Friday, April 27, 2012

Is this the end? Not likely!

I did the final weigh-in for The Biggest Loser this morning. Down 11.1% according to their scale; a little wee bit more according to mine. Almost 30 cm of my circumference (in various areas) is gone, as is about 5% of my body fat. My ultimate goal is to lose about 5.5% of my starting weight from January 9, and I know it is doable. Of course, right now, I'm waiting to find out if I will be in the top 5 Losers who will get to carry on through into June. That's tomorrow's news.

Stay tuned!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Five percent!

I've achieved the first major goal of my weight-loss challenge -- 5.18% of my starting weight is gone, which translates to about 3% of my original body fat content. I've lost just under six inches in total according to the measurements done at the start of the R2 Fitness Biggest Loser challenge. I seem to be on target for what I want to do, as my average weekly loss so far is about 1.3 lbs. For me, and according to everything I've read, that's a nice steady pace at which to lose weight.

I was concerned in the first few weeks that my loss rate would stagnate because I'm not using all my extra weekly points, nor am I diving into the activity points I've earned. Many people on Weight Watchers say they have to use up their weekly points, otherwise they don't lose. I'm finding that if I use the weekly points as the 'buffer' to my daily food 'budget,' it works out well for me. I can have a glass of wine in the evening, use four or five of the extra points, and it's still good.

I'm probably not getting in as much activity as some of the others in the Challenge, but I'm also cognizant of the fact that I need to be doing something that will be sustainable over the long term. Statistics I've read say that many people who start an exercise program quit (or drop off significantly) within the first month or so. Well, I've made it six weeks, and I'm really not doing much more activity on a weekly basis than I was before Christmas. I'm teaching Zumba two hours a week, and doing strength training two hours a week. I've not committed to any classes on weekends because I want to keep those free to go visit grandbabies, or do the things we don't have time to do during the week.

It's the other aspect of weight loss that I've changed. Weight loss happens when calories being burned are more than calories taken in. I know that; and I've always known that. For me, it's controlling what goes in that is crucial. I can't let myself slack off on that accountability of recording what I eat on a daily basis. For me, Weight Watchers works well in that respect. All my fruits and veggies are free, so that's encouraging me to eat more of those good things. I'm getting really good at eyeballing three ounces of meat (I check with my kitchen scale just to be sure!), and I'm constantly surprised by how much a serving of something really is! For example, one cup of whole wheat pasta is as much as I would want to eat on a regular basis anyways. By the time I throw on some Healthy Choice Chunky Lovers pasta sauce, and either a few reduced-fat meatballs, or some cooked shrimp, I've got quite the filling meal. There's been several times when I've given myself one cup of something like rice or yams, only to find that it really is more than I want.

Of course, my biggest downfall when I'm not watching is salty snacks. I love potato chips, snack crackers with cheese, fat-laden dips -- all those lovely high-carb, high-fat things that go straight to my butt. Even something as 'healthy' as hummus packs a load of fat calories. However, yes, moderation is the key. I've found some pretzel crackers that are fat-free, and are absolutely yummy with hummus. If I dip judiciously, and not scoop outrageously, I can enjoy a nice snack and take care of those salt-carb cravings.

My ultimate goal to lose almost 17% of my original, January 9, 2012 starting weight. I won't be there by the end of the Biggest Loser challenge, not if I keep up at my current rate. But I'll be well on my way (weigh?)...

Monday, January 23, 2012

Just because I can....

Sometimes we do things just because we can. And so it was on Friday when I reinvented myself from the neck up and got hair extensions. My hair has long been something I wished I could do something about -- I inherited my mother's fine, thin hair and no amount of any special product could make it look more than thin and fine. Growing it long was an exercise in futility, especially in the winter when the static monster took over!

So I did it. Such that it is. It's longer than I thought I would have it, but it's rather neat right now. I may cut it a bit more later, but for now I'll just play with it and see what happens.

As for the Biggest Loser contest, I'm still losing. I'm down another 8/10ths of a pound for a total in two weeks of 2.5 lbs. I haven't weighed in back at the gym yet because we had one of the granddaughters on the weekend, and between that and getting my hair done, I just didn't get there.

However, I earned 30 activity points last week! One solid hour of Zumba is worth 11 points, but I only count 10 because I'm not really going full-bore for the entire 60 minutes that I'm teaching. I used up some of my weekly extra points last week, but still had plenty to spare by the end of Sunday.

This week's goal is to make it to the gym at least twice, on top of my two Zumba classes. We'll see how that goes -- it's the week before report card marks are due and there are comments to be submitted. But I should be able to squeeze an hour or two extra just for me!