Saturday, July 20, 2013
As part of preparation for the start of the Summer 5% Challenge, I wanted to review and document in one place where I am today on my journey toward a healthier body and lifestyle, review my goals, and document the strategy to get there.
In reviewing my progress so far, it's clear that the 5% challenges have been a big part of maintaining my focus and pushing me to continue along the path to healthiness (is that even a word?, LOL). They encouraged me to try different things and learn how to incorporate them into my daily routine, and make healthy choices into habits. I managed to lose more than the 5% of weight in each of the previous challenges, but they've given me so much more than that!
In the 7 months since I reset my SP journey, here are some stats on progress:
50 pounds lost
23 total inches lost
3 pant sizes down
BP is now on the low side of normal
My complexion has cleared up (a co-worker recently commented that I was "glowing with health"!
I've managed the shrinking wardrobe problem fairly economically. I was able to dig around in the "too small" piles to find enough things to get by with only buying a pair of jeans and a few shorts in each size.
There have been, however, a lot of unexpected things to adjust:
-wedding rings had to be resized (smaller)
-had to get some new bras and underwear (I never went to larger sizes, but the old ones were really stretched out!)
-watch needed some links removed
-some of my shoes and socks are suddenly too loose
I'm excited to keep working toward my goals, as it can only get better from here! So, here's the plan for the next 8 weeks:
I will keep tracking ALL my food every day and stay within my SP recommended ranges for calories, carbs, fat, protein, and fiber.
I'll get at least 5 serving of freggies daily.
I'll keep drinking 8-10 cups of water daily.
I'll continue with daily morning stretching (15 minutes of yoga).
I'll try to get a minimum of 10k steps a day, and 10 flights of stairs.
I'll do 3-5 cardio sessions each week (Zumba, jogging, walking).
I'll do strength training 2 times a week (sticking with Iron Strength workout for this one).
I only wonder now, how I could have been so dumb about my health? I need to make clear that I didn't add all these at once. If you had given me this list 7 months ago, I would have said there was no way I could do all things on a regular basis, (or even at all!) Instead, I worked to include a few at a time, making adjustments to my lifestyle to fit them in, and only adding new ones after I was comfortable with the others. Making these things into habits instead of "have to work to include in each day activities" was not easy, but now that they are, it's really now just routine.
I only need to look back 6 months to get a very real reminder of why I keep going. I feel so much better, and have so more energy and physical stamina, it's unbelievable. I'm really looking forward to a total closet clean-out and some wardrobe refreshing once I get to goal.
I want to lose about 8-10 more pounds, and lose the rest of my belly fat (get the jiggles when I'm running down to the parts that are supposed to jiggle, (T&A).
Sparkpeople and the 5% Challenges have shown me the way and I CAN do it!
Tuesday, July 02, 2013
Yesterday on our town trip for freggies, we poked around in some shops and I found this super cute pitcher (and you all know I love cats, and collect them in every form).
These day lillies are growing wild everywhere on the road sides and trails (where there is sun) and I was looking for something to put some in for our table. The cat pitcher holds them perfectly! Each day new ones open so we have fresh blooms on the table, and I don't have to pick every day.
Sunday, June 30, 2013
Went fishing today in the river by the house, and after a short hike, up and down a creek that runs into it. I caught a rainbow trout almost right away, and didn't even have to resort to worms! (I usually switch to worms after an hour or two if I haven't caught anything with a lure).
So, if the fish looks a little brown for a rainbow, it's because he got away from me and flopped into the sand on the bank before I could get down stream to where DH was (with the camera). After he finally got the picture, we released my fish and went back to fishing.
About 10 minutes later, he catches one! Of course, it was about 1/2" bigger than mine, LOL!
I can't seem to get the picture of him with the fish uploaded. The site says the picture is too large to save. Is that because the fish is a little bigger, or what?
Anyway, if we had known he'd catch one right after mine, we might have had them for dinner, but the one fish wasn't enough for both of us, so both fishes got to swim away and continue happily in the creek.
All in all, it was a good day with lots of exercise and no worms lost their lives either!
Monday, April 22, 2013
We just completed the 8 week “Winter into Spring 5% Challenge”, and I am totally pleased with the results. In the 5% challenge, for eight weeks we compete as teams to virtually travel to exotic places, while we work on consistency in exercise and in other healthy lifestyle habits. It was a lot of fun and I met a lot of wonderful people. The members of the team worked together to keep up encouragement, motivation, support and accountability as we all worked on building good habits together. The leaders of the teams and of the overall challenge did a fabulous job putting it together and keeping it organized and all of us on track.
