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Back to tracking...

Friday, June 15, 2012

So I've decided that my weight loss has slowed--because I slowed. I stopped tracking. I was working out, but I fudged a little on the diet. Oh it was okay to flub here... I'd be good the next day... until I wasn't. I still worked out like crazy so in my head I was okay. Then you look at the numbers. I was up a little on the scale. Frustrated. Annoyed. Why did I not burn a lot of calories this day? What did I do wrong?

So this week I made a point to start tracking again. To write down every bite--including splurges--on my tracker. So far, so good. I also wear a BodyMedia Fit Core Armband. It guestimates my calorie burn, steps, sleep, etc... I'm going to start posting pics of the weeks to give myself a better idea of what is going wrong. I consistently have been burning more than I eat, but the scale says otherwise. I'm going to trust Spark and their calorie counter and assume I do need to eat 1700 calories if I am going to burn 600 calories on most days... but grr... I am still annoyed at myself. Now that I'm single again, I've got plenty of time to obsess over my food (and not have "date nights" out at unhealthy restaurants) and have plenty of time to exercise. Oh and last week I found out legumes REEEEAALLY annoy my IBS -- so now I have another food to cross off my list. It was almost as bad as dairy -- which I've been cheating on... oh cheese--why do you have to taste so good!? So now, barely any dairy... no legumes... no kidney stone foods... no IBS irritating foods... reduced gluten... I'm left with protein, fruits, and veggies.

Lately I've been obsessed with frozen grapes. At 64 calories a cup -- they're healthy, and when frozen, you eat them a lot more slowly. If you have any sourish grapes--freezing makes them more palatable--and when I'm feeling like a frozen treat--I'm grabbing these instead of an ice cream bar. Plus they were $1.78 for 2# at Aldi's this week. I bought 5 boxes of them and threw 3 in the freezer and 2 in the fridge. Yum.

So here's my breakdown for my armband so far this week:






According to the days I tracked I had 1655 on 6/11, 1624 on 6/12, 2516 (mexican--oops) on 6/13, and 1703 on 6/14. So overall I will hopefully see a loss on the scale on Monday. *fingers crossed*

I have a work Pizza Meeting (no joke, that's what it's called) and then a pizza party for one of my friend's kids after work... so right now I'm working from home, I'll cook lunch right before I need to leave to make it to the meeting with a healthy 400 calorie option, and with my 200 calorie breakfast, I should be able to have pizza tonight, no problem. *seriously -- why are people throwing pizza at me?*

Let's see if this whole tracking thing will kick my weightloss back in gear.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKAHONEY4U 6/15/2012 11:34AM

    I love frozen grapes!

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TRAVELISMYGAME 6/15/2012 11:28AM

    Great idea Becky. Eat low a few days a week then eat high a few days!

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SHRINKING_SARA 6/15/2012 11:09AM

    I don't think the armband is very good at tracking sleep... last night I went to bed at 10:30 and got up at 7AM.... apparently I only "slept" like 5 hours -- but I think most of that is because I toss and turn in my sleep and don't stay still enough for the armband to register it as sleep.

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BECKY3126 6/15/2012 10:59AM

    The amount that you consume has to do with how much you are working out and burning. I know that everyone thinks the bigger the difference the better, and the more weight that you will lose, but from all the research I have done, if it is too big of a difference, your body will begin to retain body fat again because you are not fueling it properly for your level of activity.

I was consistently staying around 1200 or just under for about 2 months and was having trouble getting the scale to move. When I finally started eating the amount that Sp had laid out for me, I began to get results. So it may be different for everyone, but I would try staying on the low end of their ranges for a few weeks (and one day a week bumping it up to the high end) and see if anything happens. If not, you can always start eating less and lower your calories down to what you think will work. Good luck!

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TRAVELGRRL 6/15/2012 10:45AM

    It sounds like you are doing the right thing by going back to serious tracking. I wear a GoWearFit armband too and I love how it gives me that immediate feedback.

