Week 6: Day 36 (2/27/2017)

Day #: 36

Last Week’s Change of the Week: Get at least 7 hours of sleep a night.

This Week’s New Change of the Week: At least 11,000 steps daily

Current Weight: 228.5 lbs (103.65 kg)

Total Weight Change: 2.5 lbs lost (1.13 kg lost)

Current Mood: Content, but still really tired… I’m still having trouble with my sleep schedule. 

Things are going pretty well. I’ve lost less weight than I would have liked in a month, but I’m not upset about that. I’m just happy that I’m seeing some small results. Right now, I’d just like to increase my activity level by a bit (getting in 11,000 steps a day instead of 10,000) and fix my sleep schedule.

Last night I tried to get a good 8 hours of sleep, but my cat Pusheen decided to wake me up 2 hours early because she wanted me to pet her, and I couldn’t go back to sleep. As a result, I’ve been yawning nonstop and developed a mild, yet still annoying migraine. I’m really tired at the moment. It also doesn’t help that I haven’t gotten a good night’s sleep in like a week.

Anyway, it’s 11:43pm here in Chicago right now, so I’m just writing this post really quick before I head off to bed. I’m struggling to keep my eyes open and it’s actually really hard for me to focus right now.

Here’s a list of all the goals I aimed to keep this past week. So, how did it go?

-64 oz. water daily ⇒ super successful! Most days I drank well over 64 fl oz water.

-Consume 2,000 calories or less a day (while maintaining a 1,000 calorie deficit) ⇒ pretty good, there were a few days that I did go over though. Maybe that’s why I didn’t lose a full pound this week (I lost 0.7 lbs this week)

-Include physical activity at least twice a week (30 minute exercise sessions) ⇒ Went walking a few times this week and did a yoga session using the app, Down Dog.

-10,000 step minimum a day ⇒ Success! Reached my goal every single day!

-Get at least 7 hours of sleep a night ⇒ Not so successful. I reached 7 hours of sleep a couple times this week, but most nights got about 6 hours or so a night. Definitely not enough for me.

-Wake up between 6-8 am and go to sleep between 9-11 pm ⇒ Half and half. Some days I was able to wake up in my target range, some days not really. Going to sleep on time has been more of a challenge. Going to try to fix this this week.

I’m getting more and more used to these lifestyle changes and so far, I’m pretty happy and satisfied. I feel less depressed and anxious knowing that I’m trying to improve my life. I like that I’m being more active and, to be honest, I look forward to every Monday. Not because I am eager to weigh in, but because I am eager to make another positive life change.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week and I’ll catch you all next Monday! ❤

Week 5: Day 29 (2/20/2017)

Day #: 29

Last Week’s Change of the Week: Get on a regular sleep schedule – Wake up at approximately 7 am every day (give or take an hour) and go to sleep at approximately 11 pm every evening (give or take an hour).

This Week’s New Change of the Week: Get at least 7 hours of sleep a night.

Current Weight: 229.2 lbs (104 kg)

Total Weight Change: 1.8 lbs lost (+0.82 kg lost)

Current Mood: Decent, happy to see some progress.

Another pound lost! And I’ve almost lost a net weight of 2 lbs so far.

Now, I know I’m posting this up really really late, but I didn’t want to skip my post for this week.

To be honest, getting on a normal sleep schedule is really difficult. I’ve always been a night owl. So, trying to go to sleep naturally at 9 or 10 pm (or even 11 pm for that matter) is insanely difficult for me and frankly feels really unnatural to me. I feel like I’m wasting time or something and that I have to go do something productive. I mean, I do have some of my most creative ideas and epiphanies come to me in the wee hours of the night. Like this blog. Haha. *Sigh* But seriously, it is a problem. And, it continues to be a problem.

I’m still struggling to get on a normal sleep schedule…And, I’m learning the hard way that some of these life changes that I’m making will definitely take more than a week or even a couple weeks to really implement. I’m moving in the right direction for my sleep schedule. Now, I just need to work on getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night. As of late, I’ve been averaging about 5.5 to 6 hours of sleep, which is just not enough for me. An ideal amount is about 8 hours, but that would mean I would have to set aside at least 9 hours for sleep, and I just don’t think I can commit to that at this time. Last week I was averaging about 5 hours a night, so at least I am making improvements this week, but ideally I’d like to get those 7 hours of sleep in a night so I don’t feel like a basket case during my waking hours.

So, basically for this week, these are the things that I’ll be doing:

-64 oz. water daily

-Consume 2,000 calories or less a day (while maintaining a 1,000 calorie deficit)

-Include physical activity at least twice a week (30 minute exercise sessions)

-10,000 step minimum a day

-Get at least 7 hours of sleep a night

-Wake up between 6-8 am and go to sleep between 9-11 pm.

