Saturday, May 22, 2010

Race Report: Brooklyn Half Marathon, May 22, 2010

As some of you know, I ran the Brooklyn Half Marathon today! I arrived at Prospect Park (the race start) with about half an hour to spare...but little did I realize that the starting line was about two miles away!! For some reason, it was nestled right in the middle of the park. The trek was so long that people actually started running to get there on time! I thought that was silly and a waste of energy...the race was timed with D-tags so it didn't matter how late you crossed the start.

Now, I’ve lost almost 30 pounds since I started running, and I’m still figuring out what my body is capable of doing. I have NEVER considered myself a fast runner; before losing weight, I was lucky if I averaged better than an 11 minute mile for any kind of distance. But after my ten miler last month (finished in 1:33:35), I learned that I CAN actually sustain a 9:15 pace for a significant length of time - something that truly was not possible before I lost all this weight. So given that, I decided to shoot for under 2:10...ideally (and secretly) I wanted to come in under two hours. A half marathon is 13.1 miles, so a 2 hour time would require a pace of about 9:09 per mile.

The race started with TWO loops around prospect park for a total of almost seven miles. BLECH. I hate doubling back over the same territory and I felt myself losing a bit of steam, not only because of the boredom (HALF the race in the park??) but also because the park was kind of hilly. I was running about a 9 minute mile at this point, maybe a bit slower.

After mile seven, we broke out onto Ocean Parkway, which had been closed down for us. The second half of the race was just the long stretch down this road to Coney Island. The parkway onramp was a relatively steep decline, so I powered down it and used gravity for some free speed.

Around mile eight, I started to get kind of tired and achy. I checked my watch, and it looked like I was slowing down quite a bit. I also was beginning to develop a near-desperate need to pee, but I knew that I would be cutting it VERY close to two hours and that a bathroom break would make the difference between the time I wanted and the time that is SO CLOSE to the time I wanted.

Mile nine was decision time for me. My watch said 1:23 (1 hour 23 minutes), and with four miles to go I would need to decide: do I speed up and try to hit my target time (at the risk of burning out too early and needing to walk to the end), or do I give up on the 2 hour dream and run at a slower pace to the finish, but finish running? I decided to take the risk and I kicked it into higher gear.

I made up some time on miles 9 and 10. I came into mile 10 with less than half an hour to go before the two hour mark, so I gave it another hard push and started trying to make up some time. I started feeling fatigued and tired, and began debating whether to give up on two hours. Between miles 11 and 12, I probably decided I was going to just give up about five times, but I remembered that twinge of disappointment I felt when I just missed the 1:30 mark for my ten miler...I kept thinking about how I really COULD have run a bit faster at points, and that the effort required to get that close to such a fantastic time again would be much harder than the effort required to push for just a little longer.

At mile 12, I really picked up my pace and started running as fast as I could reasonably sustain for ten minutes. I kept looking for the finish line, hoping that seeing it would give me a much-needed jolt of energy to propel me to the end, but I couldn't see it - all I could see were people bobbing up and down as they ran. As we approached Coney Island, we turned onto the boardwalk and onlookers shouted to us that we were almost done. I picked up speed and just KNEW I'd be seeing the finish line when I turned the corner onto the boardwalk...

...but nothing. I couldn't see anything except more people. My legs almost gave out; I felt like my spirit was broken. How could I maintain this pace? My watch showed only four minutes to go before I would be over 2 hours. I was so worn down and felt like I was on the verge of throwing up. I started to slow down and was about to walk when my brain screamed, "NO!!!" I would NOT finish in 2:01, or 2:00:45...I was so close...I HAD to do this. I sped up again. I started to cry. I repeated "I can do this. I am going to do this" to myself as I ran. I thought of MSINOWAY and picked a girl I would pass, even though I couldn't see the finish, as a way of speeding up my pace. After I'd passed her, I could see the 13 mile marker. SURELY I'd see the finish line now!!

Still couldn't see it, with .1 to go and my legs felt like bricks. I felt them slow again as I looked at my watch with only a few seconds to go. I kept pushing and eventually saw the finish. The .1 mile seemed like it was an hour away. I looked at the official clock: 2:11:42. I'd started with about 12 minutes and change on the clock, so I was still under two hours...

I began to sprint with every ounce of energy I had left, determined to make it across the line before the clock turned 2:12.

I did it.

I stopped my watch and walked a few feet and then crumpled (in a controlled fashion) on the floor near some spectators. I felt the tears coming back, and just took a few deep breaths. My watch said 1:59:51. My official finish time was 1:59:37. I ran 13.1 miles with an average pace of 9:07 per mile.

