Monday, January 06, 2014
Although I don't believe in resolutions, I do like the new year for providing a little reminder of the joys of fresh starts, and an opportunity to re-evaluate priorities and goals.
Here is my brief look at what lies ahead for me in 2014:
1. I'm traveling a little, and taking a language course for 10 weeks. In combination with my other activities this will mean that I'm working full-time and have 4 weekday evenings committed to activities for about 3 months. Yikes! It will keep me out of the house (and I'm happy about it, don't get me wrong!) but it also doesn't leave much time for creative pursuits, activity, socializing, and relaxing. I guess that's what weekends are for :)
The trip itself provides three good reasons to get re-motivated about healthy habits:
- I want to be in good physical shape so I can enjoy lots of activity while I'm there
- I am planning to indulge in lots of local food and I would like to feel like I 'earned' it
- It would be nice to have a few pictures from the trip that have me in them this time
2. I am thinking about becoming a dog parent after my trip, if I can find the right companion for my working lifestyle. Probably an adult dog that likes to play, snuggle, and go for walks but is ok with me being away during the day. I have a really small space so we'll have to make do with a little morning walk, a big evening walk and play-time, and a dog-walker during the day if necessary. If you have any recommendations, let me know! I've heard beagles and spitzes might be good, and terriers, but I've just started researching.
3. My weight goal for this year is to reach my goal weight and maintain it within 10 pounds. I am hoping to be back at my lowest 2013 weight by March 1st and to meet my original goal by June 15th. I admit that I do not know exactly how far I have to go because I've been avoiding the scale since the holidays (ulp).
4. My final goal is to make real time to accomplish some creative projects. I keep saying that this is a priority for me, and then I devote my spare time to a million other things (see item #1 and #2). I am going to have to make a hard decision about how much of my attention will go to TV and internet in 2014.
Happy and healthy new year! What's on your horizon?
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Looking over my scale numbers for the last month I see that Iím back at a plateau. At this point in my Ďbig pictureí goal I should weigh about 7-8 pounds less than I do right now, but given that the SP graph is a steady line from starting point to goal, I knew that my actual progress was unlikely to match it. I wondered how frustrated I would feel when this happened, and itís been interesting to consider my feelings about myself with the fact that Iím behind on my goal. I worried that I would want to give up if I went through a phase like this. In reality, I think itís actually my improved self-image thatís the cause of my plateau! I didnít expect that.
SoÖ whatís happening?
The scientific reason Iím in a plateau is that I am not burning enough calories compared to what I am taking in. Basically I am eating in my Ďmaintenance modeí calorie range and doing lots of walking but not much burn-feeling.
The emotional reason behind the choices Iím making is that, despite the fact that I am still 15 pounds away from my goal weight, I actually feel really good about how I look and what Iím doing. I can certainly still make improvements, and I have moments of seeing myself in the mirror where I see only flaws, but I think those moments are part of life at pretty much any weight. Overall, I love putting on jeans, I feel less Ďin the wayí when Iím out in public, and I no longer wish I was invisible when Iím going out dancing. At 36 pounds down, Iím feeling pretty good.
So I have two choices: continue with weight loss to my original goal point, or rest here where Iím comfortable. Iím within a healthy weight range for my height, and Iím mostly satisfied with how I look. I can shop in regular mall stores (both a good and bad thing) and my blood pressure is on the low side of normal now. But although I'm smalleróIím not very fit yet. I am still really struggling to find exercise besides walking that I enjoy enough to continue doing. And with the weather getting colder, Iím nervous that my walking will significantly drop off. And when Iím no longer putting in 2-7 miles a day on foot, I imagine these ďmaintenanceĒ calories Iím taking in will have to change, and I think that could be a struggle for me.
I donít think Iíve quite incorporated healthy changes into my life, so I am going to keep going towards loss. I am taking it at a relaxed pace (0.5 lbs/week), but my goal is to see the scale, inches, and/or sizes continue to decrease. I also want to see my fitness improve. So Iíve booked some zumba and barre classes, and am trying to make all the walking ďhayĒ I can while the sun shines :)
Thursday, August 15, 2013
I went to sleep last night feeling a bit guilty about my recent performance in terms of eating well, and a weight plateau for the last few weeks to match.
