FUTUREMANDA   2,784
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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Well, I sort of disappeared for a couple of weeks.

It has been a bit frustrating trying to count calories when I'm not generally in control of what I'm eating. Weekends are especially hard; sometimes, nothing I ate is really in the tracker and I have to sit down and figure out what the closest thing is, guess at how much I ate, and so on. It gets me sort of upset.

So I stopped tracking. I stopped logging in. I've kept working out (pat on the back!) but I've started shoving my hand into the bags of chocolate like, 5 times a day. (Bags of chocolate! Arg.) If I were counting, there's no way I'd be doing that.

On the upside, I don't think I've gained any weight. But I most certainly won't be losing, and in time, I think my habits would slip into eating more and more, more often, more bad choices. So... I tracked breakfast.

It's a step in the right direction, yes? I did it on a whim. I will try to recommit, come back, and track the rest of the day. I plan to work out later... I'll track that too! That's always my favourite, because I always feel good about it.

I'm really starting to like my fitter body and get used to the size I am. If I can't lose any more while living here, that would be okay, I think. As long as I don't gain, and I keep working on the fitness, I could be happy at this weight (even though I wanted more distance from the "overweight" BMI category).

But, in life, we have to fight for the things we want. They don't come easy. Sometimes they're frustrating.

I'd like to be a fighter.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FOXXSMITH1964 8/28/2013 1:36PM

  To add to what STEVEN2Go2 said, a best guess is better than fretting about it or not tracking at all. Tracking, at least for me, and it sounds like you, is so crucial for staying focused. I've found that sometimes when updating my nutrition I don't know exactly what went into a recipe of something I ate (my wife made it and the time isn't convenient to get the details), I'll search what others have entered. I've found more often than not something close. SparkPeople has been around for about 10 years now, so lots of people have entered the nutritional value of their own recipes, and I expect if they went to the trouble to do it, they probably took some care in figuring out the values. If I find a few recipes posted for what seems to be the same meal, I'll have a quick look at the nutritional value of each, looking for consistency, then usually choosing the one with the highest calorie count to be conservative. If it's something we have somewhat regularly I'll go back and get the recipe and enter it for next time. Getting reasonably close and maybe over estimating a little by using someone else's recipe I think is better than not tracking at all and thinking you've got this calorie cushion when in fact you don't.

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STEVEN2GO2 8/28/2013 12:28PM

    emoticon You are doing so well. I have problems too with that darn nutrition tracker. Sometimes you just have to give it your best guess. Try not to become too focused on the numbers, sometimes it is just a best estimate. As long as you continue with your exercise you will do well. Good luck with that BMI!

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NKING1982 8/28/2013 11:35AM

    Love your positive attitude, sounds like you are doing great, so keep up the good work. Tracking is hard for me too, especially on the weekends. But i found that just cutting out some of those extra little things can make a big difference, oh and portion control (big problem for me) Good luck

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PATTYKLAVER 8/28/2013 11:26AM

    You're starting to like your fitter body and you said that you will try to recommit That sounds like where I have been for the past month. Finally, yesterday, I said to myself that, yes, I do like my body thinner and fitter, and yes, I am recommitting! It's the only body we have - we can do this - you are worth it.

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GODDREAMDIVA1 8/28/2013 11:20AM

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A New Road

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

On Saturday, July 27, I moved into a basement apartment in the house of family. This will give my partner and I a chance to pay for his schooling while also paying off my student loans at a good clip. Plus, these people are great and their kitchen looks like an Ikea catalogue.

The downside? I have a lot less control over what I eat and when and how much. It's more difficult to say no, to eat alternative foods, to scale down in portion, to balance my hunger, etc -- both for practical reasons and emotional ones.

The first few days were pretty high calorie... over my baseline. Luckily, I was super active with the move and then a day at the zoo, so it balanced overall.

