Thursday, December 11, 2008
Everything can motivate you! Don't wait for the positive things like pounds and inches gone, or praise from loved ones. Use the bad things, too.
Maybe that's another reason this time seems different. The scale didn't show me what I wanted? I use that! I analyze my week -- nothing fancy, I may look back through my tracker or just think about it. Was I satisfied with the way I ate? Is there something I can change, that won't make me feel deprived? Or do I know I did the best I can, and feel secure in the knowledge that if I keep doing so, the pounds will eventually come off.
Did you cringe looking in the mirror or at a photo? Use it! Let it motivate you. Looking at photos of the once-thin you can actually seem rather daunting, but looking at photos of the real you, right now, can motivate you to get off your butt & get that exercise you know you need.
Did you eat more than you planned to? Did you eat for emotional reasons? Use it! First off, get right back on track. Maybe get some extra exercise in, but don't go overboard -- you don't want to become obssessive about exercise. Learn from it. What can you do differently the next time? What causes you to overeat? What are your triggers? Come up with a plan -- write it down, put it somewhere you will see it often.
Are your clothes too tight? Use it! Let that motivate you to get in that exercise again. Maybe eat a little cleaner. Try on the clothes once a week.
Motivation is all around you. Use it!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I've written about this before, but this seems a good time of year to write about it again. The scale is a good measure of where we are, but it can't measure the healthy habits we've put into place; it doesn't tell the whole picture.
Those reading this blog know I gained 1 lb over Thanksgiving week. Which I'm sure doesn't sound too bad to most, but I had been very careful all week, stuck to my plan and my exercise, and really couldn't believe I'd gained a whole pound (actually a lot for me in one week).
Yes, I was disappointed. But I didn't change my healthy habits for the next week. I know if I continue doing what I'm doing, weight will eventually come off. I know that the way I eat and exercise are finally healthy -- at least 80% of the time. Because I follow the 80/20 rule: eat healthy 80% of the time, eat mindfully the 20% of the time you aren't eating healthy, and the weight will come off.
Thanksgiving happened to be the day before my weigh-in that week. I weighed in the next week, and I'd lost 1.8 pounds -- so that pound had disappeared, and almost another pound along with it.
If I'd let the scale rule my life, it would have been easy to fall prey to the mentality that it wasn't worth being careful all week long before Thanksgiving and getting in plenty of exercise, because, geez, what's the point if you're going to gain weight anyway?
I think even not so long ago I would have had those thoughts. I also think that's part of why this time seems (I hope, anyway!) so different -- why most of the time it seems, if not exactly easy, not the crazy-making process it's been in the past. Because I know I can eat and exercise this way for the rest of my life.
The scale isn't evil -- only thinking so makes it so. It's just one of the tools in our weight loss toolbox. Use it wisely.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
And maybe my sports watch, too.
I have become officially addicted to exercise DVDs. I used to be that way about exercise tapes, way back when, then I decided I would use the workouts from my fitness magazines instead. Only I've found I don't work out as hard on my own as I do when I'm following someone else's lead.
So here are my favorite series so far:
1. Turbo Jam. I have quite a few of them. Turbo Jam, for those who don't know, are a kickboxing based workout, but they're fun. And she throws in some interesting things like functional fitness and Capoeira and a little yoga. Many say they're addictive. While these are available from www.beachbody.com/ , you can get them much cheaper from ebay or Amazon.
2. Zumba. Latin danced-based program (see www.zumbafitness.com/ ). While I'm a total dork when it comes to dancing, I enjoy this. In fact, I've just returned to this after a month of #3, and I was surprised at how much easier it seems than it did when I started with it. Which is why it's important to change your workout every month or so. I don't like Beto's Latin machismo, but that's just me.
3. Shaun T's Rockin Body. Another dance-based exercise program, but more hip hop (and even disco). Think Will Smith teaching you how to dance (altho I wouldn't want to take these moves to a dance floor). The music isn't quite as good as advertised, but I love these workouts. In fact, that was part of what I loved about Zumba so much, I realized -- the music really gets you going. Also a beachbody product, but again, turn to Ebay.
