Me getting fit, take 2

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ams
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Me getting fit, take 2

Postby ams » Thu Dec 31, 2009 12:35 am UTC

Greetings, everyone.

I tried to get fit on my own last year, and I made some progress, but when the weather got bad, I backslid and stopped weighing myself daily.

So I'm starting over. I'm 6'0" tall, and my weight this morning was 237.0 lbs. That's better than this time last year, but still not where I want to be.

So, here is my plan of action:

I. Reduce calorie intake
A. Make weekly menus (I eat better when I cook instead of stopping at the gas station)
B. Cut out eating junk food alone (I'm not going to stop having cake at parties, but chips at home? Do-able.)
II. Exercise more
A. Go to 24/7 gym in town (I purchased the membership today.)
B. Play sports with friends when weather improves (basketball, tennis)
C. Ride bicycle, weather allowing (I enjoy biking; I don't know why I don't ride more.)
III. Monitoring
A. Weigh self every morning (I said "yes" to junk food less often when I saw the consequences the next morning.)
B. Graph daily weight (It gives a good indication of the success of my efforts.)
C. Post weekly progress reports and quarterly graphs in this thread (Tips and encouragement welcome)

I'll try to get a current photo this weekend.

Any input on cadio/weight-training rotation is welcome.

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aliceone
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Re: Me getting fit, take 2

Postby aliceone » Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:27 pm UTC

Your plans look common sense. I think you have a good chance to maintain them because you're working in fun, not cutting out everything you love to eat. Remember that small steps can make a large difference over the long term. Add one fruit or veg per day or per meal. If nothing else, you get better nutrition into your body and the "good" food takes up a little room that chips might fill later : )

Just don't get hung up on the number for your daily weight. Maybe no one has as much fluctuation as I do--I can gain five to ten pounds in a day and lose it, but I have a health issue responsible for that--but there are going to be days where you're retaining water or internal cycles are holding on to things longer than they should and the number won't go down. It may even go up. Focus on the weekly, monthly trend and don't panic over plateaus or perceived lack of progress.

Good luck! Keep posting!

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kgirlfae
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Re: Me getting fit, take 2

Postby kgirlfae » Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:12 am UTC

I remember you having success with daily weigh-ins last year and it actually got me focused on them in the same positive light (knowing that small things can affect the over all weight, but as a great way to keep focused on the hopefully downward trend). I also remember you cheering me on last year! So I hope this year goes well for you :D It seems like you're in a better place equipment wise this year too, so that should really help! Count me in your official "cheerleader" pool!

ams
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Re: Me getting fit, take 2

Postby ams » Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:55 pm UTC

Yeah, the daily weigh-ins really helped me, I think. I'm trying to stay committed to that this year.

Here are the results from my first week+

Jan. 1 weight: 238.8 lbs.
Jan. 9 weight: 237.6 lbs.
Average weight: 236.7 lbs.

I got a great start, getting down to 234.4 lbs. by Thursday, but the weather has conspired to keep me out of the gym Thursday and Friday, and I overate. I don't know that I will be able to hit the gym today, but I will try to find some time between watching the basketball game and getting pictures at the play tonight. I'll see if our sports reporter will take a picture to give you a better idea what I'm working with.

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kgirlfae
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Re: Me getting fit, take 2

Postby kgirlfae » Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:55 pm UTC

I think the weather everywhere is conspiring to stop people from working on their new years resolutions! In my case I injured my back just before deciding that it was time to get back to working out.

Good luck getting through the weather! Sounds like a great start!

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Re: Me getting fit, take 2

Postby psyck0 » Mon Jan 11, 2010 4:13 am UTC

If you NEED daily weigh-ins for motivation, OK, but they aren't very useful. You can retain 5 pounds of water weight, and if drink during the night one day and not the next, that'll be an illusory loss (or gain). Weekly is the MINiMUM that you can track with any meaning.

Weekly menus are good. Stick to them. Write down everything you eat that you didn't plan to eat, so you have an idea how much extra you are consuming. Junk food include all pop, all alcohol and all juices. Water and milk are your drinks of choice, nothing else.

Weight loss is largely dietary. You can lose a few pounds going from couch potato to walking a few miles every day (still a fairly low level of activity) but it won't get you very far. You have to count calories, at least for a week or two to get an idea how much you're eating and how much you need to adjust it. You have to start counting calories again when you plateau and cut your eating a little more, or increase your activity (and I don't mean just an extra 10 minutes of walking to break a plateau- that won't be enough).

You don't want to lose more than 2 pounds a week. You can sustain 2 pounds a week for a month or two, then it'll start dropping. If it starts to plateau, adjust your eating and exercise. Don't try to get above 2 pounds a week, and later on be happy with 1.5 or even 1 pound.

Victoria Maddison
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Re: Me getting fit, take 2

Postby Victoria Maddison » Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:49 am UTC

psyck0 wrote:If you NEED daily weigh-ins for motivation, OK, but they aren't very useful. You can retain 5 pounds of water weight, and if drink during the night one day and not the next, that'll be an illusory loss (or gain). Weekly is the MINiMUM that you can track with any meaning.

