Weight Loss Tracker

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Knocked it out of the park

Well, I'm back home from my Thanksgiving visit with the family.  I haven't seen my brother and sister in over four years -- but I did see my folks back in August.

My mom and dad were the most vocal about how I looked, and that had me really surprised since I saw them a few short months ago.  They noticed the difference from that time, and they kept saying over and over, "Wow, you look SO GOOD!"  My mom said that, especially from behind, I just look "normal size" now.  Since I can't really see how I look from behind, I was very surprised by this.  I also wore some jeans I got at the Goodwill recently which I felt fit my frame very nicely.  My mom said she can't remember the last time she's ever seen me in jeans -- which is very true.

My siblings also said I look good, but it was much more low key.  I didn't expect much from my brother, but I also believe my sister was a bit taken aback, which kept her comments to a minimum -- especially after we teasingly did a "butt check" with my mom, who said our butts looked pretty much the same (my sister is taller than me and says she's a 12 compared to my 14, but I don't know that for a fact).

Though it wasn't a contest for me, it felt good to be close to her size for the first time in 20 years.  :)

And for obvious reasons, food was NOT logged nor calories counted during this trip.  Come Monday, it's back to the grind.  I'm READY to hit that 100-pounds-lost mark.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

5-year bandiversary!

The fact is, I've missed the date of my bandiversary more often than I've remembered or recognized it.  But today is year five, and as of this moment -- after recommitting myself to my health and weight loss -- I'm down 98.8 pounds and 114.75 inches.  I had hoped to hit the 100-pounds-lost mark by today, but I'm close enough to be satisfied.  I figure I'll make it before Thanksgiving next week when I go to see family.  The last time I saw my brother and sister, I was down about 65 pounds and probably not working out as diligently as I am now.

Anyway, here's to a non-cake celebration of five years.  :)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I'm sure it's mean of me, but...

...my sister posted a picture on her Facebook page last night from a month or so ago of her driving her boat.  The picture was from behind and, I have to say, she was looking a bit... thick.

Now, under normal circumstances, this would probably be mean.  However, as I posted here and here, MY weight has been fodder for jokes and a topic of intense interest to her -- mainly, I believe, because she's concerned about how I'll look when we get together for Thanksgiving.

But I have to say, I felt just the tiniest bit of glee seeing that picture.  Mean?  Yeah, maybe.  But right now, I don't care.  :)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Epiphanies and other odd things

As I was rushing around this morning getting ready for work, an epiphany hit me, and in some ways it's rather odd.  What's odder still is I have absolutely no idea why this popped into my head as I was scrambling to shower and get ready after a morning where I forgot to set my alarm.

Issue Number One:  I was always upset that my husband never seemed to accept who I was, regardless of how I looked.  Any of you reading this probably understand what I mean -- we KNOW we don't look good, but we want to be accepted and feel loved anyway.

Issue Number Two:  I recently went out on three very short dates with a guy who loved the way I look NOW and wanted me to stay where I was.  Though that sounds great at first blush, I don't like how I look right now, and I'm still working to get to a better place in my weight loss journey.

So... what's wrong with me?  When I was heavier, I wanted to be accepted for who I am no matter how I looked.  And now, I don't want someone to want me to stay where I am today.  Don't get me wrong, I'd like to know that somebody accepts me where I am, but I would also want someone who is supportive about me bettering myself while being encouraging.

Does this make sense?

I guess I never thought I'd find myself in a place where I would be disappointed at somebody accepting me and wanting me to stay where I am right now.

Additionally, I went out twice with another guy a few months ago who was actually surprised that I exercise as much as I do and my dedication to it.  He was a large guy himself; and though I'm not knocking him for that, all I could think of was, "guy with food issues -- how long before I'd be back to my old habits?"

Again, we'd be going in opposite directions.

Though it all makes sense, it also seems very odd to me.  Maybe I'm learning something about myself.  Then again, maybe I'm just hormonal and confused.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Attempting to understand BMR and RMR

All this calories in-calories out thing has led me to try to delve deeper into what BMR and RMR are and what they mean to me in relation to my weight loss.  I've heard of them, but they've never really meant anything to me.  In general, they may not in my everyday journey, but I still felt it was important to know what they are.

Obviously these are all estimates and don't take all factors of your individual activity or body mass into consideration, but I think they're still good to help you see what your caloric expenditure would be just resting all day in comparison to the calories you take in  and the exercise you do.  For me, it further shows the difference between my BMR/RMR and recommended calories for weight loss, especially in relation to calories expended doing exercise and how divergent these numbers are from the BMR/RMR calculations.

