Sunday, February 26, 2012
Today's been a good day. I've been feeling motivated, and I put on a pair of size 12 pants for the first time in YEARS.
I've been stuck at a 14 for months... I was at a 16 when I started, but I've lost enough to wear 14s. I've been in that annoying in-between phase where a 14 is too big (and I have to wear a belt) but a 12 was too small.
I orderred a 12 from Old Navy as a reward, with t he hopes of motivating me to work harder. This week, I did it! THey're still a bit muffin-toppy, but I'm wearing them, and I can breathe, and I look GOOD!
I'm so happy about that. I've spent most of today posting on Sparkpeople, answering message board posts and such. I have plans today of doing laundry, and I'm trying to decide how I want to fit my 10 minutes of exercise in. I'm thinking I'll go for a light run with the dog... my shins need the work.
While posting in the message boards, I learned about something crazy, cool, and inspiring. Tough Mudder: toughmudder.com/
I... want to do this. There's an event here in the Georgia mountains, and while it's in February so I'm way too late for this year (and nowhere near fit enough to do it) I can totally handle this for next year.
This gives me a goal... a big, scary, unbelievably exciting goal. I think I can do this... I want to do this. I don't want to do it alone, since it's kinda a team thing, but I will do it even if I can't convince people I know to be crazy enough to do it. 10-12 miles. Obstacles. MUD.
I want this. I want it bad.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
I joined the 10 minute exercise challenge as a way to get myself moving even on my days off at the gym. I'm bad about sitting on my butt all weekend, though I really, really work my butt off at the gym during the week. I want to change that; it's not good to be sedentary, ever.
I don't mean to go crazy or hurt myself, just get up and move, play with the kids, that sort of thing! Light exercise while I recover from the week's exertions, you know. '
So today, we did! My WHOLE FAMILY got up and played! This morning was my oldest childs first day of soccer practice (she's 6) so we went to Academy Sports afterwards to buy her some soccer cleats. While we were there, we each got a bit of something nice. I got a new pair of training gloves (without the wrist wrap that kept me from wearing my heart monitor watch) and a strap so my glasses won't fall off during weight training, my youngest (who turns 4 St Patrick's Day) got a new bike helmet, and my husband bought a skateboard. He doesn't EVER get out and get active, so this is a real step for him. Sure, it's not running or serious cardio, but it's activity, and he needs it. It'll get him outside, in the sun, playing with the girls, and maybe that will help with his depression.
This afternoon, we all went outside to play, the girls on their scooters, my husband on his skateboard, and the dog and I walking.
It was really wonderful, and I loved it so much. I want more days like this. Family fun outside is... well, fun!
Friday, February 24, 2012
There's tons of new folks coming to this site every day, and I thought I might share why I like Sparkpeople, and how it's helped me.
When I first started Sparkpeople, it was just to use the calorie tracker, because I wanted to be healthy. I found it overwhelming and confusing, so I gave up quickly, and left.
However, last year (in September) I'd joined the gym, and decided that I wanted to start tracking how much I was exercising. With that decision came a new lesson: That calories didn't work the way I thought they did! Here's that blog post: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
When I learned about what my BMR was, (That's BMR, not BMI, which you probably know about) I started really getting what this whole fitness thing was about.
Now, I use Sparkpeople for three things:
1) Accountability: The community and sparkpoints here are great for telling me how much I'm doing. When I log in each day, I'm faced with the realization that I should be doing all the healthy things.
2) Education: There's so much here to learn! Hundreds upon thousands of articles, countless amazing people who know SO much more than I do, and can answer my questions.
3) Record keeping: Here I can keep track of what I'm eating, how much I'm working out, and see my progress over time.I love the calories over time... I gained a little weight over the past few weeks, and looking at my calorie tracker, I can see WHY. (Totally fell off the wagon.)
Best of all those is the people. The people here are what keep me coming back. Once I stopped being so conservative about who I added (for the longest time, I only added people who I knew personally, or had interacted with a whole lot... which meant I had like, two friends!) I realized how wonderful and supportive the people here could be. It's those people who make it all worth while. POsting in the message boards, keeping this blog... it all helps SO much.
