Beginning My Weight Loss Journey
Disclaimer: I am speaking about my own experiences in all my fitness weight loss journey posts. Please be aware that some of these topics can be triggering. I am not a medical professional and I am not giving medical advice. I do not know if the results of this journey will be success.
My Back Story:
My body has been a struggle for me for years, the way I looked always bothered me and it always bothered me because anything I did, didn't turn into results because my heart and my head wasn't in the same space and trying to fill the same goals.
High School: I don't remember my weight in high school, I don't recall how I felt. I wasn't trying to lose weight. Social media didn't exist and I read magazines, but those women were all older than me and didn't represent the culture backgrounds or lifestyle that I had, so I didn't compare myself to them. Yes they seemed perfect, but they seemed so perfect it was unobtainable.
Early 20s: I had a significant life event happen to me when I was 19 which jump started my metabolism, I was 80 pounds and a size 0 or smaller. I couldn't gain weight no matter how much I exercised or ate. I didn't eat healthy, I ate whatever I wanted. I often went on walks or rode a bike for exercise.
Late 20s/Early 30s: I had another significant life event happen that stopped my metabolism. It didn't matter what I ate, I was 160 pounds, size 12-14 pants, on a lot of medication and I couldn't lose weight. After a lot of fad diets, I got to the point were I ate whatever I wanted because the results were always the same. I gave up working out early on.
Mid 30s: I told my doctor I am done with the medication and I started on Keto. Within a month I dropped 4 dress sizes, very little weight went off. Most of my size was bloating. Not only was I bloated but I found an intolerance/allergy to yeast that kept me bloated for years. I didn't listen to my body previously and now was hearing it for the first time. I also gave up a majority of gluten in my diet. I found that giving up 90% of the gluten that I would normally eat has helped with my digestion and bowels. I have NOT been diagnosed with celiac or a gluten intolerance, I just know that my body does better, I feel better and my joints hurt less if I eat less gluten.
Late 30s: I went to a Chiropractor because doing any crunches was so painful, I discovered I have developed scoliosis, I was not born with it. I went through a year long intense chiropractic treatment during the pandemic. This was very painful but I feel so much better and am 1/2 taller. It no longer hurts to do crunches and any floor exercises.
NOW: I am 38 years old with a completely clean bill of health. I am starting this journey with a lot more knowledge of my own body and brain. I have always wanted to be tone, I know this means that I will have to be organized, prepared and ready for this long term journey.
I get more steps in than what I shown here, I do not have a fitness watch and I do not always carry my phone on me but I work an office job and sit most of the day.
11/18/2021 Starting Measurements
This are all according to my body composition scale (obviously not 100% accurate but it's what I have consistent access to that I will be using to measure)
Weight: 131.5 lbs
Body Fat: 28.7%
Muscle Mass: 67%
Water Weight: 48.2%
Bone Density: 4.2%
This is my body. No sucking in, no cute outfit, no special lighting. I wouldn't normally take photos like this for social media but here I am showing the beginning so I can make progress.
First, I established my goals. I thought about what I wanted and what was possible for me. I don't care what the scale number is because I know that putting on muscle can easily increase the amount that I weight. Let me be very clear: I DO NOT THINK I AM FAT. I have days were I am more bloated and days where I look slimmer. What I really want it so reduce my body fat percentage to 18-20%. I look at pictures of myself in the mirror and I hate the way my arms and inner thighs look. This is what I am looking to improve in myself.
*My husband is at 15.9% body fat and will not be joining me on this journey, he was blessed with a naturally high metabolism and a physically demanding job.*
I started to watch a bunch of videos regarding how to reduce my body fat percentage, I won't be listing them all because many of the videos were focused on those who are looking to cut weight hard and fast.
What I gleaned off this video and a short explanation (please watch video as my list below is really condensed):
Reverse Diet First: This is her first tip and it has worked for me in the past. What this means is do not diet before you diet, essentially. You'll speed up your metabolism by eating more before you start a diet.
Do Mini Cut Cycles: So have a few weeks of caloric deficient and then a week of either maintenance calories or higher than maintenance calories. Again, this has worked well for me in the past.
Resistance Training: Building muscles requires calories. Cardio is hard on me and can be very time consuming. Will I still go for walks, yes. However, it's late fall and early winter so walking is cold and hard for me to get in before the 5pm sun down. Resistance training is a lot easier for me from home.
Focus on nutrient dense food.
Get enough sleep. This has been an issue for me all my life.
What I gleaned off this video and a short explanation (please watch video as my list below is really condensed):
1. Cardio should be done on days you aren't strength training. If you are going to do both, do strength training first. Good to know, but I have limited time and won't be doing both on any day, EVER however there are so many good points on this video you may not know.
I don't hate the thought of logging what I eat everyday, I used to do it when I was on the Keto diet, so I redownloaded a familiar app: Carb Manager. Now I won't be going low carb and won't be starting my diet till Sunday. I start to log early just to get back into the habit of it. I must admit that I stopped logging and have no idea what calories or nutrition are in anything. I haven't used a ton of apps before but I do like Carb Manager because there are a lot of foods, beverages and supplements already listed, so it makes it easy for me to log without having to manually enter all the nutritional facts. It is also easy to adjust your goals and needs. The app is free and of course there is an upgraded paid version but I've never paid so I am not exactly sure the benefit.
