Discussion in 'Weight Loss Diary' started by Hale, Jan 2, 2018.
I'm loving all the food pics, lol. Haven't had pea soup in ages!!!
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Cory: I promise I'm not a stalker. I plan to do a little homework on those who comment on my diary for context. Cate will be far more challenging than you. I am probably spending more time here than is sustainable but, there are worse ways to dawdle.
Jenni: I think photos add a bit of colour. I'm hoping not to raise the ire of vegans nor is it my intent to incite cravings. The idea was to providing a little more context to my posts and show a bit of care goes into much of what I eat.
Day 11: Harvey says 'Go Go Gadget': 9, BP: 112/73 - 54 and 110.2 Kg on 8 hours of some what less than optimal sleep.
Workout was identical including the row (within 1 metre) with average heart rate of 145 maxing at 163 with a 59 HRR. I was tired this morning so it seemed to require a greater effort of will. It was -27 C (-17 F for the Yanks) and I got out to plug in the block heater so it would get 2 hours warm up before I needed to start the car.
Lunch yesterday was the leftover Tuna sandwich on whole wheat, and apple and the carrot muffin I also hadn't eaten a couple days back. Spice had cut the muffin in half and added a dollop of margarine. Muffins could be healthy, and you'd think carrot muffins might, but this was cake, pure and simple.
We ordered take-away red thai curry, a menu photo attached, with dry salt chicken wings. The curry had rice with coconut flavour and lots of what I hope is chicken breast. A true caloric 'wonder'land. We ordered 4 bowls in a plan to visit my son, his wife and their 3 month old boy at their home. Drat; they've aged me into an Opa. I ate most of my bowl and had 3 rather dry wings and what I think is an arrowroot cookie with dark chocolate for desert. The photo way exaggerates the thickness of chocolate as the cookie isn't flat. A large glass of water and a coffee with 2% rounded everything off. Spice managed only half of her bowl so combined with my remnants, behold Friday lunch.
Post workout breakfast this morning was a typical oatmeal medley with one coffee/2% milk.
My Garmin watch strap failed while I was sleeping. It scores sleep duration and quality so I keep it on. I understand planned obsolescence but really thought that the battery would be the limiting factor on this item. They've been making fitness watches with plastic straps for many years. Since I have previously broken one of these watches, I happen to have a spare strap, but I've used the little retainer loop that keeps the length beyond the buckle from flopping from both watches. Spare straps can still be ordered and as battery life remains good, I will. You need 2 Torx screwdrivers to swap out bands and I'll give credit to Garmin for making them different sizes at each strap so you don't need to buy two identical screw drivers, which usually means two entire sets. The watch is designed to count laps and strokes in the pool so I guess that the plastic straps aren't well suited to the chlorine of the pools I've used the watch in. A little fibre in the plastic mix or a couple webs of some material like Tyvek and it wouldn't have come apart. I see by the flash at the edge that the straps are moulded in a press and such a step would have been compatible with the manufacture process. You can see in the photo that failure was imminent.
The pic includes the little metronome I like to use. It has a spring clip on the back to attach to clothing and didn't cost much more than the included battery that powers it.
I took a photo of the elliptical today showing the 'louvers' over the speaker. I believe the speaker is supposed to set a cadence and it is driven by a 1/8" th inch stereo mini jack from an audio or video tape deck or an internet source. I wasn't interested in buying the tapes or subscription so don't know how it actually works. I believe the main purpose of the louvers is to trap sweat and funnel them to the speaker and promote bacterial growth because that what it does best. This is today's sweat:
I'm going to give them credit for having direct setting membrane switches for resistance and slope. It is simple to hit one button to make a selection without going through buried menus. You touch them with sweaty fingers every time you use the machine and the flat waterproof surface is easy to clean. It's great to press one button to start/end an interval in the heat of battle. But what were they thinking with the speaker???
