First, the news: I had my annual blood pressure check up with my doctor this morning. (Thank God I didn’t choose fasting as a weight loss plan, because I was wobbling by 10 a.m. Mornings like this are why I whole-heartedly support government-subsidized breakfasts for schoolchildren. I couldn’t even spell my name after about 8:30 a.m.) Anyway, after the usual blood tests, EKG, etc., he handed me the anticipated prescription and said, “I’m only writing it for six months, not twelve months like I usually do. I want to see where you are with your weight loss and BP in August, and then we’ll talk about changing you to another medication or eliminating it completely.” (Since I hit the minus 20-lbs. mark, I’ve been on the lowest dosage of my current medication.) Talk about motivation! I could turn 50 medication-free!
Now, following up with answers to questions a few lovely readers asked:
Q: Lynn asked how long it has taken me to reach the -76 lb. mark.
A: I don’t have an exact start date, because as you know, I’ve kind of tippy-toed my way through, but I think I can safely use May 2007 as the starting point. So basically 9 months or so.
Huh. If you could see my sagging belly skin, you would see the irony in that.
Q: Trisaratops wondered if it ever gets easy, if the habits get ingrained.
A: I wouldn’t call it easy exactly, but it does become routine. It can be frustrating at times when the stoopid scale does its own thing, but I’ve been able to refocus each time I put myself in that trap and continue moving forward. I can honestly tell you that the only really, really tough time was after I had surgery on my feet, which I stupidly scheduled for the week before Thanksgiving last year. I couldn’t exercise at all for three weeks, and then I could only do seated lifting and crunches. I think I missed cardio for about four or five weeks, right through the Christmas holidays. Still, when all was said and done, I was up 0.5 pounds for the recuperation period. I think that’s when it really registered that I had made a lifestyle change. I kind of suspected it after I took three road trips last year and maintained a reasonable level of healthy living on each and every one. (Including the teeny, tiny piece of cake Moon and I shared on one of those trips! LOL)
Between those trips and the surgery aftermath/Christmas holidays, I now know I can manage my weight. That’s huge for me.
Susie had a couple of questions:
Q1: How much Diet Coke am I drinking?
A1: I have a Diet Coke with meals only, which means 3/day. That’s a 50% reduction for most days, and possibly up to 75% on some days. I’m pleased with the progress. It’s been a little over a week, and I’ve had one “extra” diet drink. Since it was mindfully chosen, I’m okay with it, even though it did cost me a 10-point penalty on my splurge-ometer.
Q2: What did I challenge myself to do for March?
A2: Not much of anything. No, seriously, my goal continues to be 1000 minutes each and every month simply because that works out to 30 minutes a day. That’s what’s recommended, and that’s the minimum goal. For life.
Where I’ve run into a problem is in the amount of time I’m spending exercising. You see, I’ve never factored into my total the 3 hours per week I spend working with the trainer. I counted the wrap-up 15 minutes of cardio, but not the workout itself. I actually was counting those days as a 15-minutes deficit because I *only* got 15 minutes of cardio in (despite the fact that my heart was beating like a jackhammer during and after the workout). To make it worse, I was adding the “missing” 15 minutes to other days. Factor in rest days and odd days here and there when I missed exercising due to OT at work or a family commitment, and my cardio-only sessions were getting longer and longer. I wasn’t taking regular rest days, and by body was getting very tired. Not good.
So my new plan (still in an evaluation stage) is to count all of my exercise minutes toward the 1000 minute goal. My trainers use interval resistance training, which involves cardio exercise, so I feel very comfortable counting those minutes three times per week. The three other days of exercise are 30 minute sessions (sometimes 45 minutes, but only once per week usually) of “pure” cardio. As I mentioned in my update, I’m playing around with interval training on those days, and so far I really enjoy it.
Oh, and I now require myself to take a rest day each week. In fact, I’m deciding as I type this that rest day exercise doesn’t count toward my monthly points. There, that’ll show me.
Thank you all for your encouraging and helpful comments and questions!