Thursday, October 4, 2012

NLWebDevs GIT Presentation

[Me Featuring
"There is no place like" shirt
and Binary Watch]
As a new Computer Science Society Executive and a member of NLWebDevs, I would like to announce the GIT tutorial today by MUN CS Society's President Tim Oram at Memorial University (Engineering building EN-2022) at 5PM.  This event is open to the public, just come over at 6:30pm :) For more info:

github > NLWebDevs
NATI > Events > NLWebDev GIT Tutorial
GIT (in case you don't know what it is, because I think you should)


MUN CS Society

This is me, take it or leave it NL.

Monday, September 24, 2012

BSides St. John's 2012 Conference

[By  YellowJKT]
I had a great time at the 2012 Security BSides St. John's Conference "Steering you through the Security Fog".  This year (According to Eventbrite) the conference was sold out.  There was ~100 attendees according to my sources and a beginning-head-count-tweet suggests I was 1 of 5 girls (many of them pictured to your right haha).  I highly recommend anyone who is a security enthusiast to keep your eyes open early to sign up for next time.


Norbert Griffin / @norbert_griffin
Jamie Goodyear / @icbts

I wasn't sure what to expect but the speakers were fantastic.  No problem to tell they are use to public speaking.  My favorite talks being among:

Mark Nunnikhoven / @marknca - The Basics & Other Things That We're Probably Doing Wrong
Karim Nathoo / @karamnathoo - Command and Control and Data Exfiltration
Kellman Meghu / @kellman - How NOT To Do Security: Lessons Learned From the Galactic Empire

Blogs Mentioning BSides:
Mark Nunnikhoven - > A guide to deploying iPads, iPhones, and iPods on your network
Kellman Meghu - kill-hup > How Not To Do Security
Jamie Goodyear - I Code By The Sea > BSides Label Cloud
Jason Gedge - > Talks BSides St. John's, 2012
Jonathan Wall - Discuss Security in St. John's
Norbert Griffin - Security Fog
Matthew Middleton - BSides Background

Related Links:

Security BSides Website > BSides St. John's 2012
Savoir Presenting at BSides
Linkedn Event List

Event Photos:
By @darryl_macleod - Stefano Tiranardi TalksKellman Meghu TalksJamie Goodyear TalksRuss Doucet TalksScreech In
By @YellowJKT - 1Karim Nathoo TalksKellman Meghu Talks again (and again...apparently a real photographers dream that night haha), Me and Frank discuss college days
By @icbts - Bsides St. John's Pics Blog

Great company, atmosphere, food, drinks and prizes.  Next year I'll be sure to sign up early.

This is me, take it or leave it NL.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Cinderella's Weight Loss Knowledge

The Down Low

[Me - Side]
[Me - Front]
So the short version of the story is due to my mind, body and people being unreasonable, I was 30 lbs heavier about a year ago then I am now (yeah, in reality I could easily blame this all on myself). Me being me, I decided to lose the weight I put on in a mathematical, methodological experiment. This also proves (be it you're sedentary or active) you do not need food plans, starvation, exercise programs (though exercise is great for your body and makes it look better), or evil shakes to lose weight. You just need knowledge. I lost most of my weight being completely sedentary, but I now exercise regularly. This post is for people who will hopefully learn something new, since I've been getting a lot of questions from people since I've lost weight. For those reading this because they want to lose weight, please don't feel overwhelmed if you don't know what I'm talking about at first. Just digest and read through the information fully, several times if you are having problems. There are calculators throughout this post I've put here especially for you. You don't necessarily have to understand the terminology.

Daily Nutritional Information

When you look at a box of food, the nutritional information is usually based on 2000 kcal/day and is known as a DV (Daily Value). Several sites like Wikipedia seems to suggest that 2000 is a sensible recommendation for the average female but I'm not sure what this information is based on). This information is from the RDI (Reference Daily Intake) info which is regulated by Health Canada and the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). The RDI is suppose to give sufficient requirements to fulfill 97.5% of a healthy persons diet. These values are based on averages. This means that just because it says a specific 8 ounce drink is 150 calories, doesn't mean it actually is. Don't get me started on heterogeneous mixtures like a boxed cookie with an extra nut. My point being, no matter what you do, your estimates are not exact.
  • 1 kcal = 1 Calorie (food term) = 1000 calories (science term). Watch out some people mix up Calorie and calorie.
The current RDI recommendation includes:
  • Estimated Average Requirements (EAR) - This is suppose to be sufficient to satisfy 50% of people in an age group based on scientific literature.
  • Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) - Calculated based on EAR and is usually EAR + ~20%. This is suppose to be sufficient to satisfy 97.5% of people's nutritional intake according to the Food and Nutrition Board in each life-stage and gender group.
    • RDA = EAR + 2 standard deviations of EAR. 
  • Adequate Intake (AI) - Lowest adequate intake.
  • Tolerable upper intake levels (UL) - Highest recommended intake that current data shows no side effects to avoid excessive intake of certain vitamins that can be harmful in large amounts.
That's as far as I'm going to get into it. For more information on finding your value, Google the above terms!

