June 2013 – Monthly Fitness Stats

Review Time

June ended up being a whole different kind of month in regards to my fitness activities.
In previous months, I had been mostly walking on my treadmill and was tracking and tweaking each month details like my starting speed, max speed, duration, and adding in small amounts of jogging intervals – each month slowly increasing the duration of those intervals and slowly increasing the speed as well.

Over the last nine months this has been a slow and steady transformation of my workouts from very basic, slow walks for short durations to longer walks, more speed, more incline, more calorie burn, etc. But the overall goal was to keep the progression very slow for the purpose of avoiding injury. (Because I have proven to myself over and over in the past that I am very prone to injury if I just jump full force into a running program.)

So how was June different?

Crossing the finish line - Kona Run 5K (time 38:14)

Crossing the finish line – Kona Run 5K (time 38:14)

June was kicked off by running the Kona Run 5K Race. This was a big goal for me. I had completed a 5K once before, in 2012, and I mostly walked it, finishing in just over 47 minutes. This time, I ran just about the whole 3.1 miles. I did take a few short walk breaks but for the most part I ran the whole thing. (Well, maybe jogged would be a better description.) My finish time was 38:14 which to me, is amazing!

This was a real eye opener to me, that I was ABLE to run over 3 miles. And this changed the dynamics of my workouts in the month of June. My scheduled walk/run days turned into more running than walking, and further distances than I did in the past.

With the recent acquisition of my Garmin Forerunner 10 GPS watch, I also did a lot more of my workouts outdoors. What I found that was really different about this was my pacing. On my treadmill, I have full control of my pace. I set the speed on the treadmill and go, and my speed only changes if I adjust the speed of the treadmill. But on the street, I go…well…however fast my feet take me.

Granted, I can use some tools on my Garmin to set a pace and be alerted if I am going above or below it, but for the most part it is much more difficult to control my speed. Consequently, I ended up walking and running much faster on my outdoor runs in June than I had been doing previously on the treadmill. Being outdoors often pushed me to also increase my distance/duration. The further you get from home, you still have to go that distance to get back. It’s not like being on the treadmill where you can just press the stop button and step off.

The Mix

In previous months, I pretty much just walked on the treadmill. With the tiny intervals of jogging. But for the most part treadmill was what I would do, and I would do it 3 or 4 days a week.

This month I was actually trying to follow both a walking/running training program and also a strength training program. These were guides that were included in that book I had been reading, The Salt Solution.

The walking/running portion of the plan was a 6 days per week plan and was broke down like this:

    35 minute Interval Walk
    40 minute Steady-State Walk
    35 minute Interval Walk
    30 minute Power Walk
    35 minute Interval Walk
    50 minute Recuperative Walk
    Rest Day

The interesting part was that each week the duration times were increased, to the point where it was 45 minute intervals, 50 minute steady-states, 40 minute power walk, and an hour and a half recuperative. I had a hard time keeping up with the duration increases and found myself modifying this as the month went on.

The strength training was a 3 days per week program. It was a routine of 7 exercises and the program called for a certain number of reps and sets. For example, week 1 was one set of 10 reps of everything. By week 5 the first day you’d do 3 sets of 15 of all the exercises, day 2 was 3 sets of 12 reps, then 3 sets of 10 reps. The exercises were things like squats, chest press/fly with small hand weights, lunges, bent-over rows with the hand weights, dead lift curl presses, bicycle crunches and planks.

I followed this plan pretty closely all month so I was working out an average of 6 days per week, some days were both running and strength training. And I got in a good swim also about 2 days per week.
Pretty intense this month!!

With the addition of the Garmin to my fitness toolbox, I am now able to more closely track and report on my fitness activities. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize until close to the end of the month that I could manually log activities that I didn’t use the Garmin for. So here is a glance at how this tracking looks, minus some activities like the strength training and early month treadmill runs.

Garmin Activity list June 2013

Garmin Activity list June 2013

BASIC STATS:

My treadmill stats were:
2.8 mph starting speed (up from 2.4 in May)
3.4 mph walking speed (up from 3.2)
4.2 mph run speed (up from 4.1)

However, my street running was more like an overall average of about 4.5 mph and this included my walking. I was typically walking at just over 4 mph and my running was a little over 5 mph.

