Monday, October 29, 2012

A week with my armband

Can I just say that I love my new armband?

Okay, I admit that at times, it bothers my skin a little because it always sits in the same place, and if I wear long sleeves that are form-fitting it kind of makes a wierd bulge under my sleeve.

Other than that, I love it.

I'm really just... learning a lot about myself. I have been logging my food for sometime, but I never realized just how sedentary my lifestyle really is!

I kept telling myself I was doing great - but now I can see where I'm not doing great. Learning about my habits is the only way to change myself, I think. My armband is really helping me learn, and see, where I'm doing well and where I could improve.


This is a screenshot from my weekly report. What I can tell right away is that I'm not nearly active enough. I'm falling short an average of 809 calories a day in what I should aim to burn. While i am eating less than they predict, it's still not the suggest calorie deficit. In fact, I'm almost 400 calories too high for what I burned.

Then if we jump down to my activity levels - you can see that I'm 'active' for less than a half hour a day, and I walk almost 1200 steps less than I should. I also don't sleep enough, but I honestly don't know how I can fix that. I go to bed early enough to get about 9 hours of sleep, but it looks like I just don't sleep very well.

I've also learned not just how much I eat, but what my food is made up of.

The armband software pulls my information from MyFitnessPal, which is great, as it means I don't have to change my logging habits. Here I can see that I'm eating way way too many carbs and way way too little protein. I would like to see my protein bump up to 30%, drop my fat to 30%, and have my carbs come down to just about 40%.

I can get this information at a glance by checking my phone's display, and in the mornings when I sync my armband with my computer I get the full read-out.

Just in the past week, I have learned that I typically eat less than I should, and I am very heavy on the carbs. I've learned that I don't sleep as much as I thought I did, and I'm a lot less sedentary than I expected.

I still question why I never lost weight with Crossfit when I worked out so much - but I don't have those answers. I speculate that I did not eat enough - if I'm not eating enough now, with how sedentary I am, I know I wasn't eating enough when I was super active, either.

For now, I will continue to aim for 1900 calories a day, vs the 1500 I was striving for, and I will force myself to be more active. I'll take the stairs at work, park a little farther away, and start walking more. The weather here is cooling off, so it seems like a good idea.

I won't begin a running program until my ankle has healed completely, but I do have a bike. I should pick up a springer so my puppy can run along side me while I work on some cardio, in the mean time... if I want to survive Run For Your Lives or the Color Run.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Day one with my Bodia Media Fit Link Armband

I have now worn my Body Media Fit Link armband for a full day. I'm very interested in my results!


This is an actual screenshot of the information my armband collected from yesterday.

The first column is my target calories burned. The armband keeps track of how much I move around, and things like body temperature and ton of other things. It figured out a target of how many I should burn a day, with my fairly sedentary lifestyle. The Actual column is how many calories I actually burned. Quite a difference!

By knowing EXACTLY how many calories I burned, it gives me a better idea of where I might be failing.

Under that, you see how many calories I should be consuming.. if I were burning the target calories. You'll see that I came in plenty under - at 1370.

The program is set up to give me a deficit of 1000 calories a day. Due to my moving around less (my ankle is still hurting and I'm not going to push it), even though I ate less, my deficit was still only 775 calories for the day.

Physical activity is apparently, how much I move around in a day. Since I work in a desk job, and I'm still hobbling around, the most exercise I got was just walking around - like to the bathroom or the kitchen. I only took 2775 steps in the day, vs my target of 5000.

Because I can see this data, rather than guess at it, I think it is showing me that I definitely need to be eating more than I have been... in conjunction with moving around.

I've been struggling to keep my calories between 1200-1500 for so long, and I think I've been eating too little for my body type and activity level that I've been storing. This may be why I've been gaining so much weight lately.

Because I can sync my armband to my phone, I can get a to the minute update on my stats when I want so I can see my progress.

I know that for the next couple of days my activity level is going to be down while my ankle finishes healing, but I think I am seeing clearly how this data can really help me moving forward. I need to make a plan to get more exercise, and allow myself to eat what my body needs vs what I think it needs.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A sprained ankle, getting sick, and more help.

