Manifolds

January 26, 2010

Am I done?! Really?! Yikes. :-o

My initial goal has been 150 lbs or 25% body fat, whichever came first.

My Tanita scale has been indicating anywhere from 22% to 26% body fat for the past week or so.

I suspected I was close, but wouldn’t know until I had it measured by a more accurate method.

While in CA on January 15 through a DXA scan I found out my body fat is actually 19%.
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Are you freaking KIDDING me?! That’s actually in the “athletic” category.  Specifically Nordic skiers, bicyclists, and swimmers.  Gee, what a coincidence, LOL

However, last year at this time I still weighed around 300 lbs, so it’s a lot to mentally adjust to.

Apparently what’s going on is that my BONES are uber-dense.  As in over 3 standard deviations denser than normal.  The T-score is 3.5, the Z-score is 3.2, if you’re into that sort of thing.  This doesn’t mean I have *big* bones – I’m still small-framed by all the measures I’ve tried.  It just means that my tiny little bones are the osteo equivalent of titanium, or something.  Which actually bodes well for the future, because they lose density, I’ll eventually end up at “normal” while everyone is fracturing their hips at 80…

So my dense little bones are tricking my scale into thinking I’ve got more fat than I do.  Because the scale is using average values for my age and gender, etc. to estimate body fat.

This body fat percent means, technically, that by at least one measure I am done. I have been processing this information for the past couple of days – I actually cried a little in the car on the way back on Thursday, because I was just so overwhelmed. I wasn’t expecting this. I wasn’t really ready for it.

I have been lightening up on the calorie restriction but continuing with the heavy exercising, with predictable results. This morning I’m up to 158. So I’ll be pushing back down on the restriction a little more.

In the meantime, realizing that I’m probably going to be close to this size for a while, and having my two sisters handy, I indulged in SHOPPING. Me. Who has historically H.A.T.E.D. shopping. With a Passion.

In the interests of public service, here is a rundown of the thrift and consignment stores my sisters and I investigated:

1) American Cancer Society Discovery Store, Rancho Bernardo
16787 Bernardo Center Drive, San Diego – (858) 385-0479

Small store, Salvation Army-type prices & selection. Found the sparkly $18 blue velour dress on sale in the above pic for half off.

2) Girlfriend’s Consignment Boutique, Poway
12222 Poway Road, Poway, CA – (858) 679-1222

Upscale. Lovely selection. Found a really nice workout top and leather pants ($26).

3) Plato’s Closet, Escondido
1220 Auto Park Way, Escondido, CA – (760) 233-0002

Geared toward 20 year olds. Found some really nice workout gear there. Lots of colors and styles and the ability to be picky.

4) Deborah’s Next to New, Escondido
1624 E Valley Pkwy, Escondido, CA – (760) 743-8980

Large selection. Similar items scattered throughout the store. Quality ranges from Salvation Army to upscale. Found an awesome lined suede long skirt there for $29.

I had to get a box to ship all this stuff home…

January 10, 2010

New BMI = 24.43

TWO milestones this morning:

  1. I’ve officially lost 180 lbs
  2. I’ve lost another 5% net, so when I get home I get to choose another BUFF to add to my collection.  This was the last official 5% net interval left before goal, although realistically I will probably hit another one in the process of undershooting while stabilizing.

Next milestone in 1.6 lbs when my BMI drops below 24.  I’m in the home stretch.  Goal weight is 4.8 lbs away.  Physics Diet says I’m 8.81 lbs away from goal, and I’m going to consider myself truly “at goal” when my AVERAGE weight is 150.  Have I mentioned that I brought my bathroom scale with me in my suitcase to help me stay on track?  It seems to be working!

A couple of my friends have taken to hanging around me at this conference just to watch the reactions of our other mutual friends, which is fun for all of us.

I’ve developed a fun response when colleagues express awe at this. I say, “if you’re impressed with my weight loss, you should take a closer look at my work!” LOL

Unable to exercise Saturday because when I was finally done with everything and in my gear I found out that all the places around closed at 8pm.  GRR.  Had a little meltdown because I REALLY wanted to exercise, and missed the elliptical in my basement, something awful.  (Unfortunately that does not fit in my suitcase. )

So I adjusted my calories some.   I am LOVING having a calorie tracker on my iPod Touch.  Combined with my little pocket scale, I can eat out and STILL stay on track.