After I caught my breath and the risk of vomit subsided, I walked over to the refreshment tables and grabbed some gatorade, a banana, and a chocolate chip bagel. I ate the bagel first, and then had the banana on the subway ride home later.

Post-race, many runners gathered at the original Nathan’s hot dog store for a celebratory order of chili dogs and cheese fries. We earned heart rate monitor said I burned 1302 calories!

Sign at a convenience store on Coney Island. This was especially apropos since they charged me $4 for a 1.5 liter bottle of water.

I rode the famous Coney Island Cyclone before I left! This wooden coaster can haul tush, lemme tell you. I don’t think I’ve ever screamed so much (on a roller coaster)!

You know, one of the things I love most about races is that you often learn something new about yourself. In this race, I learned that I am capable of incredible feats of strength - both physical and psychological.

Really, this race felt like a metaphor for so many challenging journeys in life: starts out kind of easy/fun...we're moving fast...then something happens and it gets kind of dull. Routine. Difficult. Painful. We question ourselves. We question what we want. We wonder if our goals are really worth this struggle. Fundamentally, we doubt whether we can even make our goals happen.

But we push through even when we want to quit, even when we slow down...and we cross that finish line.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

And the real journey begins: Goal Weight!!

Image from

After six days of vacation, of hanging onto the program by my fingernails amidst receptions, family tension, graduation celebrations, free food, restaurant dinners, hotel breakfast buffets (WITH BELGIAN WAFFLES), and the temptations of Atlantic City, I somehow lost 3.4 pounds this week and weighed in UNDER my 136 pound weight watchers goal. I have been struggling to lose these three pounds for FIVE MONTHS. FIVE. MONTHS. The process was discouraging and I constantly questioned myself. But the questioning caused me to grow and develop; to address a lot of my psychological issues with food, and to change a lot of habits I thought I could leave untouched. And now those pounds are finally gone and I can begin to appreciate my journey.

With this, I switch over to the “maintenance” phase of weight loss. Instead of 35 weekly points on Simply Filling, I get 63. I continue to pay for weight watchers for the next six weeks, and then if I weigh in within two pounds of 136, then I become a “lifetime” member and no longer have to pay for meetings as long as I stay within that two pound range.

I am shocked and thrilled. I felt the Simply Filling technique “click” for me this week -- it was much easier to eat to satisfaction and to recognize my hunger signals -- but I worried that all the restaurant meals would throw me off. I may see a delayed gain next week, but it feels great that the scale has finally “caught up” to my hard work. I am not sure if anything I did this week figured into my goal, but I think three things happened differently this week:
  • I did a great job eating to satisfaction...maybe a LITTLE bit past, but not too much
  • I ate higher-fat foods (restaurant, cakes, etc.) (counting points for extra oil and non-filling foods, but eating primarily from the filling foods list). Some people have theorized that eating higher fat foods for a short time can kickstart your metabolism if you plateau.
  • I finished my final exams and ended a great source of stress in my life. Research suggests that constant levels of stress can cause your body to hold onto fat stores. I wonder if the end of the academic year allowed my body to relax and finally lose those last three pounds.
The great part about my 136 goal is that I am truly comfortable at the upper end of my two pound range, but don’t really like being above that. I think setting a realistic goal weight will help keep me on track during maintenance and lifetime. I expect to adjust it upwards as I age and my body changes/metabolism slows.

I can tell that my challenge for the next few weeks will be figuring out just how many of those extra points I can eat. Simply Filling is a bit different from points in that you can’t always eat ALL your allotted weekly/activity points. The next six weeks will take some experimentation, and I will need to be on guard for the attitude that I can “relax” now that I’m at goal and go back to eating cheeseburgers and buffalo wings several times a week. While I have some more wiggle room now, I also enjoy eating healthier and don’t think much should change now. I have room for a few more indulgences, but my overall behavior and attitudes should stay the same.

But for today, I’m going to celebrate coming to the end of the first leg of my weight loss journey. I am rewarding myself with a shopping trip to Anthropologie -- a trip I promised to myself more than a month ago for the day I hit goal. :-)

Friday, May 14, 2010

I'm Outta Here!!

Well, I finished my second year of law school. Despite the academic failure that was this semester, I pulled through exam season in one piece and less than three pounds heavier than when I started. I’m calling that one a victory for the home team.

