Week 11

Posted by Jen | Journal,Uncategorized | Sunday 13 April 2008 2:45 pm

Three more weeks have passed -whee!  So, I just finished my 3 weeks of  ‘eating back’ my exercise calories and tracking net calories.    I lost 2.5 pounds during this time (as opposed to the 3.5 pounds I lost when I calorie cycled.)  I’m incredibly happy with the results from both methods.

Today’s Weight: 137.5
Last Week’s Weight: 139

Weight Lost Since January 2008: 8 pounds.
Weight Lost Since September 2007: 25 pounds!!

This week begins another 3 week stretch of calorie cycling.  I don’t adjust my day’s calories based on my exercise…I just shoot for about 10,100 calories a week and spread it out.  One day is really high (about 1600 calories) and the next will be low (about 1275 calories.)  Let’s see what happens!

Week 8

Posted by Jen | Journal | Sunday 23 March 2008 2:37 am

I just finished 3 weeks of calorie cycling and I lost 3 and a half pounds in those three weeks.  I was shooting for a pound a week, so I guess my numbers are about right.

Today’s Weight: 140.
Last Week’s Weight: 141.

This week starts my 3 weeks of counting net calories. Basically, I am shooting for a weekly net average of about 1375.  So, on the days I exercise, I will be eating extra and then I will eat back the calories I burn (about 90% of them, at least.)  The best part is that I have a new heart rate monitor, so I can feel a little more confident about the exercise calories I am tracking.

Today, I ate 1662 calories.  I did a cardio and a strength training session, which burned about 304 calories.  That left me with a net calorie intake of 1358.  I’m right on track.  Personally, I think I like tracking net calories.  I start off every day eating 1350.  If I exercise, I get to eat a little more than day.  I like that.

My Tony Little Gazelle is getting a little too easy for me – I’m excited that the weather is starting to get warmer.  I am itching to get outside to go running.  I can only imagine how much harder that workout is going to be.  I can’t wait!

Week 6

Posted by Jen | Journal | Sunday 9 March 2008 8:19 am

Yes, I know.  I missed a few weeks.  It’s not for any reason other than the fact that I am incredibly absent-minded.  Everything is going quite well these days.  The weight is still coming off in a slow and steady manner.

Today’s weight: 141.5
Last week: 143.5
Weight loss: 2 pounds.
Weight lost since this blog’s beginning: 5.5 pounds.

Weight lost since September 2007: 22.5 pounds.

I had a nice loss this week.  I am switching things up a little bit.  I’ve decided to do calorie cycling for 3 weeks and then I would eat back my exercise calories for the next 3 weeks.  This keeps things a little different for me and it gives me a chance to see if one technique is easier and better than the other.  Remember, the whole point of this is to find a method I can live with for the rest of my life.

So, how does calorie cycling work for me?  Well, my calorie totals for a full week are supposed to equal 9800 calories.  So, I just break that up over the week.  This week’s numbers are:
Monday – 1475
Tuesday – 1300
Wednesday – 1225 (definitely no exercise on this day!)
Thursday – 1700
Friday – 1325
Saturday – 1500
Sunday – 1275

Add them all up and I get 9800.  According to my online calorie calculator, this should be what I need to eat to lose  a pound a week, if I am exercising moderately.  It’s been working so far, so I guess I’ll keep doing it.

Week Two

Posted by Jen | Journal | Sunday 10 February 2008 5:48 pm

So, how have I been doing?

Well, the scale finally moved and showed 146 instead of 147.  It’s been like that for the past few days, so I feel pretty good about trusting it.  This is a really good thing.  It means something is happening.  The body is releasing something.  Is it water?  Fat?  I don’t know, but something’s going and I’m going to make darned sure it’s fat.

Speaking of scales….
I’ve been making sure to weigh myself every single day at the same time: in the morning, after bathroom routine, before I get dressed and definitely before I eat.  Personally, there is no reason to weigh more than once a day…I mean, once I start eating, all the consumed food just adds to the scale numbers.  I would never consider weighing in just once a week either.  Why?  Well, weight has been known to fluctuate – a lot.  What if, on my “weigh-in” day, my weight suddenly decided to fluctuate in an upward direction of a few pounds.  If I were to hang my entire week’s progress on that one day…I would be rather bummed.  However, if I know I weighed 147 daily for the past 3 or 4 days and then one day, I am suddenly 149, I wouldn’t sweat it too much.  There is no way I would have gained 2 pounds of fat in overnight.  I simply track the number and wait until the next day and the day after.  Most likely, if I am gaining, I’ll see 147.5 then 148 then 147.5 then 148.5.  If the numbers start sticking around like that, then I’ll know that things are trending upward instead of downward.

