Thursday, June 16, 2011
Yes, weight loss is like a journey. BUT the metaphor is misleading and can lead to regain.
Why? Because this is not a journey to some mountain top after which we get to say "I made it to the top of Fuji!" (or Kilimanjaro or Mt. Washington or whatever destination you choose) and get a T-shirt and go home.
This is not a journey like a race somewhere that you get to cross a finish line and say "Yay! I ran 26 miles!" (or rode 100 or my bike! or swam a mile! or whatever goal you choose) and get your medal and go home.
THERE IS NO GOING HOME.
Because your destination IS HOME.
Let me repeat that.
YOUR DESTINATION IS HOME.
In other words, this is not like a trip to some vacationland from which you plan on returning. Unless you really WANT to gain the weight back??? (You don't, do you? I sure don't.)
THIS IS A RELOCATION. YOU ARE MOVING TO YOUR NEW "HOME."
Your current location is a barren wasteland. Where you are uncomfortable with how things are. You are going to a happy place, of comfort. Things in this new place may be unfamiliar. You will have to make adjustments. But you are going there because you believe you will have a better life.
YOU ARE EMIGRATING.
If you do not see your goal as your new home, you will surely not stay there. How can you?
I have no idea what a "normal" person eats. I guess that depends on your definition of "normal."
What a standard American eats will not keep the weight off, that's for sure. See this article for some numbers:
This came up because I found myself writing a novel-sized comment on a blog by SARA72121 that asked "Will I ever be able to eat like a normal person?"
Sara is very good at losing weight consistently. She rocked it in a recent "last one out" team challenge. I have tremendous respect for her abilities. And I'm re-posting my comment here as a blog topic in its own right, because I think it's important.
Maybe some of those people she sees are treating themselves and won't eat for the rest of the day. Maybe they're only taking two bites and leaving the rest on the plate. Maybe some of them are competitive swimmers and burn 12,000 calories in training per day. Maybe some of them are hyperthyroid and have a high basal metabolic rate.
I eat ice cream. I do. A kiddie-sized scoop in a hand-made waffle cone.
But I only do it once a month, only at the awesome place that makes their own that was written up in the NY Times, and I track it. Most of the people I see eating ice cream there are either obese or young (i.e. not yet obese). Some are just overweight. A few are healthy-looking.
But I know what I need to eat in order to keep my size at a happy place, and in the end I guess that's all that matters, because that's where I want to be.
If you don't think of a maintenance level and quality of food as "normal" then you will surely gain the weight back. I agree. And I've lived it, too. In my 20s I lost over 100 lbs and then gained it all back plus almost 100 more.
It doesn't matter what is "normal" for anyone else. What matters is MY new normal. The amount and type of food that fuels the activities I like to do and keeps me comfortable with how I feel. The amount and type of food that lets me stay "home."
Once I started seeing it that way fighting the occasional regain wasn't so onerous. I didn't feel like "Oh crap, here we go again. And I've already been there, so it's no longer novel or exciting."
Instead it was, "Oh man, I wanna go HOME again. where I can wear my favorite clothes again. Where I like how I feel and what I see in the mirror."
And that is the difference for me. It is subtle, but I think it's important.
I have to credit one of my spin instructors for explaining to me that she sees it that way. But once I got it, it really clicked. Maybe it will help you, too.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
If you go to my Physicsdiet.com page, you'll see the following thing on there:
That thing was a long time coming, the first time, back in January of 2010. My recent fight to get back to healthy (in my 40s as opposed to the other time I lost over 100 lbs in my 20s) has not been smooth, as you can see from the overall graph:
I should probably explain what you are looking at. Those are (mostly) daily weights. Physics diet works according to the Hacker's Diet principle in that weights are smoothed using a weighted moving average. There is a trend line automatically calculated by the site that works like a stock price graph. The idea is that as long as you're under the trend line you're moving in the right direction (green). If your weight pops over the trend line it goes pink.
We have a whole Spark Team about this if anyone is interested:
Doing this helps combat scale anxiety in situations where there are normal water fluctuations and plateaus. As long as you're in the green, you're going in the right direction, so no need to freak out. I sort of wish the scale haters on this site would give it a shot, because it might help them. But some people don't want to monitor frequently and they don't like numbers, which is OK. You have to find what works for you. This works for me.
Back to contemplating the graph. There were relapses in there. Most notably last year when I got all excited about white water kayaking, and sidetracked by triathlon training and started neglecting the tracking. Which resulted in a 30-lb gain.
