Friday, 24 May 2013

Another week down, another loss

Tomorrow will mark the one-year anniversary since I have missed a planned workout. 

When I stop to think about it, that is a pretty amazing fact.  I have worked out before and lost significant amounts of weight, but I always looked for any excuse to skip a workout.  At first this time around I had a hard time hitting the workouts, too.  I made excuses wherever I could, and used my work schedule as the rationale more often than I should have.  Whenever I skipped a workout, I made a note of it on my tracker, but you just don't get that time back - - those workouts are missed opportunities, gone forever.  I even missed a full week one time, and for the life of me I can't remember why, other than "It's hard, I don't want to do it".  

But then I got serious.  I knew that I would not be able to lose any significant weight if I did not get more consistent in my workouts.  And on May 25, 2012, I took steps to make sure I would remain consistent.  I started using an app to track workouts that would penalize me financially if I missed a workout.  I started using a heart rate monitor tracking app to see where my heart rate was in relation to workout zones.  I kept counting my workouts and kept track of how many weeks I had gone without missing a workout.  And before I knew it, a full year had passed. 

Over the past year working out has become part of my daily routine, and I don't need my little tricks and tools now.  Many days I even do multiple workouts, albeit different kinds of exercises.  It's still hard work (some days harder than others), and I still begrudge the time I spend working out (because it's not time spent napping, or snuggling, or something equally productive).  But I do the workouts.  Every day.  And I love how I feel when I am finished - - I am full of a wave of accomplishment.  If I do nothing else in that day, I have done my workout.  And I like that feeling.  It may be as close to an endorphin as this gal is likely to get.

This week's results are right on track.  I lost another 1.7 pounds this week to bring my total weight loss to 124.5 pounds.  That's 75% of my total weight loss goal, which feels great.  In fact, I am only 2/3 of the woman I once was, as I have lost more than 37% of my starting body weight.  I am feeling pretty good about my progress, which has been very consistent this month.

I remember when I first started tracking my weight using the Withings wireless scale last summer - - my readings in those little charts in the above graphic were all squished on the far ends of each line, because my numbers were basically off the chart.  Just as when my BMI was more than 40 and I never appeared on any BMI graphs, the Withings app couldn't handle all the bodaciousness I was throwing at it.  Now, however, I am not only on the chart, I am quickly moving into the normal ranges in the center of each line.  I can't wait to see that. 

The big leap in the weight loss chart this past week was the brief 5 pound gain I experienced after my all-nighter Monday night.  It's amazing how such a minor deviation can have such an immediate and profound impact.  It's also amazing how quickly things got back on track once I returned to my normal routine on Wednesday morning.  The net result was fine, though, so I won't freak out over a minor deviation from the norm.

I am still trending right on track to reach my goal by the end of January.  In fact, I may hit it earlier, if my weekly weight loss continues in the current range.  I don't expect to be able to maintain such great weekly losses as I get closer to my final weight, however, so I won't be crushed not to hit my weight by Christmas, for example.

Every week I get a bit closer to my goals.  I am within 5 pounds of reaching light heavy, which is wonderful.  And under 10 pounds to break 200 pounds - wowza!  Those "LBS TO GO" numbers just keep getting smaller and smaller.

I spoke with the Patriarch a couple of nights ago and he is right around my current weight, but the lowest he has reached was 203, which is my next major goal.  203 pounds makes me merely overweight, and I have to confess it would be nice to weigh less than someone I know, even if that person has 3 inches on me, as the Patriarch does.  I will take an advantage anywhere I get it. 

Looking back at my workout records, last year around this time I was doing 20 minutes of cardio 5x/week on the recumbent bike, and 2 minutes on the rowing machine, for a total of 22 minutes of cardio a day. 

Now I do up to 75 minutes on the elliptical 6 days a week, plus added free weights.  My workouts are still challenging for me, but they are starting to feel manageable, if not exactly easy.  It's been a few weeks at this level so I think I will bump up my program to take things up another notch to prevent plateauing.  I will increase the crossramp on the elliptical to 8, and take the free weights from 5 sets of 10 reps at 8 pounds to 4 sets of 15 reps.  That will give me 10 more repetitions overall, and will be easier for me to keep track while doing the exercises - - embarrassingly, I can count to 4 but I often lose track counting to 5.  I don't even wear shoes while doing the weights, so it's not like I don't have enough fingers and toes on which to count.  Stupid non-linear brain. 

I am not doing the heavy lifting that others do, for now.  Sometime soon, though, I can foresee that the time will come when I will want to pick up a bar and some plates.   As it is, I am thinking of picking up a slightly heavier 10-lb pair of dumbbells in anticipation of the next level.  I used to own a full weight machine with a 200 lb weight stack (and I knew how to assemble and disassemble it myself, too!), but I had to give it up when I went back to apartment living - - the weights are just too darn booming when filtered through the typical apartment's concrete floors, and it's inconsiderate to my neighbors (especially at 5:30 in the morning, which is when I do my weights).  Free weights (or a barbell) work well in an apartment, though, and there's a lot I can do with those. 

I would love to see more flexibility in my knees.  I have been able to cross my legs for a while now, which is another pleasure I have not had for years, but it's a far cry from being able to cross my legs to being able to easily get up and down off the floor.  I still resemble a stranded Beluga when trying to do floor exercises, and my lack of flexibility is one of the reasons I haven't dived into my GSP Touchfit workout app.  That man is limber as a monkey, and I swear he must have extra tendons or something, because he can fling himself around on the floor and back up again with something like grace (I understand that this is something he particularly trains for, what with being a professional fighter and all, but still, he could at least make it look a little difficult).  With me, once I get down on the floor (which is not a thing of beauty to watch, let me tell you), it takes a crane to get me back up again, like a downed giraffe.  I keep hoping that in time I will become more flexible and able to work a ground routine into my workouts, but for now it looks like I still need to lose some more weight. 

So, another good week is in the books.  Next week will be the end of the month, so there will be measurements and progress photos.  I can't wait! 

1 comment:

  1. There's just so much here, it's hard to comment. One thing I do remember, though, is when I first signed up at a gym and watched in awe as people used elliptical machines. It's hard to imagine now, but it was a completely foreign machine to me then, and it looked hard. We will never train like George does, nor reach his level of grace in every movement, but you (we) have learned a lot in our fitness quests so far. I have learned that an elliptical is not scary or even very tough (except when I hit the 14 mark on resistance). As for getting up non-giraffe-ishly from a floor -- that makes me smile, because I cannot seem to manage to do that fluidly, either! Anyway, all that to say you've learned a lot along the way, which is impressive in itself, and the charts and graphs continue to make my head swim as though I were sitting in a board meeting, but at least I am alert enough to note the steady downward progress of those lines and that, THAT is why I say congratulations once again on your dedication to your own well-being.