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The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step -- Lao Tzu
05-29-2017, 10:10 PM (This post was last modified: 05-29-2017 10:14 PM by hannah77.)
Post: #281
RE: The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step -- Lao Tzu
Hi everybody! It's the lurker...time really does fly! I did not mean to go quite so long without posting, but just so much going on until school finished on 8 May and then working on a personal project since then (almost done!). Decided I better post something really quick as summer school (two online, non-music courses) starts tomorrow. BTW: I've had my first anniversary with EM2WL...started increasing my calories a year ago (23 May 16) YEAH!!!

Here's all the information on my first true cut. I'm relatively happy with how it went and am happy to report that although I did put a little weight back on, I didn't put it ALL back on (which I was terrified would happen). And to be honest, that weight creep was probably more due to my activity level changing and I overshot my TDEE. Easily adjustable, but took a couple weeks to see it consistently happening before reducing slightly.

I thought I started the cut at the beginning of the year after the holidays, but looking back at my journal and my logs, I guess I was playing around until about mid-February. I thought my TDEE was around 2575 but that was when I was still doing resistance band strength training a couple times a week and walking a couple times a week. I had to cut back on that during the semester, so eating 2500 calories in January probably didn't qualify as a cut (sure tasted good though and I did lose a little weight!). Around the holidays, I also took some CHILL time without weighing or logging much:

So for those who like the details:

09-15 Jan 17: avg calories = 2423: 16 Jan 17 weight = 185.8
16-22 Jan 17: avg calories = 2529: weight = ?
23-29 Jan 17: avg calories = 2500: 30 Jan 17 weight = 183.4
30 Jan - 5 Feb 17: avg calories = 2496: 6 Feb 17 weight = 183.4
06-12 Feb 17: avg calories = 2501: 13 Feb 17 weight = 184.0
13-19 Feb 17: avg calories = 2308: 20 Feb 17 weight = 183.2
20-26 Feb 17: avg calories = 2216: 27 Feb 17 weight = 182.4
27 Feb - 5 Mar 17: avg calories = 2282: 06 Mar 17 weight = 181.0
06-12 Mar 17: avg calories = 2293: 13 Mar 17 weight = 180.4
13-19 Mar 17: avg calories = 2169: 20 Mar 17 weight = 181.4 (body did not like this as it started holding on to weight, so increased calories and tried to stay over 2200)
20-26 Mar 17: avg calories = 2245: 27 Mar 17 weight = 180.4
27 Mar - 02 Apr 17: avg calories = 1725: 03 Apr 17 weight = 178.8 (I was sick this week and didn't eat much...but still above BMR!)
03-09 Apr 17: avg calories = 2197: 10 Apr 17 weight = 178.4
10-16 Apr 17: avg calories = 2218: 17 Apr 17 weight = 178.8 (Official end of cut, but took a few weeks to work back up to TDEE)
17-23 Apr 17: avg calories = 2335: 24 Apr 17 weight = 178.8
24-30 Apr 17: avg calories = 2425: 01 May 17 weight = 177.6
01-07 May 17: avg calories = 2494: 08 May 17 weight = 178.0
08-14 May 17: avg calories = 2528: 15 May 17 weight = 179.4 (Feeling like I might be exceeding TDEE as the weight's been creeping up the month of May...was shooting for 2575, but dropped down on day 6 of the week)
15-21 May 17: avg calories = 2363: 22 May 17 weight = 180.6 (Did not track one evening, so average was probably closer to 2525 and weight still creeping up)
22-28 May 17: avg calories = 2552: 29 May 17 weight = 178.8

I didn't list all the macros for the past four months, but I've been pretty consistent hitting the 30% protein (I love my coffee protein shakes in the morning!)

185.8 - 178.8 = 7.0 pounds lost. I'll take it! One of my goals was to get under 170 by the end of this year. Entirely possible with the one more cut I have planned later in the year.

