Tuesday, October 21, 2008
So I decided to try wearing my heart rate monitor for 24 hours to see how many calories it'd tell me I burned in one day. I started it at 9:30 last night. Then Jess convinced me to do our eight-minute ab routine together (which I did even though I was exhausted and had already done abs in two of my three classes), and then we went to bed.
This morning I weighed 139.2. At 6:30 a.m.! Forget this being my lowest weight on a work day...this was my lowest weight yet, PERIOD!! Yay!!
I felt a bit tired all day today...but nothing horrible. I planned out a 4.5 mile loop to jog after school (in the town where I work for variety), but ended up in a meeting that went so late that it was starting to get dark by the time I could leave. So instead I did an hour on the elliptical at the gym. It was a good strong workout even though I was tired.
So...the results of my HRM-wearing experiment... it's telling me I burned 2,869 calories today! BEFORE I went to the gym I was on pace to burn about 1,900 or so, but then I burned about 900 on the elliptical. My HRM and the elliptical actually gave me very similar numbers. Interesting!
Just to compare/contrast, I googled "BMR," entered my information, and got 1,429 for my BMR, the number of calories my body supposedly burns each day just to keep me alive, excluding all physical activity. Then I did the multiplication for calorie needs (for weight maintanence) for sedentary (1,714), light exercise (1,965), moderate exercise (2,215), hard exercise (2,465), and very hard exercise (2,715). My HRM result of 2,869 was above all of those. Hmm.
This website also had a few suggestions about reducing calorie intake for weight loss:
*Reduce by 500 per day for a 1-pound loss per week, 1,000 per day for a 2-pound loss per week. Do not reduce more than 1,000 calories per day. For the number my HRM gave me, a 1,000-calorie deficit would put me at 1,869 and a 500-calorie deficit would put me at 2,369. This is interesting because, for the past two months, I actually HAVE been losing about a pound per week eating in that range. Hmmmmm!
*Alternatively, try reducing by just 15 to 20 percent "to start," and then decide whether to reduce more. That would give me a range of 2,295-2,439.
A few thoughts:
*I'm a bit hungry eating just over 2,000 calories today. No wonder! I apparently have an 800+ calorie deficit going. But I'm not going to have any more to eat...it's late and I'm tired. But I think I'll be really tempted to eat more in the future.....
*I'd like to try this experiment again and see if I get similar results.
*Knowing how many calories I burn per day would definitely be SO advantageous to me. I could use this information to eat as much as possible while still losing weight (or maintaining, later on).
*The number-obsessed side of me is thinking I could do this every day... but then there's the side of me that doesn't think I should get any more obsessed than I already am. Maybe I could do it long enough just to get a range and patterns for different levels of exercise, and then just use that info. Hopefully pretty soon I'd learn to just recognize how the different deficit amounts FEEL and use that to guide my actions. I actually think that I do so much better with real solid information.
Last night I read the SP article called "4 signs you're obsessed with the scale."
I laughed, thinking that all four signs would be totally me. Well, I was pleasantly surprised. None of the signs they talked about brought up anything negative for me.
1. "You constantly worry about weighing in."
Me? Nope! I LOVE weighing in, and don't worry about it. More often, I eagerly anticipate it!
2. "You weigh in more than once per day."
Their reasoning for this being a problem is that they state that seeing the natural ups and downs over the course of the day would be discouraging. However, for me it's absolutely NOT discouraging - it's educational! I've learned about patterns in my weight over the course of the day, which actually helps me be LESS discouraged! For example, I just about always weigh more on Mondays than on Sundays just because of the time of day I weigh myself. I expect it, so it never bothers me.
3. "You can recite your weight to the nearest fraction at all times."
I like numbers. I teach, among other subjects, MATH. And SparkPeople itself has another article about using numbers to motivate you! Don't contradict yourself, SparkPeople!
4. "The scale determines how you feel about yourself for the day."
I admitted in my blog on Sunday that I felt ON TOP OF THE WORLD because of a good weigh-in that day. But I weighed two pounds more on Monday and had a fantastic day then, too.
The article goes on to recommend weighing in less often or stopping altogether. But why would I ever do that? Numbers HELP! My weight graph is a super tool for me for seeing whether my program is still working. I've already discussed how knowing how many calories I'm really burning in a day will be incredibly useful for making sound diet decisions. And honestly, I feel that the number one reason why SparkPeople has worked for me in losing weight when all previous programs did not is because of the nutrition tracker. Knowing how many calories I've eaten is CRUCIAL for my success. Knowledge is power!
