Saturday, April 02, 2011
Third in the series of where I began...
Where I started (335.6 lbs, BMI = 52.6) May 2007 - Apr 2009
Where I started Apr 2009 - Jun 2009
Where I started Jun 2009 - Sept 2009
June 25, 2009
People amaze me. (Have I turned into a food Nazi?)
Tags: bariatric surgery, diet, exercise, grilled cheese, nutrition, protein
Thereís a guy in my water aerobics class. This fact, by itself, is commendable because he must feel isolated at times because at the moment heís the only one. He comes with his significant other, who is supposedly a retired(?) nurse.
He recently underwent bariatric surgery in January. As of yesterday heíd lost 97 lbs (down from 400). Iíd lost 97.6 (down from 335.6). So weíre in roughly comparable situations and we compare notes.
A few weeks ago when we first started chatting about long-term weight loss, he told me heís losing weight so fast that heís losing muscle too, and feeling weaker. I asked how many grams of protein heís eating per day? He didnít know. He pointed to the SO and said, ďsheís in charge of that.Ē So later I asked her when they were together. She said, ďhe eats protein at every meal.Ē But how MUCH protein on average, per day? She didnít know, either. I told him that he should probably look it up, and at minimum be getting 100g per day.
His weight loss has been slowing down in the past few weeks, to the point that Iíve caught up to him. Yesterday I found out why.
While waiting for them to open the pool and class to start we were chatting and he divulged that heís started being able to eat more lately, which he took as a sign that heís recovering well from the surgery. The item that he said heíd eaten? A whole grilled cheese sandwich. GRILLED CHEESE? Did he mean broiled, or fried in butter? He didnít know. The SO who probably served it to him was sitting on the other side of me and didnít speak up. ďGRILLED CHEESE?!Ē I said. ďThat is NOT a good food choice. It is almost pure carbs and fat. And if it was fried, itís even worse.Ē
ďThey told me cheese is good,Ē he said.
ďCheese is loaded with fat. If you want protein, go for lean poultry breast or a lean fish like hake, cod, or tilapia.Ē
ďI love tilapia!,Ē another woman waiting with us said.
ďDude,Ē I said. ďThis is not what I want to be hearing. I do not want to be hearing that you are now eating grilled cheese sandwiches. After all the hard work and effort youíve put into getting to this point, it will make me cry to hear you are eating things like that. I love cheese. But the only kind Iíve found that is OK is the Weight Watcherís string cheese and the WW cheddar pieces. They have the least fat and salt compared with the amount of protein. But I can only eat them sparingly.Ē
ďString cheese is good for snacks,Ē he said.
ďNot just any string cheese. You have to read the labels. Weight watcherís is the only kind I have. And I do like it.Ē
Then they opened the doors.
About 220,000 people supposedly had bariatric surgery in 2008. The number probably went up this year. The more people having these surgeries, the more sloppy the places that do them are going to be. And Iím sorry, but a place must be very sloppy indeed if they donít educate their patients about nutrition. I mean, COME ON. This is INTERNAL elective SURGERY. These people canít put more than something like a tablespoon of food in their stomachs at a time, and they arenít told that they need protein, and that eating whole grilled cheese sandwiches isnít something to be proud of? Or if they are told, they donít pay attention?
Yikes. I see a massive problem coming with the explosion of these procedures. I mean, do we really know the long, long term effects of them? Not with so many people. And without proper coaching, nutritional education, and permanent lifestyle changes, how are they going to maintain their fitness?
Donít get me wrong. I think itís fantastic that this guy has lost 100 lbs and that heís in my water exercise class. That is commendable. However, having made similar strides without surgery or drugs, I can say for a fact that the nutrition is a key part of the process, if not the most important factor. And without it he will fail, which I would hate to see.
June 27, 2009
New BMI = 36.90
Tags: 100 lbs, bmi
Very Happy Milestone this morning.
I have removed 100 lbs!
Also, the BMI is now under 37.
Next milestone in 0.7 lbs when I will have removed 30% of my starting weight.
So in the end, my Reward Kayak ended up helping me get to the goal that made me deserve it in the first place. I LURVE my new kayak. Not only is it pretty and functional, but it ALREADY helped me lose weight!
July 5, 2009
New BMI = 36.098
Tags: indigestion, low fat, weight loss
A couple more milestones today:
Iíve removed 60 lbs since joining SparkPeople
Iíve removed 105 lbs total
Next milestone in 0.5 lbs when Iíll be under 230 lbs for the first time in recent recorded history.
I did well yesterday at the 4th of July BBQ in terms of staying under 2000 cal or so for the day. Unfortunately those cal that I did get included an extremely high amount of fat (almost 40% of the total calories), which my digestive system is NOT used toÖ
So I spent half the night with uncomfortable indigestion and the wee hours of the morning praying to the porcelain god, if you know what I mean. Lesson learned. When used to a low-fat diet, do not challenge the system with high-fat meals.
July 26, 2009
New BMI = 34.86
Tags: 5% net, halfway, under schedule
Aha! I made it! Under budget and under schedule! LOL.
Another 5% net G.O.N.E. (Iíd projected July 27 to hit it.)
And now Iím officially halfway in terms of effort. Eight 5% net milestones behind me, eight to goÖ
If you had told me last December that before the end of July I would remove 113 lbs and try whitewater kayaking, I would have laughed at you. Not WITH you, but AT you.
By the way, thatís also another fun milestone. My personal trainer is 112 lbs. This means Iíve now officially lost an ENTIRE PERSONAL TRAINER in weight. When I started I was using cats (10 lbs) as units of weight. Iíve removed over 11 cats. (I love the image of 11 cats strapped all over my body. A big furry, HEAVY, wriggling, complaining mass. LOL. Much less interesting to imagine my trainer just sitting on my back, piggyback style!)
The difference is that sheís probably 95% fat free, while the weight I removed is probably 95% fat. Hehe.
August 26, 2009
New BMI = 32.98
Tags: 125 lbs down, 5% net gone, bmi under 33
Woo-hoo! Iím officially THROUGH that nasty 220 plateau.
A BUNCH of milestones hit today:
80 gone since I started tracking my food at Spark People in March
Another net 5% removed (projected for 8/21 so Iím almost a week late Ė see comment about plateaus, above) 9 down, 6 to go! This is the best estimate I have for marking where I am in the process in terms of actual effort and difficulty.
Iíve lost 125 lbs since I started
My BMI is under 33. When it gets under 30 Iíll no longer be obese, just overweight!
Next milestone in 0.7 lbs when I get under 210.
I credit preparation and determination for this one.
I brought 4 protein bars with me yesterday to the ribbon-cutting ceremony and boy, did I ever USE them! They prevented me from eating the sweet starchy things available in the morning with the coffee, from eating the chips, creamy dressing, and cookie in my box lunch, and ESPECIALLY from eating the pepperoni and cheese and ranch dressing with veggies in the afternoon. (I had ONE square of cheese and I counted it.)
I only had water to drink, even though there was good wine available (I was afraid of the carbs in the wine, but especially of the disinhibition it might encourage toward eating the pepperoni and cheeses). We were gone so long that I missed spinning class, so when I got home I did an elliptical session.
August 31, 2009
New BMI = 32.2
Tags: biggest loser
Iíve now officially removed 130 lbs. Next milestone in 1.3 when the BMI will drop below 32. When it drops below 30 Iíll be ďoverweightĒ and not ďobeseĒ for the first time since the early 1990s.
P.S. I won the weigh-in at work, again.
Overall % lost by each of us over the past 16 weeks:
I am beginning to suspect that I could have won some serious ca$h if I had ever managed to get myself onto the Biggest Loser TV show, if I could have psychologically handled being cooped up with a bunch of other intense people under the scrutiny of cameras (which is actually pretty doubtful).
My BMI on May 11 when we started this was 42.3. At that point Iíd already lost 65.6 lbs, but even at a BMI of 42.3 I was bigger than Helen (41.5) and almost as big as Tara (43.4), who were the two female finalists in Season 7 (Helen won).
By week 16 Helen had lost 37.35% and Tara had lost 39.80% while living under TV scrutiny, working out for hours every day, etc. etc. Only three people in season 7 lost a larger % of weight at home than I have, and they had from 17-19 weeks to do it. (The person who had 17 weeks lost 23.22% total. By next week Iíll probably be about there.)
