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graindart - Monday Feb 12, 2018
(moderate food, decent water intake)
Weight: 174.1

Successful past few days.  Went on a mini-vacation over the weekend.  Some minor shopping for the wife.  Indoor large recreation resort for the kids that included:  waterpark, rock climbing, bowling, laser tag, rope course, etc.  I got a decent amount of exercise in and still stayed below my calorie allowance.

Now I'm having to be extra good before my life insurance exam this Friday morning.  I've cut my caffeine intake drastically over the past couple weeks.  I believe the only thing I've had with caffeine was 2 energy drinks over the past couple days to help stay awake on the trip.  I've also drastically cut my sodium intake over the past week or so.  Yesterday went overboard due to eating 2 hotdogs, but other than that I've been eating stuff with a lot less sodium.  Starting today I'm only planning on drinking water until after my Friday exam.  I also need to be very good on number of calories as I'm very close to the BMI cutoff between Normal and Overweight.  One pound of weight too much and I could be paying extra premiums amounts for the next decade.

Off to get some work done, drink water, and avoid food.

Progress as of today: 108.9 lbs lost so far, only 15.1 lbs to go!

horn_of_plenty on 02/12/2018:
with your low weight of 174 i am amazed it's just borderline between normal and overweight!?

good luck on your exam, you are making great choices.

the park sounds really fun!

graindart on 02/12/2018:
I don't know where they come up with these BMI chart ranges. I'm lighter than 90% of my friends now (most of the thinner ones I've talked with weigh in the 180's). I'm 5'10" and if I weigh 175lbs on Friday that is 25.1 BMI. If I weigh 174lbs that is 25.0 BMI. Per BMI classifications, 25.1 is overweight and 25.0 is normal. The difference of one pound can affect premiums for a decade. I'm currently sitting around 174, but that's not fully dressed. I weighed a light pair of shorts and a T-shirt and they weigh just under one pound combined. So this morning I weighed 175.1 with shorts/shirt. I'll have it down a pound or two by Friday and just hope their scale agrees with mine. I'm starting higher intakes of water today through Friday and was planning on "fasting" food on Thursday anyways.


horn_of_plenty on 02/12/2018:
also of course bmi is affected on muscle...

also, that's how i know i'm not underweight, my BMI is completely normal and it's scary how many people these days are so high up on those BMI charts...like everyone is fat so it's hard to tell anymore what is a "healthy" look and what is not..

keep up the great work, Grains!

graindart on 02/12/2018:
I undertand that BMI is just a metric used to try to gauge the ratio of height vs weight to try to determine a person's health. Unfortunately the larger your genetic build (bone size / thickness / etc) and the more muscle you have, the less "fair" it appears to me.

For my height (5'10") based on BMI alone, you can have opposing extremes that prove the idea of a BMI number wrong. One 5'10" person could have 9% bodyfat, workout daily, able to lift a bus, and weigh 175 lbs. Another 5'10" person could have 25% bodyfat, lay on the couch all day, barely able to walk from the living room to the kitchen without getting winded, and weight 174. Per BMI rules, the athlete is considered overweight and the couch potato is considered normal.

Not that it matters in the end for me. I just have to meet a certain set of numbers to fit into the right categories for the life insurance stuff. After this, I probably won't even pay attention to the letters BMI again for another decade.


horn_of_plenty on 02/12/2018:
ohhhh...it's for the life insurance test...gotcha!!!!!!!!!!! NOW I SEE WHY YOU ARE PLANNING FOR IT!


bearcountrygg on 02/13/2018:
Hoping you can meet the lower number so you can pay less............


happy-1 on 02/13/2018:
That resort sounds AMAZING. We had one like that open down here called wolf lodge I kind of want to check out, but I don't have kids.



graindart - Thursday Feb 08, 2018
(moderate food, decent water intake)
Weight: 176.4

Another successful day yesterday - remained below calorie allotment, did my few pushups in the morning, 30 minute walk around the mall, and 5 sets of assisted pullups at the end of the day.

Greeted this morning by a new low number on the scale.  While I'm extremely happy to see a new low, I'm instantly hit by 2 opposing reactions.  One is to buckle-down and try to be even more strict on intake / exercise.  The other opposing reaction is that I should celebrate the loss.  And what do you celebrate with?  Food......  Rationally I understand that celebrating a weightloss by eating more food is the incorrect repsonse, but the thought did still pop into my head.  

Uncertainty of results is something that trips up my progress from time to time.  Working hard and not seeing the results I'd like in the time frame I'd like is discouraging.  I would have no problem being perfect (diet/exercise) if someone could tell me that by a certain date I'd hit a certain goal.  I hate not knowing how long the process is going to take. 

It's now been 10 months since I started this latest diet and only 1 month since I started any type of exercise.  When I started last April, I really thought I'd be at goal by the end of the year.  While I'm very happy with the progress made over the past 10 months, I'm definitely not at my end goal yet.  Our Alaskan cruise starts in 120 days / 4 months.  I'm really hoping to move from weightloss to maintaining by then.

Happy dance!  After typing in the above, I looked at the pullup bar and decided to give it a try with no assistance.  Took off my long-sleeve shirt and slippers to 'shed the extra weight'.  Gripped the bar from a dead hang.  No swinging / no cheating / no extra body motion.  Pulled.  Got part way up to a bit of a stall, where I normally give up.  Decided to keep pulling this time to make sure I was giving it my all and that it wasn't a partially mental roadblock.  Pulled straight up to chin above the bar.  Completely clean pullup.  As far as I know, that is the first one in my entire life.  (Don't think I could've done a 2nd one back-to-back if my life depended on it.)

