Last week Tuesday I finally checked out PhysicsDiet. I’d seen the graphs generated on the site on a few fitness blogs but never really paid them much mind. Something finally clicked Tue and I checked out the site. Wow! Very useful and very eye opening for me. Up until my scale died about three weeks ago, I’d been weighing myself every day. I was weighing myself every day because it actually does a better job of reminding me to ignore peaks and valleys in my weight. However, with that much data, it can make it hard to see a trend. So I input all of my weight data into physicsdiet and found that I’ve been gaining about a 1/2 pound a week since the beginning of the year. It also calculated that it means I’m eating (or not expending) about 250 extra calories a day. Which makes sense. Want to lose a pound a week? Cut out 500 calories daily is the standard recommendation. So 250 extra calories daily nicely corresponds to gaining a 1/2 pound a week.
Here’s what my chart looks like:
The green areas are where I fall below my own average, and the red areas are where I’m above my own average. The solid black line is my trend line. If you’re trying to lose weight, green is good. You can see mine isn’t so green.
But there are other ways I can measure the weight I’ve gained other than stepping on the scale (especially now that it’s broken!). I can see it in how tight my pants are; even my fat jeans are snug now (we won’t discuss how my ‘normal’ jeans feel today). I can see it in how my fancy boots fit; I almost can’t zip them up. But perhaps the weirdest and most unsettling to me: my watch no longer fits. I’ve stopped wearing it for the first time since I got it as a present in my late teens.
With this information, I almost had a conniption last week. As I eat gluten free and cook most of my meals, calorie counting can be a bit more difficult. And really, how do you figure out (accurately) the calories of something that you just throw together, like the pork roast I did in the crockpot the other day based on my dad’s suggestions of ‘put a little of this in, a little of that, a few of these, a few of those’? The thought of having to figure out where to cut out calories to at minimum stop the gain, but more ideally get back to a good (comfortable) weight for me, had me at my edges and I wasn’t handling it sanely.
Thankfully I have a sane(r) significant other who knows more about calories and fitness than I do. I don’t eat a bad diet, in fact, it’s pretty reasonable. And really, 250 calories isn’t a lot and is likely more the product of getting a bit older and slowing down a bit more in general (and having to sit to do the vast majority of my work). So what is more likely to be helpful for me is to get moving more. And I was given a very sane and manageable suggestion: go for a walk. Or rather, an extra walk every day. No, this won’t burn the calories I need, but what it will do is get me moving enough to build up some strength so that I can do OTHER activities eventually that will help me burn the calories I need to. And that’s what I did today. Took my roommates dog for a 2.7 mile walk. Hopefully this is something I can keep up with some sort of regularity as I’d like my watch to fit again!