Monday, June 22, 2015

A Blog Summary: Ups and Downs.

This blog is an almost 8 year record of my weight, exercise, and food choices. It's a wonderful resource for me but has also become a reaaaally long read for newcomers who want to know the story of my weight loss journey so far. I wanted to type up a little summary of what I have done each year and how I have gone from 278 pounds down to 175 and back up to 240 again. Here's the bare bones of my story, weight-wise, from start to current.


August 4: I started this blog weighing 278 pounds. I started losing weight with small changes: drink more water, eat whole grains, lean protein, nuts, beans, lentils, low fat dairy and, most importantly, lots of fresh produce. Started shopping from the Farmer's Market. No calorie counting or measuring... just stop eating when full. My goal was to cut my binges down to once per week. No exercising aside from occasional 1-2 block walks, which was all I could manage physically. Weighed myself daily.

October 1: Down 20 pounds! The next week, I bought an exercise bike and started biking 5 minutes most days and gradually increasing the time. I was also building endurance and was finally able to walk 4 blocks. Still having an occasional binge, some lapses in exercise, and some junk food episodes, but was mostly eating well and without any food restrictions.

By December I'd lost 17 more pounds and hit a low of 241 pounds. I had lost weight every month since starting in August but regained some over the holidays, resulting in a maintain for December.


January was a maintain as well at 248 pounds.
In the middle of February I decided to start calorie counting on Sparkpeople with a limit of 1500/day. I was biking 10 minutes, 3 times a week for exercise. I had a few binges in March but also slowly increased my biking time to 20 minutes, 3 times a week. At the end of March I added strength training at home with dumbbells, 15-20 minutes 3 times a week.

April: Down 13 more pounds to 235. I started to feel "normal" and had more energy, and enjoyed activities like cleaning and exercise.

May: Down another 7 pounds. Still calorie counting and also biking 30 minutes, 5 days a week and strength training 3 days a week. Added 30 "wall push-ups" 3 times a week to help build upper body strength. In June I had some binges and out of control emotional eating behaviors, but got right back to counting calories and exercising.

July: I was still biking and lifting, down 12 more pounds to 216 pounds. I started resenting the diet and wishing I could eat more junk. I ate off plan more often but increased biking to 30 minutes 6 days/week and lifting to 20 minutes 3 days/week plus "counter push-ups."

August: I was down to my lowest weight before regaining: 214 pounds. At this point I had lost 64 pounds in under a year. But I started having more struggles with food, and difficulties with medical and personal issues took a toll. In mid-August I gained 11 pounds in one week. I stopped exercising for the most part. On September 1 I posted the first monthly gain ever on my blog (up 10 pounds). I was feeling sluggish, eating too much but trying to track calories anyway. Started the Habit-A-Week Challenge.

October: I had regained 17 pounds (231), was intermittently walking and biking and counting calories alternated with eating a lot of sugar. Lots of stress. I had regained 22 pounds in two months, up to 236 pounds. In November I started counting calories again with a Monthly Calorie Budget and averaged 1600/day. Started biking 6 days a week and lifting 3 days a week again. No binges in November. Stopped calorie counting mid-December. Lost 7 pounds in November but gained 3 in December over the holidays.


January: 230 pounds. Decided to try a weekly calorie budget, eating 1700/day. Back to strength training and biking 30 minutes 6 days/week but started having a lot of knee pain so had to cut back. In February I was having an occasional binge, but otherwise averaging 1600 calories/day, and was back to my biking and lifting schedule and eating lots of produce.

The first week of March I gained 11 pounds in 1 week due to emotional eating and stopping all exercise. In late March I started eating from the South Beach Diet Phase 1 foods list (low carb) and dropped 8 pounds in a week. Weighed 229. Most of April I was either sick with a stomach virus or eating a lot of Easter candy. Lots of sugar cravings and trying to get back to eating healthy. May was more of the same: alternating days of eating junk with trying to count calories and intermittent walking and biking. By June I weighed 239. Tried calorie counting 1200 calories plus unlimited fruits and vegetables, and started biking again. Went on and off plan a few times.

