03 March 2007

A new day, a new post.

See what's happening here??? I'm getting back into the grove and I start posting more frequently. Interesting connection, no??

I find the responses I got to my last post interesting. I'm guessing the common knowledge is changing. I really thought I'd have people saying lots of aerobic work is the only way to lose fat. So I was pleasantly surprised.

Although I am by no means an expert, I'd thought I'd address some of the comments.

Ellie said:
Sounds interesting. I think the connections between endurance cardio and fat-burning is that it's supposed to enhance your ability to use fat, of which most of us have more than enough, rather than glycogen, which is limited, over long periods of extended exercise.

According to Afterburn: "The body literally adapts to anything we attempt to do by responding in the reverse manner. Don't drink any water? Your body tries to retain water. Does weight training build muscle? No it doesn't. What actually occurs is a breakdown of muscle tissue and the body ADAPTS by building muscle.
So if you burn a ton of calories doing aerobic training, that same body adapts to aerobic exercise by slowing your metabolism and allowing your body to store more fat. "

So I guess it does enhance your ability to use fat over glycogen but then it enhances your ability to store it too.

Now, I can't prove this scientifically but I can tell from my own experience that's what's happened. When I weight 225 lbs. walking 1 mile a day gave me quite a workout and I lost weight. Over time as I could walk further and further, I had to walk further and further to continue losing weight. Both marathons I trained for I gained weight even though I was running more than ever, but that's all I was doing. I had started to come to this realization on my own, aerobic activity wasn't cutting it anymore. About 3 years ago I started adding weight training into my routine. As soon as I did that I started losing weight again, unfortunately I wasn't as consistent as I should have been. But I will be from now on!!!

And yes Ellie, it is similar to the Zone diet and BFL. The difference with both of them is that it changes over time as your body adapts. So every 4 weeks you're changing your weight routine, cardio work, and nutritional ratios. Periodization is all the rage now and that does this.

Sharon asked : Is this a book or video?

It's actually a loose leaf binder. Which I like because I keep a log for the weight training portion of reps, weight, etc, and I can keep it right in the book. I should point out to, he doesn't lay out the food for you. He helps you figure out how many calories you should be eating, what the ratios should be, and he gives you an example daily menu. Other than that all you get is a list of food and you're on your own.

Again, he states that there are times for long, slow, aerobic work, his wife is training for an Ironman and he helps her, but for fat burning it's not the best way to go.

Don't mean to sound like I'm preaching but I know when I was struggling to lose weight and couldn't figure out why I couldn't, I would have given anything if someone had told me about this. As I said yesterday, I discovered a lot of what he says on my own. But it sure would have been easier and quicker if I could have read his book :)

Moving on..... Today is weight day which I'm not rushing to do :) I'm just a little tired today. Didn't sleep well last night. Xena, the warrior Moluccan, and I are still going through the adjustment period and last night was rough. She did not want to go to bed and in fact, thought it would be a good night to leave. Umm, yeah, no!! So we argued until 10 p.m. when I finally tricked her into her cage (I know, I should be smarter than the bird but sometimes I'm not :). Then I still had to clean up the kitchen from dinner. It was almost 11 by the time I crawled in bed, way past my bedtime. Then we had the ac on and I was afraid I wouldn't hear Xena if something happened, she was pretty pushy last night, I was afraid she might hurt herself in her cage. Most of the time once you put birds in darkness they settle down, it's just nature - sleep at night. But last night she wouldn't stop even in total darkness so I was concerned. Anyway, I didn't sleep well. Luckily it's Saturday and I have no big plans at all. Workout, clean house, that's about it. Oh yeah, practice my guitar and draw some.

Okay, I guess that's all I really have to say. Hope everyone is having a great weekend.

02 March 2007

Credit where credit is due...

Back in December I ordered Afterburn. I received it a little before New Years, read it through, and got all ready to follow it. I did follow it, faithfully for a few weeks. And it works. For the past monthish I've been following it kind of half heartedly and it's still been working kind of half heartedly. I'm really hooked on it.

