Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

Month: March 2009

March Plans – Find The Math of My Metabolism…

So I’ve been thinking about this one for a while, and I think this is a good month to try it.

The most challenging thing about weight loss is always finding the sweet spot.  I have no problem taking a to-do checklist, and submitting myself to the process, and then when everything is done, I should have attained my goal.  Right?  Well, of course not.  I’ve had weeks where I ate pizza, sat on the couch, and lost weight.  I’ve had weeks where I busted my ass, ate really healthy, and gained weight.  It’s not a process that always makes sense.  In fact, it usually doesn’t make much sense.

However, the one thing that I can count on is finding the sweet spot – that magical spot where I’m eating just enough to stave off starvation and feel fueled enough to go on with my day, and exercising enough to feel good after workouts, and not exhausted.  When I find this ratio, I lose weight effortlessly.  I spent so many months being able to do this without really trying and then around 170 my body decided it didn’t want to cooperate.  It took a complete reswizzling of my plan and a couple months of frustration while I figured out what to do.  I’m still not 100% sure I’m doing the right thing but each month my weight seems to be declining, and I haven’t been miserable for the most part.

I figure it would be fun to give myself a little licesnse to see what is comfortable for me.  Do I want to work out more at the price of eating more?  Would I rather control my calories a little more and be able to spend more time relaxing?  This month, we will see.

At my minimum, I am going to be eating 1300 calories per day.  If I eat only 1300 calories per day – or 9100 per week (highly unlikely), I can do my minimum workout – weights, yoga, and 3 days of cardio (one DDR day, one long run, and one 5k run).  Each 100 calories I eat on top of that equals another 7  minutes of intense cardio (DDR, interval runs), or 14 minutes of mild cardio (walking, ice skating).  So, at my normal consumption now, I’m going to add approximately 77 minutes to my cardio per week (which adds another day + a little more on another day, which is normal).  If I go crazy on the wine, cake, or wine cake, I do not need to have any fear, regret, remorse, or guilt.  I just need to move my ass for a little longer.  If I don’t feel like moving my ass vigorously, we can just go take a nice long walk.

I will be offsetting everything by a week.  This week I will be doing my normal workouts, and keeping a tally of the amount of calories I take in.  Then starting NEXT Monday I will determine how much I need to be workouting.  Should be interesting – I’ll keep you posted on how this goes!  I am also scoping out races to run at the end of the month, so that might manipulate the program a little.  By the way, this will be my last post as a 20-something…tomorrow is my birthday and I officially become ancient!

February Summary – The Best Laid Plans…

Well, it was an interesting month, this February was.

Here was the plan:

Day 1: 15 minutes arc trainer, full body strength (at gym), 30 minute treadmill run

Day 2: 60 minute outside run, yoga

Day 3:  45 minutes DDR, full body strength (at home)

Day 4: 60 minute outside run, yoga

Did I follow it?  Of course not!  Not ONE WEEK.

The first week, I pretty much stuck to it, but skipped 30 minutes of running outside in favor of DDR and did the epic walk.  The second week, I got super sick and took most of the week off.  The third week, I pretty much ran test 5ks all week increasing my pace, culminating in a really awesome time I’m happy with on race day.  Then, last week, I was nursing shin splints from the race, so I laid off the running until the weekend, when I finally ran a full 10k distance on the treadmill and walked all over creation for my birthday pub crawl.  Nope, not as planned at all.

I think  I’m ok with that.  I’m really starting to realize that exercise (or at least the extent that I do it) is really not what’s driving my weight loss.  It’s the food that I need to really watch.  I’m not going to start skipping workouts and sitting on the couch or anything, but when things don’t go according to plan, I think I can take it in stride a little bit better than I did before.  A little better, at least.

I also discovered that I really do enjoy running outside and loved running the race.  I foresee at least 2 more this spring.  I’ve earned my running muscles and though my legs do talk to me a bit more the next day when I run outside, I don’t hurt myself doing it!  The idea of maybe doing a half marathon or a marathon someday doesn’t sound quite as ludicrious as it used to.

Eat-y wise, besides this weekend (your own birthday celebrations have no calories, I declare), I seem to have been doing pretty well.  Not quite as well as January calorie-wise (I definitely ate a little more this month) but I seem to have done better at eating more fruits and veggies.  That’s something, right?  I also found that if I listen to my body, it adjusts my appetite for the level of activity I’m getting.  The week I was sick and not working out, I had to force myself to eat enough.  The next week, I was back to workouts, and hungry again.  If I was in maintenance mode, this month would be a huge success in learning how my body works.   Is it time for that yet?   I can’t wait…

Anywhoooo…  What did that translate to progress-wise?  It’s hard to tell.  I’ve been fluctuating wildly (I was 154 last week then up to 157 and down to 153 today), so I’ll let you know when my weight decides to stay put for a while!  It’s definitely lower than it was last month, so I’ll take it.  What”s up in March, the month of never ending birthdays and celebrations?  Stay tuned.

EDIT:  Oh yeah, the meditation challenge?  Yeah, I stink and tried it once and gave up.  Maybe someday…

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