Weigh-In Update: Program Goal Reached! Over 75 Pounds Down!

Hey everyone!!! Lot’s of exciting things are afoot here at Julie Loses! HQ. I’ve been out and about on a couple hiking adventures, including my first summit of Rattlesnake Ridge near North Bend, WA. Take a look at my “Day in the Life” video below for full coverage (including some shots of my adorable puppy towards the end!)!

While the workout and activity front this past month has been AMAZING, the scale hasn’t been playing along. In my last post I updated you on my first weight gain on the 20/20 Lifestyles program, and I’ve been watching the scale closely to see when this first real plateau would abate.

I’m happy to announce that as of this morning, the plateau is officially over. I weighed in at 196.6 lbs on the home scale, down 3 lbs from last week’s weigh-in of 199.6. Stoked! Extra exciting was having a dietician appointment today and seeing 196.0 lbs on their scale. My program goal for the end of Phase 2 was 199.0 lbs, and I was way happy to blast through the goal. Unfortunately, no bells went off, nor party whistles sounded, nor confetti rained down – but you couldn’t wipe the smile off my face all afternoon.

This brings my total loss since August to over 75 lbs. 75 FRICKIN’ POUNDS! I never thought that I had it in me to lose that much weight. Of course for years and years I’ve WANTED to be someone who was capable of such a feat, but only now have I really proven it to myself. I can lose this weight, and now I feel pretty confident that I can maintain this weight loss.

One thing that’s worried me from time to time has been how I will maintain this new healthy lifestyle while working full-time. If you’re new here, you may not know that I stopped working last year due to some health issues, and after wrangling them I decided to dedicate a block of my time to working on ME. The opportunity was there, and it was just TIME.

While I certainly love my leisure time and have been taking full advantage of my extraordinarily fortunate situation, I do need to go back to work eventually. As the weight comes off and my fitness improves, I’ve found a lot more confidence, and wanting to get back into the working world has been another surprising result. I’m ready for my career to take off again, and started putting out feelers for employment a couple weeks back.

Lucky me, I found a job listing that seemed a perfect fit for me, close to home, and they liked my resumé enough to invite me in for an interview later this week. Squee! The only downer is I don’t have ANY professional attire since losing all this weight. All of my old work clothes fall off me now, so I had to go find some interview-appropriate attire. THAT was quite the experience, and if you’re interested in hearing more about my epic win at the local Lane Bryant clothing store, I encourage you to watch the Update Video below!

My interview is on Thursday, so keep your fingers crossed that they like me, and as always, thanks for stopping by!

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Weigh-In Update: Basketball & Backslides – with video

Hope all you fine people are having an amazing Friday! Yesterday I recorded, edited, and posted my weekly weigh-in update, and I’ll link it below!

If you’re not able to watch right now but your curiosity just won’t go away until then, here’s the gist: I gained 0.2 lbs between last week’s Tuesday weigh-in and this Tuesday’s weigh in. Boo! First official gain on the program – had to happen sometime, right? But my measurements were taken on Wednesday and they were NOT a let down. Fancy table below:

Initial 24-wk P2 Wk 5 5 week loss Total loss
Neck 16″ 13.75″ 13.25″ -0.25″ -2.75″
Chest 54.75″ 46.5″ 45″ -1.5″ -9.75″
Waist 51″ 39.5″ 37.5″ -2″ -13.5″
Hips 57.25″ 49″ 47.5″ -1.5″ -9.75″
Right Arm (Bicep) 19″ 15″ 14.5″ -0.5″ -4.5″
Right Leg (Thigh) 36″ 28″ 26.5″ -1.5″ -9.5″

Holy cow, amiright? If you add that entire last column together it totals 49.75″ – that’s over FOUR FEET from just those areas alone! That’s a lot of space I’m no longer taking up, and I’m pretty happy about that. Next week I hope to report that I’m back in Onederland – maybe I should set up another reward – HAHAHA JUST KIDDING!

Oh, and if you get a chance to check out the video, there’s some footage of me playing basketball that is NOT to be missed!

Welcome to “Onederland”!

I DID IT!!! The last few weeks I’ve been going on and on and ON about a silly number on a scale, but I don’t care if it’s lame because getting under 200 pounds is something I never thought I’d be able to achieve at this stage in my life. AND I FRICKIN’ DID IT!!!

On Friday I hopped on the scale and it read 199.8 lbs, but I saw the digital display weight teeter-tottering around so I wasn’t ready to celebrate just yet. I climbed off, took a big breath in and out, reset the scale, and climbed back on. 199.6 lbs was its stable readout the second time around, and with that, I declared victory. I let out a raucous “Woo hooooo!” and then had to quiet the nerves of my dog, who was startled in the other room (lol!).

You couldn’t wipe the smile off my face!

I was of course eager to purchase my reward – I settled on the Canon Powershot S110. It’s a slightly older model with 24 frames-per-second HD video (it was cheaper, too – bonus!). It took me forever to navigate over to the shopping center, find the Best Buy (it was hidden underground!), pick up the camera and a couple memory cards, travel to another mall across town for another errand, and finally drive home where I could unbox the camera and get the battery charging. If you check out my video above (which I really hope you do because I am quite proud of this particular edit), you’ll see the new camera footage beginning at around the 3-minute mark!