So, what is this you might ask. It's a fat loss program that makes incredible sense and works for me. The program is basically a calorie restriction of 20% and a weight training and cardio program (short bouts of high intensity). The author, Alywn Cosgrove, says that long bouts of cardio do nothing for your fat burning mechanism. You need to build muscle and do focused cardio in order to turn on the fat burners and keep them going. He, of course, says it way better than I do but that's the general idea. He also advocates a nutrition ratio of 40% protein/30% carbs/30% fat. But all these elements, calories, ratios, weight training, cardio, change every 4 weeks as your body changes. It's a simple, amazingly effective program.

Now none of the stuff he presents is new. It's just all put together in a simple to understand program that really works. All of the information and theories he presents are things that I have been figuring out for myself in the past year or so, he just put it all together for me.

I know that severe calorie restriction doesn't work and just last year I figured out that if I ate every 2-3 hours my body quit storing fat so much. I also found that, and this sounds bizarre, that by eating that often I eat a whole lot less calories and still feel full. I'm shooting for a daily caloric intake of about 1800. Before I would have tried to keep each meal around 500 calories and left 300 calories for snacks. By the end of the day I would be absolutely starving, I would have actually spent most of the day fighting my hunger. Now I eat 6 times at 200 - 300 calories each which puts me between 1200 - 1800 calories. Although I'm never exceptionally hungry, on the 1200 calorie days I always have to larger dinner to bring it up to at least 1600. I've also worked on increasing my protein intake and that makes a huge difference. Like most women, my protein intake was too low and my carb intake too high.

I had come to the realization that high amounts of cardio were not doing what I wanted it to do - burn fat. In fact, I was getting seriously upset because it seemed I could not do enough exercise to burn fat. What I didn't realize is that I was doing too much of the wrong type of exercise. Now even Alywn says there is a time and a place for extensive aerobic exercise, like training for an Ironman, but for fat loss it may not be the best way to go. As I said, I was coming to this realization. When I first started losing weight aerobic exercise worked great. But the closer I get to my goal the less it works. Now I see why and am combating it.

Anyway, the last couple of weeks I've been following the eating plan but the exercise hasn't been as frequent as it should. In spite of that I've still managed to drop a couple of pounds over this time. My goal for the next 6 weeks is to stick to the program religiously. If it works when I don't follow it exactly imagine what will happen when I do!!!

So I just thought I'd share that. I know there are lots of folks out there trying to lose weight and I thought I'd give you another option.

01 March 2007

New Month - New Start.

Life is what happens while you're making other plans. That could be the theme of the last 2 months. Well, enough of that. I have 45 days until my birthday and I have goals I want to achieve by that date.

Since I have lost 2 months I am revising my goals slightly. A little over 6 weeks till that day. I will lose 10 pounds in that time. In spite of everything that has been going on, I've managed to lose 4 lbs this month. So I think with a little focus on me I could lose 10 in 6 weeks. Goal #1.

Goal #2: My exercise has been sporadic at best. The good thing about this is that my back and hip do not hurt at all anymore. The bad thing is I feel like a marshmallow person. There are actually 46 days till I age. I will exercise everyday until then. I will have 1 day a week that will be very light; walking, biking, etc; the other 6 will be tough.

I guess that's all the goals for the next 6 weeks. I don't have any races planned and probably won't do many this year. I'm thinking I won't be doing any tris. I've decided that until we get into our house we are cutting our spending back to the bare bone, and unfortunately since races are so expensive, they have to go. I'm also quitting the Y for now so the only swimming I'll be doing is in the ocean. Doesn't it kind of seem silly to pay for a pool when we are surrounded by ocean??? I'm kind of looking forward to this though. I'm going to focus on my running and biking. I want to really work on those and be really good at them and this seems like a good time to do that :)

I'm already signed up for the marathon, so that will be my serious focus this year. I have a goal for that and I have 9 months to work on it :) Also, the Honolulu Marathon holds a free training clinic every year starting in March. I think I'll do that. It will really help keep my training focused if I have some accountability to a group. It's also getting lighter here later so I'll start running at night soon.

I feel good about these decisions. With all that's going on with buying the house and getting the tax thing straightened out, taking the pressure of racing off myself makes me feel better. Also, once we get into a house, I get a bike. I can definitely look forward to that. The way I look at it is I'm going to have a year of base building. In 2008 I'll be kicking butt and taking names. Definitely something to look forward to.

Okay, I do believe I've rambled on enough. This stuff has been floating around my head for about a week now, I just needed to get it all laid out so I could see it in writing. I probably should go get some work done - ugh!!

