Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Miscellany, Including "Embracing the Frizz"

I know, I am always posting variations on this photo.

1. I am finally embracing my frizz! In the past few years, my hair has changed texture quite a lot –  thinned, for one thing (boo!), but also unbrushable when dry because it turns into a massive frizz. My hair person told me, in fact – "Oh no, don't brush your hair EVER when it's dry. Only when it's wet." She is also of a certain age and has the same issue.

The problem is, I don't always wash my hair in the morning when I am getting ready for work. I am almost always a nighttime bather/hair washer, so that means I sleep on my hair and then it's dry in the morning and disheveled. BUT I CAN'T BRUSH IT. 

I guess I could spritz it with some water so that I can brush it, but what I've been doing lately is embracing my inner Doc Brown (you know, from Back to the Future?) and letting my hair do what it will without much fuss. I do run a comb through to define my part, but all I ever do now is pat/fluff/run fingers through it, and for good measure, twist the front parts between my fingers to kind of smooth them out and create cute little wavy bits. 

As you can see here in today's photo, my hair DOES look a little disheveled, but I am also starting to really actually like it. Of course, if I didn't have my fabulous glasses and red lipstick to complete the look, I might not feel so good about it – those things, which look very put together, balance out the
crazy.

2. After all this time, I am still trying to figure out whether time of day matters for eating and weight loss. Case in point: yesterday, I ate right around target cals, and exercised for over an hour, but still gained a pound. I mean, this could be caused by a number of things, not least of which could be the time of the month. I am pre-PMS right now but it seems like my body likes to hold on to some weight around this time – last month I had the same weight pattern: Big losses early in the month, some gains mid-late, and then evening out at the end. So, I am not too worried about as long as I stick with the program more often than not, but... it is a little annoying to be sure. That said, I also ate pretty lean during the day and had a big meal after we played over an hour's worth of tennis – dinner ended up being after 8pm, which I prefer NOT to do.

And because I ate light all day, and because we exercised, I was hungry and I ate a big meal. Within calories, true, mostly good stuff, true, but big, also true. (It was like a deconstructed burrito with two small tortillas, a can of black beans, a small piece of chicken, a bunch of cheese, jalapenos, and sour cream. Yum! Crazy protein, too!)

The result the next morning was a one pound gain, which puts me back to 290 even, which pisses me off, but... whatever. As my partner told me, It'll come off fast. And I am sure it will. But still! *sticks out tongue*

3. I feel like I have been super busy lately – things are converging in a way they hadn't yet with all of my jobs (I have three – one full-time and two part-time, both of which are remote/mostly remote). My most recent job is getting busier and my role will be expanding shortly (I find out more tomorrow evening!), so it'll be interesting to see how it all goes. At the same time, I am also thinking about the future (i.e. six months to a year from now) when my situation might be (better be!) completely different. No lie that all this stuff weighs heavy sometimes, but I am grateful for all the opportunities I have and I'm happy to do my best to rise to the challenges and getting out of my comfort zone a bit.

4. My tennis arm hurts today for what I think is the first time! I've been using one of my partner's racquets (a Boris Becker London) the past few outings and while it seems to help me play better, it might be a little too heavy for me. So today when we're out, I'll be going back to my own newer racquet that I also really like – a Babolat Pure Strike. Hopefully my arm will stop hurting! I finally got my knees feeling a little better. (I would LOL but being middle-aged is no joke, man.)


Friday, May 19, 2017

Reader Q: How Often Do You Weigh Yourself?

I got this question from reader Nicole a few days ago:

I had a question for you about how often you weigh yourself. I've read a few of your posts and read about the weight tracker app you use, Happy Scale. I realized that app is best used when checking your weight daily or at least that's what I gathered from what I read. Do you weigh yourself daily and (if you do) do you find it to be discouraging when your weight fluctuates? Currently, I weigh myself once a week, but I've actually found myself becoming anxious (well half anxious and half excited) for Friday morning because I want to see how much (if any) weight I lost that week. I'm wondering if weighing myself daily will help with that. Plus, I think it would be nice to have an app dedicated to only tracking my weight. I looked at other weight loss trackers, and I haven't found any like the Happy Scale. I especially like how you can create multiple milestones for yourself!

