Wednesday, March 03, 2010
I have been struggling with the transition to maintenance. My BMI dropped below 25 in December and my moving average BMI at physicsdiet.com dropped below 25 on January 9. While I've reached two goals (body fat less than 25% - in fact it's under 20% and BMI under 25), I still have one goal to go and that's to get my moving average weight to 150. That will give me a comfortable buffer between where I'm trying to stay and the boundary of a BMI under 25.
On the one hand I don't have my weight LOSS goals as hard in my mind anymore, and on the other hand I haven't started the maintenance clock yet. So I'm in a sort of limbo. This is a problem because I am highly goal-oriented and now that I'm off the hardcore weight-loss fast track, I'm not sure what to do with myself. I've been halfheartedly trying to get to 150 but have been experiencing episodes where I eat more than I need to, and sometimes don't even log it.
Today I decided to declare myself officially on maintenance for the purposes of keeping my BMI below 25 in order to give myself a pat on the back for keeping it there for two months. And in two days I will get a REWARD. I get to pick out TWO of the buffs I've been saving for the purpose.
That's 56 days, 8 weeks, 17% of a year, and 3 1/3 % to my goal of keeping it there for five years.
In other words, I have 58 months to go on my 60-month countdown clock.
Why five years?
Because according to the research studies
(McGuire 1999 psycnet.apa.org/index.cfm?fa=buy.opt
that's when I'll have the opportunity to be among a fortunate 70+% in the NWCR who are likely to stay within 5 lbs of goal for another year. Below 2 years of maintenance only 50% of NWCR subjects are likely to stay at goal weight.
Of people who have maintained their weight for 15-20 years, 80% are likely to stay at goal in the following year. So you see, the longer you stay at goal, the better you get at it, and the more likely you will be able to stay there. And despite the odds, I plan on being one of those that do.
I am not in maintenance yet for the purposes of lowering my average weight to 150 and will get a big ole' reward for that when I get there - probably a wetsuit and a brand new sea kayak.
Once I get my average weight to 150 my "scream weight" will be 153 for the average and 155 for the actual number on the scale. I will continue to weigh myself every day. If I go over either of those numbers under any circumstances it will be time to punch the numbers down by eating more carefully and exercising more diligently.
And the maintenance clock will continue to tick. Every month that I maintain I will get another reward. At the 2 year mark I will get something Really Nice. Maybe a trip, or something. I will start saving now.
At the 5 year mark I'm going to get something really really really nice. I don't know what, yet, but it's going to be Good.
3/5/10 - woo-hoo! I did it! 2 months down. 58 to go...
Saturday, February 27, 2010
...my mother always DID say that I was impossible... LOL
Seriously, though, I actually put this image on my iPod's wallpaper so it's the first thing I see when I turn it on to log anything (food, weight, exercise). It helps me remember that I have a soul inside my machine (body) and that soul has an identity and it can soar.
The body itself can do a lot of things it couldn't before, not the least of which is sitting with my legs crossed! LOL
I can fit into a bathtub now, and have rediscovered the Long Soak as a non-food reward. I highly recommend Kneipp herbal baths - lots of fragrance and no weird residue on me or the bathtub. My favorites are lavender, hops, and melissa.
There's almost nothing better than listening to Pandora streaming new age instrumental while submerging in a hot, fragrant bath... Almost makes me feel like I'm back home in CA, LOL
I'm going XC skiing this afternoon with CARRIE1948 and DDOORN and maybe some others from the Binghamton and Finger Lakes teams. I couldn't have done that comfortably a year ago.
And I've got MUSCLE. Lots and lots of MUSCLE. Yesterday I was working with my trainer at the YMCA and we noticed that I have definition in my shoulders now that even SHE doesn't have!
So I've replaced the "security" of my fat suit with a muscle suit, and it feels familiar and protective, but SO MUCH BETTER. And it looks a whole lot better, too! hehehe
When I joined Spark People last March I never got around to creating a vision collage. So after reading the Spark Book (TM) I made an electronic one on flickr, in the form of a photoset.
Like my iPod wallpaper, it helps remind me of where I am, and where I'd like to be. And that helps keep me motivated to continue starring in my very own personal graphic novel.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Yeah, we already KNOW I can be dense in the mental arena, LOL.
But what I'm talking about is my mass/volume ratio.
Because tonight I was swimming my laps after water aerobics and wondered why, sometimes in the shallow end, when I was slow on my flip turn, why I would sometimes find myself sitting on my butt on the bottom of the pool after exhaling.
So once I finished I did a little experiment. I laid on the surface and let out my air. Woosh. I landed on the bottom. I held my breath down there for a little bit to see if I'd come back up. Nope. So I stood up.
