Tag Archives: kJ counting

Running in public

The running workout that I have been doing for the last couple weeks has involved the sequence (run for several minutes, walk for a small bit, do some half squats)*several times. And it is fine to do early morning when there is no-one about and I am running around the back paths of my suburb.

On Saturdays, I have started going with my man and our boy to a lake where we meet with friends. I do my workout around the lake and everyone else walks around and we meet at a play ground at the end for the kids to all get out and play. It works really well. The path mostly follows the lake; there are two bridges next to a very busy road and about 400m on the side of another very busy road. Last Saturday I was uncertain whether I should do the squats. I mean, it would look… Well, you see people running and walking and power walking and stretching but not really doing other sort of moves… And I feel self conscious enough…

But by the time I was at the first lot of squats I was 20 minutes into the workout and didn’t care that much. As long as I was not on the bridge (where there is not alot of room) I was good to squat in public. I was even next to the very busy road towards the end of the workout and squatted. And it was just me, doing my exercise and it didn’t matter. I was very proud of myself at the end.

Today I overslept and I needed to leave 30 minutes earlier to get to work early. So, I did not get my early run in. But because I was there 30 minutes early I was able to take a long lunch break. I packed all my gear and at 12.30 I got out for my run by the lake – it’s a different lake; a busier lake with bigger roads and bridges and alot of lunchtime traffic around it in the form of people walking, running, riding, sitting, strolling. I decided that I would do the two bridge loop which would give me about 7km for my workout. I know this workout needs about that much.

Again I was really uncertain about the squatting! Initially I planned to just walk for an extra 30 seconds before running again but by the time I got to it, I just did it. I stepped off the path so no-one would run/ride into me and got on with my workout. And each time I got to the squatting segment I was able to step off the path. So I did. And I felt silly. But getting fit is more important to me than a fleeting silliness. These people who see me exercise really don’t care. They don’t know me, they won’t see me again. All they see is someone working out and working hard. And I am ok with that.

Well, mostly ok with it. The next workout, the one I had planned for today, had skipping segments (not jump rope skipping but skipping along). I did not want to skip in public, but I am mostly ok with squatting in public!!!

In other news. Today I weighed in and the stats are:
Starting weight: 140.9kg (310 lbs) 3/1/2010
Today’s weight: 96.0 kg (211 lbs)
Loss since last week: 1.6kg (3.5 lbs)
Total lost: 44.9kg (99 lbs)

Last week I exercised on 6 days – I did 4 running workouts and 2 walks. One of the running workouts was a bonus; it was not planned but I got the opportunity and I also thought that I was busy the next day. So, I went. And then the plans for the next day fell through and I went walking that day instead. I deliberately did not run on two of my workouts. Last week I did a total of 34kms.

I ate well and consistently, averaging at 9225kJ/day which was a little more than I was aiming for but only twice did I think I had a little too much. I am doing well not having chocolate and really am not craving sugar, although I am still loving the summer fruit and choose to eat my extra kJ that way.

I have been more consistent in saying my positive affirmation. It starts off “I breathe in, I breathe out. I breathe in peace, I breathe in joy, I breathe in strength, I breathe in love. I breathe out fear, I breathe out discontent, I breathe out stress.” I repeat that a couple of times and then the focus changes a little. But, I breathe deeply and relax and when I say ‘I breathe in joy’, I can feel my cheeks lifting and I am smiling.

It was a big loss last week. Look at the numbers!!! Almost 45kg gone! Almost 100lbs gone!!! And I am very close to the lowest I got to in early December. My clothes are a little looser and I feel really good. It is very exciting. But I need to be careful. I need to eat enough to sustain my exercise – that is one of the things I got wrong in January. This week I am aiming for an average of 9500kJ a day, so just a little more than last week. I want to slow my weight loss to about a kg a week but I want to keep my exercise intensity up. I will aim for 3 of my Up and Running workouts and 3 fast walks. Again, I will choose not to run in some of my workouts!!! I love how far I have come, that more and more the expectation is that I will run!

