Monday, January 20, 2014

January Weigh-In & Some New Tools

Yeah, yeah, I'm sure everyone is recommitting to healthy habits with the new year. But it really is one of my new year's resolutions and tax season intentions to get more deliberate about losing weight. I've been gradually gaining weight since college. I lost a little my first tax season, but then gained steadily for the next few years. I hit my highest weight of 167 (note: I'm 5'0", so that's a BMI of 32.6) about two and a half years ago. For the past year I've been fluctuating around 150.

Based on BMI (which isn't necessarily an accurate indicator - but with what I would consider a medium build/frame and average muscle, I think it's a reasonable tool for me), the healthy weight range for my height is 95 to 128 pounds. Well, regardless of any medical guidelines, no way is 95 healthy for me! In high school, when I didn't worry about my weight at all, I was always around 110. Keeping in mind that I now exercise more (thus more muscle), but also am just getting older, I think 120 - 125 is a reasonable long-term maintenance goal. But for now, I want to get to 128 - to be within the "normal" range.

I've previously discussed my weight loss on this blog without giving actual numbers, just amounts of change. I think it's important to not compare yourselves to other people, their weight, or their journey - I've been there, as a reader, seeing someone mention their specific weight online, and feeling bad because I weigh 30 pounds more than some girl who's six inches taller than me. I don't want my discussion of my journey to shame someone else - but at the moment, I need a little fear of public shame to on track.

To keep myself accountable, I'm planning to do monthly weigh-in posts this year.  

Starting weight (1/1/14): 152

I've dabbled with calorie counting, using My Fitness Pal (my user name is pegatha47 if you want to friend me on there). Although it helps me keep a calorie deficit, it doesn't necessarily help me eat healthy. I'll still eat a bowl of ice cream - I'll just eat it instead of something healthier that takes the same calories.

In conjunction with (at least sporadic) calorie counting, I need to track my healthy eating - starting with fruits and vegetables. Going old school with this: giving myself a star for each fruit or veggie consumed. For incentive, if I get 5 or more every day for 5 weeks, I can buy a pair of Altra running shoes (something I've been wanting to try, but doesn't currently fit in my fitness budget).

(Please note: I took the photo mid-day Saturday. I ended up with 5, not 2, servings for the day!)

Also, to go a bit more high-tech, I just got a Fitbit flex. (I won it from Kara's 100-mile race fundraising raffle - the raffle is over, but you can still donate to the Semper Fi Fund.) It tracks steps and calories burned, as well as sleep. 

I've only had it for a couple days, but the interesting thing is that, based on my movement, I don't think it takes me nearly as long to fall asleep as I thought it did (although I did also re-start taking magnesium as a sleep aid, too, so perhaps that's significantly helping).

I think I'm going to buy some different wristbands for it (in black, and there's also a pretty teal blue one I like). I thought the "slate" would be a prettier shade of a gray, but it looks more like a muted navy to me. The tracker can be removed from the wristband, and I've put it in my pocket sometimes and it stills seems to track steps accurately from there, so I think I'll tend to wear it that way, rather than the wristband, when I have pockets (especially when at work), but the wristband is nice for using it while exercising or sleeping.

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