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Brain Scramble

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Several Sparkpeople commented on my blog posting from yesterday, which I always appreciate! One says she has increased her calorie range and is losing weight, another said that, because she is short, Sparkpeople's site doesn't calculate all that stuff correctly. I am under 5 feet tall, so I immediately started looking at calories 101.

It involves math! My head hurts! Seriously, by my calculation (which must be wrong), I should be eating far below the 1200 calories a day threshold! I am confused, deflated, uninspired and almost, not quite, but almost, feel like throwing in the towel! (Some kidding and some grains of truth here.)

I did not get to take my wonderful lunchtime walk. I had planned to attend the company Toastmaster club meeting, but work kind of exploded on me and I did not leave my desk except for meetings today. That's not entirely true - I walked as much as I could in between tasks, but I did not get dedicated walking time.

In an effort to combat the crashing lack of energy during the work day, I ate little snacks throughout the day. That did help, did not solve it, but it sure left me with next to nothing for dinner. And, it was the usual very few calories left, need lots of protein, need fat and close to the top on carbs. What to do with that? I really try to keep things in balance and just can't seem to get it, either with my physical body or with all the rest of this. Inside joke -my balance is actually improving!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEENY_BIKINI 3/11/2010 4:01PM

    LOL. Girl - if you only knew how many times I have looked at Calories 101... It makes me want to jump of a building in a parallel universe where math does not exist!!!

That said, there might be so many different theories because everyone is consulting different sources, everyone has their own theories and everyone's individual bodies, work outs, etc are so different it is hard to find unilateral commonalities amongst such diversity. Just sayin'.

Here is what I do (just to add yet another theory on your pile)... I use everything as a general guide and then I add what is right for me. I keep trying things until something works, and by "works" I mean - I feel energized and ab fab AND my body is changing and/or losing weight. In the end, you must find what is right for you - like all things in life. And like life it will continue change because your body is changing. Frustrating, yes. Fulfilling in the end, yes.

I asked Trainer James today - what I should do for calorie intake now that I have added weight training which seems to make me more hungry (where I wasn't hungry before) - he recommended this site...

Here is the site:

http://www.bmi-calculator.n
et/bmr-calculator/

He has given me lots of good advice, so I'll put my money on him.

Good luck, gorgeous. (((hugs)))

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BETHDISCOUNT 3/11/2010 8:42AM

    i trying to eat between 1600 to 1800 ehich is less than spark recomends i actually gain some weight eating what they recommend i do have a nutrition coach but her main advice is to eat more vegtables which i do try and do.

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CARRAND 3/10/2010 11:22PM

    Don't give up! Talking to your doctor or a dietitian might be a good idea if you aren't sure what you calorie limits should be. I've been quite successful with the SP calorie range and it's very close to what my diabetic nutrition counselor recommended for me. I'm only losing a pound a week, but I am not hungry at all, so I can stick with it.

You'll feel better tomorrow if you can get your walk at lunch time.

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JAKEANDNELLIE 3/10/2010 11:10PM

    I started out with the calorie limits set by Spark but they just didn't "seem" right to me. I talked it over with my doctor and we set my current limits, based on height, weight, and medical conditions.
It's working for me. I'm 5'3", and I'm pre-diabetic, have HBP, and hypothyroidism. The doctor wanted me losing faster than Spark did, but no more than 2-3 pounds/week on the average. She also stressed that I should never go below 1200 calories because it could result in problems with my metabolism and thyroid condition.
Could you discuss setting calorie limits with your doctor?
Sheila

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Over 1000 Fitness Minutes! Really?!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

I had other thoughts on my mind for today's blog as the day slowly worked its way to evening. When I came home, logged in and started posting activities, I was surprised to receive a comment in my friend feed that I had gone over 1000 fitness minutes. I had not realized that! What a thrill! (For a minute - ha!) It was nice to have the comment in the feed - I am still not used to the level of support found on this site. emoticon

When I started, the idea of doing any exercise was just a boat anchor of thought in my mind. I have not arrived, far from it, but I actually regret it when something prevents me from my lunchtime walk. Imagine! I just marvel at the idea. I am still amazed at the things SparkPeople do and still wonder if/when I will do those things. Running? DVDs with scary-sounding titles? (meaning they sound hard to do and painful!) Weight training? Still dabbling.

Last week, I got a message for about 3 consecutive days in red letters advising me to change something about my calories because I was over for the week. I have not done so because I don't feel secure in the idea that this really is going to stick. With my pedometer difficulties, I am about ready to give up on that idea, even though I did enjoy seeing the numbers climb. (it's kind of like getting instant Spark points for walking!) I lost the first one, the one I bought seems to be possessed and the current one fell apart today after losing my steps. Before noon, I was almost 5000 steps and the next time I looked, I had two! The cover of the pedometer came off while I was looking at the 2 in amazement.