So far, Feb 2012 has been a good month. My exercise and food choices have been ones that bring me closer to my goal of health and fitness. And my actions and choices bring me joy.

my weekly report

I have had a good week. I have averaged 8780kJ a day over the last week, I exercised on 5 days, doing a total of 25.4km in 3 hours 46 minutes. My exercise time is down from what I was doing last year but the intensity has gone up because of the running. I have been doing some reading and some thinking. I met my commitment to myself to eat well, exercise and do some head work. So, it was a very good week. There were some stress points but I did not use food to manage the stress. I also had an unstructured day yesterday with a big brunch and then two light snacks and then dinner but I tracked the food and I did not use it as an excuse to over eat. So, I am really happy with that. The number on the scale is down 2.2 kg (4.8 lbs) from last week! I am almost back to my lowest weigh in for last year and that makes me feel good. I know it is a large weight loss for one week; some of it I attribute to the week before (my stress eating last weekend impacted weigh in). It is also still a ‘starting out’ weigh but it is alot for one week.

This coming week I have a couple of social events that I will plan for but I think they will be ok given what they are and who they are with. I have my exercise booked in, I have meals planned and most of the shopping done. I will keep reading and thinking. I will try and eat a little bit more to bring it up to 9000kJ a day. I want to keep the weight loss steady and so it needs to be slower.

My running is going well. I had some good times this past week and I think I might try running 5K this coming weekend as a timed run. When I ran 5K late last year it was without good eating or consistent training leading up to it. Some of the Up and Running girls have been talking about 12 races in 2012 – be that virtual or actual races. I like that idea and as I will be away the last weekend in January I thought I could try next weekend. I will see how the week goes.

I got a call from the Get Healthy Program last week. I knew the call was coming – it was my 12 month follow up call – but I thought it would be a couple of weeks away. It was really good to report in to them. The Get Healthy Program is run by the state/territory govts in Australia and provides free phone coaching over a period of 6 months on healthy living to people living in those states and territories. I signed up in January last year for the additional support and I really enjoyed the calls from my coach. I agreed to do the followup call as part of the research on the program itself. I think it is important that programs get information from the participants so they can try to assess if the program met the objectives. There were questions about food/exercise/planning/motivation and weight and waist circumferance. I felt so strong and positive in that conversation. I haven’t finished this journey yet but I have come so far. I know that having those check in calls last year did help my motivation and commitment. I highly reccomend getting as much support as you can, be it a group, family or friends, online forums or govt sponsored programs. Wouldn’t it be a good thing if we could be there for each other as we walk our own paths to better health?

Dinner parties, cheese and champagne

It was a good weekend. We had friends over for dinner and there was cheese and champagne. I cooked Kangaroo Massaman and made the curry paste with a mortar and pestle. Not the lightest meal but you don’t take big servings and I also had a vegetable curry which did not use coconut milk. After our friends left, I guestimated how many kJ I had eaten and it was 2000 above my target for the day. The meal itself was not too bad. It was the cheese and crackers and champagne that put me over. But, you know, it was a great night. Overall last week, I averaged out at 8281kJ/day, and that is including the dinner party. I was aiming for 8200. I exercised for 6 and a half hours last week. I made sure that on Saturday I ate lightly to help with dinner and on Sunday I did the same. I did lose weight this week, not as much as I had hoped but that is ok. I had a good week being on plan and exercising and I had a great dinner party. And being able cook for my friends and enjoy good food is something that I need to be able to incorporate into my life.

And today I am wearing a size 16 shirt that I bought years ago for when I could fit into it. That attempt, I did not get there. I am wearing it today and I look good.

Starting weight; 140.9kg (310lbs)
Today’s weight: 106.4 (234lbs)
This week’s loss: 0.7 kg (1.5 lbs)
Total lost: 34.5 kg (76lbs)

This week I want to do resistance training at least twice. I have not yet made it a habit and I am more likely to do cardio than resistance. But I want to incorporate it into my routine.

I am also baking for work on Thursday but I will factor that in and that is ok.

Other than that, I now have a teapot at work to help me out with stress management there.

That is all.

2nd Trimester wrap

On the third of April I wrote “A 40 week plan has to be split into 3 trimesters”. Well here I am, wrapping up the second trimester.

