Too Much Self Quantifying

I think I’m going to take a break from for a while. Its an incredibly handy tool for watching calories but I think it also feeds into some really bad habits for me. Specifically, when I find myself at a serious calorie deficiency (whether real or not- you can’t really trust the calorie counts you get on mfp, though its as good as any), I quickly find myself headed down the slippery slope of indulging. And I never make up those calories in healthy food- its sugary stuff, clif bars, builder’s bars and the like. Soon enough I’m ignoring myfitnesspal and avoiding watching what I eat.

I’m going back to sensible portions and exercise, I’m avoiding super-deep calorie counting for now, and hoepfully it’ll have a positive outcome.

Also, hello blog.

Day 1

Last try before I die.

Had a nice run today, rode my bike in the heat. Minimized eating though I did dig into a sundae after dinner 🙁

weight: 194.6

Calories consumed: 1724
Calories burned: 1053
surplus: 1400

Day 2: Trial By Donut

Letting Max choose where to go for breakfast did me in early and I had a hard time stopping myself for the rest of the day. A late decision to ride bikesdowntown offset it a bit. All told its a number I can live with but not great.

whoops forgot about the bowl of mac & cheese I ate.

calories consumed: 3151
calories burned: 321
surplus: -720

Time to start again.

Day 8: Epic Fail

The glee with which I ran out of the house to go on a date with my lady quickly translated to overindulging on an epic scale. Macarons and Crepes from Paris 66, a full movie sized box of Reece’s Pieces while watching Moonrise Kingdom and finally a Kinder Chocolate right before bed.

Rather than keeping on this trip, I think its time to reset the 21 days counter and begin again, with the hopes that I may try again not to break the chain. As I wrote yesterday this is the hardest time in weight loss for me, I’m going to try really hard to do it right.

calories consumed:  3364
calories burned: 672
calories remaining: -582

Gloriously rough day.

Day 7: Pulled Pork

Managed a great day of not constantly thinking about food and generally being pretty good when we decided to wait until my mom showed up at 8 before we had dinner. Tried and failed to only eat a little bit, but damn that sweet baby rays, hfcs-laden goodness. Still more-or-less hit my mark even with Dawn’s duo-berry muffins.

calories consumed: 2075
calories burned: 50 (aborted weights session)
surplus: 78

weight: 190.5 (nearing 10lbs now)
Usually around this time I start binging because I feel I’ve justified enough weight loss. This is the most precarious time.

Day 6: Saturday Morning Maintenance

If you can make it through a day spent with family and not go over your calorie needs for the day, let alone consume less than you burn, that is a great success. It’s a shame the days I don’t really have the opportunity to work out are the days when the most food presents itself.


Well I managed to make the day with a calorie surplus. Sometimes the worst part about managing your eating is the feeling that your doing so is extremely conspicuous when around others.

Consumed: 1527 calories
Burned: 0 (through regular workout routine anyway. I imagine I burned off quite a bit in the pool today.)
Surplus: 583 calories

Day 5: Failed Test

Ya blew it. -Tim & Eric

Cathy and Barb’s retirement breakfast had me consuming far more for breakfast than I should have. Managed an hour walk in 95 degree heat and ate practicality nothing the rest of the day but still felt mentally and physically sick about it the rest of the day.

There are always setbacks, so let’s continue shall we?

Consumed: 2814 cals
Burned: 417 cals
Surplus: -286 cals

Day 4: Exhaust

So hot today, combined with trying to get Theo to sleep, meant that I didn’t exercise as much as I’d like to have. Managed about 17 miles back and forth to work and to Hillman on my bike though, so not bad. Eating was kept reasonable, although a coworker brought me a Chocolate Dipped Malt Cupcake from Vanilla. Needless to say it was consumed.

consumed: 1868 calories (very rough estimate today- had Lunch at Point Brugge)
burned:  736 calories
surplus: 978 calories

Day 3: Incredulity

Somehow I lost four pounds in the last 24 hours. Yeah I don’t know.

All in all it was not a bad day. I fought back the urge to over eat but I still had a piece more of pizza than I would have liked. Its funny though, even a day of relatively moderate eating brings me right to the cusp of consuming more calories than I’d burn if I didn’t ride my bike so much.

calories burned: 666
calories ingested: 1910
surplus: 866 calories


Day 2: Cry It Out

All in all, pretty successful day, despite the donut I ate for breakfast and the carrot cake I ate for dessert. I did resist the urge for a  second donut, and I’m calling that a win.

calories burned: 1425
calories ingested: 2282
surplus: 1253 calories, if Runkeeper and MyFitnessPal’s estimates are reasonable.

Day 1

Its time for me to get serious about losing weight again. I’ve been fluctuating around 190 for a while now, but I’m just about at 200lbs and having a really hard time limiting my carb intake. I was watching Everything Must Go and Will Farrel’s behavior as a relapsing alcoholic reminded me a little too much of my sugar intake, so I think its time for a rethink.

A time management course I took recently suggested that you need 21 days to get rid of old habits and forge ahead with new. So consider this day 1.

Moving on…

Well it started off well enough, minus the giant bowls of cereal, until someone brought in Salt Water taffy from their vacation and…things went downhill quickly. I managed to keep it in check for the rest of the day. Ate a slice of chocolate cake too. OK so that didn’t go so well.

