Sunday, June 22, 2014
So, when getting re-revved up last month and setting up my fitness plan and diet plan on the SparkPeople account settings, I took notice of a new feature of the daily calories that takes into your daily exercise. Woohoo! Since I've been wearing my fitbit regularly, I thought this was great, even though I think the fitbit really overestimates the number of calories you burn (I'd be a string bean if what it said were true after this last month), I still thought an extra couple hundred calories per day would be great.
So my calorie range is 1200-1550, but after the fitbit would log my activity for the day, my range would pop up to 1500-1800 or somedays even higher like 1800-2200. I was a bit skeptical that my daily activity would allow that type of range, but on days where I really worked out hard -- I thought yay, this is great.
Well not so. After basically going nowhere the last three weeks, I'm starting to think that I ought to switch back to the basic calorie layout which doesn't take into account your daily activity.
It's frustrating, but I'm trying to just use this as a chance to refocus, and really work hard this week to see what I can accomplish. I did take measurements last week, so I can also have something else to focus on, but after a week there isn't really much difference -- which also supports my theory that I ought to stick with the regular calorie plan at least for the time being, and be a little more careful for evening snacking!
Have a great SparkWeek everyone!
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
I've always love this poem...
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman
Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
In the spirit of a clean slate, I am so excited for this weekend because I bought a new (used) treadmill that is being delivered on Saturday morning.
The last 6 months have been a pretty much abysmal failure as far as weight loss and healthy living go. I've really floundered. It is almost as if the whole thing sorta avalanches on itself, one bad choice leading to another and another to the point where I just didn't seem to really care at all. Ugh. So that's got to stop right here and now.
Even though I have a gym membership (which sadly hasn't gotten much use lately), I think this is going to be great, and maybe I will be able to just cancel my (expensive) membership and join a less expensive gym for weights if I really want to. I am trying to eliminate as many excuses as possible. So one issue is not having enough time. I find that oftentimes going to the gym to workout for an hour ends up taking an extra 30 to 45 minutes out of my day by the time I drive to the gym, park, get checked in, get changed, get my stuff and then drive home. And if it's crummy weather outside, or cold out -- I'm even less motivated to leave the house. So I'm hoping this will get rid of that barrier.
Next barrier. I am placing a moratorium on picking up food on the way home from work for dinner. My house is fully stocked with healthy options, so "because it was a stressful day" or "a long day" or a "great day", stopping by the grocery store to pick up noodles, or other unhealthy prepared meals is not helpful for my short and long term goals. If I need to go grocery shopping, it will be after I'm fed and with a list.
I've still got some left over personal training sessions to use at my gym -- so I need to get working on that too, although I've been a little embarrassed to call my trainer to set it up again (haven't seen him in about 6 months, and I've probably gained about 15 pounds in that timeframe). But I just need to get over it and get back to the gym.
So that's one arm of my plan. The other arm (not sure how many arms my plan can have), includes making my lunch more often despite the free lunches at work (which are not always very healthy), so I can control not only _what_ I am eating but how _much_ I am eating too, until I make some steady progress. I guess the remaining arms to my plan are still a work in progress. :-)
I did do a 5k walk/run (untimed) a few weeks ago here in town. I've got another one this weekend with some co-workers -- so should be fun. Will likely walk most of it, but will try to walk/run anyway.
When I get my treadmill, I am going to get started back on my running plans again.
I will do this because I've got to do this -- in order to be the best that I can be!
Wednesday, January 08, 2014
So I fell off the Spark wagon a few months back from what was, in retrospect, fairly haphazardly committed plan anyways. Now with the New Year here, I've of course renewed my interest in losing weight and getting in better fitness shape. No matter how many times you fall down, none of it matters so long as you keep getting back up, right? Well that's me. I started here a little over a year ago, and had some initial very encouraging success, then well, not so much. The last 6 months have been quite stressful with life, work, etc., which didn't help and really just provided some additional excuses to use. But I recognize that, and I recognize that now I'm even worse shape than when I started last year (don't get me started on how I let that happen).
So, I've been poking around the Spark website more, and reading articles, and focusing first on my nutritional goals, and slowly working up back to the level of exercise that I used to be at (and loved). As part of this renewal, I was reading my Spark Start Page, and found the new members guide (for 500 pts when you finish!), so I thought I'd see what that had to offer.
Interestingly, I came across this passage in the first section that really intrigued me and made me think about my own program.
" The SparkPeople program originated from our realization many years ago that two main types of expertise could be combined into a revolutionary program to help people reach goals:
The first type is expertise on any health and fitness areas that can help your body improve, such as: nutrition, fitness, and sleep
The second type of expertise comes from areas that help you mentally, including: motivation, goal setting, stress management, and leadership."
