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

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!!

Weigh-in

I weighed in again today, with not much change. I am exactly the same weight as last week, 134.8, but the body fat went from 31 to 29%! I don’t know if I’ve seen it that low. If I have, it has been like 10 years! So that was kind of cool 🙂 I’ll wait to see if that one sticks before I call that goal met. It has been bouncing around 30 and 31 for a couple of months now. I also did my measurements since it is close to the end of the month. I am down another inch overall.

YTD loss: 17.4 pounds, 8.5% body fat, 11.25 inches.

I have really been trying to eat to hunger this week, save my nightly treats. I know that is going to be a hard habit to break. But I’m contemplating it. That’s the first step, right? Well maybe I can improve this coming week. We’ll see. If I don’t stop eating ice cream every night maybe I can just make the portions a little smaller.

I did all of my planned workouts this week! Well, I skipped a run on Tuesday but I made up for it on Friday. As for weights, I have been doing squats and more squats. I’m itching to get back to deadlifts and pull-ups, but I don’t know when that will be. A while, I’m sure. Anyway, I ran on Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Sunday was 4 miles and the rest were 2 and 3 miles. I did add one more run day so from now on I will be running 4 days a week.

So I’m still going really slow and steady. But according to all of my numbers I am not really losing any muscle which has been the main goal all along! And every pound I have lost has just stayed gone. I haven’t been able to do that since the first time I lost weight. I just kept losing for about a year, but then I started to gain it back. So yes, the goals are losing fat and keeping it off, and I am doing it!! It feels great.

 

Weigh-in and workouts

First of all the weigh-in. I was gaining small amounts of weight over the last three weeks but today that changed! I really focused this week on the 3-4 meals only, and reigned it it at dinner/treat time. My portions got a lot smaller this week for sure. And I just kept on doing my thing otherwise. It paid off because today I’m 136.6 and 30.5% body fat! That’s the lowest this year on both. I am so close to getting under both 135 and 30%! Those are what I have my eye on now. Hopefully either or both will happen soon!

Also, I don’t really care too much about this one, but I think my BMI is normal now too vs. overweight. So there’s that too 🙂

Sunday

I worked all day but I still ran after I got home. I wanted to go outside but the sky was threatening thunder and lighting so I just went on the treadmill. I watched an episode of Sense8 while I ran for about a half an hour. That show is so weird!

Monday

TTBA phase 2, workout #7. This was leg focused. I didn’t really feel like I worked that hard, but when I was done I was wiped! I seriously hate single leg split squats, but I know they must be doing a good thing lol

Tuesday

TTBA phase 2, workout #8. Mixed grip chin ups again. I tried to grip really hard and this time it was a little bit better. I am still pretty bad at them.

Wednesday

I got out for an early morning run. I was so tired! But I survived. I did 3.1 in 30 minutes. I also found out that my Fitbit One is shorting me on distance. I checked the miles on Dailymile, and it was off by more than half a mile! I think my Fitbit Surge gives me extra distance lol

Thursday

Strength again, workout #9. I am getting better at the trap bar deadlifts! That 50 pounds on a 75 pound bar are getting a tiny bit easier?!

Friday

Workout#10. I used my smaller resistance band for all of my pull ups. Normally I switch, but I just did as many reps as I could on each set, which was only 3 for the last 4 sets.

Saturday

I wasn’t sure if I would be able to run today, so I got in a run on Saturday. It was a pretty great one! I did 3.63 miles for a 9:03 pace!! The route I run in the mornings has two long-ish hills, so if I do an out and back I have 3 uphills. Sometimes it is tough! So runs like these are very pleasing to me 🙂

 

 

Finished phase 1! And a weigh-in.

Friday was my final workout in phase 1 of Train to be Awesome!! I’m well on my way to completing the whole program! I started it back in April, took a month off due to being sick and then being really fatigued in May, started back up in June and I am finally done now. Now I will do a deload week and then get back at it, starting phase 2. It will be fun to switch up exercises. I was starting to get a little bored. So phase 2 will probably take me another 8 weeks and then I retest markers to see how much progress I made.

