Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December 1, 2009: 230 Pounds

This morning I am feeling quite happy! I lost four pounds in December, which makes a total of 15 pounds in the last 2 months. I am pleased with that. Four pounds may not seem like much, but when you realize that before last month, I had not lost more than TWO pounds in a month for the past YEAR, 4 seems like an okay number.

First, some stats:

Days in November that I counted all my calories: 25 out of 30
Average calories per day in November (on days I counted): 1596
# of days under 1200 cal: 3
# of days over 1700 cal: 9 (assuming all days I did not count calories went over somewhat)
binges/semi-binges: 3

Exercise for November:
Fitness walks outside: 5 (30 to 60 minutes each)
Recumbent bike rides inside: 14 (30 minutes each w/one 40 min)
Walks to the park with my kids: 3
Heavy raking/yardwork: 3 days

I exercised on 20 days out of 30.

Other interesting facts for November:
Fast food eaten: 0
Sodas: 1 Diet Cherry Pepsi
Meals eaten out, at restaurants: 3
Holidays celebrated: Thanksgiving

As I looked over the month, a few things stand out to me. I started the month quite strong and was happy and upbeat most days. I was enjoying the beautiful fall leaves, the crisp weather, and lots of time outside. Since I love to walk and look at the leaves, and enjoy raking, this was a great start for me! In fact, for the first 3 weeks of the month I was doing fantastic in mood and in action! I even got down to 228 pounds on the 21st.

After that, stuff got more difficult. A visit from my husband (emotional stress), a holiday (a lot of extra food lying around and throwing me off my usual routine) and terribly sore knees (several rest days w/no exercise) all combined to slow my loss and increase my intake. Then the weather changed. All the leaves fell off the trees and the temps dropped from 50's to low 40's and 30's during the day. The sun went into hiding and it has been overcast. I learned to love fall, and now I am trying to find joy in the season of winter.

I think I might actually enjoy being out walking in the snow, but there isn't any snow yet. There may not be much snow at all. And I detest being cold! Going out to walk in 25-35 degrees feels like torture to me, yet I know I need to get out and get *some* sun, even if it is coming through a thick cloud cover. It's just harder to push myself out the door to take a walk where I start out freezing and end up sweating under a heavy coat because if I take it off once I am warmed up, my sweat will freeze to my body and I will be miserable. And I have not found a whole lot of beauty yet in the stark leafless trees set against a background of dulled brownish green grass and a flat grey sky. I am working on it though.

Biking has taken over where walking has slacked, and I am easily biking the 30 minutes I need to get my exercise. I plan to add weights in January but just want to get through the holidays in one piece for now!

My eating went kind of haywire for a few days at the end of the month. Not binge eating, just enjoying food too much. The Thanksgiving feast triggered some kind of food happiness switch in my brain, where I start looking to food for pleasure much too frequently. Homemade calzones filled with sausage and pepperonis are not conducive to weight loss! But I got it out of my system and am back to my usual way of eating, which is pleasing but doesn't make me think about wanting more food all day.

Goals for December: continue staying off fast food and avoiding sodas. Stay under 1700 cal/day 90% of the time. Exercise 25 days out of 31.

If I see another 4 or 5 pound loss this month it will make me happy. December is a difficult month for me... an emotional roller coaster with anniversaries of all sorts of unpleasant things, culminating in the death date of my father at the end of the month. I have gone through the roller coaster every year: the highs of Christmas and time with my children, the lows of remembering those who have passed, punctuated with a bit of Seasonal Affective Disorder creeping in due to lack of sunlight (which I try to counter by sitting in front of my Light Box at breakfast).

This year I will work on seeing the good, the blessings, and the enjoyment of December. I may even try to turn some sadness into fond memories and thankfulness.

Enjoy your day!


Carrie said...

I'm new to your blog, but I love the way you summarize your month. I think this will help me as well. I log everything daily, but never thought of summing it all up. It looks very impressive and motivating. Way to go.

rachel said...

Starting today, I am going to quit the soda and fast food. You are such an inspiration!

Leslie said...

Congratulations on real progress, Lyn. It's easy to do when life is easy. It's hard when it's not, but did it anyway.

Dee said...

Good for you!!!Keep it up, your doing great:)


F. McButter Pants said...

was excited to see a 4 lb loss for you! that is so great.

I know what you mean about just getting thru the holidays. Just trying to do the same.

Meg Bennett said...

I really enjoyed this update. Would you mind if I share along and use some ideas from your post?

Also great job this month. Your helping me on my journey.

Ashley said...

Hi Lyn.... I use to live in central California (i.e. where the weather is perfect all the time) and last year I moved to the Northeast and I was MISERABLE when winter came around. I'm a runner but with the cold I wasn't ever going to run and I got depressed and miserable (and gained weight). So I finally bought a high tech running jacket from a sporting goods store, one of the ones that wicks sweat away from your body but is still fleecy and warm, and it made all the difference in the world. It was expensive, but it got me out more, which improved my mood and made me happier, thus improving my productivity at work, etc., etc. Anyway, all of this to say, I don't know what kind of workout clothes you have now, but I think you'd really like a high tech running jacket and it would suddenly make playing outside in the winter fun again. It has for me.

Anonymous said...

A loss is a loss...it all adds up in the end. Congrats!

Autumnforest said...

