Weight Loss Tracker

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

More on the BEE

I was discussing BEE (basal energy expenditure) with my friend Lauren, and felt like we were running in circles about what it means. The site I gave to help y'all to calculate your BEE is a wee-bit confusing. After reading more internet resources, I would like to share with you what The Free Dictionary has to say:

BEE is, "the amount of oxygen consumed while resting and fasting, extrapolated to 24 hrs, roughly equivalent to 25 kcal/kg. BEE is used to determine an individual's caloric needs. BEE is multiplied by level of activity–eg, 1.2 for bed rest; 1.4 for moderate activity and by an injury factor–1.2 for pneumonia, surgery, 1.3 for major injury, 1.5–1.6 for severe sepsis. "

Now, go to this website and figure out your base BEE: BEE Calculator

The next step is to multiply that number by 1.2 for bed rest, 1.4 for moderate activity, or by injury level. (go for 1.3 if you are just living your daily life). The number you now have is how many calories you can consume a day, at your usual activity level, and maintain your weight.

So my body BEE is 1863. That is how many calories a day I need in order to break even...if I am only breathing and doing nothing else. Yeah, right:) My activity level is about moderate, so I multiply 1863 by 1.4, and come up with 2608. That number seems shockingly high, but if I am active and overweight, I will need more calories to maintain.

If I weighed 170lbs, and none of my other factors changed, my BEE would be 1608, and I would need to consume 2251 calories a day to maintain that, at a moderate activity level. Is this making more sense? I hope so. Stick with me, now we are getting to the good stuff!

Now. I am not trying to maintain, I am trying to lose. One pound a week, to be exact. And one pound of fat=3500 calories. So in order to lose one pound a week, I need to cut an average of 500 calories a day out of my diet...or exercise to burn 500 extra calories...or split it down the middle, eating 250 calories less than usual and exercising to burn 250 more.

I have been shooting for about 2000 calories a day, and that is a good choice for me. Each person needs a different combination of exercise and healthy eating to lose 1-2lbs a week, so figure out where your 3500 calories are coming from, and take it one day at a time!

The Circuits of Life

Nice title, eh? Unfortunately, my post has very little to do with The Lion King...so sad. What this post is really about is: circuits! So much fun!

I have done 2 circuits in the past 24 hours, one with my biggest loser team, and one this morning called “Power Pump.” Both exhausted me, but Power Pump chewed me up and spat me out. SInce it was a mid-morning class, I was expecting a class of young moms, the random senior citizen, and maybe one guy. No problem, right?

Fact: The class is a mini boot camp that includes sprinting, skipping, stairs, push ups, jump squats, step lunges, and jump ropes...all done by men and women who look like they belong on the cover of a fitness magazine.

Fact: My face might have reached the color of a perfectly red, ripe tomato. And I might have soaked my shirt with sweat. And my triceps might be burning. But I had a good time...seriously. I pushed myself, and did the best that I could (because there was no way I could compete with the sprinters in the class!).

The class made me think of all the reasons I don’t usually enjoy high-intensity aerobics...which brings me to:

The bounce house that is my chest. If I had $75 for a great sports bra, I would snatch one up, but my selection is limited to whatever they sell at stores like Target and Kohl’s. Not the best for a large chest. Especially because *cue rant* the average sports bra doesn’t do a damn thing! It makes my shoulders hurt, has less support than a regular underwire bra, and smashes my chest into an oval lump! Every time I jog or jump I am tempted to work some magic with duct tape, just to keep everything still...don’t doubt that I would!

But the duct tape can wait, because my reward for reaching 220lbs is a great new sports bra! And I can almost taste that 220lbs, because at weigh-in this week I saw 223lbs on the scale.

I have lost 21 lbs!!! YAYAYAYAYAYAY!

Only 3 more pounds until I can buy a sports bra that locks and loads what needs to be locked and loaded:) Want to know what my rewards are for each weight? Look at the list below! Off to have your own adventure? Enjoy this quote from The Biggest Loser show: “I want to do great things...And to do that, I need to do great things for myself.” Do something great for yourself!

Rewards for Weight-loss

240- a new album from itunes to pump me up! (I got the Black Eyed Peas:)

230- new gym shoes (still working on finding the right pair)

220- great new sports bra!!

