I'm putting up this update a little late. We had visitors and I wasn't weighing myself often, so it was a couple of days later before I realised the 29th had come and gone. It's been an odd month. About a week in, I decided to not do anything about trying to lose weight this month. No matter what I did I was running into problems, and the weight was just slowly creeping up and up, 100g at a time. It's the coldest month of the year so every old injury I had was getting aggravated by attempts to exercise and twinging constantly so then I wasn't doing the exercise properly or sufficiently. And diet, well, that's generally not too bad but this really is the time of year for sitting back on the couch with a hot chocolate and a biscuit. So I finally said to myself "look, this really isn't working, you're fighting your own body and you know that gives you bad results. Take the month off, follow your instincts, just don't go to any unusual excesses". I decided not to actively try to lose weight. And three days later I'd lost a kilo. I really do get my best results when I work with my body rather than against it. Since then I've put some of that back on, and the weight's gone up and down a lot (varying by up to two kilos!) but based on my measurements on the 29th of June, I'm going to call it a bit less than half a kilo loss for the month, maybe 200-300g.
Which gives me, based on measurements at the beginning and end of this year of effort, a sum total of about 10.5 kg loss for the year. (My monthly changes don't add up to this, there is plenty of rounding error in each measurement.) I was aiming for 1 kg / month so a total of 12 kg, and I did well enough in the first three months that I thought I might well and truly beat that. But I'm not unhappy with where I've got to either. I'm just struggling to keep the last few kilos that I lost from jumping right back on again.
I'm hoping that this month of not particularly doing anything special will help reset my body's sense of "normal". That way when I start trying for 30 minutes of high heart rate exercise broken into several sessions across the day, it should be easier to achieve that at first with light exercise and without needing to exercise so hard that I push my injuries. I'm also hoping that it will allow my body to reset what it thinks my weight is so that it's not constantly trying to put back on what's disappearing. I need a new lower set point and I haven't managed to establish one in the last four months. I dropped below my last set point partly through illness and I think my body didn't realise that this wasn't actually a problem.
The other thing about having a month off is that I was starting to get into a lot of bad habits. Not the kind of bad habits like taking a block of chocolate to bed, but the kind of, well, undermining your good habits is maybe a better way to put it. Doing the 30 minutes of exercise maybe three times a week instead of five. Making the 30 minutes more like 25, or 22, or 21. Breaking the no-snacking-after-dinner rule three or four nights a week instead of once or twice a fortnight. So I was still doing all the things I was supposed to, but not to any effectiveness. Taking the time to say "actually, I'm not doing them" for a while should make it clearer what's "doing it right" when I begin again. I might also spend some time thinking about whether I want to keep going on the same plan I had, or whether I want to alter it somewhat. It did work well initially, as long as I followed it properly.
This month I'm not sure what my goals are. The WiiFit goal turns out to expire on the 16th, I must not have got around to setting that straight away. So I have a couple of weeks to either work hard on trying to make that goal (losing about 1.5 kilos!) or to ignore it and worry about starting up again after the 16th. Which is tempting, as that's usually the end of the coldest period so I have less injury to worry about. I may just reset the goal though if I can, and start anew. I would like to get to around that goalpoint and be stable there, and I would like to drop below my currently lowest-recorded weight but if I can at least reach that range I'll be happy. Whether I do or not? Not sure. Motivation is a bit mixed right now. I may need to change my overall plan just to get my own head back in the game. So I'm not stressing about setting a goal either because I don't think I can pick one right now that'll have any kind of internal meaning, and I never follow external influences if I can possibly avoid it.
Well. Almost a year through. And, for the first time, I'm posting a gain this month. Which is a bit disappointing. I'm not sure whether it's half a kilo, a kilo or somewhere in between, because I've gone up and down a lot this month. I started by gaining a kilo. Then I lost half a kilo, then gained another kilo, then have lost most of that. I even ended up with a BMI back over 28, which I didn't think I was going to see again, though thankfully it hasn't stayed there. So the gain isn't all sticking, but I'm not managing to lose anything I didn't just gain and I'm not getting back to where I'd got to. I am sad about this, but also pleased at the same time. I injured my foot three months into the weight loss process. And while my weight loss has been slower since, it's taken til now - eight months later - to start reversing.