So, I guess to sum it all up, I guess I just have to say I numbers!!!
Wow, am I a nerd or what?!? HA!
Monday, October 20, 2008
141.0 today - this is the lowest it's ever been on a work day (my weight loss would seem more consistent if I weighed myself at the same time every day, but I like to weigh myself really late in the morning when I can so I can see a fun low number.)
I felt surprisingly great all day considering it was a Monday and I'd only gotten maybe 6.5 hours of sleep. My Greek casserole was only so-so...I'd definitely leave the tomato sauce out next time - it didn't go with the other flavors - and I'd add more spices to add interest. I spread my food out pretty well though I wasn't quite able to keep it under 2,000 - with my pre-gym decaf coffee with soy milk I went JUST over. But I think that's OK because I worked long and hard at the gym!
First I went to Body Pump at 4:30, where I'm really trying to increase the weight on my bar whenever I can. It occurred to me to try my HRM calorie counter again, but only after Body Pump ended. I used it during Step Combo and then Zumba. In all I was at the gym for three hours, and only started to feel tired at the very end. I had fantastic energy through most of it and I felt fit and wonderful!!
Anyway, for the two hours of Step Combo and Zumba my HRM tells me I burned 723 calories. Obviously my heart rate was much lower, most of the time, than it was when I was running yesterday. My HRM doesn't give an average heart rate over time though. I'd like to try wearing my HRM for a full 24-hour period and see what the total calorie burn is. Has anyone else tried this?
Sunday, October 19, 2008
I did a route today that is very similar to one I've used in the past, only a little longer (was having too much fun to stop!) and backwards to add variety. :) There are good sidewalks the whole route and plenty of activity, though I didn't see ANY other runners. I tied my sweatshirt around my waist after about 15 minutes, and then had my sleeves rolled up for most of the rest. I saw some gorgeous foliage and really enjoyed myself. I wasn't worrying about speed but I did try my heart rate monitor calorie counter for the first time and WOW, it told me I burned 1,255 calories in 80 minutes?!?!!!!!! Who knows if that's true, but if it is, no wonder I get to eat so much and still lose weight, huh?
Here's what mapmyrun has to say:
(Running portion only):
Time taken: 1:11
Total: 6.45 miles
Avg. pace: 11:00 min/mi
My BMI: 22 (woohoo, this is down from 23 the last several times I mapped my runs)
Avg. speed: 5.45 mph (toldja I didn't care about speed. My time taken includes stops for traffic lights, taking off my sweatshirt, etc., and I just wanted to have fun!)
(Run & walking cooldown):
Time taken: 1:20:08
Total: 6.95 miles
Avg. Pace: 11:31 min/mi
Avg. Speed: 5.21 mph
Just like I suspected, mapmyrun's calorie count is FAR lower than my heart rate monitor. But almost 600 calories lower?? I wonder which one is more accurate. My HRM doesn't take my BMI into account, and mapmyrun obviously doesn't take my heart rate into account. My guess is that mapmyrun doesn't realize how high my heart rate was while I was working - mostly in the 160s. I wonder if the true calorie count is somewhere in the middle of the two. Good thing I don't try to calculate my calorie deficit every day...with the numbers off that much, it'd be almost a useless exercise!
PS - Almost 7 miles...WOW! :)
Sunday, October 19, 2008
So two months ago today I started my new program (what I now think of as the best thing I EVER did for my weight management). August 19 was the first time I saw my weight dip below 150 and I decided to try eating in my maintanence calorie range for one month and see what happens. I bumped up my calories to around 1,900-2,200 per day and was amazed and thrilled that one month later, on September 19, I weighed 145!!! So I went for it another month and sure enough, yet another month later, I am at 140. Actually, today I hit a new low, 139.4!! So now it's time to see if I can go three for three. Can I be at 135 by November 19?!?!?