I'm MUCH older than you so need fewer calories, but I find I have to eat at the very lowest end of my calorie range in order to lose weight. Mine is 1200-1550 and I usually try to eat betwen 1150-1250. I work out a lot and my device usually shows a calorie deficit of about 1,000 calories a day yet I only lose an average of a pound a week!

So what do we do with all this feedback that may or may not be accurate? I think you need to take it with a grain of salt and adjust where you can. Try lowering your calories by a few hundred a day and see how you feel. OR, try burning more by fitting in an extra workout a week.

I notice you don't get much sleep -- is that because you take the armband off or you are just a poor sleeper? Mine bugs me at night so I switch it to my right arm and that helps.

I like your idea of posting your daily results, and I think I might do that! I track on Spark and then transfer the calories into the activity manager.

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TRAVELISMYGAME 6/15/2012 10:37AM

    I don't remember what goes into the calculation of how SP figures how many calories you need. I usually set mine myself. My "max" calories is 1500 right now. 1900 seems high to me, but I'm not sure what kind of a job you have. Do you sit at a desk? Or are you up moving around all day? The higher your calorie differential the better!

I LOVE frozen grapes! YUM!

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SUNRISE14 6/15/2012 10:33AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHRINKING_SARA 6/15/2012 10:27AM

    Does anyone else think Spark has my calories too high? And yes--my goal is current.

I just fudged around with it, and Spark lowered it to 1,560 - 1,910 day... still pretty high right?

Comment edited on: 6/15/2012 10:30:41 AM

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My scale is schitzo, and its starting to make me as well...

Monday, June 11, 2012

My scale is schitzo, and its starting to make me as well...

Last Monday I had a bit of a high. My morning scale reading of 180.8 made me do a -- wait, what?! -- moment. I double checked it. Felt awesome. Sparked the weight loss and felt amazeballs.

Cue 5 days later my Friday weight was 185.6. WTF? Okay I know I didn't magically gain 5# of food, fat, and fluid in five days. There's no way--but I still wanted to throw in the towel. I didn't but its ungodly frustrating! This Monday's weigh in was 183.8. Annoying. Its not 185.6, but I still feel like that 180.8 was what I'm fighting to get back to. Grr... stupid weight loss plateau. Everyone hits one, I know -- but its SOOO frustrating.

So instead of bitching I'm trying to remain positive. When I start beating myself up I just think about where I was last year. This time last year I was a 14/16 at Lane Bryant. This year I'm a solid 10 in most normal stores and an 8 at the Gap--I love the Gap for that reason ;-)

While I want to secretly find the demon that weighs himself on my scale with me on Monday, I know its partially eating and working out that's tricked my body into sticking close to the low 180s. If this is my new set-point, I'm okay. It's not horrible. I'm 5'10" so I'm just about to the "normal" BMI range. 173 is the upper end of "normal" according to Spark. I'd like to get to that. I'd LOVE to get to that. Just to prove to myself that I'm healthy.

Now here's the question. Do I need to get to that point? I have a few spiteful people around me subtly trying to sabotage me. Telling me I'm obviously done losing weight--there's nothing left for me to lose (etc)... here have a brownie. I just bought medium clothes at Banana Republic and the Gap. M as in medium. Not XL, not XXL, M. It was weird. I bought 2 size 10 dresses at Nordstrom Rack and a size 10 J. Crew pencil skirt ***I outlet mall shop like crazy, with coupons of course*** Now for my reality check. I still bought my swim suit from Torrid this year--a size 0 at Torrid, but still a
'plus' size store. So I guess I should figure out that sizes don't matter--its what fits that matters... but I just would like to be solidly a size 8 instead of a 10. The thought of having a one-number size would just be like a stamp of accomplishment... That and I would finally have lost 100#. I'm sooooo friggin' close--but lately my scale is just laughing at me. Like--hahah--yea right.

Now honestly I haven't been tracking. *smack* I know... I should track every bite, but I have been a little absent from Spark (hence no blog for 10 days). Work stuff came up, stressed to the max, stupid boy stress, trips home, more work stuff... So maybe I do need to track. I've been working out more. I routinely burn 600 calories on the treadmill 3 days a week at least + strength training. So there should be progress on the dang scale.

