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It's all about the choices

Sunday, June 20, 2010

People like to say that weight loss is an easy equation: you just have to take in less calories than you burn off. But if you're eating within your calorie range everyday, but all you eat is chocolate and twinkies, I'm pretty sure you're going to have a tough time at some point.

It all comes down to our choices. We all like to blame everyone and everything except ourselves -- I'm no exception! But the truth is we DO make choices. Every minute of our day. Oatmeal for breakfast or a doughnut? Salad with that or fries? And so on.

About a week ago a spark buddy challenged me to do 10 pushups every time I wanted to have a BLT (bite, lick, or taste). For now it's as if that simple challenge changed my whole brain chemistry. I became aware of the choices I was making. Which made me feel powerful and in control.

I didn't do any pushups until yesterday. There were days that I decided to have something that I hadn't planned, but I thought about it before hand, and I sat down with it and savored it and tracked it.

Yesterday I made some vegan krispy treats to bring to my family today. I've been wanting to try a recipe for peanut butter blondies for quite some time, but I knew right now isn't the right time for that.

As I was scraping the mixture out of the bowl and into the pan, I decided that I wanted to lick the spoon. Was that worth 10 pushups? And we're not talking girlie pushups here, either. I decided that it was. I went ahead and licked the spoon, did my pushups -- but in this instance, I didn't record it because truly I have no idea what that lick might be: half a point, maybe?

It doesn't matter how many points or calories were in that lick. What matters is that once again I made a well thought out CHOICE. There was nothing furtive at all about my choice, and I enjoyed it and moved on with my life -- like making a healthy banana ice cream for dessert because I wanted a fruit dessert after dinner.

Today I challenge you to really think about your choices. If you've already made bad ones, make your very next one a good one. One good choice can lead to many more good choices. It doesn't matter how many bad choices you've already made, just one good choice can turn it all around. And if you do make a bad choice, drop and give me 10!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CRAVE_FREE 6/21/2010 4:57PM

    Thanks so much for this wonderful blog. It is always all about choices and we need to remember that. If it is to be it's up to me!

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SLIMMERJESSE 6/20/2010 9:50AM

    I recently read a quote on someone's SP page, something like, "You're one choice away from changing your life." So true about choices. Here's to a day full of good ones!

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LORIANNHOFFMAN 6/20/2010 8:39AM

    That's a very good idea. I like the whole push-up theory...because I hate push-ups...I don't know of any food that is worth doing 10 push-ups.

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RUBIAFIRE 6/20/2010 5:56AM

    I agree. Excellent perspective.

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The real test

Saturday, June 19, 2010

We're going to go down to visit my folks tomorrow. So now for the real test -- how do I do when the vast majority of my food choices are out of my control? Always a struggle for me.

The plan is to get some pizza. I'm fine with that. I'll probably have a salad for lunch before we go down there, or maybe some raw veggie soup. I'll bring some baby carrots with me so I can have something to munch on with the pizza.

The problem is whatever else is presented. You probably know my family: if we're not eating, we're talking about food and discussing when/where we're going to eat our next meal. I come by my foodie nature genetically.

I've been doing so well with my BLTs. Came darn close to pushups yesterday, but didn't have to do them. I did eat much more than I planned to -- but I pulled out all the tricks, waiting to see if I was really hungry, then having some cherries (if you're not willing to eat something healthy, then you're not physically hungry), then having something to drink . . . and then a vitatop. Because yeah, I was hungry. May have had something to do with my long run/walk yesterday (4.5 miles -- hey, don't laugh, for me that's long).

Which is part of the problem, knowing that tomorrow will be a challenge made me want to try to eat a bit more lightly, but my stomach was having different thoughts on that subject.

We will bring the dogs, but since we're going to my sister's for the actual dinner, I'll have to crate them at my parents (nowhere to block them in in my sister's house, and I think they'd rather be crated in an empty house than while we spend hours gabbing and eating). We'll be going to my parents' house first, so they can be out til we go over to my sister's. Since an hour and a half drive each way, leaving them at home (crated) would probably push them past their comfort zone.

I've also gone back and forth on what I want to bring. I'd like to bring chocolate dipped strawberries, but I don't think I want to make enough for 7 people -- plus if people don't eat them, they don't stay good long and I certainly don't want to clean up after everyone!

So I've settled on some vegan rice kripie treats. I think.

Last night we took the dogs to the park for a short walk. I told my husband I'd like to try to do that at least once a week -- so that instead of just watching tv after dinner we're doing something. Since he's still on the I'm-going-to-try-to-live-healthy kick, he grudgingly agreed. He still came home and watched tv, but it was just about bedtime for me.

