Get back on Track to Weight Loss!

I am not a doctor; I am just a normal person who is on a weight loss journey. I started July 2021 at 175 pounds, and I am currently at 157.6 pounds. I have lost a whopping 17 pounds in a year. I fell off track for a few months but after I made some life changes, I was able to regain my composure. How did I do it? You probably won’t like this answer but, in this post, I will share with you how I was able to get back on track and how I will get to my goal of 135 pounds. I cannot imagine hitting that goal, but I will aim for it! 

Last year I was enthusiastically losing and being healthy. When I was hit with massive work stress. It was horrible and through me off track. I had lost 20 pounds and I just slowly fell back to eating badly and gained 10 pounds back. When I fell off track it wasn’t just off track it was depression and lack of interest in getting back on track. The major change that I made that helped me to get back on track was stopping drinking coffee. Don’t stop reading. Maybe you don’t drink coffee? Maybe you drink soda? Maybe alcohol? For me it was coffee, and it wasn’t even the good kind! I would have coffee either black or with cream. I didn’t put sugar in my coffee. In May I decided I wanted to stop drinking coffee to see if it would help with anxiety, stress, red face, increased heart rate, and the last thing I thought it would help with was weight loss.

I drank 2-4 cups of coffee each day and I loved it. I thought I needed it. It was time consuming and expensive. I quit cold turkey and I was exhausted. I immersed myself in reading about why you should detox or quit coffee while I was quitting to help stay motivated. Here is the weird part by day four I was still tired, but I was feeling motivated to do better with myself and my life! To eat healthier. I decided to do daily weigh ins, count calories, and do weekly measurements to start keeping myself accountable. And here is the part I didn’t expect at all with quitting coffee, I used to suffer from decision making fatigue. At the end of the day I didn’t care, I was more impulsive! I would say whatever and have two pieces of pizza with onion rings. Because I deserved a treat. Now I feel clear in that that is not even a treat and will do me no good. That one piece is enough. My journey is not perfect, by any stretch. But this has helped me a lot. Are you drinking or eating something that might alter your brain chemistry and cause that fatigue? If I drink alcohol, I have the same decision fatigue.

With stopping coffee my heart rate is also much less per a minute. I was 58-65bpm and now I am at 49-55bpm! That blows my mind. And I feel like its only getting better seeing these changes from no longer drinking coffee. Maybe you have a habit you can kick and it will help you launch into other small healthful changes?

161.8!


Weigh in for today, is…. 161.81 I think in about three weeks I will be at 159. This is great news am I am moving right
along in a positive direction. I was going to reduce my calorie intake but I am just going to keep at this and work out
regularly. Eventually I will get there. It took me a lot of years to gain the weight slowly and I will work to reverse this.
In other news I was looking at my resting rates because it interests me seeing this direct correlations with no coffee and my
heart. When going to sleep at night my heart rate isn’t as high. I wonder if I am snoring less. I will keep at my fitness as
well as healthier diet and see what other changes I notice. Yeah I want to look good and fit into a better size while feeling
good about myself but I also like that my body is reflecting the healthier changes. I was using tdee calculator and it
recommended a low cal number based on my sedentary life but I tend to think since I have been pushing for exercise, even if
mostly just walking that I am not sedentary. This week I did start step as well. I love Jenny Ford Fitness, and I highly
recommend her videos. She has a ton of them and I appreciate that she loves step as much as I do.

Caffeine and the hunger hormone

I recently dropped coffee after drinking it on and off for 20 or more years. At a young age my mother informed me that coffee helped with weight loss. I always thought it did and I have always drank my coffee in fear that I’d gain even more weight losing it. Well that wasn’t the only reason, it is also very addictive. But I really thought, especially while dieting that I needed that boost. That it helped to lose weight. But I am wondering if the opposite was true for me, maybe there are key elements in the coffee that make it so on paper that would be true but what if the other effects outweighed it? I am not saying that this is true for everyone, but for me I am wondering if it was true. Last June I had started with trying to lose weight and get fit. Outside stress really hit me the end of July. It was life changing and it sucked. But then I fell off the wagon. I have always consistently drank my morning coffee. And when I say morning coffee I mean 2-4 large cups with cream. I loved it. And I still do in terms of a drink but in terms of the effects I noticed issues:

