Athais' Training Journal

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Athais replied the topic: Re: Athais' Training Journal

I wish there was some way to copy/paste what I do from myfitnesspal.com. That way you could see how I am doing.

I lost another 0.4 pounds, making my total loss for last week 1.2 pounds. I think that I would do better if I ramped up the exercise, although walking 2.5 miles twice a day at 4.0 - 4.3 mph seems like a lot of exercise to me. I also have been lifting weights, but I haven’t gotten into the habit of logging that in MFP.

I have been keeping my calorie intake around 1400 as long as I do the two walks. My friend and I are trying to make zumba a regular exercise on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but I fear that I will have to do Thursdays without her as she often decides to go out to eat instead of exercising. She says she is so tired by Thursday that she has no energy to do it.

So, with calories around 1400 and exercise around 1000 calories burned, I end up with a net around 300, which is right where my body likes it in order to lose weight.

When I first started this, I didn’t really pay attention to net calories. I lost weight quickly just staying around 1200 calories and one walk a day. Then I started to stall, so I added a walk.

Well, the stall just kept going and going, like an energizer bunny. I had to figure out what I needed to do in order to lose more weight. Someone mentioned to eat more and increase my net, so this is what I did and it really helped.

Now I am switching back to a gluten-free diet. Yesterday was the first day and I already feel great! They hesitated to say that I have celiac disease, but they said that there was evidence of changes that indicate that I have gluten sensitivity. So gluten-free it will be. I did this once before and it was like a 180 degree turn around when it came to feeling better and having more energy.

So everything is on track as far as weight loss goes. Can’t wait for the next step in this nutrition/diet journey!
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Jax replied the topic: Re: Athais' Training Journal

I eat way more than 1400 calories and am still losing weight. I sped up my metabolism by eating more often. I won't eat that little. Starving is the worst way for me to try to lose weight. that's what I did to ship to boot camp. it didn't do anything for long term weight loss and just left me hungry. ;-)

I bet once you switch to gluten free you can eat more actually. Also, did you cover how much of your diet is veggie? Many veggies are negative calories. :-)
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Kol Drake replied the topic: Re: Athais' Training Journal

And, remember, everyone has their own unique metabolism. If I ate as much as my 30 year old son, I'd probably weigh around 400 pounds -- and yet, he is still 6 foot 7 and barely 170 pounds.

After the initial water weight 'losses', losing a consistent 1-2 pounds a week is a reasonable and healthy cycle.

Keep up the great work!
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Athais replied the topic: Re: Athais' Training Journal

First off, I may not have mentioned that I have lost 37.7 pounds on this particular journey. At first, I was losing about 2 pounds a week, but then I stalled and have slowed down on losing. That's okay, because I would rather lose it slowly and keep it off, than lose it fast and gain it back.

I used to weight 294, but weigh in at 178.6 as of this morning. As you can see, I am not a novice at weight loss. At 55 years of age, my metabolism is not what it used to be. Actually, I don't think I had a great metabolism in the first place. :huh: I went without being diagnosed with hypothyroidism for over ten years, which is where most of the weight gain came from. Although, I don't want to blame it all on that - hand to mouth disease was a primary cause.

I eat three square meals a day, unless I get up late. I have spaced out snacks in between meals and after dinner, but not within three hours of going to bed. I basically burn that last snack on my evening walk anyway.

I drink about a gallon of water. The body is really amazing. If you don't drink enough water, it will hold what little it has, which is why people often hold water in the first place. Consistently drinking water in large amounts every day tells the body that water is not a problem, so let me pee. :P

I am never hungry, so I don't feel like I am starving. If I do feel hungry, I eat instead of being hungry, even if I do get close to 1500 calories. I am only 5'1". Yeah, I know, a peanut. :pinch:

I eat a lot of veggies. Today, I had broccoli, asparagus, and spinach. I also eat nuts - cashews and pine today. Sunflower seeds and dates round out the day, with a chicken 'salad' sandwich on Udi's bread. Who would have thought that a wedge of Laughing Cow Cheese would be a great subsitute for mayonaise with less fat? Comes in different flavors, but I like Chipotle for chicken and Herb and Garlic for salmon.

