Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A celebration of 3 months, and 10 days

No, not 100 days, but...

3 months since I started using the Lose It! app, and 10 days since my temporary vegetarianism.

According to my app I inputed my first weight back on May 21st. I've written about the app on this blog, but it's essentially a calorie counting app that I got on a whim after I started using my new iPhone. I've tried calorie counting apps before but didn't like them, and this time I stuck to it because I have a fitness track that measures the calories I burn, and I had since purchased a kitchen scale to accurately measure how much I eat. I'm also more active this time round, and have a more serious will to really lose weight and become healthier.

So 3 months passed since my first weight input, 95 days to be exact.  I religiously recorded my weight almost every morning, the only exceptions being when I was on vacation with friends and when I was at home for vacation and we packed our scale so I couldn't weigh myself. I always weigh myself in the mornings, even though I would sometimes weigh myself again throughout the day, after a particularly satisfying workout or a large meal, just to see how my weight was affected.

And what I had done 3 months ago on a whim turned out to be one of the biggest life changing things I've done. For the past 95 days I religiously inputed everything I ate (almost everything, I occasionally skipped the cream I put in my coffee or a late-night snack), and I've been consistently losing about one pound per week (even though my goal is 1.5 pounds/week), and as of this week I've lost a total of 13 pounds! Despite struggling through two weight plateaus, the last one I just overcame about a day ago, my weight loss has been consistent and the quality of my life has not ben affected dramatically.

The change is visible. My stomach and belly have gotten flatter. My jeans are now looser in the waist and I got half of my wardrobes back. There are few T-shirts that I had not been able to wear I can now put on with much ease and actually leave my house with without feeling absolutely disgusted with myself.

The weight loss has not made me a faster runner, however. In fact, I now run at a much slower speed because of my plantar fasciitis, but I can run now for 25 or 30 minutes straight without the need to stop for a walking break. I don't know if it's because of the speed or the light load, it's likely a combination of both. I did improve in my yoga classes. The other day I did my first half-wheel pose since I was about 12 years old. It only lasted a few seconds because my wrists were not used to the pose but I felt so strong and accomplished.

It's kind of strange, however, that not many people besides myself have noticed my weight loss. Except one friend, but I had not seen him in almost two months, and I was wearing a particularly flattering shirt that day. Other than that no one has commented. Some pointed out a shirt I wore for the first time in a long time and I tell them that I was able to put it on again after losing so many pounds. They were happy for me but they don't look terribly convinced. I can only assume that because we see each other fairly often and my weight loss has not really affect anywhere else on my body besides my stomach area, that the change is not as noticeable. Although it's equally strange that I see myself in the mirror every day and I can tell the difference. Anywhoo, given the weight I started with, 13 pounds really do not make that big of a difference. But I have no intention of stopping here and I'm on tract to lose more. My goal is to work at this pace for the next year or so (another 52 weeks, another 50 pound or so), before I move on to a more fitness-oriented goal and not have my plans be dictated by the numbers on the scale. Maybe by then I would actually work on a realistic goal of doing a half marathon or a full marathon and finish at a respectable time. By then I should also be settled down enough that I can consider getting yoga instructor certified.

In other news, today also marks day 10 of my journey of being a temporary vegetarian. While I did have to make conscious decision to not eat something, I did not have a very hard time keeping to my new life style. I began cooking again last Wednesday and it definitely made things a lot easier. Not only could I now make things that I actually like, instead of settling on an item after weeding out the meat-containing ones, I could also control the calorie count. Originally I planned a "rest" day once a week to satisfy any craving and to finish my reservoir of meat in my freezer, but so far I feel like keeping the streak going and I think I'll just do it for as long as I can. The freezer-full of meat can wait. If I don't get to them until October they should still be fine in there. Recently I've been craving for things like fried chicken or other chicken dishes and I get these temporary frustrated feeling about not being able to eat them, but these feelings go away quickly and they never turn into actions. I've involuntarily put myself on a diet since I fell into a lazy streak. I haven't been active since last Tuesday and barely burning 1600 Calories a day, so therefore I really couldn't eat a lot for fear of gaining any weight. With my daily calorie budget of less than 1500 I've been hungry a lot, and it's a terrible feeling. Not terrible enough for me to get out of my apartment and walk around or go for a run, but terrible still. In some ways this was needed since it kind of helped me to get unstuck from my plateau, but I hate this feeling and I think it's also affected my mood and my energy level.

All in all it's been a very good and successful 3 months. There were ups and downs. There were struggles and frustrations. I've often complained to myself in my diary and in thought, but now when I look back I don't really hold any of those memories anymore. Even that first week of vegetarian struggle I wrote about didn't feel like that big of a deal anymore, mostly because none of the bad decisions I made transpired to any physical consequences. I have nothing but amazement and happiness. I can't imagine going back to the old self that's 13 pounds heavier, and I'm going to do everything I can to not go back. I'm looking forward to each new day, knowing that I now have a plan that works and if I just stick to it I will slowly but steadily reach my goal in the end.

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