Friday, December 21, 2012
For the shortest day of the year, it has been a very long day, but I got so much done trying to get prepared for Christmas.
Thanks to several Spark Friends I discovered Leslie Sansone and did 45 minutes or 3 miles of her workout day following the video on YouTube. That makes my consecutive 30+ minutes of exercise streak stand at 4 days. Baby steps... it's a beginning.
I made the fastest dinner imaginable tonight, which was very healthy and delicious. I completely concocted and it was a huge hit with the family. I took a pound and a half of 93% lean ground turkey, added salt and pepper and 1 1/2 cups of fresh salsa. I mixed it all up and shaped them into turkey burgers. I threw them on the George Forman grill for about 30 minutes.
For my family I served them on whole wheat buns with a couple of tablespoons of guacamole on top and fresh salsa on the side. I tossed a quick salad and there you have it! Voila!! They loved it!! I loved it because of how easy it was to make, and oh boy did I feel good because they were ranting and raving about how delicious it was.
As for me, I had mine sans bun. Instead of bread, I had a bit of hummus, celery sticks and cucumbers in addition to my salad. I felt great about it.
My kids love that I have started my exercise streak. They are really encouraging me and also coaching me. They are exercising with me as well. Tonight they committed to eating healthy since they loved my healthy turkey burgers so much. They want to start a streak of their own with healthy eating! I am so glad it's contagious!
By the numbers since 11/6/12:
Exercise Streak - 4 Days
Tracking and within calorie limits - 45 days
Water consumption of 64 oz - 31 days
Tomorrow is weigh in...
Here's to our good health!
Thursday, December 20, 2012
For most of the world anyway.
I guess the Mayan calendar just ended on December 21, 2012. Had they stuck around they would have updated the calendar, and not let us fools think it meant the world was ending..
My personal challenge of 30 minutes of exercise every day is now at 3 days. I did 40 minutes on the treadmill, which included a 2-minute warm up and a 5-minute cool down. I stretched before and after.
I got the exercise out of the way early. It felt wonderful to start out the day having already exercised. I had the whole day in front of me to go about my business. Of course I am on vacation this week so the true test will not come until after the New Year when I go back to work. At that time I will need to wake up early and knock it out. Consistency is king!
I still not ready for Christmas. I just picked up my Christmas cards from Walgreen's tonight. I have never sent them out this late before. With all that has happened in Newtown, CT I just have not been in a festive mood. Everyday this week I have passed funerals homes packed with people attending wakes or passed funeral processions. I am so glad the house was already decorated before any of this happened.
I went grocery shopping earlier tonight with my kids. I filled the cart with healthy fish, poultry, tofu, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. At checkout the woman behind me commented on how healthy my cart was. It was a nice compliment and I felt good about myself. There was not one junk food item in that cart.
My low carb diet is working. I am tracking everything and I eat 5 times a day. I have tracked for 44 consecutive days and I have been within 1200-1400 calories each day, about 400 calories less than what SP recommends. But I feel full and satisfied so I think I am doing ok.
By the numbers, since 11/6/12:
Exercise Streak - 3 Days
Tracking and within calorie limits - 44 days
Water consumption of 64 oz - 30 days
Daily average sugars - down 40 points
Pounds lost - 16
Here's to our good health!
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Yes, it is day 2. It’s day 2 of my commitment to exercise daily. And I am making my commitment public.
First of all I have to thank two Spark Friends. ITSMATT, whose Sparkpage follows. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=I
Matt is a regular blogger here, with a no nonsense hard-nosed approach to holding himself accountable. His blogs are thought provoking, information filled lessons on how to reach a healthy lifestyle. Recently he referenced the second Spark Friend, RG_DFW, whose Sparkpage follows here. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=R
RG_DFW started a cardio streak that lasted an incredible 572 days. The daily exercise was followed by a daily blog. He put himself out in the public forum by committing to daily exercise and this led him to an astounding year and half journey of daily exercise. A bout with the flu ended his streak but he went right back to starting another one.
These two gentlemen have been helping me, whether they know it or not. And now I want to thank them publicly. I have read many of Matt’s blogs. The man simply makes sense. What he says is logical, sensible and usually correct.
I discovered RG yesterday. Being on vacation I am taking the time to focus on my program. I spent a good one hour plus reading and combing through RG’s blogs. I am amazed by his dedication, and the result? 90 pounds lost!!!
