Thursday, May 03, 2007
For the first time since I started in late January, I have not been on track since last night. Yesterday afternoon I was hungry, tired, and lacking energy. I'd had several days in a row of under 1,300 calories and even one day under 1,200 when I went to bed at about 5:30 p.m. After work yesterday I had already eaten all 1,200 of the calories I'd planned for the day, but was still hungry so I added milk to my hot chocolate and also had oatmeal. I went to the gym and did high intensity cardio, but only for a half hour. I was too tired to do any more or to do strength training. I went home and was asleep around 6 p.m., but Jess called at 7:00 and I didn't fall asleep again after that. I was feeling nauseated, turned on the TV (I hardly ever watch TV anymore), and eventually gave in and had a can of macaroni and bean soup that had been around since before the diet (I don't usually have commercially prepared soup anymore - too much sodium). But I felt so much better after the soup!! Is it possible for your stomach to complain if you eat TOO healthy? Too much fiber, too many nutrients to handle? When Jess got home he made a pasta dish that smelled soooo yummy and I kept begging him for some, even though I really wanted him to control my eating and tell me no. He did let me have 1 piece - it had oil and a bit of melted parmesan cheese on it. WHY can he eat like that and stay thin? HOW does he eat half of it and put the rest in a tupperware container for the next day? I am so frustrated I could cry. I really have to live like this forever?? Only 5% of weight losers keep it off. Am I starting to put it back on?
When I tallied it all up this morning it came in at 1,694 calories and I'd gone from 135.0 yesterday to 137.8 today - 3 pound gain. Good god my body is not forgiving. The 135 was on Jess's scale though so it's possible I'd gained a little of that weight yesterday, though at that point I had had several days in a row of eating less than 1,300 calories.
Anyway, the out of control spiral continued. I was OK this morning, though I didn't really want to eat too much because I have my WW weigh in this afternoon - in just a few minutes, in fact. But I've managed to eat 1,612 calories today and it's not even 3 p.m. yet. After the lunch I'd packed, I also ate the lunch provided for me at a meeting, which included romaine lettuce, 3 oz. chicken, 1/4 cup croutons, 1/2 pita, and TWO big warm chocolate chip cookies. It's like all self control I had for 3+ months is out the window.
OK, I really gotta go but let's keep this in perspective. Obviously I was not eating enough for several days and my body was getting weak as a result. Now I am nourished and can really blast the calories off at the gym this evening. Right now I have to face up to the fact that I'm about to have my first gain at a WW weigh in ever. But the control is back NOW. From now on I will plan out my calories and will aim for 1,300 to 1,400 per day, plus at least 60 minutes of high intensity (though doesn't have to be top-end of the high intensity range) exercise per day to work it off. And I will lose the last few pounds and FEEL GOOD!!!!! Dammit!!!
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Hello there all you fabulous sparkers! :) I spent the weekend in Boston. I was only planning on staying through Saturday, but after a whole day of biking and walking around the city we were too tired to come home. Jess doesn't have an internet connection, so no SparkPeople, but I do have some healthy food there so I was able to have a nice breakfast and lunch before coming home, and once I got on SparkPeople this evening I realized I'd only had about 700 calories so far so I got to have a huge dinner. :) I had pumpkin, a salmon salad, cereal, and a chocolate bar!!! I love pumpkin now - my new treat!
I did my first steady state high intensity session today, with my heart rate around 85%. It was kinda tough but not awful. I went 65 minutes on the elliptical. At first it takes more effort to keep my heart rate high, but after a while it just stays up there as long as I keep pushing. I like it that I sweat more with these new workouts. It just feels like I'm really WORKING out. Something to be proud of. And of course, something that's going to improve my endurance and speed!
Afterwards, I did strength training, but started to feel pretty hungry, so I just did 1 set of everything I hadn't done yet, stretched, and came home. Still earned 7 APs today and ate them all.
Yesterday I did a "size check" with Gap bootcut jeans. (the standard, right? I hope!) I brought every size from 2 to 10 into the dressing room and started with the 10s.