I bought a Fitbit right around the time that Sparkpeople introduced the ability to integrate your calories burned through exercise into your nutritional goals. I thought it was great--both of these things combined to create a more accurate picture of what I was really taking in and burning off. I am also motivated by any new tracking gimmick in my life!
Before these two things came into my life, I was sticking to my SP calorie range (for the most part), no matter what exercise I was putting in, and I was seeing a steady 1 - 1.5 lb per week loss from that method. I wasn't hungry (most days), and I ate all over the place within my range. I didn't much account for the exercise I was doing in my eating goals, since it was not often intense calorie-burning, mostly a lot of walking and toning.
Since I started tracking my steps I feel like I'm being tricked into believing I'm exercising more than I was before, when not much has changed. It's kind of amazing how much we tend to trust numbers on a page, even when our common sense is trying to tell us we know better!
In addition, my SP calorie range already incorporates whatever non-exercise steps I take in my mostly sedentary lifestyle (outside of actual excercise) so when the range is adjusted based on each step tracked on my fitbit, it's going quite high*.
So, although technically I am eating within my new daily fitness-integrated calorie range, the bottom line is:
Before: average about 17 miles/week and 1375 calories/day = success
Since: average about 17 miles/week and 1800 calories/day = plateau
So... yeah. Seems pretty clear to me!
I've switched back to the old nutrition tracker, which I hope will help keep me closer to what I think my true range should be (1300 - 1500). Here's to hoping I am able to adjust!
*--There is a problem with the relationship between fitbit and Sparkpeople in that SP is overstating the calories burned on the fitbit fitness entry.
Monday, August 12, 2013
About a year ago, I walked by a storefront that had a beautiful swimsuit in the window. I thought it would work well with my shape and wondered if they had it in my size (16). So I went in the store.
The salesperson looked at me and, before I could even ask, said, ďsorry, we donít carry plus sizes here.Ē
I went home feeling angry and embarrassed, even though I recognized that it was really her (and her storeís) loss. All I could think about was the fact that all she saw when she looked at me was, "too big".
Yesterday, I purchased that same swimsuit, in a size 12, on clearance from that storeís biggest competition. I bought it with money I have made over the last 6 months at dietbet.com, as both a tangible and symbolic reminder of what I can accomplish if I set my mind to it.
And I have to say, it looks frickin' great on me.
Thursday, July 25, 2013
This is an open letter to anyone out there that doesnít wear bathing suits because they think they are too unattractive, to anyone that feels self-conscious shopping for clothes at the mall, to anyone who is punishing themselves mentally because they arenít a certain dress size, to anyone who is preoccupied with how much they think theyíre jiggling at the gym, to anyone who thinks Iím staring at your cellulite or hairy legs or ďweird earsĒ or whatever it is you think Iím staring at and finding objectionable.
I think youíre beautiful.
Iím not writing on behalf of anyone else, this is just from me to you. I wanted to write to you because maybe you are making me the reason you donít feel like youíre allowed to wear what you like or be seen enjoying your life. I want to tell you thatís not true. I love it when youíre happy and I want you to be able to do whatever makes you happy. Come to my ballet class, come sit next to me on the bus, come hang out at the pool. Every body is a bikini body.
If you have goals to change the way you look then I will support you. I donít have a stake in itóitís your body and your life! But donít do it for me, because I think you look perfect the way you are right now. If you are changing things up to improve in other ways, or correct some bad things that are happening in your life, then I support you in these goals too, because I do want you to be happy and healthy, and you know what itís going to take for you to get thereónot me.
I donít think any part of your body is ugly. To me itís the product of a scientific miracle, an object of function and humanness, a uniquely imperfect testament to your life and your ancestorsí livesÖ and those are pretty beautiful things.
Thanks for being here and for thinking your nicest thoughts about my body too, whenever you can. It makes a difference to both of us.
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