July was like June in reverse. Instead of being up 2.6 pounds, I was down 2.6 pounds. My body fat also dropped by half a percent and actual fat itself by half a pound. I am up three pounds on the year, but that’s down from a peak of nearly six pounds.
I am still fat.
But all signs are trending in a positive direction now and I’ve made real progress on curbing ye olde snacking, so I am reasonably confident the weight loss will continue.
I’m not going to aim for anything crazy like dropping below 170 by the end of August, but at least such a goal is no longer implausible.
July 1: 177.4 pounds July 31: 174.8 pounds (down 2.6 pounds)
Year to date: From 171.8 to 174.8 pounds (up 3 pounds)
And the body fat:
July 1: 23.4% (41.5 pounds of fat) July 31: 23.1% (40.5 pounds of fat) down 0.5 pounds)
As you can see from the title, I am up a not-insignificant 2.6 pounds for the month of June. But there is an asterisk on this weight gain, you just can’t see it.
On June 1, I had a sudden and unexplained weight drop, going from 177 pounds on May 31 to 175.1 on June 1, a drop of 1.9 pounds. I was only 175 pounds one other day in June and that was June 2. If you exclude these anomalous days…well, I still gained weight, but a less drastic 0.7 pounds.
Still not good.
I am making more changes for July. I swear! This time I have added pressure after my virtual doctor visit.
With that said, I remained donut-free for the month once again. Here are the stats:
June 1: 175.1 pounds June 30: 177.7 pounds (up 2.6 pounds)
Year to date: From 171.8 to 177.7 pounds (up 5.9 pounds)
And the body fat:
June 1: 23.7% (41.5 pounds of fat) June 30: 23.4% (41.5 pounds of fat) (no change)
A miracle in the plaguelands! While the world struggles to flatten the curve, I have struggled to flatten my own curve and the past few months of working from home have led to me getting dangerously close to my previous high bar on weight (from 2008). Not good.
But for the first time in awhile, my weight has gone down instead of up.
This month was the first real attempt to curb snacking and exercise a bit more. I have been walking more and did a treadmill run, but regular jogging is still not a thing, so I have work to do on exercise, but at least I’ve (re)started.
I have cut snacking, but not enough. Despite being down 1.5 pounds for the month, my actual body fat increased slightly, so I’m in a holding pattern right now.
For June, then, I need to improve my efforts, to break out of the holding pattern and start seeing numbers drop. I’ve done it before; I can do it again.
May 1: 178.5 pounds May 31: 177 pounds (down 1.5 pounds)
Year to date: From 171.8 to 177 pounds (up 5.2 pounds)
And the body fat:
May 1: 23.2% (41.4 pounds of fat) May 30: 23.5% (41.7 pounds of fat) (up 0.3 pounds)
And as of yesterday, it was worse, when I tipped the scales at over 178 pounds for the first time in 12 years.
This is what a full month of working from home looks like, where access to snacks is easy and constant. This is what a pandemic does to my waistline. It expands it.
Looking back since the actual start of WFH on March 18, I can see most of the damage was done in the last 10 days of March, when I quickly packed on more than five pounds. Through April my weight has regularly gone up and down, so ending with only a one pound weight gain seems pretty decent, considering I had put few controls on my eating.
That will change in May because I am now only 10 pounds shy of the overweight version of me that was told by a doctor at a clinic in 2008 that I was a year away from Type II diabetes on my present course.
Some things are different now, of course. I do generally eat much better than I did back then. I still run or work out on the treadmill (though that waned in this last week) and I’ve eliminated sugary drinks from my diet (and am starting to drink more water).
Still, 41 pounds of fat is a lot of fat. I am fat. Jeans are no longer comfortable. I slovenly wear sweatpants and pretend I’m being hip, somehow. I know I need to cut out the snacking, so some exercise every day and get that slim ‘n sexy figure back.
On another positive note, with campus shut down, I was guaranteed to go donut-free for the month. And shall do so again.
Here’s to a slimmer ‘n trimmer May.
The fatty stats:
April 1: 176.3 pounds April 30: 177.3 pounds (up 1.0 pounds)
Year to date: From 171.8 to 177.3 pounds (up 5.5 pounds)
And the body fat:
April 1: 22.5% (39.6 pounds of fat) April 30: 23.1% (41 pounds of fat) (up 1.4 pounds)
There is no sugar-coating this month’s report, though it might seem accurate to say everything in the report was coated in sugar, then eaten by me.