Wow, I did... a lot this weekend.



First off - The Savage Race. As I do not yet have my official time or any photos, I will hold off on a full post. I'll say only that it was much harder this time around (and quite a bit longer...), and I walked out of it with a badly sprained ankle. I was glad my husband went with me to push me through to the end, as I don't think I would have made it on my own this time. Several of the obstacles were very high off the ground, and I have a terrible fear of heights - so I actually skipped a few.

Due to the sprained ankle, I almost backed out of showing my dog on Sunday. However, I wrapped it up tightly and went anyway. We pushed through a score of 78 (out of 100, you need a 70 to qualify), and we snagged a green ribbon, completing his RN (Rally Novice) title. After helping the club with some other duties, I made it home three hours later and my ankle had swelled quite badly again.

I propped it up and iced it.. and a few hours later, I had the worst night of my life.

I am not sure if it was a stomach bug or if it was food poisoning, but both my husband and I became incredibly ill. I think I started actually vomiting around 10 PM, and could not stop until 9 or 10 yesterday morning. I was not able to get any sleep, and my whole body was in agony. I was burning up and freezing, sore, and I couldn't keep anything - not even water - down. We suffered through it all of Sunday night and both of us had to stay home from work yesterday to recover. We seem okay today, although both of us are really, really sore and tired.

I lost 1.3 lbs in the ordeal, ha. Not the way I would suggest it, either. That was just ... awful.

Also, in some frustration, I picked up a Body Media arm band. Apparently, you just wear this little guy on your arm, and it takes a lot of measurements about what is going on with you. It keeps track of body heat, how much I sweat, steps, calories burned - even how much sleep I get. It also syncs up with My Fitness Pal, allowing me to use my current food-tracking app alongside it. 

Of the things I have learned so far - it is telling me that I eat WAY too little food. I have MFP set to 1500 calories a day, and the Body Media charts are telling me to up it to 1900 based on activity level, and in fact, it makes that adjustment for me in my MFP chart. It gives me SO much information - I really am getting a different feel about how much I need to eat and move around.

I hope this helps, at any rate.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Self-Worth

When self-worth is determined by how much you weigh, it's extremely easy to get bogged down.
  1. Good food is not healthy food, and healthy food is not good. You can argue this all you want until the day you die - but macaroni and cheese and hot dogs are some of the best foods on the planet, and they are not healthy. Healthy foods like fish, are just... disgusting. Every time I try to make healthy food I default back to good food, because... good food is what I want to eat.
  2. Stress and work. My work life is that I get to work at 8 and I sit in a cold room with no windows, and half the time the door is closed when I'm on the phone. I'm tethered to my desk all day, and it's a big fat no on using an exercise ball for a chair or getting a standing desk. Due to the dungeon like room I sit in all day, I want to go *out* for lunch. There is no break room here, not even a table in the kitchen - meaning if I stay in the office, I must continue to reside in my dungeon and eat at my desk. The only outside seating environment available is the smoker's table, and that's just disgusting. There are no parks nearby that I can go to to walk around or eat outside.
  3. Friends. I don't have a lot of friends. I don't like to ditch the ones I do. But right now I feel like I have to choose between being healthy or having a life, because the two don't mix together. My co-workers like to go out for lunch. They like to go to various different places, and while I *try* my damnedest to pick a healthy option, when you go to Olive Garden and tell yourself you'll eat only a bowl of soup while everyone else gets bread sticks and pasta it's going to feel pretty crappy. When I go out for game nights to socialize, there is generally food - pizza, finger foods, candy and the like. All of these things are delicious, none of them healthy, and I can't control what gets served at this events. I know I could choose not to eat them, but then I risk making myself look rude, and honestly, I don't have great will-power in the first place.
  4. I'm busy. No, really. I'm so busy, I have to even consider how long it takes me to drive somewhere before I can make a commitment to anything. I barely have time to cook anything. Yesterday I was gone from 7:30 AM until 9 PM. Most of my days turn out like this.
  5. My husband isn't helping. In fact he's probably the least helpful person about this all together. He encouraged me to drop Crossfit, but we still haven't signed up for any other gym membership and I haven't succeeded in a single 'at home' work out since. If you ask him to fix dinner it usually means a box of mac and cheese, pizza, or apparently bacon and eggs (which is actually probably the healthiest thing he'll make).