28 February 2007

Moving On....

Sorry about yesterday's post. I was going to delete it and decided to leave it, at least for now. There are definite stages I go through when things like this happen, disbelief, depression, and white hot anger. Well yesterday depression was winning out. The only anger I experienced was in writing that post. They say, sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you. Well, I tired of being lunch.

I don't really have anything to say today. I just wanted to apologize for that post. I have been reading blogs though and it's interesting. IronWil has an entry about Girl Scout cookies. What I find so interesting about this post is that we are done with those cookies. We get them in January when we are still drunk from the holiday eating and it's very easy to resist them. I don't know if I could resist their siren call now. It's 2 months after the holidays, the good intentions of New Year's is wearing off, and I haven't had any real sugar in weeks. I don't think I'm strong enough to face the cookies at the end of February. I always feel a little guilty around cookie time because I won't buy them anymore. It's not that I don't believe in the Girl Scouts or support what they do. It's the simple fact that I have zero control when face to face with the peanut butter or lemon cookies. I will eat the entire box before I get home. So now I will just throw money at the little girl in front of the store as I scream "stay away from me with those things." I still feel guilty though because I know they have contests over how many boxes are sold and I'm not buying any, so I feel bad. Especially when I was the cookie queen in my troop. I sold the most on like the eastern seaboard one year. I was a cookie selling fiend. Of course, having a humongous family who took them to work for me really helped. I think on my death bed I'll order 1 box of every cookie and eat them all by myself. I figure if I'm going to die anyway........

So, what else is new??? Oh yeah, I started my guitar and drawing classes. I'm a chemist in a lab. I do analytical, logical type thinking all day long. While I do have to get creative to solve some problems, it's not right-brain creative, it's left-brain logical creative. So learning the guitar and drawing is a big stretch for me and I love it. Every night I practice the guitar for 45 minutes to an hour (as long as my fingertips last - no calluses) then I will sit and draw for a while, it's totally awesome and I can almost feel different areas of my brain working. I love it.

That's all I have for now.

25 February 2007

This is going to be tougher than I thought.

We went out yesterday afternoon to just cruise some areas and see how we felt about them. Sunday afternoon is open house day in Hawaii and I since it's only from 2-5 p.m. I don't want to waste time going to places we don't like and wouldn't live.

So yeah, that's what we did. And what did we learn from this? This is not going to be easy. Hubby has certain ideas. I have certain ideas. I'm not sure we can get those 2 ideas together enough to settle on a place. Also, he has a terrible habit of letting me take the lead and make the decision if he's not positive. I'm pretty decisive and tend to speak my mind (ya think??) so if there's something I don't like I'll just say so. Hubby won't necessarily do that. I'll ask what he thinks and I'll get a response like, "ummm, yeah, it's okay." Now what exactly does that mean. Then of course if I push him he'll get angry, "I said it's okay" then I get pissed because it was a wishy-washy okay. Yeah, this is going to be tough.

See, and this is part of the problem, I was a real estate appraiser for 10 years. I know a lot of areas and homes in them way better than he does. So I already have an idea of where I want to live. He has to be led through the areas and learn what I already know. It's going to be tough. Also, I think he kind of has his heart set on a small house with room to expand, while I'm really leaning towards a townhouse that's bigger. Oh yeah, this is going to be fun.

And, neither one of us has any real patience. We drove around for an hour yesterday and were ready to quit. He gets tired, I get tired. Then we both get cranky and start snapping at each other. Yeah, I'm really looking forward to this.

On to other things. I'm feeling much better. I think whatever it was I had was just a head cold and a couple of days of rest really kicked it out. So that's good.

On training notes, I'm getting back into my routine tomorrow. I haven't been following it very well, pretty much been doing whatever I feel like instead of sticking to a plan. So tomorrow it's back on plan. I also need to get back on to my eating plan. Some days I don't eat enough, other days I eat fried stuff, ugh!! This has got to stop. I've got to get back to eating healthy. Towards that end, while we are out looking at open houses today I will stop and pick up all the fresh stuff I'm missing so I have no excuses.

Okay, well I have to go clean house and do laundry so everything is done before 2. I do not want to have to come home and finish laundry after looking at houses, I'll be in no mood.

The key to change is awareness

So I posted yesterday that I really had nothing to write about because things were going well and I just didn't have much to say. Scra...