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I love math ...and my job!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

I would have never said that 10 years ago while in high school. emoticon

Actually, I have developed more and more love for math over time ever since I finished school. And now I love it even more, since weight loss is so much about math.

I recently created an excel chart into which I enter my daily calories eaten, calories burned through exercise, and BMR which I get from the calorie differential reports here at Spark People. Lately I have been eating reasonably without precalculating my meals. I simply eat reasonable portions of healthy foods most of the time and track everything. Looking at my recently tracked foods each day, I noticed that this way I naturally eat between 1300 and 1600 kcal a day. This is a comfortable range for me. I am satisfied, do not feel starved or deprived of anything. There is even room for an occasional frozen fruit bar, piece of chocolate, etc.

Back to my excel chart. I just created a new tab for July, for which I am committed to track every day. So I entered all the dates, and preentered my current BMR (which of course will change sightly as the pounds go bye bye). Then I entered that I will eat 1600 kcal each day (upper end of the range, so it may actually be less). This brought me to a potential weight loss of 7.0 lbs in July. Then I accounted for the average kcal burned exercising climbing the stairs at work (4th floor) combined with the 5K Your Way program and circuit training on alternating days, with one rest day a week. This brought my potential weight loss in July to 10.5 lbs. Now this is motivating! emoticon

Now I do know this is just a rough estimate and the outcome may be more or less, with less being more likely since I am a slow loser. But even if I lose only about half of this, say 5 pounds, I will be thrilled! Nevertheless, I will shoot for the full 10.5 lbs and beyond. I will not lower my calorie intake since I am comfortable with it, but I need to push myself and exercise more. First, I need to make the mentioned training routine a habit and stick to it. Second, I need to find extra ways to burn. And I will! Maybe a nice hike on Saturdays or going to the pool, etc. We will see.

There will be one challenge, but I will figure this out: I will be going to Mexico for about a week in mid July with my boss and team for a large job we are doing there. Los Cabos to be specific. How cool is that!?! This my first time going to Mexico and I am beyond thrilled. I always wanted to go, but had not had the chance to, yet. So here is the challenge: I have been doing the 5 K Your Way on my treadmill at home and we will have a vacation home instead of a hotel, so probably no workout equipment. Maybe I will train at the beach and preload some music in intervals on my iPod? Still have to figure this one out. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DAISYLEIN 7/8/2013 3:50AM

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NANNABLACK 6/28/2013 7:32AM

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Reflections and Realizations

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

When I do lose weight, I lose super slowly ...and I better get used to it. It has discouraged me many times again and again. Why work so hard if nothing changes? Wrong. Something always changes. If it is not the weight, it is my strength, my endurance, the way my clothes fit, or just me knowing how hard I am working and taking pride in it. Yup, it took me a while to start appreciating my NSVs, no matter how small they are.

I have been off track for a while now. Since mid February to be exact. Ouch. Another four months wasted during which I could have lost weight. Even if it had been just one pound a month. That would have been four pounds lost. Instead, I gained weight. Go figure. No exercise at all... I ate reasonably, but that is not enough for me to prevent weight gain and far from weight loss.

It started with me catching a nasty cold which knocked me out for about a week. Well, that is all that it took. It has never taken much for me to get off track and I need to find a way to get myself back on track once I am off. One thing after another kept me from jumping back into gear. After I recovered from my cold, I worked way too much, then we moved, and during all this time I have been suffering from an increasing number of migraine attacks. Let me be clear. I am not listing excuses. I am identifying obstacles. Obstacles I could have - and should have overcome. Did I have to overwork myself? No. Yes, I had a higher than usual workload, but I could have cut back on other things in my free time in order to exercise. Did I have to let a move get in the way of exercising? No. Same as with the workload. All about time management. Does a migraine knock me out for a whole day, or a couple of days in a row? Yes. But there is no reason why I could not pick myself up and exercise once the migraine is gone.

