Friday, March 5, 2010

7 - 8 Miles Walked Yesterday! Whoo Hoo :)





Yesterday was Great Weather and non-stop walking for me. I got up, cleaned the kitchen, bleached the sink, cleaned the bathroom, bleached the tub, mat and shower curtain, and cleaned the sink, did some laundry, etc.


Then, I walked from home to the Pita Pit to meet Jim for lunch (1400 block of 4th ave), then walked to Jeff's bike shop at 8th St and 6th Ave, then to Faith in Action at 9th Ave and 8th St, then to the Barnett Center to help set-up, manage, and clean-up after the Boy Scouts, then Jenn drove me home by 6:10pm, then I was back out the door by 6:35 to walk over to the Jr. League building (617 9th Ave) for the Southside Neighborhood meeting that Casey said I needed to go to, then I walked home again.



Using Google Earth and some ballpark estimates I calculated the following:
Walking the dog around the block = 0.39 miles
Walking around the house cleaning and doing laundry = at least 0.25 miles
The walking from home to everywhere then to the Barnett Center = 4.60 Miles
Walking around the Barnett Center helping set-up, manage the kids, and then clean-up = at least 0.5 miles
The walking from home to the Jr. League building and back = 2.3 Miles

TOTAL = 7 to 8 Miles!!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

230 lbs, 20 lbs lost since 1-4-2010

I'm down to 230 lbs! That's 20 lbs lost since I started this endeavor. This puts me right on track for my goal of  loosing at least 2 lbs a week, as it has been 8 weeks since I started, plus a little wiggle room for a slower rate of loss near the end of the year.

I've been working to choose protein, fruit or vegetable over instant carbs, keeping my calories down to around 1800 a day, and getting some exercise each day. These simple steps have helped me to stay on track with my weightloss, even when I've "broke over" here and there. Plus, www.fitday.com helps by making me see my actual calorie count each day.

And THANK YOU to everyone who's helped me stay on track - You are helping me Reach My Goals and become a Healthier Person! :)

2.6 miles, 1 hour of walking

It is all about recognizing the progress one is making.

As of today, I have reached a new milestone: the longest distance walked at one time. Using my sister's treadmill, I was able to walk 2.6 miles today, taking 1 hour to reach this distance.

And this is in my old cruddy shoes, not the new walking shoes Jim and I will be purchasing upon my return from Columbus. I can't imagine how much nicer the walks will be, and how much further I might be able to go in them, since I won't be dealing with tired feet as much.

17.5 inches lost since 1-4-2010

I have some new Measurements to post, plus a listing of my total inches lost.

Here are my Body Measurements I entered into www.fitday.com today:


Date:
03/02/2010
Neck:
Bicep:
Forearm:
Chest:
Waist:
Hips:
Thigh:
Calf:


This gives me a total inches lost of 17.5!


I may not have lost a lot of weight this month, but I did loose quite a few inches. In fact, I'm pretty sure I've gone from size 20 pants down to size 16. Whoo Hoo!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Walking - did 1.35 Miles in 32 min

I hit the treadmill again today. I did 1.35 Miles in a bit over 31 minutes, which works out to 2.7 MPH. But the thing is stuck in Kilometer mode, so I shot for between 4 and 5 KPH. There was a good 15 minutes that I was doing 5 kph, which translates to 3.1 mph. As I'm only 5' 6'' and my legs are a bit short for my height, I'm very happy with this speed.

I may have only burned 120 calories, but I lit a fire within me that said "I really can do this!"

- eve

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Walking - did 1.83 km today

I just did 1.83 km of walking this evening, which works out to 1.137 Miles. It took 30 minutes to do this, which is very similar to the 3 laps I do around my block at home (1.17 Miles).

