Tuesday, November 06, 2012
Ah, the dreaded plateaus of weight loss. As I read the new blog posts each morning, itís a rare day that they are not a focus of concern to someone. A search of the message boards reveals the same thing. Anyone who has ever been on a weight loss journey has been there.
If I think about it geographically, standing on a plateau gives me a chance to see where Iíve been and where Iím headed. I can look around, take in the scenery and focus on other things for a bit. Maybe thereís something here that I havenít noticed before, like some inches lost, or stronger abs, or less jiggle in my arms. Maybe the jeans are going on easier or that image in the mirror looks surprisingly good.
After a rest period on the plateau, Iím ready to continue my journey down the mountain to my final destination. I trust that my body knows when itís time to move on as long as Iíve been honestly taking care of it and I havenít been unrealistic about the distance or speed Iím trying to achieve. Finally, I definitely prefer the view from the plateau to retracing my steps back up the mountain only to have to come back down again.
Difficult though it may be, donít be discouraged. Plateaus are just a necessary part of the terrain.
Monday, November 05, 2012
Could this be a new direction for the junk food king?
My husband, aka the junk food king of the world, has carried on a 45 year affair with Little Debbie, the snack cake lady. On my sparkpage I have a candid photo of our kitchen table at its worst.
Recently while we were grocery shopping together, he passed up all of Debbieís ďcharms.Ē He still put his sugar laden fruit juice and apple cider in the cart, but progress is progress. Then on the way out of the store there was a Bake Sale for a very worthwhile cause Ė a man with high medical bills not covered by insurance. When DH stopped at the table, I suggested we just make a donation and leave the homemade baked goods for others to enjoy. He got it halfway right. He bought 2 packages of cupcakes and told them to keep the change.
Once back home he was visiting a neighbor who was working on his house Ė serious physical labor. He told me about the neighborís project, grabbed one of the cupcake packages and gave them to him.
My husband is about 20 to 30 pounds overweight. In our society thatís hardly noticeable anymore. However, thatís exactly the position I was in when I decided I didnít want to carry around the extra baggage any longer. Both of us have been considered healthy and fit. He swims, I run and we canoe and kayak, weather permitting. Iíve also written in a previous entry about how we switched to healthy nutritious meals about 20 years ago. Unfortunately, our weight didnít decrease at all since ďportion distortionĒ affected us as much as it did the rest of America. Who knew that we were perfectly capable of eating enormous quantities of healthy food too!
He recently had a physical and the results, while not terrible, were heading in the wrong direction. Thatís not what you want to see at almost age 68. Since objective assessment by a professional doesnít happen all that often, itís easy to fall into a false sense of security.
Now considering his ďdonationĒ of baked goods: Was this just a solitary moment of generosity or maybe a sign of good things to come? Time will tell, but Iím hoping for the best.
Sunday, November 04, 2012
It took me a minute to understand what that old acquaintance was actually asking. I hadnít seen her since my retirement and when we reconnected, I was two years into maintenance.
I lost my weight very slowly so I really didnít get much recognition for my efforts one way or the other while I was on my journey. However, when meeting someone whom I hadnít seen in a very long time, the change was obvious to her.
Isnít it interesting that her first thought was that I had surgical help to achieve the new me? Breast implants, tummy tucks, butt lifts, face lifts, all kinds of nips and tucks as well as serious gastric intervention are so common now that that scenario seemed more likely than the possibility that I might have managed it naturally.
Whenever I see a movie star who looks great at 50, 60, 70 or more, I have to wonder how much artificial help was sought to keep up with their contemporaries or younger competitors. Fortunately, Iíve never had a job or lived in an atmosphere where I depended on my looks for success or validation. I can understand how someone who has a camera thrust in their face with great regularity might consider it a necessity.
I would never criticize anyone for what is really a personal choice. My fear of medical procedures far outweighs my need for bodily perfection or improvement. I even close my eyes when having blood drawn or getting a flu shot. Yeah, Iím a wimp.
So the answer to my incredulous friend was YES, I had work done and I DID IT!
Saturday, November 03, 2012
How about preventing weight gain in the first place?
