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jm chen (Superman)


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I am

I am

I am Superman

Been a while since we've had a self-outing here in the Challenge subforum, and so, here I am.

I've been really happy with my results on Weight Watchers: slow and steady, losing about a pound a week, and I'm halfway to my goal. But now it's time to step things up a little bit.

I have not exercised a whit since 2007 began (and, truth be told, several months before that) and I know that needs to change. Added to that, I generally make some kind of Campaign For a Healthier Jael pledge during Lent, and lo and behold, it's that time of year again. My pledge this year will be to get some form of exercise every day.

The food journaling on individual threads here has definitely inspired me. So it seems like keeping an exercise journal here on this thread will provide a little extra impetus to keep me honest. The exercise may be somewhat low-intensity at first, as I have a tendency to throw myself into these things and then burn out, which is a pattern I hope to avoid repeating this time around.

For a little extra motivational boost I'm thinking about putting money into a jar each time I walk somewhere instead of taking the bus/Metro, and using the money for something fun when I hit, say, $100.

Between now and then, you'll probably see a lot of "25 minute walk... 25 minute walk... 20 minutes weight training..."

Let the "fun" begin!

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You know, there was a daunting interview with a doctor on NPR last night who was talking about women and heart attacks. He said that we should all be walking about 4 1/2 miles per day in a combination of daily routine and exercise. This site tells you how much you burn off should you wish to compare walking with more taxing forms of exercise. (Not there yet, myself, but I did perk up a bit when I saw biking is twice as beneficial as brisk walking.)

Since you've had success with Weight Watchers, if ever inspired to record daily meals, I'd be grateful. I'm not planning to join and find the dedicated thread at eG too vast to explore; participants tend to interact with fellow WW members, i.e., assuming prior knowledge, so for an outsider, it would be interesting to see how you eat.

P.S. Where are my manners? Congratulations! I am impressed by your steady decline.

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4.5 miles a day is a lot! Less from the fitness angle than from time... even finding time for a couple miles a day seems challenging.

Thanks for the words of encouragement. One of the requirements of Weight Watchers is writing everything down -- I use the online version -- so it shouldn't be too hard for me to post a week's worth of meals for folks to look over.

Today's exercise so far: 25-minute walk ($1.25). Much easier to do than it would have been last week. The weather is on my side.

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with 4.5 miles a day including our daily walking activities...walk to the metro 8 blocks, metro to office 2 blocks, office chair to office kitchen, office chair to copier, etc. etc., then getting to 4.5 miles is probably easier than one would think...especially if you throw in a 25 minute walk as part of an exercise routine into the mix.

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My doctor had me wear a pedometer to work for a week when I was at my last job. He was trying to convince we to swap looks for construction in my shoes since I was having problems with my feet. I was astonished how far I walked within the confines of one building (granted, it takes up the entire block). I was averaging over 3 miles just at work not counting whatever I was doing before or after. I almost always went to people's offices instead of calling with questions. This has no doubt contributed in part to my weight gain in this job -- my territory is limited to one half of one floor. I have started walking up and down to the cafeteria for drinks (4 floors).

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My doctor had me wear a pedometer to work for a week when I was at my last job. He was trying to convince we to swap looks for construction in my shoes since I was having problems with my feet. I was astonished how far I walked within the confines of one building (granted, it takes up the entire block). I was averaging over 3 miles just at work not counting whatever I was doing before or after. I almost always went to people's offices instead of calling with questions. This has no doubt contributed in part to my weight gain in this job -- my territory is limited to one half of one floor. I have started walking up and down to the cafeteria for drinks (4 floors).
THIS explains my weight gain once I stopped working. My diet didn't change; however, the walk of several blocks from the closest bus stop, plus the x amount I walked to and from several different offices during the day, plus . . . .

It ALL adds up. Now, I have to get up off my butt and walk for the sake of walking. Today was not such a chore. :o

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A Weight Watchers Week

The usual disclaimers here: everyone should do what works best for them eating-wise, we've all got different needs and preferences, what might be right for you might not be right for some, etc. This is just how I tend to do it, or specifically, how I did it one week recently.

