Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Summer Weight Lost Fiasco Week 8

Classes ended in May, and it was the end of some very stressful months. Stress and lack of sleep can contribute to weight gain, particularly around the waist- which is what happened to me.

My stress increased when I went to put on summer shorts I hadn't worn in nine months and realized that they didn't fit. A quick check with the tape measure punctured my hopes that the shorts had shrunk in the drawer- I now had a 36" waist instead of my 33". Other than the fact that as a PhD student I don't have the money to buy new clothes because I've put on weight, there's the health issue that waists larger than 35" in a women represent health risks.

So, time to take action.
  • Starting in the middle of May I made sure Nehi and I were taking two walks every day (have only broken 2-3 times due to weather). Our walks (depending on heat) are .6-1 mile/walks. 
    • They say work out until you sweat, then 30 minutes after that (but does this still hold in the desert where you sweat as soon as you exit your door?) 
  • To get through classes, I was easily drinking a Coke a day. I cut all those out. No soda- except for a single can of grape soda (natural sugar) on Fridays as a treat.
  • I thought I was eating pretty well during the year, but have since stopped eating all processed foods, and have increased my fruits and vegetables.
    • I eat breakfast (either cereal and fruit, or fruit and milk milkshake)
    • Lunch is usually a sandwhich (cheese and tomato with olive oil mayo or peanut butter and jelly or hummus and cucumber pita). No chips, no nothing.
    • I drink water all day (blech) except for two cups of coffee in the morning and a glass of milk with dinner
    • Dinner varies, but I eat twice as many vegetables as anything else. I eat meat maybe twice a week. I don't eat a lot of starch. Usually dinner is a salad or pasta with veggies. I steam stuff, I don't cook with oil or butter or salt.
    • I've never been a big dessert person (maybe once a week) and it's either a fruit pie slice (homemade) or fruits.  So that's not something I can really cut out.
  • Also read that vitamin D can help, particularly with belly weight loss, so now take 1000 whatever vitamin D pill every morning.
The end of June (6 weeks for those counting) saw no decrease in my waistline.

So, what next?
  • Started the 30 Day Ab Challenge. I'm on day 16 and while I'm sure my abs are getting stronger (as evidenced from me wanting to throw up when I finish each night), but again, no loss of inches on the waistline. I also read that ab exercises do not "spot reduce" so while I'm core strengthening, it won't result in losing any of the inches off my waist.

Since I'm not losing inches I've started looking at other things. The basic math of increase calorie burning, decrease calories makes sense to me, but the rest of the information out there is crazy.
  • Cut all carbs
  • Don't cut carbs, just focus on whole grains
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Cut fruit because of the sugar content
  • Drink green tea
  • Don't drink tea
I am depressed. Both because of the extra weight and I'm not exaggerating when I say I have no money to buy new clothes for school starting in a month.
I know they say it can take eight weeks for habit/health changes (which it's been) but also that you can see 1-3 lb weight loss per week. So which is it? I recognize it's possible that I'm converting current fat to muscle, and once that happens the muscle helps to burn more fat.

Still depressed.

I have a month to go until classes start.
Any one have tips about how to jump start my weight loss?

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