We often do walk the dogs after dinner, but I can usually get him to walk longer if we're out of the neighborhood, plus it's always good socialization for the dogs (a never-ending process).

In other news, I ordered the Ipod Touch yesterday. Now I'll have to get my computer fixed (it's been frozen for months; this is my husband's computer) -- all my music is on it!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHEILA1505 6/19/2010 6:34AM

    How could anybody not eat chocolate dipped strawberries???
Have a good trip
Hugs

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IFDEEVARUNS2 6/19/2010 6:23AM

    Families! But you're up to the challenge. Good luck!

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Calling all Ipod touch users

Friday, June 18, 2010

WW meetings can be a dangerous place. A few months ago our leader bought an Ipod Touch, and she's been talking it up ever since. Yesterday she passed it around. Now I have a burning desire for one.

Actually, I've been looking around for some sort of mobile device for a while. Netbooks are more than i really want to pay at the moment -- definitely ditto the Ipad, which does look totally cool, I admit.

If you do have an Ipod Touch, do you think it's worth it?

What sort of problems have you had with it?

What are the best apps?

Anyone buy a refurbished one?

Because that's what I'm thinking about -- a refurbished 8GB model. I'd really like the Wifi feature to work, and I've read about people having problems with it. And with it sometimes freezing. Or replaying songs.

And while I really would like an Iphone, I don't want to have to pay a monthly fee. I am not a power phone user. I rarely use my cell phone -- and I only pay about $5 a month for it. So while it would be nice to have everything I want in one package, I'm not willing to pay $60+ a month for it.

I like that I could write a shopping list (I used to have an HP PDA years ago that I did that with, and have missed that convenience for years). That I could track my food. Hopefully check email and read blogs. That's what I've been looking for. And I know there's a lot more I could do with it! Not to mention listen to songs and store photos.

Finally, I'll leave you with something from last week's WW weekly that I really liked:

Impossible is "I'm Possible" without the apostrophe. We are all possible!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

922CHERI 1/15/2011 7:27PM

    I just bought one today at Sam's and the Weight Watchers app is free! You do have to buy a wireless router unless you already have one in your home and/or don't live above a restaurant with Wifi.

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DDHEART 6/18/2010 6:08PM

    Well, think you already haveyour answer but here goes....i love mine, have the sparkrecipe and sparkpeople apps which are great when out at restaurants with wifi, I've never had any problems with it.....I understand that there is a WW app too but don't know if that's a free one. I have my music loaded on it but usually used my old mp3 player since that one uses AA batteries so I don't have to worry about charging and can save all my electrons for grabbing e-mail on the fly and logging. Get one you'll be happy with it!

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JLITT62 6/18/2010 4:21PM

    From all my research, I'm pretty much sold. I was looking to buy a refurbished one on Ebay, or maybe Overstock, but I just looked at the Apple store and they have them for $150 (refurbished) which includes a 1 yr warranty -- and while I might be able to get it cheaper on Ebay, having the warranty would give me more peace of mind.

Thanks so much for the comments!

Keep them coming!

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CRAVE_FREE 6/18/2010 4:19PM

    hmmm thanks for the reminder that I'm possible. I could really use that! I don't have an i anything, ipod, nada. I'm married to a computer tech who is very anti-mac/apple. I know people who love theirs though, but they haven't shared any horror stories.

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ALLTHNGSPOSSBLE 6/18/2010 4:15PM

    Maybe I can help. I have one and I absolutely love it. I think it is definitely worth the money. You have to have a computer to sync up with though, I think. I don't think you can download music (and maybe apps that aren't free) without being synced to a computer and having an itunes account. I am not completely sure on that though. I'm not the one who puts music on my ipod so I don't really know how all that works. I do download apps all the time though, but only free apps.

I use it most of the time to listen to music while working out or to get on Facebook. There are tons of apps, it just depends on what your interests are. However, in order to read email, get on Facebook, or anything else that requires the internet you have to go someplace that has WIFI. No WIFI = no internet app use. The IPOD touch is not like the IPhone where you can connect anywhere, any time. That is the main disadvantage that I have found.

I really haven't had much trouble connecting and staying connecting when I am at a WIFI hotspot. Once in a while the place that has the WIFI will be having problems and that will cause you problems but most of the WIFI hotspots I use are stable.