Ah, I detect a hidden premise there. Examine it and your question answers itself. Apart from that I think my mom´s experience with bread machines explains most of your problems. My mother has been baking her own bread ever since our baker retired and is always trying different machines for it because they tend to break after a couple of months. (Which is well within warranty so she´ll usually get them replaced twice before warranty runs out.) One frank telephone operator explained to her that most people only bake bread about once a fortnight, or bake regularly for a month and then let the machine gather dust on the counter. So there really isn´t any point in making them more durable because most people by far don´t "use up" the durability these things do have. Which is kind of the opposite of planned obsolescence, I think? Anyway, exercise machines are the same, for most people. You buy them full of good intentions, use them daily for two weeks and then they suddenly transform into laundry racks.
Oh well then LaMa, I've got 3 more days before the carriage turns into a pumpkin. Harvey will be miffed if I don't defy the odds but at least I'll be able to find my glass slippers and gown on their rack after this week. Or maybe my prince will come...
Kidding aside, the hardware itself has been reasonably durable and in fact, has probably exceeded a normal life span thanks to grease, maintenance, minor repairs, use on a solid yet shock absorbing base in a dry environment... I've been keeping it disconnected from the mains when not in use after my bike electronics failure experience.
I forgot to mention that I think the iFit stuff also embeds an ultra or subsonic tone to signal adjustments of slope and resistance levels as well as play tunes. Its speaker is not something that would ordinarily wear out and it may still work today, particularly if it uses a polypropylene cone to match the sweat resistance of the rest of the console. To me, it's more like adding a cigarette lighter to the machine: I'm not going to use it and when it inevitably fails, I'd rather it didn't take all the electronics down with it.
It isn't so much the life span or planned obsolescence you've referenced, but the lack of thought that went into the obvious need for cleaning around and between those ridiculous sweat trap louvers that cost needless money and material to implement. Imagine the bread maker had rigid steel wires that crisscrossed the bread cavity any time no loaf was present. And a hood scoop! With racing stripes!! Oh, oh, oh - and a horn that plays Dixie.
Hale, I completely get what you mean about getting to know folks on the board. I've read ones that are 100+ pages from start to finish on more than one occasion. How do you take such great pics of your food? Even if mine looks good in person, it winds up looking like dog food whenever I try to take picture of it. Bummer about the Garmin strap.
Cory: Just because I denied being a stalker doesn't mean you should take it at face value. Fact is though, much of where a person wants to project is is defined in their first few posts so the only way to get into a meaningful conversation is to look into a bit of history.
The one rice bowl picture was from the online menu and professionally done, and the pea soup was done by Spice. She tends to push sharpness, saturation and contrast settings beyond what I find acceptable. She uses her Android phone. The balance of the food photos so far were done by my Android without deviating from the default settings.
I have a condition known as amblyopia that has a result that, while I have a good field of view with peripheral vision, I can only look at an object with one eye at a time and have no depth perception ability. What it means is, I see like a camera. This gives me an unconscious awareness of the depth cues one finds in photos and is a degree of abstraction of reality that just makes it easier to understand what perspective, angle or illumination might benefit a photo. One result is that I have gravitated to photography and in the process have acquired a good understanding of the physics through study, which doesn't help the composition, but cuts down on garbage.
Food always looks best with slightly warmer colour temperature evoking the romance of candle light. Point source lighting is usually dreadful and flash flattens any depth cues. Full spectrum broad light sources yield generally pleasing results. I like tungsten filament, halogen and full spectrum LED bulbs with high CRI ratings. Fluorescent light is usually death to food pictures. It is helpful to add some flatware for scale, contrast and specular reflections. I have never in my life posted a food picture prior to this thread and make no claim to expertise and the fact of the matter is, I put no effort at all into any of my photos here other than cropping a bit and resizing in Microsoft Paint to make them fit this forum's posting standards. I claim no credit for the plating aspect of the compositions though I have moved a utensil. I take photos of the BP, weight, rowing stats and HRR with my phone as I go so using that camera is just second nature.
Day 13: Slept in a bit for about 9 hours total. Harvey told me 6 but reported two artefacts in the reading so I did it again and the clean reading is 7. BP: 111/70 - 53 at a weight of 109.3 Kg. The bog standard workout had a row pace of 1:57/500 pace for 2548 Metres plus the other two machines. The workout stats were 143/163 average/max pulse rate followed by a 59 HRR. The average heart rate during the bike was about 140 and I find I am able to converse reasonably well at that level of effort. Not so rowing or elliptical.