Progress as of today: 106.6 lbs lost so far, only 17.4 lbs to go!

bearcountrygg on 02/08/2018:
Congrats on the new low!


horn_of_plenty on 02/08/2018:
i hope your headphones are loud enough to cancel out the noise from the treadmill...my dad has those big noise cancellation ones which seem to work really well for him - the type that cover the entire ear...


Donkey on 02/08/2018:
Way to go on the pull-up!!!



graindart - Wednesday Feb 07, 2018
(moderate food, decent water intake)
Weight: 178.7

It was a bit of a rollercoaster past 7 days.  Mostly successful with a couple hiccups.  Very long post follows, mostly for my own records.

Five of the days were on track and below calorie allotment.  Two of the days were out of control, but only for a window of time each day.

Last Friday we had to drive 4 hours each way for a basketball game (daughter).  A lot of people were staying the night, but I didn't want to due to not having a game there on Saturday morning.  So we hit the road after right after the game to head home.  Around 10:30pm I was feeling drowsy.  That's when I started to eat in order to stay awake.  I ate pretty much everything that we had in the car during that last couple hours.  When we got back to town I stopped at a gas station to pickup some cookies and zingers that I'd been craving.  Went to bed feeling bloated and nasty.  The one saving grace was that the rest of the day prior I was very good and low on the calories consumed.

Woke up to a gain on the scale, but was back on track for a successful Saturday.

Sunday was Super Bowl or as we like to call it "Supper Bowl".  We host a party for it each year and I considered whether to stay on diet or not.  I decided to have very little calorie intake for the day leading up to the party and then allow myself to eat whatever.  I ate out of control.  So much food, so much candy.  By halftime the stuff wasn't even tasting good anymore.  But did I stop?  No.  Went to bed feeling bloated and nasty again.

Woke up to a 5lb increase on the scale Monday morning, but right back on track with the diet plans.  In fact, I decided to increase my daily vegetable intake and decrease my sodium intake for the next couple weeks.  (I have a life insurance physical in a couple weeks.) 

I also decided to add daily walking to the mix.  My goal with adding exercise this year has been to try to add exercise into my life which adds little or no extra time to my day.  My morning pushups take literally 2 minutes.  My evening assisted pullups take literally 5 minutes (15 minutes with rest periods inbetween sets, but I do quick errands during the rest periods).  I've tried walking around the neighborhood before, but it bores me to death.  Looked at my daily schedule and realized that my wife and I have kind of settled into watching one TV show together nightly right after the girls go to bed.  I decided that it would be easy to walk on a treadmill for 30 minutes nightly while watching the show.  So after much internet research, I ordered a treadmill.  It's a Nordictrack X9i which is called an incline trainer.  It allows positive incline up to 40% and decline down to negative 6%.  I currently have no desire to run anywhere in the foreseeable future, but don't mind hiking around the woods / mountains with the family on occasion.  I figured ordering the incline trainer would allow me to simulate hikes with the up / down incline programs builtin and also available with the ifit app that integrates.  I previously had a treadmill about 10 years ago, but only used it a few times before it became a clothes rack (later sold).  I think the reason the last one was such a failure was due to me just hopping on it and walking while staring at the wall.  In theory using this one should be easier because I'm just adding it into something that's already a habit.

Of course I didn't think about shipping time for a new unit.  In this day of free 2-day delivery (Amazon), it didn't really occur to me that shipping could be 2-3 weeks.  So now I've ordered and paid for the treadmill, but will have to wait a few weeks before getting it.  I had to make the decision of what to do until the treadmill arrives.  Decided to start walking daily at the mall for 30 minutes until the treadmill gets here.  No my favorite thing, but it's getting me moving.  With all of the snow outside, my options were go to the mall or join a gym for 1 month.  With large upfront joining fees at the gyms, walking around the mall was the decision.  Monday and Tuesday I went and walked the mall while listening to stuff on my phone / earbuds.  Felt a little bit weird walking around the mall without having any intention to buy anything, but saw several other people that appeared to be doing the same thing.  Look forward to getting the treadmill so I get my 30 minutes per day back.

Since my life insurance physical is coming up soon, I decided to try to be extra good.  More veggies, much lower sodium intake, cut out the caffeine, dropped the diet pop intake from 8-10 cans per day to only 1 or 2, drinking more regular water.  Due to lower sodium intake, I've cut down on the 100 calorie popcorn packets that I've developed a daily 2 or 3 bag habit.  I skipped them on Monday.  Had one bag last night because I was craving it.  Will try to keep popcorn intake to a minimum until after my physical.

Trying to lower sodium intake has been difficult.  Nothing tastes as good as salt on food.  I've been cooking vegetables without oil for awhile and usually hit them with a decent amount of seasoned salt and maybe some melted cheese.  The seasoned salt obviously has high sodium and the cheese has high amounts of sodium.  I bought a couple different types of seasoning mixes that were sodium free and they are a poor substitute when you're used to salt based seasonings.  Not a huge fan of eating the vegetables with no seasonings / toppings, but I can make due until after the physical.