Just a quick note:  I truly believe the only people who shouldn’t weigh themselves everyday are the ones who find that the numbers on the scale have a profound effect on their mood and a negative effect on their eating habits.  That can definitely destroy someone’s motivation. I never let the scale numbers bug me so I really don’t worry about weighing myself once a day.

If anyone is interested in a weight tracking site, you might want to take a look at : The Hacker’s Diet .  It allows you to put in your daily weight and weight loss goal and it will actually let you know when the numbers are starting to show a downward/upward trend.  One day or two days of a scale number aren’t enough to really make that determination.

Here’s an example of one of my charts from that site:Hacker's Diet

The “Weight” box is where I post my daily weigh-ins.  The “Trend” is calculated for me.  I kind of look at the “Trend” number it as my true weight.  As you can see, I saw my first weight loss on Monday, February 4th.  Just because I was suddenly seeing 146.5 on the scale, though, doesn’t mean that I am permanently at that weight.   The Trend acknowledged that I was heading downward, but it wasn’t until 6 days later…on Sunday the 10th when my “Trend” box finally showed 146.5.  It’s almost as thought it’s telling me that the weight loss definitely seems to be sticking around and I can finally count it as true weight loss and not just a strange fluctuation.

So, what is in store for me this week?

Well, I want to get a heart rate monitor.  I am really liking the science part of all this…counting the calories, matching the calories in to the calories out.  Not everyone likes that, but I really really do.  It makes sense to me and it gives me something to work with. As time goes on, I plan on slowly shifting away from the exact science of calorie counting to something a little more natural, but I won’t start that until I get closer to my goal.  I really believe in this process and I can already see it working.

Week One

Posted by Jen | Journal | Sunday 3 February 2008 7:43 pm

My official starting date to lose weight was January 24th, 2008.  I began at 147 pounds.
Today is February 3rd and I just weighed in at…147 pounds.

Okay.  No worries.  I already knew my body was going to be stubborn about this.  I guess a small part of me is a little disappointed, but there is no way…no way that this body is going to hang on to this fat forever.  So, what are my current techniques?

  • Keep a food diary.  Track every single morsel I eat.  There is no way I can accurately track my progress in the beginning unless I do this.  I truly believe this.  I need to become familiar with portion sizes and the true calorie amounts of the food I eat.
  • Keep an exercise diary.  Track my exercise, track the amount of time and the general amount of calories burned.  This is rough for me because I have to rely on online exercise calculators for the number of calories burned.
  • Eat 3 meals and 2 -3 mini snacks a day.  Always have some protein with each meal/snack.  This is specific to me and my body chemistry.  I seem to be extremely sensitive to carbs and sugar levels and my cravings become uncontrollable if I don’t keep the carbs balanced with protein.

I am seriously going to have to look into getting a heart rate monitor.  I like knowing that I am working with accurate numbers.  Dieting is a serious business.  I know that the idea of counting calories and crunching numbers can make so many people cringe.  I know that many believe that is just too hard to do…and way too hard to continue for the rest of their life.  For me…I love it.  It’s logical and makes sense to me.

Calories in.  Calories out.
I eat a certain amount.  I burn the surplus calories.  I lose weight.
My goal is to be diligent and meticulous and methodical about my calorie tracking.  I want it to become like a second nature to me.  I want to eventually be able to cut up an apple and have an accurate idea of how many calories are in it.  I want to plan a meal and automatically judge it’s calorie amount.  I want to be able to automatically keep a running tally of my calorie intake throughout the day.
That is when this temporary “diet” will become a lifelong habit.

But, that’s still a long time down the road. Right now, I have no intention of winging it.  As the weeks go on, I’m sure I’ll need to tweak a few things and I will never know what to tweak unless I track everything I am doing.

So…let’s give my body another week to adjust to these changes and see what happens next.