Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Gadgets and progress

So, first to report some progress. 352.6. Finally broke the 353 mark I got to, ummm.... 3 weeks ago?

So the good news is, it took me only a week to melt off the 6 pounds I regained. I could look at it as the bad news being that at that pace, that would have been 18 pounds lost by now instead of right back where I was. So instead of 353, right now I could be a svelte 335.

But, right now I'm going to be happy to be back where I was and back on track. I'd rather celebrate the progress than mourn where I could be instead. So let's just look at it this way: I'm lighter than I've been for a few years. And feeling maybe even better than I've felt for many years before that. So that's where I leave that. So the whole thing of lost time, lost weeks, regained pounds, that's all in the past now.

I've been having fun with the discovery of GPS capability on my phone. I can track my workouts now. I've talked at length in the past about mapmyrun.com, or mapmywalk.com or mapmyride.com (all the same, just geared towards different forms of exercise)... so what i've done in painstaking detail til now has been to sit down and draw the map out of where I walked so it could log my statistics. Which is okay... it wasn't that long ago you had to count steps and estimate, or go drive along the route to estimate how far you've gone. So to sit at a website for a few minutes and map it out is pretty cool.

Now this is nothing new for a lot of people, a couple years ago I remember my brother talking about doing this with his I-Pod... but since I've just discovered I can do it on my Blackberry I'm pretty psyched.... I can now have my phone track where I walked, at what speed, all of that. It uploads it to its own site, and is very easy then to move the data over to mapmywalk.com. Okay, the only thing cooler is if mapmywalk.com had an interface with this particular cell where it would register there right way. Maybe some day. =)

But the other thing I found is that I can do an RSS feed on this site to my walks, so it automatically registers on here. So in the past I've listed some of the workouts and such, well now... it will do it for me automatically, to the left here. So, if you don't see any new entries under map my walk, you know i'm being lazy again.

hmmmm..... maybe all this technology isn't so great after all... if i'm sluffing you know. might have to rethink this one eh?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Chicken or the Egg?

Okay, so... is it the chicken or the egg?

Is it the exercise or the diet?

I'm finding that since I've been working on getting back on track, that I've been more faithful in the exercise area than the diet area, and it would appear to me that right now exercise trumps diet, yes?

Or... maybe. The past few days I've had some cheats, some maybe significant, when it comes to the diet (yes, the 2 cherry pies at mcdonald's again, oops?)... but as a whole the diet has been still a big improvement over the 2 weeks before that.

But essentially i've been going on 2 to 3 mile walks each day. So, faithful on the exercise, semi-faithful on the diet, and the net result is I'm back to 356, or 3 pounds re-lost.

But then my head argues, wait a minute!!! About 5 years ago when I lost 80 pounds on the Atkins diet, I accomplished that with virtually no exercise.

Ahhhh, you may say, but you were 5 years younger then as well. The weight does not seem to come off quite so easily on diet alone this time around.

Well, the truth is that both are pretty vital, I'm finding. It's when I was both faithful on the diet AND exercising regularly that the weight has come off the fastest. And while I'm encouraged by having re-lost the weight, I still need to get better at the diet, for one good reason... blood sugar. I'm about to get a physical exam scheduled, it's been about a year and a half since I had one, and I've drug my feet on it for one reason... my blood sugar was higher than normal and the doctor said I'm borderline diabetic, if i had a second reading in a row like that that's technically a diagnosis of diabetes. That's not really a diagnosis I want to be hung with. I know, if I AM actually diabetic, then I should know about it and go accordingly, right? But I also know that with type 2 diabetes, it's often the kind of thing that can be controlled or reversed by getting good control of blood sugar. So having that under control, well I don't know if that will prevent me from being diagnosed as diabetic or not because I don't know what all goes into such a diagnosis... but even if I am diagnosed as such it's a lot better off if blood sugar is under control. So.... chicken or egg or whatever, the exercise is important, but... i have to stay away from those mcdonalds pies!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Taking a Break + 6 pounds = Big Mistake

My last post I'd mentioned taking a small break. Part of my not posting since is... well the break didn't exactly end. At least not until recently. Sort of....

