Wednesday, December 26, 2012
These past two days I've been thinking about why I feel "deprived" during Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter and any other extended family eating time of the year - even when I'm not "hungry."
Using Sparkpeople to track my food and exercise, I know what I need to consume to lose the extra weight. I'm not usually hungry. Where do these feelings of deprivation come from?
I'm coming to understand that the difference is the ABUNDANCE of MANY kinds of food. I can't even eat just a taste of all of them without going over my calorie range. They don't show up the rest of the year, so they are special in my mind. There are only a few I don't like.
During a normal day I have just 2-5 components to a meal. On Christmas Eve there were choices to be made from 10 meal components and 12 (!) different desserts (not large amounts of each, but requiring decisions or mindless eating.) We have four households contributing to this meal, and some of the desserts are a sharing of what their friends have also shared with them during the last week.
I'd love to taste things I'm not familiar with to know if I'm interested in getting that recipe. But I don't want to spend my limited calories on something I don't know tastes good. It's a problem.
I really don't know how to make this much easier as long as it's an organized pot-luck that isn't at my home. I can't tell everyone that they can't bring or eat their favorites because it will tempt me. I did reduce the number of dessert items I brought by over half this year. It didn't seem to make a dent in the abundance of that table. I guess I'll just have to repeatedly gear up my motivation to be fit, reserve some extra calories ahead of time, and get back to my regular routine the next meal.
How do YOU handle situations like these?
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Yesterday I had a plan for getting through the family gathering (LOTS of food!) without damaging my Sparkpeople journey. I was not going to bring as many desserts. I was going to eat reasonable portions. There would be a few tastes of high calorie favorites because I had eaten less earlier in the week, so I had a few extra calories I could spend.
Here is what happened:
I brought a batch of cookies and some fudge, as planned. I didn't eat them. (I did bring home more than I had wanted to!)
I had reasonable portions of ham, scalloped potatoes, fruit salad and some carrot sticks with water to drink.
I had 1 medium potato chip with a taste of clam dip (a favorite I don't provide for myself anymore.)
I had a small clump of homemade Caramel Corn.
I had half a cookie my daughter made and was raving about. (I split it with my other daughter.)
I'm pleased with that. It was a large calorie meal, but I didn't go over my calorie range for the day. This morning my scale shows a loss of .2 of a pound.
What I'm not so confident about:
Many of the presents from younger members of the family were homemade cookies or chocolates.
What I plan to do:
The excess cookies I brought home will go into the freezer if I like them.
The chocolate things I don't love will be eaten by my husband or migrated into the compost bin.
The leftover fudge I made, which I do like, will be stored in a container in the fridge where I won't automatically see it, my husband can eat it, it can be offered to guests, and I can enjoy a piece once in a while when I plan for it.
Whew! I think I passed this test!
Monday, December 24, 2012
Tomorrow is my extended family's Christmas dinner. I'm committed to making good choices. Those choices started with me NOT making 5 kinds of cookies plus some candies to contribute. I made 1 cookie recipe and 1 batch of fudge - most of which will not be coming home with me. I always bring a fruit salad with yogurt for the dressing.
I'll eat reasonable portions, and probably have a taste of some things I love that are high in calories. I've been eating very close to 1200 calories a day for the past week. (I lost 2 pounds last week.) I should be fine with one meal above the usual calorie allotment.
I've exercised daily as well as making sure I get 10,000 steps and at least 10 flights of stairs in a day. I'll exercise tomorrow as well.
I think I'm ready, and I don't think I'll go up in weight next Saturday. Come back and find out.
Friday, December 21, 2012
I've had my Fitbit One for about a month now, and I thought I'd share some observations and insights. I'm really glad I got it!
I've found it doesn't take long to take 1500 to 2500 steps in the evening if my number isn't high enough to reach my 10,000 step goal. I am walking more all day long now with the fitbit's encouragement. (remember I was a 6,000 step a day girl when I got it.)
My Sparkpeople fitness minutes have gone way up due to the fact that the fitbit logs "very active" and "fairly active" minutes on Sparkpeople as opposed to my prior use of the Sparkpeople fitness tracker to only track my exercise (very active) minutes. I'm still doing the exercise time, but the extra walking is burning more calories. And the weight is coming off a bit more quickly than I had planned. I'm still eating in the range I was before I got the fitbit because my "Official" exercise hasn't changed much.