It’s kind of funny though, I was so excited to be done, and then really soon after I was over it. Kind of a let down lol. No big fanfare, just time to move on. It IS a big deal though, seeing how I have never finished any program or even part of a program before. I always just quit. So I am pretty proud of myself for sticking with it this long. I still have phase 2 to go, and then I am going to do the next part which is actually a separate part of the program. So after phase 2 I will have really finished a workout program!!

I also weighed in today. I’m at 137.2 and 31.5% body fat. That’s down 2.4 pounds and .5% body fat from last week! Just to show how slow the body fat% moves, it had been 32 for more than a month with no change. I’m getting really close to getting it under 30% now! It will take a few more months, I’m sure, but that is my next goal.

So for the whole year so far I am down 15 pounds and 6% body fat. I won’t measure until the beginning of August so I don’t know about that part, but I imagine I will only be down another inch or so (currently sitting at -7.5).

I keep thinking I would like to work more on the lean habits. Eating 3-4 meals, mastering hunger, eating just enough. But what I am doing right now seems to be working, so I guess I don’t have that much motivation to change lol. I am not eating all day long, and I do try to just eat meals while waiting for hunger. It just always feels like my meals are stretched out at work, and then I have a big dinner with treats every night. Last night I skipped dinner and just went right for the ice cream and m&m’s! Well, after a big bowl of cereal with milk. It was a stressful (and fun) Free Slurpee Day. Anyway about the habits, I guess I will keep trying but not stress about it. The point is to wait for hunger and then eat, without snacking and I am mostly doing that. I could try harder though. I’ll put a little more focus into it this week and see what happens.

Today I was planning on going for a run and then going to work for just a little while, but the run doesn’t sound that great. I’m tired!! It’s been a long week, month, whatever. Maybe I will and maybe I won’t.

A little behind?

Last post March 3rd! Yes, I’m a little behind. I just don’t know what to do with this blog anymore. And I know that budget posts are not that exciting 😆 I feel pretty busy and when I think about blogging, half of the time I don’t know what to say, and if I say it who will care anyway?!

I have been busy. Work is slightly starting to pick up, but not enough for me to get excited at all about it. My days are just filled with working out, work, and then dinner and some web-surfing.

I did read a book though! I haven’t read an actual book in forever. It was called Black Dog Summer by Miranda Sherry and I quite enjoyed it. I picked up another from the library and started it, but I realized it was last in a big series – 10 books – so I quit reading it after 2 chapters. So next time I go to the library I’ll get another book, or read one here that I haven’t yet.

Active life is still the same. I am going to do the last workout of the Beginner Blast-off in Train to be Awesome today! Then I will do a reload week and then get on with the next phase. I’ve been trying to run on days when I’m not lifting and that’s going well too. I’m just doing lower miles, kind of following a 15k training plan. I’m not getting injured, well, I did fall yesterday morning but I think I’m okay!

And of course there is the weight loss department. I am keeping track of stuff but not weighing/checking in very often. In March I did weigh more than I wanted to and I realized I didn’t really like it. So in April I’m not going to weigh or measure at all. It will be a little hard, but I’ve made up my mind and so that’s that. Anyway, the March results were pretty good. I lost 2.6 pounds, 1% body fat (according to my scale), and .5 inches. Not bad for eating what I want, which includes ice cream, pizza, frozen yogurt, you name it. I’ve been eating it. And I’m not counting a thing or excluding anything. It’s really brainless, and I love that part. Am I losing very slowly? Sure am. This year so far I am down about 7 pounds. In 3 months that doesn’t sound like a lot. But I’ll repeat myself and say that I am absolutely sure that this time I am truly working on making sustainable habit changes, and this slow weight loss is going to stick! The only downside is that it is so easy, that that in itself makes it harder than anything I’ve ever done 😆 It is always more exciting to start some stupid new diet plan or count calories and calculate everything I will do. Now I just eat I what I want and move my body. There is no calorie goal, no burn goal, not even a weight goal or an end date. I’m just changing my life, for life, and it is hard to give the energy I was using up on all of that crap to something else. It is definitely a process.

Anyway, that’s that for now!

Checking in

With health and stuff. I am still back and forth on the weighing thing, but for now I guess I don’t really care if I do or don’t. I am trying to not weigh most days. But I am going to for sure check in at the beginning of the month, with weight and measurements and pictures. So, since December 1st I am down 2.75 inches, and since January 1st I am down 4.6 pounds. That averages out to be .5 pounds per week. Pretty much what I was planning on. Is it painfully slow sometimes? Yes! But, I am confident that this time around I am going to be able to keep it off.