Like many people I have known in my life and have met on here, we all suffer the same fate. We lack consistency. I have been losing and gaining the same 30 – 40 pounds for 25 years. I always start out strong, I hit that first major plateau, get frustrated, lose focus and gain all lost weight and then start again at some point.
I am an intelligent, well-educated woman. My mother was diabetic for the last 27 years of her life. In fact she died due to complications from diabetes. I knew I was at risk and yet I could not find the motivation to plow through the plateaus. How could I let that happen?
Fast forward to March of 2010. I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. I discovered Sparkpeople. I did great! I lost 45 pounds in about 6 months. I exercised. I bought equipment, exercise clothes, you name it. Free weights, resistance bands, stability ball, a new bike. All was going well through spring and summer.
Then it happened… plateau came. Couldn’t stop it. The holidays approached. It got colder out. Outdoor activities stopped. Days were shorter, nights were longer and exercise lost its appeal. Weight gain started again.
Even diabetes was not enough of a motivation to stick with the program! Do I need to be hit in the head with a baseball bat? Come on! My hiatus was about a year. I was feeling bad about myself. I had a feeling my sugars were not good. I was embarrassed to go back to my doctor but I knew I had to.
November 6, 2012. It was Election Day and also my appointment to go back to the doctor. Yes, my sugars were not good. A1C was high. I got back on SP and started again. Things are different now. I am engaging much more in the SP community. I am blogging regularly. I am active on teams. I am tracking every day. I have been doing a lot more exercise but not every day.
I have lost 16 pounds since November 6th. My average daily sugars have come down about 50 points. All good stuff!
Yesterday I met with a nutritionist, who’s also a certified diabetes educator. She went over my meal plans and was extremely impressed with how I was eating. She made a couple tweaks and offered one or two suggestions to get more “drastic” to help the sugar come down. She asked if I was doing Dukan. I had no idea what she was talking about. Apparently there’s a Dukan Diet out there which I had not heard of before, but essentially all I am doing is really, really driving down my carbs. I have literally cut out all bread, pasta and starchy foods from my diet. I eat proteins, low glycemic veggies and fruits, mostly berries, and I eat “good fats.”
But here’s the thing. She said I need to do at least 30 minutes of fairly high intensity cardio every day! It’s a must. She said I will absolutely burn off the excess sugar in my body and will absolutely be able to get off any medicine if I maintain my diet and my exercise.
So there you have it… I am wearing my heart on my sleeve. I have made my commitment and now I have to blog about it each day before all of you publicly.
Here’s to our good health!
Saturday, December 15, 2012
I woke up yesterday, December 14, 2012, having just attended my team’s holiday dinner the night before. It was such a wonderful time with wonderful colleagues. Everyone brought their spouse or significant other and it was so nice to spend time with everyone. I even ate really well. Waking up Friday morning, I thought hurray, it’s my last day of work for the rest of the year. I now get to think about Christmas and get all prepared while the merry bells keep ringing. I kissed and hugged my kids as my husband took them to school in a slice of heaven in northern Fairfield County Connecticut. Newtown is the town next door.
It was around 10 or 10:30 in the morning when I got a text message indicating that there was a shooting in Newtown at one of the schools and that our school and the schools in our town would be on lock down. It did not really compute. I thought it was a hoax. I went about my business. A few minutes later the cell phone rang and it was a recorded message from the superintendent of schools basically repeating the text. Huh? What?
I called my husband who had received the same text and call. It really wasn’t registering with him either, but we both started following the news on the internet. There was a shooting. Three people were taken to Danbury hospital. No talk of fatalities. As the hours unfolded and the horror of what was happening in Sandy Hook became clearer we rushed to get our kids from our school. They were not in danger and perfectly safe locked down in their school, yet the idea of not having them right with us to hold them tight was unbearable.
We spoke little of the events to our kids yesterday. We did explain that something bad had happened in Newtown and that we just needed to be with them so we could hug and tell them that we loved them. It seemed to suffice yesterday. In the meantime my tears would not stop falling because there were 20 moms and dads that could not do the same with their kids. I couldn’t sleep. When I did manage to dose off I would wake up and look for signs that it was just a bad nightmare but then I would realize that it was all too real.
