Week 53: Year 2 Starts off Strong

My fit-iversary week has come and gone and I am now fully into the second year of my Operation Melt journey. It was a pretty good week and I am getting settled into my new job and a daily routine – balancing exercise, eating and working. I have learned that I need to take snacks to work and basically graze on food all day or I struggle to get to my minimum daily calories… who would have thought that would ever be a struggle for me!

I am so happy with what I accomplished in the past year but I am not done yet and I am still going strong.

Let’s talk about some of my notable updates from the past week.

Weight Plummets

This week something happened and I broke through some kind of weight loss plateau.

Since June 6 I have been noticing my weight hanging out in the same range in the 208s and 209s and, while it would fluctuate day to day, not really budging from there. Sunday, the day after my 5k and all of the celebration foods and drinks, my weight was up to 211 and Monday at 212. These occasional spikes are common and usually just temporary water weight gains related to sodium and alcohol consumption and thy go away in a day or two.

Tuesday morning I stepped on the scale and dropped from 212 to 207.8. I was pretty pleased because this was a new low weight for me. But the excitement was just beginning. I continued to lose weight on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I ended the week at 203.8 pounds. That is amazing and such a good feeling.

I didn’t talk about Saturday or Sunday because I was at our lake house and don’t have a scale there during lake weekends. For reasons I will talk about in a minute I am completely ok with not weighing myself on lake weekends!

Milestone: 120 Down!

By the way, me dropping to 204 and then into the 203s is significant. It means that I have hit the 120 pounds down mark. That is a big deal in just 53 weeks!

Where Does it End?

The big weight loss this week means that my revised weight goal of getting under 200 pounds is completely within sight. If I don’t get to 199 pounds this week, I should get there the week after depending on July 4th celebrations and such.

It is so exciting to be thinking about the possibility of getting under 200 pounds. I am almost certain that it will be the first time I have weighed that little since 8th grade!

So as I am coming up on this new milestone weight I am continually thinking about a big question: where does it end? When am I going to stop focusing on weight as my measurable fitness goal? I have been telling people “once I get under 200 pounds I am going to switch to maintenance mode” when they ask. But is that really what I want to do?

Some of my best friends have told me “you don’t really need to keep losing do you” and I say that I don’t. But I am not completely satisfied with where I am yet and I still have areas that could stand to lose some fat. But do I want to keep losing weight? I don’t know.

I am also not sure what my healthy low weight is. At 199 pounds I will have lost about 40% of my body weight through this journey. But according to the rules of BMI I am still in the overweight category. I know BMI is slightly flawed and my doctor told me not to worry too much about that, but it is a metric that can be used as an evaluation.

When I use online calculators for ideal weight, the results vary widely. Basically 140 pounds to 190 pounds is the range.

Spoiler alert – I am not going to try to get to 140 pounds! But, I only need to get under 190 to be in my “healthy” weight category based on my BMI. I am just not sure what impact my continued muscle growth will have on me.

I need to quickly figure out my next set of fitness goals and start measuring progress towards them or I am just going to keep trying to lose weight. I guess I have a project for the next 2 weeks!

5K is My New One Mile

On 9/24/2017, I wrote the following sentence in my daily journal

“I just finished a 1.4 mile walk with a slight attempt at running”

That was the day that I tried running for the first time after 3 months of my fitness journey and using walking as my go-to form of exercise. It was only about 50 feet or something and it wasn’t good and it didn’t feel comfortable. But I did it and kept trying to mix in a little bit of running into my walks.

During the winter, there were times when I would hop on the treadmill at the gym and be excited if I could get to a full mile of running. It didn’t happen a lot, but I could get there every now and then. But it was a world of difference from the struggle to get 50 feet of running in.

Earlier this spring I got to a point where a one mile run is pretty comfortable for me but any more was a little too much. So I would run a mile when I could and kept at it trying to go faster or further when I was running. I just wasn’t really tracking progress at all on it though I could go back and look at the data.

In late spring I started being able to get to the 3.11 mile mark (a 5k) every now and then but would end pretty sore. Me being me, I kept at it and kept pushing myself to do more and more and I successfully ran my first organized 5k last weekend.

Yesterday it occurred to me that 5k is my new one mile. Where one mile used to be my comfortable distance to run on a regular basis, now 5k is my semi-comfortable distance and I can pretty much do it whenever I want and have enough time.

I share this story because I just reflected on it while running yesterday. It is a true example of how perseverance leads to success. I could just as easily said “that run sucked, I am never doing that again” when I had that first run on 9/24, but I didn’t do that. Instead I kept trying and I got better and better.

Now I am asking myself a question about my running distance: where does it end?

Signed up for Next 5k

This week I decided that I am ready for my next organized 5k run. So I signed up for a 5k at Indian Lake on 7/6, the day of the Indian Lake Independence Day Celebration. I think it is a fundraiser for a high school cross country team but I am not entirely sure. Me supporting a cause is honestly just a secondary benefit. The primary benefit is that I continue to prove myself to myself that my First Time 5k isn’t really a One Time 5k.

I am going to sign up for as many 5k runs as I can based on whether or not I will be in town that day and if I have other plans. My objective is to keep getting more and more comfortable and to keep increasing my speed.

My next big goal is to be ready to run the Oktoberfest 4-miler on September 7. In fact, I am registering for that today!

Lake Time Choices

So far I have pretty much given you a highlight reel from this week. From everything I have written so far you would think that I had nothing but successes. Unfortunately this isn’t entirely true – though this was a really good week and I am not poo pooing on my own wins.

This was a lake weekend for us and I continue to struggle with making good choices at the lake.

While I generally eat healthy the majority of the time, there are unhealthy meals that sneak in more at the lake than in the city. I had a calorie bomb of a Mexican restaurant night on Friday on the way up to the lake. Fortunately I had anticipated that and tried to prepare for it proactively through the day with lower calorie meals and making sure to run.

Unfortunately I also tend to drink a little more at the lake than in the city. Nothing overly excessive, but just more frequent drinking occasions. We have lunch and listen to a band lake-side at the bar on our island so I have a margarita or a couple of beers. We grill out alongside the water while hanging out and listening to music, so I have a beer. There is nothing inherently bad about this, but the calories in alcohol add of very quickly.

I know that I can’t always be “on” 100% of the time and I know that it is important to enjoy my life every step of the way. In fact “enjoy the journey” is one of my key personal and leadership values. I just can’t help but think that I am not doing as good as I could be doing with this journey.

That said…. I have absolutely kicked ass with my fitness journey! I have kicked ass while mixing in unhealthy food and drinking, that has been part of why I didn’t fail. So, maybe I just need to embrace the bad choices so long as I am making sure to be disciplined about tracking them and that I am always working to keep them in balance.

Plus a delicious bourbon by a fire with some classic country music (or Dave Matthews or showtunes – true story) is a little bit of heaven on earth!

Check back next week for more!

Last week’s stats (6/11-6/17):
Distance walked/run: 42.9 miles
Total calories burnt: 24,874
Total calories consumed: 14,894
Weight change: 1.6 pounds gained!

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