Saturday, December 27, 2008
Looking back on the year I think there is much to appreciate and give thanks. My son and his wife celebrated their first anniversary on the 1st of December and are working on starting a family. My oldest daughter and her boyfriend purchased a home and are settling in nicely. My middle daughter seems to have found love with a very nice man and my two youngest are finishing up their degrees. One had the experience of a lifetime by studying abroad in Australia for 4 months, and the other finished out a fine football career as team captain. My husband and I have a relationship that changes and grows with our needs and we are both in good health. My parents are doing fairly well, and though we lost my father-in-law to cancer, he went out on his own terms with his dignity intact. Our life here on the farm is something to be relished and appreciated and something that most people never get the chance to experience. Though we will soon be finalizing it's sale, a better life could not have been imagined and will never be forgotten.
For me personally, I'm still passionate and committed to my healthy habits. These habits are second nature to me and require little thought. It's funny how foods I never ate before can be so enjoyable now. While I was eating breakfast yesterday(oatmeal, raspberries, blueberries, mixed with 1/4 cup of fat free cottage cheese) I was actually thinking that the taste was almost decadent! Who knew? Being capable of partaking in all holiday festivities and traditions(even baking cookies and hosting parties) without straying from healthy eating, as well as fitting workouts into the hectic days was easy and gave me a feeling of satisfaction. I can honestly say that at age 53 I finally get it. My priorities are right and life is truly worth living.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Well, another successful and wonderfully happy Christmas has passed. My husband and I realized it was our 37 one together (Married for almost 33 years now) and each one seems more memorable and special than the one before. Our family is growing, but so is the love, and though my mom wasn't up to much (just got out of the hospital with pneumonia) but thankfully she was there to enjoy the day with us.
In less than a week I will be celebrating the 3 year anniversary of the re-invention of myself, it doesn't seem possible. I certainly couldn't have envisioned this when I began the journey. But it's an awesome feeling to know that it's been this long, and I'm still 100 % committed. It's funny because in spin class this morning, the girl next to me was lamenting all that she had eaten and drank over the holiday season, I'm happy to say that I've stayed true to healthy foods. My Christmas dinner consisted of turkey, veggies, and a sugar-free/fat-free "orange dump salad". No pies, or cookies, though many abounded, and I never had that overly-stuffed, "oh what did I eat" feeling. We even hosted a party last Saturday night, and I ate shrimp and fruit, no roast beef, egg nog or pulled pork, not even a roll. And while I still consider that a victory, I don't miss any of those foods. I don't feel deprived or cheated, but instead valorious and a bit righteous for understanding and accepting what is healthy and good for me. I also feel relieved that I didn't have to suffer the ill-effects of poor eating and the emotional wrought it brings. Life is so much better this way.
I'm also quite proud of keeping with my workout routines through the season. I did have no workout yesterday, but I intend to do cardio Sunday, either run or take spin class. Other than that, I made every spin class (including Xmas eve morning) and did all my weight lifting programs. That's quite empowering to know that no matter what is going on in life, I'm still capable of taking care of myself and making sure I get my exercise.
I'm excited to see the USA TODAY article (January 8, tentative date) and see how the photos turned out. I would have loved to be able to see all the pictures she took (55 minutes worth in spin class and another 2 hours outside), but I guess they have rules about such things. The photog did say she'd show me the ones they chose for the article, so that will have to do. But, the cool thing is that the photographer was inspired to go buy a new pair of spinning shoes and get back to taking classes again. She said it had been many years since she biked, but had gotten the bug to give it another try! That's the sort of thing that makes the process worth while.
Focus on replacing sugary and highly processed foods with complex carbs and healthy alternatives.
Throw out: Thick dressings, white rice, creamers, white pasta, white potatoes, chips, dip, soda, mayonnaise, pudding and just say no to Twinkies! (Note: Donate any unopened food instead of throwing it away.)
Keep: Vinaigrettes, vegetables, nuts, sweet potatoes, whole wheat pasta, brown or wild rice, tomato sauce, oatmeal, salsa, yogurt, mustard, natural applesauce
Put on probation: Cheese, milk, butter, ice cream, eggs, cooking oil, beef
Then move on to the rest of the kitchen:
Learn to read food labels
Collect healthy, quick recipes
Toss out all those pizza coupons
Get a few water bottles to keep cold water handy in the fridge
Put a bowl of fruit and granola/breakfast bars by the back door
A pitcher with a filter for water
Spices so healthy food doesn't get boring
A sturdy cutting board
Plenty of containers to portion out prepared foods, store leftovers, and pack lunches
Friday, December 19, 2008
Wow, these past few days have been a whirlwind for me. My sweet daughter came home from Australia after being away for 4 months, my son, her twin brother, has come home from school as well. My mother is in the hospital and I'm still shopping for Christmas and getting ready for a party tomorrow night. Amid all this madness, USA TODAY sent a photographer out yesterday to shoot some pictures for a January 8 story about my weight loss, again. The photographer came to my spinning class and shot the entire time (let me tell you that gets your heart rate up, having someone take pictures of you working out!!!!) then she came back to our orchards and shot more pictures at a couple locations for another 2 hours! It's very tedious and I can honestly say I now understand why models get paid so much, it's not easy work! (Not that I look like a model...lol)
My exercise continues to be a source of strength and pride for me. I continue to workout 5 days a week. Lifting for 3 spin class for 5 and hopefully yoga tomorrow and a nice run on Sunday, weather permitting. I don't always get a chance to log in and post in the fitness/nutrition sections, but be assured I continue to follow my program daily.
