I can’t believe it is already New Years Eve and this is my last blog post for 2017! This has been an amazing year in many ways and kind of a crappy year in other ways. But, rather than dwelling on the parts that sucked, I am just going to focus on what went well.
This was the year that I decided to change my life and turn around a string of 40 years of bad decisions related to my health. I wasn’t really sure if I was going to be successful in my journey, but it turns out that I was. I lost 25% of my body weight in just over 6 months. I transformed from being excessively overweight to being more fit than I have been since at least high school if not further. It was the year that I improved my self-confidence by proving to myself that I can accomplish big things if I set my mind to them. It was the year that I gave myself goals for the first time since I was 29. All of that led to 2017 becoming the year that I combine my success with my love of writing in hopes to help other people with their own fitness journeys, so I launched OperationMelt.com just a couple of weeks ago. Since then, I have had about 500 visitors to the site.
So, though there were several areas of my life where I was significantly less successful, my victory in my fitness journey to-date over-shadow those other areas and resulted in 2017 being a great year for me!
So, this last week of 2017 brought a couple of interesting new occurrences in my Operation Melt journey. Some positive, some less positive.
First off, as of Friday (12/29), I was right at a 78-pound loss for the year. So, that means that ending the year at an 80 pound loss is in reach. But, I am not overly optimistic that I will actually reach that point. [So, I clearly write some of the weekly blog post throughout the week…] I have learned that weekends are times where my weight naturally fluctuates upward temporarily. This is often related to having a couple of drinks, eating slightly less healthy food that takes longer for my body to process and being slightly less active through the days though my morning workouts tend to be more vigorous. So, given that I have 2 more days of the year and both are weekends including New Year’s Eve, I am expecting my weight to fluctuate up a bit. So, I will likely just miss the 80 pound mark.
Because I am at the 78 pound mark for the year, my daily calorie target adjusted down twice this week. I am currently at a daily target of 2,026 calories which really is not a lot and is a definite challenge. One reason that this target is so challenging is that my body has adjusted its need for calorie intake way faster than my brain has. My brain is still conditioned the same way it was 6 months ago where 3,000+ calories were just fine for me. So, my body can be fulfilled for the day but my brain is still thinking about food and snacking. So, this is where the willpower is so important throughout the day. Every calorie matters because they add up fast. This is especially applicable to drinking alcohol since one pint of craft beer can be 250-300 calories and this is a very material portion of my total daily calorie target.
One way that I continue to offset the decreasing daily calorie target is through exercise of increasing intensity. At my workout on Friday, I burned over 850 calories between running/walking on the treadmill and a pretty vigorous weight training session. That is an extra 40% of my daily calorie target that I could consume but tried very hard not to give myself permission to do so.
While I am definitely seeing results from my work at the gym in both weight loss and muscle gains (my arms are really starting to show more muscles), I am also seeing a not so positive change. I am starting to see the same sets of activities with the same degree of intensity having a lower calorie burn as my body gets more and more fit. So, this means I am going to have to ramp up the calorie burn in the new year. This likely means starting to join classes instead of going it alone.
One thing that has interfered with working out a bit this week was that I ended up getting sick. I am pretty sure it was just a cold, but I was feverish and achy on Wednesday afternoon and evening. Between 4p on Wednesday and 8a on Friday, I slept more than 19 hours. By Friday morning, I felt much better. Unfortunately, on Wednesday morning, I did try to work out as the sickness was starting to take hold of me. This was one of the worst feeling workouts I have had to-date. I was slow, I was sore and I really wanted to be anywhere else but at the gym. So, clearly, attempting to exercise through the illness is not necessarily a recipe for success.
One final thing worth noting this week is that winter has hit Columbus, Ohio with a vengeance. We have been experiencing lows in the single digits and one day the high was only like 12 degrees. The picture above is from the dashboard of my car right before I walked into the gym on Wednesday morning. First off, it was very early for me because I woke up at 4 plus it was really cold. Maybe these both contributed to me getting sick on Wednesday afternoon!
An unexpected side effect of losing 78 pounds right before winter is that I lost a significant amount of highly-efficient insulation from my body. I am feeling the cold way more than I ever have before and that sucks! I really underestimated how impactful this would be, but I really feel it.
There you have it, my end-of-year post. Thank you so much for being interested enough in my journey to follow me on OperationMelt.com and/or Twitter (@OperationMelt). I look forward to sharing my continued successes and setbacks in 2018!
Last week’s stats:
Distance walked/run: 27.5 miles
Total calories burnt: 26,317
Total calories consumed: 12,101
Weight change: 0.2 pounds lost