Tuesday, December 29, 2015

337.2 lbs - the progress continues

337.2 lbs
The progress continues. At this morning's weigh-in I was 337.2 lbs (152.9 kg).

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Trying to like the snow - never say never

I was talking to my friend Jerri this morning about people taking care of their health. Without our good health, we have nothing. It's even more important than taking care of our kids (or, at least, it should be), and more important than our husbands/wives/girlfriends/boyfriends/significant others. It's too easy for us to sacrifice our own good health for the approval and well-being of others. But, if we're sick (or even just sicker than we could be) then we are doing them, and certainly ourselves, a dis-service.

Despite living in Montana on and off for almost 20 years now, I've never been a fan of the snow and ice and freezing cold temperature. These sustained periods of below-freezing daytime temperatures, with nighttime lows down to 0 °F (-18 °C - yes, that's MINUS eighteen Celsius!) are no fun.

Given my dislike of the cold and snow, plus my general state of physical fitness (i.e. my lack thereof), I've never tried - nor can I currently imagine enjoying - Nordic or cross country skiing. So, my aim for the end of 2016 (when I'm much fitter, and after the summer [when there's more snow back on the ground]) is to try cross country skiing to see if I like it. By then, I will have completed my 100-mile Pacific Crest Trail section hike (at the end of May). I should also be a lot closer to weighing only 200 pounds (90 kg), and my strength and stamina will be such that I can actually ski for 10 miles or more within collapsing from exhaustion. Maybe, in those new circumstances, just maybe I'll actually enjoy the snow for a change.

338 lbs (153.3 kg) this morning
On a separate note, I'm happy to report that the holiday season, from Thanksgiving (349 lb) until Christmas (338 lb) saw my weight loss journey continue, with no major upsets. Eleven pounds in a month isn't bad. At my weigh-in this morning, I tipped the scales at 338 pounds even.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Milestones falling, slowly but surely

339.6 lbs (154 kg)
After a few ups and downs, I finally managed to break through the 340 lb barrier (just) this morning. It hasn't been easy, with birthdays and holidays, and everybody overeating at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I tipped the scales at 339.6 lbs (154 kg).

Just for kicks, I decided to measure my waist circumference today too. I have actually lost an inch in the last month or two. It's difficult to tell exactly, because today was the first time I was able to measure in inches instead of feet! (Not really; well, almost). I've told people before, it doesn't matter that it's only an inch at a time. If I repeat the feat a dozen times I'll have lost 12 inches! If I only lose 10 lbs a month, it's okay. I just have to repeat it for another 16 months and I'll be back to normal. OMG, I haven't been "normal" since my mid-20s.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Back on track after a week off

I had a week off from going to the gym. Last week I was trying out some new "foundation garments" that were supposed to reduce chafing of the thighs. Instead, they caused a sore spot in a more delicate area. Not fun! Last night was my first time back at the gym and the swimming pool since then. It was a short workout, but much needed. My heart rate got up into the aerobic zone for a while, and the swimming afterwards felt great!
37 minutes - 1.5 miles
The result of my 'good' eating for the past week paid off this morning on the scales.
340.6 lbs (154.5 kg)
340.6 pounds is the lowest I've been in a while.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Slave to the little electronic gadgets - you bet!

For the second week in a row now I've been able to get to the gym twice already by Tuesday (thanks to G and to Ann. I couldn't have done it without you).

This evening I only did 1.5 miles in 37:38 minutes, but it was "interval training" where the machine automatically goes 'uphill' at certain intervals (it seemed like every five minutes). When I'd finished, I had only accumulated 9,950 steps for the day - oh so close to 10,000. Was I going to go outside and walk the extra 50 steps to get myself over the ten thousand mark? You betcha! It's funny how these little electronic devices (pedometers) can make you do things that you otherwise wouldn't dream of. And I've said before, for me, it's very largely a psychological game of tricking myself into doing it. If I need an electronic device to help me, I'm all for it. I think that's why so many health coaches recommend them, because they know that we all do it. We are all beholden to the influence of these plastic patrons.

In a previous post, I had quoted a Guardian article (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/05/put-off-death-by-ambling-about-a-bit-more-whats-not-to-love-about-walking) which said that pedometers are, "...your jailer, minder, boss and mum", and "move[s you] into the steps-bore A-league". It's true.

If you have an Android smartphone, you should take a look at the Google Fit app (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.fitness) which tracks activities like walking, running and cycling in real-time, with no need for a $100 gadget (not when you phone has already cost you three or four times as much, right?) It integrates with other nutrition and sleep apps (I also use one called Withings Health Mate, for example). You can't beat the price (free!) and the functionality keeps improving all the time.

Beginning high intensity interval training

Okay, maybe not high intensity interval training; perhaps medium intensity interval training. There's a story behind that. Anyway, Monday was another day for doing 2 miles on the treadmill at the gym and a good half hour of swimming afterwards.

2 miles, with "hills" every 5 minutes
The results are still getting better:
342.8 lbs, a new recent low

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Third visit to the gym this week

2.4 miles of walking in a whole hour. Yay! That's the first time I've done a solid hour on the machine. Making progress.
2.4 miles walked in 60 minutes
There just wasn't quite enough time for swimming this evening, and my legs are very tired. I shall sleep really well tonight.

My weekly average number of steps has been steadily increasing, from 20,000 past 25,000 to over 30,000 in the past few weeks. As of this moment, I've reached 40,000 steps, and exceeded 10,000 daily steps three times this week.

Second visit to the gym this week

Yesterday was another chance to make up for my sluggishness the previous two weeks. 
Only 1.5 miles, but better than nothing
1.5 miles of walking followed by half an hour of swimming. Nice! 

That was my second visit to the gym this week. This evening will be the third time. It'll be interesting to see if it has any effect on my weight at the weekend.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Start small, be consistent

I was sharing some advice with a friend just now which I thought would be good for everyone who feels overwhelmed by the prospect of losing weight by increasing their amount of exercise. I said:
#1 tip - start small and be consistent. You don't have to be Hercules and make big changes on day one. The most important thing is to do the small daily things on a consistent basis.
It may seem like walking half a mile is nothing. It's not nothing - it's half a mile.
And tomorrow's half a mile makes a whole mile. Pretty soon, if you do it every day, you've have done 2.5 miles in a week, 10 miles in a month.
So, don't be thinking that you have to do great things immediately. If you haven't been very active in the past you need to start off slowly, but do a little bit each day.

345.4 - Made it past Thanksgiving and birthday okay

After several days of not going to the gym, I went last night (thanks, G) with the intention of walking for a whole hour and swimming for another half hour. As it happened, I could only comfortably manage 30 minutes on the treadmill and 30 minutes of swimming. My knees ached. Evidently, I'd left it too long since my last gym visit. I intend to remedy that this week.

Half an hour is better than nothing at all
This morning - much to my surprise - I tipped the scales at 345.4 lbs (156.7 kg).

345.4 lbs today
So, the downward journey continues.

End of year target is 327 lbs

Fermented products for better gut bacteria health

My diet has changed slightly in the last week or two. I'm still limiting carbs a lot, but have added more fat back in. I'm also taking in more fermented foods and drink (sauerkraut, pickles, kefir). I haven't started eating sourdough bread (carbs from the flour would be worse for me than the fermented dough), and I haven't started making miso soup for myself yet, but I will. I'm not brave enough to try kimchi yet. My daughter has been drinking kombucha (a fermented, lightly effervescent sweetened black or green tea drink) lately. It's okay. All of this is to improve and increase the numbers of "good bacteria" in my intestines.