Hey Nicole, 

Great question! I've been thinking about this a bit and wanted to answer you thoroughly. So, here goes: Yes, I do weigh every day (unless there are mitigating circumstances, like being out of town or whatever). Yes, Happy Scale definitely works best if you do weigh every day, because what it does is calculates a moving average as well as tracking your actual weight – it shows you what your overall progress is, which I find very helpful! I think I have mentioned before how my goal has been to "stay in the green" on the app all the time. Let me show you an example of what I am talking about.


Even when my weight fluctuates, it shows me the general trend.

As you can see by this chart (the monthly report in Happy Scale), my weight loss is never a straight line down on a daily basis – which, of course, is normal! That is what our bodies do! However, rather than get discouraged by these ups and downs, I see that I am still on a downward trend overall – I'm "in the green". So while I am getting on the scale every single day, I obsess about my weight a little less than I might ordinarily, because I know that I am still on track. Conversely, it makes it really easy to see when I need to rein things in a bit, if I am tipping into the red. See this example from last November, which was the last time I was in the green but got into the red in a big way.

All the months after this until February 2017 were red, red, red.

You can also see that I didn't weigh every single day that month, so it can still make a calculation without daily input – but obviously the more data you put in, the better it will work for you.

Now, take a look at my weight on a weekly basis. This is why I don't weigh in like this anymore. It would get really discouraging and I wouldn't have the benefit of seeing all the stuff in between that would have clued me in that things were actually happening.

Tuesdays:

2/7/17: 308.8

2/14/17: 303.8, 5 pounds lost

2/21/17: 307.4, 3.6 pounds gained

2/28/17: 301.6, 5.8 pounds lost

3/7/17: 300.0, 1.6 pounds lost

3/14/17: 296.0, 4 pounds lost

3/21/17: 297.6, 1.6 pounds gained

3/28/17: 295.4, 2.2 pounds lost

4/4/17: 299.0, 3.6 pounds gained

4/11/17: 292.4, 6.6 pounds lost

4/18/17: 295.8, 3.4 pounds gained

4/25/17: 293.2, 2.6 pounds lost

5/2/17: 292.6, 0.6 pounds lost

5/9/17: 288.4, 4.2 pounds lost

5/16/17: 289.0, 0.6 pounds gained

So far, my lowest weight has been 285.8 on Sunday 5/14. Today I weighed in at 286.8. But I would never have known that if I only weighed weekly.

And, for me – maybe not for you, but for me – I do know that I wouldn't have dealt well with those few bigger weekly gains. I just wouldn't. I have nightmares about Weight Watchers weigh-ins and remember how devastated I would feel if I had a gain like that, or even just not showing a decent amount of progress at all week to week. And wouldn't you know... I always gave up, inevitably. For some reason, keep track of things every day helps to lessen the blow of the ups and downs, because I see it for what it is: A natural fluctuation, OR sometimes things like eating foods like Chinese or Mexican take-out that usually make me gain no matter what (sodium, I'm guessing), OR of course the off day here and there when I plainly just eat too much. Daily weigh-in keeps me in tune with my body and its quirks, and I can better deal with the gains when I know better what might have caused them. It's all mind games, isn't it?

Ultimately everyone has to decide what works best for them, but if you've never tried daily weighing, I recommend giving it a shot for a couple weeks. You just have to make sure you get in the right mindset, which does take some work – you're collecting data, you're basically being a scientist in a way. Try not to attach moral judgment to the number on the scale; just let it inform you and go about your day.