I logged a total of 42.47 miles in the month of June, averaging 10.5 miles per week.

Average calorie burn: 220 per workout
Ending Weight: 121.6 lbs (down 2 lbs from the end of May)
Garmin June 2013

My whiteboard calendar in my workout studio - the purple entries are mine (green is Jim's).  June was a very FULL month of training!

My whiteboard calendar in my workout studio – the purple entries are mine (green is Jim’s). June was a very FULL month of training!

Was kind of surprised to see my weight keep going down this month. I was actively working to adjust my calorie intake to a higher level for “maintenance”. But it really wasn’t until the end of the month that I started taking in much more calories than normal, so with all that activity it’s no wonder I kept losing weight. Technically I did want to get down to 120 lbs, but had been thinking I’d save those last few pounds until after I stand up in Terri’s wedding in July. I don’t have much room to work with to maintain the perfect fit on that bridesmaid dress. But I guess a pound or two one way or the other won’t make much difference.

Weight Log June 2013

CC Weight Log June 2013

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The Perfect Fit!

Saturday I took my best friend Terri out for brunch at The Breakfast Club in Farmington for a little treat before we went for the final fittings on our dresses for her wedding.

It is so nice to spend time with Terri, the two of us just really click together like sisters and it is a great time every time I see her! The Breakfast Club has such good food, it is a favorite spot of mine and Jim’s. I was very excited to take Terri there and introduce her to this place. She loved it also and suggested that sometime Jim and I should meet her and Scott there for breakfast, which of course is a great idea! I will never pass up any opportunity to enjoy the sumptuous food at this place!

Good food and great company!

Good food and great company!

I had made a little book for Terri called “Before the I Do” which was a keepsake of pictures from her bridal shower and her bachelorette party. She really liked it and it made me so happy to do something nice for her and to see that it meant a lot to her.

Once we finished up with brunch, we headed over to David’s Bridal to have our final fitting of our dresses for her wedding. This was one of the challenges I had been worried about. Part of my weight loss plan was that once I took that dress in for the first fitting I would need to switch gears from weight loss, into maintenance mode; so it would still fit me for the wedding. So far it’s been about a month since I had taken it in for alterations and when I went back Saturday it fit me like a glove! 🙂 So now I just have to maintain that for 3 more weeks until the wedding and everything will be perfect.

After that, I will need to a new plan. I haven’t decided yet if I want to stay in maintenance or perhaps lose a few pounds. I am only about 2 and half pounds away from the second goal weight I had set for myself. First goal was 130 lbs. in time for our cruise in March. I met that goal the week before we left for the cruise. Second goal became to lose another ten and get down to 120. I didn’t really put a time frame on that one but was hoping maybe I could do it in time for the wedding. I still might be able to pull that off, being so close now, but I’m trying to hold really steady weight so the fit of that dress doesn’t change.

Ok so here we go with some pictures! If you recall, in one of my earlier posts I used a picture of the day I initially tried on this dress last November as my official “Before” photo. So now it is time to unveil the “After” photos! 🙂

The "After" pic June 2013, down 23 lbs from the initial purchase of this dress in November.

The “After” pic June 2013, down 23 lbs from the initial purchase of this dress in November.


Showing off my "Hot runner's legs" as my bestie calls them!

Showing off my “Hot runner’s legs” as my bestie calls them!

And here is the side by side Before & After:

Before& After Nov. 2012 at 145 lbs., vs. June 2013 at 122 lbs.

Before& After
Nov. 2012 at 145 lbs., vs. June 2013 at 122 lbs.

Doesn't Terri just look SO cute?!

Doesn’t Terri just look SO cute?!

It is really amazing what 8 months of hard work and dedication can do! The funny thing is while I can see a big difference in my face, shoulders and arms, and a bit of slimming down and a lot of toning up in my legs…in these pictures you really can’t even see the difference in my midsection. In actuality my waist is considerably smaller now than it used to be. You can tell in this pic of Terri and I that I finally have a waistline! Yay me!! 🙂

Hard Work + Dedication

More and more, people ask me questions like:

  • What have you been doing to lose all that weight?
  • What diet are you on?
  • How Do You Do It??
  • My answer is simple.

