Saturday, 19 April 2008

Pinch of Fat (Jodi)

My goal is to lose this pinch of fat around my belly. I have no clue how much I weigh (I'm guessing between 125-130lbs.), but I've weighed the same for about 10 years.

I'm happy with my body, but I think if I could lose this pinch of fat, I could run faster, and it would be easier for me to get stronger abs, which help with my endurance.

I'm not sure how you measure a pinch of fat, but a pinch is a pinch right? Maybe I should start with staying away from Taco Bell...

Week 1 (Andy)

Thanks Nigel for setting this thing up and letting me in. I heard about the idea from Nik and Dan on 4 Feet Running and immediately knew that it was exactly the right thing for me to be doing right now.

I've been trying to loose a few pounds for about 2 years now and just haven't really been able to commit to it with everything else going on at work and home. I did start running about two years ago, and started blogging at "Andy Stumbles" and have managed to keep up a certain level of fitness since, despite pretty frequent injuries. That particular blog is more of a monthly update now and generally consists of me whining about how my ankle won't get better and posting photos from walks in the countryside.

When I started out at the beginning of the week, I had a body mass index of 26.1, which places me as "overweight". Over the next 10 (maybe 9 now) weeks, I hope to get below a BMI of 25, which means I have to loose at least 9lb. The way I plan to do this is:

  • Continue exercising at least 3 times a week on an elliptical trainer, currently sat 5ft to my right in my home office.
  • Eating smaller portions.
  • Cutting out all chocolate, sweet stuff, biscuits (aka cookies), cake, muffins, crisps (aka potato chips) - replacing with fruit it I have to snack.
  • Listening to all your experience and advice.
I think portion size is going to be the main factor and a difficult one for the will power to overcome, but I suppose recognising it as a problem is the first step.

Along the way there will be some difficulties to overcome. Like Nigel, I travel a fair amount on business in the UK, and that means staying away in hotels. In some respects I'm pretty lucky as I tend to be with a great group of people all camped out in a hotel working on the same project. However, the temptation of eating at a pretty wide range of restaurants on expenses will be great, and I have been brought up by parents who lived through the 40s and 50s when things were not as plentiful as now, and have drummed in the clear-your-plate mantra. I suppose I need a smaller plate.

Also, I have a birthday and camping holiday coming up in late May, both of which offer the indulgences of over-eating (and drinking) and threaten to trip me up.

I'm a little later starting than most of you. The weigh in seems to be on Tuesdays, so I'll set my start date to 15th April. I had a sneak peak this morning, and our scales indicated a 2lb drop. This might seem good, but you have to understand our scales a bit first. We bought a set of digital scales about 4 years ago. We did this mainly because I am so myopic, I can't see the score on an analogue scale without my glasses on and that's big writing at around 5'4'' from eyeball to gauge.

The digital scales have 3 settings, st/lb; lb; kg. I've been using the st/lb setting, as that's the setting that pleases my better-half. It doesn't give fractions of a lb on this setting and it's only whilst writing this, I've thought about changing it to just lb, which gives a more accurate result. And yes, I've just checked too.

Well, that's me, except to say that I twitter occasional things, such as film reviews and travel frustrations. And here's my chart:

Week 1: 168lb
Week 2: 166lb (interim)
Week 3: -
Week 4: -
Week 5: -
Week 6: -
Week 7: -
Week 8: -
Week 9: -
Week 10: 158lb

Hope to have fun filling the numbers with you. And Dammit, my wife's just come home with a take-away curry. grrrr....


Want Power vs. Will Power

It is my opinion there is no such thing as "will power". I use the philosophy of "Want Power". What do I want more, to lose a pound or that piece of chocolate cake. I still sometimes opt for the treat, but when I was losing my initial weight, I rarely had that piece of cake. I wanted to lose the pound instead.

Lately I have had a hard time wanting the right thing. I am hoping that this challenge is enough to help me to want to lose a few more pounds.

Friday, 18 April 2008

Back to Atkins (Drusy)

I just don't know what else to do. I've never really successfully lost any weight except on Atkins. I know low-carb is an anathema to runners, but I need to do something radical to switch from high calorie marathon-training eating habits to the sedentary life I've had this week. The will power to eat less really fails me, but I have an easier time with cutting out food groups. My Mom said her parents put her on a diet when she was a kid that she could not eat white food. Proto-Atkins! So no white food for me until I lose 9 lbs.

