Friday, July 31, 2009

Weekly update, 8/4/09

"Are We There Yet?" - Some Thoughts on Goal

Juice posted a link to an NPR article ("BMI is Bunk!"), and the article discusses the origin of the ubiquitous BMI charts. I think that her post was partly spurred by the following comment I made in response to her pondering, "At what point do you decide, 'This is the weight I am.' ?".
Tough to say...I like your approach of keep giving it effort, yet being happy at what you've achieved already. I'm currently "practicing maintenance" (*I'm trying to put my positive spin on my plateau* ;-) at 20 pounds (give or take a pound) above the maximum "healthy" BMI weight for my height, but given that the *other* numbers (blood glucose levels, blood pressure, cholesterol levels) are telling me that I'm a healthy pup, I'm also wondering if I should just be content with where I'm at.
This is rather timely, because I've been hanging out around 3 pounds within the same weight since April, and I've also been wondering lately if my goal weight (143 for 5'8") is realistic for me. I know I've read elsewhere that BMI charts are rather suspect, because they rely only on height+scale weight, and we all know that a regular scale cannot distinguish between fat and muscle. But, when I was starting out, it was a useful tool for setting the initial goal.

So, putting aside BMI charts, how am I feeling in my own skin? Generally content, although pinching around my midsection, I think there are still at least about 20 pounds of excess fat that need to go, which is 20 pounds more than my current "41.2 to go". I'm not feeling in a particular rush to reach goal, nor am I sure yet how I feel about adjusting my goal range. Will I feel like I've let myself down/settled for less than my potential somehow? Or will I be relieved? Is it too soon to tell? Will losing more fat greatly increase my quality of life? Athletic fitness-wise, I believe it would; but I don't think it would get me any more of the "quality of life" items than I have now (health, love, respect, tropical vacations, and the like). Setting vacation/crunch time detours aside, I feel like I'm doing well on my fitness goals, but I could be making a better effort in my food food plan is now functioning as "guidelines" for intuitive eating, rather than a hard-and-fast plan...which isn't necessarily a bad thing, as long as I stay mindful and eat more for fuel than for fun.

30-Day Shred Review

Hey, I finally did Level 3! So while I have not done 30-Day Shred for 30 consecutive days, I have done all three levels. Oddly, I liked Level 3 better than Level 2 (which had too many burpees), and it was full of posterior-kicking goodness. (Literally. My buns were really sore today.) Level 3 had a lot less chatter than Level 1, I think because Jillian Michaels assumed that people were less likely to "phone it in" by Level 3. If you have an aversion to exercises that involve a lot of bouncing and jumping--there are lots of jumping movements in the cardio segments--then you might not enjoy this DVD much, although the nice thing about a DVD is that you can modify it to suit your own preferences.

Reader poll: Should I keep the coffee goal?

For at least a couple of months now, I've included the food goal of "switch to tea and plain water after that first cup of coffee." I set it mainly as a way of paring down extra calories and saturated fat--I prefer mine with half-and-half--but I rarely meet it, and I'm not sure that the extra 40-80 calories is worth getting excited about. (As for coffee and diabetes, there are a lot of contradictory articles about its effects...some say the caffeine increases insulin resistance, others say that coffee's other components have mitigating health benefits.) So I'm debating on whether to bother keeping that goal. What are your thoughts on coffee?

Progress last week

7-day blood glucose average: 94 (met goal of <120)
7-day fasting blood glucose average: 97 (met goal of 100% FBG <120)

Weight goal: No change (met goal of progress/maintenance)

Food goals:
- Got in 5 meatless meals, no fish meals. (missed by 2 fish meals)
- Not meeting the coffee goal. I did not even try to meet it this week.
- Not quite back on track with fiber; 3/7 days were over 30.

Exercise goals:
Not met. I think I underestimated how long it would take me to readjust to being home again and getting back into the exercise groove. I got in two proper workouts this past week, one of which included strength. (Thursday-40 minute run; Monday-DVD workout, level 3 of 30 Day Shred, and a 20 minute run.) In the something-is-better-than-nothing fashion, Friday featured a dog walk in the morning and 50 bicycle crunches in the evening, my compromise between doing some exercises with my hand weights and utter sloth. :-) I also got outside for about a half hour of playing catch with the kids on Saturday, which was much fun and needed for us all. Sometimes the most important workouts don't involve working up a sweat.

