Oh, deer! And, I hate shopping.

We’ve spent some time the past few days doing some elliptical shopping, ending up entirely undecided.

But — in the meantime — some shots from our front yard:





We live in an acreage subdivision where there are a lot of wooded areas.  Apparently, some of the deer in the neighborhood have been sleeping in the trees between our house and our neighbor’s house.  We often see as many as 12 deer crossing the road to go get something to eat.  It is one of the nicer things about our neighborhood.

Somewhat less nice than the deer is shopping for an elliptical.  I thought shopping for a treadmill last year was difficult, but shopping for an elliptical has been far worse.  There are a number of factors.  Ellipticals seem to fall largely within several groups.  Some are cheap and poor quality.  I don’t like that.  I want something that will last.  Also, I am concerned that a low quality elliptical might have bad ergonomics and could end up hurting my knee. Other brands seem acceptable quality, but the manufacturer has a lot of service complaints when problems do occur.  That is, if your elliptical works fine, then everything is great.  But, if your elliptical breaks, then getting acceptable service may be difficult.

Other ellipticals have tons of bells and whistles — lots of programs, incline, the console plays music, the console has a browser, adjustable strides, and so on!  But, you can only buy the elliptical online.  The prices look good, but you have to buy without trying out the elliptical.  Since so much of an elliptical depends on how your body feels using it, I am extremely reluctant to buy an elliptical I can’t try.  I really love a lot of those features, but not being able to try the elliptical first is a big deal.  In some instances, the manufacturer may have a return policy, but the fine print isn’t that exciting as you might have to pay return shipping or send back the elliptical in the original packaging, which may be very difficult with such a large piece of equipment.

Then, there are the ellipticals you can buy in specialty fitness stores.  Lots of times these are really high quality ellipticals.  Sometimes, these are the home versions of the brands you see in gyms.  From going to a couple of these stores, my observation is that these ellipticals tend to be from high quality manufacturers, have a high price and are short on features.  We looked at some of these and did like a couple of them.  There was a Life Fitness X1 that was about $2000.  I felt it was good quality and I liked that it was a rear drive elliptical (some feel those are smoother feeling to use). But, it was a very basic machine with not a lot of features. There are machines that cost $500 less that run rings around it on features.  Of course, they may not be as good quality, or the manufacturer may have a lot of service complaints or you may gave to buy them sight unseen.  Still, for an elliptical that you can actually see in a store, the X1 seemed like a safe bet, but very unexciting without many options.

Then, we looked at a store with Precors.  I’ve had a Precor treadmill in the past and thought it was high quality.  Precor has a reputation for good quality and, apparently, invented the elliptical.  The cheaper Precor ellipticals had a manual incline function which we didn’t like.  I did like the higher level Precors where you could press a button to change the incline.  But, they came with a huge price.  There was a sale on one of the models and it was really nice, but was about twice the price of the Life Fitness.  I’m not sure that I want to spend $4000 for an elliptical, even if it is a great machine!  And, while the elliptical is great, the console on the Precor isn’t really impressive.  Again, sometimes cheaper machines have more impressive bells and whistles.  But, the Precor was clearly a very solid machine.  But!  That price.

Which brought up the thing that made us queasy as we debated it.  First, I don’t really know yet if my knee will be able to handle the elliptical.  Yes, the doctor suggested the elliptical.  But, it is still weight bearing (which is an overall plus) and there are people who find that an elliptical hurts their knees.  Other people find that it doesn’t.  I would hate to spend $2000 (let alone $4000) to buy an elliptical and then find out a few months later that I couldn’t tolerate.  Especially since buying fitness equipment wasn’t in this years budget at all.

Second, even if my knee can handle the elliptical, what if I hate it?  I don’t think that I will, but I haven’t use an elliptical much.  When I was a Y member I used one occasionally but not a lot.  It is possible — although I think unlikely — that I might not like it.