Here's my chart from the beginning of the year:

Probably the better gauge of how I'm doing is I had another bodpod body composition analysis on 15 May:

05/15/2017 - 179.151 pounds, 40.1% body fat, 71.849 pounds fat weight, 107.302 pounds fat free weight
03/16/2017 - 180.578 pounds, 41.1% body fat, 74.293 pounds fat weight, 106.295 pounds fat free weight
01/17/2017 - 184.353 pounds, 42.4% body fat, 78.091 pounds fat weight, 106.262 pounds fat free weight

For that four month period, I lost 2.3% fat (6.242 pounds) and gained 1.04 pounds of muscle. I didn't take any measurements/photos beginning of May but plan on taking some on 1 June. Since I'm not doing any specific weight training, I don't expect to see much change in my arms. With teaching three yoga classes a week, I can really feel the muscles in my thighs getting tone. I do a lot of poses for the upper body in the yoga classes as well, but just not seeing as much going on there. I've really been struggling to find a way to hit the weights and I finally realized it's okay if my priorities or my body limitations don't allow that right now. I'm still having a lot of problems with my shoulder (still going to physical therapy) and my wrists (starting occupational therapy mid-June). My music studies and teaching group fitness are more important to me right now so I'm not going to jeopardize those pursuits by putting another major stress on my joints. If I start feeling better, maybe I'll reconsider. But, I'm feeling pretty good with where I'm at. The resistance training in water aerobics and yoga will just have to do.

Last weekend, I did a certification course in FloatFit and FloatYoga which are group fitness classes on AquaPhysical boards (inflatable but rigid paddleboards). It was so much fun, I can't wait to start teaching some classes in July.

I guess I should also report hat the cut for my husband did not go as well as mine. Actually, it didn't go at all. He started the year around 319 pounds. While not for the entire period of time, we did have him as low as 2600 calories for several weeks. He did not lose any weight. But, I think his body had/has more resetting to do than mine. The good news is that I have him back up to about 3125 calories and he hasn't gained any weight. He's still around 319 pounds. I think he may have a better result on our next cut. It's still a struggle to get him to eat all his calories, but not as bad or as often. The other good news is that I think the additional calories have helped his testosterone level. He had it tested about 18 months ago (when he was only eating around 1500 calories) and it was very low. Took us over a year to finally get him in to see an endocrinologist and when they re-tested his levels, they had more than doubled. The only thing he changed is eating more and eating more he is making progress even if it is not apparent in measurements or scale. He was also finally able to start seeing a chiropractor on a regular basis for his sciatica nerve and frozen back for which I am so thankful. He isn't too active, maybe a couple walks a week for 30-40 minutes but probably doesn't need to add more stress to his body, especially since he won't eat back those calories.

The plan is to just eat at TDEE for the three months of summer. It's much easier for me to eat more when I'm not in school. Planning another cut when the semester starts 21 August for about 12 weeks until Thanksgiving and then eat at TDEE through the rest of the year and for the holidays.

I guess that's about it...just keep plugging away. Apparently last week I had trouble sticking to my calories as it was only supposed to be 2525. Maybe I'll have better luck this week....or maybe I'll see if I can push that TDEE up to 2550. There's been some estimation of food, so hard to tell and I'd rather err on the -25 calorie side of caution.

Oh, the other thing that sucks is my cancer medication (which I have to take for at least another 2-1/2 years) has started to cause my hair to thin. I've been pretty depressed about it as I thought I had put the whole hair thing behind me after my major chemo. What can you do? Just smile....and cut some bangs which I have not had for years! I think I look younger, if I do say so myself. But, I still dread washing my hair. **SIGH**

Hope you all had a relaxing Memorial Day!
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06-02-2017, 02:59 PM
Post: #282
RE: The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step -- Lao Tzu
Hey lurker! (Just kidding laughing )
Good to hear from you! You are doing great and your weight is showing a constant downward trend, yay! It is pretty normal to see some loss on the muscle % without weight lifting, but you seem to be managing it pretty well.

Nice to hear improvement on your husband's testosterone, that's a big thing! And, yes, each person has a different resetting time frame, that's for sure.

I'm sorry to hear about the hair thinning, that's a thought one to deal with, sigh. As someone who doesn't have the most luscious had of hair myself and who went through short bouts of alopecia, I know this is a hard thing to deal with, specially after all you already went through.

Tereza Toledobig grin lovestruck
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06-06-2017, 02:42 AM
Post: #283
RE: The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step -- Lao Tzu
Hi Hannah, what a thorough update! It's fantastic to read about your success. Thanks for inspiring!
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08-15-2017, 12:32 AM (This post was last modified: 08-15-2017 12:33 AM by hannah77.)
Post: #284
RE: The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step -- Lao Tzu
You know, I never plan on taking such long breaks from posting, but I look at the dates and see that it's been almost 3 months since I last posted. Here I am, fall semester is about to start next Monday and the summer is over. I did take two classes this summer which ate into my time more than I expected and starting in July, I increased my group fitness load up to 6 classes a week (one is a morning PT class from 0630-0730 and having to be there 15 minutes early, 0500 comes REALLY early).