But, just to be sure, here's the math:

1 Kilometer is equal to 0.621371192 Miles. So, to figure out the Miles I walked I multiplied the KM by the 0.621371192 Miles:

0.621371192 Miles
----------------------- * 1.83 Km = 1.137 Miles
          1 Km

Friday, February 19, 2010

Lent and Weight Loss (232 lbs)

 Lent is about sacrifice for the health of our spirit, and my Lifestyle change is about getting to that healthy balance of mind/body/spirit.

I had a wonderful break from intense dieting and exercise for a couple weeks, all of February up until Ash Wednesday. I lost my momentum due to various reasons, but I'm using Lent as my way to re-focus. I'm now back to counting my calories each day on Fitday.com, keeping to no more than 1800 each day, and attempting to exercise 200-300 calories each day. Right now I'm in Columbus with Family, and my sister has a Treadmill, so I'm going to shoot for 3 miles of walking per day, maybe more, depending on how I'm feeling.

The good thing is that I still managed to loose some weight. I'm now down to 232 lbs as of this morning, which means I've lost 18 lbs total :)  If I want to kick it up a notch and try to meet my goal of 8 lbs lost in February (2 lbs a week), I've only 5 to go, but I'd be happy with 2-3, which is do-able in 10 days.

One thing I've realized is that this transformation of self is not about just me, but its about everyone I'm connected to, and God's Will. If I keep myself to this path, one I believe was Divinely Inspired, it will help others in my life to see that it can be done using simple means, and that if an undisciplined "slacker" like me can do it, so can they.

Psychology plays a big part in changing ones behavior and building healthy habits. Seeing someone you know change their life, seeing a friend or a family member loose over 100 lbs without surgery, it brings it home. It becomes an achievable goal, a reachable goal; it makes it possible and tangible. Perhaps by transforming myself and my way of living, I might inspire friends, family, and even people I don't know, to make healthier changes for themselves. I know I found inspiration all around me, once I decided to look.

This awareness, this vision of the ripple effect of how our choices affect those connected to us,  has helped me to grab the wheel again and put the pedal to the metal, it has renewed my Drive for becoming the New Me.

Yet Lent is not about me; its about making sacrifices now to become a healthier person in Body, Mind and Spirit, to "clean our spiritual mirror" and become a better reflection of God's Light, to show the power of positive change that comes from one person making a solid decision to see beyond themselves.

I can see the horizon ahead of me as I walk down this path and I'm overflowing with Hope :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

235 lbs! 15 lost for the month of January = WHOOT!

Well, it's official, I've lost 15 lbs in my first month, down to 235 from 250.

My goal is to keep loosing an average of 2 lbs a week. Since the first days of this Lifestyle change had extra water weight loss, I would need to look at the last 2 weeks to get a better look at the sustainability of this goal. Exactly 2 weeks ago on the 18th I weighed in at 239. At 2 lbs lost per week I should be down to 235, which I am. This bodes well for later on when the weight is a bit harder to loose, especially since I've missed about a week's worth of exercise due to an injured foot. If I can keep up with the 2 lbs a week loss on diet alone, then surely I can do so with the help of consistent exercise.

I should be able to get back on the walking bandwagon today, and Sweetie our Beagle will be thrilled, even though it's 25 degrees outside. She has really enjoyed all our walking this month, and can't wait to get back out there.

Friday, January 29, 2010

236 and a busted toe

Three days ago on Tuesday I was in a hurry, was rushing to get out the door, the cat was hidden beside my chair, so I managed to get my feet tangled up in her (she's ok), tripped across the floor and slammed my foot into the desk. Since my toe was throbbing pretty bad and deep purple, I thought it might be broken. But because I'm an idiot, I waited till Thursday to go to the doc and get it X-rayed. Thank God all is good, nothing broken, but the tip and the joint were bruised, and apparently there was some blood pooling between the nail and the cuticle, which was getting infected. So now I'm on antibiotics and an anti-inflammation med, but the best part is that the Doctor over at Ocumed said that I was totally good to get back to walking, as long as I ease back into it. Yeay!