210- 2 new DVDs

200 (199 is halfway to my goal!)- professional massage

190- a special class of some sort (maybe dancing?)

180- a new fitness accessory of some sort

170- outdoor trip

160- 2 new albums for more motivation!

154- plan a trip to visit one of my siblings (Washington D.C. or New Zealand:)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Goals for *gasp* Week Six!

Almost a month and a half! Eating healthy and exercising are starting to feel like a natural part of my everyday life. So I am patting myself on the back today. Which is not as pathetic as it sounds:)

I have two goals for this week:

1)Start an account on Fitday.com (thanks for the tip Mandie!). It is a free calorie counter and exercise tracker! I don't think I am ready to give up my physical paper food journal, but it would be good to input random days for calorie checks. It also makes me feel very official and organized:)

2)Do something crazy! No really, I'm serious. I want to do an odd exercise this week, something out of the ordinary. Maybe roller-skating with friends, or getting my brother to the gym with me (yeah, not gonna happen), or playing frisbee golf! Time to mix it up.

Loser Girl, on a mission!

Dancing on a Dreary Day

I was not very motivated this afternoon. Last night I ate (cue guilty look) 3 skinny cow ice cream sandwiches in one sitting. The good news is that it's the first major not-great-choice I have made in the past 6 weeks concerning food. And I know why I did it (a combination of boredom and guilt...and I was watching Lifetime movie...why do I do these things!? Gah!). But that is still 550 calories I didn't even enjoy that much.

I also worked out my lower body really well yesterday, so everything was sore today, especially after 8 hours of work...and I have planter fasciitis. This means I get some intense heel pain after sitting or sleeping. And I only got 4 hours of sleep last night. And it was overcast. Working out did not sound like fun.

But then I realized that I was just being grouchy...and defeating myself in the process. So I took my dog for a mile walk. Not bad. So I thought, why not try to find a workout on On Demand? Just to try out more of the free shows they offer?

Which is why I found myself shaking my booty and making up my own steps to a workout on the telly...did I mention how much fun it was?! I love dancing, and on a day like today, I was excited to be moving...so yay!

I think the wisdom of today is to start. Put on your shoes, get to the gym, find the trail, and promise yourself 5 minutes. Then realize it would be silly to only do 5...so why not 15? Heck, you say to yourself, I know I can do 30! At a higher level than usual! CHOOSE to change...

and load your ipod up with sweet body-pumping tunes:)

Sunday, September 27, 2009


I just realized that every single paragraph in the previous post ended with an exclamation mark. As a previous English/Creative Writing major, I want to apologize to you all. I will use them only for important occasions from now on! (like just then:)

No birds, just my BEE...

One of my goals for the past week was to learn more. About anything and everything pertaining to this journey I am on. While I think I got a start on that, it is something I need to continue focusing on. (My other goal was to go on a five+ mile hike, and I did! (Yay for friends, dogs, and rivers!)

Things I have learned this week:

My love of prunes is a wonderful thing! I am proud to come out to you all as a prune-lover. Not just in tarts, but on their own. sweet, sticky, more exiting than a raisin, I learned that they contain “High Fiber and sorbitol (a sugar alcohol that the body metabolizes slowly) keep blood sugar and insulin levels in check...and five prunes have just 100 calories!” -Women’s Health Magazine

My Basal Energy Expenditure...which is not as gross as it sounds, I promise. My BEE is (as I understand it) the base amount of calories I need to get through a day. So my base BEE is 1863. Meaning if I stayed in bed all day and ate 1863 calories, I would also burn them, maintaining my weight. But I don’t just stay in bed all day. I exercise! And for those of you who don’t know, I work in a coffee shop, so about 4 days a week I am on my feet and moving for 7-8hours. Since my activity is moderate, I multiply my BEE by 1.45. So now my BEE is 2701....if I want to maintain my weight....but I want to lose, so I cut about 100ish calories from that number!

And the summary of that whole paragraph is that, if I am calculating correctly, I should be eating around 2600 calories everyday...that sounds so wrong. Doesn’t it? Don’t quote me on that info just yet, I will check it out. In the meantime, feel free to calculate yours at http://www-users.med.cornell.edu/~spon/picu/calc/beecalc.htm

Now for something discouraging. 41.15% of my body is fat....ouch. I know that as a woman, I will always have fat on my body, but 41.15%? That will be re-calculated at the end of my biggest weight-loss challenge, and I hope it is a happier number!