The fitbit daily calorie estimate is a graphic that looks like the speedometer on a car and has three zones, below goal range, goal range and above goal range. I've got mine set on "sedentary," which means that the calories I can eat (based on the calories I've burned) start out very low in the morning and go up as I move around. The "personal" setting gave me many more calories for the day at the beginning, and then surprised me later in the day by saying I'd have to exercise "x" number of calories off to be in my goal range. (I did!) You have to find what works best for you! I hate feeling I "owe" exercise.
The food that Sparkpeople transfers to Fitbit doesn't always transfer the exact calorie numbers. I don't stress about that. One thing you should know is that if you make a mistake on Sparkpeople, delete a food and add another one, nothing is deleted from your fitbit food entry. I have one day that shows me eating a HORRENDOUS amount, which I didn't, but the deletions from Sparkpeople didn't transfer. You CAN delete something directly from the fitbit site, but not, apparently, after the day that it was added. Thus my HUGE calorie intake for that day. I don't know how to fix it. Eventually it will fall off the graph, I hope!
You can have fitbit friends, much like we have Sparkpeople friends. It lists you your friends on the right side of your screen and shows their weekly step count, highest to lowest. So far I only have one fitbit friend, and she's walking circles around me. The only time I get higher step counts is when she's away on a trip and hasn't synced up for a while. We're both doing what we need to do, and I'm not demoralized that I always come in last. Lol. My scale is moving, and I'm down a size in clothing since early November.
The sleep tracker has made it much harder for me to get credit for 8 hours of sleep! I'm usually in bed that long, but if I toss and turn much, I'll only get credit for 7+ hours of sleep. I have wondered if my husband's tossing and turning jiggles my fitbit and disturbs their concept of my sleeping more than he is really disturbing me. I'm not sure how I'd test that.
I'm still amused by the fitbit chat when I pick it up. It has a large repertoire of short phrases. I wish it would put my name first and the phrase 2nd, because I sometimes forget to watch and only catch my name at the end.
Some people have reported that the fitbit came out of its holder and was lost. Knowing that, I usually try to clip it on a waistband or coin pocket with the bottom inside another pocket. If it falls out, it should go into my pocket. So far I've not had any trouble at all with it.
It is supposed to stay charged for up to a week. I forgot to charge it one week, and it was still going strong at almost 2 weeks, though the battery DID need to be charged then. It hasn't let me down.
If you're at all interested in the Fitbit One, I heartily recommend it as an ongoing source of motivation. It's doing its job very well for me!
Monday, November 26, 2012
I've been doing pretty well with tracking my eating and faithfully exercising, and my weight is slowly going down. I've been seeing all the ads and articles regarding the fitbit and how it syncs with Sparkpeople, and I thought it would be fun to have some immediate feedback to motivate me to move more.
I checked out the various Fitbit models and decided to buy the Fitbit One. It arrived about a week and a half ago, and I have to say that I HAVE been motivated to move more! I probably was a 6000 step per day person. Now if I see in the evening that I'm below 10,000 steps, I have to walk around until it reaches that goal. The Saturday after Thanksgiving I did 16,000+ steps! Yesterday I walked to the library and back for the first time instead of driving.
It cracks me up that if I put the fitbit on the counter (while showering or changing clothes), when I pick it back up it gives me a message: "Walk me, Joan!" "Move It, Joan" "Rock it, Joan." It's particularly funny to me if it says that just after I've done my workout. I can't wait to see what else it has to say.
We have 2 sets of stairs in our home. Fitbit thinks a flight of stairs is at least 10 feet. The stairs between the main and top floor meet this requirement. The stairs from the basement to the main floor apparently do not. My husband just shakes his head in amusement at me when he sees the small step stool at the top of my basement stairs so that I can use it to get credit for the flight of stairs. So much motivation in one small device. I'm having a lot of fun with it.
I do like the way it syncs with Sparkpeople. Fitness and sleep info goes from the Fitbit site to Sparkpeople. Food info goes from Sparkpeople to the Fitbit site. There are some good reports on the Fitbit site, and it will tell me, in light of the fact I'd like to loose a half pound a week, how many more calories I can eat at any given point in the day - or how much more exercise I need to do to work off the extra calories I need to burn to reach that goal.
Well, that's all the time I have to spend here, today. I have WALKING to do....
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