I am up 3.9 pounds for the year to date. This is not good, as I had been trending down. Looking at the calendar, I see that I impressively gained five pounds in the ten days from March 21-31.
What happened? Cookies, and plenty of them.
But also the global pandemic, which is actually connected to the cookies. While others were hoarding toilet paper, I was hoarding food, specifically hoarding it in my mouth and then in my belly. More than any other time in recent memory the stuff I ate was comfort food. I apparently needed a lot of comfort.
It’s not a coincidence that I started working from home on March 18.
For April I simply vow to improve. The cookies are gone, I’m going to resume regular workouts, and just generally try to do better on what I eat. At least I didn’t have any donuts.
The fat-filled stats:
March 1: 169.8 pounds March 31: 175.7 pounds (up 5.9 pounds)
Year to date: From 171.8 to 175.7 pounds (up 3.9 pounds)
And the body fat:
March 1: 22% (37.3 pounds of fat) March 31: 22.4% (39.4 pounds of fat) (up 2.1 pounds)
The good news is that I am indeed down 0.9 pounds for the month vs. where I was at the end of January, and I did it with two fewer days in the month, too. Not only that, it also means I’m 2-2 for the year to date, which is pretty good for the winter “eat everything you can get your hands on” months.
There are a few caveats, though. The main one is that I weighed myself around 9:30 in the morning, about fours later than normal and this typically means I will weight less, due to the way my body processes food. Now, it’s true I might have weighed more anyway if I’d eaten a box of donuts before stepping on the scales, but fortunately I did not do that (I did break my donut rule, though–see below).
The other caveat–though that’s not precisely the right word here–is that my body fat has been climbing of late. In part this is expected, as you can shed weight faster than the overall body fat of your body, meaning that you can go down in weight, but the overall percentage of your now-thinner body that is fat actually increases (temporarily) and that’s where I’m at now.
Anyway, I ate a giant jelly donut yesterday (they were a special end of month treat at work), was trending up in weight for the last three days and still went down, so I’m sticking to Christmas miracle in February.
February 1: 171.5 pounds February 29: 169.6 pounds (down 0.9 pounds)
Year to date: From 171.8 to 169.6 pounds (down 2.2 pounds)
And the body fat:
February 1: 21.6% (36.7 pounds of fat) February 29: 21.9% (37.2 pounds of fat) (up 0.5 pounds)
It’s a new year and time for new fat! Well, hopefully not.
First, a review of last year. I started the year at 167.5 pounds, 17.5 pounds from my target of 150. I ended the year at 171.8, up 4.3 pounds. As weight loss plans go, this was not exactly the ideal. The only positive is that I got through the month of December without gaining (or losing weight), a somewhat impressive feat given how much candy and treats one gets plied with over the holidays.
I start this year at 171.1 pounds, which is down for the month of January. I had dipped even lower thanks to the flu, but some last minute indulgences pushed me back over 170 pounds. I used food as comfort again, which was bad and I feel bad. But it was yummy. But still, bad.
So here I am 21.1 pounds away from my goal. I am almost recovered from the flu and will start running again. I have managed to keep the snacking under control lately, so who knows, maybe this will bee the year I actually dip below 160 again.
January 1: 171.8 pounds January 31: 171.1 pounds (down 0.7 pounds)
Year to date: From 171.8 to 171.1 pounds (down 0.7 pounds)
And the body fat:
January 1: 21% (36.1 pounds of fat) January 31: 21.6% (36.9 pounds of fat) (up 0.8 pounds)
Of which I gained back 1.8 pounds overnight, after eating the world’s most calorie-rich homemade French onion soup (it was very tasty, however).
Here’s the final chart showing the max just before the flu hits and the bottom where I still had very little appetite. As of this morning, post-soup, I am 169.7, so already I am perilously close to edging above 170 pounds again, which is BAD.
The secret to the weight loss was not actually getting sick, of course, it was not eating. Having no appetite due to the ravages of the flu (P.S. get your flu shot) just expedites the process.
The tricky part starts now, as my appetite returns to normal. For the last week I have not done much of any snacking because the idea of snacks has been grossbuckets. Now, though, food can once again return to something I find comforting, reassuring–a welcome distraction from whatever is happening. And therein lies the return to the fat.