It’s amazing: almost immediately as my finals drew to a close, I could tell my hunger level was changing. No longer was I wanting to eat all the time, but suddenly I could HEAR my hunger signals. I could tell that I was satisfied, not full, not starving... I know there’s a lot of research that shows how much stress affects our eating, but it was impressive to see the dramatic shift as my stress dissipated.

And with that, I am going to abandon you for about a week. My wonderful sister is graduating from college this weekend in Pennsylvania, and after that I’m going on my traditional post-finals trip to Atlantic City (free hotel rooms on weekdays what what!). I’ll see you when I get back!


Monday, May 10, 2010

Achievement versus Results

It’s almost as if The Daily Motivator is reading my blog. [Ed. note: obviously not.] Check out Ralph Marston’s wisdom for today:

Attachment to Results

Achievement is stressful only if you assume it to be. Ambition creates anxiety only when you are overly attached to the results.

Achievement is something you do. It is not who you are.

If you fail to attain the results you seek, that does not make you any less of a person. Certainly your aim is to be successful, yet it is much more effective to choose success than to need it.

Expect the best, and give your very best to the effort. Then be willing to accept the results, whatever they may be.

Care intensely about what you intend and what you do. But don't worry or obsess about what you get.

Your most effective efforts come from who you are, not from what you need. Let go of your attachment to the results, and you'll get the best ones ever.

-- Ralph Marston

I mean, how dead-on, exactly-what-I-need is that?? Hovering so unbelievably, tantalizingly close to my goal weight (or my ultimate weight “achievement,” if you will) is becoming stressful, but only because I’m MAKING it stressful.

It’s so easy to forget at this stage...this process is not about hitting a number within a specified span of time. It’s about becoming a healthier person, a more balanced eater, and doing it in a sustainable way.

Can you relate to this message at all? I read it and immediately thought of my weight loss, but I’m curious as to how it fits into your life.

(Thanks to Rebecca Davis for sharing the Ralph Marston wisdom!!)

The Jewish Girl's Grain-Cooking Cheat Sheet

I often buy grains in bulk. They’re cheaper that way, and I like storing them in pretty containers on my counter. Even when I buy grains in a bag, I usually take them out of the bag and put them in one of these countertop containers for easy access. The downside is that I have had to clip the bags for the cooking instructions, because I always forget how much water I’m supposed to boil for kasha/cornmeal/whatever.

To solve this problem, I've created a chart for my kitchen as a reminder of proper grain-cooking proportions. Hope it's helpful!

On Learned Helplessness (a.k.a., “When did my boyfriend become so insightful?”)

I’ve been struggling for the last few days. I’ve had to really buckle down and study, and studying makes me a VERY unhappy person. I’ve been overeating a bit, too, and this also makes me unhappy. I also seem to get very anxious about whether I’m doing SFT “right” as I approach the start of my new weight watchers week (i.e., my next opportunity to switch back to Points).

Add to all of this my wonderful hormones and a tedious experience finding summer housing and you’ve got yourself a perfect storm of weight loss self-doubt.

I generally try to insulate my boyfriend from this kind of thing because I don’t want to be that girl, but I was just in that kind of place tonight where I wanted to reach out to someone. I thought his advice really cut through a lot of the negative inner dialogue I had going on. In a nutshell, he observed:
  • It’s probably pretty common that people who have lost weight eat a little bit more at first because they think they are “over” the issues that caused them to gain weight in the first place.
  • You’re not STUCK on Simply can always switch back to Points.
  • You will get there. It may just take a while to understand your hunger rhythms and food intake needs.
  • It’s exam time. This is not a normal laboratory.
It was so good to hear these things, especially since they corresponded quite a bit to some of the negative self-talk I’ve been having trouble fighting lately. I’m sure a lot of folks who have lost/are trying to lose weight have struggled at some point with the prospect of failing, or backsliding, or not getting the results you want when you want them. It’s sometimes difficult to remember that, amidst the wild fluctuations of our body weights that we have control over the ultimate trend --- upward or downward.

I read about a study of learned helplessness that was performed on dogs. [Ed. note: this blog does not condone animal testing] In this experiment, the dogs were placed in a cage. One half of the dogs’ cages was electrified.

Let’s just pretend the dogs are ugly disgusting pugs, so we don’t feel bad about this.

So, experimenters would shock the dogs on one half of the cage, then see how the dogs reacted. All of the dogs, after receiving their initial shocks, would try to hop over to the other side of the cage. But here’s the catch: for some of the dogs, the OTHER side of the cage was electrified, too.