Even so, I've been struggling with "I should have done more!" feelings, especially since I have my tri in 7 weeks. Doing level 3 yesterday helped me reclaim a "shred" of dignity (har har). I was back to spin class today, too, so I feel like I'm regaining least of showing up. I felt really slow, although I snuck some peeks at myself in the mirror, and I felt happy about my legs looking nice & strong.

Misc. goals: Did well getting back on track with the sleep this week.

Goals for this week

7-day blood glucose average goal and fasting numbers: below 120.
Weight goal: Maintain or make progress toward goal.

Food goals:
- Keep tracking.
- 4 or more meatless, low-fat meals and 2 or more fish meals.
- Track fiber. Minimum 30 grams fiber/day. (Include both insoluble and soluble sources.)

Exercise goals:
Minimum of 30 minutes of workout 5 days/week, with 1 spin class, 1 BodyPump class, 1 swim, and 1 run.

Misc. goals:
- 7 or more hours sleep/night.


Lynn Haraldson-Bering said...

As I got closer to "goal," I started questioning what that meant, too. I sort of just let my body decide. I kept eating the way that made me happy and comfortable and eventually my body said, "Ok, I'm done now." And it's stayed the same (relatively speaking) for more than two years.

You know your body so well. Look at all you do to monitor your diabetes? Your questions will be answered because your body will tell you :)

As for my veggie paprikash recipe, I'll post it on my next blog. Promise! It's very yummy. Glad you asked about it!

Lori said...

I struggle with the goal thing, too. My body seems to want to be higher than what would be the "ideal" weight according to charts. I do know that I need to lose some, but even 10 pounds over goal is way better than 100 pounds over goal!

I so dislike the BMI charts as I lift heavy and am pretty muscular.

I think you do listen to your body and are very aware of what is going on. Not many people can say that.

debby said...

Pubsgal, you always write such insightful posts. Of course, I have struggled with a goal weight too. Still almost 30 pounds over the BMI, and have been here for 3 years! Now losing again, and am wondering if, for me, that plateau time was necessary for my body to catch up with the big changes that come with a large weight loss?

Okay, the more important issue--coffee! I haven't been able to change from half and half in my coffee--its just not worth drinking with other stuff in it. But I have lately decided that 1 large mug (2 regular cups) is enough on most days, and that it is okay to have 2 large mugs on work days--one before I leave the house at 4 am, and one at 9am at work. For now, to me, its worth the calories.

Pubsgal said...

Thanks, everyone! I appreciate your perspectives on this, especially as long-term "sustainers" that I admire!

Lynn: I guess the funny thing is, though, that I probably wouldn't be doing much differently when at goal than I am right now...which is perhaps why I don't have the sense of urgency to get there that I used to have. (Other than being able to cross something off my to-do list. :-) You and other sustainers have taught me a lot that way.

And I'm looking forward to the recipe! My sister-in-law made us chicken paprikash during our visit, and it was so tasty...a veggie version could be either a great main or side dish.

Lori: Lori, I think you look terrific, and I'm so impressed by your dedication to your workouts, especially your strength training. My approach to that could use a bit more focus...after the tri, I think. And yes, where we're at now health-wise, regardless of the number, is definitely better than where we started!

Debby: Thanks, Debby! You know, I think you're right about the adjustment time. Maybe it's kind of like MizFit talks about with regard to strength training, where one's body needs recovery time in there to rebuild.

Regarding the coffee, I so rarely drink more than 2 mugs/day, so as long as I don't go overboard on the half-and-half, it should be okay calorie-wise...there are other higher calorie items (hello, nuts!) that I could get more impact from eating more reasonably.

Anonymous said...

I liked this post - I am up in the air on the BMI - I am 162 pounds and 5.2 (wish I was taller!) and my BMI is in the obese range and I wear a size 12!

Have you tried fat free half and half - it is so creamy and good and only 10 calories a tablespoon! I love coffee - but I typically only have two cups a day.

Pubsgal said...

Well, Biz, that confirms it: BMI is bunk, if it's telling you that you are "obese." (You are most certainly NOT obese! And I'm still wearing 14-18, depending on the manufacturer...I dream of size 12.)