Wednesday, June 25, 2014
I've been tracking my food on and off for a while again now, but a pattern has emerged. Monday and Tuesday I stay within a good range (or what I thought was good) Wednesday I do a good impression of Pacman in my kitchen. Seriously I am ravenous. At first I was kicking myself for binging, but slowly it dawned on me that I do a significant amount of exercise on Monday and Tuesday and maybe I needed to eat a little bit more. Well, I was right and wrong! After tracking my exercise for a week I realized I did need to eat more - a lot more!!
This Monday I tracked 872 calories burned, consisting of two and a half hours walking and just over half hour running.
Tuesday I tracked 853 calories burned, consisting of 20 mins pilates, 30 mins on the stationary bike, 40 mins walking and an hour cycling outdoors with Amelia on the back of my bike.
One of my mistakes had been tracking only "exercise" and not my walking, my husband has the car for work so I walk everywhere I go. Twice a week I walk Amelia to her play group. It's a 3.2 mile round trip to drop her off and then another 3.2 miles to pick her up. And when shes in playgroup its my only chance for a run. Ok so I don't really need to run after all that walking but I love to run, it helps me clear my mind, like a moving meditation. Anyway, back to the walking, it appears I walk anywhere between 20 and 30 miles a week (and I was wondering why I go through so many shoes!) when I tracked walking, my calorie range on my nutrition page shot up.
My second mistake was less costly in term of calories but still has an impact. If I went for a short and gentle bike ride, in my mind I classed it as fun and not exercise so I didn't track that either. The same with other activities too.
So I have tracked everything I can and linked my fitness tracker to my food. I am still active in between these exercise session like taking Amelia to Gymnastics and swimming means me lifting her and helping her. I also do what I ask her to do. I can't expect her to be happy being dunked under water if I won't do it and the same goes for balancing on things in gymnastics, I try to lead by example. Obviously I can't track things like that. The other discrepancy would be my walking is usually pushing a stroller. I can't see these things making much of a difference anyway.
My nutrition page now suggests a range of 2050-2450 most days and that's with SP set to lose 2lbs per week. At first I didn't believe it, I still don't really believe it but if I don't lose I'll drop a few calories off until I do. Slow and Steady wins the race. The shocking thing is that to maintain my weight I need to eat 3050-3450! It does explain why I can't maintain my weight without eating sweets and treats when I haven't tracked in the past. The thing I like about having my fitness and food tracker linked is that if I vary the amount I exercise I will see my calorie range change. That keeps me in check if I am ill and can't exercise or if I start increasing my running distance. The reason I am trying to lose a few pounds at the moment is because I have had a lot of minor illnesses that have kept me from my usual exercise over the last year, hopefully linking my trackers will prevent that from happening again.
I have always felt that because of my disordered eating habits in the past (restricting to 400 cals a day and possibly bordering on anorexia) that I was heading off down the path of borderline bulimia. I have in the past felt so guilty about my binges that I have used laxatives or exercise as a form of purging. It's both frustrating and a relief that I was simply eating too little. Frustrating because everything you see about losing weight recommends 1200-1500 cals. Obviously I am relieved that I may actually have normal eating habits, something I once thought impossible for me. I am grateful that Sparkpeople is different and realizes that one size doesn't fit all.
So far this week I haven't been feeling constant hunger that I thought was necessary to lose weight, I am satisfied with my meals and even if the calculations on SP are wrong (but I'm beginning to trust SP on every level) it shouldn't leave me gaining weight. Not only am I staying on track but I don't have cravings for sweet things, and I am not ashamed to look at my food intake when its written down. I am no longer in denial and I feel that long term I will benefit from this. My energy levels when I am training are through the roof. In my martial arts classes my punches and kicks are significantly harder and I don't feel lightheaded half way through my Sunday classes. It's still very early in the "eating more" game but I hope to have good news in the next couple of weeks.
Saturday, March 01, 2014
It's been ages since I last blogged. Family time has taken a priority and I've neglected a few tings so it's time to sort it all out. I'm making a few changes, some gradual, some I'm just going for it. Here's why.
A couple of weeks ago I was at a martial arts sparring seminar and we finished off a hard training session by doing as many squats as we could in three minutes. One person sat on the floor to count while he other sis the squats and then we swapped. I went second and my partner did 102 squats, that is important because firstly I love numbers and I often cope with hard workouts and sometimes even stress by counting or playing with numbers. My previous best was 94 and I wanted to hit 100 so as I got to two and a half mins and had got to just over 80 squats I drew on everything I had and pumped those squats out. When I hit 100 I didn't feel relief and ease off I decided I wanted to do more than my partner and kept pushing really hard on my 105th squat my head literally exploded with pain and I fell forwards landing on my head. I've never experienced a headache like that and quite frankly I felt awful and I was glad it was the end of the session. But I still felt great for beating my target For the rest of the day I couldn't shift the headache even with paracetamol and ibuprofen. The headache continued for days until on Wednesday, four days after the session I went to the doctors. The doctor said it was most likely that a neck muscle (I have always had problems with my neck) had gone into spasm and gave me a low dose of diazepam to relax the muscles. He warned me to go back if it didn't have the desired effects because my symptoms could also relate to an aneurysm! The headache eased when I took the diazepam but I could only take it at night because I have a little one to look after. I ended up going back to the doctors on the Friday just to be sure everything was ok and thankfully it was.
