Good Morning, Sparklers!
It's been a quiet past week.
Last Sunday was the Frigid 5 Miler here - and if the weather where I am is anything like where you are you'll agree it was anything other than frigid. With temperatures starting at 57 and climbing well over 60 by the time the race finished - I am stunned to say that I completed a run in January in a pair of capris and short sleeves. This is not typical weather for Southwestern PA, I assure you.
Today, however, the weather is much more typical.
The 5 mile race was challenging. Not for the distance; but, for the terrain. The race began on a gradual downhill. There were a few little hills around the 2 mile and 3 mile mark - but, mostly up until the last 3/4 of a mile it was all just easy terrain or downhill. As you can guess, what goes up must come down. Or, in this case, what goes down must come up! The last 3/4 of a mile is rated as a "Category 5" on map my run. Which means LOTS of us were huffing, puffing, and walking parts of it.
Honestly, that darn hill took my 11:20 pace and knocked it down to 15. No joke.
BUT I FINISHED.
There are actually some very, very funny (and less flattering) shots in the whole collection. However, that picture sums it up: I crush you, hill.
Last night was also the first meeting of Club in a month. It was good. We got our 6 month assessment results which are now two months old. Also, we got weighed in for the first time in a month and a half. In the six weeksI've been without close supervision I lost six pounds. Not too shabby! A pound a week? I'll take it. Why? Because I'm able to live comfortably, not obsess over my food intake, and not feel ridiculously pressured to squeeze in a million fitness minutes.
Downward progress is still progress.
What we also received were all of scans and statistics from our 6 month assessment. Basically one of the things they did was a body composition scan. They gave us our photos which were.. revealing. Lets just say I'm kind of surprised that I can see MORE of my fat rolls at my lower point than I could at my higher point. Maybe it's because the fat rolls are getting smaller and thus look larger in number? I don't know. The numbers, though, were great. I've lost 32 pounds while on the study which is 14% of my starting bodyweight. Now, what makes that even more amazing is that I've only lost 1 pound of 'lean' tissue.
When you lose weight through diet exclusively the body has a tendency to burn both your muscles and your fat. I forget what the ratio or percentage is; but, as you can guess, it's not a good idea to go and eat your muscles. So, when you have a 'proper' ratio of diet and exercise you are going to burn less of that 'lean' tissue. In other words, according to the scan, I'm doing 'it' right.
The other thing we talked about were some of the first results coming off of the armbands for tracking activity. You have to think about it, the whole idea of having a piece of tech that tracks fitness minutes is relatively new. Pedometers have been around forever; but, minutes counts? Level of activity? It's all been very subjective. It's me pointing at a chart and saying "Yeah, this is like a ten."
What they're finding is that there are definite thresholds for the 'checkmark' effect. On any weight loss program where you are at six months is generally the point where this effect happens. There are three possibilities. First, you can always maintain your weight at that point. Second, you can continue to lose weight. Finally, the dreaded outcome is gaining back weight. It's like a checkmark - you were going down over time, and now that line starts to rebound back up.
What they're finding is that the people who are most likely to rebound have around 175 minutes of physical activity a week in 15 minute increments. Those who maintain or continue to lose are doing greater than 200. It's amazing. I think I've talked about this before - how I believe that it's the level of -structure- required to do that target that causes the weight loss, not the literal number itself. It's the behavior change associated with meeting that number. At least, that's my opinion.
This morning, also, I finally cracked 187. I had been hoping to reach 185 for the end of this month. Hopefully half marathon training supports that.
Alright, time to get some more 'real' work done.
I hope you all are continuing on the downward path. If not, start thinking about how to get your minutes of activity up!