tikiwanderer (tikiwanderer) wrote,

Weight loss notes after month 4

Well, this has been an interesting week and month.

Upfront, I'm going to pin my monthly weight loss at just half a kilo. Because it's a small amount, less than I vary within a day, and I only weigh myself one time in each day (and not every day), it's hard to fix an accurate exact value for my weight and its change. What I did this month was make sure I weighed myself at many different times of day across the month and track the high points and low points. Over the course of the month, the little peaks dropped by 500g and so did the little valleys. In the last week I had a tummy bug one night. The next morning I stripped off and weighed myself. J called out "Weighing yourself after you've purged is cheating!" but actually, it isn't. It was mathematically necessary. Because my weight changes across a day, any measurement I take could be high or low in that daily cycle and I don't know. I can make some guesses, but I don't know for sure. So there's the natural human tendency to look at a number and say "well, I just had something to eat so it's probably not the lowest point of my cycle, it'll be around the middle or higher so I might be half a kilo lower than the scales say". The thing about weighing myself after purging was that it was a guaranteed minimum point in the cycle. There was no excuse I could give for pretending that that number was any lower than the scales said. So it was a good way of confirming the peaks and valleys.

I'd seen during the month that I was tracking towards only a half kilo loss, and my goal is a kilo a month. So I knew I was going to have to build my exercise levels up a bit. I needed to do that in two ways. One was to increase the total time each day from 30 minutes above ordinary levels to 35 or 40 minutes, in order to make sure I was boosting the energy used. But the main thing was to start getting harsher about making sure my heart rate was in the right zone for the exercise to count. I don't insist that all of the 30 minutes is elevated-heart-rate stuff, there needs to be room for muscle work and balance work and other whole-body stuff as well. But as I was getting fitter and more used to the exercise it really wasn't having as much impact as it could. Increasing the time just slightly was a way of pushing up the total quality as much as quantity. And I knew it wasn't having much impact - aside from the scales, I was starting to forget to count my minutes as I went because the constant movement and activity was restoring itself as the unconscious habit I had all the time pre-pregnancy anyhow (hooray!). So when one child wanted to spend their free time with me at Jungle Gym, a place where all the floors are thickly padded and there's bouncy music, I spent the time supervising them dancing and jumping around myself instead of standing still and got almost an hour of activity time for myself. That would have been unthinkable at the start of this as my joints weren't strong enough for it, but it was fine. I felt great. I like being not able to sit still and I love dancing my way through life. Then, the next day, child 2 realised they'd missed out on a Jungle Gym trip and claimed that for their free time too. So I did it again.

That was a mistake. Boosting the exercise levels and impact on joints up from half an hour a day to what worked out at an hour and a half on the second day (including two walks to drop off child #1 at school and back) damaged my plantar fascia - the tendon that runs under the foot. When I woke up Saturday I could barely walk - had to hold onto chairs to get from the bedroom to the loo.

It's been getting better over the week, but it's put a big dent in my ability to exercise. No impactful exercise til the inflammation settles - and most of the stuff that gets my heart rate into the right zone is impacting on the foot. I did go swimming this week, for the first time in years at least as exercise for myself. I tend to avoid swimming as exercise but it made sense in this case. No aqua aerobics of course - nobody does deep-water aquarobics any more which is good resistance training, and the shallow stuff is both non-weight-bearing *and* bouncing on the tendon so the worst of both worlds. But I did some laps. Boring as batshit. But: backstroke works. Breaststroke doesn't get my heart rate up enough. Walking could, but the water was too shallow to provide enough resistance except for about five metres in each up-and-back so it didn't. Overarm sends my heart rate too high so I can't sustain it and have to manage breathing panic. But backstroke was just enough difficulty that I could peacefully work my way up and down and keep my heart rate around that nice level. I am very much appreciating the time I spent at the gym years ago. As irregular as it was, it taught me to recognise the signs of what my heart rate is at so I can pick when I'm in the good zone or above or below without having to hang onto a heart monitor.

So I was expecting this month's weight loss to be pretty underwhelming. But, to my surprise, it looks like I lost a kilo in the last couple of days of the month. On top of what I'd lost before. Without exercising. Suddenly my post-tummy-bug-weight was a *peak*. I'm not counting this in the month's total as I don't know yet if it's stuck. But it seems to be at least partially gone for sure.

I suspect part of it is that my body's adapted to its former habit of being constantly energetic well enough that the first few days of no exercise I hardly ate anything - I simply wasn't hungry, as I wasn't burning the energy. And my revised-back-to-an-earlier-life dietary habits mean I don't eat when I'm not hungry, as I'm not having to constantly future-plan against spikes in energy demand any more as I was with pregnancy and breastfeeding. (Seriously. You don't want blood sugar spikes and troughs while pregnant. Snacking saves everybody's sanity.) So we'll see how the next couple of weeks go, and I'll try and stay as active as I can despite the foot and see if I can keep finding ways to burn my thirty to thirty five minutes at least half of the days.

That last minute drop does mean though that I hit two goals this month. The first was a numeric goal - just a number I'd challenged myself to get below. And on the 500g loss I had got below it but not completely - I was still bouncing above and below it in the daily cycle. Now I'm completely below it and not likely to go back. The second goal was to get to the lowest weight I'd recorded since having child #2. And I've roughly reached that one, though I haven't stayed there yet. So my next goal is to stay below that weight which I should achieve this month coming. The goal after is to reach the weight I was one-month-post-pregnancy after child #1 which is a very similar but slightly lower so I may make that one next month too if I can boost the weight loss rate back to one kilo or more a month. And then the goal after that is another numeric one, it will be two-thirds of my total planned weight loss. I suspect I won't reach that til month 7 or 8 but earlier is fine by me!
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