Monday, April 20, 2009

The Frustration of Weight Loss...

...or the lack of it. Ok, that is not entirely true. Since January, I have lost 4 lbs. Which means I'm losing an average of 1 lb/month. Most people who lose weight lose a 1 lb or more a week. It is just so frustrating to see my numbers barely moving from week to week. Yes, I admit, it's better than nothing and it's certainly better than going up on the scale.

My sister and I were emailing each other this morning about how frustrating the weight loss process is. Grab a fitness magazine or listen to a fitness expert...they all have something different to say. For instance, here are a few examples: incorporate strength training into your routine; burn 500 calories a day and take in x number of calories; take in more carbs; eat more if you exercise more than normal; eat less carbs and more protein; "calories in" should be less than your "calories out"; change your routine; etc. I'm not refuting any of these methods but it can be overwhelming and sometimes confusing when methods contradict each other. What exactly is the right recipe for each individual?

I like to think that if I eat healthy and exercise enough, that weight loss would be a natural by-product. (Notice: I said "think".) Apparently this is not necessarily true. I eat healthy...I'm not perfect...but for the most part I know I eat I like should. I don't eat at any fast food places and avoid anything fatty. I don't binge. I do like sweets but limit my in-take (e.g. one small NY Peppermint patty after lunch and possibly 1 fudgecicle after dinner). I eat lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and protein. I try to limit carbs especially anything white (rice, flour, sugar, etc). I mostly drink water; I nixed any soda or sugary drinks. I do have about 2-3 glasses of red wine a week and occasionally a margarita sneaks in.

So where am I going wrong? My sister suggested we count calories for 1 week. I really dislike counting calories which is why rarely do it. I'm not one who wants to measure everything I put in my mouth. What a pain. But I'm hoping that it will shed some light on my eating habits and what I'm doing wrong if anything.

I decided to go to; I had signed up in the fall of 2006 and since stopped tracking my progress. At that time, I had lost weight and wanted to lose more. When I had signed up, I was 134 lbs and my goal weight was 128 lbs. Oh my gosh! What a shock! I had forgotten that I was down to 134 lbs at one time. This past Dec/Jan I had peaked at 148-149 lbs. My highest weight ever was somewhere between 152-155 lbs. I never want to get that high again.

Let's recap. My lowest recent weight (2 years ago) is now my goal weight (134 lbs). If I could lose 10-12 lbs....I would be ecstatic! Ecstatic... I tell you! At least, I know I've been there before; let's hope I can get there again.

And so the calorie counting begins!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Progress is happening!

It is now week 8 for me in my out-season plan. (Although, I just figured out that I was repeating week #6 several times---Yeah, I thought it was a little weird that my workouts weren't progressing. Oh well).

Even though I was going around in circles repeating week #6 (I guess I kept forgetting to flip the page on my plan) I do have something to say about progress! Here are my results from my bike tests:

Week 1:
Weight 147 lbs
Distance 13.72 miles
Time 42 minutes
Speed 19.6 mph
LTHR 166 bpm
FTP 177 watts
W/kg 2.6

Week 4:
Weight 146 lbs
Distance 14 miles
Time 42 minutes
Speed 20.0 mph
LTHR 165 bpm
FTP 190 watts
W/kg 2.9

Week 8:
Weight 145 lbs
Distance 15.8 miles
Time 42 minutes
Speed 22.6* mph
LTHR 168 bpm
FTP 202** watts
W/kg 3.1

*15.3% increase in speed from week 1
**14% increase in power/watts from week 1

Warm-up: 10-15 minute easy spin including 3 x 30" spin ups and 3x 2 minutes in zone 3.
Test: Cycle hard for 20 minutes, rest for 2 minutes (easy spin), and cycle hard again for 20 minutes. (test times include rest time).

LTHR: (Avg Heart Rate)
FTP: (Power--Watts)
W/kg (watts per kilogram -weight)

It's cool to see those numbers improving! Yeah!