Progress as of today: 104.3 lbs lost so far, only 19.7 lbs to go!

horn_of_plenty on 02/07/2018:
with treadmill, you may need to order hardcore headphones with noise cancellation so that you can actually listen to the show while exercising...my dad does this & exercises an entire routine including running treadmill and weights also while watching movies using good headphones...he uses bose i believe.

you aren't the only one to walk the mall - there are groups that i've heard do it on Saturday mornings...usually senior citizens...but hey they're smart...

you can buy spices like cumin / pepper, etc. not mixes and just use a mix of the spices you buy for the veggies...a little oil added in helps...

you inspire me to further change and make my fitness a bigger priority bc at 35, it CAN be done...i am going to work HARDER once again...to fit it in 3x a week, even if it's not as "comfortable"...bc i'd rather go home and sleep early...

like you, i am looking towards keeping a life change...i realize that includes not waiting till I "feel comfortable" to start something - reading my book - it's about making changes even before you think you are ready to...but small changes...anyways, i still feel good about overcoming my fitness challenge - i've already improved a little at situps..and i've only been doing them a couple weeks.

i guess its if we practice, we'll improve.

graindart on 02/07/2018:
Hadn't thought about added noise from walking on the treadmill. Will figure it out after the treadmill gets here.

Logging stuff has definitely helped me be more successful this past year for weightloss and past month for incorporating exercise. Without seeing some type of progress, it's hard for me to stay motivated. Just saw a new low on the scale today. It was only down a few tenths of a lb, but it's measured progress and that motivates me. Just completed 5 sets of 10 assisted pullups last night, so now it's time to drop to a lower assistance band and work back up to 5 sets of 10 again over the next month or so.

graindart on 02/08/2018:
Was trying to figure out a way to connect headphones to TV for watching while using the treadmill once it gets here. Most of the stuff that we watch is on our Roku (Netflix, Amazon, Youtube, etc). Turns out you can listen to the audio stream of whatever you're watching through the Roku app on your phone. So I can just use my bluetooth headphones I already have paired with my phone to listen now while walking.


horn_of_plenty on 02/07/2018:
me too - i have always enjoyed my measured progress - and in general the ability to measure where i am at during every workout.

my goals are similar to yours: pushup goals sit up goals and later in spring, jogging & running test practice.

lately i'm not doing even sets...right now i just practice them and start with a set where i go till exhaustion so i can at least measure my overall progress bc it's very important to me to meet the requirements of the court officer exam and once i meet those....then i'll just work on maintenance and work on sets like you do - a more consistent workout like you are doing....but for now i start my sets with 1 set of exhaustion (till i cannot do anymore) and then i just do 3-4 sets afterwards to build strength, usually much lower reps in the sets after the initial one.

...anyways, otherwise, if not for this upcoming test, i'd be doing the exercises more like you do. anyways...keep up the good work - that's why i never got sick of my weights routine that i basically did for YEARS without changing....i loved to see when i'd progress to a higher set of weights, so it never got old bc there was always a measurable progress (and sometimes measurable setback)...

...and whenever i missed my regular workouts, i'd notice and want to get back to my regular schedule so once again i'd be able to lift those weights with the same ability again...

with changing my whole exercise routine to meet the demands of the test using different exercises and not what i'm used to, i'm at a beginner stage. Sometimes i wonder if i'll be able to progress again like i did with my own weights, and i think to myself: Yes, you can - because i have the time and i have the desire to be accountable and consistent with my practice.

enough about me - as long as WE commit to constant, consistent practice - we can only improve.


horn_of_plenty on 02/07/2018:
and we must beware of overdoing - that is also not good.


innerpeace on 02/07/2018:
good luck with your treadmill. I detest them. Even at the gym, watching TV it blows. I would rather walk around my neighborhood, however, due to the snow, it is quite difficult these winter months.

I love salt too on most everything. I've been trying to cut down.

graindart on 02/07/2018:
I've detested them in the past also. My thought on getting it this time is that it'll fit into a habit I've already got and the results will be measurable. I'm planning on keeping track of some metric daily and trying to improve on it over time. Maybe distance walked in 30 minutes, speed for 30 minutes, incline, or maybe whatever magic computed "calories burned" number it spits out. Probably just keep track of "calories burned", since that should incorporate the effects of distance / speed / incline all in one number.

Before ordering and paying for it, I did weigh the possibility that I might just be throwing a chunk of money away again.



graindart - Thursday Feb 01, 2018
(moderate food, decent water intake)
Weight: 182.3

January was completely successful as far as staying below my calorie allotment every day.

However, the weight number on the scale doesn't reflect a successful month.  There were several days that I dropped to 179 during the month, but the past few days haven't been so kind.  Four days ago I saw 179.3, then 180.2, 181.5, 182.1, and finally 182.6 this morning.  Nothing with my diet has changed during those days.  Water intake has been very similar and I weigh at the same time each morning.  It's frustrating.  I've even considered if it's possible that I'm sleepwalking to the fridge at night and eating stuff while asleep (partially joking).

The weight on the scale is about the same as it was near the beginning of December, but the bodyfat % is averaging 1% lower.  I suppose in theory that means that I've lost approximately 2 lbs of fat and replaced it with 2 lbs of muscle.  While that's progress, it's frustrating slow progress for 7 weeks of perfect calorie intake and 1 week of off-plan (Christmas to New Years).