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Body Mass Index determines if you are underweight, normal, overweight, obese etc. If you know the BMI scale and it seems arbitrary, you are correct. This is why many people bash BMI. There is even a limitations and shortcomings section on wikipedia. It does not take into account factors in the body such as amount of water, bone (frame), muscle, cartilage, etc. There are several varying standards depending on where you are on what's considered 'normal' but on average 18.5-22.9 is usually in the 'normal' range. Singapore, Japan, Canada (see Health Canada), plus the World Health Organization, Sageera, my fitness pal etc included this range according to the many sources I have looking at to this date but some others include higher and lower values as well. I've seen 200+ pound women work their butt off literally, to the point of abs galore who become disappointed when the BMI scale tells them they are still obese. They should not rely on this scale. But if you're completely in the dark of what you are, many consider the BMI a satisfactory way of determining the category of a sedentary adult.

  • BMI = mass in kg/(height in meters)^2 = 703 * mass in lb / (height in inches)^2 
  • Example (me) BMI = 703 * (120lb / ((5'7"*cm)^2) = 703 * (120/((67cm^2)) = 18.8 lb/cm^2 = 18.5<18.8<22.9 = Normal, assuming weight scales and height measurements are accurate

Lean Body Mass/Body Fat (LBM/BF) 

The general rule of thumb is it takes 3500 calories of energy to burn 1 pound of fat. This means that you would have to add at least 3500 calories to your actual TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) to gain a pound of fat in a day. Also, burning 3500 calories does not mean everything you burned was fat. Yes, it is true that you can gain multiple pounds in a day. This is not fat and muscle pounds. This is food and other things such as glycogen pounds, which you can read about later.
  • 1 pound (fat) = 3500 calories
The rate you burn calories depends on your body composition/Lean Body Mass (LBM). This is the mass of your body excluding body fat (BF), which can be pretty difficult to calculate. There are many tests and calculators that will give different solutions for the same variables. If you have your mass and your LBM, you can find your BF or vice versa. To sum it up the following is always the case:
  • LBM = mass - BF = mass - mass * (BF%)
  • BF = mass - LBM = mass - mass * (LBM%)
  • BF% = 100 * BF / mass
  • LBM% = 100 * LBM / mass 
  • Example (me) based on equations below: BF% = 17.0% (via BIA) = 19% (via Covert) = 19.1% (via Military) = 23.83% (via BMI) = 25.2% (via fat2fit)
    BF=20.4lb (via BIA) = 22.9lb (Military) = 34.6lb (via BMI)
Note: It's hard to compare yourself to another person based on just these numbers, as there are faults that come into play even if you are using the same medium to measure. Look at the measurements as a way to gauge the difference in yourself over months, not a way to tell you 'how fat you are'. Fat is good for you, your body needs it to live happily. There is a large deviation in my examples based on the same information due to the different ways to measure body fat (17%-25.2%) but some of those values are suppose to be more accurate then others. Also, remember that the percentages are a ratio (I know, it seems obvious now that I've said it). Some people don't seem to realize that if you lose weight, your fat percentage can stay the same (though you still might be on the right track). You're likely to lose muscle and fat while losing weight, so the ratio will only slide in your favor if you increase your muscle. If your body fat percentage is fluctuating this is normal. I'd prefer comparing values month to month rather then week to week. The body fluctuates a lot, especially if you're female.

