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Another pound gone!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Woo hoo! I've lost another pound!

I was going to weigh in Saturday, but after more than 10 days away from the scale, I couldn't resist taking a peek. The weight I am at now represents the lowest weight I've been at in more than three years.

Last night, I reviewed my January-May SP calorie deficit reports. To my surprise, they revealed that my calorie deficit adds up to about 1.3 pounds a week when I believed it should've been at least 1.5. Here are the numbers:

My BMR is 1922. I average 1500 calories eaten a day. I burn an average of 1500 calories a week exercising, for a daily average of 214. It takes a 3500 calorie deficit to lose one pound.

214 + 1922 = 2,136 calories needed to maintain my current weight
2136-1500=636 average daily calorie deficit
636 x 7 days = 4452 total calorie deficit per week.
4452/3500=1.27 pounds a week.

Dang! That means I'm losing an average of 5 pounds a month, not the six I was hoping for. I restarted SP in January and today is the last day of May. Five months x 5 pounds a month is 25 pounds. I've lost 27.

What I've learned from the numbers crunching is that I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing. My food diary is reasonably accurate; I'm getting enough exercise and I've been consistent over five months. The only ingredient missing is PATIENCE.

My dietitian told me that to lose 2 lbs a week, I'd have to eat 1200 calories a day. That seems like so little food. Now that I've crunched the numbers, I realize she's right. I don't know if I can sustain eating 1200 calories a day. I will need to think about it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BARBAELLEN 5/31/2012 11:57AM

    My weakness (well, my BIGGEST weakness) is lack of patience. As the weight goes down, so do the calorie requirements. That means the weight comes off way more slowly. So -- for those people who think it's no big deal to lose small amounts of weight, let me tell you it's just as hard. AND it requires a huge amount of patience! With a BMR of 1200 and a minimum calorie recommendation of 1200 --- well, you can figure that out! Exercise has to become a part of your life - - forever!

Keep going! 5 pounds a month is awesome!

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TACONES 5/31/2012 11:14AM

    That's a great job of 27 pounds since January. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FLEURGARDEN 5/31/2012 10:22AM

    Congratulations on the weight loss! Woo Hoo!

I've been losing at an average one pound/week rate. While I'd like it to come off faster, I know that I personally cannot reduce my calories to the level that would make that possible. My focus is on changing my nutrition and exercise levels to what I can sustain over the long term. In the past I have restricted my calories more, but then felt too deprived, binged, and gave up. This time I'm being more reasonable and while it will take longer to reach my goal, I actually believe it is doable this time.

Keep up the great work!

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KELLY122581 5/31/2012 8:36AM

    You can do it! The trick is to use those 1200 calories to eat the most nutritious, filling, and low calorie things you can. Lots of plant-based protein sources, fruit and veggies, delicious whole grains and TONS of water. emoticon

I've been eating about 1250 calories a day (as per SP recomendations)... I've been tracking it here on the nutrition tracker. I can tell you that for the first couple days, I didn't feel like I was eating enough food, and was a little sluggish and definitely hungry feeling.... but my body is used to it now (took about 4 days to adjust), and I feel great! I can even do a good 60 minutes of exercize and feel energetic afterward. More than 60 minutes of hard work, though, i do feel like I need to eat more. The day that I did a 3 hour hard bike ride, I ate 1700 calories for instance.

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EMGERBER 5/31/2012 8:14AM

    Thank you for sharing. Congratulations on doing so well with moving towards your goals.

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Eight days without weighing in

Monday, May 28, 2012

Saturday is my regular weigh in day, but after the craziness that was my plateau, I swore off weighing in for two or three weeks. Truth be told, I was afraid that my weight might fluctuate again and I'd be back at my plateaued weight. Who needs that kind of stress on the way to better health?

I am still reflecting on the HBO Documentary on Obesity that I watched on youtube yesterday. In case you missed it, or don't have HBO, I provided a link to the youtube site in yesterday's blog.

There were lots of telling moments in the series, including one tearful woman who lamented that she couldn't find love because men can't get past her weight. Another man in his 70s lost the lower half of his leg to diabetes. The camera followed him to the doctor's office where the doctor examined his stump and a sore on his red, swollen remaining foot. When you saw his foot you knew that he would probably lose it as well. His wife said something like, "We were overweight, but not obese. We ate like everyone else." The couple drastically changed their diet after the diagnosis.

Another segment focused on obese children and how aggressively the food industry markets unhealthy foods to young minds. They also discussed school cafeteria food, the absence of playgrounds and grocery stores in poor neighborhoods, and innovative strategies for changing a child's environment to prevent weight gain.

Sprinkled throughout the segments were debates on the government's role in obesity, both good and bad. On one hand, they are subsidizing farmers that grow large quantities of crops that are processed into key junk food ingredients. But, farmers who grow fruits and vegetables get no government subsidies. The food industry has powerful interests in Washington D.C. and has killed numerous bills intending to change the subsidies. On the other hand, government has a role in building walkable communities that include parks, playgrounds and other amenities that encourage fitness. Most of these initiatives receive bipartisan support because they encourage people to take responsibility for their health.

