Tuesday, 21 April 2015

15 months and 1.5 pounds ... or 51.3 pounds down

Achievement unlocked!  I hit a significant milestone this morning, weighing in at 184.9 pounds, which: i) brings me within 20 pounds of my goal; ii) makes me a middleweight for the first time in 15 years (and potentially a "Rumbleweight" welter, depending on how much Johnson lets himself go).  Even more significant, my weigh in this morning marks the successful end of a 15 month fight to lose the weight gained from not one but two major backslides, one when I was job hunting and hating my work and one at Christmas last year when I gave myself permission to eat All The Food (although I must tell you, the Nerd's sugar cookies are delicious). 

All in all I put on - and lost - and regained - and relost 51.3 pounds over these 15 months.  But now for the first time in 15 months I am seeing a weight on the scale that is lower than before.  This morning, I am finally back to losing weight rather than relosing weight I had only recently lost .  I am breaking new weight loss records, in other words. 

To date I have lost 149 pounds (counting linearly from what I weighed in January 2012), which brings me to within 20 pounds of my ultimate goal of 165.  The last time I weighed this much/little was in late 2000 or early 2001, right after I had starved my way to a normal weight and then immediately resumed my poor eating habits and sedentary lifestyle.  Needless to say, with my eating habits and compete lack of exercise I did not retain my losses, and by spring of 2002 I had put on more than 75 pounds from my low.

This is less likely to happen now for a few reasons.  First, my eating habits have seriously evolved over the past 3 years since I have begun working on this lifestyle change.  I understand portion control, I focus on drinking enough water in a day, and I do not binge eat as long or as frequently as I used to.  I also eat more fruit and vegetables and much less cheese and carbs than I used to.  That's not to say that I don't love cheese and carbs, but I just don't make them the focus of every course of every meal like I used to.

Second, my exercise habits have dramatically changed.  I enjoy the time on the elliptical in the morning, and regular exercise is now just a normal part of my day, rather than a tedious chore to be endured.  I like staying active, and I enjoy being able to walk around the city with the Nerd. 

Third, and most importantly, I have a supportive helpmate in the Nerd who keeps cooking us delicious, healthy meals and doesn't try and undermine me by bringing irresistible treats into the house.  I do not exaggerate when I say that I could not have achieved this without his support and encouragement. 

Finally, I am gradually adopting a more zen-like approach to weight loss.  I understand that some months my body simply chooses to retain all the water and I will put on weight for no apparent reason.  And some months I will crave snacks more than others.  No matter, though - - I understand at a very basic level now that putting on a pound or two - or five or ten - is not the end of the world just as long as I get my head back into my program and focus on eating well and exercising regularly. 

Case in point was my recent trip to the Mothership in Atlanta.  I enjoyed many meals out and sampled a variety of wonderful southern cooking including ribs, pimento cheese, fried chicken and collard greens and banana pudding.  I ate wayyyyy over my normal calories during that trip and came back to Toronto about 8 pounds higher than when I had left.  Rather than getting despondent however, I knew that much of this would be sodium-induced water weight that would come off quickly once I got back into my routine.  And the weight that did not come off quickly would come off slowly, but it would still come off.

The first time I lost a significant amount of weight (back in 2000) I did not have this certainty.  Each pound was a struggle, and when my weight started creeping up again once I resumed my poor eating habits and stopped exercising (i.e. almost immediately), it felt like I could never take the weight off again.  The task felt overwhelming, and therefore it quickly became overwhelming.  I can tell you from brutal - and repeated - experience that it is much easier to lose 5 or even 10 pounds than it is to lose 50 or 100 pounds. 

So this morning I weighed 184.9 pounds.  19.9 pounds to go until I reach my goal weight.  I expect than my target weight zone will end up being 165 pounds +/- 5 pounds, and as long as I keep within this range, all will be well.  We'll see how it goes. 

Onward and downward!

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