Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Some numbers (it is about time!):

Current weight (as of Sun, July 29, 10am at the YMCA scale): 173 lbs

Height: 5’7”

Age: 39

Ideal weight: 142 lbs.

We’ll see if I ever have the guts to actually post before/after photos. Once in college with my roommate Kathy we took “before” pics… if ONLY I could look that good now! (I think I weighed around 135bs then, and was running 3 miles several times a week).

Why 142? This is what I weighed at my wedding (9 years ago – eek!) – when I was in shape, felt and looked good. I certainly wasn’t super thin then and it probably would not hurt to lose even more than 30lbs, but the 140 lb range is a realistic goal. An important factor in all this would not only be losing weight, but also getting back into shape – having that weight be muscle and not fat. Is it true what they say about muscle weighing more than fat? In that case, I have a long way to go in order to lose these pounds AND get back in fighting form.

I’ve started hanging upside-down like a bat on a neighbor’s inversion table to help ease my back pain from the herniated discs; with any luck I’ll grow a few inches and these numbers will have to change. Haha.

And now, some more numbers from the Calorie counter that I’m not quite sure I understand, but here they are:

Target amount of daily calories: 1415 (I don’t recall how this was set, and I cannot figure out how to go in and change that number… not that I want to, just don’t understand what it is based on…. Michel/Lane, any ideas?)

BMI:27 (medium risk)
Looks like the desired BMI according to this calorie counter is 20. It says that if I want to get to 20, I need to lose 45.6lbs… which would mean losing roughly 15 more pounds than I’m currently shooting for, and which would mean a target weight of 127 as opposed to 142 lbs. So I guess this calorie counter thinks I was chubby when I got married…

Some final thoughts on numbers:

I can remember weighing 112lbs. It was around the very late 1970’s/early 80’s when I was perhaps 12 or 13. And then suddenly I was 115lbs and wanted to get back to 112. And before I knew it, I was 120 and I really wanted to get back to 112. And this was STILL while I was not even 15 or 16 years old! Crazy if you think about it. Looking back at the photos I was a tall, athletic, healthy girl with barely a trace of fat on me… but at the time, I FELT fat. I had a mom who was on the Scarsdale diet in those years. Her allergist in the late 1970’s was giving her speed to lose weight (very common in those days) and she would stay up to the wee hours cleaning the fridge, calling other friends who were also in the midst of late-night diet-prescribed-speed-induced cleaning binges. I remember she weighed somewhere in the 155 range and she was in her mid-50’s. Again, in the photos, she looks great, very pretty, nice and shapely, but not fat.

At the current moment I see that numbers are helping me. While the calorie counter is time-consuming to complete, it provides a fascinating window into my eating habits; face to face with the numbers -- with reality, my old justifications/excuses no longer hold up. But in the long run, I don’t want the numbers to matter, I really just want to feel well… I want to be in shape and be strong and healthy.

There was a tragic article in this past Sunday’s New York Times about a 35 yr old new mom with stage 4 cancer. There is almost nothing that strikes more fear in my heart than the thought of not being alive and healthy for my kids (especially while they are young and needy). Imagining this woman fighting for her life just to have a few more weeks, a few more months with her 1 year old puts things into perspective instantly.. I have the RESPONSIBILTY for myself and for my kids to take care of myself. Allowing this creeping weight gain and lack of exercise is to take for granted the immense luxury of being healthy (no diseases, all four limbs working well, the brain perhaps a bit less well but with more sleep there is hope). I’m squandering this luxury by not being as fit and in shape and healthy as I can possibly be. I’m sure if someone with cancer could give a message to someone healthy, it would be along the lines of appreciating every moment, not getting bogged down by the details, and taking advantage of the absence of disease to maintain good health by immersing oneself in a healthy lifestyle.

On that note, I should go to bed. For someone who thought she had nothing to say regarding the topic of weight loss, I’m incapable of ceasing my rambling!

By the way, yesterday and today I ate well, not great. Far better than in previous months, but not as good as Saturday, (the day when something finally clicked). I surpassed the target calories each day, but not by much, and managed to get in a good 45 minutes of heart-pumping freestyle swim. I also resisted temptation and did not snack, but the meals themselves were hard to trim down. Much like my two partners in this endeavor, Michel and Lane, the weekend BBQs presented numerous challenges (not the least of which is, how in the calorie counter can you ever manage to tally up a bite of this and a bite of that? The only way must be to not have those bites!)… Getting protein without a lot of fat will be my goal in the upcoming days.

