Monday, October 04, 2010
It's a two-fer blog day!
Question for you.
I'm struggling (to the point of the struggle adding to my feeling of funk - and not in a good, funk-a-delic way) with my Fitness tracker.
If I set my cardio minutes to 60 minutes, it says I need to burn 563 calories.
If I walk 60 minutes (or some reasonable amount +/- 5 min) I only burn 353 (again with the +/-).
I don't want to lower my cardio minutes to simply get my calories-to-burn to drop down to where my efforts land.
If I want to burn those 560-odd calories, I'll be walking more like 90 min., which still doesn't match up with what I'm trying to do.
One evening, walking with KeoniBearsMama, we did 2 miles in 40 minutes. Then, she had to leave, so I did another 2 miles in 35 minutes. I thought cool! I upped my ante.
Walk 21 min/mile 40 235
Walk 19 min/mile 35 233
I walked at a better pace, with more exertion, and burned 2 less calories.
75 minutes walking, and only 468 calories burned. Que?
I know, I should probably be asking an Expert, and I will. I'm not sure how to really phrase my question any more succinctly than I have right here, and it seems awfully rambly to me. That dorky feel comes along when I read back over this, thinking I'm missing some huge obvious part of the puzzle that I -should- be able to see.
I'm walking my legs off. Well, not off, but I'm not strolling. Some days, yes, I'm faster. Some days, yes, I'm slower. But I put effort into each walk. I can't seem to make my legs go any faster, no matter how I pump my arms, crank up the music, self-talk myself to push more further, etc.
What if I start running? The shorter the timespan to travel a distance, am I going to be burning less calories?
Color me confused.
I'm not going to let this get me down - I more or less blow off my "should burn" and feel good about my "did burn" but at some point, I've got to figure out this zany system.
Monday, October 04, 2010
Well y'all had me all weepy-eyed when I read your responses to my last blog
I guess I'd been harder on myself than I realized for not being as active as I should have been last month, both physically and here on Spark. Anyway, I appreciate your support! Truly. It makes so much difference when someone hears you and understands where you're coming from.
Friday and Saturday were not my best days thus far. Friday night, I caved in to a craving for Fish and Chips, and rather than eat half the dish and save the rest, I gobbled the whole thing up. It was good, for a while, but.. you know where this is going, right? .... it wasn't that good in the end, and I felt so icky afterward. Lesson learned, right?
Heck-no! I'm hard-headed. I over-indulged on Chimichangas on Saturday. You'd have thought I was eating for a small nation somewhere, the way I kept up bite after bite. It was alright - they weren't Stellar Chimis by any means, just alright. I wolfed them down, too many, and then felt like crud afterward.
Well, duh! What did you expect? Of Course you feel bad, you dork. Stop stuffing your face!
Sunday came, and I woke up feeling oddly relieved somehow. The bad parts were over, I'm back on track, and it will be a good day. Yea. And it was. We walked, we did some yard clean-up, we did laundry, we did.. piddle-fartin' around on a lazy Sunday afternoon. It was good, except I completely forgot about eating lunch.
Bill has taken to being the house hubby pretty well. He had a dish in mind for dinner last night that he was excited to make, so I stepped back and let him have at it. Chicken-Wrapped Asparagus was born. Yum! I'll get him to give me the secrets of his recipe and see about posting it on Spark Recipes. Delicious and nutritious, he got nothing but praise for me. We paired it with lemon-spinach coucous, cottage cheese, fresh-from-our-garden tomatos, and almond milk. It was a huge plate of food yet.. yea. I was going to be SHORT on my calories.
For Pete's sake, I just can't find middle ground with those darned calories apparently! So I was left scrambling to fit in a few more calories while not upping my fat. I opted for a JUMBO peach (these things are HUGE) and was still 40-some-odd calories short. Ordinarily not a big deal, but this is week two of the Fierce, Fabulous, & Unstoppable Spark Warriors team 9-week Thanksgiving Challenge, and the challenge this week is to eat within your calorie range. If I'm going to do this, then I need To Do This! I added 2 tbsp of Cool Whip Free to the peach, and called it good. Within my low-end calorie range by 7 cals. Geez-o-pete! No more skipping lunch for this lil brown Warrior Zen Duck!