In our case, here are the winners for all 16 weeks and the percentage lost that week:
18 May Larry & Bill (tie) 4.38%
25 May Bill 2.1%
1 June Rose 2.72%
8 June ME 2.85%
15 June Larry 1.79%
22 June ME 2.31%
29 June ME 0.49%
6 July ME 2.79%
13 July ME 2.45%
20 July Bill 0.76%
27 July ME 1.13%
3 Aug ME 2.45%
10 Aug Tiffany 2.2%
17 Aug No-one (we all gained)
24 Aug ME 2.52%
31 Aug ME 3.42%
September 4, 2009
Tags: obese, overweight
Greetings from the UK. Where LisaĎs scale weighs me in STONES. Which means I donít really know my weight until Iíve done the math, hehe. (Fortunately there are 14 lbs in one stone, so the math isnít that hard.)
Today (my first morning here) I reached a new milestone. The BMI is under 32. When it gets under 30 Iíll be officially out of obesity and just overweight!
Yesterday on her way to an appointment in London Lisa took me by the local bicyle hire place where I got the ONLY Dawes Giro available. Itís a sweet ride. Took it out for a spin in the evening with Steve (Lisa was still in London until 9pm). Lovely 8 mile route, a bit windy in the country stretch, but very scenic. In the ensuing 40 min I got mostly used to the index shifting and burned 318 calories (max HR 151 BPM, which is respectable). See here for the route we took.
Today Lisa and I are going to spend the day kayaking on the Great River Ouse. To get there we will ride our bikes to the train station, take the train for2 stops, then ride the bikes to the yak rental place. No cars were injured in the making of this vacation, hehe.
September 9, 2009
New BMI = 31.45
Tags: 40% weight loss, 5% net loss
Went on a nice 47 mile round-trip ride with Lisa and Steve from Kingís Lynn to Hunstanton by the seaside yesterday. Pictures and route forthcoming when Steve has a chance to upload/enter them.
Some new milestones this morning:
Iíve lost another 5% (10 down, 6 to go)
Iíve removed 40% of my starting weight (getting on toward being half the woman I used to be)
Iíve officially won my contest with Vic, so sheíll have to pay for the bloody marys in January (she dropped out for legit personal reasons a while ago, but she still owes me at least ONE victory bloody mary! LOL)
Next milestone in 0.2 lbs when Iíll have removed 135 lbs. And in 0.8 lbs Iíll win that contest with my cousin Nick, and heíll owe me a nice dinner in November. Hehe.
Today is my last day here in the UK. Iím flying at 1pm to Philadelphia, and then from there to Syracuse. I better go see if those boarding passes printed outÖ
After this point I started posting my thoughts here at Spark People, with the Sept 15 2009 post, "Back in the Saddle."
Saturday, April 02, 2011
Second in the series of where I began...
Where I started (335.6 lbs, BMI = 52.6) May 2007 - Apr 2009
Where I started Apr 2009 - Jun 2009
Where I started Jun 2009 - Sept 2009
April 22, 2009
Nutrition Journey 3/9/09-today
Tags: calories, carbs, creatine, protein, supplements, whey
SparkPeople lets you see all your daily nutrition comments in one place. I found it interesting to see the different phases Iíve moved through in just the past month, starting with trying to figure out how to organize breakfasts at work through this weekís trials fitting in those high-calorie creatine supplements during the ďloadingĒ phase.
P.S. If anyone is wondering why Iím whining about this creatine supplement caloric load, just look at the breakdown by food from 4/23:
At 44.4% of my calories, two doses of that supplement is nearly HALF of my daily intake Ė and mostly simple sugars, at that!
I have copied the nutrition comments here, for our mutual amusement:
849 Calories Tonight inventory the greens (spinach) and see if theyíre edible for lunches.
Maybe get more at the store on the way home.
Bring yoghurt to work in little containers. With berries.
1,024 Calories Gee, I never noticed before, just how SALTY the string cheese isÖ Iím not sure I like that. Maybe next time I go to the store Iíll hunt for one with less sodium.
Itís not that the sodium is terribly high (220mg for 1 stick), itís just that the flavor is really salty.
1,836 Calories 13:30 Wow. An hour after lunch, and I still feel stuffed. I canít believe that 6 cups of fresh spinach only has 4 grams of fiber, though. I mean, that was a LOT of leaves!
15:00 Still pretty full. That lunch definitely lasted. I want more of those spicy & tangy almonds, though. They were good yesterday, and I finished them, so there werenít any for today. I miss having a Trader Joes.
1,063 Calories Waaay too much sodium yesterday.
Also, Iíve noticed that if I go out to eat for a meal, I tend to eat twice as much on average that day (about 900 calories more).
Itís just really hard to make good food choices when there are either bad choices available and/or very limited choices.
Thereís No Way I can eat within the range of calories theyíve set for me (1,810 Ė 2,160) and lose weight. My metabolism doesnít work that fast. If I donít stay between 800 and 1000 calories per day I will maintain or gain. Even with the cardio and weights.
1,533 Calories Oh dear. Breakfast ran right through me. Must have been too much milk. Iíll have to stick with yoghurt and cereal, I guess.
Tonight Iím having corned beef with carrots and brussels sprouts and onions and rutabaga. Iíll be making Irish soda bread with currants, and fruit for dessert.
781 Calories I prefer the weekdays for the eating. Itís easier to stick to a routine.
2,402 Calories Finished the yoghurt today. Need to get more.
Forgot to make sure I had a knife to slice the meat into bits. Desk scissors worked admirably.
Keep forgetting to bring in a big bowl for my salad. Need to do that tomorrow. Today I used the meat Tupperware. I would have liked to have more spinach at lunch, but it wouldnít fit!
1,197 Calories 3pm: Urgh. Iím really really really full from lunch. That might have been too much spinach and almonds. It feels like a LOT of fiberÖ
1,627 Calories MMM. The Weight Watcherís light string cheese is MUCH less salty than the Polly-O cheese. We have a winner.
Steve brought in muffins. I wish Iíd just had half, as Dawn suggested later. Good strategy to remember.
1,129 Calories Gee. I noticed I was feeling fatigued on the elliptical today, and when I logged it, SP told me to update my calories burned per week. So it was right.
So I did, and I noticed that it changed my self-set protein goals. Which, for the record, are 90-225g/day. This is based on the weight training.
It will be a big challenge to get that much. I did pick up my specially-ordered lite firm tofu, and Iíve ordered whey from Amazon.
Guess that tofu will be going faster than I thoughtÖ
818 Calories 1pm Urgh. I feel stuffed. Tried to get a bunch of protein into my lunch, because there was hardly any for breakfast.
Tomorrow I need to bring the Kashi golean in to work so Iíll have it here to eat. I forgot to bring some, and so got a late start on pounding the protein.
2:56pm Still uncomfortably full. Urgh.
3:30pm Ugh. Still uncomfortable. I have GOT to find another way to push proteins inside me, and it cannot involve eating an entire package of firm tofu in one sitting. I never want to eatÖ again.
4:30pm Urgh. STILL stuffed. Having trouble drinking all my water. Theres. No. Room.
1,793 Calories 11:15am OK, loading my day up front with protein. Eggs at McDonaldís while meeting with the contractor, Golean with yoghurt at 11am. Got 40 grams in before lunch.
Weíll see how this goes.
1:22pm Yeah. Much better. Had room for 5 nice grilled sea scallops with field greens and viniagrette for lunch. As of now Iíve got almost 60g of protein in me now.
30 more, and Iíll get my 90 for the day. Once the whey arrives (tomorrow?), Iíll be able to get that much just in my post-lifting shake, alone. That will simplify things considerably.
2:30pm a string cheese, worth a measly 6g
3pm Shoved 2oz of turkey down my throat. Now only 15g to go.
1,459 Calories 3:35pm only 5 more grams of protein to go, for my minimum. It helped, having a whole salad with the 1lb of tofu. Maybe Mondayís problem was in having mostly JUST tofu? Maybe the things I had were all just to acidic? (2 oranges, salad dressing, tofu)
The whey is supposed to arrive today. That will make getting protein easier.
9:50pm OMG, that whey tastes awesome! I donít know what people complain about. MMMMM. (Itís Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard double chocolate flavor.)
1,176 Calories My trainer says I need to have about 20g of protein every couple of hours; that I canít absorb more than 20g per hour, and any extra will go straight to fat.
I guess I could bring some of that whey to work and mix it with shelf milk, or water, or something. Although I seem to be managing pretty well at the moment.
Oh humpf. That Schwans soup has over 1000mg of sodium in ONE CUP!
2,363 Calories 10:20am Tried the whey as hot chocolate: 1/2 serving (35cc) = 2.3 T. Mixed it in hot water. It wasnít bad, but it wasnít as good as when mixed with cold milk. A lot seemed to stick on the sides of the mug, so Iím not sure if I got most of it into me. The up side is that itís 12g protein, 1g carb, and thatís all. Iíll have some mint tea next in the same mug. That should wash the rest of it off the sides.
