I’m at Goal!

Goal

Yes!  At long last, I’m at my Weight Watchers goal weight.  Actually, I lost 1.2 pounds to get to 145.8 pounds, which is .2 below my goal weight of 146 pounds.  I really wasn’t expecting to get there this week.  When I am losing, I lose an average of about half a pound a week and, as I got closer to goal, it was slow.  This was a good eating week, but activity was sparse as I was still taking it easy after being sick.  So, when I lost a pound between yesterday morning and this morning, I was surprised.  And, then I hurried over to weigh in officially.

It has been such a long road to get here.  I first got to goal (a lower goal then) in 1991.  I failed maintenance hard, and slowly regained.  I sporadically went back a few times to try to get off the “baby weight,” to no avail. In late 2007, I went back and weighed in at my highest recorded weight of 207.4 pounds.  Despite this I didn’t make much progress.

In August, 2010, I decided to really seriously dedicate myself to losing weight.  At the time, I was all the way down to 205.4 pounds.  The good news was that when I consistently attended meetings and tracked, I lost weight.

I lost over 45 pounds and then we got busy and stressed while finding a new house and moving.  I got completely derailed and regained over 30 pounds.  Eventually in August of 2013 I started going down a bit, then I starting attended meetings regularly.  At the end of that year, I started this blog and I’ve slowly lost weight, finally getting to goal!

What now?  It is clear to me that I am not done.  My body fat is still too high.  My scale seems to fluctuate between about 38% and 39% body fat.  As I previously posted, my primary goal now is body composition.  My guess is that to get to a reasonable body fat percentage I will need to be somewhere in the 130s.  But, I’m not sure.  It might be more or less.

It is also clear to me that I have weight loss fatigue right now.  Also, I feel that with restricting calories over the past few years, my metabolism has slowed.  Not so slow that I can’t lose, but slow enough that it is hard for me to create a good calorie deficit.

So, I’ve decided that for awhile (4 to 6 weeks perhaps), I am going to simply try to maintain between 146 and 148 pounds.  I don’t want to go above 148 pounds since I don’t want to have pay Weight Watchers and am currently free lifetime.  On the other hand, losing more weight right this minute isn’t the key priority to me.

I want to simply work on finding out what calorie level I can eat at to maintain weight loss.  I realize I may have some fluctuations so that I may have a gain when I next weigh in at Weight Watchers.  AS long as I don’t go over 148 pounds, though, I’m fine with that.  But, right now I just want to focus on getting my body to settle in at a normal weight.  Once I’ve done that for a few weeks, then I will probably work some more on weight loss, but really focusing more on body composition.  Of course, I will continue working with my personal trainer on strength training which is a primary way that I am working on body composition.  And, I’ll continue doing my cardio exercise.

Personal Training Update

Y3

I started personal training on May 11 and have had 15 sessions.  I do 2 sessions a week unless something changes it (once the Y was closed, once I was sick, and so on).  I do 30 minute sessions.  When possible, I do a third session on my own on the weekend.

Overall, I’ve been happy with the results.  Early on, the trainer and I did not see entirely eye to eye.  I wanted to do a whole body workout each time and do the same exercises each time unless there was a reason to change them.  He wanted to mix things up a bit more each week.  We worked it out, though, and things have been going smoothly for awhile now.

I have changed a few exercises, but most of the changes have been increasing weight.  There are some exercises where I’ve gone up a lot.  This is mostly exercises where I started out really weak, such as the chest press machine.  I’ve gone up a lot, but still have a long way to go.  Other exercises I haven’t changed that much, particularly the ones were I started out stronger than other areas (such as the leg press).

I started out doing 7 exercises (3 sets) and have worked  my way up to 10 as I got faster.  I am doing it as a circuit to maximize my time and I’ve been happy with that at this point.

Have I made progress?  Yes.  Overall, I am stronger.  I’ve increased the weights anywhere from a little to a lot.  Most are closer to “a lot” than otherwise.

On the other hand, I can’t really see a difference. I’ve lost about 3.6 pounds since I started which isn’t a huge amount.  But, I’m not doing this so much to help with my weight loss as to improve strength and work on body composition.   I am not yet seeing much difference, but I can tell that I am stronger.  I think the main reason for this is that I still have a lot of excess body fat and I started as such as a low level of muscle that it will be awhile before much will be visible. As long as I keep increasing the weights that I use, though, I know I am making progress.

I recently signed up for another 12 sessions.  One thing I did think about was whether to switch to hour long sessions (I would do one a week with  the trainer) or possible doing one upper body 30 minute session and one lower body 30 minute sessions with the trainer and then do two more by myself.  I talked to him about it, and he recommended keeping things as they are for awhile.  I’ll reevaluate at the end of this set of sessions.

Is the trainer worth it?  Yes.  Obviously, he helps me with selecting the exercises to do and makes sure that I do them correctly.  That is all valuable.  But, the greatest value to me is that knowing I have an appointment set with the trainer keeps me going to the session and working hard.  I wouldn’t YMfrivolously not go to a session.  I haven’t cancelled unless it was really necessary.  I’m not sure I would be as diligent if I was just relying on myself.

