Total Weight Loss

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Wednesday Weigh In, Diet Coke Pedometer App

This morning the scales were down 0.6 lbs from last week.  I'm not sure why but I'll take it.  If I can consistently lose about half a pound a week, I'll be glad.

I'm guessing it is the more concentrated effort to drink water the past couple of days.  My eating has been OK, but not stellar.  I didn't find myself editing my intake because I didn't want to document it.  I ate cake twice over the weekend and wrote it down.  I know that my life has got to include cake every now and then.  Probably not twice in one weekend very often, but we celebrated two birthdays on two different days, so there were two cakes.

I wish that next week was a more typical week so that I could test my theory but it isn't so I won't stress about it.  I will, however, take lots of bottled water because the water at camp is gross.  I learned over the weekend that I enjoy water more than I thought.

I had a chance to drink Diet Coke over the weekend.  (Not as the same time as I was eating cake.) I have been doing a good job of avoiding artificial sweeteners so I'm not sure when I last had my beloved Diet Coke.  There once was a time that I drank so much, I laughed and said I would bleed Diet Coke if I were cut.  (This was in my middle and late 20's, when I did not grasp the dangers of artificial sweeteners.)  Anyway, I poured myself a glass and then nearly choked on the first sip.  The stuff tasted like metal.  It had been poured from a 2 liter bottle, which was plastic.  I had to dump it out.

I gladly went back to my water.  I still like my sweet tea, as far as I know.  I haven't had any of that in a while.  I'm saving that for the next special occasion.  I'm not sure when that will be.

Finally, I have two issue with the pedometer app.  One I have to remember to carry it or tuck it in my waistband when I move around. I'm not doing a very good job of that.  It is, however, a habit I can learn.  The other is, the app seems to eat up battery life like crazy.  I might have to use it to track steps when I'm actually on a walk.  I can create my challenge to get x number of work out steps per week or something like that.  I won't worry about that until I get back from camp.

The baby and mommy leave in the morning.  It will be back to my usual pattern until I leave for camp Sunday morning.  I'll probably weigh again before I leave since I won't be able to next week.  It will be interesting to see how the week impacts my weight.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

My Weekend

I had a great weekend with family.  I got in lots of fun with my nieces and lots of snuggles with the baby.  My nephew has gone back to home, his wife and the baby are staying a few more days so more time for cuddling.

I've done a decent job of keeping my food intake recorded.  I didn't always take my notebook with me since when family is in town we have a roving party from house to house.  I feel good about recording the food I ate, it is the water that I'm not sure of.  

I have a favorite water bottle that I carry almost all of the time.  I kept it with me all weekend and kept it topped off.  I didn't keep a good awareness of how many times, I topped it off.  I think, I came up short on the water.  Funny thing, that is the one thing I thought I had no issues regarding.  I drink a lot of water every day.  I drink water almost exclusively.

Other than the possible need to increase water intake, I've not found anything that is glaringly obvious to change with my food.  I'll keep the journal through the rest of the week.  I'll not try to keep up with it during camp next week.  I'll just eat what is prepared and pick up the food journal when I get back.

My very early conclusions are that eating is OK, and water could increase.  Wouldn't it be funny if all along, all I needed to do was add another glass or two of water to start shedding the weight!!??

The final component of my weight loss trifecta is exercise.  My fitness level is coming back and will continue to as long as I push myself.  Sadly, the pedometer challenge is on hiatus for now.  I dropped the pedometer and it stopped working.  

On Saturday, I went to the bathroom and it slipped off my waistband as I took my pants down.  It has happened plenty of times before in that situation.  I thought little off it and clipped it back on.  Saturday night, when I looked to see how many steps I had, I was shocked to see just over 3000.  I'd taken it off for a while when I was in the pool but even allowing for that, it seemed far too low. 

Sunday morning, I clipped the pedometer to my skirt and went to church.  Imagine my surprise, when I checked my number of steps mid morning and saw 0.  I walk about 1000 steps in the morning getting dressed!  By this time, I had dressed, gone to church and had taught the 4 and 5 year olds!  I was expecting 1500 minimum and more like 2000.  That is when I realized the pedometer probably broke in the bathroom.  I probably had 6000 steps if not more on Saturday considering the time of day it fell and what I did for the rest of the day.  (I walked the baby every chance I got!)