I'm at the point where I really can't do much more with diet - while imperfect, my diet is about as good as it sustainably gets. I'm never going to completely quit chocolate! So only exercise will keep pushing the weight down. And exercise is getting more and more problematic - there's a new pain in the side of my foot, which I assume is a different tendon starting to complain about taking too much of the workload, so that makes three different tendons that are getting aggravated by exercise. I really am not exercising enough, and I put my weight gain this month squarely at the foot of that. Combined with the sudden change to cold and rainy weather, there's a great tendency to curl up under blankets with a book, a hot sweet drink and a biscuit and stay there for a day at a time. While as a general rule I don't, there is noticeably more time spent doing quietly not much. I've also had several mild depressive patches this month, and I'm sure that hasn't helped get me off the couch or the laptop.
So, new goals for next month. To get below my previously-recorded lowest weight from two months ago, is the first and main one. That's about one kilo. Second, I'd like to get below the currently-set goal on the Wiifit, which is about one and a half kilos away and also expires at the end of this month. I'd like to make that goal! Third, I'd like to get to the point I was at when I fell pregnant with child #2, but I don't know if that will be next month or not. That's another two or three kilos. I still have around five kilos to go in my total goal, with fewer than that many months left now. So losing two kilos this month would be very helpful in the overall picture.
MOTHERS ARE NOT ALWAYS PINK
All good wishes to those who like pink
but who on earth thinks that we all do?
Since when did pink become the definition of woman? The only definition?
I am a guardian, a dragon who will breathe fire over someone who threatens my children without a blink of hesitation. Give me the colours of flame.
I am the rememberer of stories and the keeper of traditions, the one who reminds of manners and encourages flexible understanding, who tells tales and keeps secrets. Give me the colours of the deep and changing ocean.
I am the nurturer who grows people from seeds to tall trees. Give me the colours of the wide earth, of summer bark and autumn bark, of grains and dust.
I am the restful place, a circle of arms where small people come to sit and talk in safety and quiet. Give me the colours of fresh leaves and forests.
I am the snip at the heels, the voice of disapproval when things have gone a little too wrong, the marker of the line that says "far enough". Give me the colours of frost on the windows and steel in the rain, with the gleam of the edge of a knife.
Give me as many colours as you can, because I am all of these things. Not just the one someone chose to paint all women, all ages, everywhere.
This month has been a little disheartening. I think I may have managed a half kilo loss, or a little less than that. It hasn't been much. The curve of my weight loss has really flattened out in the last three months and I feel like I'm starting to stick at a new set point. The last week all my measurements have been within 0.2 kg of each other. I would feel like I've lost nothing at all, except for one thing. In the last month, I finally dropped below that artificial goal, the one set by the limitations of my measuring technology (which is a total of around 12 kilos or near enough). I dropped below it by a good 300g and stayed there for a few days. So I thought "right, let's do the full weigh-and-test that will allow me to register that I made this goal and set a new one". And when I did, I discovered that in fact it was assuming I had 600g more clothes on than I actually did. Thinking about it, that's not surprising - I started this process in midwinter when I would have been wearing more, but it meant that all my summer measurements (when I wore very little) were inaccurate. So I set the clothing indicator back to something more accurate. This meant that I was no longer below that goal. And despite my efforts, I haven't managed to get below it - in fact, I gained weight back on in the second half of the month. Because of the change in measurement process, I keep trying to remind myself that actually the line of my loss has gone down a little bit, if that error was still there the points would look lower than they do. But it's easy to forget that when you're looking at what seems like a straight line.
I really need to boost my exercise to speed the weight loss back up. I've managed to shake a little of it off a couple of times in the last month, but then been hit by huge needs for food and even though I don't totally give in to them, it's obvious that my body is trying to retain mass. Or possibly build better mass - I've been feeling like my movement is improving a lot which implies that I am building muscle. The combined foot injuries - now three different ones on the same ankle - make exercising complicated. Anything that is good for one injury usually bothers or aggravates one of the others. Especially true since two of them are tendon injuries, one gained by not handling the healing/stretching of the other correctly. So I must work out a way around this. My body has now lost enough weight that it's demanding activity - I'm back into the zone where I need to move, to dance, fairly frequently. That is a good thing too.
I'm calling half a kilo loss in this month. It might be more, or less, my weight has been zigzagging a lot the last ten days. We spent most of the month with salmonella going through the house, which got my weight right down, especially when I had recovered afterwards but was still rebuilding my digestive system and couldn't eat most foods nor much of the ones that were OK. After that forced loss my weight bounced around a bit trying to restabilise. It actually started to climb right up again, but thankfully that was just a "bounce".
