Monday, October 17, 2011
The question was something like (badly paraphrased - I only copied the data on the right):
You've gone over your calorie requirements today by 1000 calories. How do fix that?
1) Eat enough less and exercise enough harder the next day to make it up
2) Spread it out through the next week so that the average is in range or close.
Your body doesn't handle extremes very well, so this is a case where two wrongs don't make a right. Going too low to "correct" the problem could result in losing muscle instead of fat, or cause other nutritional problems, for example. If you balance the calories you eat (and burn) throughout a weeklong period, your weight should remain stable.
So often when we "blow it", the reaction is to practically starve ourselves or exhaust ourselves that same day or the next. But what does that tell our body? It says "Hey, we're going to need a lot of food/energy - so store as much of that big meal as fat as you can."
For the same reason yo-yo dieting doesn't work and actually makes people gain more over time, yo-yo eating doesn't work.
In a similar vein, planning ahead for a big "cheat" day ... instead of starving ourselves the rest of that day, we could eat at the low end calorie-wise for the entire week leading up. (For example, if our range is 1600-2000, we could eat 1600-1650 every day leading up to it and have plenty of room for a single day of 3700-4250 without too great an adverse effect.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
So, they finally got the 5k results up on their website so I could see my actual time. I was all ready to add a minute or two to my guess on the My Fitness page.
Nope. I managed the 5k (3.1 miles) in 50:52.
Of course, that does mean I've set a higher bar for myself for the next one than I was expecting.
**And for those who walk slower, PLEASE don't be discouraged by my speed.**
I've been a walker for a long time - even through the entire period I was deliberately gaining weight I walked to work and home - 15 minutes each way, never at a slow pace. While I'm pushing myself more now, going out for 30 minute walks at night wasn't uncommon. Physically I do happen to be reasonably fit, managing to be obese and yet have normal blood pressure and such. I am NOT a good comparison.
Instead, focus on comparing with your own progress. I'm pushing because I was already more than capable of a 21 mile/minute pace without much effort. I need to push to get to where it is work for my body. If you're working at the pace you're going, you're at the right pace for you. And, in time, you will improve that pace.
Which, really, is how I view losing pounds too.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Up bright and early (same time I usually am for work days) and made it to the park with maybe 10-15 minutes to spare - just enough time to hit the lady's room immediately before the race. Being Oktoberfest, bright orange was the theme color and we got a free T-shirt with pre-regging, so here I am pre-race (taken with my cell phone):
I'm not yet sure of the exact time I got, but I started out close to the back rather than being in the big pack, and at the two mile mark I was just behind a pair who were at 34 minutes at that point. I passed them soon after, they later jogged past me, but I didn't feel like I slacked on the pace after that - so hopefully I managed a consistent 17 min/mile even on inclines.
At one point in there close to the 3 mile marker, I got a small cramp/stitch in my right side, but some deep breaths handled that and I even passed a couple in the home stretch before the finish line without pushing.
Properly walked to cool down, stretched, listened to them announcing the winners in different categories with their times. There wasn't a separate race category for walking - just age - so the runners were fast times. Hehe, 17 minute range ... about the time I finished my first mile, someone was finishing the race.
There was a goodie bag with some organic foods (Whole Foods was one of the sponsors) as well as a refreshment table where I got some O.J. and yogurt. Best part of the goodie bag? I already knew I needed new shoes. Another sponsor was a running goods store, and they included a 20% off coupon if we bought today or tomorrow. So after heading home and depositing my paycheck, back I went to check out festivities, then shoe shopping.
Now ... I normally HATE shopping with a passion, and I'm not a shoe collector. But, if I'm going to be walking this much, another $20 pair of Payless shoes was not going to cut it. I must have tried on a dozen pairs of shoes. My right foot is between half a size and a full size larger than my left, and my feet are just wide enough that after the first half-dozen, they swapped to having me try some men's shoes. Finally, it was down to three pairs - and in wearing one on my left and the other on my right, pinned down the most comfortable, supportive pair.
It is such an absolutely amazing difference walking in them.
Last pic is just me again - as I captioned it on my G+ page "I am PUMPKIN. (post race and looking happy)"
I'm actually surprised and pleased at the orange they used. I normally could not stand wearing orange, but I don't end up looking horribly washed out by this one. (Could definitely do without the double chin and cheeks, but that's what I'm here for. =P )
\o/ Can't wait for my next 5k - which will be the SP Virtual Trick or Treat Trot. (( http://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/virtual
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Now, I know this will not work for everyone. In fact, some people have a life-or-death battle going on with the scale in which a pound or two more one day are (( FAILURE!!!! )) and a pound or two in the right direction over the whole of a week is (( success )). The occasional ups overshadow the downs to such an extreme.
Many years ago (or at least it feels like it was - it was a bit over a decade now), I met a man on a tech website known as Slashdot (.org). Well, I met many men and a few women, but he's the one whose battle with weight was reasonably well-known as he owned a website called Bigloser.Org (long since not owned by him). During his progress toward health, he would blog about insights and challenges.
Most of it I don't remember well, but the one thing he found and blogged about that I really got into was "The Hacker's Diet". Before anyone gets hackles up, it is NOT a fad diet of any sort. It's not a diet in the sense of "eat this" and "don't eat that" at all. (Honestly, it bears more similarity to SparkPeople, minus the forums and blogs, than to Zone Diet and Atkin's Diet and the rest.)
