Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fuzzy math......

It's all about calories in vs. calories out. So simple, right???

There's so much more to this fat loss thing. When I first started, when I was 100 pounds overweight, just changing my eating habits (giving up fast food, eating as clean as possible - staying away from processed foods) and beginning a regular exercise program was all I needed to drop the first 20-25 lbs. Then I stalled. For three months no real change. Doctor told me not to worry, in his mind I'd just lost nearly 10% of my body weight, needed to give my body a chance to re-set.

But what I really needed was a better understanding of my calories in versus calories out - and then also an understanding that even doing that math; weight loss is not linear. I can't just assume that for every 3500 calories I don't eat versus what I burn, I will lose a pound, more specifically a pound of fat. Other factors can be at play...that at certain times I retain more water (hormonal, eating too many carbs, inflammation from a heavy strength training session, or even "cloaking" where your body fills the space of the empty fat cells with water temporarily). But over time it is a good guide, provided you really know what is going in and what is being burned. And that's why when I am succeeding at dropping pounds, I do it not just by upping the workouts. Those are a factor - hell, I sit on my butt in front of a computer most days. Without working out, I'm lucky to burn 2000 calories in a day. But it is not until I meticulously plan my food, weigh (yes, on a scale, not measure with cups) my portions, journal all food and activity that things really start happening.

Yes, that all sucks. Yes, it is time consuming. But most importantly, yes, it works.

This week's results and fancy graphs.

Weight down 2.2lbs. I'd been suspecting a little bit of cloaking because while I haven't been hitting my avg deficit goal of 750 calories a day, I have been in a deficit for nearly three weeks with zero scale movements. Had a little mini-whoosh (fancy weight loss term for the retained water suddenly going away). Glad to see today's number because it is the lowest I've been since before we started doing the Body for Life weight training - and means I've dropped below the start weight, even with the expected glycogen load of beginning a program. (and am back to a pre-holiday weight).

I've done better at hitting my burn targets, the activity goals and steps per day. But must really must get tighter on the diet. I know, sounds like a broken record from last week. The last two weeks deficit will probably only bring me a bit under a pound a week average loss. Hoping to pick that pace up a bit for the next few months. I want to be out of the suck of fat loss, and into the journey of maintenance, of body recomp, of training for endurance events.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Hello 2010.........

Time for the official 2010 Resolutions, er, Goal Setting. I really hate to call these resolutions, as I've blown off far too many resolutions in the past. In fact, I'm not sure I have ever kept a New Year's resolution. However, I do believe in the power of publicly setting goals, creating a plan to hit the goals, and then publicly holding yourself accountable to those goals and plans. In that spirit, here are my goals for 2010:
  • Lose 100 pounds*
  • Continue to challenge myself physically via endurance events
  • Get that damn scuba license
  • Get my garden mojo back
  • Make this the year of the purge
  • Blog 

* OK, so the lose 100 pounds one is a bit deceiving. It's really complete the 100 pounds, which means lose 35 more in 2010. After meeting the original goal of losing 65 lbs, and being able to wear a size 12, I've been in a 6 month stall - or more positively stated a maintenance period. Time to stop flirting with that 100 lb number and get to it!!

The details and the plans:

 Balancing those first two will be slightly tricky. For the first 3 months of the year, I will focus on the fat loss. Oh, and the scuba thing. Don't expect to get all 35 pounds in the three months - that would not be realistic, 15 or so would be good.

I've learned so much about my body in the past 18 months. I know that I am most consistent in weight loss at 1 - 1.5lbs a week driven by an average 750 calorie a day deficit while eating high protein, a decent amount of healthy fats and filling in the remaining calories with carbs. That I must plan my meals, weigh and log my food. The sweet spot for me seems to be eating around 1500-1600 calories a day while burning 2400-2500 for 6 days a week, plus one day at maintenance (approx. same calories in as out, maybe 100-200 calories over). 

I know that in my efforts to burn calories, I can easily over train. That maintaining that calorie deficit saps my power, and ability to train hard. Overtraining for me has lead to inability to sleep, injury (Trochanteric bursitis), weight loss stalls driven by screwed up hormones and Cortisol, or big slips to diet. I had best success doing moderate strength training 2-3 times a week, plus steady state cardio at a moderate level 3 times a week (ok, so I throw in some intervals, but not HIIT). A regular yoga practice seems to ground me and keep me centered - not to mention improves balance (as in physical, not life- though I'd argue it does that also). 

Finally, I know that Speedy Gonzales I am not, nor will ever be. I saw that way back in high school when I attempted to swim competitively. I can get in a groove and go and go, but sprinting, just isn't in me. Still I love getting in that groove, pushing myself to my limits. April - September will be focused on endurance events, eating much closer to maintenance, slowing the fat loss to focus on training. I'll end the year finishing up any remaining fat loss- or if I've hit that goal already, focusing on body recomp, muscle development. 

I plan on doing this via the following events in 2010:

Half Marathons - Country Music in Nashville April 24th and Rock n Roll Chicago on August 2. These are becoming family traditions. Last year, I did Nashville in 3:39 (yes, I walk - and my dear brother, Jeff, stayed right there with me pushing me on - despite the fact it was over an hour longer than his previous time) and Chicago in 3:07 (Jeff did this one in 1:58 and hubby Steve did his first in 3:34). This year my goals are to start the season by breaking 3 hours in Nashville, and training to hit or beat a 2:45 pace in Chicago.

Triathlons - Want to do two sprint length triathlons (1/4 swim, 15mile bike, 3.1mile run). First will be the Pewaukee one on July 11th. I've also got my eye on the Danskin Chicagoland Tri August 21/22.

Duathlon - End the season with the Dousman Duathlon on September 19th. This one scares me the most - run 2miles, bike 20 miles, run 2 miles.

I have no clue on times to shoot for on the tris or the duathlon. As with my first half marathon, finishing will be a victory. In a side note: my 10yo son will be doing the children's marathon in Nashville (run 25 miles the prior month, finish the 1.2 miles on the marathon course the night before the grown up race), and the Pewaukee tri in his age division. Hubby will be doing the half marathons.

Scuba one should be knocked off before my birthday in March (it is a big birthday, and this is my present to myself). I am taking the class part Feb 5-7 and then an open water referral when we go to Mexico first week of March.

The gardening one and the year of the purge are both home related. I have been such a passionate gardener in the past. And since we moved to this house haven’t gotten back in touch with that piece of me. I’ve been a bit unsettled, not ready to tackle this mess of an overgrown landscape. I’m breaking it down to area, letting go of the need to do it all which has paralyzed me so far. This winter I will develop a starting master plan, and decide which areas to tackle this year.

There will be more to follow.

Which leads to the blog one. I enjoy writing this blog – and also know that keeping some sort of public log will keep me on track towards all of this. My blog goal is minimum of two posts per week. One a fitness/fat loss log, the other garden related – because a blog called GardenKim really should have something, garden related. Any more is a bonus…..