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iPod Touch / iPhone apps for monitoring health and fitness

Thursday, April 08, 2010

I got my iPod Touch in preparation for a business trip in January so that I could track my food on the fly without internet access. Since then I've added a bunch more apps that I find helpful for monitoring my health and fitness.

It seems time to list them all in one place, so I'll do that here.

1) Lean Me Pro
This is the food tracker I use. It works even without internet access, unlike the Spark app. I also track my cardio, weight, and % body fat with it. Customer support has been very responsive whenever I have contacted them.
(A popular free alternative is Lose It! www.loseit.com )

2) Completed

I use this for tracking my water. I just set up a list called "water 1, water 2, water 3, "etc. up to "water 8" and check them off as I drink them. At the end of the day I reset the list.

Another option is the water-specific app "HEALTH&WATER" by Merop:

The English is a bit strange and there isn't much functionality, but it does track 8 glasses of water per day in a cute way. The developer's website is unavailable, as well.

3) True Weight

This is a nice moving average weight tracker along the lines of the Hacker's Diet.

4) iFitness
This is what I use to track my strength training sessions. It's very easy to use and has some nice features such as graphing weights and estimating the 1 rep max.

5) Sleep Cycle

This neat little app uses the motion sensor built into the Touch to monitor my sleep. It also has an alarm clock that will wake me up nicely in the morning. It's fun to look at my sleep graphs to see when I was dead asleep and when I was moving around. I've also noticed that I need to get more sleep - I've been averaging around 5-6 hours a night, which might explain some things, like the cravings and general ennui.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CTHRUME 7/3/2011 5:57AM

    Great information...especially the app that runs without internet access! Thank you.

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SHANTISHANTI 5/2/2010 12:05PM

    You have a wealth of information on your page. Thank you!

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ICANCHANGE1 4/16/2010 6:33AM

    Totally awesome! I can't wait to get these apps! It's amazing that they have an app for sleep - I even showed your blog to my geeky husband. He's like "Wow."

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LINIS_THIN 4/8/2010 2:35PM

    Thanks for these I'm gonna try some!
(assuming they don't only work with i phone!)

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FLYFIGHTER 4/8/2010 9:29AM


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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 4/8/2010 8:38AM

    LOL Carrie!

This from the woman who uses her BodyBugg to the Nth degree...

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CARRIE1948 4/8/2010 8:23AM

    Too much gadgetry for me!

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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Maintenance is No Joke, as many people have pointed out.

I personally am struggling with the eating part of it; the exercise is pretty well locked in, with training for a half-iron Aquabike event in July (1.2 mi open water swim followed by 56 miles on the bike).

On Monday the scale read 165. *gulp*

It was probably due in a large part to salt from Easter dinner (ham, pickled green beans, cheese, etc.) Regardless, it was very unwelcome and shocking.

On my ticker I'm reporting the weighted moving average on Physics Diet because it smooths out the fluctuations that happen near goal.

The point, though, is that I AM struggling. I am not giving up. Never again. And I'm going back to what works for me. Protein. I think even the complex carbs of oatmeal have been too much for my system.

And as GRACEFULIFE has suggested privately, I need to stabilize my calories around 2000 and stop messing around with trying to go lower. That just makes me hungry the next day and sets me up for a potential binge.

I still also struggle mentally with self-esteem and the feeling that I'm super obese, a human anomaly who doesn't physically fit in society. 80-90% of the time I forget that I'm now a size 8-10 and still feel miserable about how my life is slipping by while I live in a coffin of fat. Phantom fat is real.

Yes I have been going to counseling. But these are well-worn mental ruts that will take some time to bust out of.

So, onward. I will beat this. I have to. Because regain is simply not an option. I refuse to go there.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NAPITOVSFAME 4/9/2010 9:05AM

    I saw a post on this site the was titled "it's hard to be overweight, it's hard to lose weight, and its hard to maintain, decided which one you want." I think about that alot. I took it to mean that they are hard in three different ways, but I imagine that the stages are harder for different people. Let me say you look fabulous. You should be so proud. I myself have yo-yoed but fortunately only with 30-40pds. I have told myself not again. So maintance is hard for the both of us. You lost the weight by lifestyle change, so that is the first BIG step in the right direction. You have choosen a healthy lifetyle. But now the trick is to find the maintance balance. Wow, this gets really complicated. You will find it, just keep working at it and getting as much imput as you can. but don't beat yourself up to much if you are not perfect. A little Easter ham, 15 more minutes than normal on your run. Good luck and you are very inspirational. I have a recent video of me riding my horse, and I didn't realize how much I have changed either. I suppose it take a while to change your mental body image. I still pick up clothes that are to big off the rack. I can imagine how much more that is an issue for you. Enough rambling and off to the gym. My first mini spint tri is in July.

