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Adventures in weight loss

Back to 220, at last!

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It's been a while since the last update--since April 29th, in fact, when I finally cracked the 220 barrier for the first time. Or maybe that should be, hit 220, then bounced.

Here's the tale:
On May 5th, we left for our Panama Canal cruise, returning on May 26th.
On May 27th, I went in for another weigh-in: 228.2. OK, not too bad . . . 8.4 pounds up over a cruise. Not good, but could have been worse.

June 3: 227.9.

And then, today, June 10th: 220.2 pounds, within 0.4 pounds of my all-time low. And what's better, the nutritionist said I could start eating lean meats and low-calorie veggies for supper, instead of the meal replacements. YAY! So I've spent the last hour and a half or so washing and chopping vegetables for a pork stir fry tonight.

We'll call it 60 pounds

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Actually, it's 59.2 pounds, but I'm under 220, weighing in this morning at 219.8, down from 279 when I began this in August, 2009.

I got the 60-pound ribbon anyway. Snookums likes my ribbons.

It's green. I like it better than pink, anyway.

54.8 pounds

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It's been a while since the last update--since October 28th, to be exact. Since then, Snookums and I have been on a long cruise, we've gotten through the holidays, and survived Super Bowl Sunday. The tale:

October 28: 228 pounds.

This past Wednesday, February 10th, at the official clinic visit: 224.2 pounds.

That's good.

Dr. Tague (yes, we actually met the doctor again this time) adjusted my supplements a bit, but overall was pretty happy. We talked about an ultimate weight-loss goal. I had been thinking about an even 200, but he said that with my particular body type, that would be really hard to do, and suggested 210 or 212, somewhere in there. I'm ok with that, too. So that's the goal! We'll call it 210.

That's 14.2 pounds to go. Two weeks? Three weeks? Four weeks? I don't know. But it's nice to be so close!

51 pounds (!)

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Yes, at the last weekly weigh-in for a while (I'm going on a two-month holiday hiatus) I clocked in at 228 pounds.

I made weight!

I was shooting for 230 by Halloween, and I made it. That also makes it 51 pounds lost since this adventure began back in August, at 279 pounds.

The short-term goal for now is to basically maintain about where I am (although I wouldn't mind shedding a pound or two more) as the holiday season begins. That means not going crazy, of course, but the rules get relaxed a bit--like a "real-food" meal or two every day, and the occasional glass of wine, perhaps.

I also found out this week that I fit into 36-inch jeans. All of those 38-inch-waist shorts I bought recently are a bit loose. Oh, well.

It's gooood.

47.7 pounds

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That's more like it. After a three-week stall, I weighed in today with a 10.5 pound loss for the week. 231.3 pounds. Since my first initial visit with Dr. Tague at the Center for Nutrition, I've lost 47.7 pounds from the 279 pounds I started with.

Woo. And Hoo. And I did the math correctly this week, too.

I was getting a little nervous about making 230 by Halloween. I think I've got a pretty good shot at it, now. I'm off all of the blood pressure medications for now--we'll see how that goes, but I'm hopeful that I'm off of them for good--or at least for a good long while.

Anyway, I had my third "body composition analysis" this week. The numbers are really, really good:

Today, October 24th August 11th Difference
Weight: 231.3 lbs 274.5 lbs ** -43.2
Lean body mass 167.6 lbs 177.0 lbs -9.4
Body fat mass 63.7 lbs 97.5 lbs -33.8
Body mass index (BMI) 31.1 36.9 -5.8
Percent body fat 27.5% 35.4% -7.9%

** Yes, I gained 5.5 pounds in the week from my first Body Composition Analysis (274.5 pounds) to my first visit with the doctor (279.0 pounds). A last fling, of sorts.

Oh, yeah. I got another ribbon--my 40-pound ribbon. (Snookums likes the ribbons.)

37.2 pounds

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The weight loss resumes! Yay!

A respectable 6.9 (UPDATE: 2.3, not 6.9--I can't subtract today) pounds lost in the past week, after two weeks of mild setbacks, weight-wise. 241.8 pounds, and 17 days to go before Halloween. (Actually, the official weigh-in will be on Wednesday, Oct. 28, so that's just thirteen short days from last Thurday's clinic weigh-in.

The best guess for the two-week stall is a combination of a bit more water retention after stopping the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide, plus perhaps adding a bit of muscle mass from working out and walking a bit more. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Speaking of walking a bit more, here are some pictures of what I've started to call the Deer Walk . . . it's about a 55-minute course around the next subdivision over from ours, the growth of which has been pretty much stalled by the current economy. And, since my particular neighborhood is right next to a county park anywhere, it's crawling with white-tailed deer--or "jumbo squirrels" as I've occasionally referred to them.

See after the "read more" for pictures of the Deer Walk . . .

34.9 pounds

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Bacon and cheese (flavor) omlet

I'm going backwards again--on the scale, at least. After last week's 0.7 pound weight gain, I clocked in again with another 0.7 pounds gained. At least I'm consistent.

