Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Week 4 Weigh-In Result!

Written last night:

I lost 3.2lbs this week! My current weight is 199.6lbs.

That means I'm in ONEDERLAND. I've had so many nice comments on MFP today. I almost feel a little bit guilty, because maybe some of them don't realise I've only lost 6lbs and so I was never very far off from being in Onederland. But hey, it's a milestone, and I'll take it!

So, in the last four weeks, I've lost 6lbs in total. That's awesome. Granted, over half of my month's loss was in the last week, but I don't want to start analysing things too much. It's 6lbs gone, and I'm really happy.

I was planning on sticking to 1700 calories a day last week, but it ended up being more like 1500. Maybe that's too low - I have no idea. But I felt comfortable eating that amount of calories and it gave a good result, so I'll try it again this week. If I can stay under 200 for next week's weigh-in, I'll be really pleased with how things are going - I don't mind if I don't lose as much. I just want to stay in Onederland.

I don't really have a Food List of Shame to share with you from last week, because really, I did pretty damn well. I did have fish and chips once - but that's about it. Pretty good, eh?

In light of my momentous victory on the scales today, I've been thinking about a certain dress I bought back in June. I'm desperate to wear it, but it's a couple of sizes too small. Last time I attempted to try it on, I could barely get it on. I had to hold off trying it on tonight, because I know that it wouldn't fit yet. But it's an exciting thought - perhaps in a couple of months it will fit. I also tried on some skinny jeans today, but unfortunately I looked like a massive potato with two diddly little legs poking out the bottom. I try to be kind to myself when I'm trying on things, but really - I'm still just way too hefty for skinny jeans. Way too much belly, that's the problem.

Written this morning:

So, I decided to try on a few things today, including the dress I just mentioned, and I think you could just about say that I had a couple of NSVs. (Non Scale Victories, just in case you were wondering!). Here it is, when not filled to capacity by me:

It's got little foxes with bushy tails on it, or something. They're really cute.

Anyway, I decided to take some photos of me wearing it at my current weight (which was 199.6, as of yesterday), for future reference. Last time I tried this on, I could barely get it to cover my legs because the fabric was so tight around my body. This time, it felt more comfortable wearing it, although the fabric was still pretty tight around my belly and obviously I won't be wearing it in public any time soon. But I could get it on with much less effort than last time!

Notice how when it's hanging up on the door, the fabric looks all nice and loose and flowy. And on me, it's pretty much pulled right all the way round me. Aw man. I still have a long way to go. BUT AS LEAST I COULD GET IT ON!

Secondly, I tried on another dress of mine. It's supposed to be the same size as the one above (UK 16), but it's actually much bigger. I've worn this one out in public before, but always with a black cardigan on top because I'm embarrassed of my arms. But I was pleasantly surprised when I tried this dress on, I can definitely see a change from when I last wore it, back in May/June.

Two things I've always been self-conscious about:

1. My Diagonal. This is the diagonal line of my side profile that goes from my chin to my body, bypassing any evidence of a neck. (See photos number 3 and 5...) Unfortunately, from experience, I know that this is one of the last things to go when I lose weight. I won't be expecting to be rid of it until I'm about 140-150lbs, at least...

2. My arms and shoulders. BUT: when I tried on both dresses today, I immediately noticed that my shoulders looked a tiny bit more angular, and my arms looked less flabby. Now, I slacked off on exercise all last week (no exercise at all, to be precise), but seeing the change has really motivated me to get back into it. Kettlebell workout tonight it is! It is so, so worth it. M and I are planning on signing up for the gym, and I really want to start going as soon as possible so I can start pushing myself harder.

Anyway, after trying it on today, I think I'd actually consider wearing the second dress out with no cardigan. It's a bit of a bold step for me, because I know my arms are still pretty big (especially when they're just down by my side). I wish I could just walk about with my hands on my hips all night, but I think it would be a bit weird...

Here's a photo from Center Parcs a couple of weeks ago. This was the Treetop assault course thing - not sure if I mentioned it before. Anyway, here's me, mid-swing, looking all awesome.

I look like I'm going to make it, but actually my left leg failed to land on the platform, then my right leg just about made it but my left was dangling and while trying to get my left leg up, I whacked it HARD on the edge of the platform and got a massive bruise! Ah, good times. The rest of it was really fun, though. :D

Monday, 17 September 2012

Week 3 Weigh-In Result!


I gained 0.4lbs this week. So, my current weight is now 202.8lbs.