As far as the music, it does seem like it plays some songs on my play list more often than others but they all get played. You can always play the songs in order if this becomes a problem for you. I have just over 1,000 songs loaded on mine right now plus several apps and a few pictures. I also have several podcasts loaded.

Some of my favorite apps are as follows:
SparkPeople (even though I don't use it as often as I should)
Facebook
Nike + iPod (used with a Nike + chip to track runs and walks)
TapFarm (a lot of fun - kind of like Farmville on Facebook)
Waterslide (a water slide game)
iShotgun lite (a target shooting game)
LetsTans (a jigsaw puzzle type game)

Many, many more but those are some I use the most often. I have several workout (fitness) apps, weather apps, other games, and other apps as well.

I hope this helps. Good luck making a decision.

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CINCYDORA 6/18/2010 3:53PM

    Caveat: I am a big fan of Apple and the devices have permeated not only my house but my family for decades. I own stock. So that might color my recommendations.

I can't speak to e-mail etc on the Touch but I have an iPhone and use the apps frequently. They are the same on the Touch. I like the Sparkpeople app. I love my running app. I love that I can find all kinds of apps for free or less than $2. Yes, it is technology and is likely to do something to tick you off from time to time, but nothing that restarting the device won't fix. I have to restart every month or two to fix a glitch. That's not often in the grand scheme of things.

Are you looking at a refurb from Apple? They have a really good program and we've had great luck with other refurbished products but not an iPod. The only warning I'd give there is that the new operating system is a bit different and might not run on some older iPods. I'm not sure how that will affect the apps you can download, but it's possible you'll run across one you really love but can't use all the functions because you have an older model. Other than that, you should be fine with an Apple refurb. They usually include Apple Care in the price, which is good to have.

Comment edited on: 6/18/2010 3:53:44 PM

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USARUNNERGIRL 6/18/2010 3:39PM

    I really can't help besides I know my sister loves her Ipod Touch. Big time. She does have a lot of cool programs on hers. I have thought too about getting one. I didn't think about getting that for a lot of various functions and then getting a less expensive cell phone.

That WW quote is simply fantabulous.

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SWEETLEXIE520 6/18/2010 9:06AM

    I have no experience with the iPod Touch - but I just wanted to say I LOVE that impossible is I'm possible without the apostrophe.

Here's to adding our apostrophes today!!
emoticon

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SHEILA1505 6/18/2010 7:18AM

    DD2 loooooooooooooves hers - and DS looooooves his BlackBerry. they are both always on FaceBook and Twitter etc, retrieving mails and sending - saves costs of texting if sending to other BlackBerry users etc.

She loves the touch screen - he had bad issues with a Samsung touch screen. She laments the lack of CD/DVD drive in her Netbook - problems with new programs etc!

I want a BlackBerry simply because it is more prevalent here in SA - more connectivity thru our networks. Waiting for new deals as I am due for a new phone/upgrade but not happy with the contracts currently

Any help??

hugs

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A second wind. Or is that a third, or a fourth, or . . . ?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The 10 pushup rule for BLTs still rock. Still no pushups, and yes, some unplanned food -- but all tracked, all eaten mindfully. It's made me much more aware of my choices. So far.

And I got to thinking about all this last night, and thought really -- just what is my problem? Is it really all that hard? Well, yeah, it is hard. If it wasn't everyone would be thin or would lose weight easily and quickly.

But it is DOABLE. I can do this. You can do this. Reaching out and being honest on SP helps.

So do small baby steps. Funny how I am now writing down small goals for every single day -- in advance -- and some just seemed so easy and logical they immediately became new habits. Without any effort.

Like my bathroom ST. I saw a segment on the Today show yesterday about using your own body for resistance. Unfortunately, she didn't actually get enough time to show much, but one thing she showed was having someone did sort of crescent kicks over the back of a chair -- you kick over the back of the chair one way, then back the other way, to work both your inner and outer thighs. That's today's exercise, minus the chiar -- I don't have one with a low enough back, really.

Yesterday's planks were tough. Almost made me want to avoid the bathroom! I didn't do 5 each time, but I held them for 30 seconds each time. I must go to the bathroom at least 5 times a day if not more, so that was almost 3 minutes worth of planks yesterday. Sure felt like 30.

But back to the subject. We have half a year left. Yup, half the year is gone already. I have a small weight loss goal in mind per month. Mind you, that hasn't been happening for months (just going up those same 2-3 pounds), but I still have a goal. I know it's doable.

It means I have to be really honest with myself. Am I making the best choices? Is my head in the game? Am I allowing myself to get a bit lazy after a few good days or weeks?

