Round Up – Days 15-36 (July16 – Aug 5)

I’m like a lot of you.  Lots of initial enthusiasm and then when life rears its head back and roars . . . well, my goals take a big back seat.

Plus, if I’m not right on top of things, I have a tendency to let things drift.  Basically, I’m lazy in certain aspects of my life.  Not all of them (even if I like to accuse myself of being totally lazy, it’s not true.)

So between drift and life stuff, here I am.  Three weeks after my last post.

Here are the numbers from the beginning, so it can be a bit clearer:

Date                 Weight        +/-            Overall +/-

7/1/14              252.7
7/8/14             247.8          -4.9               -4.9
7/15/14            246.1           -1.7                -6.6
7/22/14           248.3          +2.2                -4.4
7/29/14           247.1           -1.2                -5.6
8/5/14             247.4          + .3                 -5.3


Date                Body Fat        +/-          Overall +/-

7/1/14             107.9
7/8/14            104.9             -3.0              -3.0
7/15/14           104.3             –  .6              -3.6
7/22/14          105.6            +1.3                -2.3
7/29/14          103.9             -1.7              -4.0
8/5/14            104.3            +  .4              -3.6


Date                BMI               +/-            Overall +/-

7/1/14              42.0
7/8/14             41.2             –  .8                 –  .8
7/15/14            41.0             –  .2                 -1.0
7/22/14           41.3              + .3                 –  .7
7/29/14           41.1             –  .2                 –  .9
8/5/14             41.2             + .1                  –  .8

So what to make of these numbers.  Overall, I’ve lost some weight and most of it’s been body fat.  That’s good news.  Not a lot of weight and that’s because my diet is still fairly up and down.  Doing better with eating more fruits and veggies, but I still have my indulgences like once-a-week ice cream.  Yes, it’s time to either cut it out completely or at least for a while.  I’m almost there and that would help, no doubt.

I think the exercise is the key here, though.  The week ending 7/22 where I have a gain that’s more than just a blip on the screen – I didn’t work out hardly at all.

So for me – yes, my diet needs to be tweaked here and there and modified, but the key take-away for myself is that vigorous exercise three times a week plus the daily walking the other days is necessary to lose that week.

As to other goals – I’ll post something soon on those.  Some are doing better, definitely – Spanish has finally ramped up and I’ve been reading a fair amount.  Other things – not so much.

So I am back and I’m fine.  Like I said, life stuff can take the front seat for periods of time, but as habits are built and put in place, I’m hoping that the autopilot will kick in and I won’t revert to a sense of inner chaos in the face of life’s challenges.  I think that’s the point of this exercise for me.

So . . . as they say . . . ONWARD!

Round Up – Days 8-14

Apologies for not getting to this earlier in the week.  I’m writing this on Day 19 (346 to go) –

As promised, here are the numbers from the scale on July 15, day 15 and reflect days 8-14:

                                                         Total Loss/Gain

Weight           246.1                        -6.6
Body Fat        104.3                         -3.6
BMI                  41.0                        -1.0

This week was less dramatic, but still, .6 pounds of body fat.  Most of the loss was water/lean muscle. And I passed from one BMI number into another (for what that’s worth!)

This means time to be focusing on exercise and probably weight bearing exercise.  Aerobic exercise can, and does, contribute to loss of lean muscle, but working the muscles keeps the muscle as well as adds to it.  And keeping muscle is important for metabolism and health and looks.

As to other goals –

Physical goals – I had one rough, less than six hours of sleep, night.  But otherwise, the rest of the nights were at least six and more like seven plus each night, which is where I feel best.

We worked out at the gym three times but I did only aerobics which may have contributed to less fat loss, but more water/muscle loss.  Not sure, but it’s good to be reminded of this – need to vary the exercise and do the machines, too.  I also walked the dog and even did some driveway walking to get more steps in.

Food – not too bad.  Still doing pizza Sundays – we doctor up a grocery bought pizza and eat three slices.  It’s not as much as going to Domino’s or Round Table, but still . . . a lot of salt and fat (yumm – two of my favorite food groups.)  We have also done Ben & Jerry’s as our big treat for the week, too. We always have leftovers, by the way – two slices for Monday.

