Slowly but surely, things are adding up (or subtracting down, I suppose). I finished this week at 195.8 pounds, and 22.2% body fat, down 3.8 pounds and 0.3% body fat. This is right where I want to be – not just the numbers, but I had a great week in both diet and exercise.
One change this week came from browsing the subreddit loseit: I’ve been trying out some different calorie counters for my phone. So far, Myfitnesspal is my favorite. It seems to have most of the foods I eat in its database, and has a barcode scanner as well. I’m not quite tracking my calories daily yet, but I will be in January, so I’m trying to get used to using it. The nice thing is that it is on my phone, which I always have on me, so I should be able to insert foods on the go. The not so nice thing is that I don’t always fit into their database: I rarely eat at chain restaurants when I eat out, and I try to cook with mostly whole foods at home. Of course, a little perspective is needed here, as it has never been easier to track your calorie intake and expenditure in all of history. I’m sure I’ll be able to find decent compromises and estimates when I’m tracking things day by day.
Ok, let’s take a look at how this week went.
A somewhat atypical week, but not bad. I’ll pick it up on Tuesday, as I mentioned last week how I was snowboarding on Monday. I had 2 lunches out this week. On Tuesday, I had lunch with Tracy as payment for delivering a Christmas present for her (truck karma FTW). I had a salad that probably wasn’t that bad, but certainly a lot of calories from a salad. Wednesday though, I had a company lunch at Maggianos, and I had a LARGE lunch. A glass of wine, a caesar salad, 2 pieces of bread, and a baked ziti. Yes, it was delicious. I wasn’t even too worried about it while eating. It turns out that I downloaded some calorie counters to my phone that afternoon, and looked up the meal I had for lunch. Would you believe I had 3000 calories during lunch? You should. I did.
After that I made sure to check myself a little bit more. I entered my thursday intake meticulously, and it certainly made me eat less. It was startling to see how fast your calorie allotment for a day goes by when you really account for everything. I ended up just snacking on little bits for dinner, too worried about going over the limit for the day. Myfitnesspal helps you calculate your BMR, and then will calculate your calorie intake needed to change a certain amount of weight per week, from +1.0 to -2.0. I set mine to -1.0/week, which will get me close to my goal. That allows me only 1840 calories/day. 1840 people! I would regularly consume between 2500 and 4000 calories a day 2 months ago. I’m not going to lie – sometimes I feel hungry when I only get 1840 calories/day. I figure my body will adjust, but for now, it’s a little rough.
Hands down, best week so far. I had 4 solid exercise sessions. Monday was snowboarding at Vail – although we didn’t go for a full day, it was still a good workout to start the season. Tuesday night I went to Qi with only the intention of doing some cardio. I did my warmup on the bike (15 minutes/level 7), then I set the elliptical for 36 minutes at level 8, longer than last week but the same intensity. I rocked that out, sweating like a pig, but with a smile on my face. When I was done, I thought “Eh, I bet I could do some strength training.” So I went downstairs and proceeded to do the entire 10 station workout, adding some additional sets on the abdominal machine at the end. I even added weight on almost every machine, although I still found that I wasn’t quite at my optimal training level on some. I went home pretty worn out, and happy.
I took Wednesday off, but was back at Qi on Thursday. Since I was so pleased with my Tuesday workout, I decided to do it again. 15 minutes warmup, 36 minutes elliptical, then all 10 stations of strength training. Again, I increased the weight on a number of machines. This time I think I’ve just about reached my current limits – I was mighty sore Friday morning. Even so, I decided to go back to Qi Friday night before I hit any happy hours. After such intense workouts Tuesday/Thursday, I just did a lighter cardio-only routine this time – 15 minutes warmup, 30 minutes/level 8 on the elliptical. I did some work on the abdominal and lower back machines, but light. I was pleased with my consistency, so I took the rest of the weekend off.
I’m slowly settling into a pretty decent routine: 4 exercise sessions/week – 2 just cardio, 2 cardio & strength training. If I can maintain a Monday morning, Tuesday night, Thursday morning/night, and Friday morning/night schedule, I think I’ll be getting a decent amount of exercise in. Next week I will try to get in all 4 sessions, with an expected double cheat day on Christmas Eve and Day. Christmas Eve won’t actually be that extravagant, but I’m sure we’ll have something that demands a little more than nibbles. Christmas Day, however, is when my family gets together to celebrate, and overindulgence will the the course of the evening. Unfortunately, I will have to weigh in the following morning, so I am almost expecting to “gain” weight over the course of this week. No matter – consistent effort in exercise and dieting will smooth out these holiday anomalies.