Monday, March 11, 2013

Scale Wars: Men vrs Women

I had a really lovely lunch yesterday with a good friend. She cooked for me and was really attentive to the details that would make the meal work for me, and it was really refreshing. I didn't feel like I had to explain much (except to relay the needed information) and I felt like I could just trust her to not throw something in that was inappropriate for me and then leave me suffering with the consequences. This is a really nice thing for people like me who are on restricted diets. I remember when I was 19 or 20 years old and I'd been vegetarian for about 6 months. I traveled home over the holidays to visit my parents and my mom was all in a tizzy about what to cook. I thought, you cook vegetables for every meal. Just make extra vegetables and I'll eat those. You make rice and pasta. Just set some pasta sauce aside before you add the meat, and give me the bowl of rice before you pour beef and gravy over it. Put a little bit of the rice and cream of mushroom soup in a small baking dish and pop it in the oven next to your larger casserole that has chicken added and I'll eat right along with you. (Yes, these were the typical meals of my childhood. . .) She found the concept of eating a lunch or dinner meal without meat to be unfathomable and the idea of adapting a recipe to be just too mind boggling to figure out. My first night home she made a meal for me that included baked beans. I remember asking her if they were vegetarian baked beans and she said that they were. I took my first bite and asked her again:  they tasted way too "good" to be vegetarian (I will admit that the addition of bacon/pork fat to them adds flavor--I'm not delusional, yo!). She insisted. That night I woke up with terrible stomach pain and barely made it to the bathroom before unloading my meal from both ends. I rummaged through the garbage and found the box that the beans came in (they were frozen not canned):  Captain Ken's Firehouse Beans. The box had a picture of the beans with huge chunks of bacon and pork fat floating around in them. There may well have been a picture of a smiling pig on the box! She confessed that she had just picked the pork fat out of the beans thinking that would be ok. She never made that mistake again. . . but mostly because I never trusted her to cook for me again.

Anyway, so this lunch was just lovely. She made baked tofu, kale, coconut rice, and oven roasted maple glazed sweet potatoes. Oh man. That was good. I have to admit I was thinking about it all night! I was also thinking, though, about a conversation we had and about something that a few other people (not her) have said to me recently. She and I were talking about how her boyfriend had recently lost some weight "without even trying" by eating her (vegetarian whole food) cooking. She joked that she doesn't lose pounds she has to chase them away. I laughed. I get that. I have never just lost weight without trying. I have had to work for every pound I've lost. So, I really hate when people make comments to me (and sometimes about me!) referring to how "easy" it is for men to lose weight. I'm a man. Trust:  it's not always easy. Yes, I know that a lot of men can drop weight really quickly. Some people have much faster metabolism than others do. I certainly did lose weight quickly the first couple of weeks on this diet. But you also have to look at what I was doing. If you're eating 1200-1400 calories of nutritious whole food daily and spending 120+ minutes most days with your heart rate elevated to 75%+ of your max and you're not losing a several pounds a week, then something's off. Also, 1200 calories a day for a 6 foot tall guy is not the same as 1200 calories a day for a 5'6" woman. Men are bigger, usually, and they need more calories to maintain their weight. So, yeah, if we cut back to a similar diet to a woman we are going to lose more because we're creating a bigger calorie deficit. I think that a lot of guys (I'm not included in this!) are less likely to eat for emotional reasons than a lot of women are. So, they tend to be more consistent. By the way, I'm basing that on absolutely no scientific data--just my observations.

Think about it this way:  Let's say that two roommates are trying to save $3500 each for a spring break vacation. One of them makes $2500 a month and the other makes only $2000 a month. They both adjust their monthly budgets so that they're spending only $1500. At the end of one month, the first roommate is almost a third of the way to his goal, which the second roommate is only a seventh of the way there. After four months the first roommate has saved his $3500 with an extra $500 to spend for a new wardrobe for the trip. The second roommate needs to save for three more months just to have the money to go on the trip. Now, make that 3500 calories for a pound of fat loss, make their income the total number of calories they need in a day, and you see that it takes a man and a woman eating the same diet a very different amount of time to lose the same amount of weight. In fact--in this hypothetical scenario it takes the woman twice as long to lose a pound--he does it in less than 4 days while she takes a full week. I think this gives a different way to think about it. . . and when you add things like hormones and metabolism into it the differences do start to expound.