Since I was down from being able to exercise for a few days, I focused on my calories, shooting for 1500 a day, which still allowed me to reach my 1000 calorie deficit per day. This morning, I'm officially at 236, a total of 14 lbs lost since January 4th. WHOOT!

Friday, January 22, 2010

238 lbs, Walking Exercise and Music

Anyone who knows me has heard me profess my love of Ambient Techno music. LOVE IT. This type of densely layered synthetic sound, often coupled with audio snippets from soundtracks, world music vocals, and original lyrics, has a soothing yet energizing effect on me that I greatly enjoy. I'm also a big fan of Electronic Dance and Downtempo music.

Lately while doing my walking exercise, I've been listening to Ulrich Schnauss. The songs On My Own and Clear Day from the CD A Strangely Isolated Place have been my internal mantras of meditative physical movement. They are the songs I "gear up" with, while with other songs I slow down the meter of my pace.

Today I was able to do 6 lapse without issue, a total of 2.34 miles in 47 minutes, a 3mph average pace. This is a big deal, especially considering my right knee (ligament replaced in 2002), right ankle (sprain fracture last August), big toes (cracked cartilage at the base of each in 2002), lower & mid-back issues, and my Asthma. Added to the fact my legs are shorter than average for my height of 5' 6'', me maintaining this 3 mph pace is pretty darned good. I am seeing a definite improvement in my overall flexibility, strength and health.

After eating Chinese buffet and a large hand full of Wheat Thins last night, ending in around 2150 calories for the day, I still am down to 238 lbs, which is also pretty good because the day before I ate around 2000 calories and didn't even walk (was a bad Fibromyalgia symptom day). Progress comes in taking small steps every day. The results are real.: the weight is coming off.

There is a peace and happiness growing within me knowing that I can do this, with the support of family and friends, and through the Grace of God. Each day is a new day, each step I take down my path towards a Healthier Lifestyle, no matter how small, brings me closer to becoming the person I want to be, the person inside waiting to be discovered.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

4 miles of Walking :)

Our car is dead right now, and until it can be resuscitated, hubby Jim and I are at the whim of public transportation, friends and our feet. Today, I utilized the latter of the 3 to get me from home to my Master Gardener class at the Enslow Presbyterian Church, that runs from 6:30-9:30pm.

Using Google Earth (yes, I geeked out again), I was able to pick a route and establish the distance as 2.10 miles. My route took me down the Ritter Park walking path, around the park, and then down Enslow Blvd. My estimation was for an hour and a half to arrive by 6pm. This required that I leave by 4:30pm. So I packed my bag with nutritious snacks, notebook and pencil, put on my coat and walking shoes, turned on the iPod and went for a good walk. The clouds had moved in, cooling it down to about 48 degrees, but after the first 20 minutes of walking, I was too warm and had to open my jacket.

Arriving a few minutes before 5:30pm I found the place dark, locked and silent, without a car in the parking lot. I was too early. And, now I had to "go". So, I walked a bit more, down to the end of Enslow, crossing Hal Greer to reach the BP station. Google Earth measured this additional distance as 0.25 miles, so round trip  I had added another half mile to my travels.

My evening walk came to 2.62 miles. This added to my morning walk of 1.58 miles (4 loops around the block) meant that I had walked over 4 miles today. Whoot!

239 and holding, plus fun at the Cinema

Yesterday we had a very fun evening. Husband Jim, I and a group of friends went to the Cinema Theater for their Monday Night "Flash Back" movie. This week it was Ghost Busters, and apparently they sold out! The audience was great, and we had a good time. I'm looking forward to next week's Monday Night Movie: The Life of Brian.  It will be a blast, I'm certain.

On the side of healthy snacking while at the movies, I used the "bottomless purse" method. Not exactly what Theater owners like, but maybe they should add a few more nutritious choices to their menu. I brought a breakfast bar, some unsalted trail mix, and a couple apples for us all to enjoy. It worked. After the movie, I was not hungry.