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DARA52 4/8/2010 5:19PM

    Wow. I'm so glad I saw this entry. I am 15 lbs from "Goal" and have been sabotaging myself for the last 3 months. The old me would have gained 20 lbs by now so I feel successful that I haven't gained. Maybe if I reset my goal to this weight, 150, I'll relax. It's a long way from 214 and my health has improved. I cannot, nor can you, take away from that!

Do you feel better? Of course you do. That is a major goal in itself. Congratulations for living your life with such gusto! Good luck in your training.

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STEVIECAT4 4/8/2010 5:02PM

    I know what you are saying....you feel like an overweight person in a thin body. Well, to be blunt, what I say I feel like is a fat person in a thin body. I don't believe I am thin so I still don't look in mirrors and still don't want my picture taken and if by chance I see a picture of me, I'm amazed that I don't have that big round face anymore. Very weird. But I think that MOM5inFL had such great and interesting advice. I'm glad you wrote this blog and I'm glad to have been able to read everyone's comments in it. It's all very helpful.

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LINIS_THIN 4/8/2010 2:28PM

    I saved this on my hard drive so I can find it when I am ready to maintain.
I'm currently 231lbs after a 29 pound weight loss.
I have never "maintained" before so I am planning to this time.
My biggest loss before this one was 28lbs... OMG!!! I just realise that as of this morning... I recorded my biggest loss EVER!!!

I'd appreciate some feedback on this: One of my "coping with maintenance" strategies is to treat every plateau as a maintenance phase. So I avoid hounding down a drop in weight when I'm at a plateau and aim to simply maintain that weight. Once I drop from that plateau I aim to make the new weight my set weight and be happy there. I find it keeps me alot calmer and I do not frak out with a fluctuation of 2lbs. 3 or more and I take small action. "Small" because I find big action to be counter productive as it increases my anxiety and self loathing.

What do you all think??
(You might consider reading my blog "FEAR: False Evidence appearing real" I'd appreciate your feedback on that as well.)

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MOM5INFL 4/8/2010 7:36AM

    You know I'm going to have to comment on this entry!!! I have been in your shoes and I expect to be in your shoes again. You are going through the weight maintenance crisis! I hope your transition through this stage is shorter than mine! I really believe that a large part of this crisis comes from not getting the positive reinforcement from the scale. Also, there is a disappointment with not getting to the original goal set. Your body (and mine did too) has picked a number. If you try to push past this point it will resist by forcing you into behaviors that will further upset you and make it more difficult to maintain your weight.

I know it's easier said than done, but you need to pick a new goal weight based on what is relatively easy to maintain. This number can change, but pick your most recent number. When I finally decided to stop chasing my original goal weight I picked 158-160 for my final goal because that's where I seemed to get stuck. My lowest was 148 but it was too difficult to maintain. I got back down to 150 for the People magazine shoot, but as soon as I relaxed where did my weight go??? Right back to 158-160. But, when it went back up I was a lower body fat percent due to more muscle. I still sit here this morning at 158. So, it is what it is. And my body is still remodeling by the way....and I'm still the same weight.

When I first got down to around maintenance range I had a period when I started to binge like crazy. It's an interesting phenomenon. Perhaps it was around the time where my body stopped pulling from my fat stores. I don't know. I have bumped as high as 175 from food and water weight. It never lasts for more than a week or two, but seeing numbers like that is scary and really tests whether you can stick with this forever.

This period you are going through is a very important challenge. You must get through these periods to successfully maintain. There will be more challenges and the better you get at overcoming them, the more successful you will be.

You are doing great. I really hope that your transition is smooth. Again, I had an extremely difficult time. I am doing much better right now. My weight has been very stable for months now. Transitioning into maintenance for me was very much like a very rough airplane landing!!!!

