Tuesday, May 24, 2016

I've Made a Decision

Since the Shape Scale still hasn't even announced a price or a launch date or anything, I have pre-ordered the Naked!

If you are interested and order with my referral link, you will get $50 off.

I can't wait until March!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Weight Loss Mistakes I've made

I've been successful in the past, which means I haven't been successful overall. I hit a low weight with Weight Watchers but still wasn't happy with the way my body looked under all those clothes. I am determined to be happy with my body by the time hubs and I head out on our 10 year anniversary/vow renewal. I have turned over a new leaf and I am righting all the mistakes I have made. I had to take a hard look at myself and do what I was not willing to do.

1. I was looking for an easy/quick fix

Let me tell you, Weight Watchers seemed easy, at least in the one points program I did. Fruit cost points, vegetables did not until you hit a certain threshold and then they did. I knew the "theory" behind points and was able to work my program perfectly within those parameters. Since then, WW has changed the program at least twice and I was not successful on either of those plans, and I know why.

How I've changed this: Realizing there is no quick or easy when it comes to long term weight loss. I have figured out my TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) based on weekly planned exercise and I disconnected my FitBit from My Fitness Pal. I no longer give myself a pass to eat more on days I workout. I attempt to eat approximately the same number of calories a day, get a minimum amount of protein and fat, and then fill in the rest with whatever I want.

2. I wanted it to happen too fast

When I started trying to lose weight again, I would cut my calories drastically. My weight loss would start good, then fizzle out and then slow to a crawl. Often I was eating less than my BMR, which is the calories my body uses daily just to survive. This would suppress my metabolism, and create a vicious cycle.

How I've changed this: I try to eat about 20-25% less than my TDEE number for slower weight loss. This is actually a large deficit because I have a significant amount of fat to lose. For anyone lighter/closer to goal, I would recommend no more than 20%, and maybe even closer to 10%. 

3. I wasn't really counting

Yes, my first Weight Watchers plan was "counting" and the margin of error was small with the way it was set up. Plus of course they also put you on the lowest possible deficit. When fruits and vegetables started being completely "free" I no longer tracked them and therefore failed. When I would use My Fitness Pal to track, I still didn't track correctly - I never counted vegetables (um, they have calories too!) and I rarely weighed anything, preferring to eyeball my portions. This is wrong people. Chickens these days are on steroids or something. A chicken breast can be as heavy as 8-10 ounces!

How I've changed this: I now weigh everything I can, and in grams instead of ounces. The more accurate the better! I do not use volume measurements, except sometimes with vegetables. I don't always weigh my vegetables, BUT I still count them. The calories are low so I know the difference will be minor, but I make sure I still count them.

4. I put too much emphasis on the scale 

The focus on Weight Watchers (at least back then) was scale weight. If you gained or stayed the same, they would give you condolences. As much as I know in my brain that weight loss has little to do with how you look and feel, the losses were validating and a bit addictive. A week with no loss either pushed you to try harder (i.e. cut more points) or give up altogether.

How I've changed this: Weight loss doesn't always follow a true linear path. Sometimes you see no progress for weeks, and there are many reasons for it. I now do circumference measurements as well as caliper body fat measurements in addition to the scale. This helps keep me motivated even if the scale doesn't tell me what I want to hear. Eventually I will be fitting into smaller pants. Who cares how much you weigh if you're the size you want to be?

5. I gave up resistance training

See above! I found that when I lifted weight, my weight loss might stall. Now, we all know this is mostly water retention in muscles, and maybe a little bit of muscle gain, but neither of those is going to keep you fat. In fact, muscle mass makes you look better at a higher weight.

How I've changed this: I started lifting again! And not the way most women usually do or I have done in the past, I started doing heavy compound lifts like squats and deadlifts. I know I won't be building that much muscle while in a caloric defict, but those are the muscles that will give my body shape when the fat is gone. Don't be afraid of heavy weight!

6. I gave up or switched gears too quickly

When weight loss would stall, or I would be feeling discouraged, or I read about another diet "plan" or workout program, I would switch things up. I have diet and fitness ADD. Again, sometimes there are changes happening and you don't realize it right away.

How I've changed this: I'm forcing myself to stay on the same path for at least a month at a time. I have also promised myself that if I go three weeks without positive changes, THEN I'm allowed to make a small change. When that happens, my small change will be minor - maybe 100 calories less than what I shoot for now.

7. I had too many lapses

There are those times that you're on plan - eating perfectly, working out on schedule, etc. and times you are not on plan at all. When I was on Weight Watchers, I saved my weekly flex points for my "cheats" - sometimes I wouldn't even really count, I would just "use them" at one meal a week. That worked for a time, until it stopped working. I was eating more calories than my deficit for the entire week, which equals no weight loss.

How I've changed this: By working to hit a daily goal, I no longer have "cheat meals" which can quickly get out of control. I do incorporate anything and everything I want to eat. Sometimes, those indulgences push me over my goal, but because I'm tracking and practicing some restraint, they don't end up being so major that they negate an entire week of being on track.

8. I demanded perfection

I have a history of abandoning a goal when I don't meet my own expectations. I miss a workout in New Rules of Lifting for Women, and I have to start over. I have a little slice of cake at a birthday party so I might as well have pizza for dinner. On a related note, I used to deprive myself certain foods, promising myself that when I hit my goal, I would be able to eat them. Is it any wonder how I gained all the weight back?

How I've changed this: First of all, I'm cutting myself slack. I know, easier said than done. But I'm focusing on done is better than perfect, which isn't entirely accurate because being healthy is never "done" but I don't beat myself up for little slips, nor do I dwell on the effect those slips will have on my overall progress. Quitting does not help overall progress, so I just keep going.

Next, I found Flexible Dieting. As long as I hit protein and fat minimums and stay close to my calorie goal, I don't stress over what I eat. Of course it's easier to stay under my calories and hit protein and fat targets if I'm eating healthier, but I let myself have anything I want. This works better for me than even the IIFYM (if it fits your macros) plan, because I would go crazy trying to hit specific macro counts, and the more restrictive I have to be, the more I am likely to fall off the wagon. Funny thing, Flexible Dieting is pretty much like Weight Watchers except they focused on too low of fat and did not prioritize protein. And was too low in calories.

Anyway, I hope this helps someone! I have another weigh in tomorrow, but have lost 5.5 pounds in the first three weeks so must be doing something right.