Back in the Groove…Gently

Since I posted on Monday, I’ve stayed in the groove, although with less intensity than the past several weeks.  I like to average about 1200 calories a day and I quickly realized that after the weekend I would exceed that this week, unless I really cut my calories significantly below 1200 calories for Monday through Friday.  I chose not to do that.  I basically instead am just eating as I normally eat on week days.  My mom is visiting for this week and my son is staying here this week before going back to college for the summer.  So, I’m not on my usual schedule.  We ate out Wednesday afternoon at the Counter.  I planned out what I would eat in advance and followed through with it and my calories for the day ended up totally fine, as if I hadn’t even gone out.

Exercise has been kind of interesting.  I did a difficult strength training session with the personal trainer on Monday.  Normally, I would do a second session on Wednesday, but that was the only time all of us could go out to eat this week while my mom is visiting.  So, I was going to go and do a strength training session on my own after we had lunch.  Unfortunately, the Y was actually closed due to nearby flooding.

I did, however, do the treadmill and exercise videos on Tuesday and Wednesday.  I noticed something interesting Wednesday, though. About 8 weeks ago, I upped my exercise time. Initially I doubled it to about 300 minutes a week and then increased it to over 400 minutes the next week.  I hasten to say that not all of this was intense exercise.  Some of it was using the exercise bike while reading a book, that kind of thing.  After awhile of this I noticed I was having some pain on the inside of my left knee (my bad knee).  I wasn’t having any pain under my kneecap (I don’t have much cartilage there).  The pain on the left knee inside was a new pain, I hadn’t had before. About a month ago, I took 2 days off from exercise at my birthday and that didn’t help.  I was about at the point of going back to the orthopedic surgeon to see if I could find out what was going on.

Well, last week, I took off 4 days from exercise.  This was from Thursday (when I got my hair done for the wedding) through Sunday when I came home.  I did exercise Monday through Wednesday.  Anyway, on Wednesday night, I realized my knee didn’t hurt.  Sometime, during the past week, the pain went away entirely.  So, I’m thinking now that when I upped my exercise several weeks ago, I simply increased it too much, too fast.  What I did Monday through Wednesday didn’t bother me, though.

I still don’t know what will happen when I weigh in Saturday.  I’m at a point right now where I could show anything from a small gain to a small loss.  Fitbit says I have about a half pound calorie deficit, but sometimes those show up in a delayed fashion.  Also, my weight fluctuates quite a bit depending upon carb intake.  That is such really water weight either way, though, so it doesn’t bother me.

And, I will be so glad to have May be over.  Starting with my birthday in April and going through Mother’s Day is always difficult since I have right in a row my own birthday, then my son’s and then Mother’s Day.  This May was even worse since we went out of town to the wedding and my mom is visiting (I like her visiting, but I do eat out more and my schedule is a little different). It is just that I’ll be glad to get back to a regular routine.

Friday morning edit:

I woke up this morning and, as usual, weighed first thing.  I’m down over a pound from yesterday (I know this is mostly water weight) and down almost 5 1/2 pounds since Monday.  I am now unofficially in the 140s for the first time in many years.  My scale was at 149.7 this morning.  I still don’t know how it will be tomorrow at weigh in.  It isn’t unusual to have to suddenly jump up a pound for now apparent reason so I could still end up with a small gain this week.  But, it was really nice to see a number in the 149’s for the first time in over 20 years.

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).

Treadmill

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.

Decluttering

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.

Recharge Day

Monday ended up being a recharge day, where I basically didn’t do much at all.  I woke up and was sore from some of the decluttering work I had done around the house on Sunday.  I also decided this was a good day to take a day off from exercise.  The last day off was Saturday before last.  I had planned to take this last Saturday off, but the weather was good to walk outside.  Soon, it will be too hot to walk outside so I wanted to take advantage of the cooler weather on the weekend.

I did spend a little bit of time taking books out of a couple of bookcases and then rearranging them. In other words, when we moved in here 3 years ago I put them in the shelves without arranging them.  The decluttering I did over the weekend was partly getting rid of books that (1) are now available on Kindle so we could replace them, or (2) we don’t want to read again.  As I started working on the books, I could really tell I was sore from the work I did over the weekend.

I realized sometime this evening that while I would probably end up burning at least 1400 calories today, my calorie deficit is going to end up around 485 or so.  I had wanted it to be closer to 500.  I was really tempted to get on the exercise bike for 20 minutes or to walk on the treadmill a little.  But, for the sake of my knee, I really did feel it was best to take this day off completely from an activity standpoint.

I ate lightly today since I knew I wasn’t going to have much activity.  It was one of those days that unintentionally ended up being meatless.  For dinner, I made a frittata again.  This time I added just a little bit of chili powder and Sriracha sauce and it was really super good.

Tuesday, I plan to go back to the exercise I’ve been doing over the last couple of weeks and hope to have a calorie deficit (per Fitbit) of 750 calories.  That may be difficult since I’ll be away from home most of the day and will be eating lunch out, but we’ll see.