But, seriously, the few people lately who have made comments to me about how "lucky" I am to be a guy and be able to just drop weight without much effort can kiss my chubby white ass. Get on the myfitnesspal app and get on the treadmill and create the same calorie deficit I do every day and we'll see who loses more weight. I'm willing to bet we'll lost the same amount if we create the same deficits.

I'm just venting. It's my blog and I'll bitch if I want to.

Speaking of the side effects of being a man. . . 

The week came and went without another blog post. I had promised one, hadn't I?

I'm a guy.

I lie.

Sorry about that.

Moving on. . . 

This past week was a pretty good one. I feel like I finally have a grip on myself again. I will tell you it was a very busy week, though. In fact, on Monday I got so backed up at work that it was 8pm before I ate breakfast. Seriously. That was not a shining moment for me. Tuesday we had a mini blizzard that dumped 8+ inches of snow on us, and then Wednesday and Thursday were just as jam packed as Monday was. By Friday I was exhausted and ready for the weekend.

The good news is that I managed to get all of my workouts in! My goal was to do 5 workouts of 1 hour each. I wasn't concerned with my calories as much as just getting into a comfortable workout intensity and letting my poor aching feet heal a little after putting too much stress on them trying to jog a week or so back.

Here's what I did:
  • Monday:  Rest
  • Tuesday:  Gym closed for weather. Shoveled snow twice for 45 minutes each time. 
  • Wednesday:  Shoveled snow for 30 minutes in the morning. 60 minutes Incline Treadmill 750 calories burned
  • Thursday:  65 minutes elliptical trainer 850 calories burned
  • Friday:  65 minutes incline treadmill 750 calories burned
  • Saturday:  60 minutes incline treadmill 725 calories burned
  • Sunday:  60 minutes incline treadmill 750 calories burned
  • Total:  3825 calories burned. That's more than 4 sticks of butter, y'all! 
I was struggling last week with getting my heart rate up above 130. By Wednesday of this week I wasn't really having that problem as much. By Friday and Saturday I was actually getting my heart rate up into the 140s again. It was more of a struggle again on Sunday, but I was sweating up a storm and it was a great workout--I did get my HR up into the 130s on that day, too. Consequently, I'm rediscovering the love for my HR monitor. I feel like it's a good way of tracking my progress. If I'm progressively doing more intense workouts and staying within the same HR zones that means I'm getting fitter. That's the goal. So, it's all good. I don't need to be quite so obsessed with what my HR is. I need to remember that it is one measure of the effort I'm putting out. One thing I like is that the Polar Beat app gives me a weekly summary of what I did, and that's really helpful! It's really motivating to look at the summary and see that I spent 3 hours with my HR in the moderate intensity zone and 45 minutes in the high intensity zone. That's something to make my poor heart happy!

My diet was also really good this week. I feel more on track and that's a very good thing. My sodium is under control, and so are my fat, calories, and sugar. I did have a little mini binge fest last night, but the only things I had to snack on were Mandarin oranges, a navel orange, and some sodium free whole grain brown rice crackers and low sodium hummus. I did some snacking, but I didn't do any damage. That's a win.

So, I want to continue that momentum this week with 5 more one-hour workouts. I may go to the cabin this weekend if the weather is nice, and that will mean that I have to get them all in before I go. Yikes! I can do it, though. It just means no break day until Saturday. . .

All this hard work is starting to pay off on the scale again, too, which is really nice to see after a couple of weeks of stagnation and (water) weight gain after going off of my diuretic. My weight this morning was 263.6 pounds, which is 21.4 pounds down from my starting weight of 285 pounds. So, 21.4 pounds in 6 weeks--that's an average of a little more than 3 pounds per week, which is good. I can't complain about that. I have two more weeks before the two month point, and it would be great to be close to the 30 pounds lost mark by then. I don't think I'll get TO the 30 pound mark, but If I'm at 27 pounds or thereabout, that would be pretty stellar.

So, I'm looking forward to this week. I'm not going to promise that I'll check in mid-week this week. I'll try to, but I'm going to try not to make promises my lying cheating no good dog self won't be able to keep. . . 

No comments: