Tuesday, April 07, 2009
A while back I read about kettlebells somewhere. Always wanting to try the newest craze, I read up on them, found a kettlebell sparkteam -- www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp?gid=20249 -- and did some sleuthing on kettlebell DVDs.
A kettlebell, btw, is a round ball-type weight with a handle. So you use either one or two hands to do the exercises.
I got the Iron Core, Volum 1 at target, along with a 10 lb kettlebell. Tried it once; wasn't really impressed.
But I decided I need to switch things up. I've been doing YBB almost exclusively for several months now. I dusted off my kettlebell and did the whole DVD yesterday -- the first time I tried it, I only did the "circuit", as they call it, once. It IS better when you do all of it, because they mix it up more as you go on.
I actually do still find it somewhat boring, and it definitely doesn't feel like cardio to me (they tout it as cardio and strength training, which is part of the appeal, of course), but it definitely works my legs in a different way than normal strength training. I'm going to stick with it for the next couple of weeks.
I also came across www.misfitla.com/ ; that looks interesting, too. I think I read about it in Fitness Magazine.
I think my problem with the Iron Core is that they have you do one exercise, then wait 30 seconds before doing the next -- which is probably why it doesn't feel like cardio to me. Of course, I could do something with those 30 seconds, and I probably should, but I didn't.
The biggest problem with kettlebells is that I really ought to take a class, but don't know of any here. I know that it can be easy to hurt yourself if your form isn't correct, and I do have problems with the kettlebell sort of slapping my wrists -- just a little bit -- but I tend to be really sensitive to that sort of thing. Nothing else bothers me, so hopefully I'm doing it right.
Monday, April 06, 2009
So I came across this recipe for chocolate yogurt in one of my non-spark newsletters. I often have some yogurt and granola as a snack or a dessert, and since Passover starts in a couple of days, this sure sounded good to me.
I tried it yesterday, but it didn't do it for me. It just didn't taste chocolate to me at all. You simply add 1 tbsp cocoa, 1 tsp sugar, and 1/4 tsp vanilla to plain, no fat yogurt -- but I really wasn't feeling the chocolate.
I may have to pick up some frozen yogurt or coconut milk at the grocery store this week. While not necessarily strictly kosher for Passover, I'm not a purist, and it's close enough for me. Last year I made us a really yummy flourless chocolate torte, but I just don't need all that dessert hanging around when we're moving 2 weeks from this Saturday (yikes, did I really type that?).
Actually, I have a recipe for chocolate toffee matzo. I DO plan to try that -- not that I really need it -- and send some of it up to my husband, who is unlikely to be observing Passover at all with me not there. Not to mention that it sounds too yummy to keep it all here. Basically chocolate, sugar, butter & matzo. Bring on the sugar coma!
Getting in my little something sweet is definitely a challenge at Passover, and even more so when you're vacating the house shortly afterward.
On the good news front, we have booked our flights, so I feel much better about that. I was getting a bit anxious about that with my husband dragging his feet about it -- and in the end he had me do it! I would have done it weeks ago if I'd known I could.
Sunday, April 05, 2009
That's the title of the book I picked up on Friday. Like all "diet" books that claim not to be diet books, it tells you that diet books don't work (so just why should we read it?).
The concepts are mostly ones I have already come to on my own -- after years of struggling with my weight, of course. One of the reasons I bought the book was the recipes. There aren't a lot, but they sure look good.
I would still recommend this book. The information might be new to you, and I am still finding enough in it that is helpful to me. It never occurred to me, for instance, to make up individual salads ready to go (sans dressing). I like salad, but it always seems to be too much effort. But how much effort would it be to put several salads in individual bowls in one sitting, then just dump that out into a salad bowl and add dressing when you want one? I will definitely be trying this, although I wonder how fresh the ingredients will stay.
I'd also never really thought about balancing my meals. Oh, there are all sorts of ideas about food combining out there, and that's not totally what this is about. But what if you ate a more protein-centric meal after you'd had a pasta or bread-centric meal earlier?
In fact, I think the 2 ideas go together: eat a pasta lunch, how about a salad dinner (with some protein in your salad, of course).? It's an idea I intend to think about.
The one thing I don't like about the book is that she tells you that naturally thin people don't weight and measure their food or count their calories, and if you do it, you're being obssessive.
That may be true, but here's the catch: I'm not a naturally thin person. I doubt I ever will be a natually thin person. Counting and sometimes (but not always) measuring is what works for ME.
