Saturday, July 20, 2013

Hello world!

Hi everyone!
My very first 12wbt blog post :)
I wasn't sure if I wanted to do a blog, but I feel like there's a lot I want to say, and limited people to say it to, since the only person that knows I'm doing 12wbt is my little sis, and I think even she's forgotten it!
So here I am.
Why am I here?
Well, I'm 28 years old, and I'm tired of being overweight (well, technically my BMI isn't in the overweight range, but to look at me you'd surely agree I'm overweight). Specifically, I'm tired of being judged for being overweight, and having so many people judge me AS A PERSON for being overweight. I'm also sick of the snide comments, most recently from my weedy stick thin male housemate regarding my 'flab', & a classmate at uni (after I'd finished a gruelling 3-month exercise program called p90x, I posted of my achievement on facebook, only to have him comment, 'next step: shake the weight'). They hurt. I have poor self esteem and I know my extra weight isn't helping things. I would love to have a partner and family one day and I know I need to work on my self confidence to achieve this.
I went to Europe at the end of last year for several months and put on SEVEN KILOGRAMS (!) during that time. Ideally I'd love to lose that and a little bit more.
I ummed & ahhed about signing up but eventually decided to because:
a) I'd tried intensive exercise programs in the past, had been very committed to them (1-1.5hrs every day), and still hadn't lost any weight. I now understand weight loss is 80% nutrition and only 20% exercise!
b) My cousin was recently married after having a baby last year, and had lost all her baby weight very successfully by following 12wbt. Boy she looked fantastic on her wedding day!

So, I signed up ($199). I also purchased a few things. A set of digital scales (rubbish, very inaccurate), a gym membership ($153), a Polar FT60 heart rate monitor ($78), and borrowed some of Mish's cookbooks from the library. I already had MyFitnessPal app downloaded on my iPhone which I would use to track my calories in and out.

One of our first challenges was to think about all our excuses we've used either in the past, or presently. My excuses centre around the fact that I don't believe I can ever be thin, that I love food too much, that I have no willpower when it comes to food, and that no one will love me regardless of how I look. Some of these may seem irrational and I'm sure they stem from my poor self-esteem and my emotional association with food. I know I need to work on my mind as much as my body over the coming months.
Our next challenge was to set some goals. Ideally I would love to fit into my pre-Europe jeans, look good in my bikini during my trip to Fiji (booked for 2 weeks after this round ends!), and, long-term, incorporate an hour's exercise into my every day routine (so that, missing my daily session would feel as odd and uncomfortable as missing brushing my teeth!).

I started my exercise on Fri July 12, the day I signed up to the gym. I had missed all of the warm-up challenges except for the last one, which was to exercise 10-30km. Phew! I thought. I only have 3 days to do this! So I better get going! I had never really used a treadmill before so it took a little while and a bit of stop-starting before I figured out how to work it, but that first day I did 5km on the treadmill, 5.17km on the bike, and went home and walked my dog for 1.44km = 11.61km! I was well on my way! I had my university ball that evening so decided that would be my last alcohol night til my trip to Fiji at the end of November. I've never been much of a drinker anyway so that wasn't going to be a big challenge for me.

Saturday, July 13
Woke up feeling very tired and a little bit sick. Decided to start calorie counting as of today. Breakfast was a revelation to begin with. 630cal oh my goodness! I had been really enjoying my breakfasts, which were consisting of a tub of Chobani greek yoghurt, a tiny amount of Zymil milk, and about 100g of a Woolworths toasted muesli. From that day onwards I halved the amount I was eating at breakfast and surprisingly felt just as full during the day. Lunch was out, a baked potato covered in loads of stuff, and I wasn't hungry and didn't enjoy it. Afterwards, despite still feeling a bit seedy, I hit the gym. This time I timed myself:
-5.09km on the treadmill in 32min (12min at 10k/hr, 3min at 6.5k/hr, 17min at 10k/hr)
-5.59k on the bike in 8min30
-1.5k with the dog
So, since the previous day, I had managed 23.79km! I was pretty proud of that. Didn't have dinner as I was still full from lunch and still feeling a bit sick.

