Weekly Digest 46 6/14/19-6/20/19

This week was one where very little of note happened.  Those kinds of weeks are some of my favorite.  It means it was a week where I could spend a lot of time working on what I want to work on.  This week featured a lot of sun and time outside.  I biked a significant amount this week and mixed up my exercise routine like I was hoping to do last week.  So all things considered, I am pretty pleased with how things went.  Except for the results…I saw no change this week – no net loss or gain. So that keep me at 208 pounds lost.  I am pleased not to have gained weight, but sure wish I had seen some progress.

me and bike
Finishing a 15 miler!

A Plateau? 

Over the last few months, I have seen a significant number of weeks where I have no loss and perhaps some minor gains. In fact, many months over the last half-year or more have seen a see-saw battle occurring where I go back and forth and net only a minimal amount of total loss. Combined with increased physical activity, the inevitable muscle being built and redefining my body shape, there are a lot of factors which could contribute to this. So I acknowledge that this struggle is not entirely negative. 

Naturally, I still want to see my overall weight going down, but I think it is important to be realistic in managing expectations.  The fact that I am really enjoying the early part of the summer and spending a good deal of time outside biking or walking is, clearly, contributing to building muscle and reshaping my body from the sedentary lifestyle I previously held.  Since muscle weighs more than fat, it is very likely that is the source of *some* added weight.  So understanding that this process is not entirely a bad thing is an important point to keep in mind. 

No Excuses:

Rationalizing a plateau of weight gain also doesn’t help me.  So while I do believe I have been adding muscle, I also must acknowledge that my diet is not nearly as strict as it was a year ago.  For instance, over the last few weeks, I have made a few batches of shortbread for parties or happy hour events.  While I love doing that, and it is SO much to bake or cook for people, I also have to acknowledge that doing so means I will consume a few pieces of shortbread.  The secret is to keep it to a minimum.  BUT …my point is that this is emblematic about how I have ended up with more sugar in my diet.  In yet another example, I also have a tendency to put sugar in my coffee. I need wean myself off of that.  The increased sugar intake, continued struggle with crackers and cheese, and my tendency to reach for a spoonful of peanut butter as a quick snack, all contribute to a diet that is less clean than optimal. 

Balance:

Everyone’s body is different, metabolisms all process fuels at different rates. For me, I need to remember that my body is not very forgiving and my intake needs to remain a bit cleaner than what it has been, on average.  While being able to enjoy a realistic life is a major key to not driving yourself crazy, I think it’s equally important to remember that balance is a two-sided equation. Not only do we need to make allowances for enjoying life, we also end to check ourselves and not go overboard.  Finding that happy medium is a task unique to each individual and can present struggles all its own.

pork and peas
Teriyaki Pork Loin with peas, red potatoes and carrots

The Injury Report: 

This is one of those rare occasions when I get to report that I am feeling perfectly healthy and nothing is slowing me down from being active.  Although, curiously, I am discovering this week that I get sore if I sit too long at my desk.  Clearly I need to make some alterations with my desk chair …and sit in it as little as possible.  That’s a small matter however, and I am happy to be healthy!

Intake:

Intake this week was not too bad.  Overall calories stayed inline with my goals, but as I mentioned above, the sugar intake is higher and my snack choices, while not awful, are probably not as clean as I would like.  The culprits this week are some of the usual suspects; crackers, peanut butter, sugar in coffee, and the newcomer is shortbread. The shortbread is particularly brutal on the ‘ol diet but it is just made for events so my intake manageable. 

salad
Chicken thigh and salad with sweet peppers

I also need to celebrate the successes. . I often point out the infractions on my diet but should also point out where I am doing things right.  A big success for me is my dinner meal.  That has been balanced, healthy and within calorie limits on a very, very consistent basis.  I am quite proud of that and know that it is a major victory in maintaining a healthy diet. Also I had a good week on the alcohol front – just a couple glasses of wine and a beer at a happy hour event. While things like this may seem small, they add up to a lot. 

Exercise: 

This week I benefited from some good weather and was able to get in a fair bit of biking.  I’m quite happy with my activity levels this week.  I biked 61 miles, walked 3.3 miles and did one day of free weights.  Plus, my biking had good variety through different routes. I am pleased and am not sure I could reasonably improve on that. 

luce line sign
My favorite place to bike – The Luce Line

My Take-Away:

Well, this week it IS a bit frustrating to put in that kind of exercise and not see any weight loss, but I also have to acknowledge that maybe the sugar intake is part of the reason why.  That needs to be my focus for next week – keep up the good exercise numbers, while reducing sugar in the diet.  If I can pull that off, perhaps we will see some more weight loss.  It’s a pretty simple goal, so let’s hope it all comes together! 

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