April 26, 2016

One hundred two days

I am mostly ready for the end of the semester. A couple of final exams, a little stack of grading, but nothing overwhelming. I am very grateful for the foresight I had to be incredibly organized, more so than ever before, because I knew I would want/need it this semester.

I can't tell you how incredible it feels to have lost weight this semester.  It hasn't been easy, and it certainly hasn't been a smooth path from Point A to Point B.


But it's progress, and I think it's the first semester since I moved down here that I haven't gained. I'd start off well, but then get caught up with midterms and get overwhelmed, make bad food choices, fall completely off track, and regain considerably - 10-20 lbs a semester times five previous semesters, it added up very quickly. But this semester, I'm down 25 so far, with one more week to go. I am so, so proud of myself for being able to claim this victory!

I'm trying to stay off the scale until May 15, so I don't get overwhelmed with numbers and focus instead on making good progress to see 299 by that date. I'll weigh myself on the 1st of the month (how I've been measuring overall progress - looking at just the 1st of the month, I've consistently lost all year. Not a ton, but there has been at least a little progress from each month to the next), but other than that, I'm avoiding the scale and putting my energy into making choices consistent with my goals.

Last week was a good challenge for that: I was on a hiring committee for an assistant professor position in my department, and we had candidates visiting the campus. We had to take them out to dinner - so I had two dinners at restaurants. I checked out the menus beforehand and got plain chicken sandwiches at both - a crazy big NSV, since there were so many delicious off-plan things I would usually get (hello, lobster nachos!). I drank only water, and I left both meals feeling very confident and proud that I'd made choices that get me closer to the healthy life I want for myself.

I'm also thinking about what happens next week, once I turn in my grades. I am scheduled to teach a summer class that I'm fairly certain will be canceled due to low enrollment, so even though I'll have plenty of work to do to get ready for fall classes, I'll also have a lot of free time to make weight loss a full-time priority while Noah is at daycare.


It sounds like a lot, but it always goes by quickly. And at the end of the break, I want to feel like I feel now - accomplished, proud of making progress.

I don't want to set a particular weight goal - I just want progress. That said, I do want to set some goals for activity, for food, for water, for sleep ... goals like the ones that have been helping me make progress so far. I'm mulling over what the specifics will be, but I'll have a plan by Sunday, when I make my calendar for May.

What about you? What NSVs have you had lately? What are your summer goals?

April 15, 2016

Eleven

We wrapped up our training this week, with post-tests/measurements retaken yesterday. After one month, I lost 7 pounds! My BMI and body fat percentage went down, too - they did some calculation to see what of the lost weight was water and what was fat (and to make sure it wasn't lost muscle mass), and they said 6 of the 7 pounds were fat loss! So that's reassuring - the scale moved quickly and then stopped, but good work was still being done.

On top of that, my waist measurement decreased by 4 centimeters, and my oxygen intake during exercise went up. Muscular endurance increased: I was able to do more chair sit-to-stands and wall push-ups in 30 seconds (11 before, 15/16 each now), and my plank time increased to 1m15s (And I know I could've done more!). My row increased from 85 lbs to 100 lbs, my bench press went from 65 lbs to 95 lbs, and my leg press went up from 230 lbs to 330 lbs!

So, overall, good stuff. I'm glad I stuck with it - last time I did the class, the exercises were overwhelming, and I didn't keep up with healthy eating, so I ended up gaining weight during the class. I wasn't always perfect this time, either - a lot of days when I should have worked out, I ended up having to stay in my office and catch up or have meetings. But overall, I tried a lot harder this time, and I'm proud of how it turned out.

Dana gave me a few more weeks of strength training exercises to do, if I want to continue with this, and she told me to keep her updated on my progress. I'm glad I got to work with her and David - they were incredibly supportive, and that made a lot of difference. The girls I worked with last time were not that way at all, and it was challenging, for sure.

Today, for my official Friday weigh in, I am down another pound, to 307. I've been stuck at 308 for a while, so seeing it move again feels good. I've been thinking a lot about what the trainers told me about exercise and nutrition, and I've been figuring out how to make it work for my body. After years of serial dieting, 2100 calories a day is too many for me to lose weight. This week, I revised my goal to 1800 - a compromise, I figured, between her number and what I had been eating before. I've kept up with making healthy meals and not just having yogurt and Lean Cuisines. And I got back to the gym, not just walking around the track/the park. I'm optimistic that keeping this up will help me make some good progress this summer.

Something else on my mind: today is April 15, which means it's officially been 11 months that Noah and I have been on our own. It's amazing to me. The days felt so long but almost a year has flown by fairly quickly. I would love to lose 8 pounds in the next month, so I can be under 300 by the one year "anniversary." It wouldn't be a huge loss for the year (I was 312 on May 15 of last year, which I thought was significant since 312 is the area code where my husband moved), but it would be a loss overall, and considering the year I've had, it's certainly reason to celebrate.


It will be tough, though, since Noah's 3rd birthday is coming up (can you believe that?!) and my husband and his mother (and likely one of his brothers) are coming to visit for a few days. I love my mother-in-law, and I am very lucky to have such a positive relationship with her. But I'm already anxious thinking about what will happen with my husband - on every visit, he manages to do something deeply upsetting, and it rattles both me and Noah for weeks. I want to be strong this time. I really want to focus on that May 15 goal, and I *don't* want to turn to food to soothe the anxieties. Plus, the one-year mark means the divorce will be finalized soon, and I want to look and feel my best on the first day of the rest of my life.

I'm trying to focus on the positives: Noah will be able to spend time with his father, and I can go to the gym on nights when they're together, so I'll be able to channel my frustration into a workout instead of food. And I will probably go get a massage, since that's been my Treat Yo Self luxury on past visits. Their visit also coincides with the end of the semester, so I will have that to celebrate, too: a few months to focus on my overall health, take some deep breaths, and move forward.

What about you? How was your week? What are your weekend plans? What dinners have you made lately (always looking for new ideas!)