Other BF Equations:
  • Brozek formula: BF = (4.57/density - 4.142) * 100
  • Siri formula is: BF = (4.95/density - 4.50) * 100
A few ways to measure BF/LBM: 
  • Hydrostatic (Underwater) Weighing - This is the most accurate way of measuring since it doesn't predict body density. There is a error margin for residual volume (lung capacity). Remember, the density (mass/volume) of water changes with temperature (water becomes larger when it freezes into ice cubes for example).
    • density_body/density_water = density_body/(~1g/cm^3) = weight_body/(weight_body - weight_immersed)
  • Skin Fold Methods - A pair of calipers/callipers can be used to pinch standardized parts of the body such as your bicep and belly, determining the subcutaneous fat layer thickness. These sites are measured several times and averaged, and an average is taken of the averages to determine body fat percentage. The calculations some people use seem to vary and consist of body mass index rating scales so I will not list them here. Caliper readings can be done at a lot of local gyms. Demonstrations are available on YouTube. For accuracy, the same person has to accurately measure you the same way at the same point in your cycle and day. Even if you are being accurate the values can fluctuate between meals, activities, and hormones changes throughout time. But you will generally see what's happening to your body fat from month to month. If your eating habits, activity level, or time you have the reading done changes (especially if you're female), the values can change. 
  • Weight Scales/Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) - This functionality is built into many weight scales and other devices (such as Omron hand grippers) these days. The values can vary greatly, even if you have 2 of the same scale (according to my scale manual). Scales that can do this are actually reading your electrical impedance, so it requires skin to metal contacts (this is why you do not receive a % value if you are wearing socks). These scales can figure out your total body water (TBW), which can help calculate LBM, BF and bone mass. Since this depends on your TBW, the values can vary greatly depending on if it's that time of the month, you're hydrated, your hot (related to damp skin), you're losing weight etc etc. It can also be inaccurate depending on where your carrying your fat. For example, if you carry your weight in the top half of your body and use a scale that sends the current through the bottom half.
    • V=Voltage=IR=Current*Resistance=Current*|Impedance|^(Imaginary#*phase)=Complicated=you have as much equipment then me in your house.
    • BF = 20.4lb
    • LBM = 120lb - 20.4lb = 99.6lb 
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) - Your BF can be calculated from your BMI (sex=1 if male, 0 if female).
    Child body fat % = (1.51*BMI) - (0.70 * Age) - (3.6 * sex) + 1.4
    Adult body fat % = (1.20*BMI) + (0.23 * Age) - (10.8 * sex) - 5.4 
    • Example (me): BF% = (1.20*18.8) + (0.23*29) - (10.8*0) - 5.4 = 23.83% fat
  • Anthropometric/Height and Circumference Methods - The U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army (Department of Defense) use this method along with Covert Bailey and fat2fit's body fat calculator. They make calculations based on mass, and the circumference of various body parts such as waist, hip, bicep, forearm and wrist.


BMR is your Basal Metabolic Rate. It estimates the energy your vital organs (such as heart, lungs, nervous system, kidneys, liver, intestine, etc) would use if you were unconscious and not moving a limb or eyeball. So, you burn more calories then your BMR when sleeping. Figure out your BMR by using the estimation formulas. The Harris Benedict equation and Katch-McArdle Formula are available. Some depend on age (a) weight (m) and height (h), and others depend on body composition/lean body mass (LBM). Personally, I use the Harris Benedict equation, but other equations can apparently be more accurate. Be careful with the others as there are many different ways to calculate your LBM and many of them are hard to do consistently/accurately. For this reason, equations using LBM tends towards a large standard deviation. However, expecting higher/lower body fat ratios then average can give you insight on whether your under/over estimating your BMR. To calculate both equations, read the links at the bottom of this section.

BMR/Total Heat Production Equations:
  • Harris and Benedict
    • Men BMR = (13.7516*m/1kg+5.0033*h/1cm-6.7550*a/1yr+66.4730)kcal/day
    • Women BMR = (9.5634*m/1kg+1.84496*h/1cm-4.6756*a/1yr+655.0955)kcal/day 
      • Example (me): BMR = 9.5634*(120lb)/1kg+1.84496*(5'7")/1cm-4.6756*(29yr)/1yr+655.0955 = 9.5634*(54.4310844kg)/1kg+1.84496*(67inch*(2.65cm/inch))/1cm-4.6756*(29yr)/1yr+655.0955 = 9.5634*(54.4310844kg)/1kg+1.84496*(170.18cm)/1cm-4.6756*(29yr)/1yr+655.0955 = ~1354 kcal/day 
  • Mifflin et al. (Newer, ~5% more accurate then the above according to Frankenfield et al)
    • Men BMR = 10.0*m/1kg+6.25*h/1cm-5.0*a/1yr+5
    • Women BMR = 10.0*m/1kg+6.25*h/1cm-5.0*a/1yr+-161
    • Example (me): BMR = 10.0*( 54.4310844kg)/1kg+6.25*(170.18cm)/1cm-5.0*(29yr)/1yr+-161 = ~1302 kcal/day
  • Katch-McArdle Formula BMR = (370 + 21.6 * (LBM in kg)) kcal/day 
    • Example (me, assuming fat% from BIA scale): LBM in kg = 120lb - (17%)*120lb = 99.6lb = 45.1778001kg
      = 370kcal/day + 21.6 * (40.5511579) kcal/day = 370 + 21.6 * 45.1778001 = ~1345 kcal/day
    Note: As you can see, my BMR no matter what equation is within 43 calories of each other. This is somewhat negligible when we take into account that all nutritional information is based on averages.


    RMR is your resting metabolic rate, and are usually used the same as BMR calculations. You can use the formula below, or get a more accurate reading from a doctor. Doctors usually do electrical induction testing. They attach probes all over your body and you have to lye down completely still (at rest) for a period of time (about 30 minutes, according to a friend who had his done). They take your heart rate and blood pressure before and after, and using the information they've collected they determine your RMR. If you've had an RMR test done, you know you can eat more then this amount and still lose if you've slept all day (without eating or using the bathroom or moving).
    • Cunningham Formula (RMR):
      • RMR = 500 + (22 * LBM in kg) kcal/day 
      • Example (me, assuming fat% from BIA scale): LBM in kg = 120lb - (17%)*120lb = 99.6lb = 45.1778001kg
        RMR = 500 + 22 * (45.1778001kg) = ~1494 kcal/day
    Given this information, I see no need to eat below what you need sleeping like a log, even if you are trying to lose weight.