I was also thinking about switching to soda from coffee in order to save the calories from the 2%. Then, like a lightning bolt - I have not been recording my soda (always diet, one or two cans a day) and what that impacts is the sodium. The next thought was, perhaps cutting out the 2% is not a good idea. I have tried to cut below 2% and just can't cope with the taste. On the other hand, I do need calcium. I am not sure what to do and did not find a solution online today. I LOVE cheese, but that's a food I have to be very careful with because it calls my name.......So I had some lowfat yogurt in the afternoon.

I still find myself far too tired. I wonder if I do need to eat more. but the 1200-1550 range seems more than enough. The red letter notice last week seemed to say that my activity level requires more calories. That's counter-intuitive to me because I am not losing much weight. Adding more calories after losing only 2/10ths of a pound? I am not sure about that!

The other side of that coin is, if I did raise my calories, I MUST exercise and I am still skittish about that commitment!

I shared with a friend at work today about SparkPeople. She said she's been using a nationally known program since August and has lost only 15 pounds. I did not share everything I think about why she's stuck because this is the beginning of what I hope to be an ongoing conversation. She does not want to go to the gym with her boyfriend. (She works fulltime, goes to school and has a munchkin) I suggested she put her little boy in a stroller and walk around her neighborhood for 20 minutes. She said there's a park nearby and I said that the walk and park time will do two things - give her some exercise and some quality time with her son. Whether she does anything along those lines remains to be seen. I am not going to pursue her about it, but I did share my success in just over a month - just over 10 pounds gone and about 7 inches gone. I will continue quietly setting my example by walking around the campus, carrying my water bottle and using my food scale. She has seen me walking and doing those other things, so I hope the seed is being planted. I could tell by her reaction that she has not seen the weight change and that's ok. I am not doing this for recognition, I am doing this because I believe the alternative is a shortened life and a less-than-acceptable quality of that life.

So I will keep exercising, even if it is "just" walking and the occasional set of hip flexors, push ups and other moves that I cannot name! Yes, I am still a rookie! I am still amazed and still reluctant to call this a permanent change. I know my past! For now, I am taking it one day at a time. Today, I drank the water, have eaten within range and actually liked my walk. Tomorrow, I hope to do the same thing...And Thursday and...

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IMVEGAN 3/10/2010 6:11PM

    If you undereat, your body will hold on to the weight. But that said, all calories are not equal. If you are 200 calories down for the day and decide to eat a chocolate candy bar you will gain weight. If instead, you eat 200 calories of nutritious veggies and fruit. You will lose.

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MEGANC1988 3/10/2010 5:17PM

    Awesome!

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BREW99 3/10/2010 1:56PM

    Have you done the calculations online? I find that SP doesn't always give the right amount of calories per individual. I was actually overeating by about 600 calories of what SP gave me. I'm short so the website was truly wrong on how many calories I should take in. You should do your measurements and then calculate your BMI and BMR from there. I have a blog about it if you need help. Remember also that if you aren't getting the right amount of calories in, your body will go into "shut down" mode and you will not lose weight. Basically you have to keep to a good amount of calories so that you can burn them off properly. I have the hardest time understanding this really but I have read so many medical journals talking about it. Congrats on all the hard work though!

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JAKEANDNELLIE 3/9/2010 10:43PM

    I began to lose more weight when I began eating more! I stay around 1400 - 1500 calories, but sometimes go up to 1800. When I was keeping my calories lower, I lost weight much slower.
Sheila

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CARRAND 3/9/2010 10:16PM

    It sounds like you are doing just fine. Small changes add up to big losses in the long run! Those fitness minutes really add up!

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INGRACE 3/9/2010 10:07PM

  I'm with you on the calorie topic. I need to go in and adjust mine. Thanks for the reminder. Keep up the good work! I'm with you in the trenches. emoticon

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SCRAPPYLADYV 3/9/2010 9:50PM

    The 1000 min mark was exciting for me too.

If you continue to exercise at your current pace go ahead and readjust your calories. I had to do this. The first two weeks I was fine but by the end of the third week I was hungry ALL the time, and then I finally noticed that message. It took me a couple of days to click on it but I am glad I finally did. I entered how much I was burning and it readjusted my intake ranges. It wasn't by much, but it was enough so that I am not obsessing about food all of the time because my tummy is growling. Our bodies need good quality fuel to keep them running. If you find that you do not maintain the exercise you can always lower it down again.

