The Lifestyle Digs

A Year to a Healthier Lifestyle

Today – July 29 – marks one year since I’ve been working towards a healthier lifestyle and tracking my weight.

Doctors and blizzards

On July 28, 2018 I’d gone to the doctor’s office to get the results of blood work. The doctor’s office called to say that it was nothing urgent but the doctor did want to talk to me. It took me a few weeks to get there. I was working a Monday to Friday job at the time, so the best time for me to go to the doctor’s office was Saturday even though there were always huge waits. When I arrived it was about a 90 minute wait, so I put my name on the list and had to kill time. There’s a Dairy Queen in the same shopping complex so I went over to try one of those Jurassic chomp Blizzards I’d seen advertised on TV.

I really wished I hadn’t.

The commercials promised the Jurassic chomp blizzard would be packed with chocolate peanut butter bites and fudge topping. Unfortunately it was seriously lacking, and I wasn’t impressed. I’ve had way better Blizzards over the years.

The other reason I wished I hadn’t eaten that blizzard?

This was the day the doctor told me my blood sugar was getting high. It was still in the normal range but edging higher and she told me I didn’t want to be crossing into diabetes territory.

Why did I eat that sugar-filled Blizzard that I didn’t even really enjoy in the first place?!

I told her about my sweet tooth and her basic response was willpower, something I struggle with. Since that fateful day, I’ve managed to turn it around! Yay me!

She told me to work on portion control. I suppose it also went without saying to avoid sugary products. My favorite, as you probably know from my post about my lifelong love affair with bakeries.

I needed to make serious lifestyle changes to become healthier. Even though I was already eating lots of spinach salads with low calorie dressings, I had to work on cutting out the desserts I was enjoying afterwards.

When I bought my Mazda 3 and took it back for some agreed upon maintenance, a man in the service bay told me he’d lost 50 pounds and had stopped eating bread, pasta, and potatoes. These are all foods I eat regularly, and if he could cut them out of his diet, no easy feat for an Italian, then I could cut them out too.

Where I’m at and where I was

I decided to keep an Excel spreadsheet to track my weight daily. Now I know there’s a lot of discussion on both sides of the fence about tracking your weight daily or weekly, but I decided to do the daily tracking starting on July 29, 2018.

The entry is 148.2 pounds. That’s packing a lot for a small frame. I might have even lost a couple of pounds in the week or so leading up to this momentous day at the doctor’s office. I’m saying I might have topped 150 and who am I kidding? That’s an unhealthy weight for a petite, as confirmed when I used an online BMI calculator – 28.9. Definitely in the overweight category. If I weighed 7 pounds more, that would put me in the obese category.

I needed to lose 20 pounds just to get myself into the normal weight category for my BMI. And that would still be the high end or normal.

I really wanted to get my weight below 120 pounds. When had I last been there? I looked back at the messages of an old group I belonged to for vegetarians looking to slim down. Here’s the message I wrote on March 1, 2007:

I’ve been watching what I eat with a goal to seriously lose my extra
weight since October. My weight should be closer to 110 pounds but
hovers in the 120’s and 130’s for years. I lose weight very slowly,
maybe a couple of pounds a month. For the first time in maybe 12 years
my weight is just under 120 pounds, yes I hit 119 and officially in the
teens now. Just need to keep it up! I’ve only lost about 6 pounds this
year as it comes off slowly, but I seem to be doing really well at
maintaining, but at least its not going up. My goal is to be down to
110 by May 30 and I need to lose .8 pound a week to accomplish this.

I know for a fact that I didn’t get down to 110 pounds in 2007, and that’s the weight I still struggle to attain in 2019.

Between 2007 and 2010 my weight crept back up to the 130’s and then 140’s. How does this happen? Why do I struggle so much to take weight off and keep it off? I was so happy in 2007 to get my weight below 120, how did it not keep going down?

Too much chocolates!

I also managed to convince myself that I carried the extra weight well. I’m an active person. I have dogs, horses, ride my bike, occasionally go to deep water aerobic fitness classes, and sometimes do yoga thanks to YouTube videos.

Who was I kidding? Only myself, I guess.

Keeping track

I’m not going to get into the old debate about whether or not to record your weight daily, weekly, or less often due to daily fluctuations. If I track daily and see an unfortunate upward swing, I take fast measures to correct it. Smoothie day!

Here are a few notable entries on that spreadsheet.

Day 1: 148.2

Day 2: 148.8

Now that’s not good. I’m up half a pound. I’ve knocked off chocolates and desserts for a day. How did that happen?

Day 3: 147.6

Whew! Now that’s encouraging!

A week later my weight was 146.2. I didn’t really begin to feel like I was making progress until I logged August 31 at 138.2. Dropping into the next 10’s group, which had happened briefly about a week before, and then jumped back to 140, started to feel like I was getting a handle on this weight loss.

Each month I saw the scale move down. On September 30 I weighed 134. I’d dropped to 129.4 on October 31 , so during the last week in October I was flirting with dropping into the next 10’s.

Every time my weight dropped into another 10’s was a new milestone!

My weight logged in at 124.8 on November 30, and most importantly during this month, a new milestone: I had now reached a normal BMI! I am no longer officially overweight according to the BMI calculator. Yay me! These are all small victories but they kept me motivated and by December 31 I ended the year weighing 122.2 pounds. As you can see I did hit a plateau during December, and I had this huge internal battle to keep reminding myself that in 5 months I’d lost 26 pounds. That’s amazing!

My goal was to reach 107 pounds by the time I ended recording my weight after one year. Unfortunately I didn’t reach that goal. On July 29, 2919 my weight is 112.2 pounds. I first reached that weight on May 7, and many times since because my weight has stayed in the 111 to 113 range for three months now. The lowest weight I logged on July 9 at 110.8 pounds.