But I'm still in the 202s, so that's great! I knew I would have a gain, because I ate so much last week - and I'm glad it was just a small gain. I'm feeling really focused and determined to have a really good week.

Now I know what my ideal calorie intake should be for weight loss (about 1700-1800 for me), I feel much more relaxed about things. Everything's much clearer in my mind now. Before, I had no real idea of how many calories I should actually be eating. I'd always had 1200 on the brain, thinking that it was a nice sensible number because obviously anything below that was too drastic. But now 1200 can just go to hell. I don't want you, 1200!

Of course, I realise that next week I could be writing my next weigh-in post, being super-whiny and feeling really miserable because my magical plan hasn't worked at all and it was stupid of me to think I could lose weight on 1700 a day because that's obviously just an enormous amount of calories. But I hope that won't be the case...

So this week, I'm going to stick to that limit every day, and do about 30 minutes of exercise every day (3 kettlebell workouts, and the other 4 days will just be on the cross-trainer). Hopefully I'll see some results that will take me ever closer to Onederland. Well, I'm pretty much almost there, I'm only a couple of pounds away from it. But I never thought I would struggle this much just to lose 5 pesky pounds to get back under 200, after floating about in the 190s so effortlessly for the last 3 years. Ah well!

Anyway, now I know what the damage is from last week, I can reveal last week's Food List of Shame:

  • Tarte tatin
  • Too many beers
  • Slice of cheesecake and a caramel cream frappuccino from Starbucks
  • Half portion of Philly cheese steak with fries (I thought I was being so good at this point, only ordering a half portion!)
  • A full portion of Philly cheese steak and fries the following night
  • A plate of nachos with everything on it (chili, sour cream, cheese, salsa, guacamole)
  • A full English breakfast (called 'The Ultimate English Breakfast'...)
  • Burger and fries
  • Burger and fries
  • Big plate of pasta
  • Ice cream, sweets
  • McDonalds sausage and egg McMuffin with two hash browns

Wow. I think you'll agree that I outdid myself, there. All that, in five days! I can't believe I only gained 0.4lbs. I was pretty active all week, and it seems to have made the difference. I wonder how much I'd have weighed today if I had done nothing all week instead?

I'm feeling so much happier than I did on Friday night at the end of my week-long binge. And, even though my third weigh-in has been a gain in weight, I feel so good because my head's in the right place and I'm back on track.

I've also started weighing my food. I never thought I'd be one of those people, because it seemed a bit extreme - but I love doing it and knowing exactly how much I've eaten because it makes my food diary on MFP super-accurate. It's been helping me have little revelations, such as "OMG, 40g of cereal is NOTHING!", and so on. That's the standard serving size, according to the size of my cereal box. And it's about a quarter of a bowl. My bowl isn't even that big. My parents have ENORMOUS cereal bowls. If you filled one of those up, you'd probably be looking at 800 calories of cereal! 

Anyway, time to go and waste some more time on MFP. I'm addicted...

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Number Crunching

Feeling a little bit down tonight, because I know that tomorrow's weigh-in will be a gain. I'm so tired of my non-existent progress. I feel like a bit of an impostor, like I'm masquerading as some sort of weight-loss person, except I haven't really lost any weight yet. I was on my way to making some progress, but a few days of careless eating has probably ruined everything.

I really don't feel like exercising. I haven't done a kettlebell workout since Tuesday, so I really should do one tonight. Blah.

In other news, I'm experimenting by trying out a new calorie intake of 1700 per day. 1700, I hear you say? Hear me out! I should warn you that I get a bit number-crunchy here, and I don't want to be one of those people who overcomplicates weight-loss because I know that fundamentally, I just need to "eat less and move more", which is what everyone says. But I've realised lately just how little I know about How Things Actually Work, and so I just want to share what I think I've figured out. I'll keep number-crunching to a minimum in future posts, I promise!


I've been doing a lot of reading on My Fitness Pal lately, and using this BMR calculator, I found out that according to my body fat percentage, height and weight, my BMR is 1499 calories. (Your BMR or basal metabolic rate is the base number of calories you need to function at rest). The idea is that you shouldn't eat less than your BMR, because then you would be using up lean mass instead of burning fat. And I like my lean mass a lot more than I like my fat, so I'd like to hang on to it!