In the challenge, I managed to lose 9% of my starting weight over the eight weeks, but I believe that rather than being the main focus, the weight loss was the result of the healthy habits that we focused on each week. When I joined Sparkpeople 5 years ago, the nutrition plans and fitness plans helped me achieve my goal weight, but I didn’t learn anything about maintenance and soon gained it all back and more. I returned in December 2012 determined to do things differently this time, and to learn the healthy habits that would not only help me achieve my goal weight, but improve my fitness and change my lifestyle permanently for the better.
For me, the 5% challenge was a catalyst to reinforcing the habits I was trying to make part of my lifestyle, and to learn (or be reminded) about some new ones that also should go along on the trip to my healthy future.
So now, my suitcase is packed with good habits to help me on the journey, I’m working to leave the bad ones behind, and I’m ready to move ahead with the rest of my (healthier) life.
I am looking forward to the “Spring into Summer 5% Challenge”, to keep making progress on my journey, and to spend another 8 weeks with my friends and team-mates.
Anyone can join in the next 5% Challenge - Spring into Summer. Here's the link to the team you will join to sign up:
After you join this overall challenge team, you will have time to read more details about the challenge and get to know the other participants. In a few weeks, you will be assigned to an individual team, where you will be for the 8 weeks of the challenge.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
As we are nearly through the final week of the 8 week Winter into Spring 5% Challenge, I have been reflecting on my progress and lessons learned.
So, first some statistics…my goal for the eight week 5% challenge was to lose 9 pounds. As of the 7th week, I’ve managed to lose 15 pounds. So, , right? Yes and then some, but the weight loss wasn’t the big win for me in this challenge. I want to explore the "big win" some more in a bit, but first, let’s look at the rest of the list of goals I had at the beginning of the challenge. The goals (or commitments) I made at that time were: to continue tracking everything I consumed, staying in the recommended ranges of my SP diet, complete the 8 week training plan (3 days per week) for the 5K Running for Rookies program, complete an official 5K race at the end of it, continue with Zumba 2 days a week, complete the February Bootcamp challenge, and after the end of the 28 days, incorporate those or other strength training exercises into my fitness schedule at least 2 days per week. Somehow, I’ve managed all of this, so and at this point, a lot of it is routine or automatic. So, then what’s the "big win"?
In the “My Journey so Far...” blog of February 16th, I talked about what I was going to do differently this time around, which in a nutshell is to make some permanent changes toward a healthier lifestyle, and not just temporarily make changes to meet a weight loss goal. In this 5% challenge, aside from tracking fitness minutes and weight loss, each week we were given a different healthy habit or activity to focus on to earn points for our team. Some of these were easier for me than others because they were things I was already focusing on, but I found that even for those, specifically tracking them for a week was a great check up on how well I was really doing. In week 2, we were supposed to blog each day about one specific healthy habit that we wanted to develop. Just blogging every day was a bit out of my comfort zone, but it did really get me to think through ways to better focus on the one habit…I chose freggies for the one to look at during that week. Interestingly in the last week of the challenge, our LTGL points were for freggies! And I found in week 8, (as I started counting them up each day to record the points) that I was getting more than 5 each day, and normally between 7 and 10 servings. Wow, so the freggie habit had become a true habit, and all my meal planning and shopping patterns had changed to support this without any specific effort.
Success! This is an example of a healthy behavior that is becoming a habit…exactly what I was missing before.
I truly believe that the way for me to meet my goals to be at a healthy weight and to be fitter, is to change my habits in a way that will automatically achieve and support those goals, and in that way, I’ll be prepared to enter the land of “maintenance” once I’m at goal weight.
The freggie habit is just an example. In general, I think the 8 week 5% challenge has in many ways propelled me towards my ultimate goal…a healthy lifestyle, and the support and advice of my team-mates on the Awesome A team has been wonderful.
So, now what’s next? Well, I plan to continue with my program (reinforcing the healthy habits), and have signed up for the next 5% Challenge on the same A team. I know I can do this, so I’ll keep pushing along as we head into summer, toward goal weight and into the land of “maintenance”.
Get An Email Alert Each Time GEMLADYONE Posts