Project Weight Loss: Week 8

November 16th, 2012 | Posted by Alison Spath in Weight Loss

Zak and I were in college when we met and started dating.   He taught me how to play racquetball early in our relationship, and it came to be something we did together quite regularly at (my) school where we had easy access to racquetball courts.

Whenever we played, he always won.  I never felt bad about this, he’s bigger, stronger, a more experienced player – he kicked my ass quite regularly and I just rolled with it.  I mean HELLO, I’m hanging out with my uber cute boyfriend with whom I’m totally smitten, who the hell cares if I win or that racquetball is a little dorky?

This week I got to thinking about one game in particular, a game where I was losing point after point after point and getting more frustrated with each ball that flew past my undergrad head.  After losing 5 or 6 (or 7 or 8) points in a row, I finally SLAMMED the next ball that was served to me out of pure, immature, poor-sport anger.  But it worked!  I won the chance to serve, Zak looked shocked, applauded my outburst and then surely went on to kick my ass anyway.

My point to this fascinating story is that I did the same thing this week. I got PISSED and slammed the scale with my racquetball racquet.

OK, not really.  I think I sold my racquet years ago at a garage sale.  I DID use my frustration and discouragement from last week and turned it into motivation and determination for this week.  I’m very pleased report back that it seemed to have worked.

Today the scale said 139.6 (down from 140.6 last week) but I saw 139.0 and 138.8 this week too!  In fact, I haven’t seen the 140’s since Monday. This delights me and I am feeling quite compelled to stick with some of the things I did differently this week for the coming week.

So what did I do differently this week? Here we go!

What I Changed This Week

I cut net calories back to closer to 1200 instead of 1500 (most days)

I think it’s likely I’ve been giving myself too much credit for how many calories I’m burning in my non-exercise, day to day activities.  Even though I’m on my feet a good majority of the day, chasing kids, rocking babies to sleep (just one), hauling laundry to and fro, maybe I’m not burning quite as many calories as I think.

One of the nice things about keeping a food journal and tracking your calories is that you (hopefully) have the data to go back and scrutinize to see what did or didn’t work for you in the past.

When I went back to look at the weeks I loss at least 1 pound, especially in Week 1 and Week 2, I had more days of keeping my net calories around 1300 than I did compared to Weeks 6 and 7 when I hit a plateau.  At the end of 2009 when I successfully lost 7 lbs with calorie counting and got down to 129, my net calories were near 1200 many days in that time period as well.

With all these things in mind, I made the conscious choice to keep my net calories closer to 1200 most days this week, with a couple of days near 1500 calorie too.  This definitely seemed to help.

I Weighed Myself Everyday

As planned, I got on the scale every day with. out. fail.  This really seems to make a difference for me, I think it has a lot to do with just staying focused and being more mindful of what I’m working toward.  As the saying goes, what gets measured gets managed.

High Intensity Interval Training

A few of you guys reminded me last week about the wonders of interval training and what it can do for weight loss!  With that in mind I got two high intensity work outs in this week.  One day I worked interval sprints into what would have otherwise been an ordinary Tuesday morning run, warming up for about a mile, then sprinting for 1 minute, slowing my pace down until I felt recovered, then another 1 minute sprint, repeating this cycle until I made my way back home.  I got 4 or 5 sprints in when all was said done and was feeling high as kite all morning.  Thanks, endorphins

Even if you aren’t a runner, you can throw intervals into any workout, even walking. Just pick up the pace for as long as you can and then fall back to an easier, recovery pace.  Then do it again.  Voila!  Intervals.  (Be safe and listen to your body, as always.)

I spent another morning with Jillian and some old school 30 Day Shred.  Her workouts are the very definition of HIIT.

In less intense exercise news, there were a couple of long walks wearing a very cute young man (who does not know how to play racquetball yet) and some yoga at home too.

In fact, I taught Kaz how to do happy baby pose!

