Saturday Weigh In

After a gain last week (I think mostly water retention), I weighed in at 147.4 pounds this week, down .8 pounds.  This puts me back to within 2 pounds of my goal weight which is what I am shooting for during this period of just working on maintenance.

I did go to my meeting and got my umbrella charm, which I really wanted.  Yes, I like the charms.

Smile Charm

And this is the charm on my Weight Watchers key ring.

Ken Ring

At one time I wanted to sue the key ring as my actual key ring, but ring part kept separating from the bar at the top (which has WW on it in the picture).  I had at least 3 of them break before I simply gave it up.  So the charms live on the ring in my desk drawer.  I’ve thought about getting an actual bracelet or maybe a necklace to wear them on.

Anyway, things are going well now.  I went to personal training today.  It was really hot in the Y today and I got easily exhausted.  I think they must have turned up the thermostat because kids went back to school so the Y had a lot fewer people in it than it had last week.  It was hot enough to just be intolerable to me.  So, we’ll see if it is better Wednesday.  If it isn’t going to get better, then I’ll have to find somewhere else to go.

I don’t have to weigh again until the first time I attend in September.  Now that I got my charm, I really don’t think I have to go to every meeting any more.  In fact, now is probably the best time to take a bit of break from Weight Watchers’ meetings.  They will probably have a winter charm similar to the summer one (attend 10 out of 12 weeks) so I will want to go for that.  And, there will be the new program coming out in December and I’ll certainly want to find out about that.  So, I’m thinking that during September I probably won’t go to more than 1 or 2 meetings.

I’m thinking right now that I’m going to just work on maintenance during September and then will try to start slowly losing a bit more in October.  I am mostly focused on working on body composition right now.  I think I’ll probably end up about 135 or so in weight, but not really sure.  We’ll see.

 

Low Blood Sugar and Exercise

On Monday, I had what I think was an episode of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) after exercise.  This is apparently common in people with diabetes.  I don’t have diabetes, but I am insulin resistant and do have elevated blood sugar at times.

Monday I went to training.  I did the elliptical to warm up and then went to do strength training with my trainer.  On several exercises, we upped the weight so it was a little more intense than usual.  I do this as a circuit where I do one set of each exercise, usually with no rest between exercises except walking to each place.  I had my heart rate monitor on and I usually will stop and rest 30 seconds or so if my heart rate is above 140 or so.

On Monday, I noticed that I soon felt really tired.  Resting for 30 seconds or a minute to get my heart rate down didn’t help.  I also started feeling shaky and nauseated.  Finally, about halfway through the third set of exercises, I told my trainer that I was done.  I went out to the reception area where my husband was waiting for me.  Normally, we then go out to the car.  But, I felt like I couldn’t possibly walk out to the car.  I sat down at the table and my heart rate quickly came down.  But, that didn’t help.  I still felt shaky and nauseated and was worried that I would faint.

At some point, I realized that my symptoms would fit with what I had heard about as low blood sugar.  I’ve never really experienced it to that extent before, but it seemed to fit.  I recalled that I hadn’t eaten much that morning.  I had a Kind bar about 3 hours before exercising (about 15g of carbs).  Then, right before we went to the Y I had a cheese stick (no carbs) and a small piece of dark chocolate (9g of carbs).  At that point, once I thought about that, I had my husband go to the vending machine and he got me a Zbar which had 12g of carbs.  A little after eating that, I started feeling better.

While I can’t be entirely sure, I think my problem was low blood sugar.  While I don’t eat totally low carb, I do eat lower carb than most people.  I usually end up averaging about 100g of carbs a day (70 or 80 net carbs).  I think I need to pay attention to my carbs before exercising particularly on the more intense days when I am seeing the trainer.

I read some articles about eating before exercise for people with diabetes, which gave me some ideas.  So, this morning I tested my blood glucose when I got up.  It was at 94.  Then I had a Quest bar (chocolate cookie dough for breakfast) for breakfast.  Then, right before leaving for the Y I had a sandwich.  I used 2 pieces of 100% wholegrain sprouted grain bread (28g of carbs) with 2 ounces of turkey and a piece of Weight Watcher pepper jack cheese.  Normally I wouldn’t eat that much carbs early in the day (I often go a week or two without eating any bread, although I do sometimes eat it and do eat some other grains).  When we got to the Y, my blood sugar was at 124, which made sense given what I had eaten.

I went in, did the elliptical and then did my training session.  I did not feel awful during it.  A couple of times my heart rate went over 140 and I rested for 30 seconds or so, but all went well.  When it was over, I didn’t feel nauseated or awful.  I did test my blood sugar, which was just over an hour after I had had the sandwich.  My blood sugar was 90.