These last 13 weeks have been a period of finding my own path and consolidation of good healthy living habits. I started counting kJ at the beginning of April and needed to increase my food intake as I realised I had not been eating enough. I then looked at an average day of food in terms of the macronutrients I was getting to make sure my intake was balanced. What I am eating now is a good balance for me, nothing extreme and nothing denied. In working all this out, I developed a much better understanding of how exercise impacts my energy requirements. As a result, my weight has loss slowed in the last 13 weeks from an average of 1.5kg a week in my first trimester to an average of 1 kg a week in the second. I am really pleased with this.

I have kept building my exercise routine as well. In April I challenged myself to exercise every day of the month. In May I started parking further away from work to increase my incidental exercise. In June I started resistance training. Somewhen as well, I started including jogging intervals during my walks. I now aim to exercise 5-6 days a week and to spend about 5 hours a week exercising. And I have done this pretty consistently over the last 13 weeks. With winter coming on it was also important to find ways to keep exercising and so I am doing more inside now. I use my exercise DVD 2-3 times a week and am really pleased that I have it. Most mornings at the moment are below 0’C and I don’t want to go out walking when it is that cold and it is also dark. But I am looking forward to August when it will be light enough in the morning to go walking… I miss my early Monday morning walks.

Work also changed for me in April, I went from 3 days a week to 4 days a week and I am still adjusting to that. The four days are better for work, the three days were better for me and home life. Working the extra day meant that I had to plan meals a little better and plan exercise a little better. It also means the cleaning is done less frequently and things are left lying about…

I am still participating in the Get Healthy Program. The next call is my last call as it is only a 6 month program. I really enjoying getting calls every 3-4 weeks from a health coach. It was like having my own little cheer squad. And there was always something to think about after the call.

It is really good to realise that I have also not been sick as much in the last 13 weeks. I know that as I increased my exercise in the first third of my plan that I was not eating enough. I think that I really was pushing myself too far and my immune system was struggling. I was also exposed to alot of germs as my toddler bought home every sniffle and cough from daycare. The combination of all that meant I had 4 colds by April and a couple of nasty infections as well. But since then, I have had no illnesses to complain about. I am so pleased that I moved to kJ counting and started eating more!

So, what do I want to work on for the final 14 weeks of the plan?

I want to run. I am going to register for the Up and Running Online Course (www.upandrunningonline.org) starting Sep 5. It is an 8 week course and will give me a goal that ends after my 40 week plan which I think is really important. So, until then I want to work on increasing my fitness with jogging intervals in my walks and with resistance training.

I want to keep eating well, cooking new things, enjoy the occasional baking and track my food and exercise.

I want to think about what motivates me and make sure that I have things in place for when my 40 weeks is up. I will still be about 30kg from my goal weight and that means I can’t stop. Actually, stopping is not an option I think about. These changes are not ones I have picked up to lose weight and that I can stop when I am done. At 70kg overweight I think I will always need to keep an eye on what I am doing. This doesn’t scare me like it did once. Tracking my food and making sure I eat a balanced kJ aware diet and planning in regular exercise seems a small cost for a healthy life.

25 weeks, 175 days, 525 meals

I am not surprised that after all this time I am still committed and positive about the healthy lifestyle path that I have chosen because I have clear short term and long term goals and a plan that I have built and fits my day-to-day life. But, then again, I am a little surprised that I am still committed and positive! There have been alot of changes to my food, my exercise and my self talk. I have been tracking my food and exercise for 175 days and it is not a chore (most of the time). Perhaps one of the reasons for my continued commitment is that I am really focussed on today and this week rather than trying to focus on this year. This year is too big, I can’t jump that far at once but each day is a small step and I can manage this day, this next meal.

In the week just past, I focussed on bringing my food back down to about 8200kJ a day and I averaged out at 8212kJ so I am really happy with that. A couple of days were over, a couple spot on and a couple under. I dropped the extras that had crept back in – like a hot milky drink before going to bed and/or some chocolate. There were a couple of nights where I did brush my teeth earlier as a tactic to not have anything else before bed. I also made sure that I checked how I was going before I snacked in the afternoon; that way I was ahead rather than trying to catch up. And I cooked some new things in the last week; it was good to do. I like food and cooking and I start craving treats if I don’t try new new things regularly.