July: I was just not focused on weight loss. But I started counting calories again, eating more produce again, biking and walking. Then went on a cross country trip for about a month.

When I came back in September, I started biking gently through the sore knees. Swore off fast food and started counting calories again (1700/day). Stress, stress, and more stress, trying and not trying, on and off plan and having a lot of pain in my knees. Emotional eating and binges. Got up to 245 pounds in October. In November I counted calories all month and averaged 1472/day, while biking and walking a few times a week. December averaged 1596 calories a day. This got me back down to 228 pounds.


January: 228 pounds. I had to stop biking due to increasing foot and knee pain. In February I started counting calories again and posting everything I ate to my blog for accountability. Struggling with staying on plan.

March 1: I weighed 234 pounds and started the Medifast 5&1 Plan.  I continued this plan (about 1000 calories/day) under doctor supervision without deviation until mid May, with my only exercise being walking and upper body strength training twice a week. Had a few days off plan in May and rarely thereafter until October, when I reached my lowest weight in a decade: 175 pounds. I had lost 59 pounds in 8 months on Medifast.

November: I struggled with Seasonal Affective Disorder, gained and lost weight, and started seeing a physical therapist for my knees.

December: I felt like I needed a break from Medifast and wanted to go back to calorie counting for a couple of weeks. However I found it very hard to control my eating when I added carbs back into my diet and I felt unwell. Got up to 186 pounds.


January: 186 pounds. Went back on Medifast and got back down to 178 pounds. Got sick with a cold and ate off plan. At this point I started going on and off plan with Medifast repeatedly. By March/April I was back on plan for the most part and weighed 182 pounds. I was given a new, more "doable" plan by the Medifast nutritionist, which included 2-3 Medifast meals and 1200-1500 calories/day. I did not do well with this plan, it triggered cravings, and I got sick and was overeating. May 1 I weighed 198 pounds. Started lifting weights again.

May and June: I was back on the Medifast 5&1 Plan and got back down to 181 pounds. July was spent on vacation at the beach, and when I came home I tried to just eat whole foods from the Farmer's Market and start exercising again. I quit drinking sodas. I was not counting calories, but had some emotional eating issues. By late August I weighed 205 pounds and felt miserable. I started counting calories again. Then I started back on Medifast, lost 16 pounds and got down to 189 pounds. I found it hard to stick to Medifast anymore, and went on and off plan repeatedly and was eating a lot of junk while trying to do intuitive eating (my intuition sucked). Restarted Medifast 5&1 in September and lost 11 pounds. Was unable to stick with it longer than a month and went off plan.

late October: I had regained 20 pounds in 1 month after going off Medifast. I was still going on and off Medifast, on and off sugar and carbs. I did not want to give up the only plan that I knew "worked," at least in the short term. We had a lot of stress going on at the time and I was eating poorly. This continued into December when I went back on Medifast yet again and lost 13 pounds.


January: 201 pounds. Started the Superfoods Challenge and a fitness challenge. I started walking and biking again and was still trying to do Medifast but finding it hard to stick to and I was getting sick every time I re-started it. By February I was down to 199 again. By this point I was getting SO SICK of eating food from packets and just wanted to eat real foods all the time. In March I started the Medifast Transition program.  I kept up the exercise but also started eating some junk food again. I had very strong cravings for sugar. My goal was to transition to whole healthy foods most of the time and continue biking and walking.  However, I developed severe plantar fasciitis and had to limit my walking. This was the beginning of two years of chronic foot pain and immobility. I also got sick with the flu and a sinus infection, my eating felt "scattered" and I felt like I was spinning my wheels with weight loss.

May: weighed 214 pounds. Was counting calories again (1500/day). By June I was moving towards Primal eating. Was able to do some walking but it was limited by foot pain. Stopped eating grains and sugars. Felt very tired and had headaches a lot. In mid-July I was eating from a Primal template and was getting stomach pains. My doctor said I was eating too much fat and meat, so I tried to adjust that while continuing to eat Primal in August.