So what do you like about Sparkpeople? How do YOU use it?
Thursday, February 23, 2012
I just heard this ancient nugget of wisdom, and while the attribution for the original quote ranges widely (up to and including Arnold Schwarzenneger) the point behind it is simple.
Doing 1,000 crunches won't result in washboard abs.
What I think is a better quote is that "Great abs are made in the gym, but revealed in the kitchen."
What does this mean, exactly?
One big myth you'll hear a lot of overweight wannabe exercisers state is that they want to target X body part, or lose weight there. Back at the beginning of the year, I watched two ladies with very large backsides and thighs do the same thing for the two weeks they were there. Walk on the treadmill, then get on the thigh machines.
Day after day.
It was clear that they wanted to lose weight in their thighs.
Thing is, exercise doesn't work like that. Oh, you can tone your arms, or crunch your way to washboard abs... but you're not going to lose weight by doing planks.
You have to eat right! My trainer at the gym tells us often: You can't out-exercise a bad diet.
See, I'm one of those lucky people who carries most of her weight in her abdominal area. Heck, look at the title of my blog!
What the "great abs are made in the kitchen" means is that you have to eat right, because when you gain weight, you'll gain it wherever you're genetically predisposed to do. Right now, when I tighten my abs, I can FEEL the strength. I've been working on them hard, for five months. I HAVE washboard abs.
They're just hidden under 30 lbs of eeew.
So what I have to do is lose weight... I can't lose weight in targeted areas, I have to lose weight ALL OVER. By eating less than I burn, regularly exercising, I can lose that weight, and eventually, my gut will go. I'll show off the washboard abs I can FEEL under all that fat. My genetics tell me that my stress and my overeating puts weight there.
My habits in the kitchen will defeat it. I can do more crunches than anyone I know... but I won't be able to see them until my eating habits are caught up.
So let's spread the word:
Great abs are made in the gym, but REVEALED in the kitchen!
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
So this week put me face-to-face with my nemesis: School breaks. See, my routine during the week is to drop my kiddo off at school, then head straight to the gym, where I work out for 1-2 hours, depending on what classes are available.
On weekends, and when my daughter is out of school, I find it very difficult to get up in the morning. See, I work from home, and pretty much crawl out of bed when I like, and hit the computer. I'm not a morning person, and tend to not go to the gym if I don't go first thing. There's always something else going on to distract me.
So my daughter had three days off this week. So that meant I didn't go to the gym for three days this week. I'm already planning for the summer, though; I've made a friend at the gym, and I've already told her that when summer gets here, she's getting my number, and she's to text and nag me to come to class with her.
This SUCKS. I'm already gaining weight from not tracking my caloric intake (I've been good today, actually tracking my food, but I've been BAAD for several weeks, and gained back almost 9 lbs.) The stress level in this house has been catastrophic lately, too. My husband has been very sick. He ended up in the ER yesterday thanks to a nasty seizure last night. He slipped a disc, fractured his foot, and dislocated his jaw a bit. He's been sick almost constantly for weeks, and my stress level has just been through the roof. I think that's part of why I gained weight; I snack when I'm stressed. I'm trying to be more mindful, and have made sure to stock HEALTHY snacks.
Now, in more fun news: My daughter LOVES Tai Chi. After watching Kung Fu Panda 2, she wanted to try Tai Chi, and since I have a Tai Chi video, I put it on for her, and we did Tai Chi for 20 minutes while supper was getting ready. She loved it (she's 6) and it was good for me, too. I think we're going to start doing it more often, because she was so relaxed. She's a bit hyperactive, so anything that calms her down is good. I think Tai Chi would be good for her, too, because it gives her an awareness of what her body is doing, where it is, and how to make it do what she wants. She needs better balance, too. She's starting soccer this weekend, so I think being able to follow instructions and focus on her body will be extra good practice for soccer.
Tomorrow it's back to the gym, and I'm going to bust my butt to make up for the effort I've wasted this week.
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