Don't be reluctant to call this a permanent change. This is just you living your life in a healthier manner. You are in charge of your journey. Own it!!
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Compartmentalized Life - Not So Much

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

It's probably a defense mechanism that I need to think about sometime, but not tonight. My life has been compartmentalized for a long time, at least I thought so. Work in one mental box, home life in another, distant family in another and the few other relationships in yet another.

Perhaps I should not be surprised with the encompassing aspects of SparkPeople to find the barriers between theses boxes starting to give. I won't be able to address this in one blog, but I have to make a broadbrush stroke attempt to touch the first layer.

At work (box #1), I received an email from a coworker who is also a friend. She said that I am lucky because I have about 200 Facebook friends. She has just recently set up her account and does not have many responses to her invitations. Her email went on to say that she is depressed, has increased her depression meds and is having a pity party. WHAT am I supposed to do with that?! This is one of those times when it does not matter what I say, it won't be the right answer. We did have some reasons to talk about work today, so I could not compartmentalize as effectively and my concern for her emotional stability tore at my ability to concentrate on my own tasks. I'm not blaming her - that's my issue.

This same friend wants to do something to celebrate my birthday and is not allowing me to deflect her interest in doing something. My birthday falls on the weekend before finals and I start the next class immediately afterwards, so I don't want to spend money and take time away from school right now. Her financial situation is better than mine, but not much, and I don't want her to spend money on me. Her birthday is later in the year and it will be my turn to match whatever she does. Sigh...

She had, unbeknownst to me, made plans for us to go to Yosemite over Memorial Day weekend. At the time that she made the plans, I was not planning on taking a class next quarter, but circumstances have changed. It means a couple of days off from work and includes camping at Yosemite, a hotel night in a town that has a casino and is a bit much for me to handle right now both in terms of time and money. When I told her that I will be in school then and that I fully anticipate that the teacher will slam us with major homework, her answer was that I could bring it with me. I know from experience travel and study do not mix well!

This weekend, I learned my "adopted" mom is in the hospital having suffered a "light" stroke. I am very concerned for her. I also take it as a sign (for lack of better description) that I should not "spend" my vacation time right now. Because Mom Angell is not an immediate family member, if, God forbid, she dies, the trip to Missouri for her funeral would be from vacation time, not bereavement. When I told my friend today that I was concerned about the possibility of having to buy a black outfit and an airline ticket, she said rather tartly that people do not die from strokes. If I wore dentures, they would have fallen out! I doubt she realizes how painful a remark that was to hear. At the time that I said it, I did not realize what a blue funk she is in or I would have said nothing.

This showed me that I am continuing the lifelong habit of "stuffing" my own feelings in favor of being the strong person for others. No wonder I don't reach out for help! Or at least, I did so very timidly prior to SparkPeople. Fortunately, I did not literally stuff myself! It did not even cross my mind! Woohoo! Progress! The divorce of food from emotions is continuing and deepening.

I finally had class tonight. The judge returned our midterms and I was very unhappy with my grade. I passed, but not with a grade I like. Fortunately, I have two chances to bring the grade up - the final exam and an extra credit project. Both are papers and both are due in two weeks. I had not anticipated needing to do that much work, but I hate leaving points on the table, so I will do as much as I can. I was almost mobbed on the way out the door by a couple of students. One wanted me to email my notes to him (he is always late by at least 30 minutes) and the young lady asked me to repeat the two assignments several times. Of course, I answered patiently, but I am always amazed by her questions and wonder what she does during class when he's lecturing. He repeats himself at least 3 times when he says something he wants us to get...At the same time, I was so unhappy with the midterm result that I had to really work at focusing on the lecture! I should not be so hard on others. The older I get, the more I remind myself that I don't know the whole story. The reminder helps, but the internal dialog is still hard to shut off...Something else for me to work on.

I wore my pedometer today, one of several. The one I bought seems to work just fine for miles, but not for steps. The other pedometer seems to be ok. As near as I can tell, I walked for 4 miles today with over thirteen thousand steps. That was with a nap at lunch time and a nap before school. Usually, I walk during those times, but I was so tired today!

I'm not quite sure where I was going with all this, but I'm winding down! I feel rather overwhelmed, tired (not sleepy, tired in an exhausted sort of way). I did have fleeting thoughts of chocolate or other sugar before class, but I had a Boca burger sandwich instead. Without completely conscious thought, I am starting to address stress without stuffing my face. When I realize I'm craving something, I do think about what is going on. But, when I am in the middle of a stressful situation, I don't think about bingeing, which is a novelty. That's probably a subject for another blog.

