Wednesday, 18 September 2013

New Party Dress!

I had to pick up a new dress for the Gala next week at the IPIC Annual General Meeting.  The dress code is black tie, which means something long, I think.

Here's what I came up with:
The dress is a nice navy blue wrap style with some sparkly bits at the neckline.  Very nice flow and movement to it.  The dress is an off the rack size 12, which is a huge change from the size 26 I started with.

Let's compare the new dress to my dress for last December's Festive-Non-Denominational-Holiday-Party:

Now I need to find a pair of shoes, as the hiking boots I was wearing don't bring the right touch of understated elegance...And maybe a little clutch purse. Geez - - this dress buying leads to so many other purchases - - crazy!

Saturday, 14 September 2013

What the hell happened this week??

No really, I am serious.  What the hell is going on with my body that would have me lose 4.4 pounds in a single week, when my usual loss is one and a half pounds?  I mean, I had just posted a blog post on the subject, for goshsake.  I had resigned myself to being Miss Slow and Steady, and here I go turning into Ms. Aggressive Weight Loss all in a week.  I am not going to complain too much, mind you, I just wish I could figure out my body and what makes it tick.

Nothing I have eaten has really changed from week to week - - I am trying to avoid snacks just like the week before and the week before that, but I can't say that I am eating anything very different from the usual things.  A lot of Jamie Oliver meals, but that's nothing new. 

Nor has my workout routine really changed.  My new weight program is much more aggressive than my old routine, but I've been doing it for a couple of weeks now.  Perhaps it takes that long for my body to figure out that something is happening to it?  I just don't know.

What probably helps contribute to these results is that I am still very very consistent.  I haven't missed a planned workout in well over a year, and I don't go off the reservation too often with the unbridled snacking.  I continually try and increase my workouts and incorporate new things to keep challenging my body as I become fitter.  Best of all, thanks to the Nerd, I eat very well - - lots of fruits and vegetables and balanced low sodium meals.  Delicious meals, too.  But since none of these things have really changed from week to week, I can't really tell you what is driving this sudden unexpected weight loss.

I lost 4.4 pounds this week - - ridiculous!  I now weigh 188.7 pounds, down 145.2 pounds overall.  That's more than 85% of my total weight loss goal.  I am thrilled with this progress, of course, especially because it brings be 4.4 pounds closer to my goal. 

The loss this week brings me within 3.7 pounds of my next goal.  Even better, I am LESS THAN 20 POUNDS AWAY FROM A NORMAL BMI.  Yes, I am shouting that last bit because it makes me very excited.  Less than 24 pounds to goal, too - - how cool is that?

I have absolutely no illusions that this rate of loss will be sustainable.  I just hope to maintain and consolidate this upcoming week.  It may be shark week, in which case I will be extra-bloat-y and full of hormones and all. 

Speaking of my program, with this sudden and dramatic weight loss I am now down to 1,360 permitted base calories per day on my program.  <mumbles curses under breath>  This virtually guarantees that I will stay on my workout plan, if only to burn enough calories so that I can eat a decent day's worth of calories.  1,600 - 1,800 calories a day seems to be working pretty well for me, so that's what I am shooting for right now.  That requires a workout of some sort, so that keeps me honest with my exercise. 

As for my workouts, in a fit of enthusiasm this morning I tried to take the tension on my elliptical machine up to level 9, from 8.  I did about 20 minutes of that, fantasizing all the way that I would stop my workout early, and finally gave up and returned the tension back to 8.  After that I felt like I was flying, it was so easy and so I finished my planned 75 minutes on the elliptical no problem.  How easily my simple brain is tricked.  So it may be a bit early to dial up the tension, but I can definitely take the weight routine up to 5 sets of 10 reps at 12 pounds, up from the current 5 sets of 8 reps.  We'll work that into the plan effective my first workout of the week on Tuesday. 

I have been taking my rest days on Sundays because at the core of the matter, I just really really like sleeping in and lazing around.  When I take my rest day on Monday I still need to get up early to go to the office, so that's hardly restful.  Taking the rest day on Sunday has been good from a napping point of view at the very least.   I have done Sunday rest day for the last few weeks now and it has worked very well.  I have made a point of not weighing myself on my rest day, and it has helped a ton.  I don't feel like I am starting the week behind the 8 ball, and when I do weigh myself on Monday after my regular workout, my body is back in its rhythm and my weight is usually the same, or slightly lower than my Saturday weigh in. 

It is increasingly challenging to eat within my allowable calories on Sunday, but sleeping in and rolling breakfast into brunch seems to help [grin]. 

My new test kits arrived from the States last week (they're not licensed by Health Canada as yet so I need to trans-ship them from my US drop box).  Tomorrow I will test my A1C and my fasting cholesterol for the first time in months.  I am hoping that the A1C number reflects all the improvements I have made to my fasting blood sugar numbers since I broke through the "consistently normal" barrier in May of this year.  If the number is a good one I will share it with the Matriarch, and I am sure she will be relieved - - since virtually everyone else in my family has diabetes, she will be happy to see that my sugar numbers are normal.  You and I know that they are only normal after 19 months of hard work to bring them out of the pre-diabetic range, but she doesn't need to know that. 

On a final fun note, the Nerd admitted to checking me out in the parking lot this morning.  I was walking back to the car with the Matriarch and we were likely yipping away as is our custom, and the Nerd saw us backlit in the entrance to the parkade.  He thought to himself, "I see Maggie Q's mom, but who is that shapely woman walking with her", before he realized it was yours truly.  Squee!  That made my whole morning!