    Hard Work and Dedication

    Hard Work and Dedication go like this:

      It takes a lot of WORK to lose weight, and to keep it off.
      Most of the time, that work is HARD.
      Often it is hard to convince myself to do the work
      Because I usually don’t “feel like” doing it!
      Doing it anyway, is where the DEDICATION comes in.

    should i work out

    Beyond that, if you want to know more specifics I’ll tell you what I do.

    I count my calories and I exercise. It is really just that simple.

    It is a simple formula for success which is foolproof if followed precisely. But it requires a change of lifestyle, a different mindset, and commitment to a different approach to living.

    I am not on a diet. There is no program or weight loss group that I’ve joined.
    Math is the biggest tool that I use. Burn more calories than you take in on a regular basis and you lose weight. Balance the amount of calories you burn with the amount you take in, and you maintain the weight. I think the biggest challenge most people have to making this concept work is that they aren’t really keeping close track of calorie intake and calories burned. If you don’t know the numbers you have no way to know if you’re on track or not. Just because you feel like you cut back on what you ate, and you think you got some exercise does not guarantee the math will come out in your favor.

    A good calorie counting tool is invaluable, I personally like to use www.caloriecount.about.com to log my calories and that is also where I log my activities so I can monitor my daily net calories.

    Learning to live on a “Calorie Budget” is the first key to success.

    Compare this to your personal financial budget. You bring home a certain amount of money, so you can only spend a certain amount or you go into debt. If you keep spending more than you have earned you go further and further in debt and it becomes harder and harder to get out of debt.

    Same thing with calories. Each day you start out with a certain number of calories to use for the day, your “daily budget”. With each meal you make choices on how many calories to spend out of your budget, and what to spend them on. Once you’ve used up your budget, if you continue eating more calories you go into debt, so to speak, but that debt takes the form of fat on your body. And the more of it you accumulate, the harder it is to get rid of.

    If you spend your calorie budget wisely, and “save” some of it each day – that savings is your calorie deficit and that is what creates your weight loss.

    Taking this a step further is giving thought to how you want to spend your calories.
    Compare this to making your money work harder for you:

  • Like clipping coupons to trim your expenses, try clipping your portion sizes to trim calories
  • Similar to spending the time to figure out where to put your money to make it grow and work hard for you, spend time considering what things you’ll spend your calories on that will give you the biggest payoff. This is where nutrition comes into play.
  • Getting the most bang for your buck – make every calorie count by investing it in foods that really fuel and nourish your body and not just satisfy a craving or a whim.
  • If you can accomplish these things even 60-80% of the time you are well on your way to success.
    images

    Getting your body moving and burning calories is the second key to success.

    Technically you can lose weight by cutting calories alone. It will take a lot longer to do, but it can be done. You can greatly accelerate this process by adding physical activity to your lifestyle.

    You do not need a gym membership or a lot of fancy equipment or even a ton of extra time. But you do need to be willing to make an effort, exercise is hard work and it does take effort on your part.

    For every calorie you can burn by exercising, you get to deduct this from your incoming calories and this makes it much easier to create that daily calorie deficit needed to lose weight. Once you’ve lost the weight you want to, continuing the exercise allows you to eat a well-balanced diet and still maintain the weight loss you’ve achieved.

    Don’t let the word exercise scare you. This can take whatever form you most enjoy. You may end up trying several things before you even figure out what sort of activity you can do on a regular basis that you don’t end up dreading. This is important because you have to at least somewhat like or be able to tolerate the exercise or it becomes very difficult to stay dedicated to doing it.

    Burning calories can come from walking, on a treadmill or outdoors, at the mall if the weather isn’t cooperating. You can do calisthenics in your living room, use an exercise DVD, go to a gym, participate in a sport you enjoy, ride a bike, go for a swim, the possibilities are truly endless!

