So tomorrow, according to MyFitnessPal, is the 365 day mark.

One year. I guess that means it’s time to look back and contemplate how it’s gone. I haven’t updated in awhile, but I haven’t gone off the plan entirely. But I haven’t been on the plan entirely until recently again.

One year. It’s certainly been a year of ups and downs on this plan. Highlights after the cut!

I’ve lost 55 pounds

I haven’t posted the update for hitting the 55 pound mark, but that’s in part because I think it was a bad measurement. But I’ve been consistently down 53 pounds for a bit and trending down again. First and foremost, the point here should be to celebrate my success here.

I can run 5K

In fact this weekend I did a nearly 7 mile course that included 4.5 miles worth of running and the rest walking. A year ago I would’ve laughed at the idea. Between my back and my breathing issues, I didn’t really think running was a possibility. But the walking had gone so well, and we got the treadmill, and I did the Couch 2 5K program really just to SEE. I still remember when running for 3 minutes at a stretch seemed like a lot, and then 5 minutes, and then being intimidated by going up to 8 minutes. Nowadays if I run less than 20 minutes I feel like I had a bad day.

In addition to the obvious weight loss effects of running, my stamina in general is way up. I get winded on stairs a lot less easily. My blood pressure has gone from borderline to smack in the middle of the normal zone. I haven’t actually checked it lately, but I had been pretty steadily hanging around 110/70 when previously I’d been more like 130/75, and higher when I measured in the doctor’s office. I sleep better on days when I get either a run or a good long walk in (and sometimes my insomnia gets worse when I *don’t* get some steps in).

I’ve also gotten Charlotte to run with me. That’s tailed off a lot lately, but it’s had really visible effects on her when she was doing it. If I can keep on her about it, maybe as she gets older being active will be more natural for her. I dunno, it’s hard to tell what real effects this kind of thing will have on a kid, but the effects so far have all been beneficial.

My run speed is slowly increasing

After I finished C25K I’d tried to set myself up on a plan to build endurance. General life interfered — back issues set me back on a regular basis, things get busy/stressful at work and that’s an area that ends up suffering. But even without a specific program, when I get the opportunity and I feel good enough, I’m still getting out there. And just getting out there irregularly has led to improvements.

When I started, I experimented a bit and set 5.5mph on the treadmill (that’s around an 11 minute mile for those who prefer pace numbers) as a speed I thought I could maintain without wearing myself out. I could do 6mph but I didn’t want to overwork my lungs and end up falling off the program. Nowadays I seem to be averaging 5.8mph and I burst up to 6.5 when I’m feeling good. I slow down a lot in the 3rd mile, typically, dropping all the way down to 5mph (12 minute mile) when I’m having a low energy day. I try not to stress about this being too slow, but I often do anyway.

I’ve changed up how I run

In particular, my back seems to be leading to a very sore hip. The last few weeks, I decided to mix more walking in because walking seems to help even that out, though it’s hard to predict because the worst of the soreness usually actually comes 2 days after a run, not right away. But for example, yesterday I walked a solid 6 miles and it was quite sore, but by the end of the walking it had loosened up and felt mostly normal. Enough so that I ran on it this morning and it didn’t bother me. Of course, the 2 day thing means it’ll probably flare up late Thursday and on Friday.

The other side is, I had my best weight loss before I started running. Back then I was doing pretty regular 4-6 mile walks. When I just run, I generally top out about 3.5 miles and I spend less time doing it. So I’m hoping that combining running and walking adds another 30 minutes or so to the workout which increases the overall effectiveness in terms of creating a calorie deficit and keeping my metabolism high.

My eating hasn’t been as good as my running

I’ve been on a really long plateau that stretches back to November. The main reason is stress eating. On the other hand, for about 3 months I basically stopped tracking. I kept breakfasts low in the hopes that it’d leave me cushion throughout the day, but by the time lunch and dinner came around, I just ate whatever I felt like. Now, this isn’t great. But while I was on that plateau, I basically maintained weight. There was a period where I bumped up a couple of pounds and I responded by working out a little harder, and the working out a little harder seems to have me actually losing again.

I’ve had a lot of interruptions

Most of them self-inflicted, I suppose. Early on in the process, I injured my knee while running and that was pretty awful for about 3 weeks; enough so that I saw a physical therapist because it hung around long enough that I was concerned. However, it healed up fully. About the time it healed up, I had my tonsils out. The recovery for that was very long, though the improvement on my sleep apnea there has been tremendous. At work my group had a major reshuffling and that left me pretty stressed, and under that sort of stress I behave very poorly when it comes to my eating choices and having enough mental energy to go work out. My back has flared up 3 times since November, each time making me take a week (or more) off running while I let it recuperate. All of these things have had some responsibility for slowing my progress.

Also, baking bread and making BBQ. Both pretty bad for my calorie intake. But SO DELICIOUS.

I still have a long way to go

50+ pounds has been a lot. It’s represented 10 inches off my waistline, has pulled me down a full size on clothes. I’m wearing old shirts that I used to not be able to wear, and all my old favorite shirts stay in the closet because I feel like I’m swimming in them. I get pretty regular comments from people about how much better I look, and I appreciate them. But my goal weight of 180 is still 75 pounds away. I need to lose another 12 pounds from where I’m at just to reach the halfway mark. The long plateau has had me wondering how far I’ll really get.

What I do know is I don’t want to stay at this weight, because it’s supposed to just be a transition.

What is a good target?

I’m aware that 180 is a potentially unrealistic goal. It’s where I should be according to BMI, but BMI isn’t always the best measure. It’s a place to start, though, which is why I’ve picked it. But it’s not my only criteria. My criteria are waist size, how I feel and where I’ve been. For waist size, I’d like to be able to wear a size 32 jeans. I’ve worn that size in the past, and I think that’s where I look pretty good. (For the record at one point in my life I’ve worn a 30). That means losing another 8 inches off my waistline. On the other hand, when I met Lynette, I weighed about 225 pounds., and I felt pretty good then. But I still had a pretty sizable belly at that point. I consider that the first real goal—where if worst comes to worst, that’s a place I could stop and not feel too terrible about what I’ve done. It’s 45 away from my official goal, but only 30 away from where I am now. If I can get back on some kind of progress, then maybe in 6 months I could realistically be there. That’s kind of an if—this plateau has gone on so long, I lack confidence that my current loss will continue. But all I can do is try.

So yeah. It’s been a year on this plan. The first half of the year was an amazing success, the second half year was not much of a success but I maintained. Maintaining is important. Keeping up with it and hoping I can get back to actually losing.

If the second year is equally successful, then by next summer I could be down into a range that I’d be fairly comfortable with. Wouldn’t that be something?

Date: 2016-05-25 10:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Damn, brother. You've done fantastically. Maintaining for six months is a massive accomplishment. Well done!

I hear you on the wish to restart the loss part of the program and the psychological block you're feeling there. My weight is creeping downward very slowly and I wish I could get myself to actually calorie count, but it's just one goddamn thing too many right now. So, yeah. I hear you. But I also have confidence you can get yourself back on that wagon. *cheers*!


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