Tuesday, November 18, 2008
There was very little on TV tonight, and our Netflix movies are in postal limbo, so I started channel surfing (though, since we only get 15 channels, maybe it's more like channel boogie-boarding? Not so much surfing?)...anyhow, the only thing I could find to watch was the Biggest Loser...and holy crap, people...folks do this on purpose? I was sort of horrified! The process doesn't look healthy or fun or enjoyable or sustainable...of course, that's just my take, but wow. Not something I could do, and I guess if you didn't mind and could pick up on some good habits, fine, but I think my independent streak would have a very hard time in such an environment.
In other news, we have successfully avoided ordering pizza for another night! Yay for us! (Seriously, we had gotten into the very bad habit of deciding we were too tired/hungry/lazy/pessimistic/whathaveyou to actually cook decent healthy food and instead ordered pizza, reaching an all-time high of 3 pizzas in one week about a month ago)...not only is it bad for the waistline, but also not so great for the wallet, either. So John and I decided we weren't allowed to order pizza anymore. For a bit. Not sure how long, but a bit. Maybe till after the holidays. And tonight I soooooooo wanted pizza. Something melty and cheesy and gooey and warm. But I made elk burger sloppy joes instead (I know, not the healthiest, but not terrible) and am feeling rather proud of myself (though I probably should have had a veg of some sort--oh well!). But it does make for a much more pleasant run the next day when I don't have the vague feeling that I *have* to run to make up for the previous day's so-called transgressions! Keeping ahead of the game, as it were!
And I think I may start weighing in regularly again. Last I stepped on the scale I was down about a pound (it's hard to tell though--it's a terribly inaccurate scale), but I don't have much of a sense of progress since I hadn't weighed in for about 3 weeks prior. It is nice to have regular checkpoints. But I don't want to end up like I was this spring where it finally got to the point that I got a tad overwhelmed and just stopped all record keeping...balance, that's the key, I think!
Monday, November 10, 2008
When people ask me how I can stand to bike in below zero weather, I usually reply half-joking that it's a matter of dress or determination...you either dress for the weather or you pedal till you're warm. It's not quite that cold yet (23 deg. F this morning), but I've discovered the same is true for running...as it's gotten colder, it's been challenging to figure out what to wear to stay warm but at the same time not be too warm. I hadn't given too much thought to the topic early this fall as we left 80 degree days in the dust. Frankly I was thrilled to be running in 60 degree weather, and vaguely thought I could just pull out my trusty winter biking duds when the mercury dipped further.
However, it turns out that running in heavy jeans, woolly long underwear, and a sweatshirt and parka combo just doesn't appeal to me the same way biking in said outfit does. For one thing, it's not nearly flexible enough to run in, and for another, it's too warm. When you're biking in the cold, your torso really needs a lot of insulation to stay warm because it's not moving much, really. Coupled with the fact that you're usually going along at 14-18 mph, you have singificant wind chill issues to deal with as well (even more so when the wind is blowing across the plains!) When you're running, on the other hand, your upper body is moving a bit more, and you are producing significantly less wind as you go along, so the degree of bundling required to ride a bike becomes overkill.
But then the eternal question: what to wear? I've discovered it changes depending on the temperature...at 45 degrees, a long sleeve shirt and long pants is plenty warm. At 35 degrees, add a hat, gloves, and a loose, not-too-heavy sweatshirt, and I'm in business. At 25 degrees, the hat/gloves/shirt/sweathshirt combo is still good, but my trusty stretchy running pants are a tad cold. OK, I'm not going to lie. They're really freaking cold. I took a scalding hot shower when I got back from the run, and I still had goosebumps for a good hour. Cold.
But slowly I'm figuring it out, because I'm quite determined to keep running through the winter (seriously, the only thing that scares me more than spiders is the thought of repeating the first 6 weeks of the Couch to 5K program...esp. since it's easy to avoid if I just keep up the running all year!)...and that, coupled with the fact that I loathe running around the tiny track at the YMCA, means that I need to figure out how to dress for the weather...either that, or learn to run till I'm warm!
Friday, October 31, 2008
Well, I took a break from SP a few months ago (mostly I got tired of obsessing over all the different types of info I could update and compute and compile and compare and it just all became too time consuming to track exercise and food intake and keep up with it all).
So I struck out on my own and told myself I'd just concentrate on making "good choices" at every opportunity....and it worked pretty well. I'd been "sparking" for about two years (boy does that make me sound like a total pyro or what!?) and I'd learned a lot in that time that I was able to continue to apply. Some things slipped a bit (like portion sizes, and analyzing the nutritiousness of new recipes to see how they fit (and determining how much was a serving based on caloric/nutrition content as opposed to eyeballing it). I ate a bit more ice cream and pizza, but really I think I did pretty well. I didn't gain any weight (though it did fluctuate up to 5 pounds or so every now and then). I kept up with my running and biking routines (I've even run two formal 5K races since I took my break). I did fall off the weight lifting wagon, and I'd like to get back to that. But overall, I did pretty well--however, I noticed that instead of losing weight, I have only been maintaining my weight (and while it's good to know that I can successfully maintain a weight without daily logging), at this point I still want to be losing weight.
