Thursday, 27 September 2012

A small milestone

First, a big THANK YOU to all of you who left messages on my Goal Weight post just over a week ago.  It was sooo nice to get them all.  You'll notice a few changes.  I will be skinny has turned into The Art of Weight Loss Maintenance.  I guess it's more relevant to what lies ahead, and it turns out that I'm not skinny anyway.  I've also changed my Blogger name.  Me has turned into Mannie, which is not my real name but is close to it.  I guess I got tired of using Me, perhaps a bit too arty for my tastes.

The milestone I'm referring to is that back in 2000, I was at goal weight for exactly 9 days, which I'm sure you'd agree is not a particularly long time.  Now is actually the fourth time I've been at goal, the other periods being 6 ('94) and 12 months ('96).  I've now been at goal for 10 days, breaking my previous shortest duration.  You can see that the above graph that my weight gained for just over a week before getting back below goal.  I expected that.  You know how when you first start dieting, you typically lose a lot in the first week?  Well, this is the opposite effect of that.  When you start eating "normally", the weight of food inside you increases and so you weigh more.  I need to lose a bit more fat to get back to just a tad below goal weight consistently.  That will take 2-4 weeks.

I plan to have these graphs on every post for at least a year or two.  When I think about how long the blog will be active for, I've got mixed thoughts.  I really want it to last a life time, but is that realistic?  Probably not.  Very few blogs break 6 years.  The blog has definitely helped me in losing weight, but I'll share a little secret.  Promise not to tell?  This is not my first weight loss blog.  It's actually my third.  The other two crashed and burned.  The first one started off 10kg from goal (sigh) and ended up 20kg from goal (an even bigger sigh), 18 months later.  The second blog started off 25kg above goal and stayed that way for a year.  Mindset is everything, and it takes time to build that.

A few people have been noticing my weight loss at work, I had my yearly evaluation a few days ago and my supervisor said that someone had asked her if I had some health issue which caused my weight loss.  She'd noticed my loss just before I became single last June and complimented me on my losses.  Anyway, at the evaluation I told her no, I was fine, I just wanted to lose weight.  She handled it well, wasn't judgmental and we joked about how the company gave out chocolate as a reward for many things.  As an example, we were requested to do a company culture questionnaire and as a reminder, of course there was a small bar of chocolate as a thank you (the previous culture survey results got canned due to an earlier CEO being asked to resign for unknown reasons).  What is weird is that the comments I've been getting have been the week and a half surrounding my reaching goal weight.

My goal emotional high hasn't started to wear off, I thought that it would only last a few days.  I admit that losing 28kg (with a few rebounds added in - maybe 17kg) has been a tiring, draining experience.  More on that later.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Goal weight!

This morning I weighed in at 65.6kg, which means that I've reached my goal weight!  It feels so great to be finally here.  Yes, it's taken 3 years 3 weeks, but in reality it's taken 10 years because the last time I was at goal weight was 10 years ago (and I only was there for about 8 days).  I'll keep this post short because it's after midnight and I'm tired, today has been a busy day, I took the ferry to Diamond Harbour (a 10 minute journey from Lyttleton).  There I walked up the hill, and had an ice cream at the local store. 

I haven't taken a photo yet for the comparison shot but really, there isn't that much difference between the photo at 79kg and what I look like at 66kg.  The only 'issue' I have is my knees, I've noticed this in the past when I've been thin, my knees don't have any fat on them and it can be annoying when I'm trying to sleep because I can't lay one on top of the other.  Anyway, I knew that would be a problem. 

There is a sense of relief that I'm finally here, but also a lot of regret.  Why did I rebound 10 years ago?  I think that because I went up all the way to 94kg, I may well have mucked up the hormones which regulate hunger compared to if I had just stayed at goal.  Anyway, that is in the past now, I have no control over it. 

Because I'm at goal now I ordered my 32GB mp3 player, which should arrive within a week.  A few other goodies I'll be getting as well. 

