Tag Archives: plan

2012 – today and far off

I have a new spreadsheet for weightloss stats. It has my starting weight from 2011 and then will have my first weigh-in for 2012. All of 2011 stats are archived. I like this because December was hard and I am back up 2-3 kg from where I was at the start of the month. So, a new spreadsheet gives me the opportunity to move forward, acknowledging how far I have come in a year but not worrying about the last month.

I have a new spreadsheet for recording training. I also have a calendar that my sister gave me which includes an exercise log for each month. I also have a small diary I will keep in my handbag that I might use to record exercise. I have looked at a few online logs but I don’t find them quite right (well suited for running but awkward then for other exercise workouts)… I am not sure what I am going to use yet but I have options and I will work it out. I will record my exercise. That much I know.

I have some books to re-read in relation to self awareness. I would have read them about a decade ago when I was doing alot of growing up very quickly. These books will be my starting point for the self acceptance development I want to progress.

I am going to try and do things differently in 2012 with regard to commitment and motivation. In 2011 I had my 40 week grand plan and it worked so well for changing my life. This year, I want my focus to be on ‘today and far off’ rather than one defined endpoint. ‘Today’ is every day, the choices I make each day that will get me to my ultimate goal of being healthy for life; which is the ‘far off’. To help me transition, I am going to look at a monthly committment and review. At the start of each month I will commit to my health and future, at the end of each month I will review. Part of my commitment each month will be weekly goals for eating and exercise but I hope that by reviewing and committing each month I will keep my motivation high while helping me transition. So, no grand plan for this year. My plan for this year is to normalise food and exercise into my life, to make those healthy choices part of my everyday. And to keep in mind the goal of healthy for life.

I want my attitude to be matter of fact with regard to food and exercise, building on the routines I developed this year. By matter of fact I mean less swayed by emotion and that this is just the way I live. That every day I choose to track my food because it helps me watch what I eat (I am going to keep tracking because it does work for me). It is not a big deal, it just is. And I choose to exercise regularly; summer and winter, rain and sun. It is not a big deal, it just is. I want to quietly go about my own way, looking after my physical and mental health.

2012 will see me keep going on my journey to a lighter plane of being.

The lull between christmas and new year

I did ok for Christmas food wise. I went running on christmas eve and on boxing day. I went walking on the 27th as well. Today is a rest day as I plan to do a 5K tomorrow morning. Tomorrow is my birthday and I want to celebrate my birthday, my increased health and fitness and my future by running. My training has been ok, my eating has been not ideal but my race plan is to take the first km slowly and then have a steady pace.

I have been thinking about food plans and overall commitment and motivation for next year. My plan will have three components: exercise, healthy eating and building self acceptance. My plan will have monthly check-in points rather than being a long focus like last year. I will blog more on the healthy eating, the self acceptance and the monthly check-ins a bit later. The plan is taking shape but it needs a name; I need to work on a name for the 2012 plan.

My gear is out and ready for tomorrow. I am going to have some water and head to bed.

Post 40 Weeks

I need to put some thought into what happens from Monday. Going into things without a plan is not a good idea for me; I am likely to get sidetracked when I don’t have clear goals and plans.

So, what happens from here???

I want to keep the current momentum going through to the beginning of December; so another 8 weeks. I have the Up and Running course which takes me through to the start of November and then I want to push through to December.

Up and Running gives me an exercise commitment. There are also running workout plans for the 5K level available from Up and Running that I can commit to once the course is over. I think this is a very good idea. Now that I am running and training I don’t want to lose it once the course is finished. I want to at least maintain my fitness in this area.

Generally, with exercise, I am getting in about 5 hours a week. That is 5-6 dedicated exercise sessions of about 40 minutes plus the incidental exercise to and from work 4 days a week which is an additional 20 minutes on those 4 days. I would like to keep up this amount of exercise; it fits into my life and it helps me stay sane. I know that no exercise is bad for my head; I feel that now when I miss as little as 3 consecutive days. But 5 hours a week is also not taking away from my other responsibilities. It feels like a good balance.

