Saturday, July 23, 2011
This not drinking alcohol thing coupled with eating about 200 calories less than I had been plus my renewed weight training vigor is really paying off. I lost weight last week like I never have before.
As of this morning, I am OUT of 140sville!!!!! Woohooo!
And I hit the 20 pounds lost mark, double WoooHooo!
Also, looking in the mirror or just down at my own legs, I can no longer deny that this IS WORKING. Thanks Spark buddies for helping me stay in the game. I acknowledge that I would not have gotten here if it were not for y'all. There's my fat, sitting in a cupboard somewhere.
And now a report from the alcohol-free zone:
My husband and I are drinkers. Not sloppy, loud, losing our teeth kind of drinkers but we do enjoy the cocktails and so enjoy them we did. I had been very proud to find a drink that was just 110 calories (dark rum, diet ginger beer and lime, it's called Dark & Stormy, and is super yummy at the end of a long summer day) and was really, really proud of myself that we seemed satisfied with just one such drink each day. But on the weekends, watch out because it was time to reward ourselves for something- maybe for the work week? Maybe it was just another bad habit?
We would go to dinner and have a bottle of wine. And then we'd go somewhere for desert and have more wine. Sometimes we'd start these evenings with happy hour. Not every weekend but often enough that it bothered me. So, drinking Dark & Stormies during the week, wine on the weekend. I had cut way back due to Sparking but still, too much alcohol! My husband is pretty wise and saw that unless we just quit cold turkey we'd always think of ways to justify so much drinking. (You should have heard some of the stuff we came up with.) So starting the Summer 5% Challenge turned out to be the perfect opportunity for this major shift in our lifestyle. This is our first alcohol-free weekend ever. Last night we went out for dinner. We put the alcohol menu on the extra chair and proceeded to order healthy food and no drinks. We enjoyed dinner thoroughly. The bill was about half what it usually is. Then, we walked around our town, listened to two different live bands outdoors and had a marvelous time. And rode our bikes back home. I have never enjoyed a bike ride so much! I was thinking about how good it felt to be feeling so good, if you know what I mean. We are getting healthier every single day. We aren't afraid of making big changes that we know will support our goals. The temperature was perfect. And I noticed.
I was leery about hopping on the scale this morning because of having eaten out last night but VIOLA! There it was- 20 pounds down. I am getting a new charm for my Spark bracelet. A pear if I can find one because I am pear shaped and I read yesterday that when you lose weight, you can't really change your basic shape, just your size. I am comically pear shaped and reading that kind of took the wind out my sails until hubby said, "That's the shape I like!" So, okay, I will be a small pear.
Friday, July 22, 2011
So you all might know my weight got kind of stuck and I whined a lot about it and poor me - the math just doesn't work. Well, me and hubby started the Summer 5% Challenge last Saturday and we were talking about how serious we both were about kicking it up a notch (me, really, not him) and how we'd be so glad to be rid of this excess weight we both have and how 56 days is really not that long to buckle down and stick with it when he, bless him, says, "We should give up alcohol."
Now, I am a good German girl who likes her beer and her wine and even her occasional cocktail and lately we'd been fascinated with a little cocktail made with rum and ginger beer and lime. So refreshing in the early summer evening. And we are also famous for our dinners out, exercises in glutteny and debauchery every time with alcohol playing a huge role. Heck, we even toured wine country in CA for our honeymoon. Get the picture? So for him to suggest that took guts. For me to agree also took guts.
So far (almost seven days) we've done just fine without the spirits. Attitudes are great, we've been laughing a lot and enjoying time together and I am not in a the foul mood I thought would descend.
I also did lower my calorie range after being convinced that 1500-1800 a day was just too high. I am now doing 1250-1400. Visiting the farmer's market and cutting out alcohol helped with this.
AND.....I've lost 5.8 pounds!!! Since last Friday! That's like being a really big person on a new diet. My legs look great again (always one of my best assets, lately looking like posts) and my tummy is not sticking out quite as far. This is good and I am glad for it.
The people in the 5% challenge will probably think I lied about my starting weight but no, I was at 145 for over a week. My goal is to lose 7 pounds and heck, I did most of that already. Will probably change that goal.
Am off to meet REYVE01 (think that's right) for a hike in Boulder. Woohoo!
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Guess I ended up being a "Starfish" and not a Teddy Bear, but I figure maybe it will be fun to compete against some of my Spark Friends!
Hubby's doing it too and we are on the same team, which, if you think about it, is probably very wise. No need to sabotage his food or flatten his bike tires! LOL, I kid.
Anyway, my goal is to lose 7 pounds during the 8 week challenge so that's almost a pound a week and sounds impossible to me but I am armed with some new information. I made myself this chart that shows my daily weight and calorie intake. I can see from this chart (and yes, I don't doubt there's something I could have used in Spark but I like getting out the graph paper and ruler and having something taped to my bathroom wall) that my weight has basically stayed at 144 for the last three weeks. There was a one day dip down to 143 and a few upticks in there but basically it's a pretty flat line at 144. My conclusion from this is that my calorie intake and exercise burn must be relatively equal and this is what maintenance phase must feel like EXCEPT(!) I am not ready to be maintaining yet, I still need to lose at least 10 pounds.
