update on my long-term goal

My long-term goal is to lose 52 pounds by November 23 of this year.  One pound a week.  That didn’t sound too strenuous.

Well, after over six weeks, I have lost one pound.  One pound.  I couldn’t squeeze even another quarter pound from that highly-accurate, uncompromising scale of mine.

unhappy Alexandra

When I set my one pound per week goal, I knew it might be difficult.  It is certainly harder to lose weight at 59 than it was at 29.  I can remember losing 10 pounds in one week when I was in my 30s (mostly water, of course, and it didn’t stay gone).

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I did not gain over Christmas, in spite of the constant presence of temptation, and I did allow myself many, many, many treats (many).

So one pound isn’t so bad.  One pound down and 51 to go.

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Good grief.

Best always, Alexandra

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weighing in

It has been 25 days since I made a commitment to try and improve my wellness and to lose some weight.

So far, I have lost one pound and worked to improve my eating habits and the frequency of my exercise.  I have not achieved the magnificent weight loss I intended.

unhappy Alexandra

On paper, losing weight seems so easy.  Set a goal, describe a behavior to change ….  substantial weight loss is only a pen stroke away.

Then the excuses begin.  It is Christmas time and eating is part of the celebration.  Those cookies look so delicious.  And they have sprinkles!  A taste of chocolate would feel really good right now.  It is too cold outside to walk.  I need to watch this program on TV.  I will begin again tomorrow.

I will always have excuses.  However I have made some changes for the better and I need to focus on maintaining these.  I have been drinking more fluids. I have brought my evening eating under control most of the time.  I did not over-indulge at the parties I have attended.

What I have not done is reduce my caloric intake to match my metabolic requirements.  Calories in, calories out.

When I went to the dietician, she said increasing my metabolism would occur if I:

  1. exercise more regularly
  2. eat regularly through the day
  3. include protein at every meal

If I look at my goals, both short and long-term, they are designed to help increase my metabolism.  All I have to do is keep working to reach them.  So easy on paper.

Best always, Alexandra

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a 35 year record of weight

I have kept track of my weight over the years.  Because of various attempts at weight loss, I have excellent records especially in the early part of various years.  Like many people, I often begin my weight loss efforts in January!  Beginning in 1976, when I was 22 years  old, this is a graph of my weight through the years.

weight chart life

When I was married in 1980, I weighed 182 pounds.  The significant weight gain in 1983 is a result of my pregnancy.  Afterwards I lost some weight, but I continued to gain during stressful years at work until I gained back all of my baby weight by 1997.  In 1999, I began going to a dietician and lost about 40 pounds.  Since then, I have hovered around 250.  Every downward blip in the graph from 2000 to 2013 represents an attempt to lose weight, either on my own or with help.  In 2011, for example, I went briefly down to 235 as a result of going to Weight Watchers.  The gain in the last two years is since I retired.

When I look at these figures, I wonder about the value of all the struggles over the years to lose a pound.  If I had not bothered at all, would I weigh a ton?  I also realise how many times I have lost the same 5 pounds.  I see that my best success has been with help.  Perhaps I’ll give the dietician a call and make an appointment

Best always, Alexandra

unhappy Alexandra

setting some goals

For some time, I have been thinking about setting up a blog to track my wellness goals.  I have been a blogger for almost three years and I’ve found blogging to be a way to record what is important to me as I navigate my life.  It’s also a way to communicate with people who have similar interests.

So a blog should give me a way to keep track of my efforts toward wellness.  And it may help others to make their own efforts at being well.

I invite you to follow my journey, and to work with me as I go, to make your own wellness improvements!

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Just a bit about me.  I am 59 years old, overweight and suffering the consequences of years of neglect of my body.  From the time I was a teenager, I have struggled with weight, going on numerous diets and programs and sampling what it is like to weight everything in the range of 160 to 280 pounds.  At the present time I weigh 260 pounds.  I have diabetes (on insulin). I have osteoarthritis and my knees severely limit my mobility.  I take medication for diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart health.

I am less of a mess than I was a year ago since in January I began a program of stationary cycling – I have kept this up for ten months and I have seen all kinds of improvements in my health.

The first thing I want to do is set some goals: short , medium and long term.  I know a goal should be specific, time linked and attainable.  A learning from my stationary cycling program is that in order to become a habit, it takes at least one month of ‘practice’.  For this reason, I am going to make most of my goals in the medium-term category.

Long Term Goals (one year)

present weight: 260.0

I would like to lose 20% of my body weight in the next year or 52 pounds.  Spread out into a steady loss, this would mean losing one pound per week.  This is within the recommended maximum weight loss of 2 pounds per week.

Goal #1:  My long term, one-year goal is to lose 52 pounds in slow, steady increments by November 23, 2014.

Medium Term Goal (one month)

present exercise pattern: stationary bike 2 to 3 times per week, 30 minutes per session, frequently skipping more than one day between cycling sessions; occasional walking

Goal #2: My medium term, four-week goal is to bike every second day for one month (November 23 to December 23, 2013)

Goal #3: My second medium term, four-week goal is to begin 2.5 pound arm weight sessions on days when I am not cycling (November 23 to December 23, 2013)

Goal #4:   My third medium term, four-week goal is to begin to go for a short 10 minute walk outside every day (November 23 to December 23, 2013)

Short Term Goal (two days)

present problem: mindless eating in front of TV

I would like to be mindful about my evening eating.

Goal #5: In two days (on November 25) I would like to be able to say that I have been more mindful about my evening eating, deciding beforehand what snack I will eat and finding other ways to occupy myself.

Immediate action: I am going to post my goals on my bulletin board so I will see them often and remind myself of my plans.

5 Goals.  This is probably a lot to set in my first session.  However, I will report on my progress and let you know how and what I do!

Best always, Alexandra

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