It’s been three months since we went on our weight loss journey as a family. With respect to the other members of my family, I am only sharing my own weight loss updates and not theirs. Maybe sometime in the future I’ll talk about them but for now, I’m all you’ve got.
Although I did not start losing weight in September, I chose that photo because I’m wearing the same jeans in both photos. In the September photo, I’ve had to really suck my gut in to zip those jeans. For the May photo, it now fits me comfortably. No gut-sucking involved.
Here are my stats:
||106.5 - 144 lbs
||18.5 - 25
|% Body Fat:
||18 - 28
|Basal Metabolic Rate
||1908 - 2250
|Skeletal Muscle Mass
||46.5 - 56.7
|Body Fat Mass
||24.5 - 39.2
However, there are a few things about this progress that bothers me. The weight,BMI and visceral fat has gone down but the % body fat, body fat mass has gone up while my basal metabolic rate has decreased. I can’t really explain the technicality of all these terms but in short, this means that I lost weight because I lost some muscle mass. This is not a good thing. What we want in weight loss is to increase the muscles and decrease the body fat mass. We want more muscle than fat because muscles help you burn fats. So losing muscles will not help. I can only attribute this to the fact that our coach left for awhile and I was not working out as hard as I used to when he was here. He’s back again so I am going to follow through on that.
Did you see that? I’ve lost 13lbs, 4” from my chest, 2” from each of my arms, 5” off my waist and 5” from each of my thighs! I was overwhelmed with joy when I first saw that. Notice the hips? I don’t know I must have made a mistake when I took those measurements because it’s impossible that I’ve lost 20”. Happily, I can’t go back and measure anymore because I am smaller. Yippee! I’ve been shopping for new clothes and I’ve gone down 2 sizes already. Still in the plus size section but from a 4XL, I now fit a 2XL. Crazy amazing, right? I’ve never done this before in my life – lose this much weight.
A friend remarked to me how hard it is to lose weight. Honestly, yes, it’s hard to workout like crazy in the gym. Every day that’s a training day, I always brace myself before going to the gym because I know it won’t be an easy day with my coach. I’m no longer a beginner, he says, and I know that I can expect a very hard workout. But at the end of a hard workout, I have the satisfaction of knowing that I just made my body do a series of exercises that I couldn’t do in the past. I can lift more weights, do more reps, perform moves that I used to have a hard time doing before. My body has increased in its capacity and efficiency. That’s great progress for this mom who has struggled with weight for the last 18 years.
However, the workout is only a very small part of the whole weight loss game. Because no matter how hard you work in the gym, if you don’t have the foundation of good nutrition, it’s still just as hard to reach your goal. I’ve been learning about nutrition, what kind of foods I should focus on and what I should not consume. One of the worries I’ve had in the past was how to prepare food that would not only help me to lose weight but should also be good to feed my family. It’s become easier for me to follow the Paleo diet because my family and I eat the same foods.
We do try, as much as we can, to follow the Paleo diet by focusing on protein, green leafy vegetables, and giving up foods high in carbohydrates. In the past our family can consume 6 cups (uncooked) rice per day, now it takes days for us to finish up 2 cups (uncooked) rice because only the two little ones consume it now. I love, love, love to eat bread, especially when they are fresh from the oven. But I’ve also given that up for the sake of losing weight. Potatoes used to be a staple in our diet but I no longer purchase potatoes when I learned that consuming potatoes can make my blood sugar spike.
There are still times when I feel some grief that I can’t/don’t want to eat my favorite snacks: McDonald’s chocolate dipped sundae cone with rice crispies (see above photo), potato chips, french fries, chocolate cakes and brownies. When I walk past one of those, I can feel myself screaming and moaning “Why? Why am I on a diet? I can’t eat that!!!” But just thinking of all the weight I’ve lost, the hard work I’ve had to do to lose it, and most especially the weight I still have on me, makes it easier to turn my back on it. Not so easily because I love those foods, but I can.
Here’s what I’ve learned so far – losing weight is basically a mind game. Once I’ve set my mind to it, and not allow negative thoughts of weakness or powerlessness to creep in, I find myself more determined to do what needs to be done. In the gym, when we are lifting heavy weights, it’s okay to scream, to let out the energy or help you push. One time when I was running on the treadmill and breathing hard, I didn’t know it but I was panting with a high-pitched voice. (Well, I do sing the soprano in choir.) My coach told me if I wanted to let out my voice, I should lower my pitch for more authority. It’s like commanding myself that I can finish the workout. My gosh, in my mind I was thinking, “He noticed even that!” Of course, I followed him and lowered my voice. Voila, it does make a difference! When my voice was high, it’s like I’m whining “I can’t do it or I’m just a victim of this workout”. When I lower my voice, it’s like I’m saying, “This is not going to beat me. I can do this.” It makes a big difference in achieving your goals when you control your thoughts.
This morning, a friend who is also on his own weight loss journey posted a photo on Facebook with the hashtag #NoShaveTill200lbs. He’s not going to shave his mustache till he reaches his goal of 200lbs. I have the same goal to reach 200lbs but have no mustache, obviously. So I am thinking of what I can commit myself to sacrificing till I reach my short term goal of 200lbs.
#NoPediTill200lbs? (no pedicures – this is gonna be hard)
#NoStarbucksTill200lbs? (which there should really not be, my coach will most likely give me a sermon on this)
#NoBrowGameTill200lbs? (no eyebrow shaping – this is the hardest of all because I have bushy eyebrows and I maintain it’s shape every 2 weeks)
You’ll find out what I decide to do on Facebook.
And talking about my friend, he is Chef Batch, a fellow weight loss sojourner and Coach Sani’s friend. He cooks up some fierce and tasty Paleo foods for his family and clients. In fact, I have a schedule for cooking lessons with him next week which I’ll be writing about after.
Till my next update.