After hitting 135.8 a month ago and deciding that this number would be my official GW, I’ve had the very strange experience of… success. I weighed in on my official 13 month date and I was 135.8 still. My weight fluctuated up within about a two pound window and down within a half pound window, but stayed really stable all month. This is after losing 7 pounds the month before, and after a streak of losing mostly double digits every month for a year, so I’m chalking that up as a stunning success.
So, what did I do to screech on the brakes? I upped my calories from just about 1000 (where I’ve been since hitting my initial GW in December - I was at 800 for the year preceding that) to 1200-1400 basically overnight. It has been a struggle and sometimes feels like I’m eating all day every day. I’ve had a few bouts of “my body just isn’t going to accept any more food today” but overall it’s been doable, thanks to some calorically dense foods. Here’s what I’ve been eating this month (an average day):
Breakfast: Syntrax shake with berries blended in (plus psyllium for “regularity”)
Snack: ½ cup Greek yogurt (full fat) with berries or pomegranate seeds
Lunch: Tuna or egg salad (made with Hellman’s light just because I can’t tell the difference and the idea of having twice as many calories in the mayo as the food seems weird to me). ½ can tuna or two eggs, plus a tablespoon of mayo (and strong mustard and sometimes pickles)
Snack: Small Greek salad (⅓ cucumber, ⅓ tomato, 1 oz feta, 1t olive oil, 1t balsamic)
Snack: Peanut butter protein balls - just no sugar peanut butter with Syntrax vanilla or chocolate creamed into it with a fork until it’s crumbly but holds its shape well enough to make balls out of. I then roll them in shredded coconut so they don’t stick to each other when I’m storing them. There are recipes online that have you add fake sweeteners, or cream cheese, or what have you, but I’ve found they taste quite good like this, plus they’re super easy. With the quantities I’m using, MFP tells me they are 125 calories each with 10g of protein. For my snack, I eat 2 or 3. These have basically replaced protein bars as my emergency food. I figure they’re cheaper, almost as easy, and probably slightly more natural. They’re smaller than a ping pong ball, so very calorie dense.
Snack: 2 Ryvita crackers with 2 slices of cheese
Dinner: Fake meat plus beans and veggies in some form (usually about a cup of food now, if it’s moist enough)
Snack: I have a couple of dates or some almonds after dinner pretty often - if I do, it’s a 1400 calorie day. If I don’t, it’s a 1200 calorie day.
So, see what I mean about eating all day? I feel like I’m constantly eating. I don’t think I can really eat more at each meal than I do, certainly not dinner, so this is the best way to get in as many calories as I am. I think I might try to up my calories a bit more just to see if I really will gain anything if I do. I’d like to explore my limits, I think. I suppose it probably varies with macros, but I’d like to know where I stand. If I start to gain, I guess I get to experiment further with either reducing calories or reducing carbs and seeing where that lands me. I’d rather reduce carbs, to be honest, but I’m willing to keep an open mind.
Anyway, eating like that gets me like 100g of protein per day (wow). I’m getting around 60g of carbs (more on days with dates, but dates don’t seem to trigger my carb reaction, so I feel like that’s OK) and I feel like I’m not in keto anymore, but I don’t have test strips, so that’s a total guess. The rest is fat, obviously, and there’s quite a bit of that in my diet.
Every single day, I wake up, step on the scale, and feel disappointed when I haven’t lost anything. Consciously, I know that’s my goal now, but subconsciously, I was pretty invested in that feeling of success you get when you lose. It was a whole year of that, added to a lifetime of having that be my very most sacred goal, so I suppose it’s no wonder that stopping is hard. But my mind feels a bit discombobulated at times. I can see how chasing that feeling of success and validation could lead to some unhealthy behaviors (continued losing, shopping addiction, orthorexia, exercise addiction, etc). I'm aiming to keep my unhealthy behaviors firmly in the shopping addiction realm, with a touch of internet addiction. I can tend to get a little single-minded about pursuing some new thing, so keeping it confined to non-health-related behavior is probably for the best.
I’m lifting weights at the gym now, which is good. My arms are getting stronger and are starting to look a bit nicer. With such a small amount of body fat on them, you can really see all the muscles (and veins and arteries and tendons and ligaments) which makes it funny to gain muscle. It looks like I’m way more fit than I feel like I am. My knee and hip are both getting quite a lot better after giving them more than a month rest from too much walking. I’ve been mostly doing exercise bicycle, rowing machine, and some elliptical for my cardio, which has been a strange departure from the treadmill for me, but hopefully what I need to get over my injury. I really am a gym person now, I guess, since I had a hard time giving up exercise, even to let my injury heal, and I’m really looking forward to getting back to my routine. I’ve been going to the gym about 4 days per week, plus one day of hiking per week, so I haven’t reduced my exercise time, but I’ve had to scale back on how hard I’m working.
Nice NSV: I’ve joined a hiking club. We go once a week after work, just to the foothills not far outside of town, and we go for about an hour and a half each time. It’s so nice to be able to keep up with everyone and not worry about that! Hiking is sooooooo much more enjoyable when I’m not carrying around a bunch of extra weight. It’s fun! An associated NSV is that this hiking group always has a bunch of photos posted to its Fb page of each hike, and I'm in a fair number of them, and I don't cringe! There's one of me from last week, a total booty shot of me climbing up over a bunch of rocks, and I look fine! Hiking photos attached, including booty shot.