I’ll weigh myself again next Sunday and we’ll see if my actions match my words.

Buona notte!


Lane said...

Hey Annette! About the Calorie King numbers.... They calculate your basal metabolic rate based on your height and weight and level of daily activity (outside of exercise) to figure out how much you burn on any given day even if you don't exercise. That's how they figure out how many calories you need to take in to lose weight. So for me, my caloric intake is much lower because I'm shorter and also I sit around on my bum all day, whereas you run around after the kids.

In terms of the amount of weight to lose to get to their "ideal" of a BMI of 20, I think that's a little off. For me it tells me that I need to get down to about 115 - I've had my body fat measured before, and I have 109 pounds of non-fat in my body - i.e. bones and muscle. And this was when I was out of shape (so not much muscle). So there's no way I can get down to 115 - that'd be at best around 5% body fat, which isn't healthy. So don't worry about that number as much. All the other numbers on Calorie King seem to be pretty accurate and a good guide.

Michel said...

What Lane has described is correct about BMI. BMI is a bit of a misleading measure because if you are very muscular (and yes, muscle does weigh more than fat) you will end up with a higher BMI than if you are all skin and bones. Does that mean that you are less healthy? No...obviously if you are working out and are muscular (not necessarily "Built") then you are better off if you are super skinny with no fat but also no muscle. But I believe its also true that when you have more muscle, you burn more calories, so don't feel intimidated about having to increase the muscle...you should be able to reduce fat and increase muscle at the same time. So its not like you are goign to increase your weight instantly by increasing muscle without reducing the fat...

And speaking of fat, its very important to make sure that as you are eating healthy you continue to eat healthy fats (olive oil is a very healthy fat, vegatable oil is not). By continuing to consume fats you signal to the body that its ok to burn some stored fat. If you do not consume fats, your body will go into preservation mode and try to maintain as much of the fat as possible.

Great job on the blog and keep up the great work!!!

Michel said...

Oh and the Youtube video link you posted yesterday in a comment on my blog- I have seen that. However, I think it's BS. He represents it as a series of daily photos...just look at the difference in just a few of the first shots....way too much to have actually happened in that time frame!

Annette said...

Comments from my friend Andrea via email:

I'm so impressed by your blog but I don't think I'd ever have the guts to do it...it is so potentially public! Has Renato seen it? It was fun to see your thoughts and then see Kathy's response too....sounds like she can identify and is in the thick of it too. I was exactly in your shoes a few years back...every single thing you have said in your blog was exactly me too....I'm serious...it will get better...trust me but you need to get the exercise in, even if it is just 20 min a day of a quick walk. Make Renato watch the kids, even if "watching" is him letting them cry for 20 minutes...he has to do it or he will never do it and you will show him that you are valuing yourself enough to take 20 minutes for yourself, even if it means your kids aren't supremely happy for that small of time...it isn't the end of the world! At the least, the quick walk clears your head and burns off any negative energy you may have...it really helps!

The way I keep Bob off my back about weight loss was I told him not to "hawk" me. Like a hawk does to its prey, he would pick and nag and I told him it was the quickest way to get me to overeat by him "hawking" me...it subotaged any efforts I was trying to make. He shut his mouth from there on out about it and still leaves me alone...my weight is not a topic for discussion unless he wants to complement me and vice versa for me to him...it has really worked and saved our sanity.

I'll shut up now...I hate how preachy I get but I learned alot to get myself out of where you are now. And you know what? Keep the crap out of your house but keep something like fudgsicles or something semi-good in the house for when you want a treat. You really do deserve something once in awhile...try to substitute a better treat for the other, awful treat and then you still get a treat, just not the absolute worst treat for you. I like trail mix with m and m's in it instead of nutella or chocolate chip granola bars instead of ice cream. Fudgsicles instead of cookies...whatever. Ya gotta have treats and a bit of exercise!

I guess I just blogged back to you...I could have written this on your blog...oh well...good luck and take one day at a time. If you fall off the wagon, you can always get back up on again, its always a new beginning! Take care! --Andrea