Something like this isn't something you can really take a small break from, at least that's what I'm finding. Because you allow something you don't normally allow... and that ends up adding to something else... and before long I'm getting the quarter pounder with cheese in a combo WITH the two pies for a buck... and all the while thinking what's up with this but still eating it all the same.

Part of that break has been getting away from the regular exercise. Doing the 6 mile walk the one day might have been overdoing it? Okay it wasn't because it wasn't that difficult to do and I don't think it took that much out of me, but.... maybe it did some because it was hard to get back into that routine. But then when I look at my log on map my run and saw so much of February filled with decent workouts and March... sooooo little.

My first steps to getting back on track have been getting back into the regular exercise pattern and then more consciously getting back on track food wise. I'm finding that the exercise part is getting to be pretty crucial, or at least a good 3 mile walk can cover a multitude of sins. Or a multitude of bad food choices anyway.

But i can't just rest on that, because the fact remains blood sugar is something I still have to watch out for. Exercise alone won't keep that under control.

So, to those 2 or 3 of you who read this, prayers are always appreciated. I'm getting back on track. Besides, the biggest loser group starts up after Easter, and I definitely want to be able to start that up at least a few pounds lighter than when it finished up. So I have to do something about these added 6.

Does that make it 199 pounds now instead of 193, since I have to lose those 6 a second time?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A break

I'm not sure if a break is a good thing or not when it comes to this whole weight loss thing. I'm sure a lot of diets are lost to breaks.

But I think that with all the buildup to the weigh in and maybe overdoing it on some of it before then, it just got to a point where it was like, for a couple days I didn't even want to think diet. I mean, I don't think I've fallen off the wagon and i've stuck to the basics for the most part. okay, the ice cream cone doesn't count, right? After all, I did have it with a diet coke.

Okay, so this is totally off the subject. Completely. It's a simple thing, happens every day, happens all the time... but still totally cool. My daughter's cat had her kittens today... and really she's barely a cat, still more or less a kitten herself. But the part that I think is really cool is here you have this kitten who has kittens, and she totally knows what to do. I know, silly little thing. But it's sometimes those simple, silly things that really speak out. I think it's because I work with someone who's convinced about the whole evolution thing, that all of this that is around us was totally random. But to me, it's like... how can something like instinct, knowing what to do to take care of your kittens and all just out of nowhere, how can that be random? Just one of those silly little things that shows the amazing design of all of this.

Anyway, gotta go get supper out of the oven... and break's over now...

Monday, March 2, 2009

3rd Biggest Loser

It's kind of sad that this was the final weigh in in the Biggest Loser group. Honestly, I did not expect to be as disappointed about it being over as I am at the moment. It takes me a long time to warm up to new people, so being among a group of people I did not know at all made me wonder how well I'd like doing this group when it started.

I know I mentioned this a number of times but I'm not sure I said exactly what it was. There was a piece in our bulletin at church about another church that was doing a Biggest Loser fundraiser. The timing of it was pretty good so I decided to join. There was an entry fee, with it designed to raise funds for the parent teacher association for the school that's part of the church. So I went to it knowing absolutely no one and feeling a bit like a fish out of water. But it's a really nice group of people and there are a number of people who made me feel pretty welcome.

I've mentioned this a lot, but the biggest thing to me is the whole sense of accountability that came from doing this group. Having the weigh in each week, even though the numbers were never divulged publically other than to say who did the best each week, really did a lot to help keep me on track. So I've really gotten to enjoy doing this.

Soooooo.... out of 22 people, there was a total weight loss of something like 160 pounds. That's a whole person! Okay, that's less than a half of this particular person, but... by normal standards that's still a whole person. So that in and of itself is really good to see.

