October 2019 weight loss report: Up 4.1 pounds

Yes, it’s fair to say that October was more like Fatober, as I took up eating as a full-time hobby, while at the same time running less due to it getting dark by the time I got home from work and lacking super-spiffy night vision to allow me to run in the dark like a bat. If bats ran. Also, I think they use radar or something, anyway.

So yes, this past month was a disaster for weight loss, even allowing for the start of the month being unusually high, which should have given me an advantage. It did not.

In November I’m hoping we finish converting the spare bedroom into a combo computer/workout room with a treadmill. This will not only allow me to keep running through the winter, it will allow me to run any time at all, which might possibly encourage me to run a bit more. It could happen!

Also, I’m going to try a variation on the no-snacking rule: I can snack all I want on any given day, as long as I burn the same or greater amount of calories through exercise (not everyday activity, actual recorded exercise). We’ll see how well this goes come Fatvember. Er, November.

The lard-filled stats:

October 1: 165 pounds
October 31: 169.1 pounds (up 4.1 pounds) (note: ay caramba)

Year to date: From 167.5 to 169.1 pounds (up 1.6 pounds)

And the body fat:

October 1: 18.4% (30.3 pounds of fat)
October 31:
18.5% (31.2 pounds of fat) (up 0.9 pounds)

Fat is back

I don’t mean that plus-sizes are suddenly in vogue again (or if they ever were in vogue–I don’t really keep up on fashion trends, as anyone observing how I dress can see), what I mean is that last month when I was hitting 162 pounds and trending downward, I am now, in October, trending upward. Fatward.

This is likely related to a combination of running a bit less for various reasons (though I am doing 10K runs again, yay), along with no change in diet. The two in concert tend to lead to weight gain. A symphony of cellulose.

Upon stepping on the scale this morning, I got the weight equivalent of sticker shock. I was up, which is not uncommon after a run day. But I was up 1.3 pounds, to 167.5 pounds, which is the first time I’ve been over 167 pounds this year. Weight gain is not a good way to lose weight. I don’t recommend it.

More depressing still, I was recently looking for some old images on my backup drive and found a couple of screen caps from my iPhone 4 from July 2012. The caps were from the MyFitnessPal app, showing the tracking for my weight loss at the time.

On the day in question my weight was 144.8 pounds. That was 22.7 pounds ago.

Depressing.

To battle the depression I had a chocolate chunk cookie at Starbucks. Probably not the best plan.

Still, with our spare room cleaned up, we are that much closer to getting a treadmill, after which getting in a workout will be as easy as walking into the room and jumping on. I just need to make it past the couch.

So here’s hoping history doesn’t repeat itself, because this is pretty much exactly what happened at this time last year: the days get shorter, I exercise less, eat the same, and bloat up like a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade balloon. Maybe this time–we are only halfway through October, after all–I can reverse the trend and get back to svelte.

September 2019 weight loss report: Up 1.8 pounds

September started off with an unusual and dramatic weight drop down to 162.5 right on the first day of the month. This lead me to believe I would break below 160 pounds for the first time this year before the month was out.

I was wrong.

And fat.

Well, fatter…a little.

I was actually doing quite well for the first half of the month, dropping further to 162, but then the weight started to see-saw up and down and by the third week I was peaking at a devilish 166.6 pounds. Not good. Evil, one might say.

In the final week the trend resumed heading downward, but not in time to undo all the damage, so I ended the month at 164.3 pounds, up 1.8 on the month, but still down overall on the year to date.

Body fat remained virtually unchanged, so that’s good. Maybe I was just adding muscle thanks to all the running. Yeah, that seems plausible, sort of.

Given that I’ve only lost 3.2 pounds since January, I’m not going to venture a prediction for October, but I’m still shooting for sub-160. My goal of hitting 150 pounds seems unlikely to happen unless I get super-strict with my diet and keep exercising a whole bunch. This could happen, but so could world peace.

The stats:

September 1: 162.5 pounds
September 30: 164.3 pounds (up 1.8 pounds)

Year to date: From 167.5 to 164.3 pounds (down 3.2 pounds)

And the body fat:

September 1: 18.3% (29.7 pounds of fat)
September 30:
18.3% (30.1 pounds of fat) (down 1.0 pound)

Another palindrome birthday (55)

I am writing this birthday post a day late because I got busy/distracted and forgot to do it yesterday, my actual birthday.

I turned 55, which is much better than not turning 55.

I don’t feel much different than I did a year ago. In fact, I’m probably in better shape now.

I got a mini-cake at work. That was nice. Everyone sang “Happy Birthday” to me, which I kind of hated, but I appreciate the sentiment.

I didn’t run after work, telling Jeff “I am invoking birthday privilege.” Despite not running and eating cake, I was actually down a little this morning. And I ran 10K today (see previous post), so I’ve more than made up for being a lazy sod for my birthday.

Other than that, it was a day much like any other. Official birthday dinner is tomorrow and I get to decide where. I have joked about going to Wendy’s for a couple of Baconators, but that would be grossbuckets. No offense to Wendy’s or fans of excessive amounts of bacon.