Even after traipsing around (and maybe getting lost at) two malls, I was still at only 6,000 steps. Why am I paying attention to steps? Well, I always try to stay above 5,000 steps per day, but this past Wednesday I began Roni Noone’s #100kSteps Challenge – it’s basically to get 100,000 steps logged in my Fitbit within 7 days. At an average of 14,000+ steps per day, that’s a pretty tall order for me! It would certainly be the most I’ve ever had in a week. I had been kinda slacking off in the steps arena for a bit, so this challenge was a ripe opportunity to kick things back into gear.

I’m pleased to report that I’ve been KILLING IT with the steps so far! Each day, I’ve exceeded my required daily average.

I’ve been working HARD to maintain these step numbers. Dragging myself into the gym for long workouts when I wasn’t feeling it, going on a hike at Saint Edward State Park, parking a quarter mile from any entrance, walking around my living room – even emptying the dishwasher piece by piece instead of stacking types of dishes together (okay, the silverware is done in bulk – let’s not go crazy!). I can’t imagine doing this long term, but I can definitely manage it for a week.

So yeah, things are going well for me right now! The scale and I are taking a little break from our daily morning meet ups and I instead will only be weighing in every Tuesday. The push to Onederland definitely sent me a little loopy with the numbers, and I could use a mental respite from it for a little while. Next goal? Well, I have this challenge I’d like to successfully complete. If I can persist with the good numbers and come in at or over 100,000 steps for the week, I think I’ll pick myself up a teapot with an infuser for brewing loose leaf tea, as I’m quite fond of the new Teavana release of the Oprah Chai Tea.

But as for numbers on the scale, I have no real set goal. You’ll notice in my sidebar that I have an ultimate goal weight of 150 lbs – followed by a few question marks. That’s ‘cuz I don’t know where I wanna ride this train to just yet. I’m going to focus on little goals. Getting into the 180’s, then the 170’s, etc. But trying not to go too crazy about any of it. The important thing is that I’m feeling SO MUCH STRONGER and I have SO MUCH MORE ENERGY now that I’ve lost 70+ pounds from my highest weight. And I have a long way to go, so I know it’s only gonna get better the more I lose.

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links. That means if you purchase an item that I’ve linked to here, I may receive a small compensation from the seller.

The Dark Side of Weight Loss: A Weigh-In Update and Confession

The video above is a read-through of the text below, so either one you pick to read or watch will give you the same info!

Welcome to a very special installment on Julie Loses, lol!

This experiment with a goal reward is not going exactly as I planned. Or maybe just not how I had hoped. If you aren’t caught up on my earlier posts, I decided to attach a compact digital camera as a reward for hitting Onederland – 199.8 lbs or less on the scale. Overall I think the idea of setting goals and assigning rewards is a good thing. I’ve definitely been more motivated over the last week or so, because I REALLY want that camera in my hands!

One of my objectives for this blog is to be completely open about the experience, thus I have to be honest about this goal experience in particular: I do not think assigning weight-based goal rewards is the best idea for me (note the “for me” part, your mileage may vary). While I have been more motivated to push myself in my workouts, and to keep my eyes on the proverbial prize, I am not proud of this morning’s activities surrounding my weekly weigh-in. It’s harkening back to the earlier months on the program when my weekly numbers were a tad too important for me, and I would participate in “intermittent fasting” each Tuesday morning before my dietician appointment. On with the confession…

Yesterday I made the irresponsible decision to taper off my water intake. I drank a bunch of tea hoping it would flush my system and didn’t get in my normal eight or more cups of water. This morning, instead of getting up at a reasonable time and adhering to my normal weigh-in routine, I instead waited to get up until I was ready to (WARNING: TMI ALERT!) have a bowel movement. I find I typically have one first thing in the morning, and then another in the mid-morning a bit after breakfast, so today I waited until noon to weigh myself, to get the “full benefit”. And I refrained from taking in any liquids or food until after my weigh-in. When the number on the scale didn’t quite meet my goal of 199.8 or less, I forced myself to try to eliminate more waste material to reduce by mere ounces – by leaving the faucet running to arouse the need to urinate, rubbing my belly to promote #2’s, running around the house… you get the idea.

I didn’t eat until a half hour ago, after I finally gave up and resigned myself to the number I saw on the scale. That number on the scale, mind you, was nothing to scoff at. I’m down 1.8 lbs this week to an amazing 200 lbs. This may help explain my ridiculous desire to “go” just a little bit more to try to break into the 100’s, but it certainly doesn’t excuse my actions. This is the dark side of weight loss for me. The unhealthy side. Instead of celebrating a respectable 1.8 lbs loss I find myself feeling deflated. And if I *did* achieve that 199.8 lbs on the scale after doing what I did this morning, I don’t think the achievement would have felt as sweet. There’d be some bitterness, some regret. I feel it even now. It’s not a nice feeling.