I wish I could send your endless sunshine and warmth from AZ. I'm a cold, dark, wet-loving person myself. I have unlimited energy once it cools off and days get shorter and cloudier. I am in such the wrong place!! What I like about your weight loss is you're consistent over time and that's what counts. Not what you do in one insane week, but months and months...You've really changed your lifestyle! Congrats!

Sue said...

So happy for your weight loss! I know it's been a struggle but you made it thourgh another month. Looking foward to sharing Dec. with you. I joined WW today and feel better already.

stephseef said...

Hey Lyn - something that has helped me with the winter walks is skipping the heavy coat - even into the high teens for temps - and layering up. cami, tshirt, thermal shirt [if it's REALLY cold], and sweatshirt, then scarf, mittens, and hat. It's SO much easier to move than in a big old jacket. just a thought.

I was thrilled to see your results in November. Fabulous!

Jane said...


Here's what I like about winter.. Maybe you can try to think of these things when you walk outside (layering well is important also, don't wear a huge coat and just a little think inside)..

ok, my favorite think about walking in the cold is the smell of the air.. the almost frozen air smells so "clean" and pure. Also, usually when it's cold, it's so quiet outside, quiet is not nice all the time, but it's a nice break.. somehow if it's cold outside it feels way more quiet than usual.. and lastly, when you come home you can have a very hot cup of tea.. you can feel that first sip warming every single part of your body! even a nice hot bath/shower feels better once you've done a nice walk in the cold air..

Ok, I am not sure how convincing these are but here are my two cents.. also, since you are not a big fan of walking in the winter, maybe you can just stroll and take shorter walks to begin with so you start liking them slowly..

As far as the emotional roller coaster goes, try to focus on the bittersweetness of the holidays, how life goes on with its ups and downs, reminisce about the goods things and get excited about the new year!

oh and keep updating the blog of course :))!


Melissa said...

Lyn, thanks so much for this post! It encourages me. I've been down lately because after thanksgiving it seems i've gained 3 pounds. I did so well on the actual Thanksgiving meals, but had fast food 3 times on the road trip & got soda each time! I quit sodas in JANUARY of 2009 & quit fast food this past September. I couldn't believe i did that. :( Anyway, if that is just water weight then it would mean i lost 8 pounds since i started in July. I was really down about it taking me SIX months to lose EIGHT pounds! But hearing you say there was a time you only lost 2 pounds a month makes me feel better! :) If i keep at this, i'll be dropping more, right?!

happyfunpants said...

Way to go! I am so proud of you!

I'm at 228.4...so we're really the same weight - and I love that. Because not only do I share my weight with you, but I'm able to share the same struggles and celebrations.

I, too, ate too much the last week or so, but I'm thrilled that it wasn't via binges. Funny, but that is a huge success for me.

Congrats, lady!

Tammy said...

I'm very proud of your loss this month Lyn, you're showing true progress and working through the important things...which is what this is really all about. Hugs to you...I hope it's an enjoyable and memorable December. :)

Lynn Haraldson-Bering said...

I'm so very, very proud of you and happy for you and, well, you know that :) Be kind to yourself at the end of December. Keep in mind that the shortest day is coming soon which means LONGER days ahead (I, too, suffer SAD...I know of what you speak and need to get a lamp).

screwdestiny said...

Great loss again! You're doing so well.

And you know, winter just sucks ass. At least that's my opinion. The only time it looks pretty is right after it snows a good amount and everything has the beautiful white fresh blanket of snow... But then you remember, Crap, I have to drive in that, and then you have to try driving in it without killing yourself, and then it looks all ugly anyway, and I just hate winter all around. So don't feel bad if you never find the beauty/joy in it. ;)

karen@fitnessjourney said...

Only one soda, three meals out and no fast food-you are my hero!

redballoon said...

That's 15 pounds over the last two months! Wonderful and a big hand to you!!!

Candace said...

Congrats on the 4 pds, thats awesome-I love your montly breakdown. I should start doing that :)

Val said...

I *LURV* your monthly breakdown-sooo cool! Congrats on the 4 lbs! And good luck in Decemebr :D

Vickie said...

do you have an indoor mall in your area for walking in winter?

Mary said...

Hi Lyn,

I run year round in the cold, and agree with the advice to get some wicking clothes. Do you have an REI near you? Their clothes can be quite expensive, but you can look at the REI outlet online and they have amazing deals. They even ship for free to the closest REI store, and they have the most generous return policy ever, so if you order something and don't like it, just return it, no questions asked.

Also, Target has reasonably-priced wicking clothes, though not as high tech as what you can find at REI, still better than a typical winter jacket!

Also, you do want to be a little chilly in the beginning as you'll warm up quickly!

Great job! I love following your progress!

(no)more_cheese_please said...

Hi Lyn, Just found your blog and as a fellow blogger, was hoping to offer some small advice! Have you ever thought about going meatless one day per week? It may sound overwhelming, but it really opens up a whole new world of foods when you experiment. Good luck and thanks for sharing your journey!

Lyn said...


We have meatless dinners about half the time. I think I eat meatless a couple days a week already which has really made me feel better. I do try to eat fish once a week (usually salmon) though.

Lyn said...


thanks for the idea! I didn't get a jecket BUT today I layered with a sweatshirt on top and some thick gloves and I felt a lot more comfortable on my walk! My face and head was icy cold though so now I have to figure out some kind of hat/scarf combo to keep myself warmer!

Hanlie said...

I think you did great in November, especially since it had its challenges. You are making such progress!