace.

Thurdsay was 5.41 miles, 51 minutes/9:24 pace. I just tried for easy, but it wasn’t that easy. It was pretty cold and really windy.

Friday I did 3.12 miles, 32 minutes/10:22 pace. We got a bunch of snow Christmas Eve and Morning so I was running in a few inches of fresh fluff. It definitely took me more time. It felt so awesome! I was just happy to be alive and out running, even if it was in the cold and snow. It is always beautiful to be out in the fresh snow too. I did weights afterward – squats, shoulder presses, back extensions, and calf raises. I ended up working out for about an hour and a half that day!

Saturday was a rest day!😀

Totals – 26.73 miles, total workout time 4 hours 58 minutes.

This week I am definitely going to do better with eating. Like I said, I don’t want to beat myself up, but I don’t like the binge type eating that I’m doing. And I don’t really know why I’m doing it?! Like I want to sabotage my efforts. No. I don’t. Anyway. Just going to do better and eat more sensibly.

Kinda had another binge-y day and spinning

I know I said I thought I was cookie-d out, but apparently I wasn’t:/

Yesterday started out good, I got up and had coffee and went for my 8 mile run. The run was great! It was snowing the entire time, and by the end I was almost soaked LOL Luckily it wasn’t too cold. I ran at a good clip too, 9:00 pace for the whole thing! That must have been too much, because I was wiped when I got home. I had some leftover pizza and a couple of cookies, and then took an hour nap. After that I had some candy that I didn’t really want to be having, and later on around dinner I ended up having multiple cookies, chocolate, ice cream, plus dinner. It was just too much, and I don’t even really know why I ate all of that. I still feel crappy this morning.

My solution will be to give away the stuff that I don’t really like. I don’t know why I kept it all in the first place. I would like to stop buying that stuff too, because most of the time it isn’t worth mindlessly eating a bunch anyway. I know I’m not going to keep overeating treats and gain a bunch of weight. But it doesn’t make me feel good, physically or mentally. So I’d like to stop doing that. And if there isn’t a bunch of that stuff hanging around, I won’t actually eat it LOL

In other stuff, I actually spun some fiber yesterday!

IMG_0031It has been sitting on the bobbin for who knows how long. I don’t have any sort of expectations for how it will turn out, but it will be nice if I get it done. I did some more tonight too. Hopefully if I work on it a little every day it will be done before I know it!

Weigh-in

Someday I will get it together and make this blog more than just my weigh-ins. Sigh. LOL

Yesterday I took a peek at the scale and it was 127 and 27% body fat! Today it was back up to the same numbers last week. Oh well. Pretty sure that next week it will be back down. I also realize that I am nearing the ‘last 10 pounds’ mark, if I am not already there right now. So it will be a lot harder for me to keep losing weight. I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing and focus on the process and what I can do. Because I can do cool stuff🙂

My workouts this week:

Sunday 3 miles, 9:11 pace. That was my last run of a low week. I really needed that week to ‘reset’ my energy levels!

Monday I just did weights. I did machine squats and tried to do a heavier day. Since I only have one day that I just do weights and not run, that will be my heavy day.

Tuesday 3.13 miles, 9:11 pace again! I’m happy that my paces are consistently under 10:00, and a lot of times under 9:30!

Wednesday 3.01 miles, 9:35 pace. I was tired this day. I have a lot going on at work on Wednesdays and sometimes I am fried by the end of the day! Did it anyway🙂 I also did weights with dumbbells! I’m taking it easy, but I am extremely happy to be back to using dumbbells. Maybe soon I will be brave enough to try pull-ups again?!

Thursday I did 4.3 miles at a 9:18 pace. It felt like an ‘easy’ run and that was my goal.

Friday I did 3.01 miles, 9:24 pace. I ate lunch too late and this one was hard. I hate it when I’m still digesting food, I get so many side stitches and cramps:/ I also did weights, mostly with a 20# kettle bell. I did single leg deadlifts, goblet squats, back extensions, and planks. I moved up to holding a 25# plate for back extensions!! I can only do about 10 at a time but that’s 15 pounds more than I was using!

Saturday was a rest day! I think I only got in maybe 8000 steps yesterday. Lots of errands and sitting around🙂 It was nice!

This week I would really like to see that 127 number again, and I’m pretty sure I will. I’ve got the 3-4 meals a day thing down for sure, so I’m just trying to do the eat just enough. I will really focus on that this week and I think that will help out a lot.

Weigh-in

I am back under 130! 128 pounds today and 27.5% body fat.