That’s some shit, right?

The dogs who were able to hop over the center-cage barrier to a nonelectrified floor remained perfectly happy and well-adjusted (albeit totally disgusting and unappealing) pugs.

But the dogs who were not able to escape the shocks no matter what they did became depressed. Despondent. Withdrawn. Even when these dogs were moved to a cage with a NON-electrified second half, these dogs wouldn’t even try to hop over the barrier. They just assumed that this cage was like their other cage...they’d be electrified no matter what they did, so why bother?

I’ve been ignoring my own tendencies to take the wind out of my own electrify my own floor, so to speak. I don’t know where this attitude came from...perhaps it has something to do with the slower results on Simply Filling...or the fact that the feedback is not as exact. On points, if I stayed within my points then I did “well.” It’s tough to be that exact on SFT.

I guess it’s good to realize and acknowledge the fact that *I* am the master of my own weight loss destiny...I control the process just as much on SFT as I did on points. But how do I turn this knowledge into an action plan? Should I just give up on greater self-awareness until after final exams? After all if I could just gain an awareness of itemized deductions in Federal Income Tax law, I’d be in pretty decent shape...

Friday, May 7, 2010

Ahhh, New York City.

FYI: There are a LOT of image results for "peeing outside."

This morning, I was jogging along riverside park for a two mile run when I saw a man leaning against a tree, facing away from the sidewalk towards the river.

My first thought was, “Ew, gross, I can’t believe that guy is just peeing right out here in the open at 8:30am. I mean, THE SUN IS UP for Pete’s sake.”

Then I realized, wait a’s a beautiful day...the weather is perfect...this guy is just standing in the leaves and admiring this beautiful view of the Hudson River.

I looked out over the river and realized that yes, it was a very pretty view. It WAS a beautiful day...and I’d just been jogging along, kind of oblivious to the beauty around me. How had I failed to take stock of this wonderful miracle that---in the middle of the concrete metropolis that is NYC---there are still green and shady spaces that look out over the cool water, where you can feel the breeze kissing your face? How jaded had I become?

Then I looked again and realized...wait a minute...yeah, that guy really IS peeing out here in the open at 8:30am.

But it was STILL a beautiful view.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My big calorie-counting adventure!

This week marks my sixth week on the Simply Filling Technique (SFT) within Weight Watchers. I spent my first seven months on Weight Watchers meticulously tracking points for all the foods I ate, and after a while this started to get tiresome. I needed a break. SFT allows me to forego tracking for most foods (as long as they are designated “filling foods”). I still have to count stuff like ice cream, bread, and peanut butter, but I eat that stuff less often in favor of nonfat yogurt, fat free/sugar free pudding, and whole grains.

SFT has been an up-and-down experience for me. The Points system has the benefit of more-or-less exactitude. If you stick to your points and track accurately, you will lose weight. Nothing more difficult or complicated is required. SFT, on the other hand, relies on your ability to stop eating when you feel satisfied (and NOT to eat when you are not hungry) in order to ensure weight loss. If you can’t listen to your body, then your results will be erratic.

So, this week I resolved to track calories in an effort to gauge what it feels like to eat fewer calories than I burn. It was an interesting experience, and I think I learned a few neat things.

(“Net calories” refers to the number of calories I ate after the amount of exercise I got was added to my recommended calories. Where the green line is higher than the blue line, I ate more than I burned.)

1. If I’m given an external allowance, I tend to eat to fill that allowance.
There were a few occasions this week when I wasn’t necessarily hungry in which I ate because I could see on my calorie tracker that I still had 300 calories left for the day. This is similar to how I felt on Points...I never left a point uneaten, regardless of my hunger level. Not a good habit.

2. I naturally eat the calories I burn while exercising.
This may tie back to #1, in which I generally ate up to my net allowance of calories, but I rarely finished a day with a big calorie deficit. If I burned 300 calories on a run, I was likely to eat 300 calories in filling foods that day. Implication: I may not be able to eat my activity points while on SFT.

3. I am very hungry on the days after big workouts.
The biggest spikes in my consumption were on the day after my two longest runs of the week. (These are the two days in which I am several HUNDRED calories over my goal. This suggests that I should try to eat lighter foods on these days (since I will seemingly be going for bulk). I may also want to plan for some light exercise on these days to make sure I burn a bit of energy.

(The red line represents the number of calories I can eat each day while still losing 0.5 pounds a week. My long runs were April 29 and May 2. The two spikes following those days are what I’m talking about in point #3.)

