It’s week 3 – time to check in with the new state of things. I hope your week has been as fruitful as ours!
Tuesday’s weigh-in produced similar results to last week’s. While John has continued to lose weight, my own progress has been… slower. I still continue to feel stronger and faster, and my non-exercise pants continue to have trouble staying up without a belt! Erin tells me I’m lifting double or triple the weight I started at on most of my machines. My normal walking speed on the treadmill is double what it was when I started (now up to the lowest standard speed found on most fitness trackers!) and up half a mile per hour from what it was last week. The gym had an extensive power outage last week due to construction in the area, and it sounds like almost everyone on the program was getting bad news from the 20/20 scale afterwards, so the safest thing is to continue to assume the best. Everyone else is.
I decided I would wait to see what my endocrinologist’s office said today, since she’s been the one to check my weight every four to six months up until now. As it turns out, I’m down – to 290. Say WHAT?! According to the scale at the gym, I’ve been 292 since I started 20/20. Dr. Ahmadian says I was 303 in her office last month. I’m still not going to obsess about it since it’s clear to everyone that I’m improving, but I cannot wait to see something that actually looks like numerical progress! I guess depending on which scale you ask, I didn’t lose 20 pounds prior to joining 20/20 after all – who knows. I guess I’ll stop reporting on numbers until I have solid confirmation from both parties! I’m halfway tempted to ask for “blind weigh-ins,” which the gym will do for folks that can’t handle the fluctuations without going insane. The dramatic weigh-ins will have to come later, I guess. That’s OK.
Erin says that she’s setting my one-month goal to reaching triple my starting speed on the treadmill, even if it’s only for a short time. Given that I’m already spending some of my official workout time at half a mile per hour less than that (an all-time record for me!) I’m hopeful I can get there. She’s learned that I will fail to notice her hitting the “increase speed” button if she keeps me talking, which is both amusing AND helpful! This is what I get for trying to learn to open up and talk to people…
Group this week was much easier than it has been. I’m still not forging any life-long friendships, but I’m happy just to feel content and welcomed in a small group like this without freaking out all the time. I’m not sure this group is similar enough in personalities and goals to last beyond the program requirements (we’ve been told that some do, and continue to meet up to this day) but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a good time while we’re here! At the moment, I’m already trying my best to adjust to the fact that I now say hello to approximately five or six people every day who all know and remember my name, just from having met me and/or John a few times in the hallways or at lunch. I can’t possibly express how weird that is for me at this stage of my life, let alone how weird it is that it’s coming from a gym – the one place I never thought I’d stand out in a good way!
On a similar note, I think my new counselor and I will be a good match. I was a little nervous going in, but on my way out, I realized I felt even happier and stronger than I’ve felt all week – and that’s saying something! I feel like I was able to explain my needs well, earn her respect for how far I’ve come already, and spend some time talking about how I got to the place I’m in now. By next week, she’s going to develop an action plan for helping me to work on my issues with driving and phones, and we’ll continue to keep an eye out for problems with the program as they creep up. As it turns out, she also specializes in working with kids (of all ages) and grief, which means she’ll be able to take my feelings about my dad’s situation seriously without assuming too much, AND she may prove to be even more useful once I’ve begun the process of trying to have kids after the program.
Right now my biggest fear is perhaps that things are going TOO well. I just finished telling John that I feel like I’ve stopped fighting my brain and started fighting my body for the first time in close to a decade. I’ve come so very far in working with the social anxiety over the last year or so, but that success is still new and unusual to me. Making sure that I’m not accidentally backsliding, or sweeping moments of anxiety under the rug until they explode, is important to me. In the meantime, I think I need more help with the day-to-day things that remain, like driving and phones, than I do with the program! Thankfully everyone’s more than willing to work with that.
As for the diet, we opted to remain on Stage 2 for this week, instead of advancing to Stage 3. I had thought that I might get held back because I haven’t officially lost anything yet, but the choice was up to me. When we’re ready, Stage 3 will give us back some low-fat dairy options, like string cheese, lowfat Greek yogurt, etc. (Milk comes later.) While we were certainly eager to have those things back (especially me; Greek yogurt was a common breakfast item before 20/20!) it’s not uncommon for people to stay on Stage 2 for longer than one week as a way to promote further weight loss. It’s the stage they tell you to go back to if you ever start re-gaining the weight or hitting a plateau, since it’s still a full meal plan (Stage 1 isn’t safe long-term).
Since a) I used to over-rely on dairy in my diet prior to 20/20, b) we both find a lot of temptation in cheesy things, and c) we both have a long, LONG way to go in this program… we thought it would be best to stick with what we have for now. Neither of us feels restricted or bored, and we do love vegetables – I think I may have mentioned that? We did get our dietitian’s permission to swap in an apple for our berries when we want to, but otherwise, business will be as usual this week. It’s amazing how fast your tastebuds can adjust to dietary changes – the juice I use to treat low blood sugars has become almost unbearably sweet, and even the swapped-in apples now seem like dessert by comparison. Brains and bodies are weird.
The challenge this week will be on John’s end, as a major work deadline looms. While he works late tonight, I’ve opted to stay at home and prep meals for future busy days. I’ve done the “make-ahead meal” thing a couple of times for fun and/or curiosity’s sake over the years, but it was never a habit that stuck, so it’s been an interesting experience. It’s harder than it used to be too, now that I can’t use more than the barest spritz of oil on the pan without breaking the diet! My impulse is still to add more fat servings than I should – for example, a slice of avocado AND a handful of sunflower seeds on my chicken breast – but that’s life on 20/20.
For those of you that received Christmas/holiday gifts from us in 2016: this process has enabled me to use the remainder of the 100 takeout boxes we had to buy to bake your lemon crumbles in! I’m pretty pleased with myself; these look delicious and at least as professional as the stuff being sold in the bistro. I hope they taste as good! If not, I’ll just have to keep trying and see what I can make next week.
- Cast-iron seared lean steak; yellow squash “noodles” with harissa and lemon; garlic snap peas; radish sprouts
- Curried ground beef with mushrooms and peanut sauce; riced cauliflower; steamed carrots with ginger and cardamom
- Roasted pork tenderloin with kale and carrots in a tomato broth
- A kitchen of dirty dishes (why did I think this was a good idea?!)
On that note, it’s time to go clean the kitchen with the rest of my evening. Take care until next time, folks!