Monday, June 14, 2010
My weight graph on physicsdiet.com has been showing an alarming trend that I've been trying to change this past week:
While the major oscillations have stopped climbing as badly, I'm still not really managing to get the weight back down to where I want it.
So, here I am, almost 15 lbs up from my minimum, struggling to hold the line.
But I'm struggling. I'm still not giving up. I'm going to keep trying things until I figure out how to make it work.
Because I am NOT going back there for a third time.
Here is what has changed since the beginning of April:
1) Less structured exercise schedule
I'm doing different kinds of exercise (whitewater kayaking, windsurfing, etc). These are the sorts of activities I lost the weight in order to be able to do. It is important to note that in general my weekly calorie burn is similar to what it was before (about 2000-3000 calories per week according to the HR monitor), just distributed differently.
I used to have a routine locked in, that involved fitness classes 4x/week, plus a session with a personal trainer. Because of summer break at a local college, these options are more limited. And my personal trainer can only meet on one of the days that I used to do a fitness class.
More of my cardio training depends on self-discipline and internal motivation. At the moment I'm working on my open water swimming which is convenient because I can walk from my house down to the lake, swim 0.8 miles to the nearby state park, and walk home. Same deal for the road cycling that I do from my house. It's also inconvenient, because if I'm tired, or the weather is icky I find it hard to push myself to do it.
I'm kayaking more frequently. This requires more flexibility in my schedule because I have to go when the rivers are running, and that has depended largely on weather conditions such as rain, etc. Now that we're heading into summer it'll depend more on dam releases (which are scheduled usually for raft trips). Local creeks will still depend on rain.
Not only are my cardio routines disrupted, but ever since the tendonitis I've gotten out of my 3x/week strength training schedule, and my eyes, clothes, and scale body fat monitor have noticed. This is not a good thing. Part of my frustration is that my iPod somehow got reset and I lost my old workout with all of my lifting data. So I'm having to start all over from scratch with whatever new baseline I'm at, and that makes me unhappy, because I enjoyed looking at my progress over the past months.
2) Sloppy food tracking, and not planning
I should point out here that monitoring my body fat % and weight every day has continued consistently. In my personal case it's the food planning, then the tracking that goes first. Based on previous experience if I continued down this path the weight tracking would eventually become sloppy too.
A lot of people emphasize the use of the nutrition tracker for keeping on top of fitness. Yes, the tracker is important. Yes, you need to log everything you eat, if you're going to get the maximum benefit out of it.
However, the other part of the benefit to the tracker is using it to PLAN EATING AHEAD OF TIME. This part is not emphasized as much, perhaps because it's implied, or perhaps it's because other people don't need to do it.
But I clearly need to do it. Because I just do not know when to stop eating. I used pre-planning to my advantage when I lost the weight, and I'm obviously going to have to use it to keep the weight off.
So be it.
My schedule is more erratic now. More camping and being out and about, doing active things like kayaking. Which means eating a salad while out there is a lot more difficult (although I actually did manage it two weekends ago).
I've tried all kinds of things, like bringing my scale & logging, packing each day's food in a big labeled ziploc, etc. I have problems with these systems because I'm tired, burning a lot of calories, and tempted by the food my companions bring and offer to share. In such a situation I tend to make bad decisions, eat more than I need, and eat the wrong things.
Several trips I've brought back my little ziploc bags with my pre-weighed water-based whey shakes, unconsumed, while I indulged in eggs, or even worse (mini chocolate bars, muffins, etc.)
I'm not sure how I'm going to manage to hold the line on this one without enlisting the aid of my companions - tell them not to feed the bears, no matter how prettily the bears beg. Have them tell the bears to eat what is in the pre-allocated ziploc feedbag, that other food is off-limits. Because my own willpower is obviously insufficient for these circumstances.
If I can't manage to hold the line, I might have to stop going outside and having fun, and I really don't want to do that.
3) Uninhibited night eating.
OK, this one is really the Kiss of Death. I cannot watch television. So I don't have cable. So what do I do? I get into the habit of watching stuff on Hulu at night before going to sleep. Which is definitely TV, despite the differently shaped device (laptop not TV) and location (bedroom, not couch).
TV makes me want to eat. It always has. My family always ate dinner in the room off the kitchen which also had the TV in it. When I was little my mom and I would eat lunch while watching game shows.
TV is an evil, evil food trigger for me.
I need to banish the laptop to the home office, and make it off-limits in the bedroom.
I also need to watch the urge to eat while reading, because that's there, too. It basically happens when I'm watching or reading and my attention wanders due to a brief boredom, and bam! There I am, magically standing in front of the fridge, with the door open.
Any media need to be abandoned when the urge to eat strikes. Period.
4) Prepackaging foods and reducing temptation.
Actually, I've pretty well cleaned out my fridge over the past few weeks (abundant evidence on the weight chart above.)
The difference is that I'm not buying new stuff. I spend most of my waking hours at work. I tend to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner there. When I was on my best losing trend last year I wasn't eating at home at all, except on the weekends. To make this work there need to be only staples available. Things that take time to prepare. Leftovers kill me, unless they're frozen.