    Figure out your total daily energy expenditure by applying the Harris Benedict Principle. This is the number you should be able to eat without gaining or losing a pound. Remember these are estimates. For me, I was still losing a pound a week at my TDEE value at 5'7 as low as 120 pounds. There are several activity levels available, to calculate, read the links below. 

    TDEE Info:
    •  Sedentary:
      • TDEE = BMR * 1.2
      • Example (Me) Harris's Equation above: 1354*1.2 =  1624.8 calories/day will be burned without so much as walking through the grocery store
    • Very Heavy Exercise:
      • TDEE = BMR * 1.9
      • Example (Me) Harris's Equation above: 1354*1.9 = 2572.6 calories/day will be burned with regular intense exercise.


    Glycogen stores energy and gives it to the body (muscle and liver for example) to use. To me, this is a good thing, not a bad thing. It's something you want around if you want to feed your muscles and other organs with energy.

    If you go on a VLCD (Very Low Calorie Diet) and hardly eat anything, it's likely that the initial weight you so easily lose is glycogen, not fat like people wish it was. Before shutting down a weight lifting program or diet program when coming off a VLCD, give it 2 weeks before judgment day since sometimes there are initial weight gains that can be associated with glycogen levels This initial water weight disappears with then some shortly later if you stick to the program. The same goes if you work out an intense amount with no breaks in between (see glycogen depletion and endurance exercises on Wikipedia or Google Scholar). This gets rid of your glycogen stores. This is why sometimes when you think you should have lost a bunch of weight, you gain. But several days later, that and more drops off.

    Glycogen comes back when you give your body a break from work or you start eating sensibly again. Glycogen is needed in your body, don't try to get rid of it like it's a plague. This is described a bit more here:
    Glycogen can also mess with BF% if it's based on BIA readings. I've seen 'ripped' people get incredibly upset after getting their fat percentage tested. The unusually high readings are usually due to the fact your body body is repairing itself and has more water in it then expected.

    Carbs (carbohydrates) are easily converted to glycogen. Carbs are not evil. They are rather important for people who move and think. On the thinking side, google scholar has many links on how low-carb diets can lead to problems with cognition and mood. For example this one from science direct (which have articles from many peer-reviewed journals and books). 


    Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD)

    This is mainly why I'm writing this post. To many people I care about have tried this and failed. Often disguised as a Body by Vi or Vialus diet, or the Herbal Magic diet, or the some other marketing scam gimmick diet, or the 1200 calorie diet, or diets below your BMR (though you may not be aware you're on it). Calories are a form of energy. Your body often doesn't have enough energy to repair itself on these types of diets, especially if exercising or sick. Glycogen stores are depleted on these diets. Thus, beware of injuries and health problems when on a VLCD.

    Examples: Though there's a controversy on soy, it's true that thyroid problems can be caused by excess soy in the diet (which is essentially all you eat on the Vialus diet). If you Google tooth decay and hair loss, there are many forum posts around the Internet saying their doctors said their herbal magic diet has caused these problems for them. If you exercise a lot and you do not give your body enough energy to repair itself, injuries seem to be common. The link to the piece CBC did on Herbal Magic has tooth and hair decay comments in it, and the video is worth the watch. And though I may not agree with everything that David the nutritional couch with certifications and science related degrees says, he certainly gets the point across that there are reasons you shouldn't go the vialus way. That's another long rant in itself and I would have backed some things up with different links and reasons.

    Some looking for a quick fix because 'they are fat' turn to a VLCD, though what they're initially doing is quickly depleting glycogen stores and slowing their metabolism. Donating blood also works to lose weight quickly. Both Glycogen and blood comes back in a healthy body, so it's eventually a losing battle. It's like Cinderella at 12 O'Clock after she lost her bloody glycogen shoe. When things go back to 'normal', everything is going to revert to equilibrium. But that doesn't mean she needs a VLCD ferry to get what she wants. Have your pumpkin carriage and eat it too (have I gone to far yet?).

    Jumping to this diet quickly makes one feel hungry and sometimes crabby (or get another hormonal problem) due to jumping down such a significant amount in calories. When they stop feeling good about it and realize it's not sustainable or a happy way to live, they often binge or quit all together. I've seen this happen a lot, it does not help the weight problem. This must be why some people 'yo-yo' diet after weight loss pills, meal plans, etc. It's not that they're weak, it's that their body needs it. Even when supervised by medical professionals, people often gain back weight after the VLCD stops (there are many blogs out there and you probably know a person or 2 who has tried it if you don't believe me). This is the point they need to learn how to maintain weight on their own.

    You can eat to much food and gain, and similarly eat very little with the same results. I've seen girls my size who were gaining on 600 calories a day with exercise due to metabolic problems and obvious other problems. And yes, you can repair a injured metabolism. Our bodies are interesting vessels.