I’ll report back this coming Monday (I’m really going to try to be on time with the post this time, I swear!). TTFN! 🙂

*Note: No picture this week. I’ve actually decided that I’ll just post a progress picture of myself when I hit a weight loss milestone, such as 5 lbs lost, 10 lbs lost, 15 lbs lost, etc. I will also include a sort of reward system for me, to celebrate my milestones. I’ll talk more about it next week!*

Week 4: Day 22 (2/13/2017)

Day #: 22

Last Week’s Change of the Week: Limit daily caloric intake to no more than 2,000 calories.

This Week’s New Change of the Week: Get on a regular sleep schedule – Wake up at approximately 7 am every day (give or take an hour) and go to sleep at approximately 11 pm every evening (give or take an hour).  

Current Weight: 230.2 lbs (104.4 kg)

Total Weight Change: 0.8 lbs lost (+0.36 kg lost)

Current Mood: Happy! Feeling good!

Finally had a week where I see some progress – at least in terms of the weight scale. Woohoo! I know this journey is NOT just about losing weight… But…. it’s nice to see the scale number going in the right way. Haha.

Last week was a bit disappointing because I gained 1.1 lbs. But, I didn’t let that get me down. I worked hard this week and lost 1.9 lbs, making my overall net loss 0.8 lbs from my starting weight of 231 lbs.

So, what did I do this week to make myself so successful? It’s simple, I stuck to the plan. I tracked everything that I ate and kept my daily caloric intake under 2,000 calories, while still maintaining a 1,000 calorie deficit. I also drank at least 64 fl oz water and got in my 10,000 steps everyday.

I also exercised twice this week by going for a 30 minute walk on Saturday and by doing a free, hour-long yoga class at Lululemon on Sunday. Man, the class was really intense and challenging, especially since I haven’t done any exercise classes since September of last year. But I powered through it, gave it my best shot, sweat my butt off, and had a lot of fun. It was almost euphoric. It was also nice that I went with a few of my friends, so they kept me accountable.

This week, my goal is to be on a more normal and regular sleep schedule, because I really do have a problem with insomnia. At the moment, I’m just getting over a mild cold. It wasn’t the worst, but it was bad enough to get me to go to sleep early a few nights in a row. So, I’m taking advantage of this situation, and I’m going to make sure I continue going to sleep fairly early (at least for me – considering my normal sleep time is around 4 am). And, going to sleep early makes it easier for me to wake up earlier, which in turn makes me more productive during the day.

We’ll see how this goes. Be sure to tune in next week!

 

week-4

Week 3: Day 15 (2/6/2017)

Day #: 15

Last Week’s Change of the Week: Exercise at least 2 times a week (30 min exercise session minimum)

This Week’s New Change of the Week: Limit daily caloric intake to no more than 2,000 calories.

Current Weight: 232.1 lbs (105.3 kg)

Total Weight Change: +1.1 lbs gain (+0.3 kg gain)

Current Mood: Extremely put out…Wondering what I can do to do better.

Sorry this post is a bit late. I wrote it all down, I just didn’t get a chance to put it up on my blog.

So, the weight scale said that I gained weight, which obviously makes me unhappy. But, I have some possible explanations for this:

1) I’m using a new weight scale ~ I just bought a FitBit Aria, which I think is more accurate than my last weight scale. So, perhaps the previous readings were incorrect.

aria

2) I just started PMS’ing ~ I start experiencing PMS symptoms about 10 days before my period and I always feel uncomfortably bloated. I tend to carry some extra weight during PMS because of water retention (I have experience with this with my last weight loss program from several years ago).

3) Maybe I ate too much ~ I stuck within the limits of my calorie plan, meaning I maintained the calorie deficit at 1,000 calories (1,000 calories more were burned than were taken in). However, there were days where I consumed over 2,500 calories, which was a lot even for me. That’s why this week, I’m going to try to keep my caloric intake to under 2,000 calories, regardless of how many calories I burn.

4) Perhaps the initial weight gain was caused by increase of physical activity? ~ According to an article  published by the Cleveland Clinic, “A new exercise regimen puts stress on your muscle fibers, which causes small micro tears/micro trauma and some inflammation, and those two conditions in your muscle fibers are the reason you may gain some weight.” So, maybe since I started exercising this past week, this is just an example of me gaining some initial weight, which should go away soon.