Perhaps I should have titled this "I Need a Long Time Out!". I'm still a little discouraged by the miniscule weight loss this week and the inches lost, but I should be grateful that I have not yet plateaued. I am really nervous about that! In the past, when I hit a plateau, I stayed there for a very long time. That discouragement makes tracking, measuring, exercising, drinking water - managing my lifestyle change - something of a drudge. I really need to snap out of that attitude, for certain!

I think I will adopt a couple of things this week: act as if until it is. And - one day at a time. The 30 pound pledge is too far, how much farther is the total! Today is just about over and I can handle tomorrow with grace and help from others. Lastly, I will continue to look for reasons to be positive. I feel stronger, I feel better and I like the way my clothes fit. I'll start there.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NONIE_C 3/12/2010 5:27PM

    As I've said before, I just love reading your blogs. I love following the river like meanderings of your mind as they pass through challenging spots and onto tranquil places. I like that you take the time, like a river, to fill in the empty spaces, finding answers to your own questions.

I used to be a "yes" woman. I spread myself far too thin because I needed to be needed by EVERYONE in order to feel any sense of self worth. I'm not suggesting this is how or who you are, but I bring it up because I think my solution to always saying yes could possibly work for you too. Now, whenever I'm asked to do anything, from volunteering to work to joining friends for dinner or a weekend away, I always say, "let me check and see if I can; I'll get back to you." I think of this as a breath - a moment to see if I really can or want to commit to whatever is being asked of me. It seems you've already made your decision regarding the weekend away with your friend, so I'll just wish you the best luck in breaking the news to her. And, as an aside, I have to agree with some of the other comments you've gotten: any friend who makes you stress out that much and that often, is not really much of a friend. I have no doubt that you care for her, and she is lucky to have you, but sometimes (more often than not) you simply need to take care of yourself.

Keep up the wonderful work of finding the positives and living them. You are wonderful!!!!

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MEGANC1988 3/9/2010 4:51PM

    emoticon First off, you need to deal with this "friend". She doesn't sound like one. Most of your issues are revolving around her needing things from you and not taking no for an answer. Sit down with her and explain that you have too much on your plate for a weekend trip, that you are hurt by her insensitivity towards your adopted mother, and that if she wants you to join her pity party, she needs to give you the same courtesy and understand when you say no and when you need support.

You have so much going on, and I know how stressful that can be, be selfish, you have every right to be. Do what you need to do for yourself and worry about others after that.

Know that there are people here who expect nothing more than a comment or a goodie to feel your support and who actually appreciate the amazing gifts and caring you give.

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RUSTYSHAW1 3/9/2010 11:20AM

    This is only a suggestion but I think you might want to rethink when you need to politely say "no" to people in your life who insist that you do activities you do not have the time or the money for. It may seem painful but which pain would you rather experience. The pain chosen by someone else, or the pain you chose for yourself. I use the word "pain" because you seem to be suffering so much by demands placed on you by others. A friend would understand that you must set a priority of going to school or being ready to attend to your elderly loved relatives. I think that is an important element in your dilemma. Best wishes.
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Comment edited on: 3/9/2010 11:21:12 AM

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JAKEANDNELLIE 3/9/2010 12:58AM

    I have a positive for you - You continue to provide support and motivation to your many SparkFriends!
You were wonderfully helpful with your heartfelt reply to my blogs and helped me clarify and deal with some difficult situations. Your advice and your previous related experience was exactly what I needed. Thank you so much for being so caring and compassionate.
Your blogs are always open and honest and deal with situations you are dealing with in your life. They have true meaning and often help others find answers or ways to deal with similar situations in their own lives. You don't "just blog" to gain points - you blog to help deal with your journey here on Spark.
You sound tired and stressed. Try to find time to relax.
We care about you.
Sheila

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Emotional Roller Coaster

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Saturday, my favorite boss found me on Facebook. The last time I saw him was late summer 1986, but he had a huge impact on my life. I was floored to be reconnected with him!

In the midst of that euphoria, I found out that my "adopted mom" is in the hospital having suffered a light stroke. She's in Missouri and I'm in California. Her daughters are with her. I am praying for her recovery and that I don't have to buy something black and an airline ticket.

The scale surprised me this morning. Down 2/10ths. At this rate, my pledge of 30 pounds by the end of June is a real challenge! I am just a tad discouraged. But, what this tells me is that I cannot slack off on measuring (eyeballing won't do) and I'm going to have to exercise through the pain. The water has not been a problem, which is a bit of a surprise. Along with the micro weight loss, I lost inches in some places, gained girth in other spots, so it was a strange accounting. The net difference is just a hair under 2 inches lost.