Yesterday's lunch was leftover red Thai curry, a MacIntosh apple and an orange. I finished the leftovers and could easily done with less. Oops. Dinner was some type of sausage with a sweet mustard, sauerkraut and a bit of plain spinach. Now you've got me self conscious about photos and I see I should have shined the flatware. Shifting the concentric lines of the tray so they deviate from the plates ridges would have, in my opinion, improved the composition. I took a thoughtless photo last evening and Spice insisted I intensify the colour with the 'Pop' slider on my phone before I uploaded it. Voila:
As I have a lunch out planned today, arose later than usual and didn't hit the dungeon until after some coffee, I thought it made sense to lighten breakfast to a banana, and an apple, together with my two brazil nut morning selenium dosage. Lunch will be one of several social meetings at a variety of venues over the past few months with 8 to 12 people connected to the music industry. Today they've selected a highly regarded Ukranian restaurant.
As tomorrow is a day off my workout routine, I will assess progress and set out any revisions.
I´d rather the horn played something else but otherwise I´ll take it Please be sure to give a full report on the Ukranian food!
Day 14: 8 1/2 hrs solid sleep, HRV: 9, BP: 108/70 - 53, 109.6 Kg.
The app with my Garmin provides weekly, monthly and annual stats and I will post the weekly average as weight progress rather than 4 day averages. First week average was 111.3 and 2nd was 109.9. Starting 'point' is nearly moot with this approach, but the first 4 day average was 112.0 Kg. It's probably realistic to call it about a kilo per week in my first two weeks which is quicker than planned and probably represents some low hanging fruit.
HRV in the first week actually called for an unplanned but allowed for rest day but the second didn't require such a concession meaning that, provided I don't get ill or injure myself in another manner, the current effort is sustainable. Harvey has generally suggested I can escalate activity. The rower is kind of self limiting and, although the average peak heart rate on the elliptical at 65 RPM has gone down a bit, I'm content with the current level. The bike is too easy and will get another 1 RPM bump. Push-ups, sit-ups and curl to press dumbbell will all get a whopping 20% increase in repetitions. I'm thinking that making my rest day on a weekly work day might make things just a bit less hectic but haven't yet decided. Next weeks plan:
Set 6 push-ups, 12 sit-ups, 6 dumbbell curl and press with 35 lb weight.
10 min rower - 10 min stationary bike: gear 2/6 grade 3 degrees, 79 RPM - 10 min elliptical: slope 0 resistance 5, 65 RPM.
Repeat first set of 3 activities.
As chagrined I am with the minimal capacity to do significant weight resistance exercise, I know I have made an improvement since I started and even these tiny amounts have begun to make a difference. Even if I didn't add reps, just being persistent at the start levels would still provide ongoing gains. Once I can do 20 reps of anything with good form I'll either increment resistance and add another activity, but don't hold your breath. I'm going slow here.
The weather has improved to the point where I need to find my ice skates. Spice used to figure skate as a kid but took a tumble on sidewalk ice that injured her wrist badly enough that x-rays were indicated a few weeks back but is OK now. My son has responded to inquiries and has indicated he is game for some racquetball on Saturdays and I'm looking forward to that. With his new son and being involved in league basketball and a physically demanding trade, I'm very happy he's open to some shared time and activity.
The lunch gathering had fewer attendees than I expected but was enjoyable as always. Uncle Ed's in Edmonton features Ukranian fare which can be very calorie dense. I had a bowl of borscht, a beet soup with carrots, onion, potato, cabbage, beans and dill with a dollop of sour cream, followed by sausage with a pair of sour cabbage rolls, 2 cheddar perogies and what is supposed to be a cheese crepe. There's some onion, bacon bits, sour cream and a dill sauce with this plus I put some lovely very hot mustard on the sausage. Two coffees but I declined 2 offers to buy me dessert and a further two offers to share dessert. Just as well I had a light breakfast noted in my previous post.
