Weekly-Weigh In: Why The Scale Doesn’t Matter

I weighed in a day early and my swollen knee and sore upper body led to a slight gain. No biggie, as I lost 5 inches around my waist.

I weighed in a day early and my swollen knee and sore upper body led to a slight gain. No biggie, as I lost 5 inches around my waist.

Tomorrow we’re painting our bedroom, so I decided to weigh-in a day early. I also took my measurements this morning, the first time in 2-½ months. While the scale was not kind, my measuring tape showed me some big love.

I gained 2 pounds this week. Considering I awoke with a right knee swollen to the size of a large cantaloupe, I’m not surprised. Plus my abs and triceps are killing me from my upper body workouts this week. For the most part I ate right and drank all my water, although I had a wee bit too much wine. The vino maybe part of the weight gain, but I suspect all the scale showed was a mass of water retention and inflammation.

My measurements however, are a different story. I’ve said this before, but looking at how your clothes fit and taking your measurements paints a much more accurate picture of what is going on with your body. Read More

Day 4 of My August Flabby Arm Challenge

This is my Triceps Bench Dip schedule for August. I'm really excited to see any changes to my arms by the end of the month.

This is my Triceps Bench Dip schedule for August. I’m really excited to see any changes to my arms by the end of the month.

It’s Day 4 of my August Flabby Arm Challenge and my triceps are feeling the heat. I’ve tweaked my planned workout a bit. I’m doing triceps bench dips nearly every day during the month of August (resting every 5th day). Every other day, in addition to the dips, I’ll do one exercise with a dumbbell.

That should whip my triceps into shape.

While working with my trainer this morning I did triceps dumbbell extensions – 2 sets of 15 with 10-pound weights. I felt exhausted, and expect lots of soreness later tonight. Just need to do 20 triceps dips and I’m home free today.

Besides looking to see more muscle definition, I’m curious to see if I lose any more inches off my arms by the end of the month.

Shrinkage: I’ve Lost 9.5 Inches Since March!

I know I should take my measurements each month. But I have to admit I love the big dramatic drops when I wait 3-4 months before breaking out the measuring tape. I’ve lot 9.5 inches since mid March!

That’s the great news. The awesome news is that despite my 4-month plateau, my body was still changing for the better. The not so good news is that despite 2 years of building good, healthy habits, I allowed that blasted scale set the rules of engagement. During my plateau I paid too much attention to those stubborn scale readings. I know better than that…Ugh!

Lesson learned (again!). Time to move on and do better next time. Now, on to the numbers.

Dot’s Weight Loss Measurements

Date Chest Upper Arm Waist Hips Thigh
June 27, 2012 48″ 17″ 53″ 57″ 35″
March 8, 2013 46.5″ 16″ 47″ 53″ 29″
April 23, 2013 45″ 15.5″ 44″ 53″ 27″
Aug. 13, 2013 45″ 14.5″ 44″ 52″ 27″
Sept. 16, 2013 45″ 14.5″ 43″ 50.5″ 27″
Jan. 4, 2014 44″ 15″ 43.5″ 50″ 25″
March 11, 2014 42″ 14″ 42″ 49″ 27″
July 29, 2014 40.5″ 13″ 42″ 45.5″ 23.5″
Total Inches Lost 7.5″ 4″ 11″ 11.5″ 11.5″

I thought I saw my most dramatic changes these last few months in my hips and thighs. Turns out I was right. I lost 3.5 inches in both areas. I continue to lose fat in my chest and saw some movement in my arms too. Nothing happened with my waist these last few months.

Perhaps a 30-day core challenge is in my future!

The Blood Work Is In & I’m Awesome!

Results of my 3rd annual physical are in and my new routine helped I've turned the clock back 20 years!  Image courtesy of smokedsalmon and http://www.freedigitalphotos.net.

Results of my 3rd annual physical are in and my new routine helped I’ve turned the clock back 20 years! Image courtesy of smokedsalmon and freedigitalphotos.net.

Last week I had my annual physical and, unlike most people, I actually looked forward to it. I mean, who doesn’t like sitting on a tissue-covered examining table wearing a very large paper towel opened in the back? As fun as that sounds (and it does sound fun), I didn’t always feel that way.

