Starting Over


At my best, I weighed 231 and had lost approximately 160 pounds from my highest weight. However, despite SWEARING that I would never, ever weigh that much again, I gained it all back (in pretty short order).

The beginning of the end was hurricane Florence in September 2018. I have severe storm anxiety even on the best of days and Florence sent me in to complete panic mode as she spend days switching tracks from one side of me to the other. I couldn’t eat, wasn’t getting restful sleep, and was barely functioning for a couple of weeks. The few times I felt like eating, it was all straight high-carb/calorie comfort food. We ended up leaving town, even though it wasn’t as bad as it could have been, by the time I got my appetite back, the damage was done. Whatever amazing mental state I’d had the last year and a half that had fueled my epic weight-loss journey was completely gone.

I struggled for most of the next year, and though I was still going to the gym at least once a week (mostly to try to shame myself into keeping on track), I was over 300lbs again by the time September 2019 rolled around. Then some idiot slammed her car into me while I was stopped at a traffic light.

Overall, the accident wasn’t a bad one. We were both stopped at the light—when it turned green, I didn’t even have time to take my foot off the brake before she’d jammed her foot on the gas pedal of her car and floored it. Obviously, she didn’t get very far. There was only minor damage to the back bumper and liftgate on my van, and I didn’t even get any whiplash—instead, for whatever reason, the entire impact of the collision hit me square in the middle of my back, just under my shoulder blades. No visible injuries though (I did go to the doctor to check), but in any case, the immediate (and then lingering) pain in that area put any thoughts of working out on hold for several months (and not gonna lie, for a “minor” accident, my back is now permanently screwed up in that area, because I never had issues in my mid-upper back before and now it hurts there frequently… it really sucks).

In any case, about the time I might have thought about going back to the gym… COVID hit, and between that and the political situation, 2020 was a massive hell void that one really could only make it through by stress-eating (thank the gods for Instacart and DoorDash… you ROCK!). But eating that much Ben & Jerry’s has consequences, so here I am—right back where I started in 2017.

At this point, my goal is to drop at least 100lbs, as I know being “skinny” isn’t an attainable goal. My metabolism, even when I’m exercising regularly (which I’m still not because COVID is giant ball of suck) is terrible and the only way I consistently lose weight it by eating around 1200 calories a day and, as I have found, that just isn’t sustainable. So for now, I’ll be content just not weighing as much as I do. Because I’m back at a place where even if I could leave the house, I don’t want to, because I’m so out of shape, and I don’t like that.

So starting back with meal replacement shakes for as much as possible, then just eating a bit as a jump start to see how that goes. Then I’ll make a more cohesive plan from there.

Starting Weight: 401

Pounds Lost This Week: n/a

Total Weight Lost: 0

New Year… New Me: Beyond Weeks 87, 88 and 89.


December was a total lost cause and I ended up (mostly water weight to be sure, but still not happy with it) almost 20 pounds from my last “official” weekly weigh-in. But I am not giving up and now that the New Year is here, I’m going to get back on track. I do not ever want to be as overweight as I was before.

I am still aiming for a 1200 calorie per week goal, but since my current TDEE is around 2200 calories there is definitely a little wiggle room there as well. So, especially on the days where I exercise, I might eat a little more, which is ok (as long as it’s not junk). I still have my small group training once a week and for Christmas I bought myself a TRX system to use here at the house.

Have I mentioned how awesome TRX is? Well, it totally is. Everyone should do it!! (seriously – all skill levels and body types – it’s freaking amazing!!)

And if you aren’t in a place where you can do a particular exercise, there are plenty of ways to modify (such as changing how far you lean back – farther is harder so less of an angle makes it easier) so it really does work for almost anyone. Also, even though it may not look like you are doing much, depending on the modifications, it can be as intense or low-impact as you need it to be.

Anyway, when 2018 started I weighed around 285, so overall I am still down almost 30 pounds for the year (currently I’m at 258), so that is something positive. I still have a long way to go (and in truth, this is a life-long journey, make no mistake about it), but I will get there.

Hope everyone has a wonderful and prosperous New Year!! Like they say… aim for the moon, and even if you miss you’ll still land among the stars!! We got this!!

Weekly Weigh-In: Week 58


Week 58 Current Weight: 256

Pounds Lost This Week: 1

Total Weight Lost: 134 pounds

I didn’t work out much this week (other than my Monday hour of TRX/strength and 30 minutes on the elliptical). Some of it was just not feeling like it and needing a break, though to be fair, I also had a number of other things going on that ate into my gym time as well.

On the one hand, I feel much better when I exercise daily – not only physically, but mentally as well. On the other, however, I end up being really hungry all the time. The really sad part is that the exercise – at least in terms of weight loss – makes very little different to the numbers on the scale at the end of the week. Hopefully I’ll find a bit more motivation to get back at it this coming week.