Blood sugar

That is actually really low for having eaten a sandwich an hour before.  So this really reflects how much exercise had lowered my blood sugar. I knew that exercise lowers blood sugar and diabetics are often told to exercise to help control blood sugar. I just hadn’t thought that it might lower blood sugar so much that I might become hypoglycemic.  If my blood sugar was 90 today after having about 30g of carbs at lunch, then it was probably much lower on Monday when I had had much lower carbs that morning than today I had 26 Monday including breakfast, versus 52 today including breakfast. From a net carb standpoint (carbs less fiber) it was 17 Monday versus 30 today.  So, chances are my blood sugar on Monday was well below 90 when I got finished exercising and may have gone below 70 to hypoglycemia.

And, I do remember there have been some times that I’ve finished at the Y and felt shaky and a little sick but never as bad as this last Monday.  I suspect that was on days when I hadn’t eaten much.  So, I’ll be watching this much more carefully going forward.

August Weigh In

I weighed in today for my August weigh in (and attended the Weight Watchers meeting).  I was up 2.4 pounds, to weigh in at 148.2 pounds.  This was actually fairly annoying to me.  At the end of July I — at long last — weighed in at 145.8 pounds, which .2 pounds below my goal weight of 146.  I decided then to just work on maintenance for the next 4 to 6 six weeks.  WW suggested that I eat a minimum of 6 more daily points each day.  Of course, I would still have my weekly points and activity points.  I thought 6 more points a day was a lot so I set my daily points at 3 more points (29).  That week I ate all my daily points and weekly points and ate 2 activity points.  I was actually up a little over 4 pounds at the end of the week.

I didn’t weigh in last Saturday as my daughter was having her black belt test in karate (congrats to her for passing!).  I felt one reason I was up so much last Saturday was I was eating more carbs and so had water retention.  I did eat much better this week.  Fewer points and I stayed in the 70 carb range for the last 3 days of the week.  On the other hand, Tuesday was my daughter’s birthday so eating out and having a piece of ice cream cake happened.

I did go down a couple of pounds during the week, but not as much as I would expect for the calorie level I was eating at.  I had this weird soreness in my calf after a cramp which really cut into activity this week (it is finally feeling normal).  Still I ate at the level that I was eating at a few weeks ago before getting to goal.

When I got up this morning, I wasn’t down as much as I had hoped.  Based upon past history, I thought it was 50/50 whether I would weigh in within 2 pounds of my goal weight.  As we were driving over to Weight Watchers, I noticed my wedding ring felt really tight.  I had finally gotten back into wearing it and have been regularly wearing it for about a month.  I took it off and this is how my finger looked:

Ring Finger

This was a pretty good indication that I’m still retaining some water.  So, I wasn’t hopeful when I went in to weigh in.  The scale actually flickered the entire time between 148 and 148.2, but was captured at 148.2 pounds.

I had considered not going to the meeting today.  As a lifetime member at goal, I have to weigh in at my first meeting of the month.  I can’t skip that weigh in.  I could have chosen not to go to the meeting.  But, two factors caused me to go.

First, there is a promotion to get a smiley face charm if you attend 10 out of 12 meetings this summer.  I had only missed 1 (last week) and could have missed another this week.  But, then I would have had to have weighed in the next two weeks.  I think I’ll be able to, but life can happen so I didn’t want to miss for something that wasn’t really a necessary reason.

Second, I don’t want to ever get in a habit of not weighing in because my weight is up.  I “failed” maintenance 25 years ago, because I gained about 5 pounds on a business trip and didn’t want to go back until I was at goal.  And, the result was that I didn’t go back for several years until I had much more to lose.

My situation now is different.  I’ve been tracking what I eat and I know that I did fine this week.  Also, I am deliberately experimenting with learning maintenance so this is going to be some trial and error.  So, from that standpoint, I’m not all that upset (although not happy about the weigh in).  But, I still don’t want to start a habit of avoiding weighing in if my weight is up.

So — I weighed in.  I need to get to 148 or below by next weekend which I think should be easy to do.  We’ll see how it goes this week.

 

Thought Processes on Food

I was thinking today about the thought process I go through when I decide what to eat.  This was the snack that I had while on the way to the library.  I had forgotten I had a hold on a book that was going to expire today.  When I remembered it was late afternoon and I needed to go right out to get the book, a round trip of almost an hour.  As I got ready to leave, I thought about eating something and getting a drink.  This is what I ended up with:

Snack

This was actually a pretty healthy snack.  I had 1/2 cup organic blueberries, light organic cheese stick, and 8 natural almonds.  To drink, I had a can of LaCroix Cerise Limon carbonated water which had no sweetener, artificial or otherwise.  Deciding what to take for a snack didn’t take long, but I realized that I actually considered a lot of factors as I thought to myself as I was getting ready to leave.