1:33pm I think I found the sweet spot for tofu amounts. Half a block is perfect. Can I just say how much I love my yummy spinach salads with almonds and tofu? MMMM. Crunchy and healthy and they fill me up without making me uncomfortable. And they last a while. I had mine around 2 hours ago, and just now started thinking about food again, but not in a desperate way.
2:09pm Tried the whey in cold water, this time. At least it didnít coagulate the way it did in the warm water. Still not optimal, though. I like the milkshakes best.
4:24pm Yessir, this whey sure makes it easier to get all my protein. In little doses throughout the day. Iím getting used to how it tastes in water.
11:05pm Yikes. I came home and gorged on corned beef and half and half. This would not have happened if Iíd had time tonight to work out. Or if that stuff wasnít in my house to start with.
Just goes to show that Iím dependent on my schedule for this regime to work.
Itíll take days to work that crap back off. It tasted good, though.
891 Calories 4:15pm Iím not even hungry, now. I think Iíll just skip food for the rest of the day.
9:15pm Did more weight lifting, had some protein and some fruit
2,410 Calories 11:40am Crap. I really want to go to Parkerís for their Greek salad with grilled tuna and fat free vinaigrette. For some reason I just really would prefer that to eating a salad I make, today. But no-one will come out with me. And the only place any of them say they want to go is the faculty dining room at Hobart which is a buffet. And Iím not going there at the moment because whenever I do, I end up eating twice as much as usual Ė FOR THE WHOLE DAY.
Humph. As the song goes, ďYou canít always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you can get what you need.Ē
(Which is a nice spinach salad that I will make. With half a block of tofu, and almonds, and some Wishbone spritzer for dressing.)
Screw that. I WANT MY DRUTHERS!
(And I would like that on a bumper sticker, please.)
11:53am Humph. I guess I better go make that salad.
That %$@! Schwans Chicken Tortilla Soup has way too much sodium in it. I just went on their website and left a review telling them so. I wonít be buying it again.
10pm Yikes. I was Hongry, and gorged again at night. That is the last time. Note to self: lock kitchen, or something. Or just have a protein shake.
2,069 Calories 3:45pm Urgh. That was too much food for lunch.
2,816 Calories Urgh. I was so sick I threw up when I got home tonight.
3,556 Calories Ugh. I definitely have the pre-period munchies. Help!
1,438 Calories God, how I love sashimi. The sushi counter guy at the Corning Wegmans was very obliging. That was a yummy and nutritious lunch!
1,745 Calories In addition to the whey weíre going to start taking a creatine formula.
Fitness buddy warned me of the constipation effects so I baked a batch of Roseís high fiber whole-orange muffins. I just love the step where you toss the orange wedges in the blender with their skin and everything.
423 Calories Wow, itís really hard to judge how much to eat, sometimes. After the yoghurt and cereal I was still hungry for protein. So I had 2 WW string cheeses. And now am uncomfortably full.
What to do differently next time I feel this way:
1) Set a timer and wait 10 minutes to see if Iím still hungry
2) Eat ONE string cheese and wait another 10 minutes
And a pre-emptive note: Donít wait until 2pm to eat breakfast Ė that makes it harder to think before acting.
Also, it might be helpful to remember that I can probably process only 20g of protein per hour, so any more than that is going to fat storage or being wasted. I was probably craving fats, anyway.
Thatís already 27g. Then I added another 12 with the cheese bringing it up to 39g, which is almost certainly more than my body can process in one meal.
1,287 Calories OK, YES. I have figured out how to avoid the ^$##@ sodium. Make MY OWN lunchmeat.
Yesterday I ďgrilledĒ 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the convection-microwave and cut Ďem up into cubes.
Iím eating them in my salad right now. 4oz of meat, 26g of protein, zero carbs, and only 74 mg of sodium, baby!
The Uber best luncheon meat available in an equivalent weight has 600mg sodium, almost 10x. And the best mainstream option has OVER 1000 mg sodium. So this is DEFINITELY the way to go.
Plus, how about the co$t differential?
Raw boneless, skiness chicken breasts, about $3.79/lb
Hillshire Farm Deli Select meat (of any variety) $2.99 for 9oz, which is roughly $5.31/lb
No, Iím not counting the cost of the ziploc bags for freezing the meat, nor the energy to thaw it, nor the energy to cook it. I suspect Iím still breaking even, at least.
Mwa ha ha.
2,261 Calories Oh man. That creatine supplement is Nasty. The workout buddy is right. Tastes fine at first but has a really bad afterburn. Yecch. I have to do this for 8 weeks?! Yipes.
Iím going to start referring to the Workout Buddy on here as WB. Less typing.
Ugh. I STILL have problems going out to eat. I ate a pretty small, sensible lunch over at Hobart, and in the scheme of things it was extremely large. (over 900 calories) I need to put my entrees on salad plates, and start with a big salad on a dinner plate before I even go for the entrees. This time I should have stuck with just the chicken, and ONE cod cake, and ONE small piece of the brisket instead of TWO cod cakes and TWO small pieces of brisket.
Learning (and applying) this stuff is such a pain.
Can I also just say that I will be very glad to get behind me these 5 days of ďloadingĒ the creatine mix? Because after that I only have to take it 1x/day which means 310 less calories of carbs, and less ickyness to drink.
It is daunting to have over 600 extra calories of simple carbs to fit into my daily intake somehow. Itís one reason my relatively conservative lunch ended up being a problem. And Iíd rather spend my calories on FOOD than supplements.
OK, I will admit the Balance Bar was unnecessary. But StillÖ :-p
1,322 Calories Wow. that stinkiní creatine supplement is half my daily calories. After today I have only 2 more days to go in this annoying ďloadingĒ phase. Friday will be the last, thank goodness.
After that Iíll only have to fit in 310 extra calories, not 620! :-p
And it will be in the afternoon / evening so Iíll be able to go back to my regular kashi golean + yogurt breakfasts, which I kind of miss for both the protein and the fiber. The simple carbs in the creatine supplement are not exactly what my blood sugar levels enjoy, first thing in the morning.
Iím also noticing that 3oz of lean chicken breast is fairly equivalent to a dose of the whey protein. A whole lot cheaper, too, but not as convenient. Also possibly not as bioavailable.
Also, Iím going to have to figure out how to get more fiber, Ďcuz 7 grams isnít going to cut it and I donít want the carbs that come in those muffins, at least not while Iím taking 2 doses of creatine supplement per day.
I wonder if I can sprinkle bran on salads, etc? It would take 3/4 c of wheat bran today in order to get the minimum fiber Iím supposed to have. Maybe I can also add it to my protein shakes. I wonder if that would interfere with absorbtion?
Think Iíll start bringing wheat bran to work and sprinkling it on things. Oat bran doesnít have as much fiber per volume, unfortunately. Luckily both are available for a decent price inlarge quantities at Sauderís.
April 22, 2009
Resistance is Futile?
Tags: bars, bowflex, dumbbells, flys, plates
Iíve only had this Bowflex for about 2 months and have been using it regularly for 1 month. Itís already got 2 upgrades that allow it to go up to 410 lbs of resistance. No Bowflex machines go higher than that.
And I think weíre already running into a problem Ė the workout buddy (WB) can do 200 lb flys on each side. And on Monday we established that I can do 180 (well, 5 reps of them, anyway). This means that WB has almost maxed out the machine on this exercise and Iím not far behind, since it only goes up to 205 lbs of resistance on each side.
So WB has suggested bringing in his bench and dumbbells, of which he has a set of 15s and 50s. I just got a set of 10s. What I wonder, though, is if weíre going to need to start upgrading to bars and plates? Yikes. I think itís time to start watching Craigís List and EBay for people selling weight equipmentÖ
For other exercises that use smaller muscle groups (such as tricep pushdowns), the Bowflex is still great. I just think weíre going to need to supplement itÖ
On another front, I am planning to drop the T-Th water aerobics in favor of spinning at the local college, for several reasons:
Itís free because of my affiliation
Itís less driving because itís not far from where I work
Itíll be a good cardio workout
Iíve outgrown the T-Th classes; the workout intensity isnít high enough to get my heart moving, anymore (they were great for the level I was at in October 07 when I was diagnosed with the arthritis)
Being in chlorine 4x/week makes my skin itch
Iíll get home sooner since I wonít have to shower and the classes end 15 minutes sooner than water aerobics ones.
Itís getting warmer and eventually Iíll be able to swim in the lake again (especially if I investigate the possibility of an exposure suit or a shorty wetsuit).
Iíll continue with the high-intensity M-W water aerobics classes.
Problem: the T-Th instructor is a friend and I will miss the camraderie of the other people in that group. It is a very social class, which was really nice. That might have been part of the problem, though, since there was a tendency to chit-chat instead of push ourselves.