Foodwise, I like what I am eating at the moment, the food and the amount. My weekdays are pretty similar for breakfast, snacks and lunch. Dinner brings variation into the day. It is pretty easy and healthy. I like that weekends I have different breakfast options and greater flexibility for lunch and dinner. I am aiming for about 8000kJ a day at the moment and that allows me to have some treats but makes me think and plan my food. I like being aware. This amount of food is enough to lose weight but still support my body with the amount of exercise I do. And to maintain at a healthy weight, I would be eating about this amount of food so getting used to it is a good thing.

There are some variables which I will need to take into account. I start a new job in a new part of town at the beginning of November. That will impact starting and leaving times, where I park and the incidental exercise to and from the car and possibly my lunch time exercise. But I can work with this, I want to work exercise into my day so I will build it in right from the outset. It should also reduce my stress levels which would be a wonderful thing.

But then, what happens from December???

December and January are such social times. My thoughts are a little vague but I would like to track my food for most meals and snacks except for those social occasions, thinking of one or two a week. Most food then should be similar to what I am having now and that will give me some stability. Then, at social things, I will make healthy choices but try not be too concerned about not having total control. I would like to learn to trust myself a little in this area. I will plan to keep exercise going through the summer but might need to shift it to early mornings because of the summer temperatures. That is ok, I can do that. Over Christmas and New Year, I think my goal will be not to gain weight. If I can keep things stable that would be an excellent result.

I am also starting study next year. I am going to do a Graduate Diploma in Human Nutrition. I have found it so interesting to look at my food this year, looking at the kilojoules and macronutrients and building an eating plan that works for my body. And I want to learn more. The study is going to be a fascinating way to learn more and then I can look at applying it to me!

My longterm weight goal is 65 kg. If I can get to between 90 and 93 kg by the end of the year that will mean I have less than 30 kg to goal. I have lost 30 kg already, so that is not such a scary thing to think about. I know that the first 30 is different to the last 30 but I can apply the same principles. I am looking at consistency in my eating and exercise; making these patterns of behaviour ingrained; making healthy choices most of the time. That is what I want to do for the rest of my life; make healthy choices most of the time, live long and prosper.

My choices, my actions: finding my centre

Today I have been reflecting on the last 20 weeks as tonight marks the end of 20 weeks since I started this journey. Being away from home for the last few days and really having to plan exercise and food has reminded me how far I have come.

I have done so well this weekend. I planned my food; I brought some things with me and bought some things here. I ate the food I had planned and I was happy with that. Part of my satisfaction has come from eating food that is filling and tasty, and having some options. I have not felt deprived. I am very grateful to my friends who have supported me this weekend. I am sharing the hotel suite with three friends and there has been no issue with regards to me having organised my food independently. I have planned for one dinner out with them and I am looking forward to that tonight. And last night, I stayed last after the final concert and celebrated with champagne and much singing. I had not planned the alcohol into my food plan for the weekend but that is ok. Finding balance with life is part of journeying to a lighter plane of being.

I am also really thrilled that I have been active every day since I arrived. I had wanted to exercise and I had packed all my exercise gear. But I did have to get out there and do it. And I did. The time out walking gave me space; a chance to clear my head of convention and the time to reflect on my choices (food and exercise wise) of the weekend and the first 20 weeks.

I was asked to go to High Tea this afternoon. I once loved High Tea with the cakes and desserts and chocolates and the all you can eat aspect. But not today. I chose to have a few drinks last night and I chose not to go to High Tea today. Both choices make me feel empowered. The reason I gave for not going is that I am watching what I eat and did not want to go because of my commitment to that. After a condescending remark, my friend apologised, explained the context of her comment and asked if I was happy. I realised that I am. I am happy not going with them. I am happy that I am getting healthy and strong. I am happy that my life is my priority. I am happy that I can know what I want and stand in that and be confident in my choices.

I am on holiday and I don’t feel like a holiday from home means time off from eating well and exercising. It is as much a part of my day as it is any day.

I am so proud of what I have done this weekend and what I have achieved in my first 20 weeks of being a healthier and stronger person.

I won’t be able to weigh in tomorrow but I will on Tuesday morning. I want to see the scales go down but they might not. And honestly, I am ok with what I get because this weekend has really shown me how far I have come.

Weigh in surprise!

Not sure what happened this week. And I was so confident that I had the numbers all worked out to get me a loss of just over a kg. My average kJ for the week was 8430 (which was a little over target); there were a couple high days and a couple of lower days but I didn’t do anything silly on the lower days like drop out a meal. And I exercised 7 days in the week for an average of 47 minutes which worked out to be about 5 and a half hours over the week.