This isn’t how reward systems are supposed to work, right? I mean, I definitely feel like I should celebrate hitting Onederland in some way – it’s an achievement and it marks, at least in the US where we use Imperial units, a distinctive transition. But I think setting goal-based rewards that aren’t tied to a number (be it weight or inches lost) might be a better system for me. For example celebrating a week of exceeding my Fitbit step count minimum, or getting 72 ounces of water or greater, or exploring new hiking trails, might produce a healthier approach to implementing rewards. It’s clear to me that I have a competitive spirit, but it’s also clear to me that I’m not above exploiting my bodily mechanisms to achieve results. I’m not proud of this, but I have to admit it to move forward.

So what will happen with this current reward? I’m keeping at it. I’ll not be chucking it out and going out and buying the camera for the hell of it – nor will I set a new goal to base it on. I will follow through with this, but I will not again endure the ridiculousness I put my body through these past 24 hours. I’ll get up and look forward to whatever result I see on the scale tomorrow, and the next day – same as usual. But I won’t waste half my day waiting for my biological systems to catch up to my desires. And I think once I hit Onederland, I’m going to taper off my weigh-ins to once per week again, for at least a little while.

But for today, I did reward myself for hitting 200 lbs by purchasing the domain JulieLoses.com for this blog. I had been thinking about it for awhile and decided that hitting 200 lbs was deserving of some treat for myself. I’d be lying if I told you my first reward idea wasn’t a Five Guys cheeseburger, but the domain is a much wiser decision.

This weight loss process, beyond the advantages of being smaller, more fit, and physically feeling healthier, has really given me tremendous insight into what makes me tick – both good and bad. I’m learning lessons and hopefully learning to move beyond some of my hang-ups. The benefits have gone well beyond what I originally imagined, and if that ME that decided to lose weight in the first place was an entity I could actually communicate with, I would give her a hug and thank her so much for taking those first steps. I’m losing weight, but I’m gaining so much more. It sounds silly to say it, but it’s really the truth. Thanks so much for coming along with me on this ride, and until next time – take care!

Oh My Gah I Forgot To Blog This Video!

Peeps! So sorry for neglecting to post this blog update. I recorded and posted this video update on Friday but somehow forgot to post it here as well. If you can’t watch it for whatever reason, here’s the quick details:

  • I lost so much weight this week! My Tuesday weigh-in showed me 3.8 lbs down from the previous week for a weight of 201.8 lbs. SO CLOSE to Onederland! Imma get that camera so soon!
  • My workout ethic continues to surprise me. I made an effort to get a workout in every day this past week. Yesterday was the first day since a week ago that I hadn’t done any structured activity, though I spent the day walking round Seattle, so that was a good day as well.
  • Goal rewards and DietBet are helping with my motivation!
  • So. Much. Hiking.
  • Quickie Pep Talk: JUST KEEP GOING. This weight loss thing is tough. Super tough. But it gets easier. You get into a groove and eating the right kind of food and working out starts to become second nature. It feels so unnatural at the start, and progress can seem slow, but hang in there. If you’re doing it the healthy way, your body and mind will catch up to your efforts and it will become a real lifestyle change you can live with. I’m there right now, and I’m totally digging it.

I’d love to hang around and chat some more, but I have to get up outta this chair, walk around, and snack on some strawberries (kinda low on carbs so far today). I promise to check back in with all my lovely readers soon! Until then – take care!

Video: Updates and Excitement Galore – in Glorious HD!

Hi folks! Well, my shoulders are aching from being hunched over my MacBook Pro for the better part of the last two days while both filming and editing my latest vlog. Maybe time to cash in that free massage voucher? Anyways, hopefully you will see a quality boost in this latest video update. I replaced my broken lens (with a minor upgrade), and downloaded a trial copy of Final Cut Pro X to try my hand at. And my hand is loving all those ridiculous, over-the-top titles!

I kinda don’t wanna recap because I really, really, REALLY want y’all to watch it, but if you’re aching to know the deets and can’t catch the video right now, bookmark it, and read my recap below!

Okay, so yesterday I weighed in at 205.6 lbs, or 0.4 lbs down from last week. Not shocking or worrisome, as I’ve been having some PMS-related bloat – and this morning’s casual weigh-in has me already down a pound more. This past week can be summarized by the following two highlights:

  • First, I’ve been feeling really empowered during my workouts. I find myself negotiating with my trainer for a few more minutes of cardio, and am full of positive emotions during and after my workouts.
  • Second, I’ve been flexing my creative muscles more than usual this week by getting back into photography and shooting video on my DSLR.

I’ve spent a lot of time doing online research about videography using a DSLR, and have learned SO MUCH from the following two videos:

The big excitement yesterday – beyond my nearly non-stop video editing and playing with my new lens– was that my boyfriend volunteered me to be interviewed by his cousin, a senior reporter for the nationally-syndicated public radio program, Marketplace, about my use of wearable fitness technology. It was a fun five-minute chat, but unfortunately her piece was so short that she wasn’t able to use my material. Oh well! It’s still an interesting segment, and if you’re so inclined you can check it out here!

Are you geeking out about anything right now as much as I am with videography? Or do you have any suggestions or questions regarding related tech tutorials?

Thanks for reading!

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!