I did fail in my objective to resume my workout video (Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred Level 2) on Monday... but I started it up again today, so, way to go, me! But I have been walking every day. I have to say though... a week off strength and cardio training, even with a lot of walking, made for a very challenging workout!

Yesterday, I picked up some food for lunches that fits into my plan. Since my family is gone during the day anyway, lunch is one meal I have control over... as long as I do make the effort to get and prepare my own food, instead of eating their artisan cheeses and crackers (or something equally caloric).

It also turns out that I have some control over breakfasts. This was unexpected, and I haven't taken advantage of it yet. I'm sort of trying to replicate their breakfast, but at a lower calorie count. However, I may have to go full back onto my other plan -- we'll see! I don't want to deny myself all the good food, but I am pretty serious about getting healthy and fit and also losing weight. If that means I can't have bakery bread & fancy yoghurts in the morning, then that is what that means.

I have no control over dinner, short of refusing to eat something that my family makes, or only eating some of it and claiming that I'm full and then sneaking something lighter later.

Going back to my short-term goals:

1. Drink all my water... still working on this!

2. Maintain workouts through the move... fail(ish). But I've resumed, so no matter! Now, to keep doing it daily!

3. Find a way to eat a reasonable number of calories, while staying calm and happy and not too anxious or hungry. I don't want to be so close to my baseline daily that I can never go out to eat or have dessert or something. I'd like to be able to lose, but would settle for maintaining. Still working on this balance, but making some progress.

In the meantime, I'm trying not to get too frustrated or scared that everything is just derailed. I knew all of this was going to happen and it's early days yet!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BARBANNA 7/31/2013 7:33PM

    Congratulations for doing the wisest move. It really tough when you have so many obstacles. I would try to make some suggestions so they will try a better diet. Weight loss is good for the whole family. It would also be helpful to convey your goals. I understand your reluctance to tip the scale as you are staying in their house but low calorie can be okay even on a limited budget. Compromise is good.

My family likes really greasy, high fat seasoned foods and I have the low cal stuff. We have gone this route so long I take it for granted.

Good luck and keep your priorities straight! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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INSPIRATIONAL3 7/31/2013 7:05PM

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Some New Short-Term Goals

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Today marked my second week back at Spark People, although I've been at this lifestyle change thing since September. Recently, I met all of the short-term goals that I set for myself:

1. I broke my plateau!
2. I officially have a "normal" BMI!

But this means I need some new goals! So here they are:

1. Drink all my water (or most!). (About 2.75 L was recommended to me)

2. Continue to work out every day through this upcoming move. Ensure that my routine follows me to the new place! (The actual move day, and the day after, when we hit the zoo, are exceptions, as they will be very long and physical days. However, this makes resuming my video on Monday all the more important and challenging!)

3a. Figure out ways to stay within a reasonable target for calories consumed, despite no longer having much control over my food, and being around more temptation. This may include substituting foods, declining certain foods, adding or subtracting foods to meals, engaging in different portion control practices from my family, etc.

3b. Stay calm! Find balance. Stand up for myself. Be realistic. (All of #3 is going to irritate my anxiety.)

3c. "Reasonable target for calories consumed" would be no more than 1700 (which is approx. my baseline before exercise). Speedier progress is desirable but given the situation, it will be *okay* if I cannot manage it.

Slightly longer-term goals:

4. Once established, ramp up my weekly "calories burned" goal by adding extra videos, walking the dog, joining a gym class, etc. An extra 100 per day?

5. Once I've got a new food routine down and some ways to cope so that I'm not over-consuming, calculate the rate of progress that I can expect with that average daily intake and average daily burn. (This will help me know whether I'm stalling or still progressing.) Then accept it, make peace with it, be happy - whatever it is.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GONECLIMBN 7/29/2013 5:46PM

  Great job I added you as a friend from the thirty day shred. I am hopping having somebody online will make me more accountable

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MKRETIRED 7/24/2013 9:53PM

  Congratulations. Everything starts with small steps.

