I have been waiting a long time to write this post. This week I met the goal I set last year of getting my weight under 240 pounds, coming in at 239.1. I was down 2.3 pounds this week and have lost a total of 104.1 pounds since I started. I have lost 30.3% of my body weight! More importantly, I did it through a process that I believe is sustainable since I have focused on making lifestyle changes that are based on what I want to change. I eat whatever I want and the only thing I gave up was soda, which I don’t want back anyway. In fact, when someone recently asked me what I was going to do next, my initial thought was “exactly the same thing I have been doing – ’cause I enjoy it.”
2017 In Review
I started my journey in October 2016, and by the time I started thinking about New Year’s resolutions, I was 10 weeks into my weight loss journey and had already lost 40 pounds, weighing just over 300 pounds. When I started, I had set a goal of getting under 240 pounds, but I didn’t have any sort of timeline in mind. After the first 10 weeks, I decided to make it a goal to achieve it in 2017. I was 40% of the way there in just 10 weeks, so I thought this was realistic. That was important to me, because I really didn’t want to be tempted to do anything crazy just to lose the weight and meet the goal.
The next 10 weeks continued to go well and I dropped 23 more pounds. After 10 more weeks, I was down a total of 84 pounds and only 18 pounds away from my goal. It was still only May, so I really thought that I could make my goal before Summer.
On August 25, after 45 weeks, I weighed in at 241.4. I was only 1 pound away from my goal, I had just ran my first ever 10K, and I felt like nothing could stop me. I allowed myself a celebration lunch the next day and went to my favorite pizza buffet (where I polished off about 12 pieces of my favorite pizza.) The rest of the week went well, and I weighed in week 46 at the exact same weight. I started a new exercise program that was focused on bodyweight exercises and I was ready to break through the 240 mark the next week.
Week 47 was a disaster. I gained 8.1 pounds that week. According to my food log, both week 46 and 47 were inline with my expectations, though I did eat way too much sugar those weeks. The exercise program that I took on was with a group of guys that were in much better physical shape that I, and it was breaking me down physically and mentally. It included a lot of push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, and sprinting and I just couldn’t do it. Some of the routines that should have taken me 45 minutes to complete took me over 90 minutes and others I just couldn’t complete at all. I was frustrated and mentally exhausted and stressed out. Stress was a big part of my issues when I started and I had found constructive ways to deal with them (love my Stress Away!) I wasn’t able to process my own physical failure in the same ways. I needed to do something different, so I took a week off.
In week 48, I took a much needed mental break. No exercise, no food log, I ate pretty much whatever I wanted, and I enjoyed time with my family. I took my daughters on a rafting and camping trip. I came back mentally refreshed and ready to focus again. I started back with my Tabata workout program that I had been doing successfully earlier in the year and after a few weeks I started a strength training program. Getting those 8 pounds of weight back off was a lot harder than putting it on was (which always seems to be the case doesn’t it?) It took me 14 weeks to lose those 8 pounds I gained in week 47 as my weight kept bobbing up and down in a range. I focused on the gains I was making in the strength training – 33% stronger in squat / bench / deadlift over 8 weeks! I was happy, not stressed, and thankful for the progress I had made rather than focusing on the weight I still wanted to lose. The next thing I knew – I weighed in week 60 at 239.1. This has been a great year!
A lot of people have asked me “what’s next”? What comes after you reach your goal? I have said from the beginning that this wasn’t a diet. This is not something that has an end, so the short answer is “I’ll keep doing the same things.” That is the amazing thing about this journey – because I have made a lot of small changes over a long time, and only things that I WANTED to change, there isn’t a diet that is now over. I don’t want to stop exercising, I don’t want to have soda, and I plan to keep using the tools I have learned for managing stress so as not to fall back into using food to cope with stress.
- Food: I don’t plan to change anything about what I’m eating because I eat what I want and what I enjoy eating.
- Exercise: I don’t plan to change my exercise routine. I’m loving the strength training I’m doing and I still do cardio a couple times a week as well. I haven’t decided if I will keep running or not, but I am leaning toward doing that a lot less frequently.
- Measurement: I will keep weighing in with my iHealth scale every day and I’ll look at the trends weekly to see if I need to pay more attention. I will stop keeping a daily food journal. I feel like it has been a great tool, and I have learned a lot from doing it, but I don’t think it is as necessary anymore and I want to simplify.
I will be stopping my weekly post with my report card, but I will still post updates. Look for a post on my 2018 goals at the end of the year. I will post a progress report at least once a month, and an update with my 2018 goals. What are your 2018 goals?
Here is my latest report card:
|Total Calories||Pass||My daily average for the week was 2,563 calories. Adjusting for exercise calories burned it was 2,149. Just under my goal of 2,200 calories per day.|
|Sugar||Fail||My goal is no more than 2 days where added sugars are >20g of my diet, but this week only kept to this 3 days. I met my overall calorie goal, so the impact was not very significant.|
|Strength Training||Pass||Achieved my goal to get in 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 a 5K in 38:17 (beating my personal best from last week by a few seconds.)|
|Tabata||Pass||My goal is to do 1-2 tabatas each week, and this week I repeated my rowing Tabata workout. The weather outside is not conducive to my normal tabatas, but I’m enjoying this one.|
Here are all the details from my iHealth Core wireless scale:
|Category||Started At||Today||Total Change||Goal|
|Weight||343.2 lbs||239.1 lbs||-104.1 lbs||240 lbs
(NIH suggests 200)
|Lean Mass||216.2 lbs
|76%-82% of weight|
|Body Water||41.6%||51.8%||+10.2%||37%-63% of weight|
|Muscle Mass||201.0 lbs
|>35% of weight|
|DCI||3799 kcal||2832 kcal||-967 kcal||n/a|
|Bone Mass||10.3 lbs||9.0 lbs||-1.3 lbs||n/a|