I just want to say a big THANK YOU for everyone who commented on my blog in the last 3 years.  It has helped immensely.  I guess when you look at it, losing weight is a solitary experience.  It is extremely difficult to find someone who is at your stage of the 'journey' who you can buddy up and will help and support you.  Because I really didn't have that, comments helped a lot.  Also thanks heaps to those of you who have put me on your blogroll.  That seems to substantially increase views.  That's why I've maxed out (at 250) my main blogroll because I believe that WL bloggers out there need all the help and views they can get.

I've said in the past how I plan on a system for maintaining: if I'm over my goal weight then no dinner.  That starts tomorrow.  Because of the carbs I've had today I'll no doubt not be having dinner tomorrow.  That's cool by me.  Over the next 2-4 weeks I'll reintroduce carbs which means I get to eat fruit again, which is something I've missed a lot.

So what's it like to be skinny, a reference to the blog title?  Well it turns out that I'm not skinny, when I started this blog it had been 9 years since I'd been this weight and simply didn't remember what I looked like.  Also after about a year I got sick of the name but decided to keep it until I reached goal, so I'll change it soon to something relevant to maintenance.

It's been a great day reaching my goal weight.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Lowest weight in over 15 years

If you've been reading my blog for a while now, you've seen these a few times.  Lowest weight in .... years.  This will be my final one.  15 years ago my life was quite a bit different.  Living with Gill.  I'd just bought a new (second hand) car, which I just sold 6 months ago.  Back in 1997 I would break my arm in March, something that would cause a rebound that would last for 3 1/2 years.

I can't believe that my "journey" is almost over.  I feel all sorts of emotions.  More on that in my next post.  Last weekend I've had two comments at work about my weight, one day after the other!  Sadly, they haven't said that I look great, it has been more a sort of being concerned about my weight, and maybe I'm getting too low.  I just want to be the weight I was back in 1996.  Back then no one said I was underweight.  So why are they getting concerned now?  Way to spoil my fun, thanks.

Anyway, before about a week ago I was having rewards every half kilogram, but that has stopped.  I'm not having them anymore.  The reason is that I want to finish by about the 10 year anniversary of what I call "my 2002 madness" or "the worst year of my life, excepting the year I die".  10 years ago, my partner was dying of breast cancer.  My mother was also dying of pancreatic cancer.  Gill died on the 19th of September, we had her funeral on the 21st, and that night I drove to Dunedin, 5 hours away.

My mother was in a bad way, but I'm so glad that my brother and father came up for the funeral.  The next morning I had the following conversation with my mother: "Do you know that Gill has died?" "Of course I do".  That was the only words we said.  I really wish that I was able to have a proper conversation about Gill dying, because my mother was very fond of Gill, but she just didn't have it in her.  The next morning my mother died.

As you can imagine, that was really tough on me.  I still think of it a couple of times a week, 10 years later.  Gill was always supportive about my weight problems back then, she must have heard "I've lost another kilogram" so many times!  Unlike my last two girlfriends, she never showed resistance to me wanting to lose weight, never made one negative comment.  Actually, this is the first time I've realised that, having typed it.  I never had the need to question what she said about my weight.  She was my first girlfriend and we had a long-term relationship, and for some people you get really strong feelings for someone even years after the relationship has ended when they are your first girl/boyfriend and it is long-term.

So yeah, I want to finish around the time of the 10 year anniversary.  Not a month later.  Nowish.  But I'll make sure that goal day is not the 19th or the 23rd.  I don't want to have a happy occasion on a sad day.

On a lighter note, I'm wondering how the blog will be different when I'm at goal weight.  My two favourite maintenance blogs are Fit to Finish by Diane and At Goal Weight Watcher by Caron.

Diane has been at goal weight for 14 years, but she really knows how to look back and discuss the issues that were important to her when she was heavier, as well as now that she's at goal.  Her posts are a derivation of "Let's talk about ...".

Caron has been at goal weight for a couple of years now.  She regularly posts her weight, as well as what is happening in her life.  It's nice to get a feel of who she is as a person, rather than just words on a screen.  She gets to go to Weight Watchers meetings for free because she's at her goal weight.

You'll notice that my blog consists of posts such as:

   Lowest weight in n years
   I lost a bit this week
   I gained a bit this week
   n weeks in a row of losing
   I'm starting a new self-challenge
   That self-challenge really didn't work out but...

