Productive Fitness and Food Saturday – NWI

Saturday ended up being a really productive day for fitness and food.  This was a No Weigh In Saturday as I mentioned before.  But, I did end up doing a lot of things.

Elliptical at the Y

We went to the Y for the first time since — hmmm, probably last August.  We joined the Y shortly before my husband had rotator cuff surgery.  After he had surgery, I think I made it there once and then got out of the habit during the fall.  I wanted to go back earlier this year, but until this week we were really busy this year with taking our daughter to a lot of things.  Finally, with her school out, we could get back to it.

I spent 20 minutes on the elliptical.  I forgot to bring in my headphones so I couldn’t listen to the TV and I forgot my water.  But, it was nice to use the elliptical.  I also was able to see very clearly how my fitness has increased over the last year, even with the time last fall when I wasn’t doing any exercise.

5-9-15 graph

As you can see, my heart rate didn’t get much over 112.  I usually like to be in the 112 to 128 range.  While I did get there at times, my average over the entire 20 minutes was not that high.

5-9-15 Info Digifit

I averaged only 106 BPM with a max of 117.  In fact, I only started consistently staying above 112 when I switched the incline and resistance from 1 to 2.  I had kept them at 2 because when I had used the elliptical last year, it had been difficult for me on level 1.

In fact, here is the graph from my first use of the elliptical, last June.

6-21 graph

My heart rate was above 128 almost the entire time.  In fact, I quit after about 10 minutes because my heart rate was getting higher than I wanted (it was lower the last couple of minutes because I went very slowly).

6-21 Info

Back then, I averaged 129 BPM with a max of 139.  Quite a bit difference from Saturday where I averaged only 106 BPM and went for the full 20 minutes and was at level 2 for a lot of it.  I guess I really have improved my fitness.   I know I am not where I want to be, but I can tell that upping my exercise time the last 5 weeks has made a big difference.

Personal Training

I had posted before that I was thinking about personal training.  So, I talked to a trainer while I was there and he seemed to suit me so I’ve scheduled 30 minutes sessions twice a week beginning on Monday.  When I posted a few months ago, I thought they had quit offering the 30 minute sessions (they weren’t on the online price list), but it turns out they do offer them.  I went ahead and bought 12 sessions as it is much cheaper to buy in bulk.

I told him that my main goals were to (1) increase strength and (2) improve body composition.  I also told him that I didn’t want to do something different every session (like my old trainer had me do).  I want to have sessions where I have a set plan that I do every time.  Of course, I want to increase what I do and it is fine to switch out exercises periodically.  But, I don’t want to do something new every time.

As I get closer to being at my Weight Watchers goal, I am thinking a lot about where I want to go from there.  I plan to post about that soon.  But, I do know that my body fat percentage is too high and I want to reduce it.  Also, we lose muscle as we get older and I can tell I don’t have as much strength as I used to and I want to improve that.  I also want to do strengthen my leg muscles to try to help my knee.

Reading about Food, etc.

We also went to the library and I checked out a lot of books mostly on food and fitness.  These were books that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to buy them on Kindle or if they were of the read once type (I don’t like to buy books that I will only read once).  I came home with them and spent a lot of the day and evening reading.

Eating Food

The 3 days of high calorie food are over.  I ended up eating 1914 calories on Wednesday, 1618 on Thursday, and 1490 on Friday.  Saturday I was back to normal.  For lunch, I made a frittata (so good!).  For dinner, I made a big salad with balsamic vinaigrette and a pouch of tuna.  Of course, I had typical snacks – pistachios and a little dark chocolate. I was glad to get back to my regular routine (ended up at 1159 calories).  Sunday will be higher calorie since we are having barbeque for Mother’s Day.  We will bring it in and then stream a couple of movies (which is what I like to do on Mother’s Day).


