Thursday, February 08, 2007

Retail therapy

Yesterday was one of the lowest days I've had in a very, very long time. Normally I feel something – satisfaction, happiness, anger, you-name-the-emotion. Yesterday? Just a long, long, blah day. Soooo, since the statement for the credit card I use for was a big, fat ZERO last month [I pay the entire bill every month but haven't had a zero-balance statement in a while – and why do they even send zero-balance statements, anyway?], I went shopping.

The Shrinking Knitter is a [mostly] no-whine zone, so I won't go into details about my blues. But I'm happy to share what I did to start feeling better! Heh. First, I ordered two knitting books, both of which offer a variety of small projects. Things Which Take One Skein, actually, although I think some of them take One Skein Each of Several Colors. I have plenty of both, and am looking forward to making a dent in the pile. And if the books don't meet my needs, they'll be available soon through interlibrary loan. Don't most Friends of the Library donate their unwanted books? Want links? One Skein. One-Skein Wonders.

Then, because I'm a lemming, I added You: On a Diet to my cart. Oh, and also that tipped the balance to qualify for free shipping.

What I've read from others who are using this book – not just reading it, but actually following the principles – sounds promising. Healthy, even. Not so obsessed about numbers, and focused on taking care of yourself in a positive way, instead of grinding yourself down because you're not making goals or measuring up. Because you're measuring out, actually.

Anyway, it's something to look forward to.

Speaking of numbers and following the Skinny Daily link Vickie left in the comments Tuesday, I ended up at the BEE Calculator. As you might imagine, I'm still not convinced that upping my daily caloric intake is right for me. Especially when the scale this morning, after two 1400-calorie days, was up another pound! This is getting scary, kids.

Anyway, my Basal Energy Expenditure is 1416. JuJu explains that's just a starting point. For moderate activity, you're supposed to multiply that number by 1.5 to determine your Resting Metabolic Rate. JuJu and I have the same number: 2124.

That's a heck of a lot of calories, folks. I'm assuming that's what I need to maintain my weight. Clearly, that's a bit on the high side. Heh.

M@rla recommended the Hussman calculator to me a long time ago, and I thought it was worthy of adding to my link list. The BMR [Base Metabolic Rate] calculator there says I should eat between 1070 and 1430 calories per day for fat loss, assuming I am moderately active. Frankly, I think I'm more than moderately active, but I'll be conservative.

This is all very confusing, particularly when I've been eating between 1070 and 1430 calories per day pretty consistently for more than a year now. Yes, I've lost 35 pounds, but my weight has climbed steadily since October 23, 2006. I was willing to blame it on not being able to walk or run because of my heel injury, but that hasn't been a factor since late November, when I was able to walk comfortably again.

[This is the value of keeping good records. I was able to go back and find when I quit walking and when I started again. I've been back at it consistently for two months now.]

Here's the caveat that pops up at at the end of every Hussman calculation session:

This is what I believe. Read it again. Keep in mind that I weigh, measure and record every bite I eat and every intentional activity I perform. Then tell me what I'm doing wrong. How am I not creating a calorie deficit when
  • I should maintain at 2000 calories per day (hah!)
  • I eat 1200 calories per day
  • I burn 350 to 500 per day and
  • I should be losing weight eating 1400 per day?
Dr. Oz can't get here soon enough. I should have sprung for two-day shipping.

Seventy-nine days until race day.


maryanne said...

qI just stumbled across your blog, and your dilemma of eating less but gaining weight struck home!

That happens to me too, especially when I'm training for a race and tend to only run instead of do a variety of exercises.

Two years ago I lost 45 lbs, but I'm hovering slightly higher now than I want to, mostly due to the holiday season.

What I've found is adding a "cross training" day or two gets me out of that rut. I think it's because I use muscles I don't use when I run. I'm guessing because the more we run the more efficient our bodies get at it and the less calories it burns. That's just my theory.

Have you thought about spinning or swimming or taking a gym class instead of crosstraining on the elliptical (which uses similar muscles to running)? Or adding hill intervals while running?

Just a thought! Good luck! :-)

Grumpy Chair said...

I want to buy that book, but do not need another book right now. So I will wait it out a few more weeks.

The one thing I like about Dr. Oz's philosophy is automating your breakfast and lunch. This I do and it makes mornings so much easier for me.

I wished I could wave a magic wand over your way and break the "no budge scale". You are working so hard, training for your half-marathon and logging your food! The pesky no budge is bound to let go soon.

Lise said...