April 24, 2009
Tags: bench press, bending plastic, cat headlights, craigslist, marcy platinum mp 12.0, olympic plates, pumping iron, spinning butt, weightlifting
Well, now my fitness room has ANOTHER apparatus. WB and I now possess a Marcy Platinum MP 12.0 Olympic weight bench, cage, and 290 lbs of weight (the original owner is going to look for the missing 10lb plate when he gets home from work Ė it also could be somewhere in WBís truck). I fronted the cash, and WB will pay me back when his tax refund comes.
Amazingly, it isnít even crowded in the basement. Yet.
Tonight when I got home we tried out the new toy. Yoiks. I am way weak. I couldnít even press 100 lbs. In fact, I think I did, like 95. So I lost our bet. All I have to say is that pumping iron is Very Different from bending plastic.
He says I just need to learn the technique.
Meanwhile, he managed to press about 250 or so. The bar itself was actually bending under the weight.
Itís a pretty nice setup, with places to store the weights, cables in three positions so we can do pulldowns, etc. and a comfy bench. The bench itself goes flat, so I think I might be able to go back to doing leg curls for my knee, again. The bar is Olympic sized and the plates can spin independently.
Most of the attachments I got for the Bowflex will work nicely with this one, such as the T-bar, chains, the tricep rope, and the foot straps, etc. Also, having two machines will make circuit training go faster because we can hop back and forth between them while our partner prepares and logs the weights.
I guess we wonít be outgrowing this thing anytime soon. He says ďnot ever,Ē but Iím skeptical, since maybe some day weíll want a real cage. And we still need the dumbbell bars and some more plates. Iím following up on an ad for used 75lb Olympic weightsÖ
Iím still so tired and sore from the spinning yesterday that I donít feel up to doing my usual 30 minutes on the elliptical, either. Today I stopped by the bike shop and bought a gel seat cover. Iím grateful there isnít another spinning class until Tuesday. And that my car seat is so well padded. And that my desk chair is padded (although that was starting to get uncomfortable by 3pm or so). Maybe it would be a good idea to just go once a week until my butt can handle itÖ Once it can, though, I suppose I could start riding my own bike indoors again. Or even outdoors, come to think of it! (Doh. I really AM tired, arenít I?)
In fact, I feel a nasty headache coming on. So I think Iíll just be satisfied with my bench and military presses, drink my creatine, and call it a night.
April 28, 2009
I need to find a new training partner.
Dear God, please help me maintain my fitness gains until I can find other arrangements.
In the meantime, the spinning class will help, and my books about weight training will have to guide me.
Encouragement from my friends and family would be greatly appreciated at this time.
April 29, 2009
Tags: nashbar, spinning butt, tailbone
Last Thursday I tried an indoor cycling class. I thought I was going to die. So that seemed like a good sign for it to be something that would challenge me for a while, and so I called and reserved a spot to do it again tomorrow.
Armed with a gel seat pad, Iím hoping itíll be a bit less painful. My tailbone is still a little sore, if I sit the wrong way on my office chair, with it tucked under.
Even if it is painful, hopefully it wonít be AS painful as last week. I wonít start going on Tuesdays until Thursdays donít hurt anymore. I figure I need at least a week to give my butt time to heal in between sessions.
Once my butt has toughened back up, I could even start riding OUTSIDE again! I think Iíd enjoy that. Note to self: check to see if Nashbar sells shorts with gel pads.
Iím looking forward to my first session with my personal trainer on Friday. Thereís a chance that we might have to move it to Thursday at 4pm, but I wonít know until around 5pm today.
April 30, 2009
Getting ME back
Tags: cycling, spinning butt
Lisa and I had a long chat last night (unfortunately into the very wee hours of her UK morning), and during this conversation she mentioned that she was curious what I look like now, having lost 64 lbs. The last time she saw me was last summer, I think, or maybe it was the summer before that, when she came to NY and I took a bus down and spent the day with her. I was pretty much at my max BMI at that point, over 52.
So I took a couple of quick digital photos and emailed them, and her reaction was really funny. ďHey! It looks like YOU! Your face has actual STRUCTURE in it, again! Gee, you look almost the way I remember you did when we were in school together. How come you havenít aged?!Ē Then she saw the full body shot, and was similarly surprised. ďWow, thereís an actual SHAPE to you, now!Ē
Since Iíve been watching this transformation for the past 5 months (Iíve lost 19% of the starting weight), it doesnít seem quite so dramatic to me, although I am relieved that I finally recognize the face in the mirror, again. She finally looks like me. It is a strange thing to live in a body and behind a face that looks like a stranger in the mirror, but Iíve been doing it for the past 6-7 years, at least.
We concluded the conversation with me purchasing a flight to visit her and Steve in September. Iíve been really aching the past couple of days, and almost nothing raises my spirits as having a trip to look forward to. So now I have one. Both Steve and Lisa are really keen on cycling, and by then I should have a spinning-hardened butt, so I suggested that we rent a bike for me so the three of us can ride while Iím there. She liked that idea, a lot. I used to ride a lot too, at one point. Back in college I used to ride with the varsity team on their ďeasyĒ days and go on 100-mile century rides with my brother. A typical afternoon ride for me in those days was 20 miles. Maybe once my butt is hardened Iíll even upgrade to a heart rate monitor that works with a cyclometer. Itís something to think about, anyway.
In the meantime, Iím looking forward to continuing this journey of getting ME back. My friends in NY and farther away and family have rallied around me amazingly since my cry for help on Tuesday, and Iím fortunate to have them (you know who you are!). I think I might just be able to get by, with a little help from my friends.
May 1, 2009
New BMI = 42.10
A couple more milestones, today. Iíve hit the -65 lbs mark (actually 66.8) and a new digit in the 10′s place on the scale that I havenít seen in years.
Next milestone in 0.3 lbs when Iíll have lost an even 20% (1/5) of my starting weight. (Now, I know all of you can do the math, but I am starting not to care. In about 20 lbs more I think I might just start posting my actual weight directly.)
My first appointment with my personal trainer is today! Iím starting to get excited about that. She said today weíd mostly talk and measure me, which is fine, but I am anxious to start lifting again. I havenít done any for a week. Maybe I can ask her what I can do this weekend on the Bowflex.
May 5, 2009
Lowest recorded weight in TEN YEARS!
Tags: dedication, discipline, maturity, weight loss
Wow. I just discovered something today.
Iím now comfortably wearing clothes I bought for my new job 10 years ago (I saved a few of my favorites Ė most of them went to Salvation Army a long time ago).
So I went back and looked up my old WW books to see what I weighed back then. With clothes on (but no shoes), the lowest recorded weight was 1.6 pounds more than I am now (with nothing on).
So it turns out that I am currently at my lowest recorded weight, in TEN YEARS! Itís amazing what a little (well, a lot) of maturing can do for a personís dedication and disciplineÖ
May 24, 2009
New BMI = 39.97
Tags: bmi, morbid obesity
Aha! My BMI is now below 40. This means Iím no longer technically morbidly obese! Iím just Class II obese!
Of course, I had a Memorial Day BBQ with friends and ate far too much, and had gained 4.6 lbs by the time I got homeÖ So itís Back to the Grindstone starting tomorrow.
I *did* kayak for an hour or so, though Ė so I did get some exerciseÖ
June 1, 2009
Tags: bike computer, handlebar tape, helmet
Well, before/during/after my 10 mile ride yesterday I discovered some things:
The handlebars need to be re-wrapped
The Vetta helmet has pads missing and the foam is probably defunct
The valve on my rear tube is broken off
My bike computer no longer works
I canít find my glasses
The floor pump has been compromised by contractor children
So I went to the local bike store at lunch today and remedied this:
New cloth handlebar tape
A Louis Garneau Diva 444
A new tube (Iíll order more spares from Nashbar)
A new bike computer Ė wireless!
New floor pump (I gave the compromised one to Ron so I donít have to look at it and be annoyed.)
My gloves, shoes, and other things are fine. I wish I could find my water bottles. Theyíre in the garage somewhere under all the contractor crap. So are my panniers. Iíll just buy some small bottles from a store.
June 2, 2009
New BMI = 39.44
Another milestone; Iíve lost 40 since joining SparkPeople on March 9.
Next milestone in 0.1 lbs when Iíll have removed 25% of my starting body weight.
Iím into the size 22 jeans that a gastric bypass friend at work handed down to me.
Yesterday I managed to squeeze in 12 laps in the pool before water aerobics. That was 3/8 of a mile.
Also, Iíve made it onto the leader board at physicsdiet.com (top 10 most lbs lost).
June 4, 2009
New BMI = 39.16
Tags: 85 lbs gone, swimming
I just passed the 85 lb mark. I have 100 left to lose. Iíve done it once before, in my 20s.