This weeks stats:
Start weight: 140.9kg (310 lbs)
Current weight: 114.4kg (251.7 lbs)
This weeks loss: 2.7kg (6 lbs)
Total loss: 26.5kg (58.3 lbs)

Yep, a 2.7 kg loss.

On my walk this morning I went through the last week trying to find a reason. I have been drinking more green tea, in the last 4 days I had control of all my meals and they were all really good ones, hormones, I had been retaining water but I am not anymore, I was really focussed and my mindset helped me lose weight. And I decided I needed to remember some facts. My blood results indicate that I am doing really well. There is nothing out of whack with my sugar, fats or hormones. I eat a balanced diet with 2-3 pieces of fruit, 3-4 serves of low fat dairy, nuts, 4 serves of vegetables. I get enough fibre. I have slightly more protein and less carb then some people would like but it is not extreme and I know that my kidneys are coping with the protein levels. When you look at where the % energy comes from in an average day it is a well structured diet. And I am not doing an extreme amount of exercise.

About 6 weeks ago I gave myself permission to find my own way on this journey. And I had to reaffirm that today. I can’t explain the large weight loss this week. But I know I am eating well and eating sensibly. I am exercising well and sensibly. I am committed. My food and exercise fits in with my day to day life as it is at the moment. I just need to keep being consistent and I will find my way.

So, I accept the loss! Woohoo! I have now lost 26.5 kg. And that is amazing. I am now less than 115 kg! When I was 140 kg, I could not imagine being at a weight less than 115. It makes 110 seem so close and 110 is close to 100! I am so proud of how far I have come and that I have a good, strong plan to keep me going.

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.

WW tracking vs kJ counting – and how I solved the tracking mystery

I have wanted to move away from the WW points system for a while now. I don’t go to WW, I am not a member. I am using the material I got when I had a brief fling with them last year, so, the material is not that out of date (but it is not the current system used in Australia, either). My issue is that I want to have more control. I want to be able to understand my intake on its own rather than relying on someone else’s calculations. This is going to be important if/when I get pregnant because I want to eat a healthy amount (rather than over-eat like last time). It is going to be important when maintaining a healthy goal weight. I needed to work it out and counting kilojoules (kJ) seemed to be a good answer for me. (I work in kJ here, not calories but it is the same concept just differnt measuring scales).

I hadn’t swapped to counting kJ because I was using a great app on my phone which helped me track ww points. It is so convenient to track on my phone!!! And I wanted something as convenient for counting kJ. Well, on the weekend I went looking for an app to help me out and I found two that look promising.

But I also needed to have a better idea of what my kJ target should be. There are so many quizzes online and they seem to give me different answers. So, I turned to something I trusted. I had previously followed the CSIRO Total WellBeing Diet and they provide information about how to calculate energy requirements so that you can pick a level of their program. They use the Harris-Benedict equation (see the article by the same name in Wikipedia) which is a way to calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate and from there energy requirements. I used this to work out my requirements for losing weight and established a kJ range to aim for in a day. I spent quite a while seeing how changing the activity level changed the kJ target. And I was pretty sure that I was on track with the calculations.

Once I had my kJ target range, I could start counting my kJ in my new phone apps.

One of the apps is really quite simple. It does not have a database to draw on, so you need to enter in the kJ amounts for every food. But it does remember the foods, so after a while I will only need to enter random or rare foods. I have a calorie counting book which I am using to help me start out. And then the app just does maths. You tell it your kJ target, you put in what you eat and it adds it up and tells you how much is left. Really simple. It can give you some weekly/monthly stats so you can see how you are managing over time. You can include exercise in the input. It has no weight tracking section, but I have spreadsheets at home, work and on my phone already for that 🙂

The other calorie counting app has a database to draw on. You can search for foods and enter portions. The food database can also tell you protein, carb and fat intake as well as kJ. It is not Australian, so alot of the foods are not relevant to me. I would need to make sure I am picking the right thing from the list. I have not yet created my own foods yet but the funtion is there. The app also has an exercise journal and a weight tracker. It is alot more complicated. The downside is you need to be connected to the internet to access it (I am often not connected) and the app uses alot of battery power. I think I would be interested to see how my fat/protein/carbs balance out but I don’t feel I need that at the moment. Really, all I need is somthing to do the maths…

So, for this week I am tracking in both WW points and kJ in the simple counter. And you know what? I have discovered a problem with the way I had calculated my points allocation back in January. For the last few days I have been at the top (or just over) my ww points allocation and under my kJ daily target by a good snack. It has been bugging me! I spent a long time working out my kJ intake and have confidence that it is a good target for me*.