According to myfitnesspal:
burned 969 calories
consumed 2530 2776 (forgot the piece of sour cherry cake leliana gave me) calories

I burned 303 more than I ate, but I still don’t feel good about it.

Winter Weight Gain

I stepped on the scale today and was pretty dismayed at what I saw.  It wasn’t unexpected- between bouts of illness and Max keeping us up at night, I’ve had a lot of trouble getting back into any kind of routine- exercise or otherwise.  I’ve also pretty much completely reverted to my old bad habits, but with the added negative of bingeing on carbs.  I’ve always loved sugary foods but at some point during my initial weight loss, the occasional sugar binge somehow transformed into the all to frequent sugar lust.

So I’m going back to a food diary.  Nothing too extreme, yet.  I’ve never been one to count calories but as my last weight loss came due to routine workouts, cutting portions and eating slowly, I plan on just monitoring servings.  I’m basing it off of my current PBT but probably keeping it in a spreadsheet rather than online.  For some reason ease of use never really transferred when it came to food logging on Blood Team.  So starting today, it begins again.  Lets hope I can stick to it.

This happened in 2009 (part 1: Marathon)

Looking back on the year, most of it seems like a blur.  Although waiting for the birth of the boy seemed to take forever, now wonder where the time went.

So while I will get to that bigger story of my life in 2009, I just wanted to reflect on the other events of the year.  The first (and maybe only  one I write about): Running the Pittsburgh Marathon

Running the Marathon

All told, I trained a good six months to tackle this beast, but prior to hardcore marathon training, I’d begun running 10Ks and just trying to get into shape since the beginning of 2007.

I basically used the Nike+ training regimen to begin, which starts with shortish runs and builds over time, with a long run every week.  It ended up that every sunday I’d do a long run- I remember my first 12 mile run, and about mid-way I was expected to do a 30 mile run but I completely failed at it.  That scared me into taking it all a bit more seriously.  Rarely did I miss training, which would see me running 4-5 days a week, during my lunch break at work if I had to.  By the end, my long run was 24 miles, and my “short” mid week runs were between 6 and 10 miles.

I got to see a Pittsburgh I never really knew, running through the puke-stained South Side at 5:30AM, through downtown and the strip as things were just starting to wake up.  I’d climb up to Bloomfield and then on to East Liberty.  Finally it was Point Breeze to Squirrel Hill and back home.

I’d take a clif bar, some clif bloks and pick up a bottle of gatorade on the way.  These runs would generally cost me about 2000 calories.

The Marathon

The day of the Marathon was rainy and cold.  I got downtown very early and ended up sitting in a stairwell playing Drop 7 while I waited for the race to start.  When it finally got underway I was surprised by how slow going it was, but things spread out quickly and I had to work to keep a good pace.

Longer than I expected

Although the race is clocked at 26.2 miles, my Nike+ registered nearly 30.  I’d assumed it was pretty accurate but I suppose I assumed wrong.  This affected not only my expectation for when the race would be over, but meant my training was not really sufficient.

Damn those hills

A lot of the race was up hill: Southside to Oakland, Oakland to Point Breeze, Point Breeze through Hazelwood, Hazelwood through East Liberty.  Let’s say miles 10-20 are practically all uphill.  This really fed the burn in my legs.

Too much energy.

By the time we reached the South Side groups of people (official and not) were passing out gels, pills, fruit and liquid with an incredible frequency.  As we ran down Forbes Avenue in Oakland Pitt students were handing out bits of peeled banana, soaking wet from the rain and right out of their palms.  I cannot think of a more disgusting thing.  I tried to restrict it to what I knew I needed but I think I actually ended up eating and drinking too much during the run.  I have yet to taste an energy gel that doesn’t hit the puke button on my tongue.

The Soundtrack

Initially I’d really hoped to run without headphones on, but I brought my iPod so I could track my run for nike+.  Running with headphones is discouraged in organized racing and its illegal in many marathons, but not so in Pittsburgh.  Lots of folks were using headphones and so when I finally gave in and realized that I would need something beside the people around me to keep me invested in the race, I put my headphones in and went with it.  I think I actually listened to a podcast but the one song that I kept coming back to, of all things, was a track from the Valkyria Chronicles soundtrack.  A video game.  That looks like an anime.   It really is a fantastic soundtrack to a truly wonderful game though.

Desperate Fight:

Bloomfield is awesome.

As I ran down Liberty Avenue, totally blasted from the rain and sheer exhaustion, my spirits were lifted by the Bloomfield revery.  Folks passing out beer and pizza, lots of cheering and just general good times.

The last mile nearly killed me.

Although it was a downhill grade to a flat run at this point, the last mile was probably one of the toughest things I’ve ever done.


When I finally reached the end, exhausted and looking for Dawn and my dad, I completely broke down.  They’d managed to literally muscle their way passed security and were waiting for me, and when I saw them, I just burst.  Physical exhaustion, elation, pure adrenalin, it all just started flying out.

After that we made our way to a nice brunch at Point Brugge and the rest is history.

In the end it took me about 5 hours, a run that is in no way respectable, but I did it.  I did it without stopping or walking.   It was so exhausting and painful I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever do it again, but I’m glad I can say I did it.

Marathon Stats
My Nike+ stats for the Pittsburgh marathon