Happy Baby Pose

Or maybe he was born knowing how to do it.  Whatever.  I’m totally taking credit because if you ask him about it, he’ll just drool at you.

(He’s wearing Baby Legs and a cloth diaper if you’re wondering about what’s going on with the pants situation there.  Baby Legs make getting his diaper off a breeze, which is helpful because we practice EC – plus I think they’re super cute too!)

In food news, I made Oh She Glows Spiced Red Lentil, Tomato and Kale soup this week.

OSG Spicy Kale Lentil Tomato Soup

As soon as I saw this recipe, I knew I must make it.  Lentils?  Good.  Tomatoes?  Goood.  Kale?  Gooood.  Zak and I both loved this.

Kale in soup gets points for the same things sauteed kale does.  Chewy and satisfying without being a poor winner.

The other great thing about this recipe?  The discovery of smoked paprika.  Love it!

Smoked Paprika

I also must give proper thanks to my blog friend Lisa at Thrive Style.  I did some experimenting with coconut oil this week and am really excited about it and the way it made me feel.  (i.e., not hungry for HOURS!)  I will likely write more about this and my experience with it in at some point down the road, but for now I’m going to let Lisa tell you all about it if you’re curious to know more.

A couple other links that I found relevant and helpful for this week, both from Mark’s Daily Apple:

8 Ways You Might Be Inadvertently Sabotaging Your Fitness Routine and 9 Ways You Might Be Inadvertently Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Efforts

And as always, here’s a run down of the week.  Net calories = calories eaten – calories burned.  I will probably pop in with an update next Friday, but I will likely “weigh in” on Thursday morning instead of The Day After The Biggest Meal of the Year.

Friday, 11/9
Weight: 140.6
Net Calories: 1181
Exercise: 4 mile run, 38 minutes

Saturday, 11/10
Weight: 140.4
Net Calories: 1280
Exercise: Yoga, Hip Opening Flow #4, 40 minutes

Sunday, 11/11
Weight: 141.2
Net Calories: 1227
Exercise:  Bike ride, 50 minutes  (longer than 40 minutes, oops!) 9 miles

Monday, 11/12
Weight: 140.6
Net Calories: 1237
Exercise: 25 minutes, yoga + pilates (self guided) and a 2 mile walk (wearing 19 lb Kaz), 45 minutes

Tuesday, 11/13
Weight: 139.6
Net Calories: 1224
Exercise:  4 mile interval run, 36 minutes

Wednesday, 11/14
Weight: 138.8
Net Calories: 1532
Exercise: 30 Day Shred, Level 3

Thursday, 11/15
Weight: 139.0
Net Calories: 1565
Exercise: 2.5 mile walk (wearing Kaz), 45 minutes

Friday, 11/16
Weight: 139.6

That’s what I’ve got for this week.  If you’re playing along at home, how did your week go?  Try anything new that you feel worked or you’re really excited about?  Don’t hold out on us people – we need details!

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16 Responses

  • Jennifer says:

    Good job!!! It sound like you really put in a hard effort this week and it worked. :)

    I’m still sitting at 138. I’ll take that, though, seeing that I didn’t do a thing all week. As long as I’m not up, it’s all good. :)

    Where did you find that smoked paprika???? I have looked for that in several grocery stores near me with no luck. I really want to try it.

    Where do you get the coconut oil, too? I haven’t seen that either so I think I’ll have to try The Natural Store. I read that link and it sounds really good for you and I like that it raised your metabolism. Good thing!

    I have a huge bag of red lentils that I bought from a local Asian/Indian grocery and plan to make your spicy lentil recipe, although this soup sounds really good, too.

    • Jennifer, I have looked for Smoked Paprika in the past too and had trouble finding it – I found it Wegmans for this recipe, but I know I’ve looked for it before and they didn’t have it.

