20/20 Lifestyles Wrap-Up (with Video)

I made it! I completed the two complete phases of the 20/20 Lifestyles Program, and I’m pretty proud to say that I KICKED. ITS. ASS!!!! Watch the video below for my recap, and/or continue reading further down for the details!

Today was my final program appointment with my physician, Dr. Doyle Perkins – though I will be meeting with him every 10 weeks hereafter to check-in and continue to measure my progress and assess any needs I have as pertains to my weight or fitness. Last week I went through my final round of tests on the program – including having my bloodwork run, strength and flexibility tests, and my DEXA body composition scan.

First up were my program before & after photos:
beforeafter_jun2014
Whoooooaaaaa… look at that side view! We are always are own harshest critics, and I sometimes feel like I’m just as big as ever, but there’s no denying that I’m considerably smaller than I was back in September. I’ve lost a large number of inches around my body – more around than I am tall, in fact. Look, I made a table!

Initial End P1 End P2 Total loss
Neck 16″ 13.75″ 13.25″ -2.75″
Chest 54.75″ 46.5″ 43.75″ -11″
Waist 51″ 39.5″ 36″ -15″
Hips 57.25″ 49″ 46″ -11.25″
Right Arm (Bicep) 19″ 15″ 14″ -5″
Right Leg (Thigh) 36″ 28″ 24″ -12″

If I’ve done the math correctly (chances are that I haven’t), that adds up to 57 inches total! And if you double my arm and thigh values for actuals, it’s like 74 inches. Over six feet of space gone from my body overall. NUTS!

Next up is a table of some of my other metrics:

Initial P1 End P2 End Change
Weight (lbs) 266 210 191 -75 lbs!
Body Fat % 61.3 50.0 43.2 -18.1%
Lean Body Mass (lbs) 103 105 109 +6 lbs!
Cholesterol 185 182 154 -31
Triglycerides 103 77 69 -34
LDL 119 124 100 -19
HDL 45 43 40 -5
Glucose 104 84 82 -22
BP 126/82 114/68 106/66 -20/-16

Everything’s going in the right direction there, except for my HDL (healthy cholesterol), which I need to try to get to 50 according to Dr. Perkins.

My favorite part is the lean muscle mass. According to the DEXA scan, I’ve gained something on the order of 6 lbs of muscle. I don’t have anything to compare this to, but when I started on the program they told me the strength training component of my workouts were designed to prevent me from LOSING muscle mass, which I’m told is common among women losing large amounts of weight. So the fact that I did more than maintain my muscle and that I, in fact, increased my muscle, is something to celebrate. Doc said my fat loss was something like 81 lbs instead of just 75, factoring in my lean gains. And both the assessor and my doctor mused that it was the largest body fat percentage loss/muscle gain they remembered seeing in a female on the program, so I’m pretty proud of that!

The muscle mass increase explains my strength test results. My bicep curl back in September showed me able to curl 35 lbs. Last week, I curled 54 lbs. My flexibility result was perhaps the most of a letdown. My “sit and reach” back in September was 9.6 inches, and last week it was a mere 7.7 inches. The assessor said it wasn’t uncommon, buuuut, I don’t believe her. I haven’t been doing as much stretching as I should in recent months. And MAYBE I was wearing Spanx to my final appointment. That might have had something to do with the negative result ūüėČ In any case, increased flexibility is always something to shoot for.

So yeah, I’m feeling pretty damned good about my overall program results. What’s more, I feel confident that I will be able to maintain my efforts and keep losing more as time goes on. I recommend the 20/20 Lifestyles program to those with the financial means to do so. It’s not an inexpensive program. And while my insurance covers half of it, it’s still a lot of money out of pocket (or out of our health savings account, which is a nice perk as well). I’ve gone through all sorts of different weight loss programs, but this was really the most comprehensive, and I think that approach is what’s really required for long-term lifestyle change. I feel deeply changed in ways that I never thought possible, and I’m excited about the next stage of my personal journey. Hope you’ll continue to follow along!

End of Phase 1 Update Extravaganza

Blargh! Let me start this update post by mentioning that I’m SICK – yet again! I woke up on Wednesday morning with a crazy bad raw throat, and have been working ever since to try to feel better. I’m happy to report that the throat rawness is gone, but it’s been supplanted by a cough and generic cold symptoms. I’m an icky mess, so I’m drinking lots of water, trying to keep my nutrition in the right place, and laying off the workouts for now. Which sucks ‘cuz the weather’s actually nice now. Again: blargh! Now back to our regularly scheduled programming…

This marks my first week on Phase 2 of the 20/20 Lifestyles program, and within this¬†last week I had all my end of Phase 1 testing and other fun stuff: blood work, measurements, body composition testing (DEXA), updated progress photos, and a meeting with my program doctor. I¬†couldn’t isolate one that was more important to me than any other – I¬†was looking forward to it all!