Dinner with Spice that night was spiral cut zucchini and carrots with parmesan flakes, olive oil and garlic with a bit of spinach and lox on the side. Spice didn't have all her smoked salmon so I had a bit more than depicted. After the heavy lunch this was a perfect reprieve. She hadn't had a heavy lunch and, not having all her lox, had ample room for desert and I joined her in a slice of fresh banana bread after. Her dinner plate looked even better than mine with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon, but I declined the offer of red.
Breakfast today was Oatmeal Medley with a couple cups of coffee. Cake and coffee is planned at my folks this afternoon with some siblings and my son and his to attend.
Gorgeous food again! I´m not the biggest fan of borscht but I love pierogi. I´d probably be hungry 5 minutes after your dinner portion though Even though it looks delicious.
I think I would hit that Ukrainian food like a Mack truck, given half a chance. It just looks so hearty and delicious.
Also, don't get down about the strength gains. It's a slow process. It can take weeks to see noticeable improvement (and longer than that after you've been doing it a while).
by working in the 20 rep range you are working on muscular endurance, not strength or size.
Thanks Tru. Great to get expert input. I'm expecting to get some small size gains as the weight from something like the combination hammer curl to press gets bumped from my current 35 lbs to 40, 45 and 50 and if I can manage 20 reps at 50 lbs, I can hopefully start some pull and chin-ups to start something that will kill the reps. Also, it's likely that as I bump from say 35 lbs at 20 reps to 40 lbs, I'll be back down to around 10 reps.
I've seen some pretty good physiques from what are claimed to result from primarily high rep body weight exercise which is sort of what I'd like to accomplish.
I do have a pair of PowerBlock dumbbells with 90 lbs each and a smaller set of iron dumbbells as well as a cable/pulley station that uses the bending of combinations of plastic rods to develop resistance.
I hope to figure out how to do some squats and walk with the PowerBlocks. I can expand them to 125 lbs each should the need arise but at my age, 62, that may be redundant.
I'm open to any suggestions and am aware that the 6 days/week thing isn't optimal for strength gain. I'm pretty happy with up to 45 minutes of cardio most days and plan to add some HIIT in a month or so. My back and knees are good and my flexibility and balance are decent and my reflexes and reaction time are as good as ever. My emphasis right now is functional strength with minimal risk of injury.
Cory: It's not so much I'm down about the actual weights and reps. When it's time to move a 20 cubic foot deep freeze from a basement, I'm always the first person called. In that context, I just thought I wasn't as weak as the numbers seem to indicate. For example, I had brought a brother 40 sidewalk blocks from a neighbor of mine surplus to a new poured concrete pad. Bro's sloped backyard is just grass so last summer, when some free leftover fill sand/gravel showed up in his neighborhood, I seized the opportunity to build him a patio for his lawn furniture and help mitigate drainage towards the house. This brother has back problems so I thought it best to put the unsightly stacks of patio blocks I had 'foisted' on him two years hence. I know I feel strong and am functionally strong, but 5 push-ups?
Day 15: HRV: 7, BP 109/68 - 52, 109.6 Kg. Workout was exactly as planned. I tried swapping out my Garmin strap from the broken watch only to discover that my Torx 5 bit was too small. I had previously given credit to Garmin for giving the strap two sizes as the borrowed Torx 5 and 6 bits worked when I first put the black strap from the broken watch on the white watch; the process I was now wanting to reverse. Either my rather nice set of bits is anomalous or I somehow misinterpreted how I did the initial strap swap. Not having the watch on my wrist means fumbling and I accidentally stopped the workout at the end of the rowing phase today. Well, serendipity - light bulb: measure and save each routine separately. So I stopped it after the bike as well so I can assess all three phases separately. Having too many workouts per day clutters the data in the app but if you're obsessed with data, there is more to pore over and I will break it down periodically.
Rower: 2550 meters for a 1:57/500 metre rate. Since this is starting with only a light warm up, the average heart rate is lower than if this exercise were 2nd or 3rd and it reports fewer calories than had I changed the order. 114 calories, 138 average and 155 peak heart rate.
Bike: 121 calories, 140 average and 147 peak heart rate. With the upped cadence, the bike reports 319 watts and the expected, 2.7 Km. On my outdoor bike, I'm pretty efficient at a cadence of about 90.