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Life Is Not a Competition

Monday, July 22, 2013

Sometimes I worry that all my talk about losing weight and getting fit is annoying or harmful to others. I try to be mindful of other people's experiences and struggles and how they differ from my own. When I seek validation from others for how far I've come, for things I've achieved, I try not to do it in a competitive way -- I want people to be happy for me because I achieved something I set out to do. And I don't want that validation at the expense of someone else.

So it's doubly frustrating when I encounter someone who pretty much works in the opposite way. Someone who thinks that life is a competition and is constantly trying to prove to others that they are winning it. Someone who can only feel good when others are feeling bad, as being a winner means that there are a lot of losers. And it is triply frustrating when it's at the expense of someone I care about.

If anyone "wins" at life, it is the people who manage all the same stuff as the rest of us -- the struggles -- and also are a good and positive force in the world. People who have compassion and respect and are worth looking up to. People who put joy into the lives of others, rather than sucking it out. People who make other people feel like winners, not losers. These people are worth ten of the other kind, even if they have no ribbons or trophies on their walls.

That's all.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CIRANDELLA 7/22/2013 10:03PM

    Ahhh...what a lovely, refreshing, positive, strong blog post to see today - thank you! I love your thoughtfulness here, and you look so young to be so wise! The one person who's my one really meaningful competitor is myself...because I know myself pretty well (I better, after 60+ years! LOL! :)

Thanks again... Susan

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Plateau Busted! Goal Update

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Weigh-in: 142 lbs

My plateau has officially been busted! So here are my goal updates:

Goal 1: Break the plateau - CHECK!

Goal 2: Become "normal weight" (lose 2 lbs) - CHECK! (99% sure... I'll know more on Tuesday when I can access a more accurate scale)

Goal 3: Get on track for a loss of 1 lb (at least) every week or two.

So about goal 3... I found my BMR as calculated by SP last night and it is significantly lower than how I had it calculated by a different website (which explains a lot about this plateau...).

SP BMR: 1740
Avg. Deficit (food only): 300 to 400
Avg. Weekly Deficit (food only): 2100 to 2800
Calories Burned Last Week: ~1300 (185 avg. daily)

So! If I eat ~1400 calories on avg, and continue working out every day, I can lose 1 lb every 8 days (or 3.75 lbs in a month). If I up my exercise a smidge (really... to 100 extra calories in a week) I could still eat about 1400 and lose 1 lb every 7 days (or 4.28 lbs in a month).

If I eat ~1300 calories on avg, and continue working out every day, I can lose 1 lb every ~6 days or 5 lbs per month.

I actually intend to increase my workouts again anyway, and I've been consistently hitting the 1200-1400 cal mark lately without too much effort (I've been at this awhile so I've adjusted), so I think I can safely say that:

Goal 3 has been met! I'm back on track!

The reason I worded it a bit funny - 1 lb every week or 2 - is that in one week, we're moving in with family for a bit. I'll have a lot less control over what I'm eating and I don't anticipate being able to eat 1200 calories. It may even be a struggle to eat under my baseline at all, which would slow me down to ONLY the rate at which I'm burning calories through physical activity. I won't know until I get there... which may set me back and I'll have to tackle 3 over again.

But for now, I've met the goal, and that's important because originally I wanted to lose as much as possible before this move and that's exactly when my plateau hit.

I've met all my short-term goals and am on track to meet my long-term ones. Congratulations, self!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

USE4ANON 7/21/2013 1:49PM

    This is wonderful work and I know you've been hard at it for months. It hit me today that we allow ourselves time to figure out meal planning, etc., if we are diabetic or such, but just to lose weight we decide we shouldn't bother others or adjust grocery items. Even with me losing weight, one other person in the household has dropped about three more pounds since I started this, just because we are eating the same things now. We deserve to spend the time tracking and doing fitness, planning and getting organized for better health and energy!

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