Basically, I LOVE Happy Scale – I think it is a fantastic tool that throws a little smarts into my efforts. It's like the old days when I used to use the Physics Diet website, which did the same kinds of calculations but then went away after a few years (so sad – that was a great forum!). When I found Happy Scale, I was, well... super happy.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Really, I Am NOT Afraid of Stripes!

Queen of the bathroom selfie!

Yes, I am fat, and yes, I wear stripes any damn time I want.

This past week I also found out that my mom loves stripes, too! It must be genetic. 

(Swing dress is Old Navy, and the fabric is so lovely and drapey and comfortable, plus I got it on sale super cheap – win-win-win.)

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

In Times of Trouble...

It's nice when you can like a photo of yourself once in a while.

It's been a while, yes, but not for bad reasons. Well, maybe kind of, but not those kind that relate to my health and fitness – save the stress and makeshift meals and things, and not going to the gym anymore.

Despite all that, though, I finally saw a number on the scale below 290! My lowest weight so far is today's, 288.4. I'm pretty thrilled. I actually hit it on Saturday first, but was without access to a scale Sunday and Monday – so it's nice that it's stuck for a few days, at least.

Considering all the crazy that has happened in the past week, I'm hanging in there pretty well. Long story short is that we decided that we're going to sell our house – more or less under duress – but that's what we're doing. There's so much to be done to get ready and at the very least it will be good exercise, but honestly I am ready for it to be all done. Yes, I know real estate transactions often take a while! At the very least I am hoping for a relatively quick sale and to get enough from it that we walk away with at least something.

In the meantime, I'm keeping on keeping on sans gym appointments – mainly to save money but also because of the time factor, and I do think I will get plenty of physical activity in the coming month or two to make up for it. But the eating seems to have gotten easier, not as likely to binge and less likely to eat as much crap as I used to. I'm preferring water again over diet soda (though sometimes still, there is nothing like some fizzy stuff), and I drink a lot of it!

So yeah, aside from the drama, I feel pretty balanced and good about what I am doing for myself.

I also think that meditation really, really helps, even if I just do it when I am in the bathtub or when I am trying to fall asleep. Try it out if you're having trouble in any area of your life!

Onward. Bigger and better things.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Where I've Been, Where I'm Going

The last day of the month is when I post my loss or gain for that month on the data page (see menu above). Yesterday was the last day of April, and while I did show a loss from March, I was a little disappointed in how I did. Instead of the 7 to 10 pounds I'd hoped to see gone, it was just 4. But, we all know... there should never be a "just" ahead of any loss. Any and all losses (in my case, at least, in this context) should be celebrated! So that is what I am doing, also knowing that I did make it to 290 during the month.

Losses have been sluggish the past couple weeks, stubborn, even. I'm not sure why but I'm not too worried about it, either. Right now I'm in PMS week and the scale was up by a pound today (294), which is frustrating but also not exactly surprising. My tummy feels kind of off today and my sleep hasn't been great lately, and... hormones. I'll just keep doing what I am doing, knowing that perseverance always pays off eventually.

Assessing the year so far (I guess this is kind of like a quarterly report!), I see progress. It's slow, but I'm definitely making progress.

• In January and February, I was still struggling to get out of the 300s. It wasn't even until mid-March that I finally broke out of there for good, actually!

• In March, I broke the 295 barrier but still found that my body was fighting it.

• Throughout April I was in the 290s, having got down to 290 on two of those days. My body is still fighting that, apparently, and as I mentioned, ended the month at 293.

• I had an amazing walk/run in the dark in the rain late last week. It was great! I ended up doing a 5K distance, my first since January, and it felt really good. I did walk most of it, but the last mile was more running than not. My average pace was in the 17s, with the third mile at just a squeak over 16 – super awesome for me, especially since I haven't been doing a lot of walking and, like, no running in quite a while (minus some treadmill work here and there). Strength training does help!

YEAH! Nicely done.