The Portland Half/Marathon and 10K non-comp. Mayor's Walk is coming up next weekend. Yay! I've kind of been talking about it here and there, so why not one in one more place? Ha! Sometimes I feel a bit.. silly? For being excited about walking the 10K, given that so many people have these fantastic "Ran My First 5K!" posts everywhere. But I figure, to come from taking 30 minutes to walk 1 mile (and that feeling like it was killing me!) five months ago... to having walked 6 miles in 113 minutes and feel tired but Great afterward - I have a right to be excited and proud of myself.
I'm gonna get my RAWWR on this week. I'm going to be Fabulous. I'm going to be Unstoppable. I'm going to be the Warrior I am meant to be!
Thursday, September 30, 2010
So September is over. It’s been a busy whacky month for me in some ways. We’ve had company this month – more than we’ve had in the last year maybe? Crazy, I know, but we’re generally solitary people!
Bill’s sister Katie came to visit from Houston, staying a week (a few days longer than expected, but that turned out to be a real bonus!). I’ve only met his ex-wife and daughters (and their families) here in Portland; I haven’t met any of his kin from Texas before. Katie’s great – like the older sister I never had. I teased Bill one day that it was kind cool to see what he would have looked like, as a woman! They favor quite a bit. He has another sister, and two brothers, all back in Houston. We’re hoping to go visit them the first week of December, between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Anyway, Katie rocks. She’s survived breast cancer twice, and now is dealing with a few spots in lymph nodes in her .. body? Core? Sort of between her chest and belly, that area. She’s taking a holistic approach, in addition to chemo. She introduced us to apricot essence, black walnut essence, a salve that’s silver based, apple juice with olive oil for cleansing her system, the list goes on and on. We talked about yoga, walking, eating healthier, eating clean, kids and husbands and stress and work, running the whole gamut of life. She loved the salmon burgers that we get from Costco, and we introduced her to couscous and FANNEtastic Food’s Cinnamon Raisin Almond balls (delish! You guys MUST try them, so simple and pure and yummy). We were sad to see her go, and I can’t wait until we visit down in Houston soon.
After she left, we had a busy weekend, then week. We walked 5 mi. on the waterfront Saturday, then did the usual weekend chores, then made it to Race for the Cure on Sunday. That’s where I saw Mina! And kept an eye out for our other Sparkers who were participating. The week flew by, and suddenly Friday was upon us and Bill’s friend Tony and his new wife Natalie arrived for a long weekend visit – we were their headquarters while they visited with Tony’s son and daughter-in-law who just had a baby boy.
It was great to host them, and get to know Natalie. They didn’t want to put us out, so suggested going out for breakfast on Saturday and Sunday. I sort of groaned on Sunday, having tiptoed my way through a nutritional minefield Saturday morning, but we managed alright, and I made.. if not the healthiest choices, better than the choices would have been a year ago. Heck, even better than six months ago!
They left on Monday afternoon, and I sort of sunk into a ‘take a moment or 12 to breathe’ mode. We had grandson James’ birthday dinner with family Monday evening, so I had to cancel again on poor Robin (KeoniBearsMama), but we’re set for walking this evening. Tuesday, I knew I should have walked to make up for it, but instead I did the bare minimum, knocking out day 3 of our 9-week Fierce Fabulous & Unstoppable Spark Warriors Thanksgiving Challenge (now THAT is a mouthful!). Wednesday was much the same – the challenge and minimum cardio.
In all that time, I did pretty well with my nutrition. For the month of September I…
…managed to eat within my calorie range 20 of 30 days.
…went over only 3 days (by less than 150 cals)
…was under on 7 days (by no more than 200 cals)
My biggest issue is carbs. I was under on carbs 17 days. I must figure out how to up my carb count in a healthy manner while staying within my other ranges. It’ll be interesting!
It was a slow weight-loss month, only going from 249.6 to 246. The week Katie was here, the scale teased me and showed me 244 several times, but I didn’t record it, waiting for Sunday’s weigh in. Of course, by that time, I was graced by Auntie Flo so it went back to 246. Yesterday, I was at 247. This morning, I was at 245.2. Yea, I know, I need to have Bill hide the scale until weigh in on Sundays!
I didn’t set any real goals for September except keep on keepin’ on. And I did that! Ha! A loss of any kind is better than a real gain, so I feel mostly successful. That 247 yesterday made me feel like a great big Blimpy balloon for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Ugh! On top of that, I’ve had some back pain that I’ve been dealing with this last week or so, that finally cleared up after much stretching and whining and giggling on the floor last night because it hurt so much. Y’all need to pity poor Bill who puts up with me when I get goofy that way. The man’s a saint sometimes!