I'm here for you! You will overcome! Every time you get your appetite and weight back into check after a challenge your confidence gets stronger. So, these challenges are probably necessary to convince yourself that you have what it takes to get back on track every single time you slip.


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DDOORN 4/7/2010 10:48PM

    With you, with you, WITH YOU in this struggle!

Struggling to lasso the appetite into submission and struggling to fully integrate the "new me!"

Great to hear of your "inner work" with your counselor...together you'll pull the "inside you" ahead to match the "outside you" in time and blow that phantom fat (love the phrase...definitely LIVING the phenomena!) away!

And even though I've known you as you've moved down through a few sizes, I heartily agree with GRACEFULIFE I am with you with each milestone and plunging off that diving board with a WHOOSH:

Each time I've seen you, while you've been trimmer and more fit, you always carry the *essence* of yourself that has always been a joy to be around and has been ever-present throughout, with my perceptions shifting with ease right along with your size.

And I *know* from experience that ANY upward blip will be VANQUISHED by you in short order! :-)


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KIMBEEJ16 4/7/2010 5:52PM

    I am trying to figure out how to enter into maintenance without it having to be such a big struggle. I've been reading a lot of blogs lately from people who are just tired of it all and are having a hard time sticking with this. There is a lot of discouragement out there!
I just saw Oprah the other day where one person lost 175 lbs and then gained it all back. She was looking for attention instead of looking inside and loving herself. You MUST learn to love yourself in a positive healthy way.
I do not feel like I am struggling at this point. I know what to eat and I know to exercise daily. I just do it. If I eat a bit more one day, I balance it out the next. No big deal. What I CAN'T do is go back to my old eating habits and my old exercise habits (which is NONE).
If I want to see all this as a lifestyle change, I don't think it should be that hard. I want it to be second nature...not something I have to put so much time and energy into every minute of the day. That would be exhausting and frustrating. So, I'm teaching myself to relax and just go with what I know to do...then I need to get on with the happy business of living my life.

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FISHING88 4/7/2010 5:01PM

    Don't give up! You have come so far and your body will have to continue to go through times of adjustment with the training you are doing. You already received a lot of great advice. Hang in there!

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JAY75REY 4/7/2010 3:40PM

    You need calories for energy with all that exercise! Maybe your body is storing up to keep up with demand? Maybe your weight will stabilize a little higher than your "ideal" weight? I dunno. All I know is, you are an inspiration to so many and I appreciate what you share with SP. Keep working on staying positive and loving yourself for the special person you are (no matter what you weigh).
Also, unless you're eating tons of it, I suspect carbs like oatmeal are not the culprit. Friendly advice: no one food is the "enemy", but eat what you know you is healthy and balanced and gives you enough so you are not feeling hungry.


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GRACEFULIFE 4/7/2010 3:25PM

    0. I think you know everything I might say here, not that it'd hurt to hear it from someone else.

1. Stay calm.
2. You are doing better on calories, just keep doing it and improving it.
3. Your BF% ticked down a notch even if your weight spiked.
4. Make sure you are getting enough water in.
5. You are training like crazy; between that and your last year, consider whether your body is in starvation mode or all too ready to be.
6. I wasn't going to say anything until your moving average went above 160 (although 165 is something of a big deal since that would be my +10% threshold if goal weight is 150).

7. I associate the new you as you. For me it is strange to look at the old you pictures, because they don't match my mental image. You for me is: you and sis in the old pants, you in your black dress, you in leather pants, and most importantly, you in the boat dropping off the diving board. emoticon

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GOING4MUSCLE 4/7/2010 2:46PM

    That scale jump probably was from your Easter dinner. I ate at Subway, and even though the calorie count was healthy and low..the sodium count was not! Needless to say, the scale jumped up 2 pounds and stayed there for 3 days! It finally came down, today, and took another 1/2 pound with it! Yippee!!

Sounds like that race you are training for, might just be another reason for your scale increase. It's just false 'fluid' weight, that's all. But my hat sure goes off to you! It made me tired..JUST READING about those bike miles!!! emoticon

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DOLLIE6 4/7/2010 2:10PM

    Oh yes please keep on with your commitment. I gained mine back because somewhere I did not learn about maintenance. I have been following your blog as I start this journey again to lose 180 pounds also. I have lost 35 so far and am on day 94 of a streak. I really enjoy your writing and encouragement.