Week 1 Update (Chris)

Well, I can't say I know for sure what my status is....I am not home with my scale where I made my initial weigh in. All other scales are somewhat suspect.

But I stepped on the scale at my mom's house today. It is a spring based scale with the needle and everything - no digital precision here.

But after stepping on it several times to be sure, I appear to weigh in at 133 lbs - that would be a loss of 1.5 lbs. I hope I am not heavier on the other scale.

I do feel like I made progress. I have deliberately avoided the cookies and desserts at the workshop this week - steered clear of Starbucks - and found myself making conscious, healthy choices.

I got in one run this week - I have not been able to work in more exercise because of my travel schedule - but I will be home again this weekend with no travel planned in the near future. The workload has also significantly reduced, so I should be back to weight training and running again beginning next week! This should be a good week!

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Weighing in-literally (Week 1/Day 1)

Hello all! Unlike everyone else in this challenge/blog I don't have a podcast or blog of my own, however, I have been following many of the blogs/podcasts of the other members of the challenge. I very much admire the dedication of many of these podcasters/bloggers and feel honored to be apart of this group along with them. For a little background, I am training for my first marathon the San Diego Rock n Roll marathon on June 1st. I haven't always been a runner but I am one now! My goal is to finish with a smile on my face (and hopefully 10 lbs lighter).

This past year has had a lot of emotional highs and lows. I finished my Masters degree, moved back to the west coast, got married, started a new job, lost both of my grandmothers and in the middle of all of these changes gained a few pounds. While I am a runner and consider myself an active person who loves the gym, my enemy is "the couch of doom" as Steve Runner would say. My name is Alisa and I'm a TV-a-holic. I never thought I would be one of those people who comes home from work (and the gym) to sit on the couch and watch TV for hours but alas between our TiVo and Netflix I find my evenings occupied by McDreamy, Sassy Housewives, Dancing Stars and Jim and Pam. Unfortunately for me my TV watching habit is also coupled with my love of ice cream! Two things that always sabotage my diet efforts. SO, for this challenge I am on an ice cream strike! No ice cream for 10 whole weeks. I have been on ice cream strikes before, some have lasted longer than others, but every time I go on strike I do lose a little weight. This time I'm hoping for similar results.

Along with my ice cream strike I'm limiting myself to two hours of TV a steps! With the rest of my nights I hope to 1) spend more time with my wonderful husband (who just reached his goal weight, not that he needed to lose anything, good job Justin!); 2) keep the house cleaner during the week so I don't have to spend hours on the weekend cleaning; 3) read more (my sister-in-law sent me a three book series that I have been meaning to read since Christmas); 4) snack less (I feel that TV watching encourages my snacking habit); 5) go to more happy hours with friends (this might seem counter productive to a person on a diet but I find that I eat less in social situations) and 6) take up a new hobby (I used to enjoy scrap booking, I love yoga and have wanted to try more meditation activities...the possibilities are endless).

I am hoping with a few simple changes the extra pounds I've put on will melt away. I need people to keep me accountable so please feel free to ask about my ice cream consumption or how much TV I've been watching. Thanks to Nigel for starting this group. Hopefully, you'll see me post at least a couple of times a week.

Weighing in for week 1/Day 1 (since I was added today): 159.5

Why Weekends Suck

I was cruising right along last week. The weight was coming off effortlessly and I was (foolishly) thinking to myself that this was going to be a piece of cake - no pun intended.

Saturday, to celebrate my wedding anniversary, my husband and I spent Saturday at EPCOT. We had a really good time and there were some food indiscretions on my part. We had reservations at the German Pavilion and we ate bratwurst, schnitzel, sausage and Bavarian cheesecake.

But seriously, I hadn't had any junk in a week.

The weekend was wonderful, but the effects on my weight loss was not.

I am down one stinkin' pound.

I guess I'm on track for ten pounds in ten weeks...

Next week I hope I have more than one to report.

Current Weight: 151

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Week one update (Kevin)

I had been dreading this weigh in because I really hadn't been hitting it as hard as I should for about half the week. For the last 3-4 days, I have been eating much better and stepping up the longer, slower exercise as well.

Well, to make a long story short, I lost 1.5 pounds this week. And although I KNOW the next pounds will be harder to shed, I'll take it!

Current weight: 205.5 lbs.

Week 1 Update (Athlete)

Well, it turns out that 4 days of vacation, eating out every day, and not being able to exercise is bad for weight loss! Due to this vacation, I'm checking in at 202.2, a disappointing +4.1 difference.