My 27th birthday was 12 days ago. This leaves me two years (minus 12 days as of today) to reach my goal weight (mid-range of healthy BMI). On my birthday, I signed up for the 5K Your Way program here on Spark People (similar to C25K) and did the first training session that day on the treadmill. I surprised myself and did better than expected. The following day, I did a 30-minue circuit training (DVD). I was proud of myself that day. I had worked out two days in a row. And since then? Nothing. Well, almost nothing. I skipped the elevator and took the stairs at work (4th floor) almost all month now. My husband got me a camelbak type backpack for my birthday which has been on my wishlist for a while now. I enjoy hiking and this backpack does not only have a 2-liter water bladder, but features a mesh construction which allows for ventilation of the back. Well, now I need to use it, that is get my butt out and go for a walk or hike.

A year ago, I walked regularly. On Saturdays I trained with my local Spark Team for a half marathon and throughout the week I met up with a neighbor to walk in the neighborhood. We did walk our half marathon in January this year, but I walked less and less often on Saturdays ever since. Also, my walking buddy moved earlier this year, so now I am on my own. There have been a few times I was able to push myself to walk on my own, but not anymore. I was all hyped up and ready to go on my birthday. What happened? Why did I quit once more after working out just for two days? Right, I had a migraine. OK. I will cut myself some slack for that. But why did I not restart? I have not found that answer yet and I probably should just do it. Just exercise. I could have worked out just now instead of writing this blog. To be honest, I hope that writing this down and sharing it will help me find my way back to exercising more regularly. Maybe I just need to "put it out there". I am a very private person and it takes a lot for me to share this. Admitting my failures, reaching out...

I learned that I need to set smaller goals and that these goals should not have deadlines. I did not meet my goal for the zip-lining I wrote about in February/March. I could have reached it had I only kept working out. However, once I got off track I started telling myself that I would not reach the goal anyway and the closer the deadline came the more it intimidated me, the more I felt like a failure, the less I worked out. Maybe that is why I stopped after two days. Maybe. I do not know. I know I am not a failure. I walked a half marathon, something I never thought I would accomplish. I just have a hard time not feeling this way whenever I do not reach a specific goal within a specific time frame. I will take some time to define new goals. Baby step goals. I will not tie these goals to deadlines. I will, however, do my best to reach them. This means I need to stay on track. Exercise EVERY DAY. Even if it is just 10 minutes. Baby steps. I need to do this. I am fat, but fairly healthy considering. I do not have knee problems (yet). I am not diabetic (yet). My blood pressure/levels are (still) in a healthy range. The question is how much longer? I am morbidly obese and have been for at least five years. Eventually it will catch up and I will not let it! ...note to self: There we go. You just woke up before it was too late. Guess how many people wish they had? You better work out and stick to it from now on.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

3RDBABYWEIGHT 6/26/2013 9:38AM


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MJ-SHE-BEAST 6/25/2013 1:27PM

    We need as a team to set up another huge, obstacle defying goal. Let's talk about it at the Spark dinner on Friday, okay?

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LOUIE-LILY 6/25/2013 11:18AM

    This is a good reminder for me! Thanks for writing it - I was very discouraged today, but will smack myself out of it and get back on track ;)
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CHERYL_ANNE 6/25/2013 7:36AM

    So now you've figured out that you got in your own way and more important, you've decided your next course of action - so congratulations! Little by little you will get there.
Just pick yourself up, dust yourself, off, and continue on your way.

I wish you much success on your journey to becoming the healthiest you can be!

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NANNABLACK 6/25/2013 7:28AM

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AMANDACOETZER 6/25/2013 7:17AM


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    Thank you for sharing this! I have felt the same way you do many times! I'm very good at finding reasons not to do what I need to do! Something (migraines, work, stress, allergies, just being too busy) often gets me off track!

And once you're off track & its so easy to just stay there! Keep focusing on what you've already accomplished & don't give up, you're headed in the right direction! Stay positive & just keep moving forward!