“Hmm.  I’m hungry.  It isn’t quite dinner time, but I’ll be gone almost an hour and I am actually getting really hungry.  I could get a single serving pack of Popchips.  Those aren’t the best snack, but easy to eat in the car.  But, I’m watching carbs today.  I want my weight to get down to below 148 pounds by Saturday so I need to take it easy on the carbs.  I’m aiming at about 70 to 75 carbs today and the Popchips would put me over that.”

I thought about it a little more. “Well, I could get a cheese stick.  That is only 60 calories and is protein and no carbs.”  I went to get the cheese stick. “But, a cheese stick will be eaten very rapidly and I’ll still be hungry.  It isn’t enough for right now.”  I thought about it. “OK. I could have half a cup of blueberries with it.  That will add volume, but not a lot of calories.  Berries aren’t real high carb.”

I go in the kitchen to start getting my snack ready. “Hmm.  The cheese and berries are good, but I want some crunch.  I could put in a couple of triscuits.  No, too many carbs for today.”  I had pre-tracked my dinner(a salad) and 60 calories of dark chocolate as an evening snack.  I had about 200 to 300 calories left, but less than 10 carbs.  The triscuits would take me above where I wanted to be.  “OK.  I’ll have a few almonds.  That will add crunch but not a lot of carbs.”

I made the snack and started thinking about a drink.  “I can take a can of carbonated sparkling water.  But, it is almost an hour over there and back.  I’ll run out of water and may want to stop and get a drink.  If I do that, I’ll get a Coke Zero.  I don’t drink those at home any more, and only very occasionally have them away from home.  So, I can do that.”

I thought about it some more. “I had one yesterday on the way home from the Y.  I don’t need to get into the habit of having one every time I leave the house.  Better to just take two cans of water.”

So, that is what I did.  I took 2 cans of water and the snack.  The snack was 142 calories, 9 grams of carbs.  I’ve now had dinner and will have the piece of chocolate later in the evening and will end the day at 71g of carbs and…let me check…26 Weight Watchers points of the day.  That is a little low.  Since going on maintenance, I’ve increased my daily points from 26 to 29.  But, I really don’t think I’ll want more for the rest of the evening.  If I get hungry and want something more, I can have it but I’ll watch the carbs.

And, it took me way longer to write this post than to have the internal dialogue about my snack.  Of course, my thought processes don’t always lead to good decisions.  Sometimes, I make a decision that, in retrospect, I realize wasn’t the best.  But, most of the time I’ve gotten to a part where I’ve internalized this enough that it really isn’t much of a mental debate what to do.

Oh — about my calf.  It is still a little sore, but is much better today.  I think it will be OK by tomorrow.

Ouch!

Well, I thought was getting back into regularly exercising this week after missing some time due to being sick.  But, I got delayed for an unusual reason.  Monday morning I woke up and stretched in bed.  When I did, I got a sudden cramp in my calf.  This is not something usual for me.  I can’t remember the last time I had a calf cramp, if ever.

I’ve occasionally had a cramp in my foot, but that usually is very brief and no big deal.  Well, the calf cramp really hurt.  But, after a minute or two, it went away.  I noticed as I was walking around, though, that my calf still hurt and I generally felt a little shaky on my feet.

Then, I went to personal training.  I warmed up on the exercise bike instead of the elliptical since I still felt shaky on my feet. I told the trainer about the cramp and that I thought I should skip the lower body.  It became clear after a few minutes that I couldn’t even do that.  Just walking around the room was hurting my leg and I felt awful.

Tuesday was a little better.  I didn’t feel shaky any more which was good.  On the other hand, my calf really hurt and I limped around the entire day.  It was my daughter’s birthday so we went out to eat and my leg hurt just walking into the restaurant.  I felt like I had done a really heavy workout of my left calf and that it was super sore as a result.  That really amazed me since the cramp had only lasted for a minute or two.  Anyway, because of that pain, though, I didn’t exercise at all on Tuesday.

Wednesday I am going to try training again.  I’m hoping that the soreness will be gone or at least won’t be that bad.  I will probably skip the calf exercise I do and maybe the leg press but think I can do everything else.

Foodwise this last week and a half has been OK.  I’ve been eating a bit more as part of trying to maintain.  Theoretically I should have maintained or even lost slightly as I’ve eaten an average of 1305 calories a day. But, in reality, I’m up about 3 pounds from when I last weighed in!  If I sent to Weight Watchers today I would have had to pay.  I think this is basically water weight due to increased carbs.  I am hoping it will be down by Saturday.  Otherwise, if I go on Saturday I would have to pay if I’m above 148 pounds.  That is OK, I guess, since I am trying to figure out maintenance, but I would prefer to not have to pay. We’ll see.