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MNDIVA 4/7/2010 1:54PM

    Maintenance is my fear as well!

Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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SIGLED 4/7/2010 1:30PM

    Thanks for mentioning two important areas: Maintenance and Phantom fat.

Maintenance is necessary and much a part of the adventure and journey. Only 10% of people who lose weight maintain it for any length of time. Preventing a weight gain should be spoken of as much as losing weight.

Phantom Fat is very real. I feel that I have gained weight back in the past because I had a really hard time accepting the new me. IN some ways, I have felt that the FAT me is much more lovable and comforting than the Skinny Me. Now I am closer to accepting the Slim Me than ever before. emoticon

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ANNE7X7 4/7/2010 1:16PM

    Thank you for sharing this! Maintenance is a huge fear of mine! I know I can lose the weight. It's fairly easy for me to do so... The issue is going to be keeping it off. But you are proof that it can be done, even if it is no joke! Keep it up! You can do it!!

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CARRIE1948 4/7/2010 12:55PM

    I know what you mean. I am keeping it off, but every day is a struggle to eat right and not jump into bad eating habits.

Why is it the exercise is so easy to incorporate but not the food?

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TELERIE 4/7/2010 12:42PM

    Take your time finding that balance - it will probably take some time, like everything else in this process, but so worth it! Never give up!

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MEGANC1988 4/7/2010 12:36PM


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THIS is why I needed to lose the weight!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Tonight was the last pool practice in Syracuse. At the end of the evening we asked the lifeguards permission to jump off the diving board in our kayaks. About 5 of us went for it.

I could never have done this at 335.6 lbs. Or even 235.6 lbs...

And it seems I've even made some progress since last September... hehe

Now I just need to find me some running water... LOL!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KMARIE07 7/30/2010 6:55AM


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ZACKLE 4/9/2010 8:05AM

  that was a hoot.I tried crew when I went to syracuse u, it wasn't the crew pool was it, forgot the name,in any regard you are so inspirational. I would love to go back and read more of your blogs. keep up the good work and drag the rest of us along for your ride. emoticon

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MAGICLANTERN 4/8/2010 11:49PM

    Well I couldn't help but laugh :D Was that supposed to have happened ? Hee-hee :D

And a big congratulatory hug too ! ~ emoticon~ How awesome to lose that many pounds woohoo and wow do you ever look happy.

All the best,

Tracy :)

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STEVIECAT4 4/8/2010 5:03PM

    You are so awesome!!!!

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JAY75REY 4/1/2010 5:01PM

    and just think, now you fit into the kayak too! Looks like fun!

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MSCORONA65 4/1/2010 9:47AM

    So happy for you... emoticon

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CHANGEDIN09 3/31/2010 8:10PM

    You are awesome. Thanks for the video. Looks like fun and most importantly, you lookk SO HAPPY!!

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JUDYLY 3/30/2010 4:27PM

  great sport, I would like to learn

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DDOORN 3/29/2010 11:08PM

    Amazing stuff...! Well beyond MY interests in kayaking...but woo HOO to your accomplishments! What a boost it must be to keep knocking down those milestones!


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MONIQUEANNE 3/29/2010 10:12PM

    It's nice to have those "awaking" moments now and then. It's makes you feel so good, and you should be feeling great! :)

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OTTAWABOUND 3/29/2010 6:50PM

    That was lovely to see--especially the happy little woohoo as you went off the board. Thanks for showing me the wonders that await!

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DRPOOH63 3/29/2010 4:04PM

    emoticon That was cool!

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TURNANEWLEAF 3/29/2010 3:31PM

    Awesome! What a nice reminder of why you put in all that hard work, and an inspiration to us working to be more fit :)

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CARRIE1948 3/29/2010 1:48PM

    I think it's great that you keep finding things that remind you why you want to be here.

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GRACEFULIFE 3/29/2010 10:34AM

    That looks awesome! You really got your roll down, that looked very easy! Now, did you tape your roll on your non-dominant side??? *g*

I'd really like to try that again after improving my fitness and weight a bit more - oh, and my hamstring flexibility! Only problem is that I think there is no diving board where I know to go pool kayaking...

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DIAMONDFOOLER 3/29/2010 10:30AM

    Wow! how much fun that looked! That might be the next thing I try. Thanks for posting the video.