The headaches continued to come and go and I didn't want to continue with the diazepam. So I looked up exercise for posture and started looking into Pilates and Yoga. Now anyone who knows me would laugh if you mentioned me doing pilates and Yoga. Mainly because I have always worked out and gone faster, harder, higher, bigger, better.... But pilates and Yoga has a more gentle approach. Now I'm not saying these exercises are easy, more like the pace is too slow for me, ask me to do one press up and my reply would be "but I can easily do ten!" But I went against these feeling and for the last few days I have done some pilates or yoga, sometimes both and I can already feel a change in my posture and the neck pain and headaches are lessening enough for me to go back to my usual martial arts class tomorrow and get back into the swing of my other exercises like running.
I've also changed the way I'm cooking and spend my free days (only two or three per week) cooking as much veg and soups as I can to last the three of us a couple of days. This means that we can all eat more fresh foods even with limited time. It also means I have to go to the shops a few times a week but Amelia enjoys a ride on her trike to and from the shops and she likes to choose a treat or herself too. Today it was chocolate but last time it was green grapes.
Talking of chocolate, I decided I didn't want to eat it for a while so they day after Matts birthday I stopped eating it altogether and haven't had any since. That was the end of December. I still choose to eat sweets or cakes but I have better self control with these things than with chocolate. It hasn't made any difference to my weight but I feel better and I'm sure it is an improvement to my health. I'm now looking for the next improvement to my diet and although I'm considering tracking again for a while I'd like to try one other thing first. My strategy is to eat only natural foods or homemade foods. This means I end up avoiding those sweet treats. Don't get me wrong I won't stop eating theses treats altogether or deny myself anything but I want to put a major emphasis on the natural foods. Then in a few weeks if I don't feel my weight is coming back to a reasonable point I will begin tracking.
Last time I tracked it was after having Amelia and my family were supportive, this time I now I wouldn't get the support, it's difficult to explain and would take a whole new blog entry so I'll leave that for another time.
I've decided to make more time for myself which will be a good thing for my family too but it also means that I will make more time to Spark, something which I've been missing for a long time, hence the long blog post. I'm hoping all my old sparkfriends are still around and doing well and maybe I can make a few new ones too. Happy Sparking
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
I have been absent from Spark for far too long. I miss my spark friends and I apologize to you all for my not even popping in to read blogs. Here's what has happened since I was properly active on Spark.
Around November a few things happened, I no longer qualified for a benefit which was helping us keep our heads above the water financially speaking (they called us high earners, I really don't know how, but won't rant because I can't change it anyway) I'm a hard worker and I've always worked up until I had Amelia. We had always planned for me to say at home. I know some mums choose to go to work when they have preschool babies and children, but me and Matt had discussed it for a long time before Amelia was born and we decided that we wanted her to be with family. We also realized that if we paid childcare costs that I would be working for very little and said it was last resort. But when this benefit was taken away things got so tight and we're quite frugal people so there was little room to tweak budgets to free up cash. Matt managed to sort the gas/elec direct debit to be reduced a little and I found some online earning opportunities, I was skeptical at first but I have been doing ok with then and all I need is to use the PC for an hour or two a day, either when Amelia is napping or after she has gone to bed.It's not big money, £100-200 per month but it's enough to take the strain off us.
Around the same time, winter crept in and the winter blues began to take over. It's only in recent years I have realized that is what is happening. But November is the last month I remember feeling really good and despite the money troubles I still felt optimistic. As the nights drew in my mood lowered and I struggled with everything, if I hadn't had Amelia there would have been days where I wouldn't have got out of bed. I struggled to keep up with the housework, my activity on Spark decreased significantly, at one point I had 175 unread emails, none of that was spam. At the worst point I abandoned me. Just little things, plucking my eyebrows, putting make up on dressing nice, they all became a mountainous challenge. My weight slipped and the winter blues became a vicious circle that I didn't have the energy to get out of.
Then the nights began to get lighter I felt a little better and began to link up the winter to my feelings. I started to get into a bit of a routine a the beginning of May, I'm finding it easier to keep up with the housework and exercise is more of a routine. (I always exercise, that's the fundamental part of me, although it helps, it never prevents these lows) BUT a few days into may I went out for a long run, long runs had pretty much disappeared, and I most of my runs had been 30 mins so when I found a 40 min run unbelievably hard I just told myself to get on with it and it'll get easier when I've done it a few more times. It was only later on in the day that I realized it was strange for it to feel hard from the very beginning of the run. If I had a problem with the length of the run then I should feel tired going beyond the normal 30 mins right? By 8pm I knew what the problem was, I had a very nasty tummy bug and spent the first night being sick every 30-60 mins, I was feeling faint too. That bug took me the best part of 10 days to get to the point where going for a walk was an option, it left me feeling so weak. Two weeks after the bug I went for a 1.5 mile run, then a 2.5 mile run and tomorrow I'm hoping to get a full 3.5 miles in (my normal 30 min run)
So that's where I am and now I'm feeling better in lots of ways I am planning where I am going again. I am preparing myself as much as I can now for this winter as I plan my goals.
June Goals (I'll make a start today though)
Blog weekly minimum
track food 6 days week min
get a new and fresh workout routine that fits the way life is now
get back using weights for ST
get back running biking walking as much as before
continue to replace milk with soy (back to my pre pregnancy preferences)
work on my emotional health by reading and blogging
Keep earning as much as possible
weigh (when I'm ready, I'll blog about that soon)
run a half marathon in less than2hrs
get my 2nd dan in Tang Soo Do
avoid winter blues
review goals monthly
I always like to end my blogs on a positive and I think these goals are positive, I promise to be back on Spark reading blogs more - happy sparking
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