And I'm still in the green on my Happy Scale app! If nothing else happens, I always ever want to stay in the green, which means that I am losing or maintaining my average weight. I saw WAY too much red in 2016.

For May, I definitely want to make my way out of the 290s solidly. I would say that I want to be under 280 – aiming high, I know – but based on my history I very well could pull it out. It would be amazing to be in the 270s by my 47th birthday on June 9th. (OMG, I initially typed in 27th instead of 47th, LOL! I tell you what, though – 27 does NOT seem that long ago.)

I'm also very happy to announce that my partner, C., broke the 300 barrier! I'm so thrilled for him. He's also been working hard and has been such a great support to me. It's so much easier when you have a built-in support system at home.

In other news, I feel like the luckiest girl alive lately! I was able to lease a new car on Saturday, which I am still stunned by because my Toyota dealer was giving me such a hard time about my situation – the lease on my Prius was out very soon, and I've had a not-so-lovely credit report these days; they were asking me for pay stubs and utility bills, whether I could get a co-signer, how much money could I put down, etc. etc. – just making things seem dire and not being very helpful. Hey, I get it. When you have shitty credit, that is what happens. But, I thought at least that customer loyalty would factor in at least some. Didn't seem that way at all, though!

In frustration and after talking with C. about what kind of car we'd like, settled on trying for a Honda Civic, a car his sister got last year and loves. Since I wasn't really into the new versions of the Corolla or the Camry (felt like tin cans!), I was into it. I looked up who was the best Honda dealer in the area and contacted them. Long story short, within a day they got me into the mid-level Civic, an EX-T (Moon roof! Heated seats! Turbo engine!), for almost $100 less per month than my Prius, and with better insurance rates and lower deductibles! On top of that? I won't ever have to worry about mileage overage again because they got me 20,000 miles a year. (I drive a lot!) Unfortunately, I'm going to have to pay for the excess miles I put on my Prius, but hey – I am outta there and I am HONDA FOR LIFE now. Classier dealership, nicer people, better financing, better cars. That Civic feels practically like a luxury car to me, especially compared to the Toyotas I recently test drove.

Hello! My name is Jabberjaw!
Hooray for Ray Laks Honda and my salesman, Mark Snipes!

Anyway, you can imagine how insanely happy I am about this. It takes a HUGE load off my mind. I'd been stressed out about it since the new year, when I first started talking to Toyota about what to do at the end of me lease. Honda made it so fast and easy, I was seriously shaking my head and really wishing I'd gone to them in the first place. But now I know, and I should be set car-wise for a very long time. (Now that I have the right mileage deal, I just love leasing – new car every three years!)

Then, on top of all that? I got an email from Panera Bread this morning telling me that I am entitled to one free bagel every single day of May! What??? Yep. I guess they pick random customers to do this sort of thing, and I got lucky. That's like $35 worth of free bagels, and I am using it to the max.

Things are looking up in many ways. I hope that I can keep the good karma coming my way. It feels amazing!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Back to Normalish

More good news – I'm back to 291 again. So, up five pounds in two days and down five pounds in another two. Crazy body.

I'm just happy that I am still in the green on Happy Scale, to be honest.

I also have a few days left to hit my sub-290 goal. Please oh please.

In other news, my trainer canceled our appointment yesterday afternoon, but C. and I went out for some more tennis, which was awesome. I'm 95% sure I'm going to get those tennis shoes I posted about yesterday. Today and tomorrow we've got company-wide meetings with our folks from NYC in town, so... I would just like this week to be over with already, even if I do get a free dinner at Gordon Biersch out of it, and free conference lunch too! I don't think I have anything to be nervous about, but you know how it is. I'll just assume that it's part of the reason that I chose hot chocolate over green tea this morning, and a couple handfuls of jelly beans in addition to the free weekly bagel. (UGH. Unawares emotional eating at its finest, folks!)

