Wednesday, February 03, 2010
My sister and I are taking the Spark 28 day program. I haven't had a chance to read "THE SPARK" just yet. It just got passed to me from my sister so I am starting with the program's chapters and then reading the rest. Week 1 has six steps-1. Set fast break goals, 2. Plan your SparkTime, 3. Reaffirm your focus, 4. Set up shop, 5. Choose your rewards, 6. Learn about what you currently eat.
1. Set your fast break goals-I have 3...
a. Drink 8 cups of water a day. This is actually a carry over from the first time I did fast break. But, with the cool weather I have been coming up short most days so I figure now is a good time to get back into the habit.
b. Stretch for 10 minutes. I have been meaning to get my yoga back on track but it is not happening so a couple rounds of Sun Salutation each day will meet both goals.
c. Read an inspirational story or book-hehe that one is easy now that I've got the SPARK in my hot little hands!!
2. Plan your SparkTime-my mother gave me the Spark Planning Calendar for Christmas and I have used it to some degree but I am going to start using it to its full potential.
3. Reaffirm your focus- I've lost track of some of my goals and the long term and short term goals have all short of rolled into one long goal so...
a. Short term goal- run a 5K in May
b. Mid-term goal-run/walk a 10K in June
c. Long-term goals-reach a healthier weight, and run a half marathon.
4. Set Up Shop-Candy, Kool-Aid and other junk has crept into my house over the holidays and hasn't left yet, the house guest who never leaves. I think most of it is gone now and I am reasserting myself over my shopping habits and my unwanted houseguests have recieved thier eviction notices. The second part is to retrieve my fitness gear from under the bed. It went into hiding over the holidays (a very small home left no room for tree and gear to co-habitate) and is still hiding under the bed and getting dusty. Out it comes!!
5. Choose your rewards. I already have a great list of rewards on my main page but I am adding some for each week of the challenge. Drinking all my water earns me a new pair of socks (stole this reward from my sis, except I've been coveting a new pair of socks from Save our Soles for a while now and this is a good reason to justify them-Save our Soles sells really good socks that are SUPER cute and good quality). Stretching for 10 minutes gets me a new bookcase (I have books living in boxes it is time to get them back on a shelf). Reading gets a new book (makes sense huh?).
6. Learn what you eat. I am paying closer attention to the nutritional info printed under my recipes and aiming for more balance at each meal. Balance between entree and vegitable as well as variety and colors served. Also, I am paying more attention to WHEN I eat. I have caught myself slipping into some very bad, old habits. Like skipping a meal or allowing my "snacks" to turn into mini-meals-oooo very, very bad.
So February is the month of the holiday dedicated to love. I am going to celebrate Valentine's day by showing myself some love, giving myself some much deserved attention and renewing a very important relationship. Hope everyone is having a great week!!
Monday, February 01, 2010
So, the last little while I have been on kind of a new foods kick. In an effort to eat better I have been planning menus and testing new recipes, putting my library of cook books through its paces like crazy and my kids have all gone on self imposed diets!!
I am not limiting the amout of food they receive and there is always plenty to eat, but they are refusing to try the new stuff-for the most part. I do have to say I am very proud of my 6 year old. The boy in our family, he is a notoriously picky eater-you can't tell-he is built like a line backer (not fat!! Just extremely sturdy-I know that sounds like a mom thing, but you would have to see to believe-he is just a human tank plain and simple), but he is horribly picky. He has done a very good job of at least trying the new foods. Polenta Beef Stew (exactly what it says-beef stew served over a polenta base) was a flop with the kids-I loved it. Sweet and Sour Chicken (a super delicious low fat version) was also a flop with the kids, but a huge hit with hubby and me. Cabbage Rolls were untouched by the girls, but the filling was devoured by the six year old, only my husband and I ate the whole roll-cabbage and all. The three year old is the WORST!! One look and it is "mommy, me not like this". The six year old is a carnivor at heart and at least agreed to eat the meat in each dish.
