Thursday, September 6, 2018

Trials and Errors

My summer up through the first part of July was busy. To be honest, I've just enjoyed having quiet time to myself the last month and a half.

As an update from my last entry, I'm feeling a lot better mentally. I still have moments of doubt and all, but it feels like "normal" doubt. Not the depression monster in my head. I've gotten back into a groove with my working out, but eating has been a real struggle. I saw my pulmonologist and we've gotten the pressures figured out. He had to lower them a bit for me. Part of my struggle now is sinus issues due to allergies and the smoke from wildfires. I feel like I am permanently congested and sneezing.

The last 4-6 weeks have been a challenge. I emailed Dr. Hendrick to ask about the other weight loss meds he was thinking of having me try. At our last appointment, we started talking more about it again. He wanted to kick start my weight loss again. I was wanting information from him to do some more research. He was honest with me and let me know which ones he was thinking of, but that the good information is hard to find. There's a lot of less than reputable sites that give half the facts. He said he would give me all the information I could need at our next appointment in mid-September. 

I felt like I just wasn't making progress. I have been lifting back at full weights and upping my weights week to week. It even got to the point that I was looking at weight loss surgery again. Even going so far as to see which of the three different types of procedures I thought would work best. It made me sad to think I needed to do that, even if the surgery is just another tool for me to use. It is not the easy way out.

I don't really remember how it came about, but I started doing more research on intermittent fasting. I don't know if it was a news article, something I saw on Facebook, or what. It is something Dr. Hendrick has been wanting me to try for a while. I was reading up on the science and theory behind it for fat loss. I decided what the heck. At the time I started it, I had a month before my next appointment. I might as well treat myself as a science experiment and see if it works. On a random Tuesday morning, I decided to try it. It has been two weeks, and so far, so good. There are several different ways to do intermittent fasting, but I have been fasting for 16 hours and have an 8-hour window to eat.

The theory is that after you finish eating for the night, your body is in a digestion phase anywhere from 8-12 hours. Anything after the 12-hour mark your body is fasting and will start using fat as fuel. Eating more lean protein does help the body using fat instead of muscle as fuel. 

Overall it hasn't been too bad. It's been great having one less meal to plan, and I don't feel as rushed in the mornings. I do still get coffee in the morning, I just have to limit the flavored creamer so the fast doesn't get broken early. Aside from a few days where I felt very run down and had a headache I have felt great and have had more energy. On the days I have felt like crap, I have broken my fast early and eaten a protein bar or a piece of fruit. I felt better shortly afterward. As always, listening to my body is key.

As for breaking my fast, I break it around lunchtime after I have my workout. I have a little bit more than I normally would at lunch and dinner, but not by that much. When all is said and done I've been averaging around 1800 calories per day with a range of 1500-2100 calories. It depends on how hard I worked out and how hungry I feel. It has also helped me face my fear of hunger and get over it. Well, for the most part. Having a growling stomach in meetings is not the best thing!

Other things from the last couple of weeks:

  • I've dropped between 4-5 pounds. It depends on the day you look at my scale
  • Huge difference in how my clothes fit. I have 2 pairs of pants that I dare not wear outside the house
  • Pair of leggings purchased a year ago now fit. At the time I bought them they wouldn't go past mid-thigh
  • Better attitude
  • More focused at work
  • I'm eating less at meals and feeling satiated sooner
So right now I'm feeling hopeful and finding some success. Right now I just want to get back under 300 pounds, and I am so freaking close. This week or next and I should be there. 

I have also found that I do best when weighing myself every day or every other day. I need the data points to keep me accountable. By keeping my food logs I can go back and see what caused a spike in my weight. Anything from eating, to that time of the month, to too many carbs can cause my weight to spike as much as 4 to 5 pounds in a single day. It helps to see the trend of it going down though and knowing that the weight will come back down. I've been using an app called Libra to help me with this. They have trending weight, average loss, and projected weight loss. It's handy and I like it.