Here’s hoping I get another 50 or 100 birthdays. As long as I’m relatively nimble both mentally and physically, I say keep ’em coming.

Setting the bar high by going low

I started the month with higher-then-expected weight loss, bringing me down to 162.5 pounds, my lowest weight of the year. This is good. Today I maintained that weight, also good.

But this now means I need to keep losing and hitting new lows for the year in order to progress for the month. In other words, starting the month off with some unplanned weight gain gives me wiggle room to still lose weight but not have to lose as much to show progress over the 30 or 31 days.

This is silly, of course. I’m mostly surprised to be down so much. It’s nice, though. I could conceivably break below 160 pounds in September and enter into the home stretch of my seemingly epic-length quest to get to 150 pounds (again).

Here’s to no donuts for the next 28 days.

Progress update on assorted things

Let’s have a look now that we are eight months into this year of 2019:

  • World peace: Could be better, could be worse. Trump is still president, so likely to get worse.
  • Measles: on the rise, thanks to anti-vax paranoids. Thank you, Luddites and irrational fearmongers!
  • Global warming: We are doomed, pretty much.
  • Politics: Authoritarianism and despots on the rise, democracy ailing, even in places where it should be strong. This could change–but it could also change for the worse. See the first bullet point.
  • BC politics: The minority NDP government has proven adept and sane, boding well for the next election, though the general insanity of voters is always a worrying factor. It’s helped that the BC Liberals elected an out-of-touch rich white guy as their leader.

And my own list:

  • Meditation: Thought about it, but have yet to meditate. Before I can even begin, Pocket has already offered an article on the sinister side of meditation, where you apparently think tranquil thoughts about murdering people or something.
  • Stretching: Not really. A little here and there, but no concerted effort. This needs to be a higher priority unless I actually reverse the aging process.
  • Writing: The less said, the better. Which is how I’ve approached writing this year.
  • Drawing: I think about doodling. Then I never do it. But the doodles in my mind are great.
  • Reading: My pace is picking up again. If I stay at it, I may end up matching last year, which will be good.
  • Blogging: Generally running to catch up, as is the case this month where I’m tapping last minute inspiration to get to 31 posts before midnight.
  • Running: Doing more, and the runs are going well. I have yet to tackle a 10K this year, but will try to before we get fully into the fall weather.
  • Losing weight: It’s actually going down now. Yay.
  • Losing hair: Yes. Shaved head mutes the impact.
  • Legs: Still sexy.

Weight loss report, August 2019: Down 2.1 pounds

Something strange happened in August.

As I continued to run and walk and curb my snacking, I also…began to lose weight! So maybe not so weird.

Some last minute indulgences (due to extenuating circumstances and not part of a new, disturbing “Must eat all the donuts!” meltdown) pushed my weight up a bit, but it was not enough to reverse the month-long trend downward.

This means I dipped as low as 163.1 pounds, tantalizingly close to finally slipping back under 160. I don’t know if I can do this in September, but it’s definitely in the realm of possibility. I had been avoiding wearing my size 30 shorts because they were a bit snug (I have another that are size 31) but now they actually fit fine, so my shorts selection has now expanded, just in time for fall. Yay! Hopefully fall will be nice.

Runs have generally gone well, with improved times as my stamina strengthens. Snacking has been under control, though could always be better. I think I’m going to return to the “No snacks after x time” thing and make the cut-off either 7 or 8 p.m. before eventually moving to “nothing after dinner unless it’s a special occasion.” And then be careful to not define special occasions as things like “any day ending in ‘day’.”

Weight for the month was down a solid 2.1 pounds, and body fat also dropped a full pound after barely bulging (!) last month. I’m down 3.6 pounds for the year, which shows just how much improvement August saw. I’ll take it.

The stats:

August 1: 166 pounds
August 31: 163.9 pounds (down 2.1 pounds)

Year to date: From 167.5 to 163.9 pounds (down 3.6 pounds)

And the body fat:

August 1: 18.6% (30.8 pounds of fat)
August 31:
18.2% (29.8 pounds of fat) (down 1.0 pound)

Sleep is weird

Think about it. Every night you lay down on a bed and through no other action render yourself unconscious. In this unconscious state your brain manufactures elaborate scenarios that are at turns amusing, baffling or terrifying. When you wake up you usually remember little to nothing of what these scenarios–dreams or nightmares–were.

And if you don’t make yourself fall unconscious every night your body will malfunction in ways that are subtle to start and end with you putting pants on your head and thinking that’s completely okay (not counting places where it is completely okay).

This pattern of falling unconscious/your mind inventing little dramas repeats for your entire life.

Sleep is weird.

Also, I probably don’t get enough sleep.

That stitch in my side when running…

I’ve always assumed that when I get a stitch in my side while running it’s because I’m going too fast–basically pushing my body too hard and the stitch is my body’s way of saying, “Whoa, slow down there, partner!” Because slowing down would always seem to make the stitch go away.

