Wednesday, January 11, 2012
If it's one thing that I have struggled with over the course of my healthy me journey, it's tracking food. Yes, we all agree we should do it. People who are more mindful of what they are eating are more successful.
But it's hard!!! Mentally, logically -- it is very difficult for me to track. So here is what I am struggling with today.
There are two keys to measurement: reliability and validity.
Reliability is that you will get the same results every time you measure the same thing. A weight scale is reliable if you weigh twice at the same time and you get the same results. Reliability is that when you put down a tablespoon, you actually filled the tablespoon correctly. Reliability is that you place the measuring tape in the exact same spot every time you measure yourself -- difficult, huh?
Validity is different. Validity means that your scale will weigh you the same as you would weigh on another scale, wearing the same clothes, at the same time. That you weigh what you weigh, in real pounds. Validity can be externally confirmed. Validity means that you used a measuring tape calibrated correctly.
So where am I struggling?
Here are some examples of the thoughts that go through my head:
Yes, I can weigh and measure. Yes, I can confirm that what looks like a cup of pasta is a cup of pasta. But what about a cup of pasta at a non-chain restaurant? How much salt did they add? Their tomato sauce may seem average, but is it? What about rice. How much rice is there on the plate at the Japanese place? When I start thinking about it, it makes my head explode. And if I find what looks like a similar dish from a chain, is that even remotely comparable?
Even for home cooking, I run into trouble. Spaghetti servings are measured by dry weight. Well who cooks dry weight spaghetti? Number of servings per box: Who has time to divide the box into that many servings? And even if I use the recipe tracker and dutifully put in each ingredient, how on earth do I determine the serving size for this big giant pot of stuff? Yes, 1 cup of soup, but how many cups are in there? It drives me crazy!!!
One last issue, and then I'll stop. Sometimes I cook with oil. Sometimes I fry stuff. Well clearly when there is oil left in the pan it didn't all go into the food. How on earth do you estimate the added fat content? How do you measure the calories in breading?
So I'm attempting to do this whole food tracking thing. I guess my plan is to look for days that appear to be over the top and analyze what I'm doing wrong. I know I'm high on the sodium, but I'm not sure how accurate that is either. I'm just going to try to get it lower. Then, if I'm reliable and consistent, it doesn't matter how valid it is. My 3000 mg may not be a "valid" 3000 mg, but if it's lower than my 4000 mg, measured the same way, then I'm going in the right direction.
My brain hurts!
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Okay, I'm forcing myself to do this -- if I'm going to put goals out there I need to be accountable.
Goal 1: 250 minutes - Had 267 Minutes -- Bought my book and read it in two days. I've got to stretch these babies out better!! I'm just such a fast reader.
Goal 2: Eat at least 5 fruits and Veggies Daily:
Goal 3: Strength Training: Did some, better than I was
Goal 4: Tracked Food: - Managed Full tracking 5/7 days, partial 6/7, one day I tracked nothing Weekends are hard for me. I get busy and don't even get on the computer.
Goal 5: Ate out less: Ate out 5/21 meals, for 23.8%. This might be a record low, but I'm just now starting to track this with number. I consider that a win. Trying to keep it under 25%.
New Goal: Sodium: Keep below 3000 -- yes, I know it needs to be less, but I have been freakishly high. So I'm going to start with trying to get it below 3000 - I was lower than 3000 3 out of 7 days
Weight change: Average weight was the same, 207.1 to 207.2. But I ballooned up after a high sodium day (over 4000), and I'm still trying to recover from that. Hence the added goal of lowered sodium.
I don't really care about the weight. I know that if I do these things and analyze results that eventually the weight will come off. I weigh daily and take the average weight as my gospel. I don't believe in taking one day as my weigh-in day.
Friday, January 06, 2012
Please stop it. It doesn't matter to me how much weight you personally feel you have to lose. Don't say only, as in "I've only lost 15 pounds."
This happened to me today.
A dear friend of mine told me today told me she weighed 215, and I thought that was a loss for her, so I said, "That's a loss, isn't it?" because from her tone she didn't sound happy about it. Me, I get happy about any loss.
This is what she said -- "Yes. If I look at where I was this time last year, I was at 265. That's only 50 pounds."
I wanted to smack her upside the head!! This person has a stressful job, and a husband who doesn't have the best of health, which results in lots of reasons for emotional eating.
"That's great!!" I said.
"I know, but..."
"Stop with the buts," I interrupted. "There is no but. You've lost 50 pounds. That's awesome!!!"
I could tell she was clinging to the "but" at the end of that sentence. So I tried another approach. "How much does your youngest nephew weigh?"
