I officially started the weight loss journey in February 2009. "Officially" meaning when I began the consistent effort and not giving up even when I slip a little. I'm like every other person on the planet who has tried to lose weight and given up a number of times but I can honestly say that although I haven't gotten far in my journey, I have not given up, not even for a second. I trip and fall but dust myself off and get back to business every time.
February 2009, I weighed in at 178.6 lbs. For a 5 foot tall little thing like me, that's a lot of weight. I was consistently eating about 2,000 calories a day and although I was exercising, I was only burning an average of 70 calories above and beyond my basal metabolic rate (due to my inconsistent exercise habits). That just so happened to also be the month that I had my metabolic rate tested too. According to the calculations you get from the many standard charts out there in Internet land, I should have been burning around 1,850 calories per day at rest. When I got tested, I was burning 1,296 at rest. Then, they added another 387 calories to that to take my daily lifestyle into consideration. When all is said and done, I actually burn 1,683 calories a day just being me.
2,000 Avg. Calories intake (food I ate)
1,683 Avg. Calories I burned in a day just being me
-70 Avg. Calories I burned in a day on average from exercise
247 Avg. Calories I was in the hole on a daily basis
With those excess calories in my diet, I could expect to gain 1 lb of fat every two weeks.
Something had to change!
Here's what I did/DO:
- I altered my diet to eat whole foods and limit the processed crap.
- Reduced my calorie intake to 1,400-1,500 calories per day.
- 50% carbs, 30% protein, 20% fat intake which for 1,400 calories per day equals 175g carb, 105g protein, 31g fat.
- Drink 60 oz water every day (at least)
- Take Vitamin D - My doctor and the nutritionist I hired at the time informed me that vitamin d helps in weight loss. It also does wonders for mood and skin as well.
- Exercise 6 days per week burning 400 calories each session.
- Target heart rate - 140 beats per minute (75% of maximum HR = Maximize fat burning zone)
- Alternate days with interval training - target heart rate 125 bpm for 1 minute then reach 166 bpm within 30 seconds and hold it there for another 1.5 mins before letting it drop to 125 again, rinse and repeat for 35 mins minimum. This is GOLD for repairing a broken metabolism!
- Incorporate strength training to tone muscle (muscle is a fat burning machine) 2-3 days per week.
- Because I get bored easily, I started incorporating a different/new physical activity into my plan every month to stay interested and engaged in being active...thus was born Living Active.
- Sleep - Getting a full night's sleep is absolutely necessary to set me up for success. When I'm tired, I'm more likely to get moody and emotionally eat and less likely to plan or prepare healthful meals.
1683 Maintenance Calories
1400 Daily calorie intake (16.8%/283 calorie deficit)
400 Calories burned w/exercise
683 Total calorie deficit per day
4098 Total calorie deficit per week (1400 intake, 400 burn 6days/week, 1683 calories on Sunday)
1.17 Lbs fat lost each week
1500 Max calorie intake 6days/week to still lose 1lb/week
From February 2009 to October 2010, I managed to lose 20lbs. That's 20lbs in 85 weeks. Yikes! An average loss of 0.23 lbs per week. That's definitely not the 1lb per week I was planning for.
Since October 2010 when I weighed in at 159lbs, I managed to gain a few back. Sunday, January 16th, I weighed in at 167.2. That's a gain of 8.2 lbs in 16 weeks. Um...ya...that's an average gain of 0.5 lbs per week.
So obviously I'm not perfect. What happened? Oh life. Life happens. Holidays, birthdays, fun with friends, laziness, illness, injuries, etc. Life! The point isn't how much or how little I accomplished, the point is that I'm still here. I'm still active, I'm still living the journey, and I'm still not giving up.
In the spirit of not giving up and redefining my goals for the year, I put this one on the top of the list. This year, I want more than anything to reach a healthy weight/size/shape for me. I don't want anything outrageous. Don't care if I'm a size 2 or if I've got a six pack. Don't care if I'm supermodel material. I just want to be healthy and happy in my skin. Because I believe in setting hard and fast goals that can be measured as well as attainable, I feel the need to assign a number to this here plan of mine.
A healthy person of my size and stature should be between 106 and 123 lbs. I've been 106 lbs before and I think I was probably too damn skinny because I didn't have any muscle at all. That's too small for me. I'll shoot for 120. If I stick with the plan to lose 1 lb per week, which is doable if I exercise regularly and eat between 1,400 and 1,500 calories per day, I could reach that goal by the first week of December. Is it challenging? YES. Can I do it? YES. Am I going to try? Absolutely! Will I be crushed if I don't make it? No. As long as I don't give up on myself, I'm happy being content with progress. Progress means I'll get there eventually and eventually is better than never so I'll take it. And in the meantime, I'll continue to enjoy this active lifestyle that is now the norm for me.
So there you have it.
My #1 goal for the year.
My justification behind it.
My plan for how it will be done.
Because I'm totally and completely analytical about this kind of stuff, I also have it broken down into daily habits.
- Eat 1,400 calories (50% carb, 30% protein, 20% fat)
- Exercise burning 400 calories
- Track all food and exercise on sparkpeople
- Drink at least 60oz of water
- Take Vitamin D
- Sleep 8 hours
- Journal (feeding my soul is critical too)