Third, what if I don’t hate it and my knee can handle it, but I don’t want to use it (or can’t use it) 5 or 6 days a week for an hour at a time?  That is the level of cardio exercise I would like to be able to do.  It is possible that I could handle an elliptical 3 days a week, for example, but 5 days would be too much.  Or, maybe I would just want some variety.  While I do plan to use the treadmill without incline just to get some movement in, I won’t be doing that at high enough intensity for cardiovascular exercise.  I do have the Concept2 rower, but I’ve concluded it really isn’t ideal for my knee at this point.

If I buy a really expensive elliptical then I couldn’t really afford to buy something else to use on non-elliptical days.  On the other hand, if I buy a good quality, but less expensive elliptical, I could also buy a good quality recumbent exercise bike.  I don’t want to have an exercise bike as my sole cardio exercise.  First, my seat gets sore if I sit on one for too long.  Second, I don’t like doing just one thing.  I want some variety.  Third, an exercise bike isn’t weight bearing and I want to do some weight bearing exercise.

At that point, I started thinking that the best option was to buy a less expensive elliptical and buy an exercise bike.  Exercise bikes to me are mostly about the comfort of the seat and having a reasonable number of programs to use.  Years ago (when I had my knee surgery) I had an exercise bike and those were the factors I found most important.  I spent some time at the fitness store, trying out various exercise bikes.  The one that was by the far the most comfortable was the Vision Fitness R40.  Right now, I’m leaning towards buying it, but I want to look at a few more stores.

We came very close to just going ahead and buying the Life Fitness X1 elliptical and the Vision Fitness R40 bike.  That would give me equipment that I could alternate using and I could feel that I was getting a good workout and wouldn’t be overusing any one piece of equipment.  And, yet, I just wasn’t comfortable spending that kind of money when I’m just not sure if my knee will be able to tolerate the elliptical.  And, we still aren’t really sure whether to go with something expensive, but basic like the X1 or maybe buy something less expensive with more features, but maybe lesser quality or service.

Then, my husband suggested we might rejoin the YMCA.  Before we moved to our current house, we had been YMCA members and enjoyed using the Y facilities.  We had dropped our membership several months after we moved here because the Y in this area is farther away and we really preferred to exercise at home.  So, we dropped the Y membership and bought the treadmill and bought dumbbells for strength training.  Truthfully, I like a lot of the weight machines (heresy, I know, but there it is), but I didn’t like having to drive to use them.

Now, I know that I have no interest is having to go to the Y to do all my exercise.  I don’t want to have to go there 5 or 6 days a week.  So, I still want to buy the exercise bike.  But, I could see going to the Y a few days a week to use the elliptical and maybe some of the weight machines.  This has the beauty of letting me try some ellipticals for an extended period of time and finding out how my knee does with them.  If I have no problems using the ellipticals there, and I enjoy them, then after a few months we can drop the Y membership and buy an elliptical (maybe by then I’ll have a better sense of what features are important to me).  If I find out that I can’t use the elliptical or don’t really like it, then I haven’t spent all that money to buy one.

And, since I will have an exercise bike at home, I will still be able to do some exercise here when the spirit moves me or when I just don’t feel like going to the Y.

We still have to decide which bike to buy, but I’m already feeling better at deferring the elliptical shopping for a few months.



Seeing the Doctor

I went today for my 4 week follow up appointment with the orthopedic surgeon.  As I’ve mentioned before, 4 weeks ago he put me on non-weight bearing use of a walker due to my trabecular bone injury in my leg.  It has been a difficult 4 weeks since I wasn’t to use my left leg except for balance.  I went to physical therapy a couple of times.  This week, I was told that I was doing the non-weight bearing exercises well enough that I could do that home and would come back to physical therapy when the doctor said I could do weight bearing exercises.

The doctor appointment went reasonably well.  There were really two topics:  my trabecular bone injury and my knee and future exercise.

Trabecular Bone Injury –   The bad news is that I’m not entirely finished with the walker.