Onward and downward!

Saturday, 7 September 2013

140.8 pounds down - - slow and steady

Another week on track, and another week of poundage lost.  This week I was able to lose 1.6 pounds to bring me down to 193.1 pounds, for a loss of 140.8 pounds overall. 

I am very pleased with this result, as it shows how sticking to the workout and eating plan yields results.  I snack, and gain weight.  I don't snack, and I lose weight.  Pretty simple feedback loop there.  Even I could eventually figure that one out. 

There's something frustratingly predictable about my weight loss these last couple of weeks.  More often than not recently (in non snacking weeks, anyways), I lose around a pound and a half every week.  I work out a lot and I eat well, so in the back of my mind I am always (greedily) hoping for a larger loss.  I see other people lose 2, 3, 4 and even 5 pounds in a week, and I lust after those losses.  I know that their fact situation is different - - some are much heavier than me, some are men, some are people who have undergone gastric bypass surgery, some are training much harder than me.  I try not to compare myself to others, but I have to admit that I would love to see bigger losses sometimes, if only because it would get me to my goal, faster. 

But slow and steady wins the race to weight loss and lifestyle change.  1.5ish pounds a week is a nice, sustainable loss.  I know this because I have had comparatively few yo-yo swings in my weight loss over the past year and a half.  Sure, they happen, but overall, my weight loss has been pretty linear.

I had a momentary flash of insight today.  I usually lose 1.5 pounds a week because I have set my calorie objectives to achieve - - wait for it - - a 1.5 pound per week weight loss.  In other words, eating the way I do to a calorie target of 1,390 (now) per day before exercise, I should lose 1.5 pounds in a given week.  Just like I have been doing.   So really, losing around a pound and a half each week is a feature of my lifestyle, not a bug.  Many people would have figured that out much sooner than I did, but then, I was hired for my looks, not my smarts. 

So, another week in the books, and now I am only 28.1 pounds away from my overall weight loss goal.  I am still in the 190s (and I will be for another month or so), but I am ever so slowly chipping away at my target. 

Here's a photo for your Saturday enjoyment:

Monday, 2 September 2013

Back on track Week 83: 139 pounds down (with pics)

Want to ride a roller coaster?  Follow my poor snacking decisions this past month.  With all the ups and downs on the scale I could barely keep up, and I finally had to hold an intervention for myself to kick myself in the ass and say "no more snacking!". 

This is what 4 weeks of workouts and 2 weeks of unbridled snacking look like.  The good news - - the really good news, in fact - - is that by snapping out of my destructive eating habits last week and taking control of my calories consumed, I have undone all the damage I caused by my excessive chocolate consumption, and even saw a bit of an overall loss to finish off the month.

The bad side is that I basically gave up almost a month's worth of progress, having to re-lose weight I had already lost.  I can't tell you how many times I lost and regained those 2 pounds between 197 and 199 pounds.  Too many times, at any rate.  That's a little depressing.

You can see this reflected in my overall goal tracker.  Where I was previously on track to hit my goal weight a little early, now I am right back on track for hitting it sometime in January.  That's a little depressing, but not unexpected.  I knew the last 30 pounds were going to be challenging, and eating my way through a candy store this month only increased the challenge.   Because it wasn't challenging enough...

What good things did I learn this month?  One good thing that I learned is that it is relatively easy to get back on track if the good habits in your life are fundamentally sound.  I was still eating very healthy meals thanks to the Nerd's cooking, and I never missed a workout, so once I cut out the snacking, it only took a solid week to get back on track.  I officially finished the month at 194.7 pounds, down 139.2 pounds overall, which is a tiny 1.7 pound loss in August (but a loss nonetheless, so I'll take it). 

Even though the scale was not kind to me this month, I still managed to lose more than an inch off my body (which is the whole point of measuring).  I suspect that I am nearing the end of my physical changes, so from now on in I am expecting to see my losses of inches to taper off somewhat.  I will probably lose fractional inches off various pieces of me as the year winds down, but it is unlikely that I will see another 3" loss in any given month.

This puts me into a size 12 dress depending on the style.  I got a new dress to celebrate, and have gotten a ton of compliments on it.  Photos will follow once I take them.

So how am I progressing, shape-wise?

In a fun NSV I have had to order some new workout gear, because the Old Navy XL stuff I have been wearing since February is starting to get a little too baggy. 

Let's compare to 6 months ago:

I am definitely seeing more definition in my stomach and arms, and my hips, stomach and bust are noticeably smaller compared to 6 months ago. 

My official photo for the office website is also much better:
So progress all around, despite having a somewhat trying month.  I learned that I cannot expect to lose weight if I indulge in unrestrained snacking, and although I still have to fight the food cravings every day, I know that this week will be easier than last week, with a week of healthy eating under my belt. 

It's funny that when I start to eat a lot of chocolate, I just want to keep eating it.  Whereas when I haven't had chocolate in a while, I no longer crave it.  I know that learned scientists have done studies on this, but it's interesting to see it happening to me. 

Even with a tough month I am marginally closer to my goals:

Less than 10 pounds to go to hit middleweight.  I may not do it this month, but I know I can hit it.  And I am now less than 30 pounds away from my overall target, and just over 25 pounds away from having a normal BMI for the first time in more than a decade.