Which reminds me, I need to finish up my trusting myself with food challenge, for which I just need to fill out the last day's form. I'm gradumatating! I'm still working on the 30-day journaling challenge, too, and I've decided to share that link here. There's nothing I wouldn't say here in this blog in that journal, but I'm addressing specific questions and I think maybe somebody might get some benefit from seeing the process of working through them? Let me know what you think!

Ooh, and I try to get a little bit of meditation in every day, even if that just means counting breaths as I try to calm my mind falling asleep. I just did this quick, one-minute session by James Stephenson, a guy that Samantha from Live The Whole suggested: Your Ideal Life. Holy cow – in it, you picture the life you want to have five years from now, and it amazed me how just one minute of doing this can feel so powerful and affirming. I have been planting some seeds for my future just recently and trying to feel as positive as possible about what I might be doing a month, a year, five years from now. The future could be very bright indeed! I'll have to check out more of his guided meditations, and as you know, I also really love the Stop-Breathe-Think website and app.

Lately I have been doing pretty well with self-care, and my morning routine is well ingrained now – mostly lovely skincare things, like a nice cleanser, eye cream, day cream, serum (I've been trying out Acure products and like them a lot so far!)... and at night trying to remember to cleanse as well, and doing a special overnight mask a few times a week, too. The night time routine isn't totally there yet, but trying to remember to do these things as add-ons when I brush my teeth for the last time of the day.

And again, I can't stress how much having a good set of clothes that is easy to wear and makes me feel good, confident, and pretty is so game-changing for me! It makes getting ready for work in the mornings so much nicer, for one thing – and sometimes, that's the only thing, isn't it?

Leaving you now feeling very positive and refreshed and just good. Goodgoodgood. I'll totally take it.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Ups and Downs and... Part 2

OK, folks, false alarm.

As (hopefully) predicted, my weight was well down again this morning, to 293 and change. Down about three and a half pounds overnight! This made me feel pretty correct in my assumption that the Chinese food I'd been eating the previous couple days had been problematic. #shortmemoryspan #neverforget

I drank a lot of water yesterday and the eating was pretty normal – held to my calorie goal of 1800, which included a delicious double IPA post-tennis last night. That's right! We were out on the court again, the first time since my partner was hurt a couple weeks ago. He did all right and so did I, though I did notice more aches and pains during than I have earlier in the season. Not sure what's up with that, except that I may need a new pair of tennis shoes. Mine are now two years old and so I am definitely due, and lucky for me Tennis Express is having a shoe sale, where I spotted these:



I REALLY WANT THEM. I currently have a pair of Adidas, so I know that I like how the brand fits. These are killing me.

Anyway... I ended up actually winning one game out of the 13 we played (two sets = one whole match). Final score: 6–0, 6–1 in C.'s favor, of course. Still, I was very pleased with how I played in general – hustling better for the ball, getting behind the ball better and keeping my eye on it, better control of where I'm sending it. My serve still seems to be better – I finally figured out a semi-good form that works well. We played for over an hour compared the 45-minute sessions we've played so far this season. Good stuff! We also have a trip to Pittsburgh coming up soon so that we can play on the clay public courts again, so nice!

In other news, I've been accumulating more clothes in the past two months than I have, like, in the past two decades, not even joking. OK, maybe that is an exaggeration, but I have definitely bought more clothes recently than I have in a really long time. Major reasons for this? a) LuLaRoe (especially the going out of business consultant group I found on Facebook – I had to unfollow it for a while because it was way too tempting) and b) I realized that I can fit into XXL sizes at straight stores – at least Old Navy and some of Gap. I scored a pile of black staples like cardigans and jersey dresses for dirt cheap that I love looks-wise and that feel really good on. It's kind of been a game-changer, if you want to know. It's like I am a new person, even if I haven't lost all the weight I want to yet. It's a fantastic feeling to be able to dress how you want to dress.