After some discussion, we ended up with him telling me to transition from the walker to full weight bearing over the next two weeks.  I’m allowed now to bear 25% weight on the left leg and will be increasing it periodically over the next two weeks by which time I can go full weight bearing.  I would like to have the walker gone entirely, but I’m content enough with being able to use it with some weight bearing.  Using the walker while basically hopping, except when I have to balance myself, is just exhausting.  It has been so unpleasant that during the past 4 weeks basically the only time I’ve left the house is to go to Weight Watchers or to go to physical therapy.  With being able to bear some weight, using the walker is not nearly so unpleasant.  It is still slow, but isn’t exhausting to use.  That said, while I might be more willing to go to a restaurant or some place that involves a short walk, I’m still not going to want to do things like go to the grocery store.

I’m not convinced that using the walker has really done much to help the situation.  It is true that when I don’t bear weight on the left leg I don’t get much pain from the trabecular bone injury.  But, that was true before.  That is, when I was sitting in a chair I didn’t get much pain from the injury.  But, if I pressed on the area of the injury it was painful.  Well, that is still true.  I’m not sure that this 4 weeks has really changed that.    I think my doctor certainly hopes that using the walker has and will help the recovery.  But, I suspect that nothing but time — a lot of time — is going to make it really go away.

My Knee and Future Exercise

This was the part of the appointment where I had come up with a lot of questions after my last appointment.  Many years ago, I had a tibial transfer to improve the alignment of my kneecap.  I knew then that I didn’t have a lot of cartilage under my kneecap, and I’ve been careful since then to baby my knees.  I didn’t run and I didn’t do leg extensions and I was just careful with what I did.  I noticed in February that I had kneecap pain when I was doing some lunges.  The knee MRI revealed grade 4 chondromalacia patella.  The doctor told me that I had knee arthritis and the cartilage was bone on bone and that I should pick a cardiovascular exercise that wouldn’t stress the knee as much.  He suggested swimming, cycling or an elliptical.

It wasn’t entirely clear to me where the line was drawn and exactly how dangerous he thought it was for me to walk.  That is, was he simply saying walking wasn’t an ideal fitness activity for me or was he really telling me I needed to actively avoid walking?  I also found this somewhat confusing, since some of what I read seemed to advocate walking for at least some people with arthritis such as here, here, and here.  I realize, of course, that this is the type of thing that is individualized.  That is, it might be fine for some people with knee arthritis to walk for exercise, while for other people with knee arthritis the doctor would recommend against it.  I am a big believer in getting personalized medical advice from your own doctor, since I know that generalities are simply that and may not apply to the individual situation.  What was unclear to me was what he was telling me about my individual situation.

I went in with a lot of questions about the limitations he was placing on my walking.  He said that while swimming, cycling or using an elliptical would be better choices for cardiovascular fitness, he wasn’t telling me not to walk.  What that meant was less than clear.  I told him that the reason this is important to me is that I’ve read that even if you exercise, you still shouldn’t sit too much.  I live in a one story house and I told him that if I was home all day and didn’t go for a walk or use the treadmill, I would walk about 2000 steps.  Therefore, sometimes, I would just hop on the treadmill, not so much to do a big cardio workout, but just to move and get some steps in.  The other factor for me is that I wanted to do weight bearing exercise for the sake of my bones.

I finally asked him to imagine two situations:  In both situations, I would use an elliptical for an hour a day for my cardio exercise.  But, in one situation I would most sit around the house the rest of the day and would have 2000 walking steps for the day.  In the other situation, I would use the elliptical for an hour, but would also get on the treadmill and walk on it (flat, no incline) for 3000 steps just to move around some.  Which one should I do (given everything he knows about my individual situation)?  He told me that, in that situation, walking on the treadmill 3000 steps would be better.  I asked him if there was a specific limit on steps that I shouldn’t exceed.  That is, was 5000 steps OK, but 10,000 steps was too much?  He said there was not a specific limit on number of steps.  It depended on how my knee felt.  Basically, if I was walking on the treadmill (which he said was better for my knees than walking on pavement), and it didn’t hurt then there was no specific limitation.

I did talk to him about my using my rower, since that was hurting me some when I was using it earlier in the month. He said that if I used it for 30 minutes and my knee hurt the next day then back off and trying using it for 10 or 20 minutes and see if that hurt.