I will say this: I did think about going out to eat. It was like one of those moments where the unhealthy habits kick in, leaving us to fight a battle of will within ourselves. Thankfully, I was surrounded with good friends who  are on the same healthier lifestyle path, and who would not have supported my thought to go out and grab some food even though we were not hungry. This unspoken support helped me to dismiss the moment of weakness and to move on to a different topic: "Anyone for Life of Brian next week?"

I did weaken again later in the evening, but I managed to snack on some Rice Snacks, Fit&Active brand. The problem was that I ate quite a few. I still was under for my calories for the day, but I was also at 250% of my daily sodium requirement.

Too many salty crackers with my soup and Ranch Rice Snacks at night have left me a bit water-bloaty today, but I'm still holding at 239. This is good. I should be down to 238 by tomorrow, if I can keep my sodium levels down today.

Monday, January 18, 2010

11.25 inches Lost!

Jim helped me take some new measurements, and it all adds up to 11.25 inches lost! Here are my measurements as listed on www.fitday.com:


Date:
01/18/2010
Neck:
Bicep:
Forearm:
Chest:
Waist:
Hips:
Thigh:
Calf:

That's 2 less in the neck, 0.5 on the Forearm, 2.25 on the Chest, 2 around the Waist, 4 around the Hips, and 0.5 around the Thigh.

I will post another measurement update around the beginning of Feb.

Can and should I shoot for 140 lbs?

Based on my Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) calculated in my last post and my Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) in the one before that, I require 1703 calories per day for my body to function properly, and a total of 2342 calories per day to maintain my current weight (239) and activity level.

This means when I'm eating a 1800 calorie diet, I'm under my TDEE by 500 calories. Since 3500 calories equals 1 pound gained/lossed, by diet alone I should net at least 1 pound lost per week. But I want an average of 2 lbs lost per week. To reach my goal of 140 lbs, I would need to increase my activity each day until the calories I burn with exercise reaches 500. With a 500 calorie deficit in my diet combined with 500 calories burned in exercise, I should be burning 1000 calories a day, which should net 2 pounds lost per week.

At this point, I am uncertain that 140 lbs is a reasonable goal to be reached by 1-1-2011, or that it is a reasonable weight for me.

Using the calculator at http://www.cordianet.com/calculator.htm my BMI says my weight should be around 142. However, based on my % Body Fat of 44%, I would have to get below 6% body fat to reach 140 lbs.

My conclusion is that I need to be open to the possibility that I may need to shoot for a different end weight. Because my finger pinch method of measuring Skinfolds, used to calculate my % Body Fat and Lean body Mass (LBM), has a higher chance of error, getting a caliper to perform monthly measurements is essential, so that I can recalculate and adjust as needed. Taking body measurements twice a month is also important for tracking progress. As I near the middle of 2010, these measurements will help me better decide if 140 lbs is indeed reasonable.

TDEE - Total Daily Energy Expenditure

Now, to find my Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE), in other words the number of calories I would need for my body to function normally (BMR) and for me to burn doing my normal daily tasks, like go to the store, clean the dishes, do laundry, work, etc.

Here are the TDEE calculations based on estimated daily activity:


  • Sedentary = BMR X 1.2 (little or no exercise, desk job)
  • Lightly active = BMR X 1.375 (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/wk)
  • Mod. active = BMR X 1.55 (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/wk)
  • Very active = BMR X 1.725 (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days/wk)
  • Extr. active = BMR X 1.9 (hard daily exercise/sports & physical job or 2X day training, i.e marathon, contest etc.)
 I would say that my TDEE could be described as Lightly Active. Since in my last post we found that my BMR is 1703 calories, the calculation would be as follows:
1703 X 1.375 = 2342 calories

So my TDEE is 2342 calories.

BMR and the Katch-McArdle Formula

The Katch-McArdle Formula for finding your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) requires that we know our Lean Body Mass (LBM), which I calculated in the previous post.