In the last couple of days of the month I finally restarted my exercise regime, trying to get thirty minutes of exercise a day on top of my usual activity levels, for most but not all days. My foot's healed enough to do that I think as long as I'm careful with my exercise type and impact and quantity etc, which was exactly the same as when I first started this whole process nine months ago. So now this time I just have to build up the strength without accidentally screwing my body over in the process.
Goal-wise, I did get below a line I thought I might not, thanks to the salmonella, and while I'm not perfectly always below that line it looks like the "new normal" is dropping. So it's good to see that I'm not at a fixed point right now (again, possibly thanks to the salmonella). I also got very close to one of my sub-goals. When I started this I was using the WiiFit to track my loss, and I had to put in "a goal", but their software was a bit limited. I couldn't put in my actual goal nor my actual timeframe, as they were both too large for the WF to record. So I put in the maximum time and maximum weight that I could, intending to rejig it later. And I've almost reached that goal line on the WiiFit, which is cheering. I have a good chance of passing it this month coming. The other thing that's been amusing is that some of the clothes I bought just one month ago are starting to feel a little loose on me (and it's probably not just the crap elastics). It's probably about a 2kg difference between the day I bought them and today, so not a great deal, but I like the thought that I might outshrink them within the next season or so.
This month's loss: 1 kg. Time-wise, I'm now half way to my final deadline. Weight-wise, I'm two-thirds of the way there.
It doesn't quite seem fair to say that in some ways. I am fairly sure I spent much of the previous month around this weight range, though I didn't have the scales to prove it. I know I spent most of this month around this weight range seeing as I *did* have the scales to prove it. A couple of days after last month's weigh-in, the kilo that had crept back on did one of my predictable drop-one-kilo-in-two-days thing and I've stayed almost the same weight all month. Until the final week, when it started to creep back on again and I was back up to last month's marker. So I was all set for posting another 0 kg loss/gain, and absolved my sorrows in a bag of Burger Rings. The next measurement, I'd dropped 1.4 kg and hit a new lowest-weight-yet point, finally breaking through the previous 'floor' that I hadn't been able to drop below all month. That was yesterday morning. I knew it would be in part water-loss as I'd been drinking green tea, wasn't sure how real/solid the loss was. And *then* I finally caught up to the main phase of the virus my son has been trying to give me all week and spent the day with diarrhoea. So I wasn't going to record my monthly weigh-in today as it seemed like it would be not accurate enough. But in fact, when I checked, I'd gained a tiny amount since yesterday rather than lost any more, probably through re-hydrating, which has put my weight back into that same stable point I've been sitting at all month. So I decided to run with that and call this set-point my current weight.
This month's official loss means in terms of mini-goals that I've now lost more than 10 kilos since starting this process. I'd hoped and expected to reach that goal two months ago, and unofficially I did but it hadn't lasted to a weigh-in. I'm now sitting at the approximate set-point that I was caught at when my first child was an infant. My next mini-goal is a numeric one - to drop below a certain point, which I was very close to yesterday so I'm hopeful I can make it next month. The goal after that is to reach the lowest weight I was between pregnancies, which is about one and a half to two kilos away from where I am. In theory I could do that in a month but the rate I've been going I'm not seeing myself reaching that one for two months. I might try remaining optimistic though and see how I go.
The challenge for next month will be to move off this set-point, and see if I can post a loss again. If things continue as they have been it'd be another 0kg loss/gain, or even a small gain depending on where in the cycle the final measurement falls. But, having dropped through that floor once gives me hope that I can break the set-point and start the downward movement again. I am comfortable at this weight, a lot more comfortable in terms of being able to wear clothes I'm happy with and not spending a lot of my energy being depressed, but I'd be just as comfortable at the goal I've set or lower so... lets keep going. I still think it might be possible to lose not just my original goal amount but a full twenty kilos by my deadline. The foot injury is both much-improved and compounded - the original injury is getting better and healing, it's close to normal again, but I've hurt one of the other tendons in the process of healing so exercise is still problematic. I have however started a new job that involves walking, and while it will only be a few hours a week that might help with the physical activity levels. I think I'm back to a point where if I want to keep losing weight it's time to boost the exercise levels again, I just need to do so in a way that doesn't aggravate either injury.