Down 3 pounds and 1.5% body fat from last week.

YTD: 24.2 pounds and 10% body fat!!

I am doing great! This week I quit weighing every day. I got curious yesterday and did it then, but this is today’s numbers. I also quit tracking everything but Eat Just Enough. I am just aiming for not eating too much. Being satisfied but not FULL, if that makes sense.

This week was also one of my de-load weeks! It was kind of nice having a break from higher miles and hard strength workouts. I never ran more than 2 miles and only did strength twice.

Sunday I did 6.77 miles at a 9:14 pace.

Monday I didn’t do anything!!

Tuesday I ran a chilly 2 miles in Fort Union while my daughter and her friend were at a Zumba class. It was cold and windy and I was underdressed. Brrrr!!

Wednesday I did 2.05 miles and then did strength. I did squats, step-ups, quad curls, and back extensions. 3 sets of everything and only 50# on the squat machine.

Thursday I did 2.18 miles for a 9:00 pace. Eating issues again and some side stitches, because I was probably going too fast.

Friday I did 2.12 miles and strength again. I was feeling TIRED by then. I barely made it through my strength and it didn’t feel great:/ I guess I needed the de-load week! I just did skater squats, leg curls, and back extensions.

Saturday was a rest day. Two in one week!

One other thing that was key to my success this week was making sure I took food with me every day to work. And eating that food. I also didn’t wait too long before eating. Sometimes I wait more than an hour after feeling hunger (and sometimes it is hours) and by the time I eat I feel like I just can’t get enough. So I’m trying to eat more throughout the day and it seems to help.

I have a ‘long’ run of 3 miles today, and then it is back to business!!

Letting go of the past

I spent a while yesterday going through some old clothes that I had been hanging on to. You know, like skinny clothes, hoping they will fit again one day. And they did all fit! In the sense that I could slip the jeans over my thighs and button comfortably. But  most of those jeans were from many years ago, like 10 years. And I guess I didn’t know how to buy things that actually do fit back then LOL I mostly had old boot cut jeans and capris. This was before I discovered that short women should wear petite sizes – because they are for short women. Boot cut jeans look great, if they are the right length, and you are wearing boots. Revelation! And why was I obsessed with capris?! They don’t look good on short women. I’m pretty sure I knew that, I had heard it various places. But still I kept buying them. I realized that I was using them instead of shorts. Using them to hide. And then I felt really sad for my old self. I hated myself so much and hated my body, even though I actually was skinny back then. No matter how much weight I could have lost then, I still would not have been able to be comfortable in my own skin.

I honestly do not know why I have had such a change of heart lately. I DO love my body now. I love me, because I’m not constantly comparing myself to anyone else anymore. That never did me any good!!! WHY did I waste SO MUCH TIME caring about what some stranger would think of me when they saw me in public? Ugh. Well at least I have learned from that. I am not going to waste any more time hating on my body or anything about me. I’m me and if you don’t like it, you can fuck off LOL I don’t even care. It’s funny, I see all of these articles about things that change for women as they get older, and I would never have believed them even 5 years ago, but they are all true. I have simply started to care less about all of the trivial things that just don’t matter. Am I happy? healthy? Is my family? That’s all that matters.

Whew! Glad to get that off my chest! And to get rid of all of those old jeans. (I’m keeping the t-shirts though!)

Weigh-in

I thought after my bigger loss last week and my once again relaxed habits *insert eyeroll at myself* that I would be up or flat this week. But I am down another 1.4 pounds and 1% body fat. Wow! That puts me at 131 pounds and 28.5% body fat.

I was kind of stressed out this week. I skipped some meals, and I had some extra treats. Still not eating ice cream every day though! In fact, we only have one pint in the freezer and I don’t like it so I’m not going to eat it. We do have plenty of frozen fruit bars and chocolate though. And I have been eating a lot of the chocolate. M made almond flour brownies one night too, and I’ve had a couple of those.

I skipped a couple of strength workouts too due to poor planning and limited time. I only did one weights workout on Monday😦

Tuesday I was supposed to run 3 miles but didn’t check my schedule beforehand so I thought I was still only running 2. I made it up on Wednesday though when I did 4 miles instead of 3. I took M to climbing on Wednesday and didn’t have enough time to do both run and strength so I just did the run. It was quick though! I did it in about 36 minutes!! Thursday I ran 3 miles, a lot slower😉 Friday I just lost all motivation and we went out to eat and shopped a little instead. I took a rest day yesterday and this morning I’m up early so I can get my run done in case I have to go to work.