I still managed to go to lunch (very accommodating waitress at Gordon Biersch) and have 45 ml of port wine later, and stayed WITHIN MY CALORIES!

Lunch strategy:

Explained to the waitress up front that I have lost 180 lbs and needed help constructing a salad with just tuna and veggies and she ended up bringing shredded carrots, diced cucumbers, diced tomatoes, diced asparagus, baby greens and sliced seared ahi tuna in separate bowls with balsamic vinegar on the side so I could weigh it all and stick it in my tracker. Final damage? 206 calories. And it was AMAZINGLY GOOD, and I was enjoying lunch with my friends.

After dinner party in the room strategy:

I’d budgeted calories for the 45 ml of port wine I brought, measured it, savored it, and for the rest of the night drank the herbal teas I’d brought with me, using the room’s little coffee maker to supply the hot water. I always had a treat to sip in my hand, could indulge in as many as I wanted, and had a great time laughing and sharing stories with my friends.

January 7, 2010

Countdown to goal weight… 6.8 lbs left to go!

Now that I’m at a “healthy” BMI, I have one more basic goal to reach before working on stabilization and reevaluating my needs.

Goal weight is 150 or 25% body fat, whichever comes first.  At the moment it looks like they’re going to happen pretty much simultaneously.

I’ll go by the average at PhysicsDiet.com for the “real” value, but at the moment I’m working toward getting the scale to say it, first.  I will have to go below 150 a bit in order to stabilize there.

Over the past week my % body fat has ranged between 29.9 and 27.4 – I have a DXA scan scheduled on Jan 14 and that should tell me where I really am, at that point, and how the BIA scale numbers compare.

I’ve been working with the calorie tracker on my iPod and I think I’ve got the diet cycles / energy targets pretty well worked out. Part of what has made the transition complicated is that this tracker, unlike the one on Spark People, automatically takes into account my reported exercise.  I gained weight through much of last week as a result of eating more.  So I’ve had to adjust it down a bit.  It turns out that even with my exercise schedule if I eat more than 1100 calories per day on average, I will gain weight.

The way I’m using the tracker is that when I gain weight I go on the very restrictive  “-10 lbs per month” daily calorie target I’ve set up until it comes off, again.  Once I get back to where I started I ease onto the “-9 lbs per month” target and see what happens.   As I get closer to goal I’ll ease onto less restricted calorie targets and by trial and error figure out what target range will work for me for maintenance.

Because my metabolism is so slow I bet my eventual maintenance calorie target will say I should be losing weight.  It doesn’t matter what the tracker software predicts, though,  just what the actual SCALE and BODY FAT ESTIMATES say.

P.S.  My next milestone will be in 1.2 lbs when I’ll have removed 180.

December 23, 2009

New BMI = 24.97

Filed under: health,sports,technology — origamifreak @ 8:57 am
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Do you see that?!  Do you see the number up there????

Did you NOTICE?!  It’s UNDER 25!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m at a “healthy” BMI!  Woo-hoo!

And Amazon says they can get me my SwiMP3 player TOMORROW.  In time for Christmas!!!  In time to USE it on Saturday!!!

Happy little “normal” BMI dance…

P.S.  The other milestone I hit this morning is that my weight is now under 160.  Yay.  But not as exciting as my SHINY NEW BMI!

P.P.S.  I was so excited about getting my BMI under 25 that I forgot to mention the next milestone coming up:  in 3.8 lbs I will have removed 180 total…

December 11, 2009

Countdown to a “healthy” BMI: 2.3 to go!

Filed under: health,sports,technology — origamifreak @ 7:59 am
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Not another milestone…  YET.  Next one in 1.2 lbs when I’ll have removed 175 lbs total.

But as of this morning, 2.3 lbs left to remove until my BMI is under 25, in the “healthy” range.

I have a fun reward planned – an underwater MP3 player that conducts sound through my cheekbones.  (I’m going to have to put in a lot of pool time to train for those 1.2 miles I’ll be swimming in July…)

Now, if I can just manage to drop these pounds soon, I might even be able to get it for CHRISTMAS!!!