Speaking of the biggest weight-loss challenge (golly, is this post getting long or what?) the second week was good. We did a circuit of random exercises that included running forward with a tube around your waist that your partner was pulling back on...only fun stuff:) I tried some new things, and pushed myself to do that extra tricep curl/squat/crunch. It helps to know there is a group I am accountable to every week. So GO TEAM! And have a delightful week!

PS Just so you know, I will be doing weigh-ins on Tuesdays for the next few months, to coincide with my biggest -weight loss group. S look for new posts on Wednesdays!

My Current Life in Photos

I am going to be doing a barrage of posts in the next few days(yay for my awesome new followers inspiring me!), but I thought you might want some eye-candy before I start writing your eyes off...I don't think that phrase worked...but you know what I mean:)

So here, for your viewing pleasure, is a slide show of my life:

This me doing on of my goals for the past week! I went on a hike that turned out being about 5.5 miles...and I got to do it with a delightful friend and THREE dogs. I truly think owning a dog is one of the best things you can do for yourself healthwise, and they are cute and snuggly too!

This is the same three dogs racing ahead on the trail. You know you've done a good job when they are walking at the end of a hike, instead of running...or when they don't really move for the rest of the day:)

Katie and I at the end of Race for the Cure! Check out our sweet shirts! (and ignore the akward woman walking behind us...is she confused by our victory pose?)

This is a treasure my friends. To the naked eye it might look like a simple burgundy binder, but when you open it up...Bam! It's full of weight-loss success stories, tips, exercise plans, recipes, and so much more! I cut up magazines to save the stuff I find relevant or helpful, and semi-organize it in this binder for inspiration and help. That way I'm not dealing with a huge stack of magazines!

Me cooking dinner for my grandma, my mom, my sister, and I in a farmhouse in Iceland...in case you didn't know, I love food. And I really love baking. And bread. Fresh warm bread with butter. I just drooled on my keyboard...akward...

Next post will be about my future goals for the week, what I learned this past week, and other random what-not. For the next few weeks I will be weighing in mid-week with my biggest weight-loss team, so you will get that update later on. Happy Sunday to you all!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Future Perks

There are some obvious rewards to losing weight. Like better health. And less risk for weight-related diseases/afflictions. And looking good.

And then there are some results that I am particularly exited about, that I have listed below in no particular order (I get exited just typing them!):

-shopping at the same stores as my friends.

-being able to wrap a towel all the way around my body.

-no more chub rub! (ie:my thighs won’t rub together anymore!)

-knowing that I can create and accomplish a goal.

-having more room in airplane seats.

-tank tops and shorts with confidence!

-Not just having a pretty face.

-Being able to buy nice leather boots (my calves are too big to fit at this point in time).

-Having more energy, and get up and GO!

I know that some of these things sound a bit shallow, and related to looks instead of health, but I will enjoy these changes nonetheless. So yay for all the reasons to lose weight!

Can I get a woot woot?!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Month One has been rocked!

Well look at that, it’s been a month! And I am feeling good. Which is why I was exited, but not completely surprised, to see that my weight today is 228lbs. I have lost 16lbs in the last month with hard work, exercise, and better eating habits.

This past week my friend and I did the 5k walking Race for the Cure, I took my dog for a long walk on the beach, and I attempted the StairMaster AND the elliptical in a 31 minute span. Basically, I have been rocking socks.

But it is time to step it up. I think it is important for me to understand more about the calories I am consuming, and how I am expending them. The first meeting of my biggest loser team was a wake up call to being about my food. What gives me energy, what takes it away, how much should I eat and when? Also, how much do I strength train? How long should my cardio last?

So my goal for this coming week is to learn. Learn how many calories, how much fiber, protein, sugar, and sodium, is in the food I eat regularly. Learn how to organize my exercise schedule. Learn about the healthiest choices I can make for myself.

Oh yeah, and I want to go on a 5 mile+ hike...yeah:) No biggie.

(speaking of goals, I did accomplish last weeks. 1)I did 15 min on the StairMaster, and then 16 min on the elliptical, 2)I got more comfortable with the exercise ball, and 3) I worked on making my snacks work for me.)

