Saturday, January 24, 2015

4 lb Drop, and my fluctuations since Christmas

So I'm starting to come back to where I was before Christmas. As mentioned previously, I did allow some indulgences and that, combined with monthly weight gain, resulted in a 10 pound increase as you can see below. Half of that was gone by January 3rd, but after a minor drop the next week the monthly weight gain cycle began again.

I have had a lovely drop of 1.9 kg (4.19 lb) this week, and in fact it's not all monthly water weight either -- according to the scale 1.5 kg (3.4 lb) of it was fat and only 0.3 kg (0.7 lb) was water. So once this cycle ends in a few days, I should have another drop. I think the coming week will be the real determiner of whether intermittent fasting (IF) is making a difference. If I continue to drop this week rather than staying in the 80s, I'll truly feel I've broken the four month plateau.  Wish me luck!

Still loving the treadmill, and this week I'll be changing my method a bit. I love using the C25K app and my intervals this week will be 3 and 5 minute runs, but I'm wanting something more interesting to look at while I run. I'm going to run the app from my phone instead of the iPad (with a Bluetooth speaker so I can hear the prompts) which will allow me to watch a virtual run scenic video on the iPad. There are quite a few good ones on YouTube, so that will be lovely.

It's 11:55 am so I have five minutes more until I can eat some lunch, and then I'm off to give blood today.  Hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

5 Days into Intermittent Fasting

I started Intermittent Fasting on the weekend -- it's Wednesday evening so I've done five days so far. I've been doing the 16 hour fast / 8 hour eating window each day, and really it's not been difficult. Hunger does indeed come in waves, and while I'm at work most of the time I don't even think about it much. Having said that I am happy when noon comes and I can have lunch. Now, it is an eight hour eating window but that does not mean I'm eating during that entire time! No, I still don't really snack between meals, so I have lunch and dinner with dessert usually being an Atkins shake or bar.  I workout when I get home.  They say you should do your workouts during the fasting stage, which would be morning for me, but I work and I'm definitely not a morning person so I'm not getting up at 5:30 just to workout. Besides, I've tried that before and I have no energy in the morning. I love working out when I get home - believe it or not I look forward to it!  The treadmill has become my stress relief. :)

I'm on week three of the C25K, but in truth I'm pushing myself a bit more than I did the first time. Firstly, I am doing it on the treadmill this time, so that means I can push myself to go a bit faster than I would outside. I'm also adding extra running intervals. For instance, today was a 90 second run, 90 second walk, then walk a 3 minute run and 3 minute walk. You repeat that twice, so two 90 second intervals and two 3 minute intervals.  At the end of those I add two more 3 minute intervals, mostly because I want to exercise more than 28 minutes. Then I cool down at a brisk pace for a few minutes, then slow down to a more casual walking pace for 4-5 minutes more. All in all it's usually about 40 minutes, but today was 45.

Yesterday I did Callanetics and I'm debating just sticking to those two workouts for now. Every time I try to add strength training in as well it gets to be too much. So for now I'll have two rest nights.  C25K on the treadmill is M/W/F, Callanetics Tu/Sat, and rest on Thu/Sun.

I've already dropped a bit but I'm not counting it just yet because I'm still getting rid of the monthly weight gain.  By the weekend I hope to see a much better number again.  I'm told it can take a few weeks or longer of Intermittent Fasting to start seeing results, but I think that's for people transitioning from the Standard American Diet (SAD) so we'll see.  Since I'm sticking to my usual dr Poon / low carb meals during my eating window, I'm hoping to start seeing some good results sooner. I'll check back soon and let you know how I'm going.

Gwen's three-part discussion of Dr David Kessler's book The End of Overeating has convinced me to read it. I bought the Kindle edition so I could dive into it quicker, and I'm already up to Part II - The Food Industry. The first part was certainly very interesting, all about the way sugar, fat and salt affect our brain and behaviour. Why we crave such foods. In Part II it looks like we'll be getting into how the food industry used that knowledge to hook us on their products, thus ensuring we'd come back for more and more. You can read Gwen's excerpts here - Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. Obviously I'm not done with the book yet, but I can see where this would help a lot of people because I spent years thinking I was a worthless failure who couldn't control what I eat. Now at least I know why! My lack of control wasn't because I was weak, in fact much of it was never in my control to begin with. Thanks Gwen for sharing this information, I'm really glad I bought this book.  I'll comment more when I've finished reading it.  That's all for now, I'm off to relax for a bit before bed.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

How NOT to have diabetes; and bringing this journey home

I read with interest this post on the Wheat Belly blog in which Dr Davis provides a checklist that he says, if followed would allow the majority of pre-diabetics and diabetics to become non-pre-diabetic and non-diabetic. You can read his article for more information, but here's the list:

  • Eat no grains or sugars
  • Don't limit fat intake
  • Correct vitamin D deficiency
  • Supplement omega-3 fatty acids (from fish oil)
  • Correct bowel flora
  • Supplement magnesium
  • Fast intermittently
  • Sleep adequately
  • Be active

I don't eat grains or sugar, but I do limit fat on Dr Poon's Diet. I used to take Magnesium but haven't in awhile. I do take Calcium plus Vitamin D but I don't do fish oil. My probiotics have run out but they are so expensive! I've been getting enough sleep, I've been active, that's for sure. That leaves intermittent fasting. I kinda do that on weekends now, rarely eating breakfast, but I want to try a scheduled fast. I'm not sure whether the 4:3 or the 8 hr window method is right for me. I'm leaning toward the latter, because I can easily just skip breakfast and hold lunch till 12 noon. Then stop eating at 8pm for an 8 hour eating window. Or eat only from 9am to 5pm - whatever works for you, the goal is to just have an 8 hour window each day during which you can eat.