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TEENYTINYPIP 3/29/2010 10:29AM

    SO COOOL!!!

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MURSPERZ 3/29/2010 9:18AM

    Made me smile. emoticon

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DAISYBELL6 3/29/2010 8:23AM


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GOGO122 3/29/2010 8:19AM

    Wonderful-you should be very proud!! emoticon

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GAIIAGIIRL 3/29/2010 7:13AM

    Awesome!! :) Thanks for sharing with us all!

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LEASIM1231 3/29/2010 7:04AM

    Looks like fun!

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TELERIE 3/29/2010 2:46AM

    That looks like so much fun! Enjoy yourself! You deserve it!!

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CAROLYN1ALASKA 3/29/2010 2:40AM

    That looks like great fun... and a wonderful way to learn some kayak survival skills in a safe environment!

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KAREN_01 3/29/2010 2:25AM

    Loved it! Made me wish I could be doing that too. You look like you're having a ball of a time!

Comment edited on: 3/29/2010 2:30:51 AM

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UNSURE 3/29/2010 1:05AM


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SHERRYLHBB 3/29/2010 1:02AM


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EYEONGOAL 3/29/2010 12:23AM

    emoticonGreat job! You should be proud of losing all that weight and the difference it has made in your life. emoticon

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ANNE7X7 3/29/2010 12:23AM

    That looks like so much fun!! WOW! You are so amazing! I can't believe your journey! Mind-blowing!!

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ERIECANALGAL 3/29/2010 12:18AM

    Great job losing all that weight!

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Triathlon (Aquabike) training

Saturday, March 27, 2010

So I'm registered for a local half-iron "Aquabike" event on July 11.

That's 1.2 mi (2000m) swimming in open water, followed by 56 mi (90 km) on a bike.

We won't get into the fact that I've never done a triathlon before, let alone the advisability of jumping into a half-iron. Or that I haven't done any chip- timed event before. It's all good, though, because all I want to do is finish.

I registered to scare myself into staying in shape. And boy, howdy! is it ever working as far as getting me to exercise. Because I'm finding out that the half-iron is actually kind of a big deal.

The training calendar I'm using was free and came from beginnertriathlete.com

It's designed for 20 weeks. I got a late start because I slacked off for what I thought was the first week and turned out to be the second week because I'd counted wrong, so I had to jump in on the third week of training... Good thing I've been doing spin class 2-3x/week and swimming 1000-1500m 2x/week all along.

Since I'm not going to be running (knee arthritis) I'm crossing out the running parts of the schedule and putting in my other activities like weight lifting and kayaking.

Even so, now the activity, especially the swimming, has kicked into high gear. This is what I've done so far this week:

Mon - OFF
Tue - Personal trainer kicking my butt lifting followed by 1 hrspinning
Wed - 2250 m of swimming (sprint intervals, pant pant)
Thu - 1 hr spin, 30 min lift, 1 hr spin
Fri - 2300 m of swimming (long & steady)

There was originally scheduled a group ride leaving from the local bike shop at 8am on Saturday (20 mi, 15mph) and I was planning on riding the 14 miles from my house to it, and the 14 miles home. They canceled it due to weather so instead I'll do an extended elliptical & lifting session in my basement.

I'm finding it sort of challenging to schedule the recommended trainings for the week around the available activities. I try to put the bike rides on Tuesday or Thursday (spin days) or Saturday (long outside ride day) and the swimming on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

This coming Sunday is the last kayak pool rolling session in Syracuse and after that Sundays will be available for biking (outside or a spin class) or swimming.

Speaking of the swimming, it's my weak link. Although I learned very young and swam recreationally for years, my stroke is really inefficient. I'm slow and I'm really tense. And now that I've lost all this fat and gained all this muscle, my buoyancy has really changed, as well.

I stumbled onto these videos over at beginnertriathlete.com and they really made sense:


Work less to swim better. Part one of this video series covers the philosophy of Total Immersion swimming and looks at some common freestyle swimming misconceptions.


Work less to swim better. Part two of this video series covers the principles of active streamlining to swim faster with less effort.


In this third part, Terry Laughlin discusses how to achieve an optimal freestyle stroke and what drills go into developing a good stroke.