Oh yea, Maggie our lil lhasa helped me feel better last night, too, by coming over while I was stretching and whining and giggling on the floor, and putting her tongue in my eye during a trot-by licking. That’s real love, now let me tell ya!
So that’s my September recap. I was mostly quiet, mostly successful, mostly busy, mostly tired, mostly happy. There are worse things, right?
Sunday, September 05, 2010
There's a little bit of everything in this-here blog today, so settle in and (hopefully!) enjoy the read.
Numbers are just markers, indicators, things. They are not one's well-being or self-esteem or even a measure of a person's essence. Having said that..
Yea baby! I broke 250! WooHoo!
That's 35 down, only 85 to go. I rather made a deal with myself recently that once I got below 250 I'd change my weightloss ticker from reflecting total pounds lost to showing my starting weight to goal weight.
I started out weighing ~285. Approximately because I didn't weigh myself as soon as I joined SP. I waited a bit, so I could have been more. I was scared to see what I actually weighed. 285 was, on the one hand, a pleasant surprise, because I thought it was much worse. Now, that's a hard number for me to admit - and I mean NO offense what-so-ever to anyone who may read this and weighs/weighed that much. FOR ME personally, it was hard. I don't know why claiming to be under 250 seems easier now, but it is. I have one heckuva LONG way to go yet, I know.
That's another numbers thing. I feel like I've had it easy here with SparkPeople. I mean, I've adjusted my eating habits, and that hasn't been so bad. I've had my slip-ups, but they haven't been disastrous. I've lost my weight, sometimes ahead of the projected weightloss line, sometimes right on target. I've done my fitness, but not always up to my best performance or effort. When my weightloss slows, it's because I'm not making the effort, and I know that. I'm not killing myself doing this. It IS a lifestyle change, and I'm embracing it. But I also recognize or -think- that it's been a bit easier for me losing this weight because I have a CRAPTON (new metric designation) to lose to begin with. I'm bracing myself for what's to come -> the dreaded plateau. I haven't been there yet. I've slowed, or lagged, but I haven't stalled out completely yet.
Did I mention that I now weigh LESS than I did when I delivered my 22-y/o daughter? Yea. I lost baby weight after the delivery, and got down to ~225. I think that's the lowest my weight has been since having her 22 years ago. THAT was the last plateau I faced. It's all been steady gaining since then, with a few dips here and there, but let's not talk about the men I've dated in the past. LOL
Anyway. Yea. I'm not discounting my efforts or my successes. I'm doing this - it's me and only me, with all of your support and friendship and motivation and inspiration, absolutely! But I'm the one not putting the 3 pieces of pizza in my gob at a sitting, or half a bag of Reese's Mini PB Cups, or half a pound of pepperoni as a 'snack' anymore, nor spending the three-day weekend only moving off the couch to get MORE food to stuff down my gullet.
I should be so lucky if the rest of my quest for a healthier, fitter, less-heavy me goes as well as the last 4 months have.
4 months - it's my 4 month Spark-versary today! AnneSilvia's, too (give or take, we're on the same SP Class team together, lovely lady, so pleased to have her as one of my friends!)
Happy Sparkversary Anne!
I'm walking a 18 minute mile now, 3.3-3.4 mph pace. This is how obsessed I'm becoming - I just checked my shared fitness tracker to see what it said there. The Cardio section says yesterday I did 4 19-min. miles, while the Mileage section says I did 4 18-min. miles. Either anyway, I found that 'zone' and locked into it and booked my behind around the trail, moving to the beat of the music and feeling good about it. That is very cool. I just need to move past that 4 mile point and get to 5 then 6 miles consistently over the next month. I'm signed up for the Mayor's Walk, a 10K non-competitive walk at the end of the Portland Marathon, and I want to do well, even if it IS non-competitive.
In my quest for improving my time walking, I'm now paying attention to how long other things take. It takes me ~20 minutes to get from my driveway to work. If I make it in 19 I'm stoked! If it takes longer than 25 minutes to get home from work (accounting for increased traffic at 4:00 pm., as opposed to barely any traffic at 6 am.), I'm grumbling.
