I am so pleased with my three month progress! It’s amazing how much improvement I’ve seen in such a short amount of time. I’m certainly not where I want to be, but I’ve done enough to stay motivated my next 90-days!! Two blogs posted in one day – this is a new record!!
I had my blood work done on Wednesday, final weight and measurements this morning, and also my first ever Dexascan with 3D image and digital measurements this morning to compare to my tape measure technique. On most measurements, I was either dead on or close; I was off the most on my neck measurement for some reason.
I planned to finish the 90-days with two fasting days to be consistent with how I ended Month 1 (One Month Update!), but some strange things happened with my blood sugar, despite actually following eating well and being cautious, so I chose to eat rather than fast. I also did not end Month 2 with a fast, because I was struggling emotionally (Month Two Update – Not the Plan…).
After three months, these are the positive changes I have seen:
Weight – My final weight is 124.8 pounds, giving me a total weight loss of 24.8 pounds, but remember, I loaded up on crap food before my initial weight (January Fast – Starting Clean).
I have plotted my weight change. The steady decline has become more inconsistent, as time has progressed, but more about that in a bit.
Body Fat – My current body fat is 30.9% based on my Dexascan results. I don’t have a true measurement for comparison with where I started, but I can use my measurements to calculate my estimated body fat. The best calculation I’ve seen is Barry Sears method, which estimated I started at 37% and hit at 31% after the first month. For validation, Dr. Sears would predict a current body fat of 26.4%, which is too low compared to the Dexascan. Regardless, the overall estimated change for 90-days is at least 6.1%.
Body Appearance – I got four wonderful 3D images of my body, but I will spare you… they’re kind of frightening to look at! The same is true of the photographs I took along the way. You’ll have to take my word on this that it’s better, but still not pretty enough to share!
Measurements – My measurements have decreased and I’m back wearing my old clothes!! I have donated all of my “bigger” size clothing and am ready to get my thrift store fix on!!
Here are graphs of my key measurements over time (using my values, not those derived from the 3D image). UB=upper bust, measured under my arm pits; B=bust, LB=lower bust, measured at the bra band; W=waist, measured at the smallest place of my midsection, which is really high; A=abdomen, measured at the biggest place; H=hips
Cholesterol ratio improvement – My total cholesterol remains essentially unchanged, but my ratios have declined steadily since January:
LDL/HDL is now 2.9 (past values: 4.4, 3.5, 3.2)
Cholesterol/HDL is now at 4.2 (past values: 5.8, 4.9, 4.5)
Triglycerides/HDL is now at 1.2 (past values: 2.3, 2.0, 1.8)
Triglyceride improvement – My triglycerides are at an all-time low (based on all data I have from 2013) of 75mg/dL. In the beginning of January, they were at an all-time high of 164mg/dL. That’s a serious decrease and I can’t attribute it to fish oil because I was taking that in January, also.
HDL improvement – My HDL has never been particularly high, usually in the 40-50mg/dL range. My recent blood work measured my HDL to be 62mg/dL, which is consistent with my best ever cholesterol banel from 2013!
Insulin level improvement – I had only one fasting insulin measurement before really getting into intermittent fasting and lower carb living. It was decent (5.2uIU/mL back in May 2018), but I noticed it increased prior to starting this challenge. I hit a high of 7.4uIU/mL, but then I’ve been around 3uIU/mL ever since. I like being at the low end of the range.
Pulse improvement – I’ve talked about this recently, so I won’t repeat it. See Resting Heart Rate – Settling Down. The interesting thing about my pulse is it seems so be a good indicator of stress, whether it be from illness or even poor nutritional choices. I really want to start watching my heart rate more to learn what triggers stress in my body.
Average Blood Pressure Improvement – I have written about this too, which you can read here (Resting Heart Rate – Settling Down). It’s been mostly good since, but it was pretty high during the work day on Tuesday and Thursday. I don’t like that, as it implies stress is starting to creep back in. Stress reduction will be a priority for my next 90-days!
Exercise Improvement – I have shared this as well, in this blog: 1st 90-Day Challenge – Goal 3 Met, as it was a goal of mine. I am just so happy to be fully comitted to practicing yoga. I think it’s going to really help me reduce stress and find more peace in my life.
I don’t want to mislead you and cause you to think everything is perfect. There are definitely more changes I need to make. Those include:
Hormone insanity, stress related? – I had my hormones checked and they’re all over the place. I wanted to try not taking DHEA because I couldn’t handle the higher estrogen levels, but my testosterone plummeted lower than it was before I started. It’s now at 11ng/dL. I guess I’ll go back to trying the DHEA, but I really want my body to regulate hormones naturally. Maybe that’s too much to expect.
Vitamin D levels remain low – I have been taking vitamin D supplements for 6-months now, 5000IU/day! My vitamin D started at 15ng/mL, went to 18.4ng/mL after three months, and is now 19.0ng/mL after six months. I use the D Tracker app and it predicts a signficantly higher (like upper 50s) value, so obviously I am not absorbing the supplement. I will be starting the natural form of vitamin D as the sun allows. I definitely could use a little color, but I don’t know that my body makes pigment!
Bicarbonate ion and anion gap struggling – My bicarbonate levels (chloride levels, for that matter) and anion gap have never been particularly stellar, even before eating low carb and intermittent fasting, but the ions have come even lower, and the AGAP higher, since I started (the chloride is mostly unchanged, overall). It’s not really bad, but it’s been low enough that I am watching it.
Digestion is still problematic – My other goal during the next 90-days is going to be improved digestion. I still really struggle in this area.
Less “good” days each month – This was surprising for me. Since I struggled at the end of Month 2, and Month 3 was much easier, I wanted to see how much better my eating was during Month 3 compared to Month 2. I came up with a random measure of “good,” “neutral,” and “bad,” based solely on the number of net carbs. I’m not super strict on my carbs, but I felt this would be a good way to differentiate. I chose 50g and 100g of net carbs (after grams of fiber is subtracted from total carbohydrates) to be my cut off points between “good” (under 50g net carbs), “neutral” (between 50-100g net carbs), and “bad” (over 100g of net carbs). My results were interesting, basically, Month 3 was “worse” than Month 2, but I felt better about it. Perhaps allowing myself to indulge more was a beneficial thing overall?
Month 1: 22 good days, 4 neutral days, 4 bad days
Month 2: 14 good days, 9 neutral days, 7 bad days
Month 3: 9 good days, 9 neutral days, 12 bad days
Where does all of this leave me? I’ve started my planner for the next 90-days and have formulated my goals…That 90-day period begins today! I’ll tell you more soon 😉