Christmas Post-mortem

I arrive at my parents’ on the 22nd and managed to keep my calorie consumption on track until Christmas Eve boozing. We had 16 people around for Christmas Day so the cupboards were stacked high with food. It was interesting to watch the rest of my family grazing on the munchies throughout the day, and how sensitive I was to their snacking. I played a game of “guess the calories in the thing you just put in your mouth” until I became a tiresome bore :).

Christmas Eve was the annual catch-up with my friends. When I say “catch-up”, I mean we meet in the pub at 6pm and leave when they kick us out. I skipped the kebab at the end of the evening but it was far from a good food-day. This was also a night where I saw people who I haven’t seen since 4-stones ago. My ~10% loss isn’t particularly dramatic, I’m still properly obese and I haven’t bought any new clothes (despite needing to!) but I notice a difference and I was hoping others would too.

There wasn’t a trumpet fanfare or infact any comments made by my male friends, which wasn’t a surprise as it’s not something we ever sit around discussing, but I was a little bit disappointed. The reaction from my female friends made up for it though: “You look glowing, and really happy” ‚Äî amen sister, that’s exactly how I feel. My family have also been really supportive. I take their comments with a pinch of salt but it’s nice to have a bit of banter with them about my weight loss

I should have brought my scale with me because I haven’t weighed in since the 21st. I’m really not expecting a big gain because I’ve watched my portions and deliberately not indulged as much as I might, but I just don’t know. It’s so easy to chomp on the Roses or Heroes chocolates as they get passed around, without realising that each one is 50 calories. How sad that I’m looking forward to cooking my own meals again and going to the gym! ;).

Weigh-in #14: MILESTONE!

Peak: 435 lb
Previous: 385.8 lb
Current: 383.0 lb
Loss this week: 2.8 lb
Total Loss: 52 lb

I was a little bit disappointed when 383 came up, there’s little chance of me posting a 4-stone drop by Christmas (56lbs). Then I gave myself a slap around the face: 2.8 pounds is a WIN! It also marks my first blogged milesone: 50lbs lost! Woop woop.

With the new year approaching it feels like I’ve had a massive running start to the annual new years resolutions. I’m already doing it: and it’s working. COME ON!

Enjoying the weight training

I previously commented that I wasn’t enjoying the weight training as much as the cardio. This week however has been much more enjoyable.

The difference (I think) has been to drop the weight down a little bit and to focus on form and completing the sets/reps, rather than trying to be macho and using heavy weights. The penny dropped today when I was doing lateral raises with a 2x3kg weights – the sort that might come in pink or turquoise. I didn’t care what anyone else thought, that weight was right for me.

Getting into the weights is also a little exciting. Now that I’ve done 3 months of losing weight I can appreciate how “little and often” can really pay off; looking ahead to the next 3/6/12 months is exciting enough with the weight loss, but now I’m getting keen to see how my strength will develop in that time too. If I can increase my lateral raises by a 0.5kg a month then next Christmas my deltoids will be 3-times as strong as they are now. Being “300% stronger” sounds crazy, but only as crazy as being “100lbs lighter”.

One of my goals is to be able to do pullups/chinups (I can’t remember ever being able to do a single one); at some point there’s going to be an intersection between my weight loss and my strength training where I’m both strong enough and light enough to do them. I wonder whether that’s something I can achieve in the next year? The same goes for other bodyweight exercises like pushups or dips, I’m really looking foward to being able to control my body better.

I got drunk, and the world didn’t come crashing down!

Woah, I SO didn’t listen to my own advice about my Christmas Party. The night was full of boozing and enjoying the food! Guess what though, the world didn’t come crashing down and I didn’t regain 50lbs. Instead, I had a blast with my friends and got back on the wagon the next day (with a workout whilst hungover).

On reflection, my fear was irrational. I could have had 10 pints of Guiness for¬† +2100 calories whilst “putting on less than a pound” (given the 3500 calories in a pound equivalency). In the past, when I’ve stopped eating well and¬† binged it has been the end of the campaign: it’ll lead to another binge and another and so on. This time around I just don’t feel that way; my healthy lifestyle is really becoming ingrained in how I live. It almost isn’t a case of “getting back on the wagon” because eating well is the default position.

It feels reassuring that I can still have nights like that and stay on track.

This week’s off to a flyer

For the last couple of weeks my scale-peeks have concerned me. After my monday weigh-in I’d show an immediate gain the following day, which would hang around until the weekend. I took a peek a few minutes ago and the Scale Gods are smiling on me so far (although I’ve jinxed it now).

2/2 this week for the gym. Monday’s upper1 was better than last week, I nailed a full workout (sets and reps) and felt better about it generally. This evening I had to drag my ass to the treadmill. I’ve been infected with Man Flu (aka the common cold) and I think it affected my performance; I felt a bit weaker and definitely got knackered faster. I decreased the intensity a little, but kept my heart-rate in the right zone and just about got 45 minutes in (25 mins 4% @ 5.5km/h,¬† 10 mins 3.5% @ 5.5km/h, 10s mins 3.5% @ 5.0 km/h).

Tomorrow will be interesting: it’s the Christmas Party. Two-hours of pre-dinner drinks (including “cocktail happy hour”), followed by three courses of South American food, a couple of bars and then a club. Then a kebab: when I go out, I tend to go out out, there are no limits. (Although thinking about it, perhaps some alchohol-induced bulimia could work in my favour!) That was the old me at least, the new me is already thinking up excuses why I have to skip the cocktails and why I have to leave early; stuffing my face and downing beers is the last thing I want to do now: I don’t want to ruin the work I’ve put for a stupid 1-night stand with reckless indulgence.

