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)

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.

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)

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)

Hello, May!

It’s sunny and pleasant out and Alexa just told me there are only 52 days until summer and I can put on my bikini again*.

I am also home because I have the flu or something flu-like. It’s funny how there’s no real way to know for sure. Look it up, everything has the same symptoms. But I have NyQuil and that’s all that matters. And also a small bottle of Robitussin extra strength cough syrup in case the cough starts up again (it’s been mostly fine today). I deliberately bought a small bottle because there is no way to go through an entire normal-sized bottle of cough medicine before it expires. I know this from the two bottles of cough medicine in our medicine cabinet that expired in 2015. If you cough long enough to use a full bottle before it expires, you probably have some fatal cough-related illness.

So on the one hand, hooray for May and getting another day closer to summer, the best season ever made, but boo to starting the month with the flu or something flu-like. I want to run through fields of tall grass, not feel like I’m incubating a baby alien in my chest. I want to feel the warmth of the sun on my skin, not constantly fight the urge to nap wherever I happen to be. But time heals all wounds (well, most of them) and it works decently for the flu, too. I have my Vitamin C and my NyQuil, I have soup and a bed ready to accommodate napping with no notice, so it could be worse.

NOTE: I am not suggesting that I would like to be worse as a comparison. Repeat, DO NOT WANT.

I did indulge slightly and I will share here to help keep myself from sinning again:

I bought and ate an apple strudel. They come in packages of six, so there are five more to tempt me (that’s 1440 calories for all six). I sometimes do this when I am unwell, using the logic that I am not unwell often enough for the occasional indulgence to put me on a course to being the largest guy ever who is 5’10¾” tall. So far this has held true. Also, the apple strudel was way sweeter than expected. It was almost kind of gross.

I still want another one. But one per day, that’s the rule.

Here’s to a warm, sunny month, a speedy recovery, some weight loss, better control over snacking (ignore everything I wrote above about apple strudel) and more running, walking and all that good stuff.

Oh, and writing, too.

April 2019 weight loss report: Down 0.5 pounds

Another month, another rounding error in weight loss. And this time it was a mere fluke that turned a gain into a loss at the last minute.

As I write this, I am fighting the flu or some flu-like virus. I called in sick and slept until noon. I am not feeling an overabundance of energy. I weighed myself at around 10 a.m., where I’d normally weight myself around 5:30 a.m. on a work day. The later weigh-ins almost always result in me weighing less.

Yesterday I was at 169.2 pounds. That would be up 1.2 pounds for the month.

But today, weighing myself later, I was at 167.6 pounds, down 0.5 pounds instead.

I remained donut-free for the month. I began running, if not more, than at least more regularly. These things were good.

But I did not resume walking as much, even with nice weather. That was bad. And I did not resist the siren song of post-dinner snacking all that often. This was worse.

I am going to vow to stay on the downward trend, however lucky I got to be down in April. But I suspect I won’t get another last-minute save again.

For the year to date I’ve gone from 167.5 to 167.6 pounds, which is about as close as you can get to unchanged as possible. If I was at my ideal weight now, I would be in an excellent position to maintain that weight. Alas.

Also my total body fat was up slightly, which is depressing, slightly.

The stats:

April 1: 168.1 pounds
April 30: 167.6 pounds (down 0.5 pounds)

Year to date: From 167.5 to 167.6 pounds (up 0.1 pounds)

And the body fat:

March 1: 19.7% (33.1 pounds of fat)
April 30:
20% (33.6 pounds of fat) (up 0.5 pounds)

March 2019 weight loss report: Down 0.7 pounds

My prediction was right. I am down. Woo!

I am down a measly 0.7 pounds. To put that into perspective, this morning when I weighed myself, I was down one pound vs. yesterday.

But down is better than up, so I am modestly pleased that my weight loss was actual loss this month, regardless of how slight it was.

Body fat was virtually unchanged, amounting to a rounding error, though according to Fitbit this still puts me in the “normal” range. I think that range may have been skewed by a half-century of Big Macs and other readily available fast food.

Let me make a bolder prediction for April: As long as I keep running, walking and behaving after dinner, I’ll see more actual weight loss, closer to 2-3 pounds for the month rather than March’s blip.

Also, I have remained donut-free

And now, the stats:

March 1: 168 pounds
March 31: 167.3 pounds (down 0.7 pounds)

Year to date: From 167.5 to 167.3 pounds (down 0.2 pounds)

And the body fat:

March 1: 19.6% (33 pounds of fat)
March 31:
19.7% (32.9 pounds of fat) (down 0.1 pounds)

February 2019 weight loss report: Up 0.8 pounds

Well, poop. Or fat, to be more precise. If February ended yesterday I would have been down for the month. Alas, it did not and my slight overindulgence yesterday resulted in SWI (Sudden Weight Increase). I was up a little less than a pound for the month, but in my defense, 0.8 pounds is a modest increase. My weight regularly shifts up and down by that amount on a nearly daily basis.

But it still means I was essentially treading water (or retaining it) for the shortened month, and the small increase of body fat was not encouraging.

I am starting to exercise more, something I intend to ramp up starting next week, assuming we are free of blizzards for the last few weeks of winter. And I’m getting better at enforcing my “no snacks after dinner” rule by drinking tea and subsequently running to the bathroom a lot.

I also remain donut-free.

For the year so far I am only up 0.4 pounds and there’s an excellent chance that could be wiped out when I step on the scale tomorrow. So while things are not moving as quickly as they could be, I still feel I am headed in the same less-fat direction.

As always, the stats:

February 1: 167.1 pounds
February 28: 167.9 pounds (up 0.8 pounds)

Year to date: From 167.5 to 167.9 pounds (up 0.4 pounds)

And the body fat:

February 1: 19.6% (32.8 pounds of fat)
February 28:
19.7% (33.1 pounds of fat) (up 0.3 pounds)