  1. Everyday I was stressed, yes I have a new job but the level of stress and reactive I was was over the top. I would be ready to pop stressing out about stuff all day long.
  2. I was exhausted all day and felt like I didn’t have time to complete anything and oddly I work from home and have no commute or social life
  3. I was reactive to everything, like before understanding something I would freak out.
  4. I would drink lots of coffee and I would be starving after having a surpressed appetite; but then I’d have a crash, not necessarily tired but shake or irritable
  5. I was unable to recommit to my health and found myself in the loop of promising myself every single day I would do better and by the end of the day I would say tomorrow
  6. I felt hopeless

I don’t entirely blame coffee for all this but the anxiety and stress it helped to egg on created a lot of these issues. It amazes that I am a week without it and I notice all this. As silly as it sounds I have more free time to do things. I used to have sit and drink my coffee it was consuming, it took up at least an hour or more a day. But the time loss on the other side of that created by stress and resting was also a lot of time. I would just sit and stare at my cellphone instead. I feel like it wasted a large part of my years. I know people don’t consider it a drug; but it definitely is. My mind without it is so different. And this last time I stopped drinking it the addiction withdrawals have been worse. I am almost over it. The first 4-5 days are the worst but I am still feeling small effects from the withdrawals. I was consistently blogging for a long time and loving it and I dropped off. That was when it was really horrible and honestly I couldn’t even put together a consistent thought. It was more like freethinking than writing with one subject matter in mind.

So with all this said how does it tie into weight loss? So I always thought it improved it. In recent years when trying to lose pounds my body has stubbornly held onto every single pound and maybe it still will but at least I have my brain back to try. I have already noticed a slight drop since I started last week and I will keep at it. I am excited and happy to be back to this journey and I hope to lose 20 pounds. I would like to lose 30 but I haven’t been that weight since 2004! LOL.

Ok off I go to work.

Caffeine and your mood

I am not a doctor. I am not a scientist. I am a person who is posting my experiences. 

I stopped drinking coffee again. This is probably the fourth time in my life I have quit. To be clear, quitting coffee is not easy. Which is why this is the fourth time I have quit! It is easy to fall back into drinking coffee if you are not clear on why you are stopping, and your plan is moving forward. What do I mean? Well, aside from being socially acceptable it is on every single street corner. If you are like me, with your 3-4 cups of coffee each day it becomes a habit you think you need, and it also is used to waste time. It takes me 2 hours of “waking up” with my morning coffee. And please don’t forget how expensive this habit is too. I have a super addictive personality; so, I can’t have just one (and I don’t want to anymore either now that I realized what it was doing to me).  

You might be surprised to realize how physically addictive it is. The first withdrawal symptom I noticed was a massive headache. This headache is tied to your brain getting more blood than it used to because caffeine restricts that. This may not be the scientific speech of this, but this is basically the gist. After that dissipates you will notice body aches, in particular for me its back pain that goes through my legs and ankles. This happens to me on days 3-6.  

But here is what I am really here to tell you. The level of anxiety I was experiencing at work this past year has been intense. Stopping coffee, though it’s a challenge it has made a huge difference for me and how stressed I am. I am much calmer. It gets better too. I had been focused on weight loss last year and I have been struggling to find the will and drive to care about myself again. To want to be more healthful. I have not had it in me to consistently exercise or try to eat healthier. In the past two days my mind has woken up in a positive way. It’s bizarre to me that I feel better mentally, less stressed out and I want to take care of myself. All by stopping coffee. I am on day 6 of no coffee. I had to take a few naps a day at first, but I am actually starting to have more energy. 

And another upside. Though I didn’t put sugar in my coffee, I did like cream. That is a big reduction in my calorie intake, and it lets me actually enjoy food instead when eating at a calorie deficit. So here I am weighing in at 165 pounds with the goal being 145 pounds. I am going for it, and I feel pretty dang great. 

By the way, I have decided based on the research I have done about coffee that this isn’t a 30-day quit but a forever goodbye to my old friend. If you go to google and search about coffee being bad or good for you, you will find articles about why you should drink coffee and it improves your mood. Sure, it does, that first time you drink the drug but then there after you chase the high. It causes adrenal fatigue, which is basically making you more tired, it causes anxiety, it depletes your iron which causes premature graying, it damages your gut, and I really think it messes up the chemistry of your brain as well as your hormones. So, I am excited to jump back in to regain my body and mind.  

Intermittent fasting

There is a name to not eating for long stretches of time, called intermittent fasting. I am sure you have heard of it. When I was younger, I practiced this because I didn’t bother with breakfast, and I hated eating lunch at school. So, I’d only eat a small amount at lunch if anything; and when I got home, I’d a snack then I would have dinner.

