Thursday, September 29, 2011

Redefining Targets

The counter on the right of my blog says that, in six days, I will have reached my target weight.

Obviously, that's not going to happen!

That target was set right at the start of my weight loss, and depended on a weekly loss of 3.1 lbs. I knew that was an ambitious target when I set it - nearly every source recommends no more than 2lbs a week. However, I figured that a low target might make me complacent - if i reached my weekly goal by a Wednesday, I'd be less inclined to make an effort for the rest of the week. So I kept the elevated target, as a way to keep me pushing right through the week.

And for a long time it worked. I managed to stay ahead of target all the way from February to July. But then August came, my month of gain, and that finally set me behind my target.

Now I look at my weigh-in spreadsheet, I see that I am actually about the same weight now as I was back in July. Since then I lost some more, then gained, and am now working my way back down again. That's two months of no progress. My first reaction to that is a negative one, as I haven't dropped any lower than I was two months ago. There is a small part of me which thinks its OK, with an eye to my maintenance phase - I've been able to keep my weight the same (with peaks and troughs of course) for two months, gaining a bit and then working to reduce that gain. I'm OK with that when I reach the maintenance phase, after hitting my goal weight...but I'm not there yet!

So, I need to make a new weekly target, and new end date. There are 13 weeks until the end of the year (not counting this one), and 30lbs still to shed, so that works out at 2.3 lbs a week. Still above the recommended weekly loss, but lower than the one I have at present. As such, I think I'll make that my target at the start of next week. Chances are I'll still be above that target come the New Year, but I really ought to be really close by then. And you never know, maybe I WILL manage to meet that target, and can start 2012 at my goal weight, not having to lose any more pounds, but rather just trying to maintain the weight!

Its just become a bit disheartening, opening my spreadsheet every morning and seeing a big red column, telling me I'm almost 30lbs behind schedule. In the past I used to enjoy looking at the target column, seeing that I was on track, or pushing hard to make sure I stayed on track. Nowadays its just depressing, knowing that I'll never be able to make up the weight loss in the time I had set. Hopefully having a new target will allow me to finally see green numbers in my target column, and enthuse me once again!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Week 31 - RESULTS

So, now we're right back on track with the posts...but can I say the same for my weight loss?

STARTING WEIGHT:   228.4 lbs

ENDING WEIGHT:  227.1 lbs

WEIGHT LOSS:   1.3 lbs

Just to look at the positives first - this is my second consecutive loss, after a month of gradual gain, so its good to see the scales moving consistently in the right direction. It is also a larger loss than last week, so I'm taking that as a good sign too - my body is remembering what 'weight-loss mode' is like, and is lurching its way back into gear! And lastly, I have dropped back past the '70-lb lost' marker, which is good to see again, after gaining my way back into the 60's last month!

But just some minor negatives too. Firstly, although I've recorded a loss, it was actually a larger loss by Friday, and then a net gain over the weekend. For the last two weeks I have lost focus over the weekend, and undone some of the progress I have made over the working week. As long as I keep seeing losses I am satisfied, but that little voice at the back of my mind won't let me forget just how much more impressive the loss could have been this week!

Another...well, not negative per se, but a good reality check, is the fact that I am still heavier than I was 5 weeks ago. Although I have lost for two straight weeks now, I have yet to make up the gains I made in my summer holiday month. That is my primary target over the next couple of weeks - to get back down to 222.3 lbs, so that I'm not just losing regained summer weight, but ancient weight!

As last Thursday was the 7-month anniversary of this weight loss attempt, I will post the photos from today alongside the Day 1 photos below. It almost seems a shame, since the picture below has me heavier than the one I did for last month! Still, this summer gain happened, I can't and won't deny it, all I can do is accept it, learn from it, and move on. Here's to next month's comparison!

70.0 lbs

297.1 lbs                   227.1 lbs

297.1 lbs                        227.1 lbs

Sunday, September 25, 2011

(A Very Late) Week 30 - RESULTS

Again, apologies for taking so long to post the results from the week just gone! I shall explain why, but first, how did I do?

STARTING WEIGHT:   228.9 lbs

ENDING WEIGHT:  228.4 lbs

WEIGHT LOSS:    0.5 lbs

I had actually achieved a bigger loss than this by the Friday, but as it was my first week back at University since the summer break, my weekend was full of reunions and parties and gatherings, and I partook rather more heavily than I should have done. Still, a loss is a loss, and I am finally moving in the right direction again!

So why did it take me almost a week to post these results? They should have gone up on Monday, and tomorrow I'll be posting the results from THIS week.

