Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Review: Nathan QuickView Bottle

Since the topic of this post is at least related to running, I thought I'd start off with this meme. Although I don't nearly look as good as this girl while running, I think it's pretty cool and appropriate.

A few weeks ago I got my first handheld bottle. I also said I would review it on the blog. I already did three runs with it so I figure I'll let you know what I think - so far.

I should probably first put up a disclaimer that this is the first handheld bottle I ever used. I've only been running for a year, safe to say I'm still a novice, and this is my first bottle. Therefor I can't compare it to other bottles.

  • How it feels - At first it was strange, very strange, to run with something attached to my hand. The weight in itself didn't bother me but after 15 minutes my arm did start to feel it. My hand also cramped up a bit. Switching hands is the way to go here. It never got painful though. The system with the thumb hole is, all in all, pretty comfortable. During the third run I'm starting to get used to it.
  • The hydration - Fantastic! It felt really good to take a swig or two from time to time. Yesterday evening it was quite hot and humid out and if it wasn't for that bottle I'm sure I wouldn't have been able to finish my planned 15K. I filled it with water and two spoons of Isostar. Quite tasty and refreshing. I think it was like 100kcals or something, but if such a long run doesn't justify a sports drink I don't know what will.
  • Leakage - Some reviews of this bottle complained about nozzle leakage. I didn't experience that at all. I had no problem drinking from that nozzle, nor did it leak. I did feel some drops during my run yesterday and I thought "Hey it does leak!!" but it was actually a few rain drops. Hah! Didn't actually start to rain though, fortunately.
  • Extra storage - There's a small pouch for smartphone and other stuff. I don't have a smart phone (yet) but it is nice to carry my cell phone with me during a run. I can actually keep track of the time and pick up when someone calls.

Overall, it takes some getting used to, but I think I made a good choice for my first handheld bottle. All thumbs in holes up for this one.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Maintaining, for now

For the past week it's been like crickets in here, hasn't it? Haha!

No falling off the wagon for me. I'm still at a nice 66.0kg so all is well in that regard.

The energy I put into the weight loss efforts has slowed down a bit. I think it's only natural since I've been at it pretty hard core since three months now. I need a break.

I'm no longer tracking calories in vs calories out. First the weekends left big gaping holes in my spreadsheets and now the rest is also empty. I've decided it's a good thing though. Next week Friday we leave for vacation, where it will just be plain impossible to track everything like I have. That's why I'm going with a more intuitive approach right now. I still apply all the good habits I learned while calorie counting, but no more spreadsheet. I hope I can develop some decent coping skills before we leave, while maintaining this weight of ~66kg.

To be completely honest, this past week has me feeling pretty good. I think I'm getting a little more fat in my diet which my bowels are thanking me for. I am now regular again. I'm also no longer seeing my weight go up after the weekend which is probably better for my body overall.

As far as exercise goas, badminton is done for the summer, but I'm still biking and running, trying to increase my running mileage and (most of all) speed.

I've accomplished all my non-scale goals: I'm fitting in all of my pre-children clothes again, my body is toning up, I feel pretty and sexy. When I look in the mirror I love what I see. In no way do I look skinny, but I do look slim. I'm getting compliments on a daily basis now. I still have my eye on that goal weight, but I really can't be assed about it right now.

In conclusion: My short term goal for the vacation is to maintain my current weight and keep up my workouts. Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Handheld Bottle is Here

Weight loss update: 67.5kg this morning. I'm calling it the weekly weight cycle. I'm totally fine with it, I know I can get it back off during the week easy enough.

In other news, my handheld bottle is here, you know the one I talked about in this post. The Nathan Quickview. It doesn't look extremely pretty, but that's not why we buy these kind of things. Practicality is key. The pouch looks good. There's a pocket for a smartphone, if I ever get one, and plenty of room behind it for other stuff (keys, money, some food). There's even a little hole for earbuds. I tested it on mu hand and it seems to fit nicely. Now here's hoping that will still be the case while running. I've read on some reviews that people  were complaining about leakage, but there was a tag on the top that said they are using a new system.

I'm looking forward to using it tomorrow on my long run (I'm thinking 15K, but let's see how it goes). I wonder if hydration will make me go faster.

Some pictures to go with that:

Friday, June 20, 2014

Food Changes I've Made

Going over my blog posts I noticed I talk a lot about the results of my weight loss journey, but not so much about how I actually do it. Well, at least food wise. For this post I thought I would go a little more in-depth about how I changed my eating habits.

As you know, I started counting calories about two and a half months ago. And it was a really positive experience for me. My goal is to stay within 1200 and 1500kcals a day. I didn't take any specific approach (low-carb or blood type diet or whatever), I don't even check protein versus fats versus carbs. I just try to make smart choices within the calorie limits. I keep a spreadsheet with my daily weight, calories in, calories out, water intake and general mood. Although honestly I've been slacking a bit with the spreadsheet lately. It's hard to keep track of everything during busy weekends.

With this tracking, changes in eating habits follow naturally. In the beginning it was mostly about portion control, and after a while I started noticing I could get more satisfied feeling out of food if I ate more of the healthier stuff.