10,079 Steps!

Wednesday was another good day for exercise.  And, I finally got to over 10,000 steps for the first time since I got derailed with my trabecular bone injury last year.

Fitbit 4-8-2015

This was the first time I got to over 10,000 steps since May 1st of last year.  Just about a week after that, I got my MRI results and found out I had a trabecular bone injury was told to use a walker non-weight bearing for a month.  I also found out that I am bone on bone under my left kneecap due to cartilage loss.  Since then, I’ve been very careful with the walking.  On the one hand, I know that non-weight bearing exercises (such as my recumbent bike and using an elliptical) are probably better for my knee.  On the other hand, for just not sitting around the house getting in steps really helps.

I’ve taken it carefully in terms of recovering and am still much more cautious about where I walk.  Our subdivision is hilly and there are some hills that I just don’t walk on anywhere because I want to avoid stress to my knee.  I do walk in the subdivision, but on the hills that are not as steep.

And, I’ve been paying a lot of attention to how the knee feels.  And, I feel like I’ve been cautious in increasing steps.

Anyway, Tuesday I did well with exercise and calorie burn partly because I was out and about and had more opportunities to get steps apart from exercise.  Today, I didn’t really have those opportunities.  I was at home for almost the whole day.  I did go out once but it wasn’t an outing that involved many steps.  So, most of the day I was at home and at the computer.  I did go walking outside with my husband for about 40 minutes and that was great.  But, I looked at my Fitbit and realized I was going to end the day with about 6500 or so steps and probably 1550 or so calories burned.

I realize that I need to do better if I want to lose these last 7 pounds or so to get to my current goal weight.  I didn’t really need to go anywhere else and wasn’t going to be walking around much at home tonight.

So, I had dinner (mixed greens salad with chicken) and then walked another 30 minutes or so on the treadmill.  I walked with no incline and not very fast since this was really more just to get in steps and burn some more calories rather than trying to be anything very intense.

When I got finished I was at about 9500 steps and thought I would hit 1700 calories burned.  Then, I used the computer for awhile.  I realized right before midnight that I was, by then, only 300 steps away from 10,000 steps.  I didn’t want to miss the opportunity, so I turned the treadmill back on and quickly did enough steps to get over 10,000 right before midnight.

I realize that this is really the key to getting a reasonable calorie burn on those days when I don’t go out somewhere.  In addition to my actual formal exercise, I need to just get in some more lower intensity steps to just increase my overall calorie burn.  Of course, if my knee starts hurting I will pull back but so far it has been fine.

Second Quarter Goals

And, with the end of the first quarter, it is time for 2nd quarter goals.

Lose 7.4 pounds to get to my goal weight of 146 – On paper this should happen as it only requires about 2.5 pounds per month.  In reality, it is getter harder to lose weight as I get closer to goal.  I can’t really cut what I eat any more (I aim to average around 1200 calories per day), so as I lose weight I lose more slowly as a smaller body burns fewer calories.  Still, I think this is a realistic goal and would really like to meet it.

Exercise at least 150 minutes a week of aerobic activity – I was trying to decide whether to say 4 days a week or 5 days a week, when I realize minutes probably work best.  My standard aerobic activity is to do 40 minutes when I am using the treadmill or exercise bike.  Walking outside is usually 45 minutes, but occasionally longer or shorter.  So, 4 times a week of 40 minutes is 160 minutes.  Or, if I have a day that is shorter, then I can get there through exercising 5 days a week.

2 days a week of strength training – Right now I’m not doing anything.  I am planning to set up personal training at the Y, but my schedule has been so horrendous the past month and a half that we haven’t been able to find any time to go there.  I am hoping to get there this month.  If not, next month.  I have to be careful what I do at home since I have to be very careful on lower body exercises (due to my knee).  But, I could be doing upper body (I have dumbbells) and could be using exercise bands from when I did physical therapy to do some light work on the lower body.

Eat 5 fruits/vegetables a day and improve my overall way of eating – Yesterday I had 6 servings of fruits and vegetables and have a plan that should get me to eating at least 5 regularly.  As far as the improving my overall way of eating, I will be making an entire post about what I am doing on that front.

Continue better time/activity management – I made progress on this last quarter, but still have work to do.  One big project that I need to do is to do some decluttering.  We did quite a bit of this when we moved to this house (3 years ago) but there were some things we moved into this house and I said I would figure out later what to do about them.  Later never got here.  Also, I need to reorganize the kitchen and our bedroom closet.  I keep intending to do all this, but never get around to it.  I want to dedicate some time each day to this.

Sleep 7 hours a day – I also made progress on this one during the last quarter.  At the start of the year, I was really doing terribly on my sleep (lifelong insomniac here).  But, it has gradually gotten better.  And, giving up soft drinks (and the caffeine that came with them) seems to have helped.  I do drink green tea but only in the morning.  Still, I am not yet as consistent on this as I would like to be.