Make sense?  No?  I didn't think so.  Okay, so here is the breakdown:

This site talks about BMR and RMR and their similarities and differences and how to calculate them both.  This is what they say about them both:
  • BMR stands for Basal Metabolic Rate, and is synonymous with Basal Energy Expenditure or BEE. BMR measurements are typically taken in a darkened room upon waking after 8 hours of sleep; 12 hours of fasting to ensure that the digestive system is inactive; and with the subject resting in a reclining position.
  • RMR stands for Resting Metabolic Rate, and is synonymous with Resting Energy Expenditure or REE. RMR measurements are typically taken under less restricted conditions than BMR, and do not require that the subject spend the night sleeping in the test facility prior to testing.
Probably all of us have heard of BMR, but if you're like me, RMR is not quite as common a term.

The site provides calculations to determine what your caloric intake should be if you are simply at rest for 24 hours.  The first is the Harris-Benedict* equation for BMR:
  • For men: (13.75 x w) + (5 x h) - (6.76 x a) + 66
  • For women: (9.56 x w) + (1.85 x h) - (4.68 x a) + 655
 Based on this formula, my numbers look like this:
(86.8 kg x 9.56 = 830) + (170.18 cm x 1.85 = 315) + (48 x 4.68 = 225) + 655 = 2,025
This site also says that the Harris-Benedict typically overestimates by 5 percent or more.  Subtracting 5 percent from 2,025 is 101, which then brings the number to 1,924.

The other calculator is the Mufflin* equation for RMR:
  • For men: (10 x w) + (6.25 x h) - (5 x a) + 5
  • For women: (10 x w) + (6.25 x h) - (5 x a) - 161
Based on this formula, my numbers look like this:
(86.8 x 10 = 868) + (170.18 x 6.25 = 1,064) + (48 x 5 = 240) - 161 = 2,011
(*Please note these two calculations are done in metrics: w = weight in kg; h = height in cm; a = age)

What I take away from all this math is this:
Harris-Benedict:  2,025 (or 1,924 based on the overestimation)
Mufflin:  2,011
This shows that they're pretty close (even with the overestimation of the Harris-Benedict test).  So, when my LoseIt! or other apps tell me that, in order to diet, I should be taking in 1,225 calories, it's understandable to me now that if my net calories for the day are less than 500 (calories in minus calories through exercise), that my body would go into a form of self-preservation "shock" and stop losing, resulting in plateaus.  This is why I MUST either scale back on my exercise or increase my caloric intake.

And if I've kept your interest thus far, I hope you've learned something today, class.  :)

**Information retrieved from Caloriesperhour.com

I'm only overweight!

Though I know these things aren't the best indicators of health due to a number of factors, I will use and exploit any NSV at my disposal. :)

I plugged in today's weight (191.4), and today's calculation has taken me from Obese Class 1 to straight Overweight.

Though nobody likes to hear they're overweight, I'll take that category over obese any day.

Now on to 159, the next category -- Normal Weight.

Less truly IS more

I've put into place the plan from my post here over the last week, and the results are in:  I'm down 2.2 pounds!

I admit I'm no whiz-bang where diet and nutrition are concerned, because it just seems as if the more exercise you do, the more "reserves" you're tapping in to.  It should truly be that simple.  However, it's not, and I've had to get my mind around actually working out LESS to get off my plateau.  It was difficult mentally, but I liked it physically, as it only required about 20 to 25 minutes of my time each day.

The other things I see in my very near future is 100 pounds lost and my 5-year bandiversary next week! 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

New direction

I had hit another dreaded plateau for a few weeks, bobbling up and down about 1.5 pounds.  Though I know I'm still losing inches, I hate scale plateaus and decided to research to see if maybe there is another reason for it.

What I came up with was this:  I needed to either eat more or exercise less, or some combination of both.  My kettlebell training, which is every other day, expends about 850 calories for 50 minutes.  Though that's great, the fact is that if I don't eat back any of those calories, it would leave me with a net calorie intake of less than 400 calories.

Though one would think that anything worked off that goes beyond what we eat would automatically result in pounds lost, the fact is that our bodies only look at the net calories, apparently.  So, day after day, my body thinks I'm starving because IT only sees those 400 calories.

Okay, so I decided to go against what we THINK we should do and scale back my exercise somewhat and intensify parts of it.  Because of my band, it's nearly impossible (and rather dumb) to eat back my exercise calories.  As it was, I was somewhat supplementing with candy.  Which, I know, is rather dumb.  So starting Sunday I decided to reduce my kettlebell training to about 20 to 25 minutes on my weight days, and to do about 30 minutes or so of cardio on my alternate days.