Now here's the thing that really threw me. The weekend before my 180.8 weigh in---I ate like crap. I ate a ton of mini-candy bars that theoretically I was going to use for the next week or two -- in two days. I went way over my calories, ate sugar like I was a hummingbird, and viola 2# weight loss? Then switch back to healthy stuff = 5# weight gain?!? That led to not the best mental situation when it came to dieting... I seriously considered starting a candy bar diet for a week to see if magically I would lose weight. It was tempting... I almost went to Sam's to stock up... but instead I ate fruit and veggies and chicken.... and my scale dipped slightly but not massively.

I think my body is just fighting any further change right now. I guess I'm in the plateau period where my body just needs to readjust. So the scale and I are not going to be friends. He's an officially frenemy right now.

So what to do? I'm going to start running. I signed up for the St. Louis Color run and I've gotten some friends to sign up with me! I know I'll see some of the other St. Louis Sparkers there in August and it should be a blast. I've gotta come up with some cute T-shirt ideas. I also saw some people wear white tutus over their running gear as well to get an awesome/fun costume/tie-dye tutu out of the run.

Boys are stupid. I'm honestly just going to assume I'm single until further notice. I did manage to run into two guys I sort of flirted with last year who weren't interested and now both have girlfriends... well I thought one of them did but he's just "dating" her and paying me more attention now that we're FB friends. The other one asked me what I had been doing -- aka -- noticing how awesome I look ;-) So that was a good ego boost and then having a friend with me to make fun of his gf was alway appreciated. God girls are so petty aren't we!?

So this week I'm not going to plan an elaborate murder for my scale... I'm just going to hate him in silence and keep working my butt off... even if it refuses to leave.

Aaaand I should start tracking. I should. I need to. I will track at least three days this week to start and then get back up to full time tracking.

Oh and no more shopping... after today. I need shoes for a friend's wedding in two weeks. Pictures to come of that event for sure. It might be a little touchy though. I haven't seen the bride in awhile, and apparently we're now near the same size... she gained, I lost... so hopefully no one compliments me in front of her...


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FINDING_MELISSA 6/12/2012 1:41PM

    Damn scales! Wouldn't it be nice if we could train them to only show us the numbers we'd like to see! Lol! I saw your back to tracking. I think that always helps!

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SKAHONEY4U 6/11/2012 4:09PM

    Keep in mind that what you eat/do doesn't immediately show up! It takes time for your body to metabolism and work through stuff. I have also had weeks where I overate (mmm indian food and cupcakes) and still lost weight. Whereas the next week I saw a lesser loss or nothing albeit I was in all my ranges. It is an average of over time that counts. Plus as Travelismygame said, we are women, and so our weight fluctuates more with the girl cycles. Whatever the case, keep up the great work and wait another week or two before you start worrying about having a plateau.

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TRAVELISMYGAME 6/11/2012 3:12PM

    Sorry to hear that your scale is giving you issues. I'm not sure what to tell you about the up and down thing...except that we are women and that's what happens to all of us. We can be down one week and up the next. It sounds like you are doing wonderful! Keep up the good work (not the candy bar diet) and you'll get to your goal, I promise! :)

I might sign up for the Color Run too!

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June Goals

Friday, June 01, 2012

Hello June! (Did May go by really fast for everyone else?!?)

May was a month of ups and downs. The scale mainly, but there were some emotional bits in there too. I started May at 183... gained two pounds somewhere in the middle... kept bouncing around... and then lost those same two pounds in the last week in May--well literally the last day in May since I started June at 183.0 officially.

So apparently I am maintaining my weight. Which isn't a bad thing, my slide into a downward spiral of eating for a few days and a little bit of depression only led to a 2# gain because I stopped it early and tried to recognize my emotional eating for what it was. I still had black moments though...