August: the plantar fasciitis flared up even worse and I was not able to take walks at all for exercise. Was doing physical therapy. Joined a gym for a 3 month period and also went to a second gym for a free trial period. Saw a personal trainer for several sessions and developed a routine, going to the gym 3-4 days/week to strength train on a circuit for 45 minutes and then swim in the pool. I cut out most dairy. However I was very frustrated that I still weighed 219 pounds. In September, I started counting calories again. I averaged just over 1400 calories/day and gained 2 pounds that week. When I cut back to 1350 calories/day and lowered my carbs, I maintained.

November: Weighed 219 pounds again. The pain in my feet was increasing and making it difficult for me to get around. I was still eating grain free By the middle of the month I attempted to restart Medifast again to try and get some weight off my feet quickly. I lost 11 pounds in a month, and then gained 7 pounds back in a week when I stopped Medifast.


January: 218 pounds. I decided to do Medifast gluten free. Stayed on plan with the eating. Tried to add walking and biking back in but my feet were in too much pain. I stopped counting calories and stopped getting on the scale, and just focused on doing the Medifast plan. I lost 3 pounds in February, stayed on Medifast and lost 3 pounds in March and 2 pounds in April, down to 208 pounds. I was counting calories while on Medifast and averaged losing 1 pound a week on 900 calories a day. I also started seeing a counselor in March.

May: frustrated with very slow losses on 900-1000 calories/day, I asked the Medifast nutritionists for advice and they gave me a new plan, the "4 & 2 & 1 plan" (1300-1500 calories/day). Was able to start biking again, 15 minutes/day 5 times a week. No weight loss in May.

June: got cortisone shots in both feet and by the end of the month was mostly pain free. Was able to increase my activity level dramatically. Continued eating the new Medifast plan until the end of July, when I ate off plan. In August I bought a pedometer and focused on increasing my steps over several months (got up into the 9000's most days). The plantar fasciitis pain came back and I got another set of shots which made it go away again.

September: I had not gotten on the scale over the summer. I weighed in at 210 pounds, a 2 pound gain in 3 months. Switched back to Medifast 5&1 plan and stayed around 208 pounds for a few weeks. Had a hard time staying on plan. Got sick of Medifast and stopped it completely.

October: fell and hurt my foot and was on crutches for over a month. Added grains back in for awhile. Started counting calories in a higher calorie range to try and "heal my metabolism" (began with 2000 and slowly lowered it to 1700) but this caused me to gain weight. I was doing physical therapy, upper body strength training and a chair aerobics video twice a week. After a month I weighed 218 pounds. Then my best friend passed away and I had no interest in anything regarding food, exercise, or diet for awhile. Stopped blogging. I was in a great deal of emotional and physical pain. Blood pressure went very high and I started medication.

December: Mid-December I was up to 226 pounds. Very little motivation, depressed. Tried half-heartedly to calorie count and exercise.


January 1: 230 pounds and starting to care again. Grain free, gluten free, more produce, 1200-1500 calories/day. Trying to bike, starting at 5 minutes before it hurt too much. Started new physical therapy, walking on a treadmill in a pool. Lost one pound in January. Still in a lot of pain.

February: still counting calories and eating mostly whole foods with a few Medifast meals as supplements. Increased biking to 15 minutes/day on days I didn't do physical therapy. Then I lost focus and quit counting calories and biking. I was in a lot of pain. In March I tried counting and biking again and was still doing physical therapy. Got down to 226 pounds.

April: I decided to try juicing fresh produce as a supplement to my diet, thinking the nutrients might help my body heal. I juiced daily for about a month and also counted calories (1600-1700/day) but gained weight. In early May I was so frustrated I stepped away from the blog until July. I had gotten up to 242 pounds during that time. I also got more shots in my feet, started seeing a new counselor, had metabolic testing, and was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroid, an autoimmune disease. I started medication for that and my endocrinologist suggested an elimination diet and staying gluten free. I joined a gym and started swimming regularly, and started changing my diet to the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP). I was 100% AIP for most of July and all of August and lost 16 pounds without counting calories or much exercise. I weighed 226 pounds.