Like I was trying to say in my last entry, I don't feel like I HAVE to lose any more weight, but it is just amazing how great it makes me feel when I do. I have just been this bubbly ball of smiles today. Granted, yesterday was pretty awesome, so that could have something to do with it. First I pried myself out of bed just in time to make it to the gym ten minutes late for Zumba. My weight yesterday was 141.2, so I was relieved to finally see it start to go back down. I have unbelievably cute new workout clothes and just felt so amazing in Zumba, Body Pump, and Body Combat. Then we went grocery shopping - this week's menu will consist of a "Greek casserole" recipe I made up (whole-wheat couscous, spinach, fat-free feta cheese, fat-free Greek yogurt, fat-free sour cream, black olives, onions, ground chicken breast, garlic, and olive oil...maybe eggs and a little salt-free tomato sauce too...and spices) and salmon salads with this mostly natural sesame ginger salad dressing I found, pre-boxed organic greens, tomato, baby carrots, and cucumber. Also still going with the "pumpkin pie" smoothies for breakfast and macoons - the best apples right now, a variety of raw nuts (pecans right now!), yogurt, and all-natural whole grain cereals for snacks. I am thinking about trying to aim more for the 1,900-2,000 calorie range next week instead of the 2,200+ calorie range I've been eating in this week (eep). That's fair. I won't be starving myself, but I'll be restricting enough so that I can keep on losing. Imagine...pretty soon I'll be CONSISTENTLY in the 130s, that is just amazing!!
I just feel so much more confident and cute now that I am thin. We went out to watch the Red Sox do that amazing thing they do (WIN!!) and I was all dressed up. It definitely wasn't an appropriate outfit for an almost-31-year-old teacher (ugh!) but I just felt this NEED to wear something I could only get away with now that I'm thinner. I was wearing my white Red Sox hat with loose pigtails, Red Sox earrings, a long, deep V-neck, cap sleeve, tightish, thin material red T-shirt with a tight purple tank underneath, my huge red belt, a multi-colored necklace, a jean miniskirt that probably shouldn't be worn by anyone more than half my age, black tights, and knee-high boots. And I was wearing my supercute new long red coat over that, though apparently it's too early in the season for coat check to be open at bars so I had to deal with trying to keep people from spilling beer on my coat all night and one guy tried to flirt with me by pretending like he was going to steal it, until he realized I had a boyfriend and said boyfriend was two stools down! And another guy told me he'd been trying to work up the courage to talk to me for a while. I must sound really obnoxious right now, but it was such an ego boost to be hit on last night. When I was younger and single and went out more often I was sometimes as low as 150, sometimes as high as 180, so it never really felt quite like this!
So....this afternoon I'm going for an outdoor run but I'm not really sure where to go. I wonder how people who run outside a lot keep things interesting...there are only so many places you can run when you're starting at home and I'd get bored always doing the same routes over and over. I'm also not exactly sure how much to wear...it's only around 50 degrees and I don't want to be too cold when I start or too warm after I've gotten into it. I guess I'll end up wrapping an extra shirt around my waist or something.
Anyway, I guess I should apologize for babbling on and on with the shallow talk, but....I just feel like the poster child for losing weight and increasing confidence right now. Hehee. I hope everyone else's weekend is super!!!
Friday, October 17, 2008
First, the race photographers emailed me a few pictures today including the one above and another I put in my photo gallery. I emailed the pictures to my family and one of my brothers wrote back, "Wow, Soups, you're really an athlete!" (family nickname) and my other brother wrote "love the one of you with your arm up!" Really an athlete... wow, ME? Who woulda ever guessed..
I was still at 142.6 today and had been planning to write in my blog tonight about how I might need to cut back on calories a bit in order to get my weight moving down again. But then I went to Old Navy and tried on a bunch of tiny clothes and started to allow myself to think that maybe I might already be thin enough. I noticed that I have some loose skin under my upper arms, probably the result of having been overweight most of my life. If it wasn't there my arms would look pretty skinny now. I definitely have a little extra chub around my tummy, hips, thighs, and butt, but..... well, what woman doesn't? Is it really worth starving and being miserable to try to slim that stuff down? I don't know. I just don't know where to go with it at this point. I guess until I decide I will just keep on doing what I've been doing...
I have been eating at the TOP of my so-called maintanence range lately, around 2,100-2,200 calories most days this week, and around 2,600 calories per day last weekend. Today my whole workout was only 40 minutes (on the elliptical)...and I lost my energy after about the first 15 minutes or so, so most of the time I was only at a heart rate of about 120-140. I just was too tired or too hungry or something to push harder. (But I was in a brand-new really cute exercise top from Old Navy, heehee!)
So I've been extra hungry and extra UNenergized for working out this week. No wonder I've gained three pounds! Maybe it's all because I haven't been getting enough sleep?!? I hope tomorrow morning I get a really good long workout and that I don't feel the need to eat at the very top of my range. I should get to bed.
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