I've also been doing stupid (?) stuff like buying way below my current size. The main example is this pair of Sammie pants from J. Crew, which for some reason I really could not resist even though the largest size they had left was a 12. I know, I know... who the fuck knows when I'll be able to fit into them, but... they were on super sale (I actually got them for $14.99 each when I ordered them last week!) and I just love them so much. I got one in each color. I mean, corduroy! An interesting shape! I'll make them work when the time comes. And it will. See:

Sammies! SO CUTE. I would NOT wear mine with heels.

Today I am wearing a black v-neck cardi from Old Navy along with a LuLaRoe shirt (I think a Perfect T?) that I can't decide whether I like or not. Funny thing is, I've received a couple compliments on it today, and that doesn't happen too often. Part of it is feeling like the print feels a little "old" or too fussy for my taste? And that the color isn't exactly in my comfort zone. I think I might end up trying to sell it, but for posterity's sake, here it is:

Almost-fluorescent green with brown background... meh, I think? I had to change my
glasses to the torties to better coordinate – mint green looked weird with it.
And here is the classic "bathroom at work" shot as well! LOL.

It's merely a coincidence that the phone covered up most of my double chin! Seriously.

I guess that is it for now – wow, lots of fashion stuff! I always wanted to do a fashion blog but just never have. Hm... can you say bucket list item?

Monday, April 24, 2017

Ups and Downs and %$# Ups

Just posting quickly today because it is the kind of day a daily weigher really %$# hates.

I told you yesterday that I was up to 294 after the previous day at 291? Today I am all the way up to 296.6, and I am all like, WTF MF??? I didn't do anything yesterday to warrant a gain like that, grrr.

Or did I? We've been eating Chinese take-out and leftovers the past few days, and even though I got a broccoli/snow pea/green bean in garlic sauce dish (excellent, by the way!) and some steamed shrimp, I can't help but wonder if maybe the sodium/MSG that stuff is notorious for caused it? I've been logging calories, and while yes I had a crappy eating day on Saturday, I totally reined it in yesterday.

So here I am, having gained five pounds in two days. Yay!

(I know, I know... not a real gain, etc. etc. but sometimes you just really need to bitch it out. I was so happy to be so close to the 280s, grrrr. GRRRR!)

To top off an awesome morning, I took our cat Callie's body to the pet crematorium before work. The lady there was super nice, but man that sucks. I'm doing my best to not respond with emotion-fueled eating today. And after work, C. and I are definitely hitting some tennis balls around.

Tomorrow's another day.

*grumble* *sniffle*

Sunday, April 23, 2017

What Can I Accomplish?

Well, well, it's been a while and it's been an adventure. Various things going on, still feeling focused but amazed at how just one off day can totally ruin everything – at least, that's what it feels like, temporarily.

I was up a bit and then back down a bit, then up again this morning after a somewhat raucous evening and another skip of the gym appointment. The stars felt truly not aligned yesterday. I was tired and rushed and I couldn't be bothered to go down to the laundry room to get fresh workout clothes on. Very last minute, I texted a cancellation notice for the day. (I also cancelled my LA Fitness membership again, but that is more about preferring to support the local weight lifting-focused gym where I usually meet up with my trainer, even though the bells and whistles are far fewer.)

I actually did OK eating-wise until later in the evening, when I ended up having one beer and then another. And then I wanted to try the chili we made for today's consumption, and it was so hot that I ended up downing like six pieces of bread and half a box of Cheez-Its or something dumb like that. We are also a little more than stressed about our eldest cat's failing health and impending death, as in, it could be any day now. That makes it harder to do the right things when it comes to my health and fitness, you know? (ETA: Callie passed away just a couple hours after writing this.)

On the plus side, to try to counter that, I've been working on a couple challenges from LivetheWhole, including a 14-day Trust Yourself with Food one, as well as a 30 day Emotional Eating Journaling one. I've stuck pretty well to the action part of these and keeping up: Today is day 12 of the 14 days, and day 9 of the the 30 days. I'm not really sure what good they are doing me at this point, but I do feel that it is always good to think carefully about things that are related to the way we relate to food. If nothing else I am trying to be more mindful of what and when I eat, which is a step in the right direction.

