I had a haircut a few days ago, and because I've never had such short hair before, I was extremely scared that it wouldn't suit my face. But turns out, I was in for a pleasant surprise. I loveeeeee my new haircut!!!!
I have curly, wavy (sometimes frizzy) hair, so usually the haircut looks awesome at the salon, but looks pathetic after a few days. But this time, my hair still looks awesome, even after washing it. I'm thrilled!
Here's a photo of my new look :
Here's a collage of pictures of me with my 12 year old baby (relax, I'm talking about my guitar *wink*) :
The best part is that the hair which was cut (a ponytail) will be donated to an organization which makes wigs. Being anemic, I've never been able to donate blood, so I'm happy that I could donate something.
A weight loss update :
I had mentioned in an earlier post, that I had gained 6.5 kg (around 15 lbs) in 2019, after losing 18 kg (around 40 lbs) in 2018.
Due to the mistakes I made in 2018 (read 'My Hips Don't Lie'), I lost quite a lot of muscle, especially from my thighs. As you can see from the photo below, my thighs appear much smaller in November, 2018, compared to January, 2020.
They always say that the last 10 pounds are the toughest to lose, and my mission for 2020 was to lose the 15 pounds I gained, by doing things the right way.
And guess what? I'm halfway there!! I've lost 3.5 kg (around 7.5 lbs) in the past 7 months. Yay!
A different approach :
In 2018, all I was concerned about was reaching my goal weight, which was 60 kg (around 130 lbs). I achieved that goal, by eating too less, exercising too much, and eventually ruining my metabolism.
But once I crossed 60 kg, I took it very lightly. From following OMAD in 2018, I switched to the 16:8 eating pattern in 2019 (read 'From OMAD to 16:8'), and I ate a lot of junk food, primarily due to stress (read' When Life Gets In The Way'). In addition, I didn't exercise regularly in 2019, like I used to in 2018. All these factors combined, led to the 15 pound weight gain. Fortunately, I stuck to intermittent fasting, so I didn't gain back all the 40 pounds that I had lost.
I once read that whenever you incorporate new changes into your lifestyle or diet, for the next 6 months try sticking to those new habits, maintain the weight you lost, and then alone introduce newer changes to lose more weight.
So, following that advice, this time I made sure that I took things very slow (2020 : 3.5 kg in 7 months. 2018 : 18 kg in 6 months). I incorporated healthier (less drastic) changes to my lifestyle and diet, which helped me lose weight, as well as maintain the weight I lost.
A new progress photo :
Positive changes :
1) Fat loss :
Apart from my face being less chubby, there isn't a very visible difference with respect to my overall figure. However, my clothes are a little looser, and I've lost an inch from my bust, my thighs and my hips, while still maintaining my muscle, which is a good thing.
2) Energy levels :
I feel great, even after fasting for 20 hours a day. Having learnt from the mistakes I made in 2018, I eat more on days when I exercise, and eat less on my rest days.
Habits I've stuck to (related to health) :
1) Intermittent fasting :
It's been 2 years since I started doing intermittent fasting. It's become a lifestyle now, and I fast for 18 to 22 hrs on a daily basis.
I've done 3 prolonged fasts in the past 7 months : 39 hrs, 48 hrs and 40 hrs, and they've helped me break my weight loss plateaus. I plan on doing one prolonged fast every two months.
2) 80 : 20 rule for healthy eating :
On an average, I eat around 1600 calories a day. I make sure that 80% of my diet is healthy, and 20% comprises of indulgences, like a cheat food or dessert.
On some days I do eat more junk food than I should, but I've learnt to forgive myself and move on. Weight loss/maintenance is a lifelong journey, and it's vital to enjoy yourself along the way.
3) Food logging :
Logging one's food into a food journal (like MyFitnessPal) is extremely helpful as it keeps one accountable, and also helps with meal planning (read 'Logging Meals'). During the past 7 months, I've logged my meals every single day, even when I've eaten a lot of junk food.
4) Exercise :
I've always exercised in a fasted state. However, over the past 2 months, I've been sticking to a proper exercise schedule (read 'My Exercise Schedule'). It has helped me maintain consistency, which in turn has helped me get results.
5) Tracking :
As I've mentioned in a post titled 'Focus On The Non-scale Victories', the weighing scale is the least accurate way to measure weight loss. However, it's a good indication of whether you're heading in the right direction or not. In addition to weighing yourself, make sure that you take progress photos, body measurements and see how your clothes fit.
Weight : As my weight fluctuates by a pound or two on most days, I weigh myself as soon as I get up, and then take weekly/monthly averages, so as to get a better picture. This has helped me not obsess about the increase in the number on the scale, if any.
Measurements : I take full body measurements every few months, and compare them to previous months, so as to measure my progress.
Another progress photo :
Nov, 2018 : 59.5 kg, less muscle, less energy.
Aug, 2020 : 62.5 kg, more muscle, more energy.
There is no shortcut to weight (fat) loss, and no magic pill that can burn all your fat in a day. It requires a series of changes to one's lifestyle and diet, as well as a lot of dedication and consistency.
It may seem difficult in the beginning, but it gets better, it gets easier. So, don't ever ever ever give up!!
Start small, and you'll reach your goal in no time. Good luck!
Thank you for reading! Stay blessed!