Gluten-free is tough, because breads made gluten-free often have less fiber and more calories. On the flip side, my digestive system is happier with it and, since most snacks have gluten, I eat more veggies and fruits when doing gluten-free.

Hope I answered everyones' questions and addressed your comments.

And Kol, I didn't mind 'titleless' Athais. :cheer:
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Jax replied the topic: Re: Athais' Training Journal

Sounds good! I've started experimenting with tzatziki sauce which is much tastier and healthier than mayo (which I never ate anyway). Making it fresh at home with greek yogurt is pretty darn healthy. :-) But I don't stress on it. Our focus is just the habit of creating good, fresh food at home. Even if we make something less than healthy, it's an improvement over boxed food. One step at a time. :-)

Thanks for answering questions.
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Athais replied the topic: Re: Athais' Training Journal

Today has been a really trying day, physically and mentally.

Physically:

The lilacs are a bloomin'. I love the smell of lilacs and they are very beautiful, but they are the number one pollen producer on my allergy list. I have been fighting with my asthma all day. I love Breathe Easy tea, because it helps to relax my airways without making me hyper like my inhaler does. :(

I used a lot of meditation and visualization today in order to relax through the chest tightening. Spring is the worse time of year for me, so I know this is only temporary, which does help with coping with the issue.

I wasn't able to walk this morning for my full 2.25 miles because of the respiratory issue. I can literally push myself into an full-blown asthma attack during days like today. The pollen count really wasn't that high; just those beautifully deadly lilacs.

Eating has been adjusted for the lack of exercise. Still doing gluten-free and feeling really good, too. I have to bake cupcakes for a party tomorrow, so am going to make gluten-free because I know two other people who will be at the party are gluten-sensitive as well.

Mentally:

Work is becoming a true test of my patience. I put together charts for myself and my coworker to depict the percentages of completion of curriculums for each practice. I did them in Excel, because you can put in calculations that will do all the work for you. I'm lazy that way. ;) My coworker doesn't know anything about Excel, so if there are changes to be made, she sends me her chart and I make the changes, like adding columns, putting in a new formula, etc. I have tried to teach her, but she is not interested in learning Excel.

Heck, it took me a year and a half to teach her to make charts with Microsoft Word. It would be a miracle if she learned Excel.

Anyway, we send out these percentage charts every quarter. This last quarter, the administrators wanted to know if the new hires were included in the charts. They get six months to complete the curriculums so do not need to be included in the percentage completion charts.

Well, one thing led to another and we have changed the charts for every change that they have requested. It is like a snowball going downhill, whereby I start off doing a good thing by making these charts without being asked to make them and then they want more and more and more and more and more....... ad infinitum. The thing is, these charts would not have even been started if I hadn't put them together in the first place!!

So I, basically, created the monsters. :S

Oh well, it is job security. While dealing with these things, my list of work to get done is getting longer and longer because I have been dealing with this fire. Eventually, someone is going to ask, "Where is such and such...?" and I will have to put on a smile and say, "Why, funny you should ask...."

Such is life. Meditation does the mind good when it comes to things like this and I have adopted the motto, "This too shall pass" because it really will. :silly:

On the flipside, they finally have work for me at Habitat for Humanity. I have arranged for next Saturday and hope that my asthma behaves itself. My recollection is that there are no lilac bushes around the site or neighborhood. Poor neighborhood, few backyards, and house close together. I will have to take pictures this time. I know they took pictures of Connie and I working on the roof, but they haven't posted them to the Facebook page. When they do, I will let you know. B)
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Jax replied the topic: Re: Athais' Training Journal

damn, creating monsters sucks! And what a horrible allergy to have! They are my favorite flower. Thankfully I'm not allergic to flowers, it's the trees that get me. Best I can tell at least. But running on the treadmill, my lungs are sooooo happy. I will run outside again as soon as the air quality improves. It's taking a while though. Sorry you had a rough day. At least it's over. ;-)
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Athais replied the topic: Re: Athais' Training Journal

It has been over six months or so since I have actively been pursuing a minimalist/voluntary simplicity lifestyle. I have come to believe that I should assess and reassess where I am on this path toward minimalism/voluntary simplicity on a regular basis.