This method of calculating BMR is generally accepted as more accurate, as it is based on the LBM. The formula is as follows:
BMR = 370 + (9.79759519 X Lean Mass in pounds)

My BMR would then be:
370 + (9.79759519 X 133.60 lbs) = 1703.30 calories

This seems more accurate, since when I eat between 1650 and 1800 calories, I'm satiated, even with exercise.

So, based on this value, I'm going to stick with 1700 cal as my BMR for now.

Body Fat Percentage and Lean Body Mass (LBM)

To find your Lean Body Mass, you must first find your Body Fat percentage.

This requires you to get a friend to help you pinch 7 different locations on your body and take Skin Fold Measurements. You can use a caliper, or you can pinch, hold your fingers in place, then measure the space between your fingers. Obviously calipers are more accurate, but as I do not have any, we used the finger pinch method. Because of the increased chance of error due to the finger pinch method, I know to take the % Body Fat and therefore the Lean Body Mass totals with a grain of salt. To get more accurate values, I will have to buy a caliper and take monthly measurements, then compare the LBM results over the extent of this year long experiment.

Skinfold Measurements
Here are the different locations on the body that require measurement, as stated at http://www.gain-weight-muscle-fast.com/skinfold-measurements.html, which also has helpful pictures.



  • Chest - For men, get a diagonal pinch half way between the armpit and the nipple. Women need a diagonal pinch 1/3 of the way from the arm pit to the nipple.
  • Midaxillary - A vertical pinch on the midaxillary line which runs directly down from the center of the armpit. Raise your arm above your head and have your partner get these skinfold measurements just below the level of your nipple.
  • Subprailiac - A diagonal pinch just above the front forward protrusion of the hip bone.
  • Abdominal - A vertical pinch about one inch from your belly button.
  • Thigh - A vertical pinch halfway between the knee and top of the thigh.
  • Tricep - A vertical pinch halfway between the shoulder and the elbow.
  • Subscapular - A diagonal pinch directly below the shoulder blade.
Here are my measurements:
  • Chest - 1.5 " = 38.1 mm
  • Midaxillary - 2" = 50.8 mm
  • Subprailiac - 2" = 50.8 mm
  • Abdominal - 2.75" = 69.85 mm
  • Thigh - 0" (really, I couldn't pinch anything on the top of the thigh, but if we were measuring inner thigh, well that's another story)
  • Tricep - 1.5" = 38.1 mm
  • Subscapular - 2" = 50.8 mm
Now, I could go through and do the calculation based on the below formula, but I'm going to just us the calculator at http://www.gain-weight-muscle-fast.com/body-fat-calculator.html

Here are my results for January 2010:

Bone Density = 1.002
% Body Fat = 44.10 %
Body Fat in lbs = 105.40 lbs of fat and water
Lean Body Mass (LBM) = 133.60 lbs of LBM

What this tells me is that my goal of 140 lbs is possible, but I'd have to get below 10% body fat. Only future caliper measurements will tell me if this LBM is correct and if I need to adjust my goal.

The calculations that came to the above totals (listed below) are based on Jackson-Pollocks' formulas for bone density, then based on that value finding the body fat percentage using Siri's formula.

-----------------------------------------------------------



Here are the % Body Fat formulas for Men and Women:


Body Fat Percentage Man

Seven Skinfold Sites 
(all 7 sites from above, SUM7 is the sum of all the measurements in mm)

Bone Density = 
1.112 - (0.00043499 * SUM7) + (0.00000055 * SUM7²) - 
(0.00028826 * Age)
Body Fat Percentage =
[(4.95/Bone Density) - 4.5] 100
 

Three Skinfold Sites 
(Chest, Abdominal, and Thigh sites from above, SUM3 is the sum of these sites in mm)

Bone Density =
1.1093800 - (0.0008267 * SUM3) + (0.0000016 * SUM3²) -
(0.0002574 * Age)
Body Fat Percentage =
[(4.95/Bone Density) - 4.5] 100
 