At the very least I’m hoping for a shiny new BMI for Christmas…  LOL

December 6, 2009

New BMI = 25.62

Filed under: health — origamifreak @ 8:17 am
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I have removed another 5% net.

In 16 days.  😯  The fastest I’ve ever done it was in 14 days on September 9.

Buffs take so long to arrive that I just ordered about 4 of them 3 weeks ago and am picking one out of the pile every time I reach another 5% net.  I think today I’ll take the Taipei one out.  I’m a little disappointed that it isn’t as bright as the picture (the colors are a lot more muted and faded-looking), but it’ll go with all of my exercise gear, which is cool.

About these 5% net intervals.  I’ve got one more at 152 before I reach my official goal weight of 150.  There’s another one just below that at 147.7; since I’m going to use physicsdiet.com to tell me when I’m officially at 150, that means I’ll actually have to drop BELOW that before stabilizing.

So most likely I have two more to go.  I’ve done 14 since last December.  My projection says the next one will come on New Year’s Day.  It also says that by then I’ll have been at a “normal” (i.e. healthy) BMI for a couple of days.  What a great Christmas present THAT would be, huh?!

Next milestone in 3 lbs when I’ll have removed 175 lbs.

December 4, 2009

New BMI = 25.84

Filed under: health — origamifreak @ 8:49 am
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TWO milestones today!

  • The BMI has dropped below 26.  When it gets under 25 I’ll officially no longer be “overweight”!  (In 5.5 lbs from now)
  • I have lost over 170 lbs.

Next milestone in 1.3 lbs when I’ll have removed another net 5%.   The projection is that I’ll get there sometime around Dec 17.  We’ll see…

Goal weight is 150.  That is in 15 lbs from now.  I’m so close I can almost taste it.

December 1, 2009

Countdown to a “healthy” BMI: 7.5 to go!

Filed under: health — origamifreak @ 2:59 pm
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Nope.  I haven’t reached another milestone yet.  The next one is in 1.1 lbs when the BMI drops below 26.

But, seeing as I’m so close to the threshold of a “normal” BMI, and since that was my stated goal way back in May of 2007, it seems appropriate to start posting more frequently as I get closer to that.

Plus, knowing I’ll be posting my progress here will help me keep focused during the holidays.

Geez.  Dare I hope I’ll get there by January 1?  What an awesome way to start the New Year THAT would be, huh?

November 23, 2009

New BMI = 26.72, “Your RealAge is 38.6!” and the ugly fact about perception of obesity

Today, on my 44th birthday, I reached another milestone.  165 lbs off.

The next milestones coming up are pretty cool:

  • in 0.7 lbs I will drop into the 160s.  Which is where I was in COLLEGE.  (And briefly in grad school after I lost 100+ lbs the first time.)
  • in 2.8 lbs I will literally be HALF the woman I once was, by weight.
  • in 11.1 lbs I will be out of “overweight” and into “normal” according to BMI.  I’m not sure I EVER really believed I might get there.  😯 Hoped, yes.  Believed?  I dunno.  But now I’m sure I can.

DDOORN on Spark People has an amusing tradition. Each year on his birthday he goes to realage.com to calculate how much YOUNGER he’s getting, biologically, due to the improvements he’s made in his health and fitness.

This is a fun idea, and I’ve adopted it this year.

I went there and filled out the information for approximately what I did, ate, and weighed last year (around 330) and got the answer that I was 46.1 (3 years older than my calendar age). I can tell you, I FELT a lot older than that. I was already having trouble with my arthritic knee going up and down the stairs in my house and was starting to wonder how I was going to cope as I aged further.

Things happened (you can see my Spark Page for details) and I started losing weight again in early December. I had lost 40 lbs by the time I was introduced to SparkPeople in March.

Now, 160 lbs lighter than my maximum recorded weight and approximately 150 lbs lighter than last year, my supposed biological age is 38 and a half. It feels like less than that – I haven’t felt this healthy or strong since I was in my 20s. Of course, I don’t actually KNOW what it feels like to be biologically 38, because I was over 300 lbs for approximately the last 15 years…

Some other thoughts about the changes since my last birthday, some of which may be uncomfortable to read:

While talking with Lisa on the phone this morning we discussed how the world is different for me now. One of the things that came up is how it felt to be super morbidly obese and how people treat others who are obese.