Anyway, just a quick update. I did say back in May that my plan was to eat at TDEE for the summer. Can't really say whether I did or not because I fell into a chill period. One week of not tracking on MFP led to another and another. Pretty much from 14 Jun-16 Jul, there was no tracking. From 17 Jul to today, I only logged food 11 days. I know part of that time, I must have been eating below TDEE because I did head into 176 pound range a few times end of June/beginning of July. I guess the good news is that as of 28 May, my weight was 178.8 and this morning I was 179.0 which I would call pretty much equilibrium for a pretty extended period of time and what eating at TDEE is all about, right? The highest weight I recorded was 181.0, but that was after 3 days of eating massive amounts of birthday cake (yes, I added another year to my total).

Since I wasn't so diligent in my tracking for the summer, my goal now it to eat at TDEE (which I still think is around 2525) through the end of August instead of the 20th before starting my next cut (up through Thanksgiving). I do plan on taking measurements and photos on 1 Sep, something I have not done in many months.

Probably won't do another bodpod measurement until my cut is over.

Still having issues with the thinning hair, so end of June, I cut it short and a few weeks ago, even shorter. Actually loving it as it was ending up in a pony tail every other day if not more and with all the fitness classes, so much easier to wash it and let it dry naturally more often.

I think that's enough of a synopsis of the summer. Still just plugging away and doing my thing. I also spent all summer with the occupational therapists for my wrist tendonitis and the chiropractor for my back...I still have pain, but a lot more mobility in my hands than I did so I'm hoping with some of the tools (these cool icing cups, a paraffin wax machine, and braces) I can keep the discomfort level to a minimum. It's been a lot easier to play the piano and flute. But, I still think any heavy lifting is out of the question for the foreseeable future. Even picking up gallon milk containers or saucepans can hurt. The playing plus teaching the 5 sessions of yoga a week pretty much maxes out (probably exceeds) the stress I want to put on the poor things!

I hope everyone is doing well!
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08-15-2017, 12:10 PM
Post: #285
RE: The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step -- Lao Tzu
I'm glad you've had a good summer, and are in less pain, especially your hands. Most of us take them for granted so much of the time, it's a real shocker when we lose full use of them. Sounds like your schedule is full for fall - be sure to make time to just be still each day. We need that, too. I look forward to hearing more updates!
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08-18-2017, 11:40 AM
Post: #286
RE: The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step -- Lao Tzu
I love how you owned your chill phase and did not freak out for not getting cut results of it. Way to go!!! You enjoyed the summer, lived your life, ate the cake (yay for cake) and did not feel guilty about it. Now that summer is ending you are moving towards TDEE and then cut. You also are not rushing to take measurements. You got the process down to a T. Did you read my chill update on the Crushing the Diet Mentality on Facebook yesterday and Kiki's live video? Exactly what you posted here.

Tereza Toledobig grin lovestruck
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08-19-2017, 01:11 AM
Post: #287
RE: The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step -- Lao Tzu
I read the first part of your chill update (didn't realize it was you...that's how with it I am mentally right now)...but have read through your entire update now. How amazing! There were certainly smiles all around in your collage of photos. Which resort did you go to, if you don't mind my asking? There's an organization that coordinates with many resorts in Cancun, Punta Cana, Cabo, Costa Rica, Jamaica,Turks and Caicos where you pay them a fee (less than the cost of the resort), provide your own airline tickets to the location, and teach 1-2 fitness classes a day (yoga, water, tennis, golf, cardio, etc) and you and a guest (some of the family friendly resorts, even two kids under the age of 12) stay at the resort for free. Sounds like a great deal, I just wanted to get back to regular teaching for a while before I investigated any further. Then, of course, I have to convince hubby that the flying is worth it. But it sounds like you had a great time and I'm so glad.