Next milestone in 0.1 lbs when I see a new digit on the scale that I havenít seen in YEARS. When I hit that digit I will start posting my actual weight, because, screw it, thatís why.
Also, this is pretty cool: yesterday I managed to squeeze in HALF A MILE of swimming before water aerobics. Thatís 16 laps.
I would just like to say that at my maximum weight, half a mile was a lot to WALK (well, hobble, actually Ė given my knee), let alone swimÖ
New BMI = 38.87
Two milestones today (thatís 5 milestones in the past 4 days).
My BMI is under 39
My weight is under 250 for the first time ever. Yes, you got that right. Iím going to post the actual numbers here from now on.
Next milestone in 1.5 lbs when Iíll have removed another 5% net. My last projection of when that would happen was for 6/24. I believe I am ahead of even that schedule.
Spinning was good last night. Every time I go Iím better able to keep up. Tonight I have a workout with the trainer at the Y.
Next swimming goal is to get 20 laps in before water aerobics. That will be a kilometer. (20 laps of 50 m each)
If Iíd realized I only had to do 4 more laps to get there, I probably would have gone for it on Thursday. But, while the pool is metric, the notice on the bulletin board is in imperial (ď32 laps = 1 mileĒ). Maybe itís a good thing, since my shoulders are still a bit sore.
When I was in nearly peak physical condition in my 20s I used to swim a km 3x/week during lunch. It took 40 minutes and I used to have to alternate between crawl, backstroke, and breaststroke and kicking in order to rest. Recently Iíve just been alternating between crawl and backstroke and havenít required rest laps. My goggles havenít arrived yet, but the lifeguards let me borrow some from the lost and found while Iím there, which is very convenient. I donít enjoy having chlorine eyes. Never have. So far no problem with swimmerís ear, either, which is kind-of amazing.
The other thing I might want to try learning (again) is flip turns. I never really got the hang of them, but I need to learn, I think. Maybe next time I visit Rose sheíll teach me?
16 half mile (done!)
20 kilometer (next!)
24 three quarter mile (will have to work on my speed)
32 mile (ditto by a lot)
40 2 kilometers (ditto by a lot lot!)
June 15, 2009
Better Cholesterol Ratios
Tags: cholesterol, HDL, LDL, morbid obesity, triglycerides, weight loss
When my BMI dropped below 40 which meant I was no longer morbidly obese, I made an appointment with my doctor to redo my bloodwork, just to find out if anything had changed. It had.
Since February when I got my physical (and permission to lift weights), the following stats have changed:
glucose from 91 mg/dl to 86
Total cholesterol from 176 mg/dl to 154
HDL from 39 mg/dl to 38
chol/HDL ratio from 5 to 4, bringing me from a risk between 1-2x average down to a risk of 0.5-1x average
triglycerides from 111 mg/dl to 67
The last two are pretty cool. The only problem so far is that the HDL dropped a little, and itís already lower than it should be (50-60 mg/dl for a female). They said the only way to raise it is with exercise (of which Iím already doing a lot more than I was before) and eating resveratrol. Since heart problems run in my family, I think I will look for a supplement next time I am in a pharmacy. The American Heart Association website says that maintaining a healthy body weight also helps raise HDL, so as I continue to lose weight, perhaps it will go up.
P.S. On Saturday when I had to bag my bike ride due to thunderstorms I fell asleep with my HR monitor on. When I woke from the nap it said ď41.Ē Eventually it went up to around 50 as I started moving around. This is apparently extremely low, especially for a female in her 40s. I suppose itís due to all the endurance sports I used to do when younger and the fact that Iím starting to do them again. In my 20s my HR was in the 30s when I first woke up. If I can see it in the 30s again Iíll be well pleased. Given how things are going, I wonít be surprised to get there, eventually.
Saturday, April 02, 2011
First in the series of where I began...
Where I started (335.6 lbs, BMI = 52.6) May 2007 - Apr 2009
Where I started Apr 2009 - Jun 2009
Where I started Jun 2009 - Sept 2009
Long before I discovered Spark People I started trying to lose weight. From my old very defunct blog here is the first post about it. I've cut and pasted other selected entries from the beginning until I started actually posting to my blog at Spark People.
It's kind of interesting to see how my thoughts evolved and to revisit the experimentation I did in nutrition and exercise that led to where I am now. You'll notice I never mentioned my actual weight because I was so embarrassed about it, but rather reported everything in terms of BMI.
My first encounter with SP is in here. I wasn't at all interested in the "social networking" aspect of it. LOL. I think the first mention of Physics Diet is, too.
The PT I'm going to now for my shoulder is first mentioned here, when he treated my arthritic knee when I was over 300 lbs.
Although the weight graph corresponding to this period shows only one false start, there were many many of them leading up to this point.
[May 26 2007]
Ok, that's it. I'm done.
I don't want to be in the Extra-Super-Scarey BMI category I'm currently in (52.6). According to some websites:
"Patients with this condition incur much greater weight-related health risks, including an increased risk of dying - estimated at 5-10 times greater than that of people of normal weight - as well as arthritis, breathing problems, cancer, depression, diabetes, gastroesophageal reflux, heart disease, hypertension, infertility, loss of bowel/urinary control, menstrual problems, obstructive sleep apnea, swollen legs, and venous disorders."
So I've pulled out all my old WW materials and started using the journals again to keep track and limit the intake. And I'm walking 1.5 miles every day after work. And I'm starting an 8-week Tai Chi class at work next Thursday. I'm weighing myself once a week at my doctor's office near work. I set up a computer to email me a motivational quote on persistence every day. I pulled out my copy of Make the Connection and started re-reading it. I'm re-reading The Mastery of Love. And I'm relying on several others at work for moral support who are dealing with similar challenges. And I'll post my progress here.
[July 06 2007]
New BMI: 49.96, dropped from class IV to class III
This means I'm officially no longer in the extra super scarey category, but in the just plain old morbidly obese category:
"Morbid obesity is a significant risk factor for hypertension, cardiovascular disease, some cancers, diabetes, respiratory problems and musculoskeletal disorders."
I'll be in this category until the BMI goes under 40, so it'll be a while. Still, it's something.
The walking and staying under points have suffered this past week. A lot of contributing factors are involved. I'm keeping on keeping on, though.
Here's the kind of Tai Chi I've been learning. But 2 degrees of separation from the guy in the video (my teacher learned from a woman who learned from him).
[August 20 2007]
New BMI: 47.36 (5% net removed 2x)
The BMI was 47.74 this morning, and I figured I might have found that plateau I was expecting. But I was pretty happy that I'd been mostly doing everything I am supposed to this past week, including walking 4 miles on Wednesday.
Walked 2 miles today at lunch and 3 more when I got home from work - that's 5 total today. Rose, eat my dust! Hehe. Just kidding. I guess that made the difference, though.
I actually enjoyed the evening 3 miles, rain and all, wearing my new twisty rain hat and listening to J.A. figure out how to sail the pushme-pullyou Polycrest. That O'Brian was a pretty funny guy. I'm glad no one else was out in the state park, to hear me laughing out loud all by myself!
I've removed 5% of my mass twice, now. In order to get to a normal BMI I need to do that 12 more times. (95% of 95% of 95%... you get the idea) It's a war won in small increments, so I've parceled out the milestones in manageable chunks. In my past experience (having done this before, *sigh*) it's about as difficult to lose 5% of your weight, no matter what your actual weight is. Based on the time it took to remove the first 5%, I'd projected getting here next week.
I'm less than half a pound from having removed 10% total of my starting mass. Unless something untoward happens, I should get there next week...
[October 11 2007]
Well, the verdict is in. At the tender age of 41 I have "pretty bad" arthritis in my right knee, according to the bone and joint doctor I was referred to today.
Based on the X-rays, I'm pretty much grinding bone-on-bone in there, and there are lovely little bone spurs beginning on the side. The left knee apparently doesn't look very good either in that the joint is opening, but at least there's some cartilage in there still, keeping the bones apart. It hardly ever bothers me.
So the PA shot my knee full of cortisone, and they prescribed physical therapy. This shot is no joke. Damn, it hurt when he did it. And all I could do was sit there and try not to flinch while the needle was in there. Now, 3 hours later, it is really swollen and stiff and throbbing. So I took two Tramadol, and am waiting for it to stop. It better stop. Right now it feels just about as bad as it ever has, after being jammed.
The Celebrex my primary care physician prescribed has been borderline bothering my stomach, so I'm going to stop taking it and see what happens. Maybe he can come up with an alternative.
The first PT appointment is tomorrow morning, so I hope the swelling has gone down by then. If not I suppose I can go back around to the other side and complain (they're in the same building).