The foods/drinks that I'm now consuming less of:

  • Booze - I used to have a glass of wine or beer several times a week. I looked up the calorie content for my favorite drinks and saw that it just wasn't worth it. I still have a drink here and there, but it's usually only a few during the weekend.
  • Cookies - My employer places fresh cookies at our coffee machines every morning and afternoon. I'm no longer eating them, unless they are those yummy Belvita ones, then I will have one or two.
  • Milk/cream and sugar in my coffee - I used to drink my coffee with milk and sugar, now it's virtually always black. In the weekend I'll sometimes have a latte with stevia or a cappuccino with steamed milk. Yes, in the weekends I'm definitely less strict.
  • Sub sandwiches - I used to have these often at work. I once did the calorie math on my favorite sandwich and it was over 600kcals. Hmmm, not something to do every day.
  • Bread in general - Bread has a lot of calories, actually. I never really knew that. I still eat it, but I will usually only have one or two slices per meal, and add some fresh veggies or trail mix instead.
  • Potato chips - Need I say more? One of my top vices, together with booze. I often had a sneaky bag of them in the evening when Engineer Daddy wasn't home. I checked my favorite kind: 500kcals per bag. I could not believe it. And it's not even that filling; what a rip-off. I will still eat potato chips from time to time, but only when someone else puts them out. And even then it will just be a few handfulls.
  • Portion sizes in general have become smaller. One meal I used to go to town with was spaghetti with tomato sauce. I looove that stuff, preferrably with lots of cheese. Well, I don't do that anymore. Now I have a sensible portion, often without cheese, but with a nice spoonful of hot sauce instead. I've noticed that I got rid of the "stuffed" feeling I used to have on spaghetti nights. Odd, don't you think?

The foods/drinks that I'm now consuming more of:

  • Fruit - I have always been a good fruit eater. But I'll usually have more one or two more servings than before. They help keep me full and keep me away from the cookies at work.
  • Fat-free yoghurt - I eat a yoghurt every morning (125g, 45kcals). Calcium, protein, and keeps me going until lunch.
  • Cottage cheese - Curbs my cheese craving and is so versatile. Throw in some veggies, olives and pickles when you want savoury. Do the same with strawberries, mango or pineapple for sweet. I simply adore this stuff.
  • Crackers - They are basically my bread substitute. For lunch I will usually put some lean lunch meat on them and eat them with a big bowl of fresh soup.
  • Trail mix - I do try to restrain myself when I'm around this stuff because it's still pretty high in calories. It is delicious though, and I find myself craving it more and more so I will happily make space for it in my daily calorie allowance.

That's more or less it, I think. I will probably make a similar post about my workout habits sometime soon.

Compliments from Colleagues

Exactly what the title says; I got compliments on two different occasions from colleagues.

One guy who I don't work directly with, but often see in the bicycle shed, said: "Hey, you've lost quite some weight, haven't you?" And then another one, who I'm pretty close with, saw me yawning at the coffee machine this morning (this was before I had my coffee off course) and said "Well, often when you're losing weight sometimes your energy levels can get a bit low. I see you have been losing."

Woop! And it only took 20lbs. Haha! I'm only kidding a little bit, but it is nice that people are noticing. After all I would fool myself if I said this weight loss is not fueled by at least some vanity. Now tell me I am skinny, DAMMIT! ;-)

On the weight loss front still doing OK today. 66.9kg this morning. 66 is a number I haven't seen in over 4 years now.  Reunited, and it feels so good!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Second Progress Pics Update

67.2kg this morning. Yay, I knew I could get back here in a reasonable time. I'm feeling good about my eating and exercise lately. The exercise has been status quo, but I've actually started consuming more calories. Looking over my spreadsheet I noticed on some days (even workout days) I would only consume like 1000 kcals. Not fucking enough. So now I'm making sure that my intake is somewhere between 1200 and 1500 and it's going well. Still losing weight, apparently.

Right now I'm wearing some pre-children pants (the black pants from my pre-children clothes post, actually) and they're even becoming a bit looser. I figure I might not be able to wear them when I'm at my goal weight. Hmm, maybe with a belt? We'll see.

With this new lowest weight I've reached another milestone, i.e. 20 pounds lost. Hurrah! That calls for some new progress pics.

When combining the pics I saw that I took the profile one on the wrong side, so I had to mirror it before pasting. Hahaha! I haz the picture dumbz, that's for sure.

And yes now I can see a difference for sure! The love handles are a LOT less, and my stomach is looking so flat. Quite happy with those results. 7 more lbs to go, but I bet the pictures won't look much different than today. It's OK, if I can maintain looking like this, where do I sign up?

Here are the new stats, too. I normally only do stats on Friday, but who fucking cares? I'm excited enough to wanna share. There we go:

Height 165cm (5'5")
Starting weight 76.5kg (168.7lbs)
Starting BMI 28.1
Current weight 67.2kg (148.1lbs)
Current BMI 24.7
Lost weight 9.3kg (20.5lbs) - 74.4%
Goal weight 64kg (141lbs)
Goal BMI 23.5

In running news, I did a new long distance yesterday. This is becoming so much fun, I'm even thinking of doing a half marathon someday. Not soon though, because this summer and fall are going to be hectic enough, I don't need any added stress. But maybe next year.

Monday, June 16, 2014


After losing 8kg, I've decided I deserve a reward for all the good work done so far. I'm doing longer runs now so I would really like something to help me keep track of distance, elevation, heart rate, calories burned and maybe more. I'm getting a GPS watch. After looking around on line I'm leaning towards the Polar GPS RC3. Look at its beauty:

Source: DC Rainmaker

All the reviews I've found on line are positive. It's not cheap but hey, I figure if I am going to spend money on it it'd better be a decent one.

My last long run was almost 14K. I have to admit I got a bit thirsty towards the end. If I want to increase my mileage further, I will need a method to hydrate during the runs as well. I really lke this Nathan QuickView handheld bottle. It's got a little pocket to carry stuff around with me as well, which I haven't been able to do so far.

Source: Coolblue

I will for sure review both products if and when I get my hands on them. Watch this space!