Friday, August 24, 2012
It's Friday evening. In my current routine, this is the day I take my daughter to Taco Bell while her last load of laundry is in my drier. Today, I stopped at Aldi on the way back to pick up a few things: A honeydew melon, strawberries, onions, cottage cheese, eggs, bagged salad, tuna, and baby carrots. Pre-spark, I might have bought eggs, cottage cheese (only when I planned to put it in spaghetti sauce, and the full-fat variety then) and tuna (four cans would last me several months). The rest . . . baby carrots maybe once in a while. The other stuff, never.
Now, this is all stuff I'm buying because I was running out of it. To be fair, the onions and the melon are new additions to what I buy, but this isn't a first-time purchase on any of this stuff.
Daughter is slower to change to healthy ways, but she did ask if I could give her an orange peeler. It seems she bought some grapefruit by mistake, and she's going to be eating them. A knife at her apartment didn't work as well as an orange peeler did at my house for oranges.
In the back of my mind, the trip to Aldi on the way back from Taco Bell is a timing issue. Part of it is giving daughter a good example, even if that example is a couple decades later than I should have started. The other part, of course, is that it's on the way and it's when I have time to get this done.
Daughter finished her laundry and went on her way. I got to my evening snack, and had to add calories to make my minimums. I would have been fine right now shorting myself a couple hundred calories, but I'm not an intuitive eater. I need to identify a proper range, and eat to that range.
This has been happening more than once a week lately. Get to the late evening, and have to eat more to make minimums. Since I'm not back to running yet, it can give me a twinge of anxiety; but the scale trend is sideways, so I'm not changing the nutrition range. And in the grand scheme of things, it's a heck of a lot easier to deal with finding another 200 calories to eat than to deal with being done for the day and still wanting to eat more!
As I think about it, the trend in grocery shopping and the trend in eating to the calorie range are probably linked. Adding peppers and onions to my salad doesn't add a lot of calories, but makes the salad more satisfying. And having 100 to 150 grams of melon instead of an orange is fewer calories, but satisfies that craving for something sweet at the end of breakfast. There's likely similar stuff going on that I'm not noticing, but those two spring to mind.
In this respect, I'm doing things a little backwards. I got to goal weight before I started eating this healthy. (Not that Taco Bell is all *that* healthy, but the rest of the day looks pretty good.) And it had to be a gradual transition, as I ate to the nutrition ranges and tried one thing at a time to see if I liked it and could fit it into the plan.
It's still an evolving process, but I'm seeing some similarity between exercise and healthy eating. Both required me to start with little stuff, incorporate that into my lifestyle, and build incrementally.
Before SparkPeople, I never would have though of eating healthy or eating clean as something that could be accomplished by a gradual transition. Now, I see that this is the only way I could accomplish that. I'm still not eating like a true clean eating fanatic, and maybe I never will; but unlike my pre-Spark self, I now could survive a week of being fed by a clean eating fanatic.
At least, I could survive it as long as I could make it fit into my ranges for calories, carbs, fat, and protein. And I'd probably run out to Taco Bell as soon as possible after that hypothetical week . . . and buy groceries on the way back from Taco Bell, with a list that might resemble today's list.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
I had a bad motivation day yesterday. I mentioned in a status update that I was having trouble with motivation to exercise, and that was true. I did my morning pullups and pushups, and skipped the rest of the morning exercises. Got a walk at lunch.
Came home from work, and still didn't feel like exercising. So I mowed the lawn instead. Didn't feel like doing that either, but if I was going to do something I don't feel like, I may as well get something necessary done.
My motivation level was so low, I couldn't even bring myself to write a blog. That likely would have helped, but I didn't have it in me. The good parts of the day were that eating was on track, and I got to bed on time.
I thought about the morning lack of motivation, and decided that maybe I was fatiguing my upper arms too much on the pullups and pushups, which made me reluctant to do TGUs or renegade rows. Maybe working the triceps a little more intensely than is good for getting more stuff done?
So this morning, I experimented. Instead of doing 12 chin-ups and 60 pushups, I just did 12 chin-ups. The second set of 12 chin-ups was easy. After the third set of 12 chin-ups, I did the first set of 60 pushups. Only got two sets of pushups in before the long simmer of the steel cut oats, and at that point my arms felt fine for doing TGU/windmill combos and KB snatches. After the snatches, I couldn't do the third set of pushups; but I got them in a few minutes later during the short part of simmering the steel cut oats.
Today was a work at home day. I found myself doing some dumbbell squats during sanity breaks from work. Where did that come from? I guess my lost motivation snuck back in the back door, at least for today. Had a nice walk at lunch, and got to my 10K steps easily today.
So, why did my motivation go away? I don't know. Why did it come back? I haven't a clue. I just fiddled around with changing things, and the motivation came and went.
Like maintenance, motivation doesn't seem to be steady state. Just have to work with what I've got, and do the best I can when the motivation is low. I'll see how motivated I am tomorrow; I wouldn't be surprised by either good motivation or poor motivation, the way this week has gone.
