Sunday, March 01, 2009
Have you heard about SMART goals? They're:
It's certainly timely to be considering them, considering it's the start of a new month. But what I really want to talk about is measurable goals: because they work!
For instance, saying you want to lose weight isn't a SMART goal, since it's not specific. How much weight do you want to lose?
Except I'm not even talking about losing weight. I'm talking about the measurable portion of the equation. I talked about using the stopwatch function of my HRM to measure how much jogging I do when I do my jog/walks. I used that to push myself harder on my next walk -- and jogged for 14 minutes out of a 40 minute walk -- almost 1/3 of the walk!
I'm not sure the dogs were really pleased, but it was a cool day & windy as well, and those are the days they seem to truly enjoy running. I started off the interval portion of my walk with a 3 minute jog. I know I could have done more, but since the dogs hadn't done their business yet, I did want to give them the chance.
Knowing what portion of my walk I was actually jogging allowed me to push myself harder and expand on it.
I don't consider most weight goals all that SMART, really, because so much of it is out of our control; even if we do everything perfectly, there are still plateaus and weight gains -- it's just a fact of life when it comes to losing weight. So what will you do when you set a weight loss goal and you hit a plateau?
It's not that I don't have weight loss goals; of course I do, and I do try my hardest to meet them. I realize, though, that there are too many elements out of my control to beat myself up if I come up short on my weight loss goals. But how long I exercise? How frequently? I have complete control over that, most of the time.
I'm a competitive person, but a lousy athlete, so it's good to compete against myself.
What are some of your SMART goals?
Saturday, February 28, 2009
There's a booked called "The Truth About Beauty" by Kat James, which has been out for several years. I've eyed it for quite some time, even reading some of it at the bookstore. I finally bought it at a used bookstore.
I'm sure I've read this part before, and I've actually already come to the same conclusion myself: if you are in it to look great, you're probably going to struggle. Because when you're tired, hungry, and ready to eat your weight in chocolate, you're probably not going to care that it won't help you look great.
If you're in it to be healthy, you're going to find motivation easier to come by. Are there times I just want to forget about tracking my food? You bet. Are there weeks I'd like to have a cupcake every night, maybe even twice a day? Absolutely.
People comment on my blog and say how disciplined I am. I suppose in some ways I am, but it's not because I'm not following rigid rules (altho my husband might tell you otherwise, since I'm always asking him to make decision about going out to eat so I can plan for it); it's because eating healthy makes me feel better. That's the bottom line.
There are times I don't eat healthy, too. When I get back to it, and I always do, I always feel so much better when I'm truly nourishing my body, with good food, with plenty of exercise, with tending to my spiritual side.
Because it's about how I feel, rather than how I look, I no longer starve myself before weighing in. Oh, I play some little games still -- I always wear the same pair of jeans. I take my pedometer off (altho I forgot to yesterday). I might eat a little bit less before weigh in, but not so much that I'm going to suck down a whole package of rice cakes afterwards (not that I eat rice cakes anymore, but I used to).
And though I still thoroughly appreciate a decadent dessert, and even though just a few bites won't satisfy me (but half usually does), I find that as I get smaller and eat less sweets, I crave less sweets, too. I don't get as many cravings before my period, either, although I do get really, really hungry.
And just because I'm in it to be healthy doesn't mean I don't appreciate the beautiful side effects, both inside and out. Beaty should be appreciated. There's nothing wrong in admiring yourself, as long as it doesn't start interfering in your life.
Because I'm in it to be healthy the scale doesn't hold nearly as much power over me as it once did. Most of the time I feel secure in the knowledge that as long as I keep up with my healthy habits, a weight gain is just part of the process. Yes, naturally, I'd like my weight loss line to just keep moving downwards; I'm human; but I'm okay with the fact that it sometimes goes down, sometimes goes up, and sometimes flatlines. Somehow, I just know -- I believe right down to my bones -- that no matter how long it takes, I will get to my goal weight.
And speaking of goal weights, I think I may be adjusting mine upward. I was thinking about maybe 125 -- about in the middle of my range. It actually seems a lot of weight for a 5'1" woman, but I know for sure my old goal weight (years and years ago) of 115 was too low for me. 125 seemed reasonable. But the more I read about hormones, perimenopause, and menopause, the more I'm beginning to think that 130 might be more reasonable. Everything I read points out that just carrying a few extra pounds -- but not too many! -- helps with the "change".
I also think that 130 is a weight I can maintain without making myself crazy. Of course, I'm still secretly hoping I'll get to 130 and somehow be able to get to 125 easily and maintain that, but I know I can be happy at 130, and I don't think I've ever maintained in the 120s. I'm still far enough away that I don't really need to worry much about it yet.
