This week I was up 2.2 pounds. The last 12 weeks have been frustrating as I have been up and down, treading water in a range between 241 and 250. I have not been able to break through the 240-pound barrier and reach my goal of 240. Another way to look at it is that I lost 100 pounds over the last year and have been able to successfully keep it off for the last 12 weeks. The strength training program that I started last week has been going well and my muscle mass is up over 193. I met with a trainer and did a body fat caliper test that showed my body fat was actually at 18% (my scale has never shown below 20%.) Those are both very encouraging to me.
It has been one year since I started this journey and I have spent the week reflecting on what I have done the last year. I have learned quite a lot and thought I would share some of my thoughts:
- A wellness journey is a marathon, not a sprint. When you type in “How to lose weight”, Google suggests searches for the terms in the graphic above. “How to lose weight fast”, “How to lose weight in 2 weeks”, “How to lose weight without exercise”. These are the top suggestions because we live in a world that wants everything quickly and without work. While that may sometimes yield short-term gains, it doesn’t result in meaningful change. My success over the last year has been based on making small, incremental, sustainable changes to my lifestyle.
- Try new things. I have used challenges as a way to push myself to try something new for a short period of time. Each time I have done this I have learned something small I can implement in my lifestyle permanently. I gave up soda, started exercising, tackled a 5-day cleanse (twice), went completely sugar-free, and tried weight loss supplements. These challenges weren’t something I could commit to changing permanently, but doing them allowed me to learn something about myself that I could apply permanently.
- Choose your own path. If you go to a bookstore (or Amazon) and look through the diet section, you will find books on just about any kind of diet you can imagine. While I wouldn’t recommend following the guy who lost 37 pounds eating only McDonalds for 90 days, there is literally something for everyone. Read, learn, experiment. Find what fits into your lifestyle. The only way to make this work is to make changes that you will maintain consistently over the long term. You have to find a new normal.
- Set clear goals and measure them. When I started one year ago, I had a goal of getting healthy so that I could participate in activities with my family. I wanted to be able to play basketball or swim with my daughters and go on hikes with my wife. My health had gotten in the way of these simple things and I wanted to change. That was my WHY. Next, I came up with a specific goal of getting my weight down to 240, which would mean losing over 100 pounds. I intentionally didn’t set a timeframe on this as I didn’t want to artificially encourage myself to make bad choices just to get to a goal. Th real goal is a sustainable lifestyle change so that I can get to my desired weight and stay there.
- Celebrate the small things. If you are going to take the time to measure, then also make sure to take the time to reward yourself. It doesn’t have to be something bi. For instance, each time I break through a new ‘ten’ (i.e. going from the 250’s to the 240’s), I have had a little mini celebration. The last time, I treated myself to a movie and had a small bag of popcorn as a celebration.
- Don’t let the negatives consume you. This has been my latest challenge as I have spent the last 12 weeks treading water with my weight. I could let that get me down, or I can focus on the fact that my body fat is going down, my strength and flexibility is improving, and I have managed to keep the weight I have lost off during those 12 weeks.
I am updating my report card this week to focus more on my new exercise regime. I will still be tracking total calories and sugar, but will be replacing the other categories with specific exercise-related ones:
|Total Calories||Fail||My daily average for the week was 2,862 calories. Adjusting for exercise calories burned it was 2,524. That is quite a bit over my goal of 2,200 and likely why I gained weight this week. I need to adjust the timing and type of foods I eat a little bit as I am a lot more hungry after strength training.|
|Sugar||Pass||Achieved my goal of no more than 2 days where added sugars are >20g of my diet.|
|Strength Training||Pass||My goal each week is to get in my 4 strength workouts from the training program I am doing at https://tomnikkola.com/training.|
|Running||Pass||My goal is to run a 5K each week and work toward improving my time. This week I ran 4 miles (so more than a 5K), but somehow the time didn’t get recorded so I can’t figure out the 5K pace. I also added in two 2 mile runs.|
|Tabata||Pass||My goal is to do 1-2 tabatas each week. This week I did a circuit of boxing and kickboxing.|
Here are all the details from my iHealth Core wireless scale:
|Category||Started At||Today||Total Change||Goal|
|Weight||343.2 lbs||246.9 lbs||-96.3 lbs||240 lbs
(NIH suggests 200)
|Lean Mass||216.2 lbs
|76%-82% of weight|
|Body Water||41.6%||52.9%||+11.3%||37%-63% of weight|
|Muscle Mass||201.0 lbs
|>35% of weight|
|DCI||3799 kcal||2911 kcal||-888 kcal||n/a|
|Bone Mass||10.3 lbs||9.4 lbs||-0.9 lbs||n/a|
Continue on to the Week 53 Results:
or head back to the first post: Starting My Health Journey