What this show reinforced for me is that my weight is a byproduct of a series of small decisions I make day in and day out. Each decision seems small at the time, but together they have a cumulative effect on my health. So, if 80% or 90% of my decisions every day are good, then I will be healthier. Substituting a salad for fries, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking 10 minutes to the drugstore instead of driving, refusing that second portion of casserole, drinking a diet soda instead of regular. Baby steps day in, day out, every day. Keeping the Spark.

The weight loss process is slow, gradual and imperceptible. Like watching ice melt or paint dry, or a building under construction. It looks like nothing is happening minute by minute, but if you take time-lapse photos things really are changing.

So why WOULD I expect a drastic change day to day or week to week? It makes no sense, but I expect it anyway. If someone offered me $25 today or $50 if I wait a month, I'm the idiot that would take the $25 because I have no concept of delayed gratification. But delayed gratification is essential to weight loss success, so by hopping on and off the scale, I am destroying my ability to accept the process.

Will I be disappointed if I weigh in next week and there's little change? Hell yeah! I admit it. But I'm also missing the point. This process is building a healthier me. Eventually, one day, after weeks and months of consistent behavior, I will look back and realize my progress.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAZZEJR 5/31/2012 7:48PM


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DIBANANA 5/28/2012 8:39PM

  You are right. All the little changes combined will make you successful. It took us so long to get to where we are and we are an impatient group aren't we? We want to lose the weight NOW.

You are doing well.

Keep it up


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FLEURGARDEN 5/28/2012 3:54PM

    Hang in there - the weight will come off. I know how frustrating it is, because, as you say, we want instant gratification. But we need to remember that we didn't put the weight on overnight, so it won't come off overnight either. And we didn't notice the chagnes in our body as we put on each additional pound, but over time we noticed the difference as those pounds added up. The same is true in the reverse. The pounds may come off slowly at first, but in time you'll be able to look back and notice the changes and realize how far you've come. Keep at it - you *will* succeed!

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LEMALONE1960 5/28/2012 10:38AM

    With the exception of one week a month- and i'm sure you know which week that is- I weigh myself every single morning. I used to weight once everytwo weeks- but if I had a gain- it was always a HUGE gain and that just kept me frustrated. I decided it was MUCH less stressful for me to not see a loss thatn to see a big gain and then have to lose it just to get back to where i was BEFORE the gain.....So far- its working. A half pound- or even a pound and a half gain is easily fixable by drinking extra water to flush the toxins, or by taking an extra walk or doing an extra excersize dvd for a couple of days...

For me, anyway!! hang in there hun....whatever works for you is what you need to be doing. emoticon

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HBO Documentary on Obesity--You gotta see this!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

I am rechanneling my scale obsession into getting educated. While digging around online, I saw that HBO has posted their entire documentary on Obesity. The link below is part one. I am watching part two.

Part one focuses on obesity as an international public health crisis. If you don't have time to watch this one-hour show, I urge you to bookmark the page and check it out when you can. The comment that struck me was that we are getting fat on low cost, high profit foods. In other words, people are making LOTS of money off of our poor food choices. Wow.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAZZEJR 5/31/2012 7:47PM

    Thanks for the link!

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DIBANANA 5/27/2012 7:33PM

  Thank you.

I'll do just that!


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FLEURGARDEN 5/27/2012 5:27PM

    We've become too dependent on fast food and processed food and low-quality food. Actually, I've heard some people question whether what most people eat can actually be considered to be "food". The government subsidizes too many huge corporate food conglomerates so they profit at the expense of our health.

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MDWSTRNR 5/27/2012 2:42PM

    I have seen (I think) parts three and four. Even though I've read a lot about childhood obesity and junk food marketing to kids, I still get really bothered by the weasel words the food execs use to claim that their products are good for kids and that they care. They care, all right, but not about kids. Grr...

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Hiking is not for wimps

Saturday, May 26, 2012

This morning, I got up, drove to a park 20 minutes away and joined my meetup group to go hiking. It was a diverse group of 25 men and women; most of us appeared to be in our 40s and 50s. We were white, black, asian and latino. One young man had just retired from the marines. All of us showed up because of our interest in hiking.

The park included a marina, lake, playground, swimming hole and paved, mulch and grassy trails. Our group hiked on an uneven, rocky and sometimes muddy trail that snaked deep in the woods adjacent to a stream, through a clearing, around the lake and then back to the parking lot. The entire hike took just under two hours.

Unlike walking, you really are picking through challenging terrain. You're jumping, scrambling, and hopping around on mud, moss-covered rocks, dried creek beds and tall grassy areas. I enjoyed every second of it. Especially this one moment when we encountered a huge swarm of butterflies and were surrounded by them during the hike. That was almost magical.

When I returned home, I discovered to my horror that my body was COVERED with ticks. Ewww!! I nearly freaked out. I did a THOROUGH mirror check and scrubbed myself in the shower. Sooo, if I fall out in a couple of days, I'll know what's up.

Despite that hazard, I plan to go hiking about once or twice a month until winter returns. I had an absolute blast with the group laughing, talking, and joking around.

