Sunday, August 26, 2012

Setting a Short-Term Goal

Generally I hesitate to set goals of the "I want to lose this much by this date" variety because, let's face it, our bodies get a vote, and sometimes they vote that they want to lose a lot slower. Or sometimes life gets in the way. A year ago I had hoped that I'd be at goal right now, but I'm still 50+ pounds shy. That's ok though. I took a few months off my diet and started down the wrong path before getting myself straightened out. 

I'm not sure if specific weight loss goals motivate or set us up for disappointment. But regardless, I'm going to give it a shot. Not for the total weight loss, but an intermediary goal. 

You see, in 11 weeks I am taking the trip of a lifetime. Here's a hint:

Zomg. I can't wait! I'll be in India for Diwali and then I'll be traveling around with a friend.  Just ONCE though, I'd like to have some pictures of me at the awesome places, instead of me just taking pictures and not appearing in them. I want to say "here's me at the Taj Mahal!" I want to be proud of my vacation pictures.

When I was visiting friends last week one of them managed to snap a shot of me at a very unflattering angle and posted it on facebook, and I was really upset. I WANT to like pictures of myself. I don't want to live in fear that someone will take and post awful pictures of me. So for this trip especially, I want good pictures.

So here is the goal:

I want to be at 168 when I leave for India. That will still be about 18 pounds overweight, but I look decent at that weight. That's about 23-24 pounds by the time I leave, or around 2 pounds a week. I think it's doable.

How will I do it?

- Upping exercise and intensity. I will work in intervals and try to keep pushing myself. I am also going to start doing more strength training, and adding a session of cardio in the morning to keep my metabolism going all day.

- Eating well. I am going to start lowering the carbs/starches I eat to focus primarily on lean proteins and good high fiber foods like beans.

- Lots and lots of water. 

- More sleep. I don't sleep enough. I can't bring myself to get to bed early but I'm going to start getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night.

- Walking during my lunch break. I almost never even take a lunch break but I'm going to start walking during it, especially since the weather is getting nicer.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Working my Ass Off (literally)

Hello everyone!

I apologize for my absence of late, but you see I've been rather busy losing a bunch of weight! Yes indeed! Today I weighed in at 191.2 pounds! Here's my 12-week progress on Weight Watchers. You can see the ebbs and flows (of note, I started Weight Watchers at 214, not my highest weight of 229):

Impressive, huh? When I was last here, I was still in the 200s. So, what have I been doing? A lot!

First, I've been extremely active. Swimming a lot - I even swam a 5k a couple times! Walking a lot. Ellipticalling a fair amount. None of it is obsessive - I'm just doing what I enjoy. When I enjoy exercise I'm far more likely to do it. So I prop up my iPad on my elliptical and watch a show. Or go to the pool and let my stress melt away as I do lap after lap.

I've also been eating well. One of the things I started to do was actually eat all of my WW weekly points and even some of my exercise points. I had been pretty bad about that, fearing that eating more would slow my weight loss. But it actually helped.

But - and this is key - I don't spread those calories evenly through the week. I've started a modified calorie cycling, where I have a couple bigger meals during the week, and they seem to help keep my metabolism going. For example, this past wednesday I'd been lingering around 193/194 for a while and I decided to have a big meal of Indian food - absolutely stuffed myself. And my weight moved again in the next couple days. There's a lot of science to back this up - will post more about it in the future.

And finally, I've conquered travel. I've always had a tough time traveling and keeping on plan, because I tend to eat out a lot and not get enough exercise, and sometimes I get in a mentality where I think anything goes. But I've tried to remain on plan while allowing myself a few indulgences; I've also found ways to stay active. I'll post more about my tips to stay on plan while traveling in the next week.

All in all, these changes are helping a lot! I love seeing the scale move, and I'm more motivated than ever to keep it up!