Yesterday I was down into 291, but today back up to 294. My goal for April was to get down to 285, which now feels kind of impossible, but based on even very recent events, I know that it is actually probably still doable. At the very least I'd like to be solidly under 290 by the end of the month. According to my Happy Scale app, I still remain in the green on my monthly report (a chart that calculates your moving average as well as monitors actual weight), which is my totally ultimate goal every month – April so far is my second month straight completely in the green (i.e. going in the right direction), and I just want to keep it going for as many months as I can. Green = progress and that is all I really want, no matter how it takes to get to wherever it is I am going. See what I mean?


April is looking good – just one more week!

It's kind of funny how busy but also how lazy I've been lately. When I'm going, it's go go go, but when I have downtime, man! I have been a huge loaf. Today C. and I were going to go hit some tennis balls around to see how he feels, and/or go for a walk, but with our kitty not doing so well, we're hesitant to leave her alone in case her time comes. Instead, we've been watching tennis, movies, and basketball on TV and took an epic afternoon nap with said kitty in the middle. (They are still in bed, by the way!) Honestly, the idea of actually doing something productive sounds like a terrible idea today. I just can't shake it.

So, looking forward this week:

• Hit 285–289 weight-wise

• Get through big company-wide meetings at work on Wednesday and Thursday (ugh)

Get through our cat's likely Deal with our cat's death while doing these things

• Keep building on my exercise schedule – keep my three training appointments as well as adding other activity that I'll be doing with my partner (walking and tennis)

• Don't freaking burn out



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Sea Change

Often, what has happened if I haven't posted much in a given time is that things have kind of (or definitely) derailed. I am very pleased to say that is NOT the case this time around. To recap, when I posted a week ago tomorrow, I mentioned how strange are bodies can be when I dropped a couple pounds quite unexpectedly, and I also mentioned how I was OK with likely not meeting my goal of 292 by this past Sunday. Well, at the time it did seem very unlikely indeed!

But, for whatever reason, in the past week, I've been letting go of some major poundage. Today, I weighed in at 290 and change. I did, in fact, hit my goal of 292 on Sunday.

I don't really know the exact reason why. I mean, I have largely been doing the same things as I have ever done, especially in the past month or so. I think I made an important realization last week, though. At first it was the assumption that exercise was hindering my progress, because it was during my break period last week spending as much time at home with my injured partner that the weight started dropping off.

The more I thought about it, though, I came to understand that I was eating "regular" calories every single day (1600–1800), i.e. at a deficit. Typically on workout days, I'd allow myself a couple extra hundred, and sometimes quite honestly it ended up being more. And those were at least three days out of the week! As we all know, you can't out-exercise excessive eating, so...

It seems really obvious now, but it feels like a major light bulb switched on. I simply need to eat at normal cal levels no matter how much activity I have in a day. Argh, it makes so much sense now. So I am going to try that from now on and see if that continues to help. I am obviously VERY pleased with the recent progress I have made! Essentially, I have turned back the clock to last July, which was the last time I was consistently in the 280s. Almost there!

Looking back on my history, my next "turn back the clock" period will take me to April of last year, when I last saw the 270s as a regular thing. Yes, this creep has been going on for a long time now – since Thanksgiving 2015, to be precise.

I can't tell you how happy I am that I am managing to drag myself out of this quagmire. I have mentioned in the past how many times I have lost a significant amount of weight, only to gain it back within a few months, and then proceed to gain more. A terrible, vicious cycle indeed! I have now been at this consistently for three years, and while I have gained some of the weight I lost again, I am taking control of the situation and I'm getting myself back to where I need to be.

I am very, very proud of not giving up. It would have been so easy to do that.

My message today to anyone reading is that you must never, ever give up, even if it seems like an impossible task. I am living proof.