This year I've been sidelined with a rotator cuff surgery in May that will require rehab (and no kayaking) until after October. I can't even ride my road bike outdoors yet. Bummer. But it has given me an opportunity to focus on the food (which is 90% of the battle) and try to learn patience (which I am deficient in).
So anyway, here I am, back at a "normal" BMI according even to the Physics Diet average. I would feel more excited about this except that I'm still recovering from a nasty flu and I can't actually go out and do the things I love anyway, because of my shoulder.
So I'll just have to spend my time figuring out how to stay here.
One thing I'm not so jazzed about is my loss in lean muscle mass due to the shoulder restrictions. I've lost a lot of muscle from my upper body because I can't lift. I've been trying to counter that with some limited lower body and core work, but the possible gains below the waist don't seem to be offsetting the losses above.
Normally I suggest that people get to a BMI of 30 (which I consider marginally "healthy" for most folks) and then try to focus on % body fat.
I'm having to make an exception in my case due to injury (and illness at the moment) and focus mostly on the BMI number and hope that when I'm recovered that I'll be able to build the muscle back up.
Because the point, after all, is not really the color of the font on my Physics Diet page, or the number underlying it. The point is to have a high strength to weight ratio so I can do the things I like to do.
Which I will hopefully be able to do by November.
Monday, June 13, 2011
Fredrick Ranney Lewis
Geneva; Fredrick Ranney Lewis, 51 of Yale Station Rd. passed away Sunday June 5, 2011 at Geneva General Hospital.
Funeral services will be determined at a later date by the family. He will be greatly missed.
Fred was born in Geneva on December 6, 1959 the son of Trudy Suppes Lewis and the late Richard Lewis. He was an intelligent and compassionate man who touched many lives, while working as a Respiratory Therapist for over 10 years at Geneva General Hospital among other local hospitals
Fred leaves three children; Katie, Fred and Sam Lewis; a grandson; his mother, Trudy Lewis of Geneva and his former wife; Sandra Lewis.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the McGuigan & Bero Funeral Home.
I met Fred at church. That's how he found his way here.
One of the people in church announced it today. We were surprised; we didn't know he was unwell, although we had not seen him lately.
I didn't know him well, but the few conversations we did have were genuine. The last time I saw him he said he'd turned a corner in his life, in a good way. He didn't go into details, but I was happy for him.
I'm sorry he's gone and hope he is content where he is now.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
I'm still unable to ride outdoors but I got to see DDOORN as he went by on his 79-mile tour today. Their route went right through my neighborhood.
Apparently he lost a water bottle at the beginning of his ride this morning so I brought out a big pitcher and topped off riders as they went by.
We chatted for a while and then he continued. I'm looking forward to reading how the rest of his ride (and weekend) went!
Later today I'll head down to Ithaca with my violin for a fiddle workshop to find out if:
1) Any of my bows have any hair left on them.
2) Whether I still remember how to play.
3) Whether my shoulder can even handle bowing, 6 weeks after rotator cuff repair.
Thursday, June 09, 2011
Screenshot from the itunes.apple.com/us/app/tao-way-of-l
ife-free/id392532481?mt=8 app on my iPod
I'm WORTH living at a size where I'm comfortable. Where my favorite clothes fit. Where movement is unencumbered. Where my strength to weight ratio facilitates the sports and activities I enjoy. Where I actually LIKE what I see in the mirror.
7 days ago I finally dropped back under 160 on the scale. This is the absolute top of my "maintenance" range. What some people call the "scream weight." My "happy" range is between 155 and 145.
It's taking a little while for the trend line in Physics Diet to catch up, which is fine.
I attained this range in January 2010 and proceeded to get side tracked by other things (like camping every weekend on the road in search of white water for kayaking), stopped tracking food regularly, and got complacent. The result was a 30 lb gain.
Having finally gotten most of that back off and sidelined from kayaking with rotator cuff surgery rehab, I'm determined to get back into my "happy" range and figure out how to stay there.
My % body fat is higher than I'd like. Right now it's around 25%. I prefer it at 20% or below. Usually when I'm around 155 or below on my normal cardio and weight lifting regime it's around there.
I'm losing muscle mass in my upper body because of the shoulder restrictions. So I'm "lifting" using the leg machines 3x/week. I'll be damned if I'm going to let all my lean mass go.
In the meantime I'll keep doing spin class twice a week for cardio, and the occasional walk in the local state park or elliptical in the basement depending on time, ambient light, and energy. Once my shoulder is strong enough I'll go back to road cycling outside.
In case anyone cares, I report my food intake here: www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/team_mes
Onward. And downward.
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