I bought One Skein Wonders a while back, and my first impression was "ho-hum". Which can not explain why I've used, I think, four of the patterns since December? The Radford book has nicer publication values, and the Wonders book is more pragmatic, but they're both wonderful.
And I need to start reading "You On a Diet", which I bought and has been waiting for me. Oh phoo!

PastaQueen said...

I've gotten those $0 statements before and my only guess is they get automatically sent out whenever they also send the "Revised privacy policy" updates.

k said...

I just put "You on a Diet" on my hold list at the library. I suspect my inability to lose weight is more complex than calories in/calories expended - especially as since I started getting more strict about things in the last few months, my husband has lost weight, but I haven't. But I decided I needed some new ideas, so it couldn't hurt to read it.

I wish I had the fortitude to cut out sugar completely, I'm still amazed at you doing that.

Jack Sprat said...


In my not-so-humble opinion, the only thing you're "doing wrong" is looking for wrong-doing!!! That scale is measuring your weight, not your worth.

Yes, I understand it sucks to see those numbers. You have added up, sliced, diced, recombined and tallied all of your exercise and your calories and it doesn't make sense that you're more or less maintaining. Go figure.

I'm also glad you printed that quote about the fallacy of eating more to lose. I think its more complicated than that, but essentially I agree. (My experience is that eating just a smidge more of "indulgent" food did help me get past a slump -- but not more than 100 calories a day).

I have no advice or consolation, but I do want to ask you not to be too hard on yourself. After all, you mentioned you had a case of the blahs. Sometimes we need to be extra tender with ourselves, and this feels like one of those times!!


PICAdrienne said...

In the middle of nowhere, with snow on the ground, this may not be easy, today, but what about getting a BMI done? Muscle is very heavy. You could be converting tissue.

Don't get down on yourself, you are getting stronger and healthier. Look at your skin and your glow in your pictures, you can see the health improvement!

Vickie said...

Okay - after I read your blog - I ran into a friend (real world friend) that has not been able to loose weight for years and years.

She was not heavy by any of our standards - just wanted to loose a few - eats healthy - is VERY active - and while she doesn't gain - she has NEVER been able to loose.

I know you have a good doctor - so does she - her Triglycerides were not REALLY high - but when she went on medicine to lower those and boost her good (is that HDL? - I can never remember) chol. level (bad was already low) for some other reason - the by product was that she started loosing weight.

Her doctor was as startled as she was - because - again the Triglycerides weren't alarming - requiring action high - just a little high - like very top of the normal range.

I know you have your blood work done regularly and have a good doctor - not questioning the doctor or you - just sharing this interesting information. There might be something that is "unique" to you. It is worth a check/thought.

Anonymous said...

Hi Debbie,

I don't know what your food consists of, but all calories are not created equal. If you eat TONS of vegies it gives your metabolism a kick.

I think one thing we tend to do (or should I say I do) is to get a bit stuck on certain foods and kinds of exercise.My trainer says "always keep your metabolism guessing."

You look great. Give yourself credit for your achievements.



denise said...

I'm beginning to think this could all be blamed on global warming! ;-)

It seems like everyone I know who was previously well down the path of losing weight (and this includes me) is suddenly and unexplicably unable to get moving back in that direction and in fact many of us are starting back in that wrong direction.

It's so wide-spread that I think it must be a mysterious outside force that's causing it. Global warming, martian invasion, phase of the moon, change of life - something like that is surely at work in all of our lives!

Now all we have to do is identify it and remove it and we're all back on track. Anyone know the # for Ghostbusters?

Seriously, I'm sorry you're feeling blah and not moving in the direction you want to with your weight. It's especially frustrating that it's happening when you're doing everything right (wish I could say the same). But hang in there, know you're not alone, and we're all pulling for you!

Maybe you can take some small satisfaction in knowing that you may have guilted me into picking up my YOU Diet book that's been sitting unopened since I got it at Christmas!

BTW - speaking of single skein, I'm still stuck where my yarn ended in the middle of my skein (still say that's a rip off). I finally bought a larger needle this weekend to attempt the Russian join, but haven't gotten in the mood to work on it. If I don't do it soon, I'll forget how to do the knitting part!

P.S. My word verification today is yfckey - seems appropriate for this day somehow!

shinypenny said...

Have you thought of calorie cycling (aka Wendie dieting)? That's worked for me when I've hit plateaus in the past. I just go down to around 1000 calories one day and then eat around 1500-1700 the next.

And I know you know this already, but all the training you're doing is building muscle, which weighs more due to the increased water retention, etc., yadda yadda.