This combo – pizza and ice cream – is only once a week.  I have conflicted feelings about it – I like it (duh), but . . . come on.  We’re talking ice cream here.

I knew food was going to hard.  I’m trying to stick to my rather easy food plan the rest of the week, but still . . . okay, I’m not ready to make any more changes yet.

Mental Goals – I was a lazy sod, and did some reading, but didn’t do any Spanish.

Inside/Outside Goals – We had a playdate which was fun – a two-hour harbor cruise in Marina del Rey on a gorgeous day.  Can’t beat that and especially can’t beat the price – it was a perk from our financial adviser.

As to inside goals, more decluttering blocks.  Got the pantry cleaned out and set up my husband’s new “office” on a kitchen table.

Spiritual Goals – I meditated a few days, and wrote a couple of drafts for the thank you note project.  I’m definitely going to modify that one, but haven’t done it yet.

I said this was a building week – some things are continuing, some are stalling a bit (hola!!!), and writing this points it out to me.


This project is not just about weight, for me.  I’ve been fat most of my life, so I’m not going to be getting thin in a year – my goal is just to be “less fat.”  That’s about health, not vanity.  The other goals are going to be about improving who I am and those are as important to me as the weight and health goals.



Round Up – Days 1-7

I’m writing this on Day 9 (356 to go) –

As promised, here are the numbers from the scale yesterday (day 8):

Weight           247.8
Body Fat        104.9
BMI                  41.2

The big loss is body fat – three pounds.  Yay!

The weight loss is 4.9 pounds, but really, it’s body fat that counts and the loss I’m looking towards.  I know the first few weeks of changing patterns tends towards a loss of excess water.  My going forward concern is, of course, not losing too much lean muscle tissue because at 56 (well at any age), lean muscle tissue is what keeps up the metabolism and health overall.

So it’s amazing that in a week that included a holiday and some holiday indulgence, I still lost the body fat.  That’s probably more to do with exercise than what I was eating, although I admit that writing down what I’m eating is consciousness raising in and of itself.  I know . . . everybody says it and everybody’s right.

As to other goals –

Physical goals – I did pretty well with sleeping – in fact, I slept at least six hours every night and a few times was right at eight hours.  My exercise was a bit lower than my goal, but still, I did get out almost every day even if it wasn’t quite 30 minutes.  I did do a few garage walks – meaning I added extra steps on a dog walk to increase my time and mileage walking up and down the driveway between our townhouses’ garages.  Pretty silly, but I guess only the cat was there to mock me.

Mental Goals – I did some Spanish, but am not in the habit yet – ways to go on that one.  Hola!

As to reading, I put a few longer novels on my kindle to be read in the future, and I finished one book – “Orange is the New Black” by Piper Kerman.  If you’re watching the show in Netflix (it’s not for kids, but if you’re an adult . . . it’s highly recommended for the ensemble work of the rather quirky cast – and who cannot love Kate Mulgrew!  Wowza.)  The book is quite different just so you know, but it’s also worth the read – she’s pretty darn honest about what got her in prison.  And Larry is not such a schmuck.  So there.

Inside/Outside Goals – Did nothing on the outside goals.  On the inside goals, we’re in the process of decluttering a room that’s been my husband’s office for quite some time and returning it to a bedroom for an adult child who will be returning and going back to school.  We’re not packrats, well, not exactly, but some spaces have not been touched in like almost nine years, since we moved in.  So I did put in some time on the decluttering block.

Spiritual Goals – I meditated about half the days and as to the thank you note project – I didn’t even get started on it.  I thought a lot about it.  I really did – and what I thought was – It’s too darn hard and I won’t succeed.  I think it may need some modification to make it just a bit more do-able.  Still thinking on it and will report more next week.  I’m not surprised, though, that this is the sticky wicket for me.  I’ve been struggling for awhile now with spiritual matters (long story there.)

So I think it was a good entry week.  Now comes the building weeks – building on successes, making tweaks, and continuing on.