Body Fat Percentage Woman

Seven Skinfold Sites 
(all 7 sites from above, SUM7 is the sum of all the measurements in mm)

Bone Density =
1.097 - (0.00046971 * SUM7) + 
(0.00000056 * SUM7²) - (0.00012828 * AGE)
Body Fat Percentage =
[(4.95/Bone Density) - 4.5] 100
 

Three Skinfold Sites 
(Tricep, Suprailiac, and Thigh sites from above, SUM3 is the some of these three sites in mm)

Bone Density =
1.0994921 - (0.0009929 * SUM3) +
(0.0000023 * SUM3²) - 
(0.0001392 * AGE)
Body Fat Percentage =
[(4.95/Bone Density) - 4.5] 100

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and the Harris-Benedict formula

After finding out that my initial math was incorrect, I decided to further evaluate a few things.

The first thing I wanted to reevaluate was my Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). This is the number of calories your body needs to function and stay alive, like pumping your heart, maintaining liver and kidney function, breathing, etc.

There are a couple ways to calculate this. One way is the Harris-Benedict Formula, and it differs between Men and Women:

Male Formula for BMR
BMR = 66 + (13.75 x weight in kg) + (5 x height in cm) – (6.8 x age in yrs)

Female Formula for BMR
BMR = 655 + (9.6 x weight in kg) + (1.8 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age in Yrs)

So, to calculate my BMR based on this formula, I will need to recalculate my weight into kilograms. To do this I must divide my weight in pounds by 2.2. 

239 / 2.2 = 108.64 kg

Next I need to recalculate my height into centimeters. To do this I must multiply my height in feet by 2.54.

5' 6'' = 66"         66 X 2.54 = 167.64 cm

So now I plug all my numbers into the Harris-Benedict formula:

BMR = 655 + (9.6 x 108.64kg) + (1.8 x 167.64 cm) – (4.7 x 38 Yrs) = 1821.06 calories per day

This seems a bit high. And this formula can give too low and too high readings, depending on if you are underweight or overweight. 

Because of this possibility of error, another formula was created, based on your Lean Body Mass.



239 lbs and Adjusting the Scientific Method

After the first 10 pounds lost, and given my earlier flawed math, I have decided to adjust my frequency of weight measurement to every other day. Yesterday, Sunday the 17th of January, the scale said I weighed 239. I'm still holding today and it looks good for 238 tomorrow.

A measurement every other day should still yield a solid baseline for weight comparison. Further into this new Lifestyle when the pounds are harder to loose, I will again adjust the frequency of which I get on the scales to twice a week, so that I can better track the rate of weight change as it slows down.

However, given the volume of muscle mass that I will be building and toning, I still look to consistently check my body measurements twice a month: once around the 1st, and again around the 15th.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Michael Pollan and some Great Food Books

Author Michael Pollan is a prolific Food topic writer. He has a large list of Food related books that are quite excellent, and the most recent one that has peaked my interest is Food Rules: An Eaters Manual. It's tiny, cheep ($5.00), informative, and filled with great advice about healthier food choices.

Here is what Amazon.com has to say:
"Michael Pollan is the author of five books: Second Nature, A Place of My Own, The Botany of Desire, which received the Borders Original Voices Award for the best nonfiction work of 2001 and was recognized as a best book of the year by the American Booksellers Association and Amazon, and the national bestsellers, The Omnivore's Dilemma, and In Defense of Food. A longtime contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine, Pollan is also the Knight Professor of Journalism at UC Berkeley. His writing on food and agriculture has won numerous awards, including the Reuters/World Conservation Union Global Award in Environmental Journalism, the James Beard Award, and the Genesis Award from the American Humane Association."

