Monday, December 08, 2014
I need a plan for between BLC rounds. Yup, just in time for the Holidays we are officially on break between rounds. This is a very mixed blessing for me. First I donít have to try to keep up with a team during a very hectic time of year, including time away for vacation at some point which is a blessing. ButÖ itís also the Holidays when many (including myself most years) need the extra push to keep our healthy living goals active. So the focus challenge this week on my team is to look at the upcoming break and make a plan for while we are on ďbreakĒ.
First I have another challenge team (Hogwarts Tri-Term team) that is continuing its weekly challenges throughout this break time so Iíll still be working on my goals there, which often dovetail with my BLC goals. But here are my goals for the upcoming 5 week break.
First Iím going to relax and will be on Spark People less. Yeah, I know but hey, Iím suffering from some computer burnout. I need to spend less time online and more time doing. I will still maintain checking in when I can/think of it. But itís not going to be an everyday thing.
Next, I will continue eating the Healthy Cyndi Diet. This includes eating good food that is gluten free. I have found that by just eliminating the wheat, rye and barely from my diet I feel so much better. I have less pain. I have more energy. I also have less GERD/intestinal distress. I will continue to experiment with different foods to see how they affect me. I will continue to eat fruit and vegetables daily. I will eat normal portion sizes.
Following that is exercise/movement. I will continue tracking my steps and ďactiveĒ steps for work challenges. I will take the stairs most of the time (dress/heels = no stairs for safety). I will continue my 20(+) minutes of exercise a minimum of 5 days a week. This may be walking, strength training, swimming or anything else I can think of that is active and fun. Most of this will be done in the morning, but can be in the afternoon depending on scheduling. I find it too much to do more than 5 days of energetic exercise a week. I will walk (but less) on the other 2 days a week for recovery. If I donít take those 2 days a week off my joints start to swell, I have more pain and so I have learned to take two days off.
Other stuff Iím working on is to brush my teeth daily and take my pills daily. These two things have fallen by the wayside as Iíve been working on my healthy living habits. I need to take as a minimum my vitamin D supplements, folic acid and allergy meds daily. Celebrex as needed. Methotrexate once a week. I have other supplements that can help but if I take these consistently I have less pain, can move more, etc.
Thatís it. Thatís my plan in a nutshell. This Christmas is not going to be a flurry of parties and will mostly be just getting together with family. So I wonít be doing much decorating. That is one of the lifestyle simplifications Iíve had to make with the RA. It just doesnít happen. I donít have the energy or need. I have already decorated my office at work. I donít have the energy to do it at home too. I donít want to take down all the decorations after either. It is just too stressful, and often painful so we have chosen not to decorate for the past several years. I will decorate my door with a wreath or other hanging, but thatís about it.
I hope that everyone is having a great Holiday season. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Merry Kwanza, Blessed Be.
Monday, November 10, 2014
This week on the CAMO Crew team of the BLC 26 we are talking about motivation. I was going to post this in the team thread but it got a ďbitĒ long. So Iím going to turn it into a blog
Motivation - Do I have it? Yes, but probably not in the traditional sense. I have motivation... I want to be healthy and active, to avoid living with pain and stay out of a wheel chair. These are all motivating factors in the reason I am here on Spark People, the CAMO Crew BLC team and trying to lose the excess weight. But...I'm not feeling it. I often don't want to, I often just want to curl up in a ball and whimper that it hurts, that I just can't do this anymore. But...I want/need to be healthy and active and that only comes with dedication and consistency. During the long dark days ahead I usually quit for awhile. I move less and eat more. I go into hibernation. It may be SAD has something to do with it although it hasn't been formally diagnosed. It may be that it is colder and damper which affects my joints making it tougher to get moving.
Either way I have opposing wants sometimes. I think that we all do actually. There is an article on another website (Nerd Fitness) that I think helps get this across. It talks about what motivation is and isnít. What to use in place of motivation to keep moving.