My current calorie allowance per day is 1250, which I'm not having a problem staying under.  I've changed my food habits to include more vegetables, since I get larger amounts for the same calories as other foods in general.  The calories allowed are fine for this time of the year.  I'm not hungry and I have plenty of energy for my daily tasks.  1250 is the number calculated in an app with the goal of losing 2 lbs per week.  Based on another calculator, my Basal Metabolic Rate = 1786 calories burned daily even if I spent all day in bed asleep.  Since I don't sleep all day, the calculated number of daily calories to maintain my weight is supposedly 2143.  My daily intake is 900 calories less than that every day, for a total weekly amount of 6300 calorie deficit.  That's very close to the 7500 calories needed to lose 2 lbs.  The math is there.  I'm constantly staying under my allotted calories.  But the scale isn't cooperating.

Frustrated with results from January, but it's a new month now.

Progress as of today: 100.7 lbs lost so far, only 23.3 lbs to go!

horn_of_plenty on 02/01/2018:
your calorie intake might be too low, you know...and your body isn't allowing you to drop pounds.

I weigh around 112lbs and eat over 2000 cal per day avg and haven't gained weight...

losing weight doesn't always mean having to eat the least amount of calories...it's not like you are an 80yr old woman who sits in a wheelchair unable to move....that is a 1200 cal per day person....ya know?

and keep going on your veggies...eat them in unlimited portions. except potatoes...stick to 1 or a serving size portion of fries, etc., that equals what looks like one potato.


horn_of_plenty on 02/01/2018:
or, instead of 1200 cal everyday, make two days in the week higher cal days...like 1800. try that. if no good, stop.

graindart on 02/01/2018:
I've messed around with different things like that. The 1250 calories has just been the past couple weeks or so, because I decided to change things in an attempt to drop a few lbs or get the bodyfat % to drop.

I understand that things will work themselves out over the long run, but just disappointed at not seeing the results I'd "like" when I'm being so good lately. :)


innerpeace on 02/01/2018:
I understand the struggle. Especially when I know I'm doing everything right and that stupid scale refuses to budge. That is when I just want to throw in the towel and not worry about it anymore. I hope you find a solution to your problem. Good luck and stick with it, you have a goal to achieve and a vision!


Donkey on 02/01/2018:
The struggle is real.

Someone on Facebook once asked, "why would anyone have 2 scales?" and my response was, "In case the first one lies." Sounds a little psycho, but sometimes it feels like the scale has a mind of its own.


bearcountrygg on 02/02/2018:
I firmly believe in shaking things up every once in awhile......more calories...or less....your body may think you are trying to starve it...and is lowering your metabolism.



graindart - Monday Jan 29, 2018
(moderate food, decent water intake)
Weight: 180.3

28 days completed successfully.

Have been wearing the fitness band the past few days.  It hasn't caused me to do anything extra yet, but I have been made more aware of the very large amount of time that I spend sitting in places throughout the day.  I suppose the next step is to actually do something about it, but we'll see.

The scale has been a bit frustrating lately.   Plateau.  Been sitting right around 180 for awhile.  Saw low 179 yesterday morning, but back to just over 180 this morning.  There is a chance that my bodyfat % is dropping, which would mean gained muscle weight is offsetting burned fat weight.  Unfortunately can't tell from daily readings on bodyfat scale due to inherent inaccuracies of the device.  Will know better in a month, but hate waiting to see progress.  If no real progress in a month, I'll have to make a change somewhere.

Last night we had our oldest daughter's birthday party at the roller rink.  Her and her friends had a good time.  I hadn't seen one of the parents for quite awhile (overweight like I've been most of my life).  We were making small talk and he asked what I had done to become a "stick figure".  My mind was a little fuzzy for a couple seconds until I remembered that I've probably lost 70+ lbs since I last ran into him.  He also asked me if I felt different being so much lighter.  I really wanted to lie to him and tell him how losing 100+ lbs had completely transformed my life into something golden, but I didn't.  In reality, I still have back pain, I still feel lethargic at times, I still want to be lazy, I still want to eat an entire pizza daily, I still can't do an unassisted pullup, etc.  I did explain that my perception of how I feel compared with 10 months ago might be skewed due to the long time period and gradual changes.  I'm sure I'd notice a major difference if I strapped 100 lbs on myself right now and spent the day walking around with it on.  But so far it hasn't been the complete transformation I was expecting.

On to day 29......

Progress as of today: 102.7 lbs lost so far, only 21.3 lbs to go!

horn_of_plenty on 01/29/2018:
Hi Grains, Similar to GAINS! Like muscle gains !!! Going forward, my nickname for you is GAINS! That is, unless you do NOT like that name, then please tell me!

I like how you are observing where you are at right now, not making changes until you see your baseline per the fitness band. My recommendation is to do EXACTLY the opposite of what I did last week: just make one change at a time, and not every day. More like 1-2 days a week change! Last week I made a change almost everyday of the week walking extra and what happened was I did myself in by Friday with minor leg pain. So what I’m saying is, as usual, I did too much at once. So this week, I’m dialing it back down with no interest to do anything extra until later in the week: Thursday / Friday.

The good thing about a plateau is that it’s moderation. It’s a good time to see that what you have been doing is good – the changes good. If you really wanna break thru a plateau I honestly feel, deep down in my heart, that a MINOR change needs to be made somewhere. A change. Something, something small, that is more than what you are doing now. The change can be with food or movement. Not a big change, a small one. And you keep that change in and see if it helps break the plateau. If not, the change needs to be made a hair bigger; and so on. When dieters say they’ve reached a plateau (and I’m not speaking about you in this instance at all), I tend to think that everything they’ve done is good but now they have to make a slight change and then things will get moving again. So now I read your sentence that if no progress, you’ll make a change somewhere, we definitely think alike!