Let’s start some tables, shall we?

Initial 5-wk 10-wk 15-wk 20-wk 24-wk Total
Weight (lbs) 266 255.2 237 227.6 218.6 210 -56 lbs
Blood Pressure 126/82 114/68 112/64 118/74 114/68 -12/-14
Neck 16″ 14.5″ 14.25″ 14″ 14″ 13.75″ -2.25″
Chest 54.75″ 51.5″ 50″ 48.75″ 47.75″ 46.5″ -8.25″
Waist 51″ 44.25″ 43″ 41″ 40″ 39.5″ -11.5″
Hips 57.25″ 54.5″ 52.5″ 51.75″ 50″ 49″ -8.25″
Right Arm (Bicep) 19″ 17″ 16.5″ 16.5″ 15.5″ 15″ -4″
Right Leg (Thigh) 36″ 30″ 29.25″ 29.5″ 29″ 28″ -8″

 

Those are the measurements. That’s a total of 42.25 inches – gone! Amazing. Let’s have another table, this time focused on my DEXA body composition scan results:

Phase 1 Start End Total Change
BMI 48.6 38.4 -10.2 pts
Fat % 61.3 50.0 -11.3 %
Fat Lbs 156.8 103.8 -53 lbs
Lean Muscle Lbs 98.9 103.9 +5 lbs!

 

As you can see at still 50% fat I have a long way to go. And I’m thrilled to see that I GAINED five pounds of lean muscle mass. Apparently it doesn’t happen often on this program during Phase 1, and any strength training is done mainly to prevent lean muscle loss as well as fat loss. So color me stoked about that. And let me just say, people: do not trust your home scales’ body fat measurements! They are wildly inaccurate. For example, my home scale’s fat percentage shows me down in the 30’s (between 34 and 37).

Lastly, let’s look at my blood work results:

Phase 1 Start End Total Change
Cholesterol 185 182 -3
HDL 45 43 -2
LDL 119 124 +5
Triglycerides 103 77 -26
Fasting Glucose 104 84 -20

 

My cholesterol started mostly in the normal ranges, however it’s perplexing that my healthy (HDL) cholesterol went down while my bad (LDL) cholesterol went up. Though I am eating more eggs and animal protein sources now than I was before I started. My doctor wasn’t concerned and said just to keep plugging away at it, and that he’d like to see me above 50 for my HDL. My triglycerides came down a bunch though, which is good. And he did heap a big bunch of praise on the fact that I dropped my fasting glucose down to below 100. No more pre-diabetes for me!

And now for everyone’s favorite part: PROGRESS PHOTOS!

Phase 1 Progress Photo

Now we’re seeing some changes, aren’t we? We’re each our own worst critics, and I definitely fall prey to that mentality, but look at that side view! I can’t argue with that sort of visible success. I’m getting smaller. My measurements show it, my photos show it, and my clothing sizes reflect it. Now if my mind would get in on the fun as well we’ll be golden!

My Phase 2 goal is to get to ONEDERLAND, or under 200 pounds, for those of you out of the know about such vernacular. Pretty sure I have that dialed. I’m in my first of twelve weeks total on Phase 2, and while I’m starting it off on not the best footing (by being sick), I have high hopes. My trainer would like to see me down into the 180’s, but I tell her she’s crazy. But is she? We’ll see!

Non-Scale Victory in the Dressing Room

Hi all! So it’s been a bit cricket-y around here but I assure you it’s only due to my laziness about blogging, not for lack of things happening. The last meaty post I made was that live-blog of my cereal binge. That turned out to be two days of a deep, dark place, but I got back on track easting-wise pretty swiftly after that. The mood stuff took some more work, and I chose to consult my counselor about it. But I seemed to have beat back that funk for the time being. It’s great now just KNOWING that these dark days will come, but they will pass; and that I have the wherewithal to get back to a healthy space.