Anyway, using my BMR, the calculator thing then churned out a little table (see below), estimating the number of calories I would burn in a day, depending on how active I am. That number is also known as your TDEE, or Total Daily Energy Expenditure.
Activity Level
Daily Calories
Sedentary (little or no exercise, desk job)
Lightly Active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/wk)
Moderately Active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/wk)
Very Active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days/wk)
Extremely Active (hard daily exercise/sports & physical job or 2X day training, i.e marathon, contest etc.)
Now, according to that dude's post My Fitness Pal (the link is above), you just need to pick which activity level is the most like you, and eat about 20% fewer calories the daily calories for that activity level.

For me, I'd say I'm moderately active, so apparently I burn about 2232 calories per day. So if I want to lose fat, I should eat 20% fewer calories than 2232, which is about 1785, but I'm calling it 1700. 1700 is a good number for me, because it's between my BMR and my TDEE, which means I should be losing fat.

Reading all this stuff was quite the revelation for me. I never EVER thought it'd be possible to lose weight on that many calories per day. If my BMR really is 1499ish, it that would explain why it's always been hard for me to lose weight when I've restricted my calories to 800-1200. Oh, it can be done, if you can endure that amount of suffering - but it's very difficult and you're much more likely to fail. 1700? That should be easy! Of course, at the back of my mind I'm thinking that 1700 sounds too good to true - but I really want to try this and truly hope that I'm not wasting another couple of weeks trying this out. I couldn't bear to waste even more time than I already have.

Anyway, as a result of all this, I'm putting Pro Points on hold for now. The food tracker on My Fitness Pal is so good, that I want to give this whole calorie-counting thing a try, now I'm armed with a bit more knowledge (it took me all day yesterday to figure this stuff out). Also, it means I can let my MFP friends see what I've been eating, which will make me want to stay on track even more.

So, I'll try 1700 for a couple of weeks, and I'll see how it goes. I might need to adjust it, but hopefully, I'll find out how to make this whole weight loss thing actually work for me.

Okay. I just browsed my weight loss blogs and saw Skinny Emmie's latest gym video. No more being lazy tonight - I'm going to do that kettlebell workout right now.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Week 2 Weigh-In Result!

I think I've ruined 2 weeks of progress in 5 days of pigging out.

But I'll get to that in a bit. Firstly, I need to update you all with last Monday's weigh-in:

I lost 1lb this week! My current weight is 202.4lbs.

At least, that's what I weighed on the 10th. I didn't get a chance to update my blog because I went off to Center Parcs with M, my parents and my brother, and only got back yesterday. (For those of you not in the UK, Center Parcs is a holiday village type thing in a forest setting where you can cycle about and do various outdoor activities). You'd think on paper that sounds like an excellent opportunity to get some exercise in, right? The thing is, they also have a lot of restaurants. And my family - they like to eat. A LOT. I know I can't blame them for letting my eating plan go out the window, as much as I want to. But go out the window is exactly what it did.

I have to give myself credit for doing well in the first day and a half. The first day, I was mindful of what I ate, and didn't particularly make any bad choices. Nothing too bad. The second day, I woke up and did a kettlebell workout followed by a protein shake and some raisin bran. Sounds good, right? I was feeling proud of myself at that point. And then that's when it all went to crap. From Tuesday lunchtime to Friday evening (last night), I ate. A lot. Yesterday was probably the worst day for me, because I realised what I'd got myself in to, and kept on eating because I knew that today would be a new start and I might as well just pig out for the rest of the day.

And so, to assess the damage of the last five days, I stepped on the scales this morning and it said 205.4lbs. Back to square one, you might say. The thought of having undone all my hard work over the last couple of weeks is not a good one. I wish I could remember that when I'm considering eating something I shouldn't. My greed appalls me - it overcomes any rational thought that comes my way.

But anyway, I'm not as distraught about my weight this morning as I would have been in the past. For a start, I know I'm not back at square one. Nope. I still have my blog here. It clearly says that my starting date was on August 27th! I can't just delete this and start over (though that's what I've done in the past, several times!). I'm sticking with this. For better or worse, I'm doing my Week 3 weigh-in on Monday. If I'm up, then I'm up. No more starting over.

Putting aside my weight issues for a moment, I had a great time at Center Parcs. M and I took full advantage of all the activities and we did kayaking, cycling, swimming, archery, rowing, mini golf and segway racing. We also did a treetop assault course kind of thing, which was really high up in the trees and you had to wear a harness thing which was attached to a safety line which followed the route of the course. And at the end, we went on a zipline through the trees which went at 35mph! I'd never done anything like that before. It was really fun. I was anxious about doing it, because I'm fat, but I checked that I was under the maximum weight limit, and I was, so I decided to give it a go. Actually, I think I was more anxious because I thought that the instructor might mention my weight, or the people doing the same activity might look at me and wonder what I was doing there. The reality was that the instructor was lovely, and that there were only a couple of other people doing the course at the same time as us, so it was an ideal situation. I had such a fun time. I have some photos somewhere, perhaps I'll post a couple soon.

