Epic weekend

This was a great weekend – 2 days of major exercise. Saturday spent all day on a hike to Surpise Lake. Left home at 6:50 am, got home at 9:30 pm. Had a great time meeting a bunch of hikers on a meetup hike, had a relaxing hour at the lake (blessedly bug free), went for a swim (brr!), and at the end, went out for dinner as a group. Did the best I could – had a Cobb salad with very little dressing, and drank water. I am not at all concerned about the bacon or blue cheese on it, I ate all of it, yum. And so tired! 2300 calories burned!

Before the weekend was even begun, I had made plans to go for a bike ride on Sunday. Convinced my bff to do both with me. We started in North Seattle at her house, joined up the Burke Gilman Trail, went around the top of Lake Washington to the eastside and contined on the Sammamish River Trail to Marymore Park. Round trip: 40 miles in 4 hours (not including breaks)!!!! 1500 calories burned!

While nothing was hurting, I was generally sore and fatigued. Had to take a nap at 6 pm, too tired to do anything else. Woke up, went on the internet for a few hours, and back to bed!!!

The biggest thing I struggle with is eating during these activities. How to balance eating to provide sufficient energy during activities, yet still stick to a calorie-deficient diet? I’m trying to eat as I normally do, and just have a lot more snacks, spaced out. Rather than eating meals, I’ll have parts of food a lot more often.

First thing in the morning: normal breakfast – Cheerios and soymilk with fruit
Half hour before starting a hike: Kashi or other bar or maybe a serving of fruit
1 -2 hours into the activity: Snack #1 (a bar or fruit or nuts)
3-4 hours in: Lunch – a small sandwich with protein, lettuce, mayo or avocado, bread of some kind
5-6 hours in: Snack #2 – see snack #1 above

Biking is more challenging. I don’t wear a backpack, and my carry case on my bike is precious tiny. It fits a tire, emergency inflation, my wallet, my phone, 1-2 bar/energy snacks, lip balm and keys. That’s it. Hard to bring lunch with me, so I have to just pace out my eating to multiple small snacks. So far so good, but I’m extra ravenous at the end!

Of course, during this all, I try and drink 4 oz of water about every 20-30 minutes. I notice this isn’t enough. If you don’t have the urge to pee, you’re not drinking enough! I’m trying, I bring 2 liters of water every hike and seem to drink about the same on bike rides (luckily there are plenty of water fountains along bike trails), but I’m going to start bringing 3 liters on hikes. Plus, don’t forget the water for after the event is over. Drink up! Drink plenty! Hydrate!

So far it’s working pretty well for me. Dinner is all about recovery. I often find I’m starving, but fill up quickly. I don’t know what it is, but after intense exercise, I often am not that interested in food. Rest yes, big calorie-loaded dinner, no. It’s the silver lining to spending half or more than a day in any single physical activity.

So what did you do this weekend?


Posted by on August 13, 2012 in Calorie burn, Weekend warrior



The thing that tipped me over the edge

I’ve been thinking about how I finally found the courage to change my life and reduce my food intake to 1500 calories a day. I certainly was overdue from getting back on the health bandwagon (having fallen off in fall 2011, after having been on it for the previous 8 or so months). I certainly had lots of inspiration in my personal life – two of my besties are on diets and losing weight, and making great strides. However, I’ve been thinking about one little detail that I think did it for me. Bear with me, this is a little difficult to talk about.

Everyone’s heard of the fit but fat thing, right? Well, I never started out athletic in life, but I rode horses through my entire teenage life, and I guess it put some nice muscles in some important places. I’ve always taken pride in my muscular physique, even if I didn’t do anything to deserve it. Eventually, in my mid-20s, I started weight lfting for the first time (at a gym at work). It didn’t last forever, but that started the cycle of periodically joining a gym, doing hard core weight lifting and pushing cardio hard. I would do it, and run, and be all serious about my goals, but then I’d get an injury, or get a rash from running in a delicate area that prevented me from even walking for several days, ahem (I never knew there existed anything that prevented chaffing until last year, how unfair!!!). Or I’d get sick and by the time I was over it, I was out of the gym habit. You know how it goes, excuse after excuse. Starting and stopping. Lose weight, only to gain it back again.