A moderately annoying thing about this is that I'd been keeping off my knee (not walking for exercise), so it really wasn't bothering me that much today, UNTIL the shot.
A more annoying thing about this is that the reason my cartilage is missing is because my father did not believe in doctors. I injured the knee when 17 and he refused to take me to get it looked at, so I kept reinjuring it, until several months later when I matriculated at college and friends dragged me to the health center.
I was fairly sure my dad would not approve of my having talked to doctors, and I was right. The diagnosis was torn cartilage, and arthroscopic surgery suggested. My dad yelled at me for injuring the knee in the first place, and then yelled at me for the $2000 the operation cost (keep in mind I was still covered on his comprehensive BC/BS health plan, so he only had to pay the deductible). If my mother had been alive at the time, it would have been taken care of when it first happened. She had Leverage with him.
(He was so adamant about doctors, that I recall one morning waking up with a bad fever, taking my temperature, finding it to be 102, and having him tell me to just go to school. He refused to take me to the doctor, and said he was busy - gardening - I'd had to go out to the backyard in the cold rain to ask him, because he wasn't going to be bothered to come in. I ended up asking a neighbor to take me, which she did.)
The surgeon who did the arthroscopy was also the official orthopedic guy for the football team. According to him, by the time he got to my knee, it had turned into "one of the worst knee injuries" he'd ever seen. And that includes college football. He removed most of the cartilage on the inside, and half of it on the outside, and told me things would never be the same again.
He was right. And now my knee has degenerated to the point that the doctors looked back and forth between me and the X-ray and asked, "HOW old did you say you are, again?" And looked surprised when I told them.
So now it's a race. Can I lose the weight before I lose the joint?
I suppose it would be a good idea to investigate other forms of exercise besides walking, that do not involve using my knee under pressure. My eyes hate the chlorine fumes at indoor pools, but the Y near work has H2O aerobics 3x/week from 6:30am - 7:30am...
[October 16 2007]
New BMI: 45.55, and a New Goal
OK, I've been thinking about my knee some, and I've been coming to the conclusion that the less weight on it, the better.
My original goal when I started this was to get to the upper limit of "normal" in terms of BMI (24.9). In fact, "normal" BMI goes from 18.5 to 24.9. I think now it would be better to aim for the middle of the "normal" range (21.7), and when I get there, see if I can drop even more, or not. The less weight on this poor joint, the better. The less damage, the more I'll be able to continue using it without requiring a replacement.
My first H2O aerobics class was tonight. It was a bit chaotic and a short (45 min). I couldn't hear very well what we were supposed to be doing (the room echoes), and the women leading it were in the pool with us, so there wasn't much visual guidance, either.
I asked the people next to me, and did my best to push myself hard. I was often told, "technique doesn't matter, just make sure you keep moving." Compared to a class I used to take at a health club near my apartment in Las Vegas, this is frustrating. There I paid an arm and a leg, but the instructor stood on the side of the pool and pushed us and showed us what muscles we were supposed to be using, and did generally what you expect an exercise instructor to do. This was more like facilitation.
It didn't look like the other people were pushing themselves. A lot of them kind-of hung out and paddled around less than earnestly. Maybe that's what happens when you get to be in your 60's and 70's? I hope that doesn't happen to me; if it does, I don't think I'll be able to maintain a healthy weight, because it's a lot of effort now, and I can't imagine it'll get easier as I get older.
I couldn't help thinking that I'd get a better cardiovascular workout if I'd just spent the 45 minutes swimming. On the other hand, I'm feeling it now, so I know it used new muscles, which is good.
Dropped the bike off at the shop today for its overhaul in preparation for putting it on the rollers for the winter. I guess I'll just have to rely on the Nordic Trak and the bike for the cardio aspects of my program. My basement is turning into a little gym. I even put the ankle and wrist weights down there. It's where the router is, so I can stream music and podcasts down there to keep myself entertained, without even bothering with wireless.
Tomorrow I have PT again. Maybe he'll let me go more than 5 minutes on the elliptical machine; I liked it; it felt a lot like running, in a nice way, but without any of the impact. Maybe that's the point.
[November 25 2007]
Current BMI: 46.58
Thank God for setpoints. Despite a month of travelling and laziness, I have only gone up 1.16 in the BMI (7.4 pounds). I have not been exercising regularly, especially this past week, when the PT prescription ran out, I didn't go to Geneva Th or F, and the H2O aerobics pool was closed on Tu. Even worse, I have not been tracking my intake. Which, if you've read the past few entries, has been considerable, lately. And having tasty leftovers in the fridge tempting one late at night doesn't help.
Well, I know what to do and how to do it, so here we go, back to the Program. As PQ has pointed out, when you do the work, you get the results.
January 28, 2009
Back to the BMI chasing. Today=47.08
After a really bad lapse where last fall I gained back up to almost the same weight where I started, Iíve pushed it back down again. Mostly through the help of the pre-gastric ulcer which acts up when 1) I overfill and 2) I eat at night.
The most recent bout on the evening of December 11 / morning of December 12 was so very painful and unpleasant that something clicked in my head and I realized that I would rather be hungry than feel like that ever again. EVER again. Even though this has been going on sporadically for years, the most recent memory of the pain and the vomiting has stuck with me long enough that I have maintained a healthy fear of overeating for over 6 weeks, and as a result am finding out what it feels like to be hungry, how to manage my blood sugar, what being full feels like, how long I need to wait in order to even know if Iím full, etc. In effect, Iíve got the same symptoms as a friend at work who had her stomach stapled, but without the cost and associated issues of elective surgery.
People have asked why I donít go to the doctor about this. I have two reasons, and I think theyíre sound. First, the problem only happens when I overeat at night (i.e. it hasnít happened since 12/11), and second, this is the first thing ever that has worked that hasnít involved obsessive calorie-counting (i.e. using WW points, etc.). And Iím sorry, but while obsessive calorie-counting does in the short term help with managing my eating, it does NOT work in the long term because it presents significant quality of life issues. There is an inherent psychological problem with focusing on NOT doing something that Iíve never been able to overcome. So Iíll take the ulcer memory and use it. Consider it my disulfiram.
All the years of calorie-counting have given me the tools to eat in a healthy way, and Iím doing that, but just without counting anything. Oatmeal for breakfast, homemade soup for lunch, etc. Just less of it and not overfilling. And not eating at night. If Iím bored I can clean the bathroom or organize the garage, for Peteís sake.
Also Iím back with the H2O aerobics, and will hopefully start working out in the basement soon as well. (As soon as the rest of the bamboo planks have been distributed to the rest of the house for acclimation.)
March 10, 2009
Current BMI = 45.67
Looks like Iím finally locked into a Bowflex routine along with the previous water aerobics and the additional elliptical work in the cracks.
Although I was on vacation last week with all kinds of unhealthy food options available (such as Lebanon bologna rollups, ham and cheese pannini, several slices of Key lime pie, etc.), I managed to be the same weight today as I was 2 weeks ago. I suppose it helped that I did manage to fit in 3 water aerobics sessions, a long walk on the beach, a moderate walk in freezing cold Savannah, and a harrowing bike ride TO one of the water aerobics sessions. Also two uncomfortable refluxy episodes after having the aforementioned bologna rollups. And for the last 3 days had chicken or salmon on salad for breakfast. Mmm.
Theyíre doing a 4-week nutrition workshop at work that Iíve joined, which turned me onto sparkpeople.com (Although Iíd heard of it before, Iíd been avoiding it, because I really donít like social networking sites. They just donít do it for me.) Itís a pretty convenient place to log food and exercise for free, though, so Iíll give it a run for a while and see how it goes.
March 11, 2009
Current BMI = 45.42
Holy cow, progress!
Now Iím at the exact same minimum I reached once before recently, on Oct 22, 2007. Back then Iíd just been diagnosed with arthritis, had gone to PT 5 whole times, and just started doing water walking on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Beyond this will be New Territory since the Project started on May 24, 2007.
Things have changed a lot since then.
Oct 2007 is when I originally set up a fitness center in my basement (I used it 3 times and then started hanging clothes on the Nordic Track). Now thereís an elliptical machine and a pimped-out Bowflex (410 lbs of resistance and all the fun extras: tricep rope, lat bar, curl bar, T-bar, foot straps, etc.) in addition to the existing NT and bicycle. I just ordered an acrylic mirror panel from Lowes to help with spotting my technique on the weight machine.
My knee hasnít hurt since the Long Walk on the Beach last week (and recovered quickly). I havenít been to PT for 3 months. Yesterday I was just thinking that the Tuesday/Thursday water walking is becoming too easy to really push me aerobically, and wondering if Iíd be better off just using the elliptical.
I am starting to feel a whole lot better physically. More alert, stronger, more balanced, and my pants are starting to slide off. With my most recent foray back into Healthy Eating, I donít think Iíve had it this much together since my mid-20s.