This is precisely why I weigh every day. Those extra data points actually make the picture clearer. If I was trying to lose fat at a reasonable 1 lb/wk with a weekly weigh in and noticed no loss after one month, in fact that I'd gained 1 lb body weight, then I'd be wondering what the heck was going on. Probably cut my calories down even further and run myself into the ground. But if I had that extra data that showed the fluctuation in water weight during the week I could contrast more appropriate days/time periods against each other and see the general trend downward even though it spikes back up again from time to time because of factor XYZ (maybe I didn't weigh at the same time, had a heavy meal, was dehydrated, ate salty food causing me to drink a lot, stress levels, etc).

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Ulc
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Re: Me getting fit, take 2

Postby Ulc » Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:59 pm UTC

Well, if you insist on daily weigh-ins at least use the tools that makes such a graph sensible, moving average.

It's really quite simply, instead of just having a datapoint being the days weight, have it be the average over the last 5-10 days, that way you're able to monitor the process of weight-loss with most of the random variation coming from water retention removed. Yes, it does make the tendency lag a bit behind what is actually happening, but a lag of 2½ days (roughly) is no problem compared to how messy it is to look at without the moving average*.

It's even incredible easy to set up in a spreadsheet.

Personally I've always found that I very quickly hit a plateau, as I have never all that much above the ideal weight. My fat percentage however has (and currently is, but starting to get better) been horrible at times (read=fat and extremely unfit). If you're in the area of 10-15 kg over your ideal weight, you're quickly going to reach the point ever each kilo you lose of fat is going to get build on as muscle, as long as your method of weight loss is diet & exercise both.

*It's een better if you do a weighted moving average, but it's really not necessary. Just a standard moving average with 5 days should be plenty
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ams
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Re: Me getting fit, take 2

Postby ams » Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:13 am UTC

Here is a picture taken Saturday afternoon. I'll try to post a new one each quarter along with the latest graph.

Also, I did some quick calculations using BMI; I realize it isn't perfect, but it's a useful tool. To get out of the obese category, I need to get my weight down to 221. I can do that, so I'm going to aim for it. Beginning now, my goal is to get my weight to 220 or below and keep it there.

Ulc, I like your idea for a moving average. I changed my graph to a 7-day moving average.
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Me.jpg

ams
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Re: Me getting fit, take 2

Postby ams » Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:49 pm UTC

I guess my picture scared everyone off. Anyway, on to the weekly report.

Jan. 16 weight: 233.8 lbs.
Jan. 16 seven-day average: 236.1 lbs.

I didn't do a very good job of getting to the gym this week, but my schedule got in the way a lot. This week should be better.

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Ulc
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Re: Me getting fit, take 2

Postby Ulc » Sat Jan 16, 2010 2:14 pm UTC

Looks like progress is in fact being made :)

Post the graph, much more telling than just a few snippets of info!

Ohh, and a general rule that I find works well when I'm shedding weight (usually just before snowboarding trips ;) ) is to enforce the mindset "there is no such thing as schedule keeping me from the gym", there is almost always a way to fit training three times a week into the schedule, after all it's only about four or five hours a week, I bet you spent that much watching tv! It gets particularly easy if you have certain days where you *have* to go to the gym, mon-wed-fri works out well for me.
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it - Aristotle

A White Russian, shades and a bathrobe, what more can you want from life?

ams
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Re: Me getting fit, take 2

Postby ams » Sat Jan 16, 2010 3:02 pm UTC

OK, here is my graph so far. Note the Y-axis range.

I'm trying to find a schedule that I can stick with for going to the gym, but it has been difficult so far. Is it better to exercise more often or for longer periods of time?
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graphjan16.jpg

psyck0
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Re: Me getting fit, take 2

Postby psyck0 » Sat Jan 16, 2010 3:59 pm UTC

I would go with more often for consistent amounts. That way you can adjust your calorie consumption to a regular level, instead of changing it to account for all the days you are going/not going. You want to maintain a steady 300-500 calorie deficit every day.

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Nath
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Re: Me getting fit, take 2

Postby Nath » Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:44 am UTC

ams wrote:I'm trying to find a schedule that I can stick with for going to the gym, but it has been difficult so far. Is it better to exercise more often or for longer periods of time?

There is no categorical answer to this. The optimal strategy depends on what sort of adaptations you want to make. For fat loss, you'd probably want a long aerobic workout, the more often the better.

ams
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Re: Me getting fit, take 2

Postby ams » Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:47 pm UTC

I made some progress this week. My seven-day average is 235.0 lbs.
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graphjan23.jpg

ablasdel
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Re: Me getting fit, take 2

Postby ablasdel » Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:10 am UTC

If you can do it I would pick up a "body fat % scale" if you stick to the working out it will give you another number to graph that won't have so much noise (though the 7 day average is smart). Also make sure your weigh ins are always at the same time of day. When I wake up seems to work very well for me.

