Friday, May 31, 2013
This morning I wore a cool sport dress to work, since it's casual Friday and a hot one at that. I went out for my walk early and clipped my Fitbit to the dress pocket. I had noticed when I got to work that the step count seemed low to that point. I know how roughly how many steps I take between my house and the office. So I decided to do some tests by counting my steps, and I noted that my Fitbit was missing 7-10% of my steps. Once I clipped it to my top, the count became more accurate. Just an observation.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
There I was, feeling smug that I had just barely caught the early bus so I could get to work early and take a longer walk. On the transfer from the bus to the subway, though, things changed. I make that walk four days a week (the other I telework) with no problem, but today, a grate on the sidewalk lifted up and tripped me, throwing me into the street and causing me to hit my head hard, bend my glasses frame, and get bruised and scraped. Since I seemed to be in working order and with no reasonable way to get home at that hour, I continued on and thought I would walk anyway. By the time I got to work, though, the head and neck hurt enough that all I could think of was the two hours until I could see the office nurse, so I let the experience keep me from my walk. Rats. Now the pain has subsided (though I will still see the nurse to get the head scrape attended to and get her professional opinion), but I feel as if I let this event be an excuse not to exercise. Still hoping to get my walk in later.
Edit: Thanks, everyone, for your concern! I didn't get a cardio walk in, but I did get 10,000 steps just by walking in the mall and in stores. I walked the length of Potomac Mills mall from Lenscrafters, where I got my bent glasses frame fixed, to the far end to check out the new Columbia outlet store, hoping they had the Armadale dress so I could see it, but they didn't. Then I needed to go to the grocery store and pharmacy, where I walked around till my prescriptions were ready. At any rate, taking it easy was the right thing to do yesterday. The visit to the doc was also the right thing to do just to make sure.
Monday, May 20, 2013
Even in maintenance, I find benefit in the new SparkPeople book "The Spark Solution."
Coach Steph has asked those of us who signed up for the two-week Spark Solution challenge to check in on some topics:
• What made you decide to try The Spark Solution Program?
I had been on work travel or vacation since mid-March and was showing the effects on the scale. I knew it was time to return to the basics that launched me on my journey, and the Spark Solution challenge seemed like a great way to do that.
• Have you seen or felt any results in this first week?
I have been more consistent with my exercise and have managed to eat within my calorie range most days, even near the low end some days to help balance the days I went over.
• What do you like the most about the program?
I continue to like doing my own thing with food rather than following a prescribed meal plan. At this stage in my journey, I know what works best for me, and a requirement to follow a rigid meal plan would have been a deal breaker for me.
• What was your favorite meal from this week?
My personal favorite centers around Dinner Done's turkey quinoa meatloaf, with Dinner Done's arroz con pollo a close second. We have been using meal assembly businesses for years to take the stress out of having to come up with dinner with our long work days and long commutes. The businesses are receptive to our requests to lower fat and sodium amounts, and the entree is ready to cook when we walk in the door...the time-consuming prep is already done.
• Which Insider Tip motivated you the most this week?
I don't have a favorite, but one of my team mates told me her new non-food reward is working jigsaw puzzles, since they keep the hands and mind occupied.
• What is your goal is for next week?
Weight: At or below goal
Food: Track 7 days this week
Fitness: Exceed 70,000 steps, yoga, strength training
Sunday, May 19, 2013
One year in maintenance. I wish I could say it has flown by effortlessly, but such is not the case. Along the way, I've read stories from many maintainers, some, like me, new to the idea, some who have kept weight off for one year or many years, and some brave souls who revealed they had regained their weight after maintaining for a year or more. I owe a great debt to those motivators who shared everything from confusion over what maintenance entailed to the hard truth that maintenance is work to inspiring stories to tips and strategies. In the end, though, the job of keeping off the 75+ pounds I lost has come down to me, and that has been the scary part given my yo-yo history.
It seems to be Spark tradition to blog on maintenance anniversaries, so this is my story. After waffling for a couple of months last spring, I finally decided to "declare victory" one year ago today. I had already joined the At Goal and Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance team in preparation and read everything I could. Over the next six months or so, I played around with the calorie intake and fitness activity needed to stay at my goal weight, but I didn't approach the task scientifically, e.g., add "x" calories a day or increase fitness by "y" minutes a day. Instead, I just watched to see what would happen. At first my weight continued to sink slowly, going down another five pounds. I was happy with that, but I recognized that my lifestyle would not sustain the loss once travel and holiday seasons rolled around, and I was right. I gravitated back to my goal weight and have stayed within +/-5 pounds with rare exception.
So how do I approach travel and holidays? Mainly, I don't stress. Often, I consciously eat in weight-loss mode before big trips or major holidays and let my weight go down a few pounds (but still in range) in preparation. Life (especially the vacation part) is too short not to enjoy it, so I rarely try to keep up with food tracking during those times. Even so, the habits I've developed on my Spark journey have helped me make better choices. At these non-routine times, I try to start the day with a light, healthy breakfast, but if I choose an omelet, bacon and toast, it's okay, because I find myself still full at lunch, so I eat very light then, often just a piece of fruit. Snacks are mainly fruit or trail mix, and most often I choose smaller amounts of meat and copious amounts of veggies at mealtime. Fitness? DH and I love to walk, especially volksmarches (www.ava.org), so we frequently build trips around volksmarch event locations. On our most recent vacation, we walked and hiked in Washington, Oregon, and Alaska. The miles helped counter the great food and drink, and the beautiful settings and companionship turned the walks into meditative times.
But what about the rest of the time, you may ask. That's the work part. I realize that a couple of years on SparkPeople can't entirely undo the mental and physical complacency that led to decades of overweight and obesity, so I maintain an attitude of vigilance. I continue to track food and fitness most days of the week, and on days I don't track, I can look back and know that even if I went over on calories that day, it's not the end of the world. I just try to be better the next day. And I go through food and fitness slumps, times when I snack mindlessly in the evening several days in a row (and yes, I know what my triggers are) or times when I just don't feel like exercising. Those are scarier times, and I've had days when I've awakened in a panic, convinced I regained all my weight. In general, though, those experiences have served as wake-up calls to get back to the lifestyle changes that have brought me to a better state of being. Finally, I continue to weigh daily, not as an obsession with a number, but to watch for trends that signal the need to act.
In conclusion, for me maintenance is a continuation of Spark habits with some tweaks to keep my weight steady. I'd love to say I've done miraculous things in the last year, like run a marathon, but I haven't (though I did run some 5K races). In my world, the miracle has been keeping off the weight, something that has never happened before. So, one year down
and time to work toward two years. Cheers!
Edit: Thanks, all, for voting this a Popular Blog!
Friday, May 10, 2013
Need some advice from you kayak enthusiasts out there.
The REI stores in my area have "learn to kayak" classes, and since learning to kayak is on my bucket list, I went to the website to see what it would take. There I ran into a bewildering array of clothing ranging from paddling gloves starting at $31 to board shorts (too skimpy for my taste) starting at $34 to "rash guards" (presumably to wear under a wetsuit?) starting at $37 to paddle jackets starting at $84 to wetsuits starting at $110 to drysuits ranging in the price range $800-1050.
Holy cow! That's a lot of money to commit to an activity I just want to try and am not sure I would stick with. Fortunately REI supplies the kayak, paddle, spray skirt, and dry bag, but what is REALLY needed to try kayaking?
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