Monday, June 21, 2010

My weight loss progress this month....

Today's Post: Monday, 6-21-2010

Yesterday was the half way point on my twelve month effort to lose the 15 pounds I gained back of the 30 I originally lost.

A few years back, I decided to cut back my food intake about 5 to 10% as I realized I was a bit too overweight.

I kept doing the exercises I was already doing. And, I picked two things I could do and keep doing that I aimed at having that effect. I aimed at eating in a way that would support me weighing what I wanted to weigh or just a bit above that. I did NOT aim to lose more than that or to cut back more initially since I didn't want to have that stress, I ONLY did the two things I felt were doable and that I could likely keep doing.

I thought I'd lose 10 pounds or a bit more. After a few weeks I did. And, since I did not want to gain them back, I just kept doing what I was doing.

A few weeks after that, I lost a second 10 pounds for a total of 20. That was a bit more than I'd expected to lose; but it was a nice surprise. Same deal as before in that I didn't want to gain any of it back and the things I was doing were easy, so I just kept doing them.

I figured that was that and just kept on with my two strategies and my exercise. THEN, a few weeks later, I discovered I'd lost a third 10 pounds! That was a shock; but a nice one.

AT first, things were fine; and I kept doing the things that got me there. I even gained zero pounds over the holidays!

But then, 3 things happened. The Nordic Track broke that I was using and getting a bit over half my exercise on each week. And, at first, I was unable to replace it. I had outside events increase my stress enough that I began drinking more wine than I had been. I had lost the weight in part by cutting back on that. I still drank less; but not as much less. Then the frozen broccoli I'd been cooking up to eat more vegetables dropped off in quality and was no longer palatable.

I kept up my exercises I still was doing and added some raw broccoli florets at lunch. But losing half the calories I was burning in exercise and almost half my fat loss lever by drinking more red wine each week gradually gained me back 15 pounds. That was half of what I had lost.

Then towards the end of last year, I made a firm decision to add several smaller strategies to my life that I calculated would cause me to lose back the 15 pounds I'd gained. I cut back 20 % every week on my drinking of red wine and added several smaller strategies so I would only be eating enough to sustain me at the weight I wanted to weigh. I gave myself twelve months to lose the fifteen pounds.

Yesterday was the sixth month, the half way point. Since May, I only lost half a pound where I had been losing more than that each of the previous months. BUT, that was the LAST half pound I needed to lose the whole fifteen pounds.

So, the very good news is that in half the time I'd planned on, I've now lost all the pounds I set out to lose. I initially lost from 191 to 161. Then I gained back 15 to 176. Now, my plan to lose that 15 pounds back and weigh 161 has succeeded.

And, it's no surprise to me that the rate of loss slowed in this last month, because I'd set out to eat only what I would sustain me at 161 pounds, the weight I wanted to weigh.

However, I had also hoped to lose more than two inches off my waist and wanted to lose four.

Last month, I gained back a quarter of an inch. So, I'm at my goal weight. But I've only lost an inch and a half off my waist when I really wanted to lose 4. Worse, to stop looking like I just ate a 15 or 20 pound ham whole, I likely need to lose another 6 inches on top of the 1 and a half I have already lost from my waist.

I could cut back another notch on my red wine each week and may yet decide to do so. And, I know two more ways to cut back on my calorie intake. If I did all three, I'd not be more hungry and if I kept doing those things for six months, I’d likely lose another 15 pounds.

But, I don't want to be that light or do those 3 things just yet.

Worse, suppose I do those things and only lose another 1 and a half inches off my waist?

What I want, is to be the weight I am now and eat and drink wine about the way I am now -- systematically but only moderately restricted; but to have 4 inches or more leave from my waist.

So, during the next six months, I'm going to work to gain 20 pounds of muscle. Since I'll keep eating just what I am now, I should lose at least 20 pounds of fat. And, since most of my remaining fat is on my waist, that very likely would work, if I can do it, to lose inches from my waist.

I have just managed to work my way up to doing six sets of jump rope on two evenings a week. Now I'll work to get the average number of reps per set from just below 40 as is it is now to 98. And, I plan to buy a kettlebell or two and add a fifteen minute set with those just after the jump rope. On those two days I have time. And, I'm just strong enough from the strength training I already do each week, that will be doable.

Then I plan to increase the weight in my existing strength training one notch and add two supplements that will likely help also.

Once I do those four things and see how I do after they are all in place and have been for a few month to take effect, I'll decide what to do after that.

I certainly will keep doing the several things that have lost me the 15 pounds and the inch and a half off my waist. I’m used to them now and they are not that hard to do.

And, I'll continue doing this monthly review post.

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