Friday, December 12, 2008
A couple people have tried to see the story that ran in USA TODAY last May, only to find the link didn't work. I did a Google search and this is where the story has been archived.
I had a very good week and my knee has finally started to get back to where it was prior to my "boot camp" debacle. Today, I felt a little fatigued and laid off the leg workout that was scheduled, mainly because my knee is finally feeling better (in agony since last Thursday) therefore, I didn't want to risk further pain. My spin classes this week were all over 400 calories via my HRM. Thusday, though I didn't have time to post here, I followed one of the tips for keeping the weight loss going, by adding just 10 minutes a day, and I ran for ten minutes on the treadmill before spin class. I didn't get those 10 extra in today, but I did a lot of vacuuaming and cleaning when I got home, and that was like 40 minutes extra. I'm going to continue to do 10 minutes extra throughout the holidays. I'm very happy about that and my workouts this week were really good. I always love the week when I try a new workout as your muscles feel and react differently. Two or three weeks on the same program is the max or you just won't make any gains. Usually I would be getting ready for yoga class tomorrow morning, but I'm going to have to skip it since I have a funeral to attend. I may just go for a quick run in the morning and see how that goes.
Next Thursday, the photographer from USA TODAY will be taking pictures outdoors of me doing a walking workout, that should be fun! I'm glad it's going to be of me working out, the last pictures were kind of wierd.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Where is the time going? Such a busy time of year, but thankfully, exercise and diet are always the path to sanity! Today I had an epiphany of sorts; I received another request from USA TODAY writer Nancy Hellmich to do a follow up story on my weight loss in terms of a new series entitled "Diet on a Dime." Initially, she had planned on my segment focusing on healthy grocery shopping, but after we spoke, she decided I would be better suited to the area of fitness. During out conversation, I realized that I've become PASSIONATE about fitness and working out! Who knew that at age 53 that was even a possibility? We spoke on the phone for more than 20 minutes, and I could have discussed the topic for hours and hours. Working out is one of the greatest pleasures of my day. I don't know when that occurred, but sometime during this nearly 3 year voyage, I've gone from accepting exercise as a necessary evil, to something that gives me great pleasure. The feeling of sweat rolling off my body, and watching my muscles work while they lift weights or exercise, is the one time I really am proud and appreciative of my body. Women have such a difficult time accepting and loving ourselves/bodies, and our self-esteem is so tightly woven into our acceptance/love that anytime we can get that feeling makes us want to hold on to it, embrace it and repeat it, as often as possible! I can honestly say that I never feel as good about myself, as when I'm in my workout clothes and pushing myself to limits I never dreamed possible. For anyone still hesitant about beginning/continuing a workout program, please, give it a chance, focus on how wonderful your body truly is and appreciate and enjoy the moment. There really is no better feeling(well perhaps one, but that's not appropriate here)...
Along those same lines of thinking is today's Healthy Reflection from SP regarding motivation. I know a big part of my motivation is getting that feeling of self-respect and pride daily, but we each need to find what motivates us:
People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing--that's why we recommend it daily.
- Zig Ziglar, motivational speaker
What do you do to motivate yourself?
Makes sense doesn't it? The secret to staying consistent with your goals is to stay motivated. That means finding ways to fire yourself up on a daily basis. Being inspired at a seminar, by reading a book, or while talking to a dynamic speaker is easy. But what happens when you're on your own? To follow through on that burst of motivation and reach the finish line, you need regular booster shots. Give yourself those little positive reminders that you have an important job to do and a good reason for doing it. What's pushing you? Surround yourself with visual, verbal, and physical "pep talks" that trigger that motive. It doesn't take long for dust to gather on your momentum, making your goals turn stale. A daily dose of motivation kicks off the dust before it can settle and gives you a fresh, clean start.
As for my workout today, it was a cardio-only day, as I'm currently lifting 4 days and today was the off-day: spin class 55 minutes 416 calories burned!
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