Based upon all this, I think I can keep my treadmill and use it without an incline and walk at a fairly sedate pace just to get in extra steps and movement.  I think I’ll probably get an elliptical for the cardiovascular stuff, but will keep the treadmill just to get steps in so I don’t sit too much.  I’ll take it carefully and if my knee hurts the next day then I’ll reduce the steps.  Of course, if it ends up hurting all the time even when I reduce usage, I would have to look at giving it up.

Before the trabecular bone injury I wasn’t having much pain in my knees when walking.  There were a few twinges walking down the hills in my neighborhood, so I think it is pretty clear that that puts enough stress on my knee that I shouldn’t do that any more, at least not at my current weight and fitness level.  So, staying on the treadmill seems the way to go, particularly while I’m still overweight.

I’m inclined to go ahead and sell my Concept2 rower.  I enjoy the rower, but it seems to bother my knees more than the treadmill and more than the exercise cycle I used at physical therapy.  I am leaning to replacing it with an elliptical.

I’ve been looking at elliptical reviews and am horribly confused.  Some say having a rear drive is really important.  Others, say it doesn’t matter.  Some saying it is really important to be able to adjust the stride length.  Others say that isn’t that important. I feel about ellipticals much like I felt when I was researching treadmills.  When I was looking at treadmills, so many of them fell into the following categories:  (1) treadmill had wonderful features and sounded awesome, but the manufacturer had lots of service related complaints, (2) cheap and not very durable, (3) good quality, but often less bells and whistles, good service, but extremely expensive.  I also didn’t like ordering something online that I hadn’t been able to try out.  I particularly didn’t want to do it since some of the online manufacturers had a lot of service complaints.  I had the idea that with some manufacturers if the treadmill you received didn’t have any problems, then everything was golden.  You would have gotten a good price, the treadmill was great, and all that.  But, if the treadmill broke, some companies had a lot of complaints of poor warranty service.  Then, I went to some of the local stores.  There were the stores that had the really cheap machines that didn’t seem to have much quality.   There were the specialty fitness stores that had really nice machines that had good quality.  But, many of those treadmills were over $3000.  I didn’t want to pay that much. Finally, we found a local fitness store that sold a variety of different treadmills including Lifespan which I had identified as one that seemed to be good quality, not too expensive and without a lot of service complaints.

Now that I will be looking for ellipticals, the situation for ellipticals seem similar to that for treadmills.  The negative is that I haven’t so far found a treadmill that seems to be good quality, but isn’t hugely expensive (I want to spend less than $2500), and is from a company that doesn’t have a lot of service complaints.  And, I know stride length is important for an elliptical, so I really would prefer one that I could try out before buying (which knocks out a bunch of online retailers).  The problem is that once you knock out the online retailers, most of what is left is either the cheap machines or the really expensive machines.  When I look at the brands carried by the stores around here, I’m not all that happy with the choices. Sigh.

May Goal Results

It is a little difficult to even talk about May goal results, since they were so thoroughly upended fairly early in the month.  On May 8th, I got my MRI results and was told to use a walker or crutches and not bear any weight on my left leg for 4 weeks.  This was due to a trabecular bone injury/microfractures in my left leg.  I went from walking about 8000 steps a day on exercise days, to not being able to put my left leg down except for balance.  The drastic change in activity can be seen by May Fitbit results below:

May Fitbit

As you can see the graph of my steps declined to almost nothing after my doctor’s visit on May 8th.  So, all my goals that were based upon activity basically went out the window.  To put it in perspective, during April I burned an average of 1734 calories a day.  During May, from May 9th on, I burned an average of 1430 calories a day.  And, even that sharply declined during the month.  The one good thing from the doctor’s visit is that he told me I could continue to use my Concept2 rower if my knee didn’t hurt.  I was able to use it several times, but then I got sick with a sore throat and fever that eventually added on conjunctivitis.  I was totally miserable and barely felt like getting up, let alone rowing.  So the last couple of weeks of the month, Fitbit says I was averaging about 1395 calories a day.  So, I wasn’t able to get within shouting distance of my goal of a 700 calorie deficit a day.