What is Fat?

ecard weight loss motivation 2

I’ve never been one to avoid the term “fat.”  In fact, when someone would use the term overweight, I’d often pose the question – “Over what weight?”   I’ve always thought the term overweight was actually more subjective than the term fat.

So I don’t avoid or shirk the label – I am fat.  I have fat on my body – too much of it for my long-term health.  I don’t believe I will die from being fat, per se, but I do think that extra fat makes it harder to move, it’s hard on the joints, and it’s correlated with other health conditions like some heart diseases and diabetes.  If you’re paying attention, you’ll note I used the word correlated.  Excess fat is correlated with various health conditions, but there isn’t a lot of evidence of its causation.

I get very irritated when I read about how fat causes diabetes and heart disease and blah blah blah.  And then you read the news article and it’s all correlation and not causation.  The important take-away of understanding this difference is one, journalists aren’t that smart (apparently) because they often don’t understand the difference between the two, either; and two, what this really means is that if you’re not inclined to try and lose tons of fat for whatever reason, correlation tells you that you will probably not need to be crazy on fat loss to see your risk reduce tremendously.

Put another way – you don’t need to lose as much fat as you think to improve your health.

Let’s say you had 70 pounds of body fat and should only have 30 (to be within a normal range) and you lose down to 50 pounds of body fat.  For most risks, that loss of 20 pounds of body fat would probably be fine.  Now you could be the one person for whom it wouldn’t be enough of fat loss.  It’s possible.  Your risk profile might need for you to be down to normal amounts of body fat – and guess what?  That might still not be enough.  Because fat, per se, doesn’t necessarily cause all the bad stuff anyway.  Genetics plays a huge part and if you have a sister and mother with diabetes, you still might get it even if you’re not fat.

Let’s be practical.  I could be the lucky one who, being fat, has no other health issues.  In fact, with modern medicine working for me, I actually am a pretty healthy fat woman.  (And this may be because I am a woman, not a man – gender does play a role in many health conditions.)

But I have a very thin aunt who struggles with her blood sugar – she takes a reading every morning and lets it guide her as to what she should eat for the day.  She’s pre-diabetic who doesn’t want to be a diabetic, so she does the practical thing – she keeps her numbers in line.

I’ve struggled in the past few years with my blood sugar.  My A1C which is a measure of blood sugar over time, and my blood glucose numbers have consistently put me in that pre-diabetic category, too.  I’ve not always had this problem and I don’t know that my elderly aunt did, either.  But you can see there is more than just my being fat at play here.  I’m somewhat insulin resistant which means that, although I’m not at the level of a type II diabetic, I’m going to do better if I watch what I eat.  And exercise regularly and do all the other things that I know I should be doing.

It’s tough, though.  I like sweets (my aunt and mother do, too – but only my mother who isn’t insulin resistant at all is able to eat them with impunity!)  I always thought women were more on the sweets loving side of the scale while men liked fat and salt more (there is some thought on this), but I married a sweets lover, too.  It would be easier if he didn’t love them as much as I do (and he has no insulin issues with them, at least not yet . . .)  He’s also not particularly fat.  So go figure.

I’ve veered off my original topic here a bit – sorry about that.

I started asking “What is fat?” and as you can see – it’s certainly a measure, but not the only one, of health.  But in a larger, more inclusive sense, fat is simply – energy.

Of course it’s energy that is stuck in the cells – it’s not necessarily freely moving around, elsewise it wouldn’t be fat!  But really, excess kCals are stored as fat and that is exactly energy.  The trick is to figure out a way to utilize the fat as energy to help us fuel our days.

A friend of mine used to say that her goal was to free up the stuck energy (fat) and to use some of this every day as well as the kCals she ate.  She kept this in mind when she was hungry between a meal – she had to force her body to release this energy – and at first, it wasn’t that easy.  The body likes to keep it stored up, especially when you add in female hormones, for the inevitable scarcity that all bodies have as part of their DNA – that primitive part of ourselves that remembers we were always feast or famine until recent times.

So I’m going to keep remembering this as I move through my days – I’m just working on getting at the stuck energy and getting it moving and working for me, not against me.


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