Now one thing I will say is I don't like the scale there. I got on the scale at home tonight before leaving at, with clothes I was at 353... I got on a few times to make sure it wasn't lying to me because that just surprised me since that's what I weighed in at this morning. So then I get on the scale there tonight... and it starts out registering 357.3.. then 357.7, 357.5... then bam, 359, and there it stays. Grumble grumble grumble.... So at first I'm thinking hey, that's no fair, it's 6 pounds heavier than my scale at home. But you know, I remember commenting that I thought the original weigh in was high, so... if it was 6 pounds too heavy now it probably was 6 pounds too heavy then. So the reality is, even if i didn't like the scale, it's the same scale as the first weigh in, so it's all still pretty even.

My initial weigh in was 385.7. So 26.7 pounds is the total weight loss. That put me at 6.9% of my total weight. So I found out someone was already leading at 7.2%... okay, so if i take that 357.7 that it was setting at right before jumping up to 359, then I'd be at 7.3%... I SHOULD BE LEADING THIS!!! (So this is where I have to remind myself everyone else had to deal with the same scale...) In the end, another guy does even better tough, he's at 7.9%. So I console myself by saying these two who were ahead of me were so much smaller they didn't have to lose nearly as much weight to do the percentage. That and if i'd have done this for the full 7 weeks instead of starting late, I'D HAVE WON!!!

Okay, so does anyone sense an overly competitive thing going on in me here? My gosh, I'm obsessing over the little fluctuations of a stupid little scale!!!

But the truth be told, what the two people who placed ahead of me did, in my mind, was an even greater achievement than mine. I mean I feel darn good about losing 26.7 pounds in 6 weeks. But you know, when you're 185 pounds overweight, losing 26.7 pounds is really a lot easier than losing 10 or 15 pounds when you're not nearly as overweight. Those last 30 pounds or so can be the very toughest to get rid of, so for them, I really do take my hat off.

At the end was a good bit of news... They asked if anyone would be up to doing this again after Easter. I really, really, really hope they do. This thing has helped me focus that much better on what I'm doing.

And hey, if i'm starting out at 350 instead of 386, 26.7 pounds is an even higher percentage so... maybe I can pull it off then eh? In the meantime I'll be secretly sabotaging any skinny peoples' attempts to join the group. =)


On the morning of the big weigh in... I hit the 40 pound mark. 40 exact. 353. 153 to go.

Okay, so last night I went out and paid some pennance. We had some friends over for desert and I had a small piece of peach cobbler and a very small serving of ice cream... they were definitely small enough that there wasn't anything to be overly concerned with, but I figured with the final weigh in being today for the Biggest Loser group, I'm not taking any chances.

So, off on the longest walk I've taken yet. I did it at what I thought was a pretty brisk pace, although map my run tells me it was just 3.2 mph. Some of that was, i picked a route with some pretty good hill climbs, about 300 feet for the biggest one. I'm sure I was moving fairly slow towards the top of the hill.

In fact I looked up the route for Bolder Boulder that I'd heard there can be some tough hills, and that was looking like a piece of cake compared to this walk. Did I talk about goals yet for the Bolder Boulder? Right now I'm thinking 1:40 would be a good standard to shoot for.

Wow, I just looked at my training log on Mapmyrun.com. I did just under 23 miles in walks this past week. Hmmm... think i'm taking this weigh in a bit serously? I sure hope the intensity can continue once this is over... I thought maybe this blog would create the kind of accountability that might help, but so far it's not like i've got this massive audience. I think Mike Weaver's going public with his weight loss efforts was brilliant for that very reason. I don't think i'm getting quite the attention, though i'm definitely thankful for even the 2 regular readers... Maybe you two can keep me accountable enough to keep me going strong.

I just know this... this morning starting out the day there was a definite feel of... anything is possible. That's a pretty cool feeling.