So even though I’m not doing perfectly, I’m doing enough to still create a deficit and lose a pound and some body fat too! I’m still focusing on and tracking the main habits of eating 3 meals, waiting for hunger, and trying to eat just enough. I got overfull a couple of times this week and it didn’t feel good. And eating too much chocolate also doesn’t feel good. Going back to the snack cupboard multiple times is just something I will have to keep working on.

Weigh-in

Today I weighed in at 132.4 and 29.5% body fat. That’s down 1.8 pounds and .5% body fat! I think that’s probably more than I lost all last month! I’ve been weighing every day this week, actually, and the scale was lower the last couple of days but went back up this morning. Anyway I’m pretty happy with those numbers! That puts me right around 20 pounds lost for the year and down 8% body fat. Honestly I’m pretty okay with where I am right now but I want to see where I can get in a comfortable, sane way so I’m going to keep trying.

I have been putting more focus on eating just 3 meals and trying to not overdo it at night with treats. I only had ice cream 3 times this week instead of every day! Other days for a dessert I had a few squares of chocolate or a fruit bar. I’m also trying to eat just enough at meals. It really works, obviously.

My workouts this week were kind of messed up due to life. LOL

I did weights on Monday and Wednesday but skipped Friday due to a really long day and not much energy. I skipped my 2 mile run on Tuesday but made it up on Friday, also ran 3 miles Wednesday and 2 more miles Thursday. Oh and my 5 mile run on Sunday. I’ll have the same workout schedule with the same miles for a few more weeks, and then I start marathon training. A year out! I can tell more about that in another post.

I feel like my strength has sucked this week. Just feeling super tired this week, doing too much at work. I don’t know. I’m still doing what I can though. I took a rest day yesterday (besides work) and I even took a 40 minute nap at 4 pm. I hardly ever do that! And I was still tired at 8:30 and went to bed at 9:00.

So, still eating exactly what I want. And really less treats feels even better than overdoing it all of the time! I don’t expect to keep losing more than a pound every week, but I think that with more focus I will do a lot better. And maybe finally kick the ice cream every day habit. It’s not serving me anymore🙂

Weigh-in

Weighing-in again here. I was 134.2 and 30.5% body fat today, down .6 pounds and up 1.5%. I don’t know what is going on with that number and who knows how accurate it is anyway?! But 134.2 is another new low for me this year😀

What I’m eating: whatever I want

What I’m doing for activity: working, running and lifting

Sunday

Ran 5.5 miles on the parkway. I did it in 54 minutes for a 9:52 pace.

Monday

Lifted weights. Squats, quad curls, step-ups, back extensions.

Tuesday

Ran 2.23 miles in 21 minutes, 9:33 pace.

Wednesday

Ran 3 miles for a 9:30 pace, then did weights. More lower body.d

Thursday

Ran 2 miles, 10:09 pace.

Friday

Weights again. Really didn’t want to, but I didn’t want to work out on Saturday so I sucked it up. Squats, step-ups, back extensions, leg curls.

I’m getting tired of feeling ‘stuck’. It doesn’t feel like I’m really doing anything. But, when I look at the numbers I am still losing about 2 pounds every month. So I’m not stuck. It just feels that way! Getting a little impatient lately I guess. I am still making progress in the fact that I am not regaining any weight. This whole year I’ve averaged 2 pounds lost each month, and about 1% body fat each month. And it is all staying gone so far. Exactly what I said I wanted to do. That said, I want to try and do a little better.

It’s time to switch the focus a little bit. I want to run a marathon next year, so I need to train more like a runner. I still plan on lifting 3 times a week but the mid-week workout will be after my runs, and not so heavy. I don’t know what I am doing, but I think that I need to go not so heavy anymore, if I want running to be the main thing. Most of what I’ve read says to do lower weights and higher reps, so I guess that is what I’ll try.

On the food front, I definitely could be tightening things up. I kind of don’t want to, just because it is fun to say I’m losing weight and eating ice cream almost daily. And chocolate, and whatever else I want! But as my weight gets lower, I am going to have to try harder to keep it going I think. And if I want to run better, my weight needs to be lower. It will help a ton.

This weekend I’m going to re-read the Lean Habits book. I’m going to start tracking the habits and really make an effort to get my eating less haphazard. I’ll do some shopping and prepping today and make sure I have lots of produce available. I’m not going to start weighing food or counting calories, but I can do a lot better and try to eat more nutritiously.

So that’s that. I’m really going to make an effort this week, hopefully not eat as many sweets, and maybe have a bigger loss than .5 pounds this week.