However, this just motivates me even more for the other 9 weeks and I'm still confident I will succeed. Over the past few months I've began to eat much healthier, and have been attempting to reduce my portion size as well. In addition I've been weening myself off the caffeine and drinking much more water. I've also been putting in as many miles on the bike (mostly on the trainer) as possible. If I can keep doing all these things (as I will now be able to since I have no more vacation planned for a while) the weight will slowly but surely come off.

This week will be heavy on the bike trainer, and whenever the foot pod for my Garmin Forerunner comes in, I will be hopping on the treadmill as well and getting back into running shape. I can't wait until that happens!

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

1 week update (Bob)

Well by cutting out the snack foods, and putting in some extra runs I dropped quite a bit the first week. The weekend was however filled with 2 parties and I put back on 2 LBs I'm as of this morning 142. The big challenge is going to be exercise each day that is not 'just running', but really geared to taking the fat off my belly. Not just loosing water weight, but getting comfortable with a diet (way of eating) that I can live with. The 'lifestyle change' is gonna be key to keeping off any weight and truley being happy with how I feel about myself.


Week 1 Update (Dan)

I broke even this first week. I weighed myself this morning and came in at exactly 199.5 again. Before you ask, no, the scale is not simply stuck on 199.5, because I heard Nik use it just yesterday and she didn't run shrieking from the bathroom.

Sometime during the week I snuck a peek at the scale and I came in at 199.0. That was halfway through the week, so I figured I was on my way. But that didn't last, I guess.

Off the top of my head, I can think of a couple of reasons why I didn't lose anything. Let's count them off:

(1) It was Nik's birthday this past week, and we celebrated with all-you-can-eat sushi. I felt my honor had been challenged and took the description literally -- and even if I didn't eat a gruesome amount of raw fish, seaweed, and rice, it was still more than an average meal. (2) We also had ice cream at some point. I had peanut butter gelato. Should've had some fruit flavor, at least, so it'd appear healthy. (3) I had cocoa. Three times. With mini-marshmallows. Egad, what a nitwit! (4) I haven't added any cardio to my weekly routine the way I was supposed to, because I was lazy. Today, I'm adding push-ups & Shovelglove to my day, every day. (5) My running week was actually lighter than usual, despite the 10K training plan I'm doing. This first week was just three 2-milers. Usually I run three 3s.

On the other hand, there are some things I did correctly. (1) I recently had an epiphany. I realized that I should eat only when I'm hungry, instead of eating whenever I'm bored. Then I should have just enough of non-crap food so that I'm almost full and no more after that until I get hungry again. You know when you know stuff, but you just don't do it? (2) Except for the sushi trip, I've been measuring out decent portions. I had some almonds as a snack at work the other day, and had an actual serving size and no more. When I told Nik I'd had the almonds, she drew a little line on her palm indicating how much was a serving. I'd had exactly that amount, without her prodding me. She was impressed, I think.

Week 1 Update (Gordon)

To my utter amazement I have lost 3lbs in the first week. This in spite of a lack of running due to injury and more aches and pains than you could shake a physical therapist at. Basically I was sticking to the notice on my fridge door: stop eating and drinking crap. I managed the first part quite well. Some liquid refreshment was taken during the week, I must confess.

I'm eating a lot more fruit, vegetables and cereals. When I get hungry I go for a banana or a bowl of Shreddies rather than a sandwich. Both Jo and I have cut down on anything involving potatoes. I drink a lot of water but still not enough to make my recommended daily quota.

Still, I'm wary: I know that weight can go up and down for no apparent reason and I'm not resting on my laurels or being smug about losing 3 in the first week. The thing now is to keep going.

Week 1 Update (Nigel)

Well I'm happy to report that after a week of trying very hard, I weighed in at 180.6 pounds this morning. That's a loss of 1.6 pounds. To be honest, given the amount of effort I put in, that's a little bit of a disappointment. I was kind of hoping to be around the 2 pounds mark to get me off to a flying start.

I've been good all week. As I've mainly been working at home, I managed to run 5 days last week and got in a total weekly mileage of 32 miles, so I should have really been burning those calories. I stuck to my plan and ate well - no slips at all !

I always like to keep an eye on my BMI reading as well, as I like to keep under the 25 (overweight) level. At the moment I'm up at 25.8, so I look forward to being sub-25 by the end of this challenge.

