Sunday, October 09, 2011

Weight loss: This IS HAPPENING

About 1 month ago I finally got serious about weight loss. It's been something that has never had priority for me and it's way overdue that I get very serious about making some major changes. My first goal is 30 lbs, which will take me back to a weight I was in Grade 12 or Grade 13, before even going to Australia. I am VERY excited to get back there. This WILL HAPPEN.

The weight all started when I got to Waterloo and the stress was very high. The tasty carbo-heavy cafeteria choices I made were not ideal either - poutine and chicken fingers at 11pm Calculus homework sessions sure were tasty in the cold Canadian winter, but they didn't help keep that Freshman 20 (lbs) from showing up within 8 months. After that my continued super dedication to the work, my general unhealthy lack of sleep and continued student pizza-eating patterns continued the downward (or, shall I say, upward) trend of weight gain. By the time University was done I was up at least 25 or 30 lbs. Terrible.

After much pestering for years, whatever was necessary has finally clicked and I am turning up the heat on this chubby briznass. I like the "jolly" vibe people get from me, but rest assured it has nothing to do with me needing to lose 30lbs. I will still be as Jolly, I'm just cashing in this fat keg for a friggin' dirrrtty six-pack. Holler back!!!

Why the recent change in focus? Lots of things, but the big trip to Peru is a big help for sure. I will not enjoy the glorious Inca Trail if I have to carry all this extra weight. And I am not paying this much money for an amazing world trip just to arrive and be a tired whiney jerk about it when I arrive. Frank and Jess are doing amazingly well at their weight loss and my sister is doing amazingly so that's very motivating too. MattP is also doing it so we're all being good influences on each other which definitely helps keep us all on track.

I'm extremely happy to announce that the first month has been a HUGE success. I'm down 8lbs, an average of 2lbs a week. I have been aiming to lose at 1 lb/week but I've made enough major changes that it's going more quickly, which is nice. The main culprit was evening snacking. I must have been eating a crazy amount of extra calories in evening post-dinner snacking food - it's generally healthy stuff, but the quantities add up quickly. Those tiny yoghurt cups are like 180 calories each. So I've dropped this horrible habit completely. I have a proper dinner with more dense foods like Quinoa and more protein and it gets me not to be hungry later which is good. Also if I get hungry I have a small handful of unsalted roasted almonds and a huge cup of herbal tea. It's working very well. I also stopped buying any junk food. I find if I have amazing tasty stuff in my house like candy or ice cream or pudding cups or anything epic like that, I WILL EAT IT ALL IN ONE SITTING. Every time. So I just can't buy it. I just can't. I'll keep that stuff for special occasions only now. I don't have any truly idiotic bad habits like drinking soda all day (or even juice, actually) and I don't put sugar in my tea or coffee, so I didn't have some huge obvious thing to change. It turns out the biggest issue was the evening snacking, and now that this has stopped it's really showing on the weekly weigh-ins.

I'm using MyFitnessPal which is pretty awesome and easy-to-use. I thought it might be too much "paperwork" to do this but it's pretty fast and easy. I'm finding that I'm learning a lot about how much calories are in stuff and that helps inform my decisions too. Sadly Pizza really IS that bad for you. I can't even imagine how many calories it is when buddies and I share an entire large Pizza (or extra-large?!?!) oh man. That should basically never happen. Maybe once a year, and I can't eat anything else that day.

MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Something interesting I just found out if you edit your "goals" on this site. It will re-set your calorie count to be based off your CURRENT weight, not your start weight. So that means as you lose more weight, you have to eat less/exercise more to continue losing at the same rate. Makes sense I guess but funny to see it in numbers. So this means the reason I'm finding it "easier" than expected to lose weight is that it IS easier to lose at higher weights. You don't have to work as hard at it and you lose lots. The trick is going to be to rather than keep my effort constant, to INCREASE my effort as my weight continues to drop. Continually improve the healthy food choices, and crank up the exercising much more. Currently I'm only biking to work maybe twice a week, and maybe I'll walk one-way once a week too. Prob not enough. Also I considered joining the gym at work or the Y but the biking is quite a lot of exertion. So I will prob need to re-think my exercise plan as the weight loss progresses and naturally slows down. At that point I'll need to add in exercise to the mix to continually push it rather than attacking the problem mostly from the food angle like I'm doing right now.

AWESOME times. So psyched to finally be making a real, proper, long-lasting change. This has been a loooonnng time coming. It's good to be prioritizing myself a little higher than everything else for a change, usually many other things (work, finances, socializing, education!) all go much higher than fitness on the list. That's all good stuff too, but it's been very unbalanced for a while. Let's DO THIS THING!!!!!!!!!

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