Elliptical: Bog standard same as day 1 workout with 135 calories, average 155 and max 162 heart rates.
When I first got the bike, I set it up where I could see the living room television, near a screen door and near enough to a big ceiling fan that moves massive volumes of air. It was and is amazingly quiet and was inaudible to my ears. I tried a decibel meter on my smartphone and the bike never caused even a one decibel increase over ambient noise. I found it convenient and accessible and passed many a TV series or movie hour off the sofa. As a concession to decorating, the bike is in the dungeon where it seems more an instrument of torture than a way to while away the odd hour.
One last rant about the elliptical. It has a pair of heart rate grips and the electronic where-with-all to measure and display individual pulse blips and a number representing a rate. The problem is, the display never matches the rate obtained via my chest strap. When I'm at a steady 160, it can display 72, 141, 178, 129, but generally averaging about 145.
Closing comments on the bike: why can't they space the pedals like most outdoor bikes? The q-factor is wrong so the biomechanics are different. I know I could have got a trainer add on or rollers for my outdoor bike but I was looking for low noise and more stability. At least it has standard pedal threads so I could add pedals that work with my cleated shoes to allow training leg muscles throughout the 360 degree spin.
The WaterRower has an optional module you can add to allow either a Bluetooth or Ant+ heart rate strap you may already own to display on the built in screen. In fairness, machines like the WaterRower and Concept2 rowers are found in gyms and rec centres for good reason. For example, the WaterRower is rated for a 1000 lb rower.
I bought Spice a fancier model of Garmin Vivoactive a year ago as she had expressed interest in following my cue. It is the HR model which means it adds an optical heart rate sensor. As it hasn't seen use in the past few months, I've borrowed it only to find that there is no way to get accurate workout heart rate readings on my wrist. Like mine, it counts steps, sleep quantity and quality and numerous kinds of activities, but it adds a rowing tracker and count of stair flights to the metrics. They both have GPS and hers can optionally use my heart rate strap so I may give it a further try. I wore it last night to gauge sleep since I have yet to swap the strap on mine and it reports a resting heart rate of 47.
Lunch yesterday was more of the leftover red Thai rice bowl and the last of the stir fry rice in coconut milk. I had about half of it in anticipation of the impending cake and coffee massacre. My mother has slowed baking a bit in the past year and there were still Xmas leftovers to contend with. As her baking is a little lighter on sugar than store bought, the debauchery was exacerbated. I ate 5 things off the plates including some stollen missing a streak of marzipan, a heated doughnut, chocolate chip cookie, a half pecan butter tart and slice of store bought cake. The photo is attached as a thumbnail to mitigate the food porn aspect of the photo but I know it's like a train wreck - difficult to avert the eyes.
Dinner, ah yes, Spice didn't join me at my folks. Well, the last of the lunch leftovers vanished with a sausage and some exotic French mustard. Her repertoire goes far deeper than sausage, but we took a package out of the freezer and we'll see it through. But we have yet to finish off the pork ribs. A key cause of all the leftovers is I'm not clearing my plate. I joined Spice in a big glass of mango and carrot juice with sparkling water. At some point in the preceding days I neglected to log that I had a small glass of the juice, sans water, and have yet to inspect the list of contents. I generally prefer chewable foods as I think it's better for the digestive system and insulin response than juices but, variety.
This morning - Oatmeal Medley with blueberries and 100g vanilla probiotic yogurt. Blue food just seems unnatural and is awkward to portray well so I took a page out of Spice's book and enhanced the 'pop' a bit on a photo attempt.
The actual weights used are meaningless on a forum like this as everybody has different strength levels. At your age building strength is as important as ever due to needing to maintain bone density. A better way of getting more volume would be to add an extra set remembering to have adequate rest between the heavier sets.
The most important aspect of strength training at any age is to keep your muscles in balance, so if for example you train Quadricep without also training Hamstrings then you put yourself at high risk of knee injury, the same goes for any joint.