This has been... an interesting month. Upfront, I'm going to call the weight loss total for this month, from 26 Dec to 28 Jan, at 0.0 kg. No loss, no gain. The real story is more complicated (isn't it always?).
To start with, I spent a significant portion of the month at my mother's house. Her scales are far less precise than mine, with the smallest scale marking being 1 kg so the total possible precision being 500g. They are also of unknown accuracy, and furthermore I don't know how they compare to my scales (weighing over, under or the same for any given weight). Those differences are very tiny, but when you're measuring drops or rises of 100-600g they do become important. So for the first half of the month I have no official recorded weights (as I wasn't using my scales with the memory that allows me to track trends). I do believe from my observations at Mum's that I did go through at least one of my sudden drops of around half a kilo, however I put it on again with the New Year's feasting.
Which brings me to the second complication. Feasting. It's that time of year, we were on holiday, we were with family. As with month 6, there was much expectation of celebratory food which needed to be shared and enjoyed while managed and kept to reasonable levels. There was also providoring - exploring a tourist region of the state famous for its food. Which necessitates sampling. And purchasing that which is good, which is a lot of it, and eating said purchases. This significantly-higher-than-average snacking wouldn't be a problem if I remained sufficiently active to keep my overall appetite low and metabolism up. However:
The third complication is activity levels. Lots of time in the car driving while on holiday. Returning home to the extended heatwaves so common this time of year - which weren't as melting as they could be, thank goodness, but they still mean days on end of not really doing very much. And of staying quiet indoors. I have been very sedentary during this time, and the weight tracking confirms it.
Overall during the month I think I lost between 500g and 1kg, twice - and then put it back on again with either feasting or lack of exercise. So my weight loss has continued. It just hasn't been effective this month. However, I'm calling it a win for two reasons. Firstly, that I went through feasting and sedentary times without a total gain. Secondly, that while I did gain weight, I lost it first. I haven't gone above the weight that I was on the 26th of December, as best I know given lack of scales. I just haven't managed to keep off the weight that I have lost since then.
During the month I didn't pass any of my goals, not even temporarily that I know of. Though I did notice for the first time that my belly fat is noticeably reduced from what it was when I began this process. So, with concentration on adhering to my chosen appropriate eating habits and with returning to some level of exercise in between heatwaves, I have hopes that next month will see a genuine permanent loss.
Sparrow: Mummy, when it was when we'd never had fudge before, had you never had fudge before?
Me: Hmm. Yes, sweetie, I had. I had fudge a long, long time ago but not since then.
Sparrow: How did you do that?
Me: Well, when you've been around for forty years or so, that's a long time. Time to try lots of different things and find out if you like them and get used to them. It's a very big world with lots of things in it.
Me: That's part of my job as your mum, to show you lots of things in the world and help you try them and get used to them. It could be schnitzel, or fudge, or ice skating... or clouds...or undies or basketball. All kinds of things. My job is to make sure you get chances to try things and find out what you like and get used to things.
Sparrow: Mummy, I've gotten used to fudge.
Putting up this month's notes a little early seeing as I'll be too busy with family stuff to hit my scales on the 29th (my clockover day).
This has been the challenging month now I think. I lost a little over 1.5 kilos in the first two weeks, then spent most of the next two weeks slowly gaining weight at the same rate I've been trying to lose it. I think I finally managed to halt this trend and send it back downwards in the last few days, despite (or because of?) Christmas feasting. So my net total for the month is about 1.5 kg, maybe 1.3 kg depending on exactly where you call the start and end points. I was a bit disappointed with the weight gain, but to be honest I had expected that to happen immediately after the foot injury. Continuing to lose weight for six weeks after the injury and to *then* start a slow gain isn't so bad.
It took a fairly serious heat wave to knock my exercise patterns back down to almost zero, and I think that contributed to the gain too. Between that and starting to see a physio about the foot I really did change my activity levels and not in the weight-loss-helpful way. I'm boosting my exercise back up again though now - I can't afford to let my metabolism sleep for three months til summer ends.
As far as achievement levels goes, I didn't make any particular milestones this month though in the first couple of weeks I really thought I was going to. I didn't make it to a total loss of 10 kg thanks to that gaining fortnight, though I did dip under the 10 kg line for a couple of days. But: I am definitely feeling better about my physical appearance, and have lost enough weight that people are noticing. Which seems odd, as I'd be only marginally lighter than I was this time last year, most of the weight I've lost was put on since all the people giving me compliments have seen me.
