Sunday, February 1, 2009

February 1, 2009: 230 Pounds. Again.

I was really hoping for a loss this month, even though I didn't work hard enough to get one. It's a wash... I maintained for January. I admit it: I didn't earn a loss. I ate a little too much, and exercised a LOT too little. Part of it was because my knees were killing me, plus I have had some kind of weird, dizzying flu for the last 4 days. I hardly biked at all, and didn't strength train. But that's about to change.

I know what it takes to lose the weight. I've spent a lot of time tweaking my calories, my foods, my exercise... and I am 99% sure I have it figured out. When I eat 1700 calories/day (averaged over at LEAST a week and at most a month), and I bike for 30 minutes 6 days a week, I lose weight. Period. Add strength training 2-3x/week and I not only lose weight, I feel fantastic!
There's a big difference between *now* and all those other times pre-blog. All those other times when I tried to lose weight, I had a vague idea of what I was supposed to do. Eat less. Quit eating cookies and cake and chips. Do some kind of (yuck) exercise. That's what the books said. That, or just eat cabbage soup for weeks, or drink cayenne pepper lemonade with maple syrup for a month. Or maybe eat steaks, bacon, and sausage but no bread. Count some points. Count some calories. Magic pills, perhaps. Or shakes. I "knew" all this stuff, but I didn't *really* know. And I was still waiting and hoping for the Magic Bullet. There had to be a secret to make it possible, even easy, to lose weight. Right?

Well, the difference is that now I have invested a lot of time, trial, and error into finding out what is good for my body and what is bad. I get it now. I know *exactly* what to do. I've got some things down to near perfection: breakfast, for example. I always have a good, healthy, nutritious breakfast, no matter what I ate for dinner last night or what I am doing for the rest of the day. Breakfast, I have down. Drinking water is another one... it's an ingrained habit for me now. And I have developed a real affection for vegetables and fruits. It wasn't so long ago that I used to bite into a fresh ripe strawberry and pucker up in disgust because they tasted sour to me. When you're eating a box of Little Debbie cakes for your afternoon snack, believe me, any kind of fruit tastes tart. But now I enjoy all kinds of fruits daily: oranges, apples, pears, berries, even grapefruit. They all taste sweet, as they should.

This time is different because I am empowered by knowledge. I don't have to look for the magic answer anymore. I have my answer. I have my plan.

Yeah, I think I just didn't have the energy, or wasn't really willing to put forth the effort in January. I struggled with the gloomy weather. I was busy getting reacquainted with my new (thinner, lighter, but floppier) body. And every time I ate a sugary treat, I wanted more. That's what sugar does to me. And so a couple weeks ago when I caught myself adding 2 heaping spoonfuls of white sugar to my tea, I knew it had to stop. I drink tea 5 or 6 times a day, at least. That's a lot of sugar. I dumped out the sugar bowl and haven't bought any since. I've been using agave nectar (very sparingly) in my tea. I've stopped eating sugary snacks and have cut way back on sweet stuff. I'm also cutting way back on salt.

Today's menu:

Breakfast: Egg Beaters scrambled with fresh salsa, baby spinach, 1 lean turkey sausage, and low fat cheese, with a Clementine and a cup of green tea.

Snack: low fat string cheese and a few peanuts; green tea.

Lunch: Salad of baby spinach, broccoli slaw, pomegranate seeds, 1 T Gorgonzola, 1 T pine nuts, 3oz lean steak, 1/4 c green peas, with a homemade apple cider vinaigrette. Cup of tea with a splash of milk and agave.

Snack: square of dark chocolate and tea.

Dinner: Magic Chicken Soup, baby carrots & raw broccoli with 1T light ranch.

Total: 1234 calories. No exercise due to flu symptoms. I may have a few almonds and a cup of tea before bed.

My goal for February: count every calorie and average 1700/day on a weekly calorie budget. Bike for 30 minutes, 6x/week IF my health and my knees permit... or I will back off to 4x/week. Get back to strength training, starting tomorrow (goal 3x/week). And be as active as I can be in my daily life. I want to *really* turn my focus back to weight loss and get these pounds off my knees before I end up crippled.

