Thursday, January 17, 2013

An experiment - subject: Me

After the holidays I felt run down. I was very tired, my clothing was more snug than it had been and generally my mood was off. It was easy to set me off and when I feel like this my outlook on life can suffer. While M was brushing his teeth the other night he decided to step on my dusty neglected scale. It didn't register any weight at all and he asked me what was up. I took a moment and reset it for him and to prove it was working I stood on it. WHOAAAA! I had gained 10 pounds since my last weigh in (which in reality had been months before). So that probably means I gained more than 10 pounds because I think I had lost a few. F^&*$ Colour me not impressed.

But I had to be honest with myself. Since the school year started in September I hadn't been going to the gym regularly. Once or twice a month at best, and that isn't going to do much for my waist line, or my fitness level. Of course I do fair amount of reading about fitness (so much easier than actually doing it) and I had come up with some ideas of what I wanted to do. Kevin and I had a talk about things and he reminded me that I needed a plan. I had lots of ideas and goals but no plan. One of the blogs I have been reading is GoKaleo and her way of thinking appeals to me. No quick fix and no starving yourself. Fuel your body, exercise everyday and the results will come. She says that one reason weight is hard to lose, and any loss hard to maintain is that we don't eat enough food. That our bodies are suffering from under nutrition and our metabolisms are confused by all our dieting.

This is my plan:

GoKaleo links to an Energy Expenditure calculator in a few of her posts (and her Start Here section). I used it to calculate my energy expenditure on my low/no exercise days, and on my exercise days (different amounts depending on what I do). Last week I started going to bootcamp twice a week and on those days my energy expenditure is 2720 cals. On my non exercise days it is 2200 and on days when I jog or weight train (which I don't actually do at the moment) it is 2675.

So these amounts are the calories that my body needs to fuel my life. If I eat these amounts (in healthy, whole foods) I should maintain my weight, no losing, no gaining. I find it interesting that My Fitness Pal has the default energy expenditure amount at 1800 cals a day for me (and everybody I assume, it is a generic amount after all). That's whopping 400 calorie difference, which doesn't seem like much but when you take account that the amount of calories I had to eat each day on their "diet" was 1200 then it certainly becomes a big deal.

I decided that I still need to track my food with MFP. I am not using their base amounts but the tracking is useful. It reminds me to be mindful of what I am eating. Every day I go into my settings and change my calorie goal depending on what kind of day I will have. On bootcamp days I give myself 2400 cals (300 shy of my TEE Total Energy Expenditure amount) and on non exercise days I give myself 2000 (200 shy of my TEE amount). Now that I think of it I should drop that to 1900. I do want to lose some weight after all.

This week (and last) I attended bootcamp twice a week and played soccer once a week. Next week I plan on adding another gym visit. This visit will start with some strength training. Every 2 or 3 weeks I want to add another work out to my week. By the end of winter I should be doing some kind of exercise every day. At the moment I envision that as: Monday Gym Strength train or Bootcamp, Tuesday walk or jog, Wednesday bootcamp, Thursday Gym strength train, Friday Soccer, Saturday walk or Jog. Sunday Rest. Of course these are subject to change, and some days I won't make it, but one thing I am is easy on myself (sometimes too easy). The idea is that as long as I have a plan I shouldn't be as easily derailed.

The experiment part of this plan is the eating. As you can see from the calorie amounts I posted, I am eating between 700 and 1200 cals more than I was when I was following the MFP diet. I did lose weight on the MFP diet, but I also gained it all back really really fast. That is the part I am trying to avoid. I will report back as things progress and we can see if this will work. I expect it will.


  1. I agree on every single point. Thank you for pointing out that GoKaleo site, I am really enjoying it. Ever since I've started to not think of certain foods as forbidden... knowing I *could* have them if I wanted, makes it easier. As soon as someone says I can't have something, it's all I think about... but once I know I can have it? Then I don't really want it. If that makes sense.

    I love that you have a plan, I can't be on this journey without one... like they always say, if you fail to plan you plan to fail.

    Am happy to be alongside you for this journey (and to see you twice a week!)

  2. I found the energy expenditure calculator a bit off but the ideas on the website are good. I like that you are experimenting with calories to find your right balance. Good plan!

  3. I love GoKaleo! I think a lot of her ideas are just plain common sense! Ive been looking at many food diaries on MFP, people who are very active and have lost over 100 lbs and maintained it for over a year- most of them eat in the 2000 cal range, waaay over my 1200-1400! something to think about for sure.
    I also love the idea of building your weeks activities bit by bit. Great plan!

  4. My partner goes by the same rule. Food is fuel. Balance what you eat to how and when you exercise. She is a runner, fit as a fiddle.

    I am a type one diabetic who tends to not eat when I am stressed,so food is always an issue for me. And while my partner goes to the gym daily, I only go about 4 times a week.

    Her plan works much better than mine.

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  6. I am riveted by your numbers and plan. Having used My Fitness Pal--and currently considering going back to tracking for a month or two--I appreciate seeing what you've figured out. Good for you, more than anything else.

    Also: bootcamp and soccer? I exercise every day, but you are my activity heroine!

  7. I hope this is all still going well for you. Thanks for the link. I'm about to click through.

  8. Brillant! I love what your doing.


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