Now I donít expect SP to be inundated with new members in their appropriate BMI range, but Iím glad to see a team of those with ďLess Than 10 Pounds to Lose.Ē My daughter is in that group. I understand that such a group can be diverse, including those who have managed a significant weight loss and now are working on the last difficult 10 pounds. It also includes those who have seen the first stage in the weight gain that affects so many of us.
10 pounds may not be concerning to a 200 pound man, but to a petite 120 pound woman, thatís about 10% of her body weight. That may not yet be cause for alarm, but itís certainly worth considering the reason that it occurred. Without an honest assessment of lifestyle, that 10 pounds can turn into 20, 50 or more quite easily. For many of us thatís exactly what happened.
The National Institute of Health maintains that ďyour weight may be affecting you more than you thinkÖ that even a few extra pounds each year can affect your quality of lifeĒ
Weight plays a role in blood sugar levels, knee, hip and back pain, sleep apnea etc. as well as the risk of serious disease. Losing even a small amount reduces those risks.
I definitely AM NOT referring to the few extra pounds we all seem to gain over a lifetime. Iím perfectly happy 13 pounds more than that sweet young mother I used to be.
I mean the few extra pounds that are added year after year until we reach that moment Ė Yikes! Who is that in the mirror? Or worse - whew, that was a steep flight of stairs!
I also DO NOT advocate badgering our children (usually daughters) into being obsessive about their weight and appearance. Well meaning efforts in that direction can be counterproductive at best and positively dangerous at worst.
Thatís why I love SP. The message here is a healthy lifestyle, not some quick fix diet or pill. Itís like taking the wrong turn on a road trip. I would much rather discover my mistake 10 miles down the highway rather than 50.
Iíve written about my Dadís struggle to quit smoking. He told me that the easiest way was never to start. Similarly, obesity happens one pound at a time. So does preventing it.
Friday, November 02, 2012
I clicked the wrong category when registering for the SP 5K challenge. OK, no problem . This time Iíll be a walker keeping one foot on the ground at all times.
Imagine my surprise to see that weíve got world walking records here on SP. Some of the times recorded here beat the top women in the world. It looks like some others may have clicked the wrong category too, just in the opposite direction.
When it comes to diet and exercise, we often tend to underestimate what we eat and overestimate our exercise and calories burned. I use the database to search for foods that I donít eat often enough to be favorites that I enter myself. How happy I was to find that my name brand snack crackers had NO SODIUM AT ALL! Uh, no. Somebody obviously forgot to enter that line.
Itís also easy to overestimate the distance we travel and underestimate the time it takes to cover it. Iíve done this myself, but the worst example was a colleague who told me she was walking 2 miles a day while at the conference we were attending. I congratulated her for finding the time for that and she replied that it only took 20 minutes. She walked from the hotel to Dunkin Donuts and back. Aside from the irony of her destination, Dunkin Donuts was only Ĺ mile from the hotel.
According to the US track and field website:
An ordinary person out for a walk averages about 16 minutes per mile or 3.75 miles per hour, a typical treadmill setting. A fitness walker tops out at about 12Ĺ minutes per mile or 4.8 miles per hour.Ē I know that beyond 4.6, I would be jogging not walking.
So, we would expect the recorded times for the SP 5K walk to be between 38 and 50 minutes for the fittest walkers among us and that seems to be true. There are a lot of people in that range, but some have reported covering the course in half that time. I know that it doesnít really matter. Itís not like thereís an Olympic medal at stake, but it brings up an interesting point.
When studies are done or claims are made using participantsí self reported data, how accurate is it, really? Here on SP we are self reporting daily in our trackers and generally getting great results. Sometimes though, the results are not what we expect or want to see. Then itís time to reevaluate. Are we really doing what we said weíre doing or have we just done the equivalent of clicking the wrong category Ė an honest mistake.
In any case, congratulations to all who completed the 5K Challenge regardless of your final time. The challenge is worth it, however we covered the distance or how long it took us. We do it for our health.
Throughout this journey we just have to be honest with ourselves and patient too. Thereís a solution out there for all of us.
Get An Email Alert Each Time BROOKLYN_BORN Posts