Well, 2/21 marked three months that I have been using a food journal app (MyPlate) every day. And I mean every single day even though at times it has been a bit annoying and a hassle. They say that it takes 3 months to adopt a habit (good or bad) into your life though I think the bad habits probably are easier to adapt because they are usually more enjoyable. So the breakdown for the 3 months (13 weeks):
Pounds lost: 17.2 (approx 1.3 lbs per week)
Inches lost (8 measurements): 10.75. Inches lost (3 core measurements – bust, waist, hips): 6.25
When I went back and saw the highest weight I recorded last year which was on 5/21 (which will coincide with my 6 month food journal anniversary date), I’ve lost 20.6 lbs. Though it doesn’t sound like much in some ways since I have probably approximately 75 lbs to lose still, it’s a big chunk. Because roughly (since I do not know what my natural weight will be as muscle weighs more than fat), let’s say I needed to lose 100 lbs for the sake of easy math. So I’m already 20% of the way there going from my highest recorded weight of 2016.
So 17-20 lbs doesn’t sound like much but when I was in the grocery the other day, I bought a bag of cat litter that was 20lbs. Lifting it into the cart, I realized this is how much weight I’m not dragging around with me. Last May, I was struggling like crazy to ride my bike. I’d just spent the entire winter buried in college classes finishing my degree and I didn’t pay attention to what I was doing to my body. I graduated in May, at one of the heaviest weights I’ve been in my life. I’ve been about 5-10 lbs more at one point years ago but here I had crept back up into that range. Riding my bike was difficult.
I will give myself a bit of a pass since my peri-menopause was in full blowout mode. I wasn’t sleeping, my moods were awful (which were probably exacerbated by the weight gain and poor eating habits), exhaustion set it and the hot flashes made it miserable to do any kind of exercise on a hot day. You can get an idea of what the fires of hell might feel like when you’re riding on a humid 95 degree day and one of those hot flashes hit you. I had to pull off the bike path and sit in the shade while politely declining offers from well-meaning cyclists who wanted to call 911. Yeah, no, it’s just a hot flash. It will pass. I just hoped I wouldn’t vomit because that’s how crappy I felt. I pretty much hung up my bike and focused on doing the one thing that didn’t make me feel awful which was walking. The dog and I pounded out many miles on pavement and trail.
So how am I feeling now? Luckily, the hot flashes and exhaustion and moodiness have settled down to a more manageable level. I think that eating better and exercising even more has helped with this as well as the fact that peri-menopause eventually runs its course. I’m hoping I am through the worst of it though I still need a sleep aid to get me through the night. On top of things, I am hypothyroid but with dedication to the food journal and healthier eating, I’ve lost a good amount of weight in 13 weeks. These factors may make it harder to lose weight but it’s not impossible.
Since the weather in Ohio has been mild, I’ve been out road biking 3 times already this year. I’m doing roughly 12-15 mile down and back road rides with the usual wind that accompanies this time of the year. Last year, I was really discouraged and struggling. This year, I’m feeling really good and I’m excited about the cycling season 2017. I’m setting a goal of riding approximately 50 miles a week when the “season” starts which is usually about mid-April when you can start getting out and riding more consistently if you don’t like the cold weather (I don’t). I want to ride over 1500 miles this year. A few years ago, I hit 1000 miles but I haven’t been that dedicated since.
Last night I was down on the rower and noticed I was able to do 20 minutes with minimal breaks. I feel stronger in general. After I row, I do some yoga to cool down and stretch. I noticed I am able to flow through sequences and hold poses better and hopefully more gracefully. I have much more energy in general and I can’t wait to see how I am going to feel when I lose the rest of this extra weight. I imagine it will be like walking around with helium balloons tied to my limbs! I already feel “lighter”.
So I have passed my initial goal of doing the food journal daily for three months. I’ve set a new goal of doing it every day for six months which will be 5/21/2017. By this time I will be a good month into my riding 50 miles a week as well. I’m excited to see what changes will come from continuing my plan. I am certain I will hit a plateau at some point and will need to make some adjustments but I am enjoying eating better. My husband bought me an Instant Pot to speed up cooking preparation so we eat out even less. No matter what restaurant you favor, it is almost always better calorie wise to eat at home. It’s also much cheaper too! We still go out to eat but with less frequency. Now, being able to whip up a delicous meal in 30 minutes or less on average, it takes away the urge to run into town to grab some fast food.
Well, onto the next three months! This is exciting!