And that's the really important point: what works for me won't necessarily work for you. It would be a boring world if we were all cookie-cutter copies of each other. THAT's why there's so many weight loss books out there -- someone finds what works for them, and they naturally want to share it (or profit from it). It may work for you; it may not; or you may walk away with just a few new ideas that work for you.
In the end, it's up to us to decide what does and doesn't work for us.
Saturday, April 04, 2009
I am both a realist and an optimist. I think it's the only way to be! You can't bury you head in the sand, but life is too short to go through it feeling sad and worried about everything.
Right now I live in a ranch-style house, and I love that. Everything on one floor. I don't have to lug laundry up and down stairs. We are moving into a raised ranch, however. More exercise! It will be interesting trying to figure out how to retrain the dogs, since they'll have to go downstairs to go outside. How will they ask to go outside when I'm upstairs? We'll figure it out.
Before we moved to this house, we lived in a condo with 3 levels. So I had to lug laundry up 2 flights of stairs.
I love to cook, and for the first time in this house, I have a wonderful kitchen. Unfortunately, the new house has a kitchen that's about a third of the size, with appliances that I mostly wouldn't choose. Less to clean! Which is a good thing, considering that I am cleaning-challenged.
While I still can't say that I'm thrilled to be moving, I also realize that my parents are no spring chickens. They are in their early to mid-80s. We are mostly blessed with longevity in our family, but still, they are getting up there. This move will allow me to see my parents much more frequently.
I had to think long and hard about finding a silver lining in being overweight. At first, I truly couldn't think of anything. Granted, I could eat what I wanted -- but I didn't, not really, I was always trying to eat healthy even at my heaviest. And I realized that was my answer: being overweight has led me to learn a great deal about the food I put into my body.
If I were a naturally thin person, I'd probably be unhealthy because I'd be eating all sorts of junk. Being heavy, however, has driven me to learn about what healthy eating is really about. I don't think I know it all; I'm always learning new stuff and trying new things.
There are always silver linings in any problem if you look hard enough and have the right attitude. Just this week Oprah interviewed Michael J. Fox. Who would ever think there is a silver lining to Parkinson's Disease? Yet it has led him to appreciate his time with his children more, driven him to become a writer -- things that might not have ever happened if he hadn't become sick.
If you are stuck in the doldrums, search out your silver lining. There's a rainbow at the end; I promise.
Friday, April 03, 2009
We are getting to crunch time. Our move is about 3 weeks off -- not 100% sure of the date since DH hasn't booked flights yet. I have lost weight for 5 weeks now -- ok, today the scale barely moved, but that was frankly more than I expected after a month of weight loss so I'm very pleased.
I know if I can stay focused I can do it. I know my husband doesn't understand why I make time to exercise every day, but if I can just lose another 11 lbs -- and keep it off -- I can stop paying for WW, and that's a pretty good chunk of change each mont. I won't stop going, but I can stop paying, since I'm a lifetime member.
Next week will be somewhat challenging because it's Passover. So much you can't eat. I'm probably going to only half-observe it, and most likely will still eat some oatmeal. Or maybe not. I bought some high fiber matzo, so some of that with some peanut butter could make a nice breakfast. There will be matzo brei though, which is sort of french toast matzo; I adore matzo brei and typically make it at least 2-3 times during Passover, and I don't use the high fiber matzo for it, either -- I've tried to, but it really just isn't the same.
I think my biggest upcoming challenges will be eating healthy when I can't cook for myself, and getting in my exercise when I probably won't even have access to my exercise DVDs for a while. It should only be a few days; once we get to Albany, I can use my husband's computer. I can, of course, continue to walk -- I only need my 2 feet for that. I will miss walking the dogs, though, even if I can get a better workout without them.
I also have to try to reign in my expectations of what my familywill say. It's been about a year since I saw them; I am almost 24 lbs lighter. I'm pretty sure they will notice, and I actually think they'll be wowed, but I have to prepare myself if they aren't. Almost no one here, aside from my husband, has noticed -- or commented on -- my weight loss.
I have been doing a bit better with taking care of myself the last few days, too. I've been doing my guided meditations, which I hadn't been getting around to. I've been making sure to moisturize my hands at night -- the tips get so dry! It's so easy to let go of this stuff when you're busy, but so vital not to. Still haven't gotten around to buffing my nails yet, but I'll get there.
I am also so thankful to my spark buddies. If it weren't for you, I'd probably never have pushed myself to run. While I may never enjoy it the way some of you do, I need to do it and I'm glad that I do. I am loosely doing the C25K program -- not that I'm planning any 5Ks any time soon, but maybe some day.
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