Ok. So I’ve been relatively “fit” and muscular most of my adult life. I always carried my weight well. Yes, I was fat. Yes, I looked overweight. Yes, I wore baggy clothing to hid in. BUT, I have always been, and still am, secretly proud that I have a solid form, and good muscle tone underneath it all. Well, there is a point when this starts to be overwhelmed by being fat. There’s a point when you see the fat first, and everything else later. For me, 220-230 lbs is that point. The last few months I got to that point and went past it. The point when there’s no where else for the fat to go, so it goes into your face, and you start getting the double chin. That point has always been when I decide to get in shape and lose weight. This time was no different, but yet, this time, there was something extra pushing me to make the plunge to a healthy lifestyle.

For the first time in my life, at age 41, I started having trouble sleeping at night – the fat under my chin was pressing on my throat and making me uncomfortable. To be able to not feel it and be able to sleep, I would have to stretch my head all the way back, without a pillow, in order to not feel that pressure. I got tired of being uncomfortable in bed, every night I would think about if I just lost weight this would go away. It took several weeks before enough was enough. I think this is the reason I decided to do it, and to take weight loss seriously. And already, I can feel a difference. That’s what it’s all about.

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Posted by on August 12, 2012 in Starting over


Health changes since I cleaned up my diet

I’ve only been on this journey for 3 weeks, but there have already been some changes:

I no longer have heart burn. I was going through 3-5 regular strength tums a day. I would put a few in my pocket every day, to ensure I wasn’t ever caught somewhere with acid reflux. I blame: coffee, alcohol, & fatty unhealthy foods, none of which I’m eating right now. I had it periodically the first week and a half, but it’s been a while since I had any discomfort. It’s nice not having to freak out about not having a pill on me, at my desk at work, in my shoulder bag, in my bike carry compartment, in my car dashboard….

I haven’t had a nosebleed in weeks. I think it’s due to not blowing my nose as much. I have had constantly dripping sinuses, for the last few years actually. I would have to have tissues around me everywhere. I rarely use them anymore, now that I think about it. I wonder if it’s the lack of cheese & milk (which I would put in coffee or cook with). I know I am lactose intollerant – it makes me mucousy. Well, since I was blowing my nose constantly all day every day, every so often (like at least once a week), I would get a nosebleed. Just a little, and usually in only one nostril. But it started to be pretty common. I haven’t had it in 3 weeks. Yeah.

My coworker bff has told me my skin looks a lot better. More glowey and stuff. Hmm. I don’t see it quite yet, myself, but she knows things like that, so it must be true.

My clothes fit better, and I feel physically better, lighter and more energetic. I’m sure I’ll notice more things, but these are the obvious ones for now.

If you’re eating cleaner, or with less unhealthy stuff in your diet, what do you notice?

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Posted by on August 11, 2012 in Health improvements



Things I didn’t do

Did not eat out of the work candy bowl. I spent a long time staring into the source of all things yummy and chocolate: kit kats, reeses pnut butter cups, toffee chocolate, and hersheys bars. But I resisted. As I do every day at work.

When asked if I wanted in on the pizza for lunch, I sadly said no thanks and promptly went to microwave my vegetable soup. That while tasty, was starting to wear on me after eating it all week.

I did not buy the prosciutto I was secretly longing for and kinda subconsciously planning on getting at the market. Instead I got a ton of fruits and veggies, salmon, roast beef for weekend sandwiches, low carb tortillas (the best option for making a low-cal sandwich I could find, not too bad), and light soymilk. I also did not get the Weight Watchers ice cream. I don’t think I’d find it satisfying, and I rarely want it anyway. So, I didn’t buy any dessert. I didn’t buy creamy fat cheese, and I didn’t get anything from the hot dish deli section or cold salad bar (which I used to do all the time Pre Diet when I was ravenous, before I had time to get home and prepare dinner).