Tru: Since both push-ups and sit-ups are challenging to my core, as are the curls, may I assume that you suggest I add something like a leg and chest raise while on the belly to strengthen the back? I try to ensure lateral symmetry by starting equally from left and right foot and using dumbbells rather than a bar that can be grasped off center to favour a weaker side. I also use cleats to allow the leg to pull up on the pedal rather than merely push down. I used to warm up with 1 leg at a time on the bike to develop awareness of muscle recruitment but I won't delude myself into thinking that represents any more than 5 or 10% of the effort. Something for the back would probably be key at this stage.
Thanks for the tip.
Thanks Tru and Hale for the great exchange of information. I feel like I'm learning a lot from reading through the thread and Hale's colorful food pics are fun as well.
Bird Dogs will hit the muscles of the lower back your missing.
My mom got an exercise bike where the same thing happened. When it was upstairs in a room with a tv, she used it pretty frequently. My dad got tired of tripping over it and asked if they could move it to the basement and I don't remember when the last time she used it was. I completely understand why you might not want to have it right in your living room (or in any commonly used living space), but I also think it's important to set yourself up for success. Stationary biking with no other thing to concentrate on is so boring.
Thank you for that Tru. I will incorporate Bird Dogs next week. And FG, I think I may have led things a bit astray by getting into lateral symmetry as I believe Tru is addressing more the imbalance between something like push and pull. I also note that the Erector Spinae are recruited in rowing activities as are numerous other opposing muscle groups such as quads and hamstrings. I must qualify that with the fact that rowing is generally performed more as an aerobic exercise and even done anaerobically does little strengthening.
Day 16: HRV 9, BP 117/73 - 51, 108.7 Kg. Spice had some gut problem that led to a less than restful sleep for both of us, but I had about 7.5 hrs, shy of my solid 8 hours the previous night.
Rower: 2576 metres at a 1:56/500 rate followed by the planned other two aerobic activities gave an average/max heart rate of 151/166 with HRR of 58. The graph still shows me idling during the bike phase even though it's the only machine activity that's been bumped from day 1. In the 16 days, there seems to be a very consistent decline in 'resting' heart rate from the blood pressure monitor from 62 to 51. From that perspective, today's workout average rate was 100 above rest which is more than at start. A 1 percent improvement in the rower rate probably translates to several percent increase in effort.
Comment on rowers: Given that many rowing atheletes are in teams that answer to a coxswain, wouldn't you think the displays on the most widely used rowers would have a metronome to set a pace? Also, as there is an optimum target ratio of pull to recovery of about 1 to 3, wouldn't that metronome have a setting for triplets just like my cheap one? Sure, they have a clock and they report a stroke rate, but if you're planning to row on a team, wouldn't timing be a useful skill to develop? It's a good thing Spice and I only have a canoe to paddle about and rowing coordination is not particularly relevant.
Lunch was about half of a fancy 650 ml microwaved beef barley soup with carrots, a couple small oranges and an apple with today to be a reprise.
As I'm stubbornly weak in the kitchen and Spice wan't up to putting a lot of effort into dinner, another sausage, organic yellow beets, spinach, a bit of parmesan, a Dijon mustard and a thick balsamic vinegar. The food was fine but she could have had the sausage curve the other direction for the photo!! We shared a store bought chocolate lava cake to which we added some frozen raspberries and some dairy based whipped cream from a can. My half is depicted.
I've dropped Spice at her sister's for some extra TLC today. The schedule shift allowed for a coffee before the workout and I think I'm seeing a trend to a slightly more energetic workout when I take time for one.
Fortunately I'm easily amused. The machines talk to me. Rowing and weights require more attention to form and I find the elliptical time passes more quickly if I mix in some no hands or extended arm circles which in my case requires attention to the clock and balance. Ditto when I start doing some intervals on it or the bike.
To preclude boredom, I've hung an old video projector from the ceiling of the dungeon and have some decent powered speakers as well as Bluetooth headphones. I enjoy audio books, some TV not quite aligned to Spice's taste, a ton of informational material available on YouTube and a good variety of music video I've captured from various online resources. I have a buddy who has many thousands of movies that I can watch in a serialized fashion. The movies work best when you don't do a bunch of machine hopping and are also trying to pay some attention to what your workout is doing which means reruns are probably best.
Probably the biggest downside is that it cuts into social time. Getting a bit more involvement from Spice could turn it into more of a shared experience than just me time.
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