This morning we had to talk to our kids about what happened. They are old enough to know that something terrible has happened yet too young to make sense of it all. Heck, I cannot make sense of it. I can’t even process it. We spoke to them… told them it was a fluke that will not happen again… God I pray nothing like this ever happens again. They had many questions. We answered as truthfully but as delicately as possible. They got it. They wanted to know how many children died. We could not bring ourselves to tell them. We said details are still emerging. It seemed to be good enough. We hugged them and told them how much we loved them. They were just so sad.
Our little corner of the country in picturesque New England was forever shattered. Yes, it did happen here. But WHY???? These things don’t happen here. Ours is a community of closely knit families, parents at baseball and soccer and Lacrosse games. We are people who attend church and go to the town green for the Christmas tree lighting. We go to apple festivals and strawberry festivals and hay rides. Everyone is involved in the schools, where it takes a village to raise our little ones. We are a collection of wonderful little towns here where the schools are great, the people are warm and our lives are safe and secure. But not anymore. A piece of all of us died yesterday, as 20 innocent children were robbed of the life they had before them. Six educators and administrators who loved what they do have been taken from their families senselessly.
There are no degrees of separation here. These were our neighbors. These are people we would see on the other side of the field as our kids competed against their kids. They are the town next door. This morning as the names and faces of the victims are released, we realized the magnitude by which our lives are affected. We know the victims.
It won’t be a Merry Christmas in Connecticut. Go hug your loved ones, especially your children. Give them a big hug and then hug them again. May God give peace to the families of Newtown.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
This post is a bucket list of sorts – a list of 4 things I want to learn, 4 places I want to see, and 4 things I want to accomplish in my lifetime.
I want to learn...
1. Consistency and discipline... I know what to do to be healthy. I know the choices I must make and the sacrifice it will take. What I need to learn is to be consistent and I need to develop the discipline to remain consistent.
2. Photography... I have long admired those who can capture the beauty of everyday life in pictures. I have always wanted to take a photography course at the local community college or something like that but never made the time for it. One of these days...
3. Ballroom dancing... This one is probably a pipe dream if I want to partner with my husband. I have always loved the elegance of ballroom dancing. I have also long admired those couples who've been dancing together for ages, the way they float across the floor, always anticipating each other's moves. I want to do that someday with my husband. I'll start working on him and maybe we'll sign up for a class on the 12th of never!
4. This is the big one folks! I want to learn how to SWIM! That's right... I cannot swim. I can't even doggie paddle. The ironic thing is that my favorite vacation is a beach vacation. I love to be at the beach. I love the water and getting in the ocean. I just can't swim in it.
Do you want to hear something else that's really ironic? We have a beautiful inground pool. When my kids were little we hired a swim coach to teach them how to swim. He is a great coach and he works quite a bit with adults as well. I just couldn't bring myself to learn... it's the fear factor. I am afraid!
This past summer I made great strides... I actually learned to float using several noodles in the deep end. At first I would hold on to the edge of the pool and walk myself around, and then finally I got myself to the middle of the deep end! It was a banner day when that happened! Maybe next summer I can lose one or two of the noodles!
Four places I want to see...
1. The Grand Canyon... I have been to 29 of the 50 states, and I have visited 12 countries, yet I have never been to the Grand Canyon. I want to change that.
2. Yellowstone and Yosemite... Always wanted to go and have just not made the time. See above under learning to swim where my favorite vacation destination is... usually the beach. But I need to make visiting our biggest National parks a priority
3. Alaska... I think it would be magical, and someday I would love to see it.
4. China... I am not sure I would ever want to see China on my own but there's a strong likelihood that I will get there soon for a business trip. I want to go there because it is so different from anything we know here.
Four things I want to accomplish in my lifetime...
1. Financial independence... I don't care to be stinking rich... I just want enough to maintain our lifestyle in retirement.
2. Run a 5K... I can't imagine what it would be like. Right now I can't run 5 short blocks. To be able to do that someday would be a huge accomplishment.
3. Have a beach house... I dream to own a second home someday on Cape Cod, where we can get away whenever.
4. Finally, I want to be a size 8... How I might look in a size 8 dress is icing on the cake. What I am really after is a healthy weight and a healthy lifestyle so I can be around for my kids for as long as possible.
Well, I have a lot do based on this bucket list. I better get to work!
Make it a great day!
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