 

Thinky Thoughts: Counting Calories – CICO


There was an article published in the LA Times today – Counting calories won’t reduce obesity. So why are we requiring restaurants to post them? – which really, really pissed me off. It’s worth noting up front, quite a bit of what is written in this article is utter bullshit, starting with the first sentence of the title. And though I do agree that lowering the amount of carbs we eat is a good idea, doing so does not mean that CICO isn’t still the primary driving force.

Counting calories absolutely works. The proof is here on this blog – log that shit daily and burn more than you are eating. THAT’S HOW IT WORKS! Yes there are other things that can affect it (particularly various medical conditions), but on the whole that’s the way it is. In most cases, anyone who says differently is probably trying to sell you something.

The reason people gain stuff back is because they stop being careful and go back to their old eating habits. If you struggle with obesity, keeping at an ideal weight is not a “get there and you are done” thing… it’s a life-long commitment. Think of it as a chronic medical condition, you feel better on the right meds, but if you stop taking those meds then your condition flares back up. Same with obesity, if you start eating more calories than you are burning, then your weight will go back up. Most of us just don’t have the discipline to maintain in the long term, because, let’s face it – IT’S HARD (and good food is oh so yummy). That’s why it’s important to continue to eat things that you like from time to time, so that you don’t feel deprived.

Also “starvation mode” is a myth, unless you are severely restricting your daily calories (like below 1200) for a sustained amount of time. Which is very unhealthy and no one should be doing it anyways. In general, it’s normal for our metabolism to slow as we lose weight – this is because as our bodies get smaller, we need less energy to fuel them. It’s why it was a lot easier for me to lose the first 100 pounds than it has been loosing the second. But that’s ok, that’s the way it works. And really, slow and steady wins the race… except, it’s really not a race. Because there is no finish line. There are goals, sure, but even if we get to our “ideal” weight, if we want to stay there we have to find a way to maintain it. So we make adjustments and then keep on keeping on.

Something else I found interesting about the following quoted section…

Why should the Food and Drug Administration impose a regulation to shave 38 calories off a Chipotle order? The justification from the start, as articulated in a blog post by FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, is that saving even a few dozen calories a day would add up over the course of a year. “Based on that sort of reduction,” he wrote, “you could end up consuming 10,000 to 20,000 fewer calories making you three to five pounds slimmer.”

If the average person gains 1-2 pounds a year (based on 2016 CDC statistics), and shaving that 38 calories means that they could lose a couple pounds each year – we’d break even (or maybe even still lose a pound), instead of having to watch our weight steadily creep up each year. For all those people who wake up 10 years later wondering why they weigh 20+ pounds more than they did when they were in high school, this could really make a difference.

Having calorie counts at restaurants is a relatively new thing. I mean, it’s been around in some capacity for a while, but not as wide-spread as it is now required to be. So people are still getting use to it, and so, aren’t really used to being able to see what they are eating. I think as time goes by this will change and as more people realize just how many calories they are putting in their bodies, they will start to make better choices. Especially as they watch their weight slowly/quickly going up and look for ways to do something about it.

 

Thinky Thoughts: Food and Chronic Pain


Constant refrains of “if you’d just eat healthy, you’d feel better” are annoying at best, and frankly bullshit at worst – for most people, but I have to say that for me, cutting out most of the carbs has made a huge difference in how I feel. Before I started the diet, I was eating Advil LiquiGels like candy (well… not quite, but still more than I should have been). These days, I rarely have to take anything, unless my achilles tendinitis is flaring up.

In case I needed more proof, there’s this week. The other day, I ate ALL THE FOOD. Didn’t care about counting calories/carbs, etc… not only did I finish off the donuts (mmmmm…. donuts), but hubby and I also ate Taco Bell – which I know, there are plenty of better places to eat when taking a vacation from your diet, but sometimes you just want a box of tacos and a bean burrito. Honestly though, I don’t think we will make that mistake again. When I woke up the next morning, I felt like shit. No energy, swollen, and aching all over – like I haven’t felt since I cut out the carbs. Ewww!! Totally did not miss feeling like that, and will do my best to not feel that way again any time soon.

Of course even if the benefits were blatantly obvious, eating healthier is a luxury that not everyone can afford, particularly those who are disabled or lower income. Not only a money thing though, but even the time/effort it takes to prep can be daunting. If you have limited spoons, just trying to cook something (even if it’s way better for you) is just too much, and if you are rushed between taking care of the kids and getting to a second job or other errands, eating on the go might be the only option (rather than not eating at all). Just wish that more places would work on giving people healthier low cost “fast food” options. We’d all feel better for it.