It turns out that apparently no one really knows what causes these stitches because they haven’t been studied much. The consensus seems to be they’re relatively innocuous, not a sign of impending doom, and that even pro athletes get them. I have to admit, on one of my last runs I got a stitch and didn’t feel like I was pushing hard at the time, so my own theory may be so much hooey.

I’ll probably still slow down when I get them, though, partly because it still feels logical (to my mind) and also because running hard with a stitch is, in fact, hard.

Weight loss report, July 2019: Down 0.6 pounds

Despite going up on the last day of the month (I hate when that happens), I managed to defy the odds and come out with my weight down for the month, marking the fifth month my weight has either declined or at least stayed the same (I was up in February and May).

And yet for the year to date, I am still down less than a pound, so what’s going on? How can I keep losing weight and not really lose weight?

I think there are a few factors at play:

  1. I am exercising more. Specifically, I am running more often, back to my normal three times per week, and regular exercise is a good way to help control weight–but not lose weight.
  2. I have cut down on snacking, but my total calorie intake has not shifted dramatically.

These two factors combined mean a couple of things will happen:

  1. I will lose weight, but slowly.
  2. The slowness is partly due to a change in body composition. As I run more, I burn fat and replace it with hunky, sexy muscle. But hunky, sexy muscle is denser than fat and weighs more.

My theory is that my body fat should be down over the year to date, even if it it is essentially unchanged this month. Let’s see if it is!

January 1, 2019 body fat: 32.2 pounds, 19.2%
July 31, 2019 body fat: 30.9 pounds, 18.6%

Although still not dramatic, there is more change here, as I’ve shed 1.3 pounds of fat, but only dropped 0.8 pounds in actual weight. So this is good news, albeit not exactly the blistering pace of weight loss/fast loss I was hoping for. But if I keep running regularly (we’re tentatively planning on getting a treadmill for the spare bedroom, so running will be easy ‘n convenient, even when the weather is bad or it’s dark out and you might run into a werewolf) and do a bit better on snacking (it’s getting there), I should see more rapid declines. I’m trending in the right direction, at least, so I’ll take it.

Also, I managed to lose weight during vacation, something that is the opposite for most people, so I offer some self-kudos for that. Woo, I say.

And the stats:

July 1: 166.9 pounds
July 31: 166.3 pounds (down 0.6 pounds)

Year to date: From 167.5 to 166.3 pounds (down 0.8 pounds)

And the body fat:

July 1: 18.4% (30.8 pounds of fat)
July 31:
18.6% (30.9 pounds of fat) (up 0.1 pounds)

Weight loss report, June 2019: No weight loss

The seemingly bad news of not losing any weight is a bit deceptive. While it’s true that my weight was exactly the same on both June 1 and June 30, suggesting no progress in weight loss, there was, in fact, progress!

First, the year to date figure has me down 0.6 pounds. A trivial amount, sure, but still in the right direction.

The telling stat, however, is body fat. Over the course of the month it went from 19.8% to 18.5%, a dip of 2.2 pounds. This is a very good sign, and it reflects how I began to curb my snacking and exercise more in the latter half of the month.

Just in the past week I did my first set of three weekly runs in a long time and, despite eyeing it covetously, I passed on a free Boston Cream donut.

So while more actual weight loss would have been nice, I’m pleased with how things went for the month. Here’s to continuing the trend in July, but with more actual weight loss mixed in.

The stats:

June 1: 166.9 pounds
June 30: 166.9 pounds (no change)

Year to date: From 167.5 to 166.9 pounds (down 0.6 pounds)

And the body fat:

June 1: 19.8% (33.1 pounds of fat)
June 30:
18.5% (30.9 pounds of fat) (down 2.2 pounds)

Weight loss report, May 2019: Up 0.9 pounds

Let’s start with the bad news: I was up 0.9 pounds for the month, due to an uptick in my weight over the last week. I was sick with The World’s Worst Cold to start the month, but took to the “feed a cold” school of self-medication, so didn’t shed the pounds as often happens when an illness strikes.

On the plus side, my trend for the month was generally downward. Snacking was down, activity was marginally up (I actually went for a run) and the plan for June is regular outdoor activity, weather-permitting (save for running, which I will do regardless of the weather, unless the weather includes forest fires, bears or hail).

I remained donut-free again.

I didn’t buy another one of those Starbucks cookies that apparently has 570 (!) calories. I have erased from my mind how yummy they are. Mostly.

Perhaps best of all, my body fat seems to be under control again, meaning my diet has probably improved, even if only by a smidgen.

I am going to predict actual weight loss again for June and not be discouraged, just like I’m going to wear sleeveless shirts and not get sunburnt.

We’ll see how skinny/tanned I am in a month.

The stats:

May 1: 167.8 pounds
May 31: 168.7 pounds (down 0.5 pounds)

Year to date: From 167.5 to 168.7 pounds (up 1.2 pounds)

And the body fat:

May 1: 19.7% (33.1 pounds of fat)
May 31:
19.7% (33 pounds of fat) (down 0.1 pounds)