    If you are healthy, I recommend staying away from these unless there's an extreme reason for it and the diet is supervised by a health professional. Even then, consider your other options first. I've heard many friends horror stories of getting sick, losing hair and nails, being cold, having a hard time rebounding from injuries and running into other health problems due to these diets. If you decide to go with a VLCD, research what you should do to stay safe from reputable sources first.

    Let it be known that I'm writing this blog as a person who is very very against VLCDs, who is not in the health profession. What I've seen on it isn't positive. Just because someone shouts yay I'm eating very little doesn't mean it's good for them. My self experiment with it was very brief, and my thoughts of it were very unhealthy. Netting 1200 made me feel cold, down, irritable, my period stopped and my nails couldn't grow long anymore, when I got the flu it was hard to shake and my health only increased when I quickly changed my mind about it. It's also hard to get vitamins/minerals/nutrients on these diets with just food (look up your RDA value if you don't believe me).  The body needs so much fat in a diet for example to absorb certain vitamins.  If my body and other shorter smaller women's bodies can use more calories then that unconscious, why try to sustain on less then that while awake? When coming off of these diets do not blame your weight gain on anything else but this. The weight fluctuations are explained a bit here:

    It's only fair that I point out the positive side to the VLCD. Many people argue that lower metabolisms are beneficial. I've had the argument thrown at me that the Okinawan people have very long lives and eat on average less then most people in the US and Canada. Well, I'll also state that on average they have a very different lifestyle, a very different diet, and on average the men are 4'9 and weigh 94 pounds. Low calories to sky scraper and heavier me is not equal to low calories to them. If you want to lower your calories because you think that will make you like the Okinawan people, I suggest doing it slowly on a small cut of your TDEE, keeping your BMI in a healthy range if you are not exercising. 


    Get a digital weight scale and measure food accurately. Make sure the values you use for your food is actually the real nutritional value. Many of the values in online databases can be off from what you expect. Especially if you don't realize there's say, Canadian and US products with the same name but different ingredients, or something is listed as cups instead of grams. Always go by weight, it's more accurate. Some people have ml listed on their food scales, this is only accurate for water or things that have the same density as water since the density of water is 1g/ml (so the ratio is 1 to 1).


    If you are sedentary and using TDEE calculations, make sure you add all activities you do that burn calories and eat your exercise calories. You can keep track of this via paper, online calorie counters or some other media. Remember, if you're on your feet all day, you're not sedentary. If you have a office job and exercise regularly, you are not sedentary. If you don't want to bother logging exercises, just pick the TDEE that relates to your activity level and eat at that.

    Heart Rate Monitors (HRM): Continuous HRM's are good for cardio only like running and cycling without inclines. When you get into weight training and other things this tends to be less accurate.
    My Fitness Pal: Those I've asked say the MFP values can be nearly double the amount on their HRM. I suggest eating some exercise calories until you are no longer full. By my math it usually works out to be more then half. I'm guessing it'll depend on your size.

    Steppers: If you wave or it's windy or if you get in a car these things will increment. They have no way to determine if you're exerting yourself, if you're clenching all your muscles, if you're moving your limbs with all your might, if you're walking quickly or jogging slowly. Keep that in mind when using these values.

    Keep in mind that most calorie burns are based on cardio activities.

    The Journal of Sports Sciences:
    • Male = [(Age x 0.2017) - (Weight x 0.09036) + (Heart Rate x 0.6309) - 55.0969] x Time / 4.184
    • Women = [(Age x 0.074) - (Weight x 0.05741) + (Heart Rate x 0.4472) - 20.4022] x Time / 4.184 


    Weight Loss Simulator:

    There was a scientific paper published based on the quantification of the effect of energy imbalance on body weight. The authors of this study made this adorable little calculator that lets you play with all the numbers mentioned above. They take the changes in the human metabolism into account, looking at the fact that a 3500 calorie deficit equaling 1 lb of weight loss isn't that precise.


    POLY MONO Fats, Macro and Micro Nutrients

    To learn more about health, you should research these from relevant reliable sources. I highly recommend lifestyles where nourishment comes from real food.

    How it Works

    Thyroid and other problems can cause metabolisms to be slightly lower then estimated values. The last thing I recommend is going on a VLCD (very low calorie diet) when your metabolism is already problematic, it just makes matters worse. This is for the average individual without metabolic problems. With that said, I've seen people with thyroid problems use these methods and they still ended up netting above their BMR to lose. Initially they gained (glycogen) and then lost again.

    NET: includes exercise. If your using a sedentary value of your TDEE, that doesn't include exercise. If your TDEE with cut is 2000 and then you exercise 200 of that off, eating your exercise calories back should not make you gain fat (especially if you are hungry).