I felt kind-of cushioned and “safe” in my “fat suit.” My parents were very strict and physical disciplinarians. As a child I never considered myself to be “abused,” as there was always a “reason” for hitting me – with the metal end of the belt, with a heavy hairbrush, etc.

One incident that sticks out in my mind is the day around 8 years old when I went to school in shorts and a classmate asked why there were giant, father-sized handprint-shaped welts on my thighs. I explained that I’d done something I wasn’t supposed to the previous evening, and had been spanked. She was horrified and offered to tell her parents for me (her father was on the city council). I declined, and after that wore long pants to school. Looking back on it, this strikes me as the behavior of a child who might be experiencing a degree of physical abuse.

My mom wasn’t the most nurturing person in the world, either. She was extremely tightly wound, insecure, and unhappy as a homemaker. Just about the only time I felt loved and accepted was when I was being fed. I came home for lunch in elementary school. She’d make me lunch and we’d watch Split Second and Password on TV, shouting suggestions to the contestants. I remember when I was 8 or so one of my favorite lunches was Kraft macaroni and cheese. I could have as much as I wanted. It was common for me to eat THE ENTIRE POT. I still love boxed macaroni and cheese, and for this reason studiously avoid it.

Don’t get me wrong – you could do a lot worse for parents; they pushed me to excel in school, provided more than adequate food, shelter, and clothing, taught me how to read at 4, bought a 1972 World Book encyclopedia and put it in my bedroom, brought me on trips (Boston in 1970, San Diego in 1975, all around the US in 1976, England in 1977), taught me how to garden and fish, encouraged me in music and scouting, brought me camping every summer, etc. They were just from a different generation where kids were brought up strictly and a fat baby was a healthy baby (he was born in 1910; she, in 1921).

Anyhow, the result was that I associated food (quantity rather than quality) with emotional comfort and felt the need to protect myself physically from the world.

Fast forward to a year ago. Although I was physically uncomfortable, the fat suit made me feel safe. There was a physical buffer between myself and the rest of the world. And it also helped keep away people who didn’t genuinely like me for my mind and my personality.

What I didn’t factor in is that the fat suit also attracted people who saw me (rightfully) as emotionally vulnerable and used that information to get things from me by stroking my ego. I didn’t factor in the fact that the fat suit, while acting as a physical buffer, also weighed me down and made me slower and weaker physically.

And here’s the part that may be uncomfortable to read. Wearing a fat suit was blatant advertising that something was wrong with me, mentally and/or emotionally. It’s not just that it made me physically less able. It broadcast to the world that I had serious problems that were interfering with taking care of myself.

I am not talking about the fat that constitutes “overweight,” or even necessarily “obese.” These conditions are the new “normal” in the US, and can sometimes be caused by medical problems. But when you get into “morbid obesity” and “super morbid obesity” (which is where I was a year ago), it’s like wearing a big sign that says “I’m a mess. I may be high-functioning and in denial about it, but scratch below that veneer, and you’ll find a messy unresolved issue.”

This is the ugly fact that Lisa pointed out, and I have to say I agree with her. No wonder people often give other Very Large People a wide berth. It isn’t necessarily right or fair or kind, but it does make sense.

150 lbs of fat less, and “8” biological years younger, where does that leave me now? I still have a bunch of the issues that I had a year ago. With years of counseling and drugs they haven’t disappeared; losing over 100 lbs isn’t going to make them go away fast, either. But at least I’m no longer advertising them to the world or letting them get in the way of taking care of myself physically. And that’s something.

If I have to be vulnerable (and it seems that I do, since that’s basically the human condition) I might as well be in good physical shape to face it.

November 20, 2009

New BMI = 26.97

Filed under: health — origamifreak @ 11:36 am
Tags: , , ,

Hit TWO milestones, on the exact same weight, today (always before when I’ve hit multiple milestones it’s because they’re close together – but I’ve never had two coincide on the same exact tenth of a pound, before)

  • Another net 5% off – that’s 13 down and 3 to go.
  • My BMI is under 27.  When it is under 25 I will finally be a “healthy” weight range.  That’s 12.7 lbs from now.

Next milestone in 1.6 lbs when I’ll have removed 165.  Maybe I can even get there before my birthday on Monday…

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