Thursday, October 1, 2020

A Year of Maintenance

One year ago, I hit my goal of burning 60 pounds with Noom. Since then I have been on maintenance. The goal was to stay in a 5-pound range: 170-175. In practice it worked out to a 10-pound range 170-180, which with all that 2020 has thrown at me (and all of us) I am ok with. After the first few weeks of adjustment to maintenance I found a pretty good rhythm, I started working on my next round of fitness goals. I also found some new apps to support my post-Noom life:
  • MapMyWalk 
  • FitBod
  • MoodPath
  • Ten Percent Happier
  • Lose It 
  • Habitica 
Habitica helped us extend some of the habit formation skills we learned from Noom beyond issues related to food and fitness.
When I started tracking my walks with MapMyWalk I had a pace of 18'22" per mile. I have brought that down to 12'52". 
When I started working out with FitBod I could do two pull ups (which was an improvement already over none pre-Noom). Now I can do ten in a set. I have also hit my goal of being able to do handstand pushups (with balance support from a wall). 
MoodPath has helped me track how I am feeling day to day which has helped monitor bouts of depression.      
With the Ten Percent Happier app, I have logged almost 100 hour of mindfulness sessions over 400 days which has helped with my anxiety. 
We discovered Lose It which does a better job of logging food than Noom, especially since we can share meals logs between my wife and I over Air Drop. It also tracks macronutrients so I can keep an eye on my protein intake. It also lets us track water. For maintenance, the main thing we give up is the colors, but those are ingrained enough at this point that I just need to remember to keep up my veggies game. I would still recommend Noom for folks working on serious weight loss. 

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Turkey Breast in Instant pot

We got a seven pound turkey breast from Rinella Produce that I cooked under pressure in the instant pot.

So far we have had it:
With Eggs;
With brown gravy;
With mashed potatoes and bbq beans;
On Salads.

We still have turkey.
Trying to figure out more things to try.

Monday, April 6, 2020

One year of Noom

In one year with Noom I lost sixty pounds in the first six months and maintained within a five-pound range with a few excursions.

I was quite concerned about how I would do in maintenance and experimented with a few different approaches:
  • Should I keep logging? (I did)
  • Weekly weigh-ins (tried it; didn't like it) 
  • How do I set my new calorie budget?

Should I keep logging? 

I did keep logging. I could imagine stopping at some point. But it helps be stay mindful of what I'm eating and it provides realtime feedback of how my day is going calorically. I still don't trust my hunger signals, there are times when I am hungry right after I eat. But I think I am getting a little better at sussing out genuine hunger from mere snackiness. Some days I approximate more than others. It depends on if I'm in the middle of my range and having a normal sort of food day, then I don't sweat every last gram. If life is complicated, or I am above my range, I try to be more careful.

Should I go to weekly weigh-ins?

I tried it and didn't like it. The daily weigh in lets me know if things are ok, or need attention. And I like having the data. When I tried doing weekly weigh ins I felt more anxious not knowing if I was drifting.

How do I set my new calorie budget? 

By trial and error, I figured out that on the lowest weight loss setting (Turtle in iPhone) I needed about 200-300 calories over the max if I double counted my exercise (log twice as much as I actually did so the app would give me all the calories and not just half). Early on if I went above my range I would go full Noom immediately. And I would get back in range within a day or two. Now I am a little more relaxed and just try to be more careful with my logging and only count my exercise like normal and it usually corrects itself within a couple days anyway.

What's next 

I am very happy with the program, especially once I found the Noom facebook groups. I keep upping my exercise game. I got a set of dumbbells, then I needed a set with heavier weights. Then I got a weight bench from a friend. Now I use the FitBod app for my workouts. It tracks which muscle groups you use and how long they need to recover.

My wife and I also started using Habitica (app and website) which gamifies our task lists and helps with habit formation. This gives us a lot of the benefits of Noom but applied to other aspects of our life.