Yesterday I was watching a video where a woman mentioned doing this. She lost a bunch of weight, but the truth is she was fit, then had a baby. Gained some baby weight; and this was her results after losing the baby weight. I was 34 when I had my child. I lost the 40 lbs. of baby weight in the hospital in like two weeks after having my baby. I am not saying its easy, I am saying that when you have your first child losing baby weight, in my experience was easier than the fat of MOM weight. I would classify mom weight as 5 or more years of stress. Working full time, going to college part time, having you mother move in with you. Mom weight can also be classified as Stress Weight. Anyway, despite watching her video and thinking maybe some of this is due to being young and a new mom. I have decided to give it a try where I wait till 11 or later for “Breakfast / Lunch.”

I want to break my fast later instead of at 8am. I get up early so it might be a challenge. But I will try to change this up. I have been so bloated and gassy. I am so disappointed in myself. Trying to get on track is not easy that is for sure.

And I am up 10 pounds

Ever since last November I have been off the rails struggling and it has steadily gotten worse. I am in such a dark place with work and homelife being stressful. It’s all one place. I started a new job in April. I had another family member move into my already small home. I am not happy at all with my life decisions. The job I started is not my tech skill set at all and I am pretty much lost. And I am miserable with this change. This morning I decided to find out my weight after I put on my sports bra and felt like I put on a corset and there it was 10 of my 20 pounds I worked so hard to lose last year. Here I am, despite feeling like I want to crawl under a rock attempting to show up for my health. I am 46 years old, soon to be 47. It’s all that I have left in this short life. So today is the first day of this and I will take some steps. I am here to attempt to get back on track and I will do measurements as well.

A few days ago, I speculated I was 165, thinking it was an over and estimate and I’d weigh myself when I was ready. Again, I go back to this, I always fall off track when I stop weighing myself but really it was more the stress. I will try to not weigh in daily but to get back on track and weigh in again next week?? I don’t know I am such a strong advocate on the daily weigh in. I have lost what type of foods work best for a calorie deficit.

HELP.

By the way the guy who always disappears, faded away for more than his two-four-week stint and it was about 4 months. I decided to check out some stuff online and found he went to a dress up event with ex during that time frame. I am all done with this.

How to UNPROCESS your diet 

My stress eating started last November. It has been a ramping up and slow process of eating junk food progressively. It starts with a fast-food sandwich, moves to ritz crackers, pringles, and chips! The real question is, are these items even okay in moderation? We always say they are when we discuss dietary changes for weight loss, but have you seen the chemical list in the food product you are eating?  

Let us look at Pringles,  

INGREDIENTS 

DRIED POTATOES, VEGETABLE OIL (CORN, COTTONSEED, HIGH OLEIC SOYBEAN, AND/OR SUNFLOWER OIL), DEGERMINATED YELLOW CORN FLOUR, CORNSTARCH, RICE FLOUR, MALTODEXTRIN, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES, SALT, WHEAT STARCH. 

I get that it is a pringle, and not even a real “chip,” but really… I also find it interesting that the scent that pringles have is like the set that cheez-its have, I want to see the ingredient comparison: 

INGREDIENTS 

Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, vitamin B1 [thiamin mononitrate], vitamin B2 [riboflavin], folic acid), vegetable oil (high oleic soybean, soybean, palm, and/or canola oil with TBHQ for freshness), cheese made with skim milk (skim milk, whey protein, salt, cheese cultures, enzymes, annatto extract color).Contains 2% or less of salt, paprika, yeast, paprika extract color, soy lecithin. 

Where am I going with this? Well jeez, look at the crap I have been eating. I mean if you are a part of the diet industry wouldn’t you collaborate with the a company like this to put ingredients that intentionally are fattening, addictive, and cause or inhibit weight loss / control? We have no idea the long term / or side effects of this stuff nor do we even know if we have accurate information. Have you ever seen the information about how the “studies” come so rapidly that peer review takes a long time? It’s kind of like news that is not accurate. 

So here I am in my processed food altered state. Yesterday, I tried to make more healthful choices. Its interesting how the chemical stuff doesn’t taste great but we get into a mode of wanting it all the time. Why?  

How to get back on track?