I did a beginners archery lesson, which was really fun. M, my dad and my brother did it too - and we all really enjoyed it. I definitely want to join the archery club when I go back to uni, as does M. It'd be nice to have a shared hobby that gets us out of the house. I don't know about M, but I felt quite deflated when I got back home. We pretty much just sat around all day watching tv, because there was nothing else to do. I want that to change. I want to be involved in things that require me to get out of the house and do things, and be around people. That's another big reason for wanting to lose weight and get fit. I want to be an outdoors person. I hate, hate spending so much time indoors sitting there, watching awful tv. I want to be active and fit and enjoy life. I want to stop being a spectator.

I want my parents to see me as a fit person. This really frustrates me, but my parents - particularly my mother - seems to think that I'm just like her, in that I'm overweight, weak-willed and powerless to change my ways. I love her, but she is most definitely a spectator of life. She constantly complains about her weight holding her back, but never makes any effort to change things. She made a couple of comments this week and I just wanted to scream, "I'm not in the same category as you!" I actually WANT to do something about my weight and fitness. I'm TRYING. I feel disappointed in myself that I ended up pigging out this week, because it showed her that I'm still weak around food.

It's hugely motivating to imagine myself being fit and slim and having my parents finally realise that I'm not in the 'fat person' category any more. I'm not like them. I wish I could have used that thought to stop me from over-eating this week. But I also know that I'm a food addict and that as much as I need to have willpower, I need to make things as easy as possible for myself by not being surrounded by temptation.

As a result of this week, I've decided to get serious. Really serious. This is what it's going to take for me to lose weight. I can't do anything with a half-arsed attitude any more, because it's too dangerous. I have to try and fully commit to a new healthy lifestyle, or I'll always just slip back into my old ways. I joined My Fitness Pal a couple of weeks ago, and the amount of support I've received on there has been amazing. And these people inspire me to work harder, because they definitely all seem to be putting more effort in than I have been. I haven't been posting my food diary on there because MFP is all very calorie-based, but I think I might count calories in addition to Pro Points. And I want to start using my Magical Spreadsheet again - it calculates my daily protein, carb and fat percentages. I want to start paying attention to the type of food I'm eating and aim for a daily intake of 40% protein, 30% carbs and 30% fat. I'll continue to do my kettlebell workouts three times a week, but I want to add in a daily cardio workout. I'd love to get back into running, but it just doesn't feel good at my weight, so for now I'll just use the cross-trainer.

This has been a huge post, so I'll end it here. The bottom line is that I screwed up this week, big-time. But I'm hanging in there and I'm not starting over!

Monday, 3 September 2012

Week 1 Weigh-In Result!

This morning, with a combination of trepidation and giddy excitement, I got on the scales.

I lost 2.2lbs this week! My current weight is now 203.4lbs.

I can't tell you how pleased I am, especially considering that I ate quite a few things I shouldn't have last week. I was supposed to have 49 extra points to spend if and when needed, but I ended up spending about 80 instead. 31 points over budget! So I feel like it's some sort of miracle that I lost weight at all, and that I lost more than I was expecting to.


I'm going to definitely try harder this week. Maybe I could have an even better result! But don't worry, I'm still just hoping for a 2lb loss. If I can keep this up, I'll be in Onederland in a couple of weeks. Lovely Onederland. Land of the free.

Losing those 2.2lbs is a huge deal, because I did 5 workouts this week. And I've never been able to lose weight sensibly while exercising, probably because this is what I always do:

  • Get really motivated about getting fit and doing exercise to lose weight
  • Bust my ass all week doing INSANE amounts of exercise, telling myself it'll all be worth it when I weigh myself the following week
  • Either eat way too few calories, telling myself I need to start being hardcore OR eat too many calories, telling myself the exercise will compensate for it
  • Step on scales the following week and see either no loss or a gain
  • Feel crappy that I put in all that effort with exercising
  • Decide that Exercise Doesn't Work
  • Give up and get depressed, and allow myself to pig out for all my hard work

I've been through that cycle so many times but never again!