I did do two 20 minutes sessions on the treadmill.  I have been walking at about 2.8 mph with the incline set at 2 for about half the session, and then 1 or flat for the rest.  I decided I wanted to work on my pace, so I put it flat and set it for 3.4 mph.  For me that is really fast!  I alternated between that and 3.3 mph.  I was actually trying to see how fast I could walk a mile and see what my heart rate would be at the end.  I was recording the workout on my Fitbit Charge HR.  I was about .8 of a mile into it, when my Charge HR’s display suddenly went dead.  I had had that happen a few days ago.  To get it to start again, I had to take it and hook it up to my computer and restart it.  I was incredibly annoyed that I had to stop my workout to do it, particularly when I was trying to do something specific and wasn’t done yet.


In between reading and treadmill, I worked on some more decluttering.  I went through my jewelry and worked on the bathroom and then worked on my office some more.  I’m starting to get to the things that are difficult for me to decide on.  The kind of utilitarian items that I don’t ever actually use (or very rarely), but I can envision how they could come in handy or I might need them.  I find it hard to throw them away, but I really don’t use them.

I also have a box of various things that I’m not quite sure what they are or I’m not sure if they go with something I still have (bulbs for a booklight that I think I don’t have any more, but I’m not sure).  I’m going to see what turns up in the rest of the house and if I can’t find what stuff goes with then I’ll toss it.

July Goal Results

Well, this will be short.  I never quite set any July goals.  I posted about June goal results and said I needed to set new July goals after getting the knee/leg stuff behind me.  Then, I got really busy and didn’t set any.

I could just end there, but I want to assess and then talk about August.

On the one hand, I did well from an eating point of view in July.  On the other hand, I was very inactive.  The first half of July my weight was going down nicely, then the last couple of weeks I had small gains for no real apparent reason (my Fitbit said I had a calorie deficit).

I was looking at the graph on my Withings scale the other day, which goes back to November, 2011.  I was struck by the fact that right now I’m about where I was when I bought my first Withings scale in November, 2011.




You can see on this how I lost weight for a couple of months after getting the scale (my lowest Weight Watchers weigh in was January, 2012 at 162 pounds).  Then, we moved and that started a spiral where my weight just went up and up.  Then, there was a period of time where I lost about 6 pounds or so and then I sent back up.  Finally, late last year I started on the downward slope again.  When I am frustrated by the occasional small gains that show up on the scale, it helps to look at this graph and see how sharp and consistent my loss has been since late 2013.

OK.  August goals.  I’ve needed to revamp my goals, given the way everything changed with my knee problems and my trabecular bone injury.  One thing that helps is to look at my 2014 goals and to try to use them to come up with new monthly goals, based upon where I am now.  So:

1.  Eat 3 vegetables/fruits a day.  I’ve really slacked off on this one.  So, I need to have a specific goal.

2.  Go to the Y 2 days a week, using the ellipticals and doing strength training.

3.  Use the exercise bike or treadmill at least 3 days a week.  Try to extend my use over the month and build back up my time.

4.  Increase my average steps a day to 3000 steps.  This was once much higher, but given my current knee situation and the still recovering trabecular bone injury I don’t want to take on too much too soon.

5.  Don’t sit for more than hour at a time.  Get back to taking breaks at least once an hour.

6.  Sleep 7 hours a day.

7.  An average calorie deficit per day of 400 to 500 calories.  Earlier in the year, this was almost to 600 a day.  But, then I had the leg injury and I think at least part because I pushed too hard on this goal and tried to do too much, too soon.  The last couple of months were 312 and 332 per my Fitbit.  I would be minimally OK to get to 400 calories a day this month and think 450 on average might be realistic.  If 500 a day happened that would be a pound a week loss, so I would like that.  But, I don’t want to really push for that right now.

Friday Weigh In

This weigh in was…in a word…annoying.  I was up .4 pounds to 164 pounds.  I mean, of course, no one likes a loss.  What made this one annoyed was the unjustified nature of the loss.  I had a good week overall.  I ate 13 calories less a day than I did last week (so within a 100 calories of last week’s calories).  I also burned about 24 more calories  a day (according to Fitbit).  So, overall, this week was really about the same as last week, just a tiny bit better.  Last week I lost 1.6 pounds.  Now, when I have a large loss like that (yes, that is a large loss for me) then the next week is usually much smaller.  Based upon where I was a couple of days ago, I was expecting to lose about half a pound.  Then, this morning I weighed myself before going to Weight Watchers and saw that my weight was up.  I think it was fluid retention and will likely be gone in a day or two.  Still.  I was just put out by the whole thing.

