Taking Stock at Mid-Year

Yes, it is halfway through 2017.  Actually, it seems like the year has just begun.  So, where am I at this point?

This last 6 months hasn’t really been great.  From a weight standpoint, this has been the most difficult period since I got back to goal in the summer of 2015. At my December, 2016 weigh in, I was at 142.8 pounds.  In June, I was at 146.8 pounds.  My Weight Watchers goal weight is 146 and I am free lifetime so long as I don’t weigh above 148 pounds.  Since I got back to goal, I’ve been above that mark exactly once.  That was in April when I weighed in at 148.4 pounds.  Since, then I’ve gone down.  But, I am expecting to be above 148 when I weigh in this Saturday.

And, the weight gain has been for predictable reasons.  Part of it was overeating.  I have been up and down the entire year.  January was a good month and I weighed in at 141.6 in February.  I think that led to some over-confidence and lack of focus on eating.  And, I was up to 147 in March.  I was more careful for awhile then went off the rails and was above 148 in April.  I then got it together the last 2 weigh ins, but overate when I was sick for about 10 days and I still have swelling from my surgery in May.

My goals at the start of the year were to cook more at home and to rejoin the Y and start strength training again.  I’ve done some of the cooking at home.  I get maybe a C on that one.  I am cooking more at home, but not as much as I planned.  The bigger problem has been that some of my food choices haven’t been great.  I am toying with the idea of signing up for one of those meal preparation services for maybe 3 dinners a week where they send you the ingredients and you cook the food.  This would replace one of our dining out times during the week which I think would help with the eating and staying within my calorie/points goals. [Read more…]

March April Goal Update

I forgot to post on goals at the end of March, probably because I did so poorly during March.  So, this covers March and April.  My two primary goals are to cook more food at home and to start going to the Y and work on strength training.

I did terrible on both of these during March.  In March I ate out too much and ate too much processed foods.  And, I wasn’t active at all.  April was marginally better.  I cooked more at home.  My average daily calories eaten were 240 calories a day less than in March (and March had been better than February).  January was my best month this year on eating, but April was pretty good despite my being up 1.4 pounds at my April weigh in.  I would like to cut it about 50 calories a day, but overall I was happy with it.

While I am doing more eating at home and less processed foods, I haven’t done in freezer meals during April.  I have a couple of things that I like to make for quick meals — a turkey chili and some chicken/bean wraps — but I haven’t done them.  This is on my list for May. [Read more…]

Goal Update

At the start of this year, I decided to make monthly goals.  I did make some progress on them, but will repeat them for February.

The first goal was to cook more food at home and make freezer meals for future use.  I did reasonably well on this.  In my post setting my January goals, I said I had made some turky chili and some chicken/bean/rice wraps in a large batch.  I had then frozen individual servings.  That was a good start, but I indicated I needed to do more.  And, didn’t do any more of that type of cooking for the rest of the month.  We did eat more at home because I decided to only eat out once on the weekend instead of twice every weekend.  That was adding too many extra calories and making it harder during the week, particularly when we sometimes needed to eat out during the week when we were out and about far from home.  By only eating out once on most weekends, it has helped to make the rest of the week easier.

The second goal was to rejoin the YMCA and start strength training again.  I did rejoin the Y, but haven’t done anything with it.  January was a terrible month on activity.  There were some reasons for some of this.  January was a rough month for us and our pets.  Our 14 1/2 year old dog died.  That was expected as something that was going to soon happen, but was still hard.  Then, our cat who was being treated for lymphoma had come out of remission and by the end of the month he was gone.  And, finally, one of our other cats (the one I showed in the Christmas tree) had to have major surgery to have all of her teeth removed (to treat gingivostomatitis).  Her recovery has gone very well, but it was all very stressful.  During this time, I really just wanted to mostly be home with my pets and didn’t have a lot of energy to think about working out.

For February, the plan is to continue on with the goals I had for January.  I will do more cooking and will actually start using the Y.

2017 Goals (January Anyway)

It is that time of year again.  Goals.  I’ve not really done well with goal setting since the start of this blog.  This is my 4th go at it.  And, I’m not really happy with how I set goals in past years.

The first year was 2014 soon after I started this blog.  That year I had huge list of goals and then set monthly interim goals.  That was sort of OK, but I had a leg injury during the year that made many of my goals impossible or inappropriate.  But, I felt sort of locked into them since they were annual goals.

So for 2015, I decided to do quarterly goals recognizing that a year is a long time and stuff happens.  I also reduced my total number of goals.  Even so, I felt I still had too many goals.  I do better if I focus on 1 or 2 things at a time.