Monday

  • Breakfast: 1 cup of corn flakes, ½ cup grapes
  • Lunch: ½ ham & swiss sandwich, 1 biscotti, 1 cup raw carrots
  • Mid-afternoon snack: ¾ cup gelato
  • Dinner: 1 6-inch Italian hoagie

Tuesday

  • Breakfast: 1 packet low-sugar oatmeal
  • Lunch: ¾ cup quinoa, ¾ cup roasted parsnips, 1 orange
  • Mid-afternoon snack: 1 pkg Chuckles (oh how I love Chuckles)
  • Dinner at home: homemade faux chicken pot pie (1/2 breast white meat chicken, ½ slice dark meat chicken, ½ cup lowfat cream of mushroom soup, ½ cup mixed vegetables, served with two slices of “very thin” bread buttered with I Can’t Believe It's Not Butter instead of a crust)
  • Post-dinner snack: ¼ cup of trail mix and 3 chocolate-covered almonds

Wednesday

  • Breakfast: 1 packet low-sugar oatmeal
  • Lunch: Subway 6-inch turkey sandwich, no cheese, lots of hot peppers, small bag of BBQ Baked Lay's
  • Mid-afternoon snack: small bag of Baked Ruffles
  • Dinner at home: 1 ½ Coney dogs (chili, onions, mustard) followed by ½ cup of fat-free Greek yogurt topped with 1 tangerine in honey-cardamom syrup (1 tsp honey) and 12 chopped pistachios
  • Post-dinner snack: 1 square extra-dark chocolate

Thursday

  • Breakfast: 1 packet low-sugar oatmeal
  • Lunch: quinoa ratatouille (quinoa, pink lentils, chicken broth, onion, zucchini, red pepper, spices)
  • Heavy mid-afternoon snack: salad with lettuce, mushrooms, yellow pepper, 1/8 cup feta cheese, 1T lite Caesar dressing, 1T sunflower seeds; ½ cup pineapple; 1 chicken tender; 1 pkg Chuckles
  • Late dinner out: 1 glass of wine; 5 cashews; 1 cup of lentil-sausage soup, 1 ½ slices foccacia, 4 blackened scallops served with ½ cup roasted onions and garlic

Friday

  • Breakfast: 1 packet low-sugar oatmeal
  • Lunch: 1 Four-Cheese Lean Pocket
  • Snack: 1 small bag Snyder's Hard Pretzels
  • Dinner at home: 2 Coney dogs

Saturday

  • Breakfast: no time!
  • Late lunch: 1 tangerine and a multigrain Lean Pocket
  • Dinner out (amounts approximate): 1 margarita; 1/3 cup guacamole, 12 tortilla chips; 2 oz short ribs; 1 taco; 1/3 chili relleno; 1/3 link chorizo; small serving chocolate cake

Sunday

  • Breakfast: 1 cup cereal, ½ cup skim milk
  • Lunch: 1 T peanut butter and 1 T raspberry jam on 1 slice multigrain bread
  • Snack: about a cup of cabbage
  • Dinner: 1 Four-Cheese Lean Pocket

For a woman of my height, weight, and activity level (basically sedentary), WW allots 20 points a day, with 35 flex points to use however I want throughout the week. For the week above, points broke down thusly:

Monday: 20

Tuesday: 21.5

Wednesday: 25.5

Thursday: 26

Friday: 27

Saturday: 34

Sunday: 13

Sunday was an aberration; probably the only day in seven weeks that I haven't eaten every last one of my daily points. Otherwise, it's a pretty typical week -- I used 34 of my 35 flex points, ate every few hours but more later in the day, cooked and packed lunches at home, fit in a couple of restaurant meals. I don't record calorie-free beverages but there's always tea, Diet Coke, and water mixed in there.

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Thanks for sharing, Jael. You've provided a good basis for comparison and perhaps clues for cutting back. Thus far, the primary ways I've found to do the latter are: 1) eliminating breakfast w the exception of coffee & half a grapefruit, or 2) soup with a slice of toast and fresh fruit.

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Are you getting discounted fares for some of your trips? ($1.25 vs. $1.35) :o

Great routine! Nice application of techniques from behavior modification, too, in establishing rewards. If you're actually filling a glass jar with coins each time you exercise, you have a visual reminder of what you've accomplished. Good to keep in a prominent location.