They have a free downloadable "Easy Freestyle" book at the TI website:

So I tried it last night and really emphasized the relaxing and the glide just to see how it felt. I definitely found a difference in letting my head hang in the water and by the end of the 2300m it already felt so much more comfortable to try his method over what I've been doing. So I'm going to slow down my stroke and work on this kind of form and see how it goes.

I also found a local coach in this method so I'm going to investigate getting a few sessions with her to see if I can fix whatever I haven't picked up from the book and DVD I ordered at Amazon...

Easy Freestyle Swimming by Terry Laughlin

Total Immersion: The Revolutionary Way To Swim Better, Faster, and Easier

I hope the DVD and book have more information that what I've already gotten for free!

As far as the cycling, I think I'm in pretty good shape for that. I've got a lot more experience with distance riding than swimming - I used to ride 100-mile centuries in high school and college with my big brother and rode with the college team on their "easy" days - this is the same college team that Eric Heiden had been on a few years before I arrived at the school.

I've got a nice new ultra light racing bike and as soon as the weather warms up will be out on it. And I actually LIVE along the race route, so it's really easy for me to train on the exact course I'll be racing on. LOL

Based on how I did on the group ride last Saturday, I'm actually in better cycling shape than ever, thanks to the spinning. And I can say this without any doubt, because my old bike is the exact same one I bought in 1981 with babysitting money - the exact same (and only) bike I've ever owned, that I rode those centuries on and all those 20-mile training rides in college. And I've never been able to keep a pace like I did on Saturday, nor feel as fresh and ready to go again when it was over.

So that's what I've been up to, mostly. I am fortunate that my schedule is so flexible, with no one else to consider in my food and exercise plans. I can't imagine how people with families fit something like this in.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I'm training for a tri, just did a duathlon yesterday - enjoyed your blog!

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BNSPIRD 5/4/2010 11:00AM

    I just found your blog and page by doing a search for total immersion swimming... and your page came up! WTG for training for a tri! I did my first about 3 years ago. I knew I wouldn't be able to just run, so decided to train for a tri... and loved it! My body didn't ever really hurt because of the cross training... and sitting in the hot tub after my swims! emoticon I was planning for some more the next year, then found out we were expecting twins, and had to stop everything! I was quite sad... but have been thinking about training for another this summer! I have been doing lots of running and found a trainer who teaches total immersion, so got to even take lessons, instead of just doing it on my own! Although... even doing it on my own was a complete difference! I'm trying to get her to teach my kids now, instead of regular swim lessons! Anyway... good luck with your training... when is your race?

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FISHING88 3/28/2010 4:12PM

    What a fun challenge to keep yourself in shape! You are doing a great job of researching and keeping up with the workouts. You will be well-prepared when your event comes. Enjoy!

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RAINBOWFALLS 3/28/2010 8:35AM

    Wow, you are on a great path. Best of luck to you.

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JCWATL 3/27/2010 11:40AM

    You ROCK! I am super impressed with your varied fitness achievements.

My mom grew up in Corning, NY and I know the bike rides in that area are tough and gorgeous.

If my mom hadn't moved to Atlanta you two would be peas in a pod! She passed on her love of fitness to me and I am sure you are doing the same for others!


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OTTAWABOUND 3/27/2010 11:13AM

    Great information. Thank you for posting it. And I wish you strength and good breathing rhythms as you push for your event.

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GRACEFULIFE 3/27/2010 10:58AM

    Wow, sounds awesome!

Can you drop in a comment here when you decide what you think of the books vs. videos? I'm pretty sure you have chosen some of the classic training materials for triathletes, so they probably won't disappoint, though I wouldn't be surprised if most of the same information was available on the Internets these days. Anyway I'm interested in triathlon, or maybe just duathlon like you are doing (oh, my crunchy knees on the way up the stairs after my plyo-ish workout last night). I've had decades off serious swimming now, and I don't think my freestyle was all that great back in the day anyway.

Also, your new bike is a time trial geometry bike, right? I'm interested to hear how well it works on group rides, since I've read they aren't so good in them. But if they are manageable, then I may still consider a tri bike for my next.

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LRUFAM 3/27/2010 10:02AM

    I did my first sprint triathlon three years ago.

Although I am a strong swimmer my mantra was "You don't win from the swim". Trust me I was closer to the bottom overall, but, what a great feeling to finish!

