Ok, so I’m having a bad day. Went to bed grumpy, didn’t get enough sleep, woke up grumpy, didn’t have time for a workout to shake the grump, and people are grumpy and yelling at each other here. Needless to say, this is not a banner day. Oh, it WILL get better at 5pm when I leave work and get dolled up and go to the monthly Yelp event but I almost don’t even feel like it right now (however, nothing a little primping and whiskey can’t cure). What’s at the root of my bad day? What could have turned it all around this morning? I hate to admit it, but it’s the scale. We’re usually pretty good friends. He’ll tell me the truth, I’ll thank him for telling me the truth and measuring my progress.
Today, I cursed at him. He pretty much said to me, “Yeah, I know you’ve been busting your butt for a week and a half now. I don’t care. Here’s a disgusting weigh in number from February for your efforts.” Yes, I last weighed in on 2/12 at 154.8. Le sigh…
I think the problem is that I’m making the effort. I understand when I’m letting lose a little or half-assing it, but I am really trying. Last night, my fiance and friend decided to have some cocktails. I refrained because I was being good. They went out to the diner and got chicken fried steak and hashbrowns at midnight and then after hit the bar. I kept my calories at 1320 for the day, and sipped crystal light all evening with crushed ice. I tried to go to bed early but shit just kept going wrong and I couldn’t fall asleep. Not a good preface to stepping on the scale and seeing a number from the way back days.
MizFit yesterday did a great post on Overtraining (and Undereating).I am so glad I trained for and ran my half marathon. It put things into perspective. There is a time and a place for intentional overtraining (2 hour runs? 30 mile running weeks with 60 mins+ cross training, 2 full body weights sessions and 2 yoga sessions? yeah…). After the initial “omg I’m done what’s next” freakout, I realized that my body was happy to crank it down a notch or 5. I won’t stop racing, but I will be much more responsible about my workouts between race training. I’m still “working out” most days but way less intense, and mostly fun stuff. It really got me thinking about my eating – am I really undereating? Is that even possible?
The eating thing is what’s tripping me up and I know it’s my achillies heel. The only way I’ve succeeded thus far is if I count calories and find the number I can ingest and expend and lose weight. I am hesitant to remove any foods/food groups from my diet. Eliminating anything from my diet makes me crazy. When I can have a taste of the ice cream or a bite of the brownie, 9 times out of 10 I’m fine. When I can’t even have a bite, 9 times out of 10 I get grumpy and rebel until I get what I want. I generally eat healthy (in my opinion) and am trying to take myself down from “whatever I feel like” to about 1200-1400 on weekdays, slightly more on the weekends (like 1700-1800).
So I am asking, nay, pleading, for your advice. Analyze me. Don’t worry that you’re not an expert/doctor/trainer, I run everything through my common sense filter and I won’t do something just because you say to. But I’d like to put it all out there and see what suggestions you have for me. Stop reading here if you’re not interested in a bunch of numbers and just leave me a nice encouraging comment, please. Persist at your own peril.
My workouts last week (estimated calorie count in parentheses)..
Monday – full body weights and practicing dancing for 25 minutes (84+ weights)
Tuesday – 20 mins yoga and 40 mins leisurely bike ride (313)
Wednesday – 30 mins intense cardio, arms, swing dance class for 60 mins (653 + weights)
Thursday – 30 mins intense cardio, abs and legs, salsa dance class for 60 mins (602 + weights)
Friday – 30 mins intense cardio, 20 mins yoga (643)
Saturday – Zumba for 60 mins, water volleyball for 40 mins (641)
Sunday – relax
Total burnt: 2936 calories, or an average of 419 per day
This is my food from last week…
Monday – zone bar, mongolian grill (3 oz chicken, 1/3 cup white rice, tons of veggies and some sauce), grilled fish tacos at home with black beans on the side, a peach, two hershey kisses, and a dum dum lolly. 1321 calories, 173g carbs, 32g fat, 89g protien.
Tuesday – luna bar, homemade tuna sandwich on sprouted grain bread, otter pop, homemade meatloaf with 93% lean ground beef, homemade mashed califlower/potato mix, and veggies, 2 peaches, a lo cal fruit smoothie for desert, and 1oz tortilla chips as a snack. 1377 calories, 189g carbs, 35g fat, 88g protien.
