The Highs and Lows of Losing Weight

I’ve had a lot of highs and lows in the past six months. I’ve lost a little over 57 pounds, which is incredible! With the weight loss, I’ve gone down several sizes in my clothes. I have gotten rid of most of my clothes and replaced them with smaller sizes. I wore a size 10 pair of jeans today, and they were a little baggy. So I’ve got several size 8 jeans ready to go.

I’m able to do more without getting out of breath. When I go walking, I don’t have to stop to catch my breath. I can walk as much as I want. I need to do more of it, though. Along those general lines, I will be doing Pilates starting tomorrow – one on one with an instructor that Larisa, Lily, and Sophie use. I’m looking forward to starting that because the weight loss has left behind some flabby skin. I need to build muscle and tone, flexibility and stamina.

I still have significant restriction in how much I can eat. However, if I stretch a meal out to 30-40 minutes, I can eat a fairly regular (but smaller) portioned meal. Ron bought a single filet mignon steak the other day. We always cut a filet into two pieces crossways with the thinner portion for me since I like mine not quite as rare as Ron likes his. I assumed I wouldn’t be able to eat my entire portion, but I did. It was probably only 3-4 ounces at most, but that’s good because I’m able to get more protein in.

The lows are mostly fears of returning to previous bad habits. Over the past month I’ve seen how some bad habits and cravings are rearing their ugly heads again. Thus I am working to stick with my healthier and smaller-portioned food choices. I’m still drinking my homemade protein shake every morning for breakfast. Nothing else sits well with me. Eggs make me sick. I have a slice of bacon most mornings because Ron makes bacon and sausage most mornings and always adds a slice for me. So I get about 40 grams of protein each morning for breakfast.

Another improvement is my daily pill intake. Only four pills a day – my big multivitamin with iron, my blood pressure med, my cholesterol med, and my anti-depressant. Since Vandy monitors my vitamin levels, I’ve learned I don’t need all the supplements I was taking. That has cut down on my daily pill intake tremendously.

Seven-Month Assessment

When I made a pledge last July that I was committed to doing this for the rest of my life, I think God decided to test my determination. Despite logging every bite and staying within my calories and points the majority of days, I have gone up and down the same 2-3 pounds for FOUR months! I’ve also gotten into walking more regularly.

I’m to the point of wondering how few calories per day my body needs!

So now I’ve been going over my intake and seeing where I may be under-logging what I eat.

First, I was counting my daily coffee as two points. When I actually measured everything to be certain I found it was 4 points instead of two.

Second, I have not been counting my daily gummies – Goli Apple Cider Vinegar gummies and Elderberry gummies. I then measured/counted those, and they’re FIVE points a day.

Thus I was under-logging 7 points a day. A good example of the need to be meticulous in counting points.

My goal now is find Elderberry and ACV in capsule form in order to save those points. I’ve already cut the creamer and sweetener for my coffee in half – and I’m actually still enjoying it not quite as sweet and creamy.

My other concern is to decide if I want to continue with Weight Watchers or with Noom. They both have their pluses and minuses. I lean towards Noom because it counts calories which is a little more realistic, in some ways, than Weight Watchers. Sometimes the number of points that WW assigns to treats seems punitive. For example, when I had a couple scoops of ice cream with my mother a few months ago, it was 40-something points. Even using weekly points, that was a treat that blew a whole week’s worth of work, points-wise, out of the water. There’s something to be said for not assigning “good” or “bad” to specific foods. Calorie counting seems to be a less judgmental way to eat.

So I will discontinue either WW or Zoom when my initial subscriptions end.

Review: Lakanto Drinking Chocolate

I saw an ad online for Lakanto Drinking Chocolate. Since I like the Lakanto Monkfruit sweetener, I decided to give it a try. I found it on Amazon and ordered a package. It was delivered this morning. Instead of brewing a cup of herbal tea, I decided to try the drinking chocolate. I made it using boiling water. Made with water, it is 0 points (WW Blue). It is sweet and chocolatey. Too sweet, actually. So I poured it out and decided to try it with unsweetened almond milk instead.

I heated a cup of unsweetened almond milk (1 point per cup – WW Blue) and it was much better. Still super-sweet, though.

I give Lakanto Drinking Chocolate 6 out of 10 stars. It’s good – a little too sweet for me, though. However, for those times I want something chocolatey and sweet, it might just hit the spot.

Now I’m trying to decide if I want to finish my cup of drinking chocolate made with almond milk or brew a cup of herbal tea.

October Totals

Total weight loss since I began on 7/19/2020 – 14.2 lbs. October was a good month for weight loss. That is interesting because it FEELS like I backslid somewhat during October. The initial enthusiasm I had started to wane. It was a “commitment versus motivation” time.

I will begin November with renewed commitment.

Weekly Weigh-In – October 30, 2020

It was a good week. I went WAY over my weekly points but it was mostly from two splurges. The rest of the week I stuck to the plan fairly well.

I’m still not moving as much as I’d like – and still not drinking enough water.

This week was good for catching up on medical appointments. I had a telehealth appointment to go over the blood test results from last week. Two things: A1C results were elevated. I need to cut out sugar. Uric Acid level was elevated (thus my two gout episodes). The doctor changed my BP meds to eliminate a diuretic that can cause higher uric acid levels. I added a magnesium supplement to my daily meds too. However other numbers were much improved – cholesterol and LDL and HDL.