Hence, my return to Sparkpeople. I've been tracking my food again for about a week, and the results are a little scary. I'm eating between 1500 and 2500 calories a day (my suggested range is 1600-1900ish), and my fat, carb, protein, and sodium are a little out of whack. And I do realize that my diet could use some sprucing up, since for some reason, lately it consists mostly of pizza and ice cream, with the occasional healthy option tossed in if I'm feeling particularly ambitious. My nutrition stats also make me really glad I've stuck with my running and biking, since I'm certain I'd weigh a LOT more now if I hadn't...
So I'm going to refocus and try to lose weight again. Mostly by keeping up my exercise routine while getting my food intake back to a more productive zone. I realize I have some work to do (as I'm typing this, I'm snacking on a Halloween cupcake at work--lots of room to improve!).
But I have a few goals that I think will help:
1) minimize my intake of dinners that are eaten out/ordered in. This will help with both my budget! and with portion control (I have no problem wolfing down half a pizza on occasion, but I tend to stick to better portion sizes when I cook my own meals. Perhaps because I know what all is in the food and how much is enough?)
2) build my weekly menus around reasonably easy/quick dinners that also provide lunches for the next day (via leftovers). Sometimes my menus get incredibly complex (I tend to be way more ambitious on Saturday afternoons when I'm making the menu than I am on Wednesday night when I'm faced with actually fixing the recipes I've selected, so when I look at the four course extravaganza I planned to cook, I get overwhelmed and order pizza instead--much better to have simple suppers and save the extravagant and/or time consuming cooking for weekends and special occasions).
3) maintain my running routine through winter (even through the snow!) and bike more regularly (esp. weekends!)
4) I will log on to SP and track my nutrition and exercise regularly again, and try to blog as a way to keep myself on task.
Thatís a fair start I think, to get back to weight loss, but Iím glad I took the break I did. Iíll re-evaluate in a few weeks and maybe add some goals at that time, but this should keep me pretty well covered for now!
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
...but I both rue and lament office food days.
Yesterday was such a day. It was for a good cause (co-worker is getting shipped off to Iraq for 6-ish months) and there was a ton of food set out at the all day party to wish him well.
I do really well at reining myself in on food days when I'm not super stressed or busy, but this whole week I've been in 3 places at once at work, and my resolve just can't keep up with that, I guess! So I partook of pizza, cheese and crackers, cherries, cake (yes, multiple pieces, to test yet again whether green frosting tastes any different than blue or pink--results are in: no, there is not a difference!), etc. etc. It's a very good thing I'm biking/running tonight, b/c I need to work that off!
I also usually bring in a fruit plate and stick to that, but since I totally spaced that the food day was coming up (you go on vacation and suddenly you can't remember a damn thing!), I didn't have my standard go-to food on the table.
Not that I'm beating myself up over it--mostly just venting. And who knows, maybe all this running *alongside* the proverbial wagon will burn some calories until I actually get back ON said wagon... ;-)
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Well, now that I've had a week to rehydrate and get myself back to normal, it's time to really get back on track. I've been doing pretty good with the exercise thing (running twice since I got back, and strength training, too!--but sadly no biking, yet). But I haven't been doing so well with my food choices, unfortunately. And my weight is going in the wrong direction (234 when I got back after vacation, 230 this morning, so I have a good 5-6 pounds to lose to get back to my pre-vaca point), so it's definitely time to put myself firmly back on track.
But, this week, I made up a healthy, reasonably easy menu, bought a ton of fruits and veggies at the market, and plan to get back to my entire workout schedule this week (biking/yoga on Mon., running on Wed., Fri. and Sun., and strength training on Tues. and Thurs., and as much biking as I can squeeze in where ever it fits).
And I need to get my fitness calendar back up and running...it's been about a month since I've had one up, and I really miss the motivation that those little stars give me!
I also reset myself back to the fast break stage, just to change things up a bit and sort of reset post-vacation. So for the next two weeks, my goals are to exercise every day but Saturday (at the least--I usually go biking saturdays, but it's technically my "day off" should I choose to take one); and to eat healthy meals each day (no eating out lunches, ordering in dinners, etc--I'm looking at you, Pizza Luce!!). I have a fridge and pantry well stocked with healthy foods, and I'm determined to use them!
And back to the title of this post--I haven't really tracked my food the last few weeks (def. not while on vacation, and this week I've been lazy/really busy at work), so I'm going to go back to tracking it. I don't know that I necessarily make better choices when I'm tracking my food (I'm usually pretty good about food choices in general), but when I do track, I tend to see what my snacks are doing to my goals, and that's really helpful to see.
So: exercise every day for the next two weeks; eat healthy, home-cooked food for all meals/snacks; track food intake again. Not to difficult, I think!
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