Let me be clear here - - losing weight is work every step of the way, especially when you do it the right way, through gradual lifestyle improvement. But up until relatively recently, it has been pretty easy for me to lose 1 - 1.5 pounds each week. I would log my Friday morning weight, bump up a bit Saturday morning, and then Sunday through the following Friday I would pretty well see incremental losses every day. I would not stress out too much about my progress, because by Sunday (or Monday at the latest) I was usually below my previous Friday's weight, and anything I achieved from that point on was gravy. (mmmmmm....gravy)
Two weeks ago I changed up my routine to formally add back in a rest day. Not a pretend rest day with "only" a 30 minute workout like I had been doing, but a full, proper rest day. No intentional workouts at all. I would not be bedridden for the day, but I wasn't going out of my way to exercise, unlike the other 6 days of the week.
The rest day has led to a couple of changes in my routine. First, it has shifted my weigh in day from Friday to Saturday, the official end of my workout week.
Second, it has led to a huge rebound weight gain on Sunday morning, because I have the usual weekend rebound plus whatever I am not losing through sweat from the normal workout. For the past couple of weeks, instead of getting back to my Friday weight by Monday, I have been only getting near my Saturday weight on the following Friday - - in other words, it is taking me the entire week to get back only as far as I had been the week before.
I am sincerely hoping that this is merely a temporary aberration, prompted by the recent change in routine. I am finding it very difficult to spend so much of my time making up ground I have already lost, so to speak, and I really dislike the feeling of being behind the eight ball for most of the week when I am exercising every day and eating well.
Now that I have vented my frustrations, let's focus on some of the positives, shall we?
Although it is not pretty, I am still losing weight, which is good because otherwise I would be completely demoralized with the difficulties of the past couple of weeks. I am down another pound this week, which, in addition to the 1.2 pounds I lost last week, brings me down to 206 pounds, down a total of 127.9 pounds.
Taking a look at my steps over the past 11 months, you can see that my average daily steps have increased over time. In recent weeks I have averaged more than 15,000 steps per day on days I work out.
Certainly as my fitness has improved, my world has expanded. The city is more accessible to me. Just last week I walked up to the Bay to do some shopping (a trip I previously would have taken the subway to accomplish), and yesterday the Nerd and I walked a mile up to the Loblaws at the old Maple Leaf Gardens to pick up our favourite bread (4 subway stops away). Where I once could barely walk half a block to the corner, now I don't think twice about walking for an hour on an errand. I like that.
The biggest improvement over time has been in my fasting blood sugar levels. In May I saw a step change improvement in my sugars, as shown in the above chart. Whereas each previous month I have seen gradual improvement, even sometimes stringing together 3 or 4 normal results, in May suddenly all but 2 of my readings were normal. This month to date I have only had 1 elevated reading, and I have also had several readings in the 4 - 4.9 mmol/L range - - another step change improvement.
It's funny how quickly I went from hoping to see a normal fasting blood sugar reading to expecting my readings to be normal. I am not exactly sure what led to this sudden improvement, other than losing enough weight to almost be overweight, rather than obese. Perhaps that's all that it takes.
So how am I progressing against my goals? Pretty well, in small baby steps:
Only a pound to go to reach light heavy. In fact, I could qualify for a non-championship fight right now, if, say, I were at all fit. Which I am not. At least to that level. Better yet, I am only 3 pounds away from being overweight.
I have to confess that it feels like I am reaching 50% of this goal every week. Which of course means that I will never get there. I know that I will eventually reach this goal, given time, but it honestly feels like forever. Patience, grasshopper.
Here's how I am looking as of June 1, 2013. To me, I just look normal, like nothing has changed. Still with the unmanageable hair, still with the wonky eye. But if I look over time, I can see big changes:
In March 2012 I was wearing size 2X-3X, or a 24-26, and weighed 313.7 pounds. In October I was down to a plus size 20 and 268.4 pounds, and now I am a size 14-16, and 206 pounds. Definite progress, if slow and steady. I have had an expensive month because I have had to buy a lot of new clothes to replace my old baggy suits, but I am feeling more confident and healthier than I have been in years.
So, net net, it has been a frustrating month so far because the change to my routine has made progress a little tougher to see. But the progress is still happening, which is great. I just need to be more patient and accept that this is still a long term thing that I am doing here. Every month I am still losing pounds and inches, and every month I am measurably healthier. So I just need to stop trying to have it all, right now, and get zen about this lifestyle change.