Sunday, July 14
Finished my goal of 30km+ in 3 days with a grand total of 15.19k on the treadmill, 16.15k on the bike, and 2.94k with the dog = 34.28km! Worked out for 51min today with an average heart rate of 177, having borrowed my friend's heart-rate monitor. Feeling pretty proud and motivated to keep going.
Food today consisted of bikkies with cheese & quince paste, goulash with pasta, and 2 scones with jam & cream. Eek! I know this is where I need to improve the most.

Monday, July 15
Worked out for 47min with an average HR of 181. My max is 195 (that I've seen) so this is 93% of my max. I'm starting to wonder if this is dangerous, and post on the forums to see what the staff say. I'm also wondering if it's a bad idea given my 'fat burn' zone, as the HRM's & machines seem to put it, is 88-127. Whattt? According to the forum staff, I should aim to burn as many calories as possible, as although I may burn more 'fat' calories while my HR is in this zone, I will burn more overall calories (the ultimate aim), if I keep my HR higher. Interesting. Tonight I go out to dinner & obviously far exceed my 1200cal allowance. It is not helped by the fact that I come home and eat a piece of home-made chocolate ripple cake for my housemate's birthday - MyFitnessPal says one piece has 428cal!!! Is this even possible? Yikes.

Tuesday, July 16
My butt is sore from being on the spin bike so I decide to try and smash it on the treadmill and skip the bike for today. Yay for me! Still really struggling to get anywhere close to the 1200cal daily allowance. Tonight I make Mish's thai green curry for tea. Really not a fan unfortunately, far too heavy on the eggplant, and nowhere near enough liquid. Besides the eggplant, the other veggies taste okay. Other food today is another piece of cake (see previous), beef goulash for lunch, a banana, and peanut butter sourdough toast for breakfast.
Wednesday, July 17
Today I had half the usual amount of muesli/yoghurt breakfast and was still quite satisfied, so I was very happy with that. For lunch had a banana & the other half of Mish's thai green curry, and for dinner - at uni, provided after talks, so I knew it would be bad - I had a glass of coke & 2 slices of veggie pizza. Considering I can usually eat 4, this was a good effort for me (although I don't usually have the Coke...). Managed to eat just under 1400cal today and burnt at least 500 through exercise so was pretty happy with today's efforts overall. 
Thursday, July 18
Thought I would have time to get to the gym today but between having to attend placement at a hospital a 3hr return trip away, and having to go to the doc, I ran out of time. Pretty disappointed, I only managed to walk the dog for 20min. But, in happier news, my Polar FT60 heart rate monitor arrived! I am SUPER happy with it. I got it brand new for $78 inc postage from ebay, and it retails for $229, so I was super lucky. I spent the evening happily programming it and dying for tomorrow morning to arrive so I could give it a test run! I also used the watch to roughly work out my VO2max - 42, which is apparently good for my age. Let's see if I can get it to very good (45-49) and then elite (>49)!
This evening, made Mish's chicken & broccolini laksa for tea. I liked it more than I did the thai green curry, but probably not enough to make it again. Enjoyed using coconut flavoured evaporated milk which I hadn't used before, rather than coconut cream, and didn't find it changed the flavour much at all! Also had my usual (now half-sized) muesli/yoghurt breakfast, a green apple, a banana, beef goulash, and a small home-made blueberry muffin today. Getting closer to being around 1200cal/day but not quite there yet (though I am always under given I've been doing ~500cal/day in exercise).