10 - way too big
8 - fit weird. tightish in the thighs, loose in the waist
6 - just right!!!!!!!!! :)
4 - couldn't even button :(
2 - didn't even attempt
So I am an official 6! I am happy to be a 6 and not an 8, because I think I was recently really in between. But I am sad that I couldn't even button the 4s. The last "size check" I did was with a stretchier material, and with those I could easily zip not only the 4s but the 2s also. I think I really need to stick with jeans for my size checks from now on. Jeans tell the truth! :)
I can't believe I'm a 6. I used to be a 12 so I'm half my old size, haha. I can't believe the next time I actually shop for things I'm going to buy (as opposed to just trying things on to see what I can squeeze into) I will be looking at 6s! Actually I still am not buying stuff yet because I have 10 pounds to go, and like the woman at La Sposa said, every 10 pounds is a size. So I predict I will be a 4 when I reach 124. And that ain't bad!:)
Friday, April 27, 2007
I was nervous about trying HIIT but in a good way - something new is often like that. I used the elliptical trainer because of the constant heart rate readout and it went really well! As I am learning, at the beginning of a workout it's hard to keep my heart rate up, but once it gets up there it's a lot easier to keep it up there. Those 1-minute work intervals HURT! I know what they mean by the anaerobic burn. I think sometimes I get a hint of that burn when I run. It's OK to go anaerobic sometimes, of course, but on my steady-state high intensity days I think I should avoid it. It just doesn't feel good. I do like how it feels though to get my heart rate into the high intensity range and keep it there - can you tell I'm looking forward to SSHI a little more than HIIT?? But I think HIIT will be good for me because it'll push me to new levels.
I was able to keep up the intervals for an hour!!! It really wasn't that much more difficult than what I've already been doing, just different. And it got me sweatier. I just think this is going to be really good for me!
Oh guess what!!! BIG NEWS! After my workout, after I finished stretching, I attempted a pushup, which I often do and fail. TODAY I DID ONE! I'm sure Jess would say it wasn't a real pushup because my arms were too far forward, but as far as I'm concerned I did one because I went all the way down, nose to the mat, and pushed myself back up!!! As pathetic as it sounds I have never been able to do that before! That is one of my goals on my sparkpage! I'm not sure I will change it yet - I will show Jess and ask him if it "counts." I thought I'd have to wait until I could bench my own body weight before I could do a pushup. This is exciting! I am getting fit!
I guess I have trouble believing I've been as successful as I have. Blogging earlier today (I've blogged a TON today, haven't I), I was writing about my weight and I accidentally typed 167 where I meant 137. I have done that before, too. In my subconscious I still weigh in the 160s. I did for so long. Also, I have trouble believing that I look thin. In some aspects anyway. In some ways I can look at myself objectively. My upper body is thin. My stomach varies depending on how bloated I am, but it's not FAT. My butt and thighs are the area that still have enough fat to justify me wanting to lose a little more weight (though I know I can't do anything to ensure the weight will come from that area!). But, I guess it's my overall look. Especially the past couple of days where I've felt so bloated and I know my stomach is sticking out because of it. I forget that just because my stomach is sticking out a little, that doesn't mean I don't still look pretty thin overall.
A few people have called me "skinny" lately. One look at my thighs and you'd know I am NOT skinny. I guess I can admit I'm thin. Am I really? It's so hard to believe that! But not skinny. Nobody would hire me to model bathing suits. Well...maybe just bathing suit tops. :) Hahaha.
Also - I have been asked this question twice today and three times total this week: "Have you had to buy a whole new wardrobe?" The honest answer is that I'm waiting until I reach 124, or at least close to it. Anything I buy now is going to be too big when I weigh 124, because that's over 10 pounds difference. (I'm being vague about what I weigh now because yesterday at Jess's I weighed 134.8, today at home I weighed 137.0. And I didn't do anything "bad" that would have caused a 2.2 pound gain!) But I don't tell people my honest answer, because I am SO SICK of hearing that I should stop losing weight. I hate that. I am lucky though that my mom has a general idea of what I like and has given me a few things she got really cheap from consignment shops. Nice stuff, too! I have 2 pairs of designer jeans. But, I am kinda lacking on the basics....right now I have no basic black pants or khakis. I do have those khaki Abercrombie cargo pants in size 2 that keep getting closer to fitting me properly....still too tight to wear in public...but I'm talking about pants for work.
