BMR… you kidding me?

Mrs. Nutrition Teacher

I am a high school Family and Consumer Sciences teacher, and one of the courses I teach is Nutrition.  It is one of my favorite courses to teach because I have a personal interest in it, but also because I think basic nutrition is a topic EVERYONE should be informed about.  One of the topics that we discussed this week has really resonated with me… Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).

I learned what this was when I was in college as a Health Education major, but I still did not really understand fully what it meant to me.  Through my many weight loss phases, I would eat 1200-1400 calories a day.  I only understood that I needed to burn more calories than I took in.  Even after my first pregnancy I used the features in MyFitnessPal to calculate how many calories I needed to intake in order to lose weight.  This was 1200 calories!! It was only after I hit a plateau and was sick of depriving myself that I sought for a better understanding of energy balance.

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My personal basal metabolic rate based on my age, height and weight is approximately 1500-1600 calories.  There are many online calculators that will determine your BMR for you when you enter your information (so google it).  What they don’t tell you is that you should NEVER eat below that number.  Your BMR is a base number that shows your energy needs (calories) for just staying alive, not being active in any way.  So, from my BMR calculation and MyFitnessPal telling me to eat 1200 calories, I now know I was eating well below my needs.

There are many legitimate resources that will help the average person understand this concept much better (see Eat More 2 Weigh Less).  However, far too many people (especially women) are depriving themselves to achieve an unattainable goal.  My goal as a Nutrition teacher but also in my future goal of being a Certified Personal Trainer is to help use this information in a helpful and healthful way.  I want to help people understand what BMR is and how to use it along with their total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) to determine calorie needs for whatever goals they have.

What other nutrition concepts are confusing??

 

Finding Unique Ways to Date Your Spouse

Finding Unique Ways

My husband and I met when we were both in our 30’s. We had already gone through some shit in our lives so far, and didn’t need to grow up together. We were grown.  In turn, we knew what we wanted which led to only 10 months of dating before we got married. About 10 months after being married I was pregnant with our first child. Due to our fast paced courtship and working on our careers, we didn’t have a lot of romantic getaways or time to ourselves.  Here are some ways that we have found to keep our relationship fresh while balancing all of life’s demands.

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Schedule Time

As unromantic as it is, it is important to plan ahead of time for when you want to spend time with your spouse.  Especially with children, you need to find a time that works for all family members.  You need to find a babysitter, and make sure the time doesn’t conflict with work, school or extracurricular activities.  It’s a job in itself to just schedule a date.  Lately I have been planning special trips with my husband at least 4 months out.  So, think ahead for special dates or events that you and your spouse can spend some special time together.

  • Our “scheduled date” we have been doing is going to Winstar Casino in Oklahoma.  We find a comedian that is performing to see, stay the night at the hotel, eat dinner and have drinks in the casino, and my husband may play Blackjack.  This is not too far from where we live, but it feels like a mini-vacation.

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Forget the Holiday Hype

My husband and I only officially give gifts to each other on birthdays and Christmas.  We don’t do anything special for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or our anniversary.  This works for us because we don’t have the pressure of getting gifts or planning something just because it’s a certain day of the year.  In fact, I prefer this because it takes tasks off my to-do list.  (If either you or your spouse have the love language of giving gifts, this strategy will not work for you.) So, find something that you can do for your spouse that shows you care without having to plan something extravagant.

  • My husband has been into reading books to improve his business recently, so when I heard about a really good book along those lines I just bought it.  Surprising him with a gift is a good way to show each other that you care, especially during the times that you get too busy.

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Life is Too Short

I can easily get caught up in the daily grind of cleaning the house, cooking, making lunches, working out, and on and on. It is important to find the time (sometimes inopportune times) to spend time with your spouse.  Hold their hand when driving, binge watch a tv show together, text sweet messages to each other during the work day, etc.

  • My husband and I had the best talk the other night after the kids when to bed and he had gotten home late from work.  We were able to have a full conversation about life without getting interrupted by “Mom!” “Dad!” or our phones going off.  

Dating your spouse does not mean you have to go out of the house all dolled up for a dinner and movie.  Dating your spouse is about finding time for your relationship and showing that you care about each other. What are some other unique ways to date your spouse??

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Non-Scale Victories

*Note:  This post contains affiliate links, please see disclosure at the bottom of this post.

Weighing yourself on a scale can be very misleading.  The number on the scale can be influenced by fat loss, muscle gain, hormones, water retention, inflammation, and so on. It is important if you want to see real progress in fat loss (and not “weigh” yourself down mentally) to find other ways to measure progress.

Non-Scale Victories

Other Ways to Measure

There are two other ways that I like to physically measure my fat loss progress. A consistent measurement tool is using measuring tape to calculate the inches of each area of the body. Keep in mind that you should measure in the same spot each time and take measurements on a regular basis (i.e., every Friday or every 1st of the month).  See this article from Livestrong.com for the proper way to take body measurements. I have seen a lot of people gain weight on the scale, but their body measurements get smaller.

The other physical measurement of fat loss can be your clothing.  Water retention, muscle gains, etc. may also affect how your clothes fit, but this can be a good gauge on your progress.  I also like to give myself a goal outfit or piece of clothing to work toward as another way to motivate myself.