Last year I was able to make some positive weight loss and health changes but then the stress started mounting towards the end of the year. With vaccine mandates at work and just being so discouraged by my current job. Things were going badly fast. And I had an offer, of much less money, that was local. I should have taken the offer, but I did not. It was one of those highly regrettable moments in your life when you reflect on it. It really disturbed my world. I have been struggling ever since. And seriously disgusted with me. Here I am, I have a new offer. I am taking it despite having some qualities I do not agree with because there are key factors that meet certain life-related needs.  

But I wonder do those “life-related” needs outweigh the quality of work you do? I am having a challenging time explaining this but what I mean is who you work for and what you work on? Like the task itself is important because it is my trained skill. But what I mean is the company you keep. Like what if I worked with an organization or team that helps the same values as me? I would find more joy and self-fulfillment. Just something that has been on my mind as I moved into working for a company that claims it does good things (like my current job does) but it really does not align with what I consider good.  

With all this weighing on my mind and heart, and changes at home being stressful, I am so far off the wagon, and I can see it sitting on my waist. And aside from that I am not fit anymore. Just fat. I have not been able to get back onto the fitness track since I moved to this state 20 years ago. That is a long time. I had a stretch in 2016 that I was doing it!  

What is my point? This makes me laugh because for the BEST of days to get on track and make healthy changes around the 27th of the month! And here it is March 27, and when I finished my lunch, I said enough is enough, and logged my calories so far for the day. Tomorrow I will get back on the scale and today I will start doing step again. I want to get back on track both with my fitness and calorie counting deficit. I am 46, and I will be 47 this year. My health is not great. My state of mind has been dark. I will work to get more focused but also to love myself more. To stand for me and my daughter.  

Life happens. I get it. I just wonder how I will strive to give myself and my daughter better.  

Is it possible to lose weight just being more aware???

I fell of the regimented structure of my “diet.” I am going to attempt to lose weight without a diet, recipe for failure? I woke today and looked at the scale and said NO.

I have never been able to successfully lose weight without having a specific outline, not a canned one from the store or online but using my own typically works. Mine involves a regimented calorie deficit with exercise. The problem is I struggle with consistent motivation to track etc.

While cleaning this past weekend I stumbled on a wall calendar where I marked off all my fitness and wow. I was so consistent, that was 2016. Before my father passed away and I had to rush to my mother’s aid. Then she got cancer. Then I started a new job. Then we moved. Then covid. Then homeschool. Then mandate drama. So much has sidetracked me. What if each day I paused before it starts and I try to focus on living my best life. That saying annoys me but I feel it is something I am missing. Why is it expected that I help my mother? I feel like I have done more than I should for way too long. And I have been selfless.

There is so much going on in the world that is bad. I want to stay abreast of these ongoings, but work, fitness, and kid are top priorities to me. But it is also important for me to do things that make me happy. I am struggling with free time already. We can’t catch up with school. And is it all for naught? Will she test at actual grade level for the program I want her to attend? I can’t bother with that.

So where my head is at? I want to start being more aware with portions, eating slower, smaller, and less junk / dessert. I am going to pick up the pace with fitness because I need more and it will help my mental state. So here I am again trying still.

28 Days until SPRING.

Last June I dove into weight loss and lost almost 20 pounds. Have of what I had wanted to lose all total. And ever since I have been floundering to get back into fitness and weight loss. The question has floated by me, what if I am done and just do not care enough anymore? But I do care. So here I am. Not post an article berating myself or talking about being on track or getting on track. Ok the last one. The stretch from last September until now has been difficult. With all the covid stuff happening and my work. It has been a challenge for me personally and I am sure MANY others have as well. I will not beat myself up over falling off track or going out to eat a bunch of times last week, but I will do this… 

Today I am going to track my food and start getting back on the task. I will take the step. My sports bra is tight around my chest again. I DO NOT want to return to 175 pounds. That was gross. Tomorrow I will weigh it. A friend of mine did the weight watchers thing and swore by it but I have always found that if I track calories and try for a deficit, I am okay. I need to feel hungry at nighttime because that tends to show me, I did the right thing. Another step I would like to take is drinking a lot of water. I know it makes an enormous difference as well.  

I have been wanting to work out and either get a treadmill or join a gym. I am embarrassed to go to the gym. I feel so out of shape and fat. The struggle for fitness has been real since I have been in my thirties. I am 46. Making the time for myself since I had my daughter has been a challenge but then every other reason is due to time or stress. So, I am back. Taking it ONE DAY at a time but tracking everything. Because I know that tracking is so important for me. That accountability makes me show up for myself.