OK, Jess is waiting for me in Boston and it's 8:15 p.m. I still have to plan out all my meals for tomorrow! I am so addicted to SparkPeople!!!!!!!!!!
Friday, April 27, 2007
*Strength train as close to every other day as possible
*Alternate HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and SSHI (Steady Strength High Intensity) daily, but replace ABOUT 1-2 times per week with easy cardio.
*Warm up and cool down 5 minutes each for each HIIT/SSHI session. The session itself must be at least 20 minutes, not including warmup/cooldown.
*Stretch after each workout.
*Total workout time should be as close to 60-90 minutes per day as possible. This includes cardio, strength training, warm-up, cool-down, and stretching. If time needs to be increased I can always switch over to easy cardio after a HIIT or SSHI session.
HIIT: Alternate 1 minute work intervals (increase duration over time) with 4 minute recovery periods. Work intervals = heart rate reaches 168-191. Recovery = heart rate reaches 131-146.
SSHI: Keep heart rate at 146-168 (the higher within this range the better).
Easy cardio: Can read a magazine, be less careful about monitoring heart rate, time can be short or long, whatever!
Friday, April 27, 2007
I just read a bunch of articles on SparkPeople and the Weight Watchers website about heart rate. Using the Karvonen Formula (more accurate than the standard 220-age), plus Weight Watchers' definitions of intensity levels (for calculating activity points), here's what I got:
Low intensity: 100-122 Beats Per Minute (40%-54%)
Moderate: 123-145 BPM (55%-69%)
High: 146-168 BPM (70%+, but I am capping at 85% due to another article)
Anything under 99 really can't count toward APs, and anything above 168 is anaerobic (which will be useful for HIIT, see below). I need to memorize these numbers. I will also need to recalculate if my resting heart rate changes (I used 40 BPM as my RHR) and when I turn 30.
The formula, by the way, was Maximum Heart Rate (220-age=191) - RHR (40) = 151. 151 x (intensity as a decimal) + RHR (40).
In other words, to calculate 70% intensity, the formula would be (151 x 0.7) + 40 = 145.7.
Here are some other numbers from various articles:
Beginner/low 50% - 60%
Average 60% - 70%
High 75% - 85%
Another article (on SP) said moderate is 40%-60% and vigorous is above 60%, and yet another said that aerobic activity starts at 60%+, but I have to go with WW's percentages to calculate WW's activity points!
The standard formula gives me all lower numbers than the Karvonen formula. Here are my Karvonen numbers:
40% = 100.4
50% = 115.5
60% = 130.6
70% = 145.7
75% = 153.25
80% = 160.8
85% = 168.35
My program will include 2 days a week of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) - see my favorites for the link. I think the elliptical would be the most reasonable type of cardio for this, but we'll see.
1. Always start with a 5-minute warmup. Bring heart rate to 131-146.
2. Work Interval (Maximum intensity). Push as hard as I possibly can. Start with 1 minute and every 3 weeks add 30 seconds to a maximum of 5 minutes. I can alter the time/rate of increase if I need to. Basically push until there is a serious burn and you can't push to the max anymore. Elite athletes go 3-5 minutes.
3. Recovery. My heart rate should return to 131-146 within 4 minutes. If it doesn't, I should either reduce the work interval or increase the recovery period (time-wise, not intensity).
4. Repeat. The article I read has a schedule of the number of times to repeat (2 first week, 3 second week, 4 third week, back to 2 4th week, 3 5th week, 4 6th week, 3 7th week, 4 8th week, with recommendation to increase beyond), but I think I'll just go with a) how much time I have and b) what I can handle. Minimum 20 minutes per session, max may depend on mileage - if I'm training for a 10K I must keep my mileage in mind!!!