And then I told the lifeguard I was going to try this in the deep end, just to find out if I really was sinking.
And I went down there over by the ladder and did the same thing. And I sank like a stone. It was so fast I actually got a little scared and started swimming back up before I hit the bottom (12 ft). My ears were even feeling the pressure.
Dang. Now I think I understand why some people are afraid of water, especially deep water. It would be kind of scary to find myself at the bottom down there and what if I didn't have the energy to pull myself back up to the top and wanted to breathe? Yikes.
Last time I was that deep (about 18 months ago) I swam down to retrieve a piece of the underwater vacuum for the lifeguard. I was so buoyant that they had to put down a pole so I could pull myself down the last few feet using my arms, because I just couldn't swim against my own tendency to bob back up.
This time I think if I went down there again, I'd ask for a pole so I could pull myself UP, if necessary! Heck, if I could hold my breath long enough, I could probably walk around down there.
Bizarre. This whole physical metamorphosis is just bizarre. In some ways it's almost as weird as waking up one morning shaped as a cockroach. LOL
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
I've started writing columns over at secondhelpingonline.com, that will look at the scientific articles regarding management of weight post-loss.
With RUSSLANE's help the writing over there is much more polished and concise than the raw uncut versions of what you see here....
The first "intro" column just went up today!
Next up over there: a tour of the concepts and terminology of weight management and illustration of them using a sample dataset of former Biggest Loser contestants.
EDIT: You can read the column here:
Sunday, February 14, 2010
In my last blog I outlined my meal plan for Friday. CHANGEDIN09 asked why I chose a whey shake for dinner rather than a more typical meal.
The short answer is that I find it convenient to have a shaker bottle made up with everything I need in it so I can just add water, mix it up and drink it on the drive home (the sooner you get your protein after a workout, the more effectively it supposedly goes into rebuilding your muscles).
The long answer is that I do not trust myself to eat sensibly at home alone at night. Generally if I've had all my calories by the time I get home after my evening workout, I can consider the food in the kitchen off-limits and I'm "safe."
If I try to eat "dinner" it sometimes stretches into something else. Namely an uncontrolled binge. Sometimes this happens even if I have eaten all of my calories, as I did on Friday. This usually depends on whether there are eating triggers setting off the behavior.
In fact, it DID happen on Friday evening, with catastrophic results for Saturday. Inspiried by MOM5INFL's blog transparency, I am going to outline what happened. And the consequences.
ANATOMY OF A BINGE
When I got home on Friday I did my usual routine of shower etc. and found that I was home earlier than usual (around 6 pm). I began to plan my meal for Saturday, allowing for an estimated 3 hours of cross-country skiing with CARRIE1948. I was really excited about this, as I hadn't skiied in at least 15 years.
I don't think I've *ever* skiied in the kind of physical shape I'm currently in. My brother taught me in high school and we would go on trips in the Sierras. I even owned a pair of skis in my 20s. A friend at work recently upgraded to a longer pair so I bought his, and outfitted myself with poles, bindings, and boots. I was anxious to try my new gear and to find out if I still knew how to use it, LOL.
So anyway, back to Friday evening. I began planning my meals for Saturday. My iPod tracker automatically updates the daily caloric requirements depending on the exercise you put in. Three hours of cross-country skiing apparently burns a LOT of calories. So my Saturday calorie allocation was going to be freakishly high. I planned out all the apples, tangerines, whey shakes, protein bars, etc. for the day and was actually finding it difficult to figure out what *else* to add in.
This made me almost giddy, as it is opposite from my usual meal-planning experience of shaving calories here and there to stay within the limits. I think this mind-set contributed to what happened later.
It was still early in the evening so I made a pot of herb tea and settled in to watch an episode of Parks and Recreation on Hulu. It finished and I began watching the latest episode on there of The Office. Partway through I started getting urges to eat. Remembering that TV is an eating trigger for me, I turned off the computer and started reading.
After a point I remembered that I had some DVDs waiting to watch, and I reasoned that as long as I had the herb tea with me I would be OK. This was a mistake. Partway through It Happened One Night, I got urges to eat again. And the rationalizations started. "I'm going to need a lot of energy tomorrow. I've stocked up on apples. Surely it won't hurt to have an apple while watching this movie."
And I went and got an apple. And then a tangerine. And then I decided I needed some protein to go with it, so with the next THREE apples I had EIGHT Weight Watcher's cheddar pieces, an ENTIRE WHEEL of Laughing Cow Extra Light cheese (from the UK), some Laughing cow Light cheese (from the US), SIX protein bars, an entire unopened bag of beef jerkey that had been sitting in my kitchen since April, and most of a bag of dried blueberries.
