My first week of transition time has been a big one in my Operation Melt journey. I have spent lots of time meeting with contacts and networking as well as concentrating on my goal. I am at a very low stress point right now, which has been a goal though I maybe hadn’t planned it this way. Plus, I don’t have a good routine, so I am kind of just figuring it out day by day.
90 Pound Milestone
As I posted on Wednesday, I successfully reached a new milestone this week. I crossed the 90-pounds lost mark after getting close to it and then suffering from a big upward weight fluctuation – 5 pounds up in 3 days! Suddenly, I had a big drop and hit 91 pounds.
The 90 pound milestone is big for a couple of reasons.
- Success! First, it is a lot of weight and has happened in less than 8 months and it is a proud accomplishment for sure! I set a goal, I worked my ass off to get there and I have been very successful. There haven’t been many areas of my life where I can say this same level of deliberate, committed success has happened.
- Competition. I know several people in my professional life who have lost 80 pounds and talk about it occasionally at work. This is impressive and deserves nothing but respect for their accomplishments. But, I am a high competition person and it is a big motivator that I am now at the 90 pounds plus mark. I know it is strange, but it is just how my brain works.
- Visible. I am really starting to see visible results of my weight loss on my body. Not just that I am smaller, everybody can see that. But, I am seeing more specific results in the tone and hardness of muscle groups. For example, my thighs are super muscular particularly when walking down stairs. My ass is pretty solid when walking upstairs. I have growing biceps. Plus, my problem areas for fat are starting to get really small.
- Next. Finally, the 90 pound milestone is big because it is the last interim milestone in my journey. Along the way, I have been setting interim goals of 10 or 20 pound increments to focus on, but that stops now. My next goal is my 100 pound goal and I am less than 10 pounds away from that! My current projection is to hit that goal by St Patty’s day.
Impact of Sodium
As my weight decreases, my susceptibility to fluctuations has apparently increased. I have noticed that I am more sensitive to certain things and that the cause my weight to change quickly.
In previous posts, I have talked about how alcohol has a fairly quick impact on my weight and that caused my to reduce my beer intake and replace with bourbon because I drink less and drink it slower. The alcohol effect seems to have leveled out pretty well, but now I have a new culprit.
Something you may not know about sodium is that it is EVERYWHERE! The average American consumes about 3400 milligrams of sodium each day. The FDA recommends that you consume no more than 2400 milligrams per day. The American Heart Association takes it a step further and recommends under 1500 milligrams.
Staying within the 1500mg guideline is really hard to do because of how prevalent sodium is in everything we tend to consume in the US. Pretty much any packaged foods are going to deliver a sodium bomb. The way we prepare our foods infuses more sodium into them. Plus, sodium is a naturally occurring mineral in many of our foods.
The biggest solve to the sodium intake issue we all face daily is fresh, uncooked vegetables. Salads can be particularly good ways to mitigate sodium depending on what you add besides vegetables. The meats, the toppings, the dressings all come with a gift with purchase of sodium.
What I have found to be particularly troubling about sodium over the past few weeks is its impact on my daily weight. Sodium causes your cells to retain water and this leads to increased weight from that water. So, the day after I celebrated a 91-pound weight loss milestone, I was up a pound, then another 2 pounds. This is all related to my sodium intake which was very high over those few days.
On Saturday, I actively tried to manage my sodium intake and got down to 2200mg, which is still high. But, it was a Saturday and I wanted pizza with a beer while watching basketball! I also drank lots of water (50 ounces above my daily goal) to help offset. By doing this, I was down a pound this morning. I should be down tomorrow too.
When you look at my weight loss chart, you will see lots of ups and downs during my journey. Beer, sodium, fiber and a variety of other factors will influence your weight every day. This is one of the things you have to expect and make peace with if you are going to track your weight daily. It is not uncommon to go up in weight as much as 5 pounds in one day. But, you have to remember that this is NOT a real weight gain – that would be biologically impossible. It is just your body doing what your body needs to do!
With having a little extra flexibility in my schedule, my gym time has been pretty solid over the past week. I am having long workouts and bested several of my personal records this week.
On Thursday, I set my new personal record for running. I ran at a 6 mph pace (10-minute mile) for 2 minutes and continued at a 5.5 mph pace (10:54 mile) for another 18 minutes. This equates to almost 2 full miles ran without slowing down to walk and that almost doubles my prior record. That wasn’t the end of that session either, I continued for a full 30 minutes including more running.
I have increased the weight for many of my weight training exercises too. My ab crunches are up to 80 pounds, my seated rows vary between 70 and 90 pounds and my arm curls are at 60. Each of these weight levels are higher than when I started in the gym in October and higher than they were last month.
My goal each week is to get a workout in at least 5 days, but I prefer 6 or 7. Even when I don’t have a set workout, I still try to achieve my exercise goals for that day (steps, stairs, calorie burn, etc.) through normal activities.
Operation Melt – The Book
As I start closing in on my goal, I have started considering what comes next. Based on the feedback I have received from people along the way about my journey and the blog, I am thinking about another vehicle to help tell my story. I have started looking into the idea of writing a book. So far, I have an outline and at least 1 chapter written.
I want to help other people with their weight loss and fitness journeys. If everybody can have the results that I have had, or even half of that, I think people will feel more successful. When people feel successful, they have the motivation to continue and achieve their goals. If this happens with more people, the obesity epidemic can be helped and people will enjoy their lives more.
Really, I believe this is my goal in life: to help myself and others live happier, more successful and more fulfilling lives.
Check back next week for more!
Last week’s stats (1/29 – 2/4):
Distance walked/run: 35.4 miles
Total calories burnt: 27,102
Total calories consumed: 11,659
Weight change: 3.3 pounds GAINED! (all in last 2 days!)