For a few years I utilized one feature of it - a scaling physical training system called the "Fitness Ladder". Essentially you started at the first run with a bare minimum of reps of very basic activities, steps in place, pushups, situps, and a couple others. At the first rung, the level was incredibly low - 105 steps in place and 2 or 3 reps or each of the activities. About once a week, you tried the next rung and moved up if it wasn't too challenging. As you hit your fitness level, it took longer to move up rungs.
I also utilized another feature of it, and this is what brings me back to the daily weigh-ins title of this blog. It's a chart of daily weigh-ins. Same time every day, same clothes or lack of, same conditions if possible - weigh in and put the number into the spreadsheet. (This was originally made back in 1991, and when I first did it I was running Excel. It was later made a Web application, and that's what I've been using the last year or so, sometimes daily, sometimes sporadically.)
What it does that is different and in addition to the simple graph that SP or graph paper can give us is it calculates a trend-line. What's that?
We know, at least intellectually, that our weight fluctuates constantly. If we got on the scale 6 times a day, odds are we would get some variation. But when we see it from one day to the next, we tend to see only that it is down or up from the last time. And so, as I said at the beginning of this, we see every up as (( FAILURE!!! )). It's huge. It's horrible. It tears away our feeling that we're getting there and steals our motivation.
What the trend-line does is average out the shifts over the past 10 days to show us which way it is moving in general. Thus I can bounce up to 243, but see that over the last week I'm still moving downward and not worry too much unless the trend starts to flatten or rise. Here's mine from the first half of this year - on the road to 250, my highest ever.
The ends of the darker gray lines away from the red line are the actual weigh-in amounts. The red is the trend-line. I was going through a lot of stuff after March and was not weighing myself consistently. But in the first part it is easy to see that I was up and down all over the place (within about a 5 pound range) - but that the general trend was a few decreases and an overall increase.
I still use it now. I log my weight daily both here and on the site I got that from. But I don't let myself care whether I'm up or down a pound or two. I pull up the chart and look at my trend. Here's what I get for the time I've been actively applying SparkPeople to my life, tracking my food and fitness, and staying within the guidelines so far:
Same idea - the white diamonds are the weigh-in amounts, the green is the trended weight or loss and the red is the trend-line. That first week I wasn't doing much fitness-wise, was just tracking food and getting familiar with SP - and it shows in that my trend was still gently upward. As I cracked down and got more serious about it, now I have the trend-line on a steady but gentle downward motion.
I could weigh in tomorrow and be 244 and it wouldn't stress me because the trend would still be okay. Two or three or four days of higher numbers and I'd know something needed changing. But one day is just a blip and the trend rules.
So that's how I weigh in daily without flipping out over numbers on a scale.
And a remembrance of a man I hope was able to accomplish his goals - he was doing so well before I dropped away from slashdot and stopped keeping up with him.
Friday, October 14, 2011
Last night didn't go as planned. I'd mapped out a route along a creek trail that is somewhat closer to where I live. The plan was to do about 2.5 miles in the hour before meeting up with my daughter.
First change of plan ... daughter worked and wanted to meet up earlier rather than later. But the item I was meeting to give her was at home. So had to go there from work, then to meet daughter. Of course, that means she wants her vent to mom, talk to mom time. She hadn't eaten dinner, so we split a Subway footlong. Then I walked with her several blocks to where she had choir practice.
Now, from there to the point I planned to start my route are several bus routes. I waited around 15 minutes, got disgusted and walked. Figure it was a better warm-up anyway. Measured that later and it was nearly a mile itself.
Get to the trail and set off. There's a detour. That I knew about and had planned for. No biggie. Except a ways along the detour without any warning but a fence in the way, the detour version of the trail comes to a dead end. I must have missed a turnoff point somewhere a ways back. About face, don't see this turnoff so I just keep going back to where I started and continue along the trail in the other direction.
Blech, I don't like the trail that way. It's really a paved walking/biking road. Worse, the creek has been paved in. Literally. There's no lush wildlife - it's just water pouring along a cemented in slot. Sure, mid-winter after rains it would be above that level and fill out to the large square blocky "steps" between that cement and the higher trail, but it's still not visually appealing.
About the only thing interesting was the collection of sleeping ducks and a few Canadian Geese mixed in (probably stopping for the night to continue their migration). But it was mostly dark and hard to really see them.
Off the trail I went and walked through downtown. At that point I had no idea how far I'd walked, and I didn't want to mess up my 5k walk training by doing less than I needed, so I continued to walk until I got home.
Mapped the route when I got home. That's when I learned the initial "warm up" stretch was nearly a mile. And when I learn the rest was about 3.5 miles. ^_^;; Yeah, I think I'm fine for the 5k walk Saturday other than now being a tad sore.
Oh, some neat things along that walk:
- At one point I was able to watch the Adobe HQ Semaphore.
- At another point I hear church bells tolling out 8 pm. Rather than stop, however, they segued right into a bell rendition of the Beatles song "Yesterday".
- Our city's idea of what is art sometimes boggles my brain. Sometimes it's very neat. I have to admit the decorated sharks were coolness (Sharks = hockey team). But the pile of poop, I mean Quetzlcoatl statue ... yeah, that's just embarrassing.
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