Last week with all my extra exercise, I stepped on the scale Saturday morning at the lowest weight I’ve seen literally in YEARS. It went back up slightly on Sunday by 2 lbs, but I really couldn’t believe what I was seeing! And my change was TOO MUCH…so a small change is enough is what I’m saying. Because, at least for me, there are consequences to overdoing..

Be sure to remember to think positive and to realize that only you can change your mental approach. WEightloss is outward appearance and based on our efforts, but along with weightloss we sometimes have to approach the “demons” in our minds. Like you, I struggle with some things even being thin. For example, I lost weight and I’m successful and always looking still to increase my fitness, but I still struggle with my line of work / job security / ability to know I can hold a job on my own without help. So even when you improve one aspect of your life, it is not a “cure-all” for the rest of your thoughts and challenges in the rest of your life. But, you can improve your thoughts too, so keep on. Never go back, because that is not helping ANYTHING.

Because I lost weight so slowly this time around, especially last 10, even when I weighed 108 on the scale, I didn’t notice the difference compared to when I weighed 115. But it’s definitely a huge loss…and I’m not even trying to lose…(I’m short don’t compare your weight to mine lol). I still have to work on other areas of my life, despite loving the weight I’m at.


bearcountrygg on 01/29/2018:
Spent many Saturdays at the roller rink.....


Donkey on 01/29/2018:
Right? Like once we lost the weight, life would become fabulous, and we would be fabulous, living a fabulous life... Unfortunately, at least in my case, same old issues are still there, but I feel that the longer I can maintain this weight loss, the more time I have to work on those inner issues (e.g. body image, self-esteem, relationship to food, food & emotions, etc.).

Just don't be like me and lose the same weight like 3 or 4 times before you figure it out.


happy-1 on 01/30/2018:
Funny article for you on fitness trackers...

https://www.google.com/amp/s/thinkprogress.org/fitness-tracker-data-military-secrets-9e71a355d418/amp/



graindart - Thursday Jan 25, 2018
(moderate food, decent water intake)
Weight: 180.3

Day 25 winding down and successfully below allowed calories.

Changing my diet last April has been the main reason for the successful weightloss this time.  I've toyed with the idea of exercise, but didn't really decide on anything until the beginning of this month.  Pushups in the morning, pullups at night.  Hopefully will help build some muscle, although it's not a large amount of effort being expended at present.  What it has done for me is that it's started getting me in a new habit / routine.  This new routine has also made me start to think about possibly branching out into other types of exercise. 

I have no real desire to go for a walk.  However I do like goals, gadgets, and seeing progress.  So I was looking at fitness trackers.  In the past I've owned a couple of smartwatches, which were mostly just wastes of money because they served little real purpose for my day-to-day life.  That couple with needing to be charged every night or two, led to me no wearing either of them all that often.  In my research into fitness trackers I came across a fairly simple one that was just release - Garmin Vivofit 4.  It doesn't have all of the bells & whistles, but is smaller, waterproof, and has a battery that's supposed to last a year without needing to be recharged.  Usually I like my toys to have all of the bells & whistles, but I decided to order one to give it a go.  Since it's waterproof and doesn't need nightly charging, I should be able to wear it pretty much all of the time.  Per the website info, it auto-sets step goals and will give a notice if you've been sitting around too long (requiring a couple minutes of activity).  In theory this is what I think will be beneficial for me at the present.  I'll have a goal, be able to track progress, and will be more conscious of my laziness.  Of course it may just be another $80 down the drain.  But if it encourages me to be any more active than I am presently, it'll be money well spent.  Paid the extra $4 shipping to get it here by tomorrow due to my excitement.

On to day 26.....

Progress as of today: 102.7 lbs lost so far, only 21.3 lbs to go!

horn_of_plenty on 01/26/2018:
Yes, in order to be successful at ANYTHING, you must PRACTICE. you have it right and you DEFINITELY can only improve by practicing. just do what you can, maybe do extra sets if you only have a couple or few reps at the moment. everything improves if you make an effort to practice. you have it down perfectly, your plan that is.

i am trying to be productive by walking a lot on my commutes. however, today, friday, i was shot and decided to take it easy and didn't add in extra anything. but if i walk in AM to bus and PM home from bus AND at lunch, it'll add up easily to approx 2 miles without even trying...might as well.

keep your goals small and doable and add only as you make the current goals a habit....pretty awesome and it's what i'm trying to do.


horn_of_plenty on 01/26/2018:
i've beeen reading an excellent book on habits, to which i have stopped reading in order to study some other unrelated thing...but the book is called The Slight Edge..also i read articles by a man around 40yrs old that publishes articles online about success..

and they both say the same thing...

if you want to have success in something - START before you feel ready and START to establish the habit NOW...and you'll progress (but hard to establish a pre-set date...might as well go as you get better like you are doing...not preset dates you absolutely need to reach a goal by...meaning that the PROCESS as you are doing is more important than a goal.)


bearcountrygg on 01/26/2018:
Sounds interesting.


Donkey on 01/27/2018:
So of course I had to check out the Vivofit 4! Very cool! But I don't know if I could give up my Fitbit... In fact, I've been thinking of upgrading from my Charger HR model to a Blaze, but the Charger HR I have now was a birthday gift from hubby and the kids, so it's not JUST a Fitbit to me... if that makes sense.

Anyway, since you're not really into cardio workouts per se, having a tracker is a cool way to monitor your activity levels. I hope you will write about it more...



graindart - Wednesday Jan 24, 2018
(moderate food, decent water intake)
Weight: 181.0

23 days in a row successfully below calorie allottment.

