Tuesday, January 22, 2008

When the weight loss slows down

It's been 8 months and 21 days since I changed my habits, and I've lost 88 pounds. That's a lot. I'm so close to a 100-pound loss I can almost taste it.

When I first started this whole thing, the pounds melted off. In fact, a girl I work with came up to me back in September and said "Morgan, you appear to be melting." It felt great. The weight is no longer melting off me. I'm lucky to lose a pound a week.

Now, I hear all of you saying "but a pound is a healthy weight to lose in one week. You shouldn't be discouraged." And you're right...a pound is great. A pound is a pound less than I was before. However, when you compare it to losing 5 pounds in a week, like I was in the beginning, it's a little frustrating.

If you do the math, it makes sense. When I was 88 pounds heavier, I burned way more calories at rest than I do now. When I started, I made the mistake of dropping my caloric intake too low, to about 1200 calories. What I should have done was go to 1500 or 1600 and work my way down to 1200. Now that I'm at 1200, I really have nowhere to go. I don't think it would be wise at this point for me to eat less. In fact, that would likely trigger my metabolism to slow down even more and I'd stop losing weight all together. If anything, I should probably be eating more, but that's a whole other can of worms I'll open in another post.

So what am I going to do, you ask? Well, I've started by shaking things up with the workout routine. In the past, I did most of my cardio after dinner. I had myself believing that was the only time I could do it, since I didn't want to get up any earlier than I do now. It's no secret that working out in the morning will do more for you than it will in the evening. It kick-starts your metabolism and helps you burn more calories throughout the day. So, I decided to do 30-45 minutes of cardio a couple of morning each week, and then do strength training on those nights. This really has helped a little bit. I'm also considering hiring a personal trainer for a couple sessions to get some professional perspective.

I purchased an exercise ball last week, which came with an instructional DVD, and I must say it's a blast. My core muscles are feeling stronger and I swear my balance is better.

Additionally, I'm trying to eat smaller, more frequent meals. I've always been the kind of person who likes to eat a lot in one sitting, and adopting this new strategy has been difficult, especially at dinner time. If you read my logs on PeerTrainer, you'll notice I'm not doing very well in this department. But I'm trying.

This is all no-brainer stuff. I'm definitely not doing anything new or revolutionary here. I'm just trying to get rid of those last pounds before I can say I'm in "maintenance mode."

Today in my Peertrainer group I was talking about how weird it is when people stop complimenting you on losing weight. It's like the novelty has worn off. I'll admit that the attention made me feel special and noticed- something that I hadn't felt in a while. Now that's gone. Don't get me wrong. I still feel special for what I've accomplished. I'm also working harder now than I ever have, but since there are no dramatic changes on the outside, it's more difficult for people to perceive how tough it is to continue on this journey. Does that make sense?

I will say that it's pretty awesome when you see someone you haven't seen in a while. I went to the dentist this morning, and as I was sitting in the chair, the hygienist said "Holy cow, Morgan! How much weight have you lost?"

This weekend I'll be making a trip to see my "in-laws." (I use quotes there because I am gay and we're going to see my partner's family, so they're about as close to "in-laws" as I'm ever going to get.) I haven't seen them in at least 8 months, and I'm secretly hoping for their jaws to drop. I'll keep you posted.

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