After a week, calorie counting feels a lot like points tracking, only more complicated.
Ultimately, I don’t think I want to keep tracking calories. The whole goal of SFT was to get away from external forces telling me how much I would be allowed to eat in a given day. Now that I see that I’m not madly overeating on the program, I am going to try “going commando” this week and returning to SFT as it’s meant to be - without calories, eating to satisfaction. If I’m going to be minding limits like this, I might as well just switch back to points, where I didn’t have to worry about as many numbers.

So, I’m curious to see whether I can sustain my losing trend next week without the crutch of calorie counting!

Last Week’s morning in-the-buff (AMITB) weigh in: 136.4
This Week’s morning in-the-buff (AMITB) weigh in: 135.6
Difference: -0.8

Last Week’s meeting weigh in (with clothes on, at 7pm): 138.6
This Week’s meeting weigh in (with clothes on, at 7pm): 138.4
Difference: -0.2

Instead of eating the house, I’m blogging.

[Warning: Rambly]

I feel stressed tonight. I’m not sure where it came from, but it hit me very suddenly and I found myself racing around the law school, putting up posters for an event I’m running on Friday, and fighting the increasing urge to go home and stuff my face.

Interestingly, when the urge reached its peak I also had a completely clear awareness of the fact that I was not physically hungry. I could see the forest for the trees, so to speak, and I was crystal clear on the fact that I was anxious and stressed, and that eating good-tasting food would calm me down. It would make me feel good to have a nice taste in my mouth, and it would use up some aggression to crunch on something like popcorn or an apple.

Yes, I was craving “healthy” foods. But healthy foods eaten to alleviate stress become a bit less healthy, don’t they? It’s still an unhealthy eating behavior, whether I munch on carrots or chocolate bars.

So instead of eating these crunchy, stress-relieving, pacifying foods, I changed into PJs and plopped myself on the futon with my laptop. I’m perusing the message boards, playing online poker, and planning to get to bed early. I may even brew a cup of tea.

Here’s why I think this happened:
  • Although I had a “good” day today, I didn’t get a lot of studying done. I’m mostly stressed about the prospect of being unprepared on my exam.
  • Planning for this event on Friday is making me nervous that people will not show up.
  • I did not eat well for most of the day. My timing was strange this morning and I did not have a healthy breakfast. I find that if I don’t have a good, balanced breakfast, I go a bit off the deep end in the evening. I do fine for most of the day, but I find it MUCH more difficult to listen to my satisfaction signals at night if I didn’t start the day out right.
This is one of the things the Simply Filling Technique (SFT) has taught me. With points, I “paid” for the ability to maintain my bad habits. An apple eaten out of stress is the same number of points as an apple eaten because I was hungry. With SFT, the program won’t really work if I am constantly ignoring my hunger signals and eating like I’m at an all-you-can-eat buffet of filling foods. With SFT, I really need to struggle to fix some of these behaviors.

I was talking to my wonderful weight watchers leader before my weekly meeting today. I am moving to D.C. for the summer and will need to transfer my weight history to a new meeting location. She and I both kind of realized that I would probably not be hitting my goal weight before I left. This isn’t a big deal, time-wise...I’m not in a rush to hit goal, and have always felt as though I am happy to take all the time I need. But it’s sad because I have grown attached to the women in my meeting. They are lovely people and I went through my ENTIRE 26 pound journey with them...and I wanted them to be there when I reached goal, too.

As I talked with Cami, I wondered whether I’d made a mistake switching to SFT when I was so close to my goal weight (I was 136.6 when I switched. My goal at the time was 135; I’ve now moved it to 136). I was SO close, and probably would be at goal right now if I’d stuck with points. I lost much more consistently on points, after all.

But a bigger part of me is glad I took this detour. I feel as though I’m struggling with some of the “rebound” I would have had to face on maintenance anyway. I don’t know whether I will switch back to points...I might have to...but for now, as I blog instead of eat away my stress, as I feel more in tune with my body than I have in months...I’m glad I tried something different.

I still have faith I can make this work.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Why do we repeat the cycles?

I post a lot on the Weight Watchers Message Boards. I think the forums are extremely helpful, and are a great source of information and support. Occasional snarkiness, yes. But helpful overall. I do my best to add to the positive energy of the boards.

Despite my intentions, there are some posts that really drive me freaking bonkers. I don’t even click into threads that contain any variation of “I only lost ___ pounds this week :-( “ I can’t handle it when people ask if they REALLY HAVE TO eat all their daily points/healthy oils/dairy servings etc. I just lose patience.