WEIGHING YOURSELF DAILY WHILE TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT

One of the pitfalls that everyone's aware of is the rollercoaster of emotions that can occur depending on what number decides to show up on the scale in any given day. 

Seeing a lower number gives you a natural high.  Your demeanor and outlook on life change for the better.  You feel rejuvenated and re-energized.  Small issues throughout the day with friends / family / coworkers - you tend to let them slide off your back because 'life is good'.

Seeing the same number day after day is somewhat disappointing, but you console yourself with the fact that it could've been worse.  And you convince yourself that maybe you gained muscle & lost fat and they offset each other, but you're still making progress.

The thing everyone hates to see is the number going up, especially for no reason.  If you screwed up and fell off the wagon, you expect the number to rise.  However if you've been diligently 'on plan' without any screwups, the last thing you expect to see is a higher number.  It can ruin your entire day if you let it.  You start questioning why you're even working at it if the results aren't going to be there.  Why eat right if you're going to gain weight anyway?

That brings me to my morning weigh-in today..... it was up 2 lbs.  How?  Why?  From what?  Is that even physically possible based on the smaller amount of calories I'm currently ingesting?  I had a nice couple pound loss about a week ago, followed by the same number on the scale everyday for the past 5 days.  I have been 'on plan' with no screwups.  I was anticipating dropping from 179 to 178 any day now.  So I step on the scale this morning and see it's up 2 lbs for no conceivable reason.  Expecting to be rewarded with 178, the scale slaps me in the face with 181.  Logically, I know that the scale will be down again over the next day or two, but it's still a major irritation today. 

Progress as of today: 102 lbs lost so far, only 22 lbs to go!

bearcountrygg on 01/24/2018:
It happens to everyone...that's why I let several days go by before weighing.

graindart on 01/24/2018:
For keeping my sanity, it would be better to weigh myself once per week. Weighing myself daily has become a habit over the past year that helps keep me focused every morning. Even though I complain about it being irritating at times, it does help keep me focused.


innerpeace on 01/24/2018:
Well they always tell me...it's water weight! Is it closer to your time of the month? Seriously, I get sick of hearing excuses when I know exactly what you are talking about. It is difficult to weight yourself daily. Good luck, I hope your weight balances back out soon!

graindart on 01/24/2018:
I'm guessing it's not my time of the month, but I'll ask the wife if I seem more irritable lately.....

I know all of the supposed reasons for weight gain and I know it could quite possibly be back down again tomorrow, but still it irritates me.


Donkey on 01/24/2018:
Oh yes, oh YES, this is SO me. This is EXACTLY why I weigh in only once a week.

Could it be that you had carbs the night before? Having a potato or pasta can do it. Something salty? That can do it.

The thing that would just KILL me is that I would "behave" and I'd gain 2 pounds. I'd slip up and have ice cream the night before weigh-in, and LOSE weight. I thought I'd go crazy.

I would encourage you to keep doing what you're doing. It may be -- and don't laugh -- that your body is actually getting ready to drop into the 170s on a more permanent basis, and is just retaining temporarily (as an outdated evolutionary/biological process).

KEEP TRYING!


horn_of_plenty on 01/25/2018:
This is particularly why i mostly weigh on days when i'm already feeling lighter or like i've been staying on track...i don't liketo really know if i'm feeling heavier bc i can already tell by how my clothes fit...

your number can be due to bloating, having more salt...or just eating more food volume that has lots of water in it (lots of veggies) or maybe you drank less water so your body is trying to conserve it and keeping it in...so many factors.

i ALWAYS got VERY disappointed also when i weighed in and it went up....caused me to binge...

you must keep on, knowing that the end results will continue only if you continue....



graindart - Monday Jan 22, 2018
(moderate food, decent water intake)
Weight: 179.3

Yesterday was a successfual 21st day in a row without going over my calorie allowance. 

Warning, extremely long post follows.  It's more for myself to recap the past year and work through / setup new goals for 2018.

This morning (1/22) saw the 4th weigh-in at 179, so I guess I'm officially in the 170's.  I started this diet round in April 2017 at my highest weight ever, 283 lbs.  I thought about taking photos at the time so that I could look back and see what my starting weight looked like.  Unfortunately I didn't really want photos of myself at that weight at the time.  I also wasn't fully convinced that this time would be any different than the numerous other times I've tried losing weight.  So why go through with taking photos if I figured there was a decent chance of failing once again.  last April I sat down and tried to formulate a goal weight that I thought would be my final goal.  I decided 179 was my ultimate goal weight.  In my mind, 179 wasn't truely attainable and sustainable.  My thought at that time was that I'd try to get the scale to show 179 once and then allow myself to go back up to the low 190's.  I truely thought that the low 190's was where I'd be most comfortable and wasn't even convinced that I could get there.  Just getting to 199 was a huge desire that I thought might not be attainable.  Fast forward 9 months and I'm to the weight goal I didn't really think was attainable.  Initially 179 didn't seem realistic for my body frame to sustain itself at.  Now, 179 seems too heavy for my current body / muscle build at this time.  This re-evaluation actually took place a month or two ago as I was approaching the mid 180's and realized that I still had a good amount of fat to lose. 