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February 2013 ...and a New Goal

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

A New Goal:
Since my husband and I will celebrate our 5th Anniversary this May, we wanted to do something special. We found a great deal for a ziplining adventure near Austin/Lake Travis a few weeks ago and decided that this would be our anniversary celebration. We plan to make this a weekend trip including the zipline tour on one day and other activities (still to be determined) on the other day. What does this have to do with goals? There is a weight limit for participating. I have to weigh 250 pounds or less to be able to do it. I now weigh 260 pounds. That means I need to drop 10 pounds by the time we go. Now we have not picked a definitive weekend yet, but we bought it through LivingSocial and our vouchers expire on June 26th. This is in exactly 16 weeks from today. Now this seems like a long time to lose 10 pounds, but it is not for me. I lose very slowly, at one-half pound to one pound per week. So with this deadline, I need to step it up and do more (especially exercising that is) to lose the weight in time. I would really like to go on our little trip on the weekend of May 11th/12th, since our anniversary is on May 8th. This is just 9 weeks from now! That means I have to lose at least one pound per week to get there. This is my goal. Lose at least one pound per week so that we can go ziplining for our anniversary. Now facing my fear of height to actually do the ziplining is another challenge, but I am taking one step at a time. By the way, if anyone knows some insider tips for our Austin trip, you are welcome to share them. :-)

February Victories:
1. I maintained my January loss of five pounds, even though I barely exercised at all in February and did not track my food for most of the time. I kept eating healthy foods in reasonable portions and only had very little junk food (chocolate and ice cream).
2. I took the stairs up to the office more often (4th floor) and went outside after my lunch to walk around the office building for 10 minutes a couple of times. I noticed an increase in energy on the days I did this. I will definitely keep doing this and hope to remember doing it every day now.

February Setbacks:
1. I did not track my food, except for a few days.
2. After a pretty bad cold knocked me out early in February for almost two weeks, I was not able to exercise at all until I started to recover. Yet, even after recovering I only exercised a little, except for talking the stairs at work a few times, my lunch walks, a few 30-minute walks, and a few mini strength training sessions of about 10 minutes each. I most certainly did not exercise daily, like I should.
3. I put too big of a workload on my plate this month. I accepted a huge translation job and sacrificed workout time for work time. I will not do this again. As much as I like the extra income and enjoy the work, in the future my client(s) will either have agree to a longer turnaround time or I will have to turn down the offer. Lesson learned.

February Summary:
My victory-to-setback ratio was 2:3. I liked my January ratio of 5:2 a lot better. I want to at least keep the number of victories greater than that of the setbacks. February has been a struggle for me in many ways. I have worked too much, slept too little, and rarely exercised. I was under a lot of stress this month (not just from work) and I am happy that I was able to at least keep my emotional eating at bay for most of the time, not gaining any weight but maintaining my loss so far. I wish I had made more time for exercise since working out is wonderful for stress relief. I am definitely working on my time management and priorities in March and going forward.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DAISYLEIN 7/8/2013 3:52AM


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VEGSARA 3/29/2013 3:50PM

    The zip-lining ultimatum sounds like a great goal!
Also great idea to walk around your work building!
Good for you for looking back and constantly re-evaluating yourself!

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UWHK8STER 3/7/2013 12:28PM

    I like this setup - it's a good way to see how your month went comparatively and lets you identify places you need to work on.

That sounds like an awesome trip - you can reach your goal I'm sure! Good luck!

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January 2013

Monday, February 25, 2013

I know this is a bit late, but I did make a promise to a very special fellow sparker who is very dear to me. Here it is, my first blog, finally.