Wednesday – 0% greek yogurt with 1/3 packet of oatmeal mixed in, leftovers from the meatloaf the night before (same portion), homemade 9 layer burritos (with 93% lean ground beef, refried beans, rice, low fat sour cream, and veggies/salsa), 2 peaches, 1 oz beef jerky, 1 hershey kiss, and 1 oz vodka (one weak drink). 1408 calories, 166g carbs, 38g fat, 108g protien
Thursday – luna bar, taco salad (made with basically the same ingredients as the burritos sans the tortilla), veggies and tilapia filets, piece of sprouted grain bread with light margarine, apple, a cup of broccoli, and 3 oz whiskey (I made the conscious decision to forgo the rice I was going to have with dinner and have a few drinks instead). 1236 calories, 100g carbs, 39g fat, 79g protien.
Friday – zone bar, chicken pho (vietnamese chicken noodle soup with bean sprouts and broccoli), bbq’d chicken, rice, coleslaw, 2 peaches, 8 oz vodka (we hosted a party that night). 1793 calories, 169g carbs, 16g fat, 110g protien
Saturday – zone bar and a peach, salad bar (a huge veggie-ful salad with lowfat ranch, a cup of minestrone, half a cup of butterbean, some grilled veggies, and a small 1/2 cup of soft serve), Saltgrass steakhouse (bread, salad with half the ranch they gave me, veggies, 5 grilled shrimp, 5 fried shrimp). 1724 calories, 180 carbs, 79g fat, 79g protien
Sunday – Apple, homemade pancakes with sugar free syrup and margarine, 2 slices bacon, 1 small potato shredded to hashbrowns (with PAM), homemade chicken caesar wrap (lo carb wheat tortilla, chicken, olives, bacon, lettuce, cheese, low fat caesar), peanut butter puffins and chocolate almond milk, plum, shared a 100 calorie popcorn, and a sugar free popsicle. 1217 calories, 189g carbs, 36g fat, 58g protien.
Average 1439 calories, 166g carbs, 39g fat, 87g protien. I would probably add about 100 calories per day because I am a notorious nibbler and just due to food tracking error.
So sure there are some obvious nitpicky things. White rice instead of brown (restaurants don’t always serve it and it’s near impossible to get my fiance to eat it and he does a lot of the cooking). Give up the alcohol (no way, jose). Give up the sugar (I really don’t eat much of it though. One small sweet per day and maybe some soft serve once a week). All in all, I really don’t think I do too badly there. Day by day I might have some slipups but overall it evens out (16g fat one day, 79g the next).
The math *should* even out. 1539 eaten – 419 burnt = 1120 net calories per day. A sedentary person of my height and weight should be eating about 2000 calories per day to maintain their weight, so that’s creating a 880 calorie deficit per day. Truth be told, I should be seeing a 1.75 lb loss at this rate with my math. It’s not happening. I don’t like it.
So I did some more surfing and this seems to be one of the better calorie calculators around. Instead of estimating what level of activity you think you do (I think half marathon training is active, someone else out there probably thinks that their mile per day walk to starbucks and back is active, who’s right?), you can also input your exercise. I generally have my butt planted on a chair if I’m not doing something I would count as exercise, so this works for me to be sedentary but put in my sweat sessions. It also counts weights for calories which is something my beloved sparkpeople doesn’t do. I’m considering utilizing this next month as a guide to how much I should eat – put in yesterday’s activity and that will tell me how much I should eat today. For example:
Monday – 2584 calories to maintain. Subtract 750 (deficit to get 1.5 lbs loss per week) = 1834
Tuesday – 2253 -750 = 1503
Wednesday – 3089 – 750 = 2339
Thursday – 3255 – 750 = 2505
Friday – 2343 – 750 =1593
Saturday – 2611 – 750 = 1861
Sunday – 2014 – 750 = 1264
This is saying I don’t eat enough, and I should increase my calorie average to 1842 per day at this activity level. To lose 1.5 lbs a week. 1000 calories is the most one should go into debt per day (losing 2 lbs per week), even then I should be at 1592. This seems crazy to me. Am I really just not eating enough? Should I take the leap of faith and add a bunch of lean protein and good carbs and fruits and veggies and good fat to those days when I’m hanging tough around 1300? What specifically is missing in my diet?
I am calculating myself into a tizzy, and would love some input. My sanity depends on it. I am willing to do what I need to do to give it a good college try (for the most part – you can pry my whiskey from my cold dead hands, you’re not going to convince me potatoes are evil, and I will not give up my once weekly rice noodle pho). I’m looking for a suggestion that involves moderation, not absolution and abstinence. I wish I had a giveaway to reward you for even reading this far, but I will give away my eternal gratitude for any help here!