    You just have to pick something, and do it! And do it again the next day. And the day after that. By all means, give your body a rest a few days a week as needed, but you just have to keep finding ways to move your body and exert energy.

    The great thing is that this can really become addictive, the more you work out the more you want to work out. So the process actually gets easier the longer you do it because it becomes less of a chore and more of something you really want to get done.

    So, this is my roadmap in a nutshell folks. Eat less, eat better, exercise more, burn more calories than you take in. Rinse, repeat.

    Cookies: The Frenemy

    Cookies are my Frenemy. They bring me much joy, and cause me much grief.

    Especially these ones! Lofthouse soft baked, frosted Red Velvet cookies!

    Disclaimer  Only one cookie was harmed in the making of this photo.

    Disclaimer Only one cookie was harmed in the making of this photo.

    “Special Occasion” Eating and Treats

    I wanted to talk a bit today about the challenges of managing eating on “special occasions” and/or indulging in “treats”. This is an area where I have become more aware of the challenges and consequences, and yet I still struggle to conquer this situation.

    For example, last Saturday, not only did I run a 5K, but later that night I attended my best friend Terri’s bachelorette party. Part of my job was to bring food. I gave this much thought because I knew I would be eating whatever I brought and I wanted to provide myself with lower calorie, somewhat healthy options. But I also wanted to do it in a way that the other gals at the party would enjoy the selections, with the options being kind to their waistlines.

    This is what I took to the party:

    Fresh Veggie tray (all fresh, local, organic veggies I washed & chopped myself the night before)
    French onion dip – not the healthiest, but quite yummy!
    Tortilla chips
    Salsa
    Special K Popcorn chips (sweet & salty)
    Lofthouse Red Velvet Cookies

    Since I had done the race that morning and burned a good amount of calories, I really didn’t want to spoil my calorie count for the day by splurging too much at this party. I carefully logged on calorie count what I planned to eat, one serving size of everything I brought, plus two drinks of vodka & club soda. This, combined with what I’d already eaten for the day, was going to put me +200 calories over my daily target (even counting the calories burned from my race) – which was an acceptable overage given that it was a ‘special occasion’.

    As usual, everything changed once I actually got to the party. I stuck to my two drinks of vodka and soda, but I also indulged in several servings of gummy bears soaked in vodka and others soaked in rum. And one of the gals brought pudding shots, which I quickly refused when first offered to me. Soon all the ladies were sampling the pudding shots and raving about how good they were, I ended up having two of them. (And yes, they were delicious!)

    I stuck to my plan of only eating one serving size of everything that I brought. But then Terri’s mom (who, by the way, is one of the coolest mom’s I’ve ever met!) also made homemade pita chips and buffalo chicken dip. I resisted it for several hours but finally gave in, and after tasting how delicious that was, I went back for seconds of that. She also made bacon cheese stuffed pastries, which I resisted as long as possible but eventually caved in and ate several of those. (Also, delicious!) Oh, and did I mention the red velvet cookies? You KNOW I couldn’t stop at just one of those!

    All said and done, I’m sure that my day ended somewhere more like +1000 calories over my target instead of the +200 over target I had planned.

    Terri& I at her bachelorette party, June 2013

    Terri& I at her bachelorette party, June 2013

    Now don’t get me wrong, I had a GREAT time at Terri’s party, and I am so happy to be sharing all these special occasions with her leading up to her wedding. I really enjoyed all the food, and drinks, and fun and laughing and all that great stuff.

    What I am getting at is that I am having a hard time exercising discipline with food when I get outside of my normal, structured, planned eating patterns. This has always been an area of particular weakness for me, especially when it comes to sweet treats.

    Exercising discipline feels too much like exercise…

    It is an ongoing, never ending battle. The battle against doughnuts at the office. Birthday cakes. Celebration dinners. Home baked treats. Ice cream on hot days.

    I brought home about a dozen of the red velvet cookies from the party. I have eaten one almost every day since then and only managed to abstain on two days.