Friday, July 19
My first day with my new HRM! I was mega excited and raring to go! Managed 6.06km in just under 50min and burnt 536cal! Exciting stuff! Tried a new breakfast today: Sunrice's thick rice cakes x 2, with 30g of devondale tasty cheese & 4 x mini roma tomatoes = 208cal. Delicious, nutritious, and filling! Perfect! Had left over laksa for lunch. Visiting my parents this weekend, had a bit of a binge when I got there (need to learn to curb this!!!) - 2 pieces of home-made chewy chocolate slice of unknown calories, 3 x licorice allsorts (153cal) & 50g Thins originals chips (254cal). I didn't even enjoy the chips so was a bit annoyed at myself. For tea, I made Mish's thai chicken larb and I LOVED IT! Finally, a meal I would make again! Mum really enjoyed it too so that was good. And only 301cal per serve, super quick! Plus I had most of the ingredients already. Mum suggested we go out for dessert, but I declined. So, despite some slip ups, I feel proud for saying no as many times as I have this week. I said no to tim tams every day, no to multiple muffins, apple slices, and now to dessert. Go me! And, I have been to the gym every day since I signed up, except yesterday when I would have if I hadn't completely run out of time (sadly, that's going to be repeated every Thursday fortnight, unless I get up at 4:30am, which is a bit ridiculous I think).
Also, my digital scales had arrived! So I stepped on to discover, to my shock, that I had somehow managed to gain 1.5kg. WHAT????! So, I stepped on again. Somehow I had lost 2.3kg. So I stepped on 10 more times in a row, standing in the same position each time. The remainder of the measurements varied by 1.7kg. I'm sure this is not normal! It's certainly not at all useful for tracking my weight loss :( I might fork out some $ for the more expensive ones (Weight Watchers perhaps). I'm not sure. Pretty annoyed about this though. 

Saturday, July 20 - today!
Today I knew would be testing, as my friend had invited me to a Victorian Racing Club's Young Member's Event. Eek, lots of temptation with the included food. I really wanted to sleep in but ended up setting my alarm an hour earlier (and ending up getting up even earlier than that in the end) to go on an hour's walk before getting ready. Before I tell you about the rest of my day, I want to tell you what I've been learning about heart rate zones. I've had a lot of differing opinions, from 12wbt forum staff, from people at uni (qualified physios etc), from dr google (ha!). Here's what I've learnt. 
1) Yes, ultimately to lose weight, the more calories you burn, the more weight you should lose
2) In the 'fat burning zone' (60-70% of your max HR), up to 85% of your calories come from fat.
In the aerobic/endurance zone (70-80% max HR), up to 50% of your calories come from fat
In the high intensity zone (80-90% max HR), only 15% of your calories come from fat
In the maximum effort zone (90-100% max HR), very few of your calories come from fat
Oh no! So, given during my workouts my average HR was 177-185bpm (up to 93% max), barely any of those calories were burnt from fat! So today I decided to take it easy. Burnt 370cal in just under an hour, at my zone 1 heart rate (according to my HRM). And, given it was zone 1, nearly all of those would have come from fat! Ultimately, I'm still confused about what I should be doing. But since both the machines and my HRM are telling me to keep my HR low-ish for max fat burning, I'm going to try that for the next week. In fact, my HRM gives me weekly goals of exercising in each of the 3 zones for a certain length of time. I'm going to give it a go!
So, I headed to the races. There was a 'Royal Ascot' theme so the foods were aiming for English. There were party pies, party cottage pies, party veggie pasties, bangers & mash, bubble & squeak, arancini balls...notice anything about this list? CARBS, CARBS, CARBS! I ate 4 of the aforementioned list items, had 1/2 an egg sandwich, and 1/2 a cucumber sandwich. For dessert I ate 6 strawberries with a couple of teaspoons of cream. Wasn't very happy with the food, yet the bonus was I don't think I would have exceeded my cal allowance too excessively given I hadn't had breakfast. For dinner we headed into the city and I had 14 small pan-fried veggie dumplings, then headed home and ate 1/2 a piece of chocolate slice and a licorice allsort. Given I thought today would be a COMPLETE blow out, I think I did okay. And I only drank water as I'd promised myself, despite the fact the cocktails looked AMAZING!
I'm going to go for another big walk tomorrow morning. 

I'm sorry for the EPIC blog post but I wanted to start my story from scratch. I'll try and post every day if I remain motivated, and if people seem to want to read it :). If you're enjoying reading, please leave me a quick comment below!

p.s. I have somehow become a senior member on 12wbt. Must be to do with how many posts I've made, haha. Also, I have organised an event, 1000 steps for 8 days time, and already 9 people are going! Hooray! :)

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