Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Really Analyzing Activity

I am a Weight Professional.  Really. I get PAID to work for Weight Watchers so that makes me a professional.

I don’t know everything about activity.  I do not pretend to know everything about weight loss. 

I do know what has worked for me over the years.  I do know what has NOT worked for me over the years.

I know that Weight Watchers as a food plan works, if YOU work it.

I know that weight loss happens when you expend more energy than you take in.

THUS, the activity part of our program.

But just because I am a professional (remember, I get PAID) and just because I have been doing this a long time, it does NOT mean that I don’t’ try to fool myself in regards to said activity.

Case in point:

Recently,  Corey and I were hiking.  I’ve posted a couple pictures of our hikes.

We decided to head out to the New Territories and do at least one, and possibly two stages of the MacLehose Trail.

We have a series of books, we checked out the trails, headed to the MTR, and off we went.

This is who (what?) met us IMG_5599

Yep, monkeys.  This is the long tailed Macaque.  This is just one.  Trust me, there are 100’s if not 1000’s of these suckers.  It is a law NOT to feed them.  There was one lady who toddled along with hordes following her…yea…she didn’t get the memo.

So, back to activity.  Corey and I chose a pretty easy “hike”..some stairs, nothing terrible. The elevation was doable. But we worked.

IMG_5612I love being above the buildings.  AND we saw more of these guys:

IMG_5610I love the double team on the grooming!

IMG_5611Mama and baby!

IMG_5613The Sentry…he guarded the exit.

So, we finished our section. It took about an hour (a little less), but I thought I had done some decent activity. Yay us!

We decided to bail out after one shorter stage, because Corey is just coming back from an injury (back, again)…AND, quite honestly, the picture in the hiking book scared me to DEATH…the stairs straight up…hundreds and hundreds of them.  We bailed.

We took the mini-bus to the MTR, rode the train for 25 minutes, and got home safe and sound.

Now, I wear two different devices to give me feedback on my activity.  I wear a Body Media armband AND a Weight Watchers Activity Link…so I RAN into the house to upload the info.  What a workout. I was sweaty.  YAY me.

And here is what I got:  Steps:  12,000.  We are looking to get 10,000 steps a day so that was ok. If you don’t wear a pedometer, figure 1000 steps for every 10  minutes of continuous walking.  It was all moderate activity (I guess my heart rate never got high enough to hit “strenuous” activity-it sure felt strenuous in some places!) At the end of the day, I am predicted to burn 13 calories over the amount I need for weight loss. 

Activity ProPoints earned to that moment (day was not done) 2. 

WHAT?  Are you stinking kidding me? 

So, I had to sit back, reflect, and really analyze what happened there. 

Did I exercise?  Yes

Did I get my heart rate up?  Yes

Was the activity REALLY strenuous? …. no (whispering)

How truly moderate was it?  (kinda)

Without the devices, what would MY estimation of steps and ProPoints earned?  Uh….well, WAY more than 2.

SO, science has shown that people over estimate how hard they work out by at least 33% (and some say 50%) and underestimate how much they eat by….wait for it…at least 33% (and some say 50%).  That’s A LOT of %, that can lead to A LOT of disappointment when it comes to the scale.  

I URGE you, to get some type of monitor if weight loss and weight maintenance is your goal.  We are human.  We don’t necessarily want to be honest with ourselves

The best basic device is a pedometer.  Weight Watchers has a great one that will indicate how many ProPoints you are earning after a certain activity level is reached.

The Activity link from Weight Watchers is AWESOME.  It gives feedback on how much activity you have done in the day.  Adds up your ProPoints for you.  It is a super easy, touch device that needs little charging (mine spent a whole week away w/o ever being uploaded.  No loss of data, no loss of charge.

I do like the Body Media monitor.  It tracks my calories burned, sleep, steps, amount of moderate and high intensity of activity during work outs (that stupid yellow line that is SO hard to achieve – there is that over estimating again).  Body Media

My friends have Fit Bits.  It does much of what the Body Media monitor does, but is MUCH smaller.  Check it out.!  www.fitbit.com

ANYWAY…as I work to remove this stupid 8 pounds (again)…the feedback was eye opening and humbling.

Get out there and move!