I was at the gym today doing my free weight reps looking in the mirror. My body is a big pear shape, like the biggest pear that ever was.
I found this photo yesterday of my lithe, 19-year old body. I still have the same frame, and those bones still weigh about 6lbs.
But my 60-ish-year-old body looks nothing like this. It’s as if someone filled my skin with gallons of lumpy mashed potatoes. Especially hanging off my arms and around my hips. Yuk.
Looking in the gym mirror, I appreciate the fact that I have lost weight, but am simultaneously horrified by my new saggy skin suit. I know I have to keep working at it, but the realization that I will never look like this again is de-motivating to say the least.
I told you last post that I was going to go to the gym every day last week. I made it a few days, but couldn’t go every day for various reasons that were valid reasons.
I was disappointed, however, that when I weighed myself… NADA. Nothing actually changed again. I’m starting to wonder if my scale is not working. That must be it!
Oh well. Just wanted to share some of my progress.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve just been informed by the tower that we are to maintain a holding pattern. We ask that you remain in your seats, and we will keep you posted as conditions improve. We thank you for your patience.”
So, not much has changed since my last post. My weight has essentially stayed the same for another month. I’m super frustrated with this. It’s like I’m suspended in the air in a holding pattern. Worse, it’s July now. I’m starting to get concerned I may not reach my New Year’s Intentions goal (to get out of “fat sizes”).
The only upside here is I am still at the lowest weight I’ve been at since I began this blog in 2008. If you consider my highest weight in years past, I’m down 67 lbs overall. That seems like a big deal, and I should be more pleased with myself as a result. Also, I have noticed that I fit into much smaller sizes than I have previously. So, I am making progress on the clothes size front. And, of course, I am not gaining weight. I haven’t given up.
What I’ve decided to do to break through this plateau is double down and go to the gym every day this week. Literally just force myself to go. It has to make a difference, right? Also, I’m going to change up what I normally eat for dinner and make some new recipes that are still low-carb. I think if I make a change to my food intake, that could break the spell I’ve been under.
I have a couple of art shows coming up where I am the featured artist. (That still amazes me.) I am planning to wear dresses at these events. That is an unusual step for me. I haven’t worn a dress in many, many moons. But, I feel like it’s the right artist vibe.
I will leave you with one of my photos that I will be exhibiting. And, I’ll let you know how the doubling-down with the gym goes.
I know I’ve said in the past that this is a long trek. BUT, I’ve been frustrated lately that I’m really not making the progress I want to make. I have so long to go… like 73lbs… before I get to where I want to be.
I feel like I’ve just stalled. I’m plateauing and stagnating.
I have not been “cheating” a.k.a. eating things I shouldn’t. But, I’m realizing something has to kick in to put me on a better trajectory. I’m thinking it is exercise. There’s only one problem with that: I HATE EXERCISE. There I said it. I’m basically lazy. I don’t want to work out like a maniac at the gym. I want the weight to magically come off without a lot of effort.
It does not appear that my plan is working. (Being lazy and not exercising.)
I’m not sure what to do to.
Dear readers, if you have some good advice, I could use it.
Time for a little introspection (again). I spent the past week in Florida. My grandson was graduating high school, and I wanted to be there to celebrate with him and the family.
If you’ve tracked with me the past year or so, you know I relocated from the East Coast to the High Plains. I’m specifically in Northeast South Dakota.
A few insights came into focus as I left South Dakota and spent time in Florida.
First of all, the best news was I had to ask the salesgirl TWICE for a size lower than my usual size (2X). So, I am making progress on my 2022 intentions. I’m now in the last X (1X). After that, it’s normal sizes.
More importantly, I realized how much I love it here. The wide, open spaces call to me. I was eager to get back home. One of the reasons is I am becoming the best version of myself here. I’m working mind, body, and soul with a passion. I’ve left behind all the trappings that kept me fat, dumb, and unhappy.
I spend my time working on ART. I photograph. I paint. I write. I work on film projects. I am healing and growing in so many ways (that don’t include cellulite).
I am a “featured artist”in an upcoming University Playhouse Performance this summer. I get so much joy out of these artistic pursuits, it’s almost indescribable. I spent so much of my life harried, stressed, and consumed with work.
My only project is me and becoming the best version of myself. If I have one regret, it’s this: I wish I didn’t wait until retirement age to focus on the activities that bring me so much joy.
Math, science, and a little psychology informed my path this week. With a little help from my math genius grandson, I was able to figure out where I’m headed on my trek.
My health app, Health Mate, sometimes prompts me for a little chat. This week it was about fat and a healthy body fat percentage.
My body fat percentage today is still high. It’s 48%. That’s definitely down from where I was when I started at 51.5% (Yeesh. I remember saying I was carrying a whole ‘nuther person around with me.)
What I wanted to know this week was what would my weight be at a healthy fat body percentage? I had calculated my target goal another way based on all my measurements, but I wanted to see if I calculated what my weight “should” be with a 25 – 35% body fat.
I knew it was a relational fraction “solve for x” type of formula, but couldn’t remember how to do it.