January Victories:
1. I tracked my food for every day this month which is a huge success for me.
2. I worked out, not as much as I should, but more than I have in a long while. I even managed to get up and walk 2.5 miles at 5:00 in the morning one time, with my son! So proud of him that he joined me. We both do not quite fit the description of early birds.
3. I walked the Half Sparkathon on January 12 with some very awesome San Antonio Spark Team members and, believe it or not, I enjoyed it. My feet hurt like hell, of course. There is no way that this will in any way undermine my feeling of accomplishment though. Prior to this I had never walked more than 7 miles in my life. So walking 13.1 miles, I almost doubled that. I have to say, soon after I crossed my personal longest distance walked thus far, I sure was thinking to myself that I would never do this again as my feet were killing me. To my surprise, during the last mile, I actually truly enjoyed it. I started to feel some pride to have made it this far and started thinking, "OK, this is actually not that bad. Maybe I can powerwalk it sometime. You know what? I should run it, too, once my body is ready." Did I mention my feet were killing me? Yes, soon enough this nasty little voice (I fight it daily) popped up in my head, "You are nuts to think you will powerwalk or even run this distance. You are barely getting through this walking at 2 miles per hour." Well, I love proving people wrong, and I would especially love to prove this nasty little voice of mine wrong, since it seems that I cannot shut it up. Maybe it is a good thing I cannot. This way I can prove myself wrong over and over again. I will not walk a half marathon again soon, but give me a few months to train, maybe a year even, and I sure will powerwalk one. And one day, I will run one.
4. I drank my 8 cups of water almost every day.
5. I lost 5 pounds.

January Setbacks:
1. My early morning walking victory was followed by a less pleasant experience. I was walking down my neighbor's driveway, which in one spot is not evenly aligned with the sidewalk (and I had never noticed that!), with quite some momentum (I was almost running) and "BAM" I landed flat on the concrete. I tried to catch myself but it happened so fast that I landed on my elbows/forearms/wrists which hurt like crazy and on my knees while my cell phone and keys flew all the way into the street bursting to piece (the cell phone). I am sure it was quite a picture. After asking me if I was OK, my son told me he tripped over that spot twice already. Well, thank you. You could not tell me that before I do the same? :-) Oh well, I survived and even my phone did. I limped for a couple of days (which means I walked less, but at least I still walked) and you can still see where my right knee was scraped, but other than that I am as good as new.
2. I signed up for the January Jumpstart Challenge and did not participate - at all. Well, this actually looks like a habit, since I have the tendency to sign up for challenges and not truly participating. I guess that is related to my habit of trying to do too much in too little time and then having to scratch out some plans as I go. I figured tracking my food regularly and exercising more was enough of a challenge for me that month and I did well. Maybe another challenge, another time.

January Summary:
My victory-to-setback ratio was 5:2. That could be worse, I guess. Overall, January has been a great month for me and I hope the next 11 months of 2013 will be just as good, if not better.

Disclaimer: I am a lousy blogger. Deal with it. I have started two blogs before and I simply find it difficult to make the time for maintaining my blogs; that is posting on a regular basis. I vow to do better, but I honestly think that blogging will never climb to the top of my priority list. However, I have been wanting to blog here on SparkPeople for a while now. I decided to start small, with a monthly blog. Who knows, maybe I will get adventurous someday and post weekly (do not expect this though).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MJ-SHE-BEAST 2/26/2013 3:03PM

    I'm so proud of you for so many things in this blog...but most of all for you just blogging! I was also proud and happy to have you walking with me in the Half Sparkathon. You never fail to make me smile; maybe it is because you always seem to have a smile for everyone! Sorry about the fall, but yay and good on you for all the things you have stuck with. Can't wait to see you at the Spark dinner on Friday! Big Hugs! emoticon

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AURORAMILLET 2/25/2013 4:31PM

    AWESOME job on the walk!! That is so cool.


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POOKASLUAGH 2/25/2013 3:33PM

    It's good to see you blogging! :) I definitely think the positives outweigh the negatives in January, and I love that you're considering another half-marathon someday!! That's awesome! I do that same thing - proving that voice in my head wrong as often as possible. :D

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