Yes, I’m sitting at home on New Year’s Eve writing my 2015 Year in Review post. I don’t have pictures of fireworks to make this more festive so I’ll give you a few pics of Fluffy taking charge of the Christmas tree.
OK, having looked at the two best things ever — Cats and Christmas, let’s look back at 2015.
For this year, I did quarterly goals instead of annual goals. I will talk a bit about the year as a whole and will also talk about how I did on my 4th quarter goals.
The big, overall goal for the year was to get to my Weight Watchers goal weight of 146 pounds. The good news was that I did that on July 31st!
Once I got to goal weight, as I expected, I realized I was not done. My body fat was too high and I knew I needed to improve my body composition. One of my goals for the 4th quarter was simply to reduce my body fat percentage. That did not happen. I had my body fat retested on the Bod Pod last week and I had made no progress in 3 months. Actually, it was a little worse. The person doing the testing said it was within the margin of error on the Bod Pod. So, I don’t think I actually lost muscle over the 3 months. But, I didn’t make any progress either.
To reduce body fat, I planned to do 3 things. First, have at least some calorie deficit so I could lose fat. Work more intensely with my personal trainer so I would keep existing muscle and build more muscle. And, up my protein intake (which was also one of my 4th quarter goals).
I did consistently up my protein to where I wanted it. On isolated days I didn’t make it, but I made it almost all the time. That was good. I did work out what I thought was a better routine with my trainer so I was focusing more on building muscle. I did get somewhat stronger over the last 3 months. I can lift heavier weights, so I know I am a little stronger. But, really, I didn’t build the muscle I hoped to build.
I would guess it is a variety of factors. Part of it is just being an older female makes it hard for me to build muscle. I think I underestimated that factor. I thought it would be easier than it is. Another part is that due to various reasons I had to cancel or reschedule a number of personal training sessions. I had planned to work with my trainer twice a week and then do a third session by myself on most weeks. In reality, I did sessions twice with my trainer on good weeks and had several weeks I could only get there once. The times I rescheduled were necessary so I don’t feel bad about them. But, I could have done more to get there for at least a second session on my own.
The other factor was the calorie deficit. I lost 1.7 pounds from when I tested on the Bod Pod in September to when I tested right before Christmas. I had a small calorie deficit for October, a small calorie surplus for November, and a small deficit for December. During most of the last quarter, I was just a little over my goal weight. I did get below it to a new low during December. But, the bottom line is that I didn’t have enough of a calorie deficit to really lose any body fat. If I want to improve my body composition, I will have to do better.
My exercise goals for the 4th quarter were to do strength training 2 to 3 times a week, and to do cardio 4 times a week. I had a lot of stressful events in my life during the 4th quarter and exercise took a hit during this time. In times of stress, I find I can focus on about one thing for me and I chose to focus on my eating. The exercise was a distant second. I did do personal training for at least 1 time a week consistently and most of the time I did 2 sessions. There were some weeks that I didn’t get the second session in and I never did 3.
On the cardio end, I was spotty during the last quarter. I did the treadmill a lot during the summer when it was hot and I was sick of it by October. I was ready to walk outside with the cooler weather. But, my husband had surgery in October and he couldn’t walk for several weeks and, once he could do so, he wasn’t able to walk as long as we used to walk. So, when he couldn’t walk or had to take a 20 minute walk, I tended to do only as much as he could do. I could have done the treadmill or the exercise bike or walked outside by myself…but I didn’t do it as much as I planned to.
My final goal for the 4th quarter was to lower stress and work on achieving balance in my life. I made progress on this during the 4th quarter. During this year, at various times, I wanted to manage my time better, get more sleep, do more activities outside the house, lower stress, and work on achieving balance in my life. I am not entirely where I want to be on any of these, but I did make progress on all of them. I am managing my time better and I’ve worked hard to managing my time so I can do more things that I want to do and I don’t just sit at the computer all day.
Looking back at 2015, I ended the year in a way better place than I started it. Simply getting to a normal BMI — even though I am skinny fat — was a huge, huge thing for me. I hadn’t been a normal weight in over 20 years and I think it has really taken me the last 5 months to adjust to it.
Although I was inconsistent, this was my best year for exercise in a long time. I started the year slow. Then, I did well on the cardio end, but no strength training. I finally started strength training and upped my cardio during mid-year. But, I overdid that a bit and my knee started hurting again. I pulled back a little, but still did OK for awhile. Basically, I ended the year consistently doing both cardio and strength training, but not getting in quite as much time on both of them that I had planned. That said, I am definitely in a better place now with exercise than I was a year ago. Back then, I wasn’t doing any strength training and was doing only limited cardio (partly due to being derailed due to a leg injury during 2014).
Another key focus of mine this year was working on food. Early on, I focused on eating more fruits and vegetables and on limiting processed foods. I also did a lot of testing to find out which foods raised my blood sugar after I found that I had an elevated A1C. I wasn’t diabetic, but it was higher than it should be. I worked hard on my eating all year and just had my A1C tested again and found it was now normal. With eating more fruits and veggies, limiting processed foods, avoiding foods that spike my blood sugar, and eating more lean protein, I found that SmartPoints was aligned very closely with how I had been eating this year. This is one reason that I am looking forward to following SmartPoints while I work to lose more body fat to improve my body composition.
I will be posting soon about my current goals as I move into 2016.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!