I am very goal oriented and love using a math focused approach to things.  I believe that's why using a daily calorie counter app on my phone has helped so much this time.  The "rules" were simple:  1. log everything  2. eat whatever I wanted as long as I stopped for the day when I ran out of calories allotted for the day.  When I re-evaluated my initial end goal weight a couple months ago, I turned to math and internet photos.  I searched for photos of males at different reported bodyfat percentages and came up with a look that I thought would be awesome and also attainable.  Thankfully the wife didn't walk by the computer as I was doing this research, otherwise she may have wondered why my computer monitor was full of photos of "dudes" torsos :)    Here's an example of a website with photos at different percentages:  https://www.ruled.me/visually-estimate-body-fat-percentage/

When I started last April, I was at 45% body fat as measured on my weight scale.  (I know these electronic scales aren't considered the most accurate, but it's what I've got.)  As of today, I'm at 20% body fat.  Given a magic button, I'd chose the lowest bodyfat percentage noted, which was around 5%.  Realistically I'm just not willing to commit the time & effort into achieving that.  I've gotten to this stage by just doing simple things that don't take a big time commitment.  I have absolutely no desire to go work an extra hour or two daily so that I can "look" a certain way.  With that said, I'm currently willing to make small changes to my life that will impact it for the better over longer periods of time.  That's why I started a small short daily pushup / pullup routine.  It's only a 15 minute per day cost, which I'm willing to commit to.  It won't show immediate results, but I know if I just keep doing it that I'll see results in the long run (6+ months). 

My final body fat % goal is to see 9.9% bodyfat registered on my scale.  In my mind, I don't think that 9.9% is sustainable with the amount of work committment that I'm willing to expend at present.  I am very goal oriented, so I think that seeing that body fat percentage one time is achievable (just dropping below 10% to single digit body fat would be a major goal achievement).  I think that staying in the 10%-15% bodyfat range is attainable and sustainable for me at my current committment level.  Using my handy-dandy math skills, to get from my current 20% body fat to 9.9% body fat, I need to lose 10% of my current weight as fatloss without losing muscle.  My current pushup / pullup routine should be fine for retaining my current muscle mass or maybe even making small gains.  10% of my current weight is approximately 18 lbs of fat I need to lose to achieve this goal.  That puts my end goal weight at approximately 161 lbs.  I'll be completely honest, typing that number for the first time I don't think that's attainable......and definitely not sustainable.  I'm guessing I was around that weight in middle school, approximately 32 years ago.  I guess if I'm going to officially change my end goal weight to 161, I might as well change it a couple pounds lower to 159 just to say I dropped into the 150's at least once during my adult life.  

We have a family cruise coming up this June going to Alaska.  This is a once in a life time event with my parents, sisters, and all of our kids.  Total is around 20 people.  The destination isn't the reason this is considered "once in a lifetime", as the wife and I have already been on this particular cruise / itinerary.  It's "once in a lifetime" because I doubt we'll ever be able to get everyone all going on the same vacation at the same time again.  We've talked about doing it for a few years and finally last June / July we just decided to make it happen before the older kids move out of the house and on to their own life plans.  We leave around June 7th, which has been a motivating factor in my losing weight and desire to gain muscle / lose bodyfat.  Being goal oriented, it's nice to have goal dates to go along with my goal numbers.  So all of my final goal numbers tend to fall on June 1st of this year.  After the cruise, I'll need to set new goals and new future goal dates.

The goals I set at any time aren't set in stone.  As I get closer to goal numbers, I can evaluate if they are still considered healthy attainable goals and tweak them as necessary.

Current stats as of today:
1. weight = 179 lbs
2. body fat = 20%
3. not able to do a single un-assisted pullup

New goals to achieve by June 1st include:
1. weight = 159 lbs
2. body fat = 9%
3. able to do 10 un-assisted pullups in a row

Progress as of today: 103.7 lbs lost so far, only 20.3 lbs to go!

Donkey on 01/22/2018:
I wish there was a photo display of body fat percentages for women. Thank you for the link: it was very enlightening to see.

graindart on 01/22/2018:
If you scroll down on that same link, the women's pictures are nearer the bottom of the page.


bearcountrygg on 01/22/2018:
You have this under control I think.....! You guys are going to have a great time on the cruise.


horn_of_plenty on 01/22/2018:
Write more soon but I have the same thoughts as you and I use counting calories (around 15 YEARS COUNTING) bc I enjoy it and it says an ingrained habit


horn_of_plenty on 01/22/2018:
At maintenance I eat usually seeing how much I can generally eat persuaded without gaining and if I start to gain I have to try to take my eating down a notch


Donkey on 01/22/2018:
Regarding the body fat website: I stopped scrolling at the ad, figuring it was the bottom of the page - LOL! Thank you for pointing out that there were women featured as well.

I wanted to mention about your next set of goals -- I think Horn mentioned this to you somewhere here... Moderation and maintenance are 2 fantastic goals. In fact, I've found moderation to be a hard one to tackle, but I think I've got a good handle on it NOW - as long as I remain vigilant about it. Something to think about after the cruise...



graindart - Friday Jan 19, 2018
(moderate food, decent water intake)
Weight: 179.3

Day 19 drawing to a close and staying below my daily calorie allotment.

Saw a new number that I haven't probably seen in almost 30 years......179.3.   Of course with the way my weight fluctuates, I might be back in the 180's again tomorrow.  Even if it works out that way, it's encouraging to see progress.  Probably the first time I've been in the 170's since my early years of high school.  I don't know exactly what I weighed each year, but remember being 180-190 my junior / senior years.  