August: The plantar fasciitis disappeared, and I started biking 3 days a week and walking and swimming more.  In September I got sick and went off AIP and had a hard time getting back on it. In October I started seeing an Eating Disorder counselor who told me AIP was too restrictive and that I needed to stop counting calories or dieting, and should normalize food by eating what I want in normal sized portions. She told me to stay off the scale as well. I struggled with this but by November I did get back on the scale and had regained 14 pounds, back up to 240 pounds. At this point I felt desperate and was going back and forth between AIP and calorie counting, trying to find something I could stick to to lose the weight again.


January 1: I was up to 245 pounds.  I gained 3 more pounds floundering around with weight loss efforts and overeating. In February I started back on strict AIP and lost an average of a pound a week for 6 weeks. By April I was doing some swimming and more walking. In May I was doing reintroductions on AIP and still losing weight. I lost 11 pounds in 3 months. At the end of May I started using a FitBit to track my activity, but then had a bad flareup of knee bursitis and had to stop walking and biking. My food choices also got worse and I regained 3 pounds. Last week I started counting calories and ate 1423 calories a day with no loss. I weigh 240 pounds.

** To Be Continued **


Anonymous said...

This is cool! I love seeing all the information condensed down like this. I'm reading your archives but this will make it easier to see the overall picture.

Roxanne said...

This post serves as an inspiration to all of us who wanted to lose weight. I commend you for being honest of your weight loss journey. I can see there are times where you mostly went back to square one. It got me thinking, "If I were you I would give up already." But no, as I read your development, I can clearly see how genuine you are in achieving and living a healthy lifestyle. It got me inspired. Thank you and I hope this time you keep on losing :)

CatherineMarie said...


Sara said...

Just found your blog (on a best of list btw :) ), and wow girl-you've been on quite the ride! So much I could say, but I'll refrain and just say that I'm cheering you on, and I wish you the best with your continued journey. Now following!

Anonymous said...

Thanks! It is such a struggle. I could've written your blog! I've gone from 150 to ... I'm afraid to weigh myself now! I've done the up & down three times.

Good luck (to us both) and THANK YOU!

Anonymous said...

What strikes me most is the different plans tried which most worked when consistent! That's good news, your body can lose weight!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Just thought I'd pop in since you are doing a summary and say hi - I still stop by once in a while to see how you're doing :-)

I have been listening to an interesting podcast called The Psychology of Eating. If you ever listen to podcasts, you might check it out.

Best wishes for the rest of 2015!

Annette said...

I must comment you for always going back to the eating/work out plan. Ive read this off and on for awhile and like the condensed version. Its real life at its best and not watered down (making the rest of us know we are not alone) Im on my own weight loss journey as well! Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

Kind of cool that you have all of this documented like this.
Have you tried to analyze this to see the patterns? When have you lost and when have you gained?
Maybe it could be a Part II.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen the documentary"Fed Up"? It vividly describes the unrelenting efforts of the food industry lobbyists to mislead us and keep us hooked on sugar. As an example, the battle to avoid having to list "% Daily Value" for sugars. They will list the grams, because no one really knows what that means. When I learned that the recommended daily maximum for sugars is 24 grams, it really woke me up. If you look at the cherry Greek yogurt label and see that it has 17 grams of sugar, you realize it is dessert, not breakfast. This film really got me looking at labels with a little more comprehension. You can see it on Netflix streaming if you're interested.

Rebekah (spaghetticat) said...

Lyn, i used to religiously follow your blog and we even did medifast together. Somehow, i always find your blog abd think of you at the most crucial times. You remind me to always try try again and once i think you blogged about how imagine wr never dieted, only gained. So a cha cha is better than a lot of nothing. Thank you for your consistency and reality check.
Spaghetticat :)

Lyn said...

hi Rebekah! So cool to hear from you! Yes, trying and working at it IS progress, even if only mental/emotional with a bit of healthy habits practice thrown in. I know if I had not kept fighting I would be over 300 pounds right now, so there's that, too. It'll come off. I am convinced of that. :)