BLUE42DOWN 70,163 SparkPoints

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# Silly number game

### Monday, November 21, 2011

(( I tried three times to write my blog on Stage 2 of the Spark Diet, and accidentally closed the blog page each time partway through. Putting that off to another time and writing it outside of the blog page. ))

So, there's a silly little number game I do sometimes. My scale has metal plates for the feet and after determining the weight, takes a few seconds and spits out a body fat percentage.

Today, for example, was 47% with a weight of 232.

Now, long ago I was looking at whatever numbers it had given me at the time. I know the body fat one isn't extremely accurate, but it's undoubtedly in the right range. Basically, I figured that if 47% of me is body fat, then 53% of me is lean body mass (bones, muscles, nerves). So I calculated it:

232 * 53% = 122.96

What does that mean? If I was insanely unhealthy and had 0% body fat, I would weigh about 123 pounds.

Next, I went looking to find out the bare minimum essential body fat to be at all healthy. Women is 8-12%. Calculating those (subtract them from 100 and then divide the weight by that) :

122.96 / 88% = 139.72
122.96 / 92% = 133.65

(Amusingly? Wiki has the 8-12% for women at the top of the article and then 10-13% in a table lower down. Even the person or persons who worked on that weren't completely sure.)

That would be my minimum weight to be healthy enough to function and reproduce. It's actually below what a normal athletic body fat % would be, which is below normally fit, which is below average. There's way way too many variations in listed body fat % ranges, so I just used ones listed on Wiki which don't adjust for age:

Athletic = 14-20%
122.96 / 86% = 142.98
122.96 / 80% = 153.7

Fitness = 21-24%
122.96 / 79% = 155.65
122.96 / 76% = 161.78

Average = 25-31%
122.96 / 75% = 163.94
122.96 / 69% = 178.20

This actually worked out pretty well, in fact. In high school I was reasonably fit. I was busty, but otherwise not chubby at all. I remember in my Junior year in Driver's Education raising my hand that I was 150 pounds as part of a thing to show how much alcohol would affect different people. (No, not drinking it - just showing that my build would be able to handle more glasses before being over the legal drinking limit than a tiny girl's.)

Hanging out, partying, eating junk, I was definitely putting on a few extra pounds, and generally sat in the 160-168 range.

With my pregnancies, I gained up to 198 with the first and into the 180s with the later two, then dropped back to the 170s after. My top weight before I set off on my journey to gain weight and hide was about 175.

My goal that I've got set as my eventual marker is 160. High end of Fitness body fat percentage.

REMEMBER: These are all playful general numbers. The scale's body fat is highly inaccurate - it bounces from 46-48% from day to day, weigh-in to weigh-in. And lean body mass doesn't stay a flat amount. Bones gain or lose, muscles gain or lose. It's just an interesting way to see how the broad ranges actually make sense.

 ALWAYSOWNIT 11/21/2011 12:06PM You love numbers.. so do I ..thanks for the blog and such an interesting perspective!! Report Inappropriate Comment

# Out and about all day today

### Saturday, November 19, 2011

Started off my day heading to a local sports store from which I could pick up my race shirt for Turkey Trot this coming week. O_O Wow, was it packed. They had employees out around the whole area directing traffic, signs, and even a snack area for people picking up bibs and shirts. Made me realize the scale of this thing, since this is just one of FOUR days people can pick up shirts at this store, another day at another store AND race day in the wee hours.

Looked at the leggings, but their "Women's Plus Size" section was all of four short racks with a couple of thick black sweat pants, a couple of racer shorts, and some racer jackets. For such a HUGE sporting goods store, that was silly. I did use the race participant discount to pick up something I have been wanting - a "fanny pack", well the runner kind with two fitted bottles for water, pouch for snacks, pocket in front side for keys and cards.

For snack, I scooped the veggies and a small batch of dip. Having bought one of those veggie trays before, I had a very good idea of how much dip and veggies - and probably still got a little under what I counted on my tracker. I used less than half the small pile of dip I took. I ~LOVE~ raw veggies - carrots, tomatoes, broccoli = YUM!

The sports store was also in an awkward location for someone without a car. I got to take two buses and then walk 3/4 mile to get there. So I timed that walk and did it at a very nice clip. A tiny bit slower the other direction, but not much. So easily got my 1.5 miles for today.

Got home and went right back out to the library. Picked up my weekly water (I get 1.5L bottles, four of them, each week for drinking at home) on the way back, then headed right back out again to go give my daughter a replacement bus card and visit with them. Timed the walk from the light-rail train to their house as well for another boost.

Their uncle, with whom they're staying, has a chocolate lab. He hadn't gone out yet all day, so we took him for a walk - probably another mile - but I didn't time or count that as it wasn't any sort of even pace. After we got back, I took them to dinner and kept it well within my calories (in fact, I still need to eat more tonight).

Son headed home, but daughter needed shoes and to head to a Thanksgiving dinner her choir group and the church are holding, so more walking there (not counted). Finally got home near 8pm, having first left around 10:30-11:00 this morning and only otherwise popped in to drop stuff off.

Whew, long day - but productive and enjoyable.

# Reviewing my Fast Break - Stage 1 - Step 6

### Friday, November 18, 2011

Finishing up my review of Fast Break Stage 1.

Step 6
- Which Diet Strategies Will Work For You?

I ~HATE~ quizzes. I've done every one on SparkPeople for the sole purpose of getting the SparkPoints and paid very little attention to the results other than to roll my eyes at how wrong they are. Maybe a bad attitude to take toward them, but unfortunately I haven't seen evidence they're helping me yet.