Good luck and have FUN!! emoticon emoticon

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 3/27/2010 8:19AM

    Sounds good!

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CARRIE1948 3/27/2010 7:45AM

    After Easter, let's think about cycling together on weekends. I will be sorting out a bike when I get back from CT and seeing my nephew

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How are Biggest Loser contestants doing, on maintenance?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Last autumn there was a "where are they now" Biggest Loser show that featured past contestants and caught up with how they're doing. Many said they'd gained some weight back.

In my latest Second Helping Online column I take a look at how much weight, over how long, and where they sort out according to various research definitions of "successful" maintenance.

The results just might surprise you!

Column here:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRACEFULIFE 4/4/2010 1:06AM

    I didn't realize that Venuto had a blog post about The Biggest Loser:


I think he does a pretty good job by discussing pros and cons (for the English speaking world, not the participants) of the show. Here's the key part: "What’s most alarming to me is that because the show is judged on weight loss, not body composition, contestants are penalized for gaining muscle and actually rewarded for losing muscle. Think about that one for a while." Ahhh, Venuto, always winding up at the "don't lose weight, lose fat!" mantra. Also, the stories he dug up on what these people do to themselves to win are horrifying.

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ELISADEL 4/2/2010 5:36PM

    I really like the work that you do on researching how weight maintenance works. It's an area that deserves a lot more attention. Keep it up! :)

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AMBUDMAN 3/27/2010 10:08AM

    Very interesting!!

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GRACEFULIFE 3/27/2010 12:06AM

    I'm not very familiar with this show, so can you point me at where I can discover what "bells and whistles" with which these people are provided and for how long? I'm interested to know how many of the tools they are provided with during their participation they still have access to and how many are lost. It seems to me that losing access to gyms, trainers, higher quality diet, etc would easily lead to regain - regardless of education. Someone can be taught what healthy habits are, but if they don't actually gain the healthy habits and even more learn how to fit the healthy habits into their normal life, I'd almost expect some backsliding.

I'm also interested to know whether any data exists regarding maintenance vs. loss rate. You often hear that it's healthiest to lose slowly or that it's easier to keep off weight that is lost slowly. I'm interested to know if there is any real data to back up that assertion.

Personally, I suspect there is a correlation of successful maintenance vs. rate of loss in the last, say, three months - particularly under normal circumstances. If so, then perhaps one way to better lead people into successful maintenance would be to recommend decreasing rates of loss with reducing BMI - or with improvement of some other measure.

I really like your idea of "BMI under 30 = healthy". It's got that feel of "close enough" - it seems like it wouldn't make extremists on either side of the argument happy - a sure sign of a reasonable/moderate solution. I'd probably prefer a definition of "BMI under 30 or BF% below top of acceptable range" but you obviously have to deal with the data available.

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46SHADOW 3/26/2010 5:01PM

    read EDWARDS1311? blog today. the theory she was telling us was that new research says that if one was obese 1hour of cardio /daily is needed to maintain healthy body weight. This corresponds with my kinesiologist/setpoint theory. Good luck to us all.

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OTTAWABOUND 3/26/2010 4:46PM

    A very interesting and rather sobering breakdown of the numbers. Just reiterates how much I will need to stay conscious on a daily basis if I am to avoid regaining my weight.

Thanks for doing the research and presenting it so clearly.

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JAY75REY 3/26/2010 2:32PM

    enjoyed your insights on The Biggest Loser. Thanks for doing the critique and analysis of the concept of "success" in weight loss maintenance.

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STEVIECAT4 3/26/2010 9:34AM

    Looks like no matter what the incentive to maintain, it is very easy to let the pressure of even that make us over eat. We have simply just GOT to keep trying and to get it under control fast once we start falling off the wagon. But, this is much easier said than done or else none of us would have put back all of our weight 3, 4 and 5 times or more. Seems like the only thing I know how to maintain is the knowledge of how to diet.

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TRABOLD8567 3/26/2010 7:26AM

  Thanks for sharing all the data! Very interesting!

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DDOORN 3/26/2010 6:26AM

    Ah...as I suspected...even with all the bells & whistles at their disposal, the silver lining is just as elusive for these folks as anyone else struggling to maintain...!


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SUNQWEEN21 3/25/2010 10:54PM

    I read the article you linked too. Very well written with some great ideas.

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