According to my fitness tracker, I'm supposed to be doing strength training today. I think I'll do that tomorrow or monday because I'm beat.

Onward and downward.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DIBANANA 5/26/2012 8:22PM

  So glad you found a group to hike with! That's a lot of people!

Be careful but enjoy


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FLEURGARDEN 5/26/2012 8:03PM

    That's great that you enjoyed the group. I've looked into a meetup group near me, but the closest one is over half an hour away and they meet really early in the morning. Maybe one of these days I'll give it a try.

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MDWSTRNR 5/26/2012 6:30PM

    Glad you had a good time. Sorry about the ticks. I'm not really pro-spray, but I've found that a good insect repellent on the cuffs of my grubby hiking pants cuts down the numbers somewhat. Hike on!

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    A crazy person in the woods?! OMG, BarbaEllen, that's an incredible story. @Daizystarlite and Ivabru--It really was lovely and the workout was amazing.

Comment edited on: 5/26/2012 3:41:23 PM

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BARBAELLEN 5/26/2012 3:26PM

    I always loved hiking, but I've become a wimp. My most recent organized hikes were not in parks, but in deep woods. The first time, we had to step over a couple of big dead raccoon bodies (gross) and then make a U-turn (back over the raccoons again) because of rattlesnakes. The next time, a professor lead a group into the wilderness and a crazy person came out of the woods and beat the professor unconscious with a shovel. I decided to try again this Fall on a hiking trail around a beautiful Catoctin lake. This year, new posters were up every couple yards with instructions on how to back up slowly if a bear was coming toward you. I was OUT OF THERE!

Maybe I need to try again, like you, in a civilized park setting! Sounds like fun!

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DAIZYSTARLITE 5/26/2012 2:48PM

    I LOVE hiking!

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IVNABRU 5/26/2012 2:43PM

  Wow that sounds like such a beautiful place! Enjoy your time next time you go!

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Apologist for getting healthier??

Friday, May 25, 2012

The last few times I've met up with my girlfriends for dinner, I've found myself almost apologizing for making healthier choices. It's become obvious to everyone that I've changed up my eating habits. In one situation, a girlfriend wondered aloud if I was getting enough food. When I responded, I almost felt like I was confessing; "I'm trying to avoid diabetes." Usually, they nod and it's done with. No big deal, right?

The question I have, is why do I feel like I need to explain anything? I don't say anything to them about what they choose to eat. Can you imagine me telling them, "Oooooh, those fries are full of transfats, I wouldn't eat those if I were you."

I'm not upset about it, but curious about this dynamic. I've been in three situations and three times, I've had to explain why my food consisted of chicken and vegetables instead of fried this or that.

I have made a concerted effort not to be obnoxious about my changing eating habits. I don't make any grand announcements about being "on" or "off" any diet. I don't bore friends or family with talk about calories and fat or working out, etc. In the past, I've been around people who do, and it's extremely boring and annoying.

Last weekend, I attended a relative's high school graduation, which was held in a building where you had to climb two flights of stairs to go into the arena. One of my family members declared, without a hint of sarcasm, that I would not need to workout that day, because going up and down two flights of stairs should count. Seriously?! It took all the discipline I had not to respond.

I don't mind spreading the Spark to people who are ready to hear about what I'm doing, but people who are observing my eating habits with a freakish curiosity, aren't ready to listen to anything I have to say.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUSSELLORAMA 5/27/2012 12:08PM

    I don't know why this dynamic happens either. I don't say much about my changes in eating but it is annoying when everyone is all in your plate criticizing your food. Kudos to you for the great attitude!

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MRFUZZ 5/26/2012 11:20AM

    It seems the od saying misery loves company is still true. I'll hear things like , "you've been so good. You can have a cookie.". Etc. Well, thats what got me into this mess, too many cookies,etc. I think people are just trying to justify to themselves that their own habits are ok. Mine are getting better.

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LEMALONE1960 5/26/2012 5:29AM

    LOL- you should try living with my MIL...I'm constantly having to explain why I wont eat the grease laden foods she makes about once a week.
And I agree- altho i DO announce to everyone that I'm eating healthier- but I dont apologize for it. I just let everyone know- and be done with it. if they like it fine- if they dont and say something snarky, I just look at them and tell them that what they put in their body is THEIR bussiness and what I put in mine is MY bussiness. After a couple of times telling someone this- people will leave you alone.......unless they're your MIL, that is!!
Hang in there- and dont feel like you have to explain-or apologize- its YOUR life and HEALTH you are looking out for. emoticon

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MDWSTRNR 5/25/2012 11:13PM

    It sounds to me like your friends are worried that, now that you're making healthy changes, you're judging them and their (less healthy) choices. Hopefully if you stay mellow about it, they'll settle down.

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SONYALATRECE 5/25/2012 10:40PM

    Been there. Done that.
Keep progressing anyway.

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LILSHINE 5/25/2012 4:25PM

    Great blog and attitude. I'm sure one day they'll be asking questions on how to get started on a healthy lifestyle. Keep up the great work

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