I've downloaded a step counter app to my iPod.  I'll see how that works.  I've got to have it with me all the time and I don't have a handy clip like the old school pedometer.  I'm not planning to take my iPod to camp since it is worthless there  since there is no wifi.  I've got a few days to see how this step counter app works.  In the meantime, I'm open to suggestions.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Smashed My Goal

I managed to average 6262 steps per day for the last half of the month!  I have earned myself a new outfit.  In fact, I've already ordered it.  And, I never bought myself the consolation prize of one article of clothing from the thrift store.  I think I'll table that second place prize for another time.  I'm going to the thrift store next week to get some grubby clothes for church camp.  If I find something dressy that I like I might get it or I might not.

Here are a few fun facts.   Since I started wearing the pedometer on May 15:
I have walked a total of 304,588 steps
I have averaged 6481 steps per day (all that beach walking is bringing it up)
I have burned 12,269 calories (which should translate to about a 3.5 lb loss)
I have walked 104.33 miles, or averaged 2.2 miles per day

Overall I'm pleased with the challenge, except for the not losing 3.5 pounds part.  I feel stronger.  I am definitely pushing my limits. I feel like I am on the right track and if I just stay with it the weight loss will follow.  It will take a while for me to get to the ultimate goal of 10,000 steps per day but I will if I don't quit.

I'm not upping my goal for the first 16 days of July mostly because I don't know how.  Family, including a newborn I have not yet met, is arriving today.  Parties are planned starting tomorrow through Monday.  The mommy and baby are staying through the end of the week.  Daddy has to go back home Tuesday morning.  I expect that a good portion of my free time next week will be spent with family.  My sister has a pool so I will take full advantage of that every chance I get.  Probably not a lot of steps but certainly a lot of fun!  Swimming is excellent exercise and if my sister lived closer I'd be giving myself swimming challenges.

The next week, I'll be at church camp.  I'm one of four people assigned to care for the peewee campers.  They range in age from 17 months to 8 years old.  We will have 14 every day but one.  That day we will have 16.  My job is to teach them a Bible lesson each day.  They will be with us for about an hour and they will have a craft to do too.  The others are taking care of that.  I'm not sure how I will fill up the other 23 hours of the day.  I know it will involve a lot of walking.  I hope I am strong enough from the last 6 weeks, that I won't overdo or set myself back in some way.  I am taking my cane and Rx in case things get bad.  Let's hope I don't need either.  I am also taking my own lawn chair that doesn't sink down so much, and has arms .

So, it could be lighter on steps next week and heavy the week after.  I'm hoping the average will still be 6000 per day.   If so, I'll get myself a nice casual outfit.  When I get back from camp, I'll assess the outcome and set a goal for the 17th through the end of the month, and decide on another reward.

I'll just be popping in and out from now until camp week.  Then I'll be totally off the grid.  I'll be having fun and will have lots of tales to tell.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Harsh Reality

Over the weekend, as I moved my clothes from the guest bedroom closet to the master bedroom closet, I sorted and purged lots of clothes.  I had worn none of the clothes in the master bedroom closet since the floor fiasco redo.  

Some of the clothes, I knew I'd never wear again and they quickly went in the donate pile.  Other clothes were like seeing an old friend.  I'd missed them, and I was glad to put them back in the rotation.  Unfortunately, far too many of the clothes are too small.  That was a smack to the forehead.  And I needed it.

I'm not talking about those clothes I bought at a smaller weight.  I'm talking about the ones I wore but left thinking I'd not need them for a week or two.  I don't think the fibers drew up while they were hanging.  I expanded.

Instead of getting angry and frustrated (although I did - a little bit), I took some time to really think about what I'm doing for my health and fitness.  I stopped weighing thinking that was a good thing.  It may have been at that time, but it allowed me to  perceive I was doing things, very good things to get the weight off.  I wasn't.  Oh, I was doing things, I just wasn't making good assessments and thought if I kept on, that one day I'd wake up thin.  That hasn't happened.

Now it is the time to fully assess what I'm doing, what I need to keep doing and what I need to change.