One characteristic of minimalism is an appreciation of the interconnectedness and interdependence of the earth’s inhabitants and systems. Everything that I do, from flushing the toilet to preparing a meal, affects the inhabitants and systems of the earth. I have been trying to keep my water usuage to a minimum by taking quick showers, turning off the water when I brush my teeth, using the toilet twice before flushing (except when I am leaving the house or going to bed), and washing small loads of dishes by hand. I have reduced the amount of things I print or copy to just the essentials and have curbed my driving trips to just the local area.

Authenticity has been a mainstay for me over the past ten months. I really feel that I have come to understand myself very well and, with that understanding, I know what I like, dislike, believe, and want. I am still developing a list of what I value. I am told that as I move forward on this path, clearing out the clutter in my life, I will come to understand what I value more and more.

Integrity is the ability to be truthful. The diet plan that I am following requires that I log everything that I eat honesty and identify my failings when it comes to not losing weight. I also have to log the exercise I do. It is really necessary to be truthful to myself about why I am not losing weight or why I gained back a bit of what I lost. I figure that if I can’t be truthful with myself, I am only hurting myself.

Being truthful, though, is helping other people as well. Members of the site where I log my food and exercise are able to see my diary. They may want to see what I am doing because I have lost about 40 pounds. They may want to see what they can do that I am doing to help them lose weight. So, I also have to be truthful to them.

Being truthful is part of being authentic. If I were trying to be something I am not or following a path that I can no longer believe in, then I am lying to myself. That lying to myself is like putting a coat of paint over my authentic self. It is so much easier for me to be…well…me, than for me to put on airs and be something I am not or never will be.

It really is a beautiful thing to just be myself, so easy and satisfying. There is no need to prove something to someone else when you are being yourself. You also don’t have to explain yourself to others. This is not to say that I don’t work at learning more or improving myself in some way. Living in a minimalistic fashion is all about improving yourself. This only means that I am satisfied with myself and I don’t feel a pressing need to make changes in myself just to satisfy other people.

Self-reliance is another thing that I am working on. I have been doing a good amount of my own cooking, mainly from scratch. I am making my own yogurt, bread, cookies, cakes, etc. all from scratch. I also am getting into making my own cleaning solutions, including detergent. Soap is another thing that I am learning to make. Eventually, I would like to make and sale handmade soaps to make a little money on the side.

I also have been tinkering with my car, getting to know how to fix it. Working with Habitat for Humanity has given me a wealth of information on home repairs as well as building a home. I can put up walls, sheetrock, windows, shingles, and a slew of other things, compliments of Habitat for Humanity.

Healthy autonomy means that I improve and maintain my good health so that I am not reliant on others for care. Since I have lost 40 pounds, I have given away a lot of clothes because they are way to big for me. Since January, I have lost 2 inches from my chest, 3 inches from my waist, and 5 inches from my hips. My knees no longer ache and I have not fallen since December because I have strengthened my left leg to where it is no longer dragging.

I have been slowly increasing my speed on the treadmill. When I started this journey, I was only able to go 3.0 miles per hour. Now I can do 4.3 miles per hour without any problems. I often do interval training, doing a quarter of a mile at 4.3 mph, dropping down to 4.0 mph, then up to 4.3 mph, and so on until I complete 2.25 miles. By the end, I am always sweating and exhausted, but it is a good feeling to be sweaty and exhausted from that kind of workout.

I will continue with my assessment of where I am on this path tomorrow night. For now, I must fetch my laundry and workout on the treadmill before going to bed.
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Athais replied the topic: Re: Athais' Training Journal

Today is turning out to be very productive. I have three bags of garbage sitting in front of me, ready to be pitched. I have two boxes of things to give to my children, one box for each child. And I have one bin with things for Goodwill. I also found some foodstuff in my kitchen that I will give to the Cancer Pantry.

I was hoping to go to Titanic in 3D this evening, but my son is coming down later today to pick up a stethoscope for his girlfriend. He is much like Comcast, giving a time range in which he will arrive - somewhere between 2 and 4. :S Anyway, I have to set up for teaching this next block as well, so Titanic will have to wait.

I have a lot of plants to repot, as my spider plants decided to go crazy with having little spider plants and the pothos and one other plant need to be cut back. I put the cuttings in water until they have roots, plant them, and give them away, although I may take them with me to a craft sale and sell them there. I think I will buy pots at garage sales and decorate them, putting the plants in them.