I'm feeling really good about this week. I've got a whole week's worth of points laid out before me, ready for the eating! Let's hope that the choices I make are more sensible than last week. Here's my Food List of Shame for last week:

  • Half a cupcake (which had SIX points, just for a tiny half!)
  • Caramel macchiato (with whole milk, naughty)
  • Fish and chips
  • Sticky toffee pudding
  • 3 cans of cream soda
  • Bacon, egg and cheese bagel with hash brown at McDonalds
  • Fish and chips AGAIN

Looking at that list, it's amazing that I lost weight at all. I think I'll post a list like that every week to remind myself NOT to eat those things.

Anyway, well done, Me. Well done indeed. I'm not at square one any more. 

Sunday, 2 September 2012

More tangerines, please

It's the evening before my first weigh-in. I was worried I would pig out today when I went to my parents' place for dinner, but I think I did well. We'll see. All I want is a tiny 2lb loss. Please.

The day started out with the usual low fat cottage cheese with chives on sesame Ryvitas, with an apple (cored because I LOVE cored apples. I've always hated gnawing on apple cores. Ain't nobody got time for that!)

Then at around 4pm, we had dinner. Dad made pot-roasted brisket in beer with parsnips and mushrooms. And it was delicious. Really good. I had to hold myself back from putting too much on my plate, and I think I succeeded. I should mention that the plate is enormous (as most plates are at my parents' house), but still - check out all that empty space!

Most of what I put on my plate was beef, carrots, cauliflower (okay, not much of that) and parsnips. I had a couple of mini Yorkshire puddings and a few tiny potatoes. Then, I dished myself up a really small bowl of apple crumble with a tiny amount of ice cream. After all that, I felt reasonably full, but I wasn't dying like I usually would be. Woohoo!

Starting to get nervous about tomorrow's weigh-in. I just need to stop attaching so much importance to the outcome. If it's a bad result, I guess I could easily just do what I would normally do, and tell myself, "Well, that didn't work. You've had a hard week. Here's a massive bag of tangy cheese Doritos for your efforts." But I'm determined to break away from that sort of behaviour. If I don't get the result I'm hoping for tomorrow, I'll just have to stay calm and remind myself of all the things that went wrong this week, and try harder this week.

Anyway, I did have a non-scale victory of sorts today. M hugged me today and said he thought I felt smaller. Trust me, that's not the sort of thing he says often! Given that I'm at my highest ever weight, it was hard to take him seriously. But you know how one grapefruit of fat is the same as one tangerine of muscle? Maybe I'm finally turning grapefruits into tangerines! I have been doing kettlebell workouts for over three weeks, after all. So I'm pretty pleased about that comment, I have to say. And he said my arms were definitely different. YES. Progress. These are the sort of things I'll need to remember tomorrow if my weigh-in is a disaster...


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Saturday, 1 September 2012

Protein shake at midnight

Oh my. 'Scuse me. Protein shake burp.

Yes, it's just gone midnight and I only just had my protein shake. I spent the whole day dreading doing my kettlebell workout, and then wondering if I would do it at all. It was only when M, who is becoming increasingly beefy, started preparing to do his kettlebell workout about an hour ago that I knew I had to do it. You know you have to try and step it up a bit when your husband only weighs about 7lbs more than you, and you know the gap is closing all the time...

Here's my kettlebell. It's only 8kg, which I'm starting to find a little too easy for my arms. M's kettlebell is 18kg, I think - so there's not much chance of me upgrading to that any time soon.

Anyway, I'm pleased to say that today has gone very well. I finally managed to get through a day sticking to my points allowance! I've realised just how difficult it is to keep to 29 points when you don't make good food choices. Yesterday's breakfast at McDonalds was probably about 15 points. Just for breakfast, which was barely any food! But today was much more tolerable. For dinner tonight, we had the most enormous plate of stirfry with brown rice, turkey and lots of vegetables, and I don't think it could have been more than 12 or 13 points. Pretty, pretty good. We've been eating stirfry a lot recently. M is absolutely sick of it, but to me, it's absolutely delicious. It's so nice to know that just for once, I am eating something for dinner that is actually properly healthy. There's no doubt about it. And it tastes really good. I'm sure I'll get sick of it eventually, but for now, I'm really happy with our dinners. I get the feeling I'm going to have to learn how to cook it all on my own soon (usually we make dinner together, but M does the actual... cooking), because I don't think he can take many more turkey stirfrys!

Tomorrow there's the challenge of surviving a Sunday dinner at my parents' place. Mother has also informed me that there will be homemade apple crumble with Cornish clotted ice cream for dessert. Little does she know that I will insist upon dishing my own bowl up, so there's no way she can dump a quarter of the entire thing in there, like she normally would...