Exercise wise I was also more consistent, getting in just under 5 hours over six days with two lots of resistance training. I had hoped to do more resistance training yesterday but I needed to do some housework because it was starting to bug me but I did get 30 mins cardio in. We all went on an afternoon walk. I think that I made a good call on that.

And so, this weeks stats are:
Starting weight (3/1/2011): 140.9 kg (310 lbs)
Todays weight (27/6/2011) 107.4 kg (236.3 lbs)
Loss this week: 1.6 kg (3.5 lbs)
Total loss: 33.5 kg (73.7 lbs)

This week brings me up to 26 weeks. Half a year! This week also brings me to 2/3 of the way through my 40 week commitment. I will do a wrap of the middle third of the plan next week.

Challenges? I want to get in exercise every day. Even with another possible day trip this weekend I am going to get in at least 10 minutes every day, aiming for 5 hours in total. To quote someone: ‘JUST DO IT’. I have a lunch date on Wednesday with some friends. I don’t know where we are going so I have not yet planned ahead but I will find out and I will exercise early morning as I won’t be able to at lunch. And I am expecting some hormonal challenges this week. I hope to ride through them better than last month.

Life is good. I feel stronger and healthier than I did this time last year. And I am going to keep moving towards a healthier and stronger me.

Today’s food

55g Sultana Bran
125 mL fat reduced milk
1 30g slice multigrain bread
2 tsp (10g) almond butter – I made it and it is just almonds and a bit of cinnamon and vanilla
Latte made with 180mL fat reduced milk and 60mL espresso

30 min DVD work out + 10 min resistance

100g frozen blueberries
200g fat reduced natural yoghurt

48g multigrain tortilla
20g reduced fat cheddar cheese
60g ham
2 lettuce leaves, about 30g
1/2 lebanese cucumber, about 100g
capsicum slices (about 40g)
rainbow slaw (a mixture of shredded carrot, beetroot and broccoli), about 50g
Latte made with 180mL fat reduced milk and 60mL espresso

40g raw cashews
apple, about 300g

2*15 min walks with a friend. We walked to the park 15 mins away with our toddlers in the prams. Toddlers played for 90 mins and then we walked back.

Kangaroo roast (roast weighed 400g raw and I had a little under half of the cooked meat)
100g potato wedges
100g carrot
100g broccoli
1 tbs chilli tomato sauce that my man made

I measure some things on the scales but not others. Things that already come in portion sizes (lettuce leaves, carrots, cucumber, apples, bread) I guestimate based on an initial weighing. Other things (cashews, blueberries, wedges, cereal) I do weigh every time because it is so easy to over estimate. My scales live out on the bench and it is easy just to put my bowl on the scales, measure what I need and then measure the next thing in.

Today’s food brings me to about 7500 kJ after dinner. My daily target is 8200kJ, so I am down a bit today. Although, I do try and look at my daily target as being an average over a week. This means that if I am over on a particular day, or have a special event planned, I can manage that over a week.

On a normal work day I would have had a bit more salad for lunch with a little bit of salad dressing; and slightly different snacks including another half a serve of fruit. I was down about 500kJ before dinner and tonight’s dinner was a light one.

I could have had a drink of alcohol with dinner but I generally don’t like taking my kilojoules as alcohol. I would much rather eat them. I could have some dessert or chocolate. Or a hot drink of milk before bed. I really like hot milk with a tsp of golden syrup at the moment! It is delicious!

I checked out how much icecream I could have and it is not enough for me. So it is better for me to avoid it then be left craving more. I could have 20g chocolate and that much usually satisfies me. Funny, isn’t it, how different foods play on one’s mind.

I think probably the hot milk wins but I will make that call after dinner. Sometimes it is nice to share a little bit of chocolate with my man while we are watching something together 🙂 Hot milk would add 600kJ and chocolate would add 500kJ. Both options leave me a little under my target and that is ok. Yesterday I was about 100 over…

One thing I find with tracking food is that I am able to look at what I have had in a day and then adjust. And I like that I can be flexible in this way. The knoweldge of how a particular day is going gives me the information I need to make better choices in light of my daily target and overall goals. As soon as I leave the tracking to the end of the day I discover that I underestimated how much I ate at the time – or I don’t remember it all – and I am then left short. I have only tracked at the end of a day a couple times. It was when I was on the road and I had not thought things through all that well. I find that even when I don’t know the actual values it is better for me to make a guess, log it and then come back later to check the kJ value.