What were the very good things:
*Eating real food, prepared at home most of the time.  This means meals that are protein and vegetable based, and snacks like fruit or nuts.
*Avoiding sugar and flour
*Setting the walking challenges with the pedometer
*Writing my mantra daily, along with personal affirmations
*Weighing weekly at the most, or hardly at all

What's working:
*Eating real food, at home - it should.  I have not kept a food journal, part of my more relaxed, make this part of my lifestyle approach.  But we wound up eating out three times last week.  That's a lot.  More than usual, as least I think, and we went places where I could get vegetables.
*Avoiding sugar and white flour - again, I have no evidence since there is no food journal.  And there were those brownies I made for church that weren't all eaten.  I brought the leftovers home.  I only ate one each day until they were gone.  I even shared with 65MD.
*Setting walking challenges - I am truly challenged to meet the goals I set for myself.  I can document the number of steps I've taken each day.  I think this is working and will continue to as I continue to push myself.
*Writing my mantra & and affirmation each day.  This is hard to measure.  I think it is.  I find myself making better choices, like only eating one brownie rather than a whole row.  I opted for fruit over potato chips at a function the other day without even having an internal debate.  That is probably due to that continual reinforcement.

What happens now:
In general I like the more relaxed approach.  I'm calmer and happier about food now than I have been in a long time.  Still, something must change.  My weight is creeping up slowly rather than creeping down as I expected.
*Eating real food at home.  I will continue to do this.  I will keep a food log to better document what I eat each day.  I will write Caesar salad, not 3 cups of romaine, 1 T Parmesan cheese, 13 croutons, etc.  I will not go 'all accountant' on it and list every last calorie or carb.  That is not sustainable and the reason I quit.  For now, I'm keeping a general assessment of what I eat each day.  Once I have a few weeks of logs, I can review and see what needs to happen.  
*Avoiding flour and sugar.  They are gone from my home prepared meals.  They'd crept back in, since it was allowable.  I'm struggling not to say they are banned completely because if I do have a little, I don't want to feel like I failed.  However, the avoidance is definitely going to be kicked up significantly.  I think the journal will help here too.
*Setting walking challenges - keep doing what I'm doing
*Writing my mantra & affirmation - keep doing what I'm doing

Also, I'm adding back weighing at least each week.  For  now, I'll hold off with all of the spreadsheets and graphs I love so much.  Even though the scales are a poor indicator, they are the most immediate reflection of progress.

Looking ahead, I have company coming at least two times in the next few weeks, a week at church camp in July (more on that later), and then it is on to birthdays, anniversaries, and on and on.  There will always be an excuse to start tomorrow or next week, or even next month.  That indicates to me that I need to figure out how to truly make weight loss a lifestyle.  I've got to learn how to navigate family functions, trips and the like without feeling deprived, nor sabotaging my weight loss/health goals.  This is a very daunting task.  Thanks for supporting me on this journey!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


Some of my long time readers may remember that on spring break 2015, that would be mid March, 65MD and I began to redo the floor in our bedroom.  It would be a simple task.  Maybe spilling over a bit beyond the week, but not much.  I even told a relative in town for the week, that she would see the finished product when she came back at Christmas.  That didn't happen!

The week long project took 15 months.  The starts and stops were both within and beyond our control.  Changing our minds from recarpeting to tile certainly extended the project.  Doing it ourselves also took more time.  Some days we worked hard and made lots of progress.  It felt good.  Some days we just had other priorities and could not work on it.  That was frustrating.  Some days we were tired and didn't feel like it.  That didn't feel so good.  There were things truly beyond our control, like two surgeries and two recoveries. (one for each of us)

Now, finally, at long last the floor is done.  It looks fabulous!  I love it.  It has been worth every second of the wait.  The room itself is not finished.  (I'll post pictures then.)  We are going to chalk paint the furniture black, and I have some bedding and curtains to complete.  I am so enjoying going back there and deciding just where to put this lovely little thing or that.

Oddly, I'm purging a lot of stuff too.  It feels good.  It is spilling over into the rest of the house.  I'm rearranging lots of things and finding more than I realized, I can live without.  I walked over 9000 steps yesterday, moving stuff around, doing laundry, etc.  Well, not all actually in the house, but I did NOT go on a planned walk.  Really.

I felt good all day yesterday.  It was a good day, although not everything that happened yesterday was a good thing.  I had  good day.  This morning as I wrote down my 2016 mantra:  "I am strong, fit and healthy."  Then I went back and read what I wrote:  "I am strong, fit and happy."  Really.  I wrote that.  I just sat and looked at it.  I am happy.