On a happier note, after going to lunch at Panera Bread, we went to see the orthopedic surgeon.  My husband had his follow up appointment after shoulder surgery two weeks ago (went well) and I had my last follow up appointment on my knee and trabecular bone injury.  I’ve found over the last few weeks that the trabecular bone injury hasn’t gone away, but is better.  The knee itself seems to be doing well.  I told him that I was using the elliptical at the Y and the weight machines, which he didn’t have an issue with.  We talked some more about walking and he said I could do walking if it didn’t hurt me, but he reminded me that the elliptical, exercise bike, and swimming would be lower impact.

My plan is to get back to exercise, to start using the exercise bike consistently and go use the elliptical a couple of days a week and continue working on strengthening my legs.




Back to the Y

Finally made it back to the Y what with being so busy and my husband having shoulder surgery.



I did 10 minutes on a Precor elliptical then did the weight machines, mostly focusing on the lower body.  I am supposed to see the orthopedic surgeon for a follow up this Friday, so I wanted to see how my knee and leg reacted to the activity.  It was fine at the Y.  I noticed a very small amount of pain under my left kneecap later in the day.  It was really more that I could feel something, rather than actual pain.  Anyway, by this morning it was gone, so I think it all went pretty well.

So far, this week is relatively good from the food standpoint.  I’m within my points, but I had a couple of higher calorie days — the larger one was 1587 per MyFitnessPal from going out to Red Lobster.  We also ate out yesterday when we ran an errand which means 3 days of eating out this week.  Still, my average calories per day is about 1200, so I’m happy enough with it.  I’m down about .2 of a pound this week.  I don’t think this Friday will be a huge loss, but hoping it will be an OK one.

At the Y!

We made our first trip to the Y yesterday.  This was my first opportunity to use the Elliptical:


I wanted to be careful with my knee since I am trying to find out if the elliptical will bother my knee.  So I put it at the lowest resistance and slope and put on  my heart rate monitor and hoped to use it 10 minutes this first time.  After about 5 minutes, I could see my heart rate getting a little above where I wanted it to be so I slowed down a little and it came back to the range I wanted it.  I noticed about that time that I could feel a little pressure in the knee.  It wasn’t painful, but I could feel some pressure.  I went ahead and finished the 10 minutes.  Knee feels fine today though.

Charles was still on the elliptical so I wandered over to the weight machines.


This took awhile since these machines were different from those at the Y we used to belong to, so I had to read through the instructions on the machines.  But, I worked it out and spent about 25 minutes on the machines.


I wore my heart rate monitor during everything and my Fitbit gave me very active minutes for the entire thing so I was happy about it.  I didn’t do the leg extension since my knee surgeon years ago told me not to do them.   I only did lower body exercises that I knew were OK for my knee.  There were a few lower body machines I wasn’t sure about so I took pics of them and will talk to the physical therapist about them.

And, yesterday was the first day since  the doctor put me on the walker that my Fitbit says I burned over 1600 calories!  Of course, I was typically burning more than that the first part of the year before the leg and knee thing.  Still this is much better than the 1400 calories a day I was burning according to the Fitbit when I was using the walker non-weight bearing.

By the way, on the accuracy of activity monitors, I read this article about the accuracy of fitness monitors on estimating calorie burn.  The Fitbit One (what I am using now) placed third with an error rate of 10.4%.  First was the BodyMedia FIT at 9.3% and second was the Fitbit Zip at 10.1%.  That seems a little high based upon measuring my weight loss against what Fitbit says is my calorie deficit (based upon subtracting what I eat per MFP from the Fitbit estimated calorie burn), but fairly reasonable.  And, in the end, the Fitbit doesn’t have to be totally accurate for me in estimating the calorie burn so long as it is fairly consistent for me.  In my case, I find that it does give higher burn numbers on days I’m active and lower numbers when I’m not, so I do find it useful.