I'm a mish-mash of sizes when it comes to clothes now. I went from size 24 jeans to size 20. W00T! I bought a new bra this weekend, and it's a 40C. Nice. I bought new panties, size 18-20, thinking they'd be a little snug, but noooooo - those suckers have so much extra material in the rear section they could be used for a parachute in drag racing to slow the dragsters down! What the heck? So I bought some size 14-16 panties, and even THEY have a bit of drag to them, but not as much. I bought a pair of running shoes this weekend as well, size 10. I'm down to four pair of blue jeans, one pair of black jeans (these are the smallest jeans I own and they fit! Why do black jeans fit snugger than blue jeans? Anyone??) and two pair of slacks.
I took 15 pair of pants and jeans, and 22 tops, to KrisAnn's Been There consignment shop a couple of weeks ago.
My hope is some things sell, so I can put that money toward buying jeans to get through the 40s and 30s and 20s, etc.
Does anyone know if SparkPeople peoples have ever done clothing exchanges? I have other jeans that still have good wear in them that I haven't taken to consignment yet, and I'd love to GIVE them to someone who wants or needs them. Heck, I have some jeans that my daughters left behind even, size 26-28 I think. Not to mention really cute warm snuggly sweaters that will be perfect for someone this winter. Some I can still wear, but others are simply too big now.
We're making beer-butt chicken for dinner tonight. Actually, it'll be wine-butt chicken, but that doesn't have the same ring to it, y'know? Heh. We're roasting the badboy at 400 for about an hour, then peeling off the skin (I swear, no crispy skin for me, thankyouverymuch) and enjoying it with a lovely romaine-spinach salad and possibly some quinoa and broccoli. Yum!
Numbers really are only things - they can't tell you what kind of person I am, or what my attitude is, or how much effort I'm putting into life. I know this. But man, sometimes.. numbers make me smile.
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
Is that the same as "I smoked it, but I didn't inhale."?
So after 'The Catastrophe' work has been stressful, but we're melding into the new normal slowly. My new boss figured we could use a treat and stopped off and bought donuts for our group. We used to be 2x or 3x larger as a group than we are now - uh, member-wise, not size-wise - so he bought the usual, which was about a dozen too much.
I've been doing GREAT at work, avoiding all the sugary snacks and treats that come our way, even chocolate covered macadamia nuts when someone comes back from Hawaii! Yay me!
So, I caved yesterday.
Well, that's not true.
I made a conscious decision to have a donut - an apple fritter to be precise. Yes, I could have chosen a smaller donut, a cake donut, half a donut, or no donut. I went for the apple fritter. Yum. I made it last a long L-O-N-G time, as if dragging out the eating of the fritter somehow reduced the calories and fat. Actually, I sniffed it for a while just breathing in the scent, and Then started nibbling on it.
I looked up the calorie content before I even picked it up out of the box. I added it to my nutrition tracker. 341 calories, 47 carbs, 15 fat, and surprisingly 6 protein. Who knew? You can check out my Shared Food and Fitness tracker any time. It's all there. I went over my total daily count by 21 calories. I can live with that!
Two hours I made that sucker last. Little nibbles and bites, little moans of pleasure as the sugary goodness dissolved on my tongue, little smirks and curled lips because it started cloying to my tongue, little blechs as it left an after-taste of something not so good.
So yea, I decided, I picked it, I ate it, I enjoyed it (at first) and then I didn't like it so much after it was gone. I appreciate the experience for what it was, and know now that while my brain might THINK it's going to be an excellent treat, in the long run the apple fritter just ain't all that anymore.
On an only-slightly-SP-related subject - I left for work early this morning, and managed to be the first car in line on the Hawthorne bridge as it raised to allow a barge/tugboat combo to pass underneath.
There's a picture of the bridge in its raised state.
It's an odd thing, sometimes, to be stopped on the bridge as the river traffic passes. Out of no where, the bridge will start to sway and jostle about because someone is running on the sidewalk or pedaling along or whatever.
Did I say 'odd'? How about unnerving! You logically know what it is, but there's still a little primal part of your brain that starts screaming "OMG WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE, PLUMMET INTO THE RIVER AND DROWN, THE BRIDGE IS COLLAPSING, RUN RUN FOR YOUR LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVVVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEEEEEES
Or is that just me?
This morning, the bridge went up, I was the first vehicle in line, and the bridge started jostling with a runner jogging back and forth waiting to cross. Rather than screaming in panic (internally) I reasoned..
Huh. The bridge won't collapse. There's 33 less pounds on it today! RAWWR!
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