Sunday, February 23, 2014
As much as I loathe tracking food, I love tracking my exercise. I love devices that tell me my progress. I use a Garmin GPS watch to keep track of my runs & bike rides (particularly distance and speed), my Fitbit to keep to track my steps, and the Spark People database to track down everything else. I recently started playing with the fitness settings in my Spark People trackers and made 2 changes that I'm not sure that I like. First, I made it so that my fitness tracker connects to the nutrition tracker and adjusts the recommended calorie range as I exercise. Secondly, I made it so that Spark People would automatically add the steps from my Fitbit to my fitness tracker. Hmmm.
After making these changes, I noticed that the calorie recommendations skyrocketed. All of a sudden I went from a minimum of 1250 cal to 2700 cal. Holy moly! It was telling me to basically double my food intake! Well, I figured out one problem my first day- I was double-counting my workout. I logged my mileage in the mileage tracker (as I usually do), but since I was wearing my Fitbit for the run, the run was being counted in the steps uploaded from my Fitbit as well. As an athlete I am more concerned with my mileage than my steps, so I promptly turned off the connection between my Fitbit and my Spark People account. While I an see that this function would be great for someone who is just getting started with exercise, I am not that person. Don't get me wrong, I still love and wear my Fitbit, but I don't count all of my steps as exercise. It's more NEAT.
The problem of how many calories to eat still remains, however. Today, for example, I went for a 100 minute road bike ride. It was sometimes strenuous and sometimes not, with rolling hills along the coast (I know, my life is so difficult, right?). I actually felt like it was a good workout, but I wasn't bathed in sweat the way I am after a spin class. Anyhoo, my nutrition tracker now says that I should eat 2536-2886 calories today. That seems like so much!
I don't want to deprive myself, but I also don't want to use overly generous estimates of my calorie burn to stall my weight loss.
So, what I've decided to do is see this through until my next weigh-in and then go back to the regular calorie estimates if my weight is going in the wrong direction. We will see how this experiment goes.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Today my family returned from vacation. We spent a lot of time in the car with a lot of junk food. There were many things that I wish I had done differently, but on the whole, I'm ready to continue on my journey. Some parts of the day that went ell:
First, I made sure to go fr a little walk before getting in the car to leave. This was instrumental in my ability to hit 10,000 steps today. Secondly, even though ate grilled cheese sandwiches and chocolate chip cookies, among other calorie and fat dense foods, my new-found sense of when to stop eating kept me from over-indulging too much. As of right now, I'm still within my calorie range (though the upper end of it). On the whole, I doubt that I lost weight this week, but I probably didn't gain much either.
Tomorrow is another day.
Sunday, February 16, 2014
So my weight problem as an adult has been more related to too much food, rather than not enough activity. Several years ago, I became a triathlete, a fat triathlete. I have completed countless triathlons and running events, even a marathon, as a fat woman. I really enjoy running and completing in triathlon events, but, as I don't see myself winning events anyway, I haven't been extremely motivated to lose weight. Oh, I would half-ass it sometimes, but it just always seemed like I should be able to eat anything I want after running 10 miles.
Cliche as it is, I made weight my priority for my New Year's resolution this year. On vacation for the holidays, I read a book about diet motivation and it worked. I don't know whether it was really the book, or just the right time in my life, but my motivation has never been higher.
At first, I just focused on tracking. I didn't workout much at all for the month of January. Then, around the end of January, my tri club started back up and I started adding in workouts. Right now I am up to about 4 workouts per week, including a run today that was 8.5 miles. Yay! The dilemma now relates to limited time. With a full-time job, two small children, training, and Spark People, it is sometimes difficult to find time for everything.
I read on someone else's page once that treating weight loss like a job improves success, i.e., tracking, motivation, etc., require that one consciously devote time to them as well. They don't just magically happen. I bet I spend at least an hour per day, if not more, on Spark People. I usually start the daily visualization and bit of tracking first thing in the morning. At night, I finish the rest of the program, read articles, and read my daily food report. With everything else in my life, it can be difficult to find time to work on Spark People for an hour+ and find another hour+ for a workout.
So, this is the balance that I strive for: enough time to complete the Spark Coach program every day and enough training time to prepare for the half-marathon and 65-mile bike ride that I have planned in April.
Hope springs eternal!
Wednesday, February 05, 2014
I restarted my weight-loss journey at the new year and so far I'm really going strong. I feel great. I try to only eat when I'm hungry. I've found that I'm better at stopping myself from eating foods before I'm completely full than before. For example, tonight we went out for my daughter's birthday. I enjoyed a salad, bread sticks, and pizza. Even though it was an indulgence, I feel pretty good about it because I ate lightly during the day today and only had 2 servings of each item at dinner. On top of the eating, my Fitbit is really helping to motivate me. in days when I don't do a traditional workout, I make sure to take at least 10,000 steps,
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Since I rebooted my weight loss as a New Year's resolution, everything has gone extremely well. However, today is a good day to contemplate what happens when the scale doesn't validate my efforts by showing a reduced weight. This will inevitably happen, either because of a plateau, or more happily, when I reach my goal.
So, here are some ways that I will combat a backslide in response to no movement (or the wrong type of movement) on the scale. Superficially,I can focus on my clothing size. Additionally, I can focus on improved health and movement. I really value the ability to move well and easily and I can compare how much easier it is to run now than it was even 10 lbs ago.
All in all, I hope that these pieces of evidence will be enough to sustain healthy habits indefinitely.
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