Saturday, November 29, 2014

11 Months of Weight Changes

You know me.  Periodically, I go into weight and weight changes on this blog.  It is a "healthy" blog, after all, and weight is one component of health (certainly not the most important component).

I have been struggling with baby weight #2. With my first baby, I was 35 when he was born and 37.5 when I finally was able to lose the weight. I had stopped nursing 6 months before and had gone part time.  So I took it as a part time job to lose the weight.  Cardio, calorie counting (with weight watchers on-line).  20 pounds in 3 months, all over the holidays (November 1 through Feb 1).

I had my second child at 42, and it's been a struggle. For one thing, I gained more weight (this is common - there is a memory effect to pregnancy weight.  It's why you are 4-5 months pregnant before you can buy maternity clothing in your first pregnancy, but need to move into them almost right away with the second.)

The other thing is - I have been full time since he turned one, and I have two children, and I'm older.  Okay, that's 3 things.

Here's what I have found:
1.  What worked when I first lost weight in my 30's and after the first pregnancy, doesn't work now.
2.  Weight watchers stopped working after about 39.
3.  I cannot do the amount of cardio that I had done before - knee issues.
4.  Fat is stubborn.  I have finally gotten down to my *STARTING 1ST POST PREGNANCY WEIGHT* and I'm THRILLED!!  (Meaning, my final weight after pregnancy #1 is a full 20 lbs less than I weigh now.  My goal weight now is about 10 lbs down from now.)
5.  I have to experiment.

The first several pounds came off pretty easily with calorie counting (and a stomach bug).  But stresses have a huge effect on my weight - EVEN WHEN CALORIE INTAKE DOES NOT CHANGE.  So, I'm an engineer and I love charts - I made a chart.  And I labeled it.

There are labels for:
1.  What program I was following (red ellipses and notes written below)
2.  Notes on major life stresses (green arrows and notes written above)

One important note is that my work stress has gone down/ leveled off since the summer, allowing me to focus on my weight and my eating habits.  Experimenting with different methods of eating takes BRAIN POWER and can be an added source of stress.

The 21-Day Fix seems to be a successful program for me.  More successful on the second round, I think because I've come to terms with the lower carbohydrate intake.  I was very resistant to cutting carbs in the first round (March).  After reading What to Eat by Luise Light in the summer, I understand that I was eating way too many grains.

Understanding that you are eating too many grains and correcting that is a different thing.  I used Chris Powell's Carb Cycling twice this year (it's only listed once because I do not remember when I used it the first time, but it was probably early Feb).  The useful thing about this was I got used to planning meals that we low-carb.  After that 5 weeks, it was MUCH easier to go back to the 21 Day Fix "moderate" carbohydrate plan.

The "21DF + NOvember" refers to the fact that I re-started the 21 Day Fix AND gave up: wheat, sugar, fried food (tortilla chips), and alcohol for November.  I LOST 6 POUNDS IN 4 WEEKS doing this.  My goal, really, was to be a total of at least 20 pounds down from last year's doctor's appointment, when I go next week.  Looks like I did it!  I had at least 5 pounds to go at the beginning of November and I was doubtful I was going to make it.

I generally eat 1-2 servings of high-carbohydrate foods (those would be the "yellow" containers, for you 21 Day fixers) these days.  These tend to be (in order):
1. beans
2. potatoes
3. brown rice
4. oats

1/2 cup cooked is one serving.

And I still eat 2 servings of fruit.  One cup is a serving, except for bananas - one large banana is two servings.

A typical daily intake would be:
B: smoothie with protein powder and a banana
S: 1 cup carrot or celery sticks, 2 Tbsp hummus, 1/2 cup yogurt or cottage cheese
L: Salad with 2 Tbsp nuts or seeds, 2 hard boiled eggs, 1 Tbsp blue or feta cheese, a few olives, homemade vinaigrette, 1/2 cup beans
D: 3 oz protein (chicken, turkey, beef), and 1-1.5 cups cooked vegetables - steamed, roasted, etc. in olive or coconut oil.  Or soup.  And sometimes a carb, like potatoes or rice or beans.  But this is generally only 1/2 the time.

Also, because I love beans and lentils, about once a month (so, 3 straight meals), I'll make a lentil or black bean soup, and that will be our dinner instead of meat.

My typical weekly workouts would be:
M: Burpees in the morning, 30 min walk at lunch
T: Swim 43 min in the morning, 30 min walk at lunch
W: Burpees, squats, pushups in the morning, 30 min walk at lunch
R: Swim 43 min in the morning, 30 min walk at lunch
F: Burpees, squats, pushups in the morning, 30 min walk at lunch
S: One hour walk
U: ??  Varies.

Ideally, I'd do at least 2 days of PiYo or 21DF videos a week, but the children.  They are not letting me do that right now in the mornings.  Burpees, pushups, etc. can be done in 30 second bursts and do  not require a 30 minute commitment.

Here's to hoping I can take off those last 10 pounds!  My plan is to continue NO-vember - avoiding wheat and alcohol, sugar and fried foods, for awhile longer.  If I re-introduce them, I have to set a number of times a month or week.  Unfortunately at my age and reduced metabolism, I have to assume I can only have 8 servings a month (TOTAL among the four).


Joanne said...

Losing weight at any age is definitely about experimenting and figuring out what works for you and your body. You're on the right track!

Andrea said...

Good job on the weight loss!

I cut out wheat (I'm actually quite sensitive to it), almost all alcohol (I have maybe 6 glasses of wine a year), added sugar (I do eat 1 - 2 fruits a day most days but have cut out all sweets and most condiments) and pretty much all fried foods about two years ago, and it has made a huge difference. I was able to lose about 15 pounds, which I thought I wouldn't be able to ever lose...

I am a bit worried however as I eat so "clean" now and wonder what will happen in a few years...

Marcia said...

Yes, what happens in a few years? I want to make sure I lose the rest of the baby weight before menopause kicks in.

I have a friend who is now 70. She has always been trim (I've known her for 14 years now). When she hit about 68, she gained 5 pounds in her waistline. So she eats clean, only about 1200 calories a day, exercises a lot (about 2 hours a day of walking and weights and stretching).

She complained to her doctor about the 5 pounds and he simply said "you are 70". So, I think some of it will be inevitable. A little extra weight helps you survive an illness - the key is keeping it to "a little".