The next post will contain more about my first meeting of my biggest loser team, my favorite foods, and the rewards I am giving myself as I lose weight...the biggest reward being better health!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Biggest Weight-loss Challenge

Howdy folks. It's the fourth week of my "eat less, exercise more" life-plan, and I have some exciting news. I weighed in yesterday, like every Sunday, and was aiming for a weight of 233.3...but instead I saw this on the scale:


Woah! I did not see that coming. I think mixing up my exercise styles (treadmill, StairMaster, Latin Rhythms, and hiking) and focusing on healthy food and portions made that magic happen.

It really helps to be thinking pound by pound. Instead of freaking out because, "omigod, I need to lose 90 lbs and all my time is just wasted til I get to that perfect weight and then everything will be perfect and I can live my life!", I just take it a pound at a time. I push myself for that one pound, for the added energy I get when I am fit.

And speaking of pushing myself, I have some exiting news. My dad and I have signed up for a 13 week program at our gym inspired by the show, "The Biggest Loser." Each week we will weigh-in with our teammates (there are about 5 teams), and then do a circuit together. I am pumped for the added encouragement, and support.

Goals for this week are: 1)use the exercise ball, 2)do 15 minutes on one machine, and then 15 more on another one, and 3)work on healthy snacks that combined complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fat. [a snack of this combination wwill keep you full and healthy til the next meal].

Super Trouper!

I would like to dedicate this post to ABBA, and the Black Eyed Peas. They have gotten me through many a workout, and with a smile on my face!

Updates on the past week and goals:

I loved the Indian food! Okay, maybe not as exciting for you as for me, but it was delicious and I didn’t over eat, and I spent the lunch with a fantastic friend:) So a definite success. (Except for the green sauce that I thought was some sort of Indian pesto. Definitely not. Very spicy. Especially on my iceberg lettuce.)

So I not only tried the Stair Master this week (sweat central), I also tried a Latin Rhythms class. It was basically a room of women following a leader in dance moves, shimmies, shakes, and jumps. Great fun, except for the jumping part…not fun for my chest. That’s all I’m saying about that. Goal #1=achieved!

My dog and I went on a hour and a half hike in the woods on Saturday. She was so excited and energetic the whole time, and that helps me climb the continuous hills and stomp on lesser-walked paths. I like going to the gym and pushing myself, but something about outdoor exercise makes me feel more alive. The fresh air, forest/water sounds, and twisting and turning….ahhhh. Good times. The picture below is of my dog on a hike we went on last year, in the same spot (with another golden and a friend). She is the cutest inspiration I’ve got! Goal #2=achieved!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I wish I had mastered the stairs...

...but the stairs mastered me!

One of my goals for the week was to try something new at the gym, so instead of veering towards the treadmill this afternoon, I hopped on the StairMaster. Before this afternoon, I had been on the StairMaster once before…at the peak of my health, my sophomore year of college. That was when I was working out for 45 minutes a day, running, and generally kicking my own butt with activity. I could handle the StairMaster then. But now?


I was on there for 25 minutes, at Level 2, and I actually had to stop 5 minutes before I finished, so that I could catch my breath. I am glad no one was working out right next to the heavy-breathing, sweating girl climbing 58 stories! But seriously, I did some intense glistening this afternoon.

And then, just for funsies, I went to a tone and firm class. Where our warm-ups were squats and lunges. And we did about 100 crunches. I like the big mirrors in that group exercise room, because then I can see my face turning different shades of red!

I also like the wisdom our instructor passed on as we were clenching our butts and pulling in the abs, “If you don’t squeeze it, who will?” Harsh, but good motivation:)

Touché Gym…touché..

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sucked into the telly

I was flipping through channels tonight, and I came across a documentary on the Style network, called "Too Fat for 15." It was about Britain's biggest teenager, 15 year old Georgia. She weighed 462lbs, until she went to a special weight-loss academy/boarding school in North Carolina, where she lost 200lbs.

I love before and after stories. When I read fitness magazines, I flip through most of it just so I can see the before and after article. I like seeing how other women have lost the weight, and kept it off, and the pictures give me inspiration. Especially the ones where the person has one thier old pants, and are pulling out the waist! Just air, where there once was fat...*sigh*

There are so many shows nowdays that focus on before and after, like Biggest Loser, Ruby, or Dance Your Ass Off. I think I am going to start watching some of them, as a steady before-turning-into-an-after (which is what I am aiming to be!) It helps to know that you are not alone. That there are other people just like you who are struggling and, more importantly, succeeding!