I have recently bought dried fruit (bananas with no other things added, papayas and mangoes ditto, freeze-dried pineapples, apples, and strawberries, etc.) These are convenient for bringing camping or with me kayaking because they don't take up much space, weigh almost nothing, and keep indefinitely so I just leave 'em in my kayaking food bag.
The problem is that I haven't had a clue how to track them because they weren't in the Lean Me database, and most of 'em came in bulk from a local health food store.
So today I looked them all up online and put them into Lean Me, and packaged them up into single servings in ziploc snack bags, with the grams written on the bag. Now when I plan an outing it will be much easier to toss the appropriate amount of these items into the bag, bring that and no more.
This way I at least will be slowed down with the uninhibited eating, and the tracking will be much easier.
So, I'm going to work on these things this week. I want to turn this trend around.
I hope to kayak in Canada this weekend on the Ottawa river and I need to make this work, somehow.
I don't like how my wetsuits are snug at this size. I feel weak and sluggish. I can see the definition fading in my arms and legs.
I'm going to hold the line.
And then I'm going to push it back down to where I want it to be. Where I'm comfortable. Which means at the very least UNDER 160. Where my BMI is "normal." And things fit. And I feel strong.
Update: As per Bill's suggestion, I started a thread over at the HITsquad:
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
More about this topic over at Secondhelpingonline.com
Feel free to post comments over there...
Monday, May 17, 2010
A friend remarked this weekend that I've improved ridiculously fast in my kayaking skills since the last time he'd seen me practice my rolling in a pool in early March. He said it was due to spending so much time in the boat(s).
I was reflecting on this and decided to actually add up all the hours just to see how much time I really have spent padding. The results surprised me.
Since January 31 I have spent the following number of hours paddling:
14:11 - pool and lake rolling practice
(This doesn't include the rolling I do every time I get into the water. I want to keep this skill strong and fresh.)
19:57 - class I rapids and sea kayaking
10:40 - class II rapids
13:27 - class III rapids
1:28 - class IV rapids (which was over my head but I was lucky)
Which adds up to almost 60 hours in the water with a paddle in my hands.
Since the beginning of April (less than 6 weeks ago) I have paddled 6 different rivers and 3 lakes, some of them multiple times. I have used 7 whitewater boats and 4 sea kayaks. I rolled all of them successfully except one of the sea kayaks that has a high seat back.
By the time Memorial Day rolls around there will be 4-5 more rivers on that list, most of them class III and III+.
Which, considering I only just started lake paddling in earnest in July and began whitewater in late September *is* kind of stunning, I suppose.
I just feel so driven:
1) I just love it. Try to keep me out of a boat. I dare you.
2) I want to make up for lost time, now that I'm physical condition to do it
3) I want to cram as much progress in as possible before I lose my physical ability to handle it (One of my paddling buddies this weekend is in her 60s and an incredible boater, so perhaps this is less of a worry than I think it should be)
Despite all this, paddling is really more of a *reason* to stay in shape than a *way* to stay in shape because it involves a lot of time sitting in the car driving to a destination and sprinting-type exertion once I get there.
Which means I absolutely have to keep up with the spinning, strength training, and swimming so I'll have the power and stamina to handle boating all day for multiple days in a row as will happen in two weeks.
And I have to pay attention to technique to avoid shoulder injury and ice the tendons in my right wrist that became inflamed during the sea kayaking trip two weeks ago.
It's a shame I don't enjoy cycling as much because that does burn carbs. I do love cycling, but not as much as paddling. It doesn't grab me the same way.
There's nothing like approaching a drop, where the world ends over the edge, with your heart pounding and fear running through your veins, and your mind focused on getting down cleanly and eddying out at the bottom to avoid getting mushed up against a dangerous canyon wall...
Gee. That doesn't sound very fun, does it? But it is, I assure you!
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
I've been paddling a lot lately, both flat and white water.
But yesterday I got to try something new - qajaasaarneq - Inuit rope gymnastics designed to keep kayak hunters in shape during the off season. These exercises are supposed to be the closest thing to rolling a kayak there is, without involving a boat and water, LOL.
These days there are competitions for who can do the most moves in half an hour (each side, forward & backward). There are 26 moves in all:
Let me tell you, these exercises are challenging. I managed the Akulaammillugu move forwards with my right leg above the rope, and could do it until I was dizzy. It's the easiest move and the only one I mastered.
I almost managed Akulaammillugu backwards with the same leg in front. My pulled hamstring complained when I tried Akulaammillugu forward with the left leg in front.
I *almost* managed Pallussineq but just couldn't quite get all the way back over.
All of us tried Qajaasaarneq and a few of the more experienced kayakers managed it, both forward and backward.
It was a really good workout. So good that I'm thinking of getting rid of the Bowflex in the basement, moving the Olympic cage to where the Bowflex is, and hanging some ropes where the Olympic cage is now. That could be a fun thing to have in the basement to work on during the winter...
We also tried some of the high rope exercises. One guy even managed to get up and over it! None of us managed the one-hand hold (Kisitsineq).
The requirements for setup are pretty minimal. It would be fun to see this end up as a new esoteric exercise regime for the masses, LOL.
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