Monthly Archives: April 2012

Fitness and Math?!?!?

I’m a numbers guy.  Pretty much my whole career has been spent manipulating spreadsheets in Excel.  So, when I started to reconnect with healthy living again this Spring, naturally I built a spreadsheet to track my performance.

I learned something new this year using the Spark People website / phone app.  For those of you who have joined Weight Watchers or some other program in the past, this is probably old news to you.

Anyway, it takes approximately 3,500 calories to lose a l pound of fat.  If you know your BMR (basal metabolic rate – how many calories you burn each day just doing the normal routines of sleeping, eating, etc.) and how many calories you burn from exercise, then you can manage the calories you take in to create a deficit.  In other words, you need to be burning more calories than you ingest in order to lose weight.

Well, I started tracking my estimated daily caloric deficit (I’m kind of swagging the calorie intake) and sure enough, I’m about within a 20% error rate to actual weight loss (I’ve actually lost more than the formula would suggest, meaning I’m probably underestimating my BMR or overestimating the calories I’m ingesting).

The only bad thing would be if I’m losing muscle AND fat which I obviously don’t want to do.  But I’ve been working out pretty consistently, so if I am losing muscle, it’s probably a pretty small percentage.

Who knew that math and fitness could go together?

Quick updates

Happy Easter / Resurrection Sunday everyone.

Sorry for not posting of late, but there’s been so much going on . . .  as usual.  Haven’t even been able to get much reading done lately.  

First off, I’ve got a new position at work.  It’s technically not a promotion as it’s the same title / pay.  However, it has the potential for opening up big opportunities if all goes well.  The good news is that I’m gaining 3 existing Sr. Analysts to manage.  The bad news is that the one woman on my team now will be reassigned to another manager.  I’m flying out to California Monday night to spend a couple days with my new team / manager.  The children were sad to hear I’d be away from home.  They’re not used to me traveling.  Praying for Jenny while I’m away.

With the new job, I’ve been thinking about how I need to get more expertise in Accounting.  I’m a Finance Manager and I’ve been able to get by with minimal actual accounting experience.  But if I’m going to take my career to the next level such as a Director or CFO, I’m going to need my CPA.  Even though I just finished my MBA last August, I’m looking into going back for a Masters in Accounting to prepare me for the CPA exam.  This would be different from my MBA course load which was a crazy 3 x 3 cr hrs each semester.  The MS program can be spread out taking only 3 cr hrs at a time.  It would take longer to complete, but this way A) my employer would pay for my whole program and B) I wouldn’t have to completely abandon my family again (like I did during my MBA).

Health

So, I’ve been a type II diabetic for over 10 years which means my body produces insulin, but I’m not absorbing / utilizing it enough to keep my blood sugars under control.  In 2001, I wasn’t even 30 years old yet and was already taking some serious meds for blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes.  Too many years of fast food, drink, and a sedentary lifestyle.  When I was first diagnosed, this is what I looked like:

Sept 2001

In 2006 when we moved to TX, I started to see a new general practitioner for normal checkups.  For the most part, we maintained the same regiment of drugs to try and keep me going.  Here’s what I looked like shortly after arriving in TX:

April 2006

Then, my GP put me on a medication called Actosplus Met which is a combination of a couple different diabetes medications.  The only problem was that it made me hungry ALL the time.  Why you would prescribe a diabetic medications that could potentially make him hungry 24/7 is beyond my comprehension.  But the result was that I had ballooned up to 210 lbs by the end of 2007.

March 2007

Finally, my GP was ready to throw in the towel with me and referred me to one of the best endocrinologists in the DFW area.  My new doc quickly switched me off of Actosplus Met to a couple injection type meds — Levemir (which is pretty much insulin) and Byetta.  The later is probably the most miraculous drug for diabetics made.  Not only does Byetta do a fantastic job at keeping blood sugars at normal levels, but it has the added benefit of appetite suppression.  When I was on Byetta, I felt fuller faster and probably cut my caloric intake in half.

As I started to shed pounds, I eventually joined a gym and began to exercise.  Slowly, the weight started to come off.  In about 2 years, I lost almost 40 lbs.  For the first time in I don’t know how many years, I was under 170 lbs.

August 2010

The downside to Byetta is that the appetite suppression effects do not last forever.  Eventually, your body gets immune to it.  In 2011, my doctor had taken me off of almost everything except for Metformin.  My blood pressure was normal.  My cholesterol was doing great.  Even my blood sugars were under control.

Since then, I started to slide a bit.  Stopped going to the gym because I said I didn’t have time.  Started overeating again (the holidays are especially tempting for me.)

Well, in late Feb, my endocrinologist told me that I had put on over 10 lbs since my last visit 3 months prior.  That was enough for me to get off my tail again.  I started watching my caloric intake – especially carbs (which are the killer for diabetics).  I started going back to the gym.

It’s now been 45 days of Healthy Living and I’m pleased to say that I’m back to my 2010 weight.

April 2012

I’m about 1/2 way to my goal.  If I can shed another 12 lbs, I will officially be at a normal BMI — something I don’t think I’ve seen since before high school.  My goal is to get there before my next endocrinologist appointment in mid-June.

Someone asked me what the secret to my success is this time around (since I don’t have Byetta to control my appetite anymore).  I would say the first thing I cut out was eating after dinner.  I used to be a terrible late night snacker.  That, BY FAR, was the hardest bad habit for me to kick.  Secondly, I’ve been really conscious of watching carbs.  By no means am I doing the no-carb, atkins diet.  But I try to limit total carbs in a single meal to 30-45 g.  There’s this great little app that I have on my phone from http://www.sparkpeople.com/ that helps me track calories, carbs, and exercise.  Third, I’ve started doing strength / resistance training as opposed to just hours of cardio.  In 2010, I used to get on an elliptical or treadmill for 45-60 minutes at a time.  Now, I’m doing a quick and hard 15 min cardio with 30 min of strength training.

Jenny’s also been really helpful with cooking more veggies and better quality meats in our meals.  We’ve started to buy more organic and locally grown produce, grass-fed beef, and fresh local eggs.  Egg white omelets and tuna (in water), btw, are 2 of my staples.  Pretty much eat them everyday.

Anyway, will soon return to blogging about Liberty and Freedom.

Have a great day everyone!