But I’m going to try. I really want to stay under 170 for the rest of the month and build on that. I have five days to go and snacks in the pantry.
Now to explain the asterisk. Although I was technically up for the month by 0.4 pounds, I have been trending down for several weeks and it was only due to a mysterious overnight gain of 1.6 pounds on the night of the 30th that I was up at all.
For the year to date, my total body weight did not change over the last month, still up 4.3 pounds. The accumulation of body fat also slowed, and for many days in the last two weeks my weight was in what is considered the “normal” range, so there’s that.
Looking ahead, I am reasonably confident that I can keep shedding weight, because December has already bucked the usual weight gain trend and I am continuing the same habits going forward. For example, I could be eating a big chunk of fudge right now at 8:56 p.m. as I type this, but instead I will eat nothing. Ta-da! Also, I have no fudge.
As recounted yesterday, my goal is to still hit 150. I have 21.4 pounds to go. I can do this, and without even needing surgery!
We’ll see what progress I’ve made to that end come January 31.
December 1: 171.4 pounds December 31: 171.8 pounds (up 0.4 pounds)
Year to date: From 167.5 to 171.8 pounds (up 4.3 pounds, unchanged from previous month)
And the body fat:
December 1: 20.1% (34.5 pounds of fat) December 31: 21% (36.1 pounds of fat) (up 1.6 pounds)
This post is brought to you by spin. When you have bad news to present, spin spin spin!
There is not much to spin but here is what I have: my weight gain slowed for the month. Last month I picked up a cement bag-like 4.1 pounds. I still marvel at that (in horror). This month, though, I only gained two pounds!
But I am still up and that’s where the spin ends. The rest of the news is fat and bad.
On November 12 the Fitbit app officially declared me overweight with a BMI of 25. I lucked into normal on November 27 when a rounding error declared the BMI to be 24.9, but was otherwise deemed overweight for the month of November. Yes, I’m aware BMI is a controversial measurement. But my waistline is non-controversially more expansive than it was a month ago. I am gaining weight and as the stats below reveal, it ain’t muscle.
A couple of things have contributed to the weight gain:
Yeah, that whole putting food into the mouth thing. Especially snack food. All attempts to curb this failed, with one notable exception: I promised myself a last oatmeal fudge bar from Starbucks yesterday, walked to the store, then turned around and left, a rare moment of impulse control.
Along with the food-in-mouth problem, I didn’t run much. This was due to a couple of things, like the usual “too dark after work” issue that plagues me during late fall through early spring. I also managed to pull a muscle in my lower back, then a week later pulled another muscle in my upper thigh. The latter was especially vexing. I was given opiates for pain! I did not become addicted. When I did finally run again, I was very slow, but I was also carrying 170+ pounds by that point.
My burdensome current weight reminded me of when I was at my most svelte. This was back in the summer of 2012 when I was running 10Ks three times a week (and walking 4 km to and from the lake each time). I recently found some shots from the MyFitnessPal app I took on my iPhone at the time that showed my current weight. This one is from July 29, 2012:
Yes, I was 144.8 pounds. That seems surreal now. It was also 27 pounds ago. Even the starting point of 159.8 (I apparently can never shed that last 0.8 pounds) is still 12 pounds lighter than I am today.
But there is hope ahead, even as we head into December, the snackiest seasons of the year:
As mentioned above, I’m off the oat fudge bars
I’m still off donuts
I swear no shortbread this year. The shortbread most readily available at nearby stores is covered with sprinkles and crap, so I’m unlikely to be tempted
Still running on weekends
And the one new change: I’m getting a treadmill. Woo! It’s actually commercial grade and honking big. I’ll be able to use it for my weekday runs when it’s too dark/snowy/scary. And then I’ll be able to use it any other time, too. In other words, I’ll be exercising regularly again, which is also what I was doing in 2012 when I was impossibly thin.
So here’s to December being the month the weight starts dropping again, instead of continuing to pack on like it’s being fed through a particle accelerator.
The fatty stats:
November 1: 169.8 pounds November 30: 171.8 pounds (up 2 pounds)
Year to date: From 167.5 to 171.8 pounds (up 4.3 pounds)
And the body fat, now fatter than ever:
November 1: 18.3% (31.1 pounds of fat) November 30: 20% (34.3 pounds of fat) (up 3.2 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)
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.
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.