So the first one I've definitely spent a lot of time thinking about. What caught my attention was the second type of expertise that helps you mentally here. Things like motivation, goal setting and stress management and leadership. I mean yeah, I get it. Making goals and being motivated is part of the larger picture, as well as stress management and sharing your ideas with others. I've made goals and I've made an effort to recognize factors which derail me, but I haven't thought a whole lot about motivation, in and of itself, and that maybe I ought to make a "motivation" plan in addition to my nutrition and fitness plans.
So here I go. One thing I've done in the past, is to put a small sticker on my calendar in my office for everyday that I get exercise in. I think for this month, I am going to restart this visual motivator, except for this month, I will add stickers for days that I've stayed within my nutritional goals. Maybe next month I'll switch back to using it to label exercise days.
Another idea to help keep up my motivation, is to focus on smaller weight loss goals. So my ticker is set at 10 lb intervals, and I'm aiming for 5 pounds/month goal. Once I reach my next 5 pound marker, I'm going to go shopping for a small little fun item, like earrings or crazy socks, etc.
My third idea to help keep my motivation, is to be more active in posting on my blog, and interacting with the community here -- as I already know, it's a great place to help keep you excited about your goals.
Okay, so I'm starting off with some little steps, but at least I'm going in the right direction. I've got 3.2 more pounds to go until my next "mini-goal"!
Saturday, November 09, 2013
So this morning while I was vacuuming, I realized that my vacuum wasn't sucking up stuff very well, compared to when I first bought it. (I have one of those uber fancy vacuums specific for pet hair that I swore was one of the best things on the planet when I bought it.) I had cleaned the filter recently, so I was a bit concerned that my big investment wasn't all that I thought it was.
Did you know you can learn just about anything on google/youtube? Yeah. Some of it isn't necessarily stuff that I ever wanted to know, like for example, how to give yourself "cat eyes" using makeup. But whatever, maybe someone wants to know that. Today though, I learned that my awesome pet vacuum has not one, but TWO filters. AND I found a youtube video from the manufacturer that demonstrates how to find and clean both filters. The second filter I had no idea about, and apparently have been neglecting it since I bought it, which might explain why it was so yuck when I took it out of the vacuum this morning. Aha.
So I sat back for a moment and pondered just how wonderful the age of computers really is. I remember heading off to college and my dad helping me set up the college email account before I left. I distinctly remember thinking, "What the heck am I ever going to use 'email' for? If I want to talk to someone, I'll just call them." lol. If only I had any idea.
My favorite internet thingie is definitely Google. During this thoughtful trip down memory lane this morning with my vacuum filters, I got to wondering what else I could learn on Google and specifically what google might have to say about weight loss as a random search string.
After walking back to the computer, I sat down and promptly typed in, "How to lose weight" and then pressed the search button.
Interestingly, the first box that came up had several references from reputable sources whose common theme was basically "burn more calories than you consume on a daily basis, and you will lose weight." Yay Google. But what really caught my attention was everything listed underneath that.
Pretty much all of the website titles were along the themes of, "lose weight fast", "How to lose x pounds in x amount of time", "the *secret* weight loss formula", "how to lose weight without exercising", and basically "how to lose weight without doing anything different".
Well duh, no wonder this country has a weight loss problem. Pretty much everything being marketed on the internet (and elsewhere), sums up weight loss as easy, fast and effortless. Furthermore, there are absolutely tons of youtube videos about weight loss that show bright cheery individuals claiming they have lost incredible amounts of weight in very short times and you could too if you just bought x. In fact, they ALL were trying to sell you something. The latest and greatest diet book, health food supplements, exercise videos, nutrition counseling services, diet shakes, where to buy tapeworms (ok eww), etc.etc.
Thankfully when I reached the point of deciding that I wanted to lose weight, I didn't do an internet search -- I was fortunate enough to have someone clue me into SparkPeople.com.
And I'll tell you that I think SP is really one of the best resources on the internet for not only weight loss, but so much more. Plus, it's FREE.
But there is definitely a catch. Switching to a healthy lifestyle from a not-so-healthy one does require work. A lot of work. And it's not usually a fast process. Plus sometimes not only is it not easy and not effortless, it's downright hard.
BUT, it is worth it. AND, the difference between our collective journey here at SparkPeople, is that when we do achieve our goals, we will be well-armed with knowledge and healthy habits, AND our results are going to last a whole lot longer than whatever fad diet is currently in vogue.
Have a great day!
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