If I could pick one thing that I wish I could rail against when I see it on the boards, it would be when I read a post like this:

[story about my day, discussion of my food issues, emotional eating, etc.]

Then I took the kids to Pizza Hut for dinner because Sally got a gold star in class today and she deserved an extra-special reward.

How I wish I could respond:

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! WHERE DO YOU THINK THESE FOOD ISSUES START?!?! You are struggling with an unhealthy relationship with food; one that has caused you to gain weight, to eat fattening, processed foods, to eat when you are not hungry, to treat fattening food as a reward or a comfort have spent years and countless dollars on weight loss attempting to untangle these complicated relationships and develop a new relationship with food (and an awareness of the emotions that are driving you to eat)...

...and you’re telling me that you are TEACHING YOUR CHILDREN that fast food is a reward for achievements??!!?! Isn’t that what you are trying to erase in your own subconsciousness?!!?!

I’m not saying you can never take the kids to Pizza Hut, but it should be as a DINNER. “We’re going to pizza hut to eat dinner. It’s unhealthy and we can’t eat like this all the time, but we can eat it and enjoy it sometimes.” If you want to reward the kids for doing well in school, spend TIME with them. Pick an ACTIVITY.

I simply don’t understand how a person could lack self-awareness to this degree.

What I actually say:
. . . nice weather we’re having?


I dunno, I guess I’m venting a bit, but am I totally off the mark here? What are your thoughts? Does my rant just create a different set of food issues? Is there no way to avoid any of this?

How does anyone ever grow up with a normal attitude about food, then?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Green Monster

This smoothie is all the rage over on the “Filling Foods” board of the Weight Watchers website. There are endless variations, but the basic formula is the same:

1 cup skim milk
3/4--1 cup fruit (fresh or frozen)
2 big handfuls spinach

You can do with it what you will...add peanut butter, vanilla, yogurt, whatever. It’s completely flexible, and when blended up you cannot taste the spinach (I swear) but you still get two full servings of fruits and veggies.

The only problem? You end up with a VERY unappealing-looking (but very tasty and healthy) beverage:

Calories are Fascinating!!

So, as an experiment, I’m counting calories this week at The Daily Plate in addition to following the Weight Watchers Simply Filling Technique (SFT).

As a reminder, the tenet of Simply Filling is that you eat when you are hungry, stop when you’re satisfied, and if you eat from the list of filling foods, then you don’t count points. If you eat something NOT on the list (like this awesome maple peanut butter my devil friend introduced me to) then you do count points. The trick, of course, is not eating when you’re not hungry.

This week, I decided I would keep track of my calories as an external check for how I’m doing on SFT. I think I’ve figured out something interesting... For the last month on SFT, I had been using my weekly points AND my activity points on “treats” like ice cream, bread, etc. I spent all of my points when I was following the Points system, so I figured I could splurge the same way on SFT.

However, watching my calories has shown me that I am ALREADY SPENDING my activity points, I’m just doing it on filling foods. I’m naturally hungrier when I exercise, and I tend to eat more filling foods (thus more calories) to satisfy my hunger. While I think I may still be able to eat all my weekly points, it looks like I will not be able to eat all my activity points on SFT (since I’m spending extra calories on “free” SFT-friendly food that would otherwise require using my APs). Does this make sense?

Here’s a fun graph:

(Note: as of this writing, I haven’t finished eating for May 2 yet, so don’t be freaked out that the line is so low. I’ve probably got another 300 calories to go today.)

The red line indicates a net consumption of about 1800 calories, which is what Daily Plate says I should be able to eat while still losing .5 pounds per week. Not sure if that’s accurate, but it factored in my age/gender/height/current weight, and it’s a VERY livable number, and it’s below 2000, so I’m going with it for now. The red line factors in whether I’ve exercised that day, so on a day I burned 400 calories through exercise, the red line might actually mean 2,200 gross calories, but only 1,800 net. Get it?

So, looking at the graph, it seems to me like I’m eating very close to my ideal number of calories as it is, without having used any activity points. I can see how eating my activity points might lead to sporadic results on the scale while following SFT.

I’m curious to see what happens at weigh-in this week. I was actually DOWN 1.6 last week, although I suspect I may have inadvertently cheated by exercising right before my weigh in. I was up .8 on my home scale in the morning, which is probably the more reliable measure.

I’ll post an update on my goals from last week on Wednesday when I weigh in. SPOILER ALERT: I have not been leaving food on my plate.
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