I have some homemade soaps to sale as well as some other crafts that I have been working on. I picked up a slew of herbs at a plant shop as well as a pot of lettuce varieties that I can pick from throughout the summer instead of buying lettuce at the store. I think that I will actually make another planter of lettuce varieties as well, as lettuce is a staple in this house.

I stopped at Godfrey's Meat Market yesterday with my friend Lisa. They butcher the animals there, so the meat is fresh and has no additives. This is an out-of-the-way place and I am so pleased to have found it. I realize that I will have to eat meat if I am lifting heavy. The meat sold at Godfrey's is local and raised outdoors, not in some indoor animal factory.

I joined Gold's Gym yesterday and plan on starting a solid lifting program on Tuesday. I will take some time today to go through The New Rules of Lifting for Women and get things organized. There was a lot of testosterone by the free-weights when I was there, but I will not allow that intimidate me. I have an appointment with a trainer next week as well.

My asthma is much better and I have been able to get both my daily walks in. I was reading yesterday, though, that if the body is saying that it needs a break, then I should give it one. Trouble is, how do I determine if it is the body saying that or just my mind? ;)

I am scheduled to work for Habitat for Humanity next Saturday and also offered to do some at home work, like stuffing envelopes. If I can figure out how to post pictures here, I will take some of the house we are working on.

Well, that is it for today. I have to get back to doing some cleaning. It is raining right now, so taking the garbage out will just have to wait a bit.
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Kol Drake replied the topic: Re: Athais' Training Journal

Adding variety to an exercise program can improve adherence and can also help you stay physically challenged and mentally stimulated. The variety (abs one day; legs the next, etc.) gives your muscles time to 'rest and repair' so you can progress in a smoother curve with fewer plateaus.

Varying your work-out can also help you stay physically challenged and mentally stimulated. The body will most typically adapt to a repetitive training stimulus within four to eight weeks; modifying your exercise routine will help avoid this from happening.

There are several ways you can spice up your current routine in order to stay enthusiastic and excited about your workouts. You can vary the exercises themselves, the order in which you do them, rest periods, rep ranges and rep tempo.


Substituting Exercises:

The exercises themselves can be substituted for; some exercises that are fairly similar can feel very different. The military press, for instance, using dumbbells feels completely different than using a barbell. It puts different demands on your deltoids, having to coordinate and balance two weights in your hands as opposed to one. Same goes for any other type of press, shrugs, dead lifts or lunges. Switch to dumbbells for a while to give your muscles a new challenge.


Targeting Muscle Groups:
Not only can you substitute exercises from barbell to dumbbell, but you can also target the same specific muscle group by using cables or machines. Lat pull downs in place of chin-ups, cable side laterals for dumbbell laterals, smith-machine squats for barbell squats, and leg press toes raises for standing calf raises to name a few.

You have a better option for this since you are working at a gym and a trainer. Don't be afraid to ask about this kind of 'alternating work out' stuff.

Know what muscles you want to target and then try variations of exercises for them. Certain movements are so fundamental, like the bench press, that they have to be included in any complete exercise program. But by exploring a range of different exercises, you will be able to find the ones that suit you best and get the most out of.


Go slow:
My coach and my drill instructors were all about 'hussle' -- hurry up and get it done, however, I later learned that training at a slower tempo has several advantages. For one, you eliminate any cheating or body momentum, this ensures pure muscle action. Another is that it decreases the risk of injury by having to control the movement more. Finally, lifting the weight slower than normal will have your muscles screaming for mercy - a great way to raise the intensity level. Try a three second down and three second up pace to stimulate your muscles differently.

My buddy showed me this 'trick' while we were stationed in Northern Turkey. Work all night; sleep through the mornings and work out all afternoon -- from basketball, racquetball, to running and weight lifting -- the last being something I had not done before. It is amazing how little time it takes to 'work up' to some impressive weights when done properly. Plus, he took me off the cable and pulley weight machines to go it all again with free weights which really made a difference. Each arm had to do it's best instead of letting the machine help 'equalize' the load.

Anyway, VERY cool about the programs you are taking up and hope you see the breathing issues clear up as you continue to improve.
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