When I went in for my first-ever physical, in 2012, I wasn’t the same tissue-sitting-lovin’, paper-towel-with-holes-wearin’, physical-takin’ aficionado I am today. I knew I wasn’t in perfect health, and I expected the usual from my doctor: lose weight, get more exercise, been there done that, please pass the ketchup. You know, like what doctors say to normal people.  Right?

Wrong. Unfortunately for me, I got what can only be described as a punch in the gut. I was well on my way to a heart attack and to becoming a diabetic. Only time would tell which would hit first if I didn’t change my life.

Read More

Lost 3.5 Inches Since January

Saturday was the mid-point check-in for the 2014 Gold’s Gym Challenge. It was time for the Challenge Gods to take a look at my progress. Considering my plateau, the results are pretty awesome. Since January 6 I lost 18.9 pounds and 3.5 inches.

march meassurements

I’ve noticed that my jeans are very loose these days. Dropping 2.5 inches off my waist and hips will do that. I’m not quite ready for a smaller size just yet, but maybe by the end of the challenge.

Read More

Rack ’em Up — Finding The Perfect Bra Size

brasI did some emergency shopping today. My sports bras no longer give me the support I need during workouts. Just too much damn bouncing around. And frankly, my other bras’ cups seem to stand away from my breasts. Clearly it was time to resize the girls. Despite the lack of movement on the scale the last couple of weeks, I got a nice boost (pun intended) from the lady fitting me for a new bra – I dropped 2 band sizes!

Time to try on some new bras. The lady helping me suggested I try on a couple of sizes to see which styles fit the best.  Also, there was a question on my cup size. I went up a cup size the last time I was measured. This time I was on the fence.

The lady with the measuring tape gave me some helpful tips on what to look for when trying on bras.

Band Issues

  • Band Position – The band should sit level or low on your back. If it rises, go with a smaller band size.
  • Battle of the Back Bulge – Look at your back. Is there any skin bulging around the band? The band needs to fit snugly around the lest-fleshy part of the rib cage to reduce tissue spilling over the back and sides.
  • Bra Straps – If they dig into the shoulder, then the band is too loose. Nearly all the support comes from the band (who knew?). So no more loosening my straps to the max. That should stop those blasted things from falling off my shoulder.

Cup Issues

  • Flesh Spilling Out Under The Armpits – The cup is too shallow and is pushing tissue to the sides.
  • Space Between Bra & Breastbone – Bras shouldn’t lift away from your body. If it does, then the cup isn’t large enough.
  • Spillage – Tissue flowing over the top of the bra means either the band is not snug and low on your back and/or the cup is too small.

The tips worked great and I found a few bras that fit just right. Turns out the lower band size worked best and I’m still the same cup size…for now.

Lost 2.5 Inches Since September

I entered Gold’s Gym 2014 Challenge and weighed in on Saturday. While I wasn’t thrilled with wearing a two-piece for the photo, I was very happy to see I lost some inches since the last time I measured myself.

jan 4 measurement

I lost a total of 2.5 inches. Finally some movement on my thighs – 2 inches down.

As for the inch off my chest, that explains why my sports bras no longer give the support I need.

I think the differences with my hips and waist has more to do with a Gold’s trainer taking my measurements vs. trying to measure myself (not always easy). I’m assuming Gold’s is more accurate.

Gold’s didn’t measure my upper arm, so I did that myself. I plan to have the husband remeasure since I my cat kept tugging on my measuring tape. While I can see more muscle definition, I don’t think I added a half-inch of muscle.

golds frontAbout That Photo…
No, I’m not being held for ransom. I had to hold up Saturday’s Washington Post for proof that I weighed in on January 4th.

For the photo, I opted for shorts and a sports bra. All of my swim suits are too big and workout gear seems more appropriate anyway.

And yes, Gold’s did take a photo of me from behind but I wanted to spare you.

Maybe in 12 weeks, once I have the after photos I’ll share that one.

Down 3 Ring Sizes!

weight loss and ring size

To big to rule them all! My wedding and engagement rings sit in a jewelry box, too big to wear.

Jewelry is on my mind lately. Due to the weight loss, I can’t wear my rings, including my wedding or engagement rings. Worse, I’m unable to re-size my wedding band or engagement ring. The gems will pop right out.  Which means a new ring (hooray!). But since I’m still losing weight, I’m waiting until I reach my goal weight (boo!).  So hopefully in another year (sigh!).