Each day is its own adventure.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Noom Elephant Dialogues--Night Hunger

🕵️‍♂️: There is hunger
🏇🏼: it’s late. Let’s wait for breakfast.
🐘: BREAKFAST!? I may wither away and die by breakfast.
🕵️‍♂️: There is fear
🏇🏼: Are we safe
🕵️‍♂️: we are safe
🏇🏼: We have eaten well today and we are home
🐘: I’m still hungry
🏇🏼: You’re a good elephant. We’ll have a good day tomorrow. How about some stretching.
🐘: 🙆‍♀️

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

I lost 60 pounds with Noom

Sensible breakfast
Portion size matters
Treats are part of the plan
Budget for dessert!
In week 26 of Noom I hit my goal of burning 60 pounds of excess weight. Noom is an integrated weight loss app that incorporates daily articles, weigh-ins, food logging, daily steps goals, exercise logging, and social support with a group of Noomers who started around the same time, a group coach, and a personal goal specialist.

Most people on the program have a goal of losing one to two pounds a week. I went all-in with the program and have burned off 60 pounds. What drew me to Noom was that it was grounded in science and focused on long term sustainability. You are not on a diet you are focusing on modifying your diet to maintain a modest calorie deficit. Many lessons focus on hunger and the factors that contribute to the sense of fullness and all of the emotions and triggers around eating. Importantly, there is nothing that is off the diet, though you may decide that there are foods that "aren't worth the calories" for you. It's about choices and building better habits.

Adjust my shopping. More fruit, veggies, whole grains
For most of my life, 200 pounds was my hard upper limit that I would make sure never to cross. Then various factors conspired and I took my eye off the ball for a few years and blew right through that limit. For a while, I struggled to stay even, but every couple of years more weight would come on and I would settle into a new normal. When I hit 235 it was like a switch flipped and I was ready to commit to doing what it took, and I found Noom which was just the right approach for me.

I've logged over five hundred meals in a row, walked 9K steps most days, plus one other active activity: weights, yoga, biking, gardening.... I am feeling fit. Working towards a goal of doing three handstand push-ups.

I've developed a new relationship with food and hunger.

I am more aware of the triggers within me, and in my environment, and developed tools to respond to them more mindfully and healthfully.

It has helped to focus on limits while avoiding the sense of deprivation. Nothing is "off the menu", though there are some things I've decided just aren't worth the calories.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Noom Elephant Dialogues--Peanut Butter Pumpkins

🐘: I WANT Reese's Peanut Butter Pumpkins 🥜🍫🎃😋
🕵️‍♂️: There is craving
🏇: Remember we wanted to start eating healthy?
🐘: We eat healthy tomorrow. I WANT Reese's Peanut Butter Pumpkins 🥜🍫🎃😋
🕵️‍♂️: There is rationalization
🏇: How about we plan to have a Reese's Peanut Butter Pumpkin 🥜🍫🎃 on Halloween as a special treat? That will give us something to look forward to.
🐘: Is Halloween tomorrow? 🤔
🏇: Not quite. But we can get a nice healthful snack tonight. And maybe some stretching or a walk.
🐘: I WANT Reese's Peanut Butter Pumpkins 🥜🍫🎃 NOW!😦
🕵️‍♂️: There is frustration
🏇: I get that you are frustrated. That is real and valid. You like something that you aren't having right now. Can we take a deep breath and touch base with how are we feeling?
🐘: 🙏
🕵️‍♂️: There is calm
🐘: I still want it. 🙁
🏇: I know you do. Let's find something sweet that will also be filling. 🍓🍒🍇🍉🍌🍐
🐘: 🍓🍒🍇🍉🍌🍐I feel better now. 😊
‍🏇: What a good elephant. How about that walk now?
🐘: 🚶‍♀️

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Noom: The Stall

Stalls and Plateaus in weight loss are common. 

A plateau is a stall in weight loss that lasts for three weeks or longer. 
Keep focusing on the things in your control.
Celebrate Non-Scale Victories. 

I think of it as the body gearing up for another round of fat burning. 

I remember a stall around the 100 day mark. Upon reflection, it was actually a good transition time. I started to learn to rely less on measurement and more on my intuition. This takes time and is error prone but worth it. 

When you hit those big milestones give your body a chance to consolidate the victory.

At the moment, I’m on my sixth week-long stall since starting Noom in April.

But I try to focus on the big picture

All that said, feel what you feel.
Feeling irritated, frustrated, discouraged, disappointed, sad, even angry are all valid. 

The feelings you are having are real and valid.
You are doing something hard.
Hard things are hard. 
Underneath that discouragement is hope, hope for a healthier you. 
Underneath that hope is love. Love for those you care about, your life, and yourself. 

Each day is its own adventure.
Dig deep, you got this!