To be honest, I don’t know why I gained 1.1 lbs. I can speculate all I want, but that won’t give me a clear answer. I don’t want to just be depressed either. So, instead I choose to be proactive. I’ll keep doing the healthy habits that I’ve picked up over the past few weeks (10,000 steps everyday, 64 fl oz water daily, exercise 2 times a week – 30 min at least), and just tweak my meal plan again, keeping caloric intake to under 2,000 calories daily.

I won’t let this make me discouraged. I won’t let this make me quit. I will persevere. I will continue on. And, in the words of Mitch McConnell, “Nevertheless, she persisted.” And that’s exactly what I’m doing.  This is a journey and I fully accept that. There will be good weeks and there will be bad weeks. Overall, this is a self-learning experience.

Let’s see what this week brings for me…

Here’s a picture of me from this past week (see below):

week-3

Looks like my belly is a bit more visible…lol

Week 2: Day 8 (1/30/2017)

Day #: 8

Last Week’s Change of the Week: At least 10,000 steps daily

This Week’s New Change of the Week: Exercise at least 2 times a week (30 min exercise session minimum)

Current Weight: 231 lbs (105 kg)

Total Weight Lost: 0 lbs (0 kg)

Current Mood: A bit disappointed, but not depressed. Instead, I’m feeling determined.

 

Okay, I’ll be honest…I’m a little disappointed, annoyed, and a little pissed, actually. The reason? I didn’t lose any damn weight this week!

And, I thought I had a pretty good week! I got in at least 10,000 steps everyday this past week, I stayed within my caloric plan on the FitBit app, and I made sure to drink at least 64 fl oz water everyday. Sigh.

But, I’m not going to complain too much about this, because although I didn’t lose any weight this week, I also didn’t gain any weight. So, this week I was able to effectively maintain my weight, which means that if I want to lose weight, I’m going to have to make a few more changes. Apart from my 10,000 steps, 64 fl oz a day, and my new goal of exercising twice a week, I’ve realized that I’m going to have to make a few tweaks to my meal plan.

I track all my foods and calories on my FitBit app and I just think it’s great and super convenient! It’s on my phone and I can practically access it wherever I go. You know, I can just go on and on about how much I love my FitBit charge and the app, but like I said in my previous post, I’ll have to make a separate post about that.

On the FitBit app, you can enter your current weight and you can also enter your goal weight (now, it’s important to have a realistic goal weight, and if you’re unsure of what a healthy weight for your sex, age, and height is, I suggest you check this website out). Once you input those two weights into the FitBit app, you can then choose how quickly you would like to lose weight: Easier (250 calorie deficit), Medium (500 calorie deficit), Kinda Hard (750 calorie deficit), and Harder (1000 calorie deficit).

I was on a Kinda Hard plan with a 750 calorie deficit, but this week I will switch to a Harder plan with a 1000 calorie deficit. You can see this below:

I think it’s definitely doable. And, hopefully the scale will reflect the changes I’ve made so far.

Below, is my update photo. Not sure if I look any different, but you can be the judge of that.

week-2

A New Year, A New Me

It’s 2017, I’m almost 30 years old, and I feel like it’s finally time for me to make some major changes in my life.

I’ve decided to create this blog more for myself than anyone else. To keep myself accountable, make plans for the future, and to reflect on choices/changes that I’ve made. If you’ve stumbled upon this blog, not knowing what the Hell it is, I’d just like to say, “Welcome!” Feel free to read on, if you wish. And, if I’ve already caused you to become bored out of your mind, I do apologize, and would like to let you know, that you are welcome to leave, if you’d like.

So, let’s start with the basics…For most of my life, I’ve always done things for other people, catering to their needs and wants, always putting my own needs and desires on the back-burner. And, I suppose I was just okay with that…I guess. I mean, I allowed it. I let it happen and would go out of my way to do favors etc. You could say I was a selfless person, a “yes” woman, an enabler, or someone with absolutely no backbone (I’d personally say a nice mixture of all four).

Well, I’m not Super Girl or Wonder Woman (although that’d be pretty awesome if I was), so of course I started to break down. I was caring for other people so much, that I could no longer care for myself – I ate really poorly – basically eating my feelings until I was numb, barely slept at all, became depressed, began experiencing severe bouts of anxiety, was always really tired, stopped bathing regularly (I know, pretty gross), was always emotionally drained, and I just stopped putting effort into my outward appearance altogether. I stopped caring about the clothes that I wore, stopped fixing my hair and wearing makeup (not that makeup is a necessity), and let my weight go out of control.