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Are you getting discounted fares for some of your trips? ($1.25 vs. $1.35) :o

:lol: It's just a silly thing -- I'm tracking exactly what I would have spent had I not walked, and sometimes that's bus fare ($1.25) and sometimes it's Metro fare ($1.35), even if the distance or time is constant. I haven't done any literal coin-counting yet, but it's easy for me to total it up from this list.

I'll book tonight's walk in advance so I'm sure to do it:

Tuesday night: 30-minute walk ($1.35)

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Okay, that weight training thing was also thwarted, and turned into a 20-minute walk around the airport carrying luggage. So, there was some kind of weight involved, at least.

Over the weekend: a couple hours of up, down, through, and across Manhattan.

Monday morning: 20 minutes stairclimbing; 25-minute walk ($1.25).

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Friday morning: 20 minutes stairclimbing with handweights; 25-minute walk ($1.25)

Counting this morning's walk, I've saved $24.25 so far. Not bad for just over 2 weeks. Weight loss: about the same as it was before exercise, but that's to be expected. The additional calorie burn is low enough to only be helpful over a longer horizon.

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"About the same as it was before exercise" has turned into "a sudden drop of 4 lbs in a week." Inexplicable drops can't be trusted and I'm sure it won't last, but boy, it's nice to see a number like that on the scale.

Yesterday: nice weather, so two 45-minute walks ($1.25, $1.25)

Monday morning: 25-minute walk ($1.25)

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You are currently the challenge leader - 69% of the way to your 10% goal.

Awesome! I think TedE and I will be down to the wire to see who hits goal first. Before that, for me, there's another important goal: two pounds from now I will weigh what it says on my driver's license. To my knowledge, that has never previously been true.

I think the light exercise is working well because I'm not really doing enough to build muscle; but I am raising my heart rate, and naturally, any half-hour I spend working out is another half-hour I spend not eating.

Thursday morning: 25-minute walk ($1.25)

With the weather the way it is today, and an afternoon jampacked full of basketball, I don't expect to get any walking in today, but I'll make sure I clock some time this weekend.

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Tuesday evening: 25-minute walk ($1.25)

Wednesday: two 25-minute walks ($1.25, $1.25)

Foodwise, I have been bringing my lunches to work for the last several weeks, but today I didn't. Bad move. I got tempted by some unhealthy snacks at Au Bon Pain and now I have already eaten most of my points for the day. I'll chow down on celery and carrots as soon as I get home, have a normal-sized dinner that dips into my flex points, and bring my quinoa with Savoy cabbage and cannellini tomorrow. Essential coping strategy.

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Tuesday evening: 25-minute walk ($1.25)

Wednesday morning: 25-minute walk ($1.25)

Thursday evening: 30-minute walk ($1.25)

I have been having the MOST fabulous time adding up your savings. :lol::P:)

So, the question is: What are you going to buy with all that money you are saving? And, will you EVER take public transportation to work again? (Thus asks someone who used to take a cab to work and then walked home uphill every day :o .)

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:o

That's a good reminder for me to add them up myself! If you count today...

Friday morning: 25-minute walk ($1.25)

That brings me to a total of $49.20 so far. And with all this walking, I've never bought myself a pair of proper athletic shoes. So one of these weekends, a trip to Fleet Feet is in order.

As for the question of continued hoofing commute... I expect to keep this up, at least until the weather stops cooperating. But if I'm running late in the morning, or the day is long and the uphill trip home just doesn't seem appealing, it's easy to resort to the bus.

My weight loss has stalled again, so maybe I should be looking at adding back in some of those weight training or stairclimbing sessions that I was doing a couple of weeks ago. Or maybe I should just buy some ankle weights!

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Woo-hoo! Driver's license weight! Weird stalls-and-falls pattern to my weight loss, but heck, I'll take it.

Sunday: 45-minute walk (although there was a stop in the middle for chocolate, heh)

Monday morning: 25-minute walk ($1.25)

Tuesday morning: 25-minute walk ($1.25)

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Now that Lent is over I'm not recording my exercise (and corresponding savings), but I've been pretty good about keeping it up, most days.

I still have two pounds left to hit my Challenge goal. After that I'll probably stay on Weight Watchers but change the parameters for weight maintenance instead of loss. For once in my life weight loss would actually be a negative outcome, since my wedding dress has been made to fit me at my current size and it wouldn't look right if I got too much smaller.

Of course, it won't do to get complacent too fast. Those last two pounds will likely be the hardest.

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