Big Change: Smaller Me

I’ve lost over 40 pounds since last June
Sunrise out the window of Planet Fitness

I am definitely not a very consistent blogger and it interests me that somehow reporting in real time on what has been a gargantuan accomplishment for me did not seem desirable or possible while it’s been happening. I mentioned back in November– in my first post in 3 years– that I had lost over 25 pounds. I did go on to do what I said in November, to move into the mid range of a healthy BMI.

Back in January I joined Planet Fitness. While I know hard core body builders and weight lifters look at PF with derision it’s been wonderful for me. I began using New Rules of Lifting for Life (Thank you @LouSchuler and @AlwynCosgrove) to develop workouts and have diligently been following those routines three times per week since. I learned that it is actually possible for me to get out of the house at 6:30AM to get in an hour workout before work. I honestly did not believe that I could do that consistently twice a week. My body fat percentage is still right at 30% and I am determined to slowly reduce that and build more muscle. I am amazed when I look at the clothes that fit me now. I hold something up and automatically think “no way my body’s going to fit into that” so it will clearly take some time for all those elements to gel but I feel good and am very proud of what I’ve done so far.

Thankful for: Noom!

thankful-wall-sign-script-font-gold_1024x1024.pngI started using the Noom app back in July and have lost over 25 pounds since June. I totally did not think I could do that. I have never before used any participatory weight loss mechanism. That said, when my health insurer offered a monthly check-in with a nurse I did find that that was enough to increase my accountability regarding exercise or drinking water. So it was not entirely surprising to me that this app works for me.

Noom includes a weekly check in with a coach by text and a group of fellow Noomers where you can post. That group also has a group coach. Food and exercise logging are a big part of it as is a curriculum on food, weight loss and the psychology of eating and losing weight. It’s not cheap at about $45 per month but it is working. The default calorie level is 1,200 per day on which Noom helpfully points out that most people will lose weight. (Duh…)

A number of factors motivated me to start. One of which was inching towards the top of the Overweight BMI category. Recently I moved into a Healthy BMI for the first time in years. My goal is to move into the middle to lower end of a Healthy BMI for my height.

I feel good. I am enjoying taking in my too large clothes with sewing skills I haven’t used since high school. I ran/walked a 5K recently for the first time in years. Nice to have a baseline if I want to do that again. I have returned to yoga practice and am also using Fitbit Coach for at home workouts as my work-based exercise room is going away. Everyone is different and I am sure this wouldn’t be the answer for everyone but I enter the holiday season grateful that it is working for me.

Fitbit!

Back in May I purchased a Fitbit Charge. The inspiration came from observing my boss who has had one for a while. I am really loving it. It’s like having a friend who is interested in a running commentary on my personal fitness. I don’t think any human being could be as interested in my fitness as my Fitbit is.

The Fitbit has provided sufficient inspiration that I have actually been tracking my food. I’ve done that in the past but never with the consistency I am now over time.  It isn’t really even a pain in the neck. I like the feeling of control of really seeing what I eat and how much I move and the result of the interaction between those two things. Eventually I want to broaden my repertoire and incorporate more lifting and yoga back into my routine, but for the time being I am just getting used to moving more and consistently.

I feel like a pigeon being fed corn pellets in that I am so motivated by Fitbit’s little badges and peer competition. The boost in accountability of having the constant feedback has gotten me tackling 50 flights of stairs at work or stepping in place in front of the TV rather than sitting after a long day at my desk and driving. If it works I am OK with it.

Fitbit Charge

Fitbit Charge

Nonsense! This stuff makes me smarter…

Rock and Roll McDonald's Screen CapHere’s an obscure reference. There’s a flash movie called “Rock and Roll McDonald’s” that’s from an underground artist in Chicago, now deceased I believe, named Wesley Willis.  (Earworm warning; listen at your own risk.) The scene pictured here from the little movie has a cartoon kitty drinking what appears to be toxic runoff. Warned by his companion about this he comments “Nonsense! This stuff makes me smarter…”  That said, here’s what I’ve been drinking some mornings lately in lieu of breakfast. I follow it in a couple of hours with a morning snack.

12 oz Soy Milk
1 Scoop Whey Powder
2 Teaspoons Instant Coffee
1 Teaspoon Cocoa Powder
25 Drops Stevia Liquid
4 oz Cold Water.

Shake in shaker bottle and voila. No more yawning.

I [Felt] Responsible When It Rain[ed]

I know not posting to a blog is not the same as, say, falling off the face of the Earth. Yet I almost feel like I did. Over the past few months I identified that the steps I was taking to deal with a nearly lifelong problem with anxiety were not enough. Rather than just interfering with select portions of my life, it had begun to interfere with my work. So I did something I had long resisted doing: sought a recommendation of a helping professional from my primary care physician and started taking medication for the problem for the first time in my life.

About 5 weeks in and past most of the bothersome start-up issues I think it was a good idea. In addition to the meds I am reading a book that’s designed to help one with disordered and dysfunctional thinking: “Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy” by David Burns, M.D. . It’s long been one of my quips that I feel responsible when it rains. Apparently this is a problem.

I am pleased to say that I’ve actually lost 15 pounds over the last year and that the meds I am taking don’t seem prone to screw that up as I move forward in my quest for better health and fitness.