I've also started wearing three pieces of clothing again that I had outgrown - one of my favourite work dresses, a pair of karate gi pants (and it's so nice to be able to wear properly jointed pants again even if they do have no pockets!) and a very druidy-natureish-hippy green and yellow swirling dress. I wore the latter for Christmas and enjoyed it. I haven't got to wear it often - I bought it ten years ago when it was way too big for me but when I appeared to be gaining weight fast enough that I'd fit it soon after. I halted the weight gain then though, and never really fit the dress well until after pregnancy. But it's not a good dress for breastfeeding in so I didn't wear it then either. I got to wear it a couple of times between pregnancies but then have been too big for it since. So now is the first time I can really wear it well.
Goals for the next month: to keep the weight loss travelling downwards even if it's slow due to heat lethargy. I'd really like to hit that 10 kg mark and stay the other side of it. And grow into a few more dresses and pants.
This is the month that screwed most with my perceptions of what I was doing and what was working. So far.
Just before the end of last month, I'd realised that I needed to bump up my exercise. I'd gained enough fitness, and gotten slack enough on what I was fitting into my thirty minutes, that I wasn't really getting my heart rate up into the zone for very much of the time. Most of the time it was sitting just far enough below where it needed to be to not have much effect. So I increased the amount of physical activity, including more dancing into my day, a couple of days in a row. And I loved it. Until I woke up the third morning unable to walk. Plantar fasciatis, it turns out, is one hell of a bitch. The exercise change had worked - I dropped a kilo that week - but I couldn't continue it.
This month I have barely been able to exercise. I still got a lot more in in the first couple of weeks, because I'd got into the habit of constantly jiggling around and being active in all my spare moments. It was much harder to do that because I was trying to stay off my feet as much as I could to get the tendon healing. But I did anyhow. It's lessened as the month went on because the habit is breaking a little - I have to keep suppressing the urge to dance. However, my dietary habit changes have helped a lot. Because I wasn't burning quite as much I wasn't hungry as much, and so my "don't eat when you don't need to" habit meant I ate less than normal too. So overall, the effect was to lose two and a half kilos. Which is back up there with my fastest rate.
You might see why I'm surprised. I'm sure it's a combination of being able to manage the food intake vs. the injury, so that I didn't regain weight, and the simple fact that I changed the pattern. I can't just diet this weight off, unfortunately, being one of those people who survives famines beautifully. Like all nearly-to-menopause women I'm designed to give the calorie sources to the village children and subsist on what's left. I stabilise to whatever intake I've got. But I have noticed that losing weight seems to correlate to changes, the times when you shift what you're doing so that your body's fooled into burning more than it takes in. That last couple of days of last month I lost one kilo. My weight then stabilised around that point for a week to ten days. And then I lost another kilo almost overnight. And then I stabilised around that point for ten days or so. And then I lost half a kilo, and stabilised. The amount I lost in the last two weeks of this month isn't much, and in fact I may have gained that half kilo back again, I'm waiting to see if I really did undo the work of the last ten days in the first two days of month 6. And that's because I'm not really changing that much at the moment. I can't reduce what I'm eating any further particularly, and I can't exercise more. The plantar fasciatis is still being a bitch, and now my other foot is starting to show strain signs from taking extra load to compensate at times.
So I'm really looking forward to being able to dance again. But the amount I lost this month is pleasing. I am now permanently below the lowest weight I'd managed to reach after having my second child, which I hit around the time we moved to Perth. So all weight gained in this city is permanently gone. I am around the weight that I was one or two months after having my first child, so I'm now back into that post-pregnancy range with five kilos to go until I surpass that one too. I am also past the half-way mark for amount of weight to lose to reach my goal, and I've reached that half way mark a few months early. So if I can keep up the weight loss there's a real chance I can increase my goal. My current goal is basically a pre-pregnancy weight. However, my original adult weight was lower again by about what I've lost so far - I gained a whole chunk of weight when I moved to Melbourne at the beginning of one winter and my body said "OMFG COLD COLD YOU'RE GONNA DIE". So if I can continue losing weight well like this, then I might be able to return to a pre-Melbourne weight range too. But I'll see how I'm doing when I hit my current goal.
My next sub-goal is a numeric one, about two to three kilos away and probably two months away. Though at this point in time every kilo feels like a goal.