I also had my yearly skin scan – and the doctor found ZERO concerns amongst all my moles and spots!

And finally I had my yearly mammogram. I don’t have the results of that yet, but it seemed evident that the technician didn’t see anything of concern.

It wasn’t a great week for weight loss, but it was a good week. I feel happy that I took care of medical appointments and those appointments ended up with mostly good reports.

Weekly Weigh-In, 9/25/2020, 10 weeks

Sigh. So here’s today’s weigh-in numbers. Notice the +.  I have tracked every single bite I’ve put into my mouth since July 19th.  I have not gone over my points a single week.

I’m probably eating too much fruit – lots of watermelon and grapes the past week. Seriously, though, would watermelon and grapes cause two weeks of weight gain?

Ten weeks – that makes an average of .68 lbs. per week. STILL over 1/2 pound a week. But . . . that’s so slow . . . . Sigh.

So I will repeat the usual self-reassurances: It’s a marathon, not a sprint.  It’s a lifestyle change, not a diet. Look at the big picture. Back in July, you would have been thrilled to weigh what you weigh now. And repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

What can I do differently so that next Friday I will be happy with the number on the scale? Three things:

  1. I still haven’t been exercising, and that is something I want to make a life-long thing. This week – starting TODAY – I will exercise – aerobics and strength training.  Atomic exercise habits.
  2. I will better manage my zero-point foods. They still have calories, and so limiting them to a few servings a day would be good. My goal is to get my body accustomed to less food. So I want to work on reducing the amount I eat – not just substituting healthier snacks.
  3. Drink more water.


The Voices in My Head

I have voices inside my head. We all do. Mine can be quite mean! I find myself muttering things like, “That was stupid!” “Why on earth did you do that?!” “You fat slob!” I still worry and obsess at times about things I did when I was a child – a teen – a young wife and mother.  I think about what I “should” have or “should not” have done or said. Guilt sometimes seems to be the leading emotion of my psyche. I’m unkinder and harsher to myself than I would ever be to anyone else.

In the past few years I’ve thought a lot about “grace” – specifically extending grace to others. However, I also want to extend grace to myself. I know I’m doing my best. I know I have struggles and areas of weakness.

At various times over the past five years I’ve gone to a therapist – Melinda. She helped me a lot. She stopped doing therapy this past winter. So I won’t be returning to her. One time several years ago she said that I seemed to lack “affect.” I wasn’t sure what she meant, and I asked her to elaborate. She said that I seemed unemotional – didn’t get excited or upset about much at all. I’m paraphrasing what she said. I imagine when I described some of the unpleasant situations of my life, I didn’t appear upset about them.
When I got home, I looked it up: “As nouns, the difference between emotion and affect is that emotion is a person’s internal state of being and involuntary physiological response to an object or situation, based on or tied to physical state and sensory data while affect is one’s mood or inclination; mental state.”
My affect: I’ve learned to do my best to keep my outward emotions in check and neutral. I don’t see that as necessarily a bad thing. It is the way I am. As a teacher, it was important not to over-react. One of the classroom management techniques I learned was that as a class got louder, if I started talking softly, everyone would strain to listen; whereas if I tried to talk above the noise, the noise tended to get louder. I was able to get the class’s attention more quickly by whispering. As excitement rose, I purposefully grew calmer (at least outwardly).
I have dealt with emotionally volatile people, and I’ve learned that it is important to do my best to stay calm and not respond emotionally since that only escalates a situation. So I work hard to keep emotions in check – to keep calm – to keep my feelings hidden. I’ve had the experience of having my words, facial expressions, and actions misinterpreted – sometimes with the worst possible intentions applied. So I have worked to keep everything neutral. That’s me – and it can be good, and it can be bad.
And perhaps that is part of the reason I’m not particularly kind to myself. With myself, I can let all the emotion out. I can say what I want to say without repercussions. 

I’ve been working on being kinder to myself – treating myself with the courtesy and kindness I treat other people. I want to give myself the grace I extend to others.

Digestive Issues

So I have always had a sensitive stomach. I’d get nauseated easily, have diarrhea multiples times a day, and deal with diverticulitis a few times a year. Often after a meal, I’d need to sit or lie down to rest in order to handle the stomach issues I’d have immediately after eating – or else I’d have to rush to the bathroom. Although I have my binges and lapses, in general, I’ve never been a terrible eater. I eat mostly healthy – just way too much with lots of snacking in between meals.
Observation: Since beginning Weight Watchers again on July 19th, I have not had many of those issues. Definitely my stomach issues have calmed down to a great extent.  I still have lots of snacks, but the snacks are mostly fruit. I still have to poop multiple times a day – but it’s 3-5 times a day instead of 9-10 – most of the time. 
Yesterday morning, the two youngest granddaughters (who had spent the night with us) wanted to take a walk to the end of our driveway and back. I was able to easily walk with them. The big hill coming back to the house was a challenge, but I handled it okay and didn’t have to stop to rest along the way. 
Food for thought.  And another reason to continue with Weight Watchers.