You see, while I do have the motivation I donít have the enthusiasm right now. Iím not all gung ho, letís get this done! What I do have though is dedication and determination. This leads me to be consistent, which leads to progress.
Doing: Read these Articles
Mastering the Mysteries of Motivation - Part 1
Mastering the Mysteries of Motivation - Part 2
Identify the regular actions that you can do which will help you lose weight, ones you can make conscious decisions each day to do or not do. You can write these down, blog, them, or post them in the chat thread.
Action 1: Eat right, including eating Gluten Free.
This means good quality food including vegetables and fruit. I donít always remember to eat them, especially when Iím scrounging or just making food for me. I often choose fast over quality, but I am getting better at choosing to have the quality foods at home so itís easier to eat them.
When I eat consistently good (healthy) food I feel better. I have more energy. I can focus on what needs to be done and do it better.
Action 2: Exercise consistently 5 days (min 20 minutes) a week in the morning.
We are in week 8 and Iím still streaking. When I get up and exercise before work I feel better about myself, have less pain overall and feel accomplished. It IS still a struggle every morning. As it gets colder and darker in the mornings I know it will get even harder to get out of the bed and move it. But I also know that by getting up and moving I feel better for the rest of the day.
Action 3: 91 + (13 a day) minutes of ďactive walking a week. This fits in with exercising consistently as the only way I can get these minutes in is to walk with a beat (like w/LS in my living room). Focusing on the work incentive program where I get a discount on my insurance premiums and extra $$ for meeting goals helps keep me moving even when I donít ďwantĒ to.
Action 4: Drink more water than tea. Yes, I know tea is healthy/bad depending on where you stand. I am not going to commit to drinking only water. It wonít happen. At least not right now. I choose for the most part to not drink my calories. I do occasionally like a hard cider or a glass of wine, so I wonít say I donít drink my calories unequivocally. And I do hate to make absolute statements. That way lays madness for me. If I truly forbid anything I will break my word to myself and eat/do whatever Iíve banned. So it is easy for me to drink the flavored water and caffeine over just water (even carbonated). Therefore I focus on balancing that out by drinking more water than tea. I always get enough water that way and stay hydrated.
Action 5: Make the time needed to eat healthy and exercise consistently appointments. Make them hold the same weight as going to work. I need to work to earn money to eat, have a safe place to sleep and have a little fun with friends, buy things etc. I need to eat healthy and exercise to live the life I want. Just like going to work. So this is something I have to doÖ forever. I am the most important part of this therefore it MUST be a priority to take the time needed to make it happen.
Friday, September 19, 2014
Itís that time again. Once more I am looking to find my goals (and motivations) for the Biggest Loser Challenge (BLC) that Iím involved in. We took our first weigh in (WI) on Wednesday. I am not where I wanted or hoped to be, but Iím not far off from where I expected to be.
I took the summer off. I rarely exercised. I just lazed the summer away. It was my choice. I needed the rest I think as even with getting on average about 3,000 Ė 4,000 steps a day (and many days less than that) Iím still within 1 lb of where I ended the last round. Thatís a tribute to my eating habits I think. And they are just that, habits. I eat the same things most weeks and so I know how many calories are in the foods and eat pretty much in a consistent range now that Iíve gone gluten free. Losing those desperate cravings, those (to me) undeniable urges to eatÖ everything in sight has made a huge difference.
But now is the time to start moving forward again with my plans. Iím tired of maintaining. Iím TIRED of being 10 Ė 15 Ė 20 lbs above my goal weight. I want to live between 140 Ė 145 lbs. That is 10 Ė 15 pounds from where I am right now. Iíve revised it upward by 5 lbs. I donít think, realistically that I will make my previous goalÖ ever. It is unrealistic to expect my 50 + year old body to go back 20 + years and be what it was. It will never happen. Even if I get back to that weight my body wonít look the same. 145 is the top of the BMI healthy weight scale for me, so that is where Iím aiming. I am not giving up or giving in, not really. I am looking at my lifestyle, what I am willing and able to do. I can always reevaluate later. But it sounds so much better to only need 10 Ė 15 lbs to goal than 20 Ė 25. Iíve been trying with limited success to lose that same 20 Ė 25 lbs for years! The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results.