We're going to do this. I say bring it!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEMPEST272002 6/17/2010 3:21PM

    I'd definitely be avoiding the bathroom if I had to do planks in there each time! What about chair squats instead? emoticon

Any long-term project will have times where you are more enthusiastic than others - and weight-loss is no different. The key to getting there is to just keep getting back at it. I'm glad to hear you're regaining your enthusiasm!

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KEAKMAN 6/17/2010 9:55AM

    Because I do so much sitting all day I try to remind myself to suck in my tummy and hold for 30 seconds. (public bathrooms don't leave much opportunity for other exercises!)

You are doing great - 3 minutes of planks - I bet you feel it today! emoticon emoticon (OK, that's a pushup, but you get my meaning!)

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SLIMMERJESSE 6/17/2010 9:19AM

    I know I'll regret asking since it's probably very simple explanation, but what's a "ST?" Thanks for the reminder questions at the end. Yes, I can't believe half a year is gone already!

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SHEILA1505 6/17/2010 5:54AM

    These bathroom exercises seem like a very good habit to adopt - every little extra bit helps and having to pay for other things by doing planks and/or push-ups is another good idea - worth adopting.

Today instead of sitting shivering with DD2, I went for a brisk walk up the hills for 1/2 an hour and warmed my feet without any input from the electricity company :)

Hugs

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Building a habit

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A big shout-out to DAYHIKER who suggested that when I was tempted to have a BLT without writing it down, I needed to do 10 pushups. So far it's working to deter me from any BLTs at all over the last few days. The fact that TOM is over is helping too, of course.

I have chosen to eat some Hershey's dark chocolate kisses over the last few days, but when I do, I decide to have 2, savor them slowly, and track them. I plan my food out the day before, and I've been trying to leave room for a few extra nibbles, because I know they almost always happen.

It's funny how sometimes just blogging about a problem can really help you solve the problem, rather than trying to hide it or feeling too ashamed to confide it.

I bought myself some veggie drink I heard recommended in an email tip to try for those times when I'm just plain hungry and nothing satisfies. We'll see how that goes.

So now is the time for me to build my healthy habit one baby step at a time. I already feel so much better. I haven't been able to exercise as much as normal over the last week due to not feeling well -- and wanting to be healthy again once & for all -- so I'm not expecting much at the scale tomorrow. OTOH, my collarbones are popping a bit more. They are one of my signals that I've been indulging too much.

Another shout out to a spark buddy -- I'm not sure who you are -- whose blog wrote about doing some form of ST after using the bathroom. Oh, I know there are all sorts of opportunities to sneak ST in: while brushing your teeth, hair, washing dishes, and so on. Only I'm not a multitasker. I like to give my undivided attention to the task at hand. But I do use the bathroom frequently.

On today's menu: planks. I usually pick one exercise each day, and do 5 or so reps after every visit. Which got me to thinking there's no reason you couldn't do yoga poses, too. And of course you could do a different exercise after every visit, too. Whatever floats your boat. Of course it helps that I'm not in an office environment.

Finally, as I put on my just-washed jeans this morning, I thought what a great diet that would be. Wash your jeans before you wear them every day.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DAYHIKER 6/16/2010 1:59PM

    Didn't you find that when you were a WW leader that your members loved you all the more when they figured out that you were human and also had problems always sticking with it? As Yvonne (1DECKER) pointed out, it takes the power out of our weaknesses when we can admit to them. And we all have them. I am getting pretty good at push ups, in fact... emoticon emoticon

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TEMPEST272002 6/16/2010 12:42PM

    Blogging really helps me too. If I say it, then I have to act on it...

I really enjoy reading your blogs. Your blog on being honest with yourself helped me to be honest with myself... and move off that darn plateau (down 1.5lbs this week).

Planks: I think "How hard can it be" and then I tried it! Wow, this is a toughie.

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CRAVE_FREE 6/16/2010 11:43AM

    I purposely wear my tightest jeans on days when I think it might be difficult to stay on track. I think their snuggness helps me keep my goals in the front of my mind. I keep my dark chocolate hershey kisses in the freezer. When they are frozen it takes even longer to savor them and I feel even more satisfied!!!
Hope all these new tricks get you where you're going.

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BZYBOYSMOM 6/16/2010 10:05AM

    You rock with your determination and discipline!

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MYUTMOST4HIM 6/16/2010 9:54AM

    Dayhiker is full of GREAT ideas. She has helped me a great deal too!!!

As for bringing our weaknesses out to the open - I figure that is how they lose their power over us. Confession is good for the soul

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