    WEIGHT: For the sake of living healthy and avoiding health problems, avoid picking a weight that doesn't give you enough calories to work with to give you your daily nutritional recommendations based on your activity level. They were made for a reason. If this is a problem and you are sedentary or you're not working hard, up your activity level. For example, if you're 4'9 and sedentary, I don't recommend being 90 lbs because you will not be eating enough to get your nutrients from food (adding exercise to that is a different story, if you're really active a female can maintain at above 2000 calories a day). I also recommend not going to the middle of underweight on the BMI scale no matter what your activity level is. For example, if you're 5'9 I don't recommend being 100 lbs, ever, no matter how active you are.

    1. Go to the BMR section of this post and find the calculator. This will give you several values, including your BMR. Do not NET below your BMR.
      • Looking at what BMR/RMR stands for, I cannot think of a logical reason anyone would want to eat below it, even when obese unless there is some sort of urgent medical matter currently at play. No, obesity does not count. I've seen people go against doctors orders and I know many use-to-be over weight people who appreciated the fact they ate a healthy amount because they felt good while losing weight. I try to always NET ABOVE my BMR. It's not like obese people can keep up a rate of 5 pounds a week if they keep eating very little (see VLCD and glycogen section). This can cause real upset when you decide you need to eat very little, you decide that very little is not sustainable.
    2. Especially if you have a lot to lose, net your TDEE for at least 2 weeks, and try to figure out if your TDEE is accurate. I say at least 2 because sometimes it takes your body a while to level out and get your glycogen levels and the like back to normal.
      • If you were under eating for a while, expect this part to be a pain (see glycogen and VLCD section).
      • Some people's TDEE's are higher then expected. If you stick to this and are losing weight weekly at this level, I wouldn't bother going lower. If you have a lot to lose you'll probably have to decrease later anyway when you reach a plateau, which according to many can be quite disheartening, so you'll appreciate the extra calories later. I stayed at my calculated TDEE and got to my goal losing a pound a week at the low tip of underweight/healthy on the BMI scale, so trust me, you can lose lots here.
      • Many weight lose sites go on the assumption that taking off 500 calories a day will make you lose a pound a week. Because of the metabolism, this is not true (see the study and weight loss simulator above).
    3. If you are not losing at TDEE values after a few weeks, take a 10%-15% cut of that. As you lose weight, update that number. If you add more exercise, you can eat more then this number and lose.
      1. Or you could go back to the calculator for BMR in step 1. Once you enter your info there will be several activity levels at the bottom of the page. Pick one that relates to you or pick sedentary if you're going to calculate your exercise calories yourself.
      1. The number on the BMR fat2fit page is NOT your TDEE it is a CUT of your TDEE. What you eat is really up to you, but I suggest not taking a large cut, and to make sure you keep netting above your RMR. I recommend not using a weight difference larger then 30, because eventually you'll be working with a unsustainable number, which makes people hungry and cranky. If you have a lot to lose, choose a interval and when you stop losing weight weekly or at say 20 pounds, come back and calculate with your new interval. If you don't like how the math is beginning to sound random here and you don't want to rely on a site, take a 10%-15% cut of their TDEE if it's above your RMR and you will lose. As you lose weight your TDEE changes, and so your cut is lower.
      1. If you have a lot of weight to lose and come to a stall for several weeks, eat at maintenance (TDEE) for a few weeks and repeat. It's normal to gain a few pounds the first week or so but when you cut that and more should drops off along with it.
      You can fluctuate during the day by pounds. Don't let this get to you. This is not not fat you're putting on, it's food and glycogen and if you're a women especially, other things. Over all you are still losing weight and over months you will notice the trend, even if you're weight is fluctuating higher then you would like it to day to day. This is a game of patience. I didn't have problem with this game since there was no durastic change in my diet.

      I've done an experiment where I split my calories up into many meals. This did not make me lose weight faster, my delta weight was still the same. If you eat more meals during the day and eat until late expect your morning weight to be heavier since the time between your last meal and breakfast is shorter. If you eat 3 large meals during the day expect your top weight to be heavier since you have a lot of food in you and your body is breaking it down into different things. If you don't like that idea you can eat your 3 meals verrry slowly (kidding). There's really no difference. Do what you are happiest doing.


      For those who want to play with someone elses numbers on the calculators:
      Height: 5'7
      Weight: 120 lbs
      Weight Lost: 30 lbs
      bust-waist-butt:34-25-36 (inches)
      Activity Level: From sedentary to Active
      NET Calories: 1700 (usually between 2000-3000)
      Bone Mass (BIA): ~6.4 lbs
      Body Water (BIA): ~60%
      Body Fat (BIA): ~17.1% 

      This is me, take it or leave it NL.