    Cookies: 4, Debb: 2 As usual, the cookies are winning

    I find myself spending hours fighting the good fight in my head, trying to talk myself out of eating rich, delicious, sugary treats. It seems like I can resist for so long, but often I give in “eventually” and indulge. And part of me thinks that somehow I did good because of how long I resisted. When the fact is that the calories count whether I gobble them up the moment the urge strikes or if I “exercise discipline” for a torturously long time and then indulge.

    In the end, I am unsure how to overcome this obstacle. I do not suspect my sweet tooth is going away anytime soon, I have had it my whole life. There is nothing I love more than sweet treats. However, I think if I am going to indulge at all I need to start just making the decision to do it, do it, and live with it and move on. Instead of fighting and trying to resist and putting myself through the guilt-trip wringer and then still giving in.

    Unfortunately, that’s the best I have for this problem, at the moment….

    In conclusion, I was just telling my husband I was writing a post that I don’t have a good ending to. Because frankly, I just don’t have a good solution right now. And he said “maybe if you read my post tonight on calorie count it will help”. This is what he wrote:

    “And finally, as a good husband I am doing my part to help the wife get rid of the red velvet cookies that are tormenting her nightly in the kitchen.”

    I ran 5K, and no one was chasing me!

    Saturday I ran the 5K race “Kona Run” in Northville! That’s right, I ran it!!
    My official race time was 38:14 which is, by far, a personal best for me!

    Getting ready to start the Kona Run 5K, June 8, 2013

    Getting ready to start the Kona Run 5K, June 8, 2013

    I am not a runner

    If you’ve followed my monthly fitness stats at all, you’ll know that I am really not a “runner”. I’m more of a walker who sort of wishes she was a runner. But, my short little legs have a hard time building up too much speed (I am only 5’2″!). And I used to be an avid hiker. I have a knee injury from a hiking adventure many years ago which likes to flare up and cause me much grief when I push myself too hard trying to run.

    Taking-in-the-view copy

    Debb-NorthCountryTrail

    Debb-holding-Molly copy

    Somewhere around 8 or 9 years ago I did a 22 mile hike, in the woods (read: hills!), wearing a 30 lb. pack on my back, and with my dog – who loved the hike but tired out easily and repeatedly wanted to be carried! About 13 miles in, I injured a tendon behind my right knee and it became VERY painful to even walk. Every step was a new experience in pain. Unfortunately, I still had almost 10 miles to go to get out of the woods, there was no choice but to continue. My hiking partner also had a full pack and really wasn’t able to assist with my pack. I hiked in pain and in tears for hours!

    My doctor diagnosed it as tendonitis and the problem with it is that while it heals up, it never really goes away. It is easy to trigger a flare up. About 6 years ago I had dabbled with running and found myself over and over fighting with flare ups in that knee.

    In 2011 I bought a treadmill and started walking. I decided I’d learned my lesson in the past with trying to run, and bringing on the pain, and this time I would just have to settle for being a walker.

    2012 found me signing myself up for a 5K race. Not sure what really possessed me to do that, I knew I couldn’t run it. But my husband and I went, and I walked it as fast as I could, and occasionally jogged a little.

    2012 Shamrock'n'Roll 5K Race

    2012 Shamrock’n’Roll 5K Race

    This was the 2012 Shamrock’n’Roll 5K race in Plymouth, MI. I finished the 5K in 48:22. I wasn’t overly proud of my time, but I was very proud of myself for signing up for it, going and doing it, and finishing it! 🙂 At the time of that race I probably weighed about 138 lbs. and it wasn’t long after that I started putting on more and more weight, leading up to the re-birth of my fitness journey in September.

    I am not a runner…Or am I?

    So now, I’ve been using my treadmill for the last 9 months or so. I started out walking very slowly the first month. After a couple of months I decided to try out just a LITTLE bit of jogging. I worked in three 1-minute jogging intervals in my 45 or 50 minute walks. My ‘jogging’ speed was 4.0 mph. Which, is really a very fast walking pace but for me at the time was more of a jog. Each month I would add 30 seconds to my intervals. By April I was doing three 3-minute intervals of jogging, sometimes 3.5 to 4 minutes, and I had increased the jog speed the tiniest bit to 4.1 mph. My knee seemed to be cooperating with this VERY small and slow addition of jogging to my workout.