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Here are my corrections to the previous post: I meant to say "the picture above and to the right." Obviously. I also forgot to actualy post the calorie counters I was talking about. My bad! Here you go:

Weekly Goals

Every week I am setting one or two goals. Last week my goals were to get to the gym three times (I got there twice), and to do some random calorie counting. I don't to focus on calories, but I would like to be more aware of what I am eating. For instance, did you know that a poached egg is about 68 calories? Or that a peach is about 31, but a nectarine averages at 57? I've looked at three different websites for calorie counting, and I have listed them below. Since I haven't used them extensively, I can't guarantee that they are the best out there, but they are what I have right now.

This week, my goal is to take a picture like the one to the right.

Just kidding! My goals this week are to, 1)try a new machine or class at the gym, 2)go on a hike. Even with the fall weather rolling in, it would be nice to visit mother nature, instead of just working it out on the treadmill. Also, I get to go to an Indian food buffet this week! What good foods await, and will I be able to eat with stuffing myself?

Learning to deal with the real world...

So the first week of my time-to-get-my-weight-under-control-plan flew by, and I was excited when the scale said 236...236...236!!! I knew that I hadn't eaten before the second weigh-in, and that my body was experiencing an exercise surprise, but it was still awesome to see an 8lb difference.

But this past week I faced some challenges. I got to visit with some friends that I have not seen in a long time, went on a mini-road trip, and went to a birthday party. All of these wonderful events tend to be centered around food, and it is hard to resist delicious bean dip and chips, or fatty restaurant food...(or fresh baked snicker doodle cookies!)

With all of these gatherings, I also had a hard time fitting in time to work out. So I was scared today as I stepped on the scale...

only to find my weight at 234.5!

I am so proud of myself. I controlled myself a lot better than I have previously, and I much prefer having lost a pound and a half, to having a full piece of Costco chocolate cake (I did have a half piece, it was delicious, festive, and I hadn't indulged like that since beginning my road to health).

It's nice to know that I don't have to avoid social settings or going out to dinner with people for fear of slipping into old habits. Because while I want to lose the weight, I want to KEEP my friends!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My Weight-loss Tool Box

A little history: I have been over-weight since I was ten, though I was not obese until the past year and a half. There have been fluctuations in weight, and at one point during my sophomore year of college, I was down to 174lbs, a number that I hadn't seen for a while. But then life threw me some curve-balls and I ate my stress/emotions/fear until I reached 244lbs a week and a half ago. As I am starting this self-designed weight-loss program, I feel confident that I will have long-term success. Mostly because I have, what I am dubbing, a:

Weight-loss Tool Box!! (okay, it's not a real tool box, but I like symbolism and cheesy themes, so stick with on this.)

In my tool box are all the things I need to rebuild myself a healthier life. So, without further ado....

My Weight-loss Tool Box
  1. Support of family and friends (and anyone reading this blog!). They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. I've made my problem public, because I know that I need people to have my back as I struggle and achieve and rock socks.
  2. A Routine. It's important to make room and time in your life for working out, planning meals, blogging/journaling, and learning. I finally have a schedule that keeps me busy, but allows me enought time to focus on being Loser Girl!
  3. Charts. Okay, maybe this is just me, but I love having calendars and charts and food journals because it makes me feel official, and helps me track my progress. I know how much I have worked out, what my goals are for the coming week, and what food I have consumed.
  4. Self-Confidence. If I didn't think I could do this, I wouldn't be here. The name "Loser Girl" means that I am ready to lose weight, but I don't think I am a loser. I am comfortable with myself, and simply ready to push myself to be the healthiest I can be.
  5. Clear Goals. I want to weigh 154lbs in 90 weeks. I want to achieve this without starving myself or becoming bored with exercise.
  6. A Good Gym. I like my gym. It's not too intense or intimidating, but it has good equipment and fun classes (I cannot wait to try Zumba!).
  7. Desire. I want this. I want a healthy body for myself, for my future. I want to put down the cookie so I can be comfortable on an airplane in the middle seat. I can walk that extra .5 mile to but a Large T-shirt, instead of an XLarge.
So that's my tool box! (woot woot!)