Thursday, November 26, 2009
While I am on a continuing journey to better health, I reflect on this day that Thanksgiving is about sharing with friends and family.
On this day,
- I shall relax and enjoy my four day weekend. Yay!
- I shall cherish that sharing food is considered a great honor.
- I shall not insult my hosts by complaining or mentioning the word 'diet' or 'calories'
- I shall not overindulge. Moderation is a lifetime commitment. No stuffing myself until I burst.
- I shall not under indulge. Moderation is a lifetime commitment. I can enjoy a bountiful harvest that Thanksgiving is meant to represent.
Enjoy your holiday! Happy Thanksgiving!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Last week, I seemed to be at a plateau. My weight stabilized. My GoWear Fit showed that I was burning more calories than I was consuming. However, no inches lost, and no change in the scale either up or down.
I ate a couple of large meals on Friday and Saturday. I increased my exercise time from 30 minutes to 45 minutes. I ate about 1800 calories. My GWF shows I burned about an equal amount of calories. My scale dropped by half a pound. I also noticed a few new battle scars to prove there was a change - the dreaded stretch mark on my thighs. Maybe there is something to this calorie cycling thing. The scientist in me knows that this isn't enough data to be conclusive, but it is a promising observation.
I thought I had blown it this week with all the Thanksgiving potlucks at work and with friends, but there's been no change. I figure I've been eating at least 1800-2000 calories, and burning about 1800. Obviously, this looks like I'm using as many calories as I eat, thus my weight is stable. That's the best that I hope for this week with the big day tomorrow. I hope I can keep the holding pattern.
Yesterday's work potluck was a practice session in prep for the real dinner tomorrow. I used my plate portioning strategy to great success. On my plate: 1/4 turkey with no skin, 1/4 stuffing and mashed potatoes, and the rest salad and other vegetables. I had a small salad plate that I put a small slice of pumpkin cake, pumpkin pie, and a brownie. This sounds like a lot, but not as big as you think. Believe me, the table was FULL of desserts, so I did really well by picking only 3. I ate about half of each. I don't feel too guilty about not cleaning off a plate of dessert. Dessert is 'extra', not essential food to live. Throwing away veggies and meat is anathema to me. Sugary baked goods? Not so much.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I know, I know. It threatens to set unrealistic expectations. It's basically a game show. But I still kind of like it.
I haven't seen the show in the past couple of weeks. Tonight I caught the tail end of the weigh in. They looked amazing! Very striking compared to the beginning of the season.
I wish I could train for hours and hours all day so I could transform my body as rapidly as they do. Alas, I'll have to make do with 45 minutes 3-4 days a week with long expeditions on the weekend. Despite the grueling work I know they have to do to achieve this, I still find the show inspiring as a testament that no matter how bad you think things are, there is a path out. And truly, most of these people are so bad off, that they need 2 personal trainers kicking their asses.
When I first started changing my life, I found the Biggest Loser to be a great motivator for me. These people were starting off in far, far worse situation than I was in. Despite the fact they had 2 personal trainers and a 'job' to do nothing but work out and eat healthy, if they were able to do it, what was my excuse? I'm young, and I don't have any medical conditions.
I learned by watching these people struggle who hated every minute on the treadmill that it was all in your head. If you say you can't do it, you're right. You can't. You'll never get off the couch and onto the treadmill. It'll sit in the corner dusty, rusty and unused. Changing your life is hard. Sitting on the couch until your insides completely rot and atrophy is easy.
Even while they hated the exercise, I saw that they mostly hated themselves. It's in your head. You can never escape your mind.
As they saw success, they began to think, "maybe I can do this". By mid season, they loved the exercise. I know that when I began to get healthy, I wanted to run, not walk, for no other reason than I could. The further I rode my bike, the farther I wanted to ride. I was escaping the prison of my mind and body. When I was overweight, I wanted to run, and my body betrayed me. Overweight, I was a prisoner. Healthy, I am free. If I had wings, I would want fly around the world until I exhausted.
I don't particularly enjoy the 'drama' of the show. I don't like the eliminations. I like the competition, but I don't like the cutthroat game playing. I love the cooperative events and the look of elation on their faces as they overcome obstacles, escaping the confines of "I can't do it and I'm worthless" in their minds. I still enjoy watching the show, and rooting for each and every one of them to succeed.
Success, in the end, is in your head. You need to win the game in your head before you can ever drive your body over the finish line.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
I bought a GoWear Fit (now renamed Bodymedia Fit) about a month ago because I heard it can track your calories burned with about 90% accuracy. I've always been curious about how much my body really burns during exercise. I'm a bit of math nerd, so I've done tons of calculations on my BMR and activities, but how accurate are they, really? When I heard the GWF could record all that, I decided to give it a try. I thought it would be a great tool to help motivate me to lose these last stubborn 10 pounds.
