2013 Review

I was going to post about my goals for 2014, but it makes sense to first look back at 2013 and what worked and what didn’t. Overall, I can see the year as modest progress.

The positive things this year:

• After starting to attend Weight Watchers meetings again in late February, I lost 8 pounds this year, weighing in last Friday at 186.8 pounds. I got to a 10% from my highest weight of 207.4 pounds.

• According to my scale at home, from January 4th to today I lost 9.6 pounds this year going from 195.1 pounds to 185.5 pounds.

• I got a Fitbit One in March and have consistently worn it (or my new Fitbit Force) since then.

• My husband and I started walking outside in April in our somewhat hilly subdivision and loved it.

• We bought a treadmill and have used it.

• I have eaten more vegetables this year and have overall eaten in a more healthy manner.

• In the last 12 weeks, I’ve missed only one WW meeting.

• I’ve consistently recorded what I’ve eaten the entire year only missing a few days.

• I found a new hairdresser and changed my hair color to something I love and am working to maintain it.

• I tested my personal reaction to gluten by going gluten free during December (except when I forgot and ate some cookies with gluten in them). I will add it back in during January and see if I feel any different.

• I started this blog, keeping myself focused on my weight loss and self-improvement.

• During December, I increased my average daily steps by over 1000 steps from the several months before.

The disappointing part of the year:

• I was inconsistent. One reason I only lost 9.6 pounds during this year was that I basically lost it twice. By mid-May, I had lost 8.8 pounds down to 186.3 pounds. I then proceeded to regain everything that I had lost and then had to lose it all again to end up the year down a net of 9.6 pounds.

2013 Weight Chart

The Graph shows my at home weigh-ins since I wasn’t attending Weight Watchers during part of the year.

  • I started the year using a Weight Watchers Active Link and then had a Fitbit the rest of the year.  Despite this, I didn’t increase my activity enough and wasn’t consistent with sticking with it.  The downward part of the graft mostly reflects when I was exercising.
  • I walked a lot outside for about 2 months starting in mid-March (when I got my Fitbit).  But, the Texas heat felled me and I basically stopped exercising when it was too hot to walk outside.  I had a Concept2 rower that I could have used, but I only used it a few times.
  • When I wasn’t able to walk outside and didn’t want to use the rower, I quit going to WW meetings which then spiraled into eating too much.  My average calories per month was much higher during the summer than the rest of the year.
  • I did track what I ate and I thought I was paying attention to what I ate.  But, I still didn’t eat enough fruits and vegetables and didn’t always make great choices particularly when eating out.

What I’ve learned from this year:

  • For me, I do much better when I go to WW meetings.  It isn’t so much that I learn anything new there.  It is that it keeps my head focused on losing weight and making better choices.  And, the accountability of weighing in really does help me.
  • I didn’t lose as much as I wanted to because I got off track in the middle part of the year and ate too many calories and coupled it with not enough activity.  My overall calories eaten per day wasn’t awful, but I was too sedentary to have much of a calorie deficit. Just eating a couple of hundred calories a less and burning a few more hundred calories a day would have made a huge difference.
  • I have a hard time with staying on track if I eat out too many times during the week. Theoretically I can eat out every day and still stay on plan.  I had lunch at Panera’s today and had the Power Chicken Hummus Bowl which is 330 calories.  But, the reality is that if I eat out more than a couple of times during the week I will go to more restaurants that aren’t as diet friendly and I will be more likely to have some larger meals and eat things that are higher calorie.  I can handle that occasionally, but not all the time.
  • I gave up gluten for December.  I haven’t noticed feeling any different from doing so.  However, I did lose more weight during December and found it easier to stay within my planned calories.  I do plan to add gluten back into my diet, but from a calorie standpoint I realize I have to watch how many grains I eat.
  • The Fitbit gave me a lot of data.  And, it was motivating to me.  But, it didn’t lead to as much change as I thought I would see.  I think part of it was that the goals I set were unrealistic.  Out of the box it had me with a goal of 10,000 steps a day.   I’m sure that is a worthy goal.  But, come on.  I was averaging about 2000 steps a day on days that I didn’t leave the house. There are a lot of days I don’t leave since I’ve been working from home.  I’m not going to suddenly start walking 10,000 steps a day the day after I get a Fitbit.  So, when I could see I was nowhere near the goals being set, I quit trying to accomplish anything.  I will do much better setting short-term goals that are more attainable and then working my way up.

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