The Diet Personality Profile one starts off asking which breakfast I'd prefer and the only good answer would be "None of the above", but that's not an available answer. So I pick one that doesn't really fit me, but at least isn't as wrong as the others.

Now, I didn't even bother to record my original results. I didn't even take the SparkPoints. So today I did it again based on how I'm eating now, two months in.

Ultimately, it comes up with me being:
(4) Fast Fueler
(4) Portion Distortioner
(3) Emotional Eater
(2) Carb and Calorie Crazed

Hello quiz. No matter WHAT the heck I answered, you were going to condemn me as one or another. -_____- Worse? Horoscopes feel like they fit better than any of those personalities did ... and horoscopes don't even ask me hokey questions. Making it four-sizes-fits-all is not that much better than one-size-fits-all.

Yeah, yeah, stop raging. I know. The personality's are not intended as a condemnation, really. Never mind that Fast Fueler starts with "... and it's a problem", Portion Distortioner assumes the Clean Plate must have been overfull, Emotional Eater starts with "The main problem ...", and Carb & Calorie Crazed starts with "... has an unbalanced diet ..."

I think I'd buy that if there were any positive personalities listed or possible. Instead, they're all negative. Seriously, try thinking as if you were the most extreme health-nut and doing the quiz. There are no right answers that would land you as "healthy minded about food".

*deep breath*

So, what did I actually learn from this?

Hmmmmm ... by seeing what doesn't fit, I can better decide what does.

As I mention on my SparkPage, I bulked up to hide from relationships. This wasn't an emotional eating thing where I would feel down and eat to feel better. This was a very conscious, albeit illogical, reaction to how my marriage lived and died - and the feeling that only by becoming fat could I trust that someone attracted to me was actually seeing deeper than the surface.

I didn't mindlessly eat. I didn't overeat portions because I didn't know I was overeating. I didn't eat because I felt upset or angry or down. I didn't eat to fulfill sweet or salty cravings.

I ate to gain. Deliberately. Which sounds stupid, but was true. I would make a package of Hamburger Helper or Pasta-Roni (usually 3-5 servings) and fill a plate, eat over an hour or so, refill the plate, and ultimately clean the pan out. I would buy a package of Chips Ahoy, fill a 32-oz mug with milk, and set to while gaming or surfing the Web or reading.

Ultimately, what I've come out of this Step with is the three things I want my diet to be:

* Nutritious - Getting all the protein, fat, carbs, calories, cholestorol, etc. that my body needs

* Delicious - Flavor, texture, spicing, to focus on the qualities that make me appreciate food

* Conscious - Making every meal and snack a moment of appreciation for the food I have, my ability to choose the quantity and quality, and slowing down to "smell the roses" as it were.

# Reviewing my Fast Break - Stage 1 - Step 5

### Thursday, November 17, 2011

Continuing with my review of the Stages and Steps already passed.

Step 5
- Keeping Goals Top of Mind

I've been trying to keep my main SparkPage current with respect to the goals for the month and the status, as well as the longer-term goals. As I'm logged on daily and use that page to easily get to my SparkTeams, I see and think with the goals all the time. So that side is good.

Interestingly, as I read through a line that says to "Find a visual that shows why you want to lose weight in the first place, or what you'll be doing with your weight loss." I find myself in disagreement on one level. I'm not doing this FOR weight loss.

Weight loss is a (nice) side effect or byproduct of what I'm doing. I'm doing this to eat better naturally, to feel more alive. I've been buried in caring for my kids until recently, hiding from the world, and I'm fighting my way out of that coccoon.

I think even my goals tend to reflect that. I have only one goal related to weight and it's very minimal loss expected but stability important. I don't care if I dropped to 231 one day, if I'm bouncing more around 234 the days around it. That's stably under 235. The rest of my goals are based on the activities and eating that I want to accomplish - another 5k, plan a week's meals, etc.

All in all, I have learned to make smaller, more achievable goals that are easy to keep in mind because they will be done quickly and I can measure the success. Which is helping elsewhere in life too.

# Reviewing my Fast Break - Stage 1 - Step 4

### Thursday, November 17, 2011

Continuing with my review of the Stages and Steps already passed.

Step 4
- Site Tricks and Tips

Rather scary, but I don't remember doing more than the briefest skim of this. By the time I figured out how and where to find the Fast Break information, I'd already brute-force learned much of the site. There's little hints I pick up here and there, but searches and just being determined to figure out a way usually got me there eventually.

Things I use regularly:
* Nutrition Tracker
* Weight Tracker
* Fitness Tracker
* Other Goals
* Blog
* SparkTeams (Huddles and message boards and lists of recent blogs)
* New blog listings - replying to many
* SparkPoints
* Read articles / blogs that interest me

Things I use when I feel the need or desire:
* Journal
* Notes (on nutrition and fitness pages)
* Popular blogs
* Challenges
* SparkTeam search
* Main Message Boards

I think the only item in the list that I have not done and don't really see myself doing for a while yet - "Tell friends about what you're doing!!" I've actually quit self-motivated fitness efforts in the past because co-workers noticed. I do NOT like having attention paid to what I eat and do. I have talked about the 5k races I've done and am doing, but that's about it. (Now, if a year from now I have people asking how I did it - absolutely, yes, I'd point them here. But now? It still feels more like my own personal journey.)

And one little bit of amusement ...

I really don't do much with SparkPoints. I've gotten myself one Goodie. Otherwise, I use them almost exclusively to give little Happy Birthdays goodies to people or, more rarely, other appropriate goodies. I have so many earned at this point it's kind of silly (6,275 to date ... 112 today), but the activities to do for them are a big part of how I learned the site and what has led me to articles and blogs of interest to me.

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