So let's imagine what my blog in (ideally) maintenance would be like:

   My weight is stable
   I started exercising
   I had some nice food this week
   I stopped exercising
   My weight is stable

Kinda boring, right?  I really have no idea what the blog will turn into, I guess we can wait and see.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

August goals recap / September goals


New month, new set of goals

My goals for August were:

  • Low carb for almost all of the month.  I gave the number of days that I wanted to eat low carb at 27 and yes, I was able to achieve that.  That was how many days there were, the exceptions were the 1st, 11th, 23rd and today, the 31st.

  • Reward meals when they happen, not before.  Done.

  • Red/Green squares to show when I ate perfectly or when I didn't eat perfectly.  My current diet is unlimited meat and unlimited vegetables.  It means I can have a reward meal (3200Kj) when allowed.  I know that some people might think that having so many reward meals (every half a kilogram) is a bad idea, but really, my goal is to lose weight.  No loss, no reward.  I do feel somewhat deprived when I'm on this diet, so it's nice to have treats now and then.  Once I'm at goal weight I'll probably eat out once a week (not a meal, just a snack.  I rarely have a whole meal eating out).  Here is the last month:

        So that's 5 days when I ate more than what I should have.

  • Become fit.  Done.  I can run for 30 minutes without a break, which is my definition of being fit.  Sometimes after an exercise session I need a lie down, sometimes I don't.  My sleep quality is still what I'd consider poor.

  • Exercise every day, except the 1st which I missed.  Done.  I only had to run in the rain once.  

So there you have it, what I've achieved in August.  I'm reasonably pleased with what I did.  So how much weight did I lose?  Exactly 4 kilograms.  That's not bad.

Now for September goals:

The main one of course is to:

  • Get to goal weight.  I really want to achieve that in September.  My weight loss seems to be speeding up in anticipation of getting there.  Only 2.1kg to go.  Unless something bad happens such as a health related issue or some type of conflict with another human being (I don't handle stress very well, who does?) I fully expect to get there this month.

  • After reaching goal, start the transition to high carb.  One of the things about going high carb is that you gain weight due to the amount of water in your muscles increasing.  This is called "glycogen related weight gain".  Because I want to stay under my goal weight I will need to gradually increase the amount of carbohydrates I'm eating.  That will take 2-4 weeks.  So I'll continue losing fat for a while, and that means continuing to eat less than my body needs.

  • Start my maintenance system.  For me that means watching what I eat and watching my weight.  At least initially for the first year or two.  Daily weigh-ins, which is fine for me, I prefer it that way (who knows, in the second year I might be weighing every second day).  I happened to read about someone who maintained by a simple method: if they were at goal weight, they could have dinner.  But if they were above goal weight, they couldn't.  I'm going to have my 'red line' weight as my goal weight.  It seems simpler that way.  I need to stay under it.  That way I don't have to choose a value of regain, and decide how much risk to take, ie 1, 2, or 3kg.  The first week I'll be taking each morning's reading as an indicator as to whether I can have dinner that evening.  After that, I'll take a 7 day average.  I know that a lot of people wouldn't go to this much detail in planning, but I enjoy this sort of thing.  I've weighed myself thousands of times in the last 20 years, so I like fiddling with numbers and stuff.

  • Start figuring out how much protein to eat.  Back in my 20's I was a vegetarian.  But I really didn't eat the foods that a vegetarian should have eaten.  Oh how I wish that I'd kept a food diary back then, of course I didn't because I was at a stable weight.  I didn't even know how much I weighed!  I didn't know what BMI or glycemic index meant, how many grams of protein/carb/fat I was eating, or how many kilojoules of energy I needed each day.  I was slim, my weight was totally stable.  The only time I overate was at Christmas and my birthday (or that's what I can remember).  I don't remember overeating because I was upset (although it might have happened).  My plan is once I'm at goal weight, I'll start off at 100 grams a day of protein, and see how my hunger is.  Drop it by one gram a day.  Probably 1-2 months later I'll have to taper it off.

Phew, long post!  If you got this far, congratulations.