Last week I bought some really cool body fat calipers for $8. I bought this brand (Accu-Measure) because of the ease of use and they are supposedly the only ones that are reliable for self-testing (because there is no way I am letting anyone else pinch my fat folds with ANYTHING). I can use them to determine quite accurately what my body fat percentage is (not a pretty number) and then take a measurement once a month to see if the % is going down as I lose weight. It's a good way to see if you are losing fat, not muscle. I am all for taking measurements of various kinds. When the scale isn't budging even when you think you've done well, it's nice to have another way to see progress. I don't want the scale to be my only measure of progress. That's why I use a tape measure to take body measurements every ten pounds or anytime I am stalled. I also want to watch the fat percentage go down. But here's my other weird idea. I can use the calipers to measure any hanging parts I want to. Batwings? Measure 'em. Hanging stomach or hip fat? Measure it. Anywhere you have something you want gone, you can use this thing to measure the thickness of that fat. I am writing it all down in a notebook and will re-measure once a month. If I can see those fat folds getting thinner, maybe the loose skin won't bother me as much. I'll see it melting away as I lose weight. So that's why I bought the calipers, and I love them so far. I'll post measurements when I get back down to 214 pounds (to compare with now).

That's about it for now. I have goals. I want results this month. Let's see what some real determination can do!


Laurens_Closet said...

Awwwww Lyn. I'm SO with you. Don't beat yourself up~ You'll do it, I promise! I know what you mean... sometimes it's just easier to tread water for a minute. Just keep moving forward. Keep your eyes on your goal. Keep doing what you know is right for you, your kids, your life.

I believe in you. SOOOooo much.


moonduster said...

You can do this! And you WILL!

I don't know what it is about January, but I maintained for most of it too (until finally losing 4 pounds in my last weigh-in).

Vickie said...


I was pondering that myself yesterday. Good post.

Anonymous said...


With the exercise bit - since you're having flu symptoms, you might find that 6 days of cardio and 3 of weight training might be a bit of a stretch... Why don't you commit to half of that, and then that way, if you reach goal, you'll feel amazing, and if you exceed goal, even better!

This way you won't beat yourself up if you can't hit your target for exercise if you aren't feeling well... :)

Ron said...

Hang in there, you have set your goals, now all you have to do is keep working at them! You can do it!

Sarah said...

Sorry about the knees. I'm leaving this comment via my phone from my orthopedics office. I poopooed them at first, but have you ever had the synthetic joint fluid shots? Series of three over three weeks, the work kind of voodoo like, took almost two months to kick in but made a huge difference for me. One more thing to try and buy time.

Terrigrace said...

Good job, getting as far as you have. I love your positive attitude going forward - that you know how to do this. And can do it well from my angle! Being sick really saps your motivation and resolve. Thanks for the magic chicken soup recipe link. It sounds yummy - and easy to do. Good luck today. And tomorrow.

Lynn said...

Even though you did not lose in January, you sound like you learned and reevaluated. That is a great thing, right?

Ashley U. said...

New reader here...delurking...:)

Great job! Although the scale didn't budge this month, you WERE successful in not gaining a pound back and you know where to go from here!

You're an inspiration to me! I have 60 pounds left to go and have been at a plateau for 6 months.

JJS said...

I can relate! I am just starting to get over being sick and it can totally throw off the whole eating healthy/exercise regime. I may be a day or two away from exercising, but I don't want to fall off the wagon as far as food goes.

Your blog is a such an inspiration and help to me!

Vee said...

I too love sugar in my tea, but recently discovered Stevia. It pretty sweet, but a natural sweetener from a plant leaf. I open the small packet, and dump about a fourth of it into my tea. Definitely is enough sweetener for me.

Read your menu plan for today. Wow! If I eat a yogurt or a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast, I'm doing pretty good.

I have really bad knee problems too, among a host of other problems. I sympathize.

I just started my diet (life change) last week. Could use some support!

Vee at

Beanie said...