March 13, 2009
Current BMI = 45.26
Tags: difficulty eating out, slow metabolism, sparkpeople, tim hortons
(Yesterday the BMI was 45.17, but I had waaaaay too much sodium last night, so this morningís number reflects that.)
Iíve noticed that if I go out to eat for a meal, I tend to eat twice as much on average that day (about 900 calories more). Itís just really hard to make good food choices when there are either tempting unhealthy choices available and/or very limited choices.
Seriously. I met ďBobĒ at Tim Hortons yesterday morning before work to go over the books, and the only things I saw that I felt comfortable eating were a hot tea with nothing in it and an apple. There wasnít any yoghurt, hot cereal, or anything available that wasnít full of empty white flour carb and fat calories.
Thereís No Way I can eat within the range of calories theyíve set for me (1,810 Ė 2,160) and lose weight. My metabolism doesnít work that fast. At the moment, if I donít stay between 800 and 1000 calories per day I will maintain or gain. Even with the cardio and weights.
This was the case even back in my 20s when I went to an actual nutritionist to get advice about why I couldnít lose weight despite being (at the time) extremely active*. We tracked my food and to humor her I ate 1200 Kcal/day for a week. I gained. We started dropping the calories and at 800 I started losing. She said sheíd never encountered anyone with such a slow metabolism.
Given that the metabolism is supposed to slow down 5% at the age of 40, I imagine that when I finish removing this extra baggage, I can expect to be eating on average 600-750 calories/day. And thatís WITH lots of exercise. At least the food bills will be low.
Still, Iím going to keep soldiering on, because the extra baggage has to come off, despite any difficulties. And with almost 50 lbs removed since May 2007, my knee and the rest of me definitely feel a LOT better. So itís worth it.
*By ďextremely activeĒ I mean that I was swimming a Km 3x/week, playing softball 2x/week, riding horses 2x/week, doing martial arts 3x/week, and doing 20 mi bike rides and 4 mile runs on the weekends. I was also working on my PhD research and raising Miaumoto. I used to come home from bike rides, pick him up, and wipe my sweaty face on his sides like a towel. He loved it.
March 16, 2009
New BMI = 44.73
Tags: 50 pounds gone, BMI below 45, bowflex, flaky workout partners, lost 5% net, strength training
A bunch of milestones today:
Iíve lost 5% net since 8/19/07 (14.9% since I started)
The BMI dropped below 45
Iíve removed a total of 50 lbs since I started.
The next milestone will be in 0.34 pounds, when I will have removed exactly 15% of my total body weight.
This was a Good Way to start the week, even though my workout buddy flaked out yesterday and never called to cancel, or return my call asking if it was off. The result was that I missed a lifting session because I didnít know what exercises we were supposed to do that day. (This other person is in charge of that part.)
During a conversation about something else today I asked what happened, and got the response ďOh, Iím sorry Ė I wanted to do other things yesterday and left my phone at home so it wouldnít disturb me.Ē The response did not sound sorry.
I refuse to let my fitness depend on someone who does not show up or communicate. It was an appealing idea when it was suggested, but this arrangement is clearly not going to work. So I went on Amazon and ordered two books to help me figure out on my own what to do and how to do it on the Bowflex.
(Can you tell Iím pissed off? Thought so.)
P.S. These are the books:
The Bowflex Body Plan
The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess
P.P.S. Besides the books I ordered, thereís a nice website here with lots of suggestions. http://www.strength-training-woman.com
March 17, 2009
New BMI = 44.64
Tags: 15% removed
Reached the 15% removed milestone this morning. Itís a drop in the bucket given that I need to remove 53% of my starting weight in order to get into the ďnormalĒ BMI range, but itís something.
Itís more than Iíve had before, and itís an improvement. Iím wearing clothes I havenít fit into in years, and some I bought online that Iíve never been able to wear before. My knee hardly ever hurts anymore, I feel stronger, and itís nice to know I have made positive progress in at least one aspect of my life.
March 21, 2009
Tags: carbs, fat, protein, sodium, strength training
According to the strength training article at Wikipedia, I should probably be getting between 90 and 225 grams of protein per day. I am having trouble getting that much. Generally I manage around 60-80 grams.
The strength training book I got from Amazon recommends a macronutrient ratio of
30% calories from protein
30% calories from fat
40% calories from carbs
15% calories from protein (real range 10%-35%)
30% calories from fat (real range 20%-35%)
55% calories from carbs (real range 45%-65%)
Iím usually somewhere around 30% protein, 20% fat, and 50% carbs. Which I guess is somewhere in the middle. Itís hard to adjust and arrange foods to get a particular ratio. Generally, as long as the protein is between 25% and 30% Iím happy. I need to increase the grams, though.
Hereís what 3/22 looked like, after a sashimi dinner:
Iím also still not eating as many calories as SparkPeople says I need (1,910 - 2,260). Today was the first time I felt any kind of fatigue, or anything like that. I just couldnít keep up with the tempo of the music (around 64 bpm). Today SparkPeople also complained because Iíve done more cardio for the week than they anticipated, and so had to enter ď3629Ē under ďcalories burnedĒ so that they could increase the calories they want me to eat. This is ridiculous. (Wednesday and Thursday I did some Nordic Track and weight training after getting home from water aerobics.)
Anyway, Iím excited for the whey to come that I ordered, so it will help me get in more protein. The Nasoya Lite Firm Tofu helps, too. Both seem to be convenient ways to get protein without getting a lot of fat and/or sodium with it.
I also ordered fish oil capsules for the omega-3 fatty acids that I know Iím not getting.
P.S. Raw fish seems to work as a lean source of protein, too. Itís unfortunate I canít afford a sashimi diet.
Calories Carbs Fat Protein
Edamame, frozen, prepared, 1.5 Cup 285 0 12 26
sashimi, yellowtail, 3 oz 124 0 4 20
tuna, bluefin sashimi, 6 oz 244 0 8 40
sashimi, snapper, 3 oz 85 0 1 17
salmon, atlantic, sashimi, 3 oz 121 0 5 17
March 30, 2009
War on Sodium
OK, thatís IT. Iíve had it with the sodium. In fact, I think itís more of a threat in my food than fat. Really.
Take, for example, Schwans Chicken Tortilla Soup.
One cup has:
Sounds pretty reasonable, right? Until you get to the part that says ď1040mg sodium.Ē What?! Are you kidding me? Thatís more than half the sodium Iím supposed to get, per day. The soup *tastes* salty, too.
Then we come to luncheon meat. In order to minimize fat, weíre just comparing turkey. I spent at least 20 minutes in the dairy section of Wegmans this morning looking at the backs of the packages to figure out whatís going on. Whatís going on is that the ďUltra ThinĒ sliced varieties have almost DOUBLE the salt.
There was a clear winner in terms of sodium, but itís rawther expensive (75 cents per oz): Empire Kosher has less than half the sodium of most of the other kinds. The best mainstream type was Hillshire Select Oven Roasted Turkey Breast, Hearty Slices (44 cents per oz). I also looked at Oscar Meyer, Hormel, and Wegmanís own brand, and they were comparable to the high sodium Hillshire.
Brand Calories Fat Carbs Protein Sodium
Empire Kosher Turkey Breast (3 slices = 57g), 57 gram(s) 50 0.0 1 11 300 30 4
Hillshire Farm Deli Select Oven Roasted Turkey Breast Hearty Slices (2 slices = 56g), 56 gram(s) 50 0 2 10 540 30 4
Hillshire Farm Deli Select Mesquite Smoked Turkey Breast (4 slices = 57g), 57 gram 50 1.0 3 8 620 25 4
Hillshire Farm Deli Select Honey Roasted Turkey Breast, Ultra Thin (6 slices = 57g), 57 gram(s) 60 1.0 5 8 650 25 2
Hillshire Farm Deli Select Oven Roasted Turkey Breast, Ultra Thin (6 slices = 57g), 57 gram 50 1.0 3 9 730 25 2
Now, onto salad dressings. In general, when you give up fat, they replace it with either sugar (carbs) or salt (sodium). Iíve found that the spritzers actually deliver the most flavor with the least caloric, fat, or sodium impact. Hereís a breakdown on them:
Brand Calories Fat Carbs Sodium
Kenís Lite Accents Raspberry Walnut Spritzer (10 sprays), 1 serving 15 1 2 35
Wish-Bone Salad Spritzers, Ranch (10 sprays), 1 serving 15 1 0 70
Kenís Lite Accents Asian Spritzer (10 sprays), 1 serving 15 1 2 80
Kenís Lite Accents Balsamic Spritzer (10 sprays), 1 serving 10 0.5 1 95
Kenís Lite Accents Honey Mustard Spritzer (10 sprays), 1 serving 15 1 2 95
Wish-Bone Salad Spritzers, Italian (10 sprays), 1 serving 10 1 1 100
Wish-Bone makes an Asian-themed one I like that is no longer on the shelf at Wegmans, so I was pleased to see that Kenís is branching into that market and Wegmans is stocking it. Anything that makes my salads more interesting while providing a minimal macronutrient / sodium impact is good by me. I havenít tried the Kenís dressings yet. I can say that the Wishbone Italian goes better with tofu than the Ranch.
