Today's Weight 169.0lbs
It’s a year since I embarked on my new healthy lifestyle, so I figured it’s time for an annual review.
The Measurable Stuff:
In the past 52 weeks I’ve lost 61lbs and 4 dress sizes. I started off in a size
22, and now I’m in a size 14 (US size 10).
I’ve had 40 weeks of losses, 10 weeks without movement, and 2 gain weeks.
I’ve had 335 sub-1500 calorie days, and only 17 days when I’ve exceeded my 1500-a-day limit. The highest amount of calories I’ve eaten in one day in the past year is 2200. The lowest amount is 980 (bad girl!).
I’ve exercised for at least 45 consecutive minutes on 229 days, which means that I’ve averaged over 4 exercise sessions per week. I’ve also lifted weights regularly, started Pilates classes and done over 10,000 crunches.
I’ve lost 26.5% of my starting body weight, and my BMI has dropped by 11.5 points, from 43.4 to 31.9.
Another 11lbs and I’ll be officially only ‘overweight’.
I have 37lbs to go to reach 132lbs and a ‘normal’ sub-25 BMI, and another 7lbs to go after that to reach my personal goal of 125lbs. Hence I’m 62.2% of the way to being ‘normal’, and 58% of the way to my personal goal.
The ‘Haven’t I Been Here Before?’ Stuff
So far this ‘diet’ has outlasted any previous dieting attempt by 11 weeks. I’ve lost 5lbs more than I’ve ever lost in any previous trial run too.
The rate of loss has been slower this time, because each pound has hung on like a limpet and resisted my efforts to shed it. I don’t know if that’s because I’m older, because my metabolism is shot, or because I’m not trying so hard, but regardless of the reason, I haven’t got discouraged. I’ve dislodged 61 of the little buggers, and I’m damned if I’m giving up now.
This is the only ‘diet’ I’ve ever been on when I’ve successfully endured a rocky patch and not given up, backslid all the way to the bottom and undone all my good work. That’s the thing I’m proudest of, and the thing that gives me the most confidence that I can succeed in the long run.
The Stuff I’ve Discovered (Physically)
I’ve discovered I have bony promontories such as wrist bones and collar bones, and I suspect that as the rest of my fat recedes like a melting polar ice-cap I may find outcrops of ribs and hip bones under all the blubber. All the fat has gone from my feet (I had really fat feet!) and I can see bones and tendons that I never even knew existed. I’ll be wearing sandals a lot this summer to show off my foxy feet, and I’m already scouring the shops for a really vampy, whoreish red nail polish to draw attention to my lovely skinny tootsies.
I’ve noticed that the fat distribution hasn’t really changed a whole lot – I’m still apple-shaped, and though I’ve lost a lot of inches from my legs and midriff, I still have a belly, as well as lamentably large boobs and fat upper arms. Because of this, I still don’t like to wear sleeveless tops because the flapping sounds made by my batwings scare small children and timid dogs.
I’ve been conducting Doppler shift experiments on my stomach, and I’m pretty sure that the fat on my midriff is wobblier than it was when I was 61lbs fatter. Before, my belly was solid and unshakeable like a side of pork, but now it’s all flob-a-lobby like a big pink blancmange. I almost prefer it the way it was, and I’m beginning to realise that all the dieting, crunches and Pilates in the world won’t give me abs like Gwen Stefani.
Because of that realisation, tummy and batwing tucks have moved from the realms of “not in a million years” to “hmmm, how much of a dent would it make in ten grand?” The only things holding me back from going under the knife are a) my low tolerance for pain; b) my stinginess when it comes to spending money on myself, and c) my Lutheran upbringing, which tells me that I should be less vain and more accepting of my bodily imperfections. Cosmetic surgeons will soon get wind of this change of heart and I’ll have to be firm and unyielding, and beat them off with a big stick.
Whilst my belly is still a cause of rueful regret, my legs are a triumph and a testimony to the benefits of brisk walking and kick-ass cycling. I can now walk around bare-legged without the dreaded thigh-chafe, and instead of jeans and trainers I’ll be wearing floaty little skirts when we go to Rome in July (and sandals, of course!) so that I can stay cool and comfortable.
I can cross my legs at the knee girly-style, and I’m grasping every opportunity that presents itself to sit all cross-legged-and-straight-backed-and-sophisticated, like Tippi Hedren outside the schoolhouse in The Birds. I just need the Chanel suit, the chignon and the cigarette and holder to complete the picture.
How else has my body changed?