Workouts have been good. Today I finished workout #15 of 24 from Train to be Awesome. Only 9 more left! I could probably keep going with the beginner program, but I really just want to move on to something different, not that I’m bored or not liking it. I do like it. The workouts are taking me about 1 hour and 10 minutes, including warm up time. I take as much rest as I need and do 1-2 warm up sets. Today I was able to squat with 90# on the machine, and I did quite a few pull-ups with one knee in the resistance band. I’ve also been trying barbell hip thrusts, not much on the bar, only 30#. I tried that today and I think I can work my way up pretty quickly.

I missed being on a running schedule so I’m going to try a 10k training program. It goes for 10 weeks and has minimal mileage so I don’t think it will interfere with strength training. I’ll just do the runs on my off days from weights. I do my first 2 mile run tomorrow morning. We are supposed to get a big storm tonight so I hope it doesn’t ice all over!

So yeah, losing a little fat, gaining a little muscle (hopefully :lol), all while doing my best to chill out and eating exactly what I want to. Including ice cream, almost daily. Also chocolate, pizza, bread every day – and veggies, fruit, fish, nuts. Nothing is off limits, I’m just eating when I’m hungry and trying not to eat too much. Eating what I really want keeps me from feeling deprived or like I need to rebel, so I don’t end up overdosing on m&ms. Novel idea.

Yummy Birthday Food

I turned 38 today, this is getting way too close to 40! It’s really weird thinking that I am that old. I don’t feel that old!

We celebrated my birthday last night. I made this really good bolognese, these pepperoni garlic knots, and my daughter made a delicious coconut cake. I don’t think I have ever had coconut cake before last night, but it is definitely a winner!! It was all so yummy.

20150124_174321

Pepperoni garlic knots

Coconut cake

Coconut cake

Layers

Layers

And that is really all there is to say about that.

I am late on the budget post, but honestly we went way over. Embarrassingly so. I will post it anyway, and try to recover in the next month – it may take that long!!

 

Weighing and checking in

We are 10 days into the new year, so I’m checking in with my goals and weighing in. On January 1st I weighed in at 152.2 and 37.5% body fat (yikes). Today I am 150.4 and 36%. So down 1.8 pounds and 1.5% body fat. Not bad! I have truly been eating what I want, and really trying to just eat when I’m hungry. Some days are better than others. I’ve been eating ice cream for dessert almost every day, although today it was 1 1/2 chocolate gluten free cupcakes made by M. Gluten free only because K has given up wheat and she wanted to make something for all of us. They were still very tasty! I made a big pot of chicken breast and white beans mid-week and I’ve eaten those 4 days in a row. Right now I almost don’t even care what I eat, just trying to do mostly balanced meals, though I’m kind of slacking on vegetables. So I am going to try and eat more veg. Need to make another big salad to have at the ready, and just cook a veg or two with dinner no matter what.

One problem I’ve had the last few days is eating too late in the afternoon, making me not really hungry at dinner time. I’ve eaten anyway, something small, but I’d like to not wait so long so that I can be hungry for and enjoy dinner more.

I also exercised yesterday for the first time in weeks! I got on the treadmill in the morning and warmed up with walking for 5 minutes and then alternated running at 5 mph for about 3 minutes with walking for 2 minutes. I finished with 5 minutes of walking for a total of 45 minutes. It felt good. So I will do it more often. As part of listening to my body, I’m just going to do what I feel like. I’m not going to do some set schedule or training program (unless I want to!), just going to do what feels good and not too overwhelming. Hopefully I will avoid burnout that way.

In other goals, I have been doing some knitting but not much else. I need to break out the sewing machine and do something with that. I have projects to finish and some to just share pictures of. I could be doing more, so I’m going to aim for just 10 minutes a day of some kind of crafting.

I haven’t been doing any Spanish lessons 😦 I just need to get going on it. I will get some done today, and try to reach my goal for points every day.

Last but not least, still not drinking. It’s only been 10 days but a couple of them have been really long ones 😆 Not that I’m counting down really, but only 355 more to go.