And when I was walking this morning, I realised that I did not know if my ww points allocation included anything about exercise. I know that my kJ calculations do take exercise into account. So, tonight I went back to my ww material and realised I had selected the ‘no activity’ option in the quiz when I worked out my points allocation. That was true before I started but I am now exercising 5 or 6 days a week. I should have been up maybe 2 points a day for the last 6 weeks! I have adjusted my ww points up and now both my ww and kJ tracking are at the same place.

I am a little bit frustrated because I feel the quiz to work out WW points is misleading in relation to activity (it talks about how active are you at work – I picked the mostly sitting option. Well I do have a deskjob!). But I am pleased I am learning to listen to my body and to know when I am hungry. I am also pleased I have been able to work it out. I am excited that I can start to move away from WW and start doing more of my own thing and be in control of my own healthy life style.

I am going to track both points and kJ this week at least. I want the transition to be smooth. It will also help me build up the foods in my simple calorie tracker. My weight loss will likely slow a little if I am eating a little more. That is not a bad thing. The speed of my weight loss was a recurring niggle at the back of my mind. This puts me in control and better able to manage what I put in my mouth.

*I studied science at university and am quite analytical when it comes to data. So, I do have confidence in how I have calculated my energy requirements. I am also referring to the CSIRO Total WellBeing Diet which I have used before and was influencing how I used my WW points. In their publications they use the Harris-Benedict equation for people to work out their energy requirements. And more generally, I have confidence in the CSIRO. They are Australia’s scientific research organisation and are top people.

Things I learnt this week

– not to make my little boy something for dinner that I really want to eat. It just ends up with me testing it before he eats and then finishing it off. It was the first time I really broke my rule of not eating his food.

– when I make something yummy, or somthing that I have been looking forward to (which is hopefully yummy), I should plan to try it out straight away! I made some almond butter yesterday. In Australia, we don’t get a huge range of nut butters. It is really kind of special and expensive. I had been hearing about all the different kinds and flavours of nut butter that are available in the US. And then I found out how easy it was. So, I toasted the almonds, blended them up and then it went all lumpy and took a while but finally it came together. So, I had a spoon full. And then I put in some cinnamon. And I had a spoon full. Then I put it in a jar and I had the bit the didn’t quite make the jar. It was really nice. And then I dumped the blender bowl in the sink, with the blades and the spatula and filled it all with water. And afterwards I was frustrated that I had so many tastes. Wake up, sister! What did you expect? I should have made the nut butter just before afternoon tea and had a piece of bread ready. Next time, plan it in. And, previously I would have cleaned off the bowl and spatula before filling it with water. I have learnt some restraint!

I know it is ok to eat things that are not on the plan. I know that losing weight and getting healthy is the sum of many decisions – not decisions in isolation. I know that foods are not good or bad and I can choose to have somthing for nostaligic reasons, that I can try new things. I need to relax about this stuff but still have the majority of my choices end up on the healthy side.

There were several occasions this past week where I was thoughtless in my eating. Things were in my mouth and gone without me making a conscious choice. This is old behaviour, and it is the first time I have done this in the 11 weeks of my new lifestyle.

I don’t know why. Maybe because I am not quite well yet and still on antibiotics. Maybe it is because I feel I am doing well and that I can ease up. Maybe it is just old neural patterns asserting themselves.

In my future, I don’t want to obsess about every thing I put in my mouth. But I don’t trust myself to start yet. I have so far to go. I want to have these new patterns really ingrained before I start to let go of the monitoring. I want to have a healthy lifestyle in place and then jump off. I need the crutches right now. And I guess I am scared that I can’t do it, that the weight will come back and that I will fail at this challenge.