The simple answer is, I've been insanely busy! I know that sometimes, when one of us weight-loss bloggers stops posting, it means they've fallen off the wagon for a while, and don't want to post any more. Let me just reassure everyone that this is not the case with me!
I've mentioned before that I am currently a medical student. I have now entered my third year, which is the start of my clinical rotations, so I am no longer stuck in a lecture theatre all day, but a real-life operating theatre instead! And wards, and clinics, and labs...honestly, I've gone from spending every waking hour sat in a small lumpy seat being lectured to, to striding around hospital all day, frantically scribbling notes and examining patients! We have to keep some pretty intense hours, which has meant that when I get home, I have pretty much gone straight to bed, hence the massive delay in posting. But still, being on my feet all day has been good for my weight!
Not only that; the hospital I am based at for the moment is just over two miles from where I live, and last week I managed to walk there and back each and every day. That means I got 21 miles of walking under my belt, before we add on the miles I must have covered stalking the hospital wards with my stethoscope! It feels really good to be living an active lifestyle, and earning my sleep - before, I would sleep because the clock told me it was bedtime, but these days I sleep like a log!

All this activity was really having a good effect on my weight, but I'm afraid this weekend I stumbled again. Not badly - I've been doing this for so long that eating well has generally become second nature. But all us medics gathered at the pub again on Friday to celebrate our first successful clinical week, and the drinks led to a massive late-night kebab. And the next day, a hangover led to a massive McDonald's binge...still, I am certain I will record another loss tomorrow morning, and be well on my way once more.

I hardly seem to have posted on this blog over the last few weeks. To be honest, I had sort of forgotten about it - the blog was always to help me stay motivated with my weight loss at the start, and make sure I didn't give up. These days, I don't feel as though I need any boost to my motivation, so it was almost as though I no longer needed this blog. But writing this has reminded me how much fun it was, and how rewarding. I promise I shall be better with my posting from now on! I want you all to know as soon as I reach my goal weight, which hopefully won't be too much longer!
Last Thursday was also the 7-month anniversary of this blog and my weight-loss attempt, so I will be posting my comparison photos again for all to see when I weigh in tomorrow. I'm pretty sure that last month showed a net gain, after the festivities around my brother's wedding, but no matter. Next month will surely be a doozy! Until then, let me just say thanks for sticking with me over my less-than-inspiring month these past four weeks, and please do stick around to see just how much farther along this path I can drive in the next four!

68.7 lbs

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Week 29 - RESULTS

First of all, apologies for taking so long to make this post!

After my last post, I had to head off to the north of England for my brother's wedding. After that I spent a few days at home with my folks. When I finally returned to London, the Rugby World Cup had just started, so I found myself staying awake all night so I could watch the games live from New Zealand. And then, this Monday, was my first day back at university!

I'd previously mentioned that, as this Monday was a fresh start academically, I was also going to use it as a fresh start for the weight loss. However, everyone decided to head out on the town after our lectures, to swap summer stories, and one drink led to, as you can perhaps imagine, it was hard enough getting out of bed in the morning, never mind catching up with my blogging.

But ANYWAY. Time to find out how the wedding, buffet, home cooking, family meals, lazy days and far too much alcohol have affected my weight over the last two weeks. Can you guess? It ain't pretty...

STARTING WEIGHT:   225.2 lbs

ENDING WEIGHT:  228.9 lbs

WEIGHT GAIN:  3.7 lbs

No more than I expected, or deserve. I did no exercise, and allowed myself a few days off my diet during the wedding, so that I could have fun.

But since know what the problem was? Its exactly as I feared in my last post. Because I'd decided that this Monday was my 'fresh start', the time leading up to then didn't seem to count. I had about two weeks between the wedding and 'the new beginning' on Monday, and there was a part of my brain that instantly said "this is free time, eat as much as you like!"

And my, how I did! A lot of it made me feel quite ill, or bloated, or gassy, and I have no real desire to eat like that again, so in one sense the binge has served a purpose. But that's two gains on the trot now, and both quite substantial ones. I have had to yield my '70lbs lost' achievement too, which I'm not happy with.

BUT - as I've said, this is my fresh start. I've been very good this week (except for all the Monday night alcohol, but luckily it didn't lead to a Monday night kebab!). I'm also back in lessons now, so no more days spent in bed doing nothing!

I'm going to try and post more now my days have structure again, and I have a lot of catching up to do with all your blogs! But for now, all that remains is for me to record my weight loss so far...

68.2 lbs

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fraternal Nuptials Imminent!

Greetings folks,

Just a quick one to let you know that I'm off for a few days now, as my little brother is getting married tomorrow! Strange to have it so close - when I started losing weight back in February it seemed so far away, and has always been a target to aim for, a date by which I wanted to lose as much weight as possible. And now its here!

The weight has been coming off again this week, which is good. I'll still be with my folks on Monday so don't know yet if I'll be able to do a weigh-in, but I don't really want another 2 week hiatus before my next weigh, so not sure what I will do. Maybe I'll have a weigh-in on Wednesday or Thursday when I get back, and then a mini 4-day week after that. When I weigh in on September 12th, it will be the end of my summer break, and so the end of my broken, delayed weigh-ins...I'll be back to regular posting again! AND I'll be starting my next year of university. AND, I'll be commencing my second big push to finally win the Battle of the Bulge...