If I lose 0.25 lbs a week Iíll be within striking distance of 150. If I lose 0.5 lbs a week I will be below 150 (a sticking point in my mind. If I lose 0.75 lbs a week I will be below my top end goal. If I can lose 1 lb a week I will be at my low end goal by the end of this challenge.
I havenít been below 150 since before 2003 and I was only at 150 for about a month in 2003. So I have my mental work cut out for me. And Iím going into that time of year that is traditionally hard for me to do anything other than maintain. Yup thatís right. Fall and winter seasons are usually colder, damper and less sunny. Thatís when I go into extreme hibernation mode normally. I have to find a way to counter that.
So I am going to have to make some changes. Something has to give and itís all mental at this point or at least mostly I think. I know what works. If I eat better foods like fruits and vegetables more home cooked and less prepackaged foods I feel better and do more. When I exercise consistently I do & feel better as well. But, when Iím tired and achy it becomes really challenging to do so.
What can I do to motivate myself during the upcoming challenges? How can I overcome this mental block that keeps me from accomplishing my goal? What am I willing to do and to change to make this happen?
I have already made some great progress. Iíve eliminated gluten and soda pop from my diet (I know I mention this a lot, but as they are one of my few long term successes I need the affirmation that I CAN make changes that stick). Right now Iím ready to make sweeping changes and commit to them, but that doesnít work for me. I eased into the gluten free eating and have been eating this way for almost 1.5 years now. I have no intention of going back. In fact we just bought a large amount of gluten free emergency foods for me, so even in times of emergency I wonít fall back into that habit that hurts more than just my waistline.
The only extreme change I made that I was able to keep long term was giving up sodas. I *had* to do that all at once as that is an addiction. The combination of sugars/caffeine make it impossible to have just one. I have been soda free for 6 years now (I think). I have tasted regular and diet Coke/Pepsi products. They now just taste nasty. The diet sodas have a horrible aftertaste and the regular sodas are now waaay too sweet. Yea for change tastes. My biggest downfall there was the fizzy sensation on my throat. This time I found soda/carbonated water. It quenches my thirst and has that soothing fizzy sensation I crave. So now all I drink is tea (both iced & hot depending on the weather) and water. I will have the occasional glass of wine or hard cider (maybe 1 or 2 on average per month).
I toy with the idea of going paleo or cave man. After all both are really gluten free, but Iím not willing to give up dairy or grains. I feel better when I eat them. Therefore I will not eliminate them from my diet. My diet is one I plan to keep for life, not just for a short time to lose the weight, but to feel my best.
But I digress. This is blog is to be about the goals Iíve set for the next 12 weeks and how to achieve them. I think Iím avoiding having to commit to anything. Once itís in writing I can fail. Silly me.
I will lose weight this round. I will lose somewhere between 5 & 10 lbs.
To do this:
I will exercise regularly. This means 5 times a week.
I will include strength training 2 times a week.
I will enjoy my rest days and not feel guilty for taking them. Rest is as important as exercise.
I will rock climb 1 time a week. We just rejoined the climbing gym, now utilize it.
I will walk an average of 8,000 steps a day.
I will eat to live. That means more foods prepared at home. I need to work out the specifics on that as our eating habits have changed. We now eat our main meal at lunch rather than dinner. So I need to find ways to work with that new dynamic that doesnít involve a lot of fast food or frozen prepackaged foods.
I WILL listen to my body and eat accordingly. If I am truly hungry I will eat. If I am not hungry I will not eat just because itís my normal time for food.
I will read motivational/inspirational books and not just pleasure reading books.
This is MY time. I WILL find a way. I will live my motto. Never give up, never surrender. I WILL succeed! (Scary as that is.)
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