All in all, I can't complain too much as I've made progress and I've no injuries so I can keep training to get those pounds off. But, I am a little worried that this is going to be a lot tougher than I expected.

I've got some travelling with work coming up later this week and into next week, so that is going to be a REAL challenge.

Monday, 14 April 2008

Let me introduce myself

Hi all,

First of all, thanks to Nigel for coming up with this idea for a support group.

I'll start by stating "I am a big loser". In 2004 I started Weight Watchers at a weight of 351lbs. I lost 130lbs in aprox. 18 months. I have been at goal for 2 years, but I still want to lose 20lbs more. I think this will make my running easier.

I like the idea of this BLOG because it will make me accountable to my internet friends. My success in the initial loss period was due to being accountable to the 8:00am WW group. I have learned to eat properly but as of late I have used my running as an excuse to eat some junk food and snack a little too much. I haven't gained any weight, but If I ate smarter I know I could lose.

Lets work together and we can meet this challenge.


My Strategy

OK, although it was NOT my official weigh in, I did step on the scales this morning to bad news. Like I said, it won’t be official bad news until I weigh in tomorrow night, but it isn’t looking too good at this point.

Last week obviously did not go the way I would have liked, but my real plan began this morning. What plan you say? Well let me explain.

Virtually every time I have lost weight in the past, I have done a few things in common that I think make the difference with me. If I do not do these, the effort has always failed!

So here are the things that work for me and that I started this morning:

1. Drink LOTS of water! I keep a bottle at my desk and drink about 5-6 20 oz. bottles a day. I will admit that I add a packet of Propel mix to it also (20 calories). It’s really the only way I can get that much water in me!

2. I have moved my “skinny” clothed to the front of my closet where I have to look at them every day! OK, stupid psychological trick, but it helps.

3. Coffee- NO, Green tea- YES

4. I MUST PACK MY LUNCH EVERY DAY! You can tell from the caps that this one is HUGE! There is NO way I can or will lose weigh if I do not pack my lunch every day. So I went to the grocery this weekend for healthy lunch options (turkey and lots of fruit)

5. Oatmeal for breakfast. I don’t use the “instant” kind. Too much sugar. Instead, I make the real “quick cook” kind in the microwave at my office. It keeps me full for a long time.

6. Six days of exercise per week. I still need 1 day off per week but the other days, I make sure to use the (with apologies to Scott Smith) Long Slow Burn. I don’t worry about the pace at all, but I do make sure I exercise a minimum of 1 hour. This may be more psychological crap, but it does tend to help me.

So there you have it. I wish I had done this last week, but I didn’t. I now have all my supplies and the mental push I need and it all began in full force when my feet hit the floor this morning!

Run a marathon, lose a pound

Well, the taper eating was cancelled out by the Marathon, but I wonder how much is water weight and will I bounce back up to 127 in a couple of days. Not if I start this 10 in 10 with determination! No more excuses! Regards, Drusy at 125.5 lbs.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

To weigh or not to weigh ?

One of my dilemmas over this first week of this challenge has been : do I sneak in a weigh-in before the official weekly weigh-in this Tuesday?

I've heard 2 schools of thought in this area. One says that you should weigh yourself every day to keep a tight view of your progress and observe when you are going off track. This approach is often compared to a pilot landing a plane, monitoring his progress constantly and making numerous small changes to his approach as he nears the runway if required.

The second school of thought says that you should just weigh once a week, as short term weight changes each day can are normal anyhow due to factors such as fluid retention etc. This line of thought also warns against weighing each day as it can become obsessive and counter productive if you get too hung up on the undulations of your weight each day.

After some long hard thought about this, I finally decided that I would like to at least get some indication that I was going in the right direction and making some progress. I finally decided to weigh myself every 2 or 3 days.

This has been quite a useful tool for me.

Although I haven't seen startling progress, I have had some indication that my efforts are having some impact, and that things, for now, are moving in the right direction.


Drusy! And other stuff ...

Great to see one of our number do so well in today's London Marathon. Well done Drusy, you're a star.

I faltered a little over this weekend. I wonder if, like me, you find it difficult to exert the same discipline over the weekend?

This wouldn't be such a problem but I've also damaged my right knee. Something happened during a run last week and it came up like a balloon. For once I've been sensible and stayed off my feet as much as I can and the swelling has gone done somewhat. But this means no running calories have been burned over the past few days.

Tuesday is the first weigh in. I've deliberately kept away from the scales. I'm not optimistic.

Still, tracking Drusy today cheered me up.