So here's the short of it:
Weight 278, meaning I lost 4 lbs., and 12 lbs since restarting. We're going with "that's good," in spite of it being only 40% of goal. Other measurements are pretty encouraging: lost an inch around my thigh, and half an inch around my neck, and gained an inch around my bicep. Here's the graphic:
My goals for this month were:
- Lose 10 lbs (nope, lost 4, which would be under goal for a normal month... it's ok... I lost weight...)
- Eat 2000 or less calories a day (adjusted up from 1930) -- did this 25 out of 32 days, and only went seriously over (2650 calories) 1 time
- Walk to work every day -- nailed it, plus walked home a few times and went hiking, etc.
- Track my calories daily / write down every single thing I ate -- nailed it
- Strength train every other day with no more than one 2-day rest period a week -- nailed it, until last week when I fell WAY off the wagon, have only worked out once since last Thu
OK, the good: I lost weight. Not only did I lose weight, but I seem to have broken through the 280-boundary that I was feeling stuck at. Just don't sabotage that and I'll be on track to keep losing. When I was first trying to lose and track my weight a couple years ago I was at 245 and feeling like I could never get back down to my goal weight (190) with so far to go. Now, I keep remembering, "OK, I can be smaller. I weighed 245 three years ago. I weighed 195 six years ago. I can get back there." Oddly enough I have one co-worker who keeps reminding me (and she didn't know me back then, which makes it even stranger, but more encouraging in a way) "It didn't all go on in a month, it isn't gonna come off that fast, either."
More good: I am very pleased to see that I have lost an inch off my thigh, and half an inch off my neck, and that I gained a whole inch around my bicep. Even though my belly and waist aren't much smaller (my pants still fit the same) I now see empirically that I am in fact losing body fat, and gaining muscle.
I hate to use an already overused cliche, but overall I am getting the feeling I need to "lean in" to this a little more. I made the broad-strokes changes, and after 3 months of tracking and learning from it, I think I see now where I can put more focus without screwing it up. Calories and fitness, of course.
I need to restrict my daily calories a little tighter without decreasing my food volume. If I feel hungry, I'm going to eat, that's all there is to it. I need to find some places to replace fat and carbs with fiber or protein. I was been causally / anecdotally testing the waters to see if I can get 50% of my calories from plant-based food, and I think I can do it... I might try that for the Aug - Sept month and see what happens.
I also need to work out a little more. I've adapted 100% to walking to work, it never occurs to me to take the car any more. (We'll see what happens the first time I wake up to 2 feet of snow...) And I'm doing ok on strength training, but I think I need to add a little more full-body exercise to my routine, make it a little longer, just do a little more. I'm not sure what. My current fitness routine developed organically, so I'm going to let this next step do the same. Goal for the Aug - Sept month will be to increase my workout time overall to 30 min, and include some new element, maybe HIT or maybe I'll give yoga another whirl (I hated it before, so..... that either means it's totally the right thing, or I was right and yoga is stupid... not sure which.)
I had a couple times this month that I was very discouraged and felt that familiar feeling like I was about to throw in the towel. Particularly when I just kept yo-yo-ing back up above 280, I just wanted to say fuck it and go bury myself in a pile of fried food and eat my way back to the surface with a side of mayo. But, I didn't. I'm not even sure how truthfully, other than every time it happened, that voice in my head would say, "No, this is not the end of the road. You are not going to quit. Giving up now means that other voice is right, and you really are fat and a failure." And somewhere I found the conviction to just move on from setbacks. I realize now that just because I don't make my monthly goal is not a reason to quit -- then I won't make any more goals. I hate failure. But I'm not going to allow it to make me turn back any more. Push through adversity. Be the boss I act like I am.
And remember the wins. I've lost 12 lbs. so far. I've lost an inch off my thigh and and half an inch off my neck and my muscles are getting bigger. My cardio conditioning is coming back really well, and I can tell I am getting stronger. I'm sleeping better and I'm in a better mood. I haven't had what I would classify as a binge in over a month, and my preference for healthy foods is increasing. I had a funny proof of that the other day -- I said, "I want Ranch dressing on my salad today, I'm gonna have it." And then, it tasted gross to me. So, there is positive stuff happening, I just need to keep working at it.