And, that leads to 2016.  I set 2 annual goals — improve body composition and live a healthy lifestyle in terms of food and activity.  I then chose 2 actions that I intended to work on to progress on the annual goals – increase the number of calories burned daily and cook more real food at home and eat out less.  I planned to update the actions throughout the year.  But, then I had plastic surgery and that derailed all that.  I think my problem was I had forgotten that annual goals were really not a good idea.

Where does that leave me for 2017?  This year I do remember that annual goals don’t work for me.  I certainly have aspirations of things that I would like to see happen during this year.  But, I also think that goals should be behavior oriented.  That is a true goal to me is a behavioral goal not simply a wished for result.  Trying to set a goal for the whole year is unlikely to be a good behavioral goal.

I think I was on the right track in 2015 when I did quarterly goals.  But, I really think even quarterly is too long a period for me.  And, I think I was right in 2016 to want to focus on a couple of things at a time.  I do better when I do that.

And, that leads to 2017.  Instead of annual goals, I am going to have monthly goals to work on 2 or 3 things.  As I start consistently doing something from a behavioral standpoint I will change the goal.  If it is something that I have now made a routine habit, I will still do the action but remove the goal from the next month.  If it is something that I am making progress on, but want to do with greater intensity I will change the goal (for example, if I had a goal to strength train twice a week and achieved that I might make a new goal to train 3 times a week).

With that my January goals are:

  1.  Cook more food at home and make freezer meals for future use.  A couple of years ago I really started working on reducing my eating of processed foods.  And, I started cooking more at home.  I didn’t do as much as I wanted but I was going in the right direction. But, over this last year with the surgery I got out of the habit of cooking.  And, I went back to eating more frozen foods and eating out a lot.  This year I want to cook more.  I don’t like to have to spend a lot of time cooking when I am hungry right then so making batches of things and freezing them for some meals works well for me.
  2. Rejoin the YMCA and start strength training again.  I was regularly going to the Y before I had surgery.  I worked with a personal trainer on strength training twice a week for almost a year.  And, then, I couldn’t do that type of exercise for months.  I can now do some strength training and need to get back to it.  I dropped my Y membership when I wasn’t able to use it.  I want to rejoin and start going at least a couple of times a week.

I have started out with a little progress on the food part.  On Wednesday, I made my Turkey 3 bean chili and froze several extra batches.  And, then a made chicken/bean/rice burritos and froze those as well.  These make good healthy meals that I can heat up quickly.  I still need to do more, but it is a good start.  I haven’t done the Y yet.  I actually went in to rejoin in late December, but they said they were about to have a special where there would not be a joining fee so I decided to wait to join.  I’ll probably go by there this weekend to rejoin.

[For those who might wonder… No, I am not going to set a weight loss goal for 2017.  While I am at my Weight Watchers goal weight I do actually want to lose a few pounds.  In short, I don’t set weight loss goals because weight loss isn’t a behavior.  I talked about this at length in this post.]

 

2016 in Review

2016 was an interesting year.  From a weight standpoint, on the surface, things were kind of quiet.  At my December 2015 weigh in I weighed 145.4 pounds, which was just under my Weight Watchers goal weight of 146 pounds.  At my last December 2016 weigh in, I weighed 142.8 pounds.  Not much change there. My highest Weight Watchers weigh in was 147.8 pounds just a few days before my tummy tuck/breast lift in July.  My lowest weigh ins were 142.8 pounds in both April and December.

Plastic Surgery

My plastic surgery was really the dominant event of the year.   Losing over 65 pounds has been great.  But, weight loss just exacerbated my loose skin on both my face and body.  I worked with a personal trainer for almost a year and I got stronger.  But, it didn’t do anything to repair my abdominal muscles and loose skin that I had had ever since pregnancy.  Losing weight had helped get rid of fat, but it didn’t get rid of the loose skin.  That was like an elastic band that had been stretched out and that would never return to what it had been before.

I had been thinking about surgery for years, even while I was still losing weight.  As I got smaller, I felt my tummy still looked fat.  I read on blogs and websites (I especially liked Realself) about tummy tucks and thought it might be what I needed to get rid of the loose skin and repair the abdominal muscles.   As I read on Realself, I started to read about people having facial cosmetic surgery.  I hated my turkey neck and my sagging eyelids.  Even when I was much younger, I felt my eyelids drooped.  But, I hadn’t really thought about doing anything surgically.  At some point, I realized that if I did the tummy tuck, I would still hate looking at pictures since my face didn’t really reflect how I felt about myself.  So, I decided to do facial surgery. [Read more…]