Gas station without pumps

2016 March 31

Fifteenth weight progress report

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 22:12
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This post is yet another weight progress report, continuing the previous one. I’m doing a little better this month, ging above my target range for only 6 days:

I've been fluctuating around the top of my target range, when I'd rather be in the middle of it (about 3–4 lbs less than my current weight).

I’ve been fluctuating around the top of my target range, when I’d rather be in the middle of it (about 3–4 lbs less than my current weight).

 

My exercise for March was a bit low (averaging just under 4.1 miles/day bicycling), but I was good about my raw-fruits-and-vegetables-for-lunch diet during the week, and did not indulge too much in sweets (except for the week of Spring break, when my son was home so we had ice cream and sorbetto in the freezer!).

2016 February 29

Fourteenth weight progress report

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 22:41
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This post is yet another weight progress report, continuing the previous one. I’m doing even worse this month than before, remaining in my target range for only 9 out of 29 days.

weight-2016-Feb-29

My exercise for February was fairly high (averaging 5 miles/day bicycling), and I was good about my raw-fruits-and-vegetables-for-lunch diet during the week, but I ate too much at my evening meals and on weekends.  I now want to lose 6 pounds, which, even with the strict discipline I had last year at this time, would take me 6 weeks.

2016 January 31

Thirteenth weight progress report

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 20:48
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This post continues the series of weight progress reports from the previous one. Even after I adjusted my target weight range, to gradually relax the upper limit and allow it to increase at 0.6 lbs a year, I’ve still fallen outside the target range several times this month.

At the end of the month,I barely made it into my target range, and I still want to lose about 3 pounds.

At the end of the month, I barely made it into my target range, and I still want to lose about 3 pounds.

My exercise for January was fairly high (averaging 4.9 miles/day bicycling), and I was pretty good about my raw-fruits-and-vegetables-for-lunch diet.  But there were several faculty recruiting and grad student recruiting dinners, at which I ate too much high-calorie food.  There are still three more faculty recruiting dinners in February, so I’ll need to watch myself.

If I could bring back the strict discipline I had last year at this time, I could lose the remaining three pounds in three weeks, but it is hard for me to stop snacking and to leave the supper table before I feel full—I did it for 5 months last year, but I’m finding it more difficult this year.

 

2015 December 31

Twelfth weight progress report (one year)

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 15:57
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This post continues the series of weight progress reports from the previous one. This report marks one year from my New Year’s resolution at the beginning of 2015.  At the beginning of the year, I said I wanted to drop my weight by 10–15 pounds, by which I meant a target weight of 160–165 lbs 0r a BMI of 22.5–23 kg/m2.  During the course of the year, I re-defined my goal to a target weight of 155–160 lbs or a BMI of 21.6–22.4 kg/m2.  I reached that target range in April, and pretty much stayed there until the end of September, when I had a sudden spike in weight that took me about a month to correct.  November and December were not good for my weight, which has drifted up to hover around 161 lbs.

2015 weight record, showing successful weight loss followed by almost successful maintenance.

2015 weight record, showing successful weight loss followed by almost successful maintenance.

My weight has drifted outside my target range several times, and the holidays have been particularly bad for keeping it in bounds. I’ve adjusted my target weight to gradually relax the upper limit, to allow it to increase at 0.6 lbs a year, which would allow me to drift up t0 178 lbs over 30 years.  But I’m currently over even my relaxed limit, so I’ll have to go back to my  strict raw-fruits-and-vegetables-for-lunch diet, which I have not been keeping to very well lately.

My Body Adiposity Index now estimates my body  fat at 23.4%, while the estimate from BMI is 24.8%.  According to some calibration studies on people in Louisiana, neither estimate is particularly accurate—by that study, the correct value should be around 18±5%.

My exercise for December is way down also (only 2.48 miles/day of bicycling, down from 4.28 miles/day in November) and my total mileage for 2015 is only 1479.4 miles.  I was going to do some cycling with my son over break, but he got some mild gastrointestinal bug, and I’ve been a bit under the weather also, so we never got around to doing the bike rides we had planned. Even the short ride we attempted to UCSC to film a short video on oscilloscope usage got cancelled when he threw up halfway up the hill (the first symptom of the gastrointestinal bug, other than fatigue).

 

 

2014 December 31

2015 New Year’s resolution

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 13:51
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I’m not a great believer in New Year’s resolutions (they generally last no more than a week), so I gave up making them years ago. This year, though, I do want to make one—one that is related to my health and fitness.  I want to lose 10–15 pounds by June 2015.

Here’s what prompted that resolution:

    My "body mass index" has been creeping up for the past 21 months. I'm in danger of passing the BME≥25 threshold to "overweight" in about 19 months if the recent trend continues.

My “body mass index” has been creeping up for the past 21 months. I’m in danger of passing the BME≥25 threshold to “overweight” in about 19 months if the recent trend continues.

I think I felt healthiest when my BMI was about 21.6, but I’d be happy to get my BMI back in the range 22.5–23, which is where it was around 6–10 years ago. Most of the weight I’ve put on since then is around my waist, which is not a healthy place to be adding weight—I wouldn’t have minded adding muscle mass, but the gain has clearly been in flab, not muscle.

Of course, it isn’t enough just to decide to lose weight—I’m going to have to change some of my habits to achieve my goal. But which ones?

Exercise and diet are the two main contributors to weight gain or loss. So do I increase my exercise, limit my diet, or both?

I get adequate aerobic exercise (about 26.8 miles/week of bicycling—see the bike log below), and I’ve never been able to maintain an increased exercise program for more than a few weeks.  So I don’t think that exercise will be a major part of my weight-loss program. I may try doing “core” exercises again to trim my waist a bit through increased muscle tone, but that won’t affect my weight significantly.

Because I use my bicycle for transportation, my exercise is roughly constant. (Academic year 2011–12 was lower, because I was on sabbatical, so biked up the hill to campus less often.)

Because I use my bicycle for transportation, my exercise is roughly constant. (Academic year 2011–12 was lower, because I was on sabbatical, so biked up the hill to campus less often.)

Given that I’m unlikely to sustain an increased exercise regime for long enough to lose much weight, it seems like my best bet will be to try to regulate my diet. I can ask my wife to help by not offering me fattening foods, but most of the effort will have to come from me controlling portion sizes and not eating snacks from the vending machine at work. Skipping lunch or bringing low-calorie lunches from home might help, but I often skip lunch already, so I don’t know how much having better lunch discipline will help. I think that the big changes will have to come in my evening meal.

I’ll try to cut back on some of the high-calorie foods (like cheese and ice cream) and increase my intake of bulky low-calorie foods (like vegetables).  Changing habits that I developed when I was a skinny person is going to be hard, but I’m hopeful that I can reset the weight homeostasis back to what it was a decade ago, and that within six months new dietary habits will be sufficiently established to be able to maintain the weight without struggle.

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