This morning I was 208.6. I had all time-high weight of 213 lbs. I'm 5 lbs away from that. 5 lbs away from that after a year of hard work... it's all gone. My body is a fat piece of crap that is absolutely disgusting to look at.

It's not going to get better until I lose weight, and it doesn't seem like I'm capable of doing so. I wish I had the will power to be anorexic. I wish I could get away with cutting again because it is such an effective stress reliever. I wish I could be pretty. I wish to god I was pretty, but I can't be.

I can't be because I'm fat, and if you look at any thing.. anywhere, you'll see I'm right. No really, I'll wait. Go do a google search on beautiful women, and tell me how many women my size come up. I'll tell you - absolutely zero.

I don't know how I managed to get married. My husband must just... really despise me. I feel terrible for him, and sometimes I feel like he's only staying because of some deep-rooted obligation somewhere. He's freaking gorgeous and he could do so, so much better than me. Honestly if he leaves me for a beautiful, skinny woman, I won't be surprised. I don't even know if I could be angry at him. Why would anyone want to be stuck with me?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Womanhood... is not really my friend.

Being a woman, in the prime reproductive age, is just bad for weight loss.

Not only am I an emotional wreck, but my body aches. Aches so bad that yesterday I never made it off the couch - not even to eat. I sat in a ball and had fits of crying and fits of being angry.

I had an awful headache all day, and whole body hurt. As I kept saying, yesterday, I was not a person.

I sat on the couch and played Skyrim for hours while cuddling my dogs and  popping Midol and trying to forget it.

I managed however, to not eat all day long. I still blimped up a bit - I gained .7 lbs overall it looks like. Considering I've once gained as much as 9 in a weekend, I'll say I'm on top of it.

My husband was kind enough to bring me dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets and a bag of Kit-Kats when he got home from work, which at the very least, cheered me up. There's nothing like a little chocolate when you're feeling so miserable.

This morning I'm still fairly uncomfortable, but I have to become a person in order to get through work. I had to get a second box of Midol and I hope I can make it through the day without hurting someone.

And I'm thankful that this happened this weekend, and not next - because I have the Savage Race and a dog show coming up - and I have to be a person for both of those.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Stay Positive

The past two days I had nearly lost a whole pound. .9 lbs came off, and I was feeling pretty good! My efforts were working!

Then today, I gained .9 lbs back. Okay. Deep breath. Don't panic. Let's think about this.

Yesterday, I ate a burrito from Taco Bell for lunch, and then for dinner, my husband and I went to Burger 21. They don't have nutritional information anywhere, so I guessed - and I may have guessed wrong. I did order the smaller burger 4.5 oz, and I shared a small order of fries with my husband, and I had a root beer for the drink.

However, I'm sure it still fairly unhealthy. Bacon, blue cheese, a hunk of meat and the best roll for a bun ever. It was kind of amazing, and I don't regret it! Best of all, since I ordered smaller portions, I didn't feel incredibly full afterwards - in fact I really wanted more food, but I just went home instead.

Again, though, deep breath. Don't panic. It just means be sure to watch what I eat a little more carefully. A cheat meal is ok, a cheat week is not!


And to round out the post, let me just say something positive about myself because I feel pretty good today:

I love my hair! It's long, and a lovely shade of dark brown, and soft. Sometimes it frustrates me because it doesn't style easy, but I love it all the same.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Time for a change

Sometimes, what you think is working... isn't really.

I didn't lose any weight at Crossfit. I'm at 206 today, which is 2 pounds heavier than when I began a year.

Maybe some of it's muscle, but honestly, it's mostly fat.

I don't think that Crossfit is wrong - I became stronger and healthier because of it. But my main goal is to lose weight, and paying $150 a month to not lose weight is disheartening.

So I'm trying something else - I temporarily quit Crossfit. Temporarily, because if this change doesn't work, I'll go back to it because I did at least enjoy it.