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Early in my SP journey, I looked online at some ideal weights. The answers varied, and it wasn't clear what goal I should aim for. I wrote a blog about this at the time:
This week, there's been an active discussion on the now-renamed At Goal and Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance team. One of the posts there aimed at supporting new maintainers had a link to a site I'd used to look at various ideal weights. Now that I'm maintaining, I went back and looked again.
I saw the same estimates I was looking at before, but they look different with a year's Sparking under my belt. The BMI range of 139-183 lbs. remains too broad to be useful, but I no longer think about edging into the top end of that range. The top end is clearly too high for me, and the bottom end is clearly too low for me.
The Devine formula target of 170 that looked too low to me then, looks too high now. The People's Choice Ideal Weight spits out 165, but it varies according to what weight I tell it I currently am. I learned to ignore it the first time past.
But the real deal is the Met Life tables. I have a hard time measuring my elbow as described, but I think I come out close to the borderline between medium and small frame as Met Life defines it.
My Met Life ideal weight range is stated to be 160-173 lbs for a medium frame. That looked way low to me a year ago; this morning I weighed in at 161.4 lbs.
However, the Met Life standard is weighing while wearing 5 lbs. of clothing and 1" heels. The program already accounts for the 1" difference in height; but my standard weight is in undershorts and tee shirt, which combine to weigh less than a pound. So if I knock 5 lbs. off the Met Life range for medium, I get 155-168 lbs.
That kind of sounds like where I've settled is in the middle of the range. If it turns out I'm really small frame, that range goes down (adjusted for my weigh-in standards) to 147-158 lbs. I kind of doubt that 158 should be the *top* of my range, though it's possible it should be *in* my range.
What does this all mean? Not a whole lot, in terms of picking a weight target. I still have to do that based on how I feel and what I can do at the proposed target weight. But there is a bit of an ego pump to see that where I've landed, which might still have a slight downward bias, is right there in the range that would make an insurance company happy to sell me a whole life policy.
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Last Thanksgiving, I ran a 10K. I happened to come in first in my age group, which in hindsight wasn't the best thing that could happen. That encouraged me to try to gear up for a half marathon. Further hindsight tells me I added mileage too quickly, and I didn't pay enough attention to my legs. I ended up with a nagging foot injury, tried to come back from that too fast too soon, and am currently sitting out from regular running.
The plan with the foot re-injury was to wait longer and for the foot to feel better than I did the first time around. To support this effort, I'm not even looking at organized races. Pointing at an organized race gives me the wrong incentives. I'm likely to let testosterone poisoning creep in, and end up re-injuring that foot.
The best-laid plans . . .
This evening my daughter asked me if I was doing the Race with Grace (Thanksgiving Day 10K) again. I told her quite honestly that I don't know if I'll be able to run a 10K by Thanksgiving Day.
She wants to do that race with me. She had thought it was 10 miles. When I told her it was 10K, or about 6.2 miles, she said, "I could walk that now. I couldn't walk the next day, but I could walk it."
So what's a father to do? I made a verbal commitment to sign up again this year. The idea is to register as a father-daughter team, as family teams are one of this particular race's gimmicks. If I have to walk it, I'll walk it.
So here I sit, with a bad foot that let me run three stretches of 200 paces each (about a minute and a quarter each) during a 4 mile or so walk last Sunday, but isn't ready for continuous running. Now I know I'll try to train for that 10K, even though the smart thing would be to avoid competition and take a year to come back if the foot needs a year.
But what's a father to do? When your only daughter is overweight and wants to do something physically active with you, you do what you can to support her efforts to become more healthy. And with daughter working every weekend, Thanksgiving Day is the only predictable race day that neither of us will have to work.
Just have to manage my expectations. The goal is to participate and have a good time. The goal is *not* to finish first in my age group.
Time will tell how well I do at paying attention to the smart goals.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
I've weighed myself daily for I don't know how long, but I've recorded the weights since December 31, 2001. That's a decade of data to look at, and noticeable slice of weight fluctuations while Life Happens.
A few years ago, when I thought I was trying to control my weight, I came up with the idea of comparing to a year ago. If the comps showed negative deltas, I was having a good year. If the comps showed positive deltas, I was having a bad year. This motivated me for a little while, then I just continued the spreadsheet out of habit.
In 2012, I got used to having year over year comps showing my weight as down more than 30 pounds. Today I noticed I've completed 7 consecutive days where those comps are less than 30 pounds.
I expected this to happen, and now it's here. By the end of 2012, those comps should be down under 10 pounds, maybe under 5. I had considered that losing that 30 pound margin might look like a bad thing to me, but it turns out that it doesn't.
It looks like I'm doing the MAIN thing, maintaining. My weight is in a four month sideways trend after being in a four month very gentle downward trend. If I can keep this up, in another 8 months those comps should fluctuate randomly between positive and negative numbers.
That would be way cool, to have a maintenance trend so long that the year over year comps averaged out around zero for an extended period of time. I'm not there yet, but I'm beginning to believe that I can get there.
The goal is to take this chart, and make those last four months of sideways extend out for a long way:
A full year of sideways trend would be unprecedented for my last decade. Then again, the weight loss in 2011 after I started SparkPeople was unprecedented. It could happen. I'm going to do my best to make it happen.
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