I didn't put it in the tracker at the time. I wrote the weights of the fruits on a piece of paper and saved the wrappers from the packaged foods. That's part of this behavior. I know I don't want to be doing what I'm doing, and so I don't want to actually know what I'm doing in terms of numbers while I'm doing it. In fact, I only just now calculated the totals.
Final damage from the binge? 3411 calories. 503 g carbs, 83 g of fat, 241 g of protein, and 7330 g of sodium.
That does not include the rest of the food for the day.
And of course I felt bad about it, not just physically, but emotionally. Because I had just mentioned on my thread with STEVIECAT4 that I was going to try really hard to avoid binging this weekend.
And scared that I'd have a reflux episode overnight, because that's what sometimes happens when I overfill.
Fast forward to Saturday morning. No reflux episode, but I had what felt like a rock in my stomach and skipped breakfast. CARRIE1948 and I found the cross country ski place, got gear for her, paid for the lesson and trail passes, and started having a group lesson with two other people.
I rapidly discovered that my skiing chops were all there, and with my new athetic body I was stronger and more agile than I have ever been with a pair of boards stuck to my toes. I happily scooted around and around the oval-shaped practice area, sometimes doing diagonal stride, and sometimes refreshing my skating stride (remember, I hadn't skiied for 15 years. There *wasn't* "skate skiing" back then. Skating was just something you did to get around. In long skis. Like the 190cm ones I had on. LOL)
I was amazed to see how many calories my HR monitor said I was burning. I felt great. I took off my jacket I was so warm. I got some tips from the instructor to improve my skills. I started feeling a pang now and then in my stomach and assumed it was hunger and decided to wait and address it when we were going to break after an hour.
After an hour of this I was definitely a little fatigued, but I felt good and was ready for lunch. Put water into a shaker bottle and began to drink a whey shake. And suddenly my stomach just cramped up and rebelled. It felt worse and worse. CARRIE1948 asked if I felt OK, and I said "no" and shuffled off to the bathroom. Where (I hope this isn't too graphic) about half of Friday's binge exited rapidly the standard direction.
I shuffled back, still faint. Not only did I feel physically bad (it was sort-of like reflux but sort-of like something else, and it REALLY HURT), but I felt really sorry because this was going to ruin not only MY day, but Carrie's, and we'd both paid for an entire day's pass, and she'd paid for a day's ski rental. So I broke it to her that I felt like I needed to go, and did she mind driving my car (which is a stick), and this is the kind of situation in which you find out who your real friends are, because she was great about it.
We got back to her place, I rested a bit, used the facility, and at that point the OTHER HALF of Friday's binge exited, and it came back out the way it had gone in, which is always unpleasant. (Sorry about the graphic image) I felt terrible. The pain came and went in waves. I just wanted to be home, where I could curl up in my bed, and take periodic hot showers to distract myself from the pain. I felt cold. I was shivering. I felt faint. But I really wanted to be home.
So I eventually told her I needed to go. And the next 40 minutes felt like two hours. I'm not sure how I got home. I'm pretty sure I shouldn't have been operating a motor vehicle. The car in front of me was annoyingly slow, and I followed them almost all the way.
But I made it and basically collapsed. I alternately huddled in bed and took hot showers and baths and moaned in pain. At some point I suddenly felt really really thirsty and something clicked. I hadn't drunk any water during that hour of skiing. Jerky contains an insane amount of sodium. I was probably dehydrated.
So I made up a mug of Nuun, added some sugar, and drank it. It hurt my stomach, but I started feeling a bit better mentally. For the next several hours I slowly nursed water and electrolytes back into my system. The pain moved into a different part of my stomach. I kept waking up with pangs and growling.
At this point I realized I must also be hungry, but I was afraid to eat anything because of the additional reflux pain. Eventually around 5am I pared and sliced up an apple and microwaved it and ate it. It didn't come back up, but the pain was still there. I had 50 g of frozen pureed peaches, also microwaved. That also stayed down.
And so my system slowly recovered. I was able to eat half of a small pot of homemade chicken and barley soup today. As I write this the pain is mostly gone, although I'm still exhausted.
And I hope - HOPE - that this time the painful physical and emotional consequences of Friday's binge will make enough of an impression to stop me in my tracks the next time I get those urges. (The last reflux episode was in May.)
The urges to eat might always be there. But for now I know I am simply not ready to handle the challenge of evening TV viewing or eating. Because once I start I do not seem to be able to stop eating. And my new athletic body, finely tuned to a controlled high-protein low-fat diet, has indicated very clearly that it will not stand for such abuse any more.
UPDATE: Here is a later blog post I wrote about minimizing binge triggers:
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