It goes beyond the floor.  It is just a room.  In time, we'll redecorate or move or something.  It isn't permanent.  It isn't vital.  It isn't really even important.  I think what has got me so, hyped  is the accomplishment.  I'm not sure we'd do it again, if we knew when we started what all it would entail. but we stuck it out.  We saw it through to the end.  We did it together and we did a great job.

If I were really clever, I'd connect this somehow with weight loss.  I'd draw a parallel between the stops and starts of the floor to the stops and starts of healthy eating.  The decisions within and beyond my control to workout or not.  I'd take this lesson and apply it to being healthy, although, I'm not sure there is a final completion day there.  I still could use this somehow.  I enjoy this feeling.  I need to keep it.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

My Feet

I was so excited to share about my nephew yesterday that I totally skipped mentioning my feet.  In short, they are mostly fine.

The longer version:  My left foot, where the burr was is totally fine.  I think 65MD's 'surgery' on it is what made it so sore the next day.  I also think the burr came out even though he didn't think so.  After that one day of concern, it never bothered me again.

My right foot, where I snagged my pinky toe on the wooden pallet is much better.  It does not hurt to walk.  It hurts sometimes when it is touched just the right way.  I mostly wear open toed shoes so it isn't a problem.  Once I get my walking shoes on, it is fine there too.

My feet are fine for walking.  My hips are too.  They are just a little more particular about the surface.  They aren't too wild about concrete and uneven surfaces.  They're getting better at those and even better at the stairs.  Stamina, building up endurance is the name of the game for me now.

I'm on my way.  I wound up with an average of just over 5800 steps per day for the last 15 days.  It is down slightly from the first challenge, but that one was shorter and I had a little more control over my days (no family trip).  I expect to reach my 6000 average goal this time and sport some new clothes by the end of the month!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Back to Business

We had a nice trip to see my nephew graduate.  I'll share more about that later.

I didn't walk as much as I anticipated while I was there.  And with today being my last day, I don't think I'll make my average 6000 step goal.  I'm close with, as of last night, my average being over 5700. But, I'd have to get nearly 10,000 steps today.  It could happen, but I doubt it.

65MD and I met at school and walked Monday and Tuesday.  We knew we wouldn't be able to today, so I walked at the church building.  That has really helped my average.  Even though, I come home and ice my hips, they are telling me it is time for a wee break.

If I make my goal by the end of the day today, I'll get myself a new dressy outfit.  If I don't, I'll get myself one article of clothing, like a skirt, from a thrift store.  I made a valiant effort and I believe I earned something just not the grand prize.  I'll start tomorrow with the goal again of getting 6000 steps per day between now and June 30.  If I make that, I'll get myself that outfit.

It is doable, I think, if I take a walk each day. 65MD is committed to meeting me and walking.  We've only done it twice and I love it.  It takes a little effort to organize my day to meet him.  It is so worth it.  It is nice to have that break in the afternoon to see him and chat.  His summer schedule is ever changing, but we'll figure a way to keep on.  We are both enjoying it.

Now for the highlight of my trip - Most of my readers know about my special needs nephew.  Briefly, he came to us through adoption.  His parents lost custody of him because they were cooking meth in the house, when he was an infant.  It left him with a seizure disorder and he is very delayed developmentally.  He is 7 years old and still wears a diaper, cannot walk, or talk.  He goes to school and has therapists work with him.  He is taking a few steps with lots of help.  He communicates through his own sign language, like raising his eyebrows for 'yes' and an occasional well placed grunt.  He smiles and laughs at the right time, so he knows what is going on around him.  He also has an adorable grumpy face.  

He went to the airport with us to see us off.  We all hugged each other and then I bent down and kissed his sweet face and  said "I love you, Sweetie.'  He immediately responded with three grunts.  I looked up at my sister shocked.  I said that I thought he just told me that he loved me.  She smiled and said that he did!  Of course, I insisted that my mother do the same thing to see if he responded to her the same way and HE DID!  I cannot express the joy that gave me, not just to be told I was loved, but that he knew what I told him and responded!  I'm crying as I type just remembering that.  It  made the whole trip.