Keeping a running journal on my nightly "band assisted" pullups has also been encouraging.  My end goal is to finally be able to do 10 un-assisted pullups and I'm hoping to reach that goal by June 7th (family cruise to Alaska).  I started doing 5 sets of pullups with 2 minutes rest between each set.  The idea is that once I'm able to do 10 reps for each of those 5 sets, I'll start using less helper band which will mean that I'll be working harder and won't be able to do 10 reps per set again.  Then work until I can again do 10 reps per set, then drop to a lesser sized helper band again.  I don't know if being able to go from 0 un-assisted pullups to 10 in under 6 months is attainable, but as long as I keep at it I'll get to my goal someday.

Started a pushup challenge with a friend where we do the same number of pushups as the numerical calendar day.  So today was 19 pushups.  I was okay until about 15 and then started getting bad form and just kind of eeking them out.  

I've tried hitting the gym or other similar type plans, but have always ended up skipping out after being committed for awhile.  One of the problems with the gym or anywhere you have to drive is the total time committment required.  With work, family, church, daughter's sports / extracurricular activities, there just aren't enough hours in the day.  Doing these pushups / pullups only takes about 1 or 2 minutes first thing in the morning and 15 minutes at the end of the day.  I can commit to 17 minutes each day at home, 10 of which are actually resting between sets.  I don't know how much that effectively 7 minutes daily will end up helping, but it can't hurt.  And maybe if I just get used to it being a daily habit it might lead to me doing something more in the future.

On to day 20 and hoping my scale is nice to me in the morning.

Progress as of today: 103.7 lbs lost so far, only 14.3 lbs to go!

horn_of_plenty on 01/20/2018:
It's true that as long as you keep practicing towards a goal, it can happen. This spring and summer I learned to run again from not being able to for years. Thank you for reminding me that it can be done. - I've been following forgetful lately bc being sick has really brought me to a less positive place lately.

I do agree it's "easier to exercise at home vs going out to a gym" but for me I enjoy being around others exercising bc it motivates me although I've struggled to maintain by habit this month.

And like I said, if you keep practicing you're bound to improve.

My upper body strength def didn't happen overnight but from years - and I guess now as I make my legs a larger priority they will get stronger even if in tiny incriments. I guess it's either give up or keep trying and you'll improve even if not as much as you may want I guess an improvement is of itself a good Thing - my goal should also be just this - simply not giving up and to continue focusing and realizing that the smallest improvement is a positive thing and that it may take awhile of plateauing (now talking of myself) and I will just need to make the continued effort and change will eventually come once I get enough sessions going in a time period to cause actual increases in strength.

As for you and I - anything is possible and you make me happy when I read your goals bc it's good to see someone else working to get stronger midlife and see someone actively doing things to get themselves there.

If part of your exercise includes those 10 minutes of rest between exercise - so be it :) exercise is after all a balance - I struggle with balance overall in my life and will be pushing now to do more walking / moving around in attempt to get stronger like just for daily life...even after cleaning a hamster cage standing for like half hour I'm back ready to sit down - so just trying to be more productive on my feet more

graindart on 01/20/2018:
I totally understand going to a gym being motivation for many & also the social aspect of it. In other times of my life when things were less hectic, I enjoyed the gym for those reasons also.


Donkey on 01/20/2018:
Congratulations on a new set of numbers! Even if you fluctuate back up, at least you know you CAN get back down, and if you stick to your plan/habits, your body will stay in those lower numbers on a more permanent basis.


happy-1 on 01/22/2018:
Good job!


bearcountrygg on 01/22/2018:
Congrats



graindart - Thursday Jan 18, 2018
(moderate food, decent water intake)
Weight: 181.3

Day 18 winding down and still under calorie allotment.  

My loss of 100 lbs over the past year has obviously caused me to drop sizes in clothing.  I had rubbermaid containers of clothes from my last time losing weight about a decade ago.  Since I'm a guy, not much has changed with the clothing (jeans / shirts / etc).  So I haven't needed to go shopping for new clothes much.  My smallest jeans are now getting a bit baggy.  I like plenty of room in my clothes, so it's not a big deal.  However I have been curious what correctly fitting clothes would look like / feel like.  So I did buy a couple pair of smaller jeans back a month ago, along with a few smaller shirts.  I think they "look" better on me, but I still prefer the "feel" of the loose / baggy clothes.  Walking through Sam's Club tonight I saw some nice looking light jackets and they were on end-of-year clearance for around $9.  Since I've been wanting a new one, I figured I'd get a smaller fitting one to go with my other new smaller clothes.  Last year I would've gone for a XL or maybe needed to find a 2XL if I wanted to be able to zip it closed.  Tonight I decided to try on a "small" and it looked good.  It initially felt tighter, but I still had full range of motion, so I decided that it was just that I was used to the feel of my normal XL jacket that I've been wearing.  The XL has been very large on me for awhile, but that's usually how I like my clothes to "feel".  Bought the small jacket and wore it for the rest of the night.  I really like it.  It felt good, looked good,and actually fit correctly.  I don't plan on going out and buying a whole new wardrobe, but it is nice to wear some smaller clothing that doesn't hide the fact that I've dropped a good amount of weight.

On to day 19.

Progress as of today: 101.7 lbs lost so far, only 16.3 lbs to go!

horn_of_plenty on 01/19/2018:
Congrats on feeling good and starting to delve into buying smaller clothes...i would, if i were you, try to wear some clothes that are your true size. I am sure they do look better on you :)



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