I also remember that our bodies tend to get used to the exercises we do if we keep doing the same thing for weeks on end -- which I've been guilty of.  So on my cardio days, I have begun to do shorter bursts with higher intensity -- and to shake up what I'm doing (previously, my cardio was 50 minutes on the elliptical only).  For the next couple weeks, I will be doing a combination of my walk-run, where I walk for two minutes and run for two minutes, and do this back and forth for 30 minutes.  It is actually one of the suggestions for HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) that is becoming popular these days.

Just since making these two changes this week, I've lost 1.4 pounds since Saturday!  It's great that I may actually get more for less when it comes to my workouts.  I mean, who WOULDN'T be all for realizing weight loss for half the exercise?  :)

Skinny fingers

I got myself a topaz ring back in June that was a celebration of my new singledom.  When I got it, I had it sized from the standard 7 all rings come in now to a 6.  Not long after I got it, it seemed a bit too big; however, being a top-heavy ring with a thin band, I didn't really think much of it.  Them it went in the drawer because one of the tiny diamonds fell out of it.  This was probably in August or so.

I finally took it back to Macy's to have the diamond repaired (luckily I bought the service plan), and I asked to have it re-sized as well.  The lady pulled out the little sizing rings to see what to size it to, and the 5.5 slipped right onto my finger.  WOW!  I can't even remember the last time I could wear a 5.5 ring -- probably about 15 years ago.  When I was skinny, I wore a 5 on my ring finger, so maybe I'll be back there again!

I'm loving these NSVs as much as the SVs.  :)

Friday, November 8, 2013

I wish I saw what they see

Don't get me wrong, I can SEE my progress.  But between yesterday and today, I had no less than three people really going on about my progress.  A friend of mine came over last night to talk to me about possibly joining a gym he goes to across the street from my condo (not gonna do it), and he now refers to me as The Incredible Shrinking Woman.  Today I was running errands and bumped into two people I know (one came up to me talking to the other).  The first one kept saying how great I look, and when the other joined the conversation, she said the same.

However, though I know I'm BETTER than I was, I don't feel like I look great.  I'm having a hard time with that one.  I mean, my BMI still has me ever so slightly in the obese category (though I do know that those things, when doing a straight calculation, isn't exactly precise), but three more pounds will have me as simply overweight.

I know I'd feel I was in a better place if I didn't have my dunlop apron hanging out in front.  I'm trying not to be vain about that, but it IS there and it does affect how clothes fit, too.

Well, that's another issue for another day.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Keeping focused and tracking calories

Last week was kind of a bad week for me all the way around.  Wednesday would have been my 20th wedding anniversary.  I went out with -- and summarily stopped going out with -- a guy who I found out had a bit of a criminal past.  And I think in all the emotion -- excitement over a new guy, sadness over the non-anniversary, and being irked at the lying new-guy jerk.

Couple that with a Costco-sized bag of chocolate that was bought for the office, and it was a bad combination.

All this year we've had this same candy, and it never even fazed me.  I rarely even picked up a single piece on any given day.  But last week?  Wowzers, I was eating sometimes eight or nine pieces a day for multiple days.  What was worse is that I wasn't logging them, and because I wasn't logging them, I often wasn't logging that day's calories at all.  It was reminiscent of days past where I would eat indiscriminately and mindlessly, just grabbing and shoving in my face.

To add to that dilemma, I wasn't exercising as diligently, either.  So, not only was I eating over 600 calories a day in chocolate, but I wasn't even doing anything to get rid of those excess calories.

The good news is any weight gain I had was minimal -- less than two pounds.  The bad news is I saw a peek into the old me -- mindless, emotional eating.

I will not beat myself up over it, but yesterday was a new day.  As was today.  For a few days, I suppose I'll just be taking it one day at a time.

Even my feet are smaller...?

Is it possible?  well, I GUESS it is since I know my shoe size got bigger when I got heavier.

I used to be a solid 8 for many years.  Then I got heavy, and the next thing I knew, my she size was an 8.5.  For probably close to 20 years, I've been wearing an 8.5 (and sometimes a 9 depending on the shoe or manufacturer).

For the wedding I was in, I bought some closed shoes (after having worn open-back shoes for many years as well).  I was really glad I tried those on when I bought them and didn't just go with the belief I was an 8.5, because the 8.5s were swimming on my feet.  Meh, I thought, it's that pair.

Well, I went to a shoe store this past weekend and was looking around, and I tried on one pair in an 8.5, and my feet were swimming in it.  Again, I figured it was that particular manufacturer.  I then found another shoe in an 8.5, and again, it was too big.  By the third time of trying an 8.5 only to find it far too big, I moved over to the 8s -- which fit.

Since many times our shoe size increases with our weight and girth, is it possible -- even likely -- for our shoe size to go back down again when we lose??  I'm thinking it must be a reality, because so far as I can see, I'm now an 8 again.