Today has been a good day 🙂

Details on ‘my plan for the rest of the year’

So, I mentioned ‘my plan for the rest of the year’ in my previous post. I thought it would be good to actually put down my plan here. In case I lose the file I have it in, or the backup…. It is always good to have things stored in multiple places 🙂

I started counting kJ a month ago. I am really happy with the transition. It took me a little while to get the balence right between what I am eating and how much exercise I am doing but I have a better understanding of it now. (Although I think that I have overcompensated this week because of Easter Monday…)

I started out with a 8000kJ target (1900cal). That wasn’t enough. So, over the next couple of weeks I increased that by having slightly more for breakfast, morning tea and lunch but not changing dinner. I was aiming for 8500kJ (2020cal). I made it work and it did work.

But I have lost more weight and I want to keep losing weight at about 1kg a week. I have spent some time working out how much I need to eat to keep losing weight at this rate, provided I keep the exercise up. So, from 115kg (253 lbs), which I hope to record officially on Monday, I will aim to eat 8200kJ a day (1950cal). Then, when I get to 110kg (242lbs) I will drop to 8000kJ (1900cal). Then there is another little adjustment at 100kg (220lbs). These little adjustments should keep keep my kJ intake at at the level to lose about 1kg a week – maybe a little bit more but not too much less. My hope is I will get to 100kg (220lbs) by mid October which is another 16kg (35lbs) in 22 weeks.

I know that life happens, hormones cycle back and forth, there are plans that get put on hold or changed without warning. I am not expecting that I will keep to this every day or that every week there will be a 1.0kg (2.2lb) loss. But I have managed to track my food for 16 weeks now and keep focussed. I believe that I can continue eating a healthy balanced diet and exercise most days in the week and that I will see the number on the scale going down.

So, once I worked out the numbers, and especially wanting to drop my food intake a little bit next week, I had to work out what to leave out from my weekday food. I usually have the same thing for breakfast, lunch and snacks 5 days a week. And the weekends are a mix of different foods and the normal foods. Working out how to tweak weekdays will give me confidence that it will be easy to go forward.

Dropping 200-300 kJ (about 50 cal) for next week is equivalent to not having 80g of grapes on my breakfast cereal. I was having 3 serves of fruit a day and I will just drop down to 2.5 serves of fruit to make this little adjustment. Then, when I drop another 200kJ (50 cal)down the track, that is equivalent to having 30g of cashew for morning tea instead of 40g. These individual changes are small and I can manage this.

Knowing how to adjust my food intake to get the results I want gives me confidence. Working all this out feels like I have made my own stepping stones to help me on the journey.

I say ‘no’ to excess baggage

Weigh in day!

Start weight: 140.9 kg (310 lbs)
Current weight:: 118.5 kg (260.7 lbs)
Loss this week: 1.1 kg ( 2.4 lbs)
Total Loss: 22.4 kg (49.3 lbs)

Almost at the 50 lb mark!!! It is exciting when there are big numbers which tick over either in the current weight or the total lost stats 🙂

I am up to 15 days of consecutive exercise!!! I don’t every think I have done this before. Last week I averaged 45 mins a day. Last night I did not sleep well and I decided to only go for a minimum amount of exercise today which is park the car just over a km away from work and walk in. Which means I get two little blocks of exercise and I am happy with that for today.

And I increased my kJ intake to an average of 8130kJ a day (up about 400kJ from the week before). I was aiming to be within 200kJ of 8500 but due to getting the kJ content of rice and cashews wrong, I am a little lower than I had thought I was. However, I have lost 1kg and I think that is a good amount and I think I am starting to find a better balance in terms energy in – energy out.