One thing I did understand from everything I have ever heard about losing weight is the need for a Calorie deficit. I don't know what I am currently eating in daily calories but based on my recollection, it's probably really high. I need to go into a caloric deficit. I printed a calendar I will put up on my fridge to help me because I can be a little absent minded with what day it is and my goal for the day. So I decided to start with 1400 calories a day. I multiped that by 7 for a total of 9,800 a week. I will attempt to do extreme deficits on 3 days of the week, Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays of 1,000 calories per day, leaving me with 1700 a day for the remainder of the 4 days. I choose Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays for my extreme deficet days because I am extremely busy on those days and often forget to eat during the day, additionally it leaves me with more calories on days I am with my husband. He eats more regularly and that gives me a chance to eat with him without feeling starved because nothing makes me more hungry than the smell of food or watching him eat. I will do this for 3 weeks and the 4th week I will get 1700 calories a day for each day. Now I plan to do this for 8 weeks and then re-evaluate. Which means that I will either reduce my total weekly calories or increase them based on how well I am doing or how I feel. Ultimately, I will go based on how I feel as if after 8 weeks I am not getting enough calories to sustain my lifestyle, I will be more likely to quit or cheat then quit. In order for this to be sustainable for me, I have to be flexible. My success is based on me as a person and if I am not flexible and loving to myself, I WILL FAIL!
I found simple printable calendars here: https://blankcalendarpages.com/
PROTEIN and FOOD
I didn't go and throw out all my candy and cereal, I know that reducing body fat is something I really really want, so I will keep all the temptation in my house and eat a gummy bear when I want. I live with people (my husband) who aren't on this journey as many of us deal with when we chose to make a life change and our spouse or other family members do not. I won't be saying no to Oreos, but I also won't be eating a whole bag of them either. Additionally, I know that I drink alcohol too often. It's not the amount I consume, it's the frequency. It has disrupted my sleep. So I stopped buying wine, as this is the worst culprit in my sleep issues, I am the only one who drinks wine in my household, so I know this is exclusively my own issue. I will stick to gin and only having a drink one night a week rather than 5 or 6. I also normally share these with my husband, so I am not having a full drink by myself.
For the first 8 weeks, I will be carefully measuring and logging my food. I am so out of touch with proportions, for me this is necessary. I will also be plating/portioning all the food I eat. So, I can't say that I don't know much I ate because I just started eating straight from the bag. I know my weakness and I have to account and correct what those are. If at the end of the 8 weeks, I have a better idea of size, I will stop being so strict. I already meal prep for my husband, I can easily add another serving for myself.
I have to take sleeping pills to fall asleep, I have dealt with this for years. These pills are over the counter and the more and more I learn about my body and habits, the more I have been able to reduce the amounts I am taking. However, one fact remains true, I have to follow the pills with food otherwise they don't seem to work as effectively for me. I eat my first dinner at 4:30-5:00pm and need to take the pills at around 8:00pm to fall asleep at approximately 11:00pm. My mind set with this "second dinner" is to eat whatever I want: Cereal; Cake; Cup Noodle; Pizza. I am replacing this "second dinner" with a protein shake. I am hoping this shake will be better for me in the reduction of calories, sugar and carbohydrates while still helping those pills. I am not a fan of protein shakes because every one I have tried I disliked. So I purchased 3 different companies sample packets of protein and will test them out hoping to find something that works best for me. I will post these as I consume them, I have yet to get them in the mail.
I don't have a set goal of how I am going to exercise. I am right now nursing a rotator cuff injury that is almost healed, so I still do arm workouts that are designed to help that healing. I used to be a gym body but now I am not, I already have a ton of equipment. I roughly do 50-100 reps of various exercises that include weight and go on a walk for 30+ minutes 1-2 times a week. I get a lot of my exercise at work, I will be posting what I do so you can see how I increase muscle mass while sitting at a desk.
Here is a list of all the equipment I own that I will be using (all affiliate links):
I do not use all this equipment every week, I have either inherited it over the years or slowly bought it. I will be posting my "lazy" work outs.
List of videos I like to exercise with. I do one of these videos a week, these are all short but effective for me:
Grow With Jo
She is new to me, so I haven't done a ton of her workouts yet.
List of supplements I currently take and why (all affiliate links)
This is a great pre-work, I take one pill, that's all my body needs. I also take this when I need a little extra energy as it is very effective.
This is great for my gut, hair, skin and nails. I do not tolerate biotin very well, but collagen has been great for my complexion, the growth of my nails and has helped with bloating and regularity. This brand is my favorite because it melts into room temperature and hot drinks without getting clumpy. I get the unflavored kind and add it to my coffee and tea. It has 10g of protein per scoop.
I take 2 tablets in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. These have a lot of B Vitamins which can help with energy level. Additionally, these are good to help boost immunity.
This helps my joints. I can get knee and hand joint pain if I eat poorly, this helps me elevate the pain without painkillers. It is a natural anti inflammatory. I also take this if I sit or stand longer than my body is used to so I am not sore the next day.
Supports digestive health & liver function, it's also helps with your urinary tract. I take it because I am prone to urinary tract infections and have an antibiotic resistance. I take these 1-2 times a week at a random interval with food typically at night, it seems to aggravate my stomach if I take it too early in the day.
I have drank Apple Cider Vinegar for years but it's bitter and gross tasting. I like the gummies because they are much easier and they taste delicious. Use my code VM113 for 15% off.
Great for helping me manage stress also very delicious. Use my code VM113 for 15% off.
Overall I hope this post gives you a good idea of what I'm going through, my goals, my motivation and my desire for less body fat. I do not want to walk into my 40s without hitting my goal.
Disclosure: I purchased all these items with my own money and the company had no prior knowledge to this promotion. All opinions are my own.
*I make a commission on any purchase you make through my Amazon & Goli link.