I tried googling it, but came up empty. So, I asked my grandson, the math wizard.
He was able to help me right away.
I had to multiply my weight by the desired fat percentage and then divide that number by my current fat percentage.
Bottom line, the range for my target weight is between 129 (too low at my age) and 181 (the highest healthy fat percentage at 35%).
So, realistically, anything below 181 is good for my height and age, but the target I settled on is around 175.
I also thought it was interesting that “storage fat” protects your organs from shocks and trauma. I interpreted that to be psychological trauma, as well.
It was a good week. I’m at my lowest weight ever in the past 4 years. But, alas, 73 lbs left to go.
As you know, I don’t like to weigh myself every day. It can be frustrating at best, and misleading at worst. This morning’s data is a perfect example. I got on the scale today because the last time I weighed myself, I had broken through an important barrier. I had a milestone I wanted to reach, and I finally reached it.
I wanted to see if I had continued on that good path…
Well, the scale fought back. It reported that I GAINED 3lbs!
Not only was the 3lb gain a horror (it’s the most I’ve gained all year between weigh-ins), it meant I no longer was in my milestone zone. It was like a Chutes & Ladders mindf*ck.
After stewing over it a little this morning, I decided to do a deeper dive into the data. As I told you, I have an intelligent scale that measures everything when I get on the scale. I wanted to know what changed. Did I increase my body fat percentage?
The two reports tell the story. The answer is my fat mass actually went DOWN. All the other readings went UP (including my bones, which is always weird). So, I didn’t add more fat to my body with some bad slip– I actually continued on my path. Of course a 50ish percent fat mass is still terrible, but I am working on getting this down to a respectable 24% to 35%.
Net, net: don’t be discouraged by so-called weight gain. And know your scale is just one tool in your arsenal. The worst cudgel in the weight loss challenge is in your own head. Don’t be taken in by fake news. Advocate for your mental AND physical health, and investigate something that does not seem right.
We had a nice Easter dinner with my family. There were plenty of food selections I could manage without carbs. It was an excellent meal, actually.
I had a curious reaction though, when it came to dessert. When I declined the scrumptious-looking cake our host had baked, my sister-in-law made the comment, “She’s dieting.”
I thought about that. I’m not really “dieting.”
I changed the way I eat. I simply don’t eat that @#$% anymore.
I’ve written a lot over the years on this blog about how food became a substitute for instant gratification. I remember telling my brother that food was the last remaining hope I had for enjoying carnal pleasure. Of course, that was a joke, but now that I have completely reformed the way I eat, and what I eat, I realize the connection between longing and over-eating or eating badly is obvious.
It’s an interesting mindfulness victory. It’s like I removed myself from the moment to observe how I feel and what action is appropriate to take.
Today marks one full year I’ve been on my trek to lose weight. I started blogging here again a couple weeks later. This blog has been a motivating factor to persevere. Thanks to everyone following and occasionally leaving me comments. I appreciate you!
First of all, losing a massive amount of weight is hard. No doubt. Especially if your goal is not to lose it suddenly and then regain it. My goal has been all along to CHANGE the way I live. I am not sure if I had an addiction to (bad) food, but I do know it was a comfort I could easily indulge in privately. I don’t do that anymore and that is real progress, a victory.
On the weight loss itself, I’m disappointed. Over the course of 52 weeks, I’ve only lost a total of 47.3 lbs. That averages out to about .9 (nearly a pound) a week. You can see from the chart, starting at the end of the hockey stick slope upward in the beginning of 2021, I consistently kept losing throughout 2021 and now into 2022. I have not faltered or regained any weight. It’s been a steep slope downwards.
That good news aside, I realized today I need to work harder at this. I still have 75.4 lbs to lose to reach my goal weight. I will need to make the mental, maybe financial, commitment to get there.
One of the questions my wellness coach asked me when I first started with her was this: “How would your life be different if you met your goal weight?” That question stunned me. I knew my answer instantly. I told her that EVERYTHING in my life would be better. Demonstrably better. So much better, it would be as if I had a second life; it would literally be as if I was reborn into a new person’s life with many advantages. Recognizing this was transcendent.
There is no easy way to get there. I must do the work. I figured out that if I continue at this pace, I will arrive at my goal in August of 2024.
In keeping with my New Year’s Intention, I wanted to find a way to provide myself a reminder EVERY DAY about my goal for 2022.
I came up with this inexpensive and effective plan. I went to one of our many local thrift stores, and bought these pants a size too small. They were only $3, so not a burden on my budget.
I’m now hanging them outside my closet door. I see them every morning when I wake up. It’s an in-my-face reminder of what I want to achieve.
The weather is finally warming up here in South Dakota. I’m hoping to get back outside walking around, as well as not hesitating to get in the car because of the frigid temperatures to get back to the gym.
My weight has plateaued again, so I need to jumpstart my biochemistry with more exercise and maybe a change in what I’m eating.
One step at a time, as they say. I’m still progressing. I’m exactly 3 weeks away from having been on this trek for a whole year. I’m proud of myself there hasn’t been any backsliding, and I’m still as motivated as I was when I began.