      I find coconut oil in the health food section at Wegmans (Nature’s Market) or a smaller, local, natural/health food store, probably like the one you mentioned. If you’ve got a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s around, they’ll have it too. Be warned, it’s not cheap – but it’s SO good for you it’s worth it.

      • Jennifer says:

        You know, I haven’t looked in the health food section of my local store so I’ll do that first. Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods is kind of a hike from where we live, unfortunately. I’m really curious about the coconut oil.

        Do you use that as every day oil when you are frying something or do you use something else?

        • Coconut oil is pretty much all I cook with these days, it’s either that or olive oil. I use canola and olive oil for salad dressing and canola for baking sometimes – but I’m getting away that now that I’ve come to see that baking with coconut oil is fine. (Nothing ever tastes “coconutty”.)

  • B. Gomicchio says:

    Mmmmm . . . I’m drooling over that soup. We had plans to make a different kale soup this week, but we might have to shake things up around here. One question – think I could substitute cabbage for the celery? It’s just what I happen to have and that dang head of cabbage has got to get eaten! I’ve also been looking for smoked paprika for a while. No luck yet.

    Congrats on those numbers moving! I think about you every Thursday. You’ve had some great weather for walks!

    • I’d sub cabbage for celery if that’s what I had on hand! It seems like a safe bet. And I found Smoked Paprika at the Hylan Dr. Wegmans!

      I’m going to keep walking on for as long as the weather holds up, wish it was easier for you to join me! A two mile walk with Kaz and then a bus ride home with three kids, the whole afternoon is an adventure!

  • Fixed it, thanks for the heads up!

  • Hey Alison, I know there’s more to weight loss physiology than calories in, calories out, but I am not well educated about it. I don’t need to lose weight, but I do need to stay at my current size because I recently got a whole bunch of really great clothes. :-)
    Here’s my question: if the goal is to lose weight, or at least avoid gaining it, I am under the impression that when one is going to indulge in fattening food, it’s better to binge occasionally rather than have small, frequent amounts of fattening food. More to the point, is it better if I eat the entire box of Trader Joe’s Kona coffee shortbread cookies at one sitting, or have 2 every day for a week?
    I’m interested in your comments. Thanks!

  • This is an awesome question, I’m going to answer it this week in a post. Stay tuned!

  • jen says:

    I’m trying this soup this week. I bought red lentils awhile ago to think about how to try them, but this is a winner. I got the smoked paprika in the store, and I can’t wait because it smells so awesome. I got everything else today and I’ll make some garlic bread with it to appease the fam into trying it. I find coconut oil near the oils, but our store only carries one brand. Refined and not-refined. I only cook with coconut (for me) or olive. Is frying in canola oil better than vegetable oil? haha bec sometimes I just cheap out and use veg. oill but only rarely.

    • I just made this again last night, we are loving it. YES that smoked paprika smells so dang good, it really does make the soup.

      I’ve got mixed feelings about canola oil these days (here’s one example why) and am getting away from using it… (I use it in my favorite Good Seasons salad dressing though and don’t know what to replace it with, it’s not the same with olive oil!) Is canola a better choice than vegetable oil though? This site says yes!

      • jen says:

        I WAS actually surprised you used canola hehe. I find that I can fry with olive oil just fine it’s just more expensive. But with all the info available I kind of agree that canola is the lesser evil.

        • Yes, admittedly I’ve kind of stuck my head in the sand when it comes to canola oil until recently… for so long it was touted as “the healthy oil!” I’ve been stubborn about seeking out a salad oil replacement when I want something milder in flavor than olive oil.

          • jen says:

            I like the taste of “extra light” olive oil. But probably that’s bad for you but I’m sticking my head in the sand on that one!

          • The only thing I’ve heard about extra light olive oil is to know that “extra light” is about the taste, not that it’s lower in fat and calories. I did just do a quick search and read that it’s been heavily refined in order for it taste less “olivey” and is lower in monounsaturated fats (the good fats!), but maybe it’s still a better option than canola? Hmmm.