Friday, February 10, 2012
Those frozen smoothie packets interest me. I'd like to try a couple out. But in moving back in August, I shed the vast majority of my kitchen appliances, which leaves me without any form of blending device. Not that my blender was in great condition - at 7-10 years old, it was a miracle that it mostly didn't leak (unless mostly liquid contents were left in it for a while). All the better I replace it anyhow.
There's also the idea of cooking more, which means a lot of cutting, chopping, and dicing. Which had me considering a food processor - or "better yet" a combo machine. But it seems like the two tasks I want to accomplish are at the wide ends of the spectrum from one another. Liquid is better with a blender, solids are better with a food processor, and mixed machines don't do the extremes as well as the middle.
So, for now at least, it seems a blender is the plan.
After learning about the sodium in cottage cheese, and having some No Salt Added cottage cheese, I've started looking into protein powders. In a way, it feels like trying to pick a blender. Lots and lots of choices and difficult to compile reviews that don't always cover what I care about.
I don't want to just rush and buy either, but I don't want to wait too long either dithering over what's "best".
I think I need to further clarify what I want and don't want.
(For example, I know I do NOT want a soy-based protein powder. Nor do I want one with artificial sweeteners. Does a whey powder exist without sweeteners? To be determined.)
Monday, February 06, 2012
I don't normally pay a lot of attention to the numbers on my scale. I weigh in daily, every morning, immediately after getting up and relieving myself, with no clothes to skew the numbers. Then I record it here and on another site, checking my trend over time on the other site.
Normally it bounces up and down quite a bit. Up two pounds, down a pound, up half a pound, down three pounds, and so on. (I don't have SparkPeople announce the losses because it would look rather silly losing 1, 2, or 3 pounds on random days when that wasn't truly how much my trending weight shifted.)
This past week it unusually stalled completely for about 5 days - sitting at exactly the same numbers every single day. No big deal. Five days is not a "plateau". It's just an interesting variation from the usual bouncing around.
Yesterday it had dropped half a pound.
Then I spent the afternoon with my daughter, had my little tumble, and in getting my protein up in range and filling a late evening hunger was around 200 calories over my range. (And looking back over the week, I've been toward the upper end of my range all week.)
So I should be up today, right?
Down another half pound.
Moral of the story?
Very simply - the bathroom scale is not an exact science. A pound or more gained or lost is not always a direct result of what was done yesterday.
It's a decent enough tool to give us approximations on our progress. But it is rarely up 1 pound just because we ate 1200 calories more than we should have yesterday. It is up one pound because of a complicated mixture of factors that may have almost nothing to do with protein, carbs, and fat turning into glucose and being stored in fat cells.
(In fact, there are some days where air pressure and humidity play a factor in the number. I know higher humidity means my hair weighs a little more and lower means it weighs less. Small amounts in the grand scheme of things, but try weighing yourself with towel-dried hair sometime and comparing it to blown dry hair. If the scale has the precision to show it, there is a difference.)
Now, the most important thing. No, the scale does not show me "yesterday", BUT that doesn't change the fact I ate more than planned calorie-wise. I knew that last night. Stepping on the scale didn't erase it and make it okay because I supposedly lost 0.5 pounds overnight.
Living a healthy lifestyle isn't about wild adjustments based on scale shifts. It is based on knowing what is a healthy and workable range of both nutrition and activity - and maintaining that balance over the long term.
I lead the scale through my actions in the general direction I choose. The scale does not lead me through the numbers it shows.
(Edited only to change out a "never" to a "rarely", since absolutes are flawed.)
Monday, February 06, 2012
Those of us who are natural klutzes often find an amazing ability to roll with the punches as it were.
I am one. My DDa is one as well.
It's not just weight-based and not knowing how wide a space I need. DDa is not fighting weight. And I've been clumsy even back when the only picture of me has me tall and scrawny looking (ah, growth spurts).
What does this usually mean? It means something will slip out of my hand, I'll get my other hand swung to try to catch it or slow the fall, a knee will move and a foot will shift. If I'm lucky, I slow it (bruising myself, of course) enough to avoid it shattering or splattering on the floor. I can say from experience that bread does not always land butter side up. In fact, the heavier coated side is more likely to be down ... and make a mess of clothes that try to stop its descent.
This also means I've had more than my fair share of trips and stumbles. Ice skating and other such activities at least taught me to fall properly, to curl, to roll, to not try to break a fall by bracing arms.
Which leads to the other half of being such a klutz. I don't really get badly injured for being so. Bruises and scrapes absolutely. Broken bones? Never once in my 42, almost 43, years.
Thank goodness my DDa is much the same. Worst two things in her life have been a badly infected lymph node and an over-extended elbow from volleyball.
This afternoon we headed down a flight of stairs. About two steps down, she started moving faster and the next thing I know she's falling, curling, and stopping about 10 steps down. I get almost to her ... and looking in concern manage to catch my toe of my right foot, my ankle collapses, and I go down three steps to the landing. -______-
Good grief! But, that luck or training in falling saved us both. She's got mildly scraped knees, a scraped and bruised shin, a skinned elbow, and a sore spot on the back of her head. I've got a scraped and very very mild twist of the ankle. Other than having to sit for 10 or so minutes to get over some light-headedness and assess the damage, we were up and walking it off.
And what must seem so strange to those who would have seen that, by the time we were walking, we were laughing about how surreal it had seemed, she was making a joke from a webcomic she reads about how she "can't stair", and we headed to find a bandaid for the one scrape that was leaking a little. She seemed most concerned about the different reactions she would get from people when they learned about the tumble, even deciding who she would probably avoid telling about it.
I honestly hate sometimes to be such a klutz and to have passed it on as though it is part of my genetic code. BUT, equally I am grateful that both she and I came through with such minimal damage. I cannot even wrap my head around how much worse it could have been.
Saturday, February 04, 2012
Obtain a full determination of my health condition from a doctor.
This involves a variety of smaller goals / steps to be done. I need to select a general practitioner or see if there are any clinics around. I need to figure out all the procedures that might be involved in getting a "clean bill of health". I need to price them and start setting aside money for the entirety.
I also need to review the insurance my coworkers have to see if it's of any value to join and whether doing so would change doctors, costs, and options. (Skipping LONG rant about insurance - suffice it to say I despise insurance companies.)
I don't have a specific target date for this goal, but definitely would like to have it done before the end of this year.
Not a major thing, but I want to be able to do a "real" pushup with proper form.
For women of my age, doing 8-17 bent-knee pushups is considered Average. I have no idea at what point of being able to do that I'll be able to manage a military-style pushup, but I ~will~ work from one to the other.
As I'm currently at a ridiculously weak point where I'm lucky to do ONE bent-knee pushup, I don't have a target date - just the goal and knowledge that when I reach this, I will really feel I've crossed a certain fitness threshold.
Friday, February 03, 2012
I have to admit when I first read the name of the stage, I rather expected it to be quite pushy about trying to recruit people. I'm very pleased to see it's less focused on The Spark as the book(s) and site and more focused on the Spark we each have within us.
For really, what IS the Spark? I suppose each person has to answer that for themselves. For me, it is that inner push to improve my health and fitness and life, to strive for something better. It's what takes it from just being lots of knowledge to being applied.
It reminds me, amusingly, of my DDa when she was little. I don't radiate heat necessarily, but I'm nearly always comfortable with the weather hot or cold. Unlike me, she is very temperature sensitive. It didn't matter how many blankets and how thick, she often was cold at night. As a little kid, she'd fuss and not fall asleep because she was too cold. So I got into this little "game" of closing my eyes and reach inside mentally to the heated core that kept me warm and slowly describing to her this process to expand the heat and send some to her to help her warm up. It didn't seem to take long before she'd fall asleep.
I'm not saying it worked! I think the drone of my voice and closing her eyes to try to imagine it was all it took to distract her long enough for sleep to claim a victim. However, I do have the same kind of idea about the Spark - that it is something "inside" me that I can reach for and expand to warm others.
The list of ways to Spread the Spark is actually quite interesting. Sure, one is "Get 5 friends to sign up on SparkPeople.com." which fits the original idea I expected, but the next one after that is "Volunteer to help with a 5K race." Nothing about wearing a SparkPeople shirt or telling others about SparkPeople. JUST volunteering in a way that helps others who are actively doing something for their help.
In fact, without having read this list yet, I wrote recently in response to someone else's blog or status or an article that I'd like to volunteer, particularly to be one of those who cheer on the participants running, jogging, or walking - to be there at the finish line even as the last person makes it across and still be cheering. Since I'm laying off walking long distance until my foot is completely recovered, this idea has a lot of appeal.
Now, just to clarify, it is very thrilling to share SparkPeople with a stranger (my last blog) and to hope she checks it out and joins us here. I will certainly not be trying to keep SparkPeople.com a secret. However, I dislike anything related to advertising or pushy sales. I cannot see myself printing cards for SparkPeople and handing them out to strangers. I can see myself, as I did, writing the site legibly and giving some description to a person who asks for the information.
Actions, to my mind, speak many many times louder than words. And so this list that has many actions has great appeal. Help fix up a playground. Coach a sports team. Volunteer at a YMCA or community center. Donate healthy foods to local food drives.
Share and spread the Spark through example and actions that spread healthy living.
I can do this!
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