Now those of you who embrace mathematical relationships (THETURTLEBEAR comes instantly to mind) understand that I need to reduce the calorie intake, up the exercise burn or both to get myself back on track with losing more fat. (I am also building muscle.) I am already burning about 600 calories a day with exercise and doing so takes me about an hour and a half a day. Big time investment, especially considering that I also lift weights for 35-40 minutes three times a week. That means I already exercise about 11 hours a week. Seriously, I just don't see myself doing more there. Are any of you doing more than that?
So that leaves, sniff sniff, eating less food. Or actually, less calories. I had been aiming for between 1500 and 1600 a day with a day of 1700-1800 every three days and then of course I totally cheat at least one day a week. Am too lazy to do this math but I bet my daily average intake is just over 1700 cals a day. To my credit, that is within the range Spark gave me based on my original goal of losing 26 pounds in 6 months and the fact that I burn 3600 a week with cardio. In fact, I had to LIE about how many calories I burn a week to get my Spark range DOWN to 1500-1800. Am thinking their calorie ranges are a bit off (that's me being nice!). The question is how far off? The better question was, how many calories should I really be eating???
Today I updated my goals and weight tracker to reflect just the next eight weeks, for the 5% challenge and stated I wanted to lose 7 pounds in eight weeks and guess what? Now, magically, my calorie range is MUCH lower (although I didn't correct my weekly calorie burn yet). In fact, I am not sure I can eat only 1240 calories a day and still have the energy to do those 11 hours! I was real comfortable at 1500, and lately, I've been trying to hit 1400 and that's worked out so far. So now, another, bigger step down. Funny how each little calorie becomes that much more valuable when you have fewer to work with. And there's such a huge difference between 1800 and 1200! Like, I am Jeckyl or I am Hyde!
I am determined to succeed at this challenge. And now I feel like I really understand what I've got to do for the next eight weeks to be successful. I've got hubby's participation and we've got a plan.
Good luck to all my Spark buddies who are also doing the challenge!
And if you believed the Spark thing today about low-cal ice cream, here's another idea for you!
Sunday, July 10, 2011
I've had a really fun weekend still getting used to having my hubby around again. I like him here, that's for sure. Yesterday, we drove an hour and a half up Poudre Canyon to do this hike we've been wanting to do but when we got there and I went to put on my boots, DUH! I had forgotten to grab my arch support inserts and without those this girl will not hike. It means pain, pain and more pain and then even more pain that night and the next day sooooo... We drove around instead. Went up some back roads and scouted out camping spots and saw some beautiful scenery and some pronghorn and an elk. Drove up a weird lonely mountain just over the Wyoming border that had an observatory at the top and it was so deserted up there and the view was so breath-taking that we parked our new Forester on a jeep side road and christened it.
The view from the mountain in question-
Today, after making darn sure I had those inserts, we drove up to the Wild Basin area of Rocky Mountain National Park and hiked up to Ouzel Falls. TONS of water in the stream! It was crazy. At one point it was flooding the trail and we had to wade through it over rocks and logs and it was cold. Saw some kind of pheasant and her babies crossing the trail and a little chipmuck type thing but no elk or deer. We took the long way back and were rewarded with spectacular views. Lots of flowers, the temp was perfect and we had a nice picnic lunch by the falls. He wore his new HRM and it said he burned over 2400 calories! Wow. I bet I burned 1500 at most. Think we went about 8 miles and climbed about 1000 feet.
the trail goes through some aspen
These are called the Calypso Cascades
Here's me in front of Ouzel Falls, see them way back there?
He's liking the sandwiches I made
I love seeing columbines in the wild
Tuesday, July 05, 2011
Yay! I've stuck with this for six months. When I joined, Spark told me I could get down to 133 in six months (their goal, not mine). I haven't done that, not even close. And why not? Who knows? Really. Weight loss is not an exact science and the numbers people do bandy about don't seem to apply to me. I have tracked expending 3500 more calories than I take in time and time again with no loss of weight. I've seen other people talk about the 90% rule and know darn well that does not apply to me. I have to both eat right and exercise like a fiend to lose weight and I have to do that every single day. Lots of days I can do that, I enjoy working out and the eating at the low end of my calorie range isn't a big deal but once a week or every 10 days or so, I can't do it. Something comes up or gets in my way and I end up with too many calories for the day or I miss a workout. And that one day seems to undo all of the good ones. So, I am stuck. I have not lost any new weight since April.
But, I have lost 16 pounds and that's great. I have learned to run and can do a 5K without stopping, yippee. The strength training has made me stronger and leaner, love that. I have made some awesome new friends. I will keep tracking what I eat and my exercise because I like knowing that I am doing what's good for my body. I will keep pushing and taking it 'up a notch' to improve my body because I do like the challenge and discovering what I can do and I love how I feel after a good workout. But I really don't expect to lose many more pounds even though a quick check in the mirror shows them available. I'd have to be TOO regimented, I'd have to never have a "bad" day, I'd have to work out even more than I already do. I'd have to be "perfect".
I've had my Cheerios with blueberries and 1% milk and am heading out for a bike ride that should burn over 500 calories. And I'll be happy doing it. To me, that's Sparking!
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