Wednesday, May 1, 2013

37... 62... 18... 2000

Another numbers post...  Yay!

Today was weigh in day.  As you may remember, way back sometime last year, I set a goal to lost 37 lbs by my 37th birthday.  I failed pretty spectacularly at the deadline, BUT!  I have finally reached the 37 lb mark!  That puts me at 230(.2, but close enough) lbs!

This puts me at my wedding weight, pre-popping-out-babies weight.  Yes, I am tempted to dig out my wedding dress to try on.  And I will one of these days, mostly because I really want to take pictures of my kids with it.

Now, that 37lbs is from when I really got serious about this weight loss journey.  My highest weight, about 2-3 years ago, was 292 lbs.  So, all together I have lost 62 lbs.  I say that because I know that's significant.  I don't usually "count" it, because those extra 25 lbs weren't something I worked all that hard for.  A good chunk of it was my body saying "Whoa! I can't take this anymore!" and being so sick that the weight disappeared.  Unintentional weight loss is a sign of diabetes.  There were a few pounds here and there from some trying off and on, but until I set that goal when I was 267 lbs, I wasn't really trying.

Every 1st of the month (or the next day when my husband isn't home LOL), I do measurements and try on my "goal" jeans.  I always have a pair of jeans the next size smaller to work towards.  Right now, that is a pair of size 18 Levis.  Last month, I was able to get them on, but they were far from actually fitting.  Very tight in the gut.  Mega muffin top.  Not cute.  

Well, my shorts from last summer are literally falling off of me.  I'm not using "literally" in the obnoxious exaggerating sense, they really were falling off of me when I was running around with the kids at the park Monday.  I really needed a new pair, but I couldn't find any 20s at the store that didn't look like something my mom would wear.  I love my mom, but I won't dress like her.  I went ahead and got a pair of 18s, thinking I could at least hang on to them like my goal jeans.  I'll just go somewhere else later for 20s.  I got home and for kicks, put them on and...

They fit perfectly!  I am wearing size 18!  Forget buying a size 20!  I'm going shopping for a 16 next!

The jeans are still a little snug in the waist, but not as bad as last month.  Maybe by next month I'll feel comfortable in them, but you know what?  It's shorts season, baby!

And, as a bonus, I have this habit of pulling my pants down without unbuttoning or unzipping them, because all the clothes I own are too big.  I can still do this in the 18s.  Yep.  That's pretty cool.

On to the number 2000.

I was at work today overhearing a conversation between coworkers.  Coworker 1 said said, very discouraged, "Man, I've already eaten 395 calories today."  (It was after lunch, by the way)  I've heard a similar conversation between these people before, and I have to just bite my tongue.  You CANNOT lose weight eating so little.  Well, Coworker 2 said, "You should ask Jennifer how much she eats, I know she eats more than that."  It's rare that anyone asks me how I have lost weight.  They have noticed my weight loss, yes, and they do know I eat healthy, but they usually don't ask me how.  I know that no one wants unsolicited weight loss advice, so I keep it to myself.  

But, surprisingly, they asked so I told them... I usually average around 2000 calories a day.  Never less than 1800. (Actually, until I recalculated my BMR today, it was 1850). Coworker 1 looked really surprised.  Then I explained to her that if she doesn't eat enough, she won't lose weight and I directed her to a BMR calculator where she discovered she needs at least 1600 calories.  I think that made her day.  I'm not sure what her goal was before that, but most people think 1000 to 1200 calories a day is the limit if you want to lose weight.  So not true.  Some very petite people might be OK with that, but the average person will not.

Think of your fat as a savings account.  Your body has all these bills to pay (calories burned in a day) and you need an income (food).  There is always going to be a minimum amount that has to be paid, even if you're in a coma.  This is your BMR.  It's the bare minimum you should be eating.  So, up until  you decide to lose weight, you obviously have excess income.  But then you start restricting that income, trying to drain your savings account.  If you restrict your income too much though, your body gets very miserly and starts pinching pennies, saving every calorie it can because it's afraid not even the savings account will last.  That's how we are designed, because years and years ago, if our bodies didn't conserve the fat we built up over bountiful times, we'd starve to death in the winter.  But if you make sure your body is getting enough to pay the bills, it isn't so miserly with the savings account and will use it for the excess energy you expend while working out.

If you want to calculate your BMR, check out this.  And remember, this is the bare minimum.  There is a link on that page to the Harris Benedict Equation to figure out how much over that you need based on your activity level.  You just get that number and deduct 500-1000 calories to lose 1-2 lbs a week, but - again - never less than your BMR.  For example, my BMR is 1790.  I workout 3-5 days a week, so I multiply that by 1.55.  I can maintain my current weight at 2775 calories a day at my current activity level.  But I don't want to maintain, so I shoot for 2000 or so.

Usually, since I have a Fitbit, which estimates my calorie burn for the day based on my steps for the day, and I workout at night, I'll take the previous day's calorie burn and subtract 500-1000 calories and shoot for that.  Again, it's usually around 2000.

Well, that was a longer post than intended.  =)

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