A measured life: Day 4

Here I am on Day 4 of my countfest of calories, steps, water etc.

Measured Steps:  4528--far short of 10,000. Wah!!!  I didn't have my phone (which counts the steps on me) all day, so I'm confident that I got 5k with unrecorded steps counting for something.   For 30 minutes, I was engaged in nothing but "trail stepping" (a/k/a exercise).  I was cardiovascularly engaged, so I'm not going to worry about steps so long as I get a 30 minute session in. I'll forgo the binky and a blankie and stop Wahhing over this.

When something is measured it concretizes (makes it concrete) the units that we are measuring and allows us to understand these units:  simply put, measuring takes the idea of something and makes it objective.  Until I had a view of what 10k steps were, it seemed an achievable goal.  From considering the goal to actually implementing the goal, it is not the right goal for me at this time.  Rather, a more appropriate goal is to do my 30 minutes and get habituated to that goal.

Is that goal change being a weeny?  No.  Rather, it is my being realistic.  Setting goals that are not reasonably achievable is fighting a shadow monkey (yourself).  Being a weeny is opting out of exercise altogether.  I am making a considered decision.  Once I habituate exercise, I'll revisit that goal.  (Otherwise conflated to the following:  crawl before you walk; walk before you run.

Measured Calories:  I have gone 4 days with staying within my daily calorie goals.  However the composition of those calories is another story. Below is a pie chart on my macronutrient breakdown (protein, carbs and fat) goal v. actual. 

I'm still working on my goal configuration, and it is likely that my actual pie chart may be the correct composition.  Carbs are pretty much maligned these days.  Like many, I'm confused by so much conflicting information regarding macronutrient composition.  Foods that provide nutrition to a body fall in and out of favor:

  •  Whole grains:  Good!  now Bad!  
  • Beans:  Good!  now Bad!
  • Saturated Fat:  Bad!  Now Good!
  • Fruits:  Good! Now Bad!

I feel that the problem with many of these so-called nutrition "studies" is that they are not well-controlled.  There are so many variables that I hold many of these suspect.    My goal is to simply undertake my personal study (which I'm sharing here), and gage my body's reaction  to my inputs.  Am I gaining weight?  Am I losing weight?  Am I properly processing my inputs (that alimentary thing again!).  For the moment, I'm counting as 'success' that I've stayed under my caloric intake, and I'm not eating processed foods.  Processed foods have never been a big part of our food life.

If you are looking for some help in getting started on your measured life, I found a helpful website for you.  It is also under the menu tab under health (as I slowly customize this blog template).  It is called "Free Weight Loss Calculators".

Remember that which is not measured cannot be improved.  Get your head around these individualized metrics:
  • current weight
  • desired weight:  number and time line
  • body fat % 
  • daily calorie needs to support your metabolism
  • macronutrient goals 
  • exercise activities (frequency and duration per week) current and desired
  • calorie profile needed to reach your target weight.
My personal feeling is that any diet that profiles your caloric intake below what it takes to support your bodily functions is dangerous to your health.  Better to take longer to reach weight loss goals than risk your health.

I have a body fat scale, and it does tell me some sad information:  my body fat is north of 35%. There are a number of different ways to measure body fat (body fat scales, calibers, submersion).  I'll not go into them here.  Special K had a great commercial years ago:  You can't pinch an inch on me.  Curious as to whether or not you have too much body fat.  Use the body fat calibers that you were born with--your thumb and index finger-- and pinch away on your midsection.  The average person's thumb is one inch at the last joint.

Your Body fat% is helpful essential to know -- and excess body fat leads to all manner of unpleasant things.  The American Council on Exercise has this table that you can view here.

Now here is the kicker:  See that 32% and higher = obese?  I would never consider myself obese, and if you were to look at me you would never consider me obese.  However, by this measure, I am obese.  I make this point because it is an important one:  numbers do not lie (but you can lie with numbers!), and if you don't know your numbers you may not be fully conscious of your health circumstances.  What we see/visualize v. what we measure can be quite different.  (e.g. I walk enough steps; I don't eat too many calories; I have a balanced diet.).  To support any of those statements that too often we ascribe to as fact, we have to verify.  You are your own best auditor.  Conduct your health audit.  Write it down.  Set some goals.  Execute on your goals.  Embrace your success. 

I've not made a body fat % goal other than I do not plan to stay at my current level.

I think I'll go get that binkie and blankie and have a little Whahhhhh!!!! time. [I say that in jest.  Facts should be used as objective, evidential matter from which we make considered judgments.  Attaching fear, shame, excitement, pride to any of these numbers is not the goal. Rather we want to know our baseline metrics to properly set reasonable objectives. Reasonable objectives (1) are attainable and (2) can be measured.  Objectives also benefit from a time line.  Pen to paper time.

Daily taily

Steps:     7629
Net Calorie Deficit (548) 
Calorie Variance from plan:  58+  (I was hungry and ate a taco for dinner)


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