I’m a lot more bendy, and I can scratch between my shoulder blades without the aid of a ruler and cut my toe-nails (and paint them!) without feeling that I’ll need osteopathy the following day to realign my vertebrae. I can almost hug my shins (damn belly still gets in the way), and I can bend from the waist and lay my hands flat on the floor without feeling as though my hamstrings are about to snap like cheap knicker elastic.
I can rely on having regular periods at 28 day intervals for the first time ever, and I can walk briskly for 90 minutes without feeling tired or uncomfortable. I can do a whole advanced Taebo workout, and still have enough energy for 40 minutes of turbo training afterwards.
When I take a bath I’m not wedged against the sides of the tub like a cork in a bottle – there is free-flowing water on both sides of me, and there aren’t sudden floods and dam breaches as I move my haunches and release a pent up avalanche of water from where it’s been trapped behind my huge backside. I can almost get the water level in the tub high enough to cover my boobs if I drain the tank fully, take a deep breath, fully submerge my head, and lie flat on the bottom of the bathtub – which is an improvement over a year ago, when most of me reared above the waterline like some hideous blubbery behemoth.
Oh, and I’m officially under the maximum weight limit (to ride horses suitable for people under 5’3”) at my local riding stables, so if I wanted to take up horse-riding I could finally do so without fear of being reported to the RSPCA.
The Stuff I’ve Discovered (Emotionally)
I’ve had weeks when it’s all seemed ridiculously easy and effortless, and weeks when it’s been a huge struggle to summon up any motivation or focus at all. I haven’t yet figured out why that’s the case, but if I do, you’ll be the first to know.
I’ve realised that it really is possible to have a packet of Chocolate Hobnobs in the house for two months, and not feel particularly bothered whether I eat them or not.
Gasp. I never thought I’d hear myself say that.
I’ve also realised, though, that when I’m having a REALLY shitty day, the urge to seek solace in food is still as strong as it ever was. What’s changed, though, is that I’m able to control the urge a little better, and sometimes even rationalise it away completely. So that’s definitely a step in the right direction.
I’ve learned that patience isn’t something you either have or you don’t have, like perfect pitch or a cleft palate. Nope, I’d never have believed it, but patience is a quality – like a muscle or a skill - that it’s possible to develop. Honest to God, it’s true. My previous efforts to get in shape have foundered on the rocks of impatience and frustration, but this time is better – I’ve let go of all that pressure and expectation, and I’m simply going with the flow. I’ll get there eventually, even if it takes me the rest of the damn decade. Heh, maybe I’m growing up at last.
I’ve learned that sometimes, with the best will in the world, nothing but chocolate will fix things.
But I’ve also learned that satiety is a state of mind, not of body, and that two small bites of good quality rich dark chocolate are at least as satisfying as a whole slab of cheap milk chocolate.
Allied to this, I’ve discovered that bolting food down in secret is wholly and utterly dissatisfying, and will lead to an orgy of gluttony later on in the day. If I have a craving which doesn’t dissipate if I try to distract myself with normal activities (reading, walking, working etc), then I have what I crave. Most importantly, I indulge my craving out in the open so that I can savour it and take my time over it and experience all the sensory pleasures of it – and when I can do that, I find that a little goes a long way.
I finally see a future free from sneaking bites of a custard doughnut (cunningly camouflaged in a paper bag) into my mouth on the way home from the shops – what a victory!
Oh, yes, and I’ve realised that people haven’t been lying to me all my life - exercise really does lift my mood and make me feel better. Why did it take me 40 years to see that?
The ‘What Does The Future Hold?’ Stuff
I’m beginning – cautiously and timidly – to really believe I might succeed, though I don’t like to tempt fate by saying it too loudly.
I’d be lying if I said this was as effortless and natural as breathing – it simply isn’t. I still worry that one day my gremlins will wake up from their hibernation and start sabotaging my efforts and undermining my resolve, but the longer I stick at this, the more my confidence grows.
And I really believe I’ve found a food and exercise regimen that I can live with for the rest of my life – as long as I don’t take my eye off the ball and get complacent.
As for getting to goal? Well, I’ve never done that before, much less maintained there, so this is all new and unfamiliar territory for me. Most of the weight I’ve lost in the past year is old fat that I’ve lost repeatedly in other dieting attempts. I’ve yo-yo’d through these weights for the past decade. Soon, though, I’ll be reaching virgin fat, and dropping to my lowest ever adult weight, and that’ll be a bit scary.
But scary is good sometimes, and I should try to have a bit of faith in myself, right?
After all, Kim has faith in me, and he really believes that this time I’ll make it to goal and join the ranks of the 5% of successful maintainers.
I just hope that the next twelve months prove that he knows what he’s talking about…