    When I got into the month of May, knowing that this race I’d signed up for was in the beginning of June, I decided to up the stakes a bit and see if maybe I could do more running than I thought I could. I started with a week of 5 minutes walking, 5 minutes jogging. The next week I tried 4 minutes walking, 6 minutes of jogging. Then the next week 3/7. Seven minutes of jogging at a time felt like it might kill me, but…my knee seemed to be holding out pretty strong! This gave me hope and determination! Maybe I could be a runner?

    Running 3.1 miles makes me a runner, right?

    June 8, 2013 finds me standing a the starting line of the Kona Run 5K race in Northville, MI. The race starts at Northville Downs, a horse racing track. We start out with a lap around the track then hit the streets from there. I start out jogging out of the starting gate because, really, who wants to be the one who is walking right from the start right? I am thinking to myself, maybe I could jog all the way around the track then walk as we break out onto the street.

    We leave the horse track, out through the parking lot and onto the street. I am still jogging. And I’m feeling pretty strong. With my Garmin Forerunner 10 strapped to my wrist, I am constantly checking time, mileage, pace, etc. I decide, as I’m getting a bit winded, that I will walk for just a few seconds. We’ve gone just under a quarter-mile, my mileage reads 0.20. I decide to walk until I get to 0.25 just to catch my breath, it is only the span of a minute or so. Then I start jogging again.

    We round the first corner and start to make our way uphill. The first 2 miles of this course are mostly uphill. But I keep jogging. My breathing is pretty steady, knee feels good, I keep going. Again approaching half a mile I slow down at 0.45 miles and walk until I get to the half mile. I decide at that point I AM GOING TO RUN THIS WHOLE RACE! The only reprieve I decided to allow myself was at every quarter-mile, just that distance of 0.05 mile to walk and catch my breath.

    Mind you, I am not running fast, in fact while I look like I’m jogging I feel like I’m moving in slow motion, lol! But I am jogging it and it makes me feel so good, so proud of myself! Around the 1.50 mile mark there is a very steep hill. My husband swears it was Mt. Everest but I think it was not quite that steep 🙂 People around me are slowing down as we climb this hill, many are dropping off to a slow walk. I press on and RUN UP THE WHOLE HILL!!! (OK, so I did allow myself a few seconds of walking once I got to the TOP of the hill, lol!)

    As I am closing in on the last mile I have to admit I was really winded, my legs were tired and I wasn’t sure if I could keep running. Luckily the course was downhill the rest of the way and I started picking up speed a bit without as much effort.

    The finish area was in a valley down a steep hill, and you had to follow this narrow sidewalk that was winding its way around this park to (presumably) a finish line…somewhere. The problem was it was winding in a circle and you couldn’t really see how far you were from the finish line. I really, really wanted to “finish strong” because this is a mantra that often rolls through my head as I’m working out – “FINISH STRONG!!” But I couldn’t help but start laughing a bit because it seemed like the finish line would never come into sight and I didn’t know how much more “finish strong” I had left in me, lol!

    Finally, I am sprinting as fast as I can, the finish line is in sight, I hear the announcer call my name as my feet cross over the chip line. I stumble onto the grass at the end of the chute and drop to my knees, breathless and exhausted. I looked at my Garmin and see my time, 38:18 (I didn’t click the stop on the GPS right away so it recorded 3.14 miles, just a few seconds more than the official race time was recorded at.) Tears stung my eyes as I was overcome with joy.

    I ran that! I ran that whole race! 3.1 miles, I did it!!

    I am runner at last!

    Crossing the finish line Kona 5K 2013

    Crossing the finish line Kona 5K 2013

    Then I looked up and saw my husband ahead of me in the crowd, smiling and waving at me. He finished 10 minutes ahead of me and also got a personal best time for him – 28:14! Hooray for us! 🙂

    Debb_Jim_FinishLine_Kona2013

    During my training, remember I was doing only very short intervals of jogging at 4.0 to 4.1 mph. My pace for this race ended up being an average of 4.9 mph!! It’s amazing sometimes, how much more we are capable of, compared to what we think we can do.