May had some good times--I worked out A LOT more than I have in previous months. I upped my speed and duration on the treadmill. I'm committed to start jogging a little bit at the beginning of each workout to try and build up my stamina. My heart rate wasn't getting up high enough anymore--I'd adjusted to what I considered to be a pretty brutal workout a few months ago.

I've officially decided God wanted me to be fat while I was in school -- guys are so distracting! Haha, I'm trying to balance date nights and the emotional crap that goes along with dating, with my healthy eating and workout regimen. I finally finished my 1st author paper. I finished it on time and was done with it Wednesday. Now it was supposed to be submitted on Wed, but my boss still hasn't read it. He told me his goal was to "get me his comments today." The extension was due TODAY!?! Ugh stress ball! I officially have the laziest freakin' boss ever! In academia! WTF? I seriously need to get out of here and into the real world... which would mean I need to graduate... which would mean I would need to publish papers... and then we circle back to the boss who won't read... and you see the stress ball...

So I officially am on a plan to write a paper a month for the next two months! (For all non grad-school people -- this is INSANE) I've got some help as there are multiple people writing papers right now in the lab. Once I'm done here I'll help Hui with her paper... and sort of start one of mine. So the June paper will be Hui's that I'm a co-author on. The July one will be one of mine. The August one will be another one of mine that I'm still waiting on some data to finish... and then we'll see how many months it takes to publish all of these papers.

And thankfully these papers are all part of my dissertation -- so that's getting me closer to finally graduating... I still need to write the literature review though... so sometime I need to sit down and really get on that. I'm training two new students in the lab. One is going to take over my project so I'm going to really focus on giving her all of my tips and tricks. The other is a rotating summer student that I'm going to help out with. I figure it's karma to train new people. My expectations for them are so low now that I think they won't be too stressful ;-) Oh summer students... such high expectations and low skills...

I just found out my boss thinks my review is boring and horrible. Well... I would have loved that comment three weeks ago with my drafts that he ignored...

So I'm off my train of thought -- work is creeping in...

So for June my goals are low -- I don't want to freak out and try and force myself to do crazy stuff.

So as far as weight loss goes: I'm aiming to lose 3 or 4 pounds.
January: -5#
February: -4#
March: -3#
April: -2#
May: -1#
June --better not be 0#!!!! If I lose 3 I'll be at 180... If I lose 4 I'll be in the 170s!

As far as water -- I'm aiming for 3L a day. I usually get this one no problem (I never do less than 2L), but 3L will be my goal to keep my system flushed.

As far as exercise goes, I will learn to jog and not hate it. I got up to about 5 minutes of jogging yesterday before I started power walking. I'm going to up it slowly, but by the end of the month I'd like to be jogging for 15 minutes. This is a low goal for many of you runners out there... but I HATE, HATE running and jogging. With a passion. So I've lost 90# without running a single mile. But as you can see... My body isn't responding to my workouts anymore, so I need to change it up.

I need to change my goal date here on Spark. I'm not going to make 176 by 6-10. I'm thinking about putting myself at 7-4, but I doubt I'll be able to make it by then either... maybe by my 1 year Sparkiversary I'll reach 176. Or who knows--maybe actually running will freak my body out enough to lose weight.

So that's it for June:
1) Lose 3 or 4#
2) Drink 3L a day
3) Jog for at least 15 minutes by the end of the month

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

UNIQUEBLUE 6/2/2012 6:36PM

    I am amazed at how much you are juggling right now, while still working on both your health-related goals and your dissertation. I am on the literature review right now and so know that you are not alone with that. Don't forget in the midst of all of that stress and activity to take some time to relax and rejuvenate so that you can avoid burning out!

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BECKY3126 6/1/2012 12:15PM

    I think those goals sound really realistic. And your boss sounds like a bit of a nightmare....I guess a lot of them are, though.

I think you are a great role model and inspiration for so many people. You have lost an astounding amount of weight and are juggling what sounds like a huge plate full of things all at the same time. Keep being awesome!!

