Since this past March, nearly eight months, I have been aggressively trying to lose weight.
At a routine doctor’s appointment in late February, the scale topped out at this ][ much shy of 200 pounds. When lab results showed my A1C levels were in the pre-diabetes range, I got angry and humiliated. Up to that point, I was the only person in my immediate family who was not touched by diabetes, pre-, or otherwise. I had been smug… karma.
The same week I got those disheartening test results, I made some life changes.
I stopped drinking sugary sodas (cold turkey), now I drink water, clear diet sodas or, unsweetened decaf tea. I got new walking shoes and upgraded my fitness tracker. I got a tare digital scale and started weighing pretty much everything I eat. I got a digital bathroom scale that syncs with my fitness tracker so I can’t cheat on how many pounds I lose.
I set a daily calorie limit and started keeping a food journal. You’d be surprised how much you actually eat when you keep a running tally of all your daily food consumption. It also helps me see trends of how certain food affects my body. I keep my salt and carb intake to a minimum, and maximized fiber by eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.
And, I started walking. At first, it took me longer than 20 minutes to walk a mile. The last time I checked my pace it was around 15:30 minutes. Every day, weather permitting, I walk about 3.25 miles (that’s 7500 steps if you count it that way.)
(Side note: when deciding how much walking to do, I tried to find out if 10,000 steps was a legitimate benchmark. Come to find out, that number was originally taken from the name of a Japanese pedometer that’s name literally translated to “10,000 steps” and a marketing gimmick was born. I did find an article about a Harvard Medical School study that followed several thousand older women – aged mid-50s to 70s. These women were given fitness trackers and their daily step count was studied. It was found that women who tracked 7500 steps daily had a much lower mortality rate than those who didn’t. Any steps over that 7500 number didn’t have any significant benefit. It was also reported that intensity didn’t add any benefit either… just the number of steps. So, that became my benchmark – 7500 steps.)
I believed that if I started out saying I was going to lose 50 pounds, I would have been overwhelmed. So I set smaller goals, losing about 1-1.5 pounds a week.
- First, I wanted to just lose 10 pounds
- Then 15 – to get out of the obese BMI range into overweight
- 20 pounds – 10% of my weight.
- 25 pounds – in the hopes that when I went back to see my doctor, my A1C was back in the normal range. Almost…
- Break 170 pounds
- Break 160 – the point where I hit a wall the last time I tried to lose a significant amount of weight, and 20% of my beginning bodyweight
- 154 – A1C back in the normal range, dropped from overweight BMI into the normal range, size 10 jeans
- 149 – 25% of beginning body weight
- Next, 143 pounds – top of the ideal weight scale for women my age and height
I’m less than 4 pounds from my current weight goal.
I’ve dropped three pants sizes and three blouse sizes (I don’t look like a linebacker any longer). Rings fit better, so do shoes. Today, for the first time in at least five years, I wore shorts in public.
The other day, Mister and I made a Sam’s run. We get large bags of dog food and cat litter to accommodate our menagerie of Misfit Toys. One of the bags of litter weighed 52 pounds, slightly less than the total amount of weight I’ve lost so far. I could barely lift it, and I had been carrying that much weight around for a very long time.
I have three doctors following along and letting me know if I’m doing the right things. I’m not a weight loss expert, nor play one on the internet, but this regime is working for me. I can only hope it will be sustainable. It’s meant hard work and sacrifices, but it’s been totally worth it.