I did not eat the entire plate of dinner I had prepared (the smallest piece of salmon I could find to buy was .5 lbs, so I made it and rationalized that I needed to eat lots of protein, since I’d been missing out lately). I realized I had had enough and left half of the ginormous baked potato (I had bought it because it was super sized – much larger than normal, so if I ate it, it could still be a “single medium” potato, right). I also did not eat the entire .5 lbs of salmon. I had had enough and left a portion for another day. I am proud. This is a major step for me. I could have eaten it, I’ve done that so many times in the past, but I stopped, really really listened to my body, and overruled my desire to eat it all because I wanted to, not because I was hungry, not because I had too few calories yesterday and could indulge, but because I was done. This is major.

I didn’t cheat on my calorie tracking on myplate. I was honest. It doesn’t help when you lie to yourself, now does it:

I did not go for a walk. It’s 9:40 and i still could, but I think I will prep for tomorrow’s early rising and hike, and just be ok with no exercise tonight.

Today had lots to do with don’ts. Tomorrow will all about dos.

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Posted by on August 10, 2012 in Uncategorized



Weight loss status (hint: it’s good) & being social

I hit 10 lb weight loss today! Current weight: 222.2 lbs.

Had a great day yesterday. Met up with a girlfriend for dinner, movie, and an evening walk. Dinner? Very low calories: shrimp, green beans, and cucumber/tomato salad – it’s great to have someone that eats the same types of food as me (ie, not pizza or a huge meal out).

Movie was awesome – the remake of Total Recall. Yum. And I can’t believe it, but we had NO SNACKS! I can’t conceive of going to the movies without a big tub of popcorn. I’m impressed. You should be too. After, we did a route around greenlake, which is a 2.75 mile loop around a lake. It was 9:30, it was dark, but it was balmy and awesome. We got to catch up and exercise for 45 minutes. Late night, I’m a little tired but good. I’ve only been doing brisk walks on flat this week, and I’m ok with that. I still have a ginormous leg bruise (the size of a salad plate on my leg) and can’t handle hard bouncing from my biking accident. I’m just consistently doing an hour or so brisk walk the last few days.

Ate too few calories – 1050, so will make sure I start adding back in nuts and yogurt again for my snacks. I need more protein consistently in my meals/snacks. Can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’ve been eating a lot less than 1500 calories consistently the last few days, and I need to be careful to eat enough. WTF?

Anyway, a nice casaual Friday at work, followed by food shopping. Hiking tomorrow, and biking Sunday. Go put on your weekend warrior!

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Posted by on August 10, 2012 in Weight loss



Productive Day

  1. Bike fixed and back home; $18 for repair, ready to ride, and sportin’ fancy blue handlebar tape
  2. Made Saturday hiking plans with my BFF – group hike with new people, super early
  3. Made biking plans for Sunday – not sure yet where or when, but happening
  4. Got a new NW Forest Pass at REI (old one just expired).
  5. While in the REI parking lot, got free medical advice from the Medic One unit – they looked at my road rash and said it looked good, edges are clean, and the way I have it (open to the air and covered in neosporin so that it looks diseased and infected) is actually good. Yeah! I was worried. Thank you guys!!!
  6. The new tea I got, Red Zinger, is pretty good. I’ve already had 3 cups.
  7. The batch of soup I made is yummy. Filling but not fully satiating (it would need more substance/protein for that I think), but I’m still very physically full. I’m happy with how it turned out. Thinking of cauliflower…maybe beets in the next batch.

The day is good so far.

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Posted by on August 8, 2012 in Weekend warrior



Baseline Daily Calorie Burn

It’s official. I burn 2150 calories per day when I’m completely sedentary.

It’s good to know the baseline. So 1500 calories in per day will definitely provide weight loss, even without exercise. Booyah.

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Posted by on August 8, 2012 in Calorie burn