So by now you should see a theme. I enjoy fun workouts. I tried Jillian's 30 Day Shred. Of course it's a good workout. But it's not fun -- even she says so right on the DVD. If it's fun, I look forward to my exercise.
So here are a few things I'm considering:
1. Core Rhythms Club Mix.
2. Hip Hop Abs (also by Shaun T; predecessor to Rockin' Body).
3. Dance and Be Fit: Brazilian Body
4. Yoga Ballet Booty. I have one of these, but haven't tried it yet -- I got it at a secondhand bookstore for a steal. When I do try it, if I like it, I might go for the rest. I like series that tell you which workout to do when.
5. Dance off the inches Hip Hop Party
Anyone have any opinions? Any recommendations?
I'm also considering a sports watch as a reward for my 20 lbs lost when I get there (soon). What I really want is something that will do an alarm at intervals. So say if I wanted to jog for 2 minutes, walk for 1, it would sound an alarm at those intervals. Storing info is a plus. I'd love to find one that has a heart rate thing -- not one with a strap -- but I haven't delved too far into it yet.
Any suggestions on sports watches you love?
Monday, December 08, 2008
This weekend I made peanut butter waffles. I even added some chocolate chips, since I adore peanut butter and chocolate together.
I have no excuses; this particular cookbook includes nutritional information. I don't know why, but apparently I turned a blind eye to the calorie count. 542 calories per waffle! Luckily, I'm satisfied with one waffle; they're Belgian waffles -- the square kind, not the behometh round ones with four parts -- so they're plenty filling.
That's about a third of my calories for the entire day. Which isn't that terrible a thing, actually, since most people tend to do better when they eat a big breakfast. Still, it's much more calories than I'm accustomed to eating for breakfast, and I hadn't counted them that way.
For some people, once they'd realized their mistake, they'd just throw their hands up in the air, figure they blew it, and blow the rest of the day off. Not me. I stuck to my planned meals -- a home made bean burger for lunch, veggie lasagna for dinner, even a peanut butter apple crumble for dessert (which was not nearly as caloric as that waffle). I did go back and forth on making the crumble for a while, but I finally decided it was relatively healthy, if still a treat.
It takes 3500 calories to gain a pound. One 500 calorie waffle won't do me in. One 500 calorie waffle followed by a day of mindless eating just might.
Of course, weight loss isn't really as simple as calories in, calories out. It should be, but it isn't. A great deal of it is emotional. Learn to control your emotional eating, and you've got a ticket to permanent weight loss.
Sunday, December 07, 2008
I will probably take some flack for this (getting my asbestos suit ready), and it's not PC, but the truth is I think the answer is yes. Remember, I'm a fat person!
Now, if you have a medical condition that piles on the pounds -- and there are such things, of course you aren't lazy.
But this is what I know: losing weight is hard work. I watch less tv because I realized that I must use exercise DVDs in addition to walking the dogs to lose weight. I used to work out while I watched tv, but for me, that wasn't working. Or working out, I suppose. I guess I'm a follower: I need to follow someone, rather than just try to do exercise on my own.
I used to rely on a lot of prepared foods. Some were fresh, others were frozen, the vast majority were healthy. But they aren't as healthy as food I prepare for myself. It takes a lot of work to make my own breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks almost every day of the week. And if you have kids, my hat is really off to you: I like to cook, but I don't think I'd be happy having to cook for 4 or 5 every day. You deserve medals!
The heavier you are, the less energy you have. It's a vicious cycle: you need more energy to create healthy meals for yourself and to get moving, but the cruel fact is it's hard when you're heavier.
It's not so much that we're lazy, but we do have lower energy; there's really no getting around that fact. And lower energy makes it difficult to take the steps we need to take.
But you aren't doomed to a life of low energy, eating frozen meals, watching tv while laying on the couch. We CAN change our lives. Just a small weight loss will re-energize you and set you on the right path. Every journey begins with a single step -- what will yours be? I think my two biggest steps were joining this site (thank God for SP!) and going back to WW meetings.
"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm."
-- Sir Winston Churchill
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