It's been an eye opener. I was shocked to discover that I burn just as many calories sitting at my desk as I do sleeping! That's a motivator to get up and moving. No wonder sedentary desk workers are overweight. You might as well lay in bed all day.
Probably the most surprising thing I've learned from the GWF is my sleep patterns. One of the differences between the Bodybugg and the GWF is the GWF records when you are sleeping. I've heard the newer Bodybuggs do also, but I can't confirm.
I was really excited to see what it had to say. After my first recording, I was shocked to discover that I was not getting restful sleep. My sleep efficiency was about 76%. Ouch. No wonder I didn't feel rested in the mornings. Before talking to my doctor to see if I had a sleep disorder, I decided to try something really simple.
I sleep with two pillows that keep my head elevated. I typically sleep like this when I'm ill to keep my nose from running down the back of my throat at night. I slept with one pillow that kept my body flatter. My next reading showed my sleep efficiency at 90%. Wow! Simple change and no doctors! I never would have known there was a problem otherwise.
With the data I collected with the GWF, I discovered I burn about 60 calories per hour while at rest.
60 calories at rest x 24 hours = 1,440 calories burned per day at rest.
So I burn 1,440 calories just by being alive. I calculated my BMR at about 1400-1500 before getting the GWF. The data matches. Good to know.
This past week, I went out to dinner for an evening, and attended a birthday party potluck. Not great news for the diet. With my food tracking on Sparkpeople and the calorie burns from the GWF, I calculated my calorie deficit to be about 236 calories per day. At this rate, I should have lost 0.47 pounds this week.
How much did I actually lose? About 0.5 pounds.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Last Saturday, my boyfriend and I took advantage of the early ski slope opening in Washington. The past couple of years the skiing has been terrible. No snow. This year, lots of snow before Thanksgiving! Snoqualmie Summit opened their lifts at a rock bottom price of $25 per ticket. We're on it!
I lived 20 years in Colorado and never went skiing. As I mentioned before, I was born a po' child in the ghetto. I didn't have money to learn how to ski, nevermind the gear and the lift ticket prices. When I went to college, I was shocked that some of my classmates were varsity ski team members at their high schools. They had ski teams? Geez!
When I moved to Washington and paid off my debts, I finally had a few bucks to give it a run. My very first attempt at the slopes was snowboarding. It was awful. I could not get the hang of it. I really, really hated that my feet were planted on the board. I ended up with very cold, bruised buns and not much fun. I did not want to go snowboarding again. It was not for me. My dreams of twisting on a half pipe shattered.
I wasn't in a big hurry to go back to the ski slopes after that. When my boyfriend and I started dating, he encouraged me to give it a try. He bought my first ski lesson as a bribe.
Strangely enough, I took to skiing really fast. I'm guessing all the rollerblading I did was similar enough to skiing that my body took to it. I had no problem balancing or sliding around. By my second lesson, I was off the bunny and on the greens! I liked skiing! This was about Winter of 2007.
Anyway, back to the first skiing of Snoqualmie. We got our lift passes and stopped for breakfast first. I had Canadian bacon, hashbrowns, and eggs with toast. A nice hearty breakfast - no skimping for skiing. I needed lots of energy.
We went 3 runs on Little Thunder to get warmed up. It was great! The snow was fluffy and the sun shining. I bought a new action sport camera call GoPro Hero and took a few snaps.
Not the greatest pics, I'm still getting the hang of it.
We stopped at the cafe to warm up and get a coffee. After a brief rest, my boyfriend said, "Lets go up the middle lift and ski over so we don't have to walk."
Bad idea. It was a blue run near the top. I've done blue runs before successfully near the end of last season, but this was the first time I'd been on skis in a while. I wasn't quite ready to go full throttle yet. I still needed to get my 'ski legs'.
I got scared and too timid. I lost my nerve. I lost control and screamed like a little girl as I went off track and plummeted into a tree whose branches were sticking up out of the snow. If not for the tree, I wonder how far I would have slid. I was stuck. My boyfriend had to help dig me out of the snow. Oh dear.
After that, I completely lost my confidence. Whatever chance I had of getting down the blue run was completely blown. I couldn't ski down it. I couldn't walk down it (sunk into the snow if I tried to walk). I had to scoot down on my rear or commando crawl. Embarrassed, I made my way back to Little Thunder.
Oh man, I was completely exhausted! Crawling down a mountain is hard work! With what little was left of my dignity, I skiied down Little Thunder, feeling better on the gentle slope, and called it a day. I whined at my boyfriend that it was his fault. He laughed. He has no shame!
Next time he suggests the blue run, I'll tell him to meet me on the green. I'll try again, but maybe a little later in the season after I get used to being on skis again!
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