the incredible shrinking woman: week one

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Okay, so as we know, I have embarked upon a weight-loss regime.

Before you start telling me that I look fine and guys like a little cushion for the pushin’ and I’m beautiful just the way I am and all that crap, I’m not doing this for PVDD. I’m doing it because I don’t like being winded walking up a hill. I don’t like thinking of physical exercise and quailing inside because I’m not in shape enough to do it. I don’t like being embarassed because my shirt rides up or my pants ride down, or too embarrassed to wear a bathing suit, and I want to be in shape and feel good about what I see when I look in the mirror. So enough about that.

So I’m thinking to myself that I might blog about my experiences because, well, if I’m blogging about it I will stay on top of it better than if no one knows I’m doing it. Don’t they say that the spoken goal is the goal accomplished? Or something like that. If they didn’t, I just did.

Anyway.

So I have (you should have guessed) made a spreadsheet. I bit the bullet and measured everywhere that counts (apparently that’s bust, chest, waist, hips, thighs, calves, kness (!!?!?), upper arms, and forearms) and filled in my spreadsheet with today’s data. According to the sites I researched today, and there were a few, you have to measure, like, everything. And measuring inches (or centimetres for my metric friends out there) is more effective to measuring progress than just weight, since you may gain muscle mass which of course is heavier than fat, while still getting smaller in terms of inches. The only spot I left blank was the weight, because don’t you know, I don’t have a scale.

I also looked up how many calories I burn doing various activities (that I can actually see myself doing) in 15, 30, 45, and 60 minute increments. I looked up caloric content of my favorite foods (370 cals for my coffee, in case you’re interested), and my basal metabolic rate (BMR) and came up with my daily allowance of calories in order to lose the weight I want to lose over time.

Apparently there are basal calories, which are the ones you burn just being alive, and represent 60%-70% of the calories you burn in a day. 10% of the calories you burn are expended during processing the food you eat (digesting and all that stuff) and the rest are activity calories that you burn with exercise. So the idea is that you decrease your caloric intake while increasing your caloric expenditure through exercise, and hopefully you will create a calorie deficit that will cause you to lose weight.

According to the sites I researched, you have to burn about 3,500 calories to lose a pound. So if you’re burning 2,000 calories a day and taking in 1,500, you’re creating a 500 calorie deficit, so you should lose about a pound a week. (I might as well invite the rules lawyers to chime in now, before I get too far along. So go ahead and speak up if I’m misled). All of which means that oh, sometime in 2008 I should be at my ideal weight (not really, but you get the idea). I don’t know yet what my “ideal weight” translates into in terms of measurements so we’ll have to see how that part goes. I don’t think I’m ever going to be a 36-24-36, though.

2008? Uh, no.

So I researched stuff, and I made a plan. My plan is to walk at least three times a week for 45 minutes, at at least 4 mph (I actually made it today) and jump rope for 15 minutes three times a week (on the off days from walking). Right now based on my weight and height and age, I burn 1,649 basal calories a day. With basal calories plus daily activity calories (did you know you can burn 82 calories in a 30 minute shower??) plus exercise calories, I am hoping to expend approximately 15,000 calories a week. That’s a 6,700 calorie deficit, or 1.8 pounds lost per week. If I can pull off the 1,200 calorie diet.

That’s the plan, anyway.

PS: I did not know ANY of this this morning when I woke up.

So PVDD and I head to Target, because I also don’t have suitable workout clothes (jeans and Chucks don’t cut it, as I discovered today) and I purchased gloves, an umbrella, sports bra, pants, a shirt and a coat. And socks. And…a scale.

This is not just any scale. It is the mother of all scales, it is the battery-powered, body-fat-percentage-counting, silver-plated granddaddy of all scales. Just looking at it makes me tired.

After reading the entire page of directions (folded into fourths for easy storage) I finally got the thing programmed and ready for use. It records the height, age, and gender of two users and measures their weight and body fat calculations. So I take off my socks and get on the scale.

Ouch.

As you may have guessed.

Nevertheless, the measurements have been added to my spreadsheet. No turning back now. My target weight date is 8/17/07 based on my plan, and yes, that’s all programmed into my spreadsheet. I can even change the frequency of my exercise and see the target date change.

So going forward I’ll blog on it. Mondays, I think. Nice way to start off the week, no?

PS: PVDD would like full credit for the title of the blogseries, and he is currently trying to tempt me with “discount cheese” at our favorite (only) cheese fondue place. Being as I have only had a coffee today, I have 900 calories to burn, so I might go nibble. Just a little bit. I’ll walk extra tomorrow.

Sheesh. I’m off to a great start.

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