Tuesday, November 30, 2010
If I focused on the process -- running & swimming as our mercury dips ever lower -- I would never move, never step foot outside this house. It is cold outside! That first splash into the pool is killer!
Yet I still continue to run, and I continue to swim. Because I feel wonderful when I'm done. I feel at peace with myself and my body, and energized to face the rest of my day.
Sadly, morning swims are done for the year. Don't know yet when/if they start up again. If I'm lucky, I'll have a couple more night swims.
It's also about more than just how I'll feel when I finished -- it's about what all that movement is doing for my body. For the longest time I have been so disappointed by my flabby arms in photos of me.
Until our vacation! The muscles are there, as I knew they were, they just have to be flexed to be seen. Don't take photos with your arms hanging down (and of course my bad posture & rounded shoulders don't much help either).
Until you decrease your body fat you can do crunches til the cows come home and you won't see a 6 pack (or a gun rack, or whatever your measure of success is). And this is why what you eat is so much more important than how many calories you're eating (which is something that WW has finally cottoned on to, apparently, with their new program).
You won't be losing a whole lot of fat with no weight training and slow, steady cardio, either. Oh, slow cardio has its uses -- it's just not your best weapon against fat. Intervals are where it's at, apparently. So if you've been slogging away at it and not seeing the results you want, then try picking up the pace now & again.
I am happy to report a small loss over Thanksgiving. Always wish for more, but any loss, especially with TOM about a week out, is welcome. Another very challenging week with another trip coming up -- this one with way less control over food, even movement, with family involved.
I will do my best to focus on the outcome that I want: whole foods, more energy, and a smaller me.
What are you focusing on?
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Our way looks so clear sometimes, etched in sand. We believe that we know what direction we're headed in.
And yet nothing is etched in stone -- the waves/changes inevitably come crashing in, erasing our path.
This is Maha'ulepu Beach. We went to this one on our own -- no hiking to get there, but there are gates that are locked at 6pm which we were not aware of -- getting there around 4:30 pm. No, we did not get locked in, altho we're told it happens.
You need strong foundations to stay the course.
You need a good support system.
Sometimes the way is difficult, with many zigs and zags.
This is Secret Beach. It's a short, but challenging, hike down. But you are well rewarded with the views.
Sometimes you need a spot to take a break, and re-evaluate your goals. Think about where you've been, and where you're going.
One of the cool things about the beaches in Kauai is that they aren't crowded. It's a relatively small island with a small population.
Stay the course. Keep your eyes on the prize. Be rewarded with more weight loss before the end of the year -- and make sure to keep your support team around you, re-evaluate your goals if need be, and take breaks when needed.
Friday, November 26, 2010
I've always been a big water drinker. But I have found, over the last 2 years of my journey, that getting those liquids in (some of it is tea, some of it is almond milk most days) early in your day can make all the difference.
Yesterday was no exception.
By the time we left here at 1 pm, I'd already had 6 glasses of liquid. Running helps -- usually I'll have 2 glasses of water (that I carry with me in a fanny pack, not actual glasses obviously) after I finish my run. I wasn't at all hungry when I arrived at my sister's, and her appetizers were fairly healthy -- cheese & crackers (didn't partake, can have that any time); shrimp (I like shrimp, but cocktail shrimp isn't my fave); and pita & hummus -- had one piece of pita with some hummus eventually.
Dinner was fairly healthy -- small slice of turkey, simple roasted brussel sprouts that I brought with me) -- and just about a tablespoon each of my sister's brussel sprouts (with heavy cream, butter, & cheese) and green beens (with who knows what in it). Oh, and the raw cranberry sauce I brought with me (cranberries, oj, & dates).
Dessert was the raw sweet potato pie I brought. I must say this tasted amazing -- to me, anyway, I think I was the only person to eat any. No one seemed interested in the healthy stuff! But all it was was raw sweet potato, some spices, some dates, a tiny bit of coconut oil, and some almond milk -- plus a nut pie crust. I was truly surprised at how raw sweet potatoes could taste so good!
And a very tiny piece of my sister's carrot cake.
No worries. Not at all stuffed. Got my run in early in the day, walked the dogs a few times -- no one in my family even thinks of moving after dinner, sadly.
I have found that if i don't get that liquid in early in the day a) I'm hungrier (really thirsty, but it feels like hunger) and b) I tend to get headaches from the dehydration.
If you feel that you overindulged yesterday, shake it off. All is NOT lost. Get out there (or inside) and move. Start drinking liquids like there's not tomorrow to flush out your system and fill you up. Do NOT let one day of indulgence lead you into a tailspin.
We can still lose weight before the new year.
Oh, and I also found out that my parents are coming up to Albany in 2 weeks again for another doctor's appointment for my Dad. Oh joy. Those that have been following my blog for a while know my Dad is crazy-making. And this has been a crazy month.