Glycogen and "Water Weight"

Glycogen is a molecule that helps the body store glucose for use later with digesting carbohydrates and accessing sugars. Yes, we need sugar in order to process carbs into sugar. These molecules often have water attached to them as well. When we start a lower calorie eating pattern, a goodly portion of these ready-to-use glucose stores get flushed. This is because we are eating less carbohydrates and thus are digesting less carbohydrates. Our bodies adjust to this new lower-carb lifestyle by reducing the amount of Glycogen/Glucose/Water stores we have in our Liver, Muscles, and Fat, which results in the initial "Water Weight" loss of any new diet.

I now have my answer as to Why I was loosing so much weight! :)

"3,500 Calories = 1 pound" or "How I was Totally Wrong"

Since the beginning of this blog, I have been posting that 900 calories equals 1 lb lost. Wrong

I've googled so many other questions, but for some reason, I never googled that assumption. The vast majority of online sources say that 3,500 calories is equal to 1 pound.

At this point I'm so confused. Where did I get the 900 calories? Why does all my math work for the 900 calories? Why am I loosing about a pound a day based on that math?

I will have an answer!
... just not right now.

240 lbs!

As was suspected in yesterday's post, I believe it was all about water. So, after another day of eating around 1800 calories and drinking the requisite 64+ ounces of water, my weight now registers at 240 lbs. In fact, it reads a bit less than that, but I never count more than a pound a day.

Loosing 10 lbs in 11 days is simply wonderful, and the first 10 lbs lost is a milestone in any weightloss regimen. However, I fully expect the rate of my weightloss to slow down for the next 10, and eventually it will fall in line with the 2 lbs a week I estimated from the beginning. But, I am enjoying these first "easier to loose" pounds and hopeful about the next 100.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Google Earth and Tracking Miles Jogged

I jog/walked the dog today around our full square city block and it only took me 7 minutes, a 10-12 minute endeavor usually. So I wanted to figure out exactly the distance we jogged. As City Blocks vary in length from 1/8th of a mile to 1/20th of a mile, I decided to use Google Earth to make that measurement.

First, open Google Earth, then zoom in to the city block in question. I typing in our mailing address, state and zip. Make sure to zoom in close enough to see the sidewalks on the map. Next, open the Ruler window off the menu, then select Feet or Miles from the drop down menu, depending on how precisely you wish to measure. At this point you will see the curser represented by a square. Use this to click on the corners of the block, preferably on the actual sidewalk you were using. With the first click you will see a dot appear on the map. As you click on the second corner, you will see a line appear between the dots and a value in the Ruler window: this is the distance of that block. As you add the third corner, the value will increase to match the new distance measured. When finishing the measure of a Square Block, on your fourth click, I find it easiest to click near but not on the first dot. At this point you will have a pretty accurate measurement.

My full square block came to 2050 feet or 0.39 Miles, roughly 1/3 of a Mile. After messing with Google Earth for a while, I found that the average Huntington block measures around 0.8 to 0.10 Mile. So for some easy rough math, just shoot for 10 Huntington blocks as 1 Mile.

With this information, I was able to discover that 3 loops around our square block is just a smidge over 1 Mile: 1.17. If I did 9 loops, that's 3.5 Miles. A standard 5 Kilometer run is equivalent to 3.1 miles. This is very hand information, as my goal is to be able to do a 5K run 2-3 times a week by January 1st, 2011.

241 lbs, then back up to 242 lbs

Many professionals recommend that when one is attempting to loose weight, weighing oneself daily is simply not a good idea. But I've been doing it anyway.

First, if it looked as if I'd lost more than a pound in a day, I still logged it as no more than 1 pound lost, to eliminate the possibility of false readings due to morning dehydration. Second, I needed to track my weight fluctuations so that I could better evaluate the effects of certain foods and exercises on my body. Third, I needed to test my emotional attachment to the numbers: excitement when the number went down, sadness when the number went up. The idea is to eventually become accustomed to my evolving weight and to recognize the most probable reasons for the loss or gain.

