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 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 21, 2009

New BMI = 25.06

Filed under: health,technology — origamifreak @ 9:08 am
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OK, as of this morning I’ve lost 175 lbs.

In one half of a pound (0.5 lbs) I will be at a “healthy” BMI under 25…

And in one tenth of a pound (0.1 lbs) my weight will go under 160.

In the past week I’ve seen that SwiMP3 player on Amazon go from $135 to $119 to $115 and last night it’s back up to $135.  😐

Grr.  Oh well.  The BMI is more important.  If I can get rid of just half a pound more, it’ll be a Very Merry Christmas, indeed!

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 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 28, 2009

New BMI = 26.28

Filed under: health — origamifreak @ 9:22 am
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HALF of me is GONE!

I started at the highest recorded weight of 335.6  and I’ve gotten rid of HALF of it!  I’m now 167.8

Next milestone in 1.9 lbs when the BMI will drop below 26.  Once it drops below 25, I’ll be in “normal” BMI range (18 < BMI < 25).  From “Super Morbid Obesity” (BMI > 50).  Wow.

Here’s where I started, in May 2007:

BMI Chasing
Ok, that’s it. I’m done.I don’t want to be in the Extra-Super-Scarey BMI category I’m currently in (52.6). According to some websites:

Patients with this condition incur much greater weight-related health risks, including an increased risk of dying – estimated at 5-10 times greater than that of people of normal weight – as well as arthritis, breathing problems, cancer, depression, diabetes, gastroesophageal reflux, heart disease, hypertension, infertility, loss of bowel/urinary control, menstrual problems, obstructive sleep apnea, swollen legs, and venous disorders.”

So I’ve pulled out all my old WW materials and started using the journals again to keep track and limit the intake. And I’m walking 1.5 miles every day after work. And I’m starting an 8-week Tai Chi class at work next Thursday. I’m weighing myself once a week at my doctor’s office near work. I set up a computer to email me a motivational quote on persistence every day. I pulled out my copy of Make the Connection and started re-reading it. I’m re-reading The Mastery of Love. And I’m relying on several others at work for moral support who are dealing with similar challenges. And I’ll post my progress here.

Entry posted by origamifreak on May 26 2007 at 10:14 am

I posted that entry on my old Upsaid blog two and a half years ago. It feels like a lifetime and a half ago. Back then I was still going to the doctors at the Finger Lakes Medical Group. I didn’t even own a scale that could weigh me. Over the subsequent months I did remove 40 lbs. And gained back 30 of them.

Eleven months ago I posted this:

January 28, 2009

Back to the BMI chasing. Today=47.08

Filed under: food, health — origamifreak @ 5:48 pm

After a really bad lapse where last fall I gained back up to almost the same weight where I started, I’ve pushed it back down again. Mostly through the help of the pre-gastric ulcer which acts up when 1) I overfill and 2) I eat at night.

The most recent bout on the evening of December 11 / morning of December 12 was so very painful and unpleasant that something clicked in my head and I realized that I would rather be hungry than feel like that ever again. EVER again. Even though this has been going on sporadically for years, the most recent memory of the pain and the vomiting has stuck with me long enough that I have maintained a healthy fear of overeating for over 6 weeks, and as a result am finding out what it feels like to be hungry, how to manage my blood sugar, what being full feels like, how long I need to wait in order to even know if I’m full, etc. In effect, I’ve got the same symptoms as a friend at work who had her stomach stapled, but without the cost and associated issues of elective surgery.

People have asked why I don’t go to the doctor about this. I have two reasons, and I think they’re sound. First, the problem only happens when I overeat at night (i.e. it hasn’t happened since 12/11), and second, this is the first thing ever that has worked that hasn’t involved obsessive calorie-counting (i.e. using WW points, etc.). And I’m sorry, but while obsessive calorie-counting does in the short term help with managing my eating, it does NOT work in the long term because it presents significant quality of life issues. There is an inherent psychological problem with focusing on NOT doing something that I’ve never been able to overcome. So I’ll take the ulcer memory and use it. Consider it my disulfiram.

All the years of calorie-counting have given me the tools to eat in a healthy way, and I’m doing that, but just without counting anything. Oatmeal for breakfast, homemade soup for lunch, etc. Just less of it and not overfilling. And not eating at night. If I’m bored I can clean the bathroom or organize the garage, for Pete’s sake.

Also I’m back with the H2O aerobics, and will hopefully start working out in the basement soon as well. (As soon as the rest of the bamboo planks have been distributed to the rest of the house for acclimation.)

Stay tuned.

P.S. This may have helped, too:


(internally synthesized, of course)

I was in a very different place at that point, mentally and physically. It took a really painful condition to snap me out of my complacency and push me toward being mindful of my food. Since that point I’ve had exactly 2 reflux episodes. And both times because I ate too much fatty food.

Here are some ways in which my life is different from each of those times:

May 2007 December 2008 January 2009 November 2009
Calorie & nutrient tracking yes, WW points on my own no no yes,
protein intake not tracking not tracking not tracking minimum of 100g per day
cardio walking water aerobics water aerobics spinning
strength none water aerobics water aerobics weight lifting
weight 335.6 326.2 300.6 167.8
BMI 52.56 52.53 47.08 26.28
clothing size 4x 4x 3x 12
pets Miaumoto(Latte had just died) Miaumoto & Sunny Miaumoto & Sunny Miaumoto & Sunny
church no no no yes
self-esteem no no no yes
crushing on someone yes no yes no

…and in some ways it hasn’t changed at all.

cleaned out the garage yet? no no no no

After all, I’m not a COMPLETELY different person! Just literally HALF of the previous one. chart of my weight

November 26, 2009

New BMI = 26.56

Filed under: health — origamifreak @ 5:58 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

I hit a nice milestone this morning.  I am now under 170!  Woo-hoo!

And the VERY NEXT milestone will be VERY VERY COOL.  The next milestone (in 1.8 lbs) will be the point at which I have removed 50% – that’s FIFTY PERCENT of my starting weight.

I will quite literally be half the woman I was.

But this current milestone is pretty cool in its own right, because I remember being in the 160s in college.  Not  HAPPY about being in the 160s (It seemed too high and it was), but I looked and felt pretty good.  Especially compared with how I’ve looked and felt for the past 15 years…  😯

When I started this “BMI Chasing” project back in May of 2007 I would have been ecstatic just to get under 200 and stay there.  Or even 300 and stay there.  I don’t think I ever really believed I’d actually be at a weight range I recalled from college, or a stone’s throw from a “normal” BMI of 24.99  (which is exactly 10.1 lbs away from where I am now, and completely do-able).

When I hit that 50% mark I will paste my original BMI Chasing post in with it, just so I (and anyone else interested) can see how far I’ve come…

And baby, I sure have come a long long way!

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 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.

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