Monday, March 14, 2011

charts & numbers: it was a slow & steady kinda week

As promised, my first weekly installment of chart-y updates. (But for a quick primer on how these charts are put together, read my "using charts & spreadsheets to track my health")

without further ado, purty numbers

To see each chart in more detail, click on it and you'll be sent to flickr, where you can get a nice zoom. And you can find my collection of tracking images in this collection.



weight (week ending 3/13)
Started Monday at: 125.8 lbs.
Ended Sunday at: 124 lbs.
Loss/Gain: 1.8 lbs. lost!

Observations: Let me first say I'm *very* happy with these numbers. And I probably would have been content with a plateau for now. But I have to observe that, as with many of these numbers: The week started out with a positive progression, but as soon as the weekend neared, the numbers retreated.

I'll let life play itself out over the next several weeks before I decide if I need to do something about that. I mean, life is full of little ups and downs ... and the weekend seems like a perfect time to indulge / slow down / let go ... *but* is that really a good cycle? Is there any reason I shouldn't aim to find happiness in a consistently healthy, active lifestyle, weekend or not?


scale numbers

scale numbers (week ending 3/13)
Started Monday at (bone mass // muscle mass // body fat // water): 3.5 // 28.1 // 36.9 // 52.9
Ended Sunday at (bone mass // muscle mass // body fat // water): 3.2 // 31 // 35.2 // 50.3

Observations: I can't help but wonder if bone and muscle mass really change that quickly. But something I've decided about this scale is that even it's not accurate, if it's at least consistenly inaccurate, it'll help me monitor Change Over Time.

And isn't this change interesting? Again, during the weekend the numbers that had been headed in a positive direction started to turn back. What I'm most annoyed with myself at is the water percentage. Because (as you'll see below) my water intake dropped to near nothing during the weekend (more on that later).

The body fat is an interesting number. I'm not sure if it's correlated with the water numbers, or my drop in exercise toward the end of the week, or my excess food intake. Most likely, it's a combination of all three.

*Most* interesting? I'm more concerned at the slips in these numbers than I am by the weekend slip in my weight. I'm kinda happy about this — I'm putting numbers in perspective and what I've come up with is that my body composition is a much better gauge of health than my weight.


weekly water intake

water (week ending 3/13)

Observations: Ugh. Water became work this week. I was *ok* during the workweek (when I can get in the habit of filling my water bottle as soon as I get in the office and keeping it full). But come the weekend, I just lost that focus.

I'm probably the least happy with these numbers as with any this week. So I'm on a mission: At least 80 oz. of water EVERY SINGLE DAY next week.


calories burned

calories burned (week ending 3/13)
Weekly goal: 2,000
Total burned: 1,670
Difference: 330 short

Observations: I'm happy overall, despite falling short of my weekly burn goal. The thing is, I've been having a little issue with shortness of breath (which I'm convinced is psychosomatic — I keep finding that it escalates in the hour or so after Patrick asks to see how my breathing's been lately). In any case, I've spent the later part of the week taking it a *little* easy just in case there's a problem.

It kinda bummed me out. Because consequently I missed my second Body Pump class. I'll get back to that next week with a vengeance (and after a few visits I plan to write up a brief summary of my experience thus far with the class).

I look forward to a week ahead of more activity. Think I'll shatter that 2,000 goal? I do ...


weekly points

weekly points (week ending 3/13)

Observations: I've been *so* good about staying within points since I got back on Weight Watchers a couple of months ago. The past couple of weeks I've left my activity points on the table (while making sure to use up every single "extra weekly" point that I'm given by default). This week, though, with the breathing issue and a general dip in energy (which I blame on a shortage of protein), I decided to use up my extra weekly and activity points.

So, see that light pink line at the very top that creeps up throughout the week? That's my activity points slowly building up, on top of my default extra points. And if you'll noticed the dark mauve-y line that eventually takes over the entire chart by Sunday: it represents me using up every extra/activity point available to me.

I feel physically good having consumed all those points (not overstuffed). We'll see if it plays out on the scale through this coming week.


heart rate zones

heart rate zones (week ending 3/13)

Observations: I tried to stay away from that power zone if I could help it. I'll admit I got a little bored on Friday (3/11) and pushed myself on the elliptical. And the bike ride Sunday (3/13), of course, pushed my heart rate up on hill climbs (and a couple of speed bursts that I did just for fun).

That big black abyss on Tuesday (3/8)? My Body Pump class, which was less action-packed than I'd expected (though no less difficult). Next time I attend, I'll sneak in 30 minutes on the elliptical first.

At any rate, I'm happy with how this chart look overall. I'd like to see more health zone eventually, but this is a good start.


overall heart rate & average speed

overall heart rate (week ending 3/13)

Observations: First, the outliers ...

The dip is my visit to Body Pump.
The uptick is my ride on the bike.

What I like to see, though? Notice my average heart rate (blue line) near the end of the week. It stays steady despite my big increase in average speed (green line, with the bike ride). That's gotta count for something.

I gotta wait for more data to say for sure that it's a good sign, but I have a feeling. ...


  1. You did amazing! Congratulations on the 1.8 pounds loss and your weekly calorie burn! That's really awesome. I know you'll blow past 2,000 this week!

    I hope your breathing problems are nothing serious. Maybe exercise induced asthma? I have no idea, but I've heard some people say they have this.

    My bone and muscle mass numbers are constantly changing on the scale.. sometimes drastically just from day to day. I need to read more up on it because I've always wondered if they're supposed to do that too.

  2. Thank you, ma'am!

    And yeah, the breathing problems are bumming me out. I'm thinking the exercise-induced asthma fits the bill. On the one hand, I'd love to just know what it is and be done with it. On the other hand ... asthama?! Come on!

  3. Keep in mind the time of year as well (with your breathing). It sounds like exercise-induced asthma, which isn't the END of the world! Though it is annoying and will get in your way from time to time, get an inhaler (they offer them over the counter) if it continues to bother you. Also, keep in mind the factors that always seem to be present when you have trouble. Are you always outside, or inside in a particular room? What is the temp. of the air that you are breathing when it happens? Can an allergy to pollen, etc. be making it worse? Just don't worry about it too much. You will figure it out!

  4. Thank you for your soothing words, Miss J :)

    I think half of the problem is the anxiety it's giving me ... "What's wrong with me? Is this a problem I'll always have to live with? Does this mean I'm weak? AM I DYING?!" (Of course, "am I dying" comes up. Of *course* it does ...).

    I'm gonna make myself an appointment to get a good ol' annual physical (which I haven't actually done since I was in middle or high school!). Until then, I'm gonna try not to worry about it.

    Le sigh!

  5. You are not weak and probably not dying, but I wouldn't mess around with asthma. It can escalate faster than you would believe. The last couple of times I've ended up in the ER for breathing treatments, I've felt fine, then a little off, and then suddenly, bam! Asthma attack! I'm glad you're getting a physical!

    It's sooo easy to go on an inhaler and then you can just take a puff before you exercise and forget you even have it :) (that is unless you have compromised lung function due to large masses of scar tissue from lifelong asthma and a couple of bouts with pneumonia...but you don't, so sunshiny happy faces all around!)

  6. Meg, you have an uncanny way of bringing in that "perspective" thing :)