Just for one day, I challenge you to think about what you need to do to be healthy.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
I don't wear my HRM every time I walk -- most days our walks aren't that vigorous (due to the dogs). But I do add jogging intervals to my walks a few times a week. For the first time in my life, I've been doing this consistently for somewhere around a year -- don't think that will happen in NY, unfortunately, ice is just too dangerous. But I digress.
So today I used the stopwatch function to track how much of my walk was actually jogging. It was kind of sad: a whopping 10 minutes, and that was broken into intervals ranging from 1 - 2 minutes. Some of that is because I'm just kind of hampered by the dogs. They're sprinters, not long distance runners, and sometimes I'm kind of dragging them around (depends on the temps, too, they're more eager to run when it's cooler -- but not too cold).
Still, now I have a goal to push myself against. My entire walk was 40 minutes, so I was jogging for about 15% of the walk. The goal will be to do longer jogging intervals and/or increase the percentage of the walk that I'm jogging.
I'm also trying something else new: rather than having my water with my meals, I'm trying to drink it in between my meals. I've read in a couple of places recently that drinking with your meal actually makes digestion harder. I haven't researched it, and I'm not sure I buy it, but I'm curious so I thought I'd just give it a twirl.
So I got myself a glass of water after our walk, and then another glass. I won't have any water with my actual lunch. Interestingly, I'm feeling brighter and more alert having drunk water immediately after my walk. Sort of a no-brainer, really, that I need to replenish after sweating -- but I just wasn't doing it before.
I'm just sprouting new habits all over the place, too: yesterday I made myself a fruit salad. It had a sauce that was sort of like lemon curd with coconut, and then I just sliced up a banana, half a cup of strawberries, and half a cup of pineapple. And sprinkled it with some flaxseed (actually got 2 tbsp in today). Very filling, and I got 2 fruits in -- I've been lacking in the fruit department lately. Might even intice my husband to eat fruit, too. If he were here.
I really do feel so much better when I eat better. The problem is it DOES take time to eat better! If only I had someone to clean up after me, or to make me healthy meals occasionally.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
It's a mixed bag. Since I had a leftover half an omelette, I was all prepared to have that for breakfast one day. But I also had a leftover muffin that I'd defrosted for my husband. I could have eaten it all in one big meal, but I prefer to eat smaller meals more often -- it really works to help me keep cravings at bay. So I had the muffin with some peanut butter first, then the omlette several hours later.
At least I'm thinking about it, and that's always the first step.
This morning I had oatmeal. Now, don't laugh, I adore oatmeal, but one of the reasons I don't eat it as often as I ought to is because of my cat. You have to understand that I eat my breakfast sitting on a recliner, with one cat always in my lap -- usually the larger one, Simba.
Simba has very weird tastes for a cat, and he adores oatmeal. Imagine trying to eat your breakfast while fending off a hungry 14 lb cat. Actually, another reason I'd stopped having oatmeal is that I thought I'd save myself some money and bought it from the bulk bins. Only it didn't cook well in a microwave, and I had a lot of it. It took a while to go through that. Of course I could have just bought more of the oats that do cook well in the micorwave, but we're all so good at making excuses for ourselves.
I've also had my yogurt, fruit, and granola without any chocolate chips several times now. So I'm making progress.
I also need to contemplate what I should eat for protein along with my oatmeal. I did put some flaxseed in it, although I realized afterward that I should have mixed it in after I'd cooked the oatmeal, not before, since flaxseed is heat sensitive. And oatmeal does have some protein in it, but not enough. Would hot chocolate (made with 1 cup of soymilk) have enough protein in it? Probably. But then there's that sugar again. Seems we can't get away from it!
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
I bought one of her DVD's a while ago at a used book store really cheap. I finally tried it out this weekend. Sorry fans, big yawn.
It wasn't that it wasn't a good workout -- it was just plain boring to me (and I've got my flame retardant suit on again). On the other hand, it did get me a whole lot of steps, which I needed, and I did like the fact that it forces me to walk at a brisker pace than I nornally do.
So I'm actually contemplating doing it again today. There's something to be said for something relatively mindless sometimes. Not only that, if you haven't heard, she's offering a pretty good deal right now: www.walkathome.com/store/product193.
Yes, I'm actually considering it. I especially like that one of the workouts includes some jogging. Guess I better make up my mind soon.
If the workouts actually grow on me, just maybe I'll consider selling my treadmill, which only gathers dust now that I walk the dogs every day, rather than moving it. Tough call though.
BTW, the DVD I bought was an express workout, with 1 & 2 mile options (I did the 2 miles).
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