Lifestyle Wins

The weight on the scale is not going to be a straight downward slope, there will be ups and downs. To help keep your focus on the goal and motivate your through the journey it is important to find behaviors, daily tasks or mental shifts that have improved as a result of your healthy choices. Examples of these type of non-scale victories can be saving money by skipping the drive-thru, fitting into your old favorite jeans, having the confidence to cross over into the side of the gym with the heavy weights, walking up flights of stairs without having to catch your breath, and the list goes on.  Find what will motivate you based on your lifestyle, or search #nsv or #nonscalevictory on social media for inspiration.

Please share your #nonscalevictories in the comments!

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Liebster Award Nomination

I am very excited to be nominated for the Liebster Award.  It is such a great way to promote and acknowledge new blogs. Thanks to Ray at Super Powers Sold Separately for the nomination! Bloggers nominate other bloggers and answer the questions, so here we go…

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  1. What inspired you to start your blog?

    • I am currently a high school Family and Consumer Sciences teacher, but my next career plan is to become a Certified Personal Trainer.  The purpose of my blog is to document the rest of my weight loss journey to show my future clients that I have been through the struggle.
  1. What is your favorite hobby outside of blogging?

    • Sadly enough, my favorite hobby right now is sleeping.  I have a 1 year old and 3 year old that wake up around 5am daily.  As soon as I finish the day and put the kids to bed, I usually end of falling asleep on the couch.  In the near future (fingers crossed) I would like to sleep past dawn and actually have some hobbies.  My goal hobbies are reading, watching a full movie without falling asleep and traveling more.
  2. If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?

    • I would love to have dinner again with my Grandpa Leonard.  Not only for myself to see and talk to him, but I REALLY would have loved for my husband and children to meet him.  I know my husband would have so many questions for him about being a tank commander in WWII and opening the family restaurant we had for over 60 years.  My grandpa loved children and it would have been magical to see him with mine.
  3. What is your go-to easy dinner?

    • My favorite go-to meal right now is Skinnytaste’s Pork Carnitas in my Instant Pot.  We make it into so many meals… street tacos, quesadillas, or eat it by itself for my lunches.
  4. What have you learned about yourself through blogging?

    • I have learned that I like writing so much more than I thought.  When I was in high school I thought I was a bad writer and I hated any writing assignment in school.  I guess that if I am motivated by the topic that I find it much more enjoyable.
  5. What is your first piece of advice for someone getting into fitness for the first time?

    • My first piece of advice would be to incorporate weight lifting from the beginning.  It doesn’t have to be heavy weights.  Even starting with just your body weight, 2 lb weights, or 5 lb weights can lead you down a great path.  Weight lifting has so many benefits but people often think that cardio is the primary method for weight loss or exercise.
  6. What do you wish you knew about blogging before you began?

    • I didn’t realize how in-depth blogging can be and how much time it can take.  Becoming a part of Facebook groups for bloggers and downloading some podcasts have helped me tremendously to navigate through all of the information.

Liebster Award Nomination Rules:

(according to The Global Aussie and Super Powers Sold Separately)

  • Thank the blogger who gave you the award with a link back to their blog.
  • Link to this post from The Global Aussie in your Liebster Award blog post.
  • Answer the questions given to you.
  • Give the award to 5-10 new bloggers.
  • Leave a comment on their blog to let them know you nominated them!
  • Create more questions for your nominees to answer (unique and creative ones)
  • Comment on this blog post with a link DIRECTLY to your Liebster award.
  • Entries start 1st Jan 2018 and ends on 25th Dec 2018. The winner will be picked on the 31st of December.

My Nominations!

Here are your questions…

  1. What inspired you to start your blog?
  2. How do you balance all of the things in your life?
  3. If you had a day completely free of responsibility, what would you do?
  4. If you woke up and had 2,000 unread emails and could only answer 300 of them, how would you choose which ones to answer?
  5. Which animal would make the best type of president if the animal kingdom ever rises up and takes over?
  6. You’re on death row, what would your last meal be?
  7. What have you gained or learned since starting you blog?

Checking in on 2018

January is almost over and I need to reformat my goals for this year.  It is a plan I would like to stick to for every month this year, to evaluate my progress and adjust to meet my needs.

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In my last post, Things That F*ck with My Balance-Vol. 1, I explained how illness has gotten me off course so far this year.  This has resulted in no progress for my weight loss and fitness goals.  I have also stopped any and all work to keep up with my 2018 planner.
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My specific goals for January were to increase my water intake and stick to my daily calorie goal.  I definitely did not keep up with these goals, and I should have been more specific about my water goal.  My daily calorie goal has also been too broad of a range.

For February, I am going to focus on the following goals:

  1. Stick to my calorie goal and macros breakdown that I had calculated. I had my macros calculated by Poppy Locks.
  2. Start the Jessie’s Girls Home Edition workout program that I bought a LONG time ago and never used.
  3. STOP eating leftover food from my son’s plate.  I have to stop this the rest of my life!
  4. Keep track of my goals by using my planner.

I am putting this out there for accountability, but I think this is a good strategy for everyone to reevaluate goals on a monthly or on regular basis.  New Year’s Resolutions are out, monthly goals are it!