As April wraps up, I celebrated another year of weight maintenance. I had an appointment with Dr. Ziltzer last Thursday and I really buckled down in order to get my weight in my goal range. This was a little challenging because I was also at the point of my half marathon training where I was doing 10+ mile runs which tend to leave me a bit hungrier the day afterward. Anyway, I was really happy, thrilled actually, to weigh exactly the same as my appointment over 6 weeks ago – 174.5. This puts me slightly below my “adjusted” goal weight of 175lbs. or within the 5 pound range of my original 170 lb. goal. Either way, I’ll take it. Even more good news though, my body fat was 1.5 lbs less than 6 weeks ago, meaning I’ve possibly added a bit of muscle too.
My visit with Dr. Z was good. Talked a little about carbs and exercise and ways to train the body to burn fat for exercise rather than being carb dependent for fuel. His explanation was pretty scientific but I’m not convinced in practice yet, since I think lower carbs has been hampering my exercise energy and/or lean muscle building. But I will continue to read up and seek information in time.
Two weekends ago, the From Fat to Finish Line (FFTFL) documentary debuted at the Nashville film festival. This is the movie about the original 12 members of the Ragnar team that was started by Katie Foster and Rik Akey which consisted of a team of runners who had each lost a significant amount of weight (1200+ pounds in total). The film documents each of their stories and culminates in capturing their 200 mile Ragnar relay from Miami to the Florida Keys in early 2013. Later that year, Katie and John Hulsey from that team formed my Ragnar SoCal Solemates team and I have had the privilege of meeting other members of this team and one of the directors, Angela Lee, at running events since then. Additionally, a FFTFL Facebook group was established and thousands of people from all over have found a unique community to support each other with both running and weight loss and all that gets intertwined in both. If you are looking for inspiration or motivation, please join us on the From Fat to Finish Line Facebook page. Recently Runner’s World announced the movie premiere with an online article (which includes the movie trailer) and link to the group and it has grown significantly. Anyway, I shared the movie trailer and Runner’s World story link with Dr. Z and he was excited to hear more about the movie. I think this documentary embodies many of the messages he, as a bariatric physician, tries to convey to his patients about the possibilities that can be achieved through significant weight loss and undertaking a goal oriented activity like running – a message I adopted and “ran” with.
I created a little photo collage which shows my progress through the last couple of years. I posted it quite a few places on Facebook, partially in celebration of the 2 year milestone but mostly as a potential source of inspiration for anyone looking for a weight loss solution or hope. I share my journey quite a bit on the various private Facebook boards but on these anniversaries, I post it on my own Facebook wall. I’m a bit embarassed by displaying my dreaded doctor’s office “before” picture but that’s part of the story. I was really overwhelmed by “Likes” and positive comments.
So, what have I learned during Year 2? I’m probably less scared of gaining my weight back, and that brings a bit of peace. Dr. Z and Dr. Galper both said at Success Club that your odds of keeping the weight off improve with each successful passing year. I know I have to continue doing what I’ve been doing while striving to improve my physical fitness. I have really not conquered my desire for foods that are unhealthy. I have merely found a way to include them in moderation, and when not in moderation, work towards turning my eating around in a matter of days and not weeks or months. I’m going to be honest in saying that, in keeping up with those that have been on this Optifast journey with me, only a handful have kept the weight off. I get really scared when I read the posts that say “I lost 50-100 pounds and then after I reached goal, X happened, and I gained it all back – and then some”. This is a very common statement, unfortunately. Many of them, I think, learned some valuable lessons though and are on round 2, ready to apply new knowledge and work at it again. Really the only difference between me and them is that I do the same thing (putting myself back on full meal replacement Optifast) – only I take action after a 5 pound upswing. My relatively steady running and exercise habit is another potential difference. Calorie deficit aside, regular exercise keeps me mentally “in the game” and potentially aids a lot in my emotional well-being.
Goals for year 3? I’d like to acheive a 25-30% body fat composition. I’m currently around a whopping 35% which I cannot accept as healthy. This will take my focus off the scale number and into making changes to improve my build. I’d like to run a 5K in 30 minutes or less this year. I’ll have to shave off over 2:30 to get there. I’d also like to run a half marathon under 2:30, possible 2:25 if I reach the first goal. My focus will turn more towards strength training this year (well, at least this summer, the running season is pretty much over).
Thank you to all that have followed my blog and for your comments and support along the way. This year I’m hoping to reach out to others that have been on a similar journey to share their story. If you want to be part of this, please let me know by either commenting below or sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.