Last night was the Sweet and Sour chicken. I served it in bowls over brown rice. It was quite comical looking at each bowl at the end of dinner-hubby's bowl and mine scraped clean (it was REALLY good), each of the kids' bowl had a lump of cold rice with pineapple chunks and green pepper strips laying on top with not a bit of chicken left in my son's bowl, but enough chicken left that the dog had fun picking out the chicken from the girls' bowls-he also left behind the rice, pineapple and peppers!! LOL!!
Last week the broccoli soup and then a couple days latter the carrot soup were both looked at as if they had bugs in them. In fact I think the kids thought the wild rice in the carrot soup was bugs!!
So, the good news is the kids will not starve. I know this. It is still a little disturbing to watch 3 kids barely eat dinner. The other good news is that, eventually, they will get used to green things being served as a meal, as well as orange things and maybe even yellow things. They will eventually figure out that this stuff is actually VERY GOOD stuff. Granted the whole family was a little worried about the cabbage rolls (not me I ate them A LOT during my time in Germany and have missed them dearly, but was always a little intimidated by the rolling etc.), but hubby was brave and showed the kids how to dive in and pretend until you figure out if it is good or not. Hubby judged the cabbage rolls a "keeper" BTW.
Asking my family to expand their tastes is not an easy mission, but we will get there. I just know that someday my 3 year old (maybe not until she is six, but hey, I can wait) will actually request mom's cabbage rolls for dinner and someday they will not blink at a chunk of squash sitting on thier plate. And that, my dear SparkFriends, will be a good day indeed.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Gotta love those moments in life when something happens and it makes you stop and think things over a bit and find some new understanding.
The first thing you have to understand is that I wear glasses. My vision is good enough that I could run without them if I really wanted to, but I do prefer being able to see more than 50 feet ahead of me. Without glasses I am in no danger of running into anything or anyone, I've just gotten used to being able to see is all. The second thing is that this time of year I can get quite fogged up during a run. Especially since I've started intervals. During the slower portions of my run I can get very fogged up. Soooo....
Last Wednesday I am running along, enjoying myself, getting close to the end of the run and feeling good. I had just started a running interval and was quite fogged up, oddly enough this happened at the one corner where I could get confused about where I needed to go next. This particular corner has a small park instead of the standard homes and right at the corner the sidewalk splits with one portion going straight ahead (the path I want) and the other section splitting off to go into the park. The combination of the fogged up glasses and the angle that I approached the corner made me think, for a moment, that I was supposed to take the park sidewalk. I realized my mistake before it was too late to take the path I wanted and gave myself a good chuckle while I used my glove to wipe off some of the fog. I've been having that kind of a week and this experience fit right into the whole theme of the week (I also zipped my jacket over my seat belt, effectively locking myself into the car-figured it out before it got REALLY embarassing though and I forgot how to get to a friend's house (I've been there several times before, but not recently) and had to call to get directions-OMGoodness!!!!!). But it got me started thinking about the fog and it's blinding qualities.
Looking through glasses foggily changes one's entire perspective, things look different in the fog. Sidewalks hide and trees and homes look different. Odd thing is that not only is fog a problem when I am out running but it can also be a problem when I am reading a new article on some aspect of diet and health. It is a huge problem when I am looking at advertisements for "nutrition supplements". And these are only the things I encounter myself. There are "doctors" out there creating fog around their "vitamins" or "supplements" and "diet plans" so that their "patients" will miss the fact that they are actually peddling snake oil just like the hucksters of old. Publishers turn a blind eye if the advertiser is paying the right amount for some space in their "health" magazine. Gurus present plans and diets that will do more harm than good. Diet companies parade skinny models as examples of what their "diet" can do for you and then put in small print "results not typical". There is SOOOO much fog out there!!!! Thanks goodness for Sparkpeople!! Sparkguy will not lead you wrong. Everything that is a part of the "offical" Spark program is based on common sense and a healthy attitude towards fitness and nutrition. Sparkpeople is the ultimate de-fogger in a world of pea soup. When the fog gets too thick and I am having trouble seeing my way clearly a little visit to Spark and my glasses are cleared up and I can see again. I know where I am going and what I need to do. Thanks Sparkguy! Thanks coaches!! Thanks friends!!