5. 5-minute cooldown - bring heart rate back to 131-146.
The article recommends doing HIIT twice a week plus 1-2 steady state sessions. However that would add up to only 3-4 cardio sessions per week and I want to do cardio every day, though it doesn't always have to be high intensity. So, I will do HIIT twice a week, steady-state with a heart rate of 146-168 twice a week, and free choice three times per week.
HIIT: Twice a week. (Elliptical?)
*5 minute warmup: heart rate should reach 131-146
*1+ minute work interval (max. effort, heart rate should go over 168!)
*4 minute recovery
*repeat. Reach 20-60+ minutes of work intervals/recovery periods.
*5 minute cooldown: heart rate should reach 131-146 (or lower).
Steady-state: Twice a week. (Outdoor running?)
*5 minute warm-up to ge heart rate up to 131-146.
*20-60+ minutes with heart rate at 146-168 (closer to top, the more I will improve)
*5 minute cool-down: heart rate should reach 131-146 (or lower).
Free choice: Three times a week.
*At least one free choice should be either HIIT or high-intensity steady-state for at least 20 minutes (plus warm-up/cooldown).
*At least one free choice should be something lighter - low or moderate intensity AND/OR shorter duration.
Remember FITT - Frequency (3-6 times per week), Intensity, Time, and Type
Also keep in mind things I already was trying to incorporate into my program:
*Vary types of cardio
*Remember 60-90 minute per day guideline, but as far as I know that includes strength training and stretching.
*Strength train as close to every other day as possible.
*Stretch after cardio and maybe even after the warmup?
*No magazines for HIIT and steady-state high intensity. Focus on my workout and heart rate. If I want to, I can switch over to lighter intensity after 20 minutes and read then. Do the tough stuff first, though!!
*On strength days, do cardio first. It's OK to keep cardio shorter on strength days, because my strength workouts take an hour!!
*Probably best to avoid doing HIIT two days in a row. Maybe I should just alternate...HIIT, SSHI, FC, and back to the beginning. In fact, yes, that's what I will do. However, if life intervenes and I end up off schedule, that's OK, just be sure to go back to the schedule the next day. I'm thinking of something like a day scheduled for HIIT ending up being a day I go for a long bike ride instead. That's how I currently treat my strength workouts. It works better for me than scheduling something for certain days of the week.
OK, so change of plan from what I said earlier. Here's the new plan:
*Continue to strength train as close to every other day as possible.
*For cardio I THINK I want to alternate days of HIIT, SSHI, and FC. Although I'm thinking of changing that YET again. I think I would confuse myself with that schedule. Instead, I will think of it as alternating HIIT and SSHI, BUT when I need to I can take it easy 1-2 days per week (never in a row).
Here's a sample week (just to see if this works):
Monday: HIIT + strength training
Wednesday: Easy cardio + strength training
Friday: Easy cardio + strength training
Saturday: SSHI (extended)
Sunday: HIIT + strength training
I like this - this works! I will just need to remember whether the previous day was a strength training day or not (if it wasn't yesterday, it is today, and vice versa) and whether yesterday was HIIT or SSHI. Today do whatever I didn't do yesterday. I will also need to keep track of how many "easy cardio" days I've had so that I don't do more than 2 per week, but now that I write this I'm wondering if I really need to be that strict. We'll see how it goes. I don't want to take it too far in either direction - either ending up doing too much or too little. Just like I don't go crazy with a strength training schedule, I don't think I need to go crazy with a HIIT/SSHI schedule, either.
What counts as easy cardio? Anything, I guess. I was going to write a list, but I don't want to drive myself nuts. On easy cardio days I shouldn't worry about heart rate, though I will need to calculate APs so I guess I need a general idea. Memorize the numbers: 100-122 (low), 123-145 (moderate), 146-168 (high). It's a really good idea to teach myself to recognize how I feel at each level, so I can estimate without having to check my heart rate all the time.
I'm going to sum this all up in a different entry. This is getting too long!
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