Sunday, October 28, 2012

Plodding along...

Greetings From a Chilly Upper Midwest!
Twenty-eight degrees will not feel that chilly once winter settles in, but today it is COLD!!

The News: NY Times published an article about exercise and diet last summer.  “One of the few studies ever to have scrupulously monitored exercise, food intake and metabolic rates found that volunteers’ basal metabolic rates dropped as they lost weight, even though they exercised every day. As a result, although they were burning up to 500 calories during an exercise session, their total daily caloric burn was lower than it would have been had their metabolism remained unchanged, and they lost less weight than had been expected.” Other studies will surely confirm or refute these startling findings. However, for me, it offers an explanation of why despite rigorous exercise and good eating I have lost so little weight in the last many months. There is more to it, in the study, and for me, but this study supports my own hypothesis that there is much we do not know definitely about weight loss and the best method of doing just that.

For me, this past week I plodded along. I am still not able to exercise much. I am recovering from an upper respiratory virus that has left me breathless and coughing after even minimal activity. I managed two very short rides last week just 2.5 and 3 milers. I hope to slowly get back on my bike since the season is really waning now, but know I can only go sloooooow. Still felt good to be on my wheels again!

My thoughts are with all of you on the Eastern Coast of the US as you face Hurricane Sandi early this week.  I  hope the forecasts are not realized. May you and your family remain safe.

Stay strong everyone and TTFN,

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Body composition and fall ruminations

A couple of fall color pictures to start off this post. Fall is definitely waning here in the upper Midwest with the peak color now over for most deciduous trees except this beautiful maple and a small oak I found on a walk with these yahoos. 
Update on my Live Well Program: 
I am just about finished with Phase 1 of the Live Well Program at a local hospital. Last week I had another Bod Pod test, which analyzes my body composition for weight, lean mass and body fat. Since June I have lost 2.2 % of my body fat or 3.6 pounds of fat and increased my lean muscle mass by 4.4 pounds. In Live Well speak this is called remodeling. While a normal scale would suggest negligible weight loss, the Bod Pod indicates that I have remolded 8 pounds. This is encouraging to me. I think you all know that I trained all summer for the Venus de Miles ride in Colorado, which meant that I increased my daily calories to 1500, sometimes more depending on the length of my ride. According to my exercise physiologist it is very hard to lose weight (i.e. on the scale) when one is in training because of the added calories needed to sustain the exercise. My basal metabolic rate is 1070. Next week I will complete another series of tests (strength, stamina and stress), which will be used, along with my basal metabolic rate, to define a winter weight management and exercise program for me.

My basal metabolic rate (BMR) of 1070 means that I need only 1070 calories to sustain my daily life without much exercise. What I will try to nail down with my exercise physiologist is the optimal number of calories for weight loss. I am guessing that will be in the 1200 calorie range. While I still have about 35 pounds that I would like to lose, one of my goals for this year is to get out of the “obese” category. I am still over 10 pounds away from that goal. Not probably realistic that I can make it this year, but I will get as close as I can. The most important thing is that I am learning what works for my body. With 1070 as my BMR it does not take much to go over that amount in food consumption. For me just 200-300 calories extra a day will increase my weight. I always knew I gained weight easily, but now I understand more scientifically why it is so and why it is so hard for me to lose weight. I look forward to moving into phase 2 of the Live Well program. 

On another note, I hardly exercised, meaning cycling, this past week. I picked up a chest virus that has made it hard for me to catch my breath while exercising. I hope to get in a short ride tomorrow. 

Finally, our Minnesota Lynx women have struggled in the Finals to find their rhythm. We were so excited at the results of game 2:


Game 4 is Sunday at 7pm. All of us Lynx fans are rooting for another win which will bring the Series back to Minneapolis!

Have a great week. Thanks for stopping by. Stay strong and TTFN!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

What I have been up to...

Here is what I have been up to over the past few weeks. First: Minnesota Lynx: 

We have had a few nail biter games in the past couple of weeks with two wins by only one point (sorry Alan about the Storm). Those women remain for me great athletes. This might sound crazy but there are times when I am watching their set plays and am astonished over the artistry of their game. Lindsay Whalen and her left hook is just about one of the most beautiful sport moments ever. They are on to the finals which will mean at least two more home games for us before this marvelous season comes to an end.

Cycling, still getting in some good miles, but have tapered off since school started and fall weather came around.
My goal right now is about 50-60 miles per week or 5 times on the bike a week. I already invested in a new pair of gloves because of our colder weather. I am looking at some warmer biking shoes than the ones that I have, too. I plan to stay out on my bike until it gets too icy.

November is coming close and so is our general election. Ellery, Hann and I attended a fundraiser for one of our local congressmen, Tim Walz. In a past life he was one of the best social studies teachers in our state. Our children were very lucky to have him and we are very fortunate that he represents us in DC. The fundraiser was at the home of a local celebrity (think Lake Wobegon), which made it even more cool.

  I continue to eat less and move more. Nothing significant to report on the weight loss front, but I keep at it.

Jo and her hubby need our thoughts and prayers right now. Stop by her blog and pass on a few words of encouragement, pretty please. She is facing some of life's tough curve balls right now.

I hope you are all doing well. Just don’t give up; remember this is a slow process and you are worth it!

Stay strong!