Tonight I stood in the doorway of my living room enjoying the cool breeze and asked myself, "Are we ready to do this? Are we ready to finish this journey and bring it home now?" I've eaten right (other than during the holidays) and worked out but I'm still stalled at this weight. I've hovered between 80 and 85kg for the last four and a half months. I have stayed mostly Phase 1 and worked out, and if that's not enough then we're gonna have to shake things up.

I'm going to do this. I've got to step it up. I haven't used this plateau as an excuse to quit, and that's good. Maintaining my weight for over four months is better than gaining. But I'm not ready to stop this close to reaching my goal. Achieving my goal weight is what I want. Hovering on the line between overweight and obese is not what I want. I need to go after what I want. I start this weekend.

I'm on week 2 day 3 in the C25K but this time on the treadmill. I'm averaging 8.8k/hr when running. I'm really enjoying doing it on the treadmill. I've found the right position for my iPad so I can still see the stats I need to on the display. I can start them at the same time and listen to music without needing headphones. Hubby said I have a great little set-up going. Now if the C25K app would just stay active when I launch YouTube so I could watch more scenic views, that would be perfect. :)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Definitely enjoying the treadmill

Just a quick update as I get ready for work this morning.  It's been raining again, so it's a good thing I got a treadmill for Christmas. And I have been using it, my friends. I used a few of the built in programs, and then decided to put the C25K app on my iPad and go through that. Last week I completed week 1 again, and each day I took things up just a notch. You basically repeat the same workout three days in a row for the first few weeks, but I had no incline the first day, then set it to 2 for the next two days. I also increased my speed on the running so I'm at 9.5 now while I run. I have done 9 for three minutes in one of the pre-programmed workouts, but it will be interesting to see if I can maintain that speed as I get to 5 minutes and longer.

No loss to report this week, but then I'm starting the monthly gain again. Oh Menopause, where are you! I never thought I'd want to see you but seriously, I'm ready now, I am over this rollercoaster ride.  I'll check in again soon.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Here's to reaching goal and having more joy in 2015!

On 14th December I was at a new low weight, 80.2kg (176.81 lb). By 25th December it was 85.6 kg (188.72 lb). Today, happily, I am back to 82.2 kg (181.22 lb). Now half of that was likely monthly weight gain which, as I approach the menopausal years, has increased ... both in amount and the number of days it hangs around. But the rest is because I gave in to holiday indulgences. One person said, "come on, it's Christmas," and I allowed myself a few treats. I reasoned as I get closer to goal I will have to deal with real life and the occasional off-plan food. But I didn't realise how quickly sugar could reignite cravings, and one day turned into five. It's over, it's history, and I won't be doing that again.

My holiday leave is nearly over, too. Being off work has never made staying on track easier for me, but one thing I am proud of is I have continued to exercise throughout my time off, whether walking with hubby and the dog, working on home renovation projects or hopping on my new treadmill. I've done several HIIT treadmill workouts, and I do definitely feel a difference between using the treadmill and running outside. It took a bit to get comfortable enough to let go of the handles and swing my arms whether walking or running. I have done my own intervals and I've used the stored programs. One ran 36 minutes and included 18 minutes of running at different speeds.

When I used the apps to track my running outside I was averaging about 7.8 km/hr, and occasionally just above 8. This program was in three minute intervals starting with walking 5 km/hr, then running at 7, then 9, then 7 again before dropping back down to 5 twice, then repeating the 7/9/7/5 again. It finishes with walking at 1 km/hr which feels like you're not even moving at that point. It was definitely a challenge to run at 9 for three minutes straight - twice! I am certain I would never have run that fast outside. There was a moment I worried I couldn't keep it up and nearly grabbed onto the handrails for a second but quickly stopped myself and kept going. I could see the timer had less than a minute left and I kept telling myself, 'you can do this,' and so I did. So increased speed is definitely a treadmill advantage ... it is easy to just run slower outside. I also liked not worrying about trip hazards.

I found room in the spare room for the treadmill and even carved out a small nook for some relaxation and meditation as well. I am not setting any resolutions as I don't believe in them. But I still have goals for the coming year. Reaching my goal weight is of course still top priority. In one year I lost 100 pounds. In the next four months I mostly stalled but slowly dropped another ten. I may have to re-lose a few of those now but I am determined to reach my goal ... preferably in the next four months, but definitely by my next birthday. The plan is to use the treadmill to do HIIT intervals either using the built in programs or my own. I have downloaded a running scenery app so I have something interesting to look at, and I can use that with the C25K app... that way it can tell me when to change so I don't have to watch the timer, and instead of walk/jog I can do jog/run intervals to create my own high intensity interval program. Getting in regular walks/runs (outdoors or on the treadmill) as well as strength training and Callanetics is the plan. Finding time to meditate is also important to me, and of course so is singing.