Here is what I will try:

  • I will continue to count calories, aiming to be under 1500 a day - but most importantly, logging all of my food, snacks, and drinks.
  • I will go back to weighing myself every day. This may or may not cause severe mental breakdowns... but it might also help me learn what foods make me gain, or what I did to drop a little. By careful tracking and paying attention, I may learn what my body needs.
  • I will go to the YMCA. Part of my quitting Crossfit is due to lack of motivation. Since my husband does not want to go with me, it's harder to force myself to go. He will go to the YMCA, so we'll try that. If it doesn't work out, I can always return to Crossfit. The Y is at least a lot cheaper - $60 for both of us, vs $150 for one person. I will weight-lift twice a week, and do cardio 3 times a week. I don't want to lose muscle, but I need some endurance and I need to burn fat.
  • I will let myself buy clothes that fit. It does not matter if they are a size 18 or higher, because if they fit - then they fit. Nothing looks worse than women in clothes that don't fit, no matter what size they are.
  • I will try my damnedest not to rip myself apart... but give me a few weeks and I'm sure I'll be singing a different tune.
  • My goal isn't to drop to 135 lbs right away, because that is so huge... so far away that I can't comprehend it. When you're staring a 71 weight-loss goal in the face, it seems unattainable. Rather, my first goal will be to lose 6 lbs. Just 6. This will put me at 200 again, and I can make a new goal of 190 after that, until I get to where I want. So for now... just six pounds.
Will any of this work? I don't have a clue. Nothing else has. I've done nothing but gain over the past two months, so rather than be insane and repeating the same thing and expecting different results; I'm going to at least TRY to change up my life again.

Also, the Savage Race is coming up again soon, and I'm gearing up for it. I recently made a shirt bearing what I've come to adopt as my own logo...

Want to make one like it? Check out my tutorial, at The Divine Domestics!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Why am I putting myself through this?

 So, I've been thinking about this a lot.


Why am I so dead set on being thin? It has nothing to do with being healthy, because other than being heavy, I'm healthy as a horse.

Why is my ideal beauty so far skewed?

Being thin won't make be stronger - I'm pretty bad ass now. I can lift... quite a lot! I've done the Savage Race and I'm going back for more later this month!

I'm pretty damn happy when I can eat pasta, macaroni and cheese, pizza and drink the occasional soda. I like to hang out with my friends, and I like to eat cookies. Food makes me... pretty damn happy.

So why do I feel like I have to be skinny to be pretty?

A very good friend of mine is not thin, but she's beautiful. She doesn't stress over her weight - she is just happy the way she is. She wears the prettiest dresses, nicest shoes, and a bold, bright red lipstick and she looks ... gorgeous. When we go shopping for clothes, if she finds something she likes and it doesn't fit her, she doesn't freak out like I do. She just finds something else that does.

So why do I feel like I'm not? Why do I always beat myself up? My entire motivation for losing weight is simply how terrible I feel about myself and my looks.

Would being thin ever make that stop? I *was* thin once, and I was never happy.
This is me thin, around 120 lbs or so. I still see issues with my body. My knees look baggy and fatty, I still have love handles and my arms are flabby.

So, I don't think that being thin is going to make me any happier. Yes, I'd love to wear tiny dresses and not have my jeans wear out on the inside of my thighs, and I'd love to wear a bikini.

Is it worth what I've been doing? Every time I step on a scale I feel like a failure. I feel incredibly deprived a lot of the time, and it really puts a dent in socializing with people. (Want to go out to lunch? Oh ... I can't eat there...) One of my coworkers bakes AMAZING treats and I feel like I can't have one when she brings them in. I should be allowed to eat one muffin if I want.

I just get so... frustrated. I worked out - HARD - for over a year, and I'm the same weight I was when I started.

Is trying to lose weight ever going to happen, if the primary cause is just that I think I'm ugly? I'm not going to suddenly find myself pretty if I managed to lose weight. Why does being overweight mean I'm some kind of failure?

There are plenty of women who are big and amazingly pretty. Why can't I be one? Why am I not good enough the way I am?