I’m saving that for Christmas Eve :D.

Weigh-in #13

Peak: 435 lb
Previous: 387.4 lb
Current: 385.8 lb
Loss this week: 1.6 lb
Total Loss: 49.2 lb

Hurray! It’s a loss‚Ķ Boo! It’s a tiddler.

So I crank up my exercise and I lose less weight, hmn. My scales have a bio-impedance thingy in them which gives me muscle %, fat % and water %. I’ve only casually taken an interest in those numbers to make sure they all go roughly in the right direction. This week it looks like a a good drop on fat%, at least 0.5% which is more fat loss than 1.6lbs. That means I’ve either gained extra water or muscle, or both? Perhaps my calorie deficit is too large now and it’s screwing things up? I’m fairly sure I didn’t eat like a pig this week, but perhaps I did!

It’s frustrating to not hit 50lbs lost and to only have 1 week + 4 days until Christmas (56lbs goal) but I’m not going to dwell on it. The numbers are going in the right direction, and long may they continue!

Week 13 – day 7 (Zooooom!)

Ok, so not quite “zoooooom” but I’ve bagged another 40 minute cardio session. I increased the incline to 4% for 30 mins, then 3% for the last 10 minutes (both at 5.5 km/h).

I feel fantastic.

This means my first week of working out has been a success: I set myself the challenge of 6/7 days in the gym and I made it. Right now I much prefer the cardio days which is a surprise; I think my perception of weight-training was that it would be easier or more enjoyable but that’s not how it went. Maybe the use of free-weights is more intimidating, you have to get in front of the mirrors and all the buff blokes; maybe it’s more challenging because of my level of flexibility. Dunno.¬† It’s going to take some discipline to keep those session up, but that’s what I’ve signed up for.

Food today has been a bit of self-flagellation for yesterday. Porridge+banana for breakfast, ham roll (+mustard and tomato) for lunch and soup planned for dinner, plus a couple of small snacks of almonds+dried apricots.

My morning scale-peeks have left me a little depressed this week, considering the increase in exercise I’ve not seen the pounds flying off, to the point where this morning I was about the same weight as last week’s weigh-in. I’m getting nervous about hitting my 56lb milestone by Christmas, especially with my work’s Christmas-do on wednesday (nom nom nom, *slurp*).

Oh well, musn’t grumble!

Week 13 – day 6 (Meh. Rest day)

My plan was to hit the gym this evening for a cardio session but when the time came around I was super demotivated and tired; it turned out to be a snooze on the sofa instead. Doh.

Today was a funny food day. I had a big brunch of sausages, egg, home-made oven chips and a bread roll which was mmm mmmmm mmmm. Curiosity made me work out how many calories it was, which I don’t normally do (it’s not like I really count calories) but damn, it was a lot.

3x Sausages – 480 (eek!)
1x poached egg – 100
Chips – 250 (guestimate)
Roll – 250 (guestimate)

Crikey, 1000+ calories in a single meal, albeit a breakfast+lunch combo. My plan for dinner was stir-fried beef + noodles, but after pigging out I changed that to a turkey sandwich and a couple of pieces of fruit. The daily total was probably around 1700 which I’m happy with; it’s past midnight now and I don’t feel hungry or “deprived” at all.

This has taught me it’s easy to create monster calorie meals without realising it; I could have also easily bumped this to 1500 with some bacon and baked beans. Scary.

Week 13 – day 5 (Upper2 and I’m Wasted)

Back from my 5th gym session in a row (a big deal for me) and tonight was my upper2 session:-

  • Barbell bench press 3×10
  • Barbell row 3×10
  • Decline dumbbell bench press 3×12
  • Dumbbell unilateral row 3×12
  • Close grip bench press 3×10
  • Upright cable row 3×10
  • Alternating Dumbbell bicep curls
  • Bent over lateral raises

This time I paced myself and set a target of 2 sets on each instead of 3 ‚Äî which I made. Fuck me though, I’m wasted now.

Perhaps it’s the week catching up with me, but today I really had to force myself off the sofa. On other days I’ve literally punched the air and given myself a “come on!” when I got home, I felt great. Today I just feel exhausted.

At the moment this doesn’t feel sustainable and I can see exercising being a greater challenge than managing my diet. Then again, I’ve been doing the food for 13 weeks now, perhaps I’ll get into a routine and groove with the workouts. Eventually I want to shift into more natural exercising rather than the gym, like playing rugby, but I don’t feel fit enough yet.

I’m going to be well pissed off if I don’t post a big loss this week! I’m also going to start recording the body-fat percentage my scale gives me, to see if I can see an increase in muscle-mass and calculate my fat loss.

TGIF!

Week 13 – day 4 (Cardio + reduced “scale peeking”)

Another day, another trip down the gym. Today was anothe 40 minutes on the treadmill, at a slightly higher setting than tuesday. This time it was 5.5 km/h at 3.5% incline, with a 10-15 minutes spell at 4%. Tweaking these numbers up, especially the incline, is going to be my plan from now on.

Perhaps it’s my increase in exercising, but I’m lossing interest in checking the scales at every opportunity. I’m weened down to one per day now, first thing in the morning. At this stage there’s no point in checking it even that often: my “good food” decisions are stable and consistent now and I’m exercising as much as possible; even if I thought it was a bad week there’s nothing I’d change and do differently.

That’s a nice place to be.