Nine weeks, and I’m still writing these updates! For me, keeping a fitness and weight loss journey on my mind this long is a good sign, even if not all weeks were perfect. I went a little hog wild with my eating during my vacation in May, and getting back to better eating has been slow and intermittent, however, I’ve not abandoned the effort. This week’s weight loss results could surprise most, especially if they knew some of what I ate, but various factors can bring surprises. Actually, I have a couple theories about this week’s weight change. See my summary and reflections below.
Week’s weight change: – 2.0 lbs (-0.91 kg)
Total weight loss to date (over 9 weeks): – 8.8 lbs (-4.0 kg) – This is the highest weight loss total since starting my journey. I lost what I gained during my vacation, and more.
Week’s exercise (above & beyond): I haven’t formally tracked my exercise for several weeks, but this week I was quite active, most days. Some activity wasn’t “deliberate”, but moving around a lot, and fast, does help burn calories. Yesterday, I did some gardening. That was laborious. In fact, my backside and shoulders are sore today. That proves that I challenged those muscles. This kind of pain is actually pleasurable, in a strange way. Do you know what I mean?
Last week my interim goal was to track my eating every day. Well, um, I confess I was delinquent in doing that. I also found myself struggling with some carb cravings, probably because of my medication increase, and maybe a bit because my energy levels fluctuated at times. When my mood is very stable, my eating is usually well controlled. When my energy levels are low, carbs and sweets seem to boost them. They do help, but are temporary fixes, and can leave guilt behind.
My doctors and therapists have often said, “When your energy levels are low, exercise.” Yea, right! But actually, they are right most of the time. The challenge is getting yourself moving. When I have, I’ve always been glad I did, but that doesn’t mean I don’t forget in the future. What helps are strategies to get going. Figurative “fires under my butt”. I’ve come up with a couple, and my therapist has suggested some. I used some of these this past week, and am glad that I did. Here are some:
- Set an alarm on your smart phone or computer calendar. When it goes off, jump up without thinking as a horse starts its sprint with the gun shot sound.
- Put physical tasks/exercise on a “To Do” list. Be sure the activities are not overwhelming or too numerous. Share the list with someone, and text/email the person as you complete the task(s). Add an optional bonus task or two. Create a healthy reward for accomplishments and/or ask for some praise and cheerleading.
- Take a minute to put physical tasks into perspective. Really, how long does it take to walk around the block? Probably not 30 minutes. Probably more like 5 or 10, and oh yea, it takes even less time if done at a fast pace. Maybe that’s not that bad after all. I often walk even further than originally planned and maybe find inspiration to make a side trip.
- Excite yourself with something. So you have a craving for sweets? OK, make a cake. That often gets me going. Even tasks like baking take energy. Or if I decide to cook a decent meal, I plan something in from the garden. Often when I go out to get some herb (veggie), I find myself pulling some weeds.
So, definitely getting myself moving helped with my weight loss, when perhaps my diet was less than perfect. Another possible factor in my weight loss this week was the time of the month. I’m a female, and various hormonal changes, and who knows what else, affect my weight. I’m in my mid-40s, and over the years I’ve noticed a pattern of being suddenly lighter just before my monthly period. It’s nice weighing myself on those days! The hope is that I stay that weight, or lose more seven days later.
Interim goals: I have to start tracking regularly again! So far today, I have nothing to be ashamed of. I need to let that motivate me. I’m so close to a total 10 pound loss. I want to reach that goal, too.
This week, I made some low carbohydrate and lowered fat treats, but I ate too much of them. I’m going to go back to making them less frequently. Instead, I’m going to treat myself to more fresh fruit. It’s strawberry season where I am. Blueberries are getting cheaper, too. With a nice cup of coffee or espresso, I know that is satisfying.
To read about the weight loss plan and tools I chose for this effort, click My Fitness and Weight Loss Plan Described. You can also read my very first post introducing this effort at Long haul healthy weight and fitness efforts – creation of a Friday post series.