      Wednesday, March 7, 2012

      Day one in Florida - Monkeying with Manatees

      (Me and Manatee)
      As exams were approaching I was getting super stressed. Not because I didn't know the material, but because the exams were going to be written by people who couldn't speak, write, or comprehend "the engrish" (which is a whole other rant in itself).  On a related note, the following are my favorite quotes from Professors from Computer Science:
      • "Selected combined not discussed in class first this way then that way with the sort." - final exam notes for Data Structures and Algorithms
      • "It ok, computer understand." - this was after being told by me what he was writing was incorrect and why...the computer did not understand.
      • "And maybe the person is maybe the condition or some kind of conditions so maybe this all the people the age of the people." - some kind of condition is involved, that's for sure.
      • "You can draw everywhere in the ocean." - databases lecture
      • "If you have something and something, then something!" - AI lecture
      • "This is this and this is this and this is not this is not this is not." - You guessed it, AI lecture.
      • me: "Is it *this* or *this*?" response: "Yes!"
       Before I start sounding particularly racist, I'll mention that if you were in these classes, and you were repeatedly told wrong information, and when questioning Professors their responses are always off topic or agreeable even if something is wrong because they are unable to comprehend the English language, you'd understand.  Students from the same place also have to deal with these problems.  Especially when the Professor goes against University regulations and it takes you, a class and 2 instructors to try to explain to him that what he's doing is not aloud and he still does not seem to get it.  It's not the Professors fault someone hired someone incompetent.

      While I was having one of my super stressed moments, Josh comforted me by rubbing my shoulder and asking "Would you like to snorkel with the Manatees?" Of course my expression went from wtf to wtf and I replied "The what?" and this is how our holiday journey begins.

      (Manatee floating towards me)
      Since I've told this story multiple times and had multiple people fill in my "The what?" before I got to it, I'll fill in those who don't know.  Manatees are an endangered species commonly known as sea cows, which are actually closely related to elephants (they have nails like elephants on their flippers).  They are going extinct but hundreds of them hang out in Crystal River, FL where a hot-spring exists under the river bed.  According to a tour guide and internet, temperatures below 20 degrees Celsius can be deadly to them.  But, many of Manatee deaths are caused by humans (every one I saw had scars from boat rudders on their backs).  To read more about these amazingly sweet friendly lovable but threatened creatures that can grow to be 3000 pounds, please read their wiki page.

      December 28th

      (Monkey Island)
      We were on separate flights and turns out my flight forgot to get a pilot (go Air Canada).  We had the same problem coming back.  After running around airports not having enough time to eat and trains and drinking some fizzy vitamin water to keep the jet lag away, we arrived in Florida.  It was the 28th and we drove to Homosassa, FL until dark to stay at a place called River Side Resorts. It's basically on a river. It was dark when we got there and the place was lit up with Christmas lights and Manatee cut outs. There was a restaurant, Riverside Crab House, Yardarm Lounge & the Monkey Bar that was still open whos menu sold various unique seafood dishes.  Like every other restaurant we went to on this trip, we were greeted with "How yall doin'?"  First we tried the Conch Fritters (heavy on the conch). I was a little skeptical, as I generally don't like sea food. It was battered and I have to say it was pretty good. I have nothing bad to say about it. It was deep fried and the batter wasn't bad either.  It didn't taste fishy at all.  We also tried the farm raised fresh water catfish which tasted like dirt. Literally, it tastes exactly like the smell of potted soil. I'm not sure if it's because it was farm raised and constantly in dirt, or because cat fish have a flattened head for a reason (it allows them to dig through substrate) but that's what they taste like.

      (Air Boat)
      The food wasn't the only thing that was unique at this resort.  We sat by a window which was at the edge of of the water (the balcony around it is a dock) and some swimmable distance away was Monkey Island.  Monkey Island was originally a big rock under the water that boaters use to loose their boats too.  So, G.A. “Furgy” Furgason instructed a drag line operator (who got a little carried away) to pile dirt on top of it so it was visible to boaters.   The original monkeys were captured to perfect the polo vaccine and caused trouble, eventually ending up on what became "Monkey Island" [1].  People staying at the resort can watch them make spectacles of themselves and so can you with their live web cam.  This was all a few meters away from us while we were eating.  After that we walked around the docks and saw a couple neat you-don't-see-that-every-day boats like a air/fan boat.

      December 29th

      (Manatee swimming close to a motor)
      The next morning we got up bright and early to drive to Crystal River, FL.  I kept my eye out for alligators in the swamps on the way to Sunshine River Tours to go snorkeling.  I didn't spot any.  We had VIP tickets which enabled us an early boat ride (Manatees are supposedly early risers) and a smaller group (2 other couples).  Nobody guided us, we were just dropped off in the water and we were free to do whatever for as long as we wanted (hours).  Ours happened to be next to a hot spring, which was good considering they love warmth (and cuddles turns out).  It also included snacks (I recommend eating before hand, mine included a disappointing Oreo sandwich and a cracker).  I gotta say I really appreciated the boat driver (Rick) of our specific tour.  You could tell he had a true appreciation and concern for them, making sure we didn't wear fins so if they wanted to get away they could.  There were other groups that swam together ganged up and held manatees down.  It was heart breaking.  There was a moment that one picked me up while I was floating and pulled me along like he was a dolphin.  It was amazingly cool considering these are wild animals.  Then a group surrounded us and pushed me off and one of the tour guides started talking and holding the Manatee down as it looked at me as if to say "how could you let this happen?"  I felt so guilty.