Iím having to order more of the Nasoya Lite Firm Tofu today from Urban Sun, in order to get it on Friday. I seem to be going through about 6 lbs of tofu every 2 weeks. Itís not cheap, but as a protein delivery method (while avoiding fats and sodium), itís fantastic. Plus itís got all those nice plant estrogens and the calcium from the coagulant.
The Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein is helpful too, but tastes a lot better in milk than water, and milk has carbs in it. And some sodium.
April 13, 2009
Tags: f6, heart rate monitor, polar
Since I sometimes use the ski machine which does not have a heart rate monitor, I splurged and got myself one from Amazon.
Itís got this handy feature that you can upload the data by sound from the wrist unit to your computer and from there to the vendorís website and keep it available for tracking.
Here are the results from tonightís session on the Elliptical, as summarized on the training website:
Pretty nifty, eh? I had chosen the ďmoderateĒ zone and was below it for about 4 minutes while warming up, and above it for about 4 minutes in the middle of the workout. (Thatís how my Max HR ended up above the ďUpper HR Limit.Ē) I had to turn off the beeping because it annoys me, so when Iím out of the selected zone the wrist unit just flashes at me.
For the record, the ellipticalís heart rate monitor must be pretty accurate, because it usually reads within +/- 1 bpm of what the chest strap does. The elliptical itself is taking quite a pounding, unfortunately, and Iím not sure how long it is going to last. This is particularly unfortunate, since I tried every machine in both Sears and Dickís before settling on this one as most comfortable for my knee.
Thereís supposedly some way to also download customized graphics and settings for the wrist unit, but Iíll save that for another day.
On the BMI front, yesterday I was 0.6 pounds away from having lost 60 total. Iíve got almost 18% of my original body weight off.
Update: as of 4/14 Iím 0.4 pounds away from having lost 60 total.
Friday, April 01, 2011
My own personal philosophy is to
1) get the BMI below 30, and then
2) focus on dropping body fat.
The problem is, how do you actually *measure* body fat? It's elusive.
Here's a nice synopsis on Wikipedia:
Here's an interactive web tutorial on some methods:
(Calipers aren't mentioned in this one.)
Leigh Peele wrote a very nice post about the topic:
The pictures in there are especially helpful.
James Krieger wrote a really really in-depth series of 7 columns about the relative pros and cons of different methods for figuring out % body fat:
The Pitfalls of Body Fat MeasurementĚ: Part 1
The Pitfalls of Body Fat Measurement: Part 2
"The bottom line is that underwater weighing can give good results when looking at group averages, but not so good results when looking at individuals. The sad thing is that underwater weighing is actually the best method out of the 2-compartment models. Other methods, including the Bod Pod, BIA, and skinfolds, are significantly worse."
The Pitfalls of Body Fat Measurement, Part 3: Bod Pod
"The Bod Pod does OK when looking at group averages, with some studies showing error rates of around 2%; however, other studies have indicated average error rates of over 5%. The individual error rate for the Bod Pod can be unacceptably high in some individuals, and the Bod Pod is horrible for tracking change over time. For these reasons I would recommend against using the Bod Pod as a body composition assessment tool. Hydrostatic weighing, despite some of its problems, is much more reliable."
BIOELECTRICAL IMPEDANCE (BIA)
The Pitfalls of Bodyfat Measurement, Part 4: Bioelectrical Impedance (BIA)
"BIA can be problematic because it‚Äôs a prediction based off of a prediction, so the error gets compounded. When you look at group averages for BIA measurements, there tends to be bias, with BIA often underpredicting how much fat you have. As with other techniques, the individual error rates can get high, with some research showing error rates of around 8-9%. In fact, BIA doesn‚Äôt do much better than BMI at predicting body fat in some cases. When it comes to measuring change over time, BIA can often underpredict the amount of fat loss, and the estimated change can be off by up to 8%.
For all of these reasons, I am not a fan of BIA for measuring body composition in individuals. If you are going to use BIA for tracking body composition over time, I recommend very long time intervals between measurements (at least 3 months, but 6 months is probably better), as the error rate for BIA can be larger than the changes in body fat in you see. Whatever numbers you do get using BIA, always remember they are very rough predictions‚Ä¶.and I emphasize very rough."
The Pitfalls of Body Fat Measurement, Part 5: Skinfolds
"Like BIA, skinfolds can be way off when it comes to determining body fat percentage in individuals. When it comes to tracking change over time in groups, then skinfolds do pretty well. However, errors for tracking change in individuals over time can be up to 3-5%. Thus, if you are going to use skinfolds for tracking a single person over time, I recommend very long time intervals between measurements (minimum of 3 months but 6 months is better); otherwise, the error rate is higher than the change that you can see. In fact, I recommend against even calculating a body fat percentage. If skinfold thicknesses are going down, then you are likely losing fat."
DUAL-ENERGY X-RAY ABSORBANCE (DXA / DEXA)
The Pitfalls of Body Fat ‚ÄúMeasurementĚ, Part 6: Dual-Energy X-Ray
"Despite the fact that DEXA represents a 3-compartment model, its error rates are no better than hydrostatic weighing, and in some cases is worse. Like other techniques, DEXA does well when looking at group averages, but not so well when looking at individuals. Individual error rates tend to hover around 5%, although some studies have shown error rates as high as 10%. When looking at change over time in individuals, error rates have hovered around 5% in some research, although other research has indicated DEXA to perform much more poorly. For these reasons, I do not recommend DEXA for tracking change over time in individuals. If you do use DEXA for tracking change over time, I recommend very long time periods between measurements (a minimum of 3-6 months), as you will need a minimum of a 5% change in body fat to reliably detect a true change in body fat in most people."
The Pitfalls of Body Fat Measurement, The Final Chapter
"Body fat testing isn‚Äôt useless, but you do need to be careful in how you interpret the results." "For extremely obese people, I recommend simple body weight and circumference measurements."
According to him, hydrostatic weighing (NOT Bod Pod) and DXA are the most accurate. For following trends in % body fat he recommends calipers or if you're extremely obese, a plain old measuring tape.
For those of us who have weighed over 300 lbs, our bones are likely to be extremely dense (we're weight-lifting all the time just by walking around), so DXA is probably a better bet than hydrostatic weighing if you want to go either of those routes. I had a DXA scan done Jan '10 and at that point they said my bones were 25% denser than average.
I checked my Tanita BIA scale against the DXA % body fat measurement and discovered that if the scale was set to "athlete" mode the readings matched exactly.
So for now I'm just going with what my scale says, although BIA is not supposed to be very accurate. I'm averaging the daily measurements over at physicsdiet.com.
Although DXA is the technology used on the Biggest Loser to assess % body fat, many people still do not know about it. Here is a nice PDF article by Mary Oates summarizing its use, with pictures:
So, where can you get a DXA scan done?
If you live west of the Continental Divide you can probably find a sports medicine or wellness center that will do it, if you just use Google Maps and search for "DXA" and "DEXA."
If you live in the East, it seems to generally be a bit trickier. You'll need to contact the radiology or imaging departments at a few local hospitals to find out if they 1) have the right machines (GE Lunar or Hologic) and 2) if they will even do a whole body scan (many places just use DXA for bone density testing and either don't know they can or don't choose to provide whole body composition analyses).
Once you've found a place that knows what you are talking about, you can bring the above Oats PDF article to your physician and ask for an order for the scan.
There aren't any lists anywhere of facilities that provide DXA body composition analysis, so I've started compiling one. The list of places that have responded so far is here:
If you know of a place that does it, or any lists where people collect that kind of information, please have them fill out this form here, so we can find more places:
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
The one really important joint for kayaking is the shoulder. The one thing you don't want to mess up is your rotator cuff.
Guess what I hurt when I fell snowboarding on Sunday? Yeah.
^%$#@!! off-season sports.
Doc says to stay off it 8-10 days and if it's not better by then to get an MRI.
Which means I won't be going to West Virginia to paddle this weekend as I'd planned.
So now I get to satisfy myself with indoor cycling. Weight lifting is going to be kind of out, until the shoulder is better. Except for stuff I can do with my left hand I suppose. I'll ask my PT when I see him tomorrow.
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