    The difference a day can make

    How often do you step on the scale? Once a week? Monthly? Every day?

    There seems to be endless arguments for and against every option. I have a standing appointment with my scale at 6:10 a.m. each morning to review the previous days events and their impact on my body weight. We do not always see eye to eye, but our daily meetings help me to start my day accurately knowing if what I am doing is working or not so I can adjust as needed in the coming day.

    What, too soon?

    I’ve heard a lot of arguments against weighing in daily; with the key take-away being that people feel their weight fluctuates too much from one day to the next, and they don’t want to get discouraged as they are trying to lose weight. I agree it’s possible for there to be significant fluctuations in weight on a daily basis, however, I believe this is due largely to poor diet and inconsistent weight loss habits. We should use that as motivation to clean up our diets and build more consistency in how we take care of ourselves.

    I am a strong advocate for daily weighing so you have the time to react right away if the numbers start moving in the wrong direction. These numbers are also a good evaluation of the quality of your diet, and can even be an indication of hidden health issues. I think that if you’re eating the right things, in the right amounts, your weight should be fairly consistent.

    (yes, yes, ladies, I know the “that time of the month” argument, but I think that week goes without saying – stay off the scales for 7 days, you don’t want to see whatever it has to say!)

    Slow and steady wins the race

    In the past, I used to see my numbers swing up and down quite a bit. But that was back when I was making poor food choices and didn’t have a very strong approach to losing weight. Of course, I didn’t realize all of that at the time. I used to eat a lot of “junk” and at times would just try to eat less of it to lose weight.

      Junk is still junk no matter how much of it you’re eating and it will have the same results in your body either way.

    For example, eating a lot of processed and packaged foods – these things are loaded with sodium which will easily cause your body to retain fluid and inflate your weigh in’s. This can cause a big difference on the scale from one day over the next. I’ve found that eating a lot of sugary and/or processed white products can also cause a lot of unwanted action on the scale. Eating a lot of sugar, white bread, pasta or rice seems to clog up the digestive system and add temporary weight until they finally make their way…..um… you know, out.

    Over the last year I have slowly but surely made significant changes in not just how much I eat, but more importantly WHAT I eat. (More about that in another post to come!) I have been amazed at the consistency of my weight! Even during the process of losing weight, I was very consistent. Here is an example of what my daily numbers would look like:

    Mon. – 125.0
    Tues. – 125.2
    Wed. – 124.8
    Thur. – 124.6
    Fri. – 125.0
    Sat. – 124.6
    Sun. – 124.4
    Mon. – 124.6
    Tues. – 124.2
    Wed. – 124.8
    Thur. – 124.0
    Fri. – 124.2
    Sat. – 123.8
    Sun. – 124.0

    So what I see is a swing back and forth of just a few tenths of a pound. Whatever whole number I am seeing most frequently is the weight that I will “claim” as my current weight.

    By weighing daily, I can monitor if I am on a downward trend or an upward trend. If most of my numbers are going down a little, it’s OK if they jump back up a few tenths of a pound, usually they’ll go right back down the next day or so. Typically I don’t see fluctuations of a whole pound at a time. If I start to notice a plateau where I am bouncing back and forth with the same half pound and never going below it, (or the numbers are going up and not back down) I know it is time to review my food logs and make note of my daily calorie deficits. I will probably find that I’ve been eating just 100 or 200 calories more a day than I really should and that is keeping me in a holding pattern. Usually just a tweak or two in my daily diet will quickly correct the situation.

    So, what brought all this up?

    What made me think to write a post about this topic, was the way I ate last weekend and how it affected the scale. Last Saturday I attended a Bridal Shower for my best friend, Terri. I anticipated going over my daily calorie budget and I tried to offset it by doing a good treadmill run that morning before I left. However, after 2 glasses of wine, 2 cupcakes, a plate full of pasta salad and chicken salad and lots of other munchies (including M&M’s and jelly beans)….when I tried to tally everything up it came to around 2800 calories for the day. (Keep in mind, my normal daily target is 1350.)