When I started high school, I was around 160 lbs and my height was 5′ 8, so I was in the normal range. However, by the time I was a senior in high school, I only grew an inch in height (5′ 9), but gained about 50 lbs in weight, weighing in at 210 lbs (40 lbs above a healthy weight for my height). I felt like a loser and a fat slob. I hated how I looked so much, that I rarely ever took pictures of myself that year, which is sad, because your senior year of high school is supposed to be the best year of your life, right? (I’d beg to differ).

Being obese is such a viscous cycle. For many of us “heavier” people, we didn’t eat too much because we’re selfish, gluttonous pigs that stuff our faces with ice cream, cake, and fried chicken every chance we get. No, that’s not it at all. People often forget that obesity is often a sign or result of extreme, long-term emotional pain. And what do we do when we’re in pain? We try to make it go away. People have used drugs, alcohol, cutting, and other risky behaviors to make the pain go away, at least for a little while. So, my drug of choice was food. Food was something that comforted me when I was sad and, honestly, eating was one of the few activities in my day that made me experience a fleeting moment of happiness. But, as everyone knows, that happiness was extremely short-lived. Because as soon as I finished eating my meal or my snack, I’d be immediately hit with guilt, berating myself for not making healthier food choices. I ate to make the hurt go away, but by turning to food, not only did it not fix my preexisting emotional issues, it tacked on another by making me overweight, thus adding another emotional problem to the mix. Oh how cruel the cycle is.

During my first year of university, I was able to drop down to 175 lbs, but let me assure you, it wasn’t for healthy reasons – I tried out anorexia, barely eating anything, and exercising like crazy. Of course I thought I looked HOT! But, that came at a price. I was irritable all the time, literally starving, always dizzy, my hair was falling out, and my periods became very irregular. Luckily for me, I didn’t stay on this “weight-loss” plan for long. Bad news for me though was that I slowly slipped back into old habits: Eating the heck out of my feelings. Not only did I gain back the 35 lbs that I had lost, I also gained more. By the time I got my Bachelor’s Degree, I weighed 235 lbs. And, by the time I finished my first semester of graduate school a year later (Dec 2010), I weighed a whopping 250 lbs. My heaviest weight ever.

Needless to say, I felt like I needed a change…Kind of how I feel right now, but I’ll get to that a bit later. I decided that I’d exercise every single day for an hour, started counting calories (keeping it between 1600-1800 a day), and made better and healthier food choices. And, within a few weeks, I started to notice a difference. My clothes were getting baggier, and I felt like I had more energy. I had my ups and downs, of course, but by May 2013, I was down to a cool 170 lbs. I was extremely proud of myself and all the hard work that I did. I was sure that I would NEVER put the weight back on and that I’d stick with my plan forever. But, you know if I did stick to the plan, I wouldn’t have made this blog post, or this blog for this matter. The problem is that after graduate school, I had no job lined up, which meant no money in my pocket, so I had to move back home. And, well, that did a number on my diet.

Losing weight is easier to do when you live alone, because you don’t have other people to tempt you with food or pressure you to eat things. So, when I moved home, I was constantly pressured to eat my mother’s cooking (delicious, but not always the healthiest of foods) and my younger sister, who had no weight issues at the time, would always get me to eat junk food with her. Within 5 months, I weighed 215 lbs, meaning I gained back 9 lbs a month. Of course that made me feel like a failure and a loser. How is it even humanly possible to gain that much weight in that short amount of time!? By that time, I was so depressed, but at the same time desperate. So, I decided to join Weight Watchers.

Weight Watchers seemed promising, especially after I read some success stories, and at the beginning, I was losing weight with the program. Within a couple months, I made it to 200 lbs. But you know how life is…Always unpredictable and always making things difficult! And, I ended up gaining that weight back by the beginning of 2014. And, really, I’ve been yo-yo’ing with my diet between 200 and 220 for the past 3 years or so, and sadly, by the start of 2017, I weighed in at 235 lbs, the heaviest I’ve been since probably 2011.

So, here we are. It’s 2017, I’m almost 30 years old, and I still feel like I’m nowhere near my potential. I’m not so happy with where I’m at right now, and I want to be better. So, that’s why I’ve created this blog. I want to document my journey to improve myself. Not just physically, but also emotionally and spiritually. My goal is to make one change every week, that will get me one step closer to becoming the person that I want to be. I want to become a better version of myself.

I’m taking a more holistic approach to this self-improvement thing, which I’ll definitely talk more about in later posts, and I’d like to make one change at a time, rather than too many. I feel like when I make too many changes at once, I’m more likely to fail and fall back into old patterns.

I will start making changes for my “new life” this coming Monday. January 23rd. That is my day 1. So, stay tuned! I will update every Monday, and may throw in some extra posts here and there if I feel like it 🙂