I wanted to report on a pivotal NSV (non-scale victory) I had just this past weekend. My progress photos for my End of Phase 1 (stay tuned!) were going to be taken on Monday, and I’m basically swimming in all my old workout attire – especially the shirts. I wanted to pick up a couple new tees that would be slightly snug on me in order for the photos to really show the effect of my weight loss. Most of my v-neck tees come from Lane Bryant, so I thought I’d stop in for a few shirts over the weekend.

A little background: I hate clothes shopping. Since I can remember it’s always been a bad experience. The last time I stopped into this particular shop I cried¬†in the dressing room because, at a size 26, I wasn’t able to find anything that fit me right. Talk about a dark place! But I’ve lost a lot of weight so far, and almost none of my clothes fit, so I have to tackle this monster at some point, right?

Back to this weekend, as I strolled into the Lane Bryant I wandered around, scouting for effective¬†tees. Alas, their early spring inventory wasn’t superb, but my eyes wandered and I found myself looking at a skirt/blazer pair-up. A SKIRT. AND BLAZER. Let’s go back into my background again, m’kay? I DON’T WEAR SKIRTS. Or dresses. I’ve always been a tomboy. T-shirts and jeans, skater shorts and old flannels. That was my style in high school. Now I stick to slacks and turtlenecks at work, pretty much. There’s part of me that wants to feel what it would be like to be a girly-girl, but I just feel like I missed that boat.

But for some reason, that skirt and blazer called to me. I grabbed a size 20 in the skirt and a size 18 in the blazer, along with some striped tees (in both 18/20 and 14/16 ‘cuz I was feeling trim) and a cardigan, and requested a dressing room.

You guys… this dressing room experience was… an absolute landmark turning point for me. A breakthrough! I tried out the skirt. The size 20 fell off. Way too big. So I went out and grabbed the 18. Hmmm. Fit better, but I still wasn’t sure. I decided to wander back out in the whole getup (skirt, blazer, and blouse) to find one of the shop attendants to ask for her opinion – ANY opinion that wasn’t my own, which I felt to be too inexperienced. I found the girl who helped setup the room and gingerly mentioned that I didn’t have ANY experience wearing skirts and asked, “Does this fit me right?”

She asked what size and said I could probably do the size 16 better. And then she asked about the blazer size. When I answered 18 she responded that I should try both the skirt and the blazer in a size 16. SIZE 16?!? WHAAAA???? I headed back to the dressing room while MY NEW BEST FRIEND went scouting for the smaller sizes. I redressed and made my way back out – slightly less embarrassed than I was last time. I asked, “What do you think – can I pull this off?” and got nods from all the shop girls. “Welcome to the world of mainstream clothing sizes!”, one of them cheered. From that outfit, it was ON.

ShoppingSuccess_hires

Every time I tried on a new outfit, I had to snap a cellphone shot to send to my poor boyfriend. And he’s never seen me in a skirt, so I figured that alone was worth bugging him with a constant text stream of his (and everyone’s) favorite film trope: a dressing room montage! I had a serious Romy White moment, thinking:¬†I CAN’T BELIEVE HOW CUTE I LOOK!

My new BFF also offered to get me into a properly-sized bra. I’ve been wearing a size 46DD and it just wasn’t doing anything for me. She brought me in a size 40F and WOW the difference! I wasn’t used to being so “up-and-out-there”, but I immediately felt better about myself. And I was truly shocked at the reality that I fit into a size 16 pant. I started at a size 26, and now I’m able to fit (okay, just barely) into a frickin’ size 16! And I’m now in the smallest shirt size on offer at Lane Bryant, a 14/16. Next stop, Forever 21? I kid. I’d never set foot in there.

While I don’t have any use for that blazer/skirt outfit, I couldn’t walk away from it. I asked my boyfriend to promise that we’d go out somewhere nice so I could actually make use of the pieces. So now that girl who hates clothes shopping is now one who LOVES IT AND WISHES SHE HAD MORE MONEY! Lol!

So what about you? What’s the latest non-scale victory you’ve achieved?¬†Share yours!

10-Week Progress Pictures!

Happy New Year, folks!

When starting the 20/20 Lifestyles program, I was photographed during my intake assessment. Usually, they take updated progress photos at the end of Phase 1, and again at the end of Phase 2 (if you take Phase 2). End of Phase 1 was still 10 weeks away for me, but I needed something objective to look at to see how far I’ve come. After asking nicely, they happily obliged, and I received an email with all the pics today. So,¬†I submit for you now these official progress pictures – the first ones!!

Can you see any difference?

Can you see any difference?

Pretty stoked about the results!