    Terri's bridal shower June 2013 - Casey (left), Terri (center), me (right)

    Terri’s bridal shower June 2013 – Casey (left), Terri (center), me (right)

    The best part of the bridal shower was when I first got there and saw Terri. She hadn’t seen me since we tried on dresses in November.

    The first words out of her mouth were “Wow, look at you! You don’t even look like you! I’ve never seen you this tiny!”

    And she’s right! She’s been my best friend for about the last 15 years and she never has seen me this thin! That felt really, really good to hear her say. 🙂

    One thing I have learned is that it takes a calorie deficit of 3500 calories to lose a pound of weight. I simply cannot starve myself enough to lose a pound a week, my average is 1/2 lb per week by creating an average calorie deficit of -250 per day. Conversely, it seems that about 1250 extra calories in a day can add over 1 lb. of weight to my body. I’m not crazy about this mathematical double standard!

    As if the eating frenzy on Saturday weren’t enough to set my scale on tilt…my husband’s 40th birthday was on Monday, so we had cake and ice cream on Sunday! He also had asked me if I would please, for his birthday, make “sour cream cookies” like his Grandma used to make. So I searched the internet, found what I thought to be the right recipe (I had never tasted or seen these cookies he was telling me about), and at 9:00 pm Saturday after being at that shower all day, I made him cookies. And they turned out so delicious that I snarfed down several of them! Unfortunately they were about 135 calories each!

    But the cookies were worth it, they made my husband happy, and he said they were “just like Grandma’s”, which made me very happy!
    If you’d like to try the recipe I used, you can find it here:
    Sour Cream Cookies

    I am no longer married to a man in his 30's.  No, I'm not leaving my husband!  He's turning 40!!  :)

    I am no longer married to a man in his 30’s. No, I’m not leaving my husband! He’s turning 40!! 🙂

    I weighed myself Saturday morning before all this eating of sugar, pasta and the likes, and came in at 123.4 lbs. Sunday morning it was 124.8. By Monday morning I was up to 125.4. I gained a pound per day last weekend! But at least I am aware of it, and now I can really buckle down this week to make sure I quickly counteract this.

    And that, my friends, is the difference a day can make.

    This observation has really helped me to reaffirm in my mind that even though I am in “maintenance mode” now, I cannot stop being relentless with counting the calories, working out to burn calories, and exercising discipline with my food choices every day. The math doesn’t lie, and neither does the bathroom scale.

      You have to keep it going, if you want to keep it gone!

    April 2013 Monthly Fitness Stats

    April brought with it a fresh sense of determination. After having struggled a bit in March with consistency & intensity dropping off a bit, I knew I needed to kick things back into high gear.

    APRIL STATS:

    Speed: 2.2 mph starting speed (which is 0.20 increase over last months starting speed), max speed stayed at 3.2 mph.

    Duration: 50 minutes

    Weights: 3 sets, 12 reps

    Run intervals: 3-1/2 minutes at 4.1 mph
    (this is a 30 second increase on the interval time, and a 0.10 mph increase on the speed)

    Incline: 4-5

    I really tried to get up to a consistent 5 on the incline, but I have to admit, that was HARD! Especially on the run intervals. The best I got up to by the end of the month was starting at 5 incline and keeping up with that through the whole walk except dropping it down to 4 during the run intervals.

    Average Burn: 306

    Ending Weight: 126.0

    This is a 2.6 lb loss over last month! 🙂 Considering my initial goal was to get to 130 lbs, I NEVER thought I could or would reach this low of a weight, I am very excited about this!!

    The size 8 pants I had bought in the last couple weeks have all been taken back to the stores for credit as they are all huge on me now. I’m feeling very comfortable in size 6 and even a couple of things are fitting well in size 4. I can’t believe just a few months ago I was SO excited to buy size 8 pants and now those just fall off me, LOL!

    The Happy Cat

    The Happy Cat


    This is my cat, “Happy”, affectionately referred to as “The Happy Cat”. This is him doing his imitation of me flopped down, exhausted, after 50 minutes on the treadmill at a 5 incline!