      (Manatee face side view)
      So I should probably mention that I'm afraid swimming (silly I know).  I don't even know why, but I completely panic.  So I got in and shivered in the completely clear water.  I put on my snorkel and panicked.  It felt like someone was trying to smother me (I know, breath through your mouth, it just does not work when you're panicking).  I thought to myself the extent of this adventure is going to be purple me looking down at the shells and the fishes.  Josh was already quite far away and someone yelled at him "put your hands out" at which point he did and I saw a giant dark figure pass him and his eyes get wider and replied "...that's big".

      (My first Manatee friend)
      I could see other people petting these sweet amazing creatures and my heart sank.  Manatees trumped the drowning feeling so I thought this is it.  While I was trying to get use to the smothering I started dog paddling my way to the hot spring.  Did I mention that before you get to the hot spring there's piping that you have to swim under?  And that my snorkel was broken and had no teeth clamps and a hole in it?  I can picture those looking at the sad little doggy paddle snorkeler now.  The water got deeper and cloudier closer to the hot spring (since it's shooting warm water through sand).  I finally got to the piping and took a deep breath and swam (more like flailed) for it.  Since my snorkel was broken and my mouth was open I also took in a gulp full of sandy water and went into panic mode again.  I felt someone wrap themselves around me and bring me to the surface as they comforted me by rubbing my back.  Sound familiar?  I thought it was Josh.  It was a manatee.  I'm not even joking.  A manatee was cuddling me.  I was suddenly cured of any panicky feeling I had and hugged him back.  He didn't seem to mind and stayed with me a few minutes and visited me every now and then on my snorkeling trip.

      (Mossy Manatee Mouth)
      Some of the manatees were very clean while others were mossy.  Apparently this is how you tell the difference between a salt and fresh water manatee (the fresh water hang out in one spot on the bottom and get all mossy).  One guy I'll remember because every time he passed me he had this piece of moss hanging off his whiskers.  It was comical and stayed there the whole time.  There were birds hanging out on some buoys on the water and I snuck up on it and pet it's blue foot as it glared at me.  After a few hours I was the only one left in the water and the driver said to everyone on board "I thought she was afraid of the water?".

      (Manatee rolling over so I'd rub his belly)
      I was hugged, peered at, rubbed against, chewed on, prodded at, pulled around by the foot and arm and saw about 15 Manatees.  What you can see of their eyes are always perfect circles no matter how far they open or close they are.  I was very slow and careful to figure out what each one liked (they're all different).  If their eyes started shrinking (because they didn't really blink) when I went near their face I'd know to stop.  Their backs have inch long hairs spread about an inch appart.  I pet their face tail fins back and bellies (when they seemed to want it).  One of them had half their tail missing, the missing part shaped like a perfect shark bite.  Their arms are really neat as they have 'elephant toenails' on them.  I saw some of them 'walking' on the sand at the bottom and floating around scratching their bellies with them before they rolled over for me to scratch them.  Yes, they'll roll over and show you where they want to be scratched.  If you get it wrong, they'll swim away or shrink their eyes at you lol.  Their faces are also neat.  They have feeler whisker things around their mouth and their teeth are quite the ways back in their mouths.

      (Manatee face top view)
      I've been told the 'families' (mom, dad, baby) usually like to keep their distance.  Ironically, I nearly got squat between a mom and dad with a baby.  They all seemed very curious and I guess they came up to me because I was just silently floating there.  The baby was nursing, which is kind of interesting.  Babies nurse under their mothers armpit.  Then they swam below me and I saw one turn over on their belly, look at me, and take a (pardon me) huge dump...  I swam away before the bubbles got to me lol.  Feww.  It looked like sand.  When I got out several people asked if I was ok because I was blue/purple and shriveled to a prune.

      (NBA Game)
      Later on that night I went to a NBA game and saw some really tall basketball players and some really skinny cheer leaders.  Orlando's mascot was "Stuff", a fire breathing dragon (well, he had those noise maker things that shot out of his nose).  Stuff was quite impressive I must admit and was quite entertaining and can do back flips (in that suit, impressive).  After the game we eventually headed home where we were upgraded to a suite.  We went from shampoo and soup to several kinds of shampoo and soap, razors, shaving cream, loofahs, shower gels and vanity kits.  At the same time I think I would have felt better if I was purple shriveled shivering and smothering with the manatees.  I can't describe how much love I have for those creatures right now.  When we got back to the Hotel I asked if we could live under the sea.  Response:

      • "Under the sea?  Under the sea? There'll be no accusations? Just friendly crustaceans? Under the sea!"

      To be continued...

      This is me, take it or leave it.