Yesterday was 52 weeks since my first weigh-in on Saturday, January 3rd, 2009. When I weighed in yesterday morning, my total weigh loss was 53.2 pounds. I have been very pleased with my progress this past year.
Things have changed over the past year. The biggest difference - besides the weight - is the greatly reduced calorie need. When I started a year ago, I was aiming to eat about 1737 calories a day (based on moderate activity). After my latest weigh-in, my target is 1378. If I had tried eating so few calories when I first started, I'm not sure I'd have been able to do it - I would have been hungry all the time. However, as my body gradually changed, and I gradually made adjustments accordingly, the gradual reduction in calorie intake wasn't really noticeable; for the most part, I continue to be satisfied with what I eat, though I do occasionally get REALLY hungry for no apparent reason.
I will say that my weight today is not the most I've lost this year. My greatest weight loss was 61.4 pounds, on Saturday, December 19th. I know exactly why I have gained 8.2 pounds over the last two weeks. I went five days without exercising, from the 19th through the 23rd. I didn't plan it that way. I was busy over that weekend, finishing up with my sewing for my sisters' Christmas gifts. I was fully prepared to get back to my exercise on Monday. Fate conspired against me. I had a medical emergency - I blacked out - at work and was taken by EMS to the ER, and when the first tests they ran came back normal, they decided they wanted to admit me, and I wasn't allowed to just walk around. I didn't leave the hospital until about 7:30 Tuesday night. I took it easy on Wednesday, though I didn't really have to. I did exercise Christmas Eve, but Christmas Eve presented other issues: the abundance of sweets. That Monday night, I was to have gone to the Legion's Christmas dinner, and I had baked a cake. Needless to say, the cake didn't make it to the dinner, since I didn't either. That cake found its way out to Grandma's for Christmas Eve dinner. Daddy had also baked some chocolate chip cookies. There was also hot chocolate and Lebkuchen while we opened our presents. Christmas Day, Daddy always bakes up those Pillsbury cinnamon and orange danish rolls. I had two or three. Then, back out to Grandma's for the turkey dinner, complete with mashed potatoes, cornbread dressing, and corn, and again, a variety of sweets. A week later, we had pizza New Year's Eve, and then lots of food New Year's Day when we again headed out to Grandma's: ham, barbecue chicken, barbecue sausage, potato salad, pork & beans and corn, and a few more cookies. Oh, and we can't leave out the large number of sodas I've been consuming over the holidays, either. I'm not really freaking out about the 8 pounds in two weeks. I'd already told myself I'd not be obsessing about the calorie counting over the holidays, so I could enjoy them, and I know why I put the weight back on. But, it's now time to get back into the swing of things. Two weeks of not closely minding the calorie intake is enough.
To work towards my ultimate goal - from the latest weigh-in, I've got in the ballpark of 40 more pounds to lose. For the next ten pounds or so, I can continue to aim for a 1000 calorie deficit each day. After that, I will have to make some adjustments. I will have to reduce my daily calorie deficit to 500 calories, so as to keep my body from thinking there is a shortage of food and as a result, slowing my metabolism. So, it may taken me the next year to lose these last 40 pounds. I've not ever really hit a "plateau" (those times when I've not lost, I know why - either not enough exercise or too many calories). I will continue to update here from time to time as I continue my weight loss journey.
My exercise routines are a little different than when I first started a year ago. Those days I go into the office, I still work out with my sisters. I am still walking on the treadmill (though my sisters do intervals on the other treadmill and also the elliptical, trading places), and still doing some free weights. When I'm not at the office, I have mostly been doing in-home walking. Over the summer months, it was just too hot to walk in the neighborhood during the day. Also, with the DVDs, it doesn't really matter what time I do it - right when I get home from school, later in the evening after I've eaten something for dinner, in the middle of the day on the weekends. The important thing is that I continue to get exercise. I asked for - and received - two more exercise DVDs for Christmas. Yesterday morning, I went with my sisters (in 30 degree weather, even!) for the "Shredder Walk" that a trainer at a local gym does. It is a roughly 4-mile walk from the gym to one of the parking garages on the UT campus. When the garage is reached, everyone goes up the stairs to the top level for some exercises (I was a little wobbly at that point) and then it's down the stairs and back to the gym. I'm not sure of the schedule, but I think I'll do it again. It just sucked getting up that early on a Saturday morning, and then having to get my dad up so he could drive me over to my sister's place, since I'm not allowed to drive for a while after my little blackout episode two weeks ago...
So, the plan is to renew the New Year's Resolution. I will keep up with the exercise. I will try to push myself: as I get closer to my goal, it is likely that I will have to do more to see the same results. Time will tell. I will continue to count my calories, and I know I will soon need to make some adjustments soon, when I get to those last thirty pounds. I will also work at making sure I get a decent night's sleep each night. Lack of sleep can contribute to weight problems, and getting enough sleep was also a part of the discussion when I was in the hospital. To that end, I'm off to bed. It's Sunday, and I don't have to get up for anything in particular once morning rolls around.