But they'll be off to CA for the winter shortly after that, and it takes the pressure off of us to have to drive down there in potentially bad weather sometime in December. And I'm assuming they won't want to stay long considering they have to get all ready for their annual snowbird migration.
Stop reading blogs right now and go drink something!
If you are interested in the raw sweet potato pie, you'll find the recipe on this page:
It's in her FREE 28 Desserts You Can Eat Everyday ebook. I made it in muffin cups, putting some of the crust as a base, and some on the top afterwards, and I swear it tastes like crumbcake. Even better warmed up in a toaster oven or real oven (best in a dehydrator if you have one, which I don't), like I just did for a snack -- I swear it reminds me of crumb cake. I'm glad no one else wanted to try it!
Thursday, November 25, 2010
I would like to say that this mantra applies to me, but I know it doesn't. But it's still something I can keep in mind and aspire to.
Technology is a wonderful thing. It allows me to have my spark friends -- all over the world! To communicate with all you wonderful people.
But it also drives people apart and isolates them. My husband brings his blackberry to the dinner table, even tho he knows I am very displeased if he's reading it while we're eating -- which he doesn't do very often, thankfully -- and he knows the sort of look he will get if he does.
So why does he feel the need to have it there?
That isn't the real point of this blog, tho. The real point is that most of us, even those of us that are really struggling, whether with their eating or their weight or their finances or their health have so much to be thankful for.
We have roofs over our heads, food to eat, heat to keep the chill out, a healthcare system we can turn to, the freedom to make our own choices, and yes, this technology that allows us to befriend so many people we would never have met without it.
We have friends and family and animals that support and love us. There is nature to bask in and beauty in this world to lose ourselves in.
We have so much. So many don't. And sometimes the have-nots are even happier than us. Because they value these things that we so often take for granted.
May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, wherever you are, whomever you are with.
And may we all aspire to live simply so that others may simply live.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
In the US, tomorrow is the "big" day: Thanksgiving. It ought to be about what we're thankful for, but too often it's about either how much we can stuff into ourselves -- or sadly, these days, how much we can buy.
It seems wrong for a foodie to admit this, but Thanksgiving has never been my favorite holiday. I've never been particularly fond of turkey, and neither is my husband. Having lived so far away from family for so many years, we have done many things over the years: go away, eat at a restaurant, have a nice meal (sans turkey) just the 2 of us, have friends over, go to friends. I have cooked a turkey or two in my time, but I've also done alternative proteins instead.
But I digress.
Do you have a plan for tomorrow? You gotta have a plan. You may or may not stick to it, but you've at least got to give the day some thought -- otherwise you're just admitting to yourself that you don't care, and by extension, you don't really care about yourself, either.
So here are a few suggestions:
*Healthify favorite dishes if you're the one cooking.
*Bring something healthy if you're not the one cooking. I now know my sister is making some veggies, but I'm willing to bet there'll be some butter and/or cheese in them.
*Split your plate in half, then in half again: half for veggies (preferably without marshmallows, cheese, or butter, but beggars can't be choosers), a quarter with protein, and a quarter with carbs.
*Follow one of these 3 bites rules:
Take 3 bites then leave the rest (or only serve yourself 3 bites in the first place)
Leave 3 bites on your plate
*Skip the things you can get any time of the year. Go for the stuff that only comes out at Thanksgiving. Only take a couple of tablespoons of the really fattening stuff.
*Practice some deep breathing: take a few deep breaths before you eat, to center yourself; put your fork down after several bites, a few more deep breaths, and ask yourself if you're still hungry -- and so on.
*Don't forget the exercise!
I have struggled mightily with the turkey trot, which I'd really like to do, and I've gone back & forth with my decision. In the end, I decided it will put too much pressure on what has already been a rather crazy week (and yesterday was one of "those" days, and not in a good way), so I have decided against it, even tho there are not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 of them within about half an hour of my town! But sadly none actually in my town.
But I do plan to be running. In fact, that's part of what drove my decision: I don't have enough time to do the 10k in Troy, but by simply running at home, I can run longer. It's gonna be cold, so I think it's time to see how some long underwear beneath my running tights works for me.
What's your Thanksgiving Day game plan?
And how about for the rest of the year? One of my spark buddies challenged us to write about actually continuing our healthy lifestyle journey over the next crazy 6 weeks. It's a bit easier for me usually, being Jewish, but then again, we're going to visit the inlaws in about a week, so this whole month has been crazy -- but I felt I've done really well so far, no matter what the scale may say. My clothes are fitting great!
I know it's so easy to give in and say we'll hit it hard come New Years, but I don't know about you, I just know myself I have been spinning my wheels for far too long. I am hoping to lose some more weight before the end of the year. Are you with me?
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