However, I’m toying with getting a simple band in the meantime. I hate going about without a wedding ring. And let’s face it, a year is a long time to go without.

So Saturday I found myself in a jewelry store drooling standing in front of the case with my precious the pretty rings.

The sales lady asked if I wanted to look at a particular ring. “No, just looking.”

Then it struck me: I don’t even know what size I wear anymore. My ring finger was a size 10-1/2.  So I asked if she could measure my finger.

Hot damn! I’m now a 7-1/2.

It’s amazing where your body loses weight.

Weight Loss: Reflect. Refocus. Repeat.

Behold the Fitbook! The weekly goal section helps me reflect and focus in on my goal of dropping 19.5 lbs. by year's end.

Behold the Fitbook! The weekly goal section helps me reflect and focus on my goal of dropping 19.5 lbs. by year’s end.

I’m loving my FitBook.  Yes, in the age of the app, I’m finding that pen and paper still has its advantages when dealing with weight loss.

Why? With the apps, it’s really about clicking something (and getting annoyed with my nemesis – Auto Correct!) and forgetting about it – pure tracking (but they are awesome trackers!)

With Fitbook, I actually have to think about goals for the week and the plan to hit those goals. Something the app trackers lack.

So this morning I rose early to take stock of my 2013 health and fitness goals. Other than my 5K goal, I haven’t looked at these in ages.  I wise I could say I’ve hit my targets. But the truth is they are terribly vague.

Wanna Lose Weight? Set Specific Goals
My next weight target is to lose 25% of my starting body weight. By when? How much is 25%? What will I do to lose 25%?

Ugh! How stupid. Is it little wonder I struggled with two plateaus this year.

If the goal isn’t specific, you won’t hit it.  If I can’t track or measure my goal, I’ll fail. My next weight loss goal must be specific with a target date.  So here we go:

Goal: I want to lose 30% of my starting weight (19.5 more pounds) by December 31st by sticking to 25g of carbs/day and working out 5 days a week.

With my 3 month goal set, I now need to break it down into smaller weekly goals to get me there.  Again, I need to think about what I’m doing.

Now that I’m tracking my food, it is really easy to see how my weight loss went off the rails.  I’ve reflected more on the negative – how I screwed up rather than my successes.  But most importantly, I completely forgot to take stock of where I’m at now on my weight loss journey and where do I want to go from here. Without refocusing my goals, how can I push myself to do better?

Reflect. Refocus. Repeat.

I’ve got 3 months to drop those 19.5 lbs. So after breakfast, I’m taking pen and paper in hand to spell out this week’s goals.

Note: In my haste this morning, I accidentally posted this under my husband’s name. Rest assured, this is a Dot2Trot post.

2.5 Inches Closer To Size 20

I’m measuring myself every month. The scale is a great snap shot of where I’m at on the day I step on it. But my body measurements give a more complete picture of my weight loss journey.

Today, good news in two areas.

Sept 16 MeasurementsMy waist and hips carry the bulk of my weight. So it’s no surprise that’s where I see movement.  I lost an inch off the waist and 1.5 inches from my hips. All other parts remain the same…again.

I’m very happy with the numbers. But of course, when I don’t see movement in other areas, I start kicking myself.

While we can’t pick which body parts the pounds come off, a part of me can’t help but think that the knee injury slowed progress on my legs. Stupid thought, since I just wrote we can’t target where we lose weight. Truth is, I’m very happy it’s coming from my midsection. Belly fat increases your risk of diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. With these numbers I’m closer to getting off the blood pressure meds.

I’m steadily adding the daily walk back into my routine. The knee feels good.

I’ve also decided to increase the exercise bands from 2 days a week to 3. I’m very happy with my progress, but there is a part of me that worries that I’m not doing enough toning.

I am getting closer to that size 20. This weekend I picked up a few new workout outfits. Normally I reserve shopping like this for hitting milestones. But my current crop of gear has lots of holes and tears. Size 20 fit perfectly. Of course, that’s not too difficult when you’re talking about stretchy pants.

I needed to try on a pair of size 20 non-stretchy pants – also for fun.  Close, but no cigar. The pants fit a bit too tight, but I’ll be back in another 10 lbs.