But, there are other indicators of progress besides the scale. My new belt, which I started at the very last hole, is now tighter by two holes. And I visited my regular doctor on Monday to update her on my weight loss progress. She responded by reducing two of my prescriptions by half--Vytorin (cholesterol) and lisinopril (blood pressure), and stopping two others--hydrochlorothiazide (blood pressure) and gemfibrozil (triglicerides).

That makes me quite happy, as you can imagine.

Still, I'm sitting at 244.1 pounds, with my Halloween goal of 230 14.1 pounds and only 24 days away. The pressure is on!

Pancake topped with vanilla pudding

We have house guests this weekend, so as usual the challenge will be to stick to the diet and exercise while being a proper host. Speaking of which, I need to go clean up the downstairs and scrub some toilets.

35.6 pounds

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Observant readers will notice that on the scale I went backwards over the past week--to the tune of 0.7 pounds from last week's report. BUT, but, but--for last week's clinic visit, I was fasting for some lab work (no oatmeal or pancakes for breakfast), and I was weighed without shoes last week, while this week I had breakfast, and had shoes on, so there you go. Hey, come on, it makes a difference.

The labs?


Blood serum glucose is down to 80 mg/dL. That's really, really, really good! When I started, that number was consistently just over 100--which is the cutoff number between "normal" and "pre-diabetic." I didn't like being pre-diabetic, and my family doctor didn't like it either. That's why she put me on metformin. I go talk with her next week, to update her on what's happening and (maybe?) get off a prescription drug or two. A guy can hope. My blood pressure today was 112/70, so maybe eventually I'll get off the blood pressure meds, too.

Things are good.

I'd have liked to have seen more weight loss this week, but after the torrid pace of the first five weeks, maybe a bit of a slowdown in the rate of loss was about due. I'm still shooting for 230 or less by Halloween, and that's less than 16 pounds and 30 days away. A half-pound a day? No problem!

36.3 pounds

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Another week, another 7.3 pounds lost. 36 days, 36.3 pounds. 242.7 pounds, according to the fancy-schmancy scale at the weight loss clinic. At this rate, I'm looking at 205 by Halloween--and my actual target weight is 209.
The new shipment of meal replacements

That's the good news. The bad news is that my body composition analysis done last week was screwed up--the dietician entered my height wrong--6'3" instead of 6"0.3". Big oops. That messed up a lot of the numbers and made it look a lot better than it was, causing the nearly miraculous numbers that I had last week. This week, it was back down to Earth a bit.

My real numbers are 242.7 total pounds of which 162.5 was lean muscle mass, 119.1 was water, and 80.2 pounds of fat. The difference of those numbers from the first body composition analysis are: -36.3 pounds total, -14.5 pounds lean muscle, -10.8 pounds of water, and -17.3 pounds of fat. Still really good numbers, but not fantastic. And, I had a bit more muscle loss than the physician assistant I saw today wanted to see, so I get to hit the weights a bit more in the gym. More reps, not more weight, don't ya know.

At this rate, I just might be within shouting distance of my goal weight by the end of October. I said last week I was shooting for 230 by Halloween--that's only 12.7 pounds away, now. And I'm over half way to my overall goal of 209--that's only 33.7 pounds away.

I think I'll make it, but I'm gonna need a whole closet full of new clothes.

29.0 pounds

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That's exactly a pound a day, since the diet started 29 days ago. 7.7 pounds in the last week. I guess political activism agrees with me.

It helps that--aided by the 25,000 steps in the three full days we spent in Washington--I averaged something over 6,000 steps a day. Add to that the three-times-weekly workouts with our personal trainer, and I'm a fat-burning machine.

But what's even better than the weight loss (and that's pretty good, don'tcha think?) is the results of another "body composition analysis" I had at the weight loss clinic today. The first analysis, which was done a week before I actually started the diet, showed that I weighed 274.5 pounds, of which 177.0 was lean body mass--muscle and water--and 97.5 pounds was body fat.

Well. Today, the numbers were 250.0 pounds total, 185.4 lean body mass, and 64.6 pounds of body fat. I've lost 32.9 pounds of fat, and actually gained "dry lean mass" (that is, muscle weight) of 2.3 pounds--from 47.1 to 49.4 pounds.

People aren't supposed to gain muscle mass when they're on one of these diets. The doctor and the nutritionists stress over and over how you're supposed to exercise (and eat all of your protein meal replacements) in order to avoid losing too much muscle. The dietitian I talked to said my numbers were just about the best she'd ever seen.

So, I'm doing it right.

I've got 41 days to go before Halloween, when I plan to go into a bit of a maintenance mode for the holiday season. My personal goal for that is to get down to 230 pounds. Considering that that means another 20 pounds in 41 days, that seems like a very reachable goal.

Now if you excuse me, I've got to go out and walk for an hour. Halloween is right around the corner!