"I don't know. I guess Isaiah weighs about 45 pounds."
"You lost an Isaiah," I said. "Next time you see him, carry him across the room and you'll see how much weight you've lost."
Yes, I understand she wants to be below 200. Don't we all!! But we have to stop undercutting our accomplishments with that nasty BUT word. I could have even seen using the but if she had gained most of it back -- which, to her credit she hasn't.
Fifty pounds is a lot of weight. It takes a while for your body to adjust to that and hormone levels to equalize. I find some of my sparkfriends are in the same boat. They lost a "first chunk" and plateaued, and they want to keep going. There's nothing wrong with that. But be kind to yourself in the process, and stop undercutting your successes. If you put the strategies in place to not gain it back, then when your body is ready to lose again, you'll have the tools.
No Ifs, Ands, or Buts about it. And definitely no Only's.
Tuesday, January 03, 2012
I won the consistency badge again in December. This is my favorite badge. Why? Because it underlines everything I believe in about weight loss. This is not a sprint. This is a marathon. I'll struggle with weight from now at 43 until I die. I will continue to have to make good choices when it comes to exercise and food.
I have yet to get the perfect attendance award, simply because often I forget to log in over the weekends. Then if I do log in to add fitness minutes, I forget to spin the wheel. But I'm on a 15 day streak, and I am determined to get that one in in January.
I'm using the journal tool to hold myself accountable daily for my goals. Yesterday I hit every one, and I'm going to hit them again today. I have a plan in place. I'm at work, I had a great breakfast, lunch is in the fridge, and dinner is in the crockpot. One day at a time, one meal at a time. I also have a plan for exercise later.
I keep hearing jokes about all of the "losers" who hit the gym in January, but are absent the rest of the year, and it's starting to p*ss me off. Who are they to criticize? Yes, I was at the gym yesterday, and I hadn't been there much in December, but that's only because I prefer to walk outside, and December has been warm enough to walk outside. However, winter has hit us in South Carolina, and walking outside yesterday was not in the plan. If someone makes the effort to go to the gym, in January or not, in my book they aren't losers. Or if they are, it's of the weight-loss variety.
My last thought for the day: we have to be consistent all year, not just in January. But why is January so important to all of us in our weight loss attempts? It's that sense of a new year, that we have a new chance, all of our failures are past us. For me, it's the fact that I was home with the kids for over a week over Christmas, and our routine was messed up. I was ready to get back to work and get back into the swing of things. It's easier to stay on plan when you don't have a pantry full of food to tempt you. For my friends who don't work outside the home, you face those challenges every day, and I don't envy you that.
Who cares if you didn't go to the gym or move much in December? The past is done with. Make your goals for 2012, make your plan, and make it happen. I'm behind you all the way. Together we can do this.
Monday, January 02, 2012
One Goal this year:
1000 Minutes a Month
Well, I've reset my annual fitness goal to 12,000 again. It's a stretch goal, but it's a stretch to the extent that if I make it I know I will have achieved something. In 2011 I ended up with 9,267 and I had three months where I was over 1000 minutes, and another three months where I was over 800 minutes. I guess I achieved 77% of my goal. In contrast, in 2010, I joined Sparkpeople March 1st. If I had done 1000 a month I would have had 10,000 minutes by the end of the first year. I ended up with 8312, which is 83% of my goal. Overall, I did less in 2011 than 2010.
So, 2012 is the year that I'm going to stop making excuses. It's so easy to say that I can't. Well, I know that I can.
A refresher: 1000 minutes a month is roughly 35 a day. New tip: I need to remind myself not to take a day off if I'm behind my monthly goal. One mile or 22 minutes a day is not enough. See, I'm already behind because I only walked one mile yesterday. I need to remind myself of that!!!!
I'm going to try a different type of reward plan. If I get 25o minutes in a week, measured from Sunday to Saturday, I will let myself buy a book for my kindle. The books I generally purchase are less than $5, but I usually just buy what I want when I want it. Since that's a HUGE pleasure for me, I'm going to limit that and tie it to my fitness minutes. So if I think of it as earning my kindle books, then maybe I'll actually do it.
Eat five fruits and/or vegetables a day.
Drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water/decaffeinated tea a day.
Eat out less.
Measure what I eat.
You notice weight isn't on here. There's a reason for that. My body isn't cooperating, and if I focus on the scale I'll go crazy. So I weigh daily just to keep myself in check, but I don't care about the number. (Except I will still celebrate when I get below 200 AGAIN) I'm also going to take my measurements on the first day of every month. I've been very inconsistent measuring.
So there you have it. I've got some books to earn!!!
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