 

60 Pounds Gone!

I went to my Weight Watchers this meeting and weighed in even though I don’t have to weigh in again until August.  I did this because I knew I would see this:

Weigh in 7-25-2015

At long last, a star for losing another 5 pounds, my last one before I get to goal.  I weighed in at 147 pounds, for a loss of .8 pounds for the week. The big thing though was that this puts my total loss at 60.4 pounds.  I have one more pound to go to get to my goal weight of 146 at Weight Watchers.  Actually, at home I was at 146.4 pounds so it is getting super close.  Loss is just awfully slow now as I get close to goal.

I had a good week from an eating standpoint, since I had a stomach virus much of the week and wasn’t hungry.  There was that one day I was tempted to have Subway because I felt sorry for myself but it would have put me way over where I wanted to be for that day, so I decided not to do it.

The negative of the stomach virus was that I had a total of 38 minutes of exercise this week.  I usually average about 300 minutes, but I want to be careful.  Years ago, I had a negative pattern where I would get sick, have to quit exercising while sick, went back too soon, got sick again, and eventually got totally derailed.  This time I’m being really careful so I don’t do too much too soon.  Probably will feel like doing my regular exercise on Sunday.  We’ll see.

Despite the low calorie burn due to the low activity, I had an OK calorie deficit since I didn’t eat as much as usual.   Once I realized I was going to hit my 60 pounds lost, I decided to actually weigh in this month.

I do have to weigh in at my first meeting in August.  That could be next Saturday, but I may weigh in earlier in the week and then wait to weigh in until the following week.  Haven’t decided yet.  My main goal for August is to lose 1 more pound to get to 146 finally.

Checking In

Wow!  12 days since I posted.  But, I do have an excuse.  I’ve been sick.  For a few days I was just really tired.  I took off an extra exercise day since I was exhausted.  Last Friday, I did make myself do the treadmill, but was still tired.  Saturday, I understood why.  I woke up feeling wretched.  It seems to be a stomach virus.  I didn’t exercise all weekend, cancelled my Y training on Monday and still felt awful Tuesday (the worst day of the whole thing). On Wednesday, I finally started feeling better and went to the Y and had a personal training session.  I exercised less time than usual on the elliptical, but it was good to get back to moving at least some.

The only good part of it was that this morning I had a new low on my home scale — 146.3 pounds.  While I really want to get 146 pounds, I’m not all that excited about the 146.3 because I know it is related to my being sick.  I haven’t eaten much and as soon as I get back to a more normal diet it will go back up.  I think my “true” weight is around 147.2 since I had several days around that.

Otherwise, except for being sick everything else is going OK.  I went to Weight Watchers last Saturday, but won’t weigh in again until August.

Half a Pound a Week

I was looking at this graph earlier:

WW graph

This shows my Weight Watchers weigh ins from August, 2010 until this week. As you can see, I had a lot of success from then until the end of 2011.  At my first weigh in during the first week of January 2012, I weighed 162 pounds. Alas, as you can see my weight started going up, up, and up.  This was a time when we were looking for a house, then moving, then remodeling, etc.  And, I couldn’t seem to get a grip on losing weight again.  I would lose for a little while then it started going up again.  Finally in 2013, I started to get back on track.  Of course, I had regained over 30 pounds by then.

One thing I was curious, though looking at this, was to figure out how much weight I’ve lost on average during this period not counting the time when I was gaining weight or getting back to 162 pounds.  I got back to 162.2 pounds early last September.  So, if I take my 59.6 pound weight loss and only consider the weeks that I was losing down to 162 pounds in January 2011 and the time since September, 2015 until now, I find that I’ve averaged losing about a half a pound a week.

Yes, the overall overage is less because it took me 2 years, 8 months to get back to 162 pounds.  That is sad.  It annoys me a lot to see that big mountain in the middle of that graph.  But, during the times when I was actually losing “new” weight, I averaged about half a pound a week.

I’ve seen so many people complain about only losing half a pound a week.  But, I’m happy with it.  Yes, I wish I hadn’t regained at all.  And, sure, I am in awe of those who lose 1 1/2 to 2 pounds a week.  But, that isn’t me.  It would be easy to get discouraged because I don’t lose at that rate.  And, there have been times in the past that I gave up.  But, this time I never really gave up.

Yes, I had that year and a half where I was mostly gaining weight.  But, I didn’t totally give up.  Periodically, I would go to Weight Watchers and weigh in.  I was actually paying for Weight Watchers during the entire time.  I think that one thing that helped me get to where I am now is that I never totally gave up. I kept trying.

I wish I could say what caused me to stick with in when I went back for good in 2013, a few months before starting this blog.  The reality is that I don’t know why it was different that time.  The important thing is that if I didn’t keep trying, I would never have succeeded.

And, yes, losing half a pound a week is unbearably slow for many.  Still, the last 5 years would have passed even had I not been losing any weight.  Almost five years after starting to go to Weight Watchers again, I’ve lost 59.6 pounds.  I do recognize that at half a pound a week I could have been finished with this by early 2013 if I hadn’t had the regain.  But, the most important thing is that I kept trying and finally I stuck with it and those half pound losses kept adding up.