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)

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)

January 2019 weight loss report: Down 0.2 pounds

Good news! As predicted, my weight dropped this month.

Not as good news: It dropped the equivalent of a rounding error–0.2 pounds–and body fat was actually up 0.4%.

But somewhat better news: Body fat as a percentage has been trending down over the last few weeks overall.

The trend, then, is slowly moving in the right direction. For the month overall, I improved notably in several areas, especially in terms of post-dinner snacking, which has been greatly reduced. I’m also drinking more water and taking in fewer calories at lunch, while still having small snacks to tide me over.

I am thus far donut-free in 2019. 11 months to go for the full year!

February is a short month, so less time to lose, but I am going to be bold and commit to not only losing more weight, but losing enough that rounding errors are not a possibility. Woo.

Here are the stats for the month and year which are conveniently the same thing right now:

January 1: 167.5 pounds
January 31: 167.3 pounds (down 0.2 pounds)

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

And the body fat:

January 1: 19.2% (32.2 pounds of fat)
January 31:
19.6% (32.8 pounds of fat) (up 0.6 pounds)

December 2018 weight loss report: Up 3.1 pounds

These results are not unexpected. December is never a good weight loss month.

And still I’m disappointed, as the last week of the month saw me go from holding steady to holding fat.

My 2018 goal of getting to 150 pounds meant I needed to lose 12.3 pounds this year. Instead, I gained 5.8 pounds. Now I need to lose 18.1 pounds. This is like math gone wrong.

Yet I remain cautiously optimistic and even feel bold enough to make a prediction: My weight will be down in January. January 2019, that is. Like, the month that starts in less than two hours

But in the meantime,. here are the grisly stats for December and the year to date. I blame the December results on the following:

  • Ferraro Rocher
  • Ritter Sport bars
  • Breaking the “no snacks after dinner” rule about five thousand times

December 1: 165 pounds
December 31: 168.1 pounds (up 3.1 pounds)

Year to date: From 162.3 to 168.1 pounds (up 5.8 pounds)

And the body fat:

January 1: 18.5% (30.2 pounds of fat)
December 31:
19.2% (32.3 pounds of fat) (up 2.1 pounds)

November 2018 weight loss report: Up 0.2 pounds

The bad news is my weight went up again. I am getting really bad at this weight loss thing.

The good news is it only went up 0.2 pounds for the month, so it was more a case of not really moving up or down, though body fat crept up a bit more.

I am up three pounds on the year. :sadface: But I have remained donut-free, so yay for that.

But I have not remained oat fudge bar-free. Boo for that.

I have been getting better at post-dinner snacking, though. Yay again.

December is not exactly a month known for great weight loss, but who knows? Maybe if I start running/walking again and stick to the no-snacks-after-dinner thing it may just happen.

The fat figures:

November 1: 165.1 pounds
November 30: 165.3 pounds (up 0.2 pounds)

Year to date: From 162.3 to 165.3 pounds (up 3 pounds)

And the body fat:

January 1: 18.5% (30.2 pounds of fat)
November 30:
18.8% (31pounds of fat) (up 0.8 pounds)

October 2018 weight loss report: Up 0.4 pounds

I started the month with a bit of a bump over September and by the end of the month was very nearly in the same place, though the trend for the last week is at least in the right direction–down (helped by a few days with the flu).

For the year to date my weight is virtually unchanged. This is good in one sense, as it’s better than ballooning up beyond all reason, but it’s also depressing. In 10 months I have achieved no actual weight loss. Ten months!

So in November I’m cutting out snacking that isn’t offset by exercise on the same day and I’m not eating after dinner. If I stick to this, my weight should drop, even without actual exercise (which I still plan on doing).

And I am still sticking with the no-donuts, so a small glimmer of light in a dark tunnel of stubborn fat.

The stats for October and the year to date:

October 1: 164.3 pounds
October 31: 164.7 pounds (up 0.4 pounds–basically a [generous] rounding error)

Year to date: From 162.3 to 164.7 pounds (up 2.4 pounds)

And the body fat:

January 1: 18.5% (30.2 pounds of fat)
September 30:
18.3% (30.2 pounds of fat (unchanged)