My plan is to maintain my weight at 110 pounds (the number that teasingly eludes me), give or take 3 pounds. I’ve been in that range since the end of April. The high end of that range!

Give me 110!

Give me 107!

As good as it gets?

Maybe I have to accept the fact that my body just isn’t going to go a few pounds lower. There’s all kinds of online articles out there for people trying to lose the last few pounds. Changing up the exercise and eating less aren’t always the best plan. When you get older, vigorous exercise is something we’re not all physically capable of doing. Eating less isn’t always obtainable either. I already eat low calorie meals and I’m hungry a lot. Here’s one of the articles I’m referring to with tricks to lose the last 5 pounds.

If you missed my previous posts where I go into more detail on the doctor’s visit, what I ate and resources I used on losing weight this past year, check them out here:

Fear is a great motivator for weight loss.

Motivated by fear: my weight loss plan.

Living well

Have you ever heard the saying that living well is the best revenge? Usually in terms of a divorce! It’s not uncommon for people to lose weight after going through a divorce – I just wish I’d done it a lot sooner! I live a much healthier lifestyle today than I used to. One of my friends saw a photo of the deadbeat on Facebook and said she had to take a really close look to tell that it was him because he’s put on so much weight. I’m at the same weight now as I was when we met in the early nineties. The deadbeat can keep on making bad life choices. My revenge is that I’m healthier and living better.

The next best revenge is not giving a shit about him, but I was already there many years ago!

Before and after

I didn’t take a before picture a year ago. I just didn’t think about doing it. Being a single, taking a picture of myself isn’t always on my mind. No queen of the selfies here! I did take a full body shot of myself in 2016, setting the camera on a timer and making a run for it. So, I’d be about the same starting weight, or maybe a few pounds lighter, but around the same so that will have to be the before picture.

A Year to a Healthier Lifestyle

Yikes! I pretty much hate looking at this photo. You can see what I meant that I was only kidding myself that the extra pounds wore OK on me. I don’t want to go back here.

Hanging Around Lincoln City, Oregon

The photo above was taken in October 2018. I’m wearing skinny jeans for the first time ever! I bought them in Lincoln City after I lost 15 pounds. I was concerned they weren’t age appropriate but the sales lady assured me they were. After some reading online when I returned home, I came to the conclusion that older women are wearing skinny jeans, so OK! They looked good, they made me feel good about myself that the weight loss was working.

Great Customer Recovery Walgreens!

I took the above photo in June, 2019. I’d lost another 20 pounds since that shopping excursion to Lincoln City and the skinny jeans were sliding off me. I returned to Lincoln City on May 31 for four nights, and the same sales lady was working at the Levi store when I came in! My goal was to buy more of those jeans that looked good and helped me feel good. I explained the issue I was having since I’d lost more weight. I loved the skinny jeans, I was wearing them in fact when I came in the store for show and tell, but they weren’t staying up too good anymore. She gave me a pair of size 2 and size 0 jeans to try on. Oh my god – who was she kidding?! I tried on the size 2 and came out to model for her, pulling the waist out because it was still roomy. I went back and tried on the size 0 and they fit pretty good! Who’d have thought I could get into a size 0! That wasn’t on my radar one year ago either! I bought two pairs of skinny jeans and one pair of Bermuda jean shorts.

She did try to steer me over to the shorter shorts. Now maybe that’s not age appropriate!

Who remembers the old commercials for Nair? Who wears short shorts?

Not me. At least not yet…

Summing it up

The overall weight loss has been amazing. I’ve lost 35 pounds in one year. Actually I got to that 35 pound weight loss milestone in April and I’ve pretty much been at a plateau.

When I walked in to the doctor’s office one year ago and then waited at Dairy Queen with a Jurassic blizzard, if someone had come up to me and said in one year your weight will be down 35 pounds, I’d have been skeptical. I’ve tried so many times to lose weight, but only a few pounds comes off and then it goes back on again.

On July 29, 2019 I celebrate my year to a healthier lifestyle. 36.5 pounds lost between today and one year ago.

I’m thinking of stopping in at Wendy’s for one of those 99¢ small Frosty’s, eat some of it right away and put the rest in the freezer! What do you think?

Does anyone else have milestones to share?

 

2 thoughts on “A Year to a Healthier Lifestyle

  1. Kemkem

    I remember those commercials! Nair’s got aloe vera :-). Well done! What an amazing weight loss success. I admit l am in the diabetes category and have been for over twenty years. It’s just a way of life for me now. I don’t deny myself but portions l watch and l can tell when l’ve overdone it. Since leaving the U.S, I have lost 36 pounds (yours in 1, mine in 6!) but l think it’s because l walk more and the food is healthier here. I have decided to choose my poison :-). Not gonna give up my pasta, chocolates etc l really don’t care about but l have noticed when l lower my bread consumption, l feel better overall. Keep up the good work. Your voice is so sweet :-)!.

    1. Cheryl at The Lifestyle Digs Post author

      Hi Kemkem. Yeah that jingle was so annoying but decades later I can still remember it. So I guess it did its job, except I don’t buy the product! Thanks. I really had to buckle down and stay focused (most of the time) to achieve this. You’ve had really good success too without changing your lifestyle too much. Way to go!

      As for bread, I was having an esophagus issue that I had to go through the barium testing. I’ve got a little ledge that sometimes catches food and hangs on to it for a bit. When that happens I can’t swallow anything else, food or drink, until it works its way down. That can take half a minute or longer, but of course I don’t know there’s a block for a few more swallows so it’s very uncomfortable. I can breathe, I just can’t put anything into my mouth. I noticed this mostly happened when I ate sandwiches. So another health benefit, I’m not having this esophagus thing happening anymore.

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