Well, yesterday I was down to 241 lbs. Actually, it read 240 lbs, but again I only accepted the 1 pound. Today, however, I'm registering at between 241 and 242.

Here are a few reasons why I not only haven't lost another pound, but may have gained one back:

  1. Adding up the Calorie Windows:
    Eating around 1800 calories a day means I'm at a deficit of around 700 calories per day on diet alone. Add to that the 30-40 calories I burn walking the dog and it still does not add up to 900 calories, the amount of 1 pound of fat loss. In fact, I'm looking at around a 150 calories that where not burned for several days, and 6 days of this adds up to 900 calories. But, in all fairness, I also had 2 days where I was way below my calories for the day, one at around 1500, and another around 1300, so this would numerically adjust for those daily burned calorie deficits. Thus, any presumed Calorie Windows have been accounted for and shouldn't be a factor.

  2. Dehydration giving a false 241 lbs reading: I have been quite good at drinking at least 64 ounces of water, but I still may not be drinking enough. Yesterday, I drank a hard cider in the evening (200 cal), and didn't drink an equal volume of water to match it, which is the rule-of-thumb for counteracting the effects of diet sodas or beer on your hydration levels. This may be a possibility.

  3. Water Retention bumping my weight up to 242 lbs: Not only did I not drink my usual daily diuretic yesterday in the form of either tea or coffee,.but the Roast Beef in my lunch was so high in sodium, it single handedly put me over my RDA. This is another possibility.

  4. Building Muscle: I did 45 minutes of Yoga yesterday, along with 30 minutes of core exercises, burning around 200 calories, and boy am I feeling it today. However, I also consumed a goodly portion of protein as well, and this added to my increase in activity may have lead to my body building onto my muscle. Muscle weighs 5 times as much as Fat, so it wouldn't take much rebuilt muscle to pack on a pound. A very likely possibility.
My assumption is a combination of the last 3. Now, I need to adjust for these possibilities. First, I should stop drinking coffee for a while and see what happens. Second, I should drink no more than 12 ounces of caffeinated teas per day. These two adjustments should reduce the diuretic impact on my weight, thus giving me more accurate daily readings. Third, I should pay more attention to nutrition charts before purchasing a meal and choose based on sodium content as well as calories, as too much sodium in my diet can lead to water retention. As for the last culprit of new muscle mass, I'm glad for this. The way to adjust for this is to not rely solely on weight as a measure of weightloss, but to also track changes in body inches, which I plan to measure again February 1st.

I'm still quite happy at 8 lbs lost, and this is a significant success for only 10 days.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Spiced Chicken with Baked Potato and Sautéed Veg - 520 calories, 15 minutes

Last night we experimented with fresh Chicken Breast and a cast iron pan. As Jim loves pepper and chili powder, we had some fun Sautéing something tasty, and it took less than 15 minutes to prepare!

First, cut up a fresh chicken breast, about 9 ounces, into about 1 inch cubes. Second, add 1 Tbsp Olive Oil to your cast iron pan, next adding the chicken and putting it on medium heat. Third, chop and added 1/2 an onion and 4 cloves of garlic, followed by 2 cups of sliced carrots. Fourth, add spices, mostly to the meat: chili powder, garlic salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, seasoning salt. Lastly, put on a lid till the chicken darkens, stirring occasionally.

At this point put 2 small potatoes in the microwave on high for 8 minutes (5 minutes for the first one, 3 for every potato thereafter). Green beans can be either heated from a can or sautéed in a separate pan from frozen or fresh. I chose from a can, as that's what we had on hand, and it was faster.

This two person meal came to a total of 520 calories each, before adding butter to the potato. I chose to skip the butter and simply cut my potato with the skins into small pieces and ate it with the Spiced Chicken and veg.

Just a note here about Potatoes and Potassium - if you eat your potato with the skin, you can get as much as 700mg of Potassium from a medium sized potato. That's 15% of your RDA in one food serving!