Hang in there honey...I'm so there with you. Scale is not budging :( We'll do it!!! Like Roni said in her "stick together" post...we can do more together than we can do alone!!!

Fat Lazy Guy said...

Are you going to reintroduce this stuff slowly, like with the Habit-a-week challenge, or jump in the deep end?

Either way, good luck :) And remember, too few calories is just as bad as too many :)

new*me said...

I am scared to know how much fat I have.........but it must be exciting when it decreases!

You have figured out what it takes for you to lose. My body is still constantly confusing me........just when I think I have it down, I have to change things up again. I am convinced my body does not want me to get under 200 and it's doing a real number to get me to keep guessing what will work ;)

Beastie Girl said...

Hi there.

I know you poo-poo the idea of eating nothing but meat and no bread (Atkins) and don't get me wrong, I do too - but have you tried a less fanatical approach - Loren Cordain's paleo diet? Have you heard of it? I'm a mad advocate, but I'm totally willing to hear what you really think of it! *braces self*

If you haven't read it, you really should. At the very least it might give you something to think about! What have you to lose but a little weight?

Donnalouise, Donna or DC said...

I should have taken more time to measure and determine my body fat when I started my journey. It would have been very interesting to see where I'm at now being down 70lbs.

Lyn said...


good point. I am soooo sick today that if I even get on the bike and pedal slooowly for 5 minutes it will be a miracle.


I will look into the shots. In fact when I have insurance again I will ask my ortho surgeon about them. I did have steroid knee shots once, OUCH!


I am jumping in. LOL! Well, I will be jumping in when I am over this flu, anyway. I've mostly gotten the habits down and it's not too painful for me to execute them all, since I've been working on them for so long. But I will ease into my expectations of myself and not be too hard on myself. I just wanna lose weight, and if I can do that, I'll be happy!

Beastie Girl~

Actually I "did" the Atkins diet and went kinda nutso on it. I will write about that sometime (or maybe I have... I'll have to check). I looked up the paleo diet and the main difference between that and what I already eat is cutting out dairy and grains. If I was 20 I might be able to swing that (if I were convinced of its benefit) but at almost 40, I think cheese and oatmeal are part of my soul! I certainly do believe in cutting back on dairy to a degree, and eating only whole grains rather than refined. Thank you for the info :)

(p.s. there was a good article about the paloe diet on Refuse to Regain (the blog) awhile back. If anyone is interested, google it!)

Thank you everyone for your supportive comments :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Lyn!
You are already hundreds of steps ahead of others trying to lose weight. The fact that you know exactly what your body needs and how much to exercise says so much about your ability to lose. You are going to do it!!!

antgirl said...

Maintaining in itself is a victory. You didn't let yourself slide enough to gain. So, that's something. You were willing to do something.

Your menu sounds yummy! Sounds like you are going about all this wisely. You'll get there!

Lucrecia said...

Think of all the months before when you would have ended it several pounds higher! 0 is also a success! I'm the same way with sugar. I'm always amazed at people who can take one or 2 bites. Its 100x easier for me to pass up than to stop eating it! Congrats on keeping on keeping on!

Scale Junkie said...

I'm with you on this one Lyn, we KNOW what we need to do, its just a matter of taking the actions we need to take...easier to type than to do. We are works in progress. Its taking time to shed these pounds because we're doing it right, we're doing it for life.

TinaMiller said...

Sounds like you have a plan! Congrats! Winter months are hard, no doubt about that.

Karyn said...

I have every confidence that you will 'step it back up' this month, Lyn. Don't be too hard on yourself for taking it a little easier this last month - we all know December was a tough month for had to take a toll on your energy and health eventually.

Ria said...

I'll second the commenter who said that maintaining is a victory . . . they really are just delays, not setbacks. Who knows, maybe it actually does our bodies some good to have some time to hang out in a new weight range and get ready for the next drop.

Great information/reminder to stay focused on exercise and food quality. You've certainly got all the knowledge and motivation you need to make this a great month. I'm looking forward to reading how much better you and your knees are feeling on March 1.