My other challenge for last week was to set up a reward for having made it through the first third of my 40 week commitment. I talked about it with my man… so that is progress 🙂

I spent alot of time over the weekend calculating nutritional info. And in the end it felt like work. I did several meals and I looked at a whole day to get a picture of what I was doing. I think it is really handy to have the values for meals that we cook regularly (and there are only a couple now I am missing). And I am also pleased that I have looked at an average week day. It confirms what I am doing is good. But I would like a break now. It takes quite a bit of time to work out not just kJ but protein, fat, and carb values. I know I really do like the numbers – it keeps me on track, it keeps me motivated and I have a long way to go. I just don’t want to be building new bad habits to take place of my old bad habits. I have enough baggage I carry around from my past and I don’t want to pick up any more. I don’t want the counting and watching of numbers to stop me from living.

This weeks challenges are pretty much the same as last weeks:
– keep up the exercise
– try to get a little closer to 8500kJ a day
– organise a reward to celebrate how far I have come.

And I want to remember that I am moving towards a lighter plane of being – lighter in my body and my mind.

Macronutrient breakdown of a typical weekday

Now that I have swapped to kJ counting I was curious to calculate the macronutrient values of what I eat. Everyone has a different take on what you should eat to lose weight so I wanted to know what I was doing.

I picked Monday from last week because it had a typical dinner (my work days are the same up until dinner time and most dinners are a variation on meat and veg with some carb). It was interesting looking at the kJ content of what I ate because I tracked Monday at just under 8500kJ but now, working it out all again, I came just over 8000 kJ. My tracking is only as good as the values I enter. (Grrrrr!) I know where a couple of things have gone wrong (rice and cashews) and I have fixed them now.

I looked up the protein, carbohydrate, fat and fibre of what I ate on Monday and here is what I got (rounded):
kJ: 8025
protein: 122 g ( 26 % kJ from protein)
fat: 47 g (22 % kJ from fat)
carb: 232 g (46 % kJ from carb)
fibre: 38g

And looking at the serves, I had about 3 serves of protein, 4 serves carb, 3 serves fruit, 5 serves vegetable, 4 serves dairy and some cashews which I don’t know where to put.

The %s give an indication of how much of my kJ intake came from that macronutrient. I know they don’t add up to 100% but in cases where there was less than 1g of protein/carb/fat the information sometimes isn’t provided. But I got close. And doing these calculations is only to give me an idea – it doesn’t have to be exact.

I am happy with this. What I am doing is low fat, moderate protein and moderate carb, and it falls neatly between the two programs that I have been looking at in terms of protein and carb intake. I am getting enough fibre through fruit and veg to balance only having 4 serves of refined/simple carbs. My dairy is a little higher than I thought but I use reduced fat milk and have reduced fat cheese. Most of my fat comes from cashews and that is ok because I don’t actually get much fat into my diet any other way.

So, that is what I eat on a weekday. Weekends are more variable but as I still track my kJ and as nothing I am doing is extreme, it should not make that much difference.

A 40 week plan has to be split into 3 trimesters

And tonight marks the end of my first trimester. 13 weeks of eating good healthy food, 13 weeks of getting into exercise. I am proud of myself.

This week I tracked both my ww points and in kJ. With the tweaking I did last weekend, I had increased my points by 1 and made sure I ate all of them. That brought up to my kJ target. I ended up a little over today because I forgot to put on my latte at breakfast and then another this afternoon. But apart from that (and that was human error) I am happy with how the kJ tracking is going. It will be interesting to see how the scales go tomorrow.

This week was also the first time I exercised every day. I have now completed 8 consecutive days of exercise, averaging about 45 mins a day.

I baked a cake today. It was so good 🙂 It was a fresh plum cake. It was really nice to do something that I enjoy, that I have not done in the last 13 weeks. I enjoyed my piece of cake. I am taking the rest in to work tomorrow to share it out and I won’t have any more. I know that ‘they’ say rewards when losing weight should not be food related, but this is my plan and I enjoyed the baking, I enjoyed the eating. I included it in my food count for the day and had a light dinner. And I am satisfied with my plan, with my piece of cake and with being able to do some baking again. Life is good. I can put the recipe up if anyone wants. It is not an expensive cake, food wise; not real light but it is no chocolate mud 🙂

My folks were here today and I looked at some photos my mum had had printed from late last year. I have lost weight 🙂

I am off to brush my teeth and go to bed. I have an early morning walk planned. At least daylight savings time has ended and it is light in the morning again. I did not like walking in the dark. Tomorrow I will get to see the sun rise over Canberra 🙂