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Super Stress (!!!) after a great weekend

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Quick update:

I have a scientific article due tomorrow to the editor... my boss still has not read the paper, is possibly still in Europe, may get to the US tonight or tomorrow, and needs to approve said paper.

So as a 5th year grad student I'm preparing the ENTIRE paper! All by myself with help from the other grad student. I'm basically a PI right now, WTF? I've sent a bunch of e-mails lately that haven't been answered... so I'm kind of freaking.

I knew these last two days were going to be rough, so I took the foresight to take the weekend off and step away from the paper. I needed some distance to let it seep out and let inspiration back in. And honest to God, its sorta boring. I tried my best, but there's only so much that you can do without going insane. And succumbing to the endless munchies that happen whenever I sit down and write...

Back in St. Louis (after a date night with the Doc) -- I got to see my parents new chihuahua puppy some more and play/babysit him. Then I went to a BBQ with close friends I never see--which was great. Sunday I accompanied my dad to church and got a lot of comments on how nice I was looking (in a size medium Mossino dress from Target -- a medium (?!) I have serious body dysmorphia -- I still don't understand how that happened -- clothes shopping is a trip now. I suck at it!

Then I met up with a friend for some Panera and more shopping! I had to get a swimsuit, a dress for a wedding, and some new clothes. Stuff just doesn't fit again. I'm liking the body hugging styles, so I had to revamp and with Memorial Day sales I couldn't resist. And shockingly they were both size 10 regular off the rack dresses. I can't wait to wear them and take pictures.

Luckily I found a slinky, tight, red dress to wear to the wedding (hopefully the bride won't care) and a super cute Marilyn Monroe-ish short white dress. SOOO CUTE~! I just need an excuse to wear it and somehow find a silver sequin bolero...

I had a b-day coupon to Torrid, and I was able to do a BOGO swimsuit. It's tight... I hate swimsuit shopping, but luckily I'm still a size zero at Torrid and they have these adorable retro swim suits right now.

Then I managed to score a ton of good deals at the Banana Republic Outlet and Gap. This will be the first summer I proudly wear shorts. At the beginning of last summer I was wearing a size 16 short from Lane Bryant. This summer I am wearing size 8 shorts from the Gap. Seriously -- what the heck happened? I must be doing something right. It's still weird to go shopping. Gap = size 8. I bought size 10 jeans at Banana, and a size 12 pencil skirt (so I could actually sit down!) -- and medium tops from Banana. I of course dragged 3 sizes of pants and medium and large options for everything to the fitting rooms to try them out. I must have looked like a crazy person, but who cares!

So my "short" blog has just run out of control. I allowed myself some caffeine with breakfast today since I knew it would help with the writing process. I just ate Chipotle for lunch, so I will be going over my calories for the day -- but at least I will be doing it with a ton of protein and veggies. I brought some more healthy options once the munchies kick into high gear this afternoon, so I hope I won't go over too far.

One perk of this weekend was given to me by my BodyMedia armband. Apparently walking around for 3.5 hours on Sunday shopping led me to my all time high of burning 3267 calories! That's crazy! I guess that means I just need to go shopping more often ;-)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALPINESALLIE 5/30/2012 5:16PM

    sounds like a day at banana republic and maurices is in your future! :-)

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CORINTHIARAY 5/29/2012 3:44PM

    WOOHOO! I love trying on new clothing and seeing the size go down ;) I can wait to see the pictures!

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New Puppy + Lunch with the 'rents

Thursday, May 24, 2012

My parents just left for their quick day trip to get a new puppy from a breeder in town. After much debate on the issue I think this little guy is going to be Walter:






We had a rushed, quick, unhealthy lunch. I honestly should have picked up food, I was just rushed yesterday. Oh well. I'm currently fighting the munchies that come along with writing on this paper that I still haven't finished. I thought another person was going to help more, but I didn't ask for help earlier, so... ugh... I just want to play with the puppy more! Too bad he now lives in St. Louis, 2 hours away...

Back to work.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOB240 5/24/2012 6:05PM

    cute.. but how many calories is the puppy?

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