I broke down and bought a new pedometer as an early birthday present. It seems too sensitive, so I don't trust the step count. The day was slightly overcast, but it was a great day for the Baylands walk. We walked a different path and I was unable to get a lot of speed up because of the terrain. What I did notice was that, if I were not losing weight and exercising, I would have fallen several times. My balance is improving. Trying to keep my balance on that trail gave me plenty of a work out! It's kind of hard to explain, but I felt all of the muscles working to keep me upright, my heart rate was up and it felt like a good workout...I look forward to looking back at this blog soon and laughing at thinking that this is a good workout. To do that, I need to move my exercise bar a long way down the road. Today's walk was over a mile.

Tomorrow at work, I'll have the stairs and hills and the campus at school tomorrow night. I should be able to get lots of walking in! I can't imagine that I am looking forward to that! ME! Thanks, SparkPeople! You're helping me change my life!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOUNTAINS2CLIMB 3/7/2010 11:02PM

    One day you WILL be able to walk that trail with ease and know that you've come a long way! I am sorry to hear about your loved one being ill, I hope all is well.
You may have only had a micro weight loss, but is sounds like you are really doing well with obstacles and making the exercise a permanent part of your lifestyle! Congratulations! It might not always look huge on the scale, but the difference in our lives is enormous! emoticon

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JAKEANDNELLIE 3/7/2010 9:21PM

    Walking is one of my major ways to relieve stress and anxiety - and I've been walking a lot lately!
Although you were not walking at a fast pace, an uneven path gives you a workout with it's ups and downs. I walked at least 1.5 miles inside almost every day this winter but have walked outside this week. My neighborhood is hilly - not great big, but enough to really make a difference. You use different muscles going up hill than you use going downhill. I do okay going up, coming down kills my thighs!
I don't aim for speed when I walk but just try to keep an even pace.
Keep up the good work.
Sheila

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RE2BAH 3/7/2010 8:57PM

    Congratulations on finding such a neat trail and remember hills and stairs on campus fondly!

Keep working out, it will help keep the emotional roller coaster manageable. You can't do much but feel bad when you're a distance from your loved ones, plane tickets take a chunk out of anybody's budget, but being in college makes it usually more of a challenge.

My prayers are with you!

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Am I Blocking My Own Progress?

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Usually I post my blog midday or in the evening. It's morning and all I've had so far is the required first cup of coffee (a Rwandan bean). The past few weeks, I have walked more, I've used the stairs and, on occasion, flirted with free weights and exercises such as pushups and bridges. The only thing, besides walking, that I am doing consistently are the hip flexors.

But, I've missed a few days here and there or done less than I wanted or intended to do. I've become a bit discouraged by the results of my walks. It's taking longer to burn the same calories and longer to get my heart rate up. I feel like a slug!

I find myself mentally slipping into my old attitude about exercise, which may be why I have not committed to a program of strength training and have not started my running program either. It's not quite guilt, but something akin to that. The fact that I have started neither despite intention weighs on me. I feel anchored somehow and know I need to break free from whatever is holding me back.

Part of it is money, but that's an excuse. I don't have the money for running shoes and the shoes I have are completely inappropriate. I want, I want, I want - I hate wanting things this much! I want some exercise dvds (pilates, yoga, basic stuff), I want...I am just tired of that whine in my head!

Part of it is the unknown. Moving my body is not easy, not fun and those strength training exercises are boring. Will it get better over time? Do I have the patience to stick with it long enough to see a difference? What if I can't run? What if, as with walking, I hurt myself and can't do anything for a day or so? What if I fail AGAIN? Why am I letting this old litany hang over me now?

Everything I'm reading about women, age and obesity should be enough inspiration for me to get off the couch and out the door! Hence, my decision to blog this morning! Now, time for breakfast, shower and out the door for my wetlands walk!

Sparkle Saturday, Everyone!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IXCHEL23 3/6/2010 1:37PM

    Have you tried looking at what your library carries? You can get from your library or through their inter-library loan system exercise dvds that are free. I've done it before and it's great if your library already has a good selection. You can search in the library's computer catalog by entering a name, etc and then request a hold on it if it's at another branch. My library will then send me an e-mail (they call you also) when it's at my branch ready to be picked up.

I think you have to experiment and try different exercise workouts to see which one you like the most. Also, so that you don't get bored with the same ones. Have you tried Leslie Sansone workouts, some have you hold dumbbells so you're getting ST in it too.

Also, when walking you can do intervals of faster walking with a lower speed alternating to get your heart rate up.

Remember, baby steps you will learn more and more about losing weight and what works for you, the most important thing is that you never give up!
Enjoy that walk and sparkle!

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Nancy

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