Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Whew! It's July already! Yikes!
It's been a very busy couple of months. I'm beginning to think I'm not a very good bloger here... I never post pictures or videos and I'm definitely not very consistent with posting, but... I'm still here!
June has been a pretty slacker month for me, at least in the exercise arena... My boyfriend had two separate oral surgeries to remove his wisdom teeth and so I spent most of my time nursing him and feeding him pain medications and soup. I also had a huge deadline at work and spent about 2 weeks working overtime (meaning- no time for the gym!). I did manage to get out and run for a day or two on the weekends here and there, but mostly, I was very lazy. I was surprised to see however that I didn't really gain any weight during this time, but I think I did gain a few inches in my belly.
Then, I went on a week long vacation to GA to visit my parents, whom I haven't seen in over 2 years! I managed to sneak in 2 running sessions and 1 bike ride, but with heat in the high 90's, I didn't last for very long. I came back from vacation having gained 2 pounds!
So, now I'm back at work and things are settling down and I'm trying to get back into the weightloss game, instead of just the maintenance game. Of course my first reaction is to jump in with both feet and go full steam ahead, but I'm trying to remember that small adjustments are the key to not burning myself out early.
I had a bit of a revelation yesterday when I discovered the calculations that Spark uses to determine your calorie range for weightloss are a bit padded. After crunching all the numbers for myself, I realized that I've been eating too many calories! When I was at my peak performance last November, I was exercising like crazy, eating in the top end of my calorie range, and barely loosing weight. (Technically, I was loosing weight in this range, but verrrrrry slowly.) I was driving myself nuts thinking I was doing something wrong, when really I had unrealistic goals and I was setting myself up for failure.
After I did the math, I realized that, to loose 2 pounds a week (which was my goal), I would have to either cut my calories to dangerous levels (below 1200 for a woman), or increase my exercise to crazy amounts that just wouldn't have worked with my schedule. I didn't realize that as you loose weight, your body needs less calories to survive! Therefore, I should have been gradually reducing my calories as I lost weight! There I was beating myself up, when really my body was just naturally leveling out!
In reality my calorie range should be 1200-1360, with 3 days of exercise. If I stay at the top of this range, I should loose about 1 pound a week. After 5 pounds, I can either reduce my daily calorie intake by 25 or I can add one more 30 min session of exercise to my weekly routine. This method will take about twice as long as I would like, but it's very do-able, and much more realistic for my lifestyle.
I highly recommend that anyone who has reached a plateau, crunch the numbers for yourselves, and see what I mean. Just don't go below the recommended minimum calories! (1200 for women & 1500 for men) I know it's tempting to get fast results, but it's not worth the damage you could do to your body!
Here's a link to find out for yourself: http://www.sparkpeople.com/res