As for the gym if you are looking to increase strength while you lose weight I'd suggest checking out the "stronglifts.com" it has been pretty good to me so far.
I am almost addicted to going to the gym nowadays and I only go for about an hour 3 times a week.

I think the most important part about the gym is having a good plan and sticking to it. It is far to easy to fall into the habit of wasting time at the gym on various machines and not actually get any benefits.

PS Good job and stick with it. Eating well and exercising works!

Snowflake
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Re: Me getting fit, take 2

Postby Snowflake » Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:05 am UTC

Looks like you're making steady progress. Well done!

I have a tip about your diet.
Don't just reduce your calorie intake. Eat more meals BUT eat less per meal. Sumo wrestlers train their body to slow its metabolism way down by eating one big meal a day, forcing the body to go into "preserve mode" for the next 23 hours. By eating more meals (but never too much per meal), you're letting your body know that food's always right around the corner, thus a higher metabolism. And you should never feel too full (unless it's water you're filling yourself with).

I'd look into eating salad. A bowl of salad everyday with just enough dressing (no dressing is even better).
Death is permission to open freely as love.

ams
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Re: Me getting fit, take 2

Postby ams » Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:46 am UTC

Salads are pretty much a no-go for me. Lettuce an other leafy greens make me gag; I'm not sure why. I've tried to get into salad probably a dozen times.

ams
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Re: Me getting fit, take 2

Postby ams » Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:20 pm UTC

Sorry about the missed week. I was out of town last week for the big game.

I had a pretty good week, with a nice, slow but steady decline. My weight this morning was 233.8, giving me a 7-day average of 234.7. I didn't get a lot of exercise, I just avoided overindulging.

Here is my graph for January, now that it's complete.
Attachments
January.jpg

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Ulc
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Re: Me getting fit, take 2

Postby Ulc » Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:34 pm UTC

Over the course of the two last weeks, you've gone down 0.3 pounds on the seven day average. To put it in perspective, in half a year from now you will still be weighting over 230 pounds unless you manage raise that weekly number.

I'm sorry to say this, but that isn't a slow and steady decline, that's practically non-existent. Especially if you haven't managed to exercise, as that means it can't be explained by muscle gain.

You really need to find a way to force regular exercise into your schedule. And no, what you're thinking of now is not a good enough excuse.. and neither is THAT. It doesn't need to be a lot of time, but it does need to be regular.

I'm kinda curious, what are you doing for a living that leaves so little time for hitting the gym just two times per week?
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it - Aristotle

A White Russian, shades and a bathrobe, what more can you want from life?

ams
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Re: Me getting fit, take 2

Postby ams » Sat Feb 06, 2010 6:31 pm UTC

I work at three newspapers, writing, taking photos, reading copy, designing pages, and delivering papers. It isn't that I work so much that I can't make it, but that my hours are unpredictable.

With that said, I appreciate you calling me on it. A big part of my reason for making this thread is to give me some form of accountability.

I'm looking at my schedule for this week, trying to figure when I can make it. This afternoon and tomorrow before the Super Bowl are definites. Monday is tough, but I'll make time between the regular work day and covering school board. I'm taking Tuesday night off, because I'm exhausted at the end of the day after getting the papers ready to print. Wednesday and Thursday nights should be easy, unless something big comes up (it seldom does). I'll plan on taking Friday off; if Wednesday or Thursday falls through, I'll go on Friday.If I can keep up a two on, one off, three on, one off schedule, I should see better results.

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Alex-J
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Re: Me getting fit, take 2

Postby Alex-J » Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:39 am UTC

Accountability is great over the internet, but can be more useful with people you see every day.

Also I noticed the more I work out the less junk food appeals to me. Your body knows what it needs when your working out. I used to do dessert before bed, then I got in the habit of running about two to three hours before I went to bed. Throughout the day I'd know that if I ate junk I couldn't have dessert, which motivated my to avoid the stuff. And after running even though I could have dessert it just didn't have the same appeal.

Also the more you work out the less junk food you want to have in general (not just right after running).

Also remember your weight isn't too important, muscle weighs more than fat so don't be upset if after you drop some fat your weight stays the same or goes up. A better measure I've found is base your progress on how much you can lift, your running times or something else.

And if you train hard you may find your still hungry after something that used to fill you up, don't worry so much about calorie intake. After you've eaten for a while take a 20 minute break, if you feel full then your done eating, if you don't feel full keep eating and don't worry about it. The main thing to avoid is eating when your board, or because something looks good. Example: if you have a bag of chips sitting out don't just grab a chip because it looks good. Put the food out of sight and you won't think about it so much.

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Ulc
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Re: Me getting fit, take 2

Postby Ulc » Sun Feb 21, 2010 5:24 pm UTC

I honestly did not mean to discourage you from posting ;)

Any progress on the weight?
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it - Aristotle

A White Russian, shades and a bathrobe, what more can you want from life?

dreamcatcher
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Re: Me getting fit, take 2

Postby dreamcatcher » Sat Mar 13, 2010 5:31 pm UTC

On an unrelated note, can you upload the spreadsheet you are using?


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