This year I will find a way to sing. I was recently approached by a guy I used to gig with to fill in for him a couple of times over the holiday season, but that's not what I'm after. I want to sing just to feel good, just to feel ME. Hubby has the equipment so I want to set up a microphone and amp and practice at home, in my spare room. If I find it leads to something more, great - but the most important reason for me to sing is that it brings me joy. We could all use more joy. So maybe that's the basic goal - to do more things that bring me joy in 2015.  Why not? I hope you will, too.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas came early ...

I love my hubby. He's a good gift giver. Not a good gift hider, mind you, but a good giver. You may recall on my birthday my present was 'spoiled' because it was too big to hide, so he'd put it in the spare room, which I often go into. Not the game room, which is more his domain. I like games too, he just spends more time in there than I do. Anyway, I came home Thursday and went into the spare room and lo and behold - a huge treadmill!  I'd been hoping Santa would find me one - second hand, but decent. And he did!  But of course it was in the spare room, so I found it early. I need to read the book and learn the basics of it but hubby has already taken it for a test spin.

This is great timing really, I've been taking longer walks and increasing my running time, and with fly season - I mean summer - upon us, and the extreme heat some days, runner friends had warned me you have to go really early or really late to avoid the heat. Now I can avoid both flies and heat. Not only that, we've had so much rain lately I've had to do a few more video workouts instead of running, so no matter what the weather I can now go for as long a walk/run as I like.  Having said that - I've never run on a treadmill before, and I don't know how different it's going to feel from running outside. But I'm excited to try it out.  How many of you have a preference, either for or against, using a treadmill vs running outside?  Besides lack of flies and cooler temperatures, I can think of another benefit - a smooth surface. The road with the inclines that I've been running lately has some really bad broken sidewalks, dips and other trip hazards that I do worry about, so I think a smooth and constant surface that still has inclines should be nice.

With Christmas just around the corner and plans with family and friends, I likely won't be posting much over the next week or so, but I'll be back.  If you are still following along and interested in my journey, know that I appreciate your comments, but I am getting two to three times as much spam as real comments these days, so I may be putting a captcha on as previously discussed. In any case, I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and I'll be back soon to talk about trying out the new treadmill. Hope Santa is very good to you all! :)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

I did it! I've reached 50 kg (110 lb) GONE!!

Another week spent tracking everything I ate and every workout, and I'm pleased to say I have finally hit my Milestone - 50kg GONE as of this morning, or 110 pounds. It feels amazing! This has been a long time coming. Those of you who have been following my journey from the start will know that up until August I was dropping steadily week after week. But for the last four months it's been slow going, two steps forward, one step back, etc. So it feels really good to finally pass 50 kg.  I've stayed mostly Phase 1, meaning I do have occasional tomatoes or a bit of pumpkin which are Phase 2 foods, and made it a point to ensure I'm drinking 3L of water on average every day.  And I'm getting in a workout every day as well.  I now have just 12.2 kg (26.9 lb) to go to reach goal.

I'm loving my new walking route, it takes about an hour all up, and there is a steady 23 minutes minimum of incline on this walk, depending how far I go. Most of it isn't too steep, but it is constant. If I take the full route it's an hour and a half, but usually I have a turnaround point that makes it a one hour route. The turnaround point is just a short ways past this amazing, massive tree that I simply must show you. Here's a panoramic shot my husband took today - this baby is massive and has clearly been there for a century or so. It's gorgeous! Click to view it full size.

Anyway, that 23 minute incline portion I was doing walk/run intervals on the way back down. Well Friday I decided to just go as long as I could, and ran the entire length back. It took 12 minutes, and I felt great afterwards. It's been months since I was running for 30 minutes three times a week, and I'm not sure that I want to return to that entirely, but I do like how it feels to run for more than a few minutes. So I think I'm going to keep doing this for the coming week and then maybe try going further before running back to increase it to maybe 20 minutes of running.  We'll see.

Having hit my next milestone before Christmas feels wonderful, so now I've just got to be really careful during the next couple of weeks so I can stay here. The only indulgences I plan to have on Christmas day would be some nuts and maybe an Atkins caramel nut chew bar. A little indulgence on Christmas isn't a problem - but indulging for weeks before and after Christmas I can't do.

I'm still finding it difficult to get in two strength training AND two Callanetics during the week in addition to all the cardio, and I really enjoy both of those workouts so I don't want to give either one up. I may try doing both of them on the same day - they are both muscle workouts, just of very different types. I could do one right after the other, or just do the strength training after work and save the Callanetics for later in the evening. I've always said I find it relaxing and almost meditative, though a great workout, so that might work. I'll check in and let you know how I go.

Anyway, off to enjoy what's left of the weekend while I can. You can find my meals for last week below (click to enlarge). Hope you're having a lovely weekend.