I've certainly learned some lessons over the summer (I wasn't expecting any cut results and was happy that I didn't gain, the unknown is kind of scary). Even though I am back to tracking, I find that I am not quite as meticulous about logging as when I first started 18 months ago...I don't eat two almonds just to get those last 12 calories and if we happen to get take out (like Philly Cheesesteaks today), I just find an entry in MFP that seems to be match close enough and move on. I think part of it is the just start to let go after a while and you don't understand that in the short term of a couple months. Part of it is just being so busy and doing the best I can. Sure, I would like to see some of these inches or pounds drop off...but my goal for this year was 170 pounds, which I think is definitely doable. If I don't hit it exactly, no biggie. There's always next year. While I still weigh daily, it's also kind of a mindless part of the routine...log the number and move forward with the day.

Good news is I had a PET scan last Friday and everything appears clear. I had an elevated alkaline phosphatase level in a couple previous lab results (which has to do with bones and liver, I believe), so my oncologist wanted to check. I hadn't had a PET scan in about 4 years. And then, the labs came back from my latest blood work with the level back to normal. So, that was all a big relief.

I also finally experienced Halo Top ice cream. It was on sale at our local Walmart for $3.88 a pint and I couldn't resist. Both hubbie and I ate our entire pints...because we needed the protein! Ha, ha! Even still, he ended up 500 calories short for the day (yes, that continues to be a major battle for me to get him to eat 3200 calories...) I had the Peanut Butter Cup and he had the Salted Caramel. I may need to stock up. So, I continue to have new experiences on the journey. This last one was certainly delicious!
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08-19-2017, 09:12 AM
Post: #288
RE: The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step -- Lao Tzu
Yep, that is me. I don't usually shared much, specĂ­ally on FB (even in my private account), but we talk so much about chill and phases and it's good to show that we actually live that way. Yes, it's about the journey, not just about a few weeks on a diet mode and then months of feeling bad until the next diet mode. Fear of the unknown is definitely a hard thing to deal with, but the longer we are in this journey, the more we learn to just lean in and trust the process. A summer chill with no weight gain is huge!

We did have a blast, I could get used to it! We went to Montego Bay and stayed at the Hilton, but they have many resorts that are excellent. We picked the one that had the. Eat reviews for being kid friendly without having to go too far from the airport into the country. Wow, talk your husband into flying! The moment he sits at the pool bar and chills, he will thank you. My husband has been to Costa Rica and Panama and says it's totally worth as well.

Like you, I'm not too meticulous with logging. If I'm home, I may weight the protein part of the meal (making sure I dont overestimate) and sometimes carbs, but veggies is all on the eye. When I eat out (which is usually once or twice a week) I settle for something similar to log if they don't have the same thing. I tried halo top, maybe the wrong flavours, so not a big fan here.

Yay on good results from the scans and tests, woohoo!!!

Tereza Toledobig grin lovestruck
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09-04-2017, 12:39 PM (This post was last modified: 09-04-2017 12:39 PM by hannah77.)
Post: #289
RE: The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step -- Lao Tzu
Well, I did promise I would take measurements and photos at the beginning of the month. Didn't realize it's been five months since the last one. As far as I can tell, not much of a change to report in either and I'm not at all confident that I measured in the same spots as I actually feel my thighs are much more muscular and tighter (loss from May 16 but increase of .75 and 2 inches for L and R from April 17).

Age - 47
Height - 5'5"
Starting Weight - 183.0
Measurements (original - 30 May 16) current - 1 Jul 16 :
Neck (14.00) 13.00 (-1.0)
R Arm (13.25) 13.50 (+.25)
L Arm (13.00) 13.50 (+.50)
Bust (41.00) 38.50 (-2.5)
Waist (40.00) 37.50 (-2.5)
Hips (45.00) 41.75 (-3.25)
R Thigh (26.50) 24.25 (-2.25)
L Thigh (26.00) 24.50 (-1.50)

9-4-2017 front

5-30-2016 front

9-4-2017 back

5-30-2016 back

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09-04-2017, 12:43 PM (This post was last modified: 09-04-2017 12:47 PM by hannah77.)
Post: #290
RE: The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step -- Lao Tzu
Sorry, messed up some of the information

Starting Weight - 183.0, Current Weight 179.6
Measurements (original - 30 May 16) current - 4 Sep 17:

And last photos.

9-4-2017 side

5-30-2016 side

So, am embarking on formal cut #2 tomorrow. Starting weight this morning was 179.6 but I'm pretty sure yesterday and today I did and will be eating over TDEE. TDEE is around 2550, so will start at 10% or 2300 for the first couple weeks. Max cut would be 2175. Plan is to wrap up this cut by 21 Nov which would be 11 weeks.
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