I made a commitment to live a healthy lifestyle for 40 weeks – that is food and exercise. Today I have completed 11 weeks of that timeframe. I will keep going. Part of the reason for the 40 weeks is that it is long enough to really build good habits but it is not open ended. It allows for a concentrated effort and then a reassessment. I am determined to see this through. And when I get there, that is not the stopping point. That is a celebration point and a reassessment for my future.

My fears will not hold me back from choosing a longer life with my family.

One day, one meal, one space between meals at a time.

The Honeymoon is Over

I really quite enjoyed the first 5 weeks of the new routine. It was easy to make healthy choices. I wanted to go walking. And I lost weight. I felt good about what I was doing and it was *totally* achievable.

I don’t know if it was getting sick that ended this phase or whether it was just time but now it’s harder. I have to choose the healthy snack rather than automatically turning to it. I have to choose to exercise, although, this one is still a little tricky as I am not yet well. I have to plan and I have to remind myself of the big picture so that I can focus on the little things.

And I think that some of the angst in the last couple of weeks is me simply not recognising the honeymoon is over. This is life. If I really want this to happen now it is up to me to make it happen. From here, the hard work starts.

That doesn’t mean the hard work can’t be fun. Healthy eating and regular exercise are going to have to be part of my life from now on so if I don’t enjoy it or it doesn’t work with my routine that is going to be a problem.

But I think it will work with my routine. I don’t have any major lifestyle changes forecast this year so I should have stability on that front. My exercise is planned to fit into my weekly routine and I think I can maintain and build on that.

And I think I can keep interested in healthy food. We have had a few special breakfast options in the last couple months that I can manage within my food allocation. Trying to cook a new recipe every friday will keep me looking for options and I enjoy trying out new things. The other exciting foodie thing that is going to start soon is that my man and I are going out for a date night every 2 months (without the little one) and the first one is going out to dinner at a swanky restaurant. This is not going to be great diet wise for that week but will keep me interested in food and I can use it as a motivation and a reward which is going to be good for my attitude overall.

I need to keep working on my positive self talk. It was also so effortless in the first weeks. I know my goal for this year; it is challenging but realistic and achievable. I know this because I have managed similar goals in a similar timeframe twice already in the last decade. I need to move my butt because exercise helps me keep the positive frame of mind in place.

My challenge is to be committed for 40 weeks and to lose 40kg by Christmas. The 40 weeks ends in October but the process doesn’t end there. For my health, for my family and for my sanity I need to make this a lifelong change. I can do this. I know there will be set backs and surprises and things that change my routine and plans. That is life. And I want to live. I will need to learn to roll with the punches and start again when I lose my way.

It is achievable.

this week’s weigh in

I am stoked!!

Starting Weight: 140.9 kg (310lbs)
Current Weight: 130.7 kg (287.5lbs)
Loss this Week 1.7kg (3.7lbs)
Total Loss: 10.2kg (22.4lbs)

This week was hard with the heat but I paid close attention to what I was eating. 6 days of the last week I was just under or right on track with my food allocation. Only one day I was over – and not by much – and that was offset by the additional allocation earnt through exercise. I exercised 3 times this past week which is a real indicator of my commitment because of the heat.

I have been thinking about what has made the past 5 weeks so successful. I developed a plan (food and exercise) that fits in with my current stage of life before I started. I have the tools to track what I am doing. I committed to the plan and am living the plan. And right now it is easy, the food is good, the exercise is achievable, the tracking is easy and convenient. It will get hard when my commitment stalls and that is going to happen. But I am using this time now to reinforce my motivations and tie them in with my values. And so when it gets hard I am hoping that alot of what I am doing now will be routine and will get me through until I can kickstart my commitment again.

This weeks challenges: We have a section afternoon tea at work tomorrow but I have planned to bring healthy dip, crackers and vegetables. I also won’t be able to do my longer walks on Wednsday and Friday because I have appts on those mornings but I have planned to get up early and do my shorter walk so that I don’t miss out on exercise. Next weekend I will try and get the whole family out to do my ’round the mountain’ walk. And I now suspect that I am getting the cold that my little boy and my man currently have. That is going to make things hard.

And I am looking forward to my ‘10% of start weight lost’ reward which is getting closer. I am going for a massage. Losing 10% of my start weight is the first short term goal that I have been aiming for.

Action items: need to take my measurements again this week.