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Finally, finally, finally, we have a working computer in our home again!!! Finally I can blog from home and I can check on my friends and everything else I've been missing for a month or so. YIPPPPEEEE!!!!!! Finally.
Now to catch you all up on the last week or so. As I've mentioned many times, but will mention again just in case someone missed it, I live in Southern California. A very dry section of Southern California. Even when other parts of the state get rain we usually manage to miss it. So, last week was a very interesting week when it rained to some degree every single day Monday through Friday. Fortunately we still got in some of our workouts. Wednesdays was especially great!! After typing my Persevere blog I went off for our run. And it was AWESOME!!! I am following a new plan along the lines of Jeff Galloway's method. I don't own a functional watch and I am not really the type who is into holding a stop watch and our running route is through a neighborhood, not on a track, so running a set distance is a problem, so I settled on using my ipod and running two songs and walking one song. So I set off on Wednesday and after the first run interval I could feel a little tightness in my shins so I slowed down my walking pace and did a little more stretching before the next running interval. At the end of the second running interval there was still a little tighness, but much less than before and by my third interval the tightness was gone!! I was LOVING my run and that's when I started getting stupid again-hehehe!! My inner runner starts going WOOHOO!!! and saying "Yeeesss, next run we will add back in that long loop we have been cutting out for forever. Yesss, we are back in the game!!" Lucky for me I also have an inner coach!!! A few blogs ago I called him my inner Spock, but this time he said "Whoa, Nellie!!" and Spock would never be caught dead saying "Whoa, Nellie" so I had to call him my inner coach this time. We are really racking up the personalities here. Anyway, "Whoa, Nellie-what are you thinking-this is how you always get into trouble-as soon as you start feeling good you push too hard and end up back at the beginning again. Back off, keep it here for awhile and we will look at adding an additional SHORT loop later, the long loop can wait awhile." Being the intelligent being that I am I had to recognize the wisdom in this advice and even left off the last interval I was thinking I could fit in before we got to the end of the route!! Very proud of myself!!
Well, later that day the rain settled in for good and Thursday's walk and Friday's run were called due to rain, and lots of it. Every street surrounding me had turned into a mini lake and even getting the kids to school was a trial so there was no way I was going to run in it! So the original plan is to do a video and still get some exercise in and it is a very good plan, but, unfortunately, rainy days turn me into a sloth. I've always known this, but failed to take it into account when it comes to my workout plan. So, naturally Thursday and Friday I did not exercise. AND, I decided to NOT FEEL GUILTY ABOUT IT!!! As previously mentioned we get VERY few rainy days. In fact last week was the rainiest period in several years soooo, I decided to enjoy my rainy days and just not be stupid when it came to everything else. I took advantage of the cold, wet weather to make so Wild Rice and Carrot Soup-VERY Yummy. In fact even better slightly cool when it gets a little thicker and the carrot flavor is a little stronger when it cools down a little. One serving provided more than 200% of my daily vitamin A!! Even though the weather cleared up for Saturday and Sunday I still didn't fit in any additional exercise so I went into yesterday's run nice and relaxed and refreshed.
Yesterday's run surpassed Wednesday's!!! No tightness, no pain, no soreness!! AND I listened to my inner coach and kept with the plan. I didn't do anything extra, I ran only as far as planned and had a GREAT time doing it!!! I still went home and iced my shins for 20 min. before taking the kids to school. That was a little uncomfortable. Due to the continuing chill in the air (which I'm not used to) the addition of the ice made me quite chilly and I got to pull a blanket around me which made me sleepy!! LOL!! The point is I'm being very good and (knock on wood) maybe the end is in sight.
I am sticking with my plan to run my next race as a 5K instead of a 10K, which was my original plan. I made this decision because my next race is timed and the last time I trained for a timed race I was too tense about making the time and I didn't run as well as I could have or should have and I don't want the stress of trying to make a time limit added to the shin problems. I've spent a lot of time thinking about this and I feel good about it. There is a 10K in June that does not have a time limit and I will still start training for that race in February. I am going to keep doing intervals and see where it leads. I feel good about recent developments and am so glad to have all the pieces falling back into place. Now, hopefully they will all stay there for awhile!!!
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