Glass Half Full…or Half Empty?

Sometimes, it can be difficult to decide if that glass is half full or half empty.  I sort of feel like that right now.  On the one hand, I did this to my iPhone screen:

iphone cracked screen

On the other hand, it cost $129 (plus tax) to repair when it cost over $200 a couple of years ago when I had a cracked screen on my prior phone.  And, this was spectacular enough damage that the employees in the Apple store asked me how I did it.  Had I dropped something heavy on it?  No. I dropped it putting it into a pocket.  It fell straight down and didn’t even land on the glass.  Go figure.

So what does that have to do with glasses and how full they are?  And, what does that have to do with weight loss and maintenance?  On the one hand, I reached my Weight Watchers goal weight on July 31.  Since then I haven’t had to pay for a meeting.  I am currently not more than 2 pounds over my goal weight, so I don’t have to pay for meetings and I get free eTools.  At the November weigh in, I weighed 147 pounds.

So, in a way, the glass is more than half full.  It is darn near close to the brim.  After years of not being successful I’ve managed to get to goal and stay within my goal range.  I love being there.  Yes, 147 pounds is a bit over my goal weight of 146 pounds, but that is weighing in with clothes.  Just the other day, I weighed in the morning at home at 146.1 pounds.  In my book, I’m successfully maintaining.

And, it isn’t just that in the glass.  I am still doing personal training twice a week.  I’ve been doing this for 6 months now.  I can’t see a lot of new muscles, to be honest.  But, I know I am getting stronger because the weights I am using now are a lot higher than I started out with.  I have a long way to go, but I’ve definitely made progress.  While I haven’t lost weight, some of my clothes are definitely looser.

I feel pretty good about what I’m eating.  I’ve tried some different things and finally have gotten to a point where I feel like I know what will raise my blood sugar (no more chocolate drizzled popcorn for me, alas) and which ones won’t.  I’ve significantly lowered the processed foods that I eat. I am eating a lot more protein and feel I’m eating healthier than I’ve ever eaten before.

So, yes, that glass is at least half full.

But, let’s go find that other hand.  I had my body fat tested a couple of months ago.  It was shockingly high at 45.3%.  That was way higher than my Withings scale shows for body fat percentage and it was just terribly depressing to me.  I knew it was going to be high, but the scale had been telling me I was under 40% for months.  That was bad enough, but finding out it was 45% was just demoralizing.

I didn’t just ignore it.  I really focused on the strength training and my trainer made some changes to help me to build more muscle.  And, I greatly increased the protein I was eating to help with that as well.  At first, it was difficult to keep my points and calories where I wanted them, while still eating enough protein.  But, I figured it out.

I knew I needed to reduce my body fat.  To do so any time soon would realistically also require losing some more weight. I don’t mind being 146 pounds, but I do mind being at 45% body fat.  I figured that I needed to probably lose 10 or 15 pounds, preferably mostly fat, to even get started on this.

I’m not sure that I’ve made any progress on this at all.  I haven’t lost any overall weight.   You might think that I’ve lost body fat, while building muscle.  In that case, I might not have lost weight, but I would have lost fat.  That would be great.  But, I’m not thinking that is happening.  The scale is still telling me my body percentage is 37% to 38% which is what I was being told right when the Bod Pod said I was at 45.3%.  So, I’m thinking my body fat hasn’t really changed much.  I guess possibly it may have, but I’m not seeing it on the scales since home scales are not that accurate at estimating body fat anyway. So, possibly I’ve had a tiny reduction in body fat.

I had originally planned to go back and do a Bod Pod about now.  I thought I would have lost 5 pounds or so and it would be a good time to get retested.  Since I haven’t lost anything and the Withings scale say I haven’t lost any body fat either, there isn’t much point doing another Bod Pod right now.

So, why haven’t I lost more body fat?  I think it is a combination of things.  First, my resting metabolic rate is really low.  That was tested 1120 calories a day back in September.  On days I don’t exercise, it is hard for me to crack 1300 calories burned.  Today, I did personal training and a little bit of the elliptical and went grocery shopping.  I’m probably going to end around 1430 calories burned.  In October, Fitbit says my average calories burned was 1365.  This month, so far, is about the same.  That makes it hard to lose weight.

And, I’ve been eating a bit more.  I’ve long set my calories eaten average at about 1200 calories a day.  That allows me to eat all my Daily Points and about 2/3 of my weekly points.  I did that for a long time.  But, having gotten to goal, I have to say that I’ve been less intense about it.  In August and September, average calories eaten per day was 1283 and 1272.  Now, at that time, I was deliberately setting my Weight Watchers Points Plus on maintenance level.  And, the good news was that I did maintain eating at that level.

In October, though, I set Weight Watchers back to losing mode. I ate only 1217 calories a day on average.  That was a little higher than it had been before getting to goal, but it wasn’t that high.  So why didn’t I lose during October?  As I’ve posted I had a lot of stressful stuff going on in October.  I was able to pay attention to tracking and how much I ate, but didn’t pay much attention to anything else.  My exercise minutes outside of twice a week personal training went way down, about half of September.  That really made a big difference in my not having a big calorie deficit.

With all of the stress of that time, I’m thankful that I maintained during October.  I really am.  It would have been so easy to have a big gain that month.  Still, I didn’t make progress on the losing fat front.

November?  So far, I’m doing better on exercise.  It finally got cool enough here to walk outside, so we (my husband and I) have done that several times.  But, there has been a lot of rain so we haven’t done as much I would like.  Still, it is an improvement over October.  But, eating.  Honestly, I haven’t been doing great.  Actually the first week of November was great.  Last week was my highest week in years.  Monday of last week, I ate 69 Points Plus of food (2578 calories)!  To put that in perspective, I ate 46 of my 49 weekly points in one day.  Needless to say, I went over my points for the week (even after including Activity Points).  In fact, Fitbit tells me I had a calorie surplus for the week, not a deficit.

This week has been …better.  But still not great.  I have teeny, tiny calorie deficit for the week so far (I start my week on Saturday).  I will probably end the week with a smallish calorie deficit.  It didn’t help that I ate out Saturday and Sunday (that was planned and was fine), but impulsively got a Which Wich sandwich and chips this evening.  I didn’t go crazy on it.  I got a 7″ sandwich (chicken pesto).  I had the skinny wheat bread (they remove a lot of the bread so that calorie/carb count is much less).  I didn’t get a cookie.  So, it was OK.  It is just that I am going to have to be really careful for the rest of the week to stay within an average of 1200 calories a day.

This isn’t how I will lose that extra fat I really need to lose.  I seem to have one good, even great, week.  I then follow it up with something mediocre.  I’m exercising sort of OK, but not great either.  I seem to have lost intensity and focus.

Yes, I’m maintaining.  And, that is great.  The glass is half full. But, I’m not where I want to be in terms of body fat.  The glass is half empty.


  1. says

    You have a good, healthy attitude about the positives and negatives going on. I think maintaining is fan-freaking-tastic, especially with a lot of stress. Also, I don’t really agree that “losing” should be a priority anymore since you’re trying to build muscle. I think what should happen over time is your weight stays stable but fat goes down and muscle goes up. To increase muscle takes a looooong time. It sounds like you are on the right path, and if your clothes are looser, that may already be happening. A better tool than the scale for measuring this is taking body measurements (or just continuing to use how clothes fit as your gauge). Sounds to me like you are doing really great! Keep it up!
    Wendy recently posted…Checking In.My Profile

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