Despite all of that, the one good thing was that I ate very carefully because I knew I wasn’t burning many calories.  So, I still had a good month at the scale, going down 5.2 pounds from my last weigh in during April to my last weigh in in May.  Actually, I don’t think my true weight loss was that much.  When I’m sick and not very hungry I tend to not eat very many carbs and my body doesn’t retain fluids so I have a weight loss that can be short-lasting.  It would not surprise me to have a small gain this next Friday.

Still, I had really wanted to get into the 160s by the end of May and on May 30th I weighed in at 168.2.  Even if I do have a small gain at the next meeting, I doubt I will go above 170.

Given all the circumstances in May, I am happy with the overall progress I made on weight loss and happy that I stayed on track from an eating standpoint.  There were times during the month when it was a real struggle, particularly when I was feeling depressed and sorry for myself.

Which brings up my June goals.  I have absolutely no idea of what my goals are for June.  I go back to the doctor later this week and hope that he will release me from having to use the walker.  I went to physical therapy last week and will go again this week.  I liked getting the exercises from there to try to help me improve my leg strength.

Even if the doctor does allow me walk under my own power again, the big uncertainty is what I will be doing from a fitness standpoint.  I was absolutely crushed when he told me at the last appointment that walking for fitness was not ideal for me.  This is because I have little cartilage in my left knee and it is bone on bone in places.  He recommended swimming, cycling or an elliptical.  At this point I am leaning toward the elliptical, but not all that enthusiastic about having to deal with choosing one and buying it.  Particularly, since I have a very nice treadmill that is less than a year old.  I just get exhausted thinking about selling the treadmill, researching ellipticals, finding an elliptical, and buying it.  And, still not sure about the rower.  When I used it, earlier in the month it was OK from an exercise standpoint, but I did feel a minor twinge in my knee after a few days of it.  I need to talk to the doctor about whether that it is bad enough that I shouldn’t use the rower either.

At this point, I don’t know what I’ll end up doing.  I know I want to get something to use at home.  It is a good 20 minutes to the closest gym and I know me well enough to know that I’m far more likely to exercise at home.

Truthfully, I still would like to be able to do some walking.  I know that walking in the hilly neighborhood is out, but am uncertain as to how much flat walking I can do.  If I’m at home all day and just walking around doing stuff at home I usually won’t walk over 2000 steps.  I’m just not sure where my limit is.  I know I can’t walk 10,000 steps up and down the hills around here.  But, is 3000 steps OK?  What about 4000?  Or 5000?  Again, another thing I have to talk to the doctor about.

Until I do that I just don’t know what to plan for June.  And, until I buy new exercise equipment, I may be limited in what I can do.  And, buying new equipment will take some time.

So, I guess my June fitness goals are mostly deferred at the moment.    And, since I don’t know how many calories I will be able to burn it is hard to come up with a calorie deficit goal.  I do plan to continue eating similarly to what I was eating in May from a calorie standpoint, but with more veggies.  During most of May I had to rely upon others in the household to get my food for me since I couldn’t really carry food around and it was so hard to get around using the walker.  I was reluctant to ask people to make me anything very complicated to eat.  I would ask for half a cup of blackberries, but didn’t ask for many salads to be made for me.  That kind of thing.  During June, if I am allowed to walk, I am planning to eat more of the veggies I missed out on during May.



It’s a Struggle

I am just realizing that I’m struggling a bit this week. Friday was a little bit higher calorie day (a little over 1400) because we went to Chili’s after the Weight Watchers meeting and I ate a little more than usual. That was fine, but I only had about 100 calories deficit for the day because all I really did activity-wise was use the rower for 20 minutes. I was going to use it for 45 minutes, but I noticed my left was hurting and I’m only supposed to use if it if the knee doesn’t hurt.


All of which made Saturday a very sedentary day. Fitbit said I burned only 1386 calories. That shows how few calories someone my age and weight can burn if I’m not doing much except sitting around. Using a walker without bearing weight on my left leg doesn’t lead to me burning many calories, particularly if I’m not able to use the rower. I decided to take off from the rower until my knee doesn’t hurt any more.

Saturday I didn’t even have a calorie deficit. Usually we go out for lunch on either Saturday or Sunday, but it is hard to do using the walker since the hopping is just exhausting and it’s hard to maneuver the walker in a lot of restaurants anyway. So, I sent my husband out to get Subway. I haven’t eaten there in since early February. I did eat higher calorie than usual, partly because I was feeling sorry for myself. It wasn’t horrible my total calories for the day were still under 1500 calories. But, burning so few calories, Fitbit says I ate 80 calories more than I burned for the day.

All of which was really depressing. Before, if I was eating 1400 and something calories on a weekend day, it wasn’t stellar, but it was still a calorie deficit. Now, it may not be.

Sunday was a little better. I still could feel my knee bothering me some so I didn’t use the rower. I did get in a little activity by doing upper body strength training. Fitbit says I got my calorie burn up to 1458. Had I not done the upper body work I would have only burned 1400 calories or so. I did eat less today so I had a 337 calorie deficit.

On top of everything else, I realized in the evening that I seem to be starting to come down with the sore throat that my son had all week. My head was really hurting and I was coughing and just generally aching all over. None of which makes me happy.

I’m just not feeling in a good place right now. I hate, hate, hate the just sitting around all the time. Doing the rower for 45 minutes or so a day was the one thing that was helping. Now, I have to wait until my knee feels better. And, once it does feel better, if rowing causes it to hurt again then I may have to cross rowing off my exercise list which won’t make me happy either.

Monday I go to my first physical therapy appointment. I have mixed feelings about it. I want to do exercises to help maintain (and maybe gain) strength in my leg. But, I know I’m very limited in what I can do. The doctor’s office said it would be all non-weight bearing, range of motion stuff. Things like leg raises and quad sets. Also, I’m dreading going to the physical therapy office. It is on the 2nd floor of a building (there is an elevator) and even with my husband dropping me off at the front of the building, I will have to do a lot of exhausting hopping to get from where I’m dropped off up to the office. I know it sounds ridiculous to talk about using a walker being hard, but I am not supposed to bear weight at all, so I basically I am just hopping on my right leg. That gets very tiring and unpleasant really fast. At first, it seems fine but once I’ve walked hopped about 30 or 40 steps, it is very hard to do. I actually put on a heart rate monitor one day while doing it and surprised to see my heart rate getting up into an aerobic zone. I wouldn’t actually mind that part, but the hopping on the one leg is very jarring to the body. I just dread the walking from the building to the PT office and then later the walking back outside.

I recognized today that I was in danger of going off track. A part of me just wanted to bury myself in food that would make me feel better. I did manage to stay on track and ended up having a good day in terms of what I ate. But, I know that I’m just frustrated and depressed by how this leg injury is playing havoc with my calorie deficit. I know that I have to recognize that if I don’t have much of a loss (or any loss) for the next 3 weeks, it is no big deal just so long as I don’t go off track and have a large gain. But, it is still a struggle. I feel like I’m doing so much work to watch what I’m eating during this time, but I don’t have much chance of seeing much success at the scale given how few calories I’m burning. And, yes, I know that this is a time when I shouldn’t really be focused on the scale. It’s still hard.

On to Plan B

This has been a difficult week.  Last Thursday I found out that needed to use a walker for 4 weeks due to a trabecular bone injury.  So, my activity level was going to go way down since I’m not supposed to use my left leg except for balance.  On top of that, I was told that once the 4 weeks was over, I shouldn’t walk for fitness any more.  I was not happy about this.  This changes a lot of plans for ongoing fitness and activity for the long term.  I’m sure I’ll talk more about that later.  The main thing for me right now is how to get through this 4 weeks without totally derailing my weight loss.  The only bright spot was that the orthopedic surgeon told me I could still use my Concept2 Rower so long as it didn’t bother my knees.


My April goals had included things like having a 700 a day calorie deficit on my Fitbit and walking an average of 6500 steps a day.  I hadn’t met the 700 a day calorie deficit in May as I was about 100 calories a day below that.  I was planning to walk 7000 steps a day on average during May.  Well, all that is out the window.  My basal metabolic rate is under 1400 calories.  Various places estimate it at 1320 to 1330 calories a day.  Of course, that is the rate if I am totally sedentary and do nothing.  The problem is that since I have to walk using the walker I am almost totally sedentary!  I’m averaging just over 400 steps a day.

The walker is difficult to use.  Walkers are pretty easy to use if you can bear weight on both legs.  They are really difficult to use if you can’t bear weight on one leg and have to hop on the other leg.  When you hop you put your weight on the handles and it quickly becomes very painful.  My hands were getting bruised from the attempt. As you can see in the pic above, I bought padded hand-grip covers, Crutcheze Deep Purple Walker Padded Hand Grip Covers (Pr) Moisture Wicking, Antibacterial, Comfort, Fashion, Washable Orthopedic Products Accessories, (affiliate link) to put over the handles of the walker.  These helped so much.  I can still feel it when I press down on the handles but it is much more tolerable.  Also, my doctor said that I can use my left leg for balance so I keep my left toe lightly on the ground which makes it easier to keep balanced when I’m moving my right leg which is where all the weight is going.  Still, the walker is very slow to use and very tiring so I tend to not move around the house much.  Particularly, since I can’t carry anything in my hands.

On the 2 days this week that I didn’t use the rower I averaged about 1435 calories per Fitbit (and Fitbit tends to overestimate my calorie burn a bit).  Overall, for the week I’ve been averaging about 1500 calories a day because I average about 1540 calories a day on the days I’ve used the rower.  I basically get on the rower and watch TV while rowing.  I like the rower, but my seat gets sore after about 20 minutes so I tend to do it for 20 minutes then rest awhile then go back and do it some more.  I’ve been doing it for about 45 minutes total in a day.

I’m glad that I’ve been doing the rowing, but I really have to adjust down my expectations for a calorie deficit given that.  If I’m burning 1500 calories on average a day, it is really hard for me to have an average calorie deficit of more than 400 calories and even that requires eating about 1100 calories a day.  I’ve been super careful this week to try to stay low but still get enough nutrition.

Sunday was a higher calorie day.  I don’t like going out on Mother’s Day since it is so crowded in the restaurants.  I suggested that we bring in barbeque and have that while watching a couple of movies.  I was careful with what I ate.  Well, not so much with what I ate, but with watching portion sizes.  I hadn’t had barbeque since last May so it was a real treat.  I wanted to have the Onion Tanglers (sort of like onion rings) but they area super high calorie so I didn’t get them.  I ate 1290 calories for the day which I was really happy with.  Right now I’m at an average of 1099 calories a day for the week.  I’ve cut down on some of my snacks and I have tried to focus on eating salads and berries and good protein (mostly chicken).  One advantage of having to use the walker is that I really don’t want to deal with going out to eat so that helps on the calorie front.

Even so, a 400 calorie deficit is a deficit of 2800 calories for a week.  Fitbit usually overestimates the calorie deficit by about 100 calories a day so that is probably closer to 2100 calories a week which would be a loss of .6 pounds a week.  That certainly isn’t what I shooting for this month, but given the circumstances I know I need to be happy with that and not let this derail me.

Actually, right now, my scale shows a loss of 1.7 pounds from where I was last Friday morning before weigh in.  I actually weighed in at 169.9 today.  Of course, that would be more at Weight Watchers since I actually have to wear clothes when I weigh in there.  I recognize that most of this loss though is really loss showing up from last week.  Only a little bit of that is for this week.  I don’t think the loss will still be at 1.7 pounds when I weigh in